Having lived over seven decades, I’ve seen it all, I’ve lived pretty much of it and I’ve heard enough. That doesn’t necessarily make me an expert, but I’ve noticed our society as a whole has lost something over time. Somewhere along the line, teaching good manners to our kids has often resulted in lack of respect, narcissism, loss of self control, unnecessary outbursts of anger and violence, bullying and much more. Maybe it’s time we get back to some of the old ideas again.
Part of the problem, as difficult as it may be to admit, is the onset of the age of technology. The art of conversation, public speaking, solving problems through integrated ideas has all taken a back seat to using our thumbs instead of our vocal chords. Here are a few ideas that parents can use to get back on track with their children.
- Children need boundaries. You’re not their friend. You’re their parent – their role model – their hero. Take your job seriously.
- Limit the time spent on electronics. Show them there are other ways to communicate. Meals and time spent traveling in the car are perfect opportunities to talk, but let your kids know that you are available to talk anytime.
- Teach them to respect others. They should look up to those in authority – this reaches far beyond the home. I’m talking about teachers, grandparents, the police, pastors, politicians and other kids. Everyone matters in this world.
- Be kind by being unselfish, caring, thoughtful and sincere. Some of your child’s lifetime friendships will be formed, based on your example.
- Solve problems in an logical way, without resorting to anger or violence.
- Don’t go to bed angry. Talk it over. Those precious hearts should not have the memory of your anger when they fall asleep.
- Pray with them.
- Be a good example.
- Teach them the simple things – courtesy – waiting for others to be seated before eating – not speaking badly of others – look someone in the eye when talking to them – shake hands firmly – say excuse me – show them how to sit, eat, be polite – all those simple things that have been missing from society for a long time.
- Love one another as God first loved us.
These are just a few suggestions. Now more than ever we need to spend more time with our children and less time on our devices. It will lead to a lifetime relationship.