"Slightly" exasperated, the parent asks why they have not performed the requested task. With a shrug of the shoulders and a roll of the eyes, the young adult turns and reluctantly begins the chore. At this point, the emotionally exhausted parent is usually asking her or himself, "Why haven't I enrolled my young adult in a manners training school?"
Scenes like this one - and many others - are played out every day all across the planet. To be fair, the teenage years are a time of growth and change, and are stressful for teenagers. They are learning more about their world and about themselves, and are often plagued by feelings of inadequacy and apprehension. Add to this the fact that many teens take the advice of members of their peer group, and the perfect storm of bad behavior can be fully formed.
Most parents recognize the fact that a teen that is poorly behaved and exhibits bad manners can often be seen as rude and spoiled. This can result in many additional problems for the teen. The good news is, if the young adult embraces a mannerly way of living, they can almost always reverse this impression. Many blessings can result from this, and some of them will be outlined in the following paragraphs.
FEWER CONFRONTATIONS - AND ENHANCED SAFETY
Good manners are not just for looks. On the contrary, exhibiting good manners often acts as a social lubricant. A teenager who is well versed in mannerly behavior is far less likely to find him or herself in a situation that could get ugly. An example of this would be a teen who constantly mouths off to other teens, or even to authority figures such as police. While parents may be tolerant of this behavior, outsiders will be far less so. Thus, in a very real way, good manners can keep kids safe.
TAKES ADVANTAGE OF THE GOLDEN RULE
Almost everyone is aware of the Golden Rule that states, 'do unto others as you would have done to yourself.' Practicing good manners is a great way to apply this, and will result in social benefits for the individual that lives by this principle. Teenagers who learn this early will earn a lot of respect from not only their peers, but from adults as well. Other people will treat the team with politeness as well as respect, and they will be well thought of by members of the community.
WHAT ARE SOME WAYS OF BREAKING TEENS OUT OF THIS HABIT?
The first and most obvious answer is for parents to practice what they are preaching to their kids. From the moment they are born, kids are like giant sponges that soak up all the information around them. Parents who keep this fact in mind can easily teach their kids good manners by practicing mannerly behavior themselves.
That being said, even the nicest and most mannerly parents often have to deal with the dreaded eye roll. In addition to this, tensions between the parents and the child may make it very difficult for parents to reverse this behavior. This is where professional etiquette training centers come in.
Manners training schools can take the pressure off parents and diffuse any lingering familial tensions. They create a friendly and structured environment, in which teens are carefully taught what it truly means to have manners. And this is not all. Professional etiquette training schools teach teens whole life skills that will serve them in good stead in the future. These include organizational skills, how to exhibit proper manners at the table, respectful communication strategies, how to think of others first, and basic gratitude.
Raising teenagers is not an easy job and can seem even tougher when parents are forced to endure the dreaded eye roll. That said, parents who remain patient and enroll their teen in a professional manners training school will be giving their beloved offspring a gift that will last a lifetime.
Steve & Marcy Breault, Co-Founders