New generation children lose their manners

How to pass on your good manners to children and grandchildren

Good manners are and will remain important

“Today's youth love luxury, have bad manners, and despise authority. They contradict their parents, cross their legs and bully their teachers. "

Contrary to what one might expect, this quote does not come from the recent past, but from the Greek philosopher Socrates (469–399 BC). But the assumption that manners are becoming less important, then as now, is not correct. Well-groomed manners are simply part of it if your child wants to find his place in society.

Even in private, nobody likes to surround themselves with people who act like an ax in the forest, who are impolite and who don't know how to behave. But employers now also complain more about the lack of social skills and the poor manners of applicants.

“We have to do without applicants more and more often because they lack values ​​that were more strongly conveyed by parents in the past. For working in a luxury hotel, this includes elementary virtues such as discipline, eloquence, politeness and reliability ”,“ Die Welt ”quotes the boss of a well-known Berlin hotel. "For some it is not even a matter of course to say hello to colleagues."

But other industries also expect at least a minimum of behavior from their employees. As parents and grandparents, we wish our children and grandchildren a happy future: friends, a stable social environment, a good job, a place in society. We have to give them the tools they need on their way. This also includes teaching them good manners.

You can not teach old dogs new tricks

Teach your children what you think is important and it is best to start now, because nothing is as difficult as breaking bad habits. Once you have got used to using the ugly "sh ..." word, spitting on the floor or smacking your lips, it is difficult to get used to these behaviors again.

Over time, it turns into automatisms that can no longer be consciously controlled. Instead of thinking, you just behave and don't even notice what you are actually saying or doing.

Then it may happen that as an adult you sit in an important conference and pick your nose lost in thought. You can surely imagine the looks of the others: “Is that disgusting!” Such an impression can hardly be made up for. So help your children and grandchildren get rid of bad habits before they become their flesh and blood!


Source: Fotolia © saklakova

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The 3 cornerstones of good behavior

What exactly should you pass on to your children and grandchildren? Of course, this can be argued about.

Today's grandparents, parents, godparents and childless people were brought up according to the general educational weather conditions of their time: Some had to bow to an almost military drill within narrow limits, while others had to seek and find their own limits according to the anti-authoritarian principle. Accordingly, expectations of the behavior of subsequent generations differ today.

At the beginning of the 21st century, the following assessment applies: Children need reliable structures for their development. These in turn must be open to flexible implementation.

You will meet the demands of up-to-date education if you observe these 3 basic pillars:

1. Values

"Values ​​are the basis for everything!"

Think about which values ​​are important to you and how you can bring them closer to your child. Without values, manners are just worthless facades!
Values ​​set the direction and offer orientation
2. KnowledgeThis is about information and facts: Why is something the way it is? Why did the lady stay seated at the greeting earlier and no longer today? Everything your little one understands is easier for them to accept!Knowledge creates understanding
3. SkillsThis is about practical things: just like in sport, the little ones have to learn what is a foul in everyday life and how to apply new knowledge. Good athletes have a coach to motivate them; You have your offspring!Practice creates masters; Training creates security.


How to best pass on good manners

1. Communicate values

Only those who have useful yardsticks or yardsticks are able to evaluate events and orientate themselves in life. Give your child the tools they need to perform these difficult tasks.

Values ​​can be divided into 4 categories:




Performance values

Communication values



Social values

Ethical values


Source: Fairness Foundation, Dr. N. Copray

Think about it: which of these values ​​would you like to convey to your child? And even more exciting: How do you want to achieve that?


The great etiquette expert knowledge:
by Meike Slaby-Sandte


Which values ​​are important to you?

  • It is particularly important for me to approach others openly and impartially. I exemplify this for my children by, for example, B. greet everyone in a friendly way and don't think about who is worth greeting and who is not.
  • Of course, with children, openness has its limits when it comes to safety. Children should not immediately reveal their names to every complete stranger. In the company of an adult, however, it is nice when the child looks strangers in the eye and imagines without prejudice: "Hello, I'm Maja."
  • If a child is used to approaching other people openly from an early age, they will not have any difficulty dealing with people later in school or at work - even with those who are different from themselves, with the disabled e.g. B. or with foreigners.




Source: Fotolia © WavebreakmediaMicro

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2. Create the rules of the game

"Rules of the game" is a child-friendly term: "Mau Mau" or "Mensch ärgere dich nicht" will not work without:

Rules of the game

  • become guidelines. The limits set are not a restriction, but serve as an orientation framework for your child.
  • give hold. In situations in which your child is ever unsure, they can stick to their rules. This creates security, security and self-confidence.
  • promote understanding and acceptance. Your little ones learn to respect other people's values ​​and behavior. How do different games have e.g. B. different countries have their own rules. These are not better or worse, but different.

Rules of the game for daily interaction can be e.g. B. be:

  • We respect and respect one another. That's why we talk to each other in a calm and friendly tone and don't yell at each other.
  • Meals are also used for entertainment. The iPod remains switched off for this long.
  • We are considerate of others. That's why we wait at the bus stop until everyone has got off before we get on ourselves, and we get up for someone who is old or sick and needs our seat more than we do.
  • We respect nature and do not throw rubbish into the swimming lake!

One of the rules of the game from my own childhood was: “What you don't want someone to do to you, don't do it to anyone else.” Since nobody likes to be treated badly - not even your child - and everyone knows how they treat themselves from others If you wish, your child can easily check their own behavior against this principle and assess for themselves whether they are behaving appropriately or completely wrongly.

3. Set a good example

Values ​​are best passed on subtly, ie “between the lines”: Live what you expect from others, otherwise you will not be credible.

If you tell your offspring not to lie, but let themselves be denied when you make an unpleasant call on the phone when you are obviously there, your child will be right to wonder how serious you are about the truth. Why should it stick to rules that don't apply to you?

If you yell at your child in anger yourself, they will get loud when they get angry. If dad spits on the floor instead of using a paper handkerchief, the offspring will emulate him and adopt this disgusting habit too.

Therefore, pay attention to your own behavior! Incidentally, this also applies to your choice of words.

4. Teach your child to be critical of values ​​and rules

You do not raise your child alone. Advertising, peers, schools and the media also go out of their way to influence - not always in your interest:

What is Well, in, cool, class or hip?

  • The shrill nose piercing or the noble designer earrings?
  • Mama's simple sweater or your best friend's crop top?
  • The good class geek or the ruthless rebel?

Your child will most likely make the decision without you. However, you can teach him to critically question values ​​and rules and to keep his bearings.

Your own values ​​and rules should also stand up to such critical questioning, because some things that were considered correct in your childhood are now out of date:

For example, today's young people should consider B. stop encouraging to demonstrate submissiveness. Knicks and servants are - except for official ceremonies at royal houses - abolished. Children are allowed to express wishes, they are allowed to speak without being expressly asked to do so. You can refuse food. They can defend themselves when adults do them injustice, e.g. B. when they overtake her in a queue.

Making gender-specific differences in behavior is also an old braid. A boy can show feelings, a girl can assert herself. Whether a girl or a boy, both stand up when they are greeted. Both give up their seats in the fully occupied bus when a frail person gets on, whether a woman or a man. Both hold a door open when another person follows them. Both take on auxiliary services in the household; their extent is determined by age and skills, not gender.

So from time to time you too should check the rules that were given to you as a child and in the course of your life, and throw away what is superfluous and obsolete.

5. Find allies

Given the multitude of influences your child is exposed to, it is good to find allies who will pull in the same direction as you. Take a look around: What do the people in your social environment have to offer in terms of manners, social skills and a sense of style?

Uncle Georg z. B. ...

He's an old-school gentleman. He knows very well about the meaning and the origin of etiquette: why you raise your hat when you greet an acquaintance, why the ladies used to sit down to greet them. You can ask him to tell your child about it every now and then.

Or your friend Gisela ...

She has a gastronomic education and is very familiar with table manners. She knows how to pass a complicated 6-course meal with flying colors and how to professionally cut a lobster. Invite Gisela to so-called motto evenings: "Today we eat like the Chinese, Italians, Indians ..." In this way, your child learns about the eating habits of other cultures in a playful way and learns about good table manners.


Source: Fotolia © Monkey Business

Of course, you know that you collect sympathy points with sensitivity and a confident demeanor. But - did you also know

  • should you say hello when you meet your boss in the toilet?
  • how do you react in style if you make an embarrassing slip of the tongue in a meeting?
  • At which events are you expected to appear on time - and when is it more stylish to be a little late?
If you know these etiquette traps, you will be ahead of many of your colleagues: You will not only be considered personable, but also CAREER-FRIENDLY ... and you will have job opportunities that others will never see. Simply because you are confident about your company and your job.

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6. Even little things can be important

If you can't think of any strengths or weaknesses spontaneously, watch your loved ones discreetly in the near future. For example, focus your attention on focal points such as

  • Communication (verbal and non-verbal),
  • Table manners,
  • Greeting, farewell,
  • social interaction in the immediate vicinity / with strangers,
  • Thank you and ask,
  • Expressions of criticism, dealing with conflicts / troublemakers and with emotions (e.g. with anger: Do swear words fall?),
  • Statements about third parties in their absence.


The big etiquette tip: What is important is good rapport with your child

Because your child will only accept something from people whom your child appreciates and likes. Uncle Georg is therefore unsuitable as a comrade-in-arms if your children hate him. Then at most he evokes a tired smile, if not open rebellion.

7. Pass on your knowledge

Tell your children and grandchildren what you know about modern etiquette. These can be both practical and theoretical. As a reader of the “Big Knigge” you are an expert here!

The great etiquette examples for practical knowledge

  • how to cut a fish correctly
  • that business cards are not tucked away unread
  • which greeting rules apply
  • what characterizes a good letter style
  • how a celebration is organized
  • like a tie knot is tied

The great etiquette examples for theoretical knowledge

  • why not say "health" anymore
  • who was Freiherr Knigge
  • what a dress code is
  • why there are modern and traditional rules
  • what rules apply in other cultures

A test that was carried out in the upper school of a Hessian high school shows that there is a great need for labeling knowledge. 30 young men were faced with the task of tying a tie knot. Only once were able to do this 2!

So be sure to pass on what you have learned in your life. This gives your child security and saves him a lot of embarrassment.

8. Also explain the why

Children accept rules more easily when they understand their meaning. It is therefore important that you not only convey the rule itself, but also its meaning:


Child: “Why should I take my hands out of my pockets when talking to someone? It doesn't hurt anyone and it's comfortable for me! "


Parents: “The origin of this rule is old. You used to show the other person that you had no bad intentions. The hands were clearly visible and the person opposite did not have to be afraid that you suddenly pulled a gun. Today you show that you are concentrating on the other and that you are fully involved. It is, so to speak, a sign of respect for the other. And it makes you seem more open and self-confident. "



 Modern business manners have nothing to do with being polite to other people or not. That is a matter of course.

Modern manners today mean: You know the order in which you greet guests of different origins and nations in style. How to deal confidently with your own mistakes and turn them into opportunities instead of defeats. Which clothing is appropriate for which occasion. How to communicate with different types of employees.

Knowing how to behave correctly when dealing with colleagues, superiors and national and international business partners is a real business and career factor:

Professional careers are often not only determined by personal skills, but also by social skills, style and charisma. “The great etiquette” provides you with the knowledge and know-how for this. Turnkey. Month after month, condensed and to the point, inside information from 20 years of personal experience on modern business etiquette, communication, international etiquette and career etiquette.

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9. Exercise with your child

It is not about training children like animals or raising them in the form of project management. Rather, it is about playful behavioral corrections, without which your child would later suffer.

If your little one's teeth grow crooked, you would take them to the orthodontist, right? Depending on how serious the health and aesthetic effects would be, you and your child would decide for or against braces.

It's the same with manners. Think about the impact your child's behavior can have on their future. Decide whether you want to work on it with him or not.

The following behaviors include: B. meant:

  • chewing finger nails
  • to dig in your nose
  • curse
  • spit on the street
  • do not say thank you
  • do not greet
  • pushing other children
  • offend others

Behavioral corrections are especially important if your child hurts other people physically or emotionally. Just like on the soccer field, it first has to learn what a foul is in everyday life. Because in the rarest cases it is a question of bad intent when a child misbehaves.


The great etiquette-Example: Little Leon, for example, had an unpleasant impression on a colleague's birthday the other day when he let his spoon splash into the plate with full force and splashed not only the tablecloth but also the people around the table with leftovers. In the morning, Leon and his parents had watched a funny children's program, during which one mishap after the other had happened at the festive table during a party and everyone had laughed uproariously - including the little child who smacked his food angrily and screeching loudly would have …



Small children in particular cannot classify a lot of things correctly. Family laughter at a hilarious scene on TV that is a disaster from the perspective of good manners may lead your child to wrong conclusions - like Leon. That's why he's far from being a naughty kid. He just has a lot to learn. Because no master has fallen from heaven, it is best to be patient and cautious.

10. Pick up your child

Your child, who is a unique personality, has learned a lot in the course of his life, also in terms of manners. It is therefore important to first get a brief overview of your skills and knowledge:

  • What manners is your child already good at?
  • Which are insufficient?
  • What is easy for him? What hard?
  • What kind of motivation and approach does it respond best to? Which is more of a blocking effect?
  • How much time does your child need to learn certain things?

Pick up your child where they are and do not overwhelm them.

11. Decide what is important

Make yourself aware of what is particularly important to you. What would you like to teach and convey to your offspring? Without a doubt, several points will come to mind, because manners are very diverse.

Here are some suggestions:

Even toddlers can learn that

  • Wash your hands after every visit to the toilet and before eating, hold your hand in front of your mouth when coughing, do not put your fingers in bowls or put anything you have touched back on when you eat. “Bacilli are everywhere. If you protect yourself and others, you and the others are more likely to stay healthy. "
  • Treat food appropriately: "This is not a toy."
  • To keep yourself straight, to lift your feet when walking: "The posture influences your own mood."
  • Providing and enduring eye contact while speaking: "So the other person knows that you mean business."
  • To say please and thank you and to return a greeting in a friendly manner: "Then others are nice to you too."
  • Using words correctly - no "Happihappi" instead of "Eat" or "the uncle" instead of "Mr. Meier": "This is how everyone understands you."
  • Respecting the freedom and boundaries of parents, siblings and playmates, for example taking a break for lunch or homework times: "Sometimes you want us to leave you alone."
  • To respect living beings and z. B. Not to unnecessarily torment pets: "That hurts."
  • To distinguish mine and yours and to deal carefully with own and other objects: "Broken is useless."
  • To stay seated at the table for at least one course: "We eat together. "

You can demand this from your children from elementary school age

  • The salutations to distinguish you and you
  • To politely give information to strangers, but not to be questioned. "I don't want that" shows them the limit
  • Kindly but firmly insist on having a say: "I would like to say something about that."
  • To let others finish speaking, not to interrupt
  • To apologize for mistakes: "I didn't mean that, please excuse me!"
  • To protect your clothes
  • Developing taste and style: which colors and patterns go together, which clothes go with which occasion?
  • Getting up in the bus for visibly elderly, sick, pregnant women, heavily packed people: "Please sit down!"
  • To use the tools of the trade properly at the table: holding the cutlery correctly, lifting a glass with one hand, grasping a cup by the handle, using the napkin
  • To eat silently
  • To stick to agreements, to inform parents of whereabouts, to be on time
  • Thank you in writing for larger gifts - such as those for communion / confirmation or a birthday
  • To take on small services such as watering flowers in the family and in the neighborhood


12. Choose strategies that are appropriate for children

With some things it is best to take immediate action, with others it is wiser to approach the goal in small steps or to grasp the child with his ambition.

When to set limits right now


Stop this behavior immediately

Is your son using swear words for the first time?

“Express yourself appreciatively! Such words are mean and hurt others. "

Does he start screaming in the supermarket because you aren't buying him anything sweet?

“You have no reason to be sad now. We still have some chocolate at home, so I'm not going to buy you any sweets now. "

Does your daughter give disrespectful, hurtful answers during puberty?

"Not like that! It is important to me that we both treat each other with respect. "

You should always briefly explain to your child why they shouldn't say or do something and what effect their behavior or a certain sentence has on the person they are talking about.

Also give your child the opportunity to say why they behaved or said something bad from your point of view. In this way, many misunderstandings can be cleared up and similar incidents can be avoided in the future.

Maybe your son is only playing with the food because he has an aversion to it? The easy way to remedy this is to ask him to just say that next time. You as a mother, grandmother, father or grandfather can then offer him an alternative that he prefers to eat.

Perhaps Eva only moves into the nursery as soon as the neighbor comes because she thinks her wet kisses are disgusting? Then you can discreetly point out to the neighbor that Eva does not like being kissed.

Perhaps Holger only pushed the other child because he had provoked it beforehand? Then you can talk to him about how to resolve conflicts without physical violence. Your child will feel that his problem has been understood and that his solution to the situation so far has been taken seriously. At the same time, it understands that there are always solutions that are polite and respectful. This is a great advantage for later life.

This is how you can move forward in small steps

A division into mini-steps is particularly suitable if

  • a Etiquette "trained" such as “not to speak with your mouth full” or “to use a knife and fork properly”.
  • Her child Struggles to obey the rule. The set goal is overwhelming and may trigger fears, discomfort and insecurity.

Mini-steps help your son or daughter to slowly and carefully achieve and integrate the appropriate behavior. Learning a new behavior is like learning a new sport, e.g. B. swimming: At first it only works with two armbands, then with only one and at some point completely without.

Mini-steps: what to watch out for

  1. Think about how you can achieve a learning goal together with your child in small, child-friendly units.
  2. The first steps should always take place in a familiar environment so that the child does not feel exposed.
  3. Leave enough time between the individual learning units.
  4. Be patient and encourage your child! Praise it when it comes to success!



The big etiquette example: One goal - many steps


Aim: The eight-year-old Till should no longer pick his nose. Even though he knows it, he unconsciously does it over and over again. Especially in stressful situations such as family celebrations and visiting guests, he shows the undesirable behavior more intensely.

Mini steps

  1. Every time he picks his nose at home, sing the song of "Pinocchio". The wooden doll with the long nose is a memory anchor. It's supposed to remind your son to leave his own nose alone.
  2. Whenever you sing the “Pinocchio song”, Till's attention is drawn to the fact that he is picking his nose again.
  3. When he feels the reflex to pick his nose again, he automatically thinks of Pinocchio and its meaning. You have to admonish him less and less to keep your fingers out of your nose.
  4. If your son does relapse again, it is sufficient for you to briefly say “Pinocchio” - even in public.


In any case, this is more pleasant for your son than being asked about booger in front of the assembled team. He can change his behavior without losing face.

Celebrate successes

Celebrate even small successes and rely on the strategies that suit your offspring. The following list will help you:

  • What brought you and thus your child closer to the set goal?
  • What did your child respond to particularly well? What did he find easy?
  • What did it immediately understand and take to heart?
  • What positive influence has the support from family members had?
  • To whom did your child react particularly well in teaching the manners? How did they approach the matter?

The big etiquette: Praise your child for their progress! That encourages them to continue to participate.


Source: Fotolia © Kzenon


It doesn't just happen to applicants:

You are invited to a fancy restaurant - and Many people embarrass themselves there before even the first course has been served!

Trained eyes can tell whether someone has good manners just by eating bread. For some interlocutors, the entire negotiation has already been "eaten" here ... but not for YOU! Because ...

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