Top 3 Manners to Teach Your Kids this Summer

Three basic manners to make things easier, cleaner and more fun for everyone over summer break.

We love it when our kids are home for the summer, but it can also be challenge dealing with kids running in and out of the house all day, dirty dishes everywhere, and multiple sleepovers. Parents do crave some semblance of order and children, both our own and those visiting, with nice manners do make our lives easier and summer break more enjoyable.

It's important to teach children manners for our own benefit, but also for theirs. Children with nice manners have an easier time making and keeping friends, and according to research, will be more successful throughout their lifetime. We can start teaching children manners at a very young age, and can use the time during summer break to really work on their manners and social skills.

I recommend concentrating on three basic manners to make things easier, cleaner and more fun for everyone over summer break.

Top three manners to teach your children this summer are:

1. Pick up after yourself.
Explain to kids that everything that gets taken out or used in some way should be put back and/or cleaned up! So for example, when they are done with the Xbox the controls should be put away. When they are done with lunch they need to put their dishes in the dish washer. When they are done running through the sprinkler, they need to put their wet towels in the laundry room. If parents can set up a reward system that might even help kids be more conscious and consistent. Certainly remind kids that when they are visiting someone else's home that they need to pick up after themselves even if their friend doesn't.

2. Be respectful.
Since family members will be spending a lot of time together over the summer, children need to remember that summer break is not just about what they want. Encourage your children to be quiet when others are sleeping, ask well in advance if they need a ride someplace or want to do something, and ask if a friend can come over before just showing up. If your children do not have chores, they should still help out around the house in some way every day like walking the dog, taking out the trash, or watering the flowers. Pitching in for the family is a good lesson to learn.

3. Have nice table manners.
Since you will have the opportunity to have more family dinners over the summer, teach your children how to properly set the table and have them practice. Also, teach them what to do before, during and after a meal to have nice manners both at your house and when a guest in someone else's home. Also, children need to remember to try all new food and not to be picky at a friends' house.