Relating etiquette to dating might make your teen listen up.

How to Teach Etiquette to Teen Boys

by Kay Ireland

They burp, text during dinner and eat with their hands -- teenage boys are hardly the picture of perfect modern manners. While some old-fashioned manners have gone the way of the dinosaur, it's still important that your teen boy knows the basics when it comes to interacting with others, eating with the family and even sending texts or chatting online. By making manners applicable to his social situations, your teen might actually want to learn about better etiquette.

Start by talking about proper etiquette at mealtimes with your teen. While you don't need to teach your teen the difference between a salad fork and dinner fork, he should know how to politely ask for items to be passed around the table, have proper conversation and most importantly, keep his digital gadgets out of sight, suggests the book "How Rude!: The Teenagers' Guide to Good Manners, Proper Behavior, and Not Grossing People Out."

Talk about tech etiquette when you notice your teen playing online games, using social networking sites or emailing a friend. Your teens should know what is and isn't OK to post, the difference between harmless teasing and cyberbullying and how to interpret tone when sending and receiving electronic communication.

Associate your teen's use of a cellphone with proper cellphone etiquette. If your teen can't use a phone with good manners, you may want to remove it until he knows when it's OK to use a phone -- notes that it's never OK to text message in a time and setting where taking a phone call wouldn't be appropriate -- and what type of content is OK to share. Once he shows he's responsible enough to use good cellphone etiquette, you can return the phone.

Prep your teen on proper date etiquette before he goes to a dance or is going on a date, suggests contributor Lian Dolan. Your teen wants to make a positive impression, so he'll probably be more than happy to listen to basics like opening doors for his date and respecting her curfew.

Set a good example for proper etiquette around the home. Your teen probably won't be bothered with manners if you fail to use them on a regular basis. You don't need to scold or punish your teen for forgetting his manners -- just remind him gently and lead by example so proper etiquette becomes a habit, rather than a novelty.


About the Author

Kay Ireland specializes in health, fitness and lifestyle topics. She is a support worker in the neonatal intensive care and antepartum units of her local hospital and recently became a certified group fitness instructor.

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