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Be flexible, set good example for well-behaved kids

Author Alex Bellamy
Submitted 03-12-2010

Everybody's had to deal with a friend's obnoxious brats at family gatherings, and everybody knows that it's not fun. So how do you make sure that your own kids do not end up like other dad's incorrigible children? Experts say there are a number of steps fathers can take to ensure their son or daughter is as pleasant as they are.

One of the easiest ways to have polite children is to practice good manners yourself. Kids will likely model their behavior after their parents, so as much as you may want to curse that rat bastard who just stole your parking spot, keeping your cool and practicing habits such as being friendly to the cashier or holding the door for a stranger may translate into well-behaved youngsters further on down the road.

Instilling good habits at a young age can be a good route to take as well. Offering praise when they say "please" and "thank you" can be much more effective than levying criticism when they don't, experts say.

While manners are important, try not to be a drill sergeant. Be flexible at the dinner table, for instance, while reminding them that manners outside the home are still important, will allow your kids to not resent you.