The Boys & Manners “Cheatsheet”

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Understand Boys:

  • Boys are off in their own world. It is not natural for them to think of the feelings of others outside this world.
  • They will easily forget what they are told, and need reminding.
  • You need to get them to look you in the eyes when talking to them.
  • Deep down, boys really do want to please you.
  • Boys respond to consistent modeling.
  • Boys are full of energy and must be allowed to spend it – but it can be directed where you want it to go (ie. Outside) instead of being spent in improper places (ie. Running in the house, etc.).

Understand Manners:

  •  Manners are more than just rules & regulations. Manners reveal the attitudes Boys have toward others and situations.
  •  Your list of “house rules” (good manners) should reflect this underlying attitude, instead of being concerned with the tiny details of etiquette.
  •  Good manners are imparted through consistent modeling.
  •  How much your Boys value manners will be determined by how much YOU value manners.


  •  Get on the same page with Dad concerning manners training.
  •  Do not make manners training a drudgery for your Boys.
  •  Do not micro-manage or “sissify” manners.
  • Dad is the primary role model for your Boys but You are the “manners cop”.


  •  A lot of bad manners are the result of what Dad has allowed in the house. They will go as far as you let them and then some.
  •  If your Boys have been allowed to get away with specific bad manners in the past, apologize to your Boys for your lack of leadership, re-establish the rules and let them know specifically what they are, then enforce the sanctions if they are broken.
  •  Watch your table talk.
  •  Be involved in manners training.
  •  Back up Mom.
  •  Do not laugh at “gross” words or behavior.

Boys Need to be Told:

  •  Manners are not “sissy” — they demonstrate strength and good character.
  •  Bad manners = lack of self control & indifference to others.
  •  How you treat others is more important than pleasing yourself.
  •  Honor and obey your parents. Treat your mother like a lady.
  •  Respect should always be shown to elders.
  • Be a protector of those weaker and smaller than you are.
  •  There are proper places to “be wild” and improper places to be wild”.
  •  Body noises and “gross” is never for mixed company.
  •  You must determine in advance what your actions and responses will be when you are put in specific social situations (ie. Greeting visitors, being willing to have your own activities interrupted in order to obey parents, etc.)

Manners Training:

  • The earlier you start, the better.
  • Communicate your intentions to help your Boys improve their manners.
  • Explain to them in terms they can understand why manners are important.
  • Prioritize your manners “trouble spots” and concentrate on these first before going on to lesser things.
  • Pray with your Boys.
  • Give them specific “house rules”, post them on your refrigerator and review often.
  • Reward spontaneous demonstrations of good manners.
  • Establish consequences for purposely breaking manners rules.
  • Use inadvertent displays of poor manners rules as teaching time for the future.
  • Have “practice meals” on occasion to teach better dining manners.
  • Make a game of manners.
  • Consistency in your own modeling manners is vital.
  • Both parents must be on the same page.
  • The time to teach manners is BEFORE problem situations arise, not in the midst of social disasters.
  • Monitor who your Boys are spending their time with.
  • Monitor what they see online and on TV.

Key Bible Verses to keep in mind:

  • Proverbs 22:6 (“Train up” literally means to “narrow up”)
  • It is your Boys’ duty to obey parents (Ephesians 6:1-3) from the heart, not just to please the parents (Ephesians 6:6,7).
  • Don’t provoke your children in their training (Ephesians 6:4).

Click here to see The Boy’s Guide to Home Skills bundle