Metro Detroit parents say they're responsible for teaching their children good manners

Family therapist offers advice for moms, dads who want to raise respectful children

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Raising respectful children with good manners is no easy task, but it could help them succeed in school and in life.

Christie Stump worries about how her children will turn out after watching how some children behave.

"Absolutely," said Stump.  "Respecting our elders, I don't' think is something that's taught as much as it was."

Could reality TV, racy movies and music be to blame for some kids being more disrespectful?  Psychotherapist Karen Ruskin believes that is not the problem.

"Parents are the difference that makes the difference. I believe that there are parents that think they're doing really great parenting, and it's not really great parenting," said Dr. Ruskin.

Parents in metro Detroit Local 4 spoke with said they believe parents are responsible for raising respectful children.

"It may be the way that they're raised," said Chelsea Schuckman of Brownstown.

"I think it's the parenting. I think that parenting is, has, is not what it once was," said Michael Popp, a Caseville father. "I just think that with the two parent family people are so, so busy these days, that it's one of those things that's kind of fallen to the side I think."

"I think there is a lot of pressure on the parents," said mom Leah Fulton.

A big mistake parents make is not stopping their kids when they're disrespectful to other children.

"They don't use it as a learning opportunity for their child and you know what, that child becomes an adult that is rude and nasty to others," said Ruskin.

Ruskin also said it is important for parents to set clear boundaries. For example, telling children they need to knock before entering their parents' bedroom if the door is closed.  She said parents should do the same for their children.

According to, other advice to help turn a child's unruly behavior around is to keep a handle on your own temper.  Children can be disrespectful in order to get a rise out of their parents and paying attention or becoming angry at their rude behavior can make the situation worse.

Parents should ban name calling and insults because if children see adults do it, they will think it's acceptable behavior.

Consider given children choices.   If they throw a temper tantrum when you ask them to do something, letting them off the hook only reinforces the behavior. Instead let them decide between chores so they feel more in control but know they have responsibilities they need to fulfill.

Ruskin said parents should also make sure their kids know they are a valuable part of making family decisions.

"(It) Doesn't mean you do exactly what they say, but you certainly respect their voice, hear it, and process it," said Ruskin.

"I think if you have good manners and you know how to say please and thank you and shake hands and look at adults in the eye it does, it gives children I think a confidence and hopefully they grow up with that," said Jody Metzger, of Pleasant Ridge.

Having good manners is important for children because it helps develop good social skills, which is needed to make friends, do well in school and be a successful adult according to

Metro Detroit parents say the best thing moms and dads can do is to teach their children by setting a good example.  

"If you use it with them and you are polite with them, you can't talk that way to them and expect them to grow up and be different than that, so you know, as long as she sees me holding doors for everybody, and being courteous and waiting for people, letting people cross the street you know she'll learn by example, i figure that would be the best way," said dad Anthony Crump about teaching his daughter good manners.

"Be respectful and show good manners to your children and to other adults in the household, that's what I would do," said Metzger.

"I think that as long as you look out to their best interest and you treat them the way you want to be treated you can't go wrong," said Popp.

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