Modern Manner’s for Today’s Teens: Pitch In

This is important in your own home and in the homes of others. If you are eating with another family, you can ask to help set the table or cut a vegetable. Ask the host how you can pitch in. Always clear your dishes and load them in the dishwasher. If you are at a group or school activity, don’t leave before chairs and tables are put away. Don’t be the one sitting while others are working.

Modern Manners for Today's Teens: Pitch In

How-to Teach Younger Kids to Pitch In

Ask your younger kids what they can do this week to pitch in. Come up with some ideas together like setting the table, passing out papers, picking up garbage, or helping a younger sibling with a task. Ask later how it made everyone feel when everyone pitched in. Parents, make sure you notice and affirm your kid’s efforts!

How-to Teach Teens to Pitch In

I love using challenges to teach my teens modern manners. Here’s a challenge you can try with your teen.

Pitch in as often as possible this week. Whether you are at school, an activity, a friend’s house, or your own home this week, go out of your way to pitch in. Help out a teacher, stay after to clean up, or do more than is usually expected in your own home. Notice the response in others and in yourself.

Then ask your teen, did you feel more useful, connected or needed this week because of this change? It that a feeling you enjoy?

Read the Room

It is important to note, every family and space will have its own norms and expectations. Teach your family to read the room. At a fancy dinner, it may not be appropriate to stand and scrape off your own plate. In some cultures, it may be disrespectful to help prepare the food or set the table as a guest. When in doubt, ask! If the host tells you “It’s okay, but thanks for offering.” believe them! Your attention and willingness to follow their lead will be noted and appreciated.

Success Story

A boy with autism was invited to spend the evening at a friend’s home. The parents went over the relevant modern manners with him so he could be prepared to be a good guest. When the evening ended, the host sent a text to the mom and said, “Your son was so polite tonight and joy to have in our home. He kept asking what he could do to help and took initiative to clean up whenever he could. What a great boy you have raised!” This was such a win for this sweet boy who is figuring out how to have successful relationships!

Do you want more Modern Manners in Your Home or Classroom?

Buy the book! You’ll find more tips for teens including how to introduce yourself and when to keep your phone on silent. It has changed the lives of over 100,000 families and significantly improved connection and communication between parents and teens!

How Do You Teach Your Family to Pitch In?

Please share other things you have done for this modern manner! Have you seen improvements or had any lightbulb moments as you’ve taught your family to pitch in?