Teaching Teenagers the Manners and Social Skills that will Give them an Edge in Life - Glasshouse Christian College

Teaching Teenagers the Manners and Social Skills that will Give them an Edge in Life



  • October 26, 2023

Teaching Teenagers the Manners and Social Skills that will Give them an Edge in Life

Adults who despair about the state of the youth is something that seems to echo through the ages. Even the ancient Greek philosophers complained about the lack of manners.

Socrates (469–399 B.C.) himself complained: The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households.

As teenagers embark on the journey of adolescence, they face a myriad of challenges, including academic, social, and spiritual growth. This article delves into how parents, teachers, and mentors can employ Dale Carnegie’s principles from the book “How to Win Friends and Influence People” to shape these young people into truly remarkable adults. This book transformed my life as an 18-year-old and changed the way I engage with people.

Here are some of these amazing principles:

Develop a Genuine Interest in Others with Love and Compassion

Dale Carnegie’s first principle underscores the importance of taking a sincere interest in others. From a Christian perspective, this aligns beautifully with the Biblical command to love your neighbour as yourself. Encourage teenagers to practise active listening with a heart full of love and compassion.

Smile and Show Appreciation

A simple smile can radiate joy and kindness, reflecting the Christian value of joy in one’s heart. Encourage teenagers to greet others with a warm smile as an expression of the joy and gratitude they find in their faith. Sometimes they are unaware that they appear quite dour and annoyed.

Becoming a Good Listener with Patience

Being a good listener is vital in both Carnegie’s principles and Christian teachings. Instil the value of patience and understanding in teenagers, emphasising the significance of bearing with one another, just as Christ bears with us. Sadly, this is mostly practised at home when you have to be patient with an infuriating teenager. Our behaviour becomes their blueprint for behaviour as an adult.

Talk in Terms of the Other Person’s Interest with Humility

Incorporating another’s interests into conversation is an act of humility and selflessness, virtues. Encourage teenagers to find common ground and discuss topics that reflect values, such as love, forgiveness, and service. Many teenagers only want to talk about their interests and lack the skills to think about what may interest other people.

Make the Other Person Feel Important

From a Christian perspective, every person is regarded as a precious creation of God. Teach teenagers to show respect and value others by recognizing the importance in each individual, especially those who may have low social status.

Avoid Arguments with Wisdom

Avoiding arguments does not imply silence but rather pursuing peaceful resolutions. Encourage teenagers to emulate Christ’s example of wisdom and peace in discussions, steering clear of divisive disputes. Rather than argue, you can teach them to gently ask questions to understand the opposing viewpoint so that they can find a point of agreement to work from.

Let the Other Person Feel that the Idea is theirs; Encouraging Ownership

Encouraging others to take ownership of ideas can foster an atmosphere of collaboration and unity. Teach teenagers to inspire and influence through humility and empowerment. Sometimes teenagers need to learn skills to put their egos aside so that the team can win. We don’t always need to be acknowledged in order to win. Parents will understand this best as their sacrifices are rarely acknowledged but it is all worth it to make the family work.

By incorporating these principles from Dale Carnegie and the biblical values that underpin them, we empower the next generation to not only succeed in life but also to become compassionate people, exemplifying love, humility, and understanding in their interactions with others.

I wish you the best as we work together to mould these wonderful young people into the leaders of tomorrow.

Bert Kasselman, Head of Senior School

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