Manners, Please

You know what bugs me? Rude, selfish, thoughtless people.

I was recently aghast and disturbed when I read this post about an incident in which two teens showed utter insolence to a woman. No only did they not open the door for her, even though she was just steps behind them, but when she said “thank you very much” with a dose of sarcasm, they turned around and said “whatever, bitch.” O.M.G!

The mere thought of my kids – let alone anyone’s kids – behaving this way makes my nerves bristle.

But this is not just about kids, it’s about all of us.

Have you ever tried parking at the grocery store, only to find the spot you’d selected littered with an abandoned shopping cart/trolley? While at the supermarket yesterday, I looked and counted 17 carts slung around. Willfully. Selfishly.

It’s very easy to feel impervious to the outside world when we are driving in our cars. It’s almost as if, simply by being behind the wheel, we are excused from exhibiting basic manners like¬†acknowledging¬†with a “thank you” when someone lets you out, or saying “please, after you” to let someone go ahead of you.

Or how about taking a few seconds to RSVP to that invitation to a kid’s birthday party, rather than just turning up and assuming that the host can accommodate the unaccounted-for child or pay the excess fee for being one kid over the 15 limit?

I know we are all busy. I understand that things easily slip our minds. I know it’s natural to focus on me and mine, rather than you and yours.

But people, I’m trying to teach my kids to be polite and respectful and, frankly, you are not helping much.

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3 Comments

  1. I totally agree ;)

    Reply
  2. Annie Moore

     /  March 4, 2012

    It’s true! As a society, in general, our manners have gone to the dogs! And respect for authority and the elderly, well you know where we are (again, culturally, in general) regarding all that as well! The good news is that, as parents, your influence on your children’s manners, habits re: school, work ethic, emotional intelligence, etc., etc., etc. is much greater than you may think! So don’t despair! When your children see others not following the rules you have chosen to teach them and hold them accountable for, they will eventually learn that those that don’t follow the rules have a much harder time in life. This has been proven over and over again, as I have seen my son grow up (through elementary and middle school) and now in high school. Many complaints about how others seem to get away with things that he doesn’t even try to get away with (but wishes he could) almost always end with a response from me, “Just wait and see. Their behavior will catch up with them. You may not see it in the next few months, maybe even not for years. But eventually it will catch up with them.” And sure enough, many of those conversations have been followed up with tales of woe about those kids and what has happened to them. Bright kids (IQ bright, that is) too! So, hang in there with the manners and all the values you try to pass on to your children. Your influence, your approval, your day-to-day character and how you interact in the world is what will have the greatest impact on and shape your children and their budding characters! Another wonderful blog post Sam! Brava!

    Reply
  1. My Son is a Liar « Keeping the Glass Half Full

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