Where Are Your Manners?

 

I may have a shirt made that reads this so I can wear it to baseball. :)

This past week a friend of one of our kiddos forgot her coat at our house. As any parent would on a cold night, I knew we were going to see her at the baseball fields where we live this time of year, so I brought it along to give to her. She had not arrived at the game yet but when I saw her father, I walked over and handed it to him explaining that the girl had left it at our house and I thought she might want it tonight.

I was shocked at what happened next, which is a little too bad because if I had been prepared I could’ve used the opportunity to teach the man a lesson–and in hindsight, I wish I would have. Anyway, the father grabbed it out of my hands with barely a mumble and grumble said “oh” and not so much as a thank you. Not that I need a thank you but if you have been taught manners you know that is the right way to act. Any normal parent would have at the very least said “thank you” and honestly there would have been much more said than “oh.” I really wish I had said loudly “YOUR WELCOME” and walked away.

Even if this man had any reason to not like me, a simple thank you is still expected. All his actions did was clearly show how poor his manners are. In fact, I periodically continued to notice how poor his manners actually were throughout the night. He was chewing on candy with his mouth open as well as talking with candy in his mouth. How disgusting is that? I seriously wanted to ask him if his mother taught him better and he was just rude anyway. Based on his girlfriend and her behavior, I am even more shocked that she “allows” him to act this way–she is just the opposite, sickly polite and fake even when it is obvious she does not like someone. I can just imagine the cycle of manner lessons in their house with the kids.

With people like this, it is no wonder why everywhere you look people are chewing with their mouth open, resting their elbows on the table and interrupting others when they speak. I wish I could say it was just children that I saw doing this but truthfully it is adults as well. In fact the lack of manners in adults probably explains why there is a multitude of children with bad manners.

My grandmother would be horrified to see how children behave in school these days but I am positive she would blame it on the parents–and rightfully so. Children’s manners are a direct reflection of their parents. I am sorry, but it is true. If you as a parent have poor manners, your children will have poor manners as well. Not that kids don’t pick up bad habits from other people and their peers but when you are trying to correct your child, you may want to look at yourself first.

I think we need to stop this nonsense with our children and return to a society of well-mannered people. Can you imagine what it must have been like in the 40’s and 50’s when no matter how someone felt about another person they still were courteous and well-mannered? It was probably a little fake which I can do without but it was polite.

I feel like some of the items that would be listed in that time period as having good manners are a bit extreme, although I would rather have the extremes of good manners than the lack of manners. It is incredibly gross to be sitting across the table from someone as the talk while chewing food. Then add their elbows on the table and their constant interruption of you and I am ready to scream. I would rather sit across from fake then that.

I know that asking for things to return to the way they were in the past is ridiculous, I just wish that people would take a little more pride in themselves and respect others just a little bit. I am not saying you have to like someone or respect them when you don’t, I am just saying use your manners no matter how you feel. A simple please or thank you is the right way to talk.

If we don’t start teaching our children that they need to have manners I am afraid of what our world will be like in twenty years. Are adults going to walk around ill-mannered and rude all of the time? Is lacking in manners going to become the norm? I hope not.

I am at a loss with this one. Other than teaching my children what it means to have good manners, I don’t know what we can do to improve society and everyone elses manners.

What are your thoughts?

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5 Responses to “Where Are Your Manners?”

  • Sandy:

    I’ve noticed the same thing. I constantly correct my kids friends and tell them “no one notices your manners until you show them you don’t have them”.

  • Roy:

    “Children’s manners are a direct reflection of their parents. I am sorry, but it is true.”

    In no way should you feel sorry for saying this, Carrie. I’ve been a clinical social worker for fifteen years, most of that time spent working with children and their families. In the vast majority of cases, if you see a kid acting out in some negative manner, there’s usually going to be some correlation between that kid’s behavior and the behavior of his parents. There are those rare situations where a kid can grow up in the stereotypically “perfect” environment, and they still end up turning into little punks. Still, my experience lets me know that this is more the exception than the rule.

    Quality post, Carrie, good job!

    Roy

    • Roy,

      Thank you for your input. At times I feel like I can come across a little opinionated and thus I feel the need to apologize for offending others. Although I do know in this case I am right.

      I will say that I have noticed with our children that other children also play a large role in their manners and habits. It seems with both of our older boys that once they hit 5th grade they both began speaking while their mouths were full. They did not do it before and it is not like we all of sudden started up that nasty habit at home. The only thing I can pin it on is other kids at school. My hope is our continued correction at home will once again create good manners. I refuse to let our children be part of the group of ill-mannered people.

      Thanks again for stopping by.

      ~Carrie

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