No Manners? Not In My House.

article_manners I have been reading many posts about bullying online. The most recent post was Gini Dietrich‘s “Seven Tips for Dealing with Online Trolls”. She gives great advice on how to deal with them while weaving in a story about her encounter with a not-so-nice mother.

Gini’s advice and the comments left by others are spot-on. What turned me on my head was the story of the, ahem, “mother”, that she encountered. I think you should read the story for yourself at spinsucks.com, as it is her post.

With that said, let’s jump to the fact that it was the behavior that irked me to no end. My comment was as follows:

“My question is, “How do we instill good manners again?'”. For example, we have taught our daughter to say “please” and “thank you”, etc. She addresses adults as “Mr. Jeff” or Ms. Susan”. (She is 7.) Yet, the other day, a neighbor and my hubby got into a discussion about manners. The neighbor’s child is 2. In summary, the neighbor would not teach his daughter to address adults as “Mr./Ms.”; we would be called “Susan and Jeff”. Hubby said, “Not in my house”.”

I agree with hubby. I was raised with manners. And, I didn’t get to use first names with Mr. or Ms. I used last names, “Mr.Smith”, etc. I still say “yes, ma’am” and “no sir”, sometimes to people younger than me!

Neighbors always comment on how well-behaved my daughter is when out and about. Strangers have expressed pleasure and are awed that she uses “please” and “thank you”.

People are impressed with her behavior because they don’t see many kids using manners. Let me repeat that: “they don’t see many kids using manners”. It blows my mind that kids with manners are the odd ones.

Manners begin at home. Children imitate now just what the hear, but what they see. If you don’t say “please”, or if you flip someone off, they will begin to think it is okay. It’s not. What we learn as a child influences our behavior and choices for the rest of our lives.

I like to think that if we focused more on manners (and many other things) as we used to do, we wouldn’t take to so freely acting any way we want in public.

What do you think about missing manners these days?

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Susan

Susan Cellura is a marketing communications professional with over 20 years of experience. She is a dynamic communications professional and enthusiastic team-builder, with a progressive history of success in designing and implementing communications programs for global organizations. A strategic thinker with the ability to understand the needs of multiple audiences and deliver solutions, Susan is a results-oriented problem-solver with exceptional interpersonal and negotiation abilities. Having worked in a variety of global industries, she has grown business communications in her current position via a strong mixture of strategic resources, including social media.

4 thoughts on “No Manners? Not In My House.”

  1. Having some meditations on your post…

    I wasn’t raised in a particularly well-mannered household. My parents were and are middle-class midwesterners and, while they had good hearts, “please” and “thank you” and “yes, ma’am” just wasn’t something they emphasized. What manners I have (and surely I’ve always got room for improvement) I kind of chose for myself; I think I emulated what I liked in Southern culture growing up in North Florida.

    I lived and worked in southern New Jersey and Philadelphia for two years and was appalled and offended at people’s lack of manners there. It took me a long time to realized they weren’t trying to be rude, but basic courtesies simply aren’t the norm and aren’t expected. Its not how I want to raise my kids, but I also try not to judge too harshly.

    Having said all this I would never correct the manners of the child of an acquaintance in my house, but the children of my closest friends know they are fair game. :-)

  2. Hi Kristen! Ah, my old friend, you always have a solid viewpoint. I also know this is probably a hot topic as no one likes to be told how to raise their children. But, I do wonder if manners would help society at large. (And, you know I would expect you to correct my daughter if needed!) ;)

    1. I suspect empathy is more important in teaching kids how not to bully. Maybe empathy gives us a moral code and good manners are like the cousin that gives us a code of conduct.They are not mutally exclusive, BUT “No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.”

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