This past weekend, both my step-son and step-daughter had friends stay over at our house for the night. I’ve always loved being the “kool-aid” house, where it’s always full of kids. I love hearing the giggles from the girls as they build tents on the catwalk overlooking our living room. And I love hearing the boys yelling at their video games as they try to keep from being eaten by zombies. A full house is perfect.
But one of the things that I’m always amazed by is the difference in manners between our two guests.
I was brought up by a strict military father, and “yes sir” and “yes ma’am” were always part of the vocabulary as much as “thank you” and “please”.
Is it just me or are kids not being taught good manners? When did “yeah” become acceptable? Am I being too old fashioned? I’m only in my 40’s!
I finished making dinner for our guests, prepared their plates and filled their glasses with lemonade. One guest said “Thank you” – the other just looked at me pouring his lemonade and started eating.
My husband said he could see my blood pressure rising.
After dinner, our kids know that they have to take their plates to the sink before heading upstairs to their rooms to play. Three of the kids did this. One did not. So my step-son told him to take his plate to the sink. Our guest looked at me like I had asked him to clean up dog doo off the floor.
I continually mortify my kids when we are in public and I hold the door open for someone and they don’t even acknowledge me. Before I can think, “OH, YOU’RE WELCOME” comes out of my smart aleck mouth. It’s rude! Do people just assume I’m the doorman?
Are manners becoming a thing of the past? Do parents just not teach their kids manners or is it that kids just don’t remember?
We have taught our children that people appreciate good manners.
My 13 year old step-son was late turning in a paper at his school. He is generally on time with all of his assignments so I suggested that he at least talk to his teacher. He came home from school later that day and said that the teacher told him that because he came in and politely asked if he could turn in the assignment late, she agreed…and he got an “A”.
My 18 year old son can also attest that being polite pays off. Last year after being the cause of a fender bender, Matthew called me to come to the site of the accident. At the time I arrived, the cop was writing him a ticket for following too close. He asked Matthew if he understood why he was getting the ticket, to which Matthew answered “Yes Sir.” Another question…Matthew answered “Yes Sir.”
The policeman looked at me and said “I’m going to tell you something. Because he has such good manners, I’m going to only write him a warning. It’s rare that I come across a young man such as yours.”
Matthew answered “Thank you, Sir.”
The cop smiled, lightly laughed, paused and said “You know what? Since no one was hurt, I’m not even going to write up a warning.”
And to that, I say “Thank you Officer”, and my insurance payment does too.
What do you think? Do you think it’s important to teach your children manners?