Manners in Modern Times

It’s time to modify the manners that we teach so that we can integrate the past with the present and future. Some things never go out of style, but must be added to in order to adapt to the changing times. Manners are a great way for kids to demonstrate their respect for themselves and others. Those who don’t have decent manners often come off as badly disciplined children. In fact, manners or the lack thereof are often the way we make our first lasting impressions on people.

Manners shine at dinner time. Growing up, I knew you weren’t supposed to put your elbows on the table, talk with your mouth full, speak (or even move) during the dinner prayer or wear a hat to the table. In fact, I remember my father asking me to leave the table to remove my nail polish because it was chipped. His theory was that it was unsightly and if I couldn’t maintain it properly, I didn’t need to be wearing it. Today, we have the added rule in my house of no electronics at the table. Even phone calls go unanswered and can be returned after dinner.

Respect your elders. I was raised to call my relatives by their title before their name. Even today, my nephews refer to me as “Aunt Kathy” rather than by my first name alone. We also answered questions with titles of respect, like “ma’am” and “sir”. Some may think these are outdated manners, but I regularly get compliments on my son’s manners, which tells me he has the respect of his elders just as much as he gives it. Some other small mannerisms that often go ignored are things like opening the doors for other people, especially elderly ones and saying things like please and thank you.

Hang up the phone. One of the rudest things that I see done on a regular basis is the act of people talking or texting on their cell phone while they are in the company of someone else. When did this become acceptable? If your kids won’t listen to you when you tell them it’s time to put the phone away I suggest you either take the phone or buy a scrambler and turn it on during the times when your child can’t seem to get off the phone. If you’re the one doing the talking or texting when you shouldn’t be, then you might want to consider what kind of an example you’re setting for your kids.

More from this contributor…

Do Video Games Cause Aggression in Children?

Positive Reinforcement: Getting Your Child to Behave

How to Stop Enabling

Source: Personal Experience

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