Do you teach your kids good manners?
Who would have thought that “please” and “thank you” could be two of the most powerful words that you could teach your children? I have had multiple experiences in the last few months that tell me that people are just not teaching their children good manners. Which also leads me to believe that they are not modeling this behavior as adults. As our economy relies mostly on service people, it is critical that we are using respect while interacting with them. Our we failing as a society by simply not having good manners? And is that leading to our economy in crisis?
WhY DOES OUR Society NEED HELP?
My first experience was when we took a flight not long ago and my son was sitting in a different row than I was. Halfway into the flight, the flight attendant asked me if that was my son. She made a point to come and tell me what a polite young man he was and that she doesn’t see many teenagers as kind as he. Why did he stick out? He only had a few interactions with her when boarding and then during beverage service. Are people really treating each other that badly, especially our service workers?
We are seeing it in the news everywhere. People getting upset, yelling, making a scene if they don’t get the service they want. We have “Help Wanted” signs in most stores and restaurants you go to. Our economy is suffering and we have a shortage of employees in the service industry. But who would want to work in an environment where you aren’t appreciated? Where you aren’t recognized for all the hard work that you do? Instead, you are the punching bag for everyone’s bad behavior.
A simple act of patience, or a “thank you” or “please” should not be so rare that it is pointed out as an amazing feat. Even this past week we went to eat at a restaurant. Like many, it was short on staff, and we walked in at the same time that many other tables did. The waitstaff were running around and they were doing an excellent job. It just took a little extra time. Our waitress came over to us after we had eaten and told us we were the most patient and polite family ever. She even had given us a discount on our meals to show appreciation. We were flabbergasted. Weren’t more people showing the same grace to workers who were obviously doing the best they could?
We need to be kind to the service workers out there. The shortage of workers is because they don’t want to get a job where people will not appreciate their hard work, and instead treat them unkindly. No one wants a job like that. Of course they want/need better pay, but until we break this cycle in our society, we will not achieve those higher levels of pay.
So be kind, teach your children manners. It is the first step to improving our economy.
5 Ways to Help Teach Your Children Manners
- Parents- Just Do It – Be a role model for your child. Be kind, patient and use polite words. Children act like those around them. Even at a young age, they mimic the behavior they are around.
- Start Young – Even as a young child, you can start to use the words “please” and “thank you”. You can teach them these basics and put them into practice at snack and dinner times and through play.
- Be the Same Person in Public – Practice these skills not only in your home, but in public. Don’t be fake. Don’t put on a show. Actually strive to be a good person and you will raise good kids.
- No Teenage Attitude – I get it. Teenagers are surly. They lose their filter and can say the weirdest things. But don’t let them forget the simple acts of kindness they can do for others. I have had to remind my kids even as teenagers to mind their manners. I get the eyerolls, but I can handle that if they are treating others with respect.
- Notice – If your child shows kindness, or remembers to say please or thank you, reinforce it. Let them know you noticed but also help them see how it made another person smile, or feel appreciated. Also help them notice when someone else shows them kindness and how it makes them feel. If they know what it feels like to be on the receiving end of a “please” or “thank you”, then they are will be more likely to use them with others.
Make an Impact
Let’s all do our part. I am proud that my children have been complimented on their manners and kindness, but I am also sad that it was so uncommon that people have gone out of their way to compliment them. Teach your child manners, kindness and respect and we can all do our part to save our economy and our world.