Monday, May 30, 2011

What About Good Manners?

I recently had yet another conversation with our children regarding etiquette -- how it's not "snobby things" designed to make people feel bad or out of their class, but just the opposite.

The rules of etiquette are guidelines for getting along; little niceties we extend to one another to avoid upset and rules for everyone so that we all can get along in social situations. While it's true that some of these rules seem fancy, or from a formal time long gone, they primarily exist so that groups of people can avoid offending one another and avoid conflict. Avoiding conflict is key when living as a group or community, including as a family.

I was reminded of these conversations when I saw 25 Manners Every Kid Should Know By Age 9.

It's amazing the number of children who do not know or extend the courtesy of following these rules -- and I feel this adds to the feeling of entitlement in children that I wrote about here (and for which I was interviewed at The Globe and Mail). Even more amazing the number of parents who do not bother to teach their children these or any other basic good manners; they rather doom their families to less pleasant living conditions -- and sentence their children to becoming disrespectful, selfish, entitled beings who will not get along with others.

I've lots more to say about this; but today the eldest turns 22, so I'm off to prepare for the birthday barbecue!