“The hardest job kids face today is learning good manners without seeing any.” Fred Astaire
One of my favorite bloggers, Rachel, over at Crimson to Wool started a conversation about manners in today's world.
She asked a couple of questions that have been on my mind quite a bit lately.
"Are we done with manners, on a whole?"
"Is it ok to adhere to only some and not others?"
"Which are the most important to teach our children?"
This was my response to Rachel:
" I find it extremely disheartening the lack of manners in our society
today. And it's not just the kids. The manners of the adults are in
question a lot more these days, too.
My husband and I are trying
desperately to teach out children how to treat others. To be polite, for
the boys to be gentlemen, and our daughter to be a lady. And it is
hard. Very hard. Especially with the world fighting against you."
In thinking about it, I feel there is a whole lot more to be said on this matter.
I don't feel that good manners are extinct entirely but they do seem to be in short supply.
Especially among the young.
I believe that a lot of adults have stopped practicing proper etiquette in favor of personal convenience.
In doing so, they have taught our kids that manners are irrelevant in today's world.
Honestly, when was the last time you wrote a thank you note?
Or gave up your seat for someone else?
Sure, we generally say "please" and "thank you," but there's more to it than that.
We need to show good manners while waiting in line at McDonald's instead of being impatient with the cashier or other patrons.
Hold the door open for others, regardless of gender or age.
The use of "sir" or "ma'am" should not be reserved for Southerners.
These kinds of lessons used to be required for children in schools.
Our society used to make it a priority to teach the children how to treat others.
More importantly, parents used to model good manners and instill propriety into their kids and expect it from them.
I think that is part of the problem today.
We have not only stopped being respectful of others, we have stopped expecting it of our children.
I believe that children will live up to the expectations you set for them.
I also believe they need to be clear on those expectations.
Because of that, we have chosen to focus on these three Bible verses and not only impress them upon our children's hearts, but make sure we are living by them as well.
"Do to others as you would have them do to you." Luke 6:31
"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves." Philippians 2:3
"Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves." Romans 12:10
I will be having my children take this pledge.
To lead by example, I will also be signing it.
Won't you join me?