Monday, October 15, 2012


“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?


  1. I agree. The world is short on manners these days. I think it is a general lack of respect for others. You see it everywhere. Watch any of the political debates lately? No manners, for sure! Yuck.

    I think in a smaller town in the Midwest and I have noticed that manners are better here than in big cities, but I still think we all need work.

    Manners are HUGE in my house. I think the biggest way we teach our children is by example, so I am trying my best. ;)

    Great post!

    Thanks for stopping at my blog! I'll be back!

  2. I agree. Manners are definitely lacking nowadays.

    What a great idea to take the pledge! I will have to check out the website.

  3. word.

    you hit the nail on the head, girl!

    we homeschool our brood, which has been great for having them grow up without necessarily adapting to the "norm" low standards that are lived out in the public arena. what this means is that they are always noticed for their good behavior and manners when we are out and about, and-get this-even sometimes ridiculed by adults who think it is "quaint" behavior! it is very disheartening to witness your children being belittled for displaying courtesy, manners, and respect but i'm telling you...unfortunately, it happens!

    cheers to you for pointing this out:)

    so glad to meet you!