Manners – Have We Lost Them?

Growing up in the Midwest, my parents were very careful when we went out to eat to teach us not to talk too loud at a restaurant.  This was not polite.

When children would yell, their parents would immediately admonish them for yelling in a restaurant and take them to the rest room to discuss proper manners.  Returning, the children would behave and all would be well in the restaurant.

When my daughter was little, I would explain what I expected from her behavior before we went into a restaurant.  If she did start acting out and yelling, then we would leave.  Most of the time, she was fine, but when the behavior started and she did not want to calm down, I would tell the waiter to box up the order and we would leave.

Keeping my promise to what I told my daughter was important.   I did not want her thinking her behavior was acceptable after we had discussed what was, so we left, just as I had said we would.  She learned I meant what I said, and her behavior changed.

My daughter was brought up with learning many polite manners, and she comments now on how sad it is that many of her friends do not know good manners.

What a difference 30 years has made in our society.  Now children yell and scream, and parents just sit there and let them.  There seems to be no parenting happening what so ever.

When I go out to eat, I do not want to hear a child yell because they want something on the menu that their parent don’t want to order.   I want a nice atmosphere.

Even the owners of the restaurants don’t step in any more to quiet down the noise.  So, I chose to no longer frequent those restaurants where these events happen.

When you are in a store and you are walking down an aisle, children often bump into you as they rush by.  My parents taught us to say excuse me and I’m sorry.  Now children say nothing.

Why are parents forgetting to teach polite manners?  Were they not taught that this was rude and impolite?

Recently I wrote about being uncivil to one another in politics, but we are doing it to each other in everyday life.

We all need to say Please and Thank You.  We need to teach our children to say Excuse Me when they need to go past someone in the store, they don’t just bump someone out-of-the-way like a cow!

Perhaps teaching how to set the table at dinner and learning which side the knife and fork and spoon go on would benefit your children.

As a member of a large Social Organization, I can’t tell you how often, I would sit down for lunch and no one at the table knew which glass was theirs or butter plate or which fork to eat the salad with.

You might not think it matters now, but it will later, when your young adult goes on a job interview and they are invited for lunch, and they forget to pick up the right fork or put their napkin in their lap.  Let’s not even imagine talking with their mouth full!

Yes, these things happen daily, and I have seen them too often.  We need to go back and teach our children and our grandchildren Manners.


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