Tuesday, June 20, 2017

What you should be teaching your children about manners and respect.

A few weeks back my son did something that made me give pause. I took him with to go shopping. As he was opening up the door to the store, he never glanced back to see if anyone was behind him. He just opened he door for himself and walked in. I was directly behind him and had the door shut in my face, due to his inconsideration. Also there was an elderly couple coming in directly behind me. I was very embarrassed and shocked at his behavior. I had a long talk with him on his behavior and how that is going to change for the better.

See, I know I raised him right. I taught him the value of using manners. I taught him to never look down on others. I taught him to always look for the good in each other. I taught him to respect his elders, never talk back, open doors for others, etc.. So If I taught him all that, then why did he act this way?

In part I think it's society. According to the Daily Mail a growing lack of adult authority has bred a 'spoilt generation' of children who believe grown-ups must earn their respect. It's becoming a me, me, me generation. They are in their own heads and no real cares in the world. When they don't show consideration for other people, it's simply because other people have no relevance in their world. 

The other part is due to parents having busier schedules than yesteryear. Some parents work sun up to down and barely see their children at all. As a parent you hope that you are teaching your children to behave in a respectful manner, but sometimes it falls to the waste side. We need to be teaching our kids those magic words: Please, thank you, you're welcome, I'm sorry, may I, and excuse me. 

Sending handwritten notes has some how become a thing of the past. Why is this?

When your child gets a birthday present, or a graduation gift, they should really be writing a note to the sender for picking out an item just for them. It's all in the acknowledgement. It doesn't have to be some lengthy letter. Short and sweet works. Simply use the senders name, in the body of the letter thank them for the gift (be specific) and how it will be used or what type of use you will get out of it. Anything works. You just want to let them know you appreciate the effort they have gone to in giving you that item. Then sign your name. Hand deliver or send in the mail. That's it. If you have little ones a simply wording or 2, from you as the parent works on their behalf, but be sure to add something from them such as a thumbprint, or giving them the pen to "sign" their name. It's the effort that counts.

We are not teaching our children the most important manner of all: showing and treating others with respectChildren learn by example. Show kindness to others and your children will pick up on that. Speak in a kind and gentle voice. If a child hears yelling and bickering all the time, that's exactly what they will do. You are your child's teacher. When talking to another person give them your full attention. It's the same with children. If you ignore them when they are trying to have a conversation with you, then they will learn that, what they have to say isn't important. Above all respect your elders and the disabled. Open doors for them, offer up a seat on the bus to them, let them go ahead of you when ordering food... This goes for all adults. Show courtesy to everyone. You lead by example. If your child sees that, it will become second nature to pull out a seat, or open doors for others. 

Obviously these are a few things that I noticed, so because of that, I'm setting out on a mission. Starting in July I'm going to do 30 good deeds for 30 days. I'm going to get my own children involved in these deeds. I'm going to post what happened as a weekly series. There are a few rules though: has to be kid friendly, can't be costly, has to work around my tremendously busy schedule and can't involve needles or blood.  

Some ideas I'm working on are paying it forward, participating in community events, donate clothing, write notes to local organizations thanking them for their hard work, and donate to the local animal shelter. This are just a few ideas, but I need more suggestions. What good deeds would you like to add to my list? Drop your ideas in the comments box below.


  1. I like the idea of a hand written note. I think this is special for any child to receive. I think that hand written notes add a special touch. :)

    1. I think so too. I have tons of crafting supplies and they love to make their own thank you cards.