Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Manners...Where are they in today's culture?

Image courtesy of Rosen Georgiev / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
You know how when you ask a question on social media, sometimes you get a lot of responses, other times you don't get hardly any response. Well the other day, I posted a question. I wasn't sure if I would get any response, but I got a ton of comments. Here is what I posted:

"I am going to be teaching a manners class to grades K-3 this fall. I have a pretty good idea of what I would like to teach them, but I was wondering what everyone has for suggestions. What manners do you see missing from kids today or what do you think they should be taught?"
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
 The responses were a wide range:
  •   Eye contact (the first one that comes to mind from watching even college students interact with authority)
  • Eating with mouth closed. Elbows off the table. Please and thank you.
  • How to properly greet someone. Both in person and on the phone.
  • How to make simple, polite conversation. 
  • How to graciously accept a compliment.
  • Interrupting adults talking....or any one for that matter.
  • To say thank you when a waiter gives you something.
  • Teach them that adults are called Mr. and Mrs.!
  • Meeting adults' eyes when they greet her (especially in church).      
  • Waiting to eat until everyone is seated and served. Also not using electronics during a conversation.
  • Manners for the flag, ie. stand when it passes in a parade. phone etiquette
  • Hats off indoors.
  • Waiting your turn. Both in line and when it's time to talk.
It seems to me that manners are missing in today's culture. The list above is full of things that people are not seeing, the etiquette that is not being used.

In preparation for this class that I will be teaching, I have been more aware of my manners and the manners people are using/not using around me. I recently worked a booth at our county fair. We had a spin-the-wheel game for the children. I was surprised by the lack of manners that I saw from the children. There were so many children that simply collected their prize and left, without bothering to say a simple "thank you". It saddened me to see such a simple and everyday manner go unused. 

Where have we failed? Why is it culturally acceptable to not use manners, when etiquette used to be a such a major part of culture? What manners do you see missing?

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