Children and Manners

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Cosmic Penguin, Feb 21, 2015.

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  1. I was raised by my parents to always say 'please' and 'thank you', because it's deemed polite and will make people have a better impression of you in the long run. I was also raised to ask how someone was doing if they asked me (Hi, how are you? I'm fine, how are you?).

    But lately I've been seeing kids being given stuff or being complimented and sometimes they will just walk away or nod or something instead of saying thank you. Or some kids will say "Can I have that/Can I do this...etc instead of 'may I'. And some kids also just say "I'm fine/I'm good." when someone says, "Hi, how are you?" to them.

    So basically my question is;

    What do you think of the above statement and do you think parents should teach their kids manners?

    Honestly in my opinion I think parents should always teach their children how to say please and thank you and just teach them good manners overall.
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  2. I'm lucky in that regard. My kids are very well mannered for other people. (It's me that they tend to get lazy with their manners.) But, it's the exact opposite for me. I've seen my kids hold doors open for people and those people don't say a word. Not a thank you, not a smile, nothing. Usually I make it a point to tell my kids rather loudly that isn't how people are supposed to act. A few times I've gotten some dirty looks from the adults, but I don't pay them any mind. I'm trying to show my kids how not to act.

    There are a few times my kids forget to say thank you and please, but the number of times that they do far outnumber the times that they don't.
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  3. [​IMG]

    He has a thing or two to teach children about manners.
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  4. I think that only works if you have a penis.
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  5. I think what gets me about female children and teenagers -- and I was guilty of this myself -- is being complimented on their looks and then saying, "No, I don't think I look pretty."

    I understand that society sucks, and that having good self esteem can be difficult to cultivate, but please, accept the compliment. Someone went out of their way to tell you that you look nice. The least you can do it accept it, and say, "Thank you." I say this because I've seen this happen multiple times.

    On another note, I've seen it both ways. I've seen children who have acted really polite, I've seen children who open doors and are very cordial. But honestly... Adults are the same way. Some are assholes, and others are very pleasant. Either way, good manners should be taught.
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  6. I'm super strict when it comes to manners. We say 'please' and 'thank you' (the 'you' is important), 'yes ma'am/sir' and 'may I please/will you please'. My son has also been taught to open the door for a lady, or his elders. We call it 'being a gentleman'. I expect my son to do these things, so I model them for him. I still open doors for my elders, call my mother 'ma'am' and I will even call my son 'sir' on occasion. Respect is a big thing in my home, and so manners are a big thing. We even ask to be excused from the table after meals.

    I know not everybody is as strict as I am when it comes to these things, but they're important to me. Respect is important to me.
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  7. Parents DO teach their kids manners, just some better than others. I firmly believe there are a relatively equal number of rude little brats now as there were when i was a kid; I just notice them more now that I'm an adult.
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  8. Of course it's important for children to have manners. A parent's job is to prepare their children to be adults, out in the real world.

    I started teaching my daughter how to use her manners since she was old enough to speak. This world is lacking some serious manners. I am a firm believer that society has enough assholes in it - I, myself, strive to break that as much as I can. If I can raise my daughter to be a respectful person in this fucked up world, then I have done my job.
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  9. Nah, remember the chick he hunted and ran down with dogs?

    He's an equal opportunity asshole.
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  10. I'll agree there appears to be a decrease in some specific actions such as "I'm fine, how are you?" or "May I".

    But I don't think that's a lack of manners, but rather a shift in culture.
    There are some things people just don't feel a need to add on anymore, not out of being rude, or being uncaring but because people are just growing to find it a bit pointless.

    For example, often times when someone asks me "How are you?" they don't legitimately mean it. They're only saying it because they were raised to asked that to be polite, so if I actually answer they are often not even listening. Sometimes I'll physically notice the roll of the eyes of them going "Dude, I didn't mean it you know".

    And in my personal opinion that is the opposite of manners. Manner is when you want to be respectful and considerate, not repeating a set of words simply because were told to and then getting irritated when it was taken seriously. And for those people going to say "I say it all the time and I always mean it!", have you ever asked it while in a hurry and then when answered were thinking in your head "Come on, come on, I gotta go!"? If so, you're guilty of this too.

    In regard's to "May I"?
    I'll be blunt, that's being overly obsessive with the wording.

    'Can I' vs 'May I' (Or 'what' vs 'pardon' while we're at it) has the exact same meaning behind it, the only difference is for some cultural reason you were raised to think one is inherently better... when logically that's just a silly assumption to be making.
    They're still asking for permission, they're not outright assuming they have it. The intention and meaning is still there, so in all honesty learn to pay attention to that rather than the slight difference of pronunciation.

    And then for the "Please and thank you" part?
    The only drop I've seen here is among casual friends.
    I've noticed no such drop when with parents, teachers, or other authority figures.
    It only really seems lacking when friends are hanging out, they're already comfortable with another so they can afford to skip the pleasantries and go straight to what they're doing.
    Changing one's behaviour depending on one's surroundings, people do it all the time. Even then though, I still see the words used when it's for something fairly significant.


    So to answer the question?

    Yes I think parents should teach their kids manners.

    But don't confuse manner's with redundancy, and don't confuse today's cultural manners for those 20-30 years ago.
    Culture changes, times change, people change. The children who are best off (Both socially and academically) are those who adapt to today's time, not those who adapt to their parents time.
    #10 Gwazi Magnum, Feb 22, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2015
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  11. I never thought I would say this, but I agree with Gwazi about some of those things. O____O

    The Can I vs May I thing has pissed me off since I was a kid. It's just grammar bullshit, and even now I get really annoyed when someone wants to correct it. You KNOW the person is being polite when they're asking permission to do something, you don't have to be a shit about the grammar.

    I HATE the "Hi, How are you today!" conversations, because they are stupidly redundant. No one EVER says anything other than "Fine." or "Good" and then reciprocate for "How are you". And get the same answer back. >:[ Most people really DON'T care about how you're doing, they have something else they want to talk about. Just say GOOD MORNING or whatever and then say what you want to say, or ask what you want to ask.

    In the company of friends and family, I think basic courtesy is good, but I feel really uncomfortable around FORMAL MANNERS where people are just trying to look good or impress each other with their politeness. >>;

    However in PUBLIC, you better be saying Please, Thank You, You're Welcome, and be polite and courteous to strangers. >:[
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  12. Well thanks for agreeing with me @Diana I reall...

    Wait, what do you mean you never thought you'd say that!?

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  14. What?
    I don't smell!

    I showered last month!

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  15. Surprisingly enough, I agree with Gwazi too. o.O

    (Big rant on the way. Go to the last 3 paragraphs if you just want a straight out answer)

    May I vs could I is really just nitpicking, and it's more a generation thing than anything else. It doesn't mean that people are loosing their manners, it just means that times are changing and how we're using our language is changing. I'm not a native English speaker, but it's not like it's much different from what's happening with my own language. The way I spoke as a child was completely different from how my parents spoke as children. I was raised with good manners just like my father was, but still our speech was different since I came from a different generation and the language (just as society) had changed slightly since my parents childhood. It's natural changes and we can't expect the next generation to talk exactly as we did as kids.

    I do think children should say please if they ask for something from their parents, and thank you when they get something, be it compliments, objects or a nice gesture, but when they are with friends, dropping their manners isn't a big problem. We speak differently when we are with different people, and it's important to not force a kid to always keep up such an act if it's not part of their personality.

    I don't particularly see a drop in good manners, there's only a slight difference in the way people speak from when I was a kid. Some children are loud and obnoxious, but most of them aren't. Two years ago, I worked as a temporary teacher and day care person. When I took care of the 5-6 years old kids, I found ONE ill mannered student in a group of over 30 students. When I worked with 8-11 year olds I can remember 3 in a group of 60 (They were technically 2 groups, but they shared the same space and were only divided during snack time).

    When it came to the older kids that I actually had classes with it was only the 9th graders that were ill mannered, loud and un-respectful towards me as a teacher. The 6th graders were pretty much a class filled with angels, and the other classes were very silent and respectful too with maybe one or two that had to be reminded not to disturb the class.

    It was kind of a surprise since it's when a temporary teacher shows up that they often are out of control. (Experience from my own childhood.) So if anything I would say it has gotten better since I was a kid in the 90s and early 2000.

    It definitely does depend on where you live though. It changes from country to country and city to city, and from house to house. Different families raises their children differently, different schools takes care of troublesome students differently, different neighborhoods have different degrees of manners, thus there will be a difference wherever you go.

    So to answer your questions:

    Yes I think that a parent should teach their kids to be polite, but we shouldn't expect them to be polite all the time. Most people wouldn't be polite around their best friends. When you're extremely comfortable with someone you don't really care to say please when asking to borrow a book. (For some it might feel natural, but for others it won't). Teach them to be polite towards parents, authorities and when they're in public, but don't expect them to be polite all the time. If a kid is tired they will act differently and maybe be more annoyed and maybe talk less. They're kids, we can't expect them to act like adults 100% of the time.

    Asking someone how they are is unnecessary if you don't actually mean it. The only time I ask is if I know someone has had a rough time, and I usually don't just ask "how are you" but add "I heard about this or that" so that they can be honest with me. How are you is one of the most dishonest ways of showing that you care. I don't care if it's good manners or not, no one will ever change the answer to their real feelings because they know the question isn't real. It's just like bringing up the weather. It's a way to get the conversation going without caring what you're talking about.

    Can I have that or may I have that is just nitpicking and doesn't matter. Teach them to add a please instead of complaining about a can or may. Can I please have that? That's polite enough in my book.
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  16. I don't think you can entirely blame parents for this one, not when there are so many rude adults out there. I've seen lots of kids try to be polite and have it ignored, and after a while it tends to get discouraging.

    The other day there was a little boy outside the grocery store selling candy bars for his football team. When I first got to the store he was very polite and saying "Excuse me" to the people who walked by him. Within the hour that I was in the store, and countless adults simply ignoring him it was obvious that he was trying to hold onto his manners the best that he could.

    Kids learn by example, but they also discover on their own what ways manage to get them the most attention. If manners aren't working, and rude behavior starts getting them the attention, most likely they're going to fall back on rudeness because it's how they get noticed. It doesn't matter if it's good attention or bad attention to a child in most situations, it's attention. That's how kids work. It's the same thing for their behavior. If they are well behaved and an adult doesn't notice them, they will test their limits to see how to get the attention they want. Adults in general, not just parents, need to reinforce manners if they really want to see children use them.
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  17. I think people should practice some basic semblance of manners, so long as they're not intrusive and make some sense. Holding open doors for people who have their arms full is just a polite thing to do, or saying "please" and "thank you" for requests. It's the universal language of civilized society, even if it ultimately is rather pointless.

    That being said, don't get angry at people for not giving you manners. The whole point of them is an exercise of humility and respect, getting angry at people who don't show those qualities is missing the point of it. :ferret:
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  18. Why is agreeing with me so shocking!?

  19. Cause you're forever alone Gwazi. We told you that yesterday when discussing ships. Agreeing with the forever alone dude is against the rules -pat pat- Here, have some ice cream. Or would you prefer chocolate or cookies? It all comes with the package of being the forever alone person. :)
  20. But I don't want to be forever alone...

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