Manners, how important do you think they are?

I’m wondering how important manners are to you.  I was raised to say please and thank you, excuse me and bless you.  If someone gave me something, I said thank you.  If I asked someone for something, I said please.  Do most people still do this?  If I ask someone for something, it wouldn’t occur to me not to say please and the same goes for thank you.  Even my husband and I who live here alone, say please and thank you to each other for things we do for one another.

I taught my boys the same thing.  They were always so polite.  If they forgot, which wasn’t often, all I had to do was clear my throat and they said the appropriate response, please or thank you.  You can’t even imagine how many people complimented me on them when they were young.  Mostly from waitresses and waiters.  I just kind of thought everyone did this.

I had the good luck to go with all three of my grandchildren to a really nice restaurant last Sat night for supper.  Two of them will be 9 this summer and the other will be 5.  I was so proud inside and out.  They are like little carbon copies of their dads at that age.  Probably their mom’s too but I can’t take the credit for that.  They said please and thank you for EVERYTHING at the right times.  When the waitress brought their drinks, they said thank you.  When we placed our order they said please.  Also when food was brought and plates were cleared.  I was so proud of them. 

I was out with my granddaughter one day and there was a little girl there who was so rude to her aunt that had it been me that was talked to that way, I would have taken that child and left and taken her home.  I was so appalled and I thought “what is this world coming to” so my joy at this is HUGE.  Way to go Jason, Nikki, Bailey, Toby, Sue, Trinity and Christopher.  I am proud of you and love you.


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13 Responses to Manners, how important do you think they are?

  1. SKL says:

    Ah, it’s a process! But I believe if we prioritize it, our kids will learn to be polite pretty much all the time. So the question is, how high should the priority be? Since politeness is often the grease that gets us through the tight spots, I see it as a basic need, in addition to a basic kindness. So I do work on this pretty continuously with my girls. I can’t say they always remember, but I’m always pleased when I hear a spontaneous please, thank you, you’re welcome, excuse me, sorry, or bless you.

  2. mssc54 says:

    I think teaching manners to your children early on not only teaches them manners but also teaches them that you are enguaged in their life and there are acceptable and unacceptable standards of behavior.

    I’ve taught Porter (our 5yr old son) his “meeting manners.” Whenever he meets someone new he sticks out his right hand, looks them in the eye and says, “Hi, my name is Porter. Nice to meet you.” He stunned his substitute teacher this year by doing that. lol

    • JavaQueen says:

      I also think the looking in the eye and talking “to the person” is an important thing to learn. It not only teaches them manners but independence and self-confidence!

  3. megan says:

    That story just warms my heart.

    I have seen so many children, unfortunately younger and younger, adopt the manners of sulky teens. Primarily that means rudeness to elders. Sure, I may have had a teen year or two in which I was less than polite, but as an adult I realize the importance of basic manners. I wish I didn’t know this first handedly, but a person who is rude as a child will almost certainly be rude as an adult; that sort of thing can’t be changed later on, and it only gets worse with age. (I wasn’t talking about me – but someone very close to me.)

    I applaud you and your kids for raising your offspring to be polite and kind to others. We need more people like that.

  4. JavaQueen says:

    I’m exactly the same way as you. It’s very important to me and I too have passed this along to my kids. I taught them to be “present” when someone is talking to them, to look them in the eyes and respond, ya know? They are so good at that. They are able to have full conversations with other adults besides Scott and I and I too, have received many compliments. Today, Zach (13) and I went to 7-11 to get a Slurpee. Funny, as I sat in my car I watched and was SHOCKED to see how many people DO NOT hold the door open for the next guy/gal. Even when someone was right on their heels. I always hold the door, always – – and it is sad when you walk up and someone lets the door slam in your face… then I say in a very loud voice, “OH THANK YOU!” and if it’s a man that doesn’t hold the door for me, I literally yell, “OH, THANK YOU! WHAT A GENTLEMAN!” because I just cannot get over how rude that is. I think it’s fantastic that your kids were raised with manners and your grand kids inherited the same values. Times ARE changing, but that doesn’t mean we have to lose our manners.

  5. I agree with you, Joy, I think that simple politeness is so important. It’s just a way to stay pleasant with people, and I think people who can’t even have the simple courtesy to say please and thank you are extremely rude. I was brought up with manners like you brought up your boys, and I know I’ll raise my kids that way too.

  6. DM says:

    I woke up this morning thinking about this topic – especially the saying “thank you” part. My wife and I do the same thing Joy- we use “please” and thank you all the time in our relationship. I think it cultivates an atmosphere of love and respect (at least that’s how it feels to me when she and I do it).it’s not fake either..we genuinely mean it.
    when I do kind things for people, my motive isn’t to get thanked…if I do something, the motive isn’t to get stroked…yet, at the same time, on two recent occasions, I did give someone something of what for me was considerable worth, plus the time and energy to do it..and in both cases..there was absolutely no acknowledgement…I was reminded of a story in the NT where 10 people were healed, only one came back and said thank you….Jesus said it himself…were not ten healed, where are the other nine????? I guess there will always be some who are “manners challenged”.
    We’re on the same page w/ this one Joy.

  7. starlaschat says:

    Sounds like a job well done! I really appreciate when young and old are polite. It is really nice to see when young people are polite I do notice. I have a friend who does not say Thank You very much, but I realize it’s not because he’s not Thankful, it’s just something he doesn’t say. Maybe he’s uncomfortable saying it I’m not sure at first it kinda bugged me, but he’s our friend and he’s a wonderful friend so I just chalk it up to it’s just his way. But most of the time I really appreciate it. And the door thing it just seems like basic common sense to hold the door for a person that is right behind you I don’t get when people are so into their own world that they let it go right in your face. It is surprising to me. But then again a lot of people do hold the door so I guess I’m Thankful for the ones that do. LOL

  8. Sue says:

    Well, I didn’t see this coming! Thank you 🙂 I think it’s important to be curteous and to start at a young age. When we ask the kids to please pick up this or help with that, they are much more receptive then just telling them to do it. I’ve had Christopher’s teachers say how polite he is and it seems to crack them up!

    • SKL says:

      That’s funny. My older daughter uses “please” spontaneously even when you might not expect it. Recently she wanted the necklace her Sister was wearing. She had her by the collar as Sister was trying unsuccessfully to run away, an as they clattered through the kitchen I heard: “it’s my turn . . . may I have it please?” LOL.

  9. joanharvest says:

    I’m obsessive about politeness and it shows in my two children. Every single night when I cook supper my daughter and the wasband say thank you to me after we eat. It warms my heart. Plus if they didn’t they know I’d throw garbage at them.

    I can’t understand an adult putting up with rudeness from a child. My son had a paper route when he was about 11 years old. A lot of his customers came into my store and would even remark about how polite he was.

    Starla mentioned about appreciating young and old being polite. I do notice some bitter old people being rude as if they expect everything they get and don’t need to say thank you or please. That annoys me too. I hope I never get that way.

    Great post Joy, as usual.

  10. Doraz says:

    I feel there is a lot of happiness and a lot of sadness in this world of ours. I believe that if a simple “thank you” or a simple “please” will make a person feel “happy” for even that moment, it is worth it! I feel society should be kinder to one another. Why not start with a simple thing…young and old can do…by using words like you mentioned, please and thank you! So, thank you Joy for writing this post, and please keep up the great job you are doing! 🙂

  11. birdpress says:

    I completely agree with you too. It would never occur to me to not say please and thank you. I even annoy my husband with it sometimes because he doesn’t think he needs to say it to me all the time. I let him know that he does, LOL.

    To me, it is also as much about expressing appreciation and being grateful to others, as it is about being polite. Even little things shouldn’t be taken for granted.

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