Undercover Lunch Lady: Do Kids Use Manners?

This was on the news the other night and I couldn’t wait to see it. Especially since this is what I did many moons ago. I wrote this post on manners a long time ago so most of you know they are very important to me.

This news story pretty much says that manners are just learned behaviors and if kids are taught them, they will more than likely be polite when they get older just because of the “habit” of it.

I also find this as well as with most other things in life is that others will often treat you the way you treat them. I say please and thank you or bless you or excuse me no matter who the person is. I say these things to strangers as well as people I associate with every day so I find, most people are polite to me right back.

Go read the article and then tell us how you feel and if you’re polite and if your kids being polite and using their manners is important to you.

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9 Responses to Undercover Lunch Lady: Do Kids Use Manners?

  1. SKL says:

    I am probably not the most shining example of manners, for two reasons. One, I am an extreme introvert. Two, I have two toddlers and they distract me a lot (though this is becoming less of a factor). I don’t know if there are other parents who can have an intelligent adult interaction while trying to keep track of what two tots are doing in an unfamiliar place. But for me, it’s very difficult. So between that and the fact that it is hard for me to connect with people in the first place, there is a pretty good chance I will not politely acknowledge everyone I come in contact with when I’m herding my kids. But, I do have a strong habit of saying “thank you” when someone does anything for me. And I don’t have a problem treating everyone as equally important. I do believe it has to do with how we were raised, but also things we become cognizant of as adults.

    My kids had a free pass on manners for a few years, because they were so shy, they were pretty much nonverbal around other people. If I asked them to say something, they would just hide behind my butt. So I’d make the excuse that “they are shy” and model what they ought to be saying. But now, I do push them to make an effort. If someone says hello or goodbye and they don’t respond, I’ll nudge: “she spoke to you. You can say ___.” I also talk to them separately about why it’s nice to interact kindly and politely with people who we cross paths with. We are far from perfect, but we are working on it.

    Right now it’s still music to my ears when they spontaneously say something friendly.

  2. starlaschat says:

    Thank You Joy for writing this post. ;+) Please and Thank You and basic manners, a good thing for kids as well as adults. I liked in the article about the reminder for people to remember to have manners to people who are helping them and serving them as in cafeteria people, cleaning lady and so on. Each person crossing a persons path deserves respect and manners. Good post.

  3. I don’t have kids, of course, but I know that I was raised to use manners – to say please and thank you and never to think that people who provide me service are to be taken for granted. Every time the electrician comes over? We offer him coffee or cold water or whatever beverage we have. When I’m at a restaurant? I thank my waiters probably too much since I thank them for everything… Even for setting up the knife and fork right before a meal, you know, the thing they try to do unobtrusively. But hey, I think they deserve it.

    I know people who weren’t raised to be polite. It drives me NUTS. I mean, common courtesy and simple please-thank-yous shouldn’t be so difficult, should they??

  4. Nikki says:

    I loved when the one guy said “if children aren’t saying “thank you” enough, they’re not to blame. We are.” That is so true! We are our children’s first teacher. We are responsible for the way our children act. And more times than not, if you are a rude person, your kids will be and you can’t blame your kids! Do as I say, not as I do; doesn’t work!

    Being shy, is one thing. My son was very shy for a long time. I had to always tell him to speak up and say please or thank you. It wasn’t because he didn’t want to say it, he was just very timid, very quiet.

    I asked Bailey if he said please and thank you, to his lunch ladies. Without hesitation he said,”yes, why wouldn’t I?!”

    I’m glad they do things like this. We should know how our kids act, without us being around. Had it been my son, to not say please and thank you, it’d been a big eye opener to what I need to do different.

  5. Joy Rehnee says:

    I am so happy to see this post. Manners have fallen by the wayside during my generation. Many children and adults alike, have a sense of entitlement that I just don’t understand. I think it goes deeper than just a lack of parental guidance though. I believe it’s a reflection of our society as a whole. We have become a greedy people who need more and more to be satisfied, while feeling less inclined to be grateful for what we are blessed with.

    Manners are just another way of being NICE! It’s how we can acknowledge others who cross our path. I was always taught to “treat others as you would have them treat you”. I would like to be treated with common courtesy. It makes my day when another person is kind and respectful to me.

    I spent a lot of time over the years teaching my own sons to be considerate and polite. As most children will, they grumbled and protested, and I wondered if I was wasting my time and energy. But then it happened—my young child hastily went through a door in front of me, and just about the time I was going to fuss at him, I noticed he had rushed through in order to hold the door open, so that an elderly gentleman in a wheelchair could exit first. I will never forget how proud I was at that moment! To this day, it makes me so happy to see them interact with others in a thoughtful way. Not only did they finally figure out that if they asked nicely for something, and showed some appreciation, they were a lot more likely to get what they wanted, I believe they finally figured out that it feels good to be NICE…

    “Good manners show good breeding”! Thank you Joy for this important post.

  6. sweetiegirlz says:

    I started them all early with please and thankyou and found that at least 2 out of 4 of my children had to be retaught this upon hitting puberty. It didn’t take long however. When we all go out to eat, if they don’t say it, I say< "what do you say?" and i guess it embarassed them so, now they say it automatically. Great post and good read. i would have expected more than 42 percent though.

  7. joanharvest says:

    Manners are extremely important. My daughter still says thank you to me every night after supper. So does the wasband when he visits. I don’t think my daughter’s husband was taught manners. I rarely here him say thank you. Though all of us say please and thank you to Lilah. It’s good to start them early. When my son was little if I didn’t say thank you and he felt I should he would always let me know about it.

  8. Ellen says:

    Yes, they are indeed important. And I know a lot of Americans are concerned about the way people treat each other here less polite and less “at service”. Believe me, one of the experiences that stroke me the most when I came to this country, was the politeness, kindness and the well behaved manners of adults and children. It still is to me so nice, when I thank somebody out of common sense, people say you are welcome. And people always smile so easily here. I love that so much, I think that smiling to a total stranger, is a good manner too. Americans, you are a very well mannered nation 🙂

  9. lucy says:

    I agree with all of you that manners are very important. I make sure I say please and thank you as often as possible. I am definitely planning on raising my children to do the same!

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