Friday, February 6, 2009
One of the things that makes me sad about today's society is the steady disappearance of simple manners. It seems like so many parents' expectations have just become so very low that "please", "thank you", and "excuse me" are becoming archaic expressions. Many children I know are not expected to write thank you notes. Many have poor phone etiquette. Not only are too many people not teaching their children good manners, they're also not demonstrating them.
Because that's where it starts.
We cannot expect our children to readily adopt polite speech and behaviors if we're not modeling them consistently. If I don't thank my husband regularly in their presence... if he doesn't excuse himself from the table... if we don't say "please" before asking our children to do something... well, then we can't act surprised when their manners are lacking at the next family gathering.
And so we make sure we're consistent. We make sure they actually hear and see what politeness looks like on a daily basis. We are kind to each other. We try to be thoughtful. We correct gently when needed, but mostly we just keep on demonstrating.
And the result?
After receiving four painful shots without a whimper, my four-year old looked the nurses straight in the eye and said...
Realizing your efforts have paid off? That's a Finer Thing in Life.
For more Finer Things, check out the Finer Things in life every Friday.