Manners Matter

Are you shocked by the social ineptitude of today’s youth?

How many times have you been greeted by a tween offering an outstretched hand and a courteous, “Nice to see you again, Mrs. or Mr. So-and-so?” Or, answered your home phone and had your child’s friend identify himself and actually use the word “please” when asking to speak to your son or daughter rather than demanding to talk to Junior without even saying “Hello” first?

Is the lack of etiquette exercised by today’s youth an epic parental fail?

I am a stickler when it comes to manners; much to the chagrin of my 7-year-old daughter.

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve regurgitated my stock lecture on the importance of exercising proper social graces.

My daughter hasn’t.

I’m sure she can rattle off exactly how many times she’s had to repeat a query to include the words “May I please?” or respond with a “no, thank you” or “yes, please.”

Typically, she is quick to comply. I’d like to think she does so because she knows being respectful is the right thing to do. Then again, she is seven, so the impetus for her politeness may be a desire not to have to listen to her mother’s diatribe on how being courteous is not an option in our family.

In a world that features an increasing number of children growing up with a selfish sense of entitlement should parents work harder to get their kids to be polite?

What’s so hard about saying “please” or “thank you,” anyway?

A few months ago I received an email about a special etiquette camp for kids. The six-week summer program included lessons on the importance of eye contact, handshakes, and the use of proper table manners when dining at home and in public. It also featured workshops on how to write a thank you note and tips on email etiquette.

Your tween or teen could learn all of those important social graces and more during the summer camp for the low, low price of $350.

I can’t imagine paying $350 for a complete stranger to teach my kid basic manners.

Can you?

Related Articles:

Do You Discipline Your Child in Public?

Teaching Your Toddler to Lose Gracefully

Do You Punish Your Kids For Swearing?

Do Your Kids Need a Manners Makeover?

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.