Say Please and Thank You

Common courtesy and common decency just don’t seem that common anymore. Where are our manners?

I give credit to my mother for a lot of my good qualities, my manners being one of them. She made sure I always knew the value of money, to appreciate the things people did for me and the importance of showing gratitude. I was given a weekly allowance for helping out around the house and I remember on occasion spending that money to buy flowers for her to show how much I loved her, even if that meant not having any money to buy candy. I also remember feeling angry and confused when people around me took whatever they got for granted. I couldn’t understand why my friends got bigger allowances when they did nothing to earn it.

I see it as our duty to raise our son to be a graceful young man, courteous, smart and considerate of others. I expect him to offer a helping hand when it’s needed and to always, always show appreciation for the things he is given, in whatever shape or form they come. It doesn’t take a grand gesture to show gratitude when someone does something for you, a simple thank you goes a long way. But it seems to me our manners are slipping. Do we need to lower our expectations or do we need to start speaking up when people forget their Please and Thank you’s?

thanks bitch

(Image from imgfav.com)

Let me give you a few examples. Someone cooks you dinner, you say thank you and clear the table after everyone is finished, or at the very least offer to do so. When opening a door you make sure to hold it open for the person behind you, or offer them to enter before you. When offered something you answer yes, please or no, thank you. You give up your seat to the elderly, disabled or pregnant, or to mum’s with young children. You help someone on or off the tram with a pram or a shopping trolley. Hospitality should be repaid with helping out and offering to pitch in, you clean up after yourself and earn your keep in one way or another. The list goes on and on, but we all know what I’m talking about, right?

The point is to never be a burden, an unwelcome expense or to take anything for granted. (Yet I on occasion take people’s manners for granted and find myself shocked when they do not have any.)  To always show appreciation, to offer a helping hand and do your part. It sounds so easy and self-explanatory, so why is it that some people just don’t have simple manners?

please and thank you

(Image from imgfav.com)

I have more than once recently been baffled by just how often people turn a blind eye or take things for granted. So where are we failing? Are people just too self-absorbed to care about anyone else? Do they think so highly of themselves that they are above a simple please and thank you? Or is it that they are simply victims of being over-pampered from a young age to understand better?

Do you make sure to teach your children to be courteous? Do you experience courtesy and decency to be a common thing?

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4 responses

  1. I think the best thing we can do is to be good role models. To model the behaivior is much mor effective than to let’s say -keep insisting our little ones say “please” when they ask for something.
    I too want my children to grow up to be helpful, respectful and grateful for what they have. But for them to become that, I first have to get better at these things personally. It’s tricky -this parenting thing. 🙂

    March 13, 2013 at 11:16 pm

    • Couldn’t agree more! My issue with lacking manners has more been with adults than children. I’m happy to say I have been pleasantly surprised by how courteous youngling are lately. I fully agree that “do what I do” is a lot more efficient and correct way of going about things than “Do what I say”. My main issue is that I swear a lot, my please and thank you’s are pretty much in order. For now! 🙂

      March 14, 2013 at 8:21 pm

      • haha! I come from Iceland, so I naturally swear way too much. Funny thing is that I started swearing in german too now. So if I hurt myself, I now shout obscenities in Deutsch, and the girls are picking it up quickly… uh-oh…. Just the other day, the older one mumbled “scheisse” when she dropped a toy. Then she bent down moaning like her highly pregnant mum, picked up her broken toy, looked at it and rounded off the show with a “crap”.

        Worst part is..I wasn’t even a little appalled…

        March 17, 2013 at 11:15 pm

      • hahaha.. that’s kind of cute. I actually like swearing, but I’d rather Anakin didn’t say a few of the words I use. I think swearing, in the right context, just adds colour to language. People who say “fuck” as every other word though are just in need of a dictionary and a thesaurus. But I’d still like to tone myself down a bit so that he doesn’t pick up everything I say.

        I’m hope your little man decides to come say hello world today!

        March 18, 2013 at 10:09 am

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