Saturday, September 27, 2008

Manners

Can we talk about manners for a minute or two? Simple little words that make such a difference, for example please, thank you, no thank you, yes please. How hard can it be to teach a youngster these four simple terms. And yet, so many of the young people today have eradicated these words from their vocab. I'm not saying all of them but way more than you or I would care to admit. You know I have to go back to "training." Children are not adults in little bodies, I'm going to say this again. CHILDREN ARE NOT ADULTS IN LITTLE BODIES! Please remember they are children and in Proverbs it states that "foolishness is bound in the heart of a child." So when children do foolish things it is our responsbility to teach them, not scream at them, teach them. Simple enough? So then why don't we? Or rather, why we do think we are teaching them and yet if we take a closer look we are not. Parents spend a lot of time keeping their children busy and this is a good thing, keeps them out of trouble. Sports, art, music, dance, horses, and so on. This is all great, however these very seems kids need to know the basics first. Bump into one of them and let me know if they say excuse me. How many 12 year olds hold the door for someone? I could give a hundred examples but I believe you've got the picture. If little Johnny was playing in a soccer game and punched little Billy in the face on the field what would happen? Johnny would be in big trouble, but if you asked Johnny if he would like some ice cream and he replied, "yea" that would be acceptable. These are two extremes, however, when we teach our children to use words like please, thank you, no thank you, yes please, what we are really teaching them is respect for other people. And when children respect other people they also respect themselves and will be respected by others. It is a wonderful circle being created. Do you understand what I'm saying here? Had little Johnny been taught simple manners from the beginning chances are little Billy would not have gotten a black eye. Let me put it another way, children are not going to know social behavior, unless we teach them, it must be taught. Teenagers answering adults with a grunt. Young children in a restaurant completely out of control. Somewhere along the line we have forgotten simple manners and teaching social behavior. We clothe our children, educate them, fix their teeth, get them their shots, take them to Disney World, give them cell phones, Wii, internet, sports, music lessons, dance lessons, personal sport trainers, boy scouts, girl scouts, art lessons, WOW! Honestly, when is the last time you asked a child or teenager if they would like some ice cream and they answered, yes please. Not yes, but yes please. Take some time and listen to your own children. Are they using the four simple terms? How do they behave in public places? When they're 16 and its time for their first interview for a summer job you are going to wish you had taken my advice. Listen to your children for a few days, if you don't like what you're hearing do something about it. HOWEVER, before you listen to them, listen to yourself, how often are you using the four simple terms? If you want change then change. Ciao (chow)

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