When my kids come to me and say ‘I want …’ I find myself replying, ‘Really? I want an oompa loompa!’ (in a whiny Veruca Salt* kind of voice). The kids tend to look frustrated with me for ignoring their request. If they haven’t picked up on my not too subtle hint at using manners and repeat their request I then miraculously find myself transforming into my mother as the words ‘I want gets nothing’ escapes my mouth.
Having good manners drummed into me as a kid, it is my pet hate when a child doesn’t use their manners. I have friends who send their kids away for a period of five minutes every time they ask for something without saying please and thank you. It doesn’t take too long for the kids to cotton on to the fact that the easiest way to get what they want (within reason) is to simply use their manners in the first place.
It is universally accepted that in civilised society people should use manners in every day life. Everywhere except maybe New York. I visited there a few years ago, and as is the way there, everyone is in such a rush that manners seem to be an inconvenience. I was shocked when people were ordering and would just shout out across the counter ‘Give me a large coffee to go’. I felt as if I was a real nuisance when I would look across the counter and say, ‘Excuse me, could I please order a large coffee to go? Thank you.’ You could almost detect slight eye rolling and tapping of the feet in frustration that I was wasting their time with pleasantries.
Having said that – everywhere else that I have gone around the world expects and uses manners out of respect. It is our responsibility to raise our kids to use manners as a matter of course, so hopefully one day we won’t need to remind them to use their magic words!
Thank you for reading my post 😉
* The character from the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movie.
(Photo courtesy of Clare Bloomfield, freedigitalphotos.net)