Children, particularly the teenage variety, can test our patience like no others. They have perfected the eye roll, the sigh and shoulder droop. Their favorite sayings have become, “In a minute! “, “I don’t know.”, “I’m coming!”, “Why?”, and “What did I do?”. Oh and let’s not forget the shear look of pain and torture when you ask them a question.
I know good manners and behavior begin at home; they should be respectful to those in the household. My perspective is, yes I agree and I expect respect, however, my greatest desire is that they take everything good they have learned at home and put that on display to the outside world.
Both my children are polite and cheerful, they shake hands when introduced, they greet the other(s) with warmth and interest. When my daughter was younger and lived with me, I was often told how polite she was. Of course, that warms my heart…but shouldn’t that be a given? People should not be surprised by this. Are there that many young people who don’t have decent manners? Perhaps the adults in the household don’t know any better or just don’t care.
As for my son (14 1/2), he says please and thank you and excuse me, he knows not to wear a hat in a restaurant, he holds the door for people and has been known to get up from the table when he sees an elderly couple crossing a parking lot, and open the door for them. He addresses people as Mr. Mrs. or Miss unless instructed otherwise, he will sit down with people he only knows as acquaintances or as friends of mine or his grandparents and ask them how they are doing with genuine interest. He can carry on an intelligent conversation in a public setting and can relate with both adults and children (the little kids love him, as do little old ladies), he takes pride in his appearance, often wearing a suit to church, etc.
As his mom, I certainly appreciate the compliments I receive about him and his politeness and good manners. What amazes me is the shock people have in his behavior. To me, this should be the norm and sadly it seems to be the exception.
Now, don’t get me wrong, if you saw him at home…he can belch, pass gas and be inappropriate as all get out. He rolls the eyes, doesn’t always listen, dresses funny, can be argumentative and makes those in the house want to scream. The point is, he has not ignored what he has been taught when he is out in the world.
There are people who say kids should behave the same way at home. As I stated above, there should not be any blatant disrespect of me or household rules, but I do not have an issue with some of the other behaviors as long as he knows how to act when out of the house or with visitors.
I am curious as to your perspective. Leave a comment and let’s compare notes. I would love to see classes brought back in basic etiquette and may even be willing to get them started. Anyone else up for helping out?
Oh, if there are ever awards for teenage drama, my son is a shoe-in for the eye roll category!