Most parents agree that they want their children to display good manners.
We nudge “please” and “thank you” from their mouths hoping they’ll grow into mannerly adults. But, should good manners stop with those two gestures? Parents have wonderful opportunities every day to demonstrate good social skills.
At the Store —Drive slowly in the parking lot. Allow pedestrians to cross. Take your basket to the cart return bin. Say “excuse me” when crossing in front of someone scanning a shelf. Hold the door for someone walking closely behind you. None of these acts seems like a big deal. But, if you’ve ever been spattered with mud by a passing car, been caught in the rain waiting for traffic, or had a rolling stray cart hit your vehicle, you know what a big deal they can be.
At the Restaurant —Talk in a low voice so you don’t disturb other diners. Say “Thank you,” to servers who refill your glass or bring you food. Brush up extra messes that young children might create. Don’t take cell phone calls at the table.
On the Road —drive slowly as you pass walkers and bikers, wave and thank drivers that have pulled over to allow you to pass, get off the cell phone, pull over for funeral processions.
At the Park —throw away trash after a picnic, don’t hog the walking paths. Move to one side or the other to allow others to pass, and don’t play too close to other groups or disturb their activities.
At the Movies —talk low while waiting for the show to start. Don’t talk during the movie. Try not to kick the seat in front of you.
It’s important to teach children that we all live together in the same world. We have the choice everyday to help make our world a nicer place or not. Each time we, as adults, perform a common courtesy we provide an opportunity to teach a child the proper way to treat others. Don’t take your job as a parent for granted. Don’t forget that even if you aren’t a parent, you teach children manners also by your actions. Make the most of teachable moments.
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