mermaids

Miss Manners

Posted on: 18 March, 09

I wish Nintendo would invent a video game that taught manners because, clearly, many children are not learning manners from their parents. I don’t insist on a “Yes, ma’am,” but a simple “please” and “thank you” would be nice.  Some students are fairly respectful towards adults but treat their peers horribly.  Manners know no age limits. 

For me, it is the little during the day that are infuriating.  A student left her binder in the cafeteria.  I walked all the way to the other end of the school to return it.  There was no “thank you.”  I wanted to smack her with that binder.  Because I am shorter than many students, they often don’t realize I am adult when I am lost in the sea of students during a class change.  Students will bump into me, not gently, and never say “sorry” or “excuse me.”  Sometimes I even get an angry “move” or “get out of my way.”  Those students quickly get the message that I am a teacher and they will be late for their next class after I finish ranting at them. 

Students who are on athletic teams must get a weekly grade report signed by each teacher.  Many of them will shove the paper in my face, literally inches from my nose.  They won’t even say anything, just shove it my face.  Of course, I push it away.  Then student will say, “Ya gotta sign this.”  I respond with “I don’t have to sign anything.  Perhaps if you asked nicely, I might be persuaded to sign it.”  It takes a few tries to get a reluctant and petulant “Would you please sign this” out of them.  I do sign it, but I also note that the student was rude. 

Parents, teacher your children manners.  They can learn because students are lovely and delightful.  They were not just born that way.  Some one taught them manners somewhere along the way. 

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9 Responses to "Miss Manners"

Amen and AMEN! My parent taught me manners- I knew that I would receive a verbal reprimand if I tried to interrupt a conversation or paid *any* disrespect to an adult. They didn’t teach me to behave the same way towards my peers, but the principle carried over.

I just wish that the same principles were as relevant today as they were 20 years ago. Sigh.

I am SO with you on this one. It used to drive me crazy when I was teaching school. My pet peeve was students who would never ask me for anything. They would make a statement and wait for me to offer to fix whatever it was. “I can’t find my homework.” (That’s too bad.) “I have to go to the bathroom.” (Do you?) I’m not sure I ever got across to them that they needed to ask for what they wanted and that a “please” would be well-received, but I sure tried!

I’m always torn when someone tells me how “lucky” I am to have such a well-behaved daughter. I’m sure some of it is luck, genetics-wise, but there was a whole lot of work involved, too! She didn’t just emerge from my body saying, “Thank you for your hard work, Mother!”

As a member of society, I commend you and all your fellow teachers for trying to instill some manners in our young people. I know I lost patience with it years ago.

I’m (still) working on this with younger son (he turned 5 in January).

He does have a challenge as his speech is delayed (he substitutes “d” for many consonants, and leaves others off entirely), but we are still working on “may I please…” and using questions rather than statements/demands (“I’m thirsty!” or “I want…”) – but I still expect him to request politely, use please and thank you, ma’am or sir as appropriate. He’s getting there. Older Son (15) generally seems to remember his manners, so I expect Younger Son will get it eventually. I can’t imagine not teaching manners…or waiting until he’s older!

I do see the lack of politeness at Younger Son’s Montessori school, not all the kids but certainly many of them; I do a good bit of reminding or prompting or modeling (depending on the age – we have 2 years through 12 years). I often find myself biting my tongue to refrain from answering “I’m Thirsty!” with “Oh, how nice to meet you, Thirsty!”.

Oh don’t get me started. Occassionally my children forget their manners, but this is soooo important to my hubby and me. When they were all babies before they could talk, if I handed them something, put them in their high chair, changed their diaper, etc I’d always say to them “thank you mommy” to try to instill them having manners. It seemed to work pretty good because they usually say please, thank you, etc. I honestly can’t stand ill mannered children (or adults for that matter). Keep up the good work, hopefully you can teach them something.

Even though I felt that my boys were pretty good about saying “please” and “thank you”, I didn’t feel that I was teaching them enough manner-wise to know how to handle themselves in public places, say, at parties, and know how to introduce themselves or their friends to others, for example. So, I bought a book on manners that we have been going through every Friday. They don’t remember everything but I do see them stand up, look the person in the eye, smile, and shake hands (with the men) when an adult speaks to them. My boys may be an oddity among their peers but I want them to be oddities in good things and to stand out. Afterall I’m training future leaders here. 🙂 So that you don’t think my boys are perfect 🙂 they do have a hard time remembering to say “yes” instead of “ya”.

I wonder if it’s because kids don’t actually spend that much time with their parents nowdays. I am working with my 5 yo on the things Saralyn mentions. If he makes statements I respond with “what do you want me to do about it?” If he tells me something, I often just ignore it. I will phrase the response I expect to get from him and he will repeat it back to me when the first one didn’t work. I have noticed that when elsewhere these things are paying off as I see him using his manners with other people. Heck, I took him to the bathroom at a friend’s house and not only did he lift the seat but he took a piece of toilet paper and wiped off the rim where he dribbled a little. I was so proud!

Reply to Sandra T: I do think the lack of parental interaction is a factor. The dreadful stuff on TV is also a factor. The “stars” of popular TV shows are often sarcastic and disrespectful. Children see that and think that is way to popular and cool.

It takes time and energy to teach a child manners. Some parents just don’t do it. Meeting a student’s parents is often very enlightening. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree in many cases.

I think that I raised girls with pretty good manners. I know the younger daughter (the nanny) is now dealing with this. She’s raising some pretty good kids too 🙂 g

AMEN! I’m a public librarian and the stories I could tell.

I don’t teach, and don’t have children. However, My mother always laughed when people said to her, “You’re lucky your children have nice manners.” It took lots of work and repetitions of “What do you say?”

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