goodManners: Breaking in the basics

Why talk about basic etiquette?

The Associated Press-Ipsos poll on public attitudes about rudeness recently were published, and the results were not surprising. The poll was based on telephone interviews with 1,001 adults from most states, except Alaska and Hawaii. The majority of those polled believe people are ruder today as compared to 20 or 30 years ago.

Based on the poll, many factors are to blame: — poor role models, TV, movies, busier life style and parent’s not teaching good manners to children.

There is plenty of blame to go around, and yes, our lives may be more hectic and stressful than years ago. Maybe this means that when you mix all those issues together we have more opportunities to be rude to one another?

So, what can parents do to help nurture a polite, socially well-adjusted child?

The good news is that the display of proper etiquette is an art that can be learned. Everyday life provides us with numerous opportunities to teach good manners to children.

  • Be a good role model for good manners.

Children frequently copy the behavior they observe. Next time you are faced with a challenging situation or moment remember your child is carefully watching your actions.

  • Discuss observed good and bad behavior to social situations.

Point out when you see someone being helpful or showing respect for another person. Also, discuss observed rude behavior and possible alternatives for politely resolving or reacting to a situation.

  • Always remind your child about etiquette improvement in a respectful manner.

This may mean removing your child from a situation, or waiting to correct or explain proper etiquette.

  • Register your child for etiquette lessons.

Sometimes children are more receptive to learning basic etiquette principles from a trained professional. It also will help to lay a solid foundation you can build upon and reinforce with your child.

Be consistent and patient with your child, and maybe we can change the trend of rudeness to one of increased civility to each other.

from the Courier News website