Beyond Basic Manners (or How Not to Raise an A**hole)
You know, it seems more and more often I've been noticing a lack of basic manners. Not just from kids but from adults! Often even more so it seems with men. I'm not sure what has caused this. Maybe it's always been and I'm just now noticing or maybe somehow politeness is no longer in style. But I actually think it's as simple as maybe we are seeing generation after generation where fewer and fewer people are being taught basic manners so you can only imagine not valuing this means they wouldn't pass that on to their own children.
I don't remember my parents ever really stressing certain things, they were just common things you do to be courteous like hold the door, give up your seat to a senior citizen, help someone pick up things if they dropped it. No one ever said to do those things and maybe because my parents (like most I would think) started with telling me to say "please" and "thank you" the rest naturally happened. Maybe not. But I am making sure my kids learn the basics of politeness and more because the last thing we need are more discourteous assholes in the world. That's right, I said it. If you are rude or impolite you are most likely an asshole. And I am raising my kids to not be assholes. I hope anyone reading this is aspiring to do the same.
So here are just some basic manners for kids (and adults) that I try to make sure my littles know and I actually try to remind myself of:
Say "Hello" and smile when you pass people
Say "How are you" when you interact with people (friends, clerks, anyone)
If asked how you are reply and say "Thank you. How are you?
Say "Please" when asking
Say "Thank you" when getting
Say "You are welcome" when giving
Say "No thank you" when declining
Say "Excuse me" when you bump into someone or need to get past past someone
Say "Ma'me and Sir"
Use the proper prefix when needed. Mrs, Ms, Miss, Mr, and
Unless told otherwise use the proper prefix followed by the persons last name
Wait your turn to speak
If you must interrupt say "Excuse me"
Do not tap someone to get their attention if they are speaking to someone
Listen when spoken to
Look someone in the eyes
Shake hands when meeting or greeting someone someone
Don't fidget or hide
Don't use bad language (yes, I know I said Assholes but I'm the grown up)
Do not take or touch things without permission
Respect other peoples space and property
Return things you borrow in a timely fashion and in the condition you got hem in
Respect peoples privacy
Do not whisper in front of others or do things to make anyone feel left out
Offer to share whether it's a table or a meal if someone seems to need something
Do not use something in front of others that could make them feel bad (eating in front of others, etc)
Do not discuss how much things cost or things you have publicly
Help clean up after yourself (bonus if you help clean up after others and double bonus if you do it without being told)
Use the phone properly! Say "Hello", say "May I speak with ____", Say "I'm sorry can I take a message". The art of phone etiquette is almost extinct.
Send thank you notes.
RSVP early so people can make arrangements for you
RSVP and decline if you can't make something
Be on time. Call and inform others if you are going to be late.
Be polite and kind to servers at restaurants or home.
Do not use technology at meal times.
Take off hats indoors or when eating
Know what fork gets used when if you are are a nicer dinner and if you are unsure quielty adk for help.
Use a napkin. Put it on your lap while you eat.
Elbows off the table.
Do not reach across the table. Ask to have things passed.
Don't speak with your mouth full.
Asked to be excused when leaving.
Stand when a women leaves the table (old fashioned but still nice)
Clear your plate
Wash your dish
Ask to help clean up
Compliment the meal
Open the doors for others, even at home and hold the door until all are in.
Ladies and children first.
If someone visits offer to take their coat or bag.
If someone visits offer then something to drink
Stand when an elder enters (boys can stand for any lady).
Pull out chairs for women
Offer elders, disabled or pregnant women or mothers with young children your seat.
Be sure to introduce people who don't know each other.
Offer to be a help when visiting someone else
Don't over stay your welcome
Clean up after yourself
Thank them for having you
Clean up after yourself wherever you you are.
Feet NEVER go on furniture with shoes on, And feet never go on furniture if you are a guest of someones.
When you enter someones home ask if they would like you to remove your shoes if they are not wearing any.
If you are in a line (especially for a restroom) allow elderly or young children to go ahead if you can.
NEVER use the handicap facilities and amenities if there is any chance a person could need them.
Do not use your phone in public where others can hear you or it can disrupt others
Do not text while having a face to face conversation with others
If listening to videos, music or tv be considerate with the volume
If you see someone needing help offer it
Give compliments often and freely
Take compliments graciously and say "Thank you"
Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze
Say "Bless you" if someone sneezes
Say "Excuse me" or "Pardon me" if you belch
Try not to blow your nose in front of people and always use a tissue
Do not pick your nose (yes, sometimes you have to say this!)
Offer a tissue if you have one if someone is sneezing, coughing or crying
Do not spit!
Do not stare at people
Do not point at people
Do not argue. Remember, sometimes it takes the stronger person to remain silent and walk away
Respect all adults. ALL ADULTS. You don't have to like someone to be respectful.
Be honest. The best way to show respect is to be honest.
Be kind. The best way to be polite and encourage others is to be an example. This goes for kids as well as adults.
Now originally I meant for this to be the top 25 but really... it's very hard to give manners a specific order of importance because to me, you can say please and thank you all you want but if you don't offer your seat to a senior citizen you really aren't very polite and you certainly aren't considerate.
I can say thankfully that my kids are usually very good about almost half of the things on this list but as with all kids (and almost all adults) they do need reminders from time to time. And while I feel like this is a pretty good list... I'm sure I've missed some things. If so please feel free to comment and let me kn ow other manners and areas where you stress courteousness.
Hopefully together we will raise the next generation with a minimum of assholes!