Saturday, August 30, 2008

Every Day Manners

Thank you to Tamy at 3 Sides of Crazy for hosting The Revival of Common Courtesy. This week's edition is devoted to Every Day Manners.

Emily Post wrote many, many years ago, "A mother should exact precisely the same behavior at home and every day, that she would like her children to display in public, and she herself, if she expects them to take good manners seriously, must show the same manners to them alone that she shows to 'company.'" ( Books Online)

Wow! That's a tall order! Unfortunately, I can't say that I do this all of the time. My children have seen me do some un-mannerly things. But I do believe that I have taught them what good manners look like, even if I am not always the perfect example. And I do think times have changed quite a bit since the days of Emily Post, maybe too much.

"Please" and "Thank You" are examples of good manners. I do try to use "please" with all of my requests, at least the first two or three times. You moms out there know what I mean! And when they do chores or are otherwise helpful, I remember to say "thank you." Those two phrases are so simple, and they carry a lot of weight.

Good every day manners don't stop there, though. I believe kids should address adults as "Miss," "Mrs." or "Mister" unless instructed to do otherwise. Even our close friends, who are addressed by first names, are called "Miss Kristine" instead of simply "Kristine."

In a household of six people, having every day manners basically comes down to following the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you (The Bible, Luke 6:31). I have to remind them that the "rule" says to do "as you would have them do" not "as they do." To put it in their language, it states we should treat others the way we would like to be treated.

I hope that I am teaching them to respect other people's property, privacy, and feelings. I hope that I am teaching them that we all work together to make the household a pleasant place. And I hope that I am teaching them that before they judge others, they should walk a mile in another person's moccasins (Native American saying).


  1. Not raised in a religious home, my mother still beleived in those golden rules and would quote you verbatim! I
    did the same with my daughter and it holds true to this day!! Do unto others!! Now if we could teach the whole world that...we'd have it made!
    Great post...children learn what they live...but there is a time for some crazy silly bonding!!! Not always the best manners appear during those times!!

    Hugs Sherrie Fluff anyone? jj

  2. We tend to do the same things in our home too. I treat the kids with respect and expect the same in return. None of us are perfect tho & we do have our bad moments. The kids also address close friends as Miss Bubba's Sis & Mr. Hubby, for example. I wonder if that's a southern thang?

  3. Diana thank you so much for participating and that wonderful Emily Post quote. For me it all boils down to kindness and I know we all have the potential so I keep praying for a kinder world where we all observe every day manners.

  4. The effort being made is the important part. Children learn by example, if your best effort is made, then they will learn.

    I'm glad you are joining in :)


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