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Life's Unexpected Lessons- 6: Manners and Common Courtesy ... Obsolete?

Updated on April 8, 2012

Manners and Common Courtesy ... Obsolete?

Family living in love
Family living in love | Source

Manners and Common Courtesy ... Obsolete?

Have you ever stopped to notice how manners and common courtesy seemed to be becoming old-fashioned … a thing of the past? Our youth are definitely more concerned with what what they want and never stop to even recognize (much less thank) those that give it to them. But so they say that is always the case with the younger generation …

But then how do you explain the middle generations – the 30, 40, even 50 year olds who have never outgrown this mind-set and are still fighting to get whatever they can trampling upon anyone who gets in their way? Respect and appreciation for one’s elders and the wisdom they may possess along with their willingness to share it when allowed to is too often scoffed at and pushed aside … even at these ages.

So is it really difficult to determine why the youth act as and feel as they do? They are being taught these ways by their parents who have not yet learned the value in these mannerisms themselves! Children will naturally try to be like their role models and if this is what they see as the norm, as acceptable, how will they ever learn otherwise? What does this say for the future of society as a whole?

Somehow parents have stopped being parents and have begun to feel that is more important to empower their children with the ability to express how they feel and an ability towards decision-making on their own than it is to guide them and teach them right from wrong. The responsibilities of parenthood are too often brushed aside as adults get too embroiled in developing their own successes and satisfying their own desires, convincing themselves that is the only way to provide for their children.

But it is not; a responsibility also lies with the parents to take back the authority and to be a guide who corrects and teaches their children lovingly, patiently, and gently what they need to know to be a success in their own right – the ability to function compassionately and appreciatively in the world around them.

Is this difficult? Yes … you will face resistance and have to remain strong but it is the most satisfying part of parenting! When you see your child at any point – growing up or as an adult – displaying these qualities to others and thus respecting all that is around them, you cannot help but feel pride in a job well-done; and admire them for what they have learned.

Remember, in Proverbs 13:24 the Lord states “He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him properly.” Even God states it is our responsibility to lovingly discipline, raise, and teach our children proper morals and values.


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    • cbella229 profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      I agree with you both, pjpits and cat on a soapbox! This is by no means meant to impy that all youth or all adults are like this but as someone who worked in the schools for a long time, I definitely saw a decrease in the manners and an increase in the disrespect and a lack of caring for either. Contacting the parents only reaffirmed where the child's attitude was coming from as these adults felt and acted the same way. Teachers do what they can but once the child leaves the cocoon of the school and is re-immersed in their home environment, it is unfortunately not a supported or lasting impression. It is truly sad ...

    • cat on a soapbox profile image

      Catherine Tally 

      6 years ago from Los Angeles


      I know what you mean, and yet I see hope in that not all youth today is discourteous. Children are definitely influenced the most from parents and family members, but teachers and other role models also leave an impression. The best we can do is teach the old Golden Rule and comment favorably when a person shows courtesy and grace, and we have to start when they are young before peer pressure takes over.

    • pjpitts profile image


      6 years ago from United States

      I have noticed the lack of manners in children and adults (not all of them, of course!) and it drives me nuts! Using good manners, saying please and thankyou, not interrupting etc. all show respect and consideration for other people and it's such an easy thing to do and teach your children!! Thanks for writing a much needed hub!


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