Let's talk about manners! What manners are most important to you for your kids to learn? - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 19 Old 08-02-2013, 07:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
ian'smommaya's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: In the apothecary working with the fae.
Posts: 4,256
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)

Tuesday I was checking out at the grocery store, the cashier and I had the following conversation:

 

Me: How are you?

 

Him: Ya know...

 

Me: No, laughing, I don't know or I wouldn't have asked.

 

Him: o.0

 

Now, I could see the other cashier (an older gentleman of about 60) and his reaction. Older gentleman thought that younger gentleman (19, I asked) was rude.

 

I spend a great deal of time with kids (volunteering at a free school, and having kids around the house all the time.) ranging in age from new born to about 21. 99% of the under 21 crown I spend time with are really polite, a couple are clearly trying and a couple are I think shy and thus perceived as less polite, so obviously it varies from fmaily to family and person to person.

 

So I wanna know what manners are most important to you to teach your kids? Good conversation and social skills? Telephone skills, or listening skills, no gossiping, no using up the last of the mayo?

 

Tell me your best tips for what worked for you and yours!


Visit the Holiday Helper thread and join in on the giving and fun! Loving and working with the plants. I have a store! or two!
ian'smommaya is online now  
#2 of 19 Old 08-02-2013, 12:17 PM
 
AllisonR's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 3,137
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by ian'smommaya View Post

Tuesday I was checking out at the grocery store, the cashier and I had the following conversation:

 

Me: How are you?

 

Him: Ya know...

 

Me: No, laughing, I don't know or I wouldn't have asked.

 

Him: o.0

 

Now, I could see the other cashier (an older gentleman of about 60) and his reaction. Older gentleman thought that younger gentleman (19, I asked) was rude.

??? Excuse me, but I do not understand this conversation, or what the problem was. You asked the cashier at the grocery store how he was. He answered generically - Ya know. This was not OK for you? Why not? By saying "I don't know or I wouldn't have asked" - You pressed him to answer more sincerely. Why put him in this awkward position? I figure, he can not really answer that question, except generically or even dishonestly. I mean, if you are lucky he could answer more sincerely - "I am well, just won 30 dollars in the lottery" or "Thank you, I am good, just got accepted to the university" or whatever. But what if he is not good. He is on the job. Should he lie? He can not say to you "Actually I am unwell. I am very sick, but I can't take off from work because I need the money for car payments." Or "My girlfriend just broke up with me so I am depressed." You would think it is odd he told you the truth. And if his manager heard perhaps he would get a reprimand. Why would you insist a stranger answer you in more than a generic way? 

 

Am I missing something? Perhaps this was a good aquantinance or friend of yours and then you were surprised by his lack of answer? If so, then perhaps ask him in private, or outside of work?

 

I always say hi to the cashier. I might comment on the weather or something generic. Or say have a good day. But I would not ask them how they are and then press them for a specific answer. 

AllisonR is offline  
#3 of 19 Old 08-02-2013, 02:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
ian'smommaya's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: In the apothecary working with the fae.
Posts: 4,256
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
See, that is what I am asking. Thank you for answering! Here we say "I'm fine." as the generic answer. It's a Minnesota thing I think. I expected a generic answer because he was a stranger, but I think "Ya know" isn't really an answer. I was wondering how other people perceived the interaction. smile.gif
HappyHappyMommy likes this.

Visit the Holiday Helper thread and join in on the giving and fun! Loving and working with the plants. I have a store! or two!
ian'smommaya is online now  
#4 of 19 Old 08-02-2013, 03:15 PM
 
captain optimism's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Good Ship Lollipop
Posts: 7,449
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 19 Post(s)

It took me well into adulthood to figure out how to answer the question "How are you?" correctly. Some people want to know how you are and some are saying hello. As a piece of politeness, it is not my favorite. It feels too advanced to me. If you move from one city to another, the conventions for "how are you?", which are sometimes regional, may not be the same. Sometimes you can only respond, "Fine, and you?" and other times you are expected to reply with how you are. 

 

The ones I like best are "please," "thank you," and "I'm sorry." All three of those can be used by amateurs, and require basic instruction. Very small children are often grateful but do not know yet that they must say so while the person who did them a favor is still there.

 

Forming polite requests also takes direction and practice. Kids sometimes tell you that they are hungry or thirsty, but do not know how to request a drink or a snack. 

 

The best one is "I'm sorry." It often happens that people make mistakes, and to be able to recover gracefully, it helps to have something standard to say. No one likes parents to compel apologies, so this is a tricky thing to teach. It helps people so much to know that there is a way to relieve their bad feelings when they hurt someone accidentally--something that works better than trying to make a good excuse. 

dbsam and HappyHappyMommy like this.

Divorced mom of one awesome boy born 2-3-2003.
captain optimism is offline  
#5 of 19 Old 08-02-2013, 09:04 PM
 
colsxjack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Toronto
Posts: 636
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

For conversational manner I guess that please, thank you, you're welcome, etc are good for a kid to learn.

People here do ask "How are you?" and the common answer is to say "Fine thank-you, How are you?" It is like saying hello.

I try to teach my DD to say Hello back when friends or aquantances say hello to her. She is 4 and more often than not she just stares at them.

 

For manners, I would like my children to wait their turn to walk through a door, onto the subway or bus, etc. Learn to walk on the sidewalk in order to allow other people their space, etc.

Eventually, I would like them to hold doors for people, give up a seat on the bus for an elderly person, small child, pregnant woman, person with a lot of bags, etc.

I would hope that they would grow up to be the kind of person to help a woman lift her stroller onto the bus. Or help a person lug their grocery cart down the stairs to the subway. Or any of the other common instances of seeing strangers struggling with something and help.

 

Social skills. I would like my children to learn how to sincerely be interested in friends. Ask them questions and listen to the answers. Wait their turns in conversations to have the conversation flow and such.

I hope my children would have enough manners to not do things like talk loudly on their cell phones or with friends in public spaces. basically be aware that it is a public space and they are sharing it with others who have a right to enjoy the space too.

 

I also hope that they have enough manners to not do things like talk on the phone while also being serviced at any type of check out or cashier. It is my pet peeve when people do things like talk on the phone while they are in line, order their coffee/food/whatever, pay and everything while still on the phone in conversation. I feel it is rude to the service provider and dehumanizes them.

 

Basically I guess I want my children to have enough manners to know that they are not the only people around and treat others as members of their community who deserve respect.


Me 40 eat.gif. Partner to mamacolleen 33 superhero.gif. DD born July 2009 blahblah.gif. Twin boys born Nov 2012.

We are a family that loves cold.giftreehugger.giffamilybed1.giffemalesling.GIFcd.gif

colsxjack is offline  
#6 of 19 Old 08-03-2013, 08:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
ian'smommaya's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: In the apothecary working with the fae.
Posts: 4,256
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)

I like that Colsxjack. I think those are some things everyone could do with.


Visit the Holiday Helper thread and join in on the giving and fun! Loving and working with the plants. I have a store! or two!
ian'smommaya is online now  
#7 of 19 Old 08-06-2013, 07:48 AM
 
NiteNicole's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 4,717
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)

I've worked in retail.  "Ya know..." is probably short for, "Well, I'm still here at work, so..." and older gentleman probably knows that the correct answer at least implies you're happy to be there.  Hard to muster a lot of happy in retail ;-) 

 

I don't really have a list but as colsxjack points out, manners are mostly about living together as a community and considering what's best for everyone, not just yourself.  I live in a place where people have perfect manners when it comes to which fork to use and how to write the perfect thank you note (people have calling cards for their children - for real) but they make ZERO effort to function as a community in everything from driving to waiting in lines.  I don't want my child to be like that.  It only makes sense to let people off the elevator before you try to squeeze yourself in.  It only makes sense to view driving as a cooperative effort and not a competitive sport.  Beating someone to the red light doesn't mean you WIN anything, and cutting in line makes you a jerk.

 

Other than that - please, thank you, make sure there's enough for everyone before you take more for yourself, don't ask to have a friend over in front of them or another friend, don't put people on the spot, don't make comments about people's appearance, NEVER GOSSIP, always be kind, consider the other person's feelings, remember you are not the center of THE universe (just my universe) and always include everyone.

 

As they say, people who can't be nice to the waiter aren't really nice.  That pretty much sums it up.  Treat everyone with respect, always, and even if you don't know "the rules" you can't go wrong.

HappyHappyMommy likes this.
NiteNicole is offline  
#8 of 19 Old 08-06-2013, 10:07 AM
 
Linda on the move's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: basking in the sunshine
Posts: 10,679
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 68 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by AllisonR View Post

By saying "I don't know or I wouldn't have asked" - You pressed him to answer more sincerely. Why put him in this awkward position? I figure, he can not really answer that question, except generically or even dishonestly. ....

 

I always say hi to the cashier. I might comment on the weather or something generic. Or say have a good day. But I would not ask them how they are and then press them for a specific answer. 

 

Agreed. I always thank cashiers, and I smile at them and sincerely say that I hope that they have a good day. I never ask them how they are. Often, they would rather be somewhere else and they would really like to sit down.

 

I only ask people how they are if I really want to know and think they they would be comfortable telling me, and we have the time and space to talk about it. Otherwise, I find it a silly question. If people ask me how I am in conversational way, I just say, "fine, thank you. And how are you?" If that is a construct they are comfortable with, then I feel it is polite to follow through.

 

 

Quote:
So I wanna know what manners are most important to you to teach your kids? Good conversation and social skills? Telephone skills, or listening skills, no gossiping, no using up the last of the mayo?

 

 

Conversation and social skills are important -- one of my kids picked them up on her own, and the other needed to be taught. Telephone skills came from simple conversations with grandma, and modeling what they heard me say. If neither of my kids gossiped, I'd have no idea what is going on with all their friends winky.gif,  though we have talked about the need for discretion, not being over heard, not writing things (either with pen and ink or facebook) etc.

 

Using the last of the mayo is fine at out house, but we have a list on the fridge of things that need to be picked up at the store, and they were taught to sound things out or (copy the name) and add them to the list when they noticed we were low or out of something. Not making a note is a big deal, but they can eat the food and use the condiments. That's not rude, it's just being a member of the family.

HappyHappyMommy likes this.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

Linda on the move is online now  
#9 of 19 Old 08-07-2013, 07:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
ian'smommaya's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: In the apothecary working with the fae.
Posts: 4,256
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)

I worked retail forever. It is really hard on your body, or at least it was on mine. But the jobs I had I really liked so when asked I could sincerely say "I'm fine." I think your right about the overhearing kids talking, if I didn't over hear things I might not know as much about the kids and their business as I do. Thanks long car rides and loud kids!
 


Visit the Holiday Helper thread and join in on the giving and fun! Loving and working with the plants. I have a store! or two!
ian'smommaya is online now  
#10 of 19 Old 08-07-2013, 08:09 PM
 
Lazurii's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Near Portland, Oregon
Posts: 810
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

A lot of basic manners have been touched on, so I'll just add one of my "favorites".  I teach my children to not ignore people.  If someone is trying to talk to you, you respond, even if it's, "I don't want to talk right now."

 

Another manner that's important to me is being aware of your surroundings.  Make sure you're not in someone else's way.  I teach my children to look ahead on sidewalks to see if they need to move over, or check if they're blocking and aisle.


SAHM to DS BuggaBoo blahblah.gif  12/07, and DD Doozer energy.gif03/10.  Sharing life with The Hubby since 01/05.

Lazurii is offline  
#11 of 19 Old 08-07-2013, 08:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
ian'smommaya's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: In the apothecary working with the fae.
Posts: 4,256
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
I really like that!

Visit the Holiday Helper thread and join in on the giving and fun! Loving and working with the plants. I have a store! or two!
ian'smommaya is online now  
#12 of 19 Old 08-10-2013, 01:34 PM
 
Dela's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 89
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by ian'smommaya View Post

See, that is what I am asking. Thank you for answering! Here we say "I'm fine." as the generic answer. It's a Minnesota thing I think. I expected a generic answer because he was a stranger, but I think "Ya know" isn't really an answer. I was wondering how other people perceived the interaction. smile.gif

So it's expected that he lie to you and give you the answer you want to hear? Suppose he's not fine? Suppose his manager is a real jerk and just told him he can't go home until 1AM or he loses his job? Suppose his grandparent or friend or pet is dying? Suppose he just broke up with his girlfriend, or he's recovering from a flu, or he's just tired of people asking the same question all day, every day? Is he to be required to lie, just for your comfort in a pre-packaged response?

 

 

 

As for my kids, I don't know that we've ever made a concerted effort to teach manners. Please & thankyou of course, but nothing else. It must have rubbed off at some point because we're frequently complimented on how sincere and courteous our kids are. DH and I are courteous, reliable and punctual people and perhaps modelling that in our home AND towards our children. I honestly think that's the biggest part of it - we treat our children how, or better than, we'd treat anyone else. A lot of people seem to go out of their way to be polite and present to others, but will (proverbially) throw their kid off the sidewalk into traffic to make way for a stranger to cross their paths.

 

Children (and people in general) reflect how they are treated. Maybe not 100% of the time, but as an overall personality trait and behavior pattern, they do.

 

Our overarching values cover courteousness, I think. Help those who seem to need help; be kind to people and animals; respect others' bodies, property and feelings as you wish for your own to be respected; be safe and look out for others. That's all we teach them, right from wrong. The rest, they have to figure out for themselves.


Peaceful, homeschooling, UC/HBing, select vaxing, breastfeeding, intactivist mama to a bunch of small people.

Dela is offline  
#13 of 19 Old 08-10-2013, 02:42 PM
 
One_Girl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 4,735
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 35 Post(s)
That answer is completely acceptable around here and your second response would be the mannerless one for the norms in our area. I have mostly modeled manners and sometimes prompted a please or thank you and my dd has good manners, she gets complemented on them often by random people. She got a lot of free stuff randomly when she was younger because of them and that went a long way towards reinforcing them.
One_Girl is offline  
#14 of 19 Old 08-10-2013, 03:17 PM
 
michelleepotter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 978
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I agree with most of the posters here. Some of the ones that I regularly work on with my kids are not interrupting, paying attention while walking (so not walking right in front of someone and causing them to stop short), answering when someone speaks to you (they get involved in what they're doing and don't hear a sibling asking the same question over and over), and paying attention to the people who are with you. My husband and some of my kids have ADHD, so there's a lot of learning to pay attention to others.
Quote:
Originally Posted by colsxjack View Post

I also hope that they have enough manners to not do things like talk on the phone while also being serviced at any type of check out or cashier. It is my pet peeve when people do things like talk on the phone while they are in line, order their coffee/food/whatever, pay and everything while still on the phone in conversation. I feel it is rude to the service provider and dehumanizes them.

I agree, but I also hate when I'm checking out and the cashier is having a conversation with someone else right over my head. I feel like my transaction is interrupting, and it's especially awkward if I need to ask a question. I really think that manners means paying attention to those around you, and not ignoring them.
HappyHappyMommy likes this.

Michelle, wife to DH, and momma to DD16, DS15, DS12, DS10, DD9, DD7, DS5, and baby girl born Christmas Eve 2013!
michelleepotter is offline  
#15 of 19 Old 08-10-2013, 07:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
ian'smommaya's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: In the apothecary working with the fae.
Posts: 4,256
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)

Yes! The phone thing. I have the worst time with that. I just do not understand!
 


Visit the Holiday Helper thread and join in on the giving and fun! Loving and working with the plants. I have a store! or two!
ian'smommaya is online now  
#16 of 19 Old 08-11-2013, 12:22 AM
 
meemee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Norther California
Posts: 12,784
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)

i am trying to think of manners that are NOT important. which ones are those?

 

i think its important to know how to behave around those people you are going to hang around with. if their habit is wiping their mouth on the shirt sleeve i expect dd to do just that. dont go primp and proper and ask for a napkin in a group where no one really uses napkins. or on the other hand know which knife and spoon is meant for the grapefruit at the table setting. if you are going to hang around with such people you better learn those things. i think its very important to know uppity manners too. its very demeaning and alienating to not know such things if it is a regular thing. 

 

like others have said be sensitive as to how to be respectful towards people - esp. if you are in a culture that is unfamiliar to you. if you see ur host take off his shoes before entering his house you do the same till they say no you dont have to. 

mamarhu likes this.

 treehugger.gif Co-parent, joy.gifcold.gifbrand new homeschooling middle schoolerjoy.gif, and an attackcat.gif 
meemee is offline  
#17 of 19 Old 08-16-2013, 01:27 PM
 
AllisonR's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 3,137
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by meemee View Post

i am trying to think of manners that are NOT important. which ones are those?

 

i think its important to know how to behave around those people you are going to hang around with. if their habit is wiping their mouth on the shirt sleeve i expect dd to do just that. dont go primp and proper and ask for a napkin in a group where no one really uses napkins. or on the other hand know which knife and spoon is meant for the grapefruit at the table setting. if you are going to hang around with such people you better learn those things. i think its very important to know uppity manners too. its very demeaning and alienating to not know such things if it is a regular thing. 

 

like others have said be sensitive as to how to be respectful towards people - esp. if you are in a culture that is unfamiliar to you. if you see ur host take off his shoes before entering his house you do the same till they say no you dont have to. 

 

Love this. Part of manners is using the manners appropriate for that specific group. That is making other people comfortable, not making them, or yourself, feel awkward.

 

Reminds me of eating sushi in NYC in the early 90's. I always thought the people were so incredibly rude. I ate my meal quietly, while the people at the neighboring tables would blow on and then slurp their tea, really loud, slurp their noodles into their mouth in a whistling noise... Well, it turns out I was the rude one. The more noise you made the more you were approving of the meal, and complimenting the chef. 

 

At home we eat casual; for example we put fork on left and knife on right, but we can practically throw it on the table, we use paper towels instead of napkins. But when we have company over, I have the kids help me set the table, and I explain the proper silverware positions, and we use napkins. 

ian'smommaya likes this.
AllisonR is offline  
#18 of 19 Old 08-19-2013, 09:42 PM
 
skreader's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 681
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Important things I taught my kids

 

* Greeting people - especially neighbors, people who work around the apartment complex, and teachers

 

* Waiting in line (no queue jumping), waiting for people to get off the bus or exit the train before getting on.

 

* Saying please and thank you.

 

* Chewing w/ mouth closed, napkin in lap, small bites.

 

* When serving yourself from communal dish,

    don't pick it over to find the tidbits you want

    don't take more than your share (e.g. 6 people at the table, 1 serving should be 1/6 or less)

    only a bit left, ask other people if they want the last bit, before you polish it off

 

* Use a soft voice in enclosed spaces (in an elevator, on a bus)

skreader is offline  
#19 of 19 Old 08-23-2013, 01:42 PM
 
mama amie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 477
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I pretty much agree with everything posted. I try to let my children learn more from modeling than pushing them to say things. So far, my kids have great conversational manners. But, at ages 5 and 2, I do a lot of directing and apologizing for them in the busy spaces we often occupy (busy grocery shop, skatepark, etc) where there are tons of fast paced larger people not looking down for kids. I find myself often reminding my 5 year old to not push others out of the way in doors and aisles. We talk a lot about how to watch out for others and plan our movements so everyone can move freely and safely. We've also had a couple of conversations about not talking about people's appearances in regards to obese, disabled, disfigured, etc. A lot of it is nuanced, but important and sometimes hard to model without discussion.
mama amie is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off