Sadly, I have noticed a great decline in the use of basic manners in our children over the years. As an elementary school teacher, I hear and see A LOT. I interact with hundreds of children weekly and let me tell you, polite, they are NOT.
Today’s kids act really entitled. I am now taken a back when a student IS polite rather than when they are rude. The rude has sadly become the default response type.
What accounts for all this rudeness? Where has all this audacity come from? When did it become okay to call out, interrupt, over step, expect all, talk-over and take without any form of gratitude? Where have all the manners gone?
How did we let this happen?
Have parents forgotten to teach basic manners to their children? Perhaps parents are ill mannered themselves and therefore teaching their children by example is just not happening. I question if it is the internet and social media influence. Is everything so fast paced online and in real life (daycare, work, school, dinner, activities etc. ) that there is no time to properly incorporate the importance of basic manners into our everyday living? Has an excess in screen time brought the opportunity for human face-to-face interaction to such low levels that the upcoming generation cannot witness polite interactions between people? There seems to be an inherent inability to recognize the social cues necessary for patient, respectful and courteous exchanges. The respect for authority has all but disappeared. There seems to be a minimal difference between how a child treats a peer or an adult. They get treated identically. Not cool.
I wish that proper behavioural etiquette could be taught in our schools. Japan is a shining example of a populous that highlights the importance of good manners. The first three years of school are focused on developing the child’s character. This includes learning manners, empathy and gentleness towards animals and nature as well as self-discipline and self-control. Formal academic assessments only begin in year four once the groundwork of proper manners and courteous respectful human interaction have been firmly established. Ahhhh…..how wonderful it would be if we did the same….alas, I digress.
Perhaps we, as a society, need to stop and get back to basics.
Be the change you want to see in the world.