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Teaching kids good manners and common courtesy is important to keep these fading values alive for future generations.
If there seems to be a shortage of good manners and common courtesy these days, that’s because there is. Do you think those good manners and courtesy are not so common anymore? Or have these important basic values already become obsolete? Either way, we are definitely living in a different time and world that often is hard to recognize and relate to.
Mainstream TV, movies, and the Internet have taken a turn in the wrong direction fast. It has become darker and bolder and is affecting and infecting our children, families, and society in an abnormal, unhealthy way. Most of the TVs’ content is filled with bad language and bad behavior which has replaced good manners and common courtesy. It’s sending and teaching kids the wrong messages to our youth.
I remember a time, not long ago, when TV was mostly uplifting, decent, and family-friendly. I grew up watching TV shows like Leave it to Beaver, I Love Lucy, and cartoons like Yogi the Bear. My sister and I were raised in the church and taught good manners and courtesy. We weren’t perfect but the foundation had been laid.
Most movies at the theater these days, lack manners and courtesy. They’re filled with violence and bad messages that don’t serve children well. Family-friendly and faith-based movies are becoming harder to find. And most of the so-called kid-friendly movies, are not so friendly anymore.
And last but not least, the Internet. It’s convenient, right at our fingertips. But it can be both a good and bad tool, depending on how you use it. The bad side doesn’t promote manners and good behavior. For example, it’s fraught with cyber-bullying, cursing, violence and etc. Children, if not monitored, can be subjected to those negative influences and become isolated.
As a child, I cherished and enjoyed family time. We ate together at the kitchen table, watched some TV and did things together. Us kids played in the yard when the weather was nice. Or we’d go to the park or a friend’s house. And people seemed more polite and mannerable.
Although basic manners are rare now, we can make them common again and save them from becoming obsolete. We don’t have to give in to the bad, negative stuff. Here are my top five things that kids should do everyday:
Show kindness everywhere you go. Be kind to classmates, peers, and your elders. That includes those who look different than you. It can be as simple as giving a compliment or smile. Or bringing flowers to your teacher.
Show respect to your classmates, peers, and elders. Even if you disagree with them. This is one of the most important values to use daily. No one likes to be disrespected.
Show courtesy, say things like, “thank you, no thank you, please, sorry, and excuse me.” They’re simple, but powerful words that make a big difference. Use them often.
Bad language is bad manners. It’s unpleasant and offensive. And it causes defensive reactions. Instead, use positive, uplifting language that inspires and encourages.
Parents have the power to lead their children in the right direction. More than ever, we need more positive role models. So those of us who still practice good manners and common courtesy must keep these important fading values alive for future generations.
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