I’m not sure when it happened. Maybe the eighties were more detrimental than just bad hairstyles and fashion. Do you know when common courtesy died? Are manners no longer important to teach and more importantly, is it wrong to expect them from other people”s children?
As a substitute teacher I have the privilege of interacting with other people’s children (OPC) on a daily basis. Now granted, substitute teachers do not inspire demonstrations of best behavior in any child. I was young once too, and responsible for making one of two subs leave early in my day and maybe a teacher or two cry…middle school is tough! But on a daily basis now I am encountering OPC who either don’t know how (or refuse) to use social skills.
I’m not talking about just inner city schools either. Posh, suburban schools where the median income is $87K have high school students who don’t use eye contact and swear like sailors as if an adult isn’t in the room. First graders hit each other like preschoolers and I personally think that the gift of privileges our parents gave us and we excessively passed on to our children has given us a spoiled and self centered generation.
But can’t these chidren at least say please and thank you? Here is a list of what I consider to be some core etiquette that you may want to check OPC’s for.
1. Eye contact
2. Please and thank you
3. Excuse me
4. Speak when you enter a room
5. Behavior around friends vs. Adults
6. Keep your hands and feet to yourself
Would you add anything else?