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kids good manners bad behavior

Have Modern Society and the New Generation of Kids Lost Their Manners?

One of my son’s friends (5 year old girl), stays is at our house quite often. One day, my husband was taking them to an afternoon activity and she said, “give me my jacket!” My husband, who is English and was raised where manners was highly important, looked at her and said, “please ask nicely and I will gladly give it to you.”

kids good manners bad behavior

She looked at him, shocked and again said, “give me my jacket!”

Of course, this went on a few times, because my husband has a very high tolerance for pain. She eventually cried and never got the jacket.

A week later, a friend of ours, who moved to the U.S. just a little under 5 years said, “one of the things I could never really understand is the lack manners people seem to have here. For example, I notice when people ask for things in public places, the words, ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ are hardly ever included.”

It was so interesting she pointed it out, because my husband and I had actually just discussed this after noticing the following sign posted in front of our local post office:

where are the manners
Notice the word “Please” was crossed out

I have no idea why the ‘please’ was crossed out. Could it be because they were trying to tell us just how serious they were? That perhaps the word “Please” made it look as if they were requesting it rather than demanding it?

The Positive Benefits of Having Manners

Having manners doesn’t cost a thing and instilling them in our kids can create a tremendous amount of benefits for them. In fact, it helps them form better communication skills with others and according to Dr. Sears, it’s one of the most valuable tools they can have.

manners and people's feelings

Good manners make it easy to have proper etiquette, which is a great quality to have, because it shows people just how much you appreciate them. For example, if you were to introduce your girlfriend, boyfriend, or partner to someone important to you, you would hope both parties would get along. Otherwise, what’s the point, right? of course, their first impressions of each other are very important, especially if each party can determine the future of their relationship based on what they see.

Good manners can portray other good qualities in a person. Trust, for example, is easier to bestow on someone if they are polite and appears to have good character traits. Someone who is rude and lacks any manners may be assumed to have negative qualities, which may not be good for present and future endeavors.

Instilling good manners means being able to understand what they are. For example, gratitude is to be thankful. Please is used to be polite. Excuse me is the least offensive way to interrupt or get through to another without offending them.

good manners quote

5 Helpful Ways to Instill Good Manners in Your Kids

Because my husband feels very strongly about instilling good manners in my son, we made sure to start early. Of course, we don’t claim to have a perfect little 5 year old by any means, but we are hopeful in being able to help him towards his understanding of the relationship between good manners, respect, kindness, and patience are.

Teachers can only do so much. Good manners begin with what your child picks up at home. Here are 5 tips to help you instill good manners in your kids:

  1. Lead by example
  2. Parents are our kids best role models. Regardless of how much we feel our kids actually listen to us, they do mimic is in many ways. We are the most important people in their lives and typically, most kids value the opinions their parents have of them.

    Kids pay very close attention to their parents. Parents may not always think this, but many kids measure their self-worth based on their parents’ point of view. So when parents do something wrong, kids latch onto it and remember it so they can somehow use it to justify their actions for any future mishaps.

    Lead by example and do as you would want your kids to do as as you would want your kids to be and be treated in return. Personal experiences are the best ways to learn!

  3. Patience
  4. I’m sure you’ve heard people say, “Patience is a Virtue!” And it is, because patience is much more than something that can be learned. It involves acceptance and the need to pursue something without the need of inappropriate or negative behavior. Slowly waiting for your turn can help our kids learn that it’s better to gain something with patience, rather than abrupt, rude, or possibly inappropriate, hurtful behavior, which has the potential for more catastrophic results.

  5. Reward or Recognize
  6. When your kids do something good, let them know it. Kids love recognition, especially for the good stuff. This will help encourage them to do more positive things, which in turn helps them towards the understanding of good manners and right conduct.

  7. Listen
  8. Sometimes, listening can be much more effective than lashing. Think of the many times you’ve been angry. What resulted from all your screaming and yelling? How about the times your kids have really upset you? How did they respond after you talked over them?

    Your kids have probably stomped off feeling mad or maybe even started crying. Perhaps even resentful?

    Listening helps develop good manners in kids as they begin to understand the true meaning of respect. Listening and doing your best to understand the situation from your kids’ point of view will help them develop the skills to have a more open mind about situations with respect and good manners to follow.

  9. Nicety
  10. Be nice. It’s that simple! Our kids can see the way you treat others. If you want them to be nice, it could only be done naturally if they know how to be.

Karlyn Bishop

Karlyn Bishop

Karlyn Bishop is the proud mommy to little Oliver and wife to hubby. She is a resident of Laguna Beach and a big player in the web's large social media circle.


  • Asking if kids have lost their manners implies that they had them in the first place. You can lose something you don’t have, and most kids today are not taught manners. They are all special snowflakes and we can’t do anything that might crush their fragile little egos.

  • Your number 1 is sadly still not being done by a lot, I’m afraid. I’ve seen successful businessmen, lawyers and citizens of faith still spoiling their own children. I once told one of them, “you’re not hurting them by showing them how you do it”. To each his own but I guess that worked for me.

  • Most of my son’s friends have manners. There is a family of 4 kids down the street though…the kids are super sweet, I like them, but they have no manners. It makes me sad for them, actually.

  • I have kids and sometimes you get lost in between raising kids, taking care of the house and working. And having been able to read this will definitely have myself in check. thanks for this.

  • I think you are so right, not just little kids but I think society as a rule has. It goes with the fast paced, device focused world we live in today. How are adults to teach their kids when they themselves don’t do it naturally, right?

  • OMG. YES! Thank you for writing about this! It’s absolutely the parents fault for not instilling these values. Sometimes I feel as if my friends expect school/teachers to do this. Um, nope! It’s called parenting! LOL You are spot on & it’s our responsibility to lay the foundation for good manners in life!

  • Kids nowadays learn to adapt things around them. It is up to us parents on how to control and inform them on what is right and wrong. The technology really contributes a lot to the changing world.

  • Setting an example to your kids at an early age it’s so crucial through their development. You can’t expect them to have manners if you don’t have them yourself. Great post!

  • I have to say, kids who misbehave are a direct reflection of their parents. As parents we are given so much power. We need to all make sure to teach out little ones correctly.

  • About Author

    Karlyn Bishop

    Karlyn Bishop

    Karlyn Bishop is the proud mommy to little Oliver and wife to hubby. She is a resident of Laguna Beach and a big player in the web's large social media circle.

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