Children aren’t adults, that much is obvious. But children are fully human people, something we all to easily forget. Replace “adults” and “children” in the linked list with “men” and “women” or “whites” and “blacks” or “neurotypical people” and “disabled people”, and the readership would be rightfully horrified. So why the double standard? I suspect it’s because we can all tell ourselves “well, I used to be a child, so it’s nothing I didn’t survive for myself”. So much for turning the other cheek.
Manner #1 When asking for something, say “Please.”
Manner #2 When receiving something, say “Thank you.”
Having worked in retail for years, I can assure you most adults don’t do this. Most adults don’t even do this right in front of their children, whom they then demand to do this.
Manner #3 Do not interrupt grown-ups who are speaking with each other unless there is an emergency. They will notice you and respond when they are finished talking.
Manner #4 If you do need to get somebody’s attention right away, the phrase “excuse me” is the most polite way for you to enter the conversation.
Interrupting is not polite at any age. But what about joining in? Oh right, nobody would ever like to have a conversation involving a child. How horribly boring.
Manner #5 When you have any doubt about doing something, ask permission first. It can save you from many hours of grief later.
This makes sense if the situation involves someone else’s stuff, but hours of grief? Really? I can’t think of a time in my adult life when I’ve had to suffer hours of grief as a result of not asking permission to do something. Usually an apology and possibly repairing the situation covers it.
Manner #6 The world is not interested in what you dislike. Keep negative opinions to yourself, or between you and your friends, and out of earshot of adults.
Keep your negative opinions out of the ears of whites/straights/Christians/the rich… yeah, huge red flag for bigotry right here, folks.
Manner #7 Do not comment on other people’s physical characteristics unless, of course, it’s to compliment them, which is always welcome.
Close, but not quite. Even “well-meaning” compliments can make people feel bad (such as “nice tits, lady!”). It’s better to keep all comments to one’s self unless you already know that the subject wants to hear them.
Manner #8 When people ask you how you are, tell them and then ask them how they are.
Just what the world needs, more inane small talk.
Manner #9 When you have spent time at your friend’s house, remember to thank his or her parents for having you over and for the good time you had.
Manner #10 Knock on closed doors — and wait to see if there’s a response — before entering.
Manner #11 When you make a phone call, introduce yourself first and then ask if you can speak with the person you are calling.
These three - especially the last one - way too many adults don’t even do! If we’re going to expect children to do these things (and I don’t see why not), we adults had better step it up a notch.
Manner #12 Be appreciative and say “thank you” for any gift you receive. In the age of e-mail, a handwritten thank-you note can have a powerful effect.
This is, I suspect, a generational gap issue. I can’t recall ever having received more than 3 thank-you cards/notes/emails in my lifetime for gifts I’ve given, nor have I ever expected to. I think the younger generations view gift giving as being without any strings attached. Of course, thank-you notes are a terrific way to make someone feel extra special.
Manner #13 Never use foul language in front of adults. Grown-ups already know all those words, and they find them boring and unpleasant.
This one makes absolutely no sense. Adults as a class aren’t anti-cursing, people who value “clean” language are. At any age it is polite to determine the comfort level of your audience before unleashing your tongue upon them. If a child curses in front of me, but knows to keep hir mouth clean in front of hir parents’ friends, I have no problem with that.
Manner #14 Don’t call people mean names.
Manner #15 Do not make fun of anyone for any reason. Teasing shows others you are weak, and ganging up on someone else is cruel.
Related: don’t use adults in politics or on the news as an example of good behavior.
Manner #16 Even if a play or an assembly is boring, sit through it quietly and pretend that you are interested. The performers and presenters are doing their best.
I have serious sympathy for kids on this one. I had to sit through a horrible talk last week where every second ticked by so slowly… ugh! And if it’s bad for adults, it’s 10 times worse for kids who have less practice being patient.
Manner #17 If you bump into somebody, immediately say “Excuse me.”
Manner #18 Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, and don’t pick your nose in public.
Manner #19 As you walk through a door, look to see if you can hold it open for someone else.
Again, adults are no better at these than children, but we can all strive for improvement.
Manner #20 If you come across a parent, a teacher, or a neighbor working on something, ask if you can help. If they say “yes,” do so — you may learn something new.
I hope we’re teaching children the joy of working together and learning new things, not as an obligation or one item on a list of rules, but as a way to make life more interesting and engaging.
Manner #21 When an adult asks you for a favor, do it without grumbling and with a smile.
Is “no” an option? And if the child does decide to help, what’s wrong with grumbling? At least they’re doing it at all! Bencakes and I will grumble at each other while helping each other out sometimes, because we’re autonomous beings with personal preferences, even as we care for each other.
Guide Manner #22 When someone helps you, say “thank you.” That person will likely want to help you again. This is especially true with teachers!
And anyone who helps out. I’m looking at you, rude customers! Just because you provide for my paycheck doesn’t mean you get a free pass on being polite.
Manner #23 Use eating utensils properly. If you are unsure how to do so, ask your parents to teach you or watch what adults do.
I’d like to submit Exhibit A: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/donald-trump-sarah-palin-pizza-fail-knives-forks/story?id=13743490
Manner #24 Keep a napkin on your lap; use it to wipe your mouth when necessary.
Manner #25 Don’t reach for things at the table; ask to have them passed.
Just ignore Uncle Earl at Thanksgiving Dinner who never does these things himself, and this is basic common sense for making mealtimes more enjoyable.