One of Meghan and my biggest priorities in raising Cash is that he have manners and respect for adults.
The pleases and thank yous and social graces that grease the wheels of a civilizations’ happiness and well being. And melts the hearts of adults
But we can talk a good game and tell him to do those things but if we don’t do it, it’s just chatter. Nonsense.
Parents have to embody and be an example of what they want their kids to be. I was given teaching advice in my early years in the profession, “Be who you want your students to be.” Makes sense for parents and coaches as well.
The opposite of “Do as I say, not as I do.” That’s the biggest line of BS I’ve ever heard and can’t believe we’ve allowed anyone to say that and get away with it.
My freshman biology teacher, Jim Stephenson, once said after handing out an assignment. “I wouldn’t ask you guys to do anything I wouldn’t do.” I hadn’t heard that phrase before but obviously it’s stuck with me all these years and is a noble sentiment.
Also from a former coach of mine, current Waunakee High school head football coach Pat Rice said, “It’s really easy to talk about scoring 50 points, it’s a lot harder to DO that!” Simple but true.
I may be wandering off point here but we’ve lost emphasis on valuing class and moved into valuing trash.
Think I’m exaggerating? One word-Kardashians. Mrs. Kanye West has a net worth estimated at $145 million. Speaking of “class” acts, how about Mr. Kanye’s behavior? Classy? Good manners? Want your kid to act like him?
But, it’s not just limited to reality TV shows.
TV news’ long-time mantra “If it bleeds, It leads” promotes the idea that we focus on the bad behavior and what’s wrong without showing what’s right.
In entertainment, we look the other way and shrug our shoulders when athletes and musicians father multiple children with multiple women.
We find bad behavior entertaining to watch on TV but our voyeurism is slipping into a weird sort of worship and reward and it seems to be blurring our sense of judgment.
It’s the parents role to be vigilant, step in and provide proper perspective amidst our current culture.
They say the best way to have polite kids, is to be polite. If you’re a jerk, your kid probably will be one too. So, if your kid doesn’t have manners it’s on you. Teach, reinforce, reteach, re-reinforce…for as long as it takes.
Humans are not born with manners–anyone who has watched a toddler eat at the table knows this–but rather, you learn them. And as parents, it is our duty to teach them.
Manners help our kids function in a society that will be have been made better by the those same manners.
Our kids look up to us…don’t let them lose sight on what’s important.
Thank you for reading.