OK, I had to come up with something better than my previous post. I can’t stay depressed all day.
Here is a link to Alison Godfrey’s blog on the news.com.au blog list.
If a toddler saying “ta” can make shop assistants smile, there must be far too many people out there without basic manners. And certainly, parents must forget to teach their kids to say those important words.
But am I expecting too much? Do you teach your kids to say please and thank you? Do you think Australians have forgotten their manners? Or do you think those little courtesies are outdated and not needed?
I have done similar things with DD. She says “Please” and “Thank you” but it’s the result of constant repetition and praise. She’s learnt that you get sweeter results when you ask politely, and people are nice to you as well. Bonus all round. I’ve noticed a number of people smiling at DD when she asks for something politely and I’m sure that politeness adds to charm (hey, I’m her mum and I’m meant to be biased!).
We’ve been working on “Please may I be excused?” for table manners after I discovered she would wriggle free and wander off once she’d eaten the interesting things on her plate. The other thing that drives me nuts is the constant “What? What?” when she mishears what I say or was woolgathering when I gave her a task to do. I figure she could at least say “I beg your pardon” which would be a change from “What?” Still a work in progress. I’m not perfect, nor is she.
So what would I like to change in this world? I’d like adults to be more responsive to little kids who say hello to them – I’m not asking for a conversation, just a polite “hello” in return. I’d like adults to model better manners as much as possible so that DD can’t turn to me and say “But *he* pushed past us!” I guess I can live in hope that DD’s shriek of anguish at people’s rudeness will carry down the supermarket aisles or post office queues and land firmly in the ears of the rude people who offended her.