After going-on three years of teaching at a classical Christian school, I’m so accustomed to polite, well-trained kids that I don’t know what to do anymore when faced with rude or untrained ones.
A girl of around ten ran up to our table this afternoon (at the J-town Gaslight festival where my school has a booth), pointed at the bowl full of beads, and demanded, “What are THOSE?” When I told her she and her friend could make bead bracelets, she ran off without another word. No “excuse me,” no “thank you,” no “Oh, let me go ask my mom if it’s ok,” nothing.
Here’s the thing: I don’t think the girl was trying to be rude. It just seemed like she’d never been taught how to talk to adults.
Why do people not think they have the responsibility to teach their kids basic manners? How is your kid going to learn manners if you don’t teach them? The reason you teach kids to say “please” and “thank you” and “pardon me” and “oops, sorry” and all that is not so you can show off what a good parent you are, nor is it about forcing your rambunctious little darling to become a boring Stepford child who smiles and says, “Yes, ma’am” on command. You teach manners to children so they can get along in the real world, both as they grow up and when they’re adults.