By Daddy Nickell
Between smart phones and computers people aren’t required to interact face-to-face all the time anymore. And in my opinion, you need the face-to-face interactions to develop empathy for others and to, in turn, build and develop proper manners and etiquette.
We should be working with our children to instill these values, encouraging them to spend less time on their computers, smart phones and gaming devices and to spend more time engaging with one another and learning how to kindly treat people within our society – peers and elders alike. Each and every generation is raised with a differing set of values. I was raised in the 60’s and 70’s, and my dad taught me these basic manners and etiquette. I still think about these 10 ideals today, and I have, in turn, tried hard to teach them to my own children.
1. Call the neighbors “Mr. and Mrs.”: This etiquette stretches beyond the neighborhood and applies to any and every adult encountered. It’s about respect, and I believe in teaching my children to respect their elders.
2. Be chivalrous: Chivalry isn’t dead. We should teach our children to be chivalrous and to conduct themselves with honor and dignity while being courteous to the people around them.
3. Say grace before dinner: I was raised in a Christian home, and my dad always said grace before we ate dinner. The lesson in this is to be appreciative for the things you have.
4. Honesty is the best policy: It may not always be easier to tell the truth, but it’ll always be better in the long run. Our children should know that lying won’t get them anywhere, and that it’s always better to be honest.
5. Say excuse me after sneezing, burping or farting: The human body doesn’t always have the best sense of timing, but a sincere, “excuse me,” will make up for that.
6. Say please and thank you: Sometimes we put please and thank you on the back-burner, so it’s important to remind ourselves to use these polite words all the time – especially when you are trying to set a good example and teach manners and etiquette to your children.
7. Say “sir” and “ma’am” whenever possible: It’s the polite and respectful thing to do. It might feel old-fashioned, but the elders in your child’s life will really appreciate that simple gesture.
8. Be generous to others: When you have enough to share – share! Being generous is a wonderful part of life, and it’s imperative we teach our children to be able to share.
9. Live by your word: Teach the importance of following-through and to live by your word. It’s an essential part of life, and it’s a lesson children can begin to learn at a young age.
10. Treat others the way you’d like to be treated: Of course, the golden rule made the list. It’s as simple as that; the golden rule will teach children to be polite, empathetic and caring.
These 10 basic rules of etiquette need to continue to be taught to our new generations. Getting back to the basics and revisiting the very root of etiquette will ensure we see a new, positive and thoughtful generation in the future.
Robert Nickell, aka Daddy Nickell, father of 7, offers his “5 cents” worth of advice to expectant and new parents. Daddy Nickell is the founder of Daddyscrubs.com, delivery room duds and daddy gifts and apparel, and the DaddyScrubs blog where he covers topics about parenting all from a Dad’s perspective.