Education Editorial: The Power of Etiquette

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - By: Bill Bosher - email

My wife recently shared a story about a grandmother who was sending checks to her adult grandchildren. Rarely if ever getting notes or calls of thanks, she decided to send a check without signing it…the call came quickly.

While schools are frequently charged with being responsible for far more academics, it seems reasonable that schools and homes need to place more emphasis on manners. That's right…etiquette! Now while some may view this topic as haughty or advocating social norms…the truth is that it is about respect. Aretha Franklin sings, "R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

A 1999 national poll revealed that 73% of Americans believed that manners were worse than they had been 20 to 30 years earlier. They blamed this "manner illiteracy" on parents and TV. One journal noted, "most people learn good manners as children." It is as simple as saying, "thank you". And for graduations it is a confirmation that the gift was received.

At tollbooths I react spontaneously when an attendant smiles and says, thank you. I'm sure that it is difficult to say it thousand times a day, but the rewards are obvious. When someone holds the door, say, "thank you". When they give you a place in line, say, "thank you". When you receive a gift, say, "thank you". Parents and others typically teach these manners by example and reinforce them with praise. Teach your children to make calls and write notes when kindness is extended…perhaps as adults, they will remember to thank you for your check….and thanks for watching NBC12!

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