I was thinking out loud and asked my ten-year old son Reagan to help me think of a topic for a column. He said I should write about children being respectful to their parents. Here is what Reagan thought of, with added commentary from his mom.
Make sure you speak in a respectful tone and voice to all adults. This includes your friend’s parents and teachers. If a friend comes over and is not sounding respectful, then I will be remind him to please use his best manners. I also have no problem correcting my children in front of other people.
Rolling your eyes when adults speak to you is not acceptable. Remind your children that body language says a lot when communicating with people. Sighing, grunting, or making a face when asked to do something is not what parents need to see and hear. As parents we do a lot for our children, and when we ask them to empty the dishwasher or take out the trash, a “yes mam or yes sir” with a pleasant look on their face is the goal.
Correcting adult’s manners is not showing good manners. Telling Aunt Mary that she should not swear or telling grandpa that he needs a Mrs. McVeigh’s Manners class (true story) is not polite. Young ones should keep those thoughts to one’s self, and show good manners by using them yourself.
Look adults (and other young people) in the eye when they are speaking to you. Looking down or at your video game is not acceptable. Eye contact means that you are giving a person your full attention.
Lastly, don’t make someone ask you to do something more than once. Do it the first time you are asked, and with a smile.