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Common Courtesy: Saying "Please" and "Thank You"

     It has always been customary to show respect to other individuals. How we treat others shows what we think of ourselves and life in general. If we are kind and gracious to others, it reflects our core beliefs.

     If we are intolerant or rude, that will be evident in many aspects of lives. It reflects a poor adjustment to life’s changing climate and perhaps a low self-image in general.

     There are some things that we can teach our children and grandchildren that are just basic good manners. Here are a few of the following:

  • Say “Please” and “Thank You:”  You’d be amazed at how this simple act of courtesy makes an impact on anyone around you weather at church, in the grocery store, or in the home.
  • Say “Mr.” and “Mrs.:” It’s always polite for children and young people to address adults and those in leadership positions using their proper title, weather, Mr., Mrs., Rev., Dr., Pastor, or Judge, or whatever title is appropriate. It teaches children to show proper respect and honor, and this builds the foundation for basic consideration of others. You may find it appropriate for children to use only last names when addressing adults, like they would for a teacher, for instance, “Mr. Johnson”, or “Mrs. McCarthy”, and we have adopted that policy with our children in general, but we have decided to allow our children to address our close friends as: “Mr. Gregg” and “Ms. Sherry”, or “Pastor Brad”, and “Ms. Alyson”, using their first name but with a definite differentiation as to a place of honor and courtesy.
  • Say “Yes Ma’am” and “Yes Sir:”  When it comes to polite manners, children who have learned to address their parents and adults with the simple courtesy of “Yes Sir”, and “Yes Ma’am” are miles ahead socially of other children. They are also better prepared to face varied stations in life. There is a reason that all the people in the courtroom are required to address the judge in a specific manner, “Your Honor.” The attorneys are also expected to show respect and honor to the judge. When we get an idea of what it’s like to honor others, we then can better place God in a proper place of honor.

     Proper manners are “caught” more than they are “taught.” That’s why it’s important as parents that we model polite manners and common courtesies to our children. And even further, we must “extend” polite manners to our children if we “expect” to have them in return. So try saying “Please” and “Thank You” to your child all day long today!

Copyright © 2008-2015 Debbie Reynolds Harper

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