Respect and Manners are our common bonds as civilized people. Please see www.janpolk.com
for information on Respect Awards for children, teenagers, and adults. This project is sponsored by artist Jan Polk.
1. If you wish to discard some etiquette rules, you need to be thoughtful and educate others about why the rule is wrong. If you are a nonconformist without good reasons, you will appear contemptuous of society and of those who appreciate decent behavior.
2. Children imitate their parents, so teach good manners by example. Don't worry that your kids don't listen to what you say; worry that they are watching everything you do.
3. Writing thank you notes is a skill that should have been mastered by high school graduation. Don't do it for kids. By taking this task upon yourself, you are depriving them of growing into responsible adults. Start early, and insist that they express appreciation for generosity.
4. It is awkward, bordering on rude, to correct the manners of children in the presence of their parents. You never know when the cause of the bad behavior might be developmental. Not all handicaps are visible.
5. The exception to correcting the behavior of other people's children is potential danger. When dear little Sara is climbing the bookcase and her parents are oblivious, you may (and should) grab her and bring her back to earth.