Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Who Taught (or Didn’t Teach) You Manners?

This past weekend I went out to dinner with some friends. There was a little bit of a wait so we stood in the lobby area. It only had one small seating bench, and when we arrived there were some older folks sitting on it. Those people were showed to their seats shortly after we arrived. Once the bench was free, a couple which included a very pregnant lady, started towards the seat. However, four teenagers who looked to be maybe 16 or 17 pushed passed the couple and the rest of the crowd to sit down.

It took everything I had in me not to say something since as I teacher I’m ALWAYS trying to correct poor manners at school. I kept staring at the teenagers thinking, “Give ‘em a minute. They’ll figure it out.” But NO, they didn’t. They were the next table called. When they got up, the pregnant lady sat down and the visible tension in the air lifted. All at once, the husband, two other guests, and I said, “NOW you can sit down.” Everyone standing around the bench saw what had happened and all wondered the same thing…where were their manners!?!?!

I wonder if these kids’ parents would haven been embarrassed by their kids’ behavior. Part of me wants to think that, of course, their parents have told them better, but kids are kids, they were on their own, and just didn’t think. On the other hand, there are plenty of adults out there who are just as inconsiderate. I’m sure those parents are raising kids who are inconsiderate as well.

I’m not a big fan of teenagers. I think that for many of them their ego is larger than their brain. So my perception of this one incident might be distorted. What do you think?


  1. That would have annoyed me and I probably would have said something. You know, in a nice jokey way. I confront poor behavior all the time. Even for adults. Unless I think the people will beat me up. Then I stay quiet.

    I try to be very kind to teenagers because I do remember how traumatic it was being a teen. And I know that we all went thru it. Sure, you and I were not the sort of kids that would take a bench from a pregnant lady, but we certainly had some issues. Everyone did. And if they deny it, well, I think they are a liar : )

    Hope you have an awesome day at school : ).

    The big things I try to teach Kaish are to always hold the door for ladies and to be respectful of all adults.

  2. I really hate bad manners. And on top of that, bad customer service. That's a biggie with me. You are correct in your thinking. I am constantly on top of my kids to behave nicely, especially around strangers. People just love little kids with good manners.
    I was in church yesterday. Yes, Catholic Church. I was in the last pew and there was a guy standing against the wall behind us. He was jingling change in his pocket. He wasn't being rude but he just didn't realize that it was making such a noise. I didn't want to confront him in Church but I did. I just asked him nicely if he could stop jingling the change. Guess what? He took it nicely and after Mass, he apologized saying that he didn't realize how noisy it was.
    I'm glad that he took it so well.

    Oh, something else! I guess since I'm not writing on my Site, I have tons to say on other's. Anyway, I bought some burgers for the kids at the Mall over the weekend. The cashier just handed the food over to me without saying anything. I said, "You're welcome". She said, "Oh, Thank you"! I think I taught her something.
    Your Friend, m.

  3. I would hope that my daughter wouldn't have been that insensitive and rude. I expected her to behave and to respect others. I would have been mortified (and angry) if it was my daughter and her friends.

    OTOH, I can imagine them (some teens) being so distracted by their own presence that they didn't really notice those around them. It's rude, but maybe not purposeful?

    You may not be far off in your ego to brain equation.

  4. Distracted by their own presence. Kelly said a mouthful. I think most teens are just that.

    But there are a few who are downright mean. Some grow out of it, some do not.

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  6. We were leaving a restuarant yesterday and this kid ran in between us as we were coming out and his dad stopped and corrected him and made him apologize to us. I almost fainted.