“Children are natural mimics who act like their parents despite every effort to teach them good manners.” – Author Unknown
I give people a lot of grace most of the time. I am willing to overlook flaws and missteps, just as I hope others will overlook my own flaws and missteps. But every once in a while I get very annoyed at the lack of manners and common knowledge I see in adults. I try to be a good mom and teach my kids basic manners, social mores, and etiquette. I hope most other moms and dads are doing the same thing. But sometimes I wonder how parents can be teaching these subjects to their kids if many adults do not even seem to know them themselves.
Here is a list of five basic rules of etiquette that my kids know, but many adults do not. At least it appears many adults do not know these rules since they are constantly being disregarded by men and women everywhere. Do you break any of these rules? Do you see people ignoring them on a regular basis? Are there any basic rules of etiquette that you see being disregarded but that I have left off of my list?
Elevator Etiquette – My kids know to stand back when waiting for an elevator because the elevator may contain people who are about to get off. Once the doors open, we let the people off (if there are any) and then we get on. Almost every time we take the elevator, there are adults crowding the doors trying to get on first. Then when the doors open, there is a period of confusion while everyone tries to move around each other.
Walking Backwards in a Crowd – This one sounds pretty obvious, but I cannot even begin to tell you how many people I see doing this. Sometimes these people are taking pictures, other times they are looking for something. Either way, moving backwards (whether walking, taking a step, or moonwalking) in a crowd is just silly. I am still working with my son on this one, but he is getting there.
Stopping in the Aisle/Sidewalk/Road – This error sometimes goes hand in hand with the previous one. For some reason, I seem to see this most often at Costco. Here is a typical breach of etiquette: Mr. Block sees a delicious food sample at Costco, stops his cart in the middle of the aisle, and then proceeds to get the sample, blocking traffic in every direction. Today my way was blocked not once, but twice, by the same man who had stopped in the middle of the aisle to send or read a text. People! Please go to the right if you must stop. Which brings us to the next etiquette breach…
Keep to the Right – We have all seen or participated in this before. Two people meet while walking and then they try to pass by each other but they both move in the same direction. One person usually says “shall we dance?” and eventually you both figure it out and continue on your separate ways. The truth is, this really should not happen because, at least in North America, we should move to the right when approaching oncoming pedestrians, grocery carts, or cars. We have been nearly bumped off of sidewalks with this one. My daughter always asks, “Don’t they know to go to the right?” No, I guess some do not.
Throw Away Your Garbage – This is probably the most basic rule that my kids always notice adults breaking. The best example of this is when we leave the movies and see grown adults exiting the theater but leaving behind their empty cups, popcorn buckets, and wrappers. Obviously, some trash will get left behind, but why do adults think it is okay to leave piles of trash behind when there are garbage cans nearby? It is a simple and responsible thing to do, and it models good behavior to your kids.
Forgive me for this little rant. I just think the world would be a better place if we all tried a little harder to be polite and respectful of others. Until then, I will continue to extend grace to others as they act rudely.
What do you think of this list? Is there anything I missed? Do you disagree with any of these? Feel free to leave a comment. I love hearing from my readers!