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What's Happened to Manners

(76 Posts)
durbanlady Sat 17-Dec-11 12:09:29

Yesterday while travelling on the bus home, four 12 year old boys boarded the bus and immediately took up the remaining seats while quite a few elderly ladies with shopping were left to stand up around them. In my youth we would not have even dared to take up a seat with an adult left standing and would have probably been told off by the conductor. Whilst I was quite shocked by their behaviour I was also saddened to think that to them this was perfectly "normal" and they sat there completely oblivious that there were elderly ladies without seats. not only that they were making a lot of noise and using bad language. Is it just me or are manners in young people completely dead?.

supernana Sat 17-Dec-11 13:09:48

durbanlady On joining this wonderful forum, I made a point of stressing the importance of 'good manners' as taught by my parents and school teacher way back in the distant past. You are right to suppose that, to many children who disregard the needs of others, their behaviour is deemed acceptable and perfectly normal because they simply know no better. And that is a sad comment on some aspects of Society today.

jingl Sat 17-Dec-11 13:17:47

I think all you can do is make sure your children and grandchildren always consider the feelings of others. That way good manners should fall into place naturally.

supernana Sat 17-Dec-11 13:22:47

jingle so very true. The first book my Nana gave to me - when I was about five, was - 'Mind Your P's and Q's'. At the time I was a tad disappointed...but I said thanks just the same... and then I sulked! grin

Carol Sat 17-Dec-11 13:31:21

If parents would continue to teach good manners, children like those on the bus would have been more thoughtful - it probably didn't occur to them if they haven't been brought up to give seats to older people.

We are in the middle of persistent discussions with 3 year old grandsons that go along the lines of: Nana - say 'please'....Grandson - 'what?'.....Nana - 'not what, say 'pardon' ',,,,,Grandson - 'why'......Nana - 'because it's polite'....Grandson - 'what?'....Nana - 'I was asking you to say 'please' ' ......Grandson - 'what?'....Nana - 'say 'pardon' '..............'what?'

So tempting to give up!

Annobel Sat 17-Dec-11 13:36:40

When my GC fall short, my DiL gives them a dirty look and says, very sternly, 'Manners!'. Mostly they are pretty good.

susiecb Sat 17-Dec-11 13:44:20

Well its not only the young I am always being mown down by elderly ladies in the shops ddesparate to get to the checkout before me. But worse by far as I am quite happy to stand aside and let them in provising they ahvent cracked my shins with a shopping trolley is older men keeping their hats on indoors. I am always seeing men in pubs, restaurants, shops etc still wearing their hat. This generaation knew very well a gentleman removed his hat indoors.

We went to a 40s re-enactment thingy when we lived in Leyburn in 2010 and in the main pub in town were two reporters from the local paper congratulating each other on their 40s suits and Trilbys. As I approached the bar one of the smiled quite nicely and asked if I thought his outfit authentic enough , although I dont think I look as though I was alive then. I replied 'well it might be but you would never have seen a gentleman indoors with his hat on, but perhaps you are not gentlemen'. I was obviously feeling very cutting that day but I do hate it. Am I alone?

Gally Sat 17-Dec-11 13:59:34

Susiecb You are quite right - it is very often older people, ladies in particular, who can be rude. I was in a queue recently when a lady of a certain age swept past me up to the top of the queue and when 'next' was called I volunteered that it was I. Oh no, says she, it's me.' I think not' says I 'but if you feel comfortable pushing past me, please feel free and go ahead'. She stomped her foot and departed. grin

Annobel Sat 17-Dec-11 14:11:10

Gally, that's the kind of response we all wish we had thought of but which only comes to us after we've spent hours fuming. What great presence of mind! wink

Carol Sat 17-Dec-11 14:36:12

Gally grin

numberplease Sat 17-Dec-11 18:02:51

The other day, I was leaving W.H.Smith, and I held the heavy glass door open for the person behind me, a quite tall and substantially built man in his 50s, instead of taking it from me, he just swept past, leaving me still holding the door, and no thank you.
On childrens manners, my son and his wife are lacking in what they`ve taught their 2 boys, aged 15 and 11 and a half, because when they come here, the 2 boys grab the 2 spare seats, and their parents either stand or sit on the floor. Unbelievable!!

Mishap Sat 17-Dec-11 18:19:34

Indeed - how to handle the GC behaving in ways that you disagree with when their parents are there.
We have one wee GS who lives very nearby and behaves very well - his parents are quite firm with him on this score. But this weekend his cousins (another D's children) are here and I am constantly amazed at what they are allowed to get away with and hope that the local GS does not pick up too much of it.
They never speak - they always shout at the tops of their voices. They are in constant squabble mode, fighting over every little thing at max volume. They have no responsibilities but are waited on hand and foot. Sometimes parents do say no to them, but they kick up such a fuss that parents give in.
I am in perpetual bite the tongue mode.
How are they to learn that the world does not revolve around them? - that people love and care for them, but they have to fit in and take their place amongst others in the home?
I really hate it - I love them all but can only stand them in small doses, which is sad.
I think that part of the problem is that both parents work and see so little of the children that they just give in to them all the time, as they do not want to spend the small amount of time they have with them in confrontation - but that is part of parenting.
I remember once saying to one of my Ds, who was sulking about something, that she was lucky that I cared enough about her to help her to learn good behaviour.

Anne58 Sat 17-Dec-11 18:25:24

I totally and absolutely believe that manners matter!

We had a "code" that was used if the boys needed to be brought into line on public occasions (rather than telling them off in front of people, which often had rather negative results) It was ABC, which meant:


bagitha Sat 17-Dec-11 19:15:57

phoenix, that's a great idea! smile

Regarding men wearing hats indoors, why not? If women can, men should be able to as well. Anything else is sexist/genderist (whatever the word is!). Most people don't wear a hat nowadays so the old custom of men tipping their hat to 'ladies' or removing their hat indoors when ladies often kept theirs on at tea parties and when they "called" to see people has fallen out of custom. If you think about it in a detached way, there is nothing intrinsically impolite about wearing a hat anywhere, whether it be indoors or outdoors. Hats, when you think about it, are for decoration or for warmth, like other articles of clothing. Politeness or lack of it just don't come into it. Wearing a hat is not rude per se.

Missing an old custom that you liked is not the same as wanting people to be intrinsically polite. There is something intrinsically impolite about plenty of other behaviour. I think it's important to focus on what really matters and let old customs die naturally, as the male person's hat-removing custom seems to have done.

Joan Sun 18-Dec-11 11:57:13

Yes, good manners simply mean considering other people.

As for grandchildren who misbehave - a friend looks after her little grandsons two days a week, and they know what behaviour is expected of them, with Gran. Their parents, her daughter and son, in law are more lenient, but the lads, aged 2 and 4, understand the difference.

I think the secret is to start when they are babies, letting the grandchildren know what is OK and what is not, at Grandma and Granddad's place

Joan Sun 18-Dec-11 12:03:26

If the parents think they can lay down the law about how the grandparents deal with things in their own house - well i guess you're stuffed!smilesmile

I'm still awaiting the chance to be a Gran, so I had better shut up now!

supernana Sun 18-Dec-11 12:13:00

phoenix Perfect! smile

JessM Sun 18-Dec-11 13:05:24

susie it is a very long time since that hat convention died a death isn't it? How many men wear hats these days, in the sense that they used to ? Does it perhaps hark back to the days when mens hats were tall and stopped other people seeing the stage/ altar or whatever.
What I thought was very rude was my *** of a stepfather addressing my teenage son, who had just arrived, wearing a baseball cap, to see his dying grandmother, with the words "Take your hat off when you come in here"
It does slightly hack me off that in costume dramas these days they rarely wear hats. Little Dorrit for instance, however down on her uppers, would not have been seen dead in public with an uncovered head. That really would have signalled destitution. Does not look glamorous enough to modern eyes if they are decked out in top hats and bonnets.
In NZ you have to take them off in banks...

pompa Sun 18-Dec-11 13:26:43

I like hats, have several, various fedoras (my favorite), trilby, caps, woolly hats, summer hats, bandanna etc.. I automatically remove my hat when going indoors, it's part of the ritual associated with hats, as is doffing your hat when meeting a lady. Even Compo in Last of the Summer Wine doffed his woolly hat to Nora Batty when he met her.

JessM Sun 18-Dec-11 13:46:55

I'd love to see you in your fedora. But don't you think this is a matter of choice these days? I don't think anyone under 50 has a clue about this "convention".

bagitha Sun 18-Dec-11 13:47:49

My father always doffed his hat to people too and I loved that custom. However, my husband often wears a hat indoors — simply because he likes wearing a hat and is a bit of an artist and likes to be associated (at least in his own mind wink ) with the old masters who also, incidentally, also often wore their hats indoors (as did the women of the time, though their headdresses may not have been called hats, but caps, or something else) because it was so cold in houses then — and I don't mind that either. In fact, I find it rather touching. Besides, he looks good in a hat. He is not, repeat not, being rude or discourteous to anyone. He is just wearing a hat. Well, not just.... he's wearing trousers, etc as well!

Gally Sun 18-Dec-11 14:00:09

My Dad 'touched' his hat, especially to ladies until the day he died. When I was at school, the boys always had to raise their caps to the Headmaster/teachers on arrival at school. Holding the door open for others and offering seats to older passengers on the bus was just normal - I always do it although I was slightly put out earlier in the year when travelling on the Underground in London when I was offered a seat by no less than 3 young people - I must have grown up at last; I really didn't think I looked that old!! grin

grannyactivist Sun 18-Dec-11 15:05:08

Good manners are culturally specific and therefore can be expected to change with the times and the place. However, courteous behaviour, rooted in the prevailing culture and customs, oils the wheels of social interaction. In my house, my rules rule. All visiting children are expected to behave in ways appropriate to their age and understanding and I have no hesitation in saying to a child, 'we don't behave like that here'. Good manners involve treating people with respect and courtesy, and in helping to ensure that other people feel comfortable. I think the Biblical injunction of “do as you would be done by” is a good rule of thumb.

supernana Sun 18-Dec-11 16:44:55

I like it when a gentleman rises from his seat as I leave the table. I like it when a gentleman eases my chair in readiness for me to sit down when I return. I appreciate good manners. smile

Carol Sun 18-Dec-11 16:54:33

Same with me GA. All my grandchildren know the mantra 'that's not how we behave in this house.*