Common Courtesy Isn’t Common Anymore. Can your children pass the test?

Teenage girl rolling eyes with shoulder turned away from angry mother in background

Gail Cawley Showalter

“Mind your manners!” used to be a common phrase you would hear from parents. Lately this Tough Old Bird hears other things and sees a lack of common courtesy. See previous post: Teaching Manners in a Mannerless World

  • Teens back-talking parents and parents acting as if this is the norm.
  • Sarcasm on every popular sitcom on TV.
  • Children running in stores and seldom saying excuse me when they practically knock you over.
  • Children simply not learning proper language of good manners.
  • Bullying is so common it often makes the evening news with tragic results.

Whatever happened to common courtesy? I can tell you it isn’t common anymore.

It is courtesy that makes the day livable for many. All of us have challenges, some more than others. Have you noticed how a nice smile, or “Hello,” or simply a door held open makes you feel happier?

Children aren’t born with manners. They must be taught. A few common courtesies to teach your children:

  • Not grabbing
  • Saying “Please” and  “Thank You”
  • Maintaining eye contact and saying “Nice to meet you” when introduced
  • Properly introducing friends to others
  • Shaking hands firmly
  • Waiting patiently
  • Not arguing with a parent after being instructed to do something reasonable

If your child does all these Congratulations! You are above average in today’s world.

During the holidays with all the gift giving children need to be instructed in how to appropriately say “Thank You,” prior to the time of the activities. Never expect a child to know what to do if he or she hasn’t been taught.


  1. franciscameron · · Reply

    very interesting helps a child future alsoxx

  2. Natausha Clark · · Reply

    This is an awesome teaching and is one that every parent should take time to teach his or her child. Respect for others has been long forgotten but I pray that it will once again become a reality in our society. Thank you Mrs. Gail for sharing your wisdom and keeping it real.

    1. It is amazing the difference one mom can make and you are doing it.

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