No manners, nor sore backsides

No manners, nor sore backsides

What is happening in our country in regards to good manners? It appears being polite and thoughtful of others has suddenly become unpopular. I am totally bewildered by the way some folks are behaving toward others.

As children we were taught good manners, and those lessons were strongly reinforced. Being rude to anyone was considered a very bad act, and punishments were swift and severe. Even if you inadvertently offended someone, you were expected to apologize to avoid parental retribution.

When we were growing up, many parents would discipline their children by sending them to their rooms or perhaps applying swats with a switch, belt or whatever was handy. My parents were firm believers in the latter. Whatever their choices, they were extremely effective in making us regret any unacceptable behavior — not that we needed to have our attitudes adjusted often.

Our own children thankfully required little discipline. That is fortunate because whipping or switching children had come to be considered abusive parenting. I remember my grandmother applying a broom to the backside of a grown, 6-foot-tall uncle because she did not like the way he answered a question she asked. He begged her forgiveness with tears in his eyes. We kids were impressed — our tiny, little grandmother was the boss.

Recently, we witnessed a small child scream at his parents because he didn’t get something he wanted. Despite his screams and throwing himself around, those parents just ignored him and continued their shopping. If we had acted that way to our parents, our backsides would have been sore for a week.

Once, when Taller Half and I were in a yogurt shop, we watched several young children run wild. They climbed on top of tables, tried to grab sweets from a cooler and chased each other around the room. Their mothers just sat there, chatting with each other and totally ignoring their children’s behavior. Finally, the shop owner had to tell them to leave, which they did with a great deal of angry insults. Don’t think we would have any backsides left if we as youngsters had acted like that.

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