At the heart of good manners is a respect for oneself and others. Good manners convey a sense of respect for the sensibilities of other people. When you say “thank you,” you’re taking the time to make the other person feel appreciated. Saying “please” respects a person’s right not to do what you’ve asked (it’s not so demanding with a “please” attached).
Good manners also show that a child listens to his parents and does what he is taught – these are good character traits that teachers and other authority figures appreciate. Manners convey quite a bit of information!
Why manners are important for kids. The largest group of respondents said their main reason was “to give my kids a stronger moral compass to guide them in this ‘freewheeling’ world,” the Web site says. The second reason on the list was parents’ exposure to “other kids with bad behavior” — making those parents determined that their own children never act like that. Coming in third was the belief that “increasing global competition makes me want to prepare my kids” for a competitive working world.
So what do these parents mean by good manners? The more popular answers were: treating adults with respect; saying please and thank you; sending handwritten thank-you notes for gifts; and not talking with your mouth full.