Saturday, May 15, 2010

Etiquette: How a Child Should Act in Public


Let's bring back a touch of elegance and class to our country. The manners and language of a country exemplifies how well they live. One can literally take a social measuring stick and get a perfect view of how well the citizens life according how well mannered they are. The less well mannered they are, the lower their standard of living. It is quite simple to understand that the further away from being animal-like one behaves, the better standard of living one has. The reverse is equally true. The better one's manners, the higher one's standard of living will climb.

Children in Public

Let us consider young humans. Be they children or young adults, etiquette applies to them as well. It is the role of the parent to instruct their offspring how to comport themselves in public. What occurs within the home is the subject of another topic altogether, however once said child or young adult emerge from the home, it is their parent's instruction that should govern their manners. Also, should a child or young adult behave poorly, it is a direct reflection on the parents and not a reflection on the child.

In today's society, too much responsibility has been placed upon children. This is an obvious attempt to shift blame from the parent. Alas, one cannot have his cake and eat it too. One cannot say it is the responsibility of the child, should he act poorly, but then turn around and say, because a child is young and inexperienced he should not be held responsible for the consequences of his actions. Either the child is to blame for his actions and must suffer the consequences in full, or the parent is to blame for the innocent child, and therefore the parent must take and accept responsibility for the poor actions of the child.

That being said, how should a child and or young adult act in public:
  1. always respect his elders

    1. defer to whatever an adult says
    2. give an adult right of way when walking
    3. assist adults if they need assistance, especially the elderly
    4. address adults as ma'am and sir
    5. have a neutral eye position when addressing an adult: do not stare at them, but do look at them when being addressed
    6. wait to be addressed by an adult
    7. if he needs an adult's attention, he should say excuse me and ask if he may speak to them for assistance

  2. refrain from making loud noises in public, unless he is in an appropriate place, i.e. playground, rowdy sports event, where cheering is accepted
  3. always treat parents with respect, especially in front of strangers or non-family members
  4. he should remember that his family name and reputation rests upon his shoulders when he steps outside the home, he should therefore do everything in his power to at the very least make it appear as if his home is the cream of the crop
  5. should he become older and form other opinions about the family, he should excuse himself from the home, but never speak ill of the family to others
  6. should others invite him to participate in illegal activities or activities which would reflect badly upon the family, he should excuse himself from the company of such people
The parent should impress upon their offspring that not every family is as well mannered and well thought of as they are. Knowing this then, they should impress upon their offspring that, should they encounter other children who are not well mannered, they should feel absolutely no compunction to socialize with them.

If your child informs you that there are no well mannered children in the area and that the families that surround you are all of ill-repute, one should consider moving. As a parent, your first priority is to your family.

Behind closed doors you may question your child, and listen to him. A child would give you insight into circumstances that you might not be aware of. However, never allow a child complete liberty to address you without your wish. This only breeds contempt and blurs the lines of parent-child. If your child is to learn respect for his elders, he should start with you.

Understand, while others may feel that a child respecting his elders is an antiquated way of behaving, it is the most sensible. Not every adult will tolerate disrespect. There are those adults who would seriously hurt a child, just as they would another adult. Respect for adults is now only a wise way to behave, but also prudent for self-preservation. Imagine what could happen if you were to not teach your child this.

Those people calling themselves child psychologists, who advocate you befriending your child tread upon a very dangerous road. Children have been hurt, physically and mentally. Also, witness the explosion of children who have been jailed. As parental instruction becomes more and more lax, the number of children incarcerated yearly, goes up.

Child psychologists, may be helpful for those who need it, but they should not give their opinion on society at large. They are not instructed nor taught in social design. Understand plainly, child psychologist have no business telling the population at large how to treat their children. They are unqualified to do so. Should the need arise, go and see a child psychologist personally, but never take advice from a child psychologist you see on t.v. or read about in the newspaper.

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