Why Are Kids So Rude These Days?

Rant 73

Why are kids so rude these days? Every time I'm around children that aren't my own, I can't help but think about the lack of manners. Granted, my kids aren't angels and don't necessarily remember to say "please" and "thank you" all the time. However, I'm usually right there to remind them.

That's not the case with most of the kids I see these days. So I have to wonder, do parents care about manners any more or is it just me?

Whether we're in our own home or out in public, I'm a pretty big stickler about behavior and manners. It's not about making a good impression, which hey, is a nice bonus. Mostly I care that my kids grow up to be polite, responsible adults. And in my opinion, manners go a really long way.

Here are 5 etiquette rules I'm pretty firm about enforcing that I wish other parents would do too.

1. Please

While I don't force my kids to speak to people they don't know, I will prompt them to say "please" if they want something. And if they don't, then I will say it for them. Simple as that.

2. Respectful Adult Greeting

In my house, you address adults by Ms. or Mrs. Last Name or Miss or Mister First Name (something that's more common in the south where my kids grew up). I cringe when children call adults by their first name.

3. Table Manners

I'm not necessarily a "no elbows on the table" person, but I'm a big fan of family meals whenever we can manage it. That means we all sit and eat together and when we're done, we all ask to be excused. There will be no popping up and running around whenever we please.

4. Excuse Me Please

I can't tell you how many times I get bumped by kids, none of whom ever say "Excuse me." My kids are taught to say it when they bump someone accidentally or need to get by someone, just like my parents taught me.

5. Thank you

I'm not just a stickler about thank you, but I also make sure that they what they are thankful for when we are on a playdate or visiting someone else's home. I think making the extra effort leaves a good impression.

What manners are you a stickler about?


Image via kirkomatic/flickr


behavior, discipline


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nonmember avatar Charlotte

“Our youth now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for their elders and love chatter in place of exercise; they no longer rise when elders enter the room; they contradict their parents, chatter before company; gobble up their food and tyrannize their teachers.”

sassy... sassykat122

I can't speak for all kids or parents or the manners they teach. For us please and thank you are biggies. We have our 19 month old already repeating them. Also being in the south- by way of oregon- we have tried to pick up the mr and miss for adults outside the family

Elaine Cox

lousy parents..

kelti... kelticmom

I'm from the South, born and raised, and so is my husband. We are teaching our son the southern gentleman values that we were raised with. He is four and says "please, thank you, pardon me, bless you (when someone sneezes)", we teach him to hold doors for ladies and let ladies go first. Not to speak until spoken to in an adult social setting, have good table manners, etc. I realize these manners are certainly not unique to the South, but I do take pride in my little "Rhett Butler ". Lol

katyq katyq

My 3 year old son says please and thank you or no thank you and excuse me etc. he also knows it's always "ladies first" and to shake hands when he meets someone. He carries the bags when we shop, unless they are to heavy, he pushes the cart at the grocery store and then puts everything on the belt at the cash register and pays and he does chores at home. So yes, i get irritated when i see lazy 10 year olds with no manners. Kids need lots of love and lots of discipline and structure to reach their full potential.

nonmember avatar Amy

I agree with most of this except the first name thing. While its up to you what other children address you as, some parents don't agree. You shouldn't "cringe" when other children do it if the parents say its okay and they prefer it. Also, I feel like this shouldn't be titled as "Why are kids so rude these days". In my opinion, I feel as if you're saying all kids. My kids aren't rude and not all children are.

kelti... kelticmom

Katyq, that's great. But how tall is your three year old if he can push and unload a grocery cart?!

katyq katyq

@ celticmom...he stands inside it while he unloads it and pays.

Cheryln Kurz

As a teacher, I see that kids are getting worse & worse in regards to manners.  I have to constantly remind them to say please, thank you, excuse me, etc...While eating lunch, I make them clean up their mess and eat their food.  Why am I doing this?!  This isn't my job!  It's the PARENTS' job!  But parents nowadays want to be their kids' friend, NOT their parent.  They let them get away with murder.  I see kids running around, screaming, knocking over things in restaurants and stores and the parents just laugh and do nothing.  Um, hello?!  Reprimand your child!  My parents taught me so much better than that!  I would have never thought to not have my manners, especially out in public.  Even today, I say please and thank you.  I'm not saying I'm perfect and I know kids aren't perfect, but how about parents actually PARENTING and teaching their children some manners?!

katyq katyq

Also...pushing the cart is easy

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