How To Evade Responsibility

I saw quite a revealing article in the news today that shows clearly how parents are evading responsibility for bringing up their children. In a survey of 1000 people by Waitrose, questions about respect and good manners among adults and children were put forward. Of those questioned a huge 72% said that good manners had declined in Britain today.

Wise Words

Wise Words

A total of 60% blamed the parents for this, but 70% thought that good manners should be taught in schools and requested it become part of the national curriculum.

Mark Price, Managing Director of Waitrose

Mark Price, Managing Director of Waitrose

Mark Price, managing director of Waitrose, said: “In school it used to be the teaching of the three Rs which was considered the mainstay of a good school education but as this survey shows, people would prefer the “four Rs” – reading, writing, arithmetic and respect. There’s clearly a mood for a renewed focus on teaching good manners but, rather than suggesting this has to be taken on by any particular group of people, perhaps the real answer is for all of us to take responsibility through the example we set every day?”

A spokeswoman for the National Union of Teachers said:  “Courteous and respectful behaviour in schools is essential but is as much ‘caught’ as ‘taught’ in the home as at school. The ethos of the school should encourage courteous behaviour in the playground and corridors as well as in the classroom.”

There are a surprising number of people in the U.K. today who do not even bother to say ‘please’ or ‘thank you’ which is disturbing, for the British were always known for their good manners in the past. In my day it was normal practice to give up your seat to the elderly on public transport, and thankfully there are still some who do this today.

But what I find so disturbing in this report is that so many people think good manners and respect should be taught in schools. This is totally wrong, for teaching these two essentials should come from the parents and be a natural process. To have special classes devoted to teaching good manners to children is too ludicrous for words.

The Way It Should Be

The Way It Should Be

If the parents themselves are kind, polite and well mannered the children learn it without problem, but sadly that is not true today. The fault lies with many of the current generation, for there are many extremely rude people around today.

About three years ago my wife and I were sitting in a local bar having a drink and at the next table were a family with a small child. The grandfather was playing with the child and it was screaming at a very high pitch that went through my head like a knife. I looked across at the child without saying anything and immediately the father started verbally attacking us with “What’s your effin’ problem” etc. Even when his wife joined in, again with a lot of foul language, my wife and I never said a word in reply, but he continued to insult and threaten us with violence. Finally my wife had had enough and called the police.

There was no reason for the outburst and no respect for anyone else in the bar, just a verbal attack using a lot of foul language that was extremely threatening and loud in nature. Sadly there are many such people in the U.K. these days and there are times when it makes me ashamed to be English.

Parents Who Don't Care?

Parents Who Don’t Care?

But the point of this little saga is, how can the children expect to learn respect and manners when their parents behave in such a way. These are without doubt the kind of people who will say loudly, “It’s the schools responsibility.” But they are wrong, very wrong! If you yourself behave like an animal you have to expect that your children will grow up in the same way.

An Empty Vessel

An Empty Vessel

Children are like an empty vessel when they are born, and their future personality is dependent on what you as a parent put into it as they grow. If you are a foul-mouthed thug then your sons will grow up to be just like you, but if you are a respectful and kind person they will grow up to be the same.

Good manners and respect for others is not something children learn in school, they learn from the way their parents go through life and what they are taught at home.

Instead of pushing yet another task onto our education system, modern parents should live up to their own responsibilities, for manners like many other things, must be taught from an early age.

Roy.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: