Interesting NPR story on the slow demise of manners
, about how "please" and "thank you" are not in the vocabularies of many Americans today.
I think the article missed one important thing: that we're becoming a nation of selfish individuals. Yes, that's a generalization. But for the most part, many of us do not hold doors open for those right behind us, we fail to say please or thank you, we rudely carry on cell-phone conversations while checking out at stores and restaurants--the list goes on and on.
As parents, one of our chief responsiblities is teaching manners to our children. Manners are not magically learned--they must be taught, both by actions and by practice. Parents must model good manners and expect their children to learn manners.
Manners take effort, but having a child remember to say "thank you" or to answer an adult with a "yes, ma'am" instead of a "yeah" is a nice reward.