Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Bringing Up Well-Mannered Children

At a time when rudeness often passes for creativity, Dr. Perri Klass's "New York Times" article, "Making Room for Miss Manners is a Parenting Basic," gives cause for optimism. Link here.

A New York pediatrician Klass despairs over children who have no manners. While psychologists are trying to teach everyone to be nonjudgmental, she declares that she and every pediatrician she knows pass judgment on discourteous children.

However healthy the children are, and however well they hit their developmental milestones, they will be hampered in life for not having been trained to show consideration for the feelings of others.

The reason: they have been taught to be touch with their own feelings and to expect that everyone else will accommodate their occasional or frequent rudeness.

Klass offers the conceptual corrective to this pernicious notion: "I'm not telling you to like your teacher; I'm telling you to treat her with courtesy. I'm not telling you that you cannot hate Tommy; I'm telling you that you cannot hit Tommy. Your feelings are your own private business; your behavior is public."

Well said, these are words to live by.

No comments: