15 Manners Kids Don’t Learn Anymore

Krystal Smith

Over the years, what people perceive as etiquette and manners has changed. Things considered polite and mandatory for children to learn are no longer seen as necessary. 

Back then, parents would be ashamed if their child wasn’t following the proper ways to interact with the world around them. While manners have changed, it’s imperative for people to still teach their kids how to be kind and respectful to those around them. 

A return to what once was is vital for growth. Learning lessons from the past can help us become better parents in the future. 

1. Addressing Adults by Their Last Names

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For the older generation, calling adults by their first names was almost like a crime. To show respect, kids would refer to people older than them by their last names, with miss or mister along with it. This has changed over the years in the US. However, some cultures worldwide still don’t agree with kids calling adults by their first name, as it is seen as disrespectful.

2. Sitting Down for Family Dinner

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With everything becoming extremely fast-paced, no one has the time to sit down and enjoy family dinners together. Everyone has their schedule and eats whenever they feel like eating. However, not too long ago, there was a lot of emphasis on dining together as a family. It allowed everyone to take back, breathe, and enjoy physical connections. 

3. Knowing How to Set a Table Properly

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Since families don’t mainly sit down to dinner anymore, kids aren’t required to know how to set the table properly. When the whole family would gather at night, children used to be given easier tasks like placing plates, spoons, glasses, etc, on the tabletop while the adults would focus on making food. 

4. Asking for Permission

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The current social climate leans towards teaching kids about freedom of speech, so things like asking for permission are outdated. While children should be given autonomy to decide things for themselves, it’s also imperative to teach them to ask for permission for certain things that need parental guidance, as they’re naive and might make poor decisions. 

5. Getting Dressed Up

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Traditionally, getting dressed in formal fitted clothes was one of the basic life skills a child should know. When it comes to modern fashion trends and attires, wearing fitted clothes isn’t the norm anymore. Fashion has evolved into baggy pants and oversized shirts that are much different than what they once were. On top of that, kids are allowed to have freedom in expressing themselves through clothes rather than imposing a particular form of clothing.

6. Handwritten Letters and Thank You Notes

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Smartphones and technology, in general, have taken the world by storm, which means writing handwritten notes and letters is a thing of the past. While kids can just type them out, penning them down physically and mailing them still holds value. Ask a child to write a thank you note on paper and mail it; they’d probably find the task much more arduous when there are efficient ways to do it

7. Holding the Door for Others

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Holding the door for someone else just sounds like common decency, right? Well, many people, even adults, aren’t bothered anymore. It takes five seconds of your time to make someone’s day a little better, but we all choose to be ignorant about it. Holding the door for someone isn’t rocket science, and kids should be taught to be kind, whether it’s this or something else.

8. Making Eye Contact

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It’s bizarre how this is even on the list in the first place! However, many kids don’t make eye contact anymore when being talked to as they’re pretty much glued to their screens or busy doing one thing or the other. The ability to look into someone’s eyes while they’re talking shows that you’re listening and giving them your time. 

9. Offering to Help

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This list keeps getting sadder. Back in the day, kids offered to help adults if they were carrying groceries on their own or if they needed assistance in general. Nowadays, kids are not taught these essential life skills. However, there is a reason for this. Since there is much more mistrust, children are generally advised to stay away from strangers. Keeping out the bad also keeps out the good.

10. Not Interrupting

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Parents would explicitly tell their kids not to interrupt while an adult was talking or simply wait their turn to speak; however, that isn’t the case anymore. It’s important to allow kids to speak their minds, but not letting anyone else talk properly is downright disrespectful and will become a significant problem when they grow up. 

11. Introductions

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Social interactions are becoming more limited, so introductions have been replaced with Instagram bios. However, kids must still learn to introduce themselves and greet people with a smile to make the other person feel comfortable. This serves as a conversation starter that allows them to build lifelong bonds and should be given more importance.

12. Responding to Invitations

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If someone has taken the time to invite you to an event or party, you should let them know if you’re coming instead of just not showing up on the day. Replying to invitations helps the other person be prepared. Kids today should be taught this as it’s still relevant even when engaging online. Google Calendar still requires you to respond to a scheduled event with a yes or no.

13. Giving up Your Seat

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Traditionally, giving up your seat for someone older was a sign of respect. However, it also taught children to be gentle, kind, and observant of others in their surroundings. Kids today don’t even notice what’s happening around them, so asking them to give up their seats for someone else is a long shot. 

14. Speaking With Courtesy

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Language has evolved with changing times. Things that were once spoken typically seem uptight; however, it’s still imperative for youngsters to speak sympathetically. Using slang, abbreviations, and pop culture references is perfectly fine. However, being abusive and snarky just because you can isn’t okay. 

15. Waiting Patiently

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Believe it or not, patience is one of the most sought-after skills, as only some have mastered it. With instant gratification and short attention spans, anything that requires waiting is automatically seen as inconvenient. With this mentality, kids nowadays struggle to wait for anything, and to be fair; it isn’t all their fault. 

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