This week’s Mannerly Monday ties in closely with material from previous weeks, but I wanted to point out a few specific manners we can instruct our children in that will demonstrate respect for others. As Christians especially, we are to make sure that we are “in honour preferring one another.” [Romans 12:10]
- Use proper titles when addressing adults. We have our children call most adults by their last names, such as “Mr. Brown” or “Mrs. Jones.” We do allow them to call the parents of their friends by a title and first name, such as “Mr. Jim” or “Miss Laura.”
- Always give up your seat for an elderly person, whether at home or in a public setting.
- Don’t interrupt a conversation, but wait for a pause or to be acknowledged before speaking. Avoid walking between two people who are talking.
- Treat the property of others carefully. If you borrow something, return it in the same condition and in a timely manner. If it is damaged or broken while in your possession, replace it or offer an appropriate amount of money to the owner so that he can replace it.
- Respect other people’s time. Don’t be late for meetings or appointments. If something unavoidable happens, do your best to call ahead and explain your delay.
- Use emotions and expressions that are appropriate for each situation. Rejoice with those who are happy and do your best to console those who are sad.
These are just a few ideas we can teach and model for our children as we guide them in the process of showing respect for other people. We’d love to hear any other guidelines you use with your children in this area.