Many people are complaining about the kids of today, but what I see can best be described with two stories that happened at the Happiest Place on Earth: Walt Disneyworld in Orlando, Florida.
The temperature was in the 90’s and it was near 4 p.m., plus my water bottle had run dry. I spied a water fountain and headed over. When I got to the fountain, a young man got there at about the same time on my left side. I went ahead and filled my bottle as the nob to control the water was on the right. Suddenly the young man’s mother pulled him away from me and the fountain and she started screaming, “Get away from that rude woman. You should not be anywhere near a rude woman like that!”
I was hot and cranky. I matched her for volume. “Maybe you should teach your child not to jump in front of old people!”
“You think you are old? You are not old,” she replied.
“I guess I should thank you for the compliment, but I am at least twice your age, and that counts for something,” I yelled as our husbands led us in opposite directions.
Less than an hour later we decided we’d better get in line for dinner. Sure enough, it was standing room only to get into the restaurant of our choice. Two young men sitting with their mother saw us, and without a word or nudge from their mother both boys jumped to their feet and offered us old folk their seats. We thanked them, and their mother, and complimented them on their excellent manners.
I’ve seen many fine young people with excellent manners, and I always encourage their fine behavior with sincere thanks and if possible let their parents know how much I appreciate the thoughtfulness of their children.
Those children whose manners are not so nice, who act like they own the street, and give you the eye and attitude? These children I treat with the utmost respect, and politeness. Treating those with attitude, who do behave a little rudely, sets a good example of how people can act toward each other. Difficult children need to be shown that they also are deserving of respect, even if initially such respect raises their suspicions. If enough of us do this, they will eventually get the idea, and reciprocate.
It is not the kids fault if they are rude. It is the fault of the adults around them. If the parents don’t teach them manners, we can try, but at least we can place the blame in the correct place.