Trusted local news leader for Kingman, Arizona & Mohave County
Tue, March 26

Older Than Dirt: We've lowered the bar for behavior, and that's not a good thing when the brats are around

My son made a comment to me a while back that I find to be more true each and every day. We were talking about morals, and I of course brought up how so many young people seemed to have little respect for themselves. He said, "The bar was just set much higher years ago. Now, what is acceptable behavior is way down here."

With that, he gestured with his hand about two feet off the ground.

I have to admit, there is a whole lot of truth in that. Friends with benefits, drinking while still in middle school, partying with your parents! Indeed, the bar is set very low these days.

Almost every day there is a news item about someone who is OUTRAGED after being told their behavior will not be tolerated. This can be from nursing a baby in a public place, bringing screaming kids to a restaurant, and even being asked to leave an airplane at the next stop - usually, because they or their children have behaved badly. Not only do these people think they are acting appropriately, but they are likely to try and sue someone just to make a point.

I believe we should generally be tolerant of people. We don't know what problems they may have that we are not aware of. However, don't we also have a right to expect others to behave appropriately if we are sharing the same space? Is it really fair to put up with a monster child at a restaurant, or on an airplane because Mommy says he has ADHD or some other problem? I have yet to hear just one mother say, "Sorry, he/she is just a brat!"

The attitudes that these people have leaves much to be desired. I think they expect that everyone else is OK with the annoyance, or uncomfortable situation they put us in. Wonder why that is? Do we no longer have any right to expect peace and quiet under ANY circumstances?

Good manners seems to be a thing of the past. Sadly, it is not just children. Many adults think we enjoy listening to their personal conversations while they stand in line and talk on their cell phones. They can be pushing a grocery cart and drive right into your legs while chatting away. They will often ignore the person waiting patiently for their parking place, while their car just sits their idling while their talking. Sometimes I think that even the simple courtesy of "thank you" and "please" is becoming a thing of the past.

Are we just becoming a rude society or have we forgotten the basic courtesies? Do you ever let someone have your place in line just because they have less items, and you are not in a hurry? I should hope so. If you see someone struggling to reach something on a tall shelf that you can easily reach, do you offer to get it for them? Of course. If you are at the doctor's office and there are no seats left, do you offer your seat to someone else, just because it may be easier for you to stand and wait?

I have never been an advocate of corporal punishment, but it seems that the whole "time out" thing is a bust! These miniature monsters learn quickly how to manipulate the person in charge, although it is not unusual for them to be little angels when Mommie is absent. Baby-sitters often have such good reports, but the parents have yet to figure out why.

When I observe an all-out kiddie tantrum in a store, I have to wonder what the demon child might be like at home on their own turf. Frightening!

People raising children these days will often tell us that we are just behind the times, and things are done differently now. Personally, I believe that good manners begins at home. You are basically given a blank slate, and it is the parent or whomever is raising the child that needs to put acceptable behavior in place.

That takes care of the kids, but what about the adults? Old people seem to still have a handle on good manners. Although, many of them seem to be angry at everyone. I still can't figure that one out ... Maybe we all need to be reminded of just how little effort it takes to be considerate of others. If you cannot control yourself or your kids, stay home!


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