It wasn’t all that long ago when doors were held open for women, men would tip their caps to strangers, and people would give firm, meaningful handshakes when being introduced. Does it feel like that was a few lifetimes away? No matter your age, having manners are important in the real world, no matter what constitutes good etiquette these days. If you feel that some of these old school manners need to stick around, make sure to teach your child or children these manners to ensure they don’t fade away.

Which Ones to Keep

Of course, as time goes by, so does some traditions. It’s normal for some skills or rules to fall by the wayside, as they may not be necessary as times change. But for some manners, it’s aways in style to be courteous and generous whenever possible. A tried-and-true manner that should never go away is saying “Please” and “Thank You”. Remember to teach these to your children at a young age, and show them the importance of being thoughtful. This can even extend to writing thank you cards for gifts or other generous favors your children receive. 

Holding the door open for someone else is always a great manner to instill in younger generations. Many people are in a rush and often don’t think of this simple gesture, and helps to bring a connection, however short, from one person to another. It doesn’t have to have some of the connotations of the old school manners, either, of holding a door open only for women. Keeping a door open for anyone is a great way to show humanity and that we are all in this together. Another very small yet powerful gesture that can go a long way is putting your napkin on your lap while eating. This etiquette is quite a number of years old and is still seen for the most part, but is slowly fading. It may seem like a small gesture, but it can go a long way in showing maturity and grace. 

What May Not Be Taught

There are plenty of manners to teach your children, so do you want to teach them all? Figure out which ones are the most important to you, and which ones could wait until they’re older or are not necessary. Schools do teach some life skills in the classroom, but there are a lot of old school manners that aren’t passed down any longer. Standing up to greet new people, for example, is not taught in schools but it may hold significance to you in having your child learn it. Even shaking hands when being introduced is not necessarily taught in every school. 

The world is ever changing, and with that comes different and varying levels of manners and etiquette. Some manners may disappear and no one will ever notice, while some are more important than others. Be sure to teach your child or children the ones that made an impact on you growing up.

Katie Kyzivat