Written by Barbara Gilmour, NJ Mom Squad Team.
The basis for good manners has always been The Golden Rule. One of the most amazing things I found out when researching and writing two 10-hour manners courses, Manners for Kids 8-12 and Manners for Teens, was that most of the religions and philosophies of the world have a “Golden Rule” type of statement. Because we are a society embracing many ethnicities and religions, we now have what is commonly known as “The Global Golden Rule.”
In the educational materials we have developed, we give kids a glimpse of how others have stated this rule for living. This helps them have a better understanding of people with backgrounds and values that are different from theirs. It also cautions them to stop and think about their behavior; if they would want someone to treat them the way they might be about to treat someone else. We use a “generic” form of The Golden Rule, “Treat others the way you want to be treated.”
Try this exercise with your children to be sure they understand this concept. Ask them to discuss the difference between “Treat others the way they treat you,” and “Treat others the way you want to be treated.” Great dialogue will be generated. Use this as a starting point to teach your children manners.