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Do you think children of past generations had better manners than kids today when it comes to gestures like saying "please," "thank you" and showing respect for their elders?

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No. What constitutes politeness changes over time. It is not that society has become more or less polite, it's that certain rituals have been collectively judged unnecessary. In the case of tokens of politeness that are basically unchanged over time (like saying "please" and "thank you"), older people now, having mastered the skill, see children struggling to learn it, forgetting that they themselves one time struggled to learn it, and assume it's a downward progression.

Insecure people have always invented ways to pretend their group is best and other groups are worst. For every old fart whinging about how kids don't behave like they did in the "good old days" (that never existed), there's an awkward teen laughing about old folks being out of touch with the times.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Where do these kids learn those manners from? Perhaps thats where this question needs to be directed.

I would be the last person to judge any kid in this world. I would rather drain my energy in understanding the kids surroundings. Thats what the kids refelct through their behavior. I always admired the raw emotions kids potray. As an adult its my responsibility to deal with it.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I find the young and the elderly to be very polite. It is the age group from 25 to 45 that are incredibly rude and arrogant. So the children of the past generation, no. The one before it, yes and this one, yes.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

“The children now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise" - Socrates

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Don't know for sure about the article's title's question, but, the kids nowadays are not being properly disciplined. Everyone seems afraid to tell children to sit down and be quiet when necessary. I, however, am not one of those people.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I have only lived once, so I can only comment about what I see. For me to judge the past, I would have to have seen a lot of old movies and read a lot of old books, but then again, they are fantasies and history books are dry.

I find young boys and girls here in Japan to be incredibly rude on trains, and I always tell them to hush up. It works.

I find older teens to be very kind and polite, especially when doing their part time jobs.

As Americans come from around the world, there seems to be an incredible variation on what is considered polite or not polite. I personally do not appreciate people that say "Give Me" without a please on either end.

I hold both swinging doors and sliding doors for everyone. The swinging door is just too new in Japan to have developed a politeness culture to it. A sliding door is always held as one must turn to shut it.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

I find bad-mannered people of all ages in my daily life. I tend to get annoyed with the older ones because they should know better though. On the other hand, I meet nice, polite people of all ages too.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

"I was always taught to respect my elders and I've now reached the age when I don't have anybody to respect." George Burns.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

No. There have always been polite and impolite people. What's changed is only what's considered polite. It used to be extremely vulgar to have table legs showing in England, but that wouldn't even be considered manners in modern day. Likewise, a lot of oyaji will mutter "tsk tsk" if they see a young woman doing make-up on the platform, but won't hesitate to turn around and spit on the ground or just snort the phlegm down their noses and swallow. Slurping noodles is also considered somewhat impolite amongst some of the younger generation, but does that ,ran others who slurp here are suddenly rude?

2 ( +6 / -4 )

I once read an anthropology article that found ancient Egyptian carvings on unused pyramid boulders that read "young people these days...".

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Politeness counts and manners need to be taught. Manners are key to a child's social success and gives them lifelong survival skills. Learning good manners will help a child act toward others with respect and take into account their feelings and a child will gain the confidence that comes from knowing the proper thing to do. Manners set children up for a lifetime of success with family, friends and co-workers. When you teach children to be respectful, you instill good values like kindness and consideration which are the building blocks of good manners. In the end teaching children about respect is the most important and enduring job a parent will ever have.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

In the end teaching children about respect is the most important and enduring job a parent will ever have. nice sentiment but teaching them to swim, practice safe sex and being financially prudent are likely more important. You don't teach respect, you show it and earn it.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

randomnator:

I agree with you but you have to teach it and the best way to teach respect is to show it. When a child experiences respect, they know what it feels like and begin to understand how important it is. Respect is an attitude. You have to teach your child to respect themselves. Self-respect is one of the most important forms of respect. Once we respect ourselves, it is easier to respect others. School teach children about respect but parents have the most influence on how respectful children become. Until children show respect at home, it's unlikely they will show it anywhere else. So one of the most important things you can teach your child is respect.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Yes, when it comes to gestures like saying "please," "thank you" and showing respect for their elders, they used to be a lot more polite.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

A lot of my uni students say "eh?" to me. I never would have said "huh?" to a professor. It reflects poorly on them if they cannot relate in society in a respectful way. But I guess it's also a sign of lengthened childishness. I fear we do have a lost generation here who will not be equipped for big changes coming. The backlash against this generation, from their children, may prove better. So let's check back in 30 years. See you then.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Do you think children of past generations had better manners than kids today when it comes to gestures like saying "please," "thank you" and showing respect for their elders?

Perhaps, but the manners of the elderly leave a lot to be desired. Especially when it comes to coughing etiquette on trains.

Likewise, a lot of oyaji will mutter "tsk tsk" if they see a young woman doing make-up on the platform, but won't hesitate to turn around and spit on the ground or just snort the phlegm down their noses and swallow.

Agreed, usually accompanied by prolonged hawking.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@Christopher Glen That's true. Men with their smoking, coughing and snot-blowing are probably worse than anything. Then there are the old ladies in big groups. They could care less about what's around them. It always amazes me that people cough without covering their mouths.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

When you pull them up for their lack of etiquette, they get all tetchy about it as well. Some do apologise, but not many.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Generally I think kids get blamed by the oldies because the oldies don't want to take responsibility for the world they created...for their failure to stand up and create a better world. The problems we see in today's society were foreseeable. There is a lot dumped on the shoulders of young working people. Maybe they should be less polite and docile than they are. But I've hijacked this...it was a shallow question. It asks for anecdotes which are pretty limited in what they can tell us about a question such as this. But, yeah: I like to complain as much as the next "guy."

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Do you think children of past generations had better manners than kids today when it comes to gestures like saying "please," "thank you" and showing respect for their elders?

If the children of past generations means retired Boomers with their inflated sense of entitlement (most notably manifested behind the wheel), then absolutely not.

Real manners last a lifetime.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@shallots

Then there are the old ladies in big groups

Absolutely nothing worse. Worst manners out of any group here in Japan - especially in Tokyo. They truly don't give a stuff about anyone else but themselves. They'll elbow you out of the way for a seat, destroy all the vegies on the shelf to get to the perfectly shiny one & talk at full volume - regardless of location (yes, that includes trains).

Major self-entitlement issues...

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Yes, and thanks for asking.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

No. When I came to Japan the little brats were always shouting gaijin, gaijin and similar inanities at me. Now they do not.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Generally I think kids get blamed by the oldies because the oldies don't want to take responsibility for the world they created.

It's really the pot calling the kettle black. Kids do have bad manners as well, sitting in the priority seats. Having some oyaji cough all over me takes the biscuit though.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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