This month our Powerful Wordof the month is “manners.”

From please and thank you to opening doors and staying quiet in the library, manners refer to social graces we use to show others that their feelings matter. When we use kind words and actions, we help others feel comfortable. Manners involve some of our other Powerful Words from self control to courtesy and perhaps above all, empathy– putting ourselves in other people’s shoes.

Empathy is so critical to manners that etiquette expert, Amy Vanderbilt once said, “Good manners have much to do with the emotions. To make them ring true, one must feel them, not merely exhibit them.” In other words, manners are not just about going through the motions– we need to imagine how others might feel and act accordingly. This is not just about The Golden Rule– treating others how you would like to be treated, but rather, treating others how they would like to be treated!

People who use polite words and behave with others in mind tend to help them feel more comfortable and valued. As we are aiming to cultivate
leadership and character in our students, manners are a priority.

Sadly, manners appear to be on the decline. According to a recent study, the younger generations are less courteous than those who are 55 or older (Taluna Study, 2012). Young adults are 23% less likely to carry out common courtesies like opening the door for an elderly person, giving up a bus seat for a pregnant woman or saying hello to community members. Let’s change this! On the flip side, a 2009 poll of 1000 mothers showed a
renewed interest in manners. In fact, 81% of mothers said that manners are more important than ever, specifically; 39% said treating adults with respect was of most importance, followed by saying please and thank you (29%) and then, treating other children with respect (19%).

We thank you for allowing us to partner with you on building children with powerful character. We look forward to working with you on instilling
manners this month!

Here’s to your success!

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