Our family is on our annual week-long trip to Hilton Head. There are 10 of us for the entire week, and there are a few others for a portion of the week. We are staying in more than usual this time due to lots of rain, but we are still having a wonderful time. We have completed one puzzle and are on our second. We have eaten in more than usual and have watched many World Cup Soccer games because our 12-year-old granddaughter, Elsie, was assigned that by her soccer coach. I am going into this much detail about our schedule to validate that we haven’t even had the usual involvement with others outside of our family. Yet we have all commented on the lack of common courtesies. A few examples.
Kids in the pool, with or without adults nearby, seem to be oblivious to pool etiquette, such as not splashing others, being aware of those around so they don’t bump into them, and if or when they do either of these, to apologize. The worst example of this was the boy whose ball hit one of our drinks and turned it over, resulting in the almost full drink being wasted. No apology or acknowledgment at all.
Three kids had four or five pool noodles each from the property provided noodle container, resulting in some people not being able to have even one noodle. Where were the parents, and did they not think that their children hoarding the pool noodles that were provided for all was unacceptable?
I sometimes think that some parents abdicate their responsibility to model good behavior for their children when they fail to exercise common courtesies themselves. Such as refusing to let someone merge into their traffic lane. And not waving a “thank you” when someone lets them in.
And I hesitate to even get started about cell phones! It is so common for adults and children who are sitting together in a restaurant to all be on their devices! Why do they bother to even go out for a meal when there is no connection between them; the only connection is with their devices? It is obvious that devices are used as babysitters. Dining out together provides a wonderful opportunity to connect with our children and teach them dining etiquette. But it is impossible for parents to teach behavior that they do not themselves model.
These are first world problems, yet I think if we solved some of these we might not have as many second and third world problems. How we treat others matters a lot.
There is more, but perhaps this is enough to begin the discussion of common courtesies that are not common. And I need to “walk my talk” and put this device down and connect with my family.