Common Courtesies Not So Common


View from our Hilton Head condo.

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.


Bridget, Elsie, and Mike (aka Dr. Danks,) working on the first puzzle.


Bridget, Virginia, and Elsie, master puzzlers!

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.


Virginia has her own puzzle.

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?


Bridget, Elsie, and Mary Grace enjoying a walk to the beach shops.

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.


Elsie’s shirt says it all!

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.

Patti name

About Patti Fralix

Patti Fralix inspires positive change in work, life, and family through Speaking, Consulting, and Coaching in three specialty areas: Leadership, Managing Differences, and Customer Service. Her leadership firm, The Fralix Group, Inc., has been helping clients achieve practical and tangible results for twenty-two years.
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4 Responses to Common Courtesies Not So Common

  1. Dwbra Ryan says:

    As usual you are spot on Patti!
    At our summer swim club we seem to have a divide amongst parents in the role of the lifeguard. Younger parents feel that the lifeguards are their personal babysitters and that when they arrive to the pool they should be able to relax on the chaise lounge chairs uninterrupted by their children. Parents of the lifeguards feel as though the younger parents are quite misguided.
    Sometimes words aren’t enough!

  2. Arturo Rodriguez says:

    Now that Martha and I will become grandparents (end of June), we will fix these issues by not making the same mistakes as with our children,,,,,,or maybe we should try later with the great grandchildren???

    • Patti Fralix says:

      Congratulations to you and Martha, Arturo, on becoming grandparents! It is the most wonderful role of all! And as grandparents, our job is to just enjoy them and leave the disciplining to their parents! Well, not totally; we have to also be a good role model for them. As for great-grandchildren, I can’t even imagine!

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