This month we will focus on the powerful word; “courtesy.”
While many typically refer to courtesy as simply a way to be polite, there is more to this powerful word! People who show courtesy are thoughtful and think before they act. Courtesy is not just showing manners, but rather, demonstrating empathy, kindness and respect for others.
We need to teach children how to show courtesy to others. Interestingly, sometimes people show “common courtesy” to strangers, but forget to show courtesy to their own friends and family members. While we don’t always agree with others, courtesy and respect help us maintain a peaceful community. As leaders, our children need to understand the importance of courtesy towards others.
Courtesy can be demonstrated at home while at the dinner table, with friends while negotiating activities and interests, and even with people in our community whom we don’t know personally. Teaching children to look for ways (while still being safe) to help others through charitable giving, sticking up for those being bullied or being a helping hand to someone who has their hands full, can be a wonderful way to instill courtesy.
A recent study out of Harvard University (Making Caring Common), discussed in the Washington Post last year, reveals that 80% of youth believe that parents care more about achievement and happiness than their children showing care for others. But if we want out children to become moral, kind, courteous adults, we need to raise them that way. Making caring a priority and providing opportunities to show kindness and courtesy is vital.
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