Evidently many parents don’t see good manners as essential to their own satisfaction with life. Or else they lack the character to exemplify it, willingness to expect better of their children, or ability to comprehend social disadvantages.
Good manners send two messages. “I respect you” to those exposed to it, and “I respect myself” enough to make you appear respectable—without you having to earn it.
Self-respect is the foundation of individual behavior. Respect of others is the foundation of good relationships. To the extent that self-respect, mutual respect, and independent freedom of choice are lacking, relationships are weaker. Moreover, good manners enable trust and respect to work together. More of each generates more of the other and the effects compound into greater respect and trust. Consequently, good manners provide the first sign that respect and trust can exist and are buildable between respectable and trustworthy people.
On the other hand, absence of both respect and trust fosters selfishness and enables indifference and contempt between others. It’s but a small step from there to untamed aggression and violence for boys and single men and modern custom is starting to sweep girls into evil practices against their inherent nature.
Unless taught better, youth generally scorn good manners, because it empowers them to ignore the interest of others in favor of their exclusive self-interest. It’s a natural outgrowth of hormonal disturbances in adolescence and why parents should teach good manners long before puberty.
I offer this advice to single moms. The better you exemplify good manners, teach it and require it of your children, the fewer problems you will have during their growth. Now, that makes so much obvious sense that one must wonder why society seems not to profit from it. I think it is the lack of good examples, lack of consistency, lack of fairness, lack of self-respect, lack of mutual respect. Add to that the lack of female leadership by indirectness dealing with males and too much demanding and insisting caused by motherly frustrations, fears, and loneliness. Not enough self-enforced calmness, composure, and earnest showering of respect upon kids as persons who deserve mom’s good manners. (I don’t forgive fathers but stay focused on mothers because it’s what women never hear.)