Monday, December 29, 2008

Anniethology Asks

I will be teaching a class on manners to a group of teenagers in a couple of weeks. What advice would you give teenagers on manners? What bothers you most about teenage manners or the lack thereof? What are the "modern manners" associated with e-mail, cellphones and texting? I've noticed that teenagers are dating less and "hanging-out" more. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? What advice would you give teenagers on hanging-out?


  1. I don't associate with a lot of teens, so I haven't been able to observe many of their good or bad manners.
    I do have an opinion on hanging out though. I think that as teens, hanging out is a good thing. Having a good base of friends is good, and I think that dating can complicate a lot of things. Not to say they shouldn't go on dates, but I like the idea of hanging out a bit more than dating just one person at an early age. Single dating can wait until after high school, and missions if that applies.
    That said, there comes a time when just hanging out is no longer recommended.

  2. Where to start...

    When talking with someone look them in the eye, take your earbuds out, say excuse me if you *must* answer your phone/text.

    When someone gives you a gift send a thank you card. Even an email or text would be better than wondering if you got it.

    If you hurt someone's feeling, whether intentionally or not, apologize. But if you don't mean it, don't bother.

    I could go on and on. But that's enough. Good luck to you! :-)

  3. No texting in sunday school. And cover up your cr@ck. I don't want to see the top of your th*ng either.

  4. ok, it's been said but if we all say it enough maybe they will know it's for real:
    Leave your cel phone at home when you go to church. it's rude to text while someone is trying to give a lesson that they have prepared with you in mind.
    Also, when i take my kids to the movie dishing out 7 bucks a pop, i expect them to pay attention to the screen and not the face of their phone.
    that's the biggest one for me- but to add something different than has been said, i will add,
    don't get up from the table after dinner and just leave...instead make sure you help clear the table, wipe the counters and load the dishwasher.
    have fun and you will be great someone i think they may even listen to!
    let us know how it goes!

  5. Ok Annie I am sure you will get lots of ideas but having raised 4 teens I have some strict rules that worked and they are all adults now and successfully well mannered I will get back to you on my ideas really soon. I gotta dash right now though

  6. Ditto to Heffalump's comments.

    "Thank You"can go a long way - to the waiter, to the water glass person, to the cook (mom), to the parents of the person you're taking out, to anyone who helps you.

    And cut that hair.

  7. Make eye contact and when you are talking with someone AND for Pete's sake answer the text later. It's rude to text while you are having a conversation with live person in the flesh.

    Underwear is to be worn UNDER your clothes not showing.

    Which brings me to the "it's called a waist band not a butt cheek band" lesson.

    Perhaps before all of this defining manners would be a good thing. I like the dictionary version.

    I do interact with teens. A lot. I love them. I usually have to remind them to look at me and to ignore the phone when I am talking to them. Their friend will be there when we get done. I cost a lot more than 10 - 20 cent a minutes. I'm like $40-75 an hour.

  8. So many good ideas and comments. Keep them coming! And if you think of more, don't be afraid to come back and comment again. I'm taking notes!

  9. One that I've thought about lately. Don't care so much what people think. It's hard, but you'll feel much better about yourself as a person if you have the courage to do your own thing. Especially when it's the right thing.

    I wish I hadn't cared what people thought. I should have appreciated the people that cared about me more--friends and family. This is my greatest regret.

  10. 1) The texting thing REALLY bugs me! Time and time again, teenagers (and young adults) will ignore the person who is right next to them in order to text with someone else. Not only is it rude to the person in their presence, but it also makes it difficult to learn how to be social, to converse with others face to face, and to make eye contact.

    2) "Hanging out" is fun for teenagers, and it's less expensive than dating, but it doesn't necessarily prevent them from pairing off. A problem I see with it is that the guys don't learn HOW to date, so after their missions, some of them just want to resume hanging out, rather than asking girls out on dates. That doesn't really lend itself to finding an eternal companion! Group dating has always been a good thing for does not have to cost much, and it gives the guys valuable experience with planning something fun, and having the courage to actually contact a girl!

  11. My two cents:

    Guys: If you text my daughter to ask her out on a date, be prepared for a let down. I won't let her go!! Get a backbone and make the phone call. If you can't talk on the phone, what makes you think you can talk to her face?

    Girls: Guys don't want to see everything you have to offer. If you're wearing a short skirt, keep your legs together while you're sitting down. They don't know where to look during Sunday School!!! Cleavage is good only if you're married. The other crack has already been discussed.

    We had a rule about hanging out when our daughter was younger than 16. You can "hang out" with a mixed group only if there aren't equal numbers. You can't have 3 boys and 3 girls because that ends up being a date... kids pair off. You can't hang out and be the only girl with 2 or 3 boys because we felt that was unsafe. Boys can over power girls very easily.

    That's all I can think of for now. But I'm sure I'll be back..... :-D

  12. Be quiet in movie theaters, especially when previously snowed-in with children adults FINALLY get a chance to see Twilight. You may have seen it 40 times already, but that doesn't mean you should talk through it or say all the lines. It isn't very polite.

    End rant. I feel much better now, thank you Annie! :)

  13. Wow! Tough assignment!

    My Momma always said, "Manners is to do and say the kindest thing in the kindest way."

    I like to illustrate that point with this little story.

    A large noisy family sat down at a local restaurant. They perused the menu with much jostling, and joking, until the waitress approached to take their order. The waitress ask each family member in turn what they would like to order and, as it turned out, everyone ordered roughly the same meal, a hamburger shake and fries. Finnaly the waitress turned to the last person left to order, a quiet 4 year old boy carefully studying a menu that he couldn't read. "And What would you like young man?" Asked the waitress looking him in the eyes.

    "I'd like a..."

    "Oh he'll just have what the rest of us are having!" Interrupted his Mom.

    The waitress ignored the Mom and again asked the boy, who's lower lip was beginning to quiver, "What would YOU like to order young man"

    The boys eyes lit up, the quivering lip firmed, "I'd like a hot dog, with ketchup," He replied.

    As the waitress moved away the little guy looked up at his Mom with wonder in his eyes, "Wow! She thinks I'm real," he said.

    Teenagers need to remember that adults are real and adults need to remember that teenagers are real. We should treat each other like we treat our coolest friends. I try to remember what it felt like to be a teenager and how emotional everything felt. I expect that my teenagers will remember that I'm new at this parenting teenagers thing and communicate calmly both my successes and failures.

    Good Luck with a tough assignment.

  14. I like all the ideas I've read so far - and I would add that respect is a good thing and always in style - you show respect when you open the door for your momma or any woman (that's for the boys).

    You show respect when you address the adults in your world by the proper title. My dad is the stake patriarch and I can't tell you how many times a teenager has called and asked if John or Jack is there - I can tell it's a teen voice so I will ask do you mean the patriarch??!?! YES! ugh! It may seem old fashioned but calling the Bishop "Bishop" or anybody "Brother" or "Sister" is a very mannerly thing to do. Especially calling anybody their parent's age or older "Brother" or "Sister" Another example - my brother is our stake president - I will even refer to him as President when I'm teaching a class of teens or anybody - one of the girls in the class piped up - I call him Jim - ugh again - r-e-s-p-e-c-t!

    I agree with the clothing and I will add that I love the quote from I believe Elder Oaks when he was talking about walking pornography - because the girls wear things too tight! I know everything has spandex but I don't want to count your ribs. Wearing loser things actually makes you look skinnier! Especially if you're a little chunky and I can't count your ribs. ha.ha.

    What a fun assignment - my mom has done this many times - she has some great books about "etiquette". If you're interested I find out the exact titles.

    Oh I just thought of a couple more - the chapel is not a hair salon - if you want to check or comb your hair - go into the bathroom. Don't chew gum when bearing your testimony on fast sunday - it's very tacky - at least in my opinion. In fact don't chew gum whenever you're at the pulpit. You'll be glad you didn't!

    Well I'm sure I've said enough - at least for now - ha.

  15. Don't kiss laying down. Don't kiss people of the same sex. Don't kiss in the dark. Just don't kiss until you're married. Consider it bad manners.

    Seriously though, the whole techno social scene is borderline obnoxious. I think it's much better to hang out as a group, as long as it's not in the dark kissing.

  16. I just recently went through all the last year's New Eras to pull out the mormonad's... I want to do some clever project with them which I haven't thought up yet, BUT the reason I tell you this is that there was one about texting. It showed a guy and a girl out on a date having ice cream and the boy was texting someone else while on his date. The title said something like, "Wish you were here". I think the texting thing is out of control. My rules for texting with my son include, no texting at the dinner table, no texting in church, no texting during family scripture study or FHE and no texting in movies. Those are the big offenders in my book!

    And ditto to all the previous comments about immodesty... both guys and girls... yikes!

  17. I don't know if this is still good since its later... but i just wanted to tell you that, me, being a TEEN still have a few PET PEEVES with modern manners. I'm 18 so im an adult now, and get to give advice! ;D hahah anywho
    All i am going to say is this; cell phones rock but they are also of the devil texting is too. SERIOUSLY i know it is fun sometimes an all that jazz but its ridiculous. I hate it when I am hanging out with my friends and we are all sitting there talking then all of a sudden someone gets a text and they are in their own world. I also have a friend who shall remain anonymous who texts while they drive, they don't drive well to begin with. So they should definitely not be texting..
    Hanging out and dating. there is a huge difference. Hanging out is when you go somewhere not knowing what your going to do and the numbers are uneven. Boys really need to ask girls on dates more, your not getting anywhere hanging out. not like they need to be somewhere but dating builds character. Me being a girl, I ask guys on dates all the time, and its ridiculous. I cant wait to go to college where there aren't as many pre-mission boys. Sorry ok.. so don't text when your with a group of people. I mean seriously, they are your friends your with them for a reason.. the people on the other side of the phone can wait. its just polite.

  18. What a great blog and what a tough assignment!

    My pet peeve is the texting while I am having a conversation with someone. That just drives me crazy! However, teenagers are NOT the only ones that do that. We all need to remember to just be present when we are conversing with one another.

    Mrs. Nurse Boy

  19. You can see me sitting here? Dangit.
    I lurk & this really caught my eye. Being a YW leader & mom of 2 tweens, I've noticed that there is such a lack of respect & manners. (Hopefully not on my daughters' parts!) I agree with all that has been said. Especially the texting & wardrobe issues. Cover up! And put the phone away! And respect for others NEVER goes out of style. :) Basically what Amy G said. And everyone else.
    Okay. I've left my comment. Good luck with the manners class!

  20. oh besides the email I sent -- the dressing thing definitely boy and girls keep it covered underwear and cleavage front and back--
    don't leave finger or lip prints on glasses so use your napkin and I will keep think of more I am sure

  21. Sorry I have to respond to Amy G's comment. Some people don't like being called "brother" or "sister" at church so you should ask before assuming. The texting thing is out of hand, but give them a break. Teens these days are so busy and need some down time once in a while. If they want to text, let them text. If you respect them, they will respect you.


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