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Monday, November 29, 2021  

How Rude!Published 5/23/2006

I have had it! I can’t take anymore or I swear I will scream. So, I figured I would vent my anger and what better place to do so than in a public forum. So here it is.

Does anyone have manners anymore? I mean, my God, is it most people’s goal in life to be rude? What happened to the phrases, "Excuse me," "Please," "Thank you," and "You’re welcome?" How about, "I am so sorry I just plowed into the back of your heel with a shopping cart at full speed because I am in a hurry, not paying attention to where I am going, and I was too busy dealing with my kids who I have not bothered to teach any manners to, either."

Yes, this has happened to me. Not even a word was said as I stood there rubbing my poor heel. And, just the other day while standing in line for 20 minutes only to be treated rudely by a customer service representative. I was not only hit in the back with a car seat sitting perilously on a shopping cart, but also hit not once, not twice, but three times by a woman and her purse. Did either of these individuals say a word? No, but boy did I want to say a few choice words to them.

Where are people’s manners? Every where I look it seems someone has forgotten there are rules to society. From loud cell phone usage in a restaurant or movie to inconsiderate individuals who need to repeat driver’s ed. I deal with rudeness on a daily basis. And what upsets me most is this behavior is being passed on to children.

Just visit your local Wal-Mart on any given day and watch with glee (or disenchantment) as rude, inconsiderate parents allow their "mini-me’s" to run carelessly through the isles, bumping into other customers, and knocking items off shelves all the while never apologizing or being properly reprimanded by their "adult" caregivers. Even better are the parents who allow their children to throw public temper tantrums and carry on as if it is an ordinary, every day activity. Well, it probably is for them but it shouldn’t be, and it certainly is not appropriate for society either.

What happened to either reprimanding the child right there or taking them to the bathroom for a "little talk?" I was actually in a store recently when the manager had to make an announcement over the loudspeaker. "Please do not leave your children unattended while you shop and let them run around the store disturbing other customers. If we see you doing this, we will escort you out of the store without your purchases. Security check on aisle nine." It absolutely amazed me that something normally construed as simple common sense had to be publicly announced!

What really drives me crazy is when this happens in a restaurant. My husband and I simply cringe every time a child starts crying and throwing a fit while dining out. In my opinion, this is one of the best methods of birth control for childless individuals. Now, not all children are this way but you know the saying, "It only takes a few bad apples to ruin the bunch." Please, don’t sit there and ignore it while they scream at the top of their abnormally large lungs and throw food. Do something! You are a parent – act like it. Not only should they be shown who is in charge, but set an example as well.

A young woman named Adrianne Frost recently wrote a book titled, "I Hate Other People’s Children." Some people were deeply offended; others, like myself, laughed their butts off. She doesn’t hate all children or even children in general. She dislikes rude, disorderly, disrespectful, ill-tempered little beasts. She discusses situations similar, and many, many more, to the ones I have described. This should not be offensive, it should be applauded! When did society become so ambiguous to the fact of discipline, manners, and appropriate upbringing? Why is it so horrible to point out bad parenting and hope someone takes the hint?

I have had my child’s friends over and a few of them lacked manners. Yes, I asked them to say, "Please," "Thank you," and told them to not talk with their mouths full and to chew with their mouths closed. I have been known to stop a child who has just nearly bowled me over and tell them to say, "Excuse me." I also make a point to find and stop the parent whose child just said, "Excuse me," and thank them for raising a respectful young person. They beam with pride and they should. Positive reinforcement can work miracles and parenting is a thankless job.

True story. When my husband and I were courting several years ago, the remake of Texas Chainsaw Massacre was released. Sharing a love for all things creepy, scary, and disturbing, we couldn’t wait to see it. The theatre was packed on the eve of its release and in walks a parent with a child that appeared to be about one. First, this is not an appropriate family film. Something like this can scar or desensitize a child for life. And yes, the little one started crying. Was I mad at the child? Absolutely not. I was furious with the mother. Get a babysitter! If you can’t – don’t go. We have missed many movies because we were not taking our nine-year-old to see an inappropriate film.

The point to my rant-like rambling is this – use common sense. Teach your children respect and show it to others yourself. It is never too late to do this and gain some control over your children, to even gain control over your own bad behaviors. After all, you don’t want your family to end up on some TV show with a British nanny trying to teach you how to raise your children while normal America watches in bewilderment and horror. No one wants to be the laughing stock of the neighborhood.

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