The Bulletin

The Value of Politeness and Courtesy

Friday, November 2011

Essential life-skills go beyond formal protocol…for good reason!

Is being courteous too old-fashioned and outdated? Why must it still be taught to children? Look at the larger picture of child development…Children engage in desctructive behaviors for a multitude of reasons. They may lack empathy or impulse control. A child may have a hard time imagining how another person feels. High levels of anxiety may cause a child to engage in control seeking behaviors or they may imitate a re-enforcing culture of put-downs, gossip and cynicism.

Politeness and courtesy create a predictable form where we consider others before ourselves. It models empathy and reduces anxiety in social situations. It stands against a culture steeped in cynism, using put-downs and bartering in gossip. Socially mature behavior forces us to place emphasis on another person’s needs above our own. When a community practices courtesy and politeness, children take notice, and the incidence of teasing and bullying diminishes radically.

The above is a Building Intentional Community (BIC) editorial. BIC is a committee of parents, faculty & staff offering support and resources to the CWS parent community.

Submitted by: Hazel Archer Ginsberg, BIC parent member
Photo: qasimsahi.blogspot.com