The death of manners

Why don’t parents teach manners?

They can’t, if you believe the New York Times.

In its article — Eat, Drink, Be Nice — the Times curmudgeonly belittles the current generation of parents for not teaching their kids to behave:

These etiquette experts say that new approaches are needed because parents no longer have the stomach, time or know-how to play bad cop and teach manners. Dinnertime has become a free-for-all in many households, with packed family schedules, the television on in the background and a modern-day belief of many parents that they should simply let children be children.

The article profiles a San Francisco restaurant where the owner hosts family nights, in which the kids are expected to behave or get their mouths taped.

The comments section is a treasure for people who like to talk about other parents.

When I was growing up going out to eat was a privilege. Had I talked back to any adult my parents would have pulled me out of the restaurant immediately. But I never would have done that, because I knew how to act. Yes, my parents TAUGHT me that. I am disgusted to go into any decent restaurant and find kids running around and screaming while the parents are staring into their cellphones. What are you teaching your kids when you let them do what they want with no consequences? It teaches them THEY are all important, and no one else matters.

Sit at the table at home, turn off the TV, leave the cellphones off and in the other room, and have a conversation instead.