Authentic good manners are based on empathy and its expression through words and deeds. Empty words and deeds cheat both giver and receiver of the joy of living in relationship within family, community, and society. As Marian Schwartz’s mother taught her, “Good manners are the way we show others we care about them.” They are also an expression of our own self-respect.

“Early childhood is the time when children learn to treat others with consideration. But all too often saying “the magic word” gets you the thing you want without you having to actually be considerate. Words matter, but so does what’s behind the words. Let’s take away the magic of “the magic word,” and start teaching kids politeness.”

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