I have been very dismayed reading a number of threads where people are saying that they have no clue about basic manners or that they have had kids on their homes who openly say that the food they are being served "sucks". I have to say I am horrified!
Are there really parents out there who are not teaching their kids basic manners? Did your parents not teach you? Things like writing thank you notes, bringing hostess gifts, RSVPing in a timely manner, or the old adage: if you don't have any thing nice to say don't say anything.
I grew up middle class but my mom still taught me all the basics. I used to hate b-days because my hand would cramp from writing thank yous. I was taught about silverware at Christmas and other holidays at my grandparents who set a full table. My first time having dinner at my boyfriends family my mom took me shopping for the appropriate hostess gift.
My son is almost 4 and by no means is he even close to Little Lord Fauntleroy but I am also (rarely) embarrassed to take him anywhere. He eats with silverware and puts a napkin on his lap. He is polite to wait staff and hosts at parties. We write thank you notes together (since he can't actually write yet), he assists in picking out gifts when we go to peoples homes. He has learned all these things because we teach him but also because it is what he see us do everyday. Kids learn by what they see. Are there going to be instances in the future, sure, but that wont stop me from constantly modeling proper behavior and teaching him the basics.
So how were you taught about proper manner/etiquette? Were they not important to your family and therefore not important to you? Did you mom harp and harp so that you now rebel? Did you learn from friends later in life? I really am curious.