There are many, many things I’ve messed up in my life, and there’s not a lot that I’m good at, but I can be confident of this: I’ve raised a polite kid. That’s not just in my biased opinion; it’s the constant feedback I get on him. (And people tell me he’s very tall and trust me, being 1.55cm, I’m as confused about that as they are!)
My son Winston, who’s 12.75 years old and literally hours away from starting high school (sob), is a considerate and respectful person, and I’m so goddamn proud of that. Because courtesy and kindness are important.
Ann Marie Houghtailing explains how to raise a good man. Post continues below.
I’m not into BS old-school manners like not putting elbows on the table, but I’ve tried hard to teach him about decency and the importance of making others feel comfortable. Not just because it’s the right thing to do, but also because it will dictate how he’s treated in return.
I think it’s sunk in because the stuff I’ve taught him makes sense in 2020. It’s practical advice to help navigate life, to make it easier on himself and everyone around him. It’s not just manners for appearance’s sake – ain’t nobody got time for that.