Manners Matter 6

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Respect the Elderly: Seven simple ways to be polite to your grandparents

By Ron Ross

Old people always think the children in their town are rude, smart-alecky and have no respect for their elders, and to some degree they are right. However, every generation makes the same claims so it is not a new problem.

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Since I am now considered elderly (I’m 72-years-old) I can write this with great authority: The elderly are not stupid or inexperienced or unaware of “how things are these days.” Just the opposite! We are intelligent, experienced and very aware of how things are. Just because we don’t wear the latest styles or speak the lingo of the day, and just because we don’t know what Pinterest is or how to use the latest app on our cell phone, does not mean we don’t have something to offer the world – even in our old age, so give us some respect!

I have come up with seven simple ways you can be polite to your grandparents and every other elderly person out there:

First of all, listen to us. When we try to make a connection with you do not roll your eyes and get impatient. And don’t interrupt us. Give us your ear – you just might learn something, after all, we have recovered from more mistakes than you have had time to make. So Listen and learn.

Next, respond respectfully. Just because you know all the latest slang and just because you are young and clever and cute does not mean you have the right to disrespect your elders. Respond to our questions with gentle and polite words. It won’t hurt, I promise you.

Third, address us using sir or ma’am. Why? Because it is polite too, that’s why.

Fourth, ask for advice. You want to make your grandma happy? Ask her to teach you how to bake chocolate chip cookies. You want to make your grandpa glow? Ask him what he thinks it takes to be successful. You don’t have to take our advice and you can keep buying your chocolate chip cookies at Sam’s club, but just asking shows respect.

Here’s my favorite – number five: Ask about our lives. Ask how he met Grandma, ask Grandma what she thought of Grandpa the first time she saw him. Ask how they survived the difficult days of their lives. We will tell you some amazing stories and share with you some hard earned wisdom.

Number six, tell us you respect and appreciate us. Just a word or two is all this takes and there is nothing easier to do than express appreciation.

Number seven, go ahead and touch us – hold our hand or hug us. Some old people haven’t been hugged in years and we could use one once in a while.

Respect your elders, you know why? Because when it comes to your elders, Manners Matter.

To read more by Dr. Ross please visit RonRossToday.com. If you have a story about manners (good or bad) email Dr. Ross at RonRoss@RonRossToday.com

©2016 Ronald D. Ross

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