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Readers Respond

Manners, kindness and respect must be taught before a child enters school | READER COMMENTARY

I just read the letter to the editor suggesting we add the subject of kindness to the school curriculum (”Please teach children to be kind,” Feb. 24). This is not a bad idea, but teachers are taught to teach our children the mental tools to make it through their lives and succeed — that’s their job, and that alone is not easy these days. Proper home training is not the teacher’s job. That job belongs to the parents, and they have to succeed in teaching their children manners and especially respect before the youngsters get into school.

Teaching kids manners means teaching them to be considerate and respectful of others, especially adults and authority figures. I remember those days, but the practice just doesn’t seem to have made it into the 21st century.

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The one thing children need to be taught the most is self-discipline. Kids get themselves into trouble just by not being taught to calm down and think problems through instead of just getting angry and sometimes aggressive. As we all know, that only ends up with the police involved. They also need to listen more than talk, especially when dealing with authority figures.

We still have very good parents who raise their children responsibly, but it seems the scale is tipping toward the inconsiderate and disrespectful in our society who are gaining in numbers much more quickly than in the past. The teachers have a hard enough job without putting another responsibility on them, especially when that responsibility belongs on the parents.

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Jeff Rew, Columbia

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