I’m surrounded by a younger generation in the work I do. They keep me young in spirit and having fun.

However, they also puzzle me. Yes, it’s the age gap, but also the contrast between our priorities.

I never thought I’d have standards like that of my parents – but I do…big time. I’ve become my mother.

I say all of this because I believe there are standards of behavior and respect that, regardless of your age or priorities, stand the test of time.

When I say the word “manners” to the young people around me, they make a face. Most young people think learning manners is boring and hate it when their “elders” constantly tell them the same thing over and over. (It’s incredible how much eye rolling those kids can do!)

Here are the five manners we need to be reinforcing in our children today to boost their personal success:

  1. Eye Contact:  Plain and simple. Look people in the eye when they’re speaking to you. Put down your cellphone, pause the video game, and stop walking away.
  2. Polite Interruption: Don’t interrupt people when they’re talking – unless you say “excuse me” or “I’m sorry to interrupt…” However, if someone looks like they’re talking about something very important to them, wait until they stop speaking.
  3. The Magic Words: Say “please” when you’re asking or want something. And say “thank you” when someone does something for you.
  4. R-E-S-P-E-C-T: There is never a situation where talking back to parents, family members or an authority figure in public is OK. It’s not nice to do it at home either, so it’s important to get to the roots of that behavior.
  5. Enunciate: Speak clearly so you can be understood. For example, you should pause between saying your first name and your last name.Bottom line, you don’t want your first and last name to sound like one word.

For me, these are five simple things that make such an incredible impact when young people display them. My job is to keep these manners alive. I’m on a mission.

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