Treat others like you want to be treated is the motto I hear a lot and I practice myself. Although I'm far from perfect I always have my basic values and manners to fall back on. I don't have to think about it, it's the way I was raised and it's the way I raise my children. Without the basic values and manners in your baggage you're doomed to be an outcast I always thought. I still think that but I'm spotting a trend where a " thank you", " you're welcome" or " have a nice day" are being replaced by saying nothing at all or a stumbling sound that must be equivalent for that. Call me old-fashioned but I think of that being rude.
I will give examples of what I think and teach should be mandatory for everyone when it comes to social behavior and its manners.
1. Speaking with two words. Yes or no isn't good enough. It should be " Yes Sir" or " Yes Ma'am" when children reply to adults. Whether adults reply to each other with a simple yes or no depends on the situation and how well they know each other. Note, this obviously applies when children respond to their parents.
2. Calling mom or dad actually calling mom or dad. As I said call me old-fashioned but I'm getting beyond annoyed when I hear children calling their parents by their first name. It's a personal choice but when making that choice you take away a lot of the " respect" factor we want to teach our children. Teachers who think it makes them popular by letting their students address them by their first name should be send to an etiquette seminar. That's not-done for me. The only exception that might occur is at universities where students have reached an age of adulthood and a mutual respect still can exist by agreeing to call each other by the first name.
3. Thank you and you're welcome. Should be rule number one and I think it is in most households. Overdoing it shouldn't be necessary but where it applies children and adults should reply with a " thank you " or " you're welcome" instead of a humming sound where I have to guess it's too much to ask to say those simple words. It happens more and more when I say " thank you" I'll get a "mmm, mmm", reply. On two occasions I already asked if they could repeat themselves because I couldn't understand what they were saying. Of course I could but that was my way of expressing my disapproval.
4. Wishing someone a nice day or a good weekend. It's a form of being polite which makes the end of any interaction a pleasant one. " Have a good one" has become familiar to me now and I even use it so now and then because I know it's well meant and socially excepted.
5. When my children stay at someone else for a certain amount of time I teach them to say " Thank you for your hospitality" when it's time to leave. In the beginning they were giggling about it which I totally understand but I've heard them saying it when picking them up and it's being highly appreciated by the recipient. " Thanks for having me " is an alternative which I personally won't use.
6. Introducing yourself. I will leave the adults out of this whereas I assume more than 90 percent of adults introduces themselves by a handshake and sharing their first and last name. I know and I've seen the exceptions and it's another form of social disability I get chills from. If my children go somewhere for the first time I want them to take the initiative and introduce themselves to the adults and other children by reaching out their hand and tell them their name with a " It's nice to meet you".
Teaching your children the basic manners of social behavior is a win-win situation and will hopefully prevent the downfall of not displaying it anymore. They only can profit from it, nor harm can be done and we can only hope they'll stick to what we've taught them.