Why is it important to teach children manners?

It is important to teach children how to get rid of manners, how to be purposefully rude, how to be assholes. They will get politeness all by themselves as teenagers, when the pressures for social conformity become enormous, they don't need to be helped along.

But it is unlikely that they will learn how to be rude, how to be resistant to social pressure, and say "no" based on their conscience. This activity is universally hated by society, it is an act that is never rewarded, and this is why it is important to teach children to be assoles whenever they can, as often as they can, so long as they are not hurting anybody by doing so.

In order to be rude, one must pick a taboo, a social thing that is prohibited for no particularly good reason, then violate it. Purposefully. The purpose is to smash through the social order, to produce a disobedience, so that the little local gods quail in terror, so set upon you. They will punish you for your act, so you had better be doing it for something you believe in. But you can do it occasionally for something small, just to practice, and to demonstrate to the gods that you are still free.

For a recent example, on a train yesterday, the conductor announced that "Seats are for sitting, not for putting your legs up" over the loudspeaker. I had been on trains many times on this line, and I have seen many people put their legs up on the seat. I am sure that this is company policy, and the act is also considered rude by many people. But really, the shoes of the folks putting their legs up are not significantly dirtier than their pants, the real purpose is to produce conformity, and to prevent hobos from sleeping on the trains. I had slept on trains many times.

So, since it is a method to isolate non-conforming behavior, and since it really doesn't hurt anyone at all, it really should be resisted. So I put my legs up.

The conductor came to me and asked me to put my legs down, and I first said yes, because I was far from my stop, and I couldn't afford to get kicked out yet. But then when my stop was closer, I said no. She insisted, and I said that it was a pointless exercize in authority, a fascism of sorts. She told me I was being very rude. I agreed, but I said it would be against my religion to put my feet down (thinking "two stops away, I will hopefully not be kicked out now").

She obviously didn't care very much about it, but she thought it was weird, and she wanted the other conductor to come by. He was this large imposing fellow, who came and insisted that I remove my feet from the seat, loudly, with face relatively close to mine. I refused (by now he could not kick me out, it was my stop). He gave some superficially rational arguments for why this is justfied, but I said I would not remove my feet (calmly, one must not lose temper in situations like this). And then he kicked me out at my stop.

I told him "I hope I have not offended you." He said "You did offend me!", so I said "I must purposefully disobey, the obedience is against my religion." He said "You can believe your imaginary stories, but I'll remember you, and if I ever see you on this line again, I will get the police to kick you off the train!" I said, "I accept the consequences of my actions." It was actually a very calm exchange, I was surprised.

The previous time I remember was a month or two ago, when I happened to belch loudly while drinking a soda. I was told that this was disgusting by some ladies my age, obviously, I had transgressed. I calculated that it was not really disgusting, I was not farting, there was no real offense to take. So I started belching more (by swallowing air). This was purposeful rudeness. It is very difficult. The ladies were offended and left, but first gave me a lecture on the fact that I was "emitting gasses" into air they had to breathe. The rationalizations people give for why transgressive behavior is objectively wrong are very funny. They have nothing to do with the true reason, which is simply that there is an invisible god demanding certain behaviors and forbidding others. But you shouldn't worry, it's a little god, it isn't so powerful.

The purpose of such rudeness exercises (one must be very careful when doing them to not hurt people in any way) is to liberate one's own mind, and also that of others, from John Christopher's cap, that allegorical device which is placed on your head at adolescence by the invisible overlords of society. As John Christopher explained in his children's stories, the cap will prevent you from thinking individually, it will prevent you from doing science, and if you wear the cap, you will be unable to do anything unusual and important. I guarantee that if you do such exercizes regularly, you too can end up an unemployable homeless vagabond!

But you will have your independence of thought.

Because the chemicals that cause that overwhelming desire you have to nurture, love and care for your child no matter what, simply aren't present in other people.

You might think it's cute when your kid shrieks incessantly. Hey maybe you've even had your kid diagnosed with some made up, medical sounding, technical term that makes you more tolerant of it's appalling behavior.

I just wanna crush it's skull between my hands.

This is a little circular, so bear with me :

Many kids who are taught manners are also taught that people who don't have good manners are effectively bad people.

The kids are learning manners can learn this indirectly (I learned how to do X, why can't you ?) or directly, as in "You don't want to be with people who have no manners"

For many adults, this is programed pretty deep.

>>>So manners can be a social status marker. <<<

And one of the most frequent social games is Exclusion.

You don't want your kids to be excluded when they are kids or adults.

My father explained it to me thusly, that "politeness is the social lubricant between strangers."

Between friends, politeness and manners may not be necessary, because you are aware of each others' propensities and individual sensitivities. However, this is not the case when interacting with strangers. Thus, manners are a basic set of interaction protocols between members of a common civilization, to avoid the chance of giving unintended offense to a stranger whose particular sensitivities are unknown, and to convey your good faith.

Because it is important for children to be instilled with good values and morals.

Manners are expressions of deeper values and morals such as respect, humility and filial piety. Saying 'thank you' is meant to communicate that you are grateful, and saying 'sorry' means that you admit that you have made a mistake, which requires honesty, and humility.

Of course, whether people truly mean it when they say such things remains arguable, since some people view saying such things as a social and a cultural habit, rather than coming from true intentions.

Behind the apparent social factor of learning how to behave in many circumstances, there is a big picture which is a basic element that a child must have in order to make his own life, and other people's life better: respect. Respect of each others, respect of him(her)self. We don't teach respect enough to children, when you don't have this, there is no life possible. And I don't speak about social status, which means nothing really.