COPPERAS COVE — In today’s world of technology, many children have become used to having a digital assistant at their beck and call. But is the demand for information without the requirement of a please or thank you causing children to become rude when interacting with adults and each other?

New figures from researchers at Childwise show that 42% of children between 9 and 16 use voice recognition gadgets at home, with the most popular option being Apple’s Siri assistant. Children are most likely to ask the assistants for homework help, with 1 in 7 using it to look up facts or for a virtual dictionary or thesaurus.

Clements/ Parsons Elementary counselors Julie Armstrong and Audrey Trahan provided students with a menu of different manners, similar to a bingo game, that students can do each day.

“Good etiquette and social manners are essential life skills that enhance the personal, social and emotional development of every individual,” Trahan said. “Learning good manners is important because it helps foster a positive community in our schools.”

Rather than barking orders with no consequences, students who demonstrate good manners at home or at school are rewarded. The parent, teacher or staff member initials the good manner on the list that they witness. The first class per grade level that completes all the manners on the list for the month of September, which is National Good Manners Month, is rewarded with a popsicle party.

“Good manners are best taught when young. A child with good etiquette and mannerisms will naturally grow up to become a confident and respectable adult with strong social and communication skills,” Armstrong said. “It is never too early to introduce polite words such as please, thank you and excuse me to a child even if he is just a toddler. When a child hears these polite words often enough, he will naturally pick up the words and learn to use them as well. Polite words will never be overused, and they make your child a nice young gentleman or lady.”

Principal Katherine Baney welcomes students as they arrive to school in the mornings and rewards them with Bee Bucks when they reply with good manners. Bee bucks are campus currency that may cashed in for special prizes or privileges.

“We have already seen the difference having good manners makes with all of the smiling, and greetings of ‘good mornings’ we receive in the halls after the doors open at 7:15 a.m.,” Baney said.

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