This page came up this morning...
An excerpt from the page...
"Manners ... hmm. Kids really learn these by example. If you are polite, your children will learn to be polite.
I've seen parents who are truly sweet and gentle and polite and the kids seem harsh and rude and demanding. I DO think parents ought to let kids know when they're being discourteous and actually talk to them about why courtesy is useful in lubricating social interactions and so on. In other words, I think my kids (who are generally very well-mannered) learned mostly from just living with parents who behaved with good manners, but I do think there are times for discussions AND times to bring things directly to kids' attention. And I do not think parents should let kids be really disruptive.
If a child IS being rude, for example, in a restaurant, and disturbing other customers -- I would not punish the child, no hand-slapping, no verbal reprimand (how many times have we seen parents being INCREDIBLY rude in telling their kids not to BE rude?). But I'd say, "Honey, that wasn't polite, it is bothering other customers." And if a child kept it up, I'd take him/her outside to run around a bit.
I'm not suggesting that parents do the "Go tell Mrs. Brown thank you," routine so much as giving information such as "Mrs. Brown would probably like it if you thanked her."
And even with much older kids, there are times they just don't think/realize what effect they might be having on others. So it isn't often, but occasionally I might STILL say,"So-and-so went to a lot of work for you, did you thank her enough?' And I might point out to them how other people's lack of manners impacts how people respond to them -- point out how people are more eager to do things for those who show their gratitude, for example.