Mind Your Manners: Modern Day Family Values

While maybe more associated with the good old days, it seems family values are alive and well today – with table manners, respecting your elders and being honest and truthful emerging as the most important principles of British family life. Belle About Town decided to delve further into the results of a recent study…

The research, which involved talking to almost 2,000 UK families, looked into the moral and practical guidelines set by parents today – and revealed a host of old fashioned values which still have a place in modern households.

According to 76% of parents, table manners is the most important value we teach our children, followed by being honest and truthful (73%) and respecting your elders (69%). See – Mum was right when she told you to mind your Ps and Qs!

But while 69% claimed the values they grew up with as a child still resonate today – a further 75% claim they have created a new set of family values which fit with modern life, including the importance of recycling, eating healthily, not allowing iPads or iPhones at the dinner table, and respecting other religions and cultures. Other important values for families include equal childcare for both parents and equal distribution of the household chores. Not fighting over the remote control (29 %) and not snooping on another family member’s Facebook account also made the list!

Dr Becky Spelman reviewed the research. She told Belle About Town: “It’s interesting to see how important manners are to our values as a nation. Teaching our children good manners isn’t about imposing adults’ will on them, but about equipping them with the social skills that they will need to navigate a complicated world. Just because we conduct so much of our life online, that doesn’t mean old-fashioned manners, such as helping out with household chores and eating dinner together as a family aren’t just as important.

“Children who learn how to behave in a way that respects others’ boundaries are being taught how to manage social situations in a way that will stand them in good stead for life.”

The research found that 96% of Britons believe that strong family values prepare children for a happy and successful life.

The report, conducted by Beko, also found the average Brit spends 24 hours a week of “quality time” with their families, with 83% saying family mealtimes are the most important time together. So this weekend why not switch off the telly, turn off the technology and sit down at the dinner table for a proper conversation with those most important to you. You might even enjoy it!

25 Modern Day British Family Values

1.            Having good table manners – 76 %

2.            Being honest and truthful – 73 %

3.            Respecting your elders – 69 %

4.            Not talking with your mouth full – 66 %

5.            Standing up for those you love – 64 %

6.            Remembering your Ps and Qs – 59 %

7.            Washing your hands before dinner – 58 %

8.            Everyone helping with family chores – 58 %

9.            The importance of recycling – 53 %

10.          Regular quality time with all the family – 49 %

11.          The importance of healthy eating – 48 %

12.          No iPads or iPhones at the dinner table – 46 %

13.          Respecting other religions and cultures – 44 %

14.          Being a team player – 43 %

15.          Always eating Sunday lunch together – 43 %

16.          Always looking someone in the eye when meeting them – 40 %

17.          Thank you emails for birthdays and Christmases – 38 %

18.          Children should ask to leave the table – 36 %

19.          Equal childcare from both parents – 36 %

20.          Equal distribution of chores between both parents – 31 %

21.          No fighting over the remote control – 29 %

22.          Having a firm handshake – 26 %

23.          Not snooping on someone else’s Facebook account – 25 %

24.          Keeping in touch with relatives via FaceTime – 17 %

25.          Open phone policies for partners and parents – 15 %

Emily Cleary

Emily Cleary

After almost a decade chasing ambulances, and celebrities, for Fleet Street’s finest, Emily has taken it down a gear and settled for a (slightly!) slower pace of life in the suburbs. With a love of cheese and fine wine, Emily is more likely to be found chasing her toddlers round Kew Gardens than sipping champagne at a showbiz launch nowadays, or grabbing an hour out of her hectic freelancer’s life to chill out in a spa while hubby holds the babies. If only!


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