As my kids grow up I am more and more struck by how much manners matter, and how much they seem to be lacking. I am working hard on my kids in the area of table manners, phone manners and speaking to adults. My kids (ages 8 and 11) are learning to open doors, clear the table, stand when a lady enters to the room, answer the phone politely, write a thank you note when they receive a gift and speak respectfully. These things matter. It drives me crazy at family dinners when the young people sit around and let their parents do the dishes. These are not children but young adulys of 15 to 20. I usually shame them into helping by sending my smaller aged kids into do the work. I understand that todays society things are less formal. This especially holds true in Northern California where people think they are dressed up if they wear a navy blue hoody instead of a gray one. I must go on record as stating that I do not think this is a good thing. How you behave is important. I also think this extends to how you dress. My sons are not allowed to wear basketball shorts and ratty tees to school. And I mean not allowed by me, the dress code allows it. They do wear nice quality tees or polos and chino shorts, khakis or jeans. My daughter does not wear shorty shorts or tiny tanks. This is considered old fashioned of me by several of my friends. I am teaching my daughter that if you respect yourself others will respect you. Part of respecting yourself is taking care of your appearance. I try and model that for her. I love these books from Brooks Brothers for that exact reason. I often give the "How to Raise a Lady" book as a shower gift and I gave the "50 Things a Young Gentleman Should Know" to my oldest son when he turned 10. He and I often read parts of it and talk about what they mean and how they apply to his life. I think these are important lessons. What do you all think? Am I hopelessly old fashioned?