A lot of people comment that my children have such good manners. We are always humbled by this! It takes work, but I teach them what I call "Cowboy Manners".
You kind of get an idea of what cowboy manners are from watching old westerns, but movies don't convey that it's a way of living. It isn't just opening the doors for little old ladies, it's opening doors for everyone. It's helping someone that you see in need, it's giving the extra that you have to someone in need. It's waving hello to people you know that you pass on the road, but also the hard-working men and women who you see along your drive: the power company lineman, the trashman, the landscapers, the mail carrier. This is not just to say hi, but to say "Thank you thank you!" for what you do every day "You are appreciated!"
The cowboy manners way of life is showing that you have a servant's heart and a humble attitude, yet confidence and trustworthiness. It is the ability to chase down a calf that's gotten loose for hours and when you're hot and sweaty and feel like selling all your cows, you catch it, give it back to its mama, and tell it to have a good day. Cowboy manners also means that when it's time for that calf, who has now grown up, to feed several families, is processed in the most humane way possible so that it doesn't even know what happened. Hopefully, he never knew a bad day in his life as he grew and lived out in the pastures.
Cowboy Manners also means sharing in that bounty with others. Personally, our family likes to donate to the local women and children's shelter. The building is always full, the hearts broken, and the tummies always arrive empty. We give extra bread and cookies from our farm bakery to the safe house and I have taught classes on how to make due with little to no food items. Please consider doing this in your area, as there seems to always be a need, unfortunately.
Cowboy Manners means doing nice things for others. You could mow someone's lawn that is unable, you could help bring in groceries for someone who is elderly, you could help an older farmer to harvest his crops or bale hay, feed his livestock...really just help anybody in a bad situation and not expect anything in return. But the difference is that you are ACTIVELY SEEKING to help others every day. Don't wait until an opportunity or holiday comes along, because I promise you there are people out there right now that need help and you wouldn't know it unless you looked.
This is how I grew up, and I pass it along to my children. I hope that you all are able to fill your hearts with joy in helping someone else today as well, and live by the Cowboy Manners way!