DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have two daughters whom we have taught to use good manners. We are proud that they always remember to use their "pleases" and "thank yous" and many people have commented how polite they are.
My problem is the majority of their friends have little to no manners at all. They never thank me when we carpool places or take them out for lunch or dinner. I rarely hear "yes, please" when I offer food or beverages at my home. Even my daughters say it at home!
Should I correct their behavior by asking them "What's the magic word?" Should I tell them I want them to use their manners when they are with me? Should I speak to the parents about it? Or am I expecting too much? -- MANNERS MAVEN
DEAR MANNERS MAVEN: I'm sorry you didn't mention how old your daughters' friends are, but if they are over the age of 10, I recommend against asking, "What's the magic word?" It would be more diplomatic to talk to the girls privately and convey your message.
If you prefer they use better manners in your home, it is your right to say that to them. However, if you call the parents, the parents may think you are criticizing their parenting skills (and they wouldn't be wrong).
As to whether you are expecting too much, frankly, you may be. Sadly, adults who never learned good manners themselves can't pass them on to their children.