My kids have a “what’s in it for me attitude” as regards just about everything. Right now, I’m trying to drill some manners into them. They were unimpressed with the, “If you have manners, you can dine with kings” — which was a shtick that worked with my sister and me.
I’ve had to chart a new course, which is tied in to the horrible and excessive focus on popularity in their school. I’ve explained to them that good manners boil down to making other people feel comfortable, while charm is essentially making other people feel special and valuable. If my children can master both skills, they will always be popular, I say. Periodically, my children appear to be believe me.