Thursday, February 17, 2011
I am starting this blog in an effort to share helpful tips on how to teach your kids to be polite, thoughtful and well mannered. I am excited about this adventure. I can't tell you how many times I have had to say to my 2 boys in hopes that they would repeat it, "Please, may I have some milk?" or "Thank you, Mommy." My goodness, you would think that after saying that 5000 times that they would learn to say it themselves. So, in an attempt to carve well rounded nice boys out of my (politely stated) "energetic" rough toddlers, I am going to teach them a new polite manner each day this year. I will share the manner of the day and what dull or revolutionary experience it brought to our lives. If you'd like to follow my probably insane attempt at training wild monkeys, please feel free to share your pioneering comments. I am sure we will all tear our hair out, laugh, cry and hopefully not crumble along the way. I have called this blog Hello Manners, because I believe that inside of each person there are manners just waiting to come out. We, as parents, just need to guide our children, lead by example and teach them the rules to follows. If we do this, then when our children's manners appear, we can say, "Oh, Hello Manners, there you are. So glad you could join us today." And in the end of this tortuous year, maybe just maybe, we will find ourselves as mothers of sweet little angels.
I will be enlisting the help from manners experts Tina Lee, who wrote a sweet book called "Manners to Grow On" published in 1955 by Double Day & Co. The chapters are broken down into different categories of interactions and skills. The first chapter is on introductions. So, that is where we will begin. But first I need to prepare my children for this journey. I can say that I have decided to teach manners to them, but if they are not willing students, it will inevitably fail. So, I will start by telling them we will be playing a game called manners. There are rules to learn which help you play the game correctly. When you learn the rule and use it, you score a point. As my children practice these rules, just as in playing any game, they will get better at it and it eventually just becomes part of who they are. (I hope, I hope). Now, if they forget to use their manners that they have learned, I will encourage them not to be disappointed in themselves, for everyone makes mistakes. And I will show them how to do the right way, and have them repeat their action with the corrected adjustment. I will also be leading by example and being on my best behavior. So, no talking with food in my mouth (a disgusting habit which I have perfected) and no leaving the table without excusing myself (as a mom can you imagine actually sitting down to a proper meal with your family without interruptions!). Okay, I think that is it. I am ready. Opening my book to page 6. Introductions.