So, another article is flying around Facebook these days. This one relates to manners in children (you can check it out here). I read it with great interest. It lists 25 manners that a child should have ingrained by the time they are 9. Given that ButterBean has reached that milestone, I wondered how we were doing. Reading the list struck me as interesting a few ways. First, I agree with many of the items on the list. I do, however, have some particular favorites inspired by recent events in my own life…
If you do need to get somebody’s attention right away, the phrase “excuse me” is the most polite way for you to enter the conversation.”
My take: Excuse me is the most underrated phrase in the English language. People look at me funny when I say excuse me. This is not just when needing to interrupt a conversation. When you need to pass someone in a small space (say supermarket aisles) or need them to move their cart aside, Excuse me is the polite way to ask. And yet, I have had people get huffy and offended when I nicely said, “Excuse me.” Apparently either no one ever taught them manners or somehow they think even asking someone to make space is rude, I don’t know.
The world is not interested in what you dislike. Keep negative opinions to yourself, or between you and your friends, and out of earshot of adults.”
My take: We’re raising a generation of bored, hating kids. I recently had a visit from a young man who I have seen, in the past, as a nice, positive fellow. However during this visit, we were treated at every opportunity to how much he “hated” various TV shows and characters. He was also “bored” quite a bit. Now, the Beans are never bored. If they come to me bored, I take a page from Kinzi’s book and find a very unappealing chore that they can do (pick-up-clean up an especially burdensome mess, wash dishes, sweep floors, you get the picture). I would modify this one, however, as suggested by a friend of mine. Don’t share your negative opinions with adults OR your friends. Keep them to yourself. After all, kids often want to make their friends happy by liking (and disliking) the same things they do.
When people ask you how you are, tell them and then ask them how they are.”
My take: This is an especially hard one to teach. You just have to keep trying. ButterBean was VERY shy as a youngster. While I would smile and let people know that she’s shy, I’d also require her to respond to their greetings. Letting your child get away with simply hiding behind you is not going to help their socialization. Sometime we have to push… that’s why Moms were invented, right?
Even if a play or an assembly is boring, sit through it quietly and pretend that you are interested. The performers and presenters are doing their best.”
My take: Jordanian adults need lessons in this one. Sigh. During the holiday season just past, I can’t tell you how many performances of lovely choirs I attended where the adult audience talked the whole way through it. Literally. They didn’t listen for even a minute. And the music was worth hearing.
I will say that the Bean household struggles with #s 23 and 24. We’re uncivilized barbarians in those ;). Utensils don’t feature so much at the kids’ table. And the napkins always slide off the laps. But we keep extra Fine around for when that happens… But we’ll keep working on them.