Monday, March 4, 2013

Teaching Good Manners

Lauren loved Barney when she was little and Dominic is currently going through a phase where he loves watching one of the Barney videos about Christmas (in Dominic's world, Christmas would be every day!). One of my favorite songs that Barney used to sing was, "Please and Thank You." Say what you will about Barney, but he did have good manners :)  About six months ago, when I let out a big sneeze, Dominic said, "bless you!"  Wow, I think that was the first time he said that at the appropriate time.  I have been working for several months with him on knowing when to say "thank you" and "you're welcome" when you're supposed to.  He has known how to say it for several years, but he didn't always recognize when he "needed" to say it. Now, if we don't say you're welcome when he says thank you quick enough, he'll say, "what do you say?" or one time he told me, "say you're welcome, Mommy!!"  Guess he told me!!  Last week, when I was at one of the local grocery stores and I was checking out, the clerk said, "so, how's your day going, Miss?"  I kind of liked that I was called a "Miss" and not a "Ma'am" especially since I am approaching the half-century mark in July! The last time I was at the library, there was an elderly woman and man also approaching the entrance at the same time.  The elderly woman was using crutches. I held the door open for the both of them and they both thanked me.  I told the elderly woman, "you're welcome" and to the gentleman, I said, "you're welcome, sir."  I don't remember growing up calling men older than myself, "sir."  I actually only think I've been saying it for about five or so years.  Good manners and etiquette is something that is really important to me. I taught Lauren at a young age that when an adult asks her, "so, how are you doing?", the proper response back is, "fine, and how are you?" I have noticed more than one adult have a pleasantly surprised look on their face when Lauren has done that.  I need to work on getting Dominic to do that too.  He's kind of a "work in progress." Sometimes, I bust the hubby's chops a little when he'll ask me to do something, but doesn't say "please."  I'll say, "what's the "magic" word?" It gets my message across :)  I was looking at a poll recently on-line.  The question was, "what type of etiquette is the most important to teach children?"  The choices - good table manners, respect for teachers/elders, treating peers with respect, prompt thank you notes, and other.  Over 13,000 votes were cast for the poll. The choice that got the most votes - respect for teachers/elders - 65%.  That is great!!  I guess I'm not the only one that feels showing respect for an older person is really important. How young were your kids when you started teaching them good manners? To me, it's never too early to start!

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