Sunday, October 16, 2011

Mommy Memo No. 5

It’s Mother’s Day in Argentina, so…Happy Mother’s Day!!

My sister-in-law sent me this picture.  ‘Happy Mother’s Day’ in junction with this photo made me laugh…(and almost cry for whoever that poor mother was).

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AND my Mom wrote a fantastic Mommy Memo.  No phone service makes for some great e-mails.

Practice Makes Polite

I think children learn primarily by example.  I once read that “You can't be rude to your kids and then expect them to be polite to other people."  Very true.

As a young mom,  I felt overwhelmed with the task of trying to teach my kids how to be polite!  Whether it was receiving gifts, eating at the table, talking on the phone, meeting new people, or just thinking of others, I decided that PRACTICE MAKES POLITE! 

Our kitchen table was a great place to learn.  We tried to have fun practicing – putting the napkin where it went, using the right utensils, and saying “please pass,” rather than reaching…or throwing.  Mealtime can bring out some atrocious manners, and most times, I felt like I spent the entire meal correcting.
BUT the more we practiced together, the better each meal became.  (Yet another reason why I believe eating together as a family is so important)! 

Children will learn how to treat others by the way you treat them.  For example, I have always believed that correcting a child in front of others embarrasses you and them…& ultimately, does more harm than good.  I always had a better experience when I corrected in private.  If my children were acting rude, I saved the relationship when I chose to lead them away and quietly and briefly correct them with a reassuring tone.  On that same token, we always tried to make sure that they received praise and appreciation when good manners were used. 

I remember a time when our son Kyle received a ride home from a birthday party.  When he walked into the house, I asked him, "Did you tell his mom thanks for the ride home?"  He said, "No, I forgot."  This was a great teaching opportunity.  We looked up her phone number together, dialed it, & told her thanks for the ride home!  Simple as that.

My husband and I decided early on in our marriage that when our children were young, we would make good manners a priority & basically, not tolerate bad manners. Think about it: Your child doesn't run into the freeway, play with steak knives, or stick Play-Dough in your VCR because you've made it clear that these behaviors won't be tolerated!  In the same way, you must decide that bad manners won't be permitted either.  It was a big deal for us to teach our children the importance of thinking of others through good manners.  (Some of our Family Home Evening Nights were spent writing thank you notes).  An education in courtesy must begin in the home.  Practice really does make polite.

2 comments:

The Jensen Duo said...

I love this. That is one smart mommy you have there. Love her. Thanks for sharing.

Steph Thomas said...

Great advice. We are constantly not listening to our child when they say "I want...." We wait until they say "May I have.... please?" Or "Yes, Please, and no, thank you.