You might as well call me Mrs. Manners – not that mine are perfect (close) but I am the self-appointed manners prefect of the family. When did kids stop using Mrs., anyway? Like Nathalie, I am not always polite about reminding my boys to use their manners but remind them, I do.
Some (cough, cough the boys) may call it nagging but I call it “constructive guidance”. It sounds better.
Sit up straight. Elbows off the table. Use your utensils.
I also excel at something that I’ve coined “verbal coaching”. Before leaving the house, going to someone’s house, entering a store, straying more than an arm’s length from me, I like to prompt the boys:
How do we greet people? What do you say when you arrive? How do you shake a hand? What do you say when you leave? Remember to look at the person when they are speaking to you. Use your voice, don’t mumble. Be polite. Say please, thank you.
Sometimes my gentle reminders are met with an eyeball roll. I am quick to point out that’s quite rude.
It’s exhausting work being Mrs. Manners in addition to my regular gig as Super Martyr Mom but no one said raising three young boys to be kind, respectful, thoughtful men was easy.
Receiving accolades as a parent is as rare as experiencing a day free from whining. Spoiler alert: it never happens. Yet when report cards are sent home, no amount of A’s will make me as proud as when I read how my boys are polite, considerate and courteous.
It’s like I have been graded, and I have passed. For now.
Cookie: Bite-Sized Life Lessons by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Have You Filled A Bucket Today?
by Carol Mccloud have been read many times over in our home and serve as fantastic tools for teaching manners and kindness to my boys.