Manners are a touchy topic these days. Probably because they are becoming a lost art.
Families are increasingly over-committed, and manners are often forgotten in the frantic pace of a drive-thru life. It seems like a whole generation is losing the most basic knowledge of tables manners and social graces. It’s not just the kids…the past three parties I’ve thrown had less than 3% of the people invited RSVP. I’ve almost quit going to the movies because inevitably a person will sit behind me who cannot chew their popcorn with their mouth closed. I can barely resist the urge to turn around and hiss “didn’t your mama raise you right?”
Husband runs into this problem a lot at in his line of work, as business ettiquette seems to be hit and miss with many people.
I could write a whole, drawn-out diatribe on the topic of manners, but I’ll spare you the soap box today. You probably know this is a problem, and see it in your own life.
As a stay-at-home mom, I have the time and ability to incorporate manners into our everyday lives. My kids are constantly being reminded to say “please,” thank you,” and “yes ma’am and sir.” We sit at the dinner table almost every night, with real napkins and placements.I make it a priority, because I know how important manners will be for the little heathens’ futures. You can be the smartest cookie on the planet, but you can also ruin that image in 3 seconds flat if you eat like a wolverine at a business lunch. You may be talented, but people will still think you are a butthead if you can’t muster up some basic courtesy.
My boys are like rabid hyenas most of the time. They’re hyper, playful, silly, insane and a little bit weird:
But they also know that there are times when Mama will put her foot down and try to drill some basic courtesy into them.
Today, Oldest got to practice his hand at Post-Birthday-Thank-You-Notes. Last year, I bought him the pre-composed kind where the kids just fill in a few spots. Those worked great for beginning writers. They allow kids to learn about the concept of Thank You Notes, and generally what a note should look like, but they also takes the pressure off beginning writers and set them up for success.
This year, however, I made him write them all on his own, though I did give him an example as a reference.
By now, Oldest knows the drill. He knows that the week after birthdays and Christmas will be the time to write his Thank You notes. He doesn’t put up a fight, because he knows that is just the way it is. Like using a napkin, chewing with your mouth closed and saying “please” and “thank you.”
Of all the things I can teach my kids, some basic dang manners are the one of the most important. This was only about 20 minutes of Oldest’s day, but he was reminded that every gift deserves a sincere “thank you,” and that manners aren’t whimsy around here. They are right up there with brushing your teeth.
So, this ends my soap box moment of the day. I could write a thesis on the death of manners, but I also know that I can only focus on my own kids and do my small part to ensure that do not grow up to be wolverine buttheads.
On a completely random tangent, why don’t we look at some lemon cake that I made but can’t eat:
I am only 4 pounds away from the 30 pound mark of my weight-loss extravaganza. Looking will just have to be enough for now… *sigh*