A Big Reminder
I just returned from two weeks in Houston with my family, helping my son and daughter-in-law adjust to the new addition to their family,Lorelei Elizabeth. Dustin and Melissa
spent most of their time tending to Lorelei, so my job was to care for my 3 year old granddaughter, Aubrey. (I know she would remind me that she is 3 ½ now, not just 3). I can’t tell you what a wonderful time I had – exhausting – but wonderful!
Aubrey is such a delight. We played dolls, dress up, read a lot of books, built a “sheet” tent draped over stools and chairs (she loved it) and as you can imagine, I reminded her about manners whenever I found the opportunity and introduced new ones when appropriate. She certainly has mastered saying “Please” and “Thank You” and “You’re Welcome” which made me very happy.
Each time we sat down for lunch or dinner, I was reminded what a challenge it is for parents to teach their children manners. I found myself getting frustrated when I would remind Aubrey to keep her mouth closed when she was chewing her food and then the next bite, I would have to remind her again. I had to make sure I was not being critical which after the third time of reminding her, was not easy! We worked on all the basic table manners –using a napkin, asking to be excused, etc. In addition, we worked a lot on being respectful to other people, both young and old. At the end of two weeks,
Aubrey earned a “Blue Ribbon” award for her accomplishments.
The best advice I can give you to be successful at teaching your children manners is to repeat, repeat, repeat – remember, manners are learned, not inherent. But most
importantly, be good role models. If you want your children to have good manners, you
must have good manners.
Parents, you have such a huge responsibility raising your children. Making sure they are healthy and happy and all their needs are taken care of – then add in, teaching them manners – it’s exhausting! I know that first hand now. So, I applaud all of you for the great job you are doing.