Mrs. Manners


I am no Emily Post, but the more I raise Landon and try to teach him to be well mannered the more I am shocked by the lack of them amongst us. I think children should be taught from a very young age to be respectful, say please and thank you, make eye contact and say hello, and to write a proper thank you note. This is the bare minimum as far as I'm concerned!

Nevertheless, I have moments at playgrounds and restaurants that mystify me. If Landon takes someones toy, I take it from him and give it back. I don't care if he cries, it's not his. Sharing is how the world works. When we are dining out Landon sits quietly or we leave. No need to torture the other diners. We expect reasonably good toddler manners. I see kids all the time running and screaming in restaurants and I am just a second away from killing the parents. Do they think that everyone else should babysit their kids?

Really, if I must be truthful, and lord knows I MUST, it's the parents. A fish stinks at the head, and the parents are the leaders in the family. If your parents don't require much of you, then that's what you'll put out into the world. I cannot imagine Landon horrifying a parent at a sleepover by being rude and ungrateful. It's not going to happen.

At our gymnastics class (we're on hiatus this summer and returning in the fall), I was amazed by the wonderful mom's and for the most part, kind and respectful kids. Then we did a make up class on another day. It was horrifying. The kids did not listen to the coach, ran everywhere and the mothers hardly paid attention. They were too busy chatting to be with their kids. When I see mom's who are asleep at the wheel I want to shake them. They are creating monsters!!! Hello, haven't you seen Supernanny? That three year old mean jerk can be a thirteen year old mean jerk before you know it! Invest in good manners and respect now while you still have control!

Today at work I got off the elevator to run down and mail a few things. Sure enough as I was getting off people plowed on hardly letting me by. Manners people. If your parents didn't teach you then let me clarify.

1. Let others off the elevator before getting on.
2. Do not talk on your cell phone loudly about personal matters in public places.
3. Be kind to waitresses. They are not second class citizens. Tip 20% unless they personally insult you.
4. Do not steal a parking place away from someone who's waiting, even if it's Marshalls and you're dying to get inside.
5. Don't blow your nose at the dinner table. Do I really need to write this down?
6. Hold your fork and knife properly, not like a caveman.
7. Wear a shirt around the house and tank tops ON MEN are disgusting no matter where except on the basketball court.
8. Listen and don't interrupt. Listen and stop waiting to say something back!
9. Write hand written thank you notes for anything and everything someone gives or does for you. Take the time to make someones day by writing a good one.

and last but not least...
10. Teach your kids respect and kindness or you'll never be more sorry about anything in your life!

24 comments:

Mrs.Preppy said...

I am a BIG thank you note person. My mother in law once told me that she would not let the kids play with their birthday / Christmas gifts until they ha completed their thank you notes. I think that is a great idea... and to this day, my husband does the best thank you notes!

Lauren said...

I am so glad you did this post! I completely agree with you on everything. I get so frustrated when I see parents letting their kids get away with the unimaginable. I can't tell you how many times my husband and I have been out to dinner and watched children behave like little monsters. I was a nanny during undergrad, and I saw countless parents not disciplining their children and following through with the punishments they dealt. Then the children know they can get away with anything and the parents don't have authority.

Anyway, I don't have kids of my own yet, but I definitely want to teach my kids manners and respect. It is a hard job, but I think it is important for children to learn that from the beginning.

Enjoy your week!

Pink Flamingo said...

Kudos to the Mrs…I couldn’t have said it better. No matter where you are - at home, work, or with friends - practicing good manners so is important. If you practice and consistently use good manners, you are showing those around you that you are not only considerate of their feelings, but respectful. You are also setting standards for others' behavior and encouraging them to treat you with similar respect. I feel that instilling children with these values at an early age will lead them to become second nature and a way of life.

Have a great day! :)

Always Organizing said...

Love this post!!! I am such a stickler about manners. I can not stand when people do not step aside to let someone out of the door before they go in, it makes me crazy!

magnolia mama said...

Amen, sista!

Mom x 2 said...

A hearty AMEN to this!

My husband and I have several times had to ask a waiter to put our food in to-go containers and leave. I refuse to sit and try to eat dinner in a restaurant with a fussy child. It's rude and inconsiderate of other diners.

Just this week at my son's t-ball game, my husband filled in for one of the assistant coaches. A little boy on our team was acting up and my husband reprimanded him and he looked right at my husband and said, "You're not the coach. I don't have to do what you say." The mom was too busy gabbing to even hear it and thinks that behavior is funny or cute. My husband was appalled, to say the least. I keep hoping I've taught my son well enough to never speak to an adult this way.

Mrs. K said...

my daughter's hand cramps during holidays and birthday season (which is the same!) we had a girl over for a playdate and the girl spoke back to me- and i simply said- wherever you learned that from, we don't do that here, and it's not acceptable, so if you can't refrain yourself from such backtalk let me know so i can call your mother'. the girl was stumped...but you know what? it worked. I hate rude kids.

SAS said...

I like to think I follow all of your rules! :) I don't have children, but I do teach 5 year olds. Almost ALL of my kids are good with me. If I see them out in public with thier parents - LORD HAVE MERCY! They are almost always awful. I want to say....they are capable of much better behavior, I see it! Children beg for structure and guidance and rules! Amen to you!

Belle in Bloom said...

Thank-you! I love this post.

Etiquettely Correct said...

Amen to that sister! I hate it when people don't have basic manners - its so repulsive.

WSU Laura said...

So true...unfortunately.

Jill@Who Could Ask for Anything More said...

Oh mercy, I so agree. I love "A fish stinks at the head" -- hee-hee. So true! I'm a stickler for good manners and my husband even more so. It's not easy getting kids to mind and be respectful, etc. Much easier to let them run wild.

MommyK said...

Yes and no.

Kids learn from their parents, no doubt about that. But how a child acts is not always a direct reflection on their parents. Especially as they get older. They are not an extension of us, they are their own people. I've known many great parents with difficult children, and just because a kid is being rotten doesn't automatically make his parents bad people or bad parents. Everyone has off days.

As for sharing, sometimes the kids need to work it out on their own. When my son and his friends get together, I don't intervene unless things start to escalate.

That said, I can't stand 99% of the teenagers I know. I'm pretty sure most of them will grow up to be decent adults.

kenady said...

I'm w/ Magnolia Mama... she took the words right out of my mouth.

Amen, sista!

Pink in a sea of blue said...

I think you're my long lost sister. I totally agree. I am so big on manners and thank you notes. Hello. My kids have their own monogrammed note cards and #1 wrote thank you notes for his b-day presents this year! This is something they will know to do when they leave this house!

lizziefitz said...

Thank you , I couldn't agree more.

The Shabby Princess said...

I don't have children yet, so, my comments won't really be worth much...however, I was a gymnastics coach for years and I was always amazed at the number of rude children that I taught--my mother would have...well, never mind that, but, if I had acted in that manner as a child, whoa nelly. Maybe it's just changing times (sad), maybe manners aren't as important as they once were, I don't know, but, in any event, it is sad.
Also, yes, thank you notes are a must! I'm obsessed with Papyrus--sending a nice pretty card can really make someone's day.
PS. Saw that on your blog that you were in St. John--it's one of my favorite places on earth--I hope you had a great time!

Traci Anne said...

Amen!! There are two specific examples from my trip that I can't even describe, they make me so upset! If you can't be bothered to mind your children, DON'T HAVE THEM. The world is not your babysitter! Ugh, people.

Kate said...

I totally agree! Toddlers are toddlers and all children have off days - but adults should know their children's limits and pack it in if things go sour. I'm not a SuperNanny watcher - but I am also pretty shocked at the lack of basic decent manners people have sometimes :(

Loved all your vacation pictures!!

ilovepink said...

Amen! I feel the exact same way!!! It's scary how people can be so self centered and parents can be so blind! I don't enjoy disciplining...but it comes with being a parent! So glad to hear your opinions on this matter!!!

Melissa said...

Well said! I think a HUGE reason for many of the behavior problems where I teach are because the parents didn't raise their kids to be polite and respectful!

Tres Poshe Preppy said...

Well said!

prepinparadise said...

I couldn't agree more with everything you said. We are raising a generation of spoiled-rotten brats.
Two of my biggest pet peeves are: 1. When people do not thank you for holding a door open for them and 2. People who do not wave to thank you after you have ever so kindly let them into traffic. Oh, and 3. People who litter and clearly have no respect for our planet.
p.s. ~ How cute is your little boy!

Cindy said...

I so agree with you! I try to explain to Sophie that when I correct her manners I'm not trying to be critical but am trying to help her learn good manners. It's not something people are born with, it's a process. People who raise rude children give all us parents a bad name.

That Landon is going to be a lovely little gentleman!