Saturday, November 26, 2016

Minding our Manners

Trick or treating this year with Quinn, I felt like I was constantly reminding him to say "Thank you" after the brightly wrapped candy bar was dropped into his loot bag. I get it - it's exciting, and he's more interested in the treats than being polite.
It's always shocking to me and Daddy when the teachers are describing our progeny as polite, well behaved, cooperative and helpful in the classroom. I often wonder if they've mixed up our kids with someone else's. Their aunt and uncle who regularly host them for sleep overs also report nothing but the best behaviours from them. Which again, I find shocking because there isn't a single night without an issue at bedtime.
One afternoon, I dropped off Aisling for her first sleep-over party. As she was taking her jacket off, I issued a litany of reminders and ended with "Mind your manners! Please and thank yous!"
She  responded with, "We're always polite at other people's homes. It's just at home, we're not."
All the parenting books I've read suggest that we must be doing an okay job in raising our kids if they are well behaved in public and for others. The children know what is expected of them, but at home, they feel comfortable in the unconditional love of their parents, so they feel "safe" in acting out, and testing the limits of bad behaviour. Or testing the limits of their parents' patience with their shenanigans.
And yet, sometimes they do remember to use their manners.
The other night, Daddy went to give Quinn his usual good night kiss - a slobbery "doggie" kiss.
Quinn buried his head under the pillows and said "No thank you Daddy. I don't want a kiss!"

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