19 Feb

>My lovely friend Leigh over at A Boy, His Girls And A Big Dog posted about manners yesterday.  As her oldest daughter is working on manners at school it was fitting when she read a list of “25 Manners Every Kid Needs by Age 9.”  She then added her own little comments on how her girls are doing with their manners (and I thought I’d do the same)!  The list goes a little something like this:

1) When asking for something, say “Please!” (Good at this one… especially when asking for something from someone besides myself).
2) When receiving something, say “Thank You!” (Check… 90% of the time).
3) Do not interrupt grown-ups who are speaking with each other unless there is an emergency.  They will notice you and respond when they are finished talking. (Extremely bad at this one…. I truly think it is because Jayden usually has 100% of my attention so when I am talking to someone else he still expects the same attention.  Excuse?).
4) If you do need to get somebody’s attention right away, the phrase “excuse me” is the most polite way for you to enter the conversation. (Jayden thinks “excuse me” gives him the go ahead to speak.  He always says excuse me when trying to enter a conversation but doesn’t always wait until his turn to talk).
5) When you have any doubt about doing something, ask permission first.  It can save you from many hours of grief later. (Good at this one; Jayden gets shy and bashful when faced with a doubtful situation.  Hopefully this doesn’t change with age – ha).
6) The world is not interested in what you dislike.  Keep negative opinions to yourself, or between you and your friends, and out of earshot of adults. (We try to keep things positive in our house but there are times Jayden has a strong opinion about something that he doesn’t like and he will let it known).
7) Do not comment on other people’s physical characteristics unless, of course, its to compliment them, which is always welcome. (Jayden is great at giving compliments; today he told me my hair “is looking great Mom”).
8) When people ask you how you are, tell them, and then ask them how they are. (Not here yet; Jayden will tell people how he is, then just smiles).
9) When you have spent time at your friend’s house, remember to thank his or her parents for having you over and for the good time you had. (Sometimes we have to remind him but we make him thank anyone for having him/us over; grandparents, aunts, friends, etc.).
10) Knock on closed doors, and wait to see if there’s a response before you enter. (Funny one.  I don’t remember the last time I could shut the bathroom door without an intruder.  If I lock a door and then tell Jayden I need privacy, he does wait until I open the door).
11) When you make a phone call, introduce yourself first and then ask if you can speak with the person you are calling. (Jayden always asks who is calling him but that’s about it).
12) Be appreciative and say “thank you” for any gift you receive.  In the age of e-mail, a handwritten thank you note can have a powerful effect. (With Christmas and his birthday recently, he has really learned to say “thank-you” for anything he recieves.  I also made him write out thank-you notes for his birthday gifts).
13) Never use foul language in front of adults.  Grown-ups already know all those words, and they find them boring and unpleasant. (There are some smaller words in our home that are not allowed; stupid, hate, etc.  The other day Jayden said “sh*t” totally out of context but still said it and I was mortified.  As soon as he said it, he knew something was wrong.  He immediately apologized for using a bad word.  I asked him where he heard that word and he said at school.  I made it clear that that word is totally inappropriate and unacceptable.  Hopefully that doesn’t come up again anytime soon).
14) Don’t call people mean names. (Bad names for Jadyen are “chicken butt” and “doppy.”  Not kind names but I guess it could be worse). 
15) Do not make fun of anyone for any reason. Teasing shows others you are weak and ganging up on someone else is cruel. (Not sure Jayden even know what “making fun” of people means.  However, he does know how to tease especially when playing sports).
16) Even if a play or an assembly is boring, sit through it quietly and pretend that you are interested.  The performers and presenters are doing their best. (After sitting through basketball games since 3 weeks old, Jayden’s pretty darn good at this one).
17) If you bump into somebody, immediately say “Excuse Me.” (I’d say 50% on this one; sometimes he says excuse me before the adult does, other time he keeps walking and minding his own business).
18) Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze and don’t pick your nose in public.  (Sneezing no, coughing yes and we are doing very good at using a tissue to handle the nose situation).
19) As you walk through a door, look to see if you can hold it open for someone else. (Great at this one; must have picked up that habit from being the door holder at school).
20) If you come across a parent, a teacher, or a neighbor working on something, ask if you can help.  If they say “yes”, do so-you may learn something new. (Jayden helps when he is interested in helping; unloading the groceries, preparing food). 
21) When an adult asks you for a favor, do it without grumbling and with a smile.  (Jayden is great at this when a someone who isn’t too close to us asks him; but I have to laugh because this may take a few years to perfect)!
22) When someone helps you, say “thank you” That person will likely want to help you again.  This is especially true with teachers! (Jayden is good at this one; however, we’ve been teaching him to accept help when someone offers it.  Help from others is good)!
23) Use eating utensils properly.  If you are unsure how to do so, ask your parents to teach you or watch what adults do. (Jayden doesn’t have the best overall table manners but he is great at this one.  Why?  I never, ever let Jayden feed himself when he was younger.  I couldn’t stand the mess so he is a super clean eater and can’t stand being dirty)!
24) Keep a napkin on your lap; use it to wipe your mouth when necessary. (A napkin by his plate is the way we go for now.  As long as he wipes his hands on his napkin and no where else then that’s ok by me)!
25) Don’t reach for things at the table; ask to have them passed (We don’t have a huge table so there isn’t much reaching)!

I can’t wait to repeat this post once a year until Jayden is 9.  I wonder what will change and what will stay the same or get worse.  Manners are very important on our home and I pray that God will guide Jayden on the path of good manners!


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