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I’ve always known I’d have boys. You know that feeling you get when you envision your family. Since then I’ve made it a goal to raise my boys to have good manners. I’m not saying that kids won’t be kids and be silly sometimes but I’ve always wanted to be sure my boys are aware that they aren’t the only people here and that other’s feelings matter too.
I’m not talking about using the correct fork or elbows on the table. I’m talking about apologizing if you bump into someone because you were being crazy in the store. Noticing that your loud behavior is disrupting people behind you and changing your behavior out of respect for others. Holding the door so it doesn’t slam on the person coming in after you.
I consider compliments on my boys’ manners or politeness some of the best. I was reminded of this last night when my 12 (almost 13 year old) politely chatted with the cashier at Trader Joe’s. He looked him in the eye, answered his questions, joked with him a bit, told him “thank you” and to have a good day with a smile as he turned to leave. The cashier commented on his ability to talk to adults and told me I was doing a great job raising a very polite young man. Obviously he has no idea what kind of job I’m doing as a mom but it made me feel great. My son even said, “I like it when people comment on my manners”.
People notice. I hope they don’t notice because they are in the minority. Manners are always a work in progress though they need A LOT less reminders than when they were younger. Do you actively work on manners with your kids? Could you imagine a world if everyone did?