Mild Mannered

One of the goals for parents is to instill and model good manners.  I am from New Orleans, so this is relatively easy for me. I say thank you to people who hold the door for me, serve me food, call me, say kind things, basically, anytime a thank you is warranted, I say it.

A simple way to appreciate.

Using good manners is second nature.  And important.  The power of saying thank you is amazing.  And, by an event that happened recently, I hope my dudes know and understand the incredible value of a simple thank you.

String Bean has a friend who was in Seussical with him.  Each night, The Captain would drop Bean’s friend off at home so his parents didn’t have to stay at the theater through all of the rehearsals and every performance.  Not once did the kid say thanks.  Every evening during dress rehearsals and performances, The Captain would help this child with is costume, wig and even finding the elusive DS game that had fallen out of the holder.  Not one time did this kid say thank you.  He is now known as Mr. Thankless.

One night, I had the thrill of picking all the dudes, including Mr. Thankless, and taking them home, and, once again, not a peep, not a thanks, not even a screw you from Mr. Thankless.  I, being oh so subtle, said, “You are welcome.”  Crickets chirped.  Leaves dropped.  Birds chirped. Still, no thank you came from his mouth.

Squishy was completely irked by this.  He began saying things to Mr. Thankless such as, “It would be nice if you would thank my dad for helping you with your costume each night,”  and, “Why don’t you say thanks when my mom drops you off at your house?”  Squishy is very intuitive for a seven-year-old.

This stream of thanklessness did not see to phase String Bean, which, honestly, worried me a little since Mr. Thankless is his so-called best buddy.  So, I polled String Bean about his own manners:

“When someone brings you home, do you say thank you?” I asked, searching for information.

“Yeah,” he said, barely looking up from his 3DS.

“Are you suuuuuuuuure you say thank you?” I didn’t pause, “Because if you didn’t, you would be in big trouble.”

“I am sure,” String Bean replied with a huff and an hefty roll of the eyes.

“Bean, I am serious. Manners are important and I hope you are using them.  Remember what Thomas the Train says about manners.” I continue by breaking into a Thomas the Tank Engine song.

“Mom, stop! I am too old for Thomas!  I use manners, OK?!” yelled the super-mature (and way over this entire conversation) ten-year-old.

“Whatever,” said the super-mature me, “I am just saying it is important, understand?”

“It is not my fault that Mr. Thankless doesn’t say thank you, Mom,” he said, “I don’t know why he doesn’t say thank you.  Besides, his mom is super nice and always says thank you.”

Squishy interjects, “Maybe it is because his parents put a TV in his bedroom.  That can make him forget his manners.”  Did I mention Squishy is very intuative for a seven-year-old?

“I am sure that is it, Squish, but Bean, make sure you are using your manners – say thank you and please, OK?”  I had to make my point stick for the 100th time.

“OK Mom.  Can I play my 3DS now and have some peace and quiet around here?” and, with that, he was back in Mario land.

Out of the mouths of babes.  I do hope they have learned that manners go a long way.

In conclusion, I would like to extend a hearty thank you to those reading my blog.  Thank you from the top of the mountains to the bottom of the sea.  You rock.

Oh, and thanks for brightening my day.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.  And a warning to Mr. Thankless: Next time, I am telling your super nice mom!

Muchas gracias. Merci beaucoup.


25 thoughts on “Mild Mannered

  1. I am so w u. I think thank yous and being gracious are superimportant. Big time and I’m a Yankee, not from the south ! Lol. I think it is due to my Colombian mother. Not only are south American kids way more polite, but they say sir and ma’am all the time, especially to their parents! It’s said in the form of senor and senora and its written into the elegance of the language. But bottomline, u get all of this stuff from ur parents. So ur kids will be fine, but Mr thankless… Ay yay yay. Grt post.

  2. Ha! You sound just like me when I speak to my kids about manners! Bet my poor teenager can’t wait to get out of the house. But if we don’t teach them, who will? 🙂

  3. I am 100% with you on this…the two-year old is already learning please and thank you…the big challenge with my oldest is ma’am and sir…but we’re working on it…I’m Southern, too – my mama would smack me if I didn’t use my manners!

    • Please and thank you are so important. Ma’am and sir are hard for my kids because of where we live now. I even get funny looks when I say “yes, sir” or “no ma’am.” I have had to adjust to “yes, thank you.” 🙂

  4. Have a great day. I hear you’re an amazing teacher and an even more amazing friend, and a triple amazing writer. you are a special woman for all you do for your students. Keep doing you and soon, you will be appreciated and honored as you deserve.

      • Yes, I did read Her post, and she is a great friend from what I read. With people surrounding you like Her, your hard weeks are a little bit easier. Your profession is vital, and so are you. Don’t give up.

  5. Just keep repeating like it’s no big deal and they GET IT. I don’t know how I did it with my daughter but her teachers used to say she was so POLITE. What did I do, beat it into her? No! See. Just nag GENTLY. Kids are wired to emulate.

  6. Great subject! I definitely notice which of my kids’ have manners which do not. Then, of course, I panic that my kids aren’t being well mannered when they’re out of my sight. Sigh.

    • That is my worry, too. I hope they are using their manners when I am not around, but I can’t guarantee it. Sometimes, I wish I could be a fly on the wall and find out! But, I can’t, so I have to resort to asking a zillion questions and making sure they understand how important manners are. 🙂

  7. I’m so glad my parents made us write the most dreaded thank-you notes after birthday parties and holidays! It’s such a small thing when we’re younger, but it makes a huge difference in life! I can’t count the number of times I’ve written a thank-you note or even just said thank you and had someone stop in their tracks and kind of quizzically answer “You’re welcome?” Yes. That is the appropriate response. Loved the post – and the thank you card pics 🙂

    • Oooooh – we had to do that, too! I had a great aunt who would not send a gift the next year if she didn’t receive a thank you note. It was a great motivator, and taught me a great lesson. 🙂

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