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.
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!