My daughter is a really good kid. Of course we all think our kids are good kids but there is a general consensus amongs friends and family that she is well-behaved, nice, and all-around not a lot of trouble. I dig that. But there is one thing that I’ve been pestering her about endlessly, especially as we’re in the midst of the holiday season: Saying thank you and please more often.
We’ve had lots of presents giving and lots of meals with friends and family, all of which made me realize that my daughter doesn’t remember her manners as often as I think she should. She is 7 and to be honest, I think most of the time when she doesn’t say thank you after finishing a meal or getting a present it’s because she is off to the next thing or she is excited to play with the new thing she just got. When I remind her to say thank you or to use please when she is asking anyone for anything — including family, friends or strangers — she is quick to do it.
But I think she is old enough to remember to be more polite on her own and these days I’m sounding like a broken record telling her why I think it’s important. I’m a stickler for good manners, I’ll admit it. I pay attention to manners when I’m meeting new people — socially or for work — and I’m quick to judge if someone lacks them. Like having good grammar (another pet peeve of mine, but that’s for another day) I think good manners are one of those core things we should all have. They help us be more civil, more human, more socially happy with each other. They are not hard to learn and or practice. And there is absolutely no downside to being polite.
I’ll make an over-generalization and say that I think a lot of kids could use a manners upgrade. When our daughter has a playdate with someone and they are polite, I notice it because it’s not something that I see all the time. But maybe my expectations are too high.
Do you make a big deal out of teaching your kids to be polite and have good manners?