I know there will be moments when my son forgets his manners. Kids will be kids. But for the most part, I expect him to mind his manners both at home and away from home. Being a rookie parent, I had to rely on my common sense to start the process of teaching good manners.
I remember months ago when my kiddo was barely a year old he said “thank you” (or his own version of it) for the first time. Every time he would approach something that he’s not supposed to I would say “no, no, no”, and when he stopped I would say “thank you!”. Well, he went for the vacuum cord that was plugged in the wall and before I could say anything he said to himself “no, no, no, thank you!”. I was so proud! A few months later he caught on to “more, please” when he wanted more food or drink. For that one, I said “more, please” almost every single time I thought he would want more. It finally caught on. And most recently I’ve been working on “hold me, please” when he grabs onto my legs, whining, wanting to be picked up. He just said that one the other day for the first time, although it’s not consistent yet. Not only are these polite phrases a good way to speak, whether you’re a child or an adult, but I must say that it’s pretty darn cute when a little one says “thank you” or “more please”. Who doesn’t appreciate good manners coming from a kid?
I’m sure I forgot my manners sometimes as a kid, but I do remember being polite and my own mother emphasizing the importance of good manners. In my mind, it’s an important part of my kindness mission with my son, Rowdy. If we’re going to interact with other people, why not be kind and polite? It certainly doesn’t hurt anything. In fact, it probably helps out even when we don’t realize it. Here in Texas, and in most of the South, it’s completely common to use “ma’am” and “sir” when addressing someone, whether they’re
older than you or not. And if that’s a bit much for your taste, instead of “yes, ma’am”, “yes, please” is just as good.