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Your Son/Daughter is Soooooo Well Mannered!

{ Sunday, March 16th, 2014 }

How many of us have heard these words? (At least I hope so, or this will be awkward), ‘Your son/daughter is so well mannered.’ Let’s take this a step further. Do you then internally laugh hysterically at the thought that they are referring to your child? I ask you, why is it that others benefit from our child’s great behavior, but we do not? Perhaps some of you do have amazingly well mannered children all of the time… I, do not. Yes, full disclosure…Mrs. Goode Manners must admit, my boys still love to be “themselves” at home. I shudder. That’s “themselves?” Egad! I mean, I am thrilled. Thrilled in that others think they are so well-mannered. I would love to see a minutiae of it here at home. I saw my son attack a piece of BBQ chicken breast with his fork dug in like a spear. Almost how you might imagine Tom Hanks eating a fresh catch in Cast Away. Is it worth the argument? Even I question. If I know they are on their best behavior when out in public, or at someone’s home, do I tackle this? Is it worthwhile? I do tell them it’s hard for me to watch. But, who here isn’t guilty of slurping up spaghetti, or using their fingers to pick up food when you are home alone? One night I was twirling my pasta on my fork, and what was not turning onto the fork was dangling down from my mouth. Sauce on my chin. I laughed. If there was a hidden camera I would be busted big time! But, you know what? That’s ok. I feel strongly that there’s a time and a place. The only reason I feel we need to ride our kids a bit more, is because we have earned the right. We are adults/parents/caregivers. I do feel that good table manners come with years of practice, and habit. Our kids haven’t “earned” that right yet. But, is it ok for us to let them slide on things when it’s just us at home? I have to say use your best judgement. But, for me, I feel like every kudo I get about my son…I give him a pass. I let him collect $200 when he passes go. It’s a reward. It keeps his eye on the prize.