Thursday, July 16, 2009


I spend a lot of time thanking myself. To the point where I'm beginning to sound as though I've got another personality in here - she's called "Mommy" and I spend a lot of time saying "Thank you, Mommy" and "Please, Mommy." My kids are really good about manners, for the most part, it's really important to me that they be polite and respectful. In fact, a lot of the time, if I don't thank myself, but force myself to hold back for a second, they say it without being prompted. The snag is that I'm so used to saying it, I can't always help myself. Sam especially is great about thank you, but has a real problem with remembering to say please. He's started this demanding little thing where he lays on the floor and yells (in the most aggreived tone of voice) "I SAID I want a drink!"

Another thing we're actively working on is not interrupting. My kids love to chat with me when I'm on the phone, or talking to another adult. It's like once I'm engaged in doing something with another adult is their cue to suddenly have all kinds of things that must be discussed immediately.

Part of it is my fault... I am painfully well aware of that. I'm a big fan of attachment parenting - I think perhaps I took meeting their every need as an infant a little too seriously, and it's manifested itself in an expection on their part that they have every right to interrupt at will, because whatever they are doing is much more important that whatever I'm doing.

I don't want to create an image of these rude little creatures - because my kids are unfailingly polite with others. They are always exceptionally well behaved in public, and for the most part, do say thank you and please without being prompted (I just tend to do it myself because I'm so used to doing it). Already I can see a difference in their behavior, I started really paying attention to when they interrupt, and making sure that I don't allow it. Teaching them respect for their elders, respect for others, and graciousness is something that I think a lot of parents don't always do - I think, as parents, we assume that our kids sometimes will just pick this stuff up on their own. One thing I've discovered is that kids want very much to be polite, they want to do the right thing, but need to be told what that is, and then reminded - over and over and over again until it becomes a habit. Let's face it - it isn't in our nature to be polite - kids are born completely uncivilized, and we have to teach them.

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