Friday, March 2, 2012

Miss Manners?

The Dilemma...
Growing up I was never required to say Ma'am and/or Sir so it never occurred to me that it was something I should consider with my own children. However, since Emma Bean has been in school this year and really is starting to grasp things like manners, she has developed some pretty poor ones.
Overall we have great kids but here lately with all I've been through they've had a bit of a free run staying with Grandma and me being limited to bed rest then light duty. I believe all the extra attention may have gone to little Emma's head. As a matter of fact, we were even informed that she was a bit of a pill those last few days at Grandma's house (**gasp**.)
Obviously, its time for an intervention. The hubby and I have really been trying to work on our patience with the kids too. I'll be the first to admit all the screaming nonsense overwhelms my nerves rather quickly. I can't fathom how two little people can be so loud and more irritatingly, for what reason? But, in taking a step back and using my superb parenting experience to really analyze it, this may all be communication based. OK, so that's just a random conclusion I've come to out of desperation for getting to a better place or at least less tense.
Enter Manners...
My initial feeling was that Ma'am and Sir were a bit harsh and somewhat kept my kids at a distance from me. Like they wouldn't feel comfortable talking to me when they were older. I understand the need for manners and believe in it too. I just felt like that No Thank You is just as respectful as No Sir both of which are much more desired then a Nah or even a short No. Although we never used Ma'am and Sir, somewhere along the way I picked up that Yes is much more acceptable (and intelligent sounding) than Yah. I just kind of figured my kids would get there.
The truth...
The truth is though, they shouldn't be expected to just pick up on something, not something as important as manners. Its our responsibility to teach them and teach them early. The more the hubby and I discussed it, the more I started leaning to the side that maybe I should require Ma'am and Sir. After all polite and respectful kids are never a bad thing. I also feel like it will take care of some of the screaming. Instead of just screaming at us or her brother it gives her the tools to actually use words. It becomes habit, second nature. Eventually, without even knowing it, she'll just say "Eli can I please have that back" instead of pointing or pushing and "ahhhhhhhhhhh." Maybe that's wishful thinking for siblings, but maybe it will just work.

So, that's where I stand. I'm teaching my kids manners, we start today!

not the best picture of them but the most recent one I've got

I'd love to hear about your experiences, tips, and opinions as parents, teachers, or other people who deal with children on a regular basis.