when to start with manners? - Page 9 - Mothering Forums

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#241 of 317 Old 12-19-2005, 06:37 PM
 
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Start young! My two year old already says thank you and your welcom, often says please, says excuse me (ok, me scuze me lol). If you start when they are young and say it to them everytime, they just pick up on it and it seems natural. I think that is the hugest thing, to always say please and thank you to them, they will think that it is just the normal thing to do.
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#242 of 317 Old 12-19-2005, 06:55 PM
 
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OK. I'm short on time again, but I'll try to clarify what I was saying.

There is a marked difference between showing respect and succumbing to manipulation. To use an example from above, if my DH comes home and expects kisses to feel respected, great! I like kissing him. If he comes home to find me up to my elbows in poopy diaper, and then withholds affection or somehow mistreats me in response to (as "punishment" for) not kissing him at the door, that's manipulation. The next day the expectation is that I'll kiss him at the door in order to avoid being "punished".

Placating him is not the same thing as kissing him with the motivation that he feels how much I love and respect him.

Here's (approximately) where I see the line. Wanting some behavior from another person to feel respected starts being manipualtion the moment you demand another person accommodate you. Why does GM's feeling respected by getting a note override DS's feeling respected by getting to choose whether to write one? When one person is denied free choice, there is manipulation going on.

I think I can make an analogy that probably every woman will understand... You want DH to bring you surprise flowers. You don't want to ask DH to go buy the flowers b/c it takes out all the meaning behind DH thinking of you and how much you like irises... If you have to ask, it's just like delegating a task. You might as well just go buy them yourself. Telling him you want flowers kills all the meaning behind his gesture of getting you flowers.

Conversely, if I told DH to get me flowers if you ever want to see me naked again, one might argue that I need flowers to feel loved and sexy, but really I'm just holding one of his needs hostage. And it would certainly be manipulative.

So I never got just what the payoff was for anyone putting so much stock in another person's thank you note, or flowers... Or more importantly, why does anyone put so much stock in someone not doing those things.

It goes back to the genuine thing... I want DH to genuinely want to surprise me with flowers. I want to genuinely thank someone if they do something nice. I highly resent if someone steals that opportunity from me - by demanding or raising the stakes so that my saying thank you implies I agree to placate them from "punishing" me.

I've been really distracted while writing this... hope it makes a little sense.
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#243 of 317 Old 12-19-2005, 07:01 PM
 
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Originally Posted by yoopervegan
But what if you didn't want to give him a kiss but felt like you had too because he woul dbe upset if you didn't? That is manipulative.
Well, then I guess my dh occasionally manipulates me. And I him. Because there are a lot of times that I treat him with respect and kindness even though I don't feel like it but know he expects it, and because I know he would be upset if I didn't. Friday night the kids were both sick, I was tired, I'd burned dinner, and he had to work late. When he got home, I FELT like yelling, "Where in the @#&* have you been? You're the only one who can give me a break around here, and I need one!" But instead, I guess he manipulated me into greeting him politely and comiserating about our crappy days. So I think that argument is a little bit ridiculous. Of course we don't always treat people the way we feel like treating them. Of couse we have to be "inauthentic" occasionally. It's an important skill to learn, not a stifling of the true self.

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#244 of 317 Old 12-19-2005, 07:24 PM
 
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Nope. I would say authentically, 'I feel frustrated. I have had a long day. I really needed help with dinner and ds. Would you please call me next time if you need to be late so that I plan on leftovers or take out instead?' He'd still receive a kiss hello, because we greet each other that way.

I believe inauthenticity leads to resentments and disconnect in relationships. Just as cursing or calling names does. But I can still be authentically frustrated and respectfully request what I need.

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#245 of 317 Old 12-19-2005, 07:35 PM
 
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Originally Posted by scubamama
Nope. I would say authentically, 'I feel frustrated. I have had a long day. I really needed help with dinner and ds. Would you please call me next time if you need to be late so that I plan on leftovers or take out instead?' He'd still receive a kiss hello, because we greet each other that way.
And he would probably have been offended if I had said that. But maybe I wasn't clear, it wasn't his fault he was late, and he couldn't call because he was working out of cel range. There was no one to blame, I just felt stressed out by the situation.

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Originally Posted by scubamama
I believe inauthenticity leads to resentments and disconnect in relationships. Just as cursing or calling names does. But I can still be authentically frustrated and respectfully request what I need.
Sure, sometimes it does. But sometimes, we can be authentically frustrated and keep it to ourselves. Or we can be authentically disappointed with our gift and smile and thank the giver anyway. Or we can be authentically disgusted by the disfiguring disease affecting the person helping us at the store, and we can hide our disgust. Many times, living in polite society requires a little more finesse than just respectfully and authentically expressing ourselves.

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#246 of 317 Old 12-19-2005, 09:30 PM
 
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Well, good luck to ya. The irony is that you cannot show politeness if you are embarrassing the child (putting him on the spot) - even if it's in a "nice" voice. So you can't have it both ways. You either model or you coerce.

I just won't be doing that to my kids.
Reminding doesn't have to be embarrasing. It's more like coaching and done just as respectfully.

At two Christmas parties we coached our DD to go to the host and say "Thank you for the nice party." She says please and thank you a lot anyway, but wouldn't know that this is something to say thank you for or how to say it. After a quick coach, she said it and all was fine. If she got something from someone and a "thank-you" was called for (and it didn't happen), I'd quietly call her over and correct her "in private". Sometimes it makes sense to capture the moment with a "what do you say", prompting the thanks.

But in general DD is learning politeness slowly and in incremental steps. It's funny when she says to the dog "Anna, please move......t'anks".

And she's only 2 (will be 3 in Feb).
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#247 of 317 Old 12-19-2005, 09:33 PM
 
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Wow, great discussion. I love it when I read one post and think, "YEAH, that's right!" then read the next one and think, "Oh wait on, she's got a point!" I guess I do a little of both. Most of the time I am annoyingly authentic with my husband, then there are the times that I put myself aside to hear him. And I think that's how I see it, either I'm switched into my own energy or I'm tuned into others. Being authentic in either case is still a breeze. In my clinic, I've had patients come in and show me parts of their bodies which are behaving in shocking ways and I can't very well jump backwards declaring, "Good LORD, that's awful!" so I tune into their discomfort immediately and remove my "self" (selfish thoughts) from the picture and can deal with all kinds of issues very authentically. We are all more than one person inside, we are all more than one thought about an issue, we can choose which we will be and still be authentic people. Seeing things from the other person's perspective helps me.

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#248 of 317 Old 12-19-2005, 10:16 PM
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Or we can be authentically disgusted by the disfiguring disease affecting the person helping us at the store, and we can hide our disgust
Woah I never feel that way when I see someone who is different than me. Sometimes I feel bad and wonder what happened, but I am not "disgusted".

I am authentic with my husband as well (getting back on topic)... Part of what makes our relationship so strong and so able to withstand any *rocky* times is that we are completely honest with eachother...

I just don't get how being false serves anyone? It is possible for one to be both authentic and gentle, or at least, calm.
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#249 of 317 Old 12-19-2005, 11:21 PM
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Originally Posted by natensarah
Of couse we have to be "inauthentic" occasionally. It's an important skill to learn, not a stifling of the true self.
This has me almost in tears! I would never want someone, especially my child to feel they need to learn such a skill.
IMO, there is nothing wrong with expressing your feelings.
ie- if my dd was terrified of clowns and someone gave her a clown for a gift and she started screaming histerically, I wouldn't force to use her "unathentic feeling skill" in that situation. Or any situation for that matter.
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#250 of 317 Old 12-20-2005, 12:36 AM
 
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Originally Posted by natensarah
Of course we don't always treat people the way we feel like treating them. Of couse we have to be "inauthentic" occasionally. It's an important skill to learn, not a stifling of the true self..
Absolutely. Score one for Tact! Not to mention kindness and Diplomacy. It is amazing how many positive synonyms this particular skill has.

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Originally Posted by natensarah
But sometimes, we can be authentically frustrated and keep it to ourselves. . . . Many times, living in polite society requires a little more finesse than just respectfully and authentically expressing ourselves.
I am really surprised, shocked even, how unpopular this idea is here! And that so many adults and parents have little to no value for this skill. In fact many have stated the opposite. That an authentic expression of the current emotion is preferable every time.
Manners areant inauthentic. They are an authentic expression of courtesy.
I guess I just think that humans have more layers in operation at one time than their immediate most superficial emotional response. So you can choose at any given time to display the AUTHENTIC response to whichever motivation is most important at the time. These can be emotional, social, intellectual etc. .
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#251 of 317 Old 12-20-2005, 12:50 AM
 
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Originally Posted by captain crunchy
Woah I never feel that way when I see someone who is different than me. Sometimes I feel bad and wonder what happened, but I am not "disgusted".
Well, whatever, I guess I'm not all that enlightened. But I would imagine that you wouldn't express your "feeling bad" or anything else. I would imagine that you would just pretend like there was nothing different about them. Or maybe not?

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Originally Posted by captain crunchy
I am authentic with my husband as well (getting back on topic)... Part of what makes our relationship so strong and so able to withstand any *rocky* times is that we are completely honest with eachother...
Completely honest? Really? So you've never held your tongue about anything? You've never felt that, just for a minute, that your husband was the most irritating, obtuse person on earth, but just smiled and nodded and kept your mouth shut?

Well, I don't think that would work very well in my relationship. We're honest with each other, to a point. But I am very glad that we're not completely honest with each other. I don't think our relationship could survive that.

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#252 of 317 Old 12-20-2005, 12:52 AM
 
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Originally Posted by MamaInTheBoonies
This has me almost in tears! I would never want someone, especially my child to feel they need to learn such a skill.
IMO, there is nothing wrong with expressing your feelings.
ie- if my dd was terrified of clowns and someone gave her a clown for a gift and she started screaming histerically, I wouldn't force to use her "unathentic feeling skill" in that situation. Or any situation for that matter.
Have you read the rest of the posts? I don't think a fear is exactly the situation we're referring to. I think it would be more of a situation where your dd loved clowns, and wanted one, but someone got her the red one instead of the blue one. And then she started screaming hysterically. How would you feel about that expression of feelings?

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#253 of 317 Old 12-20-2005, 12:53 AM
 
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Originally Posted by johub
I am really surprised, shocked even, how unpopular this idea is here! And that so many adults and parents have little to no value for this skill. In fact many have stated the opposite. That an authentic expression of the current emotion is preferable every time.
Manners areant inauthentic. They are an authentic expression of courtesy.
I guess I just think that humans have more layers in operation at one time than their immediate most superficial emotional response. So you can choose at any given time to display the AUTHENTIC response to whichever motivation is most important at the time. These can be emotional, social, intellectual etc. .
Well said!

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#254 of 317 Old 12-20-2005, 04:07 AM
 
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I think it would be more of a situation where your dd loved clowns, and wanted one, but someone got her the red one instead of the blue one. And then she started screaming hysterically. How would you feel about that expression of feelings?
I know you didn't ask me : but can I give this a shot too? I don't have anyone in my life, no one at all, that would expect a child who didn't get what they wanted to react in a polite manner. If and when that does happen, that is the blessed surprise, not the expected response. All my family and all my friends, even those without children, smile gently in response to a negative reaction - to their own children and others. I find it difficult to believe there are more than a minority of people out there who do not share this. Perhaps some colony of Grinches or something, but real people like all of us here? I won't believe it.

It seems we are evaluating our own self worth as parents by how others view our children. If our children are not polite to the shopkeeper, oh lord, how will that shopkeeper view me? So we put our children through the mill to appease a bunch of people we wouldn't know if they sat on our chest to save face and make sure our little darlings are a crop of sweet, appreciative, thankful grateful apologetic three year old angels. Gag.

I know when gratitude doesn't come to me I don't feel badly or hurt in any way. My brother's children didn't say much or express much at all, and when given gifts, would just open it and put it to one side without a word. I find the joy in the giving, not in the receiving of gratitude. As those children got older they had absorbed the norms of social grace from the adults around them and expressed thanks. Either way I don't care, but what is most beautiful about their gratitude now is knowing it comes from inside them, not coersion or "training".

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#255 of 317 Old 12-20-2005, 10:25 AM
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Wait, who said being polite wasn't a valuable skill? I certainly never did. All I am saying is that I won't coach, or remind, or train, or "take aside" or nudge, or whatever other nice word people want to use for force to ensure my child is polite --- to me it is kind of like saying that you really hate groups that spread hate.

I am not going to do something that I consider rude and disrespectful, to ensure that my child is not acting rude or disrespectful....and yes...."what do we saaaaaayyyyy" and all that other business to me, is disrespectful. My child won't be a trained parrot.
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#256 of 317 Old 12-20-2005, 10:29 AM
 
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Originally Posted by johub
Manners areant inauthentic. They are an authentic expression of courtesy. I guess I just think that humans have more layers in operation at one time than their immediate most superficial emotional response. So you can choose at any given time to display the AUTHENTIC response to whichever motivation is most important at the time.
Hmmm. This is starting to sound similar what I was saying pages ago... Could we be coming to some agreement??
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#257 of 317 Old 12-20-2005, 11:08 AM
 
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Originally Posted by aira
Hmmm. This is starting to sound similar what I was saying pages ago... Could we be coming to some agreement??
I was thinking the same thing........
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#258 of 317 Old 12-20-2005, 12:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by captain crunchy
Wait, who said being polite wasn't a valuable skill? I certainly never did. All I am saying is that I won't coach, or remind, or train, or "take aside" or nudge, or whatever other nice word people want to use for force to ensure my child is polite --- to me it is kind of like saying that you really hate groups that spread hate.

I am not going to do something that I consider rude and disrespectful, to ensure that my child is not acting rude or disrespectful....and yes...."what do we saaaaaayyyyy" and all that other business to me, is disrespectful. My child won't be a trained parrot.
It was not you I was responding to. It was a pp who said

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This has me almost in tears! I would never want someone, especially my child to feel they need to learn such a skill.
IMO, there is nothing wrong with expressing your feelings.
I didnt think to quote two posts at the same time in my PP.
It is this sentiment, which has been expressed in several ways by different posters I am discussing.
That the Authentic emotional response is the only authentic response and a polite response that is inauthentic is a betrayal of self. It is this idea I object to strongly and find quite contrary to my own values.
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#259 of 317 Old 12-20-2005, 12:24 PM
 
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Originally Posted by aira
Hmmm. This is starting to sound similar what I was saying pages ago... Could we be coming to some agreement??
No I dont think so. Because it has been argued that authentic manners are ONLY authentic when the emotional response is in agreement. (I dont knwo if this was you). And I disagree heartily with this.
You can think "I really hate this dumb gift" authentically and say "Thank you very much" authentically at the same time and still be authentic to yourself.

And certainly I disagree in the nature of childrens embarassment and parents role in teaching manners.
As such, while we may share similar sentiments on how courtesy may be authentic. I am afraid there is not much similar between our POVs.
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#260 of 317 Old 12-20-2005, 12:29 PM
 
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Hello Veronique I have a wonderful cousin named Veronique.

I haven't read any of the responses (no time to read through that many)

With our son we did what felt natural. He began saying please as early as he could talk. He was copying us. I think the best way to 'teach' manners is to be the model for your child. DH and I are fairly polite in nature so our children are the same. In my experience, the moms I know who constantly harp on their children to say "please" and "thank you" are the ones with children who don't say it on their own and/or who roll their eyes when their mom tries to make them say it. I would rather my child model dh and I and also understand the meaning behind the words.

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Originally Posted by Veronique
My son is still quite young to learn about manners etc. but I'd still like some advice on teaching him 'thank-you, good morning," etc.
My SIL seems to always be telling her kids (ages 5 and 9) to say please and thank-you, but they never do!
They come to my house, don't greet me, open the fridge, take a drink of pop from the bottle and sit down on the sofa. They find the remote control, flick on the TV, eat their bag of chips they've brought in and when they're done with their snack, the bag goes on the floor and the hands are wiped on my cushions. :
Anyways, all the while this is going on, their mom is reminding them: "Say hello to your Aunt Vero....Ask for permission if you want a drink.....put your feet down....saying thank-you....put the bag in the garbage....wash your hands...."
Her kids are not bad kids, but they just don't get how to act in someone's house. It seems as though my SIL is trying to teach them proper manners, but they just simply ignore her.
I really don't want my DS to act like this! How do I instill these values and when do I start?
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#261 of 317 Old 12-20-2005, 12:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Maman*Musique
Hello Veronique With our son we did what felt natural. He began saying please as early as he could talk. He was copying us. I think the best way to 'teach' manners is to be the model for your child. DH and I are fairly polite in nature so our children are the same. In my experience, the moms I know who constantly harp on their children to say "please" and "thank you" are the ones with children who don't say it on their own and/or who roll their eyes when their mom tries to make them say it. I would rather my child model dh and I and also understand the meaning behind the words.
I just wanted to comment on this as a parent of an older child.
I am one of those super polite types. Like with a brief exchange at the convenience store there are several pleases and thank yous just as I pay for my Dr Pepper. I "Thank" everything. And I "I'm sorry" everythign too. I dont have to be guilty to be sorry. I can be sorry somebody got hurt even if I wanst involved. I can be sorry to accidentally violate somebody's personal space by passing too closely etc. . . it is just me. It is who I am and the type of person I want to be.
Anyway, hearing this all the time, my kids used Please and Thank you and Excuse Me and Sorry just as soon as they started to talk.
My dd is 2 and if she drops a toy she says "sorry" to the toy.
If my ds2 coughs, or burps he covers his mouth and says "excuse me"
All of this with no coaching on my part.
WE have done some coaching prior to new experiences to prepare them and help them to feel at ease (they are 2, 2, and 3). (Ok so when you sit on Santa's lap, say "I want" and then tell himw hat you want, and then say "Thank You" . I do not tell them in the moment , but I find that letting them know what is expected of them puts them at ease and they dont freeze up)
Ok well the same was true with my oldest. She was the most polite toddler and preschooler I ever saw.
Then she started preschool at 4 and kindergarden at age 5 and her models changed.
Her manners started declining rapidly at that point. I STILL have the same level of manners that I ever had, but she was no longer imitating only me.
So while she needed nothign other than modeling to learn excellent manners. Having been introduced to new and conflicting models required a higher level of expectation that she continue to practice the manners she had already learned. At such a point I started usign "the look" and coaching her before situations.
She still shows better manners in some situations. (Christmas Eve with the entire family for example) and worse manners in others (at home with just me)
So while I have no doubt that a child can learn manners with modeling only. It is my experience that things can change, and even a well mannered 2 year old can behave like they were raised in a barn at 6.
Joline
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#262 of 317 Old 12-20-2005, 01:11 PM
 
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Point well taken

My son is almost 5 and my daughter is 16 months. My 5yo is in school and so far so good when it comes to being kind and polite. In fact, he just asked me for a cheese sandwich for lunch "cheese sandwich please" and after I made it he said "thanks for making me a sandwich mom" and "you're the greatest mama ever" Of course he does not always say please and thank you. We don't make a big deal of it or ask him to do it. It just isn't that important to us, to be honest. Sometimes I do ask him if he *wants* to say thank you to someone (by whispering in his ear) for example, when someone gives him a gift or does something nice for him. He decides. It is a bit manipulative sure, but it feels ok to me. I don't fuss too much about such things because I have a LOT of other things to worry about and I haven't slept in 5yrs...

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Originally Posted by johub
I just wanted to comment on this as a parent of an older child.
I am one of those super polite types. Like with a brief exchange at the convenience store there are several pleases and thank yous just as I pay for my Dr Pepper. I "Thank" everything. And I "I'm sorry" everythign too. I dont have to be guilty to be sorry. I can be sorry somebody got hurt even if I wanst involved. I can be sorry to accidentally violate somebody's personal space by passing too closely etc. . . it is just me. It is who I am and the type of person I want to be.
Anyway, hearing this all the time, my kids used Please and Thank you and Excuse Me and Sorry just as soon as they started to talk.
My dd is 2 and if she drops a toy she says "sorry" to the toy.
If my ds2 coughs, or burps he covers his mouth and says "excuse me"
All of this with no coaching on my part.
WE have done some coaching prior to new experiences to prepare them and help them to feel at ease (they are 2, 2, and 3). (Ok so when you sit on Santa's lap, say "I want" and then tell himw hat you want, and then say "Thank You" . I do not tell them in the moment , but I find that letting them know what is expected of them puts them at ease and they dont freeze up)
Ok well the same was true with my oldest. She was the most polite toddler and preschooler I ever saw.
Then she started preschool at 4 and kindergarden at age 5 and her models changed.
Her manners started declining rapidly at that point. I STILL have the same level of manners that I ever had, but she was no longer imitating only me.
So while she needed nothign other than modeling to learn excellent manners. Having been introduced to new and conflicting models required a higher level of expectation that she continue to practice the manners she had already learned. At such a point I started usign "the look" and coaching her before situations.
She still shows better manners in some situations. (Christmas Eve with the entire family for example) and worse manners in others (at home with just me)
So while I have no doubt that a child can learn manners with modeling only. It is my experience that things can change, and even a well mannered 2 year old can behave like they were raised in a barn at 6.
Joline
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#263 of 317 Old 12-20-2005, 05:02 PM
 
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I agree when pp's have said to model the behavior from the beginning. My kids (2 and 4) say yes, please and no, thank you. They also say, "excuse me, please, but may I interrupt?" This is partly through modeling and partly because I gently remind them and ask them to repeat what I've reminded them that they've forgotten to say. Practice makes perfect. These behaviors of your relatives children suggest that manners are not "expected" at home, so are not played out outside of the home. We behave in front of our children and expect (gently) that they will behave in front of us in the manner that we also expect they'll behave in public. Being children, they don't every single time. But, it's pretty darn close! Good luck.

Mama to two awesome kids. Wife to a wonderful, attached, loving husband. I love my job-- I'm a Midwife, Doula and Childbirth Educator, Classes forming now!

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#264 of 317 Old 12-20-2005, 05:22 PM
 
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Hmmm. This is starting to sound similar what I was saying pages ago... Could we be coming to some agreement??
No I dont think so. (snip) I am afraid there is not much similar between our POVs.
Silly me. Don't know what I was thinking... Sorry.
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#265 of 317 Old 12-20-2005, 06:37 PM
 
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This is going to sound like it's coming from way out in left field but here it goes.

I think it's very important to know your feelings. And to quote the Dalai Lama, "It's always a good idea to know the rules. That way, you know how to break them properly." And to quote my MIL, "Just because you can doesn't mean you should."
Our society as a whole has become less and less polite. If someone is rude to you, THERE IS NOTHING YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT. In the "olden days" and I use that phrase loosely, if someone insulted me in front of my husband, he was expected to retailate. Now, if he retaliates, my husband is arrested for assault. People were polite because it served a greater interest and reduced overt conflicts.

So, the way I view it, it's important to know that the clown you wanted was red and the one you got was blue. It's important to know that the person who bought it for you thought they were doing a good thing. And if you don't say "thank you for the clown", you better have a darn good reason why you're going to hurt your Aunt Mary's feelings. And any discussion you have about it can be done in private, later (and I have no compunction about exchanging the gift after Christmas).
Gratiously accepting what the world gives you and learning to work with it instead of acting out, making someone feel bad, or mouthing off is a valuable life skill that if I don't at least attempt to teach my children, I'll feel I'm doing them a disservice.
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#266 of 317 Old 12-20-2005, 06:54 PM
 
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This is going to sound like it's coming from way out in left field but here it goes.

I think it's very important to know your feelings. And to quote the Dalai Lama, "It's always a good idea to know the rules. That way, you know how to break them properly." And to quote my MIL, "Just because you can doesn't mean you should."
Our society as a whole has become less and less polite. If someone is rude to you, THERE IS NOTHING YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT. In the "olden days" and I use that phrase loosely, if someone insulted me in front of my husband, he was expected to retailate. Now, if he retaliates, my husband is arrested for assault. People were polite because it served a greater interest and reduced overt conflicts.

So, the way I view it, it's important to know that the clown you wanted was red and the one you got was blue. It's important to know that the person who bought it for you thought they were doing a good thing. And if you don't say "thank you for the clown", you better have a darn good reason why you're going to hurt your Aunt Mary's feelings. And any discussion you have about it can be done in private, later (and I have no compunction about exchanging the gift after Christmas).
Gratiously accepting what the world gives you and learning to work with it instead of acting out, making someone feel bad, or mouthing off is a valuable life skill that if I don't at least attempt to teach my children, I'll feel I'm doing them a disservice.

Beautiful! You've said it SOOO well.

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#267 of 317 Old 12-20-2005, 07:11 PM
 
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Gratiously accepting what the world gives you and learning to work with it instead of acting out, making someone feel bad, or mouthing off is a valuable life skill that if I don't at least attempt to teach my children, I'll feel I'm doing them a disservice.
My God! Are we back to this again?

Anyone here advocating acting out, making someone feel bad, or mouthing off? Anyone? Anyone?






No takers so far...
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#268 of 317 Old 12-20-2005, 07:22 PM
 
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My God! Are we back to this again?

Anyone here advocating acting out, making someone feel bad, or mouthing off? Anyone? Anyone?






No takers so far...
Well, it was my perception that you beliebe you would be allowing yourself to be manipulated if you stifled your "true" feelings and "falsely" expressed a gratitude that did not exist. So if you're advocating to not do that, you're advocating making someone feel bad. No?

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#269 of 317 Old 12-20-2005, 07:35 PM
 
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My God! Are we back to this again?

Anyone here advocating acting out, making someone feel bad, or mouthing off? Anyone? Anyone?






No takers so far...
yep:


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This has me almost in tears! I would never want someone, especially my child to feel they need to learn such a skill.
IMO, there is nothing wrong with expressing your feelings....
And lets not forget all the talk about how it is more important to be honest and authentic than it is to be polite.

Not my cup of tea certainly
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#270 of 317 Old 12-20-2005, 07:37 PM
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Anyone here advocating acting out, making someone feel bad, or mouthing off? Anyone? Anyone?
I am!

No, just kidding. I sense your frustration.

It is not an either/or situation. It is not either they politely say thank you on cue or they spit in the gift giver's face. There are shades of grey. Some children will say thank you, some will immediately look to their parents (because they know they will be told next how to "act", some will express dissapointment then get coached or told to say thank you, some will say they don't like it.

What is wrong with saying you don't like it anyway? I dunno, I guess my family is way weird or something because we are so honest with eachother despite all our respective "faults". Like for instance my mom bought my sister a sweater one Christmas...oh my goodness, we can just say "the sweater" and the whole family knows what we mean. My sister opened it (we were adults)...looked at my mom, back at the sweater...back to my mom....back to the sweater....and my mom and sister both broke out laughing so hard (because my mom realized it wasn't her style at all...) I am chuckling about it even now-- if everyone in that situation was not authentic, like if my sister said " Thank youuuuuuu!!!"...and moved on, or my mom got all huffy and bent out of shape about it -- we wouldn't have a bellyaching laugh every single Christmas when we talk about "the sweater"....

I mean, of course I will make allowances for 80 year old Grandmoms and the like, but I still won't force my child to say thank you. My point is, what is the point of doing anything if you can't be honest about it? Honesty doesn't neccessarily have to mean rudeness. In our family if someone gave our daughter a red shirt and she had wanted a blue shirt, I would politely thank them on her behalf (because I would be authentically thankful for thinking of them) ...and I would laugh and say, "next time you see this shirt, it will be blue" ...but that is just our sense of humor and people who know us get that....that is why everyone always puts gift reciepts in everyone's boxes... I mean, who are you getting the gift for, yourself or the person you are giving it to? I give people what I think they will like, what they have expressed interest in, heck, I even ask them what they want to avoid taking the time to buy something they didn't like...

Okay so you might read this and think, oh how rude! You should be grateful from the bottom of your heart for anything anyone ever gives you, ever!...and to a point, I am...but if the person loves me and I them, and we have an authentic relationship...I would think they would want my child to have the blue shirt she loves, rather than the red shirt she refuses to wear (just using an example)...

I am almost 30, so yeah, I can feel true gratitude for the thought someone took, and still not care for the gift...I don't expect a 4 year old to be thinking that critically. I am not saying that 4 year olds don't have empathy but I think most of us can agree that they like what they like, and that, coupled with lack of impulse control...or maybe, that they still have retained their inability to lie in the faces of others (like adults are so good at!) is what gives away their dissapointment-- and that is considered rude.

Oh well, still got going to force my daughter to say thank you.
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