Thursday, January 6, 2011

Teaching Our Children Etiquette

I remember growing up my mom used to tell me to write Grandma and Grandpa and my Aunts and Uncles letters thanking them for my birthday and Hanukkah gifts. Boy, I didn't like that at all. Write?!

Well, as an adult I understand why and now have my children do the same. Some times it is a written note other times my oldest goes into his SendOutCards account and types up his thank you. Either way it is a sincere gesture of appreciation. It is acknowledging the gift and his grandparents and other family members are happy to receive it.

It is our job to teach our children proper etiquette so they grow up to be well mannered adults. I see children in restaurants under tables and the parents don't do anything. That is not proper. That is not respecting other people around you. Take them outside and discipline them. However, one may do that. They have to learn that is not proper behaviour in a restaurant and it is embarrassing. Please don't tell me "well, kids will be kids". There is no excuse. Hmm, maybe next time I should go under a restaurant table and have a temper tantrum.

We, as parents, are the first ones with our children from birth to 5 years old. That is 5 years of brain development and programming. Don't blame the teacher.

One day my 7 year old son asked a question to the lady at the bank, "Ma'am, may I have a lollipop, please?" Now of course the lady asked me if it was alright. But I was amazed he used "Ma'am" and "please" in one sentence. It made me feel proud.

Can you imagine sitting at a table with a man or woman you are dating eating with their mouth full? How about when they don't say  thank you when you hold a door open for them? I am sure it is not someone you would want to stay around with. That behaviour doesn't really show that they appreciate you or think about how you feel. How about a husband not doing his own laundry or cook for himself? Or a wife bickering and yelling in public at someone? This all comes from teaching and showing what is appropriate and what is not.

These are common etiquette rules that respect other people's space and lives.

It is never to late to implement etiquette and it can start by just writing thank you cards for the all holiday gift your child received.

Remember sending cards will help re-connect with those you lost touch with, develop new relationships and maintain existing ones. Who do you know that does not like to receive a card?
Happy Card Sending,
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