As my boys get older, I continue to try to teach them good manners. Clearly, I am not doing a bang up job, based on my 7-year old’s ass-backwards interpretation of The Golden Rule.
I always tell them, “If you go to a friend’s house, be very polite. Then you’ll get invited back.” Some of the kids my kids have over for play dates are really polite and nice. Others, not so much. I don’t know about you, but the impolite pains in the butts tend not to get a repeat invitation to my house.
Play dates aside, I’d like my kids to be nice, respectful people who behave appropriately (as much as 7- and 9-year old boys can).
Though my efforts are often in vain, these are my rules for how they should act in life:
- Say “please” and “thank you” – ALWAYS!
- Share. And maybe, just maybe, someone will share something you one day.
- Open doors for women and girls — even the heavy ones (doors, that is).
- Say “bless you” when somebody sneezes. (Oh yeah… and for crying out loud, cover your own mouth when you sneeze!)
- Respond when someone (particularly and adult) speaks to you. And make eye contact. Grunts and one-word answers while staring at the ground are not acceptable.
- Dress nice for church. And no… stain-free sweats are not considered dressing up!
- Call an adult by his or her last name (unless otherwise specified by the adult).
- Say “excuse me” when you burp, when you want to speak, or when somebody is in your way.
- Be nice to girls, even though they’re yucky.
- Say you’re sorry when you do something wrong. Once in a while, things are your fault!
I figure if I pound it into their heads enough, they’ll get it by the time they’re grown and no longer immature. Lofty goals? HELL YEAH! But that’s why I keep wine in the house – to take the edge off!
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