There are two saying that we have heard throughout our whole lives one being mind your manners and that manners matter. I think most people are in agreement that manners most definitely matter and appreciate and enjoying seeing people who mind and use their manners. As a mother I have strived to teach my babies that manners matter and they need to mind their manners. I want my children to be considerate, courteous, thoughtful, respectful and polite. My husband and I started this early on in their lives and in our home and family. We wanted our children to learn and instill in them the idea of saying please, thank you and your welcome, excuse me and God bless you. Also we ask our children to say yes and no mommy and daddy or Yes/No Ma’am and yes/no Sir. I would argue that the idea of manners goes beyond words and that there is an action component to the matter of manners.
Moreover and perhaps more importantly my husband and I want to also see our daughter and son as they continue to grow do this through their conduct not just in words such as asking to be excused from the dinner table and eating but to wait patiently and politely to be excused for leaving the dinner table. Also for them to speak respectfully and not have any smart mouth, sass or back talk. Also in the manner in which they treat people, putting others first through sharing and caring and taking turns with others. In considering what I seek to teach my babies it lead to me to wonder about what am I demonstrating before them about how I as their mommy mind my own manners. For its through my own example that my babies learn and I teach them the most. As a mommy which manners am I demonstrating or showing or not demonstrating or showing my babies. What does my mommy manners show and teach them about being considerate, kind, thoughtful, courteous, kind, gracious, thankful, respectful and polite.
The fact is that how can I as a mommy expect or ask something of my babies if I myself do not even do so. That would be rather hypocritical of me and show them a double standard that would teach and demonstrate lessons of no value. It is true in this respect that I am so very far from perfect and in so many other areas that is equally true that I lack in perfection and there is always and forever much room for improvement. Although I can say what I have done, the ways that I have demonstrated the value and importance of manners, that manners matter and how I have tried to implement them into the daily minute to minute mommy moments. For better or worse I started with my daughter even before she could talk I started saying to her thank you for things. My son, as in the case with most boy in general, did not talk as soon as his sister so while I would say thank you to him he was able to do much later than my daughter. We expect them to say Mrs., Mr. or MS name of adults or their teachers, friends of the family and so forth. They say please, thank you, and excuse me. If not asked for properly I wait for the right way of asking for things that are requested are not given in response to I want or give me. Two of the big ones right now are fist knocking on doors before entering and checking to see if anyone is the bathroom before just walking into it. Secondly not interrupting peoples conversations and if it absolutely can’t wait then say please excuse me One of my new favorite mommyisms (things moms say to kids) I heard it from my husband for the first time is ‘This is an A and B conversation and you need to C-see your way out of it’. I’m afraid my daughter and son will being hearing that a lot from now on out. Also a real big one for me is that the ways in which we chose and use our words and that words can be used to harm or help people and we use words that help and not harm. Examples of this would no name calling or using ugly or not nice words. We should use words that are encouraging, loving, sweet, kind and helpful.
As a mommy teaching my daughter and son about manners and that manners matter is just the first part of manners mattering. The second part is ensuring I demonstrate and practice what I preach and teach. Its also being aware and conscience of how I speak, interact and conduct myself with my babies, my family and people equally publicly and privately. The biggest part of me ensuring that I am demonstrating for my daughter and son what I want them to do and learn is for myself to do what I expect and ask of them. I as my babies mommy I try not to interrupt them if all possible. I always try my very best to say please go do whatever it is at the time. Personally for me this was an important and big thing to ensure that I asked my daughter and son respectfully to do things so that they can learn to do the same. Also I have often thought or wonder how it makes kids feel when just being barked at to do things like does that make them feel as if they are dogs or servants and not being respected as the adults we are raising and hope they become.
Another immensely and profoundly big one for me is that I remember seeing parents growing up and talking to their kids in any manner they chose, how they spoke their words and which words they choose to speak. They would speak to their kids anyway they saw fit or at least not being careful in their word choices. Words have a most profound significance, influence and power on people’s lives and especially more so with children. Part of this is how and in what tone we use when speak to our babies. Okay ladies here is another moment of daring to be truthful personally this is an area for me that I self admittedly need huge improvement in. I would say most likely my tone or the amount of yelling or raising my voice is probably one biggest reasons for my mommy valley moments that I have experienced through my six years of motherhood. I know that can be a hard one because getting kids to listen is a struggle especially the first time and seems like, at least for me, that it seems to be the only way to get my daughter or son’s attention although I always did and do hate it. Hopefully I have made headway in this part of my own mommy manners. I know manners matter especially as a mommy and I know that my manners definitely matter to my sweet precious babies.
Another fundamental component to this is using our tongues carefully and choosing our words carefully. As a mommy I have worked really hard to be careful in my word choices in describing my babies, their choices and their actions. I think it extremely hard for kids to tell and know the difference between you are acting like a spoiled brat, a brat, you are acting badly or whatever instead of you are a brat, you are spoiled brat or you are being bad. I have always, always tried my utmost and very best to stay far, far away form these types of expressions, sayings or word choices. I have usually said that makes me happy or unhappy never ever attached it to or associated with my love for my babies Also another example is that of when my daughter or son are behaving in a way I do not like or not pleased with or is a bad choice I will say them you are being interesting right. As she has gotten older and is able to understand I have said and say or ask was that a green, yellow or red choice. I would and always do whenever possible praise and encourage constantly how may babies are, their positive qualities and attributes and their good choices and behavior. We must be as mommies diligent in our word choice and choosing carefully what we say and guard our tongues for words have power and influence that lasts longer and way beyond the time it took say them. We could tell our babies 100 good, positive and wonderful things and it only takes one bad word that will be the one they remember for the rest of their lives. In all of these areas of being a mommy to me this is how I can mind my manners as a mommy and how I demonstrate to my daughter and son that manners matter.
For me as a mommy what I teach and demonstrate before my babies regarding the profound importance of manners and that manner matter is a good meter for measuring how I am doing as their mommy. As a mommy there is much to be desired in my minding of my own manners and is there much perfection lacking absolutely. Although I can always strive to do better, keep improving, do my very best, strive to have more mountaintop mommy moments and turn the mommy valley moments into mountaintops moments by fixing and correcting my mistakes. Also it is in and through teaching the important value of manners and that manners matter I am giving my babies a basis for building strong character. I as a mommy desire, hope and want to create a strong foundation of my house of cards of motherhood that is kind, courteous, thoughtful, considerate, polite, gracious, thankful and respectful of my babies, my family and people. We as mothers will build and create such a foundation for our babies by minding our own manners and demonstrating graciousness, gratitude, kindness, respect, consideration, courteousness and thoughtfulness.