Archive for August, 2012


For a Child of 1918

My grandfather said to me
as we sat on the wagon seat,
“Be sure to remember to always
speak to everyone you meet.”

We met a stranger on foot.
My grandfather’s whip tapped his hat.
“Good day, sir. Good day. A fine day.”
And I said it and bowed where I sat.

Then we overtook a boy we knew
with his big pet crow on his shoulder.
“Always offer everyone a ride;
don’t forget that when you get older,”

my grandfather said. So Willy
climbed up with us, but the crow
gave a “Caw!” and flew off. I was worried.
How would he know where to go?

But he flew a little way at a time
from fence post to fence post, ahead;
and when Willy whistled he answered.
“A fine bird,” my grandfather said,

“and he’s well brought up. See, he answers
nicely when he’s spoken to.
Man or beast, that’s good manners.
Be sure that you both always do.”

When automobiles went by,
the dust hid the people’s faces,
but we shouted “Good day! Good day!
Fine day!” at the top of our voices.

When we came to Hustler Hill,
he said that the mare was tired, 
so we all got down and walked,
as our good manners required. 

Elizabeth Bishop

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No one wants a snotty or rude child. Their children will not make friends well in school and will find it hard to be welcomed at friend’s homes. Therefore, it is our job, as parents, to instill these manners in our children.

Why we need to teach children manners?

Good Manners tells our friends that we are thoughtful and not selfish. It is important to use good manners to make our friends feel important and special.

If you help your friends, they will be sure to help you! This is important, not only as a child, but if you’re a mom or a dad. It is so nice when people can work together as a team. As parents, it is important that we be excellent role models and set an excellent example.

Studies have shown adults with good manners find jobs easier than people with poor manners. They might even need to have a job interview at a restaurant. Then it’s real crucial to remember your table manners.

Childrens Manners at the Table:

childrens table mannersBlooming-babies.com offers a great placemat for teaching children table manners! This placemat reminds children of simple table manners that are important.

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I held the door to allow a lady to enter a shop
And as a result I got a very pleasant surprise
For she stood, looked at me, and said “Thank You”
Her good manners brought a tear to my eyes
For good manners are very scarce today
I thought they had been consigned to history
Why this should be is hard to understand
In fact it has become quite a mystery
For when we were young we were taught to be polite
To stand up on a bus to let a lady sit down
But that does not appear to be the practice today
As I observe when I travel on the tram into town
Are good manners not being taught in our schools
Are the teaschools,chers too busy teaching dancing and singing?
We should never underestimate good manners
For they are a sign of a good upbringing
It has been said that good manners cost nothing
But their benefits are hard to evaluate
They can have a profound effect on our charisma
And can lift us from being average to first rate
Good manners help to improve relationships
And these are important as we travel on life’s way
For we all expect other people to respect us
And it is important that good manners are taught today 
By Ron Martin

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It may seem like a long shot, as you watch him purposely drop his spoon on the floor and gleefully fingerpaint with his mashed potatoes. But with a big serving of patience, you can start instilling the idea that there are acceptable and unacceptable ways to act at the table. Manners are built over time, and you can start teaching your child some concepts just as soon as he can sit in a highchair.What can I teach him?

Of course, you won’t be showing your toddler which fork to use for dessert, or how to gracefully dip his soup spoon. But you can teach him that mealtime is a pleasant experience for the family. You can help him wash his hands before coming to the table, and you can start teaching him not to bang or throw utensils, not to throw food or grab it from other people’s plates, and not to spit, scream, or run around the table while others are eating. And just as soon as your child can talk, he can learn to say “please” and “thank you.”What’s the best way to tackle these lessons?

Your toddler wants to please you, and he wants to be like you, so the best way is to show him how it’s done. Talk pleasantly at the table – no lectures, arguments, or raised voices. Say “please” and “thank you” when you ask for something to be passed. And don’t read your tablet, text, watch television, talk on the phone, or jump up to tend to other things.

Consistency will help make good manners a habit for your child in the coming years, so when you introduce a behavior, set expectations and use gentle reminders to reinforce them. Once your child learns to say “please,” prompt him to say it before you give him that second helping, for example.

Give your child strokes for behaving well at the table – when he sits quietly, uses his spoon, and says “thank you.” Don’t overdo the praise, though, because you don’t want him to think that he’s the center of attention whenever you sit down to share a meal.

 What should I do when my toddler misbehaves at the table?

You have a couple of choices. Some parents find it’s best to ignore the misbehavior – the spitting, the screaming, the mess-making. When this tactic works, it’s because the child stops doing whatever gets no response.

Other parents find that it’s better to find ways to discourage their child’s problematic behavior. One mom discovered that if she wiped her toddler’s face every time he spit out his food, he’d stop spitting. Other times just a reminder, like placing the spoon in your toddler’s hand when he grabs a fistful of food, is all that’s needed. And some parents simply remove their toddlers from the table when they do things that are unacceptable, explaining that their behavior is not good manners.

If you make it enjoyable for your toddler to share meals with you – by talking with him and being upbeat –- then he’s more likely to want to stay and share the good vibes. Next time (or eventually, in any case), he won’t do things that get him banished.

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