Last year for Christmas, I bought the children a set of eeBoo Good Manners flash cards.
I saw them while I was strolling the aisles of our favorite toy store, and since flash cards are something that we use quite often around these parts, I couldn't resist.
Whenever we sit down to eat, I've found that it really helps to keep children at the table when I read to them. So during meal times, I will ask the children to pick out a book or flash card set that they would like for me to go through. More often than not, they will select their Good Manners flash cards. And more often than not, they ask that I go through the deck twice.
This one's their favorite. They love that spider.
It's my opinion that good manners are so important. And although our children are still young, I think that there is no better time to start - than now - with teaching and enforcing politeness and common decency. Which is why I love these cards because they review such topics as meeting new people...
I am forever telling our children that you can tell a lot about a person by their handshake. TIGHTEN THAT GRIP. SMILE WHEN YOU LOOK IN THEIR EYES and say, "It's PLEASURE to meet you!"
They cover topics on public transportation...
And interfacing with the general population.
Of course the kids don't yet recognize the subtle difference that if someone opens the door to their own home on say, Halloween night, that's not a free license to walk in and pick up their dog and criticize the canary.
We're working on it.
The manners cards also cover meal time...
At our house, the kids will typically say, "OH NO. I just know I'm not going to like this."
Usually, they're right. But they'll still almost always put their napkin on their lap and they'll say, "Thank you for the meal. That was wonderful of you!" once they finish.
And that gives me a little hope for the future.