Mind your 

own manners

The importance of

modeling manners

vs. correcting them

· The Blog

Are reminders good? Absolutely.

But nagging and shaming a kid if they forget every once in a while is more effective at creating a critical inner monologue for themselves than just making sure we model the behaviors we expect.

There’s also the importance of reading the room. If a kid is on sensory overload- i.e. in a new place, meeting someone new, being at a party and hyped up on sugar, etc, chances are their still developing brain is going to forget something like manners when they are focused on so many other things. Give them breathing room, let them act their age and cut them some slack.

Let me paint a picture for you.

You meet up at a restaurant with an old friend you haven't seen in a very long time, kid in tow. You exchange niceties and a few minutes into the hang out, this ensues:

Your child :"Mom, can I get some water?'

Friend: "Please."

Child: "Mom, can I please get some water please?"

Water comes, you hand it to your kiddo and they immediately start drinking it. All they can think about is how thirsty they are. As they are happily sipping away you hear your friend say "Thanks, Mom." And I'm rolling my eyes on the inside. This isn't modeling. This is correcting. Modeling is using your own manners with all the people you speak to. Children included.

If my kid is talking to me and doesn’t say please or thank you, I don’t need anyone else correcting him. I’m there. I can parent. And I am seasoned at picking battles. If my kid is talking to you, that's a different story.

I'm not quite sure what compells people to jump in and correct kids that aren't their own, especially when they don't have children of their own. I know the intentions are pure, but I'm here to say, if you want to be the most helpful, mind your own manners and use them frequently when you're around littles. Because if you stop and think about it, how would you feel if every time your mind was going a million directions someone corrected you on what you are, or really, what you aren't saying.

Do you agree? Disagree? Comment below!

Have a badass day!

-Erin Finnegan