I have always been a big believer of manners maketh the man or woman. Good manners are very important to me. A lack of manners is a huge turn-off for me. My mom always made sure I remembered my manners and I was the kid who was made to write thank-you notes for every sleepover, long visit or extended stay.
I obviously didn’t enjoy having to write:
“Dear Aunty BRunhilda,
Thank you for having me over to play. Thank you for the macaroni cheese. Thank you for looking after me and letting me play by Janine.
You can imagine as someone who has just learnt to write, this type of letter was loooong.
And I had to do something similar everytime I went to someone’s house.
And my mother always quizzed me. Did you greet? Did you remember your manners? Did you flush? Did you wash your hands?
There was no way I was going to be one of the ill-mannered kids in the hood. Not if my mom could help it.
It was therefore a foregone conclusion that Thomas was going to be one of the best-mannered kids in the hood – just like his mom and dad before him. MIL was just as big on manners as my mom was. 🙂
And everywhere we go, it’s always such a treat to hear how well-behaved Thomas is, and how he’s such a pleasure to have around and how he seems to calm the rowdier kids down and get them to follow him (something the aftercare teacher tells me is such a help — her and Big Tom make a mean team apparently. No Ritalin needed. 🙂
So imagine my discomfort and distaste when Thomas reached an age where he has friends over to play and they don’t seem to have manners!
I’ve taught Thomas to go to a house and say: Good morning aunty xxx, is xxx home and can he come play/can I come play? And I take it he says it, based on the feedback I get.
There’s a kid who comes to visit often and he knocks on the door, asks if he can come in or if Thomas can come play. Just that. No hello, nothing. And he’s a good kid generally, but I wonder how a kid gets to be his age (10) and he doesn’t know the basics? Surely he greets his teachers and other adults at school? Am I just a manners freak or does this kid need a crash course in manners?
I told Thomas a while back that I didn’t care for him as he seems to always forget his manners at home. Thomas quickly cottoned on to my displeasure (think the fact that the child was always turned away from the door recently helped).
So this is the conversation we had a few weeks back.
Mama, do you like xxx now?
Yes Thomas, I see his manners are back.
Mama, I told him to greet you otherwise we can’t be friends.
Awwwww, how sweet is he? I think my mom would be proud.