Manners, please.

I ran into incredibly  lovely people this morning – and I mean that in the most sarcastic way possible.  There are many things that irritate me but perhaps none more than rudeness, particularly when the individual is modelling the behaviour in front of their children. 

People nowadays are  in such a rush, overwhelmed and busy that common courtesy often seems to be a thing of the past.  A woman this morning treated us, probably unknowingly, like we were completely invisible.   In my oh-so-Canadian way I found myself moving Jack out of her path as she nearly knocked him over and uttering  ‘Oh, sorry!’.   I   kicked myself for my auto-apology because  she didn’t acknowledge what she’d done  nor that we even existed.  Moments later I held the door open for her and she brushed by us without even glancing in our direction let alone saying thank you.  A little while later, when picking up some milk before heading to work, I was walking out of an isle as another  mom,  with baby in cart, was turning to get in.  I again said ‘sorry’ and moved aside letting her go by.  I stood there with the most ridiculous smile plastered on my face as I waited for her to acknowledge me with something other than a scowl as she very deliberately looked me up and down with utter disdain. 

I am far  from perfect  and my  children often times forget their manners.  I try to use situations like this morning to teach Jack and Lily how important it is to remember your please and thank you’s; that we are no more or less important than anyone else and that the smallest actions, or lack thereof, can have an impact on another person.   This morning after run-in number 1 I asked Jack what he would have done differently and he, much to my pleasure, replied “I would have said thank you!  She was very very rude mom’.  It’s sad the enormous pride I felt in that moment – it’s the little things that make me happy. 

So it is here that I have posted the signs for please and thank you!   Jack and Lily loved singing ‘please’ and through sign my kids have been using their manners since about 12 months old.  ‘Please’ was their favourite, most likely because they quickly saw that we all thought it was adorable and would usually give them whatever  they were asking for.   A byproduct of signing with baby that I have loved is that it provides a mechanism for sending  silent messages across a room to your children (as well as your significant other!).  There have been many times when I have looked at Jackson or Lily and subtly made the ‘thank you’ or ‘please’ sign as a reminder that they need to use their manners.  There have been times as well when I have seen them doing something special  or something that I’ve asked and  have signed ‘thank you’ from a distance.  They usually light up knowing their good behaviour has been acknowledged. 

This morning was one of those mornings that had me completely preoccupied wondering what kind of world my kids are growing up in.  Fortunately, as I  flipped on the television for background noise I heard “Boom De Ya Da”.  I stopped, watched and remembered, as The Discovery Channel commercial exclaims, that  “The World Is Just Awesome”.    I remembered to never judge because you never know what is happening in another person’s life.  And I remembered to be thankful for my self control that I didn’t push the door closed on her foot or use my rather extensive foul vocabulary  in front of my children.

Click on the following links and you can download the signs for Please and Thank You!  You can print them out and put them up, much like our Little Helper stickers, as a reminder of the signs!

1 Comment

Filed under Baby Signing, Rants

One response to “Manners, please.

  1. MG

    Thank you!

    And unfortunately you are not alone. We had a “they were rude” event once… We were on our way out of the mall and my eldest had pushed the button on the automatic door. Someone else had come up so I said to my daughter, “Hold the door, please.” And she did. I let the other person go first and they walked through. My daughter says fairly loudly, “Mommy, they were rude. They didn’t say thank you.” The person just kept walking. I would imagine being called out by a 3 1/2 year old (at the time) would be pretty embarrassing.

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