I thanked her kindly for telling me this, and glowed as I absorbed her words. But I must confess: my immediate reaction to her statement was to think, “Yeah, they darn well better!”
Ensuring my children have good manners is high on my list of priorities as a mother. In fact, it is one of the most important things I want to teach them. I have encountered students and kids who do not practice good manners, and it wasn’t fun to deal with them. However, students with exemplary manners are a pleasure to interact with, and I would rather my own offspring be counted amongst such people!
Like all moms I meet, I make a herculean effort to ensure my children have good manners. I am forever saying things like, “How do you ask that politely?” or asking, “Did you remember to say ‘thank you’?” I am so gratified when my kids remember their good manners without my prompting! It is wonderful to realize my efforts are not in vain.
I myself try to be polite and kind to all people, but I have to confess: I don’t always succeed. There are times when I want results and I want them now. I can easily resort to being curt or abrupt to get my way. The words, “Please,” and “Thank you,” might not cross my lips as I degenerate into downright rudeness. I realize the hypocrisy of this as I am trying to teach my kids to always use their good manners. And so, I’ve begun gritting my teeth and striving to remain courteous at all times. It is truly hard!! I believe in leading by example, though, so I shall press on towards being polite at all times, even when I don’t want to…even when I don’t think I should have to be!
I suppose this is just another example of how being a mother challenges me. Nobody ever said it would be easy.