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Parenting Manners

Sometimes it's not just about teaching manners.

By
Cheryl Butler
January 3, 2009
Episode #096

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Hey there! You’re listening to the Mighty Mommy with some quick and dirty tips for practical parenting.

This week I’m sharing some space with our own Modern Manners Guy. He is the expert on all things manners-related around here. So, I’m handing over the show to him to help us all out with some of our manner-management issues. Thank you for being here to share your expertise with us!

No problem. It's a pleasure to be part of such a wonderful podcast!

Our offspring, many times, are paying most of their attention to themselves. Therefore, they usually need someone to pay attention to the world for them, and that job falls by default to us parents. Now, if you do not have children, please don't tune out. I've got some advice for you, too.

Which Kid?

It doesn't matter which kid, yours by birth or otherwise or the horde of yard monsters you decided to invite to the local scream-and-jump. All kids are in process. While we continue to teach them to be polite, we know they will still be mostly consumed with themselves. It's our job as polite adults to manage these "people in progress" with intercessory manners until they have manners of their own.

No, this isn't the episode about how to convince your brother to keep his kids from flushing foreign objects down your toilet. I'm really talking about the things WE can do to make sure OUR kids don't flush things down your brother's toilet.

A Little E.S.P.

It is a given that kids will walk in the way of someone else or chuck something across a room. In fact, your little bull might just completely forget the one hundred times you asked him or her to not run in the China Shoppe. This is where you swoop in with your super powers to divert disaster. ESP or "Expecting Something Perilous" should be in the forefront of your mind at all times. This can be exhausting, but so can spending an afternoon in Small Claims Court. And that night in the ER is very easy to avoid by just thinking ahead for the child you find yourself in charge of at the time.

Let's look at some examples of expecting something perilous so you can see what I mean.

Situation #1

A toddler wanders into someone's living room with a plate full of chocolate cake -- you should assume that if you do not interfere, the carpet will need to be replaced. At this point, gently turning the toddler's shoulders in the direction of the kitchen table will likely save a friendship.

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