Friday, December 3, 2010

Miss Manners Mama

I always knew once I was a mom, I would have to teach my kids some etiquette 101. I figured it wouldn’t come naturally. But I’ll admit that when I gazed lovingly into the face of my first newborn, I never imagined them shoving peas up that adorable little nose.

I also never imagined some of the “Etiquette Rules” I would have to enforce around the Cole household. Here’s just a sample:
*Never eat what someone else has regurgitated and put back on their plate.
*Don’t put your feet on the table while you are eating.
*Don’t eat your fork. Eat WITH your fork.
*Don’t shampoo your hair with gravy.
*Stop asking why, just say YES MOM! (Hmm…one I thought I’d never say)

And here is my all time favorite (just pretend it’s a broken record playing in the background and it won’t seem so annoying)…
“Sit down. Sit down. Sit down. Sit down.”

Needless to say, teaching kids manners some days seems fruitless. But we (and our children) are encouraged from Philippians 2:14-16 to be “blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation. Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky.” I don’t know about pure, most days I’m happy if my kids are just somewhat clean.

Yet I believe a child’s small act of saying a sincere thanks and even clearing a plate off the table when they are done eating can help them shine like stars in the sky! In a world of thankless-ness and selfishness, small acts of kindness DO matter.

So my fellow Miss Manners Mama, let us trudge on through this messy kid world and promote chewing with mouths closed, saying please and thank you’s and not convulsing when anything other than chicken nuggets touches their plates (around here they say “It’s not my favorite” after they try one bite).

Let us help our children shine like little stars even though teaching manners can indeed be a thankless job!


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