The other day I walked into a Wawa right behind a 20 something man. We approached the door at pretty much the same time. He walked in first, held the door behind him until I grabbed it. But he never looked at me. At the second door, he didn’t even hold the door for me. Perhaps I was too slow at the first one?
This made me think about my boys and how we are training them. Holding doors for women is one of my things that I try to impress upon them. I’ve been known to stand outside and wait for them to come back to the door to hold it for me. I don’t know why, but it’s one of those things that matter to me. I guess that’s why I noticed the way the young man ignored me.
Some of the other things I am a stickler for are:
Waiting until everyone is seated and we pray before you start eating.
Asking to be excused and clearing your plate.
Asking for things instead of stating a need. “Can you please get me a drink?” instead of “I’m thirsty.”
Being patient when I can’t get to that need right away.
Using Mr. & Mrs. instead of first names for grown-ups.
Saying “Thank you”.
Saying “I forgive you” instead of “That’s OK”.
Not saying “Sorry” unless you mean it.
Ordering your own meal at a restaurant.
Some of these things may not matter to you, and truly that’s fine with me. I don’t care if your kids call me Becki. I recognize as parents there are certain things that matter more to us than other things.
There are also some things that I know I need to do a better job at training my boys in. We’ve talked about these things. They are important to me. But, I am simply inconsistent in my enforcing of them:
Writing Thank You notes. I am terrible at this, and to date, I’ve passed that along to my boys.
Looking adults in the eye and responding to them when spoken to.
Using Sir or Ma’am or Mr. ____ or Mrs. ____ when talking to adults. As in, “Yes, Ma’am” or “No, Mr. Smith”. It’s just one more way of children respecting adults and I am always impressed when a child addresses me in that way. I know, some of you hate being called Ma’am or Mrs. _____. But, I truly believe that many children view adults as equals, and I’m not OK with that. I understand that there are many children who respect adults and yet still call them by their first name. I’m not trying to make a blanket statement. But I think it’s an easy way to set adults apart from children. OK, <<<stepping off soapbox>>> 🙂
Obeying adults immediately without asking “Why?”. I tell them they need to obey first and then later they can ask why they were told to do or not do something. But if they ask why before obeying it is defiance. (I have made sure to let them know they never need to obey an adult who asks them to do something that is illegal, goes against the Bible, or will hurt or harm them or someone else.)
Table manners during the meal. My guys don’t always sit up nicely, eating over their plate. Rather they slouch, sit back in their chair, food dropping on laps (that have no napkin on them) and the floor. Sometimes they eat food with their fingers that should be eaten with a fork. I don’t need them to look like they passed a class on manners, but I’d like it to at least look like they know what they are!
I also know there are many things that bother other adults, that I don’t worry about with my kids. I’m sure that just like the young man at Wawa bothered me, adults get bothered by my boys’ actions or lack of actions. I going blank on examples right now, but I’ve seen adults correct kids, sometimes my kids, about things that I could care less about.
~And who knows, perhaps someone is blogging about my boys right now and their lack of training~
So, what matters to you. What are your nonnegotiables? What do you wish you were better at? What do you not care about? I’d love to hear!
Pressing on together,