We are pretty big on manners around here – saying please and thank you, asking for things nicely instead of saying “give me XYZ,” sharing and taking turns, respecting people’s space, and not interrupting.
So far it’s worked on Toddler, as people comment on how good her manners are. Parental win!
My dad taught her something I never thought to do: ask if she can be excused from the lunch/dinner table when she’s done eating. That was great – thanks, dad!
As a corollary, Toddler figured out something on her own, and I’m quite pumped about it. When she sits on her chair for a meal and food is already in front of her but we aren’t seated yet (because we’re getting the rest of the food plated, placating Baby, cleaning up an emergency spill … you know the game) … she says, “May I please start eating?”
Whoa! Where did that come from?! Nevermind, just hurray!
You know what we say, though? We don’t say, “Go ahead!” We say … wait for it….
No, literally, we say to wait. We ask her to wait until everyone is seated (unless one of us will be busy for a long time as a real emergency). It’s further education on manners, right? But you know what mental image I get? Every time? This:
I feel like we’re training her like she’s a dog or something. The food is staring at her in the face and she is practically salivating – mind you, we serve vegetables alone as a first course for lunch and dinner, so she’s salivating for broccoli or asparagus, etc – but she sits in her chair and plays with her water cup or vitamin until we all get there.
Good girl! [Pat on the head.] Okay, let’s eat!
I’m glad we’re not expecting too much of her, as she can do it at 3.5yo. Do you all do this to your kids as well? Do you picture a dog with a bone on his nose as well? Or am I just crazy? Wait, don’t tell me….