I wrote different words on post-it notes like poo, throw-up, scabs, zits, blood, etc. (all things inappropriate for the table). Then I hid the words under their plates. I told them their was something gross under their plates, so they peeked and found the words.
Once dinner started, my husband told a joke: “Hey, Croft! Do you like sea food?” Then he held his mouth open and showed a mouth full of chewed food. The punchline is “See food!” Of course all the kids had to try their turn at this lame, but effective, joke.
Dinner was a bust. The whole family, including me, fell off the manners wagon. We literally broke every manner rule, we had learned. I found it funny and depressing at the same time. And to make matters worse, I do not have one picture to prove it. You’ll just have to imagine the chaos at a recent dinner:
I am always amazed at how fascinated my kids are with elevators. We can be at the most magical place on earth or visiting my small hometown and it doesn’t matter. As long as the hotel has a pool and an elevator, the kids think they have died and gone to heaven.
I set out a glass, tumbler, cup, mug, and a goblet. I asked my kids, “What do all of these have in common?” The kids knew they were all used for drinking beverages. I also wrote the different names on index cards. Then I had the kids match the name with the correct object. It was time to talk about drinkware do’s and don’ts.
How many of us are quick to complain to a company when we are dissatisfied, but not as quick to compliment when it all goes well? We can model a better way for our children through writing a letter of appreciation.