I set the table with a pencil in the fork place. As you would expect, the kids noticed the missing forks and the out-of-place pencils right away and wondered what it would have to do with manners. Well, I’ll tell you:
I saw a cute Valentine idea on my friend’s blog that I wanted to share in advance of Valentine’s Day. I love this idea because it gives our children the opportunity to practice showing love and appreciation and giving sincere, truthful compliments, and it’s good manners:
My family was new in town and my sister and I were invited to our neighbor’s birthday party. We were just little tikes- barely in school. (Now I was already a little on edge because we didn’t know anyone and our neighbor seemed rich and we seemed poor in my young mind. Plus I was mortified by the tacky wrapping job on the plastic purse we had gotten Lisa for her present.) The next memory I have is being served a piece of cake and then–taking a bite.
(Confession: I set my husband up on this one. Luckily, he is a good sport and the blog’s biggest fan.) I made coconut cake for dessert because I knew my husband would fall into my trap perfectly and he did:
Martin Luther King Day always takes me back to my student teaching experience. I taught 2nd graders and I had them gathered around me on the rug. We were discussing how people are different. I said something like, “Some people have white skin, some people have dark skin…. Then a second grader shouted out: “Yeah, and some people have red dots all over their face; just like you!”
I have learned much about myself and my family from this manner. I’ve learned that we are a stubborn and prideful folk. We like to teach, but we don’t always like to be taught.
See, we have passed to the left all of our lives and up until last week we even passed to the left at our monthly Sunday dinner. When I told my family that I learned through my readings that it is proper etiquette to pass to the right, I was surprised by their reaction. “Wow! Thanks, Tiffany. We just learned something new” would have been a nice response. Instead it was, “Who says?” “Are you going to make us do that now?” I think I even got called a few names. (To be honest, I don’t really care which way you pass it as long as we are all going the same direction, but because I am stubborn too, I didn’t let it go. I explained WHY you pass to the right, then called them names back.)