Why: So far we have covered 11 table manners, so I thought it was time for a review. This was a chance to practice all the manners together and have some accountability.
Attention Getter: I set a police badge (that I got at a local party supply store) and a buzzer (don’t ask; I’ve had it for years) on dad’s plate. The kids hovered around dad’s plate before dinner. I love when I pique their interest.
When we were all seated, I introduced the “Politeness Police”. Now the purpose of the “Politeness Police” was to monitor the family’s manners in a playful way. The designated Police would wear the badge and buzz the buzzer when he caught someone using bad manners.
Some nights we decided that the “Politeness Police” could catch people using good manners. Although this method is way more warm and fuzzy, our family voted to stick with the old school method (since when does a cop pull you over for going the speed limit afterall?) You can take whichever approach you want with your family.
Manner: We had to set some ground rules right up front: Moms and dads can lovingly point out manner mistakes any day, any time. That is our job and our responsibility. But kids can only point out manner mistakes if they are designated as the “Politeness Police” by a parent because it is actually bad manners to point out someone else’s bad manners.
Practice: Dad was the first Police to model how it was to be done. He buzzed away and corrected the children. I felt like it was a great teaching time because often we don’t even know when we are using bad manners. My son took great pride in not getting buzzed, while my 4 year old daughter purposely tried to screw up so she could get caught (let’s just say I’m nervous for her teenage years.) Over the week each kid got to take a turn as the “Politeness Police”. Eyes were alert. Revenge was sought. No mercy was shown (the baby even got buzzed for using his fingers.)