Friday, April 17, 2009

Miss Manners is IN

I've just read a post by the excellent Mamacita about the dangers of letting the children rule the parents and home, rather than the parents doing their job properly.

One of the commenters asked, as someone who doesn't spend much time with small children, is it reasonable to expect a 4.5yo to eat/chew with their mouth shut.

So, my opinion on the subject is, that they are never too young to start learning good manners and polite behaviour. Just because they may not understand why that behaviour is necessary or the centuries of social conditioning behind them, doesn't mean that they can't be taught to behave a certain way, understanding can come later.

So my 2.5 yo has learned to say please, thank you and you're welcome. He says pardon me when he experiences a gas escape from either end, for the most part he doesn't talk while he's eating and he keeps his mouth shut when he's chewing. At the moment he's learning that we don't snatch, by me making him give something back and try taking it again nicely if he does snatch the first time, and he has to keep doing it until he gets it right.

No, he doesn't always get it right, he has to be reminded of all these things occasionally, and frankly I don't think that is a problem, the fact is that more often than not, he does get it right, and that makes me proud.

Oh, and for the record, seeing someone smacking away at their food with their mouth hanging open physically disgusts me. Seeing a young child doing it I can cope, as long as their parent is working to correct them, however seeing a grown man doing it (one of OH's friends springs to mind) is utterly disgusting and I have very great difficulty eating around people who do that.