I'll be the first to admit, I probably don't have the best manners all the time. I try. I try hard. But I know that I should look up at someone passing by and say hello. I should have held the door open for an extra 10 seconds for the person behind me. I should have said "Bless You" instead of continueing to read the latest celebrity gossip on People. I would like to think that those occurrences are far and in between, very far and in between.
Lately, I have been reminded more and more about how important manners just really are. Kaden is at a stage where he mimicks and repeats everything. And I do mean EVERYTHING. It's cute, really cute but the truth is that just like most everything else, manners are a learned habit. And if I want this kid to grow up being a polite young man who opens doors like his father does, walks on the street side like his father does, helps me down out of the car like his father does, we need to start leading by example now. Please, Thank You and You're Welcome are the new "IT" words in the house.
Since Kaden was little we have always used these words hoping that one day it would just click, and it did. Justin hands him his milk-only after he has asked nicely and with a please of course-he says "Thank you Daddy." He is always opening the door for me at daycare and at home. I say "Ouch.", he runs over, kisses it and asks if its better. The kid just gives me the warm and fuzzies all over. He really is one of the politest kids that I know and I keep my fingers crossed that it only continues.
Now, I have to give credit where credit is due. Sure, Justin and I use these words on a daily basis at home with him and we never just hand something over without him asking nicely for it first but without our dear Ms. Brenda, none of this would be possible. Ms. Brenda runs a tight shift at daycare (which I LOVE) and always expects the upmost respect from the children she cares for throughout the weekdays. So not only is Kaden hearing these words at home, he hears them while he is in her care too. Some of my favorite things that he does, he learned from her. He now asks if he can be excused after he is done eating-at first I had to ask Ms. Brenda what it was that he was trying to say but now it is much more clear! And just the other day, he said "Bless you, Mommy". I had no idea that he even knew what a sneeze was, let alone the proper way to respond-and this Mommy was in Mommy heaven. Music to my ears.
Not only do our actions and responses rub off on him but his are rubbing off on us too. I find myself willing to take that extra little time to hold a door open for someone. I use the words please and thank you to the extreme now. I swear our waitresses think I am a looney for thanking them each time they come to the table to check on us. But isn't that how it should be? Shouldn't we all try and be more polite to one another? This isn't an earth-shattering concept by any means, it's just something that has really taken center stage in our lives. We have two little minds that we are trying to shape into polite, respectable young men and hopefully we are laying a strong foundation.
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