Wednesday, June 9, 2010


One of the hardest things to teach kids is Manners. Capital M. Especially these days, when other parents try to run you or one of your children down in the grocery store with their carts, you know they aren't teaching please and thank you's. And when you say 'please' to your waitress at Chili's...she looks at you funny, like you're speaking a foreign language.

For the longest time, I've let my girls get away with asking a question this way:
"Mommy, Aube can't have kool-aid with a lid on it?" or "Bella can't go play outside?"

Aggravating, yes? Almost on the verge of Yoda-talk....not to mention asking in third person or the whole "koolaid with a lid on it"...but we will let that slide for now, they have all these odd ways to explain things...sometimes only I know what they are talking about. One thing at a time.

So, I FINALLY put a stop to it. We sat down for a talk and I gave them examples of "May I" and "Can I" questions. So when Aube says: "Mommy, Aube can't have white ones with the letter on it" (See what I mean....she means a mint)
Mommy: "That's not a question Aube. Whats the right question?"
Aube: "MAY I have white ones with the letters on it?"
Aube is the one who likes to be she will say 'May I' like 7 out of 10 times...I can't help but gush praises when she does use it, non- prompted!

The whole "May I" thing reminds me of learning manners from my dad. He would never let us say "Can I". I have one very vivid memory of renting our weekly video and asking for a sarsparilla Ü with a "Can I?" And his quip back would always be "I don't know, can you?" Ummm...yes? lol. After awhile, you figure out he's looking for a "May I?".
So, everytime I hear the girls say "May I?" I have to smile. But then I remember, he was still saying "I don't know, can you?" to me when I was in high school!!


Jennifer said...

I remember that too!! :) "I dont know can you?" haha.. I say that to Adam sometimes.. ;) But I'm glad at least 2 kids will have manners from their generation..

Jenny said...

WOW---my dad did the EXACT same thing. And I wouldn't dream (even today) of saying "Me and So-and-so" around him either. His face would turn purplish while insisting "SO-AND-SO AND I"!!!

Cheree said...

That is funny. Caedyn is just now asking "May I be excused from the table?" (It's Tony's doing). It is so cute. Of course - it still doesn't really matter to her whether we say "yes" or "no", because she's already sliding out of the kitchen. Oh well - one thing at a time! :)

Cheree said...

Oh - and tell James Bora and I were talking about him on Tuesday!