Front Porch Chats - Manners


It's picture day at school and we have been patiently waiting to wear these amazing little dresses from Bella Bliss! Oh my I can barely handle the sweetness!

I bribed the babes to take at least one picture with mommy! MnM's and a hopscotch board will do the trick every time!


My dress linked hereThe girls shoes linked hereThe girls dresses lined hereMy boots linked hereIf you follow me on Instagram you know that occasionally, when the girls are resting, I'll sit on the front porch swing and share a few ideas that are working for us in the parenting department. We certainly don't have it all figured out but we are doing our best to raise kids that aren't the worst. One thing that's always driven me bananas is how kids (and sometimes adults!) make demands of people when they want something.OR.Even worse. They'll make statements and expect people to do what they want without ever asking.I know these are kids we're talking about but for goodness sake, if we don't teach them some basic principals when it comes to respect for others and using manners, then no one will. And if there's one thing I've learned about children, it's that when you respectfully expect certain behaviors and you're willing to put in the energy over a consistent period of time to teach them those behaviors, they CAN and WILL rise to the occasion.For instance, if my three year old says "I'm thirsty" we respond with "Rowen, that's just a statement. How would we turn that into a request using manners?" And in the beginning we would also have to say "Try: 'Mommy, could you get me some water, please?" But now, if prompted to make a request using manners, she knows exactly what to say.If Reese says "Give me that cup" we say "That's a demand and we don't respond to demands. Can you turn that into a request using your manners?"Our tone is never condescending because that would defeat the whole purpose. If the goal is to teach your children to be respectful with their needs and wants, we need to do the same for them. I've never quite understood how a parent could bark orders at their kids and then scold them when the kids bark back. Yes, as a parent you are an authority but shouldn't that mean that you model the respect you want to see in your kids?I feel like it's really valuable to remind our children what their words mean so they know that they carry weight. Whether ugly or kind, the words we speak have great meaning. This is a very safe and practical way for children to start understanding and taking responsibility for their words. Yes, it would take less time to just say "Try that again and say it nicer this time" or to just give them what they ask for. But it's a teachable moment that doesn't take a whole lot of effort on our end to incorporate.So here it is in an easy takeaway:"I'm thirtsy"That's a statement."Give me water"That's a demand."Could you please give me some water"That's a request using manners and that's what we're after!What I've loved about incorporating this into our home is that it's changed the overall tone in which our children speak to us and to each other. It sounds so gracious to request something in a kind way.Cultivating kindness in our home takes on a lot of different forms but this is something we practice all. the. time. And we have been so excited to see the outcome so far!I hope it's something you'll be able to use in your home and that it'll make a positive difference!"Kind words are like honey, sweet to the soul and healing to the body." Proverbs 16;24