Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Spin Cycle: Manners: Say Please!

Teaching a toddler manners is an interesting part of parenting. I have a couple of stories about teaching kids manners.

When my oldest, Gina was a toddler, I was trying to ram please and thank you down her throat teach her to say please and thank you. One day, she asked, Mommy, I want some juice." I replied, "I want some juice, what?" Her answer? "I want some juice NOW." sigh. This is going to take a while. I am happy to report that Gina grew up to have lovely manners and I'm never embarrassed to be with her in public. hehehehe.

I work as a waitress at TGI Fridays (actually where I work isn't important because I'm sure this happens everywhere.) I'll approach a table of say 3 people, 2 kids and mom. I do my spiel and ask if they want to start out with drinks. This is, more often than not, the way the conversation will go.

Mom: OK, kids. Tell Miss Joan what you want to drink.

Kid 1: I'll have a sprite.

Mom: Say please!

Kid1: I'll have a sprite please.

Kid2: I'll have a coke.

Mom: Say please!

Kid2: May I please have a coke?

Mom: I'll have an iced tea.

Uh, Mom? Why do you think your kids don't say please when they tell me what they want to drink? Kids learn from their parents. Parents expect their kids to use their manners, but don't bother to use them when it's their turn. They don't even realize that they aren't using THEIR manners! I am so tempted to say, Say please!

OOPS! Pardon my manners! I completely forgot to link this back to the one, the only Jen! At Sprite's Keeper! Spin Cycle is all her idea and it's lots of fun! Why not go on over and check out the other spins? Each week she gives us a topic to write a cool, funny, serious story. That link will give you the rules! Go on! It's fun!


Liz said...

A good lesson!!

Teagan often asks me why I say "thank you" so much. I say it after I place an order, after food is brought, after dishes get picked up. Maybe I say it too much... but I mean it every time.

So hopefully the modeling is better than the telling because I'm pretty bad at the telling part!

Sally's World said...

i am so strict about the kids saying please and thank you, i have accidentally reminded kids that don't belong to me sooo many times...which certainly gets me some looks...but as my mum says...manners cost nothing!

Mim said...

I'm big on the use of thank you too. I sometimes notice a surprised reaction when I thank someone clearing our table at a restaurant, sadly I don't think many people say thank you for that particular job.

When my oldest was younger it was very hard to get him to say thank you when eating out because his anxiety issues made it hard for him to speak to strangers at all. We persisted though, I think it's important.

Suzanne said...

This did make me giggle, because my youngest Charlotte, is always demanding things NOW! I'm sure eventually tire of our outraged looks and persistant reminders.

I hope the parents make it up to you with a good tip! xx

Jim and Garret said...

Do it Joanie! Correct the parent!


Aaron said...

good for you i am right there with you when my boy was growing up that was something i made sure he learn even today with him being a teenager people still tell me how polite he is. awesome post cool blog!

darsden said...

Yeah, I would have given the mom the WTF look face! Till she said it and then winked at the kids! I have to say the adults in our family do teach the kids manners and then sometimes I still look at these big kids (adults) with the WTF face. :-)

darsden said...

I am making the WTF face a lot today because Pearl has coupons for buy one get one free botox...

~Thought's By Dena~ said...

I bet the look on their face would be priceless if you did that!!!!

Mary Ellen said...

It's true that what we DO is often a much better teacher than what we SAY.

mo.stoneskin said...


Sprite's Keeper said...

Oh my goodness, I need to listen to myself and see if I do that too! I know I at least remember to thank the server every time they come by the table or set me up with a refreshed drink. I'm not sure I would have noticed in your place the lack of parental manners although the kids were being drilled. Awesome Spin! You're linked!

HeatherPride said...

I hear you. I was a waitress for quite a while and I was always amazed at how badly I was treated by some people. Some people are so abusive to their wait staff! Of course, with my job situation I may be waiting tables again soon!

Ginger said...

I hear you. Parents should always remember that their actions are having more of an effect than their words.