I’m a fan of ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye’, in fact since having kids I’ve become a big fan of manners. It’s not until you see a young 2-5yr old mimic an adults behaviour that you really realise how rude or uncaring or unattractive certain types of behaviour are. Ironically, it’s not that I actually take umbrage at bad manners; as I totally understand that ‘manners’ are completely different depending on what country you live in, what culture you are from and what values your parents instilled in you.
The reason why ‘manners’ and understanding what they are means so much to me, is because relationships are the key, the reason for life. They teach us about us, they teach us about the world, they help us to change our perspective on life, they helps us see both sides of the story. (Yep, I am one of those people with the belief that there is more to life that just this bit, humour me, because it keeps me happy!). I know that a few people like to go and sit on a mountain and meditate to evolve, but I honestly don’t believe that is a very practical method, maybe they just need a good holiday for a bit. For people to open up to us, they need to feel that we are on their wavelength; which basically means we are behaving or talking in a way that appeals to their value set.
Curly Headed Boy likes people, he has always been a social animal, therefore it is important that he understands the basic core manners of social behaviour, plus eventually learns to suss out manners or different cultural behaviours and respect them as well. In this way he will show the other people involved that he cares about them, because he is behaving thoughtfully, and he will get what he craves, which is popularity. Fair enough, sometimes this has to be tempered, because being a ‘people pleaser’ won’t help him, so he will also sometimes need to stand his ground and make sure he’s not a walk over.
Unlike the generalisation of boys, Curly headed boy is actually pretty in touch with his feminine side, so he is sociable, creative and chatty. But I have over the last 6 months realised that I need to work a little harder on the manners aspect. It’s amazing how easy it is to forget to say ‘hello mummy, how was your day?’ before going straight into a complaint or demand. It’s also amazing how easy it is to forget to say ‘hello’ and give a cuddle to someone who comes into the house frequently, like a loved one (a hint for us parents on valentines day!). It’s also very easy to forget to say ‘goodbye, have a lovely day’ with a quick kiss when everyone is in a rush.
I remember how strict his last nursery was, when they made the children say ‘good afternoon’ when they left. But now I see how important it is to teach them to mark the beginnings and endings of things, so that they are really present with what is going on in their lives. As a work from home Mum it is often difficult to put up boundaries as to what I’m doing or which person I am, but this is another use for the basic manners of saying ‘hello’ or ‘goodbye’. After 22yrs with the big hairy one, its easy for us to forget the simple things as well.
With Little Dimples, she already understands human behaviour amazingly at 1yr old, so I suspect she will pick up on the power of manners pretty early on. But I am also aware of how easily she mimics things (have a very funny video to share with you next week!), so it’s a warning to me to behave as I expect her to.
So I’m a big fan of ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye’. What about you? Have you become more or less of a stickler for manners since becoming a parent? Do you remember to use manners when dealing with your kids and your partner?
This valentines day, remember to give your kids a hug when you pick them up from nursery or school and say ‘hello, how are you’, and then when your partner gets home, give them a hug too, even if they are grumpy from a tough day at work.
Oh, and if you fancy learning more about human behaviour, relationships and how to ensure your children reach their full potential, register for my webinar THIS THURSDAY http://www.MummyWhispererSecrets.com