I was thinking about this the other day. What did my mum pass down to me as a child. I mean other than not being an idiot (Didn’t always work) or being a generally nice person and the one thing I could think that she passed down to me the most was manners.
I remember her always telling me that “Manners maketh man”. I’m pretty sure that I always thought those words were hers and only hers, but in reality they were the words of an old English teacher from the Tudor period of English history called William Horman who published a textbook with English translations of Latin called ‘the Vulgaria‘.
Those three words stuck with me for the rest of my life and I’m pretty sure I have uttered those very same words to my kids already.
To me, manners are one of the most important lessons you can teach your children. It’s a gateway to other things. If they learn manners, they could learn consideration for others. Empathy and compassion.
I don’t care what my kids grow up to do in their adult life. If they are gay, straight, bi-sexual. Rich, poor. Famous, infamous but I do care that they treat people with respect and a big aspect of that is manners.
The Mrs recently wrote a little Bio of me on her blog and one of the little facts about me is I hate bad manners. Manners are drilled into me so much that if I am alone and I burp…I say excuse me. Am I the only one that does that? Manners are second nature to me and I can’t see how that could be a bad thing?
I remember holding the door for somebody once and after they entered the room I noticed they didn’t express any sort of gratitude towards my politeness. I loudly and sarcastically said “Your welcome!”, she turned and replied with “What?”. I walked away unsurprised by the lack of manners.
From the moment my boys could speak we have tried to have them use their manners. When they want something they say please and when they receive it they give thanks. For us it was a double-edged sword. Our kids grew to learn they need to have manners, but it helped them associate words with actions.
We don’t just work on please and thank yous of course. We try to instill on them the importance of manners whenever the body sees fit to make the noises bodies make….yes I’m talking burps and farts.
It’s a well documented thing that kids like bodily functions such as ‘Burps’ and ‘trumpets’. So much so that now while eating a meal, both boys will gleefully shout “BAARRP…EXCUSE ME!!”. It might not have been an actual burp but they use their manners and that is whats important.
Manners are so ingrained into me that if I burp or sneeze I will always say excuse me….even if I’m alone!
What was the biggest thing your parents passed down to you that you try to pass down to your children?
What little names do you have in your house for those little windy occurrences?
Remember that important saying…
As always, THANK YOU for reading.