Manners, please....

OK, the truth is out. My husband and I have no official parenting philosophy. We try to be thoughtful and respect Vivi as an individual being but we also try to be firm and consistent with rules and structure. I wouldn't say that we fall entirely under the attachment parenting umbrella but we certainly don't ascribe to the old maxim "spare the rod, spoil the child". We are just trying to find our way like everyone else.

There is one thing in our household, however, that is absolutely non-negotiable: manners. Although the golden rule of treating others how you want to be treated is tough to instill in a toddler, the words "please" and "thank you" should not be.

I'd like to say that we've worked hard to get Vivi to be a polite child but the truth is it was pretty darn easy. If she wanted something and didn't say please, she wouldn't get it. If she didn't say thank you, she would be reminded. It comes up a 100 times a day so we have lots of opportunity to practice. Plus, it has made me more conscious of how frequently I say those magic words. And now, I say them much more! There are few things more thrilling for a parent than to hear an unsolicited "please" or "thank you" from one's child. I get a warm fuzzy feeling when Vivi does it.

I figured we'd done a pretty decent job teaching manners thus far when I climbed into bed with Vivi Monday morning. It was 5:05 and she had woken up yelling for me. She's had a cold and I knew she didn't feel well so I snuggled in next to her. Vivi quickly fell back asleep and then let out the loudest, rip, roaring fart I'd heard from her little body. Although it didn't fully awaken her, I certainly noticed. In her sleepy state, she murmured, "Excuse me. I did toot."


  1. I just laugh every time I read this! Aviva is so funny... just like her mommy : )
    We've been pretty adamant about Owen with his manners as well. We've only really taught him please and thank you though. I think "Excuse me" is a good one to add to the list since he now thinks tooting is hysterical. Better to nip it in the butt now than when he's trying to pick up girls!


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