Saturday, February 26, 2011

Social Graces.

My mom had this awesome way of teaching good manners-

She talked, we listened. Or she just gave us "the look", and we stepped back into line upon fear of death.

So imagine my surpreese when my kids display a lack thereof.

How'd you do it, Mom?

I've taken some serious measures to correct the problem. Used "the machine" to cut out some big thumbs,

(and my machine is broken now, and no I don't want to talk about it, okay??)

And thus commences, "Operation Manners".

The hubs and I ask questions, and the kids get to answer with a thumbs up for good manners, or a thumbs down for thee, well, usual answers.

What do I mean? Read on.

-"So you're at a friend's house, and their mom makes you a sandwich. You do not like it. You say 'thank you' anyway and you eat it without another word.
Thumbs up or thumbs down?"

-"You're playing at a friend's house, and the floor is not clean. You say 'Ew, this floor is nasty!'
Thumbs up or thumbs down?"

-"You say, 'your sister is annoying!' to a friend. Thumbs up or thumbs down?"


And my very favorite of all,

-"It's your birthday, and you get a present. Inside a nicely wrapped gift is a piece of poo. You say 'Thank you!', because even POO deserves a nice reaction. Thumbs up or thumbs down??"

These may or may not be real-life examples. But switch out "poo" for "clothes".

This works so well with some kids, and notsowell with others. And ya know,

I'm not going to point fingers, here.

But let's just put it this way:

We're on "Operation Manners", round numero quattro 'round here.

And we'll keep going until it's clear as day, man.


Layne Bushell said...

He behaved perfectly perfect yesterday! So I's working. We love having "him" over!

Lori @ In Pursuit of Martha Points said...

I would like one of those giant thumbs to use with my co-workers.

"A visiting therapist who doesn't know the patients asks you where to find Mr. Smith. You roll your eyes and say you don't know, he's not your patient and plus you're busy. Thumbs up or thumbs down?"

And can incorrect answers be accompanied by smacking? 'Cause that'd make my day.

Jessica at Me Sew Crazy said...

Not that you are pointing any - great photo!

I had a 45 minute stand off with my 21 month old today...if it makes you feel any better.

Cami @ You Seriously Made That said...

Ummm...I freaking love your blog. Everything. I want a house exactly like yours and a dad exactly like yours. I want the molding and the awesome "made by hand" everything. I want all of the vintage touches...and now I want a table saw. For our apartment. To put on the balcony. I can just see the downstairs neighbors now. "rrrreeeeeeeeeeee (this is the saw noise...)"
"What the crap?!"
That's all.

Thanks for sharing your hilarious take on life. Love it!
Cami @

Teri said...

That is a hard one...but I love your methods. A real kinesthetic experience. Good job Mom!

Teri said...

Oh..and good luck with your cutter!

Heidi@TheCraftMonkey said...

Can I have a thumbs up & thumbs down for my husband? sometimes he needs it more than the kids, raised by a pack of wild monkeys that one! :) great method!

Emily said...

What a cute way to get them to learn manners. I love it!

Janelle said...

first of all- I love the picture with all the arrows all over it. He looks so angelic.

Second, I know what you mean. I wonder all the time why my kids don't respond to the look. so I am glad I am not the only one.

C. Love the thumbs.

Alaina said...

When you figure "the look" out... take a pic and post it... I will then practice until I get it right! Bc, I'm on "Operation Wooden Spoon" over here! :)

Cami @ You Seriously Made That said...

I featured your pantry project on my blog today! Feel free to come check it out :)

alamama said...

man, i'd flunk your test! heehee we have been talking about manners. great idea you have! yug...i think i just sounded like yoda.

WhettenWild said...

When you get this all figure out.......let me know. =)

calikas said...

Good strategy! I agree with the girl above, I should try it with my husband haha!

And I noticed that you were left handed because you wrote a message on your right hand.

(PS ten points for the hubby's windshield :D )

April and Jared Fenn said...

oh good luck with teaching manners. Keep us all updated if it works and then I will steal your idea.

slommler said...

The crayons in the nose I think is a thumbs down...I could be wrong...but it appears so!! Ha!
Cracked me up for sure!
Teaching kids manners...we learned by fear of death....todays kids...well they just don't seem to get it!! Good luck!

Claudia said...

No worries Mandi, I will teach you "the look!"
Love Mommy

Leca Unplugged said...

My sister tried being Miss Manners and did all the wrong things at the dinner table to demonstrate to her children. They still talk about it to this day. It was scarey.

lemondropdreams said...

I feel your pain! Why was I so scared of my parents? I'm pretty sure my kids are giving me the big fat finger when I turn my back. Even my 4 year old has been known to roll his eyes. As far as the look, when I give it to my daughter she looks at me confused and asks, what? I wish it was still the 80's when you could give your kid a little smack in public and go unnoticed!