Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Jon and Kate + 8

Dear Good Manners Devotee',

I find that I just have to write one little thing about this infamous show and couple.

Okay -- maybe two.

The Good Manners Daughters have been obsessed with the show for the last six months. When I would come home from work and put together a nutritious meal (well, maybe it was while I was nuking something in the microwave) I would see repeat after repeat after repeat of the show. Either TLC was loading up the schedule or the Good Manners Daughters were dvd-ing them -- regardless, it was on all the time.

At the beginning, I thought it was cute. I also sort of related to them -- not because of the multiples, but because they are living in the Reading area -- including Wernersville -- where I grew up. And it was fun to hear it mentioned, and see local attractions such as Dutch Wonderland. (We also live outside of Philadelphia so it's all familiar to us.)

But then I would hear Kate over and over and over while I was nuking -- I mean cooking -- dinner, and she really started getting on my nerves. I couldn't believe how she talked to the kids and how she talked to Jon. I said as much to Good Manners Dad and the Good Manners Daughters.

(It also got on my nerves, after having paid for my piano, when I watched the episode where someone gave them a piano. Just to name a few of the free things they've gotten.)

Anyway, I digress. As this is the Good Manners Mom's Blog, my point about bringing up Jon and Kate + 8 is this: you should always try do your best to treat others the way you want to be treated yourself.

I know, I know -- who can be nice 100% of the time? That's why I say try .

The alternative -- well, chances are your bad manners won't be captured on cable tv for millions to see your behavior. But they could be. And that would be embarrassing. And awful. And show you the damage that can be done when you don't treat others the way you want to be treated yourself.

So here's to following the Golden Rule -- and hoping for the Gosselin children sake that their parents will, too.


Saturday, May 16, 2009

CNN Study: kids social skills linked to Mom

Dear Good Manners Devotees',

Yesterday I read an interesting article on CNN.com about how mothers' talk is key to kids social skills.

I'm doing my best to make the above cnn.com a live link so that you can go to it if you 'd like to read more -- my apologies if it doesn't work. (Try www.cnn.com/2009/health/05/15/mother.children.social.skills/index.html)

In a nutshell, it details findings of a study that shows "...the way mothers talk to their children at a young age influences their social skills later in life. Children whose mothers often talked to them about people's feelings, beliefs, wants and intentions developed better social understanding than children whose mothers did not."

The article goes on to say that giving children a vocabulary of feelings helps them realize what their emotions are and gives them the ability to describe them in order to become more empathetic.

An example: when a child grabs a toy from another child, instead of saying "don't grab" or "stop it," it would be helpful to say that it makes the other child sad, and that it would make him or her sad if the same thing was done to them. (I actually put that ending onto it, that's how I interpreted it.)

So what am I, Good Manners Mom, trying to say to you, you ask?

That it's never too early to show our children how to treat other people with respect, to treat them the way that they want to be treated. Teaching them to understand feelings and to express their feelings early on can influence how they treat others for the rest of their lives.

Let me rephrase that, it sounds so clinical and preachy -- and yucky and burdensome -- as if you aren't busy enough trying to raise happy and healthy children.

Good manners and respect for other people are just like riding a bike -- at first, learning it is hard, and then once you learn how, it's something you never lose.

Just start using opportunities casually as they come up every day (or every other day or once a week) and soon your child will be well on the way to becoming a caring person with great social skills, and you will hardly realize you've been doing it!

Until next time,


P.S. The article mentions that when the study started 14 years ago, they weren't able to include many dads -- but that today more fathers spend time at home with their young children. So, Dads, you can do this, too!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Joining Twitter and new blog launch

Dear Good Manners Devotee',

Two exciting things have happened that I wanted to share with you.

I have started a new blog, www.goodsportbadsport.blogspot.com and I have signed-up for Twitter.

If you would like to follow me on Twitter, you can click the link on the left underneath where my last 5 Twitter posts will appear. Just follow the easy instructions. Or, you can just check back on the Good Manners Blog for twitters (or it is tweets?) when you come back to read my new posts.

I'll be twittering random manners thoughts/questions/observations -- so if you'd like to be entertained by these little nuggets of -- oh, shall I say "wisdom" -- I hope you'll sign up to follow me.

My new blog, www.goodsportbadsport.blogspot.com is something different than the Good Manners Mom blog. On it, I am blogging about the good sportsmanship issues that we and our children come across. I'll be featuring some guest bloggers (coaches, parents, kids) to keep things interesting. You can click any of the highlighted links to reach it, or access it through my main site, www.goodmannerskidsstuff.com. I hope you'll take a peek at it -- it''s different than this blog but if you have children or grandchildren who play sports, I know you'll find something to interest you.

Next blog, I'll be back with some new manners observations/problems/comments.

Until then,