Thursday, December 29, 2005


One of my pet peeves is bad manners. I can't stand it when people are rude, demanding what they want and then offering no thanks. I hate to be taken for granted too. I am not here to be a slave.

My brother, as I remember, was not big on manners when we were younger. I remember pinching my lips shut with my fingers when we were eating with guests to silently remind him to chew with his mouth closed. Why, no, I'm not bossy or demanding or a control freak...

Now that we're grown, I'm seeing a whole new side to my brother. I might be a manners freak, but he is the Manners Gestapo. I want my children to say "please" and "thank you" and "you're welcome." I like the occasional "Yes ma'am." I expect them to asked to be excused from the table and to carry their dishes to the sink. But I feel like I have forgotten to teach my children any manners at all when I am around my brother and his children.

I feel so torn because I would love for my children to have good manners like my niece and nephew, but I also feel like there is a little too much formality. It seems like they can't answer any type of question without being prompted. There must always be a "yes, ma'am" or "no, sir." There are times that they are prompted to say something polite to me and it makes me feel uncomfortable. I want to say, "I don't expect you to talk to me like that. It's all your dad's fault."

And so I just add another notch to my Mother's Guilt Belt. I feel guilty for not teaching them "enough" manners. I feel guilty for forcing them to be super-polite. Am I doing my children a disservice by not being strict enough with them? If I buckle down, will I cause a wall of sorts to come up between us?

Isn't there a happy medium?

Posted @ 3:13 PM ~ 1 comments

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