Day 10 Dare: Have a manners night. Openly discuss a few ways you can avoid unpleasant behavior around one another and show greater respect. Lead your family in a fun meal to practice good manners, giving everyone a chance to serve and be served. Locate a simple book on etiquette and begin learning new tips as a family.
Questions from The Love Dare For Parents, page 49: In what areas do you and your children need to adjust your manners? What did you learn together as you did this exercise?
From the day 10 dare:
Manners grow on children. They will watch your private etiquette today, make it their public etiquette tomorrow, and then pass it on to their children one day.
We must grow toward a place where rudeness is not tolerated, in either our children or ourselves. A place where no one is made fun of or humiliated, and none of our vocabularies descend to being vulgar, gross, or crude. A place where rolling eyes, biting sarcasm, and pouting are not allowed to become normal patterns of behavior.
I distinctly remember my parents consistently being an example of good manners. They did not allow any lapse in etiquette. I went through a phase of rolling my eyes at my mom, thinking that since she was visually impaired, she would never know. Somehow, she caught almost every eye roll and punished me accordingly.
My siblings and I were raised to be polite, courteous and kind to everyone around us. We fell short from time to time, but there was never a question as to what was expected of us.
Today’s dare is something that will be ongoing. Manners aren’t something you talk about once and then never address again. As evident on the show Supernanny, children get out of hand and can be rude and physically agressive when the parent’s are at a loss as to how to put a stop to it. Parents desperately want calm and respectful children. They just don’t always know how to achieve that.
The same goes in the classroom at school. There are too many schools where the students are out of control and even the principal can’t put a stop to it. (I taught at such a school and it was an eye opening and distressful situation for all involved. It was so bad, I did not teach there very long. Students screamed and faught. Teachers screamed. Administration screamed. Nothing ever got better.) No one wants this kind of atmosphere at home or at school.
To go along with today’s dare, research books on raising children and get specific according to the current ages of your children. Besides having a conversation about having manners and being more respectful to one another, younger children need boundaries. Even watching just one episode of Supernanny will give you some step-by-step ideas on how to have a more peaceful family environment.