Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Arwen wrote a very funny post about manners this morning (see link below)! The topic reminded me of something that has occurred a few times over the years with our kids. Have you ever had a stranger or an acquaintance say hello to your child, only to have your child look away or just give the person a blank stare? Usually it happens when one of my children is tired, hungry, or otherwise plagued with moodiness. Nevertheless, it drives me nuts. I used to be so concerned about what people thought of my parenting, that I would work at getting the proper response from my child, while the somewhat miffed person watched. The more I worked at it, the more moody my child would become. Finally, I would give up, not knowing what more I could do, short of giving their hand a minor slapping in public, which I was against. (I abhor public spanking.) Because of my giving up, it was always clear that the onlooker now thought even worse of my parenting, and of my child. A lecture would ensue, after the stranger went away, and I was always in a horrible mood myself after such incidents. Does this sound familiar?

A few weeks ago, at an Easter-craft homeschooling party, there was a man attending who was a bit off socially. This Easter affair was our second time seeing him, and both times he wanted to hold our two girls almost immediately. He made nice with them and such, trying to get them to smile. Emily Rose smiled at him at the first meeting, and we did finally let him hold Anna Grace that time. He was the father of two of the kids in attendance.

This last meeting, Emily wouldn't smile at him. She was miffed that we wouldn't let her dye any eggs without our help, and it was near her naptime. I reminded her to be nice and say hi, but she would have none of it. I gave up and ignored her, and just said something to him about her being in a mood. He obviously thought I should have worked harder to get her to be socially correct. However, I'm just not as concerned with what people think of me now, compared to when the boys were this age. This scenario doesn't seem worth getting upset over anymore, although we do still talk to the child afterwards about what is appropriate.

Anyone have suggestions for this?

Also, Timothy is such a picky eater, that he gets stressed out and can be rude when we go places and he sees food he doesn't like. He'll say out loud,"I hate carrot cake! Isn't there any chocolate?" And he'll even start crying. We take him outside, if possible, and calm him down and remind him to keep quiet about foods he doesn't like, since it sounds so ungrateful to the host or hostess. Usually people say not to worry about it, but it is still stressful to us as parents. Nowadays, we go over the manners he should use if he sees foods he doesn't like, and we remind him that we aren't going to force him to eat anything.

We'll see how things go this summer, when picnics are on the schedule again. He can sound so incredibly rude at food-related outings! I hope he grows out of this food-phobia stage! But for heaven's sake - the child is still eating his Cheerios dry, because he isn't brave enough to try them with milk! Can anyone feel my pain with this?

Spors in the Desert: Dear Miss Manners

The boys and Daddy went to two different parks to find rocks round and smooth enough to be made into ladybugs. Now I'm off to find acrylic paint at Walmart! Happy Earth Day!

1 comment:

Evenspor said...


I believe in not correcting kids in front of other people, yet I still find myself often "posture parenting" in public. It's a habit I'd like to get out of before my kids are older.

And I can definitely relate on the picky food front. Fortunately, at three anything he says is still considered cute, but we definitely need to work on the not saying, "This is yucky" about everything put in front of him.