Manners maketh the teachers pet

I’m sure there were better speeches prepared for children heading back to school, but ours was basically, remember your manners.
I don’t know how everyone else feels about this but I’m quite the fan of manners and to be fair it’s not an easy task teaching said manners when there are fewer and fewer kids practicing them.  Fortunately a few years ago we stumbled across a box of books going free outside a house in Seddon in Melbourne’s inner west (while visiting Sedonia, ah lovely Sedonia)
in it we found this 80s beauty…
Hell yeah! we said, just what we are after to tame our terrors. But to be honest, it really is brilliant, the kids adore it and it covers some excellent points.
Sure the technique for eating soup is asking a bit much for a four year old but everything else is gold, and it’s Disney!  who can argue with that!
“A thank you makes it understood that what he’s done makes you feel good”
did I mention it rhymes? genius.
so while I shout
‘who left their bike on the driveway!!!!”
The book reads far more effectively
“leave your bike in the rain and it will never be the same…”
It encourages kids to play to win without being a sore loser, how it’s easier to be liked if you smile a little and try to join in, to not make fun of people who look different to you and other basics that sometimes we expect without an explaination.
The book also talks about stranger danger, it was straight forward and clear.  I asked the girls if they needed me to clarify and they said nope! they have it covered… and to be honest, I’m happy they know not to get into a car with a stranger because Mickey said it, most of what I say goes in one ear and out the other so I would have elaborated and given them nightmares for months. It explains a stranger, what to avoid, it was spot on.
Telling lies, playing fair, offering seats to older people, answering the phone, keeping your room tidy and loads more – it’s good. really good
Because you know what, you get serious brownie points in this world with manners (especially with brand new teachers), Mums can’t resist a kid with beautiful manners, polite kids are remembered and you want your kid to be remembered – it takes a village as they say.
Obviously leading by example is the first step, but this is a great tool, why aren’t there hundreds of these books floating around? where is the modern version?
My kids still need some work but we have a big round of high fives when they make a big effort to share when they would rather not, or help out a new kid that feels left out, and they feel pretty darn proud of themselves.
As I see it, manners helps build respect and confidence, pretty important stuff right?
Now I just wish I could track down an 80’s Disney toilet training book.

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