Magic words

My career is to shape little humans into compassionate, patient, and polite problem-solvers. Yeah, there's reading and math and science AND social studies too, but those are not my main concern in kindergarten.

You know how irritating it is to let another driver pull out and then not receive the "courtesy wave" from them? It is typically met with "You're welcome, jackass" in my car. Well, I happen to believe that those people who hold back the courtesy wave missed out on all there is to learn in kindergarten. Same with people who don't hold the door. I hate that.

Little gestures, little words make a huge difference in my book. How do people make it to kindergarten, not to mention adulthood, without developing these habits?  Manners, courtesy...they show that you are professional and that you care about other people. Simple as that.

As I am raising a child, the least I can do is reinforce and model:
  • Please: The most basic form of asking instead of demanding. I will wait for you to say it.
  • Thank you: The most important form of showing that an act or a person is meaningful. She loves when I shower her with appreciation when she helps put away the dishes :)
  • Sorry: You made a mistake or had an accident. This seems to be the hardest. I don't care that you tore my book page or if you lost something. I am an easy forgiver...if you apologize.  It is hard to do sometimes but I know I feel better after I say it.
  • How was your____?  Day? Doctor's appointment?  I have friends who will remember every single appointment or special/upsetting event I mention and a mom who will email me just to ask how my day is. I wish I was better at remembering to ask this myself, so I strive to be like them!
  • Excuse me:  "Move", "watch it" or barging through= not OK. And yes, I encounter these alternative phrases on a daily basis.
  • Putting away what you get out: I think it's easy to see why this is important in a household and in a classroom. Larkyn needs a lot of help with this one, but I still make her do parts of it. Sorry mom...I understand now.
  • Help someone: So, you might not have been the one to spill the crayons or dump the blocks. But doesn't it make life easier to pick it up instead of step over it or leave it for someone else?
What other manners are important to you? 

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