Where Are Your Manners?

Technically I am the OG of the NOMB. (That’s the Oldest Gal of the New Orleans Mom Blog.) I am 42 as of next month and have a kindergartner and a fourth-grader. That officially makes me an old(er) eat-1583954_1920parent. I literally have parents in my daughter’s class who say, “Yes ma’am” to me. I don’t know whether to shake their hand or slap them. But, they’re just being polite, they are using their manners.

Now I am not one of those “this is what’s wrong with the new generations” type of old gal. I have always had a variety of friends with different ages so age never really mattered to me. I do, however, notice a difference in children nowadays with manners. Maybe it’s because I am Southern, maybe it’s because my mom was strict on manners, I don’t know the true reason. Whatever it may be, there are a few manners I enforce rather emphatically.

Here are a list of the manners of which I refuse to compromise:

  • Chewing with your mouth open. My mom was a stickler for this rule, and as a member of the Misophonia club (look it up), I hold this one near and dear. I feel this also encompasses talking with your mouth full, popping gum, or any sound made while eating that is not normal.
  • Interrupting people while talking. Whether it be myself or another adult, my children are not allowed to interrupt. I would prefer for them to say, “Excuse me,” and wait for me to acknowledge them but let’s be realistic … this one is a work in progress. (And many times they do it right, however, they end up standing there and saying “Excuse me” repetitively until recognized.)
  • Always say, “Please” and “Thank you.” I am not insistent about saying “Ma’am” and “Sir” after every question asked of them; but “Nah and yeah” are not okay to use, especially with people other than us parents. I do find older people, such as my parents, are constantly reminding them to say “Ma’am” and “Sir,” but personally I find this a bit formal in everyday situations.
  • If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. I sometimes find it’s easier to complain than compliment, even in children. I am trying to teach them to just be quiet and wait it out, rather than join in a gripe session with someone.
  • Be respectful of adults in authority. I find this one challenging sometimes as adults don’t necessarily act like adults all the time. But as a whole, at a friend’s house, church, school, etc., they must follow rules and be respectful.

I never realized as a new mom these would be things I would have to ponder upon with my husband in order to decide on which manners to enforce. I realize as moms we are all different and have different values and teaching platforms.

So what about you? Are there manners you find you let slide more than you thought you would before becoming a mom? Are there some you that you refuse to compromise on, no matter how challenging?


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