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) parent. 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.