November 2, 2009

Monday Manners 11/02/09

"Politeness is to human nature what warmth is to wax."
--Arthur Schopenhauer

When do you say "Excuse me" versus "I'm sorry"?

At the pediatrician's office this morning my children and I were completely blocking a corridor. Oops! I asked the kids to move, and then apologized to the woman and her son as they went by. She barely acknowledged me. Later, we were trying to move through an area that was blocked and I said, "Please excuse us." to call attention to our presence. I got it right today, but there are many days when I do not. I've also noticed that Robotson often over apologizes if he's accidentally bumped into someone or blocked a path. I found a cute little song that might help kids (and us too!) remember when and how to use those phrases appropriately.

Manners Song
Tune: Happy and You Know It

When my grandpa gives me something,
I say "thank you".
When my grandma gives me something,
I say "thank you".
I can see it makes them happy
When I say it so politely
Yes, good manners mean to always
say "thank you"!


If I spill my drink at lunch
I say "I'm sorry".
When I break something of yours
I say "I'm sorry".
I can see it makes you happy
When I say to so politely.
Yes, good manners mean to always
say "I'm sorry"!


If I bump into someone
I say "excuse me".
If I need to interrupt
I say "excuse me".
I can see it makes people happy
When I say it so politely
Yes, good manners mean to always
say "excuse me"!


As a side note, I found this really great article about a school counselor in Vermont who is adding manners and emotional intelligence into the curriculum. I hope it catches on.

4 comments:

  1. Manners are so important. I'm kind of miffed when I use good manners, and people don't seem to notice, care or respond in kind. But I will keep using good manners, and teaching them to my son, so please keep up the great Monday posts! And thank you. :)

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  2. Being a good example and helping your kids remember their manners isn't all that hard. And if you're consistent about it becomes second nature to them.

    I was thrilled when my mom and a kindergarten teacher commented on my daughter's politeness - I'm afraid we sometimes take it for granted.

    BTW, whether you say "I'm sorry" or "Excuse me" after bumping into someone is not really important. It's the fact that you said something that matters.

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  3. I will Wendy!

    Stepan-you are right, it's saying anything that matters. So many people don't even bother. I'm not proud to admit that manners were never a big deal in our family until recently. Of course I wanted my children to be polite, and I modeled what I knew, but there is much I don't know. I also was probably undermining myself by spending more time telling my kids what to do, rather than showing them. This series is just as much about what I am learning as it is about helping anyone else you might be interested.

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  4. who might be interested, not you :)

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