Are Your Kids Ready for the Real World?
Manners and self-reliance are two of the most important things you can teach your children.
When my oldest son hit that age when he grew taller than me and stronger than me, he came to this age in a world of technology, texting and communication short cuts — to the point where, “FOOD NOW PLEASE,” is a polite statement in his mind. After all, it has what he wants “food," the word “please,” to be polite, and an indication of his urgency, “now.” When you are growing inches in weeks you are REALLY hungry. I get that. But, I also know we live in a world where you have to learn to be kind and polite to get along with others and get them to help you. You also need to learn some skills to survive out there in the real world.
So, I let my son know this is not the way I want to be spoken to. I want a more polite and kind request: “Mom, can you please make me some lunch?” Well my son felt he didn’t need to say all that and me just telling him wasn’t cutting it that day. So I left a note on the kitchen table: “Ask me politely, or the directions are on the box.” A box of his favorite mac and cheese was under the note. He had a choice: learn manners or learn to be self-sufficient. In my mind, either one was a good skill to have in life. So this was a win-win scenario. He chose option two. He got out a pan and boiled some water and made his own lunch that day. I came over while he was eating and told him I was so proud of him that he learned how to make mac and cheese. He smiled back at me. You could see the pride in his face at his own accomplishment.
And, later on around 6 p.m. that evening, my son came to ask me, “Mom, can you please make me some dinner?”