When my husband and I met nearly 6 years ago, I tried teaching him some "manners". He had the basics down but there were some things I wanted to "change" about him. Don't we all have those couple of things about our spouses that annoy us & we wish they'd be more like us?
For me it was wanting him to put the toilet seat down and use napkins instead of clothing to wipe his hands & face. Despite his Army training, he already used "please" and "thank you" and was relatively polite and mostly non-neanderthal-ish in public.
I am proud to say that I was able to "re-train" him to do those 2 things that bothered me so very much early on in our relationship. (NOTE: I like to say I "trained" him but he HATES when I say that).
He has often joked with me that when we have kids, it'll be "my job" to teach them manners since his are "lacking". Well, I'm proud to say that the "training" is working on the children also!
Our toddler uses wipes after each meal to clean his own hands and face. He asks for tissues to wipe his nose instead of the snot ending up on his sleeves. When asking for things there is nearly always a "please" and when he receives something there is almost always a "thank you". He has even learned to say "you're welcome" when someone thanks HIM! Amazing right?
Well you'd think for a toddler BOY, those would be the hardest manners to get to "stick" but honestly it's been the burping/farting "excuse me" that has been the sticking point in our house. He would fart or burp and daddy would just LAUGH (way to undermine my manner training dear).
Recently we have had an epiphany about using the words "excuse me". It took quite a few times of me saying "excuse YOU" when he'd burp or fart for him to get the hint that he needed to say "excuse me" when he did those things in front of someone else, but it has FINALLY sunk in!
How do I know this for a fact, you ask? Well, this morning little princess burped and the toddler promptly (& loudly) said "EXCUSE YOU!" to which little princess turned to him and said "excuse me"! Well it sounded more like "skoooozz me" and was OVERLY exaggerated / drawn out but hey it works for me!
For the record, she has also taken to using a wipe and TRYING to clean her own hands and face after meals. She misses MOST of the mess but at least she is putting in the effort. We are still working on "please", "thank you" and "you're welcome" with her but she doesn't have a very large vocabulary yet (though she can say "squirrel" - don't ask!).
As for my "secrets" to training husbands and children to have manners, you'll have to wait for me to write a book. I've been told I should and just might if I thought anyone would actually want to read it!
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