Manners or Lack Thereof

The other day the youngest said to me … (wait for it ….)

“Get me some water, woman!”

Let’s all take a moment of silence. The kid is 7 years old. He may not make it to 8.

I’m at a point where my kids are 10, 12, and, the lovely, 7. When can I stop saying, “what do you say?” in that stupid sing songy voice? Cause lately it’s been coming out more like “Jesus Christ, can you say ‘please’ every once in awhile!?!?”

The manners in this house are atrocious. And I’m starting to take it personally. Lately I’ve been screaming things like, “I’ve been telling you since you were BORN to put your shoes in the closet when you get home!! How many more years is it gonna take?????”

Irrationality only responds to irrationality. (That’s not true – I just made it up to justify my increasing immaturity when dealing with these lunatics kids)

But honestly, I’m dead freaking serious. How many more years is it gonna take?! (as I sob into my pillow) And it’s not just ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ and putting away shoes … these kids act like they live in a zoo! If I had a dollar for every time I’ve had to say, “We are NOT ANIMALS. We DO NOT eat that way!”, I’d have enough money to pay for the Mary Poppins/Emily Post made-up savior that we clearly need.

This list here regarding manners your kids should have by age 9 cracked me up! (and sent me on a google search for remedial parenting classes that I clearly need) My favorite may be Manner #5.

“When you have any doubt about doing something, ask permission first. It can save you from many hours of grief later.”

First of all, is this article actually speaking to a kid? Cause trust me – no kid is googling “how to get better manners”.  “How to blow snot across the room” is more likely.

And ask permission? My kids think that comes AFTER doing something. Like pulling out bottles of paint and using them as play grenades in the basement (true story).

Although Manner #6 is a great rival to #5.

“The world is not interested in what you dislike. Keep negative opinions to yourself, or between you and your friends, and out of earshot of adults.”

Person who wrote this article, have you met a kid? Even when the word “hate” was banned from our house for a month, the kids still found a way to bitch about everything in site. And they don’t hate rationally or consistently. ‘I hate you’ is frequently followed an hour later by ‘You’re the best mom ever’ followed 10 minutes later by ‘I hate you’ again. Their range of emotions makes a schizophrenic look balanced.

And Manner #13 is just comical.

“Never use foul language in front of adults. Grown-ups already know all those words, and they find them boring and unpleasant.”

Actually, truth be told, I find them delightful and delectable, but that’s just me.

At least the kids are marginally well behaved and well mannered at other people’s houses. And if they’re not? I do the dramatic gasp that indicates to all adults that I have NEVER seen this from them before and I take it VERY seriously. When in all reality, I’ve given up. I no longer have it in me to repeat the same words over and over. What’s the saying? Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results? What is that again? Oh, yeah.




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