As a parent, nothing makes me happier than hearing that F is polite or kind, helpful or compassionate. The more time I spend in this world, the more I realize that manners are often an after thought. I’m surprised when someone holds the door for me or apologizes and excuses his or her self when stepping in front of me, either on the street or the grocery aisle. I’ve handed things down to some of my son’s friends, and had the item snatched from my hand without thanks.
By the way, this is a brag post. Not a blog post.
I’ve never arrived at F’s preschool ever, in the history of his childcare-attending career, to hear that he’d been rude, unkind or troublesome during the day. I take exceptional pride in this because, quite frankly, it ain’t all roses at home sometimes.
When I arrived at preschool today, our favourite teacher – Sarah – met me at the gate with a big smile.
“F is so, so, so helpful, Ashley. He was really my knight in shining armour today,” she said. “He’s one of the most polite children I’ve ever met. You have a great little boy.”
I happy-danced in my head. On the drive home, I shared this feedback and told him how pleased I was to hear that he was being helpful and kind at preschool. Positive reinforcement is almost as important as manners in my world.
(Also: as I was writing this, F swept the floor to clean up crumbs from his cupcake. THIS KID, you guys.)
Although my son and I regularly butt heads and I sometimes need to remind him to use his manners at home, hearing about his good manners and positive behaviour at preschool makes my heart swell to the point I think it might burst. There are oodles of things that will change in his lifetime, but manners?