Manners Month

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

My kids are hard on their clothes. If it wasn't for OxyClean stain remover I would have to throw out their tees on a regular basis (that stuff is amazing!). A few months ago I realized that Landon was usually ruining his outfits during meal time. Not sitting still in his seat caused spills, using his fingers rather than his fork and then wiping his dirty hands on his pants, and so forth. 

Not only  did my child have dirty pantalones but his table manners were abysmal. 

In an effort to teach our 4 year old boy some manners (and cut down on laundry) I created Manner's Month

At the beginning of February RJ and I sat Landon down and explained to him that we wanted him to learn table manners. We talked through what good table manners look like, did some demonstrations, and explained the importance of polite behavior at the table. 

We further explained that he would have one month to learn his table manners. Mom and Dad would help him with reminders, especially at the beginning, but the goal was that he would eat an entire meal with excellent manners by the end of the month.

The reward: A dinner date with mom and dad (no baby brother) at a fancy restaurant. Dessert included!

Mention "dessert" and it's a done deal with Landon.
He was so excited about Manners Month and he learned quickly.
However, in order to make sure the lessons actually stuck it was important that Manner's Month was a full month. That way using his fork and napkin, and not talking with his mouth full, became instinctual.
We did keep the motivation alive by having surprise "ice cream nights" once a week or so if we noticed he had done particularly well that evening. And throughout the month we talked-up the big Date Night. Explained how we would all get dressed-up in our fancy clothes and how it would be super special to be out without Parker.

We celebrated Landon's big achievement last week. 
His excitement and obvious pride just killed me it was so sweet.
We took him to a fishhouse in town (during happy hour to keep costs at bay - he had no idea) and sat at a table with a candle. He politely ordered his own dinner and had lovely manners. 

I love that my husband's fancy clothes include a slouchy beanie!


If you're struggling with terrible table manners like we were I highly recommend Manner's Month. It's a fun, easy was to teach table manners and the end result is enjoyable for everyone!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow, I'm impressed. Landon was so excited to be out with you both. Did he tell Parker all about it?

Paulsen Mommy said...

What a brilliant idea!

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