image via thelateafternoon
One thing that really stuck with me is when the author, Pamela Druckerman, talks about manners and what is taught to French kids. She says that generally speaking, American kids are taught to say “please and thank you,” and that’s the main stuff, but the French kids are taught two more things, bonjour and au revoir… yeah that’s right, “hi” and “bye.” What’s that you say? American kids are taught to say “hi” and “bye” too, duh, but hear me out.
In essence, greeting adults and acknowledging an their presence. She talks about how children saying “please” and “thank you” puts them in a children’s role, with an adult who is expected to do/have done something for them, but that saying “hi” is almost like a basic human courtesy.. that little sign of acknowledgement. Makes sense right?
My parents were hard asses about this. It didn’t matter if I was having a tantrum or if I was too tired, hungry or grumpy, when I saw an aunt, uncle, family friend whatever, I HAD to greet them. It wasn’t a big production, it was just “hi.” It’s a simple way to be polite and courteous. And it’s so funny because I find myself making Gabriel greet people, even if he can’t really do much. I still greet everyone, and with him, I just say things like “say hi to nana,” knowing that he won’t say a word.
I think its really important to get in the habit of manners from very early on, so that it’s not as difficult to introduce later in life. What do you think about that? Do you think it’s a little much to ask a kid to greet an entire room of adults? Or do you think it’s important? What are some other “manners” that you were taught? What are some manners that you teach your kids? I’d love to hear!