Amy Cannon

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Parents...are you teaching life lessons?

Parents...are you teaching life lessons?
The Dakota Lesson of the day...
Are you a parent or a guardian? Maybe you are a teacher or a babysitter. But, are you teaching your kids life lessons. Let's talk about respect. Are you teaching your kids how to say "please" and "thank you"? Do your kids know that it is not nice or respectful to interrupt someone when they are speaking? Do your children know that it is not right to tell an adult that they are wrong and constantly challenge them with manipulation and games? Do your children know it is important to open doors for people and allow them to go first? Do your kids know how to say "excuse me" when they accidentally walk in front of someone or want to pass someone? Do they respect the elderly? Do your children know how to respect the personal space of others and not get in their face? Do your children know how to quietly wait their turn and raise their hand to be called on? Do your kids listen to adults? Do your kids understand that calling an adult "Mr" or "Mrs", and not just by their first name only, is a form of respect?
These are just a few questions to ask yourself, when thinking about respect and what your kids know or do not know. It isn't easy, but it is simple to start teaching. Are you teaching your children life lessons? Something to think about...

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    Nov 17 2011: As a former teacher and grandmother of nine, I like this post very much and offer the following suggestion. In a society full of bullying and self-centered children, it is helpful to teach your children the benefits of consideration for others and being polite as early as possible. The Magic Word is a book emphasizing good manners, which can be read to toddlers. It is a rhyming story of a little girl who was rude, selfish and demanding – and had very few friends. Her mother suggested that she needed to improve her manners; so when she went to school the next day, she thought of her mother’s advice, “What is the magic word?” and she started saying “Please” and also “Thank You”. She tried to become more thoughtful of others, and discovered that she was a much happier person. The repetitive use of the phrase “What is the magic word?” has children answering “Please”, and teaches children that being polite and considerate of others helps to make friends.
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    Nov 18 2011: I am a parent and although my son is young I am certain that my wife and I will teach all what you mention, I actually see manners as a strength not weakness. A good example are leaders such as PM David Cameron who came from a very affluent upper class background, but utterly charming and able to engage with a wide variety of people. I really do think that one can be utterly well mannered without being 'soft'.
  • Nov 18 2011: I have a teenage son who has fantastic manners and respect for people in his life. I agree there are a huge number of children and young people who do not have these qualities. Although the questions you raise are valid they are a little glib! I also believe that parents who need to question themselves and their parenting are not going to see this thread Just a hunch! I have always tried to teach manners and I think I have done a very good job.On the flip side of that I have taught confidence and let my son know he has rights as a person. He can stand up and speak for himself which makes me proud everyday. An adult should not just be respected just because they are an adult Respect has to be earned on both sides. The elderly have sometimes shown real arrogance towards my son probably as he is a skateboarder although he goes to specific parks for this purpose! I think bringing up children to be polite and respectful is totally right. But some idea's are a product of the past like Children should be seen and not heard I think there is an element of envy over the youth of today just because older people were not allowed to express their opinions does not mean the young should not.
    Thanks for letting me vent a subject that is close to my heart.
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    Nov 17 2011: Are you a parent or a guardian?
    both

    Are you teaching your kids how to say "please" and "thank you"?
    Yes

    Do your kids know that it is not nice or respectful to interrupt someone when they are speaking?
    Yes

    Do your children know that it is not right to tell an adult that they are wrong and constantly challenge them with manipulation and games?
    They know some people educate kids like that, and They are NOT educated like that. they know that all ideas can be respectfully challenged.

    Do your children know it is important to open doors for people and allow them to go first?
    Yes

    Do your kids know how to say "excuse me" when they accidentally walk in front of someone or want to pass someone?
    yes

    Do they respect the elderly?
    Not because they are old. because they are experienced, and more fragile. but an old asshole remains an old asshole.

    Do your children know how to respect the personal space of others and not get in their face?
    Yes

    Do your children know how to quietly wait their turn and raise their hand to be called on?
    Yes

    Do your kids listen to adults? Do your kids understand that calling an adult "Mr" or "Mrs", and not just by their first name only, is a form of respect?
    Yes, and vice versa, they deserve and can ask for respect, even when using their first name.
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    Nov 17 2011: I do all this, and I suppose I'm quite proud of them in public.
    There's something, though...

    When they've asked me about Santa Claus, I've explained that it was only a Xmass story, since I disagreed with the idea that you get whatever you ask for, and that a good deed is rewarded by a toy. I buy the presents, and I do it to please them, I explain. And they draw presents for every member of the family. It's about sharing, showing you care.
    I got in trouble for this, as you can imagine. For some reason, other parents and school teachers don't like my kids to disbelieve in Santa.

    Also, my ex-wife brings them to a doctor who prescribes real medecine as well as homeopathy. I told my kids not to bother with the homeopathy as it wasn't medecine. I did explain the whole thing about homeopathy, so it wasn't just my opinion against the doctor's. I got in trouble for that too.

    I've been accused of teaching my kids to distrust adults. What you say about not having the right to tell an adult that he is wrong reminded me of that.
    What do you think?
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      Nov 17 2011: Who told that adults are to be trusted jut because they are adults? Do you do that? Do you really trust anybody provided he is 21+ ?

      Why would you want your kids to do so?

      don't you think it is better for them to learn who and when and up to what each people can be trusted?
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        Nov 17 2011: I would think so, yes.
        Unless one cares for a static society...
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          Nov 18 2011: Ah, My English is not good enough, sorry.

          Can you tell what you mean by "static society" ?

          Thanks anyway for your answer
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        Nov 19 2011: I mean a society where inovation is repelled by tradition.
        One could expect that Western civilization would want its youth to distrust its elders, to question dogma and look for better answers of their own.
        But I guess we still struggle with a few back lashes once in a while, just to remind us that we've come a long way from traditionnal anti-innovative static societies.
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      Nov 18 2011: Your comment about Santa made me think I should mention one of my other children's books, Santa's Birthday Gift. It depends on whether or not you are Christian; but if you are, then this book might appeal to you. It was written after I read the story of the Nativity to one of my grandchildren, who then asked, "But where's Santa?". It puts the focus on the birth of Jesus - for Santa sees the star at the North Pole, follows it to Bethlehem, kneels before baby Jesus and promises that each year at Christmas he will bring gifts to children to celebrate the Christ Child's birthday. My favorite comment was from a mother who wrote to tell me that after her daughter read the book, she said, "Now I get it!".