With the news that we are expecting our third son in July, I feel even more confident that we set the most¬†appropriate family goal this year! MANNERS!! The pressure of raising hard-working, kind, polite men in this world is¬†constantly weighing¬†on my mind.¬†I miiiiiight¬†lose sleep over this, guys. And I might not be able to stop my kids from jumping off of the top bunk when I’m not looking, but you better believe they will be saying please + thank you at preschool drop off + clearing their plate from dinner, if it’s the last thing I do as a mother! I have quickly learned that politeness isn’t taught or learned over night, but strongly believe that manners make the world of a difference in the real world.¬†
Jonah is our social learner. (AKA interpersonal learner.) He catches on to things quickly¬†through¬†role playing + hands on group activities. I’ve noticed that when he teaches¬†Rigg something that he’s learned, it helps the concept sink in his mind even further. He’s a natural leader. Jonah¬†LIVES to help others. I discovered¬†this as he helped me co¬†potty train Rigg. I swear I¬†struck gold in this discovery. Like oohhhhh so I don’t have to do this all by myself? HAPPY DAY!! I try to let him take the lead when I can.¬†One morning J told us it was Thor’s birthday! I pretty ran like the wind at the opportunity + threw a¬†“manner” themed birthday party, but let Jonah be the planner.¬†Together this simple idea evolved into our “Souper” Hero Party. No better way to slam something home around here than in superhero form. Together we made a party list, went to Target, picked out invitations, delivered them to every superhero we own + planned the games for the party. When our¬†boys are able to¬†teach a concept to a friend, the take away is seriously powerful. For all parties involved. Kids teaching kids for the win!
ROLE PLAY:¬†I presented¬†scenarios from different environments for the Souperheros¬†to act out at the party.¬†From preschool to¬†the park to eating dinner at Grandma’s house. They acted them out with their stuffed animals + picked a prize afterwards.
PLEASE + THANK YOU: Parrish’s say thank you EVERY TIME we get out of the car. Whether you are with Mom + Dad or a friend.
EYE CONTACT: We look at the person who is talking in the eye. Including tee-ball coaches + classmates.¬†Which also includes answering questions when someone asks you one. It’s okay to say “I don’t know.”¬†Rigg¬†tends to get a bit shy when someone he doesn’t know very well asks him a question, but he’s got the eye contact thing down pat, so #babysteps! ūüôā¬†
If you’re wondering why I keep spelling Superhero – Souperhero, like soup¬†you can eat, it’s because that was our party food + I’m still playing off of it to¬†solidify ¬†superheroes have the best manners in the world! Ha! I wanted to cry happy tears when I discovered Annie’s¬†recently launched a new line of certified organic¬†soup, because it’s¬†totally something that the kids can man-handle on their own in the kitchen AND it’s good for them!! I have been a long time¬†Annie’s Homegrown¬†fan. The¬†boys are picky eaters, so we¬†stick to basics for¬†dinner. Anything that they feel comfortable¬†helping with in the kitchen easily, sells me in a heartbeat. Annie‚Äôs is no exception. Their soups were our go-to over the winter because they are just so¬†convenient +¬†I LOVE¬†that they are kid-friendly. They go from¬†box, to stove (or microwave) to thermos in minutes! Annie‚Äôs new line of Organic Soups offer the best of both worlds: delicious taste & fun pasta shapes¬†kids love and wholesome ingredients that us can parents feel good about feeding¬†our¬†kids.¬†WIN WIN!¬†
TAKING TURNS: They fight like cats + dogs, but are connected at the hip no matter what. So taking turns can be tricky! It was fun to see them take charge in the kitchen as they prepared the food for the party friends. I notice that¬†when I¬†compliment good behavior rather than constantly nag the bad, we all end up less annoyed at the end of the day. ūüôā
SHARING:¬†¬†Hulk was the friend who had a hard time sharing at our party. He wanted two spoons so he could eat his soup the fastest. #typical. Rigg¬†stepped up to the plate to diffuse the situation.
TEAMWORK: The souperheros stacked the soup like you see above. The designated bad guys knocked them over with balls from the ball pit afterwards. The focus¬†rule:¬†TAKE TURNS!¬†If they fought, they had to climb the slide backwards.
The cheesier the ideas, the better they seem to stick in our home. I’m not sure how long this will be the case, but for now, I’m clearly milking it for all it’s worth! ūüôā
ALWAYS CLEAN UP AFTER PLAY: before we leave¬†friend’s house or they leave ours!
Here is a quick list of¬†some of the specific table manners we are working on this month! (I like to add one concept to each of their chore charts for the week because it provides opportunity at bed time to recap our day together + an overall discussion at the end of the month when they turn their charts in for a prize! Hoping to teach them that manners are a way of life.
– chewing with mouth closed
– wiping own face/hands with napkin¬†at dinner
– not leaving the table until everyone is finished
– taking care of plates after dinner/ everyone helps clean up
Thank you Annie’s for sponsoring our party! It takes a village to raise kids + I am¬†so glad to have peace of mind in knowing that my boys have tummies full of healthy food at the end of the day. xx