Caidin and I were at the grocery store the other day and I let him run off to the cereal aisle to pick a few boxes out. I was in the next aisle over and I could hear him talking to someone. I headed to the front of the store, figuring I would go see what was up.
As I reached the front, Caidin and a woman emerged from the cereal aisle around the same time.
She looked at me and she said ‘Is this your child?’ ‘Yes, he is,’ I said. ‘Well, he’s a very polite young man.’
I said thank you and as she walked away I gave Caidin a big hug and told him that I love who he is.
He went on to detail his experience with the woman telling me that he apologized for cutting in front of her and then again when he was standing in her way.
What a good feeling it is to know that even when you aren’t around, your child is being kind, caring and respectful.
Good social interaction doesn’t happen overnight. We have been adamant about gratitude and manners from the very beginning. I can’t tell you how many times Caidin has run in front of people while walking and inadvertently cut them off – on the streets of NYC, in the grocery stores, at the airport. He is fast and always moving, constantly darting here and there and in turn we are constantly reminding him to be aware of his environment.
I’ll admit, I’m a manners manic. I don’t like it when anyone is rude. I just don’t understand it. Even on our worst day we have room for a ‘hello’, a ‘please’ and a ‘thank you’. I think it makes our own lives that much better, and of course it ripples out into our surroundings.
The women in the grocery store had the biggest smile on her face as she walked away. I’m sure that rippled out into her interactions with others for the day.
I also notice with Caidin, in contrast to other kids, that he is incredibly grateful for what he has, for the people in his life and for the mere fact that he is alive.
Some of this is nature, but a lot is also nurture. He models what he sees and that fosters his inherent kindness. He equally has a harsh, critical, materialistic side. If that was nurtured, I’m certain it was stand out far more than his generosity and love.
I believe these things start with us. When I ask Caidin to do something I say ‘please.’ When he does things, even if they are his responsibility, I say ‘thank you.’ I appreciate what I have and I am grateful that he is in my life and he knows this. In turn, he expresses the same thing to me.
When we don’t teach children manners and respect, I think we do them a great disservice. We teach them to be selfish and self-centered. Having manners and respect doesn’t mean being walked on, or putting the needs of others before yours. Caidin is a strong, independent, assertive child, but he has manners and I think he probably gets more because of his manners. People enjoy being around him.
And that is just what a parent wants to hear!
© 2012 Christine Agro
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Christine Agro is a Clairvoyant, Naturopath, Master Herbalist, Conscious Mom and Author of 50 Ways to Live Life Consciously as well as of The Conscious Living Wisdom Cards (Special Moms’ Edition). Christine is founder of The Conscious Mom’s Guide , a membership site where she helps support you on your own journey of living life consciously and on your journey of being a Conscious parent. You can also join Christine on Facebook. To contact Christine, invite her to speak or to schedule an appointment with her please email her.