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A Manner of Speaking Jan/Feb '06

by Bonnie Neugebauer
January/February 2006
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Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/a-manner-of-speaking/5016788/

“Did you forget to say something?”
“Remember your words.”
“What do you need to say to Amanda?”

How often we remind children to say these words:

“Thank you, Amanda.”
“Thank you, Mr. Wong.”
“Thank you, Mommy.”

Learning this important element of social interaction is essential. Manners make a huge difference in enabling all of us to live and work together. “Good manners” will serve children well in their interactions as young children and as the world citizens they are becoming. In cultures with different social patterns, an attitude of respect and “good manners” communicates itself across barriers.

They are benchmarks of the well-raised child.

On the other hand, “thank you” can be just saying words, words that let you off the hook, words that clear your tab and pay the bill. “Thank you” completes a social obligation and can be a superficial act. So, I think it is critical that we also teach children to be grateful, to really see the other, the blessing " to live with a spirit of gratitude. Gratitude is deeper than social convention. Gratitude takes us to the way we see the world, the way we connect with others, the way we respond to both life’s gifts and challenges.

From a spirit of gratitude comes a ...

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