Tuesday, November 23, 2010

day 317: preparing kids for thanksgiving get togethers—manners, selflessness, and more part iii

My “tips” are becoming “sermonettes”! Sorry….will continue them below and in next post. Thanks for joining us!

4. Manners begin at home…okay, everything begins at home and must be in us first. There, I said it. I spelled it out. LOL! Manners lessons were definitely something we taught. (Ray just listened to an audio about teaching manners a few months ago and was giving lessons to the boys while we traveled. As we sat in the “thrown rolls restaurant,” and Ray tried to teach the boys about silverware use (yes, you need to teach boys that!), one of the kids piped up with: “Dad, I don’t think a restaurant where they throw the rolls at you and they serve various things on brown paper toweling that they FRIED is a place that cares about manners!”) Need I say it again? If our kids talk with their mouths full, are not made to sit still during the meal, do not pass food (but keep it in front of them for later!), eat with their fingers, etc. at home, guess what? They will do at family get togethers too! Manners are common courtesies that we as Christian parents need to focus on.

5. Focus on respecting our elders. Respecting our elders is truly a lost art in our society—and it is so sad that it is that way. For one thing, the Bible states over and over that they should be respected. Secondly, it is such an obvious extension of the Golden Rule—let’s face it, we all want to be treated with kindness and respect in our old age. Start with the bear minimum—not doing anything that could harm or endanger an elder. For example, we always told our children what we expected of them in every scenario that we went into. “Now you need to talk quietly and not run at Grandma and Grandpa Rager’s because they are not used to having rowdiness—and you wouldn’t want to run into them or have them trip over you.” Then move into the way they speak to elders. We trained our kids to speak to those who speak to them—preferably looking the person in the eye and warmly shaking his or her hand. Moreover, as they learned to not be too shy in that scenario, we taught them to converse with the person and ask about him or her. (We often gave the children “assignments” at church to shake hands and ask about one new person each week to help them learn to do this!) Grandparents, especially, should be greeted warmly and sincerely. I know this sounds trite—but these are their grandparents! They are our fathers and mothers. They deserve kindness, warmth, respect, love, and assistance. Finally, our children learned to look for needs that their grandparents might have and try to meet them. (We taught our children that if Grandma is going in the kitchen to clean up, the Reish family should too!)

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