Good manners will open doors that the best education cannot.

Yesterday, I was sitting outside watching Jasmyne and Abigail playing in the pool and I started to wonder. I am reading up on how to be a more inspiring mother and person, so why not take the opportunity and pass it on to both my daughters with the hope that they take that knowledge and use it to succeed where I have failed. That is not to say that they will not go through life without making their own mistakes but at least they would have the equipment to get up and keep moving forward when they do.

This would mean that I would need to do some personal reflection on my own habits. I am their first point of reference in terms of knowing what to do or how to react in a particular situation. I started considering what I would like them to know. If at some point I could no longer be there what would be important to know, even if they did not understand the full concept just yet as they as still very young.

Things I would like to pass on to my girls:

How to conduct themselves


Self control

Developing their interests

The importance of responsibilities

Caring for pets

Being charitable

How to share

Dealing with anger

Being competitive

Dealing with secrets

Being eco-friendly

Dealing with bullies

Being money wise

Having a high-quality self-esteem

Knowing basic first aid

Knowing the importance of family time

The dangers of the internet and how to be safe

How to make a well balanced meal

Sleeping over safety

The list seems rather long. I would like to think that it is achievable.

How to conduct themselves:

This is one of my most important points. I firmly believe that people who are unable to conduct themselves correctly fail before they start, in life. I have six small wishes on the manners subject.

Say please and thank you, what better way to tell someone that you really appreciate them than by saying these two little words? I also like to say it’s a pleasure if I have done something for the kids and they say thank you. To me that says that I really liked doing what I did for you. Jasmyne is fantastic at this and is not shy about asking you to say please next time you ask her for something. Abigail is on the Ta stage.

How to say thank you graciously when they receive a compliment. I often notice how kids look down and go bashful when they are told what a great job they have just done. What they should be doing is saying thank you with pride. When you do your best it is really okay to be proud of a job well done.

Cleaning up after yourself. It’s a gesture that will always be remembered. I have started teaching Abigail the basics on this already. After bath times Abigail packs toys while jasmyne hangs up the towels and picks up the washing. I really think that this is something children can learn very easily just by watching and helping their parents.

Waiting their turn and not interrupting other people when they are speaking. I know it is a major irritation for most adults. You are in mid conversation and a little voice pipes up and starts talking over yours. I have managed to curb this by having sit down meals where everyone at the table gets an opportunity to speak about their day. What I have found though is that this is considered rude when children interrupt however when it comes to adults interrupting children it is almost considered acceptable? With tears in my eyes I have to ask how is that fair?

Understanding and respecting diversity. People are different; we have so many different cultures and religions here in South Africa and all over the world. Running something down because you don’t understand it is incredibly offensive and inconsiderate. Why not take the time to understand that which is different?

How to play nicely and be a good sport. Its rather uncomfortable for everyone after a game if one person is not able to handle loosing. It creates an unfair atmosphere of tension which is not fair on the winners.


2 Responses to “Good manners will open doors that the best education cannot.”

  1. harassedmomsramblings Says:

    Those are very good lessons Nash!!!!

    Think we would all like our kids to learn at least half of those (ja ja ok I am at the end of the holidays – I would be happy if they got ONE of them)

  2. It is a pretty long list but hey! you have about 15 to 20 years to work down your list. Remember not to set your standards too high, for yourself and your children. They are, after all, still little and need to get away with murder every now and then…I agree with balance in everything.

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