Friday, December 4, 2009

THANK YOU

I don't seem to hear those two words as often as I used to. Are we still teaching our children to say please and thank you? My grandmother used to pound those two words into my head. I hear people say to me, "times are different now." Those were the same words Grandma used to say. Times are different today, but manners aren't. Are they? I don't think so. I didn't get any "mother of the year" awards from my children when they were growing up. In fact, I was the "meanest mom in the world." That award usually came right after, or during my suggestion that they clean their room before they go outside to play football with the neighbors or go shopping with girlfriends. It used to surprise me, if I was the meanest Mom in the world, why all their friends hung out at our house? It also surprised me that their friends would ask me if they could help with a chore around the house. There were times when I wanted to cave. When I wanted to be their friend rather than fight with them and remain the parent. The most unpopular person on the block. One of my fondest memories of my son is the memory of the look on his face when he thought "he won the battle." I always insisted my children write thank you notes for gifts or cards from friends and relatives. One day, my son stood before me with his little scrunched up nose and his hand on his hip. "I don't want to write a thank you note to Grandma. Can't I just tell her the next time I see her?" I turned and smiled at him and nodded my head. "Sure, you can do that." He stood waiting. I continued. "I'm going to call Grandma right now." He smiled victoriously. No more thank you notes, I'm sure he was thinking. "Why are you calling Grandma?" "I'm going to tell her you hate writing thank you notes. So in order for you not to have to write another one, I don't want her to ever buy you another gift." He yelled. "Where's a pen and paper." Today I love being their friend. And watching them be the meanest parent in the world.

10 comments:

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Your posts are the BESTest! Ever. You always take me on a memory journal to times I haven't thought of for so many years. Don't tell me, but I bet anything that you're really an angel sent here by God. Lucky for YDH.

I raised 5 boys. I'll bear your the stories. lol.

Kathryn Neff Perry said...

I'm just thankful I still have the memories! The way things are going I'm thinking I'll be heading for the home soon!!!! My hubby sat his coffee on the end table in the living room on the way out the door to play golf this morning. He asked me to hand it to him-----I handed him the remote to the tv instead!!!!! Room 203---that's where I'll be :D

sam said...

heehee, the remote? Well, is it decaf?

Karen Lange said...

I love the way you handled the thank you note thing! Very clever mothering:) I made my kids write thank you notes too, and clean their rooms, and do dishes...and now as adults, they can do all these things. I'm glad I stuck with it and get to see productive adults:) Great post! Have a good weekend!

Kathryn Neff Perry said...

Thanks Karen. You never know if you're doing the right thing as a Mom. The only barometer you have is your children---at the time---and they give you an "F" in parenting! I'm so blessed that they survived in spite of me!
Have a great weekend too----

Kathryn Neff Perry said...

Sam, I need a keeper! UF just looked at me---like I had lost my mind?

Carol J. Garvin said...

It's good to see our grandchildren being made to do the same things their parents were made to do all those years ago! Apparently in hind sight they feel we were right. Does that vindicate us?

And my condolences on that memory thing. My DH puts up with my occasional lapses, too. As long as we don't start storing our keys in the refrigerator, or our shoes in the dishwasher, the guys won't worry that it's the start of Alzheimer's!

Kathryn Neff Perry said...

Carol, I remember thinking how smart my own Grandmother was---eventually. There were things she used to say that didn't make sense to me as a child or teenager. But as I finally grew up I realized how wise she was. I used to tell my own children when they were grown, aren't you glad I finally grew out of that "stupid" stage? :D

Jennifer Hudson Taylor said...

I know we're teaching our daughter and I've heard many parents remind their children to say "please" and "thank you". But maybe it's just the circles we hang out in, b/c I don't tend to hang around people who I think are rude and won't be a good influence on my daughter or who make me feel uncomfortable and bring my spirits down.

Kathryn Neff Perry said...

Jennifer, you are a smart Mom! My husband and I teach a teen Sunday school class. We are trying to teach them (teenagers!) to say please and thank you :D
I'm so proud of parents who do! It's a "life lesson"
Hugs
Katt