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Family 'Rude' Night

Dear Dr. Laura,

I was recently reminded of one of the crazier things I did in an effort to teach my children proper table manners. At the time, they were 9 and 5 and although gentle reminders were made at every meal, it was frustrating because I had to repeat the same things day after day ("Sit up straight;" "Don't reach across the table;"  "Don't talk with your mouth full," etc).

One day I came up with an incentive program that will forever live in infamy at our house...I told the kids if they could go 5 nights in a row with perfect manners, the 6th night would be family "rude" night.  I didn't really know what I would be in for, but the first night started with such enthusiasm, that the kids were saying things like, "Dear Brother, could you pass the salt please?" I was floored they were aware of such politeness! The manners went way above and beyond what even I had taught them.

Lo and behold, 5 days like that went by and on family "rude" night, you can't imagine the rude table manners that came out!!! Feet on the table while we ate, armpit “sounds” and the 'piece de resistance' was when my 5 year old mooned us! We never laughed so hard! It was at that moment I realized the true value of a family meal - and sometimes, it's ok to let go of formality and JUST HAVE FUN WITH YOUR KIDS!

Thank you for all of the wisdom you impart.



Tags: Education, Read On-Air, Teaching
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