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Manners: Always in Style

April 8, 2011 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

by guest blogger Jennifer Goldsmith Cerra

The older I get, the harder it is to remember that I once was a child. Yes, I really was six, like our son Luke is now. He’s six in 2011; I was six in 1973. A simpler time, perhaps, compared to today, but let’s face it: while Elton John trilled Crocodile Rock, Walter Cronkite told us of Watergate, Vietnam, and inflation. Was I really six then? Yes. Today, Luke is growing up in an era of similar distrust of government, wars in progress, and economic challenge.

So while times change, they often stay the same.

Some things, however, are timeless. Values, empathy, caring for others. These important principles just don’t change in any decade. A recent trip to a local educational store brought that home – right into our home. Browsing the aisles, I spotted and bought a game called Mind Your Manners. Likely developed in the 1980s, this simple card game designed for kids 4 and up reinforces the importance of good manners at home and in public places.

Luke loves it. He asks us to play it every night. I like it because it’s the kind of game I can imagine my mom playing with me at that age.

The other night, Luke talked to my husband about something he’d learned from the game. “Daddy, you have to take your hat off when eating! That’s what I read on the card!” This is from a six-year-old who often likes silly Ace Ventura-type comedy gags (smelly though they may be!).

I guess you’re never too old – or too young – for good manners. In any year.

A real breakthrough, when I least expected it. Like a lot of moments in the parenthood journey, you take your opportunity when it presents itself, and are grateful for the chance.

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