IF only parenting came with an instruction manual! I feel like my husband and I are covering the basics of manners with the boys. They have the please and thank you’s down pat, but I’ve realized we definitely need to take it a step further.

My husband planned a wonderful Mother’s Day brunch last weekend and I tried to warn the boys ahead of time for white tablecloths and napkins on their laps.  I let the boys choose their food and carry their plates from the buffet. They did a great job carefully watching their steps and holding their plates with both hands – so proud! Aside from the youngest almost taking the tablecloth down when he sat, so far so good!  Then I see my oldest holding his fork like he’s ready to stab someone and steadily sawing away at a steak with a butter knife! “Hey buddy, can I help you cut that steak?” “No, I can do it myself” he proudly says. Long story short –slowly but surely he managed to cut each bite, keep a napkin in his lap and carry on quite a conversation. Proud momma here, but I realized there’s much more work to be done.

Someday these little guys will be off making first impressions, meeting girlfriend’s parents and  interviewing for future careers.  Here’s a few things I know we need to work on and hopefully someday master:

  • Teach them how to properly use a knife, fork and spoon
  • Once above is mastered, teach them the proper place setting and what utensils are used and in what order to use them
  • Stress  the importance of yes ma’m, no ma’m, no sir and yes sir – everybody loves a gentleman
  • “Ladies first”– this includes opening every and all doors for a lady!
  • Teach them to look people in the eyes when you speak to them
  • Teach them the art of conversation  – how to properly carry on a conversation
  • Golden Rule – above all, treat others the way you want to be treated

I have to stop and remind myself that my husband and I are preparing our sons for their lives ahead and need to provide them with the necessary tools and guidance to make sure they succeed. I look forward to proudly watching them grow into fine young men (and mastering the use of a steak knife)!