5 Manner-Changes I Need to Make, and Fast!

As I mentioned last Friday, the ladies in my family and I got together to watch Sense & Sensibilityfor my Mom's birthday.  It led to a conversation with my mom about civility and manners.  Both my parents are collegiate instructors and are seeing a slight decrease in the quality of college students and behavior.

So taking the Man in the Mirror approach, looking at my own behaviors before others, I decided to make my own list of foul habits accumulating from having small children (yes, I did just pass the blame, but I'm working on that):
  1. Bad Words:  I have almost removed "like" from my conversations, but interrupting and the word "ya?" and "what?" fly out of my mouth more than I would, like, enjoy.
  2. Being on Time:  No matter my good intentions, if my kids and I don't get ready at least 20 minutes prior to going somewhere, we are going to be late and I HATE being late.
  3. Phone Etiquette, Multitasking and Attention:  I only speak regularly with three people on the phone: my friend Tiffany, my sister, and my mom, because I multitask, drop concentration on the call, or have frequent children interruptions.  And for the three people I mentioned, I apologize profusely and often.  I refuse to start texting which seems both expensive to do as well as tiring for your thumbs; I'm on email every AM and that's the best I can do.
  4. Food:  I think the term is "mother-speed:" I eat standing, I eat rapidly, and I just get it done.  This year I'm making an effort to sit down, use my table manners, talk with my mouth empty, and keep my elbows off the table.  It feels wonderful!  I love to cook and food is once again an experience rather than something I hope to get down my body before a child needs my attention.
  5. Sending Invitations:  I'm very good at replying to emails and I often pass that belief to others with email accounts.  I am about ready to give up on Evites and Facebook Events and return to expensive traditionally mailed invitations because believe it or not, others do not share my love for online-notices.  (Is that you?  Don't have an account you don't check; it's bad manners!)  My friend Shauna regularly mails great invitations and photo greetings so she's my role model on this.
To help me on the above issues, I've asked my children to place me on a Manner Watch.
Here is a short list of manner books that inspire our family:

Parent's Magazine just published an article for kids in school:

My Mom is working on a wonderful post about Civility for me.  
Yes, Mom, I just committed you to it!  Sorry, was that rude of me?  Dang it...  
I'll change that to:
I hope my expert instructor Mother will share her knowledge on the subject of civility in the classroom to greatly benefit the manners of myself and my readers.  (See "Polite Smile!")

What bad habits do you wish to discard from your daily life?
Be so kind as to share them below!


  1. I am SO with you on being late! It NEVER happened pre-Kara. I hate being late!

    I would like to be better about sending thank-you notes.

  2. I have been late for everything for roughly thirty years. It's probably some weird passive aggressive thing. About three-weeks ago I decided to quit the habit. It's strange but I feel much happier and allot less stressed out during the day when I start it by not getting someplace late! It's amazing what a habit it was.

  3. That's great, Joe! I bet the people around you love you for it as well.
    Rachel, can't wait for you to hit the 2 yr old cycle. I need to add "no yelling" to my manner list, but maybe next year... :>


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