Friday, July 08, 2005

A Well Behaved Dog?!?

I think as a mother the one thing that you hope for, the one thing that you work so hard in instilling in your children is manners. You know, the Miss Manners, level of manners that always made Donna Reed smile so lovingly at her children when they displayed the optimal level of etiquette.

I always get compliments on my children's behavior…..have been for years and it always makes me smile to know that other people enjoy having my children around them. My kids are always being invited out and on trips and after these outings I always get calls asking me "How do you get them to be so polite and well-behaved?"

But today I got a phone call,,,,,,,from a woman I have known for a long time, calling me to tell me how wonderful my oldest daughter was at her beach house [Katrina had been invited to the shore with a friend and her family to stay at P’s house]. What a surprise to me for P to call me and tell me that she loved having Katrina and that she was just so polite, the only child who said please, thank you, may I be excused, and the only child to come in to see her at the end of the visit and give her a hug and a big thank you for having her stay with them…….and then the analogy that almost made me choke on my diet coke [with lime] "She was like a well trained dog!"

I almost died…..but it got me thinking…..have I drilled manners into my children to the point that they are like a show dog…knowing how to behave and perform?

I have, myself used the analogy of raising children and training dogs before… saying that they need loving guidance and gentle direction in a consistent manner to develop habits that are second nature to them.

So now I am thinking……How do I get my three Jack Russell Terriers to behave as well as my kids?