Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Say What?!

A few weeks ago when the kids and I were at the library I found a book called Someday We'll Have Good Manners by Harriet Ziefert and I thought "that's great, it's always good to reinforce good manners" so I checked it out. Later at home I cracked it open with Gabe and Zion and started to read. I guess the "someday" in the title should have been a clue, this book is nothing like what I thought it would be (and now as I go back and read the inner flap I know I should never have checked it out). The book starts out "When we grow up, we're going to have very good manners." Each page has a statement such as "I'll be so polite." and "We won't barge in." and "We won't interrupt." which are all good things. Unfortunately underneath each picture is a drawing of two children demonstrating atrocious behavior. Doing exactly opposite of what the statement says. I kept thinking as I'm reading "OK, where is this going?" and asking Gabe what is wrong with each picture and hoping that the ending with have a good moral. The second to last page reads "Someday we'll be grown up. Someday we'll have manners." and I flip to the last page and it reads "But for now, we're just kids." (which I did NOT read out loud) and I say WHAT?!!!!!! How is that possibly OK? You don't give your child an excuse to get away with that crap behavior! None of the things the children demonstrated in the book are possibly OK at all, not for Gabe at 4 and not for Zion at 2 and there's no way in heck I'm waiting until my kids are adults to see them have good manners. I hate to break it to you people, if you don't teach your kids good manners when they are young, like straight from the womb, the likelihood that they will just suddenly develop them when they become an adult is practically nil. A rude child simply becomes a rude adult.

Why, why, why?! I just don't get it! This book isn't funny, it isn't useful, it's awful! The last thing kids need in our society today is another excuse to be self-centered and horrible. Children can be children and have fun and still have good manners. Harriet Ziefert, you should be ashamed of yourself.

Just in case you're wondering, this is how the inner flap reads: Of course these kids know how to say please and thank you! Of course they know how to wait in line politely and to give up a seat to someone who might need it more. They certainly know how to sit at a table and pass the food nicely. But will they? No way! That's for when they are grown up and boring! When they get older they'll have good manners, but for now...they're just kids.

Arg! Make it stop!

OK, rant over. We now return to our regular scheduled programing.


My Three Sons said...

Well I guess the book did at least one thing, it got you thinking. Your right, everyone in todays society is always blaming someone else for their own actions. Your right, it starts in the home. I just wish that another adult in my life remembered this rule as well.

Jeremy and Laura Lebow said...

Amen, girl! You tell 'em!

Jessy said...

Do children act out sometimes? Yes. Do children make messes and chew with their mouths open sometimes? Yes. Should we think it's funny if they KNOW what they should be doing and choose to be monsters?! #&*@ NO! (Insert expletive or expletive substitute)