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Friday, June 25, 2010

A Lesson in Being COURTEOUS

This morning Eli, Brynne and I ran into town to go to the water playground at the Y. We got there before 10:00 a.m. in hopes that it wouldn't be too crowded.

On the way there I heard Eli and Brynne telling each other that they loved each other. When I looked back, they were holding hands.

We got to the water playground and literally only stayed about 30 minutes. I was appalled at the brats that were there, and more appalled at the mothers sitting on the sidelines watching and not saying anything to their own kids. I was up and down every couple of seconds because Brynne was crying about getting sprayed in the face (on purpose) or Eli was crying because the kids wouldn't give him a turn spraying the red squirter (the only one).

I wanted to yell, "Excuse me ... can I have your attention? If you are a child hogging the squirter, STOP IT! If you are a child deliberately spraying the squirter into the faces of little girls or of others asking you to stop, STOP IT! If you are a little girl running on the slick cement, STOP IT! If you are one of their mothers, get off your butt and take care of your child!!!!"

Oh, I was irritated! And Eli and Brynne were ready to go home. Sad that we can't even enjoy a public place for an hour or so on a hot day.

Anyway, on the way to Walmart I was thinking that these issues are all a matter of being Courteous, or not being Courteous. Very few people teach their kids that anymore. Who are we kidding, very few adults are that way anymore. We all want to be first, want to be in charge, want it all to ourselves.

As I was thinking this I heard Brynne say, "Eli, why did you give me this water?" (He had handed her the water bottle we had brought.) He said, "Because I thought you would want a drink."

Ahhhh ... I smiled. And I took this opportunity to discuss with them what being Courteous means. We discussed the many examples we had experienced just this morning. I told them how proud I am of them being kind to each other and considering each other's needs and wants. We talked about examples of being Courteous and not being Courteous when we are with each other and when we are at Big Splash and when we are playing with friends.

The following verse came to my mind:

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.
~ Philippians 2:3

When I got home I wrote this verse on our drawing pad we keep on an easel in our kitchen (where I usually keep Bible verses or other thoughts for us to remember).

I am going to have us memorize this verse and concentrate on putting it into practice this next month, or until another lesson comes along that we need to concentrate on.

I once heard it put like this, and this might be something easy for the kids to practice:

Never try to be first.

That's a good lesson for all of us.


  1. Thank you so much for opening your blog up to me! I truly have enjoyed it. I totally agree with you on this post. I often wonder about parenting and how blind people are to what their kids do. I often find myself doing the same thing in my head HELLO PEOPLE!!!

  2. I'm glad you turned the situation into something positive and used it as a 'teaching' moment. Yes, I think that many need a refresher course in how to be courteous.

  3. You are an inspiration to mothers everywhere who try to teach their kids to do the right thing! There are so many parents who try to be friends (and not parents); I am NOT one of those people. You have really raised your children with the proper values that will benefit them for their lifetimes.

  4. 2 wonderfully great proud mommy moments in one day! your doing a great job and LOVED this post!!

    I love that you have a easel pad where you memorize and write down bible verses. this summer I've been spending time developing Syds preschool for next year and it is bible based :)

  5. The lack of parenting and teaching manners is one of my biggest pet peeves. It's wonderful that you are teaching your kids to be courteous! I expect my kids to have manners, be polite, and show respect.


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