At Least I’m Trying…

Little boys and good manners.  You don’t find those two phrases in the same sentence very often, and for good reason.  If they aren’t passing gas, they’re talking about it. 


For those of you with the male variety of offspring, I thought I’d pass along a book recommendation.  We keep this book at the dinner table and read a chapter over dinner a couple of nights a week.  It presents real-life scenarios in which boys can see why manners matter, and they can practice making judgment calls.  I’m learning that little boys actually, truly believe that the 47th dirty diaper joke of the day is funny.  If you can explain why it’s not, the reasoning might actually stick. 

Then after dinner, the book is the perfect size to use for spit-wad target practice.

31 thoughts on “At Least I’m Trying…

  1. peach says:

    I love anything by Emilie Barnes. I think JD Green certainly would benefit from the wisdom found in this book.
    Kudos to you for raising your little guys to be Godly young men. My girls will be waiting for young men of character and need moms like you to do the training. Good job!

  2. Lyn says:

    Oh, I will have to get this book. Manners are so important and yet with little boys sometimes I have to laugh and realize I am fighting an up hill battle. Potty humor is just something I think they are BORN with! Luckily my boys are still young so it is pretty mild.

  3. maria says:

    Manners are important, and despite having 3 boys I thought I had done well teaching them this. Then I watched them interact at meal time with their peers during my stint as lunch room mom. Forget it, we are all wasting our time! It goes along with my theory that males in packs revert to animal like behavior. But thanks for the hint, i haven’t completely given up hope yet.

  4. Queen Beth says:

    I just want to say good luck in your adventure with manners. I was a dorm mom for 2 years and when I would visit the freshman boys dorm, boys I knew came from good, upstanding families, who’s mothers taught them manners, were some of the ones spreading fecal matter on the walls and running around with socks on their genetalia and throwing food in the cafeteria. NO JOKE. All I can say is, I never stop trying either, with the hopes that one day, after they are 18-19 they will remember the manners I taught them and not talk with their mouths full when they meet their wife-to-be’s parents. And I hope the socks are tight enough not to fall off when running through the hallways. 🙂

  5. Traci says:

    I need to get that book. My alomst 5 yr old recently started doing a fake burp after he took a drink. I thought I had put a stop to it, but I caught him doing it yesterday when he thought I wasn’t listening. He also informed me yesterday that he can make a fart sound with his armpit! His uncle got him a can of Flart! It’s this putty stuff in a can and when you poke it, it makes a disgusting sound (similar to a whoopie cushion). It amazes me how this is still funny after 2 hours of it.

  6. antiquemommy says:

    Send the boys over. I’m in a phase where even the 47th dirty diaper joke of the day is funny. It’s either laugh or cry when you get to #47. Wait — did you mean dirty diaper joke or dirty joke about diapers? That would be different.

  7. mopsy says:

    What a great find, Shannon! I love how it uses real-life scenarios. Boys can relate to that.
    We use a little trick with our four boys when the topic turns to bodily functions. Send them (separately) to the bathroom! If they want to talk potty they go to the potty and get it out of their systems. It’s boring saying the word “fart” to yourself, so it never lasts long.

  8. Shalee says:

    I’m going to get that book as soon as I get home!!! You should have saved this for a Works-for-Me Wednesday, but I’ll take good stuff like this any day of the week.
    Thanks for sharing your wisdom… again!

  9. Gibee says:

    Oh, yay! I can actually contribute something of value here … this book is the version for little girls. I have a copy and it’s great. I know, I have a boy … don’t ask. It’s a long story.
    I also have this book which is an EXCELLENT book for boys on various biblical virtues like kindness, gentleness, etc. Love it, and the pictures are beautiful!

  10. Cat says:

    Hello…I’m a new reader. I love the Manners books for little ones. I have the Little Girls book and need to buy the one for my youngest son.
    I have been seeing a lot of the Works for Me Wednesday around is this something you do or post every Wednesday?
    Love and God’s Blessings,

  11. Islandsparrow says:

    I have 4 boys – well no longer boys but always boys to me…25 – 23 – 21 – 18 – and combined with their father they can be the SILLIEST crew.My daughter and I are outnumbered!! I tried – believe me I tried – and, I will admit that when we have company they are very mannerly. On their own, another story. But the funny thing is – they do NOT like to hear a girl belch…

  12. Stephanie says:

    I just read on one of the comments that they make one for girls. I am going to visit Amazon after I get off to purchase it. Your boys are lucky to have a mom that is concerned about their manners. My BIL is 32 and still farts at the dinner table. BLECH!
    BTW–I posted my WFMW post early. This will be a crazy, time sucking, black-hole type of week.

  13. Brenda says:

    Sad, but true – if dad doesn’t have a boy he’ll teach it to the girls. My 16-yr-old girl’s belches would make any dad’s chest swell with pride.

  14. Tess says:

    my dad could burp the abc’s, and us girls tried sooo hard to mimic him. couldn’t get past ‘d’ though. not enough testosterone, I guess.

  15. beth says:

    I can relate to all the stories of boys’ behaviour, and my little girl isn’t much better. She’s not quite as gross, but she provides great moral support to those who are. Add to that the fact that most days, we eat on the floor using our hands, Mauritanian style! We will be in the States this summer so are in frantic learn-decent-manners mode so we don’t shock all our friends and, especially, the grandparents 🙂 I’ll have to look out for that book this summer…thanks for the tip

  16. Anne Glamore says:

    I have spent the last year and a half at LEAST stopping in front of doors waiting for my boys to open them, restraining them when the elevator door opens so I can walk out first, etc etc.
    The manners lessons will wear you out!!!

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