Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Manner Jar

Sitting on our dining room table, next to the bowl of lemons from Aunt Jean's tree, is a manner jar. Being home from school on Christmas break, it became apparent that we needed some work on our manners. I've learned over the years that with these three, the most effective form of punishment is taking money. All the reminders, rewards, charts, etc. don't do a thing. Take a nickel and you can change the world.

So with our social skills seriously lacking, I whipped out a pretty little jar. How many times can one mom say, "I shouldn't see your knee while you're eating"? Who sits with their knee in the air to eat anyway? Apparently one of mine thought he should. The Manner Police thought differently. Back to the cure. I put the jar on the table and had them bring some loose change. It's five cents an infraction--elbows on the table, knee in the air, talking with food in the mouth, and so on.

It only took a few meals. I've earned a whopping $1.60 in money, but a much more pleasant eating experience. It even keeps my husband and me on our best behavior because they're constantly watching to see who is having bad manners.

Maybe I could make a "Get a Shower without a Fuss" jar or a "Clean Up Your Mess" jar or...


Anonymous said...

Good idea. Some of my friends and I (we are all very senior citizens) were just talking about children's table manners this morning. It is so difficult to get them to watch their manners when the entire family is always rushed. But you do have to keep trying and your idea seems to be a winner. If they have good manners when others are around, you know you have been successful. And your children are great. Home is home.

LV said...

That would be an excellent idea if you had a lot of people at the table. I will have to remember that at the next big meal I attend. Thanks for you visit and nice comment.