Follow the rules.
Yes, ma’am and no, sir.
And occasionally a sharp MANNERS! as if I’m Effie Trinket in The Hunger Games.
These are the things I tell my boys, the things I remind them of because I want them to be respectful young men.
Sometimes, they don’t have to listen, to do exactly as they’re told.
Not that they always do anyway. Because you know, they’re kids. And human. So they don’t always do as they’re told anyway. But I’m not talking about those moments when they SHOULD be following directions.
And those people can come disguised as someone they think they could trust. But we all know that there are people in this world who don’t always have the best intentions. Who would hurt someone if they could.
Or they might not want to hurt someone with their words or actions, but what they are saying or doing isn’t anything positive, either.
It can even just be words: questions that are asked of my kids that they aren’t comfortable answering.
I don’t want my kids to think they HAVE to do everything that is asked of them or even to answer every question asked of them.
That they have to think about why they’re being asked to do a certain thing or to answer a personal question and if maybe it’s something that could get hurt them or get them in trouble or make them uncomfortable: they don’t have to do it. They CAN say no.
So what I want them to be is polite and respectful…. but also smart and aware and to realize they are worthy of respect, too.
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