Well, thanks to my dear friend, Traci, manners have finally entered the Simmon household full fledge! 🙂 While at our house for dinner one night, Traci and her husband Ryan began telling us about a new tradition they had started using with their girls. Michael and I loved it so much that we implemented it the very next night. We’ve seen such great results that I just couldn’t resist sharing it with you! It is called…..(Drumroll Please!)….
The Manners Candle!!!
Now, the Manners Candle is a simple little invention…well, a genius invention really. Traci and Ryan stole the idea from someone else, who probably stole the idea from someone else. Honestly, in parenting, as well as teaching, some of the best ideas are stolen from others, aren’t they?? It definitely takes a village….
Anyway, here is how the Manners Candle works. First, you need to get a candle that is not too big, but not too small. As you can see in the picture (yes, that’s a soap dish…Can you tell we wanted to start this tradition fast??), our candle is a votive. Ryan and Traci use a taper candle. When the family sits down at the table to eat, you light the Manners Candle. The candle stays lit as long as manners are used while at the table. For us, we offer one warning. If we have to say something two times, then, in our humble opinion, we have had to say something too many times so we blow the candle out. Blowing the candle out is a big deal to our boys. Why?? Well, the longer the candle burns, the faster it gets to the end. When the candle gets to the end, then there is some sort of reward in store for your family. For us, when the candle burns down completely, our family gets in the car at that exact moment and goes and gets ice cream-no matter where we are at in the meal. So…if we sit down, light the candle, and it goes out before our very first bite of dinner, so be it. We go get ice cream at that exact moment. Our dinner will still be there when we get back from dessert right?? This is one of our boys’ favorite parts of the reward. Your reward might look different. Maybe it is bowling as a family the following weekend or getting to stay up later that night. Whatever it is, let your kiddos/creatures help you decide what your family’s reward should be. They’ll be more excited about it if you do.
We have seen great results ever since we implemented the Manners Candle. Our 4 year old creature, Zach, has always had a hard time sitting in his seat and staying seated. This has changed! All of our little boy creatures are asking to be excused and chewing with their mouths closed! I might just have to stop calling them my little creatures and start calling them my little men from now on…Nah…;)
I hope this helps you and your little creatures enjoy meal times even more!