A couple of years ago I was watching The View and they had a proffessional football player on their show. I cant remember his name but I do remember he offered up some great tips that I have had stuck in my head for sometime now that I plan on applying to my child as he gets older. It was specifically in regards to teaching kids how to be respectful of others, namely wait staff and people who wait on us. They made it fun and rewarding for the kids while teaching manners and how to respect people for example at a restaurant…
-After the server had greeted them the one of the parents would the kids ask a question pertaining to a physical attribute about the server such as their eye color, whether she had on earrings, the color of her nails, color oh her hair, her name if she had a name badge on but they kept it fairly easy.
The point of this is that the kids were challenged to see the waitress as a actual person, to take him/her in and make eye contact. He explained that too often we order with our heads buried in our menu and hardly pay any mind to the wait staff. If you ever been a waitress or waiter you’ll know its now very nice.
If the kids answered correctly they got a $2 added to their meal budget or free dessert.
-Meal budget? What? Ugh…..I know that sounds stingy but let me explain. The kids weren’t on a LOW budget per say but what the parents would do is give the kids a spending limit for each restaurant. They were fairly generous so as not to starve the kids but the reason for this was to teach the kids the value of money. If they got a $10 budget they got to keep whatever was left over. Suprisingly this taught the kids to eat healthier, consider different things on the menu, maybe opt for the healthier choice of water or milk over soda, salad over fries and even share dessert or pick a dessert from home after wards. So for example if the kids only spent $7, they got $3 to take home. And to point out the obvious they got to work out their math skills!
-Lastly as a rare and fun activity (remember he is a football player who makes good money) they would tell the children to look around the restaurant and pick out the neediest family who looked like they could use a free dinner or just a pick me up. The parents would then pay that families meal. To them it wasn’t about the money, it was about having their children be aware and sympathetic to the people in their community. Sometimes it was a couple who looked worn out with a newborn crying baby. Sometimes it was a lonely old man who looked in need of some TLC, and sometimes it was just a family who looked like they didn’t have a lot of money.
I was inspired that this football player found a way to instill good manners in his children while having fun. It makes me be creative and think of ways to do the same for my child. Sure I have sometime until I get to do this with JoJo….he’s still a bit young to be put on a budget, LOL!