Jaime Primak Sullivan took to her Facebook page to explain the measures she took when her three children forgot their manners during an ice cream trip.
After being handed their ice creams, not one of her children looked the waitress in the eye or said thank you, so the mum threw their ice creams in the bin. Her lesson in manners has been met with debate by the Facebook community, with some agreeing and some disagreeing with her actions. Mum Sarah-Jane Corfield-Smith has her own opinion on the matter...
Picture the scene. A mum and her three children walk into an ice cream parlour. The mum orders, pays, the ice creams are handed over by the waitress, they walk out and the mum promptly puts all three ice creams in the bin. Her children, unsurprisingly, lose the plot.
That is exactly what Jaime Primak Sullivan did. Why? Not because she fancied wasting food or money, or because she suddenly had some instantaneous health kick. It was because, after months, nay probably years, of constantly reminding her children to say thank you they hadn't acknowledged and thanked the waitress. The mum took to Facebook to share her experience and called herself the 'the meanest mom ever... Like... Ever.'
Now the post has gone viral with mums all over the world giving their opinion. And you know what my opinion is? I say, 'good on you, Jaime!'
I am currently at the beginning stages of teaching my almost two year old about the concept of manners. I find I am spending an inordinately large portion of my day saying, 'say please, Tilly... say please, Tilly... can you please say please, Tilly!!!!'
Sarah-Jane's daughter Tilly
And I will keep on doing so because I believe that manners and politeness don't just happen with kids. They have to be taught and shown them from day one. Just like they have to be taught that a sheep goes 'baa' and a cow goes 'moo', they have to be shown that saying please and thank you, or even... get ready for it... writing it in a thank you card is the right thing to do.
Disclaimer alert: I currently write Tilly's thank you cards for her. She is not a child genius as her father would have her believe. Come the day she can scribble thank you in crayon, then it's over to her to thank people for their generosity and kindness they have shown her. There's nothing better than a hand-written thank you card.
Tilly practising for her thank you cards...
But these things have to be drilled into children repeatedly by their parents. We are responsible for teaching them that if they want something, they have to ask for it nicely. And when they are given it, they say thank you. Then one day, just like those farm animals noises and thank you notes, it becomes something they just automatically do and perhaps most importantly, want to do.
Mum Jaime's original post, which now has over 43,000 shares, 340,000 likes and 30,000 comments
The hardest part of course is enforcing it. Last week Tilly wanted a biscuit. Would she say please? You can bet your Garibaldi she wouldn't. Did she get it? No. Did the biggest tantrum ensue? Yes. Did I feel like the meanest mum in the world. Yes. Did I do the right thing? Of course.
I truly believe that if a few more children's ice creams were thrown in the bin, only good things would happen to humanity. We've got to keep teaching our littles ones the value of those two little words with one great big meaning: thank you. Because, in the end, they will thank you for it.