One of the things that I insist on at Brownies is a certain level of politeness. Please and thank you, not interrupting while someone is talking, simple things like that.
When we do inspection (the girls have to bring some “useful items” each week to gain points), the person who gets inspected first is always the one who says:
“Please can I go first?”
It took them a while to get the idea of that one, but now they do it almost automatically.
We had a Promise Party tonight, and that always means cake – the girls do their Hostess badge. Our standing rule is that the Brownies aren’t allowed to hand out cake to anyone who isn’t sitting nicely. Those being given cake are supposed to say thank you.
I was watching the girls get their cake tonight, and only heard about 5 or 6 thank you’s (out of 30 children). So, for the second round of cake I started reminding people.
One of the older Brownies said something interesting. She said,
I think it’s actually ruder, when you tell them to, and then they say thanks.
She has a point. It does make it seem like they are only saying it because they’ve been told to, not because they are truly grateful.
On the other hand, if they aren’t reminded, then they’ll never learn. Or at least, the learning will take longer. It’s a difficult balance.
How do you encourage your Brownies to be polite?