scouts-l Mail Archive for June of 2000: Re: Table manners
Bob Lazell (rlazell@QED.NET
Mon Jun 26 2000 - 21:55:27 CDT
1> Making spaghetti sandwiches,
2>mixing all of the food on his plate,
3>using 8 to 10 spoons full of sugar on cereal
I gave the post a good read (twice) and these are the 3 examples cited.
While I don't consider any of these culinary delights something I would
enjoy myself, not a single one of them has anything to do with manners. In
fact, I can think of a number of dishes I've witnessed being eaten by
perfectly mannered adults that have affected me more negatively than those.
Yes, I agree, that bad manners at table is something that can become an
issue that needs attention. However, I also believe that meal time is a
time when a maximum degree of relaxation should be enjoyed by all, including
yours truly the SM who doesn't believe that being Miss Manners is in his job
description. The fact of the matter is, I've seen more effective social
pressures brought by a fellow Scouts to bear upon table piggies to improve
their manners, than any amount of chastising by me would accomplish.
Which brings up a point I all too often see ignored in discussions of
disciplinary issues. How about discussing the situation with the boy leaders
and suggesting that the issue needs to be addressed? In addition, how about
a impromptu SM conference with the boy where you respectfully suggest that
his manners might be lacking or that his style of eating would be considered
offensive in many places?
Every boy has a great number of people in his life telling him what to do
and what is wrong with him. How about being the adult in his life who with
care and understanding, discusses the issues you see, and the problems he
has? Suggest ways to work together to change rather than correct and punish.
I've never met a boy who when given a real chance to take on personal
responsibility to change his behavior and *keep* the respect he's given, who
does not at least try to improve, and return the respect you've given him
Bob Lazell, SM
Valley Cottage, NY
(come to think of it, when I was a kid, I did eat the noodles from
Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup on buttered bread as a sandwich, which
probably explains quite a bit about me!)