Friday, October 28, 2011

Handle Bar Toys Looks Boo! tiful

Handle Bar Toys in Lafayette Ca. is decorated to the hilt for this year's Halloween.   I'll be there Saturday 10/29 from 11:00-1:00pm to demo the Golly Gee-pers! Table Manners Card game, answer questions and hand out trick-or-treat thank you pages.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Newsday Gets it! Golly Gee-pers and Others Featured

Help your kids give on Halloween
No doubt about it, Halloween is a "gimme-gimme" holiday: Knock on door, hold out bag, collect candy, repeat. But some people have found ways to turn Halloween around, making it a time of giving ...,

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Concerned about the amount of paper in the Polite Trick-or-Treater Campaign?

(image from all

We received some concern about recommending paper thank you notes for our Polite Trick-or-Treater campaign. We love our Mother Earth too and want you to know that each print has six thank you notes per page which of course can be recycled. Most of us are aware of a few houses in the neighborhood where the special thank you notes would be appreciated and it’s unlikely that children are going to want to sign as many notes as houses they will visit.
Why not just teach our kids to say “thank you?”

The purpose of this campaign is two fold. First, as an interactive aid in teaching children to say thank you, not as a knee jerk reaction, but as a genuine feeling. Most young children enjoy giving as much as receiving and will embrace the effort. Second, the campaign is intended to foster good feelings between adults and young people. Older folks often lament that kids are not as respectful as they were in “their” day.
We hope that the Polite Trick-or-Treater campaign will help children connect in a favorable way with their community and practice an important social skill in the process.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


cartoon courtsey of

Thank you all for the feedback on this question.  HERE'S WHAT YOU SAID:

If it’s a very nice restaurant most people agreed that fussy infants and babies should be left at home. The reason being that diners have an expectation of and feel entitled to an undisturbed dining experience.

There was some empathy, however for parents who might have been caught in a baby sitting lurch and rather than forgo a special event decide to muster up the courage and patience to go out anyway. In this case diners were willing to overlook the intrusion as long as it was understood that a crying or disruptive baby should be promptly removed from within ear shot (or food shot) of their neighboring diners.

When it came to children there was much more debate. Some said it depended on the number of children while others thought it depended on their disposition. Still others felt fancy restaurant dining should be off limits to children under 10 years old, regardless!

1. If you must take a baby or a toddler to a fancy restaurant be prepared to promptly remove the little darling if she becomes fussy enough to disturb your dining neighbors. To be fair, Mom and Dad should take turns. If you do, people might notice and compliment your team work rather than begrudge your crying baby.

2. Don’t do it on a whim. Let’s say grandma and grandpa are celebrating their 40th anniversary and have invited you and the kids to their favorite restaurant. In this case you probably have advance notice and can prep the kids for this special event using games and progress charts (a little plug here for golly gee-pers! You know your kids best and if they are not ready to dine out in this kind of environment it’s best to own up.

3. Do start early in setting expectations for proper dining behavior. Too often in an effort to simplify life, we dumb down the dining experience for kids. Periodically sitting down at a real table with real dishes (not plastic) while having polite conversation may go a long way in improving your family’s next restaurant experience.

4. Resist abandoning your expectations just because you are at the local pizza place. Although the noise level may be louder kids can still chew their food with their mouth closed.

5. Qualify what you mean when you say “behave.” Manners are skills that need to be learned not a litmus test for good or bad kids.

6. Diners without children can do their part as well by complimenting a child for sitting up straight even if he’s lost a meatball to the floor.

Finally, even children with good manners can become disruptive if over tired or feel ignored. If you are going to bring kids along, make sure you include them in the conversation and know when it’s time to go home.

Saturday, October 8, 2011


Thanks for the treat!

Imagine it’s Halloween night and the door bell rings. You grab the candy bowl and open the door. A group of trick-or-treaters dressed as witches, goblins and rock stars sing out, “trick-or-treat?” Each one selects a piece of candy, the usual routine and then something different happens. The trick-or-treater hands you a folded piece of paper. It’s a thank you note.

 No, this is not an episode of the Twilight Zone. It’s October 31, 2011. We are spreading the word and hoping you will join us in making this Halloween the most polite one ever.

To Participate:
Simply download the thank you notes from our website "freebies" button at: (available begining 10/9). The kids can cut them out, sign their names on the inside or make their own.  Either way they can deliver them to the generous folks who give out candy on  Halloween night. 
Thanks for the treat!

Cute Little Witch by Keith Russ
Cute Little Ghost by                                            

Monday, October 3, 2011

Golly Gee-pers! We're Moving Across The Nation

Families in Massachusetts, Minnesota , Texas and California are now playing the Table Manners Game.

                                         Emma (6 years old) gets Thumbs-up!


         (to purchase:

I follow Amy McCready on Twitter.  She is the founder of "Positive Parenting Solutions." In a recent tweet she challenged parents to ask their child to finish this sentence. My mom/dad always_______ and my mom/dad would never _____.  It's a wonderful opportunity to see yourself through your child's eyes.   I would like to adapt these questions for table manners.

So, ask your child...When we are eating, mom/dad always _______ and when we are eating, mom/dad never _______.  You can even ask the question about each family member at the table. Have fun with it and  tweet or post the antics on facebook.


What a surprise and delight at the support that Golly Gee-pers! Table Manners Cards has received from dads and men in general.

We tend to think of table manners as women’s territory. After all, many girls begin their training serving tea to stuffed animals at the age of 2 or 3 and proceed through life as the defacto manners managers to our boyfriends, husbands and children. Why then all the interest by men in this game? It might be the idea of a “tool” to solve a problem that speaks to men. It might be the lack of defensiveness that dad’s have in addressing their children’s table manners. It very well might be that these men can relate to kids, having being nagged about their own table manners and would welcome a more constructive approach.

In any case the genuine interest by men and the stories about their embracing the manners games are nothing short of charming. Just imagine the look of absolute startled innocence on Dad’s face as his five year old hands him a thumbs-down card for talking with his mouth full. Rather than making excuses for why it’s okay for him to do as he likes, these men are rising to the occasion, modeling good manners and telling their friends about it. Little do they know this is the kind of thing that makes women swoon!

Woman on the other hand may find it a little bit harder to be reminded of what they are already supposed to know. While the world will look the other way for men and children, woman are held to a higher standard. In fact, woman are held responsible for the manners of their spouses and children too! So, to imply that they or their family could use some help in this area might not be immediately appreciated. If you’ve ever watched Supper Nanny you will know what I mean. There’s not a mom on that show who doesn’t love her kids and work over time to be the best mom she can be. So, when it is pointed out that mom needs help and might have to do things differently, she often feels like she has failed. Didn’t all the necessary tools for great parenting come with the gender pool and the term “mother?” Men, don’t have this unrealistic notion. “Just do what it takes to get the job done” is their attitude. It’s all about the results.

So, kudos to you guys. You’ve entered new territory with the right attitude. In the process you’ve taken some of the heat off mom and you can bet she’ll be grateful for that!