Monday, January 30, 2012

Congrats to 24/7 Moms Winner!

WINNER OF – Golly Gee-pers! Table Manners Card Set 

Congrats Tara Corcoran. Enjoy your cards!

On December 28, 2011 the popular website 24/7 Moms posted this.

WIN: 24/7 MOMS and Golly Gee-pers! are giving away one Golly Gee-pers! Table manners Card Set.
Enter for a chance to win.
Golly Gee-pers! are fun cards that teach children proper table manners by incorporating fun games. The unique cards are given out during the dining experience and depict good table manners (like chewing with your mouth closed) with a thumbs up, while the bad table manners (elbows on the table) have a thumbs down. The person with all thumbs ups cards and no thumbs down cards gets the ‘Ready to Dine Out’ award! The cards are ideals for children ages 4-12 and even come in the cotton carrying bag to take on-the-go. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

When is a child being rude not a rude child?

Spear 2836 Cartoon: Respect in School
(cartoon courtesy of
If you have taught your child the importance of good manners but are dismayed at some seemingly rude behaviors, there might be something else going on. Consider a daughter with a kind spirit who looks the other way when a schoolmate says hello. Or, a son who is generally appreciative but, "forgets" to send out thank you notes. What about a teenager who seems to dote on her friends at school but doesn’t return their phone calls? From the outside, it might look like these kids are lazy or selfish and we might be tempted to read them the riot act. But, if we take a moment to look deeper we might discover important clues about these children’s personalities and emotional needs.

Many of the “polite” things we ask kids to do are fairly sophisticated. For example, looking an adult in the eye when being introduced. If a child is shy or insecure this kind of obligation can create uncomfortable feelings and even anxiety. Some children are gregarious and can strike up conversations anytime with anyone, but a more pensive child might feel put on the spot to perform and become verbally paralyzed. Think how frightening this would be. It’s no wonder if she ignores people. After all, you don’t have to talk to someone you don’t see. For some children, expressing their gratitude on paper can feel awkward. It’s understandable then if these children put off their duty until so much time has passed that they now have to explain their tardiness as well. At this point it‘s easier to pretend that the card really doesn‘t matter. Or, consider an introvert who’s been told “don’t be anti-social.” This child may try to be something she’s not and as a result exert a tremendous amount of energy trying to be social. By the time she returns home from school she’s exhausted and the thought of continuing the social demands by phone are unbearable.

Because the emotional health of children is more important than what people think of us, we parents may occasionally have to give our child a manners break. Instead of demanding to know why your child is being so rude, try asking non judgmental questions or sharing your own struggles to meet society‘s expectations. Then allow your child to explore comfortable options. Also, don’t forget that displaying good manners is a skill that will come more naturally when a child is developmentally ready.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Who Made You The Big Manners Police Of The House?

 Does anyone remember that comedy routine by Bill Cosby where the kids are fighting over pudding and one blurts out, “well, who made you the big pudding police of the house?” There were so many side splitting funny parts to that routine, but it was that one quote that stuck with my husband’s family over the years. Any time one of them started to tell the other what to do, out it would come… “well, who made you the big TV, chore, jelly doughnut etc., police of the house!” It would immediately diffuse any growing tension. Of course, it had to be said with a significant amount of Cosby flair to be effective. And so when I came up with the Table Manners Cards game you can imagine the ribbing I took at family gatherings involving meals.

Well, as it turns out that is exactly what the game does. It deputizes kids at the table to become their own manners police and gives them the authority to hand out tickets (thumbs-down cards) to manners offenders. I have to say it can be humbling for us adults at times, but if you keep your eye on the prize you will find it serves a purpose without you once having to nag, threaten or prod.

We recently had a large family gathering that included our dear 13 year old niece, Caroline from North Carolina. She spontaneously picked up the cards and in no time, much to her glee, had arrested several adults for repeat offenses. After some initial lame defenses the adults pleaded guilty and made concerted efforts to shape up. We all had a good laugh, the kids felt vindicated and everyone became more aware of their table manners. So, if anyone ever asks you or your family “who made you the big table manners police of the house,” just say, “Golly Gee-pers did.” I’ll take the heat from there.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

When criticism becomes bad manners.

Is it just me or does it seem that more and more people are using the web to ridicule rather than provide constructive criticism? I’m not talking about those sites and blogs where people have made a commitment to a particular topic and provide a service by evaluating products and ideas for the greater good. I’m talking about those people who roam the web searching for something they can take out of context and pick fun at. Sure, it’s their right to say whatever they feel. But, I’m not sure the motivation is to inform the public or even freedom of expression. There seems to be a perverse desire to find negativity in the things that others are doing. If Mother Teresa were an unknown and decided to take her cause to the web and posted her thoughts with a picture (not in religious habit), even she would be a target! Not that she would care of course. But, the point is, there are people out there who just love to shoot others down. It might be tendency. It might a form of self aggrandizement or perhaps a defensive mechanism. But, I think the most likely reason of all is that their hearts are three sizes too small. Bring anyone to mind???? Unfortunately many of these Grinches are parents too. Can you imagine what their children are learning? If you don’t feel good about yourself, no problem, just focus that energy on criticizing others. I actually have empathy for these people. I think most of them do it unconsciously. Perhaps it was how they were treated as children. Moreover, we as a society tolerate it. In fact, our society’s desire to feel better about ourselves through the criticism of others is so popular that we have made it a profitable career for many. Well, guess what? It’s not clever or funny. It’s just bad manners and even though these people may get others to laugh with them, they’re not really contributing anything to the world other than negativity. What our children really need is to learn genuine skills for critical analysis so that they can differentiate for themselves what is valuable.

It’s unlikely that the perpetrators of this kind of criticism are going to read this, so I guess I’m really speaking to the victims. Chin up I say and know that this kind of criticism, although painful, is impotent. Even if it comes from those close to you. No one is perfect, but the conscious effort to put forth a creative solution to problems out trumps the lazy critic every time.

Thursday, January 5, 2012 blogger, Blake Eligh, gives a rave review of Golly Gee-pers! Table Manners Cards


Although the new year is just a couple of days away, this isn't exactly a resolution post.  While everyone else makes plans to overhaul everything, the only resolution I'm making is to find peace at the dinner table.

Ms. Eligh's daughter becomes the biggest proponent.

To get there, we’re trying out two new games that I hope will entice the girls towards a calmer mealtime. First up is
golly gee-pers’ Table Manners card game. Developed by mom-of-two Staci Ericson, the dinner time game aims to improve table manners through fun and gentle reminders instead of finger-wagging (and, let’s face it, incessant nagging). We’re not super strict about manners yet, but we’ve had trouble getting the kids to stay put during meals.

The game isn’t complicated and has been a hit with our big kid. At five, she’s suddenly all about rules — reminding us, enforcing them and ratting out anyone who isn’t following them. She loves to catch me flauting the rules, but is equally excited to reward her sister for good behavior.

To Purchase Golly Gee-pers! Table Manners Cards go to
To read the entire article go