Demanding Dudley

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“Say please.”

“What’s the magic word?”

“Pardon me! Is that how we ask for something we want?”

If you are saying these things daily (over and over again) like Greg and I do, perhaps it’s time to introduce a picture book from The Wiblets
collection that will teach your children about respect and the right way to get what they want. Our kids heard about 4 pages of Demanding Dudley before they realized the message we were trying to get through to them.


It was that powerful that they knew right away what Dudley’s mama was going to teach them about how screaming and stomping does not get you the apple juice you want. Does it mean they took the message to heart and haven’t screamed or cried or stomped or yelled to get something they want, but it does mean that they think a little more about where those actions get them (the stairs for a ‘lil timeout!). But, all we have to do is remind them of Dudley:

In the case of Demanding Dudley, The Wiblets take on issues of thanklessness and impatience. Children will see the harmful effects of such negative behavior through the example of Dudley, a young Wiblet who forgets the value and importance of “using his magic words.” Dudley and his mother discuss the hows and whys of self-control and gratitude, ultimately demonstrating in a positive light how kindness and patience can go a long way in making and granting requests. After reading and discussing the story of Dudley with their children, parents can make use of the positive trigger question, “Are you being a Demanding Dudley?” in order to establish an immediate understanding with their child if and when the lessons taught by the book have been forgotten.

(From The Wiblets Press Release)

And you know what? I was actually supposed to share this info with you over a month ago, but the kids. Those kids of mine. They “stole” the book from my review pile and were “reading” it to each other to remind themselves (and their imaginary students) of how to ask for the right things. When I asked for it back to remind me of the colorful pictures and [adorable] text tone to show Dudley’s emotions, they told me they appreciated me asking with my magic words. Dudley taught them some big words,  not just the magic ones! Mom win.

If you’d like your own copy of Demanding Dudley, you can visit or get a copy on Amazon for around $11. If your kids like Dudley, there are other Wiblets ready to teach them lessons through books and games on their website.


Forced Manners

As I am raising toddlers, I am learning all about forced manners…and I simply do not like it. Modeling manners is the way to go, if you ask me, but my ‘lil sponges just are not getting it completely right. So there are those times when I have to tell them, ‘Say please and you will get that seventeenth licorice you’re asking for’ or ‘Now, remember, what do you need to tell Grammie [when she folds up all your blankets and hangs all your clothes, AHEM]? That’s right, thank you’ or ‘Evan, when you hit your sister, you need to tell her sorry [even if she turned off the twentieth instance of Princess and the Frog]’. It just doesn’t seem right to force the manners upon them, but what do you do?

As an adult/people watcher, I see a lot of people who probably had someone telling them how to mind their manners growing up forgetting how to do it as an adult. It seems like basic human nature to say, “Pardon me”, “Excuse me”, or “Thank you”; however, so many of us adults forget it. Maybe that’s why I have to keep “forcing the manners” on my kids?

Several times as an adult I’ve been asked to extend sympathy, thank, or apologize to other people. I do it, yet I feel like my kids have to feel…did someone really feel it was mindful to tell me to be mindful? And now, why do I feel so guilty for not just innately reaching out…or feeling guilty for something I do not understand? Is this how it feels, kids? Manners are never easy, whether you are a child or an adult. I just pray that Greg and I are raising kids who will say thank you, sorry, and please and mean it…living in love and not forced fear or guilt. And, if they are reading this and are not sure what to do in situations, maybe they will check out some tips from Emily Post:

Disclaimer: Nope, this isn’t a sponsored post. I was in two situations today, one at work, one personal where manners were brought up, and I decided to read up a little bit on manners and share my heart to you readers. Emily Post is just a well-known etiquette resource, so I figured her site would be a great tie-in!

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