Dear Proper Green:
My niece and nephew are big resource wasters, and they’re only 4 and 6 years old. They ask for a Coke, take one sip out of the can and then leave it on the counter. A half-hour later, they want a root beer. I say they’ve got a Coke on the counter, but they won’t drink it and start crying if they don’t get the root beer. They’ve learned this behavior at home, but how do I deal with it since they’re not my children?
Uggh! You’d be surprised how often I hear this very complaint. But remember, when your niece and nephew are in your home, without their parents, it is up to you to set acceptable boundaries. You don’t have to give in to every request. But be prepared for the tantrum, which you have already experienced, it seems. When your brother and his wife are with their children, you might try asking them to rein the little ones in a bit. And, you can always have a (gentle) talk with your brother and SIL about your house rules, and let them know what you expect when the little tikes are at your place. My guess is they’d rather have a place to drop off the young ‘ums for the night than risk your saying you’ll be glad to have them over, just as soon as they learn some manners.
About Proper Green
The “green movement” is a relatively new one. And because it’s so new, ideas about what constitutes proper behavior within the movement are still evolving. But we think it’s important to establish some guidelines to help smooth the way.
Proper Green is (at least we hope) a blog about good manners in a green world. And while people often confuse “etiquette” with “manners” - the former deals with social custom, i.e., which fork to use or how to introduce your niece to your husband’s cousin at your step-sister’s second wedding––the latter is an expression of respect.And that’s what we’re going to focus on.
Good manners, like our planet, need care, attention and dedication. We hope you find inspiration and answers here.
Please send inquires to: Propergreen@recyclebank.com. Questions may be edited for length and clarity