What works for us in a major way? The Manners Candle!!! The Manners Candle originated out of well you know. . .bad manners at our dinner table. I read something in Family Fun Magazine one time and then we elaborated on it. We have a four wick candle on our dinner table. When dinner begins we light the wicks on the manners candle and then the compliments and incredible atmosphere begins. If someone displays poor manners (burping, gassy conduct, complaining about my cooking. . .well you get the idea) including mom and dad then we blow out one wick. If we have any wicks left lit then we get to have dessert (or some form of treat, possibly a game night). If there are no wicks left then we forfeit our right to dessert or fun.
Also, my husband and son and their passionate love for bonuses (I think from playing too much game cube) came up with a bonus candle. We have added two candles to the edge and if there are extraordinary manners displayed then we light the "bonus candle!" Our kids immediately begin thanking me for cooking hot dogs for the fourth time this week. Ok, maybe I am exaggerating a bit, but they really shape up at dinner time. We have been doing this for about a year and I can think of only a handful of times that we have not had all four wicks lit at the end of the meal. Impressive, huh!!!
We light the manners candle when we have special guests too, especially when other kids visit our house and even if the child does not like what I fixed I hear very little complaining. It more than "Works for Me!!" For more great ideas of What Works for others, visit Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer.
Please comment if you found this in the least bit helpful!