The Talk


Dads and sons usually have matter-of-fact relationships. If the kid gets tackled too hard, a dad may suggest shaking it off before the lad returns to the huddle. It’s matter-of-fact, and sometimes it’s just the facts.

Moms take a different approach in dealing with their sons, perhaps a combo platter of caring, sweetness, and then the tough love.

The conversation below, between a young father and his young son, could have occurred along a main street, or at an ice cream shop, or backyard as a ball was being tossed back and forth. It’s entitled, The Talk, and went something like this:

“So you see son, good manners are important. Should I go through it again?”


“Yes, please.”

“Yes, please.”


Rapid fire from Dad, “Always say please, thank-you, you’re welcome, excuse me, sit-up straight, hold doors open for ladies, if a door is closed, knock first, don’t burp, don’t swear, don’t stare, don’t use bad language, don’t talk with your mouth full, keep your elbows off the table, don’t interrupt, cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, on the bus give up your seat to anybody who has trouble standing, . . . bottom line, treat others the way you want to be treated.”

“Got it?”

“Got it.”


“Good talk, son.”

Of course during The Talk on manners, the kiddo has a nose issue that’s resolved the old fashioned way using an index finger.

As a footnote, the conversation was borrowed from the Ad Council’s public service message on children’s oral health. Their message: good parenting is hard to do in two minutes, but brushing twice a day is easier.

If there’s an occasion to have The Talk with a son, the script is written. Add ‘brush your teeth twice a day’ for a more comprehensive list.

In hopes the St. Croix Valley is ranked among the Most Polite in the World, here’s to young men with exceptional manners because of The Talk.