Under the Influence of The Berenstain Bears

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Spring cleaning and I found this poster behind the clothes hamper in the laundry room.  It must have been there for about three years.  I’m not sure how I feel about it now, but it gave me a chuckle down memory lane.    For about a year, this poster was prominently displayed on the kitchen wall.  There was even a family meeting about the poster and the idea behind it.After reading this Berenstain Bears book by Stan and Jan Berenstain, I thought I’d implement a politeness plan similar to the one Mamma Berenstain  chose when her family’s manners went out the window.  We had a lot of interrupting at our dinner table and I was desperate for a plan. Just look at Mama Bear.   That’s how I felt.

Looks all too familiar.

She’s not a happy camper.  Even in that cute polka dot dress and matching cap. Frankly, the plan was annoying for everyone.   And it backfired.  I ended up sweeping floors I was already sweeping.  The kids thought it was great to call us out on everything and we forgot the plan was there.   It was a bit optimistic of me to think a politeness plan would work.

I was curious if anyone else out there had this brilliant idea from Mamma Berenstain. I googled politeness plans and Berenstain bears.  Turns out I was not alone in my quest for peace and quiet.  Check out this family’s politeness plan from their blog “Organic Families.

I’m not sure how successful they were, but it sure looks good.  And I love that they have specific amounts like “pull 20 weeds” for yelling and “wash all the walls in a room”  for whining.  My middle child would start spouting labor laws for children.

Here’s another one from Honey’s Creative Homemaking’s webpage: http://www.honeyscreativehomemaking.com/2012/08/22/politeness-plan-inspiration-from-berenstain-bears/.

Wow, they even threw in Bible verses about a character trait.  No sarcasm allowed either.  Looks like they were successful, too.

I love our politeness list.  I see we are the only ones who specific there will be no “SNATCHING OF SOMETHING FROM SOMEONE!”  Years later, not much has changed in the Finucane household, except now we have labels like ADHD, Asperger’s and Anxiety.

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I might frame the poster for posterity.  In fact, I think I’ll return it to the laundry room.  I remain optimistic. My daughters do their own laundry nowadays.  Maybe they’ll take notice of the poster and get with the program.  A mom can dream.

8 thoughts on “Under the Influence of The Berenstain Bears”

  1. There are worse people you could get parenting advice from than the Berenstains. We LOVE them over here. Haven’t tried the chart yet, but we’re attempting “if you’re rude, interrupt, don’t listen (etc.) you lose one book” route. So far, so good. Otherwise we might go to the chart. I’m constantly hearing how she doesn’t “EVER want to do chores again!”.

  2. Very cute and definitely one to frame. We do a lot of family talks when things aren’t going to plan I call it a continuous improvement approach based on the course I teach. I need to have one this weekend due to the way my daughter is speaking to her brother. How about trying the politeness plan but without associated penalties then it feels a lot more like everyone doing it because they want to versus because they don’t want to pull weeds etc? Just a thought. Love the red leaves on the tree on this shot by the way – gorgeous color! Happy Friday!

    1. Great idea, Heidi! Let me know how that goes. We are always up for trying something else. Thanks for the compliment about the red tree. They are bushes from the Western Regional Library. You’ll see them this fall. Fiery red in the parking lot, of all places! Happy Friday to you, too!

  3. As a man who has modeled his parenting skills after Father Bear, I can appreciate this. And the Berenstain Bears books were always the books I would shove under the hand of my child as they selected a book to read at bedtime. They kept me awake through many a reading.

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