Oxford

Oxford grandmother's Nice Bear, Naughty Bear 'good manners' app

A grandmother from Oxford has devised a mobile application to teach children good manners.

Avril Lethbridge, 79, was inspired to make Nice Bear, Naughty Bear after witnessing selfish behaviour on a bus.

She said: "An older lady got on and nobody stood up for her, and the poor darling was wobbling about... all these hoodies just didn't move."

Her app for iPhones and iPads features 16 nice and naughty bears, each with their own rhyme.

Characters include brave bear, greedy bear, sharing bear, shy bear and bully bear.

Parents can create a profile for their children where good bears reward children with a cheer, and naughty bears with a groan.

'Happier life'

"It's not them you're wagging your finger at, it's the bear," the grandmother explained.

"There's nothing like being rewarded. A bit of bribery and corruption basically. They've got something to aim for.

"By the end of the week they might get their special comic or be allowed to stay up late and watch something they particularly want to.

"There's no harm in that, to persuade them that there is a reason to do something, until in the end it becomes totally natural."

Ms Lethbridge originally invented Nice Bear, Naughty Bear as a card game. It was illustrated by Mary-Anne MacKenzie and became a "good manners" publication written with Diana Mather.

It was named book of the week in the Daily Mail's You Magazine.

Former teacher Ms Lethbridge said: "We've become a must-have society.

"Manners aren't a pompous thing. They're just about being kind to people and it gives you a happier life".

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