mind your manners

I like polite kids. I do. I like it when they look at me and talk to me and answer when they’re spoken to. I’m not too hung up on ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ but I appreciate them and certainly want my kids to know that they have to use them when they’re out and about.

I sense that the enthusiasm for manners in other kids’ houses is backfiring when they come to mine. We had a four year old boy over to play. He didn’t like the food we offered. He didn’t want to play the game that Malli wanted to play. He didn’t want to watch the cartoon that Malli wanted to see. It’s not that he had no manners but his idea of manners didn’t jibe with ours. He thought he should get to choose the food because he’s the guest. He should get to choose the game because he’s the guest. He should choose the cartoon because he’s the guest. So he doesn’t think he’s being rude – he thinks he’s applying the rules.

Maybe at his house is parents make him do whatever ‘the guest’ wants. But do they know that’s turning him into a jerk when he visits other kids? That doesn’t fly over here. Here, you have to try the food and you have to work out the games and tv shows with your friend regardless of whether you’re at his house or he’s at your house. So do I undermine his parents and tell him that being a guest doesn’t mean you always get your own way over here? Then the poor kid never gets the pay-off for giving in to his friends’ requests at his house. Oh well, sometimes the oldest rules are still the best ones: As long as you’re under my roof…

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One response to “mind your manners

  1. We’ve had similar experiences with other kids visiting our house. They learn. Tee hee.

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