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Children and manners can be very subjective.  “Please” and “thank-you” are expected but what happens when these become platitudes with no meaning, just words.

My children will always ask to get down from the table after a meal or say thank you … But what happens when it gets reeled off in habit and has no real meaning?

Recently my eldest has become rude (and, dare I say, almost ignorant) but says the words he believes are expected …. “Thank you for a lovely meal” … after every sit down meal now carries no meaning as his mother has told him it is what he must say…. So as a non resident parent how do I address this?

When recently taken out by his grandmother there were no ‘thank you’s’  for the incidentals the same acts which I would expect an 11 year old you acknowledge. It was almost as if these things were expected and there was no gratitude. Whilst appearing to be polite in situations that he has been told to say thank you for now appear become rude.

But how do you start to address things his mother encourages? Do I want a child that goes through the motions,  putting on social graces when they are expected, able to do the social niceties or do I want a child who is polite, considerate and will  be true to himself – only complementing when impressed or genuinely grateful not because it is expected?

A 12 year old who I feel is developing into someone ignorant and rude ….. A teenager ? .. Because there appears to be no sincerity in his actions …. What to do?  Because, in his mothers eyes, he behaves as society expects or should I say her family expects.

Are manners about actions or intentions?

Is social etiquette more important than being true to yourself ?

Can I blame the child for the actions of the parent?

I shall do what all parents do and try to work through it by trial and error ………but, trust me,  your ideas and suggestions on this topic are most welcome.

Till next time



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