Maybe I’m a bit old-fashioned, but I think manners are really important in children.

Of course you need to be realistic – you can’t expect pre-schoolers to be immaculately behaved all the time, and tantrums are part of growing up. But I do believe the basics can be taught from a very young age, so that they are already in place for when the child grows older, and more responsible. 

Like encouraging them to say ‘Yes, please’ and ‘No, thank you’, and to always be grateful. Instructing them not to answer back (in a rude manner I mean – I’ll always encourage my kids to question decisions, or instructions, they genuinely don’t agree with). Teaching them – this is one we’re battling with at the moment – that they must wait patiently to speak while grown-ups are talking.

But it’s kinda hard to expect the kids to behave politely when the parents don’t seem to possess a single manner between them!!

The other week the Monkey Family visited a local park. Big Sis had a brand new bubble mower which we took with us. She was busy pushing it across the grass and chasing the bubbles when a little boy ran over – he must have been about four.

Without a word he grabbed the mower, and began pushing it in the other direction. Big Sis did what all nearly three-year-olds do in that situation. She stopped short, looked a little gobsmacked, then started wailing. ‘Shhhhhh,’ I hurriedly told her. ‘It’s OK, we can let the little boy play with the mower for a while. It’s nice to share.’

I could see Mum coming over, and didn’t want her to feel awkward about her son’s behaviour. He was just a kid after all. But rather than apologising, as I assumed she was coming over to do, she just kind of shrugged at me, and started trailing after her son – who was now zig-zagging wildly across the park.

I watched in disbelief as she just slowly wandered off behind him, without a word of explanation to us, or reprimand to her son. Being the ‘polite’ person I am, I didn’t want to make a scene, so I distracted Big Sis with a fruit stick, while silently seething.

About 10 minutes later the boy finally tired of our mower. While he ran off, probably to find another kid’s toy to hijack, Mum simply dragged it over to where we were sitting, dumped it down, and walked off without a word.

Now, am I being precious, or is that incredibly rude??

One thing is for sure – with Mum setting such a great example in manners, or lack thereof, her obnoxious son doesn’t stand a chance!


  1. Kat @ iRant iRave - June 14, 2011

    She was definitely out of order. An apology to you was due at the very least and something along the lines of sorry and thank you for letting him play with your mower was due to your daughter.

  2. Midlife Singlemum - June 15, 2011

    And you didn’t thank her profusely for bringing it back to you?! 😉

  3. English Mum - June 15, 2011

    Incredibly rude. As mums, it’s so easy to do that ‘arggghh, sorry, kids eh?’ kind of thing, which creates an immediate bond. I’m really hard on mine with manners and treating people with respect. Shame others aren’t the same eh? x

  4. TheMadHouse - June 15, 2011

    You know what she might have just been incredibly embarrassed and felt unable to say anything to you. I always find that overcompensate if my boys are lacking in manners and also use other peoples poor behaviour as an exapmle of what not to do. But I have learnt that not everyone has the same expectations in life as me

  5. Christine - June 15, 2011

    I hate rude people and bad manners and there is really no excuse for it. I cant believe the mum said not a word of apology. It doesnt cost anything and isnt difficult is it?

  6. Emma - June 15, 2011

    Incredibly rude… manners cost nothing! A good lesson in teaching your little one how valuable manners are though, when some other people have none!! Emma 🙂

  7. PhotoPuddle - June 15, 2011

    Oh my word. What appauling behaviour. I can’t believe the mother just let her son carry on playing with your daughter’s toy. And then didn’t even apologise or say thank you! Really shocking behaviour.

  8. MUMMY'S LITTLE MONKEY (@Jax2000) - June 15, 2011

    Kat: Exactly! That’s what I would have said in the reverse situation. x

  9. MUMMY'S LITTLE MONKEY (@Jax2000) - June 15, 2011

    Midlife Single Mum: No, I didn’t! And here I was, accusing HER of being rude!! 😉

  10. MUMMY'S LITTLE MONKEY (@Jax2000) - June 15, 2011

    English Mum: Exact-a-mundo! Even one of those grimace-y ‘What can you do?’ faces would have sufficed! x

  11. Vanessa (Housewives Inc) - June 15, 2011

    Grrrrr, this kind of thing is way too common and makes me livid! I agree that the kid(s) have no hope if their parents can’t set a proper example.

  12. MUMMY'S LITTLE MONKEY (@Jax2000) - June 15, 2011

    The MadHouse: Some people just aren’t bothered how their kids come across, are they? I’d be mortified if someone thought my children were being rude. x

  13. MUMMY'S LITTLE MONKEY (@Jax2000) - June 15, 2011

    Christine: Even if she didn’t stop him taking the mower, she could have at least said ‘Do you mind?’ or something!!!! x

  14. MUMMY'S LITTLE MONKEY (@Jax2000) - June 15, 2011

    Emma: I totally agree – it only takes a moment to say please or thank you x

  15. MUMMY'S LITTLE MONKEY (@Jax2000) - June 15, 2011

    PhotoPuddle: It was the way she just came over afterwards, and just dropped it down and walked away. Was a bit gobsmacked actually!! x

  16. MUMMY'S LITTLE MONKEY (@Jax2000) - June 15, 2011

    Vanessa: It makes me mad too – all kids can be little horrors sometimes, but what was her excuse?!? x

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