Is my 8 Year old DD Bad Mannered?

(130 Posts)
suchafuss Sun 30-Aug-15 19:34:30

She is a very quiet and sensitive and when in company hardly says a word unless she knows the people well. School say that she is lively and engages and has a great vocabulary, but she can tend to be a bit dreamy at times. However when it comes to manners I do have to remind her every time. Friends have said that when she is with them she is well behaved and polite and I never have any concerns with her behaviour.

So this weekend my DN's returned from spending the weekend with her GP's and announced that my step mother had said in front of the rest of the grand kids that 'Mary has no manners'. My daughter is devastated and when I asked her why I have to remind her she said that its because she is shy and that sometimes she forgets.

My husband seems to think that its because she is an oc but I am worried that this has caused her so much upset. FWIW she sees my parents very rarely and now says she doesn't want to see them at all.

Does anyone else have similar experiences and AIBU to think my stepmom should feck off when she sees her about 4 times a year?

ahbollocks Sun 30-Aug-15 19:37:33

Well, it doesn't take much to add please and thankyou, even if you are shy,
but your stepmum was just as illmannered to embarrass her.

BathshebaDarkstone Sun 30-Aug-15 19:38:20

YANBU. I constantly have to remind DD nearly 8 to say please and thank you, she's just on DD planet most of the time. You have to keep reminding them until it becomes second nature.

AgentProvocateur Sun 30-Aug-15 19:41:53

I agree with ahbollocks. At 8, I'd think a child was rude if they didn't say please / thank you, even if they were shy. But your stepmom was equally as rude.

AuntyMag10 Sun 30-Aug-15 19:46:27

If she's forgetting the basics of please and thank you at 8, then it's rude whether she's shy or not. Don't we say tell our kids they're being rude at times? I don't think the SM was being out of place saying it if it was justified.

OwlinaTree Sun 30-Aug-15 19:50:11

Is that your DD's real name in there? If you report they will remove that if that is an error.

It sounds like it is possible she has forgotten her ps and qs, as you say you have to remind her. Could you talk to her about this being one example of why you are constantly reminding her about it. How does she think she could change this behaviour? How could you and dh help her to do so?

Depending on your relationship with the step mother could you speak to her and say how upset your dd is about the incident and that you are working on manners with her. Maybe if they speak on the phone your step mother can reassure her that they do want to see her etc.

manicinsomniac Sun 30-Aug-15 19:51:17

'no manners' is hugely exaggerating the issue and a very kind thing to say publicly about a little girl.

However, I do think there is an age (around 6 or 7 I think, personally) where shyness is no longer an acceptable excuse for not greeting people, answering questions and saying please and thank you.

I have a friend with a just turned 8 year old daughter who is painfully shy. I know her pretty well and she will only talk to me in her home surroundings where she feels comfortable. Her parents accepted it until this year but now she is gently but firmly corrected and admonished when you say, for example, 'hello, how are you?' to her in the street and get nothing but a big eyed stare back. By the age of 8 it really is starting to seem rude.

manicinsomniac Sun 30-Aug-15 19:51:33

unkind sorry!

Spilose Sun 30-Aug-15 19:52:36

I'd hope for an 8 year old to not need to be reminded tbh.

NotMeNotYouNotAnyone Sun 30-Aug-15 19:53:50

If I hand something out to twenty brownies, about a quarter would say thank you unprompted. But once you loudly praise the first one who does, the rest all remember.

I don't think she's particularly rude, just like most kids needs reminding.

suchafuss Sun 30-Aug-15 19:59:15

No its not her real name. I really do remind her at every opportunity and it does embarrass me when I have to do so. I accept that I now need to tackle this a bit more robustly, in the past she has say that she did say thank you but I didn't hear her, so now I will insist that its said in a loud voice.
We already had the talk about what people will think if she does not use her manners, but good idea about asking her how we can help.
The DN's were no too kind in relaying the information but she is so insensitive that there really is no point in raising it with her.

DoJo Sun 30-Aug-15 20:01:28

I don't think that you should allow shyness as an excuse for failing to use manners, but I also think your step-mother was rude and unkind to say anything along the lines of what she did.

I would expect a child of her age to remember off her own bat sometimes or even most of the time, especially with other people, so as you say that you have to remind her every time, I would probably be trying some different strategies to anchor the message as it sounds like it isn't going in at the moment.

Lurkedforever1 Sun 30-Aug-15 20:01:59

If you mean saying please and thankyou, hello etc then sorry, I don't think being shy is a valid reason at 8. It's just rude. But that should have been addressed to you not said behind your back.
If your dd is sensitive, then she should also be able to understand that other peoples feelings can be hurt too when she forgets her manners, and that's how I'd explain why it was said.

scatterthenuns Sun 30-Aug-15 20:02:37

If you have to ask, yes.

Crazyqueenofthecatladies Sun 30-Aug-15 20:05:48

I would say by now her shyness is probably starting to grate as standoffish ness, which is not a nice trait when combined with a child who forgets her manners. Hopefully once she overcomes the trauma of this telling off it might help her to remember.

suchafuss Sun 30-Aug-15 20:07:42

Great idea Lurked

Crazyqueenofthecatladies Sun 30-Aug-15 20:07:57

And yes to what Lurkedforever said your dd doesn't get the monopoly on easily hurt feelings, anymore than her stepmother has a monopoly on rudeness.

MrsGentlyBenevolent Sun 30-Aug-15 20:10:39

I'm afraid, at 8, the p's and q's really do have to be remembered. However, as a shy child myself, I remember how humiliating it was being publicly called up on anything. It just added to my social anxieties. Any issues around her manners should have been addressed one to one, or in a nicer manner from an adult at least. How can you teach a child about manners, when an adult thinks its OK to embarrass them into politeness?

thinkingmakesitso Sun 30-Aug-15 20:15:45

Why do so many people seem to think good manners begin and end with the words 'please' and 'thank you'? Your SM was unspeakably rude and unkind to comment on another person's manners in front of other people, especially those of a sensitive child.

I have two dc aged 6 & 8 and the youngest is very shy and has to be reminded at times, as did the 8 year old until fairly recently. They are not rude - they don't snatch, are not pushy and grabby and many times have shown pleasure and appreciation for gifts without necessarily using the so-called 'magic words'. I do remind them to say the words, but gently and with respect for their feelings.

I hate seeing children rudely reminded about their manners in public. I think it teaches them little about consideration for others, which is what manners are supposed to be about.

MsMermaid Sun 30-Aug-15 20:20:55

I worry that this is what people think about my DD too. Luckily she's only 5 so she gets a bit of leeway for being shy, but I know that it will still be an issue at 8.

I don't know what the answer is. I do know that other people see the lack of please and thank you as bad manners rather than a social anxiety. I'm currently trying to help DD overcome her shyness but we're still at the stage of her getting stickers/rewards just for smiling at people she doesn't know very well, then we'll move on to speaking to them, and only once she is regularly speaking to people will I start insisting on please and thank you to everyone.

AuntyMag10 Sun 30-Aug-15 20:24:18

thinkingmakesitso do you think the SM should have taken the dd to a private spot each and every time to have a 'quiet word'? I don't think the sm did anything wrong here.

thinkingmakesitso Sun 30-Aug-15 20:26:36

Not really. I think she should have been kind to her, and to have recognised that not always saying please and thank you does not mean on its own that someone has no manners.

suchafuss Sun 30-Aug-15 20:36:48

So she shamed and discredited an 8 year old child in front of her peers and yet did nothing wrong? You have some warped ideas about how children should be treated AuntyMag. She wasn't even there so why her bahaviour should be the topic of conversation with other children I will never know.

AuntyMag10 Sun 30-Aug-15 20:40:07

'Shamed' , 'discredited' , 'peers' I think you're being a tad dramatic here.

suchafuss Sun 30-Aug-15 20:41:41

And I think you are being goady

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