To not adjust my parenting style because it makes you feel threatened

(87 Posts)
MoltenBlondie Sun 23-Jun-13 19:35:12

I'll start by saying I am nowhere near perfect as a mother, DS is only 18 months and already watches a fair bit of TV, to give one example

But anyway. I have found since he was very little, that if it was discovered that I did something differently to another person (largely MIL, DM and my older sister, but friends too), that they would scoff and try to belittle my choices.

Found it quite upsetting at times but DP has a theory that when I do something differently, it makes them question the way that they parent/ed their children and therefore makes them feel indirectly 'criticised'.

For example DM thinks I'm 'snobby' as I won't let DS have juice in a bottle, DMIL thinks I'm 'mean' for being rigid with bedtimes, Dsis thinks I'm 'controlling' for already insisting DS says 'ta'! and tells me "there's no way you'll have time to be so precious about manners when you have your second" (am currently pg, she has 3)

Why should it bother them so much? Do you think people who do this are genuinely threatened (not even sure that's the right word) by different styles of parenting or after some validation that their own parenting methods were fine?

I should add that I don't volunteer this information, they just witness it when they see me.

probably shouldn't add that I have started to antagonise them a bit now for fun, eg talking to DS loudly about GOING TO BED AT 7, AS THAT'S YOUR BEDTIME EVERY NIGHT, WITHOUT FAIL, ISN'T IT

parakeet Sun 23-Jun-13 19:39:57

I think you're spot on - they feel defensive about their own choices.

It is often said on here that in these circumstances you should smile and nod - but personally I dislike giving even that slight impression of agreement. I have always preferred to smile and change the subject.

Some people do see differences in parenting as a critique on their own.

Do try not to antagonise though!

I think all your decisions are correct. Google 'bottle caries' to show your mil the harm juice in a bottle does to teeth.

TheSecondComing Sun 23-Jun-13 19:44:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

I think your DP is bang on.

And if it makes you feel better, my DD was 20m when DS was born and I never stopped insisting she had manners. It barely takes two seconds.

fluffyraggies Sun 23-Jun-13 19:45:01

"there's no way you'll have time to be so precious about manners when you have your second"

Ha! Rubbish!

I was told this one too. I found, in fact, that my 2nd and 3rd DCs learned that manners were a natural part of day to day life through seeing and hearing their older sister behaving nicely. So don't worry.

FriskyHenderson Sun 23-Jun-13 19:45:03

Some people will see it as a criticism of their own choices and feel threatened. Other people will have more children experience and were where you are but have now adapted their thinking.

Doogle2 Sun 23-Jun-13 19:45:09

I think you sound like a nice mum and should ignore what they say. I have had 2 children and I have managed to bring them both up to say thank you!
Your children, your rules.

MummyAbroad Sun 23-Jun-13 19:46:19

I think you are right, they are scared of admitting "they did it wrong" with their own kids, which is nonsense of course, there is no real "right or wrong way" its what's right for your family that counts.

If its any consolation, it wears off! I used to get this a lot with DS1, it wore off once we had got through most of the "issues" weaning, toilet training, naps etc, I got in much less with DS2 (first time mums are easier targets!) and now DS1 is 5 I dont get any comments about anything, they have realised I will pay not attention anyway!

Of course they feel threatened as will you one day I'm sure

Now I've got my second, I don't think twice about what others think but I did with my first!

pantsjustpants Sun 23-Jun-13 19:49:14


I have 4 dc's, they all said thank you. Dc4 is 18 months and has been saying thank you sounds for months. I can't stand "ta", but I wouldn't judge anyone about it wink.

Beamae Sun 23-Jun-13 19:49:55

Yep. Spot on. I get this a lot but find it odd because I couldn't give a monkeys what anyone else is up to parenting wise.

I think you're being unreasonable for teaching your child to say 'ta'. It's a meaningless sound of a word and I can't bear it. I'd rather have a hug from a child to young to say thank you tbh. Your sister is utterly wrong btw. She may not be arsed but I have three dcs too and they have all been bought up to say thank you.

MoltenBlondie Sun 23-Jun-13 19:54:53

Ha! Had a feeling the ta thing would come up

He's not really mastered thank you, so I think 'ta' is the natural stand in, gets him used to acknowledging someone when they give him something (although he doesn't quite get it and also uses it when giving things!)

DMIL actually told me she thought it was 'a bit common' but...meh

MummyAbroad Sun 23-Jun-13 20:07:07

I think ta is cute (ex Londoner here) mine says "queue" as in "Than -queue" smile

lougle Sun 23-Jun-13 20:13:10

My eldest DD has SN. Without a doubt she is the most polite child I've ever met. She could sign 'sorry' and 'thank you' before she could talk.

It harms no-one to be taught that there are some words which make life nicer for everyone.


"Ta" doesn't offend me in the slightest. DD started with ta, moved onto thank you, and has now developed "thank you for having me/for my drink/my present etc" I think she realised that she got fussed at by others for "being SO polite!" so she's milking it! grin

As for the "you won't have time to be so precious" bullshit, my DSIL has 4, and is elsewise also very busy. Even her youngest(4) has impeccable manners. Won't have time, and can't be arsed are two very different things.

Er, in other words, YANBU!

1Veryhungrycaterpillar Sun 23-Jun-13 20:14:09

I have 3 children and they stick to a regular routine etc I think the more children you have the more important that becomes to avoid descending into chaos, my MIL in BIL always wanted to give my first baby kettle chips and always used to say knowingly just wait until you have your second and it's a load of all crap, you may become more relaxed in some areas but stuff like juice in a bottle will always feel wrong

wakeupandsmellthecoffee Sun 23-Jun-13 20:15:03

I agree with all the things you do .But having to re teach the word thankyou after having taught him ta is a pain .

wakeupandsmellthecoffee Sun 23-Jun-13 20:15:18

I agree with all the things you do .But having to re teach the word thankyou after having taught him ta is a pain .

TippiShagpile Sun 23-Jun-13 20:15:23

My children are 7 and 8.

They go to bed at 7 pm and always have done.

I think your dp is right, too. they think you're criticizing them.

fwiw, the examples you've quoted (dd is also 18mo)
no wonder you don't want juice in a bottle! how to ruin teeth. dd doesn't have juice at all.
strict bedtime - you've git a baby on the way, you wsnt the transition to be as easy as possible and making sure ds has a sensible routine is a good idea.
manners - the earlier you stsrt the more they'll just be a natural way they behave. as I take dd to work every day in my shop, one of her first words was thank you (and in context too) mainly because she watches me and customers always saying thank you when things are passed to the other person.

Flobbadobs Sun 23-Jun-13 20:21:22

I have 3 and have enough time to be precious about manners... Even the 16 month old can say 'ta' at the right moment!
Your DP is right I think, it does make people question ad doubt their own choices. Not just wrt babies but in all walks of life. If a person says they are going to do X and you did Y you may think "did I make the right choice?" Or take it as a criticism because they are not following your example.
It's one of the less nice sides of human nature I think.
YANBU to not change.

JADS Sun 23-Jun-13 20:25:36


The only 2 liquids that should be given in a bottle are milk and water. Juice is a bottle is wrong wrong wrong.

AnaisB Sun 23-Jun-13 20:27:42

You're as bad as them if you antagonise them - why bother.

But yanbu to not change you're parenting style and they probably so feel judged.

(I say ta sometimes, isn't it just regional?)

amazingmumof6 Sun 23-Jun-13 20:27:50

yep, spot on.

stick to your guns

my Sil has 9, we have 6 and we have time to teach our children manners! wink

(agree with do not antagonize, it will appear as power parenting which is not good)

Thurlow Sun 23-Jun-13 20:28:47

Definitely feeling criticised. Fwiw, you've just described how we are. Bedtime is 7.30, no juice allowed at all, and we insist DD says 'please' and/or 'ta' before she gets anything. Why you wouldn't encourage your child to say please and thank you when they are capable of making a sound which to them means please or thank you is utterly beyond me.

messalina Sun 23-Jun-13 21:00:01

You are NBU in having your own way of doing things. But you are are BU in teaching your child to say 'ta'.

WorraLiberty Sun 23-Jun-13 21:05:35

For goodness sake the OP isn't being unreasonable to teach her child to say 'ta'.

It's her child and her choice.

HollaAtMeBaby Sun 23-Jun-13 21:07:54

"ta" is ghastly. Why don't you want your child to speak properly?

chocoluvva Sun 23-Jun-13 21:09:24

Your DP has hit the nail on the head IMO too.

But also we don't want to think we've done the wrong thing with our children whatever the reason was.

I think the older generation look forward to sharing their expertise with us and are disappointed or hurt to feel that they aren't as expert as they thought they were.

Perhaps you could ask for their advice on unimportant matters or even just ask them about how things used to be out of interest, to make them feel valued as 'elders' IYSWIM.

chocoluvva Sun 23-Jun-13 21:09:54

Ta is fine.

MoltenBlondie Sun 23-Jun-13 21:12:12

grin at the pearl clutching at 'ta'

Come on, he has an English teacher father and a translator mother, I think he'll be fine!

'ta' is not fine <<shudder>>. Personally I've got it right up there on the 'hate' wall with people who say they're on 'mat leave'.

MoltenBlondie Sun 23-Jun-13 21:14:43

Yes chocoluva, agree

What bothers me though us that I never ever call into question their parenting, and yet they feel it's fine to mock mine!

And yes I should stop antagonising, it is quite fun though, but yes ultimately shooting self in foot.

WorraLiberty Sun 23-Jun-13 21:15:29

Anyone who gets annoyed at an 18 month old baby saying 'ta' really needs to chill out.

If I had a can of polish and a strong laxative, I still couldn't give a shiny shit about it.

MoltenBlondie Sun 23-Jun-13 21:16:33

Ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta ta


<comes back>

MoltenBlondie Sun 23-Jun-13 21:17:17

grin worra

WorraLiberty Sun 23-Jun-13 21:17:37

Fucking hell OP, put the machine gun down!! shock grin

Raaraathenoisybaby Sun 23-Jun-13 21:21:04

Yanbu my in laws did this quite a bit when dd1 was born. It's common but really pointless to get in to it. I have a nephew bit older than dd1 that was parented v differently. Now they are older dd1 is a nice kid and dn is a nice kid. They arnt much different grin
I did stand my ground once when sil said I was being daft not allowing mcd's for dd1. Well she's nearly 4 and never eaten one and she's survived grin

Fwiw I am wih you all the way though. Juice in a bottle is negligent. Bed times are v important - kids of that age need up to 16 hours sleep for brain development etc- I think people who are slack about bed time for kids are idiots. Manners are what makes kids feel confident in social situations - why wouldn't you teach them??
Furthermore this oh you won't manage that when you have more than one kid is horses hit too. I'm a lp of two so I should know grin

Thurlow Sun 23-Jun-13 21:23:41

The pearl clutching at 'ta' is hilarious. Young kids who are just learning to talk generally start one syllable at a time. Hence 'ta'. It's not deliberate, the reason so many kids say 'ta' is because that's what they can manage!

Wonderstuff Sun 23-Jun-13 21:26:07

I think you are right. I can understand some issues from older generation tbh. I know my dm found the advice change on back to bed hard, because she went through hell trying to get me to sleep on my front because it was best advice, now to know that actually countless sleepless nights could have been avoided! I've also heard lots of 'never did us any harm' on that and on early weaning which was the thing to do in the 70s and 80s.

Not quite what you are talking about I know, but as styles change people do find it difficult to square with what they did.

I try not to judge anyone - I did what was right at the time for my dc. My firstborn didn't have a set, rigid bedtime when she was tiny, it suited us both to be free and easy. Now she is 5 she is a pig if she doesn't get enough sleep, so we are pretty rigid with a 7pm bedtime.

When they are little having different expectations of manners is difficult. I never expected mine to sit at the table after they had finished eating, sil did expect dn to stay until everyone had finished - which was confusing for the children, but neither of us was critical of the other. I wouldn't antagonise, I'd just say that is what suits my family. But then my family may have sucked teeth, but they were never openly critical of me..

PrettyKitty1986 Sun 23-Jun-13 21:28:25

Not drinking juice from a bottle, regular bedtime and saying please and thank you seem like a minimum parenting standard to me tbh...not much there for someone else to get their knickers in a twist about.

I wonder tbh if the op is a bit like a friend of mine....who seems to believe she is the first parent ever to do something (even basic thingss).When said friend gushingly tells me every detail about how her ds eats only home made organic purees, I can't help but roll my eyes and get irritated with her because of the way she states this as if she's the only one who has ever done this iyswim?

Or goes on about how important it is for her ds to remain in a steady routine. Or how she's just soo glad she got him to drop the dummy by age 2. Etc.

chocoluvva Sun 23-Jun-13 21:29:19

You came back Molten - Ta!

Ooh no, it's no good coming from an adult.

I sympathise with your irritation at the 'oldies'. (I used to make sure my baby DS was wearing the pink romper suits his sister had had as I knew it annoyed MIL. And I deliberately wait until after we've been on our thrice yearly trip to the end of the earth to the GP's to get his mop of fabulous curls trimmed as she doesn't like his hair 'long' ). It really gave/gives me pleasure. But she doesn't realise I'm deliberately rebelling against her tyranny opinions.

You need to develop a repertoire of SUBTLE passive aggressive comments that can be delivered innocently.

However, new mums have sometimes been known to be quite sensitive about comments made about their parentingwink

there is nothing wrong with an 18mo saying ta.
there is everything erong with an adult saying it. especially when they say it to an 18mo wgo can say something that actually sounds like thank you (that'z aimed at millions of people i know)
what's even worse is people saying ta to a child when they mean please (as in asking for something and they say ta over and over like dickheads)

ta is a perfectly acceptable devrlopmental stage for a developing toddler. if the adult says thank you, the child will imitate, using (usually) ta, ta-too, fanks, fank ooo then thank you as their language develops.
(otger cariations are also normal)

MoltenBlondie Sun 23-Jun-13 21:48:23

prettykitty nooo!!

As I said, I certainly didnt start by drawing attention to the things we do/don't do - find that stuff utterly boring. They got picked up on naturally and mocked. Like when we were weaning and DMIL told me DS was 'too young for red meat' (beef stew at 7 months ish) and proceeded to tell me how hers were raised on jars and mashed banana 'and it didn't do them any harm' and why was I cooking beef, where did I find the time and what was the point? It wasn't like I was going LOOK, DS is eating WAITROSE BEEF, HOW DO YOU FEEL???

But yes I'll be honest, I do draw a bit of attention to these things now, as it makes me feel better knowing I'm winding them up. And no, that isn't big or clever and I should stop!

Anyway, ta for listening and all your comments

MummyAbroad Sun 23-Jun-13 21:49:59

ta very much for explaining that to us unique

MoltenBlondie Sun 23-Jun-13 21:51:42

unique DS says 'ta' over and over when he wants something eg some food

He does a little dance where he wiggles his bum an says ta, ta, ta with arms outstretched

He's not a dickhead. It's cute.

RazzleDazzleEm Sun 23-Jun-13 21:54:21

"Ta" vile. Meaningless and pointless.

Juice in a bottle - rots teeth, the sugar accumulates at the end of mouth piece washing the pearlies with sugar and will rot teeth.

Nothing wrong with having a set bed time. But being ridged and immoveable about anything is un reasonable in my book.

Thurlow Sun 23-Jun-13 21:54:49

Ta can be cute. DD is currently working out the different between ta and please. She knows if she says ta when it should be please we look at her for a second to see if she'll work it out. Now she just follows everything with "ta peas ta?" in the hope of covering all bases.

MoltenBlondie Sun 23-Jun-13 21:57:18

Vile? Gosh yes, it really is isn't it. I humbly bow down to your judgement!

chocoluvva Sun 23-Jun-13 21:57:50

Yes, you're best to smile and nod. It'll be great practice for when your DS is a teenager!

WorraLiberty Sun 23-Jun-13 21:58:08

You could stop this conversation dead by saying, "Using the word 'ta' is part of my culture acksherly!".

Then no matter how annoying people find it, they'll leap to your defence or start wringing their hands about any criticism grin

<< Loves MN >>

WorraLiberty Sun 23-Jun-13 21:59:02

Now she just follows everything with "ta peas ta?" in the hope of covering all bases

She'll go far, that girl!! grin

MoltenBlondie Sun 23-Jun-13 22:02:08

And just to add, we taught DS 'bye' for goodbye for a while, but recently switched to goodbye when we saw he was managing the word 'good' quite nicely (says 'good dog' to our mutt) - he mastered goodbye in a matter of days. I'll know when it's time to encourage 'thank you', but he gets a real kick out of saying 'ta' so nicely, so fuck it.

Don't know why I'm explaining this anyway. Do we really care that much??

RikeBider Sun 23-Jun-13 22:03:04

In real life I have never come across people who object to babies/toddlers saying Ta grin But then I have also never come across anyone who agonises about fruit shoots or sausage rolls either.

People do feel indirectly criticised by different parenting, especially if you are rejecting something they did.

BOF Sun 23-Jun-13 22:05:17

What a load of shite they are talking about manners. If you let them slip, having another baby will be much harder. Manners (which are, afterall, simply a way of showing others consideration) get more important with subsequent children, not less.

MoltenBlondie Sun 23-Jun-13 22:07:11

worra it is indeed. Ta is Canterbury and Medway dialect for thank you, first used in Chaucer, I do believe.

Are you dissing me because I is Kentish?

Molten - of course I didn't mean your ds! adults are the culprits who say ta when they mean please!
it's normal for children because they see us say thank you when handing over stuff. so they use the word interchangeably grin
your ds does sound cute grin

MummyAbroad Sun 23-Jun-13 22:12:21

ignore the language police OP, just to wind you up I think!

I thought ta was a cockney thing? Everyone in my family says it and we are not vile

FredFredGeorge Sun 23-Jun-13 22:12:51

You sound either very oversensitive - friends, family, everyone criticises you - or you have surrounded yourself with pretty unusual people.

We do things pretty different to many, there's plenty to criticise in our choices, but no-one we know ever does to our face? (Some imply they disagree by how they act differently...)

I've nothing against ta, I'm not sure there's any point in teaching an 18month though, as you note he says it when he's giving things too - so he clearly doesn't understand thanking people.

MoltenBlondie Sun 23-Jun-13 22:16:18

Off to bed, night all! It's been fun

I teach 'ta ta' to my kids. Did it with ds and never had a problem transitioning to 'thank you' when he was able enough as he had SLT problems. Yes manners in important in any shape or form, I'm rigid with bedtimes and don't give a baby any sort of drink out of a bottle at that age. I wouldn't antagonise though. Stuff em. You really don't agree with their parenting style as much as they don't yours and you'll just put them on the defensive and make them worse. It won't make a damn bit of difference all this stuff once the kids are teenagers.

fredfred maybe he's just reminding the recipient to say thank youwink

MoltenBlondie Sun 23-Jun-13 22:22:06

unique yes that will be it grin

Nun-night, er shit, I mean night um GOODNIGHT!

in my neck of the woods nan-night is the correct form for goodnight wink

sleep tight and mind the bed bugs don't bite

FredFredGeorge Sun 23-Jun-13 22:37:01

UniqueAndAmazing That's possible, but then he's just obnoxious, so still unreasonable teaching him to do that!

Elquota Mon 24-Jun-13 00:04:56

There's nothing wrong with "ta". It's a perfectly good dialect word for "Thanks".

JenaiMorris Mon 24-Jun-13 07:33:37

If quite so many people are making snide remarks, I'd wonder if I was being insufferably smug.

The last sentence in your OP makes you sound dreadful actually.

Chandon Mon 24-Jun-13 07:35:59

Sounds like you are a bore, and as you say you deliberately antagonise them and hammer your superior approach home

You sound like you are making the right choices for your LO, so just go with it and try not to let other peoples opinions get to you.

I look at all the happy children who are friends of my DD's we are all parenting slightly differently, but the children are happy and thriving so who's to say whose way is the best. We are all making what we believe are the right choices.

If you acknowledge you are being antagonistic you may wish to address this <ahem> or you could find you are a pain in the arse to be around

Beamae Mon 24-Jun-13 12:43:39

I don't think the OP is smugly lecturing everyone on her superior choices though. She is having her choices challenged and belittled, forcing her to defend her decisions.

JenaiMorris Mon 24-Jun-13 12:55:37

But she's getting it from dozens of people - that's not normal!

Either she's taking general chit chat about different approaches as criticism far too readily, or she's getting people's backs up.

As a new parent it's easy to fall into either trap.

Feminine Mon 24-Jun-13 12:58:02

Is "ta" considered a more casual form of "Thank you?"

I use it, so does my Mum.

Just wondering...

cantdecideonanewname Mon 24-Jun-13 13:09:49

I said this to my DH in regards to my choice to try and breast feed, neither of our mothers or SIL etc etc breast fed and they seemed to take my decision to breast feed as me insulting the choices they all made. They seemed to take pleasure in my feeding not working out very well too.

They've had/have their babies and did/do it their own way. Keep parenting your child your way.

CecilyP Mon 24-Jun-13 13:11:44

Agreed, RazzleDazzle, two of OPs examples are just different ways of doing things. Neither exactly right or wrong, though I think I have the same negative reaction to 'ta'.

Where juice in a bottle is concerned, OP is 100% right, and perhaps her mum is the one being a snob if she is suggesting only a certain demographic know the effects of juice in a bottle on teeth.

2rebecca Mon 24-Jun-13 13:19:04

My kids said ta when they were toddlers, now they are teenagers they say thanks. They don't talk about moo cows any more either, to me it's just age appropriate language.
I don't think it matters how formal your thank you is as long as you say it. I'd rather my kids said ta than nothing.

fred - it was a joke.

Feminine - it is casual, yes. Perfectly acceptable within normal casual situations (such as within family, or close friends, when someone hands you something etc. not for more formal situations where you might need to use thank you. such as a shop, or a visit etc)

I think this is getting a bit blown out of proportion here

MiaowTheCat Mon 24-Jun-13 14:30:59

Ta as the precursor to thank you when they're old enough - no problem at all. DD1 said it in the correct context for the first time today and it made my morning (then she wouldn't have a nap which un-made it!)

However waffling on about parenting styles - ffs - quit seeking a bloody label and just bloody do it and enjoy your kids without worrying that the rest of the planet's doing it the same way (and that goes for everyone)!

MoltenBlondie Mon 24-Jun-13 14:50:07

Ack, please, I am not a parenting bore! I didn't start by drawing attention to my choices, it was other people's choice to draw attention to them and make me feel like I had to defend myself

And, look, we are not talking about masses of people - just three immediate family members and a couple of friends. Most people, quite rightly, could not give a shit.

But for people here who are claiming I am being over sensitive and seeing criticism where there is none, just look at how many people have had something to say about TA!

I don't bang on about things, i hate labels eg 'attachment', 'blw', I don't stick pictures on my Facebook wall, advertising my choices eg "Harry getting to grips with BLW" or shite like that - as at least three people I know have done!

Elquota Mon 24-Jun-13 16:07:25

> Is "ta" considered a more casual form of "Thank you?"

Yes, it's more casual and perhaps more friendly too. In certain parts of the country it's not in any way unusual for adults to use "ta", to friends, to a shopkeeper or bus driver etc.

MadeOfStarDust Mon 24-Jun-13 16:23:48

Everyone's parenting style is different -

we have never had rigid bedtimes here - too much going on, too much travelling about, too many ill relatives to care for and visit etc.... the kids fit in with our family life... they are 10 and 12 now and can still fall asleep to order...

maybe they think having a rigid bedtime is building up trouble if things do change.. rigid bedtimes can end up meaning a child can't get to sleep easily any other time, so why do it deliberately....

you see..... I sound judgy .... because my way works for me....

LillyGrinter Mon 24-Jun-13 19:07:01

I'm with 'MadeOfStarDust' regarding bedtimes. I aim for 7PM but life often pushes it to a later time and at weekends I get a lie in if DD goes to bed later. I don't give juice at all but still giving milk in a bottle at bedtime and DD started saying Ta at 1 when she started at nursery. One thing I've come to realise is thatParenting is a not an exact science!

chocoluvva Mon 24-Jun-13 23:12:10

Who knew that 'ta' is such a fraught term of thanks? shock

ZiaMaria Tue 25-Jun-13 09:08:54

This has been an education. Ta. smile

We have a routine much like yours OP (though no words yet). Deviation from the routine does occur occasionally, but DD gets a bit cranky so we try to keep it fixed.

You sound like a great mum.

Smithlings Tue 25-Jun-13 10:19:32

I think all your choices sound very sensible, so if you're family are picking at you, it's probably because they know that really and feel a bit guilty/envious. It will wear off in time when they see your children growing up into lovely young people!

Lol Mrs MangoBiscuit - my DD3 is exactly the same - she gets so much praise for her charming manners she works it for all she's worth! They're not stupid!

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