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AIBU to expect a 12 year old to have some basic manners?

(24 Posts)
loudee Sat 01-Oct-11 19:12:10

To cut a long story short I was asked to do a favour for a 12 year old by their parents. I was happy to do so. The 3 of them came round yesterday so I could do what I'd been asked to. The child did not say please or thank you, or even say hello, and the parents didn't prompt them to do so. I feel quite shocked and consider that to be rude, but I don't have children of my own so would welcome any views as to whether this is generally acceptable behaviour and I'm being pompous?

Btw, the favour was something the child really wanted to happen, not something they were being forced into.

I hope this isn't too evasive to get the point across but don't want to go into identifying detail!


RedHelenB Sat 01-Oct-11 19:14:01

Manners cost nothing and as a parent I would expect my kids to say thank you to someone who had done them a favour.

beararse Sat 01-Oct-11 19:14:38

YANBU. My 4 year old thanks others, often but not always without prompting, and always says please. I'd find it very rude of a 12 year old not to thank someone who had helped them in some way.

BeerTricksPotter Sat 01-Oct-11 19:15:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AgentZigzag Sat 01-Oct-11 19:16:48

My 21 month old is nicely getting to grips with please and thank you, so there's no excuse for a 12 YO.

Could he have been swept up in what you were doing and just forgot?

It's possible you'll get a thank you card and/or present when they realise they've forgotten?

ChippingIn Sat 01-Oct-11 19:17:27

I was wondering if it was something that was being done 'for the good of the child' as I was reading through it, but as it wasn't and it was something the child actually wanted then it is very rude. However, some people (children & adults alike) are really painfully shy and not very good at expressing their gratitude - maybe this child is used to their parents doing that for them. Did they??

AgentZigzag Sat 01-Oct-11 19:21:01

My Dad finds it incredibly difficult to say thank you for things, I'm not completely sure why confused

It's not because he's ungrateful or anything.

BrawToken Sat 01-Oct-11 19:22:12

Slightly different pov here...

Teenagers (and 12 yo's) are a pain in the arse and I expect his parents were mortified and took him home and gave him a bollocking grin

My dd is 13 and embarrasses me in this way from time to time. I have sanctioned/shouted/grounded/withdrawn treats and pocket money all to no avail. She's got a filthy attitude sometimes and it makes me want to kill her the ground to swallow me up.

WinterIsComing Sat 01-Oct-11 19:24:45

YANBU to expect basic manners. Our neighbour's children (all over 11) turn up at the door saying things like, "got any bog roll till tomorrow?"

My Dad's the same, AZ. He can't say "please" either so you'll get, "you're going to have to do xyz for me" It's quite clever actually hmm not giving someone the option of saying no.

LynetteScavo Sat 01-Oct-11 19:25:08

If the childs social skills were not advanced enough for them to remember to say "please" and "thank you" the parents should have prompted them.

Did the parents just take over and do all the talking/thanking? I can imagine if the child is shy the parents are used to just taking over the situation.

I still have to give my 12 yo a nudge occasionally after a sleepover to get him to say "thanks for having me". Obviously I will have already profusely thanked the other parent, so I can see how DS might think "Thanks, bye" is sufficient from him.

troisgarcons Sat 01-Oct-11 19:25:55

Could be - but I doubt it - that its one of those rare seen-and-not heard children. I dont think my 15yo spoke to an adult outside of the family/school until he was 12-ish - excruciatingly shy. Unlike his year older brother that would (and could) talk the hind leg off a donkey with any stray random person that happened along!

I have to say, now he's 15, he is the most confident and self assured young man going - still not too keen on small talk with "strangers" but we are working on it!

zest01 Sat 01-Oct-11 19:29:58

My 12 yo DD is very shy around grown ups, not really sure why but sometimes she totally clams up even around people she has known for years. It is hard because I do sometimes feel acutely aware that people think her rude when she doesn't chat to them or gives one word answers to questions about school etc. I do always prompt her to remember her manners but even then I feel that sometimes people are thinking that at her age she shouldn't have to be reminded. The thing is I KNOW she isn't rude or ungrateful but just painfully shy and self awareand I do try to explain that to people (out of her earshot of course) but I still feel a bit awkward about it.

I'm not saying this is the case here at all and of course good manners are important and should be remembered but 12 is a very awkward age, when DC go through a lot of emotional and physical changes. Hopefully the child or parents will show their appreciation in some way - I certainly would in that situation.

Feminine Sat 01-Oct-11 19:33:19

Strange as it sounds that age group are notorious for being too shy to use manners.

As a tiny boy my (now) 12/13 year old would thank everyone -no prompting ...these days ...well, you can just see he is uncomfortable.

Its not that he doesn't use his manners ,its more that they just slide out of the corner of his mouth with a perplexed look on his face!

It was rude, YANBU but I guess he will grow up and adjust to be a part of society. Most teens do!

AgentZigzag Sat 01-Oct-11 19:37:14

Strangely my Dad phrases things like that too Winter, I try not to let it put me off if I want to say no grin

I think it's because he doesn't feel comfortable asking for favours, and is embarrassed when people give him stuff.

He'll do anything to help anyone, so it's not because he's an arse.

LikeACandleButNotQuite Sat 01-Oct-11 19:45:45

tbf, if the parents aren't polite enough to encourage a thank you out of their child then is it any wonder the 12yo does not realise the importance of please or thank you?

elmofan Sat 01-Oct-11 19:50:29

You went out of your way to do a favour for this child , no matter what age they are you deserve a thank You . My ds is 12 and still remembers his manners . He can be a nightmare at times but at least he is a polite nightmare wink

Feminine Sat 01-Oct-11 19:50:36

Thing is candle, its not always that simple. grin

Teens do some very strange things ...much to the surprise of the parents!

In these situations its not always the parents fault ...not an excuse -more of a reason IYSWIM?

Ragwort Sat 01-Oct-11 19:56:20

I think the parents are equally rude not to have prompted him when he didn't thank you. Still, basic manners seem missing in an awful lot of people <oldfartemoticon>.

We've just had supper at Pizza Hut a restaurant, as we left my DS turned and thanked me for taking him out for a meal (unprompted) - an elderly couple looked at him in amazement and actually said, 'what a lovely polite boy you've got there' ! grin

madmomma Sat 01-Oct-11 19:58:19

YANBU. No excuse for lack of manners IMO. Can't bear it & my dd knew from a young age that she'd never hear the end of it from me if she forgot her manners.

loudee Sat 01-Oct-11 19:58:42

chippingIn There was no thank you from parents either, I almost expected them to quietly say as they left, but just got a cheerful goodbye. They seemed quite happy so I don't think I did anything to upset them.

My friends with younger children seem to approach manners very early on, like you agentzigzag so I am quite taken aback. You are right to point out I might get a card or acknowledgement if/when they realise but I'm leaning towards cynicism as I can't see why all 3 of them would forget.

It's not so much the fact it was directed at me, more the fact it didn't seem unusual enough to be commented on confused

LikeACandleButNotQuite Sat 01-Oct-11 19:58:48

But feminine, its more that the parents didnt prompt him. I would allow for teenage shyness / lack of manners in this situation, but not the parents

loudee Sat 01-Oct-11 20:07:50

oh i'm slow at responding! thank you for pointing out the teenage years can be tough, i'm sure i was monosyllabic and uncomfortable around people myself sometimes and it's easy to forget what it's like. I think my parents did always take the lead for me though

Maryz Sat 01-Oct-11 20:19:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bilblio Sat 01-Oct-11 20:24:30

YANBU. DD is 4 and we're currently drilling manners into her (and the neighbours child in the process.) DD is generally very polite with other people, but we want manners to be second nature and her to use them at home too.
It must be working because she got a special treat this week at school because her manners were so good. smile

Okay he's a teenager, hormones etc, but you're helping him he should still be polite and parents should have pulled him up on it. If they didn't I would guess they never have done and so manners aren't second nature for him, or them!

I keep telling DD that manners get you a long way in this world. In my past I did a lot of customer service/complaints jobs. The people who were polite and grateful for my help were always more likely to get their problems solved than the grumpy person who shouted or didn't say please.... often because I was reluctant to phone them back.

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