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AIBU over not forcing a child to say please or thank you

(116 Posts)
ScrumpyBetty Sun 22-Nov-15 19:46:57

AIBU to think that teaching my child manners is not teaching him to blindly follow orders? I am interested in people's opinions after reading a Facebook post of an acquaintance, which basically said that she will never force her child to say please, thank you, give hugs etc if he doesn't want to because she wants her child to respect her and not to have to say please or thank you if he doesn't mean it. She equated teaching a child manners to blindly getting them to follow orders. Now I don't agree with this, but loads of people came on and supported her post, commenting that she was such an inspirational parent and that they fully agreed with her.
I am interested in what other people think.

Only1scoop Sun 22-Nov-15 19:48:37

Basic manners will take you far.

What a load of crap

BrandNewAndImproved Sun 22-Nov-15 19:49:53


My dc have always had to say please, that k you, excuse me and the MN looked down on pardon me.

Even when they were babies they couldn't have a biscuit without saying ta.

Your fb friend is a dickhead and is failing her dc on purpose over not teaching this basic life skill.

Aeroflotgirl Sun 22-Nov-15 19:51:26

Yabvu please and thank yiu are basic manners all kids should be taught. Kids that demand and do not say please or thank yiu, really get on my wick.

museumum Sun 22-Nov-15 19:51:33

I don't think kids should be forced to hug or kiss.
But saying please and thank you is something that needs to become automatic in this culture. We say both. A lot. And it appears rude to us to not. Most other countries don't say them so much but then in other countries cheek kisses are required and expected whereas here they're not.
So I agree with half her post and not the other half.

MaisieDotes Sun 22-Nov-15 19:51:52

I've heard of this with regard to giving hugs and kisses, i.e. none of this "give Auntie Glenda a kiss" when the child is obviously reluctant, which I think is fair enough.

Applying it to basic manners is a bit of a stretch though and won't do the child any favours in the long run.

Supermanspants Sun 22-Nov-15 19:52:21

What a load of bollox. There really are some odd people in the world. Does she plan on her kid adopting the same approach when they start school? Idiotic woman.

Aeroflotgirl Sun 22-Nov-15 19:52:11

Only on Mumsnet. It's lovely to hear a polite child, as opposed to a rude one.

Fairylea Sun 22-Nov-15 19:53:13

Saying please and thank you is nothing to do with taking orders, it's basic common courtesy. To be honest sometimes we do need to follow orders from people too, for our own advancement and safety. Nothing wrong in teaching them that too! What a load of old crap she posted smile

Sparklycat Sun 22-Nov-15 19:53:20

She sounds like a right idiot and would not be my friend. I look forward to teaching her arrogant and rude child in 10 years time angry

LBOCS2 Sun 22-Nov-15 19:53:06

Having good manners, respecting people around you, speaking well to everyone, is a basic life skill which is essential to be taught.

At a very basic level, people will start to not want to do things for others who don't seem to appreciate it. If nothing else, expressing those sorts of niceties eases the way in life for people and makes those around them feel better as well, making them more popular.

She's failing in that. YANBU.

lexigrey Sun 22-Nov-15 19:53:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

GoApeShit Sun 22-Nov-15 19:53:58

Load of shite.

Basic manners are important. If, as a parent, you're not teaching your child this then what are you teaching them?

I'm baffled as to where this 'manners = blindly following orders' logic comes from, too.

Cooroo Sun 22-Nov-15 19:54:02

Force is a strong word. I taught DD manners by demonstrating manners in my behaviour. If you say please and thank you to your DC and those about you, they will absorb them as they do other social skills. Never felt the need to 'force' her. Maybe the occasional gentle reminder! Perhaps that's what your friend meant? (At 19 my DD has excellent manners so it worked.)

lighteningirl Sun 22-Nov-15 19:55:25

Depends if you want to like your own teenage children or spend those years sobbing into your wine glass regretting your bad decisions in their early years.

ConstanceMarkYaBitch Sun 22-Nov-15 19:55:17

You just know her kid is one of those horrible brats wh nobody wants to be friends with theirs.

Katymac Sun 22-Nov-15 19:55:37

Maybe I'm daft but sometimes you have to do stuff you don't want to because that's just the way life is

Please & thank you, excuse me & sorry etc are just things that are necessary imo alog with a certain amount of turn taking and sharing

PiperIsTerrysChoclateOrange Sun 22-Nov-15 19:56:12

If DC don't say please or thank you then they don't get what they want.

Mummy I want a sweet < don't get> or mummy can I have a sweet please < it's either a yes or once you have had your dinner>

Manners are important and it's a habit that should be taught young.

Aeroflotgirl Sun 22-Nov-15 19:56:18

Sorry your acquaintance sounds like she needs to be taught manners herself. Please and thank you are common courtesy, if you use them yourself in front of your child, they shoukd pick that up. So she's reaching her child to be rude and obstinate. Ok he does not have to give a hug or kiss if he is reluctant, but please, thank you and excuse me, are essential courtesy.

AnnaMarlowe Sun 22-Nov-15 19:57:34

My children have been brought up to ask politely. Usually that means please and thank you but not always.

I have a friend that even when a child has asked very politely (eg 'Excuse me Louise may I have another drink' belabours the 'say please' which annoys me no end.

Scarydinosaurs Sun 22-Nov-15 19:57:25

Surely you only teach your child to say please and thank you for when they're being given something??

Isn't that the right time to say please and thank you? Why would it ever be wrong?

BertieBotts Sun 22-Nov-15 19:59:08

I don't know. I never forced DS to say it, just modelled it and explained what it meant when he was old enough and most of the time at 7 he says it automatically, obviously he needs reminding sometimes, like all kids, but honestly he does normally say it without me saying anything at all, and he genuinely seems to mean it too.

By not forcing I mean that I never did the thing of holding something just out of reach until they say please, or making him repeat it after me, and I've never required an apology. Obviously you'd encourage it, like saying "Did you say thank you to Aunty for the present?" and if he'd done something wrong or accidentally hurt somebody then I'd normally explain that it helps make things right if you say sorry.

It doesn't mean that you don't ever get them to say it, it's just more of a learning approach than getting them to learn it by rote and parrot it off. I've never ever had a sulky sorry from DS - it's always been heartfelt. Sometimes it takes longer to come but it does, and I think it's better. Just my opinion, though. I can see the argument for getting them to say it automatically without thinking, too.

LimboNovember Sun 22-Nov-15 19:59:20

Forcing hugging and kissing is totally different to basic manners!

Its not polite or manners to hug or kiss!

Having said that, children learn to say please and thank you, as they go along, I dont come down heavy on a toddler who is learning all basic words when they dont say it.

I have older dc who are very polite, say please and thank you, I didnt harang and nag and make a huge spectacle of please and thank you when they were little.

TheDowagerCuntess Sun 22-Nov-15 19:59:26

She is conflating two issues - no, children absolutely shouldn't have to hug and kiss people they don't want to.

But if they want a smooth path through life, then the ability to say a simple 'please' and 'thank you' will make a great deal of difference. Or rather, not saying them is a sure-fire way to find yourself routinely ostracised.

LimboNovember Sun 22-Nov-15 20:00:40

Bertie I agree with you.

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