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MIL - ladies first rule...

(198 Posts)
Summertimeandlivingiseasy Tue 19-Feb-19 06:01:22

AIBU to feel that is not necessary lesson for a 6 year old. Staying at MIL for 2 week holiday. She encourages kids to eat healthily and behave on promise of a sweet treat. (Which I don't mind) my 6 year old gets all excited when she gets the sweet box out but then MIL insists his 8 year old sister can choose first as it's polite to let 'ladies to go first'. He then gets upset as his big sister always gets things before him. We've always taught them guests first and have occassionaly mentioned ladies first. Is it something everyone teaches their sons from a young age? Is it fair with siblings?

easyandy101 Tue 19-Feb-19 08:21:29

Ah the arrogance of male

tbf I let anyone sit down before me for the above reason, man woman or child. If a train or tube fills up I'm either already standing or I'll stand up cos I know o don't need to sit and someone else may prefer to or need to

Queenofthestress Tue 19-Feb-19 08:22:36

@easyandy101 tell men being stronger to my dp who will gladly admit that if I decked him one I'd probably break something (as a joke for all those that'd get their panties in a twist) grin

EvaHarknessRose Tue 19-Feb-19 08:23:55

It’s her preference? In her house. It is your place to teach him different if you wish, or model a different attitude, but surely not to dictate how she serves her grandchildren while hosting them.

easyandy101 Tue 19-Feb-19 08:28:18

@easyandy101 tell men being stronger to my dp who will gladly admit that if I decked him one I'd probably break something (as a joke for all those that'd get their panties in a twist)

Same with my partner, have actually been in a ring with her and had my arse handed to me grin

OftenHangry Tue 19-Feb-19 08:31:01

Re the "ladies first in a door". It's supposed to be only to familiar settings. If it's unknown place, the gent used to go first in case there was a threat/bar fight etc.

StillCoughingandLaughing Tue 19-Feb-19 08:35:14

Isn’t it a bit hypocritical to get annoyed with your mother-in-law for doing this when you admit you’ve ‘occasionally mentioned’ the concept of ladies first yourself? Is it the concept that annoys you, or the fact that it’s her pushing it?

blackteasplease Tue 19-Feb-19 08:36:18

This never applied to childten in the first place I don't imagine! Taking turns I is a better rule for kids.

easyandy sounds like you are pretty fair minded to me. I think it's good to have in mind that men are usually physically stronger etc. We don't want the fit and able bodied males pushing old grannies out of the way to get to train seats, as seems to happen where I live!

MumW Tue 19-Feb-19 08:36:24

I think at 6 he's old enough to understand that Granny has outdated ideas and rules that we sometimes don't entirely agree with. Talk to them both about manners, sharing, being polite, etc
If his older sister always takes the last/only favourite sweet then you need to talk to her about being selfish and sometimes asking her younger brother if he'd like it this time.

I don't think you are going to change Granny's behaviour as this is what she was taught is the correct etiquette. Maybe mention in a jovial manner that with the progress in equality, her views are a little out of date.

Cranky17 Tue 19-Feb-19 08:39:16

It’s her preference? In her house. It is your place to teach him different if you wish, or model a different attitude, but surely not to dictate how she serves her grandchildren while hosting them

Does that work though if it works out to be negative for a child though say for example the boy was offered more food because he was a boy?

Op get them to take turns

Thehop Tue 19-Feb-19 08:40:40

We take turns.

thecatsthecats Tue 19-Feb-19 08:41:42

I think that any sort of default rule for siblings is asking for trouble of some sort.

Eldest gets the biggest bedroom.
Youngest gets to pick first.
Ladies first etc.

Any one of those means one child is on a permanent back foot. Hardly a great way to organise things. Either make decisions based upon their practical sense, give equally, or reward for specific things, e.g., "You can go first because you were so polite to the lady in the shop."

Questionsmorequestions Tue 19-Feb-19 08:45:08

It’s an opportunity to discuss the ‘ladies first’ tradition with your daughter and perhaps suggest in the interest of fairness and equality that she declines next time and lets her sibling go first.

Fishwifecalling Tue 19-Feb-19 08:47:33

Nope. Equality in this house.

AlaskanOilBaron Tue 19-Feb-19 08:52:05

Why don't you just let her have this?

We've raised our boys to be gallant where women are concerned and I hardly care if this makes me sexist.

AveAtqueVale Tue 19-Feb-19 08:54:57

I generally drum into my DS1 (4, DS2 is still a bit little at only 18 months) that he should always offer anything (sweets, biscuits etc) to anybody else around first. And that pushing in to get through a doorway or grab the best toy first is a quick way to get sent back to do it again. And that he should offer to help carry things when possible, hold doors for anyone coming behind him, and, providing he’s capable of standing, he should offer his seat to anyone who hasn’t got one, as generally people will only say yes if they need it more than he does. I put all this under the heading of ‘being nice’ and am unsure why I should be trying to teach him to be nicer to girls than to other boys.

Mummyoflittledragon Tue 19-Feb-19 09:01:49

All this is doing is instilling a false sense of superiority in your dd and to learn her place as a China doll. As for your ds, yes to creating grudges. I think Question has it. Your dd is old enough to tell grandma in your family you take turns with you backing her up.

diddl Tue 19-Feb-19 09:04:23

"I think at 6 he's old enough to understand that Granny has outdated ideas and rules that we sometimes don't entirely agree with. "

I agree with that.

I mean does it really matter who gets to choose their sweet first?

Or does your daughter always take what he would like?

F1amingo Tue 19-Feb-19 09:08:24

Some people on MN will literally make an argument out of thin air. Yes, of course, you teach your DS’ to offer their seat for women, let them go first, etc etc. What is the alternative fgs? It doesn’t need a big song and dance made about it, but I can’t fathom why some women can’t differentiate between basic chivalry / good manners and misogyny. The two are not the same at all. Only on MN do people get worked up about this kind of thing. Why?

AmIRightOrAMeringue Tue 19-Feb-19 09:09:13

I think fairness and politeness are important. To me that means turn taking and then when they're older, giving guests / friends the opportunity to choose first when offering things around. I don't think teaching children to treat other children differently dependent on their sex is a great idea. Why should they be more polite to girls? They should be polite to everyone! I don't like doing anything to reinforce that girls are 'different' or we need to be more gentle with them. I have two girls and already the eldest tries to take turns first as she's the eldest and I try and explain it's fairer for everyone to take turns having a first go

Wheresthebeach Tue 19-Feb-19 09:09:43

Its irritating but your DS is waiting, what, 2 seconds before choosing a sweet? Unless your DD is taunting him over it then he really should be able to cope.

In the grand scheme of things, I'd just explain to DS and DD that MIL is a bit old fashioned. Frankly I'd encourage DD to let DS go first next time - or ask him which one he'd like and hand it over to him.

Give them the context, and relax about it. Frankly I'd be more pissed about sweets as rewards for behaviour. If one doesn't behave properly will she refuse them the treat? Food as a method to control behaviour makes my blood boil - old lady being, well, a creature of her time - not so much.

BrizzleMint Tue 19-Feb-19 09:10:48

We don't do it but if I'm on a sinking ship I'll happily go with women first - after my children. Anybody else can fuck right off, those lifeboat spaces are ours come hell or high water.

Sharing chocolates here is a free for all - you randomly get the box to choose if you win the scrum

PBo83 Tue 19-Feb-19 09:17:18

I think in this example that taking turns would be better but I'm not sure it's worth getting into a row with your mother-in-law about.

I was bought up on 'ladies first' and, whilst I don't use the expression, I still follow what others would call 'old fashioned'. I will, for example, open a door, give up a seat, pull out a chair etc. I am fully aware that women are just as capable of opening doors, standing up and moving chairs as men but I believe there is still room for 'gentlemanly' behaviour in the 21st century.

1stTimeMama Tue 19-Feb-19 09:19:31

@easyandy101 I think you've got it right, and the idea that men like you are being battled in to near extinction, is quite sad.

Keep holding those doors open!

FlagranceDirect Tue 19-Feb-19 09:20:44

Perhaps the lesson is not so much about 'ladies first', but about learning to have some patience.

MereDintofPandiculation Tue 19-Feb-19 09:20:48

Funny how many people seem opposed to it but never in my life has anyone ever turned down a seat I've offered, or insisted that I do indeed go first if I wave someone ahead. Because it's much easier all round to accept graciously that to stop and argue with you about it.

Where fo the non-elderly visibly disabled fit into to your hierarchy of people you give way to?

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