I have a lovely little boy (4 and 1 month) who was a late talker. It never worried me and his speech/vocabulary are excellent now (likes the occasional bout of gibberish, but who doesn't...).
Anyway, he is definitely in a "speaking his mind" phase of life: "go away!" (to other children at school who go up to him and say "hi!" Very pleasantly), "stop talking to me!" (When you ask him something when he is doing something else) and "get out of the lift! Now!" (To some poor complete strangers at Waitrose car park). A few other stonking examples to strangers too . He is also ridiculously bossy: quite frightening when I "observe from a distance" sometimes (I like to let him make his own friendships/relationships without me interfering too much, unless necessary).
I don't take what he says to heart, but I am pretty mortified when he is rude to strangers or to his various grandparents or friends.
Obviously I explain that it isn't nice or rude etc and if he does it again, we will go home (or whatever is suitable). This deters him short term, but 4 year olds have short memories...
Any tips how I can encourage him out of this rude phase - it really isn't nice at all. He isn't horrible, he just lacks the "social graces" that make us either not say what is on our mind or at least put it more politely (like "please be quiet Grandma until I have finished this").
Not site if I'm any help as I've only got a 2.5yr old but we seem to be going through a similar stage. So I have been explaining manners and I call please and thank you the magic word. If he barks an order at me I say what's the magic word or more recently can you use your manners and now he will repeat the phrase with please on the end. I then reward him lots when using these words of his own thinking. He also doesn't get what he wants until he uses the magic words.
DS is also into mr men books @ the mr rude one is quite good so I now refer to him as mr rude when he sounds rude