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should we be teaching our grandchildren manners

(92 Posts)
etheltbags1 Thu 06-Oct-16 09:20:05

Last week I dropped DGD off at the other grans and she knocked at the door, gran A opened the door and said she doesnt need to knock as she could just walk in. I explained that my DD is teaching her manners. She then said her son never knocked on anyones door and no one knocks on her door. I was horrified.
DD tells me that gran A tells DGD not to say thank you to grandparents because they are family. SIL says he never said thank you to anyone.
I am shocked because although I was brought up with very little in the way of material advantages, I was taught manners. I do think that DGD should knock on anyones door, if she walked in they might be undressed or worse. I told SIL that I was taught to knock then wait to be asked in then wait to asked to be seated then wait to be asked to take my coat off. He has never heard of this.
I think this is about respect for others. Am I being old fashioned.

pollyperkins Thu 06-Oct-16 10:43:24

I do agree with please and thankyou and all my GC have been taught that. However I wouldn't expect them to knock on the door - we know when they are expected as they
I've a long way away, and they love to creep in and 'surprise' me! They are also taught to wash hands before meals and to ask to leave the table. When my C were little they had a friend who when he came to tea always chanted in a rush 'thankyouformylovelymealpleasemayIgetdown?' My children were very taken with this and for a while they all said that too. Instead of please may leave the table? Which I had taught them!

pollyperkins Thu 06-Oct-16 10:45:49

They do however always knock on the bedroom door when they come in in the mornings!
They take off their shoes as they've been taught that at home, but I wouldn't expect them to wait to be asked to take coats off or sit down! They usually rush straight upstairs to find the toys and bring them down to play!

granfromafar Thu 06-Oct-16 10:46:41

Ehelbags - manners aside, I am surprised that Gran A doesn't lock her front door! Is it open for anyone to walk in?
Thankfully my GC are learning the same manners that we taught their parents, including asking if they can leave the table after a meal, though they sometimes need reminding as they are quite young.

foxie Thu 06-Oct-16 10:49:20

Children need walls, it give them a sense of security and confidence in what they can or can't do. In our house our rules applied, irrespective of what their parents or their other G'parents allowed and although in the beginning there were tears and tantrums they still loved to visit. I agree that parents are the real guiding factors but I don't agree that children's bad manners and behavior should be allowed to come over my threshold. When the children grow to adulthood they will think no less of you.

Seasidenana Thu 06-Oct-16 10:50:33

My grandchildren ask if they can leave the table. They are aged 6 and 3. My daughter and son in law have taught them that, no influence from me or anyone else. I must say they are a pleasure to take out to restaurants as they know how to behave. They love dressing up and going out.

I don't expect my family to knock on my door, but I do like some warning they are coming, even if it's a text 10 minutes before.

oldgaijin Thu 06-Oct-16 10:52:25

"Manners maketh the man"...good manners are a sign of respect for others. First impressions are often based on a man's/woman's manners, so important in eg a job interview. You could be as thick they come, but good manners will impress.

Jaxie Thu 06-Oct-16 10:56:37

I love, "Please may I leave the table" even though it seems Victorian. My pet hate is the way grandchildren leave stuff all over the floor. "What's that doing on Benson's peg?" I ask, which amuses them as I stand over them and demand they tidy up. The problem with modern kids is they have a tremendous sense of entitlement: they interrupt adult conversations, they demand material goods, they ignore you because their faces are glued to their tablets & phones. It's not their fault; adults are not equipping them with civility and they want the moon on a stick. I feel sorry for kids today as they are bombarded with ghastly info and images which must clutter their minds with things that shouldn't concern children. Compare kids in the UK with their Syrian refugee counterparts: it breaks your heart.

goose1964 Thu 06-Oct-16 10:57:44

my grandsons ask to get down from the table & say thank you if they are given something. I even thank DH for coffee when he makes me one & he does the same. My dad is very hot on this so it's definiely come down through the family

Gagagran Thu 06-Oct-16 10:58:17

My DGC have all grown up saying "Please may I leave the table? Thank you for my lunch/dinner/tea(whichever it was)". It's something we've always done.

We also say what my Dad used to say "All uncooked joints off the table" meaning no elbows! The DGCs love that and say it for us if we forget and someone puts their elbows on the table.

I see instilling good manners as equipping children for the future wherever it may lead them.I think it's not so much that everyone has a different definition but that there is a standard which most do recognise even if they don't see it as necessary for today's more relaxed way of living.

Cherrytree59 Thu 06-Oct-16 11:04:19

My DGC have the run of our house.
We have great fun.
But if they want something then it should be please
If given something then thank you or ta if tots.
If they do something accidental (knock over the ming vase) then 'Sorry'
They start with a spoon which over a period of time, naturally develops to a knife and fork. No cutlery etiquette

trica My three year old GS doesn't actually say 'please can I leave the table?' but again as a natural thing he will say 'can I go and play?'. Which he will get a yes or no response to.
When we have a family meal or friends round I have never known anybody wander off to do there own thing. Everybody waits while others are still eating.
When its just DH and I eating by our selves at the table we wait until the other has finished eating before getting up. Its what I suppose you could call natural manners as its polite but done without thinking
My DD will help herself to fruit etc but will always say hope you don't mind I've had...'. I will say that's ok and she will say thanks.
My DD has a key to our house which to my mind is still her home.
If I'm at her house looking after GC then I help myself and then say 'thanks for the doughnut it was lovely'grin
Teaching children manners should just be part of daily life and all small children copy the adults around them so if you as adults mind you 'Ps & Qs'
Then so will the wee ones

meandashy Thu 06-Oct-16 11:06:46

Manners are extremely important in my house. Dgc lives with me. I expect please and thank you & excusing yourself from the table when everyone has finished eating. I'm still youngish (44) & sadly I find the people with the least manners seem to be my mum's generation! Eg talking during minutes silence in a shop, not saying thanks when given a seat on a bus, no please when being served in shops. I can't abide bad manners and have been known to say loudly 'you're welcome ' or ' it's fine' when people don't acknowledge a good deed!!

Claudiaclaws Thu 06-Oct-16 11:07:59

My Grandaughter says "please may I leave the table." She's 7. If you don't expect good manners, you won't get them, it's all about training right from the start.
If the children do not use manners with their Grandparents, I suspect they will not use them with other people.

Everthankful Thu 06-Oct-16 11:19:54

Afraid that the lack of manners and therefore lack of respect, has contributed to a generation or two of selfish people with a sense of entitlement that they have not earned or deserve. I have always instilled that manners matter with my children and grandchildren. My family always come in without knocking and grandchildren run straight up to me for a cuddle but ask politely for drinks, snacks, toys etc. It all comes down to respect, which unfortunately, is severely lacking in the youth of today

Jalima Thu 06-Oct-16 11:36:23

The parents in our family teach manners and we uphold that teaching when the DGC visit.

I am not sure that knocking on the door if it is open counts as manners, but 'minding your ps and qs' and 'please may I get down from the table/have a drink' etc is.

TriciaF Thu 06-Oct-16 11:36:40

I'm so glad to hear that so many grandchildren ask to leave the table smile Sadly, I see so little of ours, as they live far away, but some of them were here in the summer, and were polite.
One DGD is a feisty little thing, and we corrected her once - my husband had passed wind and she laughed and said 'he's farted'. Husband was offended so I went to fetch her to apologise, which she did.
I think it's part of showing them that different people have different standards. I don't think her other Grandad would have minded.

jack Thu 06-Oct-16 11:52:04

I don't think it's a case of overruling parents, Annibach. I think it's just a case of having one's own rules and standards, and sticking to them. Just because the stressed and exhausted parents haven't got time to remind the children about polite and unselfish behaviour, it doesn't mean grandparents haven't got the time. We have. And in a loving family no-one should resent a bit of nudging from the older, wiser (?!) generation. My own grandparents (on both sides) were incredibly strict about all sorts of things, but we didn't mind. We were fascinated. And now OUR grandchildren like and respect our own preferences re. manners. This also extends to grammar and pronunciation - but I imagine that's another thread!

Nelliemaggs Thu 06-Oct-16 12:00:24

I had a big hand in bringing up two of my grandchildren from a very young age and I made sure they learned the manners expected by their parents. Manners are one thing but rules are another and it is definitely a case of 'my house, my rules'. I know that children tell all so I am not going to ply them with too many sweet treats or let them do things that might upset their parents but they have freedom to get messy/dirty/wet/silly/untidy etc. while still utilising please/thank you/sorry and excuse me.
As for what they get away with at their other grandparents who see them less often, it has nothing to do with me even if the adventures they recount and I see on videos make my hair stand on end.
My youngest GC notes every burp and fart with a comment, often incorrectly attributing it and sometimes embarrassingly loudly. They all learn soon enough that it isn't acceptable to make a thing of it but it's an innocent enough reaction in my book.
Where I live in a major city it is unthinkable to leave the front door unlocked, or the back door come to that if I am upstairs sad

Legs55 Thu 06-Oct-16 12:06:17

My DD & her OH have taught my DGS good manners - neither of them can abide rude children. DGS says please & thank you, he will ask Nanny can I have.... He knows I always have crisps etc in cupboard & squash if he wants a drink - if in doubt whether he is allowed something I will make him ask Parent. grin

He has learnt not to interrupt when we are talking - he says can I please speak & will wait if

He kicks his shoes off when he comes in (habit from home) & makes himself at home (he is 6). DD will knock on window as she walks to front door, open door & shout "hello" or "we're here".

I believe in good manners & will always thank some-one who holds a door open for me be that an adult or

Luckygirl Thu 06-Oct-16 12:06:41

I do not think that grandparents should overrule parents. How would we have felt if our parents started telling us what to do?

Casawan Thu 06-Oct-16 12:14:25

Apart from basic 'please' and 'thank you' I don't insist on anything because that would be undermining the parents. However, my eldest g'dtr's lack of manners makes me cringe sometimes: interrupting and especially tone of voice which can come across as very rude. She is eight, so past the stage where that sort of thing might be seen as cute. Her parents have recently commented that they have noticed this and don't like it ( not because of anything I said). I feel that had they gently insisted on good manners from the off, there wouldn't be this issue now.

Christalbee Thu 06-Oct-16 12:20:31

I agree wholeheartedly with Cherrytree59. Manners are so important if you want to get on in the world later on. Having said that, manners 'standards' have changed a lot, so we must be up with the times.... whilst keeping them high.

annodomini Thu 06-Oct-16 12:33:01

I've never had to teach mine manners which is just as well as I see them only every four to six weeks. Their parents have done a good job with them.

BlueBelle Thu 06-Oct-16 12:57:27

Please and thank you go without saying and asking to get down from the table in whatever form that takes same as taking their plates into the kitchen saying pardon instead of what are all very basic and most parents and grandparents would expect that. But we ve moved away partly from the original main section which was about the little one being told by one nana she could walk in and the horror from the other nana at that situation ... both are fine if the don't infringe or expect the other nana to change ..... and that was the clue Ethlebags has said it really shocked her and she felt a three year old shouldn't have different rules for different houses so really what's she's saying is this other Nanas way is wrong and the child should definitely do it her way

Your little one will meet all sorts as she grows and travels through life, one nana is casual and perhaps laid back and fun the other nana equally loving but perhaps more 'correct' and structured in her ways but this is teaching her to be open to all differences and hopefully she will grow up realising there are different ways to shear a sheep

nannieann Thu 06-Oct-16 13:00:59

I think this is a case of mothers and daughters tending to have the same standards whereas inlaws may have completely different ones! I do hope this doesn't cause you too many problems. I agree with you that good manners are important - and so easy to teach to young children.

Cosafina Thu 06-Oct-16 13:01:09

My DGS asks if he can leave the table (especially when prompted!) and is also very good at please and thank you.

I remember when DD was tiny I took her to visit paternal grandmother who gave her a biscuit. I told her to say Ta, which she did, and grandmother sneered that she always taught her boy to say Thank you. I immediately told DD to say Thank you, which she did - pronouncing it Fucky! Which was why I'd taught her to say Ta instead! grin