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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.

grannypiper Wed 12-Oct-16 19:58:02

my grandchildren always ask if they can leave the table and the little one is only 2 years 3 months, both DD and DSIL insist on manners.

Yorkshiregel Wed 12-Oct-16 17:56:02

We were invited to a garden party at Buckingham Palace about 20 years ago now. The sandwiches were tiny. One eight of a slice of bread cut diagonally and filled with either cucumber or salmon paste. Someone had also made profiteroles, filled with cream and splashed with chocolate, which were about the size of a walnut. We were VERY naughty and queued up twice then because we were famished we stopped at a fish and chip shop on the way back to our hotel. Thank you HM for inviting us, it was totally unexpected but much appreciated. We saw you in the distance but did not get any closer as we were not with the 'IN CROWD'. If we could have spoken to you in person we would have thanked you for your generous invitation.

LullyDully Wed 12-Oct-16 14:31:26

We always tell the gch to eat well in case they meet the Queen and get invited to tea.Not sure they believe that ever happen will any more.

My mil was a real stickler for table manners, however it didn't stop her being vile to me at any spare moment!!!! Manners are important and should be way of valuing others. More than just please,thankful and holding cutlery correctly.

Greyduster Wed 12-Oct-16 14:11:41

Mess etiquette can be a minefield to a "newbie" - I remember it well!

Yorkshiregel Wed 12-Oct-16 09:30:45

I just remembered that about a month ago my oldest grandchild age 16 made me smile. He is in the CCF and they were going to RAF Cranwell for a summer camp. One of the questions he asked us was 'How do I behave if we have to go to the Mess'! At least we taught him well and only had to give him a bit of a polish regarding Mess rules. We were quite pleased that he realised that manners were important.

Yorkshiregel Wed 12-Oct-16 09:22:23

All my children and grandchildren know to say please and thank you, not to start eating until the host starts, or asks you to start so the food does not go cold. They know to say thank you for the meal, and they know to say thank you for having me. They write thank you letters for Christmas and Birthday presents. They know the present is even more appreciated if they either make it themselves or buy it with their own money. A home-made card from little ones is a treasure. It does not need to be a big present but it must be sent with love. It isn't hard to teach manners, and the older ones set the example for the little ones. We adults were all chatting away at table and a little voice said 'no-one is talking to me'! Remember to include them in the conversation. Knocking on the door and waiting to be admitted is the norm, removing shoes when wet or muddy is the norm. Not interrupting people when they are talking is strictly enforced, especially by my son who just ignores the interrupter and keeps on talking, making them wait longer. We are not the perfect family, but both sets of grandparents agree that manners maketh man and we all taught our children well so that they might be accepted by others on any occasion. Schools could help I think. Others could also help by not saying 'you do not need to do that, you are with family' because saying that negates all that has been taught. It is rare these days to see anyone open a door for someone older than themselves. That is down to PC silly rules. What about manners?

Penstemmon Mon 10-Oct-16 15:05:47

granny123grunt taking shoes off is a relatively modern convention..since we all got a bit over sensitive about 'germs'I fear and allergies increased and antibiotics got overused!! It was never practice in my home growing up or that of friends & relatives. I may have gone to my bedroom and changed my shoes for slippers but not at the doorway.
At school we did have indoor and outdoor shoes but we had a 'boot room where we changed them!
I never insisted on my kids removing their shoes as they entered the house.... my babies (and DGC) crawled in the house and in the garden with no ill effect.

Granarchist Mon 10-Oct-16 10:24:39

Faye - I noticed that at DGD's assembly last week. Years ago I used to train a youth sports team and got so cross that at prize giving they just grabbed the medal/certificate whatever and shuffled off. So one week I insisted all parents rocked up and the whole session was devoted to a pretend prize giving - shaking the hand of whoever presented the awards, looking them in the eye and saying a loud and clear 'thank-you' and only then taking the medal etc. The parents were totally supportive. Do I mention this to the (excellent) headmistress of DGD's school?

Grannygrunt123 Mon 10-Oct-16 09:53:54

I don't get people who don't take shoes off when entering their home. I certainly don't want my floors looking like the outside. My children could always clawl and play on the floors without fear of dirt,poo etc. I even rinse off my dogs after walking them. Obsessive. Certainly not. Just nice and clean

Faye Fri 07-Oct-16 22:29:43

I was at GS's school assembly recently. I often go, it's a vey small Australian country school of around sixty students with three teachers, a principal and a receptionist. The staff are lovely and the children are very much the focus of that school and get on well, many of them are siblings or cousins. Each week each grade receives Star of the Week and one of the grade six students presents the awards. I noticed last time not one child said thank you, it didn't look very good. I wondered why it's not been picked up before.

I remind my GC if they haven't said thank you, I also remind any of my GC to wash there hands, some are better than others. One in particular who is the most thorough at washing her hands said she reminds other children at school if they forget. I think she will grow up to be a teacher like her mother. smile

aggie Fri 07-Oct-16 19:36:34

One of my DD3s friends , now well grown with her own little ones , recently commented to DD about how it was me taught her manners ! She used to call and try to push past me in the door , but I made here greet me ands ask for DD , this progressed to other things , like how to hold her cutlery . I wasn't aware of this at the time . I was just harassed and busy so it was easier to treat the local children like my own . No one ever complained and it seems some of it rubbed off !

trisher Fri 07-Oct-16 19:19:39

3 year old GD to me when we were eating our tea "Granny you have your elbow on the table," offending joint was quickly moved. Who is teaching who manners???

MargaretX Fri 07-Oct-16 18:27:15

I have insisted on good manners at the table since they were small. They have to wait until all are seated and only then to start eating and at our house no phones are allowed at table nor at special meals out. They also ask to leave the table.

Good table manners matter as much as they used to and when you have gone for an jobinterview it is too late to start, they must come naturally,

TriciaF Fri 07-Oct-16 17:55:12

'Shoes off in the house' had me puzzled at first. Then I realised it's because of carpets.
We only have tiled floors here, not even mats, and that's why the DGs love to be able to run in and out with no restrictions.
Except when coming in from digging or from the chickens.

Penstemmon Fri 07-Oct-16 10:20:39

My role is not to teach my DGC "manners" but to reinforce those behaviour expectations taught by their parents. Common courtesies such as please/thank you need to be spontaneous not just a meaningless refrain. Respect has to be earned and is not automatic for 'elders' but rudeness from anyone is unacceptable!
Shoes off in the house/ thanks for my tea may I get down form the table etc. are individual preferences..though they do apply to my DGCs. Fortunately parents and G parents are in agreement about screens at the table and only one screen at a time!
DGS1 (8) has v poor gross motor and is clumsy & the use of cutlery is still very hard for him. This is not for lack of encouragement or is something he genuinely finds hard. It is harder for some to watch his messy eating and they worry about 'bad manners'. He will get there and no point in making him feel bad on the journey to being able to control knives and forks!

harrigran Fri 07-Oct-16 10:02:34

GC always remove shoes at front door, as do adults. Table manners are good and no toys are allowed at the table, from first learning to talk they have asked if they may leave the table.
When GC are expected the porch door is unlocked ready for their arrival but they always ring the bell and wait for us to open the door.
Toys are there for playing with and they don't need to ask but they do tidy them up before they go home.
We always get hand written thank you cards after birthdays and Christmas, I don't expect because they thank us in person anyway, but DIL says that GC need to do this for relatives that live at a distance so everyone gets written thanks.
Parents lead by example and it is not hard to spot the families that make an effort.

JK Fri 07-Oct-16 00:03:55

As we live abroad we visit England more than my daughter can come to us. My grandson aged seven does not come into our bedroom until half past seven knocking on the door first, Mummy has said so. He is now training his little sisters to do the same although it is difficult at times! No one leaves the table until everyone has finished although some exceptions are obviously made when we are staying and it's "grown ups talking time". He has learnt how to talk at the table and some of our conversations have been great fun and because of his example his sisters are learning too. That's not to say we do not have chaotic mealtimes sometimes ~ it's the nature of children is it not. I'm impressed with the way that my daughter and son in law are dealing with the mine field of manners ~ strict/over strict etc. I have had some lovely comments about how my grandchildren are easy in company and seem to appreciate the social graces. Although we have bad times as well, some very bad!!!

Grandmama Thu 06-Oct-16 20:50:50

When DGD was 10 or 11 she broke her wrist badly one evening and was admitted to hospital overnight for an operation the next day. Although upset and in pain she thanked the nursing staff for everything they did and said to her - without any prompting from her mother or from me. I was so proud of her.

Fran0251 Thu 06-Oct-16 20:44:07

LuckyGirl is right. My grandchildren have had my house rules explain to them and abide by them. It is totally different in their house, my DD's. I also follow the house rules that exist in my daughters house when I'm visiting. Everybody has different rules and in business I was careful to follow the manners of my clients. It has amused me that now without being asked the grandchildren differentiate where they are and follow the rules of the house. Good on them for a successful future life.

mags1234 Thu 06-Oct-16 20:42:35

My grandchildren, 8,6, and nearly two have great table manners, taught by their parents and it's a joy for me to take them out for a meal. They are normal kids, and have been taught their please and thank yous. If they go to a play date or a party the host often comments on this. I'm horrified at how some folk let kids off with basic behaviour in public but obviously there is a happy medium, and many things are so out of date .
I hate it if I send a gift and don't get a thank you. A text or phone or e mail is fine, but I've stopped giving to family members abroad who never ever said they d received the gifts I'd posed. Never ever thanked me. We set our kids up for life by teaching basic manners.

lizzypopbottle Thu 06-Oct-16 20:21:18

If I lived with someone who never said thank you for such simple things as a cup of tea I made for them, they'd quickly find themselves making their own! Manners and give and take oil the wheels of life and also, I'm no one's slave!

Rosina Thu 06-Oct-16 18:31:53

Thank you busilizzie; I had 'manners' instilled by my parents, but having witnessed really appalling behaviour from a couple of children of my acquaintance when I was first married, and having seen how much people disliked them because they were rude , I felt sorry for the children and angry with the parents who were setting them at such a disadvantage. I agree that it really is a duty to make sure that your children can be acceptable and I know some will sniff at that but they won't get anywhere if they are disliked. I so agree with your comment about 'lubricating communication' - I have always called it 'oiling the wheels of society' !!

chrislou Thu 06-Oct-16 17:31:34

Glad you think the same way as me. I might add that the friend who is old enough to know better is thought of as a very rude child by quite a few people but no one will say anything. So how else is she supposed to learn.

Katek Thu 06-Oct-16 17:07:44

3 year old dgs asks to leave the table and his small brother of 18 months is asking to 'det dow' from his highchair. DS/Dil very hot on manners, sometimes too much so!

Diddy1 Thu 06-Oct-16 17:06:06

I must tell you all, I live in Sweden, and I must admit although respect isnt heard of these days, I am impressed with certain things children are taught from an early age, everyone take their shoes off after entering the house, fabulous in the snowy, slushy climate in Winter.At Table nobody starts a meal without the hostess saying please begin, even if a meal gets cold waiting for everyone to take what they want, a big minus thought is the way they hold their cutlery, they hold a knife and fork like a pencil, this we were taught never to do, in School at a very early age. At the table even small children ask if they may leave the table, mind you they have looked at their I-pads/telephone during the meal, so social skills are not the thing. Its quite good knowing other Countries customs etiquette etc.I never comment on the cutlery bit, just glad I get it right!?