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Manners going out of the window?

(62 Posts)
Mbuya Mon 01-Jun-20 09:06:23

I am interested to know whether you play any role in developing the manners of your grandchildren. If so, what areas do you focus on? Am I being rather old fashioned by insisting on things like elbows off the table, saying please and thank you and should all this etiquette training be left to the parents? It seems today all sorts of behaviour is now acceptable, such as wearing caps in the house or ignoring table manners.

Calendargirl Mon 01-Jun-20 09:15:09

The two GC who live locally are now 15 and 12, so not little. If they ‘forget’ their P’s and Q’s occasionally when at my house, (though not lately of course) they are reminded with ‘a look’.

One thing they both always do is ask to leave the table, which I do like to hear.

They are not perfect, but could be much, much worse.

OceanMama Mon 01-Jun-20 09:39:27

I didn't know that wearing a cap in the house was bad manners. Nothing wrong with a grandparent having ways things are done in their own home, in general. Please and thank you is just basic manners. A gentle reminder is easy. I would be grateful for the support in reinforcing this with children. The cap thing though, I can just see my kids complaining about how silly they think that is. I'd just tell them that I don't see the big deal but obviously it matters to gran so just take their cap off in her house. Manners are important.

grandMattie Mon 01-Jun-20 09:43:48

Reminded me of a lovely, lovely friend of DS2. He had the manners of a pig - I couldn't bear to have to to dinner...
Another of his friends would always wear his cap indoors. Eventually I asked DS to tell him it offended me to see him wearing it at table. to his credit [or my cooking] he complied after that.
I thinks having good manners is a compliment to other people - like not shouting in your phone on a train, saying thank you if a door is opened for you, etc.

Furret Mon 01-Jun-20 09:52:42

Elbows on tables? Wearing a cap in the house? What have these to do with manners?

Manners is when my 9-year old GS saw I was struggling and helped carry my shopping for me (pre-Covid). Manners is when my family treat me with respect and kindness by listening to my opinions or worries.

Manners is having consideration for others.

Hetty58 Mon 01-Jun-20 09:57:45

Mbuya, certainly not, it's up to their parents and not my role. We have relaxed fun and games here - not training sessions!

There is nothing wrong with elbows on the table btw.

NotSpaghetti Mon 01-Jun-20 10:14:21

I hate caps/hats on in the house.
Maybe I'm just old fashioned but to me they are only for outdoors.
Like coats really.

If I had no heating and it was freezing cold I expect I wouldn't care!

MarieEliza Mon 01-Jun-20 10:15:02

One set of grandchildren are set a good example to say please and thank you but the other set are left to work it out. When they all eat together the well mannered children correct the others and fill in the parental role. It’s quite fun to observe

Notright Mon 01-Jun-20 10:19:30

When in my house they learn my rules, which they had no objection to (they're 20 year old adults now.. ~But fortunately my daughter had already taught them the vital things.

NotSpaghetti Mon 01-Jun-20 10:19:39

To me, manners are primarily about respecting others but I know some of the things that are mentioned above have an impact on how others see us for good or ill.

I'd hate to think that someone valuable and deserving was overlooked or belittled because of one of these trivial things - so it's worth people at least being aware of them and the possible connotations.

TerriBull Mon 01-Jun-20 10:21:00

I'm another who wonders why some get hung up about elbows on the table for heaven's sake. Whenever we went to America my husband was always pointing out that caps shouldn't be worn in say a restaurant, where many men do just that over there, I had to respond with "what does it matter as long as they are polite to whoever is serving them", personally I couldn't care less about perceived protocol it suggests a hangover from a bygone era. Manners to me are all about having consideration for other people, insomuch as making sure behaviour doesn't have an adverse effect on those around you plus some niceties such as opening doors for those not able to manage very well and responding with a thank you when it's done for you.

Sometimes our grandchildren have to be reminded to say please and thank you because understandably children do forget at times. I think that one's an important message for life though.

red1 Mon 01-Jun-20 10:26:47

is it our job to set an example,are they your children?We can set examples, but they hopefully have to be ones that address, love,respect,compassion to self and hopefully to others, keeping elbows off tables etc,im lost on that one,sounds like some strict boarding school.

Craftycat Mon 01-Jun-20 10:27:46

I have to say both my DiLs are very strict on manners & the DGC are very good. Sometimes youngest uses his knife wrongly but he knows how it should be done.
They always say thankyou for the nice meal afterwards too- although again youngest has to be prompted by big brother sometimes.
I'm sure their fathers were not so good at their age- I seem to remember prompting a lot!

Dorsetcupcake61 Mon 01-Jun-20 10:28:46

I think please and thankyou are essentials and general respect and politeness for others makes the world a nicer place. I too grew up being told to not put my elbows on the table which I'm still aware of myself when I do it. I do wonder what its origins are? My grandsons although young are polite😊. Thankyou letters? A bit hit and miss these days although I think people are starting to appreciate letters more. I'm perfectly happy with a verbal or text thankyou though!

Grandad1943 Mon 01-Jun-20 10:34:05

The motto of the totally rubbish secondary modern boys school I attended in the 1950s was "Manners Maketh Man". As we who were viewed as failures for not passing our Eleven Plus Exam by the education system at that time soon found out on leaving that school, that it was not to be good manners that would progress us very far in an adult world of manual work.

Being fifteen and suddenly thrown into working forty five hours per week, what we did soon find out in learning that world of work would be that forman and supervisors did anything but approach you in any way that resembled good manners.

For anyone to state that manners were better in times past is to me and many others of my generation " total rubbish". Such practices may have been for the homes and workplaces of the better off or better educated, but exemplary manners were not for the homes and workplaces of the average manual worker in previous generations.

In these times I believe in a standard of behaviour and dress around the home and office that bears in mind the thoughts and feelings of others, However, exemplary manners will not in any way progress a person in today's world, while reasonable behaviour, a good working aptitude, and intelligent actions will.

TrendyNannie6 Mon 01-Jun-20 10:37:06

All our AC with their own children have brought them up to be respectful of others, all have nice manners, the boys wear caps in the house, I don’t understand really what that has to do with anything, as grandparents we don’t teach them manners, we are not their parents,

ginny Mon 01-Jun-20 10:38:21

Please, thank you and consideration ( respect , surely needs to be earned) for others are a given in our family. Other thing vary from household to household.

Nanny27 Mon 01-Jun-20 10:40:09

I don't really get the 'no cap in the house' rule but don't think I'd be keen on seeing someone wearing a cap at the table. However if, as most people seem to agree that manners is about considering others and the 'others' don't like to see caps or elbows at the table, then surely it is good manners to respect that.
Hetty I thinks it's so sad that you see the practice of general good manners as a 'training session'.

helgawills Mon 01-Jun-20 10:40:47

I agree with those, who say that manners should be about respecting others. Just the last few days, there have been groups of teenagers riding their bikes all over the roads, blocking both lanes, dodging backwards and forwards, endangering themselves and other road-users. This is a comparatively wealthy area, with over 50 years of con MPs. I wonder how the parents would feel, if they knew, what the kids got up to.

Lucca Mon 01-Jun-20 10:47:54

My boys were nervous wrecks eating at my mothers house.
I’m certainly not going to go down that route.
I love good manners but I think they are different to perceived “etiquette”
Please, thank you, not interrupting, sitting through a meal etc are easy to bring into daily life without it being “my rules “

hulahoop Mon 01-Jun-20 10:54:22

I like to hear please and thank you , but consideration to others is top of my list .

inishowen Mon 01-Jun-20 10:57:33

Elbows off the table is a pointless rule. As adults we sit around the table, elbows on table, having a chat. I wont impose my old fashioned etiquette on my grandchildren as times have changed. Caps on in the house? So what! I insist on please and thank you as that is important.

Aepgirl Mon 01-Jun-20 11:00:00

My mantra is 'my house, my rules'. Of course it is bad manners to wear a cap indoors - and always has been.

Shalene777 Mon 01-Jun-20 11:01:30

This reminds me of going to Spain in the early 1980's with my Nanna, somehow we managed to get booked into an all German hotel. We quickly got used to being gawked at during meal times and then people copying the way we had our soup by tilting the bowl. When my sister tried to have her soup by drinking it from the bowl like the rest of the German guests my Nanna gave her such a rollicking. It's stayed with me forever and still makes me laugh. Manners are very important to be passed on.

notnecessarilywiser Mon 01-Jun-20 11:02:23

I take my 10yr old GS to task for what I call "washing machine mouth" - eating with his mouth open so that anyone at the table gets a good view of the food going round. He's otherwise a pleasant chap to dine with - passes dishes, makes conversation and so on, but the open-mouthed eating is really unpleasant. I reason with myself that he won't be doing it in 5 or 10 years time (fingers crossed).