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“mama said she don’t give a damn what those people say”

January 15, 2009

At the risk of sounding crotchety, there’s a refreshing post in the New York Times about the importance of teaching children manners. Points of interest:

“Every infant is born adorable but selfish and the center of the universe,” she replied. It’s a parent’s job to teach that “there are other people, and other people have feelings.”


Daddy, I want another pony. (apologies for the mixed references)

"Daddy, I want another pony." (apologies for the mixed references)



I like Miss Manners’ approach because it lets a parent respect a child’s intellectual and emotional privacy: I’m not telling you to like your teacher; I’m telling you to treat her with courtesy. I’m not telling you that you can’t hate Tommy; I’m telling you that you can’t hit Tommy. Your feelings are your own private business; your behavior is public.

So, the obvious thing i like about this is that, y’know, kids these days! Ain’t got no respect for nobody!

But, actually, what i like more is the perspective of the article: that it is respectful to the child to teach them to…not be assholes for the rest of their life. It is a way of treating a kid like it can think and evaluate situations. Other than the kid being irritating, the thing that bothers me most about bratty kids (when it is because of the parents) is that it reeks of complete disrespect for your child as a person to treat it in a way that encourages anti-social behavior.

And adults acting like kids are morons has always been a peeve of mine.

Lady Brett

"Sugar Cane" - Mary Gauthier
2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 17, 2009 6:49 pm

    Of course I could not agree more. But you know how I heart Miss Manners. And the pic from Willy Wonka is perfect!


  2. grrlchef13 permalink
    January 19, 2009 12:17 am

    I think the pony would behave better.

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