kat_eden , Parent asks:

Do you insist on good manners from your kids' friends?

I've noticed recently that when my kids have play dates at our house, I let their friends get away without using their manners ("please" and "thank you" is mostly what I'm thinking about). I've always thought it wasn't my place to correct another person's child (for something like that. I of course get involved when there are arguments or if a friend is doing something unsafe). And I guess maybe I didn't want my own kids to feel embarrassed because I'm a stickler for good manners. But recently I've realized I might not be doing the right thing here. If my kids forgot their manner's at a friend's house I would DEFINITELY want that parent to remind them. If it really takes a village to raise great kids, should I be holding all kids under my roof to the same standard...even if they don't live here permanently?

What do you think? Do you remind visiting kids to mind their manners? Would you want a mom or dad who was hosting your child to remind your child?

Parenting is never easy is it?! ;-)

Thanks for all input!
In Topics: Friendships and peer relationships
> 60 days ago



Oct 27, 2011
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What the Expert Says:

This is a great question! I appreciate how much you value good manners... something our current culture seems to be largely lacking. But is it "your place" to instill manners in your children's friends while they're in your home? I guess that depends on a) the age of the kids (I don't imagine you'd say to a visiting 16 year old "What's the magic word?") and b) your relationship with these kids.

Over the years I have personally gotten away with a lot "butting in" with kids because my typical approach to giving a course correction to kids (other than my own) is with a LIGHT TOUCH. Use humor. Be friendly. Smile. And be matter of fact because it's not OK to intentionally embarrass a guest (I don't care how old she/he is). Obviously if you come on too uptight, your children won't appreciate it and they may get push-back from their friends the next time there's a play date scheduled for your house.

I hope this helps!

In friendship,
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Jan 8, 2010

Best Answer!

what's this?
from a fellow member
Hi, We often have a variety of children over to our house, and typically I don't enforce the "please and thank you's" with the other kids. I do continue to enforce those particular manners with our daughter though (whether at home or while visiting other homes), and I've noticed that doing so has a positive effect on others (either the parents hear it and they start to enforce the manners with their kids, or the other children also follow the instruction I've given our daughter and start using those words too).

While I'm not a stickler on "please and thank you's" from other parents' children, I am strict when it comes to behavior, particularly unsafe behavior like climbing on top of the play structure instead of sitting on the swings correctly. We also have a few rowdy young boys that come over to our house to play, and I must keep my eye on them and remind them frequently about being gentle with certain belongings in the house, not slamming doors, not throwing balls or tracking mud inside, etc.

I also guide the kids or interject myself when guest children help themselves to our refrigerator and snack cabinet. I'm fine with sharing food and drink, but think it is more polite to ask first. Also I want the children to choose healthy items, and I check for food allergies and parent permissions on some snack items.

So for some manners, my answer to your question is yes, and for others (like "please and thank you"), the answer is sometimes or no. Hope this helps.

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Additional Answers (1)

Catherinemck writes:
My kids are now in their teens and I still remind their friends about their manners. The kids don't seem to mind (either my own or the visitors) and I feel they treat us with a little more respect. I expect to be treated in the same way I treat them. Now I hardly ever have to remind them.
> 60 days ago

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