People tend to remember bad mannered children better than those who are well-mannered. It is also true that people enjoy the company of well-behaved children compared to those who are unruly little terrors. What is interesting as well is that it is quite instant that we make judgements almost immediately about the parents of the unruly child.
Take my last visit back home for an extended family function as an example. Most of my cousins have young kids and they are around the same age. There are 3 little kids that I enjoy playing with because they are funny, responsive and polite little cuties. And like their parents and grandparents, they laugh a lot. The eldest of the three looks after his siblings and the youngest who’s the only girl is good natured and likes to follow her 2 brothers around. They play well among themselves as well as with the other kids.
Now, there is 1 cousin of mine who has an only child and her son who is around seven years old is surprisingly rude. He deliberately squeezes my hand hard when we were introduced and shortly after that, he gave me a whack on my leg for no good reason! My cousin saw that and all she smilingly said was “Son, that wasn’t very nice.” I wasn’t the only victim of this child’s abuse as he tends to go around hitting other people. He also likes to interrupt conversations and if he doesn’t get what he wants, he hits. My cousin didn’t do much in correcting her precious son’s behaviour.
Are some children born naughty? Is this really a behavioural disorder? Or a case of poor parenting? I believe it’s the latter.
Sure times have changed, more people are getting more educated and technology has advanced but that does not give any excuses for bad manners and not having basic courtesy, let alone basic common sense. As a parent, by constantly giving in and having the “let kids be kids” approach, you are not doing yourself or your child any favour! How can the child learn what is right or wrong? How can the child learn to develop healthy relationships in the future?
Parents shouldn’t blame or rely on schools or teachers to teach good manners too as at the end of the day, it’s your child, your responsibility.
Test if you’ll be a good example for your child here: How Polite Are You?
Make it a fun exercise to teach your kid good manners by giving them Social E-Tickets – this will help them recognise what’s acceptable and what’s not.