Bad attitudes are contagious and when it comes to littles you can up that to highly contagious and likely to spread.
Sometimes spending time with specific people can lead your child down a road of back talk and bad behavior. While it’s important to correct this it’s also important to remember that is isn’t necessarily your child’s fault.
At our house you follow the rules, clean up your mess, don’t yell or talk back, you use your manners and respect other people’s feelings. So when we visit family or friends and the kids make a mess I still expect them to clean it up (or at least help me to do so because I wont leave a mess behind). I don’t like to hear yelling or whining in a store or in my living room. There is no hitting, shoving, teasing or insulting anyone, anywhere. And when it boils down to manners, regardless of who the conversation is with, I want to hear please, thank you, excuse me, etc.
The problem is that you have other people’s two cents to worry about, here are some wonderful examples of people undermining mom and dad.
- Mom says, “you may have a piece of cake after you finish your dinner.”
Other person, “oh he’s fine, it’s a party.”
Why is this not okay? For one, because I said so and I am the mother. For two, because if my son fills up on cake and then has no dinner at all that’s a problem. Whereas the opposite is no big deal to me (and kids always find room for cake).
- Dad says, “put those toys back where they go.”
Other person, “oh that’s fine, I’ll pick them up later.”
Why is this not okay? You’re teaching my child that he can make a mess and someone else will pick it up for him, which isn’t how things work.
- The entire no whining and no yelling rule comes into play most often around other people with their own children. I am not one to tell you how to raise your little one, but it seems safe to say that you should be reprimanding them for not respecting you. Whining and yelling are not cute and when my child watches yours get away with it, he might think he can as well (and he won’t).
- Mom says, “say please,” and “say thank you.”
Other person, “he’s okay.” *hands whatever and allows him to walk away.*
Why is this not okay? Manners are always important and I have stressed that since Baby M began talking. Manners are not a pick and choose part of language, if you ask for something then please should follow automatically. Don’t encourage my child to break that habit.
When you get down to the nitty gritty, if it isn’t your child then you should respect the way that someone else is raising them. Don’t encourage bad behavior just because it’s your house or the child is in your presence. Ultimately you aren’t doing that kid any favors. When the parents have to deprogram the bad lessons their children have learned there is sure to be an argument, a time out, a punishment of some kind and a very unhappy camper.
Be a better influence.
If this post seems a little snappy, it should. Nothing tires me out more than spending two years teaching manners and good behavior to my son and then having it undone by badly behaved children and careless adults. Sure, let a kid be a kid but at the same time remember that they won’t be a kid forever and behavioral lessons are some of the most important and toughest to teach.