Why We Hold Our Young Children's Behavior to a Higher Standard Than Our Adult Peers?
Think about this:
We tell our kids from a very early age to speak Truth--or at least not tell anything more serious than a white lie.
We show our children how to share with others
We insist our children be polite and so we teach them Manners-like
and thank you.
We ask our children to raise their hand and wait to speak and/or to let someone else finish before interrupting.
We do not want our children to swear or curse.
Very young children have a clear sense of right and wrong because it is so reinforced by parents, caregivers, and teachers. So this inquiring mind wants to Know-- why we hold our young children’s social behavior to a higher standard than our adult peers? Why does it all dissipate with age? Where does all that social etiquette go?
Those same toddlers and pre schoolers so infused with appropriate group behavior become grade school kids and tweens, then teens and young adults. And for many of them, the line between what is right and wrong, what is appropriate and inappropriate, not to mention what is polite and rude grows fuzzier and fuzzier with each developmental stage until at some point, the line simply fades.
At what point is it okay to threaten and curse and swear to get a point across? And, more pointedly, when does it become okay to cheat in a business, or marriage and then say those over used, empty words ‘I am so sorry for what I have done to my family and friends.’ What is the point of teaching our toddlers manners and values if there is later an Adult Pass for that same behavior?
In my book I wrote a whole chapter called _Heart of The Manner-(see bottom of my homepage for Book Content at http://www.MomOpinionMatters.Com
) wherein I spoke to this point exactly. And I ventured the idea that we parents simply stop reminding our older youth about Manners. Perhaps we parents need to pay as much attention to how our children behave socially, and as we do to how well they do in school. Perhaps we should concentrate less on their A's in the classroom and more about their P's and Q's in the outside world. After all, ask any young person who they truly admire and not only is/was that person a great athlete or artist, dancer or actor, writer or musician or whatever, but also greatly respected as a person.
We parents are out the door and our older kids are much more independent. We have no idea how they are behaving. They will never tell us if they said thank you to a waitress for bringing the food, or a cashier for bagging groceries or clothes. We will never know if they did or did not let an elderly person have their sit on the subway, or if they held the door for someone older or with packages. Our older teens become us. Do we do all those things? No. We allow each other to get away with a lot of inappropriate behavior.
So This Inquiring Mind Wants to Know when we will do away with this double standard of behavior, and go back to the basics drummed into our toddlers. After all, why should they have to answer to a higher authority and get time outs and not us! It really isn’t fair!
In fact, I wouldn’t blame then if they had a major tantrum over it--in the middle of a crowded supermarket, no less!
Comments to Margo@MomOpinionMatters.Com