Monday, 25 August 2014

Am I Teaching My Kids To Be Rude

One day a few months back, Lil Mister was visiting with Ouma. It has taken me a few trips to get used to this but over the last 8 months (since he spent his first overnight with Ouma), I have adjusted and learnt how special this time is for them.

After this particular visit, Ma came along to bring Lil Mister back. We were sitting outside enjoying coffee when she shared what was to me quite an amusing story!

Where Ma stays she has a friend whom she had taken Lil Mister to have coffee with. While there the friend kept, well for Lil Mister, pestering him. To the friend, she was simply being a Tannie. She had offered him cool drink and sweeties and asked him if he wanted to play this or watch that. Lil Mister sat however with a scowled expression on his face, saying no thank you, crossing his arms and shaking his head.

After a while, the Tannie asked what was wrong. To which, Lil Mister replied “Nothing, I just don’t like you.”

I wish I had been there to see the reaction. I wondered if Ma had spit out a drink of coffee or suppressed a giggle like I would have. I wondered if the Tannie laughed or was shocked by his bluntness.

In the end, I told Ma good for Lil Mister. At 3 years old, I’m not going to criticize him for being honest when asked a question. He had not openly offered this opinion and was obviously at the time irritated at his constant need for refusal. I wouldn’t say he was provoked because at the time there was no maliciousness in his comment. He didn’t say this to hurt her or cause any further repercussions. There was no intent in his answer other than simply answering the question.

It got me thinking about when we draw the line between being politically correct and lying. You may remember my post where a cashier offered up her opinion of my children’s behaviour. To this I was appalled. The idea that a person feels entitled to express a negative viewpoint of your family without being asked for that was just rude in my eyes. But what happens when we ask?

At what point is honesty rude? Is it wrong if I am honest if my boss calls me into a meeting and asks what my opinion of him is? Obviously as adults we must learn respect and tact, but what does it help to further my career if I gush my admiration for her when my honest opinion is that sometimes I feel her method of explaining things leaves more questions than answers? Does it mean I have to say “you suck at explaining”? No, I would definitely try to come across in a more professional manner in expressing that I do not always follow her in these situations. If nothing else, it makes the working environment easier and my ability to complete my job easier.

But as a society we have gotten to the point where anything negative is wrong. We are “rude” if we tell a friend we do not want to go somewhere with them because we do not like another person who is going. Since when must we “like” everyone? We have a society where being honest with your wife and telling her that an outfit looks a little tight is detrimental to a marriage! We are a society where a teacher telling a parent you child has troubles in English class is considered the same as destroying their future!

We act as if we need to create a padded world where everyone is Jennifer Aniston gorgeous and everyone gets a medal at the end of the day! Please, don’t go on your tyrants about how everyone is beautiful. I get this….I really, really do and believe that every woman should find beauty within herself! At the same time, just as I do not have the teeth to be advertising for Colgate not everyone should try out for American Idol!

Why are we sugar coating a childhood to throw them to the wolves as adults? Do you plan to be with your son during his first internship interview? Will you be breathing down your daughters’ psych professors’ neck when he fails her paper the same way you do the art teacher for saying she lacks creative vision?

Are you seriously going to stand in the front row cheering and clapping, knowing he can’t carry a tune, while millions across the world laugh? And when she is fired from her first job for failing to complete tasks are you going to hold her and tell her what a meanie that boss was?

At some point, as the years move forward, I will have to teach my son about time and place. I will work towards setting an example how our opinions do not always need to be expressed openly. I will explain as he moves towards teenage years, that we have to have some allocating. But I will never criticize my children for being honest.

They are growing up in a dog eat dog world. They are going to go up for jobs and miss out, they are going to play sports and loose, and they will probably have some girl break their heart someday. I can’t teach them it is all unicorns and rainbows. What I can teach them is to pick themselves up again! What I can teach them is to value themselves even when others don’t. I can teach them to learn from mistakes, take criticism for its worth, and to keep moving forward!

So maybe I’m teaching my children to be “rude.” But I’d rather raise an honest child, than an ass kisser!
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Shana Danae..


  1. This is so true. Sometimes being honest may not always be nice but if it's the truth should we somehow adjust that? I believe it is all in the delivery. Your son had no malice in his response merely truth. I had an aunt once who said you can call someone a dog if you say it nicely. There are times when things imply need to be said but HOW you say it can make all the different. Great post - thanks so much for sharing it with us at the Mommy Monday Blog Hop :D

  2. I raised 3 boys and all are great adults with there own family now, but how I taught them was by saying they could hurt someones feelings, and that is the truth, if you raise them the way that God tells us to and that is with discipline for wrong actions, then things should be fine, but I have seen what happens around the teen years to know if you don't correct things they can get a whole bunch worse when they hit teenage years, now it may be cute, but it is plane bad manners when they are older...good luck and GOD bless

    1. You have a really good point! I still have a long ways to go and never think I have it all right but will definitely keep in mind what you have to say and consider how I'm enforcing balance in their life!




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