Guest rant about rude kids
Today’s guest post was written by Amie, who describes herself as a mom of a 9 and a 14-year-old, mathematician, and bigmouth.
Nota bene: this was originally posted on Facebook as a spontaneous rant. Please don’t miscontrue it as an academic argument.
Time for a rant. I’ll preface this by saying that while my kids are creative, beautiful souls, so are many (perhaps all) children I’ve met, and it would be the height of arrogance to take credit for that as a parent. But one thing my husband and I can take credit for are their good manners, because that took work to develop.
The first phrase I taught me daughter was “thank you,” and it’s been put to good use over the years. I’m also loathe to tell other parents what to do, but this is an exception: teach your fucking kids to say “please” and “thank you”. If you are fortunate to visit another country, teach them to say “please” and “thank you” in the native language.
After a week in paradise at a Club Med in Mexico, I’m at some kind of breaking point with rude rich people and their spoiled kids. And that includes the Europeans. Maybe especially the Europeans. What is it that when you’re in France everyone’s all “thank you and have a nice day” but when these petit bourgeois assholes come to Cancun they treat Mexicans like nonhumans? My son held the door for a face-lifted Russian lady today who didn’t even say thank you.
Anyway, back to kids: I’m not saying that you should suppress your kids’ nature joie de vivre and boisterous, rambunctious energy (though if that’s what they’re like, please keep them away from adults who are not in the mood for it). Just teach them to treat other people with basic respect and courtesy. That means prompting them to say “please,” “thank you,” and “nice to meet you” when they interact with other people.
Jordan Ellenberg just posted how a huge number of people accepted to the math Ph.D. program at the University of Wisconsin never wrote to tell him that they had accepted other offers. When other people are on a wait list!
Whose fault is this? THE PARENTS’ FAULT. Damn parents. Come on!!
P.S. Those of you who have put in the effort to raise polite kids: believe me, I’ve noticed. So has everyone else.