A mum has taken to Facebook to vent her frustration after a member of staff at her local supermarket tried to correct her son’s manners.
Tara Wood described the incident in a Facebook video, explaining that she and her son walked over to the bakery where they give kids a complimentary cookie when a member of staff wasn’t content with a ‘thank you’.
‘[Giving out cookies] is nice and I appreciate it, it sometimes helps get through the grocery trip without too many tears or whining,’ she admitted. But things took a different turn after the woman handed the cookie over and her son responded with ‘thank you’.
In Tara’s account, the woman then asked if her son was having a good day and he replied with ‘yes.’
Although some would take this as polite conversation with a child, this stranger wasn’t pleased that the boy didn’t respond with ‘yes ma’am.’
When the woman corrected him by saying, ‘yes ma’am … ?’ and waiting for him to repeat after her, Tara explained that her son was confused.
‘He looked at me, looked back at her, and repeated, “yes”,’ she explained.
When the woman emphasized his missing ‘yes ma’am’ a second time, Tara stepped in.
‘I simply said: “He had a really great day yesterday, thank you very much for the cookie. See you later”,’ she recalled in the video.
But despite her attempts to diffuse the situation, that wasn’t the end of it, because Tara said that the woman then put her hand on her chest and ‘scoffed’ at this mother and her child.
‘I guess she got some sand in her vagina because I didn’t make my kid say ma’am to her, which I guess she thinks is mandatory for good manners,’ she said.
‘But this is what’s up: manners are subjective, so for me, if my kids say, “please” and “thank you”, and they are polite, kind-hearted, thoughtful, and mindful of other people that share this planet with us, then I don’t make them say, “sir” or “ma’am”.’
To Tara, the practise of saying ‘sir’ and ‘ma’am’ is a bit antiquated, arbitrary, and not something that she finds of paramount importance when it comes to teaching her children how to properly behave.
‘But when you start sort of imposing what you think good manners are on other peoples’ children, it’s really time to take a step back and figure out where the boundaries are,’ she continued.
‘Is it important to you that your child address their elders or someone in a position of authority as ma’am or sir or are you just happy when they use good manners and are decent representatives for your family in public?’
‘Because for me, if my kids aren’t eating their own or their siblings’ boogers, I call that sh*t a win.’
The issue proved to be a huge talking point, and there were plenty of people in agreement with Tara’s comments: ‘I agree with you. As long as the child says please and thank you, leave it alone,’ said one follower.
This follower added: ‘My kids don’t usually say sir or ma’am and I’m completely ok with it. Our version of manners usually consists of “please” and “thank you”.’
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A third parent exclaimed: ‘I don’t think other people have any right to correct someone else’s child. Especially when the parent is present!’
‘It’s actually quite bad manners to correct a child that isn’t yours. Or even to openly teach someone something they haven’t asked you too. She was the one with bad etiquette, funny enough,’ observed another.
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