I recently saw a post on Facebook that I wish I had downloaded and saved. It was a witty meme about education not stopping at school and after my experience with the new neighbour's son last night, I have to say that parents are letting society down by not teaching their kids the basic virtues that separate us from the animals... like manners!
The number of children I have come across lately that do not know they are children is shocking!
Case in point:
Last night I was enjoying a book and a glass of wine on my porch while I let the kids run around and blow off steam, when the neighbour's son came over to talk to Bad Boy. These are the EXACT words he said, in front of me, to my son: "Get on your bike. And where's <Baby Girl>. I need help with my homework. Get her out here now." So, I took a deep breath, turned to look him square in the eye and told him "She's inside doing her chores and has EOG's to study for. She will not be able to help you." When what I really wanted to say was "Did you parents not teach you how to converse with other people?" I have met his parents. I'm being kind when I say that they are perhaps from another social caste than I was raised in....
After dinner, I elected to go for a walk with my children. This same brat invited himself along. I was not happy.
So given that they are our new neighbours, this situation is obviously quite tenuous. I made sure to tell my children later that I did not appreciate the way he spoke to either them or myself and that I better not hear of my children speaking to anyone that way.
We always hear that racism is not something we are born with and this is of course true. It is a learned behaviour, either at home or from peers, but so are the many virtues that seem to have been forgotten! I've referenced this list from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_virtues where they have divided the various virtues into the following categories:
And of course, the virtue I'm particularly referring to is a social virtue Politeness that falls under "Respect". Is it really too much to teach your children how they should properly talk to people? Perhaps if he had approached the situation like this "Do you want to ride your bike with me? And is <Baby Girl> able to help me with my homework today? Is she busy?" maybe my response would have been similar, but I would have tagged on "She may be able to help you for a half hour or so, but she really needs to focus on her studying"...
I am frequently complimented on how polite my children are when they go to other people's homes, which makes me guilty of the sin of Pride, but it's worth it to know that my children listen to me even if they don't practice those same virtues at home.... smh!