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CaroGirl
08-01-2008, 06:01 PM
My brother's 12 yo daughter is staying with me for 12 days while they're on vacation. She goes home tomorrow and in the time I've been looking after her, she hasn't said please or thank you one single time.

Would you like another piece of toast? "Yes."

Here's the glass of juice you asked for. No response.

My kids say please and thank you to EACH OTHER, even when they don't know I'm listening and this girl doesn't say it even to us. We went to a restaurant and she didn't say either phrase.

Now, she ain't my kid so I haven't really said anything to her about this. But I wonder if I should mention it to her parents. What are my responsibilities here, or do I have any at all?

Seaclusion
08-01-2008, 06:07 PM
Since it's your brothers daughter, you may want to remind him that you and he were not raised that way.

Richard

Perks
08-01-2008, 06:08 PM
I know I would have said something to her while she was there. (Not saying that you should have, only what I'm inclined to do.)

I've done it plenty of times. My daughter's friends call over here and have obviously not been taught any phone etiquette at all.

I answer the phone, "Hello."

"Hi."

Nothing else. I don't say anything on purpose.

Kid says, "Can I talk to Julia."

I say, "Not until you say 'hello' to me and tell me to whom I am speaking."

I don't hand over snacks until it's requested properly and I ask pointedly for a response once I have, if it's not forthcoming. I want someone to treat my children the same way. I don't see this as stepping on my parental toes. I see it as reinforcing my position by showing my children that I'm not the only one who expects and responds to decent manners.

Doubtless, this girl's parents would prefer to have her act decently, so you would only be assisting their (non)efforts.

czjaba
08-01-2008, 06:10 PM
My kids are young and so are their friends, but their friends still hang out at our house a lot during the summer. Probably because we are always outside playing volleyball, frisbee, or something with them and we have a huge fenced in back yard. All the parents know that all kids in my yard will be treated the same, whether my kids or not. I have literally had kids ask for water and I give water only to the ones that say please. The others, I simply tell them to go home and get their own water and come back when they can show some manners. And when I give them water, if they don't say thank you, they don't get any burgers or hotdogs we are alway grilling. I always have icicle pops, chips, kool-aid and other treats, and I will NOT give anything to the kids that don't show manners. Even when the kids are staying overnight. The only difference is that if they are staying overnight, I will always give them water and saltine crackers, but no other treats. I have found that these kids catch on rather quick.
I mean think about it, about 3 kids eating popcorn and drinking kool-aid and 1 kid gets only water with saltine crackers? :D

TrainofThought
08-01-2008, 06:12 PM
I'm not a parent, but I have no problem correcting a child whether it's family or not. And I don't give a crap if the parents like it or not. It's probably why I don't hang out with married/children people, because I can't keep my mouth shut when it comes to respect and manners. It's probably why I blow friends and some family off when they want me to come around their spouse and kids, but I'll go and do something with them alone.

I'm actually surprised that someone would feel they don't have a right to reprimand their niece or nephew, especially when they're in your care at your house. My brother and sister encourage me to reprimand my niece and nephews because they know I'm doing it for their own good. I guess it has to do with how close you are to your siblings and trust.

Mela
08-01-2008, 06:14 PM
My first reaction: she's in your house, she should follow your rules. Please and thank you are not placing too much of a burden on her. That said, she's probably not even aware of the need to say these words. Is she otherwise well-behaved? Could it be a certain level of discomfort at being in another house? Is this the first time she's been away from her folks for a long period of time?

Whether to say something to your brother?
Mmmm... if you think the wife could be a problem, I'd take him aside and point it out to him alone, but whether to do that also depends on what sort of relationship you have with him. People can get pretty defensive of their little chickens.

Now that I think of it: I don't recall people shrinking from telling me when I was being rude as a little kid so a Miss Manners lesson might do her good.

Have I helped or gone around in circles??

CaroGirl
08-01-2008, 06:16 PM
Yes. I think I should say something to her. It's just, she's a bit of an odd little girl. My husband asked for a thank you once, and she just looked at him with her big, owlish eyes like she'd never heard the phrase before in her life.

I almost feel like my SIL has gone out of her way to make sure the child DOESN'T say the polite niceties society typically demands. It's weird.

Mr Flibble
08-01-2008, 06:18 PM
My first reaction: she's in your house, she should follow your rules.

Precisely. When my kids have friends over, they are normally very polite. But the occassional reminder that 'In this house we do this' works wonders. I did have one kid say he wanted to go home when I wouldn't let him play one of my husbands 18 rated PC games -- I said fine, get your shoes on. He soon changed his mind :) Most of them are fine with house rules though, especially if you explain say 'I think it's much more polite to say please and thank you'. After the first telling, they get nothing unless they say please. And if they don't say thanks, it gets taken away again.

Perks
08-01-2008, 06:18 PM
Yeah, you should definitely say something to your brother. And to the girl. Even if there's something off about her, it's worth it to defend civility.

Perks
08-01-2008, 06:19 PM
Ha! What a bunch of hard-asses we all are.

I'm pleased.

TerzaRima
08-01-2008, 06:19 PM
Mr Rima's nephew, who is now 14, is a pretty entitled little guy. His parents are so proud of his abilities--he's in the talented and gifted program at school (insert mild eye roll here) it's as if they think that his intellect excuses him from having to display the normal social niceties. As a result, he is rude and demanding. When I see this behavior at his parents' house, I obviously can't do anything about it, but at my own? Yeah.

Neurotic
08-01-2008, 06:22 PM
I have plenty of nieces and nephews and all of them know that you say "please" and "thank you" to Auntie Me. I've never told a single one of them off for not being polite, and I've never needed to. Even the least well-mannered of them understood when I asked what the magic word was. Old-fashioned but true.

None of my brothers or sisters ever complained about it, but then I never complained to any of them about their bad mannered children either. ;) Just expected better around me.

CaroGirl
08-01-2008, 06:24 PM
Precisely. When my kids have friends over, they are normally very polite. But the occassional reminder that 'In this house we do this' works wonders. I did have one kid say he wanted to go home when I wouldn't let him play one of my husbands 18 rated PC games -- I said fine, get your shoes on. He soon changed his mind :) Most of them are fine with house rules though, especially if you explain say 'I think it's much more polite to say please and thank you'. After the first telling, they get nothing unless they say please. And if they don't say thanks, it gets taken away again.
I always did that too, especially when my kids and their friends were quite young, like 4, 5, 6. This girl's 12. It just feels strange to chastise such an old child for not saying please and thank you.

Melenka
08-01-2008, 06:36 PM
This exchange happened at my son's birthday party:

Kid: I want more soda.
Me: I want a guest with manners. I guess we're both out of luck.

He apologized for being rude and asked politely a bit later. Two years later, at another b-day party, a new kid did the same thing. All the boys at the table froze, and the ones next to him whispered, prompting a much more polite request.

Kids do learn fast and if they want to be comfortable in my house, then they follow my rules. That includes not swearing, never calling anyone stupid or being intentionally cruel, no racist, sexist or homophobic language, and if it's time to clean, they can help or go home. Strangely, there are six or seven boys who are always hanging around my house. I think they like knowing the rules.

CaroGirl
08-01-2008, 06:36 PM
I was chatting to my husband who says (and I quote) "it's not our job to teach".

Do you agree?

TerzaRima
08-01-2008, 06:51 PM
No.

Mel
08-01-2008, 06:55 PM
No, it isn't your job to teach her. But, it is your job to enforce the rules in your own home. Your kids say please and thank you, why shouldn't she when she's there?

Neurotic
08-01-2008, 06:59 PM
I agree with Mel's comment about house rules. Plus, there's little doubt in my mind that, at 12, she knows all about "please" and "thank you".

My siblings' sweet little savages are pretty clever. They've known about "please" and "thank you" for quite some time. I didn't teach them. I just expected them to apply that knowledge. Out of 14, not one has failed to understand what I wanted.

CreativeFae
08-01-2008, 07:14 PM
I think that since it's your house it's your rules.....there are so many people out in the world that either just don't know how to use manners or they simply don't want to, but I think you start drilling them into kids' heads at a young age. My sons are 6 and 3 and both of them know how to use their pleases and thank yous. Yes, she's your brother's kid, but that doens't meanyou have to sit by and let her be rude. just my opinion.

CaroGirl
08-01-2008, 07:38 PM
The overwhelming majority of you believes I should have her asked to say please and thank you from the start. Regrettably, I didn't, and she goes home tomorrow. Now, should I mention her lack of manners to her mother, father, both or neither? I almost wonder if they chose NOT to enforce polite behaviour in their kids. I've even done her laundry twice and got nothing out of her.

Captshady
08-01-2008, 07:43 PM
That's how I handle it. My house, my rules. I'll tell that to anyone that want(ed) my wife and/or I to babysit. I even went so far as to swat one child that I was watching for a month (sibling had Ewing's sarcoma) on the fanny because he kept choking my cat.

Me: "Would you like something to drink?"
Them: "yes"
Me: "Yes please?"
Them" "yes please!"

It doesn't take long before yes please just comes out.

James81
08-01-2008, 07:44 PM
My brother's 12 yo daughter is staying with me for 12 days while they're on vacation.

This has always annoyed me.

I think it's pretty selfish to take a vacation and leave your kids behind. But I hear about it all the time.

Captshady
08-01-2008, 07:47 PM
This has always annoyed me.

I think it's pretty selfish to take a vacation and leave your kids behind. But I hear about it all the time.

Depending on the size of your family, and if someone is a stay at home parent, a vacation for just the mom and dad can be healthy for the family as a whole.

CaroGirl
08-01-2008, 07:53 PM
This has always annoyed me.

I think it's pretty selfish to take a vacation and leave your kids behind. But I hear about it all the time.
1. My brother can't afford to take both kids on this vacation. Either the two of them go, or no vacation for anyone.

2. I don't think she wanted to go but I haven't asked her. She's kind of a weird kid.

WendyNYC
08-01-2008, 07:55 PM
The overwhelming majority of you believes I should have her asked to say please and thank you from the start. Regrettably, I didn't, and she goes home tomorrow. Now, should I mention her lack of manners to her mother, father, both or neither? I almost wonder if they chose NOT to enforce polite behaviour in their kids. I've even done her laundry twice and got nothing out of her.

I think there would be nothing wrong with correcting her from the start, but I'd let it go at this point. I doubt I'd mention the lack of manners unless they asked. What's the point, really? They have obviously decided this wasn't important to them.

NeuroFizz
08-01-2008, 07:56 PM
First, she could be very uncomfortable, which is expressed as shyness or very terse communication. Getting on her right out of the chute could turn the any future interaction after this 12 day experience into a whole truckload of uncomfortable for all involved.

Second, pick your battles with children, particularly when they are related but not yours. I presume she's not being rude, but just not as overtly polite as you'd like. If that is the case, it is hardly wrist slittingly important (not even hand-wringing important). You and your family should have led by example (which it seems you have done). If she gets it, great. If not, you could always have that talk with your brother, but is this really worth raising a major issue about after a medium-range visit like this? Manners aren't just "please" and "thank you," but for some reason, they are indicators we sometimes put way too much weight on.

Are you ready to label her as a mannerless twit? Are you ready to accuse her parents of not doing a good job in her upbringing? Pick your battles carefully.

jennontheisland
08-01-2008, 08:02 PM
That kid would have starved to death in my house.

You don't say please you dont' get it. And my brother (and his kid) figured that out pretty quick.

CaroGirl
08-01-2008, 08:02 PM
First, she could be very uncomfortable, which is expressed as shyness or very terse communication. Getting on her right out of the chute could turn the any future interaction after this 12 day experience into a whole truckload of uncomfortable for all involved.

Second, pick your battles with children, particularly when they are related but not yours. I presume she's not being rude, but just not as overtly polite as you'd like. If that is the case, it is hardly wrist slittingly important (not even hand-wringing important). You and your family should have led by example (which it seems you have done). If she gets it, great. If not, you could always have that talk with your brother, but is this really worth raising a major issue about after a medium-range visit like this? Manners aren't just "please" and "thank you," but for some reason, they are indicators we sometimes put way too much weight on.

Are you ready to label her as a mannerless twit? Are you ready to accuse her parents of not doing a good job in her upbringing? Pick your battles carefully.
This is why I was a bit hesitant at the start. For one thing, she has a very reticent personality and at first, until she came out of her shell a bit, I didn't want to make too uncomfortable. I don't think she's ever been away from her parents for this long and she did experience some homesickness on the third night.
Also, I've noticed that whenever her family's at our house for dinner she isn't required by her parents to use the typical polite language.

It just feels awkward to try to impose it on her. I can't explain it. I truly never have a problem asking my kids' friends to use the niceties.

Thanks for all the perspectives on this issue!

jennifer75
08-01-2008, 08:06 PM
Now, she ain't my kid so I haven't really said anything to her about this. But I wonder if I should mention it to her parents. What are my responsibilities here, or do I have any at all?

Well, first mistake was NOT addressing it on day one. Personally.

I - personally - wouldn't mention it to the brother, what's that gonna do? And you risk the response of "why didn't you say something to her?" and well, how do you reply to that? ;)

You do/did have responsibilities the second you agreed to let the girl stay with you for 12 days.

James81
08-01-2008, 08:07 PM
1. My brother can't afford to take both kids on this vacation. Either the two of them go, or no vacation for anyone.



One of the few things I actually agree with my mom on: "If you can't afford to take your kids on vacation, you can't afford to GO on vacation."

If she didn't WANT to go, then that's a different story.

jennifer75
08-01-2008, 08:08 PM
This has always annoyed me.

I think it's pretty selfish to take a vacation and leave your kids behind. But I hear about it all the time.

J, do you have kids?

James81
08-01-2008, 08:10 PM
J, do you have kids?

Yep, I have two.

TrainofThought
08-01-2008, 08:21 PM
J, do you have kids?Whether someone has children or not doesn't mean they don't have an opinion? And just because you produced them doesn't make you a great parent or even one who knows what they're doing? I don't mean to jump on you, but that question pisses me off.

TerzaRima
08-01-2008, 08:22 PM
And you would never feel the need to get away from them for even a weekend?

James81
08-01-2008, 08:23 PM
And you would never feel the need to get away from them for even a weekend?

That's different than going on vacation.

I see the need for a break. But not taking your kids on vacation? Unless, of course, you can afford to take TWO vacations that year. One with, one without.

Captshady
08-01-2008, 08:25 PM
Whether someone has children or not doesn't mean they don't have an opinion? And just because you produced them doesn't make you a great parent or even one who knows what they're doing? I don't mean to jump on you, but that question pisses me off.

Typically, people without children like to approach it as experts, and arrogantly present pure theory.

RLB
08-01-2008, 08:27 PM
I don't have kids yet, but I do require that other people's kids use respectful language with me, especially when I'm babysitting. But at this stage in your niece's trip, I'm not sure it'd be worth addressing or bringing up with the brother.

I was watching my good friend's four-year-old not too long ago, who is usually a very decent and well-behaved kid, and he said something to me along the lines of "Are you gonna turn on some cartoons or what?"

Because he's pretty cute and usually well-behaved, I had to work not to laugh when I asked him to rephrase his question. I did laugh when I told his mom, who was appalled. "You made him ask with manners right? You didn't let him get away with it?"

NeuroFizz
08-01-2008, 08:29 PM
I agree with James here. I don't do anything to "get away from the kids." It's nice to have date nights, and a weekend out would be nice, but it would be because we want to do something the kids are unable to do or to enjoy. If I want to get away from the kids, I can go in another room for a while. We are a family. For us, vacations are family vacations, and we use them to enjoy the kids as much as we enjoy the time away from home and work.

TrainofThought
08-01-2008, 08:33 PM
Typically, people without children like to approach it as experts, and arrogantly present pure theory.And most parents take it offensively because they think there is nothing wrong with their children and/or their parenting.

NeuroFizz
08-01-2008, 08:35 PM
I don't have kids yet, but I do require that other people's kids use respectful language with me, especially when I'm babysitting. But at this stage in your niece's trip, I'm not sure it'd be worth addressing or bringing up with the brother.
But, what if the kids are respectful, but just don't use the "magic words" (please and thank-you)? What we fail to realize is that we've had at least a few years to get our kids into the good manners guild, and to train them to use the expected phrases in the expected situations. Not all parents have the same expected phrases or expect certain things in specific situations. Rude is another story, but even good mannered kids are rude at times (it's a continuing education thing).

And, jackboots are not issued by the hospital nursery when a child is born, nor are they required parental attire. Of course, you can go out and buy them if you want, but you just might find comfy slippers work just as well.

CaroGirl
08-01-2008, 08:37 PM
I, personally, LOVE and ADORE being with my children and can't imagine not taking them on vacation. We're saving up for Europe next year. All of us.

But my kids enjoy going places and trying new things, new foods. They're strong and adventurous and not afraid of new experiences.

We took my niece camping with us because she was there (she'd never been camping before) but she didn't come on the canoe ride and hike with us, and didn't want to go to the beach. I don't think she's the kind of kid who enjoys going on vacation.

And to clarify: she's not overtly rude. She doesn't smartmouth us and uses respectful language; she just doesn't say please or thank you.

NeuroFizz
08-01-2008, 08:44 PM
And most parents take it offensively because they think there is nothing wrong with their children and/or their parenting.
If I take offense at expert advice on parenting forwarded by a person without children*, it is because they do not speak from experience, and they are pushing their opinions, as generalizations, into an area where my experience suggests they are likely to be wrong, or their theory is likely to be ineffective (at least with my kids). The experience of raising kids is an incredible learning journey, and it does have a significant feedback on the behavior of the parents. Any offense I register has nothing to do with thinking my kids or parenting skills are perfect. That's because my skills may not even appropriate for another set of caring parents.

*There are childless individuals who have extensive experience with children, so the "person without children" statement is tempered in this case. Doing some babysitting, however, is no where near the same experience as being a full-time parent.

C.bronco
08-01-2008, 08:46 PM
No, it isn't your job to teach her. But, it is your job to enforce the rules in your own home. Your kids say please and thank you, why shouldn't she when she's there?
Yep. Just say, "This is what we do in our house. It lets others know that we care about them."
;)

TrainofThought
08-01-2008, 09:04 PM
If I take offense at expert advice on parenting forwarded by a person without children*, it is because they do not speak from experience, and they are pushing their opinions, as generalizations, into an area where my experience suggests they are likely to be wrong, or their theory is likely to be ineffective (at least with my kids). The experience of raising kids is an incredible learning journey, and it does have a significant feedback on the behavior of the parents. Any offense I register has nothing to do with thinking my kids or parenting skills are perfect. That's because my skills may not even appropriate for another set of caring parents.

*There are childless individuals who have extensive experience with children, so the "person without children" statement is tempered in this case. Doing some babysitting, however, is no where near the same experience as being a full-time parent.Yeah… uh… claiming that childless people, YOUR generalizing, push their opinions on those who think they are good parents is crap. Who said childless people give unwanted opinions? But hey, it’s all right for you to generalize and think you’re an expert, right? First, no one has to take advice from anyone, although if you’re posing a question on the net, it’s open for all.

Raising children is a learning experience, but it doesn’t mean people actually learn something. Childless people sometimes learn a lot more from being around children then the parents themselves, which could also be why they chose not to have them. In my experience, those who do take offense are normally those who think their children do no wrong and they’re great parents, because they haven’t figured out why people don’t invite them anywhere. Or, sometimes they know they're at fault but don't think it's a big deal.

Mela
08-01-2008, 09:15 PM
Hmm. Listening to the flow of conversation here, taking the kids versus not (I'm not a parent, BTW - well, step-parent) could it be the girl feels lonely and left out because her parents went away and left her home?

I remember when my father remarried. I was 15 and left at home with my new step-siblings and as much as I tried to understand that this was my father's honeymoon, I still felt a little lonely. Maybe part of the problem is her incredible shyness and if that's the case I hesitantly rescind my earlier comments and say give the kid a break. You say she's a little weird - I'm assuming she's an only child - and now she's in a house, probably for the first time for more than a day or two - with brothers and sisters who all know how to behave toward each other but none can really relate to her - and she, to them? So maybe the unfamiliar elements might be setting her off balance a little?

I say hesitantly because there's still that little bit that gnaws at me, that at 12 simple politeness should be routine. But from what you write, she doesn't seem to be the average kid who blurts out a request without using the right words. I'm guessing there's more going on with her if she's really as odd as you say.

TerzaRima
08-01-2008, 09:30 PM
Maybe it's just a mild social maladroitness thing, not rudeness. But I think it's still okay for Caro to say nicely, "In our house, we do (whatever)."

The little Rimas must have been weird kids. Our folks didn't go on many vacations without us, but when they did, we loved it. We loved babysitters, sleeping over at other people's houses, the whole deal.

jennifer75
08-01-2008, 09:34 PM
That's different than going on vacation.

I see the need for a break. But not taking your kids on vacation? Unless, of course, you can afford to take TWO vacations that year. One with, one without.

I may have read into your post incorrectly.....of course. Parents need breaks from the kids. But yes, to leave them home while you go on "vacation" does seem a bit messed up. Specially if they're old enough to know what you're doing.

I left my 5 year old home while me and his father went to Cancun for a week. Did he miss anything, not at all. Would he have had fun in the water, yes. And thats why he'll go to Hawaii next year, for a family vacation. Cancun was for mom and dad.

My parents never went on vacation without my brother and I. They did go to Vegas for an anniversary and was I jealous, No. I had no idea what the heck Vegas was.

Important thing is "parents need time, too".

Getting back to the OP....definitely. You had every right to tell that little snot nose brat ... kidding... that yes, in your house, this is what goes.

NeuroFizz
08-01-2008, 09:35 PM
Yeah… uh… claiming that childless people, YOUR generalizing, push their opinions on those who think they are good parents is crap. Who said childless people give unwanted opinions? But hey, it’s all right for you to generalize and think you’re an expert, right? First, no one has to take advice from anyone, although if you’re posing a question on the net, it’s open for all.

Raising children is a learning experience, but it doesn’t mean people actually learn something. Childless people sometimes learn a lot more from being around children then the parents themselves, which could also be why they chose not to have them. In my experience, those who do take offense are normally those who think their children do no wrong and they’re great parents, because they haven’t figured out why people don’t invite them anywhere. Or, sometimes they know they're at fault but don't think it's a big deal.
Go back and read my post, including the bolded beginning word, IF, and get the context of my comment correct.

That "if" means I don't generalize, and I don't take offense every time a childless person has something to say about parenting. It states the specific cases when I do take offense.

And, I don't think my kids are perfect--they are far from it. And as a parent, all I can do is try my best to help them develop into kind, caring individuals. That's exactly what I do. I try my best.

jennifer75
08-01-2008, 09:36 PM
Also, I've noticed that whenever her family's at our house for dinner she isn't required by her parents to use the typical polite language.



Well...there you have it!

Soccer Mom
08-01-2008, 09:40 PM
Just logging in my .02 as a parent. Have hubby and I ever gone on vacation w/o kids? Yes. We went away for a whole week for our 10 year anniversary. Each year, we go away for a 3 day weekend alone. THis is mommy and daddy time. We don't ditch the kids. They enjoy spending a long weekend with Nana and Grampa getting spoiled rotten.

But we always do a family vacation. Next year, hubby and I are considering going on a vacation without the kids because we think that particular location and planned activities would bore them silly. If we do that particular trip, we will still have a family vacation. Going off without your kids from time to time doesn't make you a horrible parent.

James81
08-01-2008, 09:44 PM
lol I heard a comedian talk about something once and I am seeing it in this thread.

How, when we are uncomfortable with the truth, we tend to start phrasing things in the form of a question. Have I ever did this? Yes. Am I sorry? Or course. But...

:roll:

That's not exactly how it went, but it's the gist. It cracks me up every time I see it.

kct webber
08-01-2008, 09:46 PM
My house, my rules.



That is all.

CaroGirl
08-01-2008, 09:49 PM
My house, my rules.



That is all.
Different households have different rules. I have friends who require their children to make their bed EVERY morning and tidy their room EVERY night. I don't require that of my kids. If I did, would I require that of my 12 yo guest?

Mr Flibble
08-01-2008, 09:56 PM
Each year, we go away for a 3 day weekend alone. THis is mommy and daddy time. We don't ditch the kids. They enjoy spending a long weekend with Nana and Grampa getting spoiled rotten.

But we always do a family vacation.

snap. I mean I doubt my kids could stand a whole day at Les Invalides without driving us batty. Instead they get to have the undivided attention of nanny and all the ice cream they can eat. So everyone gets a good time.

TrainofThought
08-01-2008, 09:59 PM
Go back and read my post, including the bolded beginning word, IF, and get the context of my comment correct.

That "if" means I don't generalize, and I don't take offense every time a childless person has something to say about parenting. It states the specific cases when I do take offense.

And, I don't think my kids are perfect--they are far from it. And as a parent, all I can do is try my best to help them develop into kind, caring individuals. That's exactly what I do. I try my best.Sorry, but the “if’ doesn’t make you exempt because IF you didn’t generalize you wouldn’t have even commented. I originally pointed out Jennifer’s comment regarding questioning someone’s parental status because that’s bullshit when you’re asking for opinions on the net. If CaroGirl only wanted PARENTS to respond, then she should have noted it. Second, I responded to CaptShady who so arrogantly generalized childless people’s actions. Third, I responded to your post because it doesn’t read that way to me. Why put a hypothetical to respond to someone’s post? It doesn’t make sense and leaves you open to use “if” as a cop-out.

And no where in my posts do I ridicule someone in specific for their parenting. Yes, it is the MOST DIFFICULT thing to do, and I know that as a childless person. Do some parents do their best? Yes. Do I believe in sterilization in several cases? Yes.

I just don't appreciate people throwing parental status questions out there and generalizations. You don't know me or how involved I am in children's lives and I don't know how you are with your children, unless you start posting parental questions. People have opinions about war who never served in the armed forces, does that mean their opinions don't matter? That they shouldn't vote for a President based on their feelings about war?

kct webber
08-01-2008, 09:59 PM
Different households have different rules. I have friends who require their children to make their bed EVERY morning and tidy their room EVERY night. I don't require that of my kids. If I did, would I require that of my 12 yo guest?

I would.

RLB
08-01-2008, 10:03 PM
But, what if the kids are respectful, but just don't use the "magic words" (please and thank-you)?

Magic words are nice, but for me they aren't the be-all, end-all of judging "respectful" communication. It's more tone of voice, body language, etc.

Though I do plan on teaching my own children to say please and thank you. Heck, I still say "Yes m'am" to my grandmother and great aunts (by whom that sort of verbage is considered respectful) and I'm thirty!

WendyNYC
08-01-2008, 10:05 PM
Just logging in my .02 as a parent. Have hubby and I ever gone on vacation w/o kids? Yes. We went away for a whole week for our 10 year anniversary. Each year, we go away for a 3 day weekend alone. THis is mommy and daddy time. We don't ditch the kids. They enjoy spending a long weekend with Nana and Grampa getting spoiled rotten.

But we always do a family vacation. Next year, hubby and I are considering going on a vacation without the kids because we think that particular location and planned activities would bore them silly. If we do that particular trip, we will still have a family vacation. Going off without your kids from time to time doesn't make you a horrible parent.

We do this, too. No way my kids were coming on our 10 year wedding anniversary. We will have a weekend away maybe once a year or every other. They stay with grandma and grandpa and have a grand ole time.
Getting away now and then is good for the marriage.

Really good.

And yes, we do family vacations as well.

CaroGirl
08-01-2008, 10:06 PM
I would.
My niece has 17 yo sister. Should I require her, as a guest, to make her bed? How about a 22 yo guest? 44? At what point are people responsible for themselves? I sure wouldn't like my hosts telling me I had to make my bed (I would make it, but I wouldn't like to be told to).

kct webber
08-01-2008, 10:11 PM
My niece has 17 yo sister. Should I require her, as a guest, to make her bed? How about a 22 yo guest? 44? At what point are people responsible for themselves? I sure wouldn't like my hosts telling me I had to make my bed (I would make it, but I wouldn't like to be told to).

I'm not trying to tell you what you should or shouldn't do. I'm just saying what I would do, were I in your situation.

If I had adults staying with me for 12 days, I would think it was rude to leave a mess and not make their own beds, but I probably wouldn't order them to make it. (I wouldn't hesitate to bring it up, however.) But a 12 year old is not an adult--she is a child. And as a child, she will obey the rules. That's just me. I will, however, be the first to admit that I'm a bigger ass-hole than most people.

NeuroFizz
08-01-2008, 10:12 PM
TOT, you said...


And most parents take it offensively because they think there is nothing wrong with their children and/or their parenting.

And in response, I said that IF I take offense, it isn't because I think there is nothing wrong with my children and/or my parenting. I stated what would make me take offense. How the hell is that suggesting IN ANY WAY that I think people who don't have children shouldn't offer their opinions on parenting or post in this or any other thread? WTF.

If seems you didn't like what someone else said, and you're going off on me for it.

KTC
08-01-2008, 10:21 PM
My brother's 12 yo daughter is staying with me for 12 days while they're on vacation. She goes home tomorrow and in the time I've been looking after her, she hasn't said please or thank you one single time.

Would you like another piece of toast? "Yes."

Here's the glass of juice you asked for. No response.

My kids say please and thank you to EACH OTHER, even when they don't know I'm listening and this girl doesn't say it even to us. We went to a restaurant and she didn't say either phrase.

Now, she ain't my kid so I haven't really said anything to her about this. But I wonder if I should mention it to her parents. What are my responsibilities here, or do I have any at all?


I would have corrected her each and every time. She would have soon figured out that it was to be expected in my house, if not her own. My kids are always polite too. I expect kids to be polite in my house and I do correct kids who are not. There is nothing wrong with doing so.

"Would you like another piece of toast?" he asked.

"Yes," came the ignorant reply.

"Yes please," he corrected. OR "Yes, what?" he asked.

"Yes please," she said.

_______________

"Here's the glass of juice you asked for," he said. He placed the glass in front of her, but did not loosen his grip.

No reply. This is a stubborn one, he thought. I have all day. I'll break her yet! He released the glass, but looked at her expectantly.

"I believe the word you're looking for is thank you."

"Oh. Thank you."

"We'll get along fine, you and I. Just remember to use your manners here."

"Sorry."




There is nothing wrong with telling a kid, especially a niece or nephew, that the politeness rules apply to them while they're in your house.

KTC
08-01-2008, 10:26 PM
That's different than going on vacation.

I see the need for a break. But not taking your kids on vacation? Unless, of course, you can afford to take TWO vacations that year. One with, one without.

I agree completely. I wouldn't dream of going on vacation without my kids. My wife and I occasionally do go on weekends, though. We enjoy it...but we're always glad to get home too. Vacation, FOR ME, is a family thing.

TrainofThought
08-01-2008, 10:28 PM
TOT, you said...



And in response, I said that IF I take offense, it isn't because I think there is nothing wrong with my children and/or my parenting. I stated what would make me take offense. How the hell is that suggesting IN ANY WAY that I think people who don't have children shouldn't offer their opinions on the parenting or post in this or any other thread? WTF.

If seems you didn't like what someone else said, and you're going off on me for it.Okay, I did say

And most parents take it offensively because they think there is nothing wrong with their children and/or their parenting.
as an attack response. You're right. I did. I'm not going off on you regarding it. There are some subjects that I guess I should just STAY away from because they piss me off. I felt your post was condescending and so I was responding to you. You said,
If I take offense at expert advice on parenting forwarded by a person without children*, it is because they do not speak from experience, and they are pushing their opinions, as generalizationswhich I read as childless people have no leg to stand on, or opinion on the matter. That their observations, and experiences with children mean nothing.

I apologize if you feel like I'm specifically attacking you. I'm really not... well... it didn't start off that way anyways. I'm sure you know by now that I respect you, so my posts were merely trying to get across that though childless, I may have a helluva lot more sense than several parents.

In the future, I will try to refrain from the numerous threads started about spouses and children. Usually, I'm pretty good at avoiding them, but sometimes a debatable mood pushes me in that direction. I don't always have self-control, it's one of my weaknesses. :)

cray
08-01-2008, 10:33 PM
In the future, I will try to refrain from the numerous threads started about spouses and children.




ack! don't do that, tot.

you're offering an opinion from a different point of view.
it's valuable.

Perks
08-01-2008, 10:41 PM
Carogirl, don't worry about bringing it up to her now. It would be awkward and a hassle. I hope you consider bringing it up to your brother, though.

I think there may be all sorts of reasons the niece was impolite, including shyness, sadness, or even an organic issue. None of these, if she has the ability to communicate at all normally, are reasons to avoid basic social graces. In fact, they are every reason to introduce and insist on them. Generally that can be accomplished kindly and without nuclear fallout. If she's shy or sad, they will help her acclimate to a new situation more quickly - feel part of the group. If she has an organic issue, such as Asperger's Syndrome or whatever, she'll need the handrails of basic manners just to function. (I know this for a fact. My sister is at quite a disadvantage with her social impairment.)

I disagree vigorously that it's not important or 'a hill to die on'. It's amazing to think that you could ask something more substantial of a youth or teen or an adult, later in life and development, without having laid the foundation.

tjwriter
08-01-2008, 10:43 PM
I have no problem plying a please and thank you out of my 2.5 year old if she doesn't provide it. It's starting to become a habit for her though and that's the way I want it.

I also have no problem with coaxing from the lips of other kids those important words. My husband's younger cousins are notorious offenders and I ride them hard about it. Of course, they're ungrateful little heathens in general, so I sort of enjoy it.

Perks
08-01-2008, 10:50 PM
And you would never feel the need to get away from them for even a weekend?

My husband and I went on a five day trip without the kiddies last summer. We wanted to do something that just would have been too strenuous for them. They got a wonderful visit with the grandparents and we got to do something we've wanted to do for ages.

I enjoy my children more than I ever thought I would, but I don't feel bad for saying that this particular event was much more fun without them.

Perks
08-01-2008, 10:57 PM
The little Rimas must have been weird kids.
My youngest is definitely in deep cahoots with her own drummer. I've gone round and round with her to stop thinking that this constitutes a proper request:

"I'm thirsty."

To which I reply, "That's must be unpleasant."

Lol!

'Please' and 'thank you' are, in my opinion, the cornerstones of civilization. The habit of tacking those words onto a transaction is the quickest route out of the labyrinth of self-absorption that is toddlerhood. The sooner they learn they aren't the axis of the universe, the sooner the fun starts.

DeleyanLee
08-01-2008, 10:58 PM
Many years (and several housemates) ago, my housemate's brother came over to mow the sizeable lawn for us and brought his son along. While his sister (my housemate) was fixing lunch (the cost for the lawn service), I was keeping an eye on the 4-year-old nephew.

He comes up to me and points at one of my kids' larger toys. "I want that in the shade. Move it."

"What do you say?"

"Move it, bitch."

While this isn't the first time I've met this kid, it's the first time I've had this kind of encounter with him. I know that my housemate's family is extremely--backward and this is, indeed, how this boy (and his father) talks to women in their family. I, however, am not part of their family.

I restrained from cracking him across the fanny (not my kid) and in my best Mother voice, I said, "What do you say?"

We went back and forth like that for over ten minutes. He used words that my ex-Navy father never used in my presence. I stood firm and instructed him what the magic words were.

10 minutes before he said "Please move it in the shade."

Once spoken, I agreed and carried it over and then held it mid-air, waiting for the thank you. It took a moment for the reality to dawn on the kid, but he did say it without prompting. I set it down and said "You're welcome."

For the remainder of the 2 years I shared a house with that housemate, her nephew maintained at least a veneer of politeness in my presence--much to the astonishment of that entire family.

Since you haven't done anything to this point, it's a little late to start now. However, when this situation arises in the future, you might mention to your brother & s-i-l that you found the child's conduct unacceptable and that you intend to enforce the house rule from that point forward. You can always tell them, "It never occurred to me that my own blood wouldn't have the basic manners down pat by this age."

My 2 cents, at any rate.

NeuroFizz
08-01-2008, 10:58 PM
ack! don't do that, tot.

you're offering an opinion from a different point of view.
it's valuable.
I agree. When we post here, we are all saying "In my opinion" without actually writing the words. The "expert advice" on this topic that offends me is not the same animal.

NeuroFizz
08-01-2008, 11:01 PM
'Please' and 'thank you' are, in my opinion, the cornerstones of civilization. The habit of tacking those words onto a transaction is the quickest route out of the labyrinth of self-absorption that is toddlerhood. The sooner they learn they aren't the axis of the universe, the sooner the fun starts.
Just to play the dark one's advocate, don't you think it becomes more of a knee-jerk reaction instead of a true measure of what you've mentioned? Some kids learn quickly that please and thank you is a must, but they can learn this and still be the most self-centered, impolite beings in the universe. They've just learned what they must do to get what they want and need.

I can hold a treat in front of my dog and say "Say please" and get her to yip before giving her the treat. If I do this enough, all I have to do is hold the treat in front of her and she'll yip for the treat.

Again, since I've already ruffled some feathers, this is just posed to forward the discussion of how much saying "please" and "thank you," in isolation, really is a measure of good manners. Remember, regarding the original subject of this thread, Caro said the girl WAS polite. She just didn't way the two magic words.

Silver King
08-01-2008, 11:04 PM
ack! don't do that, tot.

you're offering an opinion from a different point of view.
it's valuable.
I agree also. And I like when she gets hopping mad. She's just so cute in a scary sorta way. :D

I'm glad to see the rising tensions here have ebbed and we can discuss things more rationally.

As for me, I don't correct other people's children unless their behavior is harmful to themselves or others around them. My kids were raised as being fairly polite, but it came naturally to them and was never something I had to harp about or forcefully ingrain into their personalities.

I care about the children of others, but I've never felt it was my responsibility to correct their bad manners.

Perks
08-01-2008, 11:06 PM
Just to play the dark one's advocate, don't you think it becomes more of a knee-jerk reaction instead of a true measure of what you've mentioned? Some kids learn quickly that please and thank you is a must, but they can learn this and still be the most self-centered, impolite beings in the universe. They've just learned what they must do to get what they want and need.

Absolutely. The budding sociopaths and manipulators will play it to the hilt. The lazy ones will do it because they like to avoid any horn-locking. The kind and good ones will internalize that showing grace makes a nice world.

And in every single case, I don't have to listen to crass little mouths.

Everybody plays, everybody wins.

KTC
08-01-2008, 11:07 PM
I'm not worried about correcting their bad manners...just about them using their good manners in our house. It's an easy thing to do.

Thankfully, my nieces and nephews (with the exception of one that I can think of) are very well mannered. Come to think of it, my son's friends are extremely well mannered too. Our daughters are gone now, so my son and his friends are quite often all over the house. I don't think we ever had to ask his friends to use their manners.

Williebee
08-01-2008, 11:08 PM
cute in a scary sorta way

I'm not certain, you understand, but I think Silver King may have just called you Chucky. (http://www.comicscontinuum.com/stories/0701/18/chucky1a.jpg)

kct webber
08-01-2008, 11:11 PM
Just to play the dark one's advocate, don't you think it becomes more of a knee-jerk reaction instead of a true measure of what you've mentioned? Some kids learn quickly that please and thank you is a must, but they can learn this and still be the most self-centered, impolite beings in the universe. They've just learned what they must do to get what they want and need.

It could be argued that trained-in knee-jerk reactions become habits that eventually become sincere. I understand what you're saying--that 'please' and 'thank you' are arbitrary mechanisms by which we measure manners--but they are valid mechanisms none the less.

People are just complex animals. We train animals the same way. Puppies sit for a treat, initially. Then later they sit simply because we tell them to. We're not that different. We learn proper manners intially because of what it can get us. But they stick a lot deeper than that as we grow up.

Perks
08-01-2008, 11:17 PM
Remember, regarding the original subject of this thread, Caro said the girl WAS polite. She just didn't way the two magic words.

No, what she said was


And to clarify: she's not overtly rude. She doesn't smartmouth us and uses respectful language; she just doesn't say please or thank you.

That's at least a street or two away from polite.

Silver King
08-01-2008, 11:17 PM
I'm not certain, you understand, but I think Silver King may have just called you Chucky. (http://www.comicscontinuum.com/stories/0701/18/chucky1a.jpg)
That's pretty close, except ToT's hair is parted in the middle.

(I sense a negative rep coming at any moment...)

TrainofThought
08-01-2008, 11:18 PM
it's valuable.


I agree also. And I like when she gets hopping mad. She's just so cute in a scary sorta way. :D



I'm not certain, you understand, but I think Silver King may have just called you Chucky. (http://www.comicscontinuum.com/stories/0701/18/chucky1a.jpg)I've been called worse. ;) Besides, Chucky doesn't hold a candle to my temper. GRRRRR! I'll show you a pic one day that will leave you with nightmares.

TrainofThought
08-01-2008, 11:19 PM
That's pretty close, except ToT's hair is parted in the middle.

(I sense a negative rep coming at any moment...)Pfft... Shows how much you remember it's parted on the side. Negative rep, here you come. :tongue

CaroGirl
08-01-2008, 11:26 PM
Carogirl, don't worry about bringing it up to her now. It would be awkward and a hassle. I hope you consider bringing it up to your brother, though.

I think there may be all sorts of reasons the niece was impolite, including shyness, sadness, or even an organic issue. None of these, if she has the ability to communicate at all normally, are reasons to avoid basic social graces. In fact, they are every reason to introduce and insist on them. Generally that can be accomplished kindly and without nuclear fallout. If she's shy or sad, they will help her acclimate to a new situation more quickly - feel part of the group. If she has an organic issue, such as Asperger's Syndrome or whatever, she'll need the handrails of basic manners just to function. (I know this for a fact. My sister is at quite a disadvantage with her social impairment.)

I disagree vigorously that it's not important or 'a hill to die on'. It's amazing to think that you could ask something more substantial of a youth or teen or an adult, later in life and development, without having laid the foundation.
Thanks Perks, ever the voice of reason that you are. Unfortunately, it's not my foundation to lay but when my niece comes to stay again, I'll insist on polite phrasing from the outset.

I do fear a little for her, though. She's a physically frail soul without many friends. She doesn't engage in social activities or sports. It would seem she does nothing but read novels (75 since January 1) and watch television.

KTC
08-01-2008, 11:32 PM
Thanks Perks, ever the voice of reason that you are. Unfortunately, it's not my foundation to lay but when my niece comes to stay again, I'll insist on polite phrasing from the outset.

I do fear a little for her, though. She's a physically frail soul without many friends. She doesn't engage in social activities or sports. It would seem she does nothing but read novels (75 since January 1) and watch television.

Some people come into their own as adults. Being a kid is hard...her idea of fun is reading. Maybe she'll fit in well once she's an adult.

CaroGirl
08-01-2008, 11:35 PM
Some people come into their own as adults. Being a kid is hard...her idea of fun is reading. Maybe she'll fit in well once she's an adult.
I hope so. I'm really pulling for her. I know I wouldn't want to be almost 13 again. No way. No how.

Bubastes
08-01-2008, 11:35 PM
I do fear a little for her, though. She's a physically frail soul without many friends. She doesn't engage in social activities or sports. It would seem she does nothing but read novels (75 since January 1) and watch television.

I'm sure many of us on AW were the same way as kids and turned out fine. :twitch:

KTC
08-01-2008, 11:36 PM
I hope so. I'm really pulling for her. I know I wouldn't want to be almost 13 again. No way. No how.


Yeah...I remember looking around at my peers and thinking, "Good Christ...they're all just children. Yuck!" As it turns out, though, I've grown into a child. (-;

kct webber
08-01-2008, 11:37 PM
Obviously, I've never met her, but she sounds like she could be an extreme introvert. My niece is much the same way--highly intelligent, hardly says a word, and when she does, it's reeeeaaly quietly.

CaroGirl
08-01-2008, 11:43 PM
The things about myself I most regret at that age are what I see in her. I regret my introversion and shyness. I regret all the time I wasted watched TV. All the time I could have been building my social skills and actually having FUN I spent watching other people's fake lives on the tube. I don't want that for my kids, or for her.

I don't regret the reading, though. :)

KTC
08-01-2008, 11:46 PM
The things about myself I most regret at that age are what I see in her. I regret my introversion and shyness. I regret all the time I wasted watched TV. All the time I could have been building my social skills and actually having FUN I spent watching other people's fake lives on the tube. I don't want that for my kids, or for her.

I don't regret the reading, though. :)


But I learned a lot through the Walton family and the Ingalls family and the Lawrence family and the Brady family and the...

Perks
08-01-2008, 11:46 PM
Thanks Perks, ever the voice of reason that you are. Unfortunately, it's not my foundation to lay but when my niece comes to stay again, I'll insist on polite phrasing from the outset.

I do fear a little for her, though. She's a physically frail soul without many friends. She doesn't engage in social activities or sports. It would seem she does nothing but read novels (75 since January 1) and watch television.

75 novels since January! Wow. It's sad to be awkward. I know that firsthand, too.

Of course, it's not your responsibility and you shouldn't feel pressured to make it so. Your only responsibility is to your own home and family and if it rankles (as it seems to have done) you would have been well within your rights to insist (which doesn't mean war, as the examples here have shown) on acknowledgement of your efforts as the cook, maid, and chauffeur.

But on the value of manners and how people are perceived, I am reminded of that guy, Randy Pausch, and his Last Lecture. The thing that stood out the most for me was a quote about a mentor who looped his arm over Randy's shoulder and said, "Randy, it's a shame that people perceive you as so arrogant, because it's going to limit what you're going to be able to accomplish in life."

It's so important to me that my children aren't restricted by a crappy attitude, even at a young age. So, I've made an issue of manners and not just as lip service, but to the depth of what they mean. With this and a major dose of good fortune and good health, we've had such a great time of it so far. I feel bad for kids who don't get that lesson.

But it does not fall to you to make it happen for someone else's child.

Melenka
08-02-2008, 12:05 AM
I think it's pretty selfish to take a vacation and leave your kids behind. But I hear about it all the time.

Our kids go on vacation without US every summer. Between camp and visits to grandma, they are usually gone for at least three weeks. No one ever seems to question that, so the overarching narrative is that it's okay to do something for your kids that involves them having a good time without you, but not okay for you to do something for yourself that involves you having a good time without them. I find that very, very strange.

PattiTheWicked
08-02-2008, 12:19 AM
Regarding vacations -- my hubby and I try to get away for a three-day weekend together about twice a year. We need this time together, and the kids have a blast partying with their aunt and uncle and cousins. We also take a family vacation each year, so no one gets left out.

Regarding the please/thanks situation -- since her time with you is up, it's probably too late to address things now. i wouldn't even mention it to the parents. However, if she comes to stay with you again, she's certainly old enough that you could politely take her aside and quietly say, "I didn't make big deal out of this last time you were here, but in our home it's important that people say please and thank you. It shows people that you respect them and care about them. It would make me really happy if you'd try to do that."

Also, I think there are certain ways that people can be polite without neccesarily saying please. If my child says to me, "Mom, may I have some more milk?" instead of "I want more milk," then to me, that seems pretty polite. It's the equivalent of a please, particularly when it's followed by an unprompted thankyou.

Ultimately, the best thing you can do is lead by example, and make your expectations clear the next time your niece comes to visit.

Perks
08-02-2008, 12:57 AM
And here's why I don't like children -

mine, I've just discovered, have picked all the chocolate bits out of my not-so-healthy trail mix.

Somebody hold me back.

KTC
08-02-2008, 12:59 AM
And here's why I don't like children -

mine, I've just discovered, have picked all the chocolate bits out of my not-so-healthy trail mix.

Somebody hold me back.

lol. That very thing has happened in my house.

Perks
08-02-2008, 01:00 AM
Nobody said please or thank you either. I predict some hurt feelings -- soon.

Perks
08-02-2008, 01:02 AM
Also, I think there are certain ways that people can be polite without neccesarily saying please. If my child says to me, "Mom, may I have some more milk?" instead of "I want more milk," then to me, that seems pretty polite. It's the equivalent of a please, particularly when it's followed by an unprompted thankyou.

Absolutely agree.

PattiTheWicked
08-02-2008, 01:11 AM
lol. That very thing has happened in my house.

Perks' kids ate all the chocolate out of your trail mix too? That's just downright rude.

Perks
08-02-2008, 01:12 AM
My kids are little shits. And quick, too. I didn't even notice they were gone.

ETA - I mean as 'gone to Canada'. I just got a message that my little joke about my babies didn't read like one. Oh dear.

KTC
08-02-2008, 01:13 AM
I brought a different kind of mix home last week. No chocolate...but lots of dried banana chips (my fav.). Day two: no banana chips. My daughter was visiting...I suspect she did it.

JLCwrites
08-02-2008, 01:24 AM
And here's why I don't like children -

mine, I've just discovered, have picked all the chocolate bits out of my not-so-healthy trail mix.

Somebody hold me back.

Oops! That was me. THANK YOU!

DL Hegel
08-02-2008, 01:27 AM
Oops! That was me. THANK YOU!
for turkey & perks

http://smileys.smileycentral.com/cat/7/7_4_18.gif (http://www.smileycentral.com/?partner=ZSzeb001_ZNxmk762NUUS)



http://www.smileycentral.com/sig.jsp?pc=ZSzeb097&pp=ZNxmk762NUUS (http://smiley.smileycentral.com/download/index.jhtml?partner=ZSzeb097_ZNxmk762NUUS&utm_id=7925)

nerds
08-02-2008, 06:50 AM
The little Rimas must have been weird kids. Our folks didn't go on many vacations without us, but when they did, we loved it. We loved babysitters, sleeping over at other people's houses, the whole deal.



We did, too. We were pretty busy kids that way anyway, plus my brothers were always away on various Scouting adventures for weekends or several days at a time. From age five I spent my summers shuttling around to the various farms in the family to visit and help out, and I loved every minute of it. As I got older my summers became working summers on these places, very happy times. We would all have been miserable tied to home/parents all the time, lol, and independent pursuits were very much encouraged from an early age.

There was never a family vacation together because there were six of us kids and not a lot of money, but it didn't bother any of us one bit. We did take lots of day trips as a family though. Well, as many as could be fit in one 1956 Chevy Bel Air. :) Parents-away time we LOVED, not in order to raise hell and misbehave, but just for the independence of it. Awesome.

Later when I was married and my son came along we divided vacation time between going away for ourselves and time away with him along. I also took time for myself away from home, going away for a few days here and there frequently for my own visits and solitary space, something I need the way I need air to breathe. It all worked out fine.

:)