Are Our Kids Being Taught Manners?

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A few posts ago, entitled, Losing It, I wrote about my boyfriend’s son’s friend, Robert, who asked me for cash so he could get a snack when we were at the movies. I thought this was a case of one kid being rude. I was wrong. I’m starting to think that it might be an epidemic that’s infecting our children.

A similar situation happened two days later with another child. My boyfriend took his son and his son’s friend, Peter, to a Red Bull soccer game. I was fortunately otherwise engaged in a sleepover with a girlfriend in the Big Apple, thus unable to attend. When I got home, my boyfriend shared the day’s events.

In addition to the actual ticket to the game, the kids were generously supplied with snacks and some sort of Red Bull trinket, the likes of which usually break on the car ride home. My boyfriend told me that about halfway through the game, Peter asked him for "some money to buy a Red Bulls wig." WHAT??? I am certain that that kid had enough crap in his pockets. Who does this? That wasn’t all. About fifteen minutes later, Peter asked,  "Are we leaving soon?" As I’m listening to my boyfriend tell this, my jaw is halfway down my neck. This kid’s got elephantitis of the nuts.

My boyfriend looked at Peter. "Yes, we’re going to leave (hold for dramatic pause) WHEN THE GAME IS OVER!" I would’ve thrown the kid over the railing. Too much? I need to know what is going on with these kids.

It didn’t stop there. Apparently, after my boyfriend had made them breakfast before they left for the soccer game, Peter sauntered into the kitchen and helped himself to TWO bananas. He didn’t ask if he could have them. He simply made himself at home and took them. When my boyfriend asked him why he was taking two, Peter replied, "I need one for the road."

The boy just had breakfast! What did he need a potassium infusion for? He wasn’t about to run a friggin’ marathon. Please tell me why kids are not being taught manners. It can’t just be Peter and Robert. I’m sure there are more out there and they just might be playing in your family room as you read this.

Are they spoiled? Are the parent’s home supervising? Are the kids accustomed to having free reign of the house? Are there rules, boundaries and structure? How do they speak to adults? Do they think that they’re all friends? It feels like someone is asleep at the wheel.

It’s not my responsibility (nor do I care) what other kids do in their own homes, but when they’re guests in mine, there are rules. And one rule is that you ask before you take something that doesn’t belong to you. This is how I was raised, and it works.

The whole business perplexes me. I am honestly looking for opinions and feedback from moms who might have a take on this. Moms that have first-hand experience with their kids and their kid’s friends. What do you feel the problem might be? Do you think it is a problem?

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