Very interesting responses! I suppose this thread could also be titled 'other people disciplining my children in a style I'm not comfortable with.'
Originally Posted by Dar
I've pointed out that according to Emily Post, correcting someone else's manners is one of the rudest things one can do. Good manner and politeness are all about making people feel comfortable, and telling someone else that he is being rude doesn't accomplish this.
Yes, I'd ever tell an adult what they did was rude, I'd find some other way to express my need and wishes. "I'm talking, I will speak with you when I am done," said with a tone appropriate to the situation is much more effective to me than telling an adult they're actions are rude. Same for kids.
Originally Posted by velochic
I think you're never too young to start learning manners - even at 18 months children can be told that an action is rude. The way it is taught is another thing all together.
If these people are "Friends", then they must be close enough to you to think that they are in the circle of people who are considered the "village" that will raise your child. If that is not the case, I think it's your prerogative to tell them to not correct your child. Otherwise, I don't see anything wrong with what they did. They said what needed to be said, perhaps not very gingerly, but still...
Oh, I totally agree. Manners are important and teaching them all lies in the 'how.' From the moment my kids start interrupting I have them wait. A few seconds for a baby, longer for a toddler; my 3.5 year old must wait until the conversation is done before I'll turn to her (except in emergencies or extremely long conversations of course). But "I'm talking, I don't like being interrupted. Please wait until I am done.'' is miles different to me than 'you're being rude.' Maybe that's me; I'll need to think more why these are so very different for me. I guess I'm trying to teach manners not just directly but by exemplification. Telling someone they're being rude, especially someone else's child, just feels really harsh to me. I don't want to say it, I don't want to hear it. I think I mentioned in a PP that this isn't a 'hey, please be aware that interrupting is rude,' type of a remark, but a sharp reprimand.
The personal space issue is so very culturally bound. We have lots of friends and family from different cultures and all have different personal space requirements. In the example, my DD was standing as close to my friend as my Dad's side of the family would stand to her. Yes, I think she's entirely capable of learning that different people like different levels of closeness, but at three she needs more direct education about this. To label her behavior as rude without first saying, 'I'd like a little more space', or even shifting position to give oneself more space, is neither effective or respectful. Will she now think of her family and friends who stand close as rude? Will she start telling them that? Big can of worms here. Or, to look at it another way, big teachable moment!
And I totally agree, I need to talk to these people about this, I'm just struggling with the words. I've been talking more about my discipline style around them so they get a sense of what my kids are used to. Maybe it will take eventually.