|The impulsive, blunt honesty of a 6 year old makes me laugh more than anything...even if they had said it about my own dinner. I guess I just don't get all hurt and bent out of shape by like, 6 year olds.|
When I was very overdue and we were eating at a local diner, a little girl was walking into the bathroom as I was walking out. She was about 5 I would say. Well, she turns to her mom, her eyes big as saucers and said "wow mama, that lady has a BIGGGGGG belly!!!" Was she being rude or just making an observation? Well, I took it as the honest observation of a small child and I laughed. I bent down and said to her, "My belly is big because I am growing a baby in there!" She asked a couple of questions and wanted to feel my stomach. Her mother looked SO freaking relieved because I am sure she was expecting a dirty look and for me to think her daughter was so rude and whatnot. I didn't.
Same goes for children who say things are gross or whatever. I guess I just give them the benefit of the doubt and chalk it up to them not having the impulse control or the right words at the moment to express that they don't like peas or whatever. I don't come to it as if the child is a rude brat who is hell bent on hurting feelings. It is all about perspective.
Yes, I want our daughter to learn manners and appropriate social behavior. I am hoping to accomplish this by the time she gets old enough to be out in the world through modeling, everyday discussion, and her own personal observations about the world and about how people respond positively or negatively based on the words and actions she uses. I don't expect this to be accomplished at 6 years old. I would much rather foster and support authenticity in her words and actions FIRST, and worry about pleasing others in a social situation second.
No one is saying I would be congratulating her and turning cartwheels if she said someone's dinner was gross. Of course I don't want her to knowingly hurt someone's feelings or be *rude* or whatever....but I am not going to force anything, or "gently remind" in public, or whatever. I am perfectly content to model and to pick up the slack (so to speak) while she is little, by apologizing or thanking for her in her presence rather than reminding her to do it in front of people or giving her a look or whatever.