inmandyland

Honesty vs. Manners

Kids on SkypeIt’s rarely disputed by parents, but seems to always surprise aunts and uncles, friends and random strangers; it’s just a simple truth of childhood: if you ask a kid a question, he’ll give you a no holds barred, honest answer.

My sister called from LA to Facetime with two of her four nieces and nephews. She’s recently moved to a new place and wanted to give a video tour to the kids in hopes of luring them to visit—I’m hesitant, to say the least, because Elizabeth’s last visit resulted in her turning into a Justin Beiber-loving mini hipster. Not terrible, but not really appropriate for my three-year-old.

After the virtual tour of his aunt’s home, Joseph (in his typical non-diplomatic manner) commented, “Your room is really messy.”

“I haven’t had time to clean, Joe.”

“You said you didn’t have food either and you’re hungry.”

“It’s the single life, kid. I don’t have time to go shopping.”

“I don’t know about the single life, but your room is dirty and you don’t have any food. I think you might be lazy,” he finished decisively.

“Joseph!” I admonished, thinking to myself that he may have a valid point.

He nodded his head. “And why don’t you have a rich uncle for me? Benny and I could use a little cash.”

My sister, laughing so hard she had to put the phone down, finally responded, “I guess it was time for real talk with Joseph.”

Thankfully his tactless responses were given to a woman who adores him. I shudder to think what he tells other adults in his life. In trying to teach manners and honesty, how do you curb one to enhance the other?