Mom Slams the Stranger Who Tried to Teach Her Boy 'Good Manners'

Tara Wood, Writer/Facebook

It’s a sad fact but most of the time it’s true: strangers are going to silently judge your parenting and your kids’ behavior. Although this most likely happens multiple times a day, it's when these strangers vocalize their thoughts and let their opinions be known to both you and your kid that they cross a serious line. Although some give a free pass to the older generation because they may be coming from a place of trying to "teach" your child how to behave better, one mom is calling out the woman she had never met before who thought it was appropriate to teach her young son "good manners."


A day after the upsetting encounter at her local grocery store went down, Tara Wood described the incident in a Facebook video. Tara explained that she and her boy walked over to the bakery where they give kids a complimentary cookie when they stop by the counter. "Which is nice and I appreciate it, it sometimes helps get through the grocery trip without too many tears or whining," she said. But things took a different turn after the woman handed her child a cookie and Tara's boy responded, "thank you."

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According to Tara, the woman then asked if the child was having a good day and he said, "yes." Although some would take this as polite conversation with a child, this stranger wasn’t pleased that the boy didn’t respond with, "yes ma’am."

When the woman corrected him by saying, "yes ma’am ... ?" and waiting for him to repeat after her, Tara explained that her boy was confused. "He looked at me, looked back at her, and said, 'yes?'" When the woman emphasized his missing "yes ma'am" again, Tara decided to step in. "He had a really great day yesterday, thank you very much for the cookie. See you later," she recalled in the video.

That wasn't the end of it because Tara said that the woman then put her hand on her chest and scoffed at this mother and her child. "I guess she got some sand in her vagina because I didn’t make my kid say ma’am to her, which I guess she thinks is mandatory for good manners," she said. "But this is what's up: manners are subjective, so for me, if my kids say, 'please' and 'thank you,' and they are polite, kindhearted, thoughtful, and mindful of other people that share this planet with us, then I don't make them say, 'sir' or 'ma'am.'"

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To Tara, this practice is a bit antiquated, arbitrary, and not something that she finds of paramount importance when it comes to teaching her children how to properly behave. "But when you start sort of imposing what you think good manners are on other peoples' children, it's really time to take a step back and figure out where the boundaries are," she said. "The beautiful thing about parenthood is that we are allowed to choose how we parent our child and we are allowed to choose what we think are good manners and what works for our family. There's not a handbook."

Tara knows that her parenting style is different than others but hopes that people can learn to respect each other instead of trying to force their opinions on other parents' children. This encounter was an eye-opening experience and now she’s curious what other moms think or would have done in her situation. "Is it important to you that your child address their elders or someone in a position of authority as ma'am or sir or are you just happy when they use good manners and are decent representatives for your family in public?" she asked. "Because for me, if my kids aren’t eating their own or their siblings' boogers, I call that shit a win."

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