Do young children really give a damn whether they’re making a good impression? Posh advert-ridden magazine Tatler has produced a really rather bizarre guide to help parents raise a posh tot with impeccable manners. The guide actually called “The Tatler Guide to Toddler Etiquite”, provides top tips for parents who want to raise the perfect tot in high society. The guide is divided into sections, how toddlers should behave around other children and how they should be acting around adults, as well as, get this. Real advice on how to deal with ‘arsehole’ toddlers and dealing with children who aren’t quiet!
To be clear (before the complaints pour in), this is about toddler etiquette. Not about parenting. Not about allowing them to grow like saplings in myriad beautiful and compelling (to you, at least) ways. Not about showing them boundaries without compromising their human rights. Not about role modelling or unconditional love. It’s about etiquette, which is a customary code of behaviour when among other people. So, if manners hold no sway over the way you and your toddler interact with the world, then, in a loving way, leave this page. BUT, if you are interested to know how others tend to react to the introduction of your precious jewel into their house/eyeline/earshot, here are some hints.
Seems intriguing. I will read the rest with an open mind. And so I did, often wondering what parent actually calls some of these terms in real life – who says to their toddler “darling hold you like a canapé?’ Rather than a snack. But maybe I replace such words with the words I want to hear when I see a pregnant mum in a tracksuit hauling her 3 kids at 20 years of age down to the seafront of Ramsgate. Some of the topics covered include Hitting, The Arsehole, Canapés fine dining and wardrobe crisis’.
To give you an idea, here’s a few of my favourites:
Is never cute or fun or anything other than revolting. Doesn’t matter if it’s with an inflatable sword or a frying pan, it is not OK. And remember that toddlers enjoy nothing more than oppressive repetition, so if they hit once, they will hit 20 times. The only thing you can do is be mortified and physically restrain. And let’s remember: the hitter’s parents will be more distressed than the hittee’s.
Sometimes your toddler will be the arsehole. (Sometimes, presumably, you are the arsehole.) As long as there is no violence, then ‘BE NICE!!!!!!!’ is kind of pointless. Just have loads of fun until the arsehole decides it’s boring to be the arsehole. The child currently basking in the role of the angel will be the arsehole someday soon. Oh yes.
Canapés (also known as snacks)
Separate bowls/plates/boards. Unless you want to sit there and bang on for hours about sharing. Which is a vibe killer…
It’s very clear whoever wrote this guide do not in fact have children. I don’t have a toddler of my own, yet, but even with my niece growing up it was so nice to see her having her own little personality. Isn’t that the fun of it? Of course we need discipline and if your child is a little brat you should out them in their place, but choosing to call their snacktime as a time to eat canapés whilst watching Mr Tumble is just absurd. Anyone who does buy this guide really does need heir head checking. That is all.