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Letters From Listeners
Raising Well Mannered Children
Raising Well Mannered Children
10/17/2011

Hi Dr. Laura,

First, you must know my husband and I enjoy your show and your books and appreciate you're such an advocate for children, although we do not have any, other than the four-legged furry kind!

On a recent trip to Epcot for a quick respite from my work, we found ourselves being chastised for having an opinion about the way we were treated by a minor. Let me explain.

After a full day of walking through the park and eating our way through the park as well, we took our tired feet and aching backs on the monorail toward our hotel. As we embarked on the train, we were last on board after a family of four to include a mom, dad, son (about 12 or 13 years old, and daughter (about 10 years old) and two grown men. There was only room for my husband and I to stand and not one of the men or the son offered their seat to me, which annoyed my husband. By the way, my husband, retired military, raised by military parents, always opens doors of every kind for me, and was raised to do all he could do to provide assistance for ladies. I am very happy about that attribute of such a mannerly husband!

As the train came to slow down to our destination, I lowered my hand from holding on to the grab bar above me and accidentally hit the teenage boy on top of his head as he used his left arm to keep me aside so he could get off the train first. His parents and sister followed behind us, as my husband calmly and quietly clasped my hand to walk with me and stated to me, "I almost cold-cocked that kid who pushed you aside to get off the train ahead of you!" I laughed and said, I was surprised he needed to get off first and I accidentally put my elbow in the top of his head, not realizing he was under my arm to get off and told my husband I felt the pressure of his arm to keep me from stepping on him so he could get off first. Then I made the statement, "Thank God he's not our child!" And my husband giggled and said, "I'm glad he's not our child either!" We were not talking loudly, mind you, but apparently, the boy's parents heard us and as the crowd dispersed off the platform in all different directions, his father yelled at us, "He's my child and we can hear you!" So my husband replied, "Sir, if you'd like to discuss this, I'd be happy to do so!" Then we promptly got the middle finger tossed at us from the dad!

The very next day, as I was in Bed, Bath and Beyond, I followed a Spanish-speaking woman and her young son (about 3-4 years old) into the ladies' bathroom. I was a few paces behind them and so when they walked into the bathroom, the door closed behind them. Then, as I went to reach to open the door, the little guy pushed the door open with all his might and a big smile, to open if for me, realizing the door closed and he was taught to open it for ladies.

I thought the vast contrast in manners was alarming and just had to pass it along to you.

Thank you.

Laura

Tags: Behavior, Manners, Raising Boys to Men, Raising Men Not Boys, Read On-Air, Stay-at-Home Mom, Values
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