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How to gracefully handle your child's embarrassing remarks

Melissa Leonard has been wowing clients and readers over the past few years with her fun and dynamic approach to the often perceived 'stuffy' world of etiquette. After having two children (well-behaved, of course!), Melissa took her inno...

Oh no... What did he just say?!

Simon is a precocious 5-year-old who has lots on his mind and uses every opportunity to let others know what he thinks. Everyone loves Simon -- he is cute, cheerful and lovable. Yet, some feel sorry for the boy's mother, as she is often put in an uncomfortable position due to her son's innocent and completely unintentional indiscretions.

Manners for kidsThus, we have what I like to call, 'Simon Says...'. Of course, we have all been victims of our child's indiscretions and it comes with the territory, but how we choose to deal with the situation will make all the difference. Think of this article as a guide to gracefully handling those red-in-the-face situations where your child asks or says something completely and utterly inappropriate.

Simon says... "Why are you so fat?"

If the person is seven months pregnant, this situation is easy to handle. If not, you have to do some quick-thinking damage control. Generally, an effusive response will probably just make you and the other person even more uncomfortable. (As Shakespeare would say, "...the lady doth protest too much.")

 

Simply tell your child that everyone has different bodies and that it is not nice to say such things to others. Immediately apologize for his indiscretion and change the subject to something more upbeat.

 

Once you are alone with your child, explain how a question like that may hurt a person's feelings. If your child is old enough to understand, ask your child how he would feel if someone said something about him that he was self-conscious about (or was otherwise insulted).

 

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