How to Talk With Your Kids ... About Rudeness in Public
By Carol Hildebrand

You are poking through the organic carrots at the market when your child stabs a finger at a nearby man and loudly shrieks, “Look at that man, Mommy! Why is his nose so big?”

Now, this man is admittedly Cyrano de Bergerac in a Red Sox hoodie. But that doesn’t mean your child should announce the fact quite so loudly. What do you do?

A typical response: “SHHHHHHH! Be quiet, George! We don’t point at people! It’s not polite to talk about people so that they can hear! You might have hurt his feelings by talking about his nose like that!”

A more helpful response: Although undoubtedly embarrassing, it’s important to remember that your child doesn’t think he is doing something wrong, says Braun. Anything that looks different will catch his attention, and he is bound to be curious.

So don’t let mortification rule your response. Instead, Braun says, get down to your child’s sight level and – modeling your best quiet voice – say something like this: “Yes, I’ve noticed that man’s nose is a different shape. Noses come in different sizes, and we will talk about it when we get out of the market.”

Then, remember to talk about it when you get back to the car, letting your child know that you don’t know whether the man loves his nose or not, and when we talk loudly it might make him feel bad. We don’t want to hurt his feelings, so remember to ask about things in a quiet voice.

Find 3 basic tactics for solid communication when dealing with young children in  
How to Talk With Your Kids ... About Anything

For more real life, familiar situations, see: