WHEN it comes to parenting, everyone has a different way of doing things.
But there are a few things that are a massive ‘no no’, according to an etiquette expert, unless you want to be labelled as ‘tacky’.
William Hanson told Fabulous some ‘tacky’ things you should NEVER do as a parent – and it’s bad news if you shout from the car window when dropping kids off.
Here, William reveals nine things parents should avoid at all costs if they don’t want to be tacky…
CHATTING AT THE SCHOOL GATES
First on William’s hit list is gossiping at the school gates.
He said: “While having a chat with other parents and guardians at the school gates is not tacky in itself, what does careen into Tacky Town is when parents trash talk the school, other people’s children or the teachers.
“We all have opinions, and healthy discussion is to be encouraged.
“But doing it in such a public environment when one of the trash-talked subjects may well be listening or about to appear is careless and asking for trouble.
“Parents should save any idle gossip for behind closed doors and away from the entrance to the school unless they have a death wish.”
SHOUTING OUT THE CAR WINDOW WHEN DROPPING KIDS OFF
Etiquette coach William also warned parents shouldn’t shout out the car window when dropping kids off, unless they want to be seen as tacky.
Throughout recent centuries, etiquette guides have always been against shouting in public. This has not changed of late and is still bad form, revealed William.
He said: “Even worse when someone becomes a foghorn from the front seat, shouting last-minute instructions about pickup times and after-school activities.
“If every parent did this it’d be a fairly useless, deafening cacophony. Why do some parents think it’s okay for them to be the loudest voice in the carpark?
“Get your children to remove their headphones for a moment in the car and talk to them then.”
CLEANING THEIR CHILD LAST MINUTE
William also shared his disdain for when parents clean their child last minute.
According to the expert, there is no need to do this in public.
He said: “A child is not a postage stamp; neither is it a baby chimp. There is no need to lick your thumb, wipe it across their foreheads or cheeks and then send them on their way.
“Inspect your children before leaving home. Public grooming at any age is never to be encouraged – and children typically recoil when parents do it to them.”
Giving your child a dummy can be seen as common, explained William.
The expert suggested all parents should ‘ditch the dummy.’
He said: “When it comes to rearing your babe, nothing is considered quite as common as giving your child a dummy (which, for transatlantic types, is a pacifier).
“You will never see any child of substance with a plastic muzzle in their mouths – they have been brought up well enough to cause little fuss or outcry in public.
“Ditch the dummy. If you don’t really want to hear your child, don’t have them.”
USING THEM AS SOCIAL MEDIA PROPS
There’s no point trying to get people not to use social media – it’s here to stay, and can be a great tool – when used properly, shared William.
He revealed it can be seen as tacky to use a child – just to get likes.
William explained: “As with everything, there is a way to use it without mincing down the muddy lanes of poor taste.
“A post of the child once born is totally fine, if not expected. (Although try to avoid doing a Zoella and dressing the child up to look like a washerwoman for its first outing.)
“But beyond that, be careful about exploiting the child just to get likes.
“This is perhaps less of a consideration for those who have private profiles – as it’s only going to be family and friends who see.
“But for those who keep their socials open, temper your parental responsibility with your shallow desire for likes.”
As mentioned before, parents dressing their children in outfits that mirror their own is not good form.
William said children should look like children – ageing them up isn’t smart and, frankly, looks a bit twisted.
RUNNING AROUND RESTAURANTS
Another tacky thing that parents do, is let their brood run around restaurants.
According to the expert, judging by what we see in restaurants and cafes today, most children today are the free-range and feral variety.
He said: “A restaurant is not a place for people to get together and eat, it’s a never-ending playground for the little darlings of lazy parents.
“Parents who insist they can’t get their child to sit still in a chair for an hour or so haven’t raised the child properly with a sense of place and occasion.”
USING FIRST NAMES FOR PARENTS
It isn’t progressive or smart to have your child call you anything but Mummy and Daddy (or a variant thereof).
William said: “Getting offspring to use your first names to promote equality is ludicrous and totally misses the point of parenting.
“Others can’t help but wince when they realise how the child refers to their parents.”
Never did I think I’d moot that baby showers perhaps aren’t as bad after all.
Why? Because along have come gender reveal parties, said William.
He added: “They’re another crass display of attention-seeking – whether they take the form of an in-person cringe-fest or vacuous content for social media.
“Attention seeking is never in vogue.”
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