The ‘tacky’ things you should never let your kids do

IT can be hard to control what your kid does in public, but there are a few things that are a massive “no no”, according to an etiquette expert. 

William Hanson told Fabulous some “tacky” things you should NEVER let your children do – and it’s bad news if you let your kids watch an iPad during meals.

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Etiquette expert William Hanson said it is ‘tacky’ to let kids watch their iPads during mealtimesCredit: Getty – Contributor
William shared the top things you should never let your kids do in public

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William shared the top things you should never let your kids do in publicCredit: Rex

Here, William reveals nine things families should avoid at all costs… (so, how many are you guilty of?!)

Using a potty in public

Where should you use the potty? Can you use it in a cafe if they’re being potty trained?

Plonking a potty in the middle of a café floor is just not on. Instead, find a discreet area or, ideally, go into the loos to potty train your child when out of the house.  

Just because they are 18 months old doesn’t mean that they can get away with weeing in public.

Eating McDonald’s

Fast food should be a treat (a few times a year) and not a go-to.

Don’t post about it on social media if you let your child have a happy meal.

Yelling & running around in public

As time passes, it seems most children now are the free-range variety. 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 ‘trained’ the child properly.

Although the Victorian adage that children should be seen and not heard is now obsolete, one wonders if they may have been on to something.


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Using iPads at a meal 

When I was a child, I didn’t ever use an iPad at the table. Granted, iPads hadn’t been invented. But that’s beside the point. 

The key is that meals in restaurants, cafes and at home were important times for me to observe those who knew better (i.e. the adults) and see how they behaved and conversed at the table.

Colouring books (the early 90s version of the iPad) were strictly forbidden, despite my asking for one from time to time.

If parents or guardians cave and give the child a tablet to play on or watch, please provide headphones. People will judge you anyway, but they’ll judge you with increasing irritation if we hear Peppa Pig three tables away.

Parents who insist they can’t get their child to sit still in a chair for an hour or so haven’t ‘trained’ the child properly.

William Hanson

Using reins

Your child is not a dog. 

Dressing them like they’re an adult

A little boy or girl is exactly that and should look like a child, not a mini adult. There is plenty of time for them to wear denim, leather jackets and the like when they get older. 

Childhood is so fleeting most sensible parents wish to preserve it as long as possible, rather than age them.

Look to the royal children for inspiration – they are unbelievably cute, largely thanks to wearing timeless outfits that by-pass faddy fashion. 

Boys should wear Peter Pan collars, shorts and matinee jackets until they reach six or seven, and girls should wear smocks and dresses. 

Knitted woollen leggings are fine for around the house or running daily errands.

Dressing children in smaller ‘mini-me’ versions of what a parent is wearing is a definite no, not just from a class point of view but also because it reveals the parent to have quite an ego.

Wearing tracksuits

There must be some (wrong) assumption that dressing a child in a tracksuit will make them sporty or athletic in later life.  

As an adult, tracksuits are only really acceptable in the gym (or when going to or from it), but as children do not go to the gym, avoid them.

Wearing designer logos

If the logo is bigger than a thumbnail, it’s common. This is a rule for adults, as well as children.

Using a dummy

Dummies, pacifiers – call them what you will but don’t use them, please.  

You’ll never see a parent of solid social standing using one, even as a last resort. 

There are better ways to silence a child – a hard stare usually works nicely if you’ve honed that particular skill. 

Sucking their thumb is a better option.

William said fast food should be a treat (a few times a year) and not a go-to

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William said fast food should be a treat (a few times a year) and not a go-toCredit: Getty – Contributor

Meanwhile, these are the lockdown projects that make you look common from hot tubs to mirrored furniture, according to etiquette expert.

Previously, William said you are common if you have these six things in your bedroom.

And from ‘bubbly’ to ‘avo’, etiquette expert reveals the 10 words that make you ‘middle class’.

William Hanson unveils humorous new advice on how to get over the anxiety of signing a card

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