We as parents have so much responsibility for raising the next generation. Teaching them how to be open-minded, empathic, problem solvers who make a difference in the world. Or who just don't make things worse. And a huge part of not making things worse in the world is cultivating the art of what is socially inappropriate.
Which is easy when your kids are toddlers. The rules are pretty universal and universally enforced by almost every adult they come into contact with. Things like: Waiting your turn to talk, not line jumping someone else and coughing into your elbow pit as to not contaminate others. Pretty cut and dried right? But, when kids enter the tween/teen years a really weird thing happens.
It becomes socially unacceptable to tell others what they're doing is socially unacceptable.
Which is a huge Catch-22. So, if you haven't learned the basics of what is socially acceptable by this tender age, no one (who acts within the strict social guidelines of appropriateness) will remind you. And result in you being socially shunned. SHUNNED, I said. Think about it and all the people you avoid. The blowhard who talks over you. The woman with horrific halitosis, who inevitably is also a close talker. The guy who snorts up his boogers instead of blowing his nose with a tissue. Or worse yet, he hacks them up and spits them out in your presence. As you stand there speechless. Did that just happen?
All of my kids are now at this crucial age of potential social shunning. And they still do gross things even though I've told them a million times. A MILLION, I said. Like forgetting to flush the toilet. I mean they could do this consistently at age 4. How did they forget. Is there teenage Alzheimer's? WTF? And the cereal slurping? I can't even be in the same room with my kids for breakfast or I'll lose my own breakfast with revulsion. The other day one of my kids picked lint out of his belly button at the dinner table. SERIOUSLY.
I lecture my kids all the time. "Trust me, everyone at school and everywhere else notices these things, they just won't tell you. But I am your mother, and it is my civic duty to tell you how disgusting you are." Plus, I want everyone to know I taught them better. REALLY, I DID. Of course my final goal as a mother is to get these vile kids out of my house. And since it will probably be a long time before they are financially able to afford their own place, securing a roommate will be a necessity. But, who wants to be the roommate of the loud serial cereal slurper who doesn't flush the toilet? NO ONE!
Where the hell is the village helping to raise these kids now, huh?