The other day I was visiting a preschool and talking with a parent whose adorable six-year-old was wearing a pirate mask and carrying a play sword. He came up to me to me and said, “I’m scaring you!” I said “Oh-h-h. I’m so scared!” He smiled appreciably. Immediately the mother apologized for her son’s rude behavior. I commented, “Oh. He’s adorable. And so scary, too!” She grinned, her embarrassment turning into laughter and confidence.
Why do parents expect their kids to behave like adults when they are in the presence of other adults? It makes no sense. Kids are supposed to be playing and expecting to delight people. This gives them confidence and is developmentally on target. Why expect anything else?