I insist on politeness. Rudeness is a red card offence in my house, i.e. immediate banishment to room, grounded for the weekend, no internet, etc.
But my children, especially G, are not the type to accept meekly (and I am glad). We pay for international school education for precisely this reason: so that they are encouraged to think, question, challenge, debate, learn …. of course, in the politest way.But here are the unspoken subtexts behind G’s words spoken with her oh-so-British accent:
(1) “Dad, I don’t get your point” actually means “Do you seriously know what you are talking about, because I doubt it.”
(2) “If I may have my say now please” actually means “Shaddup, you waste of space.”
(3) “Is it really?” actually means “I don’t think so, pondlife.”
(4) “The person who wrote this book is wrong” actually means “There are so many farking stupid people in the world today.”
(5) “Please allow me to show you how it’s done” actually means “Move over, loser”
This is why I cannot teach her. Because her words and tone of voice is a model of politeness in itself – thus I cannot censure her – only that I can hear the subtexts. Which is not good for my blood pressure.
The child with the cut-glass British accent: