Etiquette School is in session! > The Ehell Guide to Never Behaving Badly

The Etiquette of the Childfree

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For parents:
 - While it may possibly be true, it's never okay to say "You'll change your mind!" or "It's different when they're yours!"

 - It's also not nice to say "But who will take care of you when you're old?"

 - Not all childfree people hate children.

 - Each couple's reasons for being childfree are their own. Questioning them at length isn't etiquette-approved.

 - A woman has not failed as a woman because she doesn't have or want children.

For the childfree:
 - It's not nice to compare a pregnant woman to a farm animal or a person who breeds puppies.

 - Holding forth about your reasons for being childfree, whether in front of children or not, is not welcome.

 - It's not okay to be rude to a child's face, even if you don't like children.

shhh its me:
  Good one....
Your children are not invited unless they are actually invited. 
Your child is the center of your universe only.  limit conversation and pictures to appropriate amounts and sometimes none is the appropriate amount (clue if 50 adults 40 of whom are parents or grandparents are at an event in someone honnor and no one else is showing pictures of their kids you shouldn't either)
No one wants to hear about poop unless they specifically ask about poop. " How are you?"/"what's new?"  is not asking for a description of the contents last night diaper

Children are not a special category of conversation , that can be react rudely to. Kids are a part of parents life , some conversations will be about children and just like some conversation will be about  work,  spouse , parents , sibling , boy/girlfriend problems, hobbies , pets, plost of movies you didn't see etc.      Note childeren are also not a special category of conversation that can be talked about endlessly.   

For the Childfree - you are not the only one in the world - expect to see families in public...if they make reasonable noise deal, stop with the eye rolls and snarky
comments as soon as you see them, give them a chance to "prove" themselves, before getting upset.

The converse for the parents - Public space is just that don't expect your kids to be able to act like they would in your backyard...especially in doors.

For the Childfree - don't purposefully block access to prove a point take a reasonable amount of time and let someone else see/do/experience/whatever...they do have the right to be there too.

For the Parents - don't expect people to yield the best seats/viewing area/ect to your kids...others have the right to be there/experience/do/whatever too and if they are there first; they likely got their early or paid more to be where they are...they don't have to move over and cede the best of whatever merely because a child is present.

For the Childfree - don't  be a jerk and use more swear words than usual just because a kid is there and you want to make a point, curbing it because you're in Public is the kind thing to do.

For the Parent: If someone slips up - talk to oyur kids about how we don't use that if you want, but making a scene to the person is rude and will ensure your kids remember that word.

For the Childfree: If a kid comes in your yard tell them politely to stay out...yelling, screaming whatever is rude and will ensure the kid does it more to get the reaction and that the parent gets up in arms.

Parents: teach your kid to stay out of other's yards without an invite. But don't expect your neighbors will know which kid belongs to whom and respect their right to not have kids tresspassing and back the homeowner up with regards to their desires for their property to be used for a play area or cut through.

For the Child Free- if a kid happens to leave a bike or toy in your yard or drive way don't toss it, drive over it, destroy it or keep it - returning it to the parent soley to alert them to an on going issue is acceptable.

For the Parent - do not tell neighbors to "just deal" because "that's part of being in a neighborhood" -you would not want them using your property for their convenience any more they want your kids doing the same thing to their would you feel if their party "spilled ove" into your yard? would it be different if you had to move their stuff in order to pull in your driveway or to cut your lawn...especially if it were an almost daily occurance.

For the Childfree - it won't kill you to acknowledge a kid once...either with a nod or a Hi - engaging them in a full on conversation in a public place is not necessary.  In a party or as a guest in your home, you might want to give them a bit more, but in the public arena would you not give a nod or a "hi" to an adult? The same is true for a kid

For the Parent - do notallow you kid to bother those who have given every indication of wanting to be left alone "hihihihhihihihihihihi" or other such occurrences that are intrusive are not acceptable...and the person on the receiving end  is not being rude if they ask to be left alone

For the Childfree - be careful how you judge parents, looking at a situation with kindness will often help them and you.

For the Parent - we all know that some kids are not neurotypical or however you want to call if...but even those who aren't need boundaries and guidance..,people will be more understanding if they can see yuo are dealing with the issue and not just letting yur kid run rampant over others no matter what the reason for the problem - but if they see you leaving a kid to trantrum/meltdown/explore their voices/what have you so that there is no escape even in a warehouse store then don't be surprised if there are comments and/or sighs, ect.

For both - there are two sides to each encounter a little understanding, tolerance and kindness on all parts goes a long way.

Childfree: If you extend an offer to host a child, please adjust your hosting for the child, don't expect the parents to keep a prison escort grasp on their toddler for the duration of the event. (And please don't feel you have to extend an invite, any parents offended that you don't isn't anyone you need to socialize with anyway.)

Parents: Dont' fish for invitations for your kids, and be mentally ready to maintain a prison escort grasp of your kids and leave early even if they ARE invited. I've taken my kids to parties where my parents friends very much wanted to meet them, and having thanked my host graciously left an hour later exhausted from preventing breakage and/or tantrums.

Black Delphinium:
For the child-free: Recoiling from a child's attempt to initial physical contact is every bit as rude as recoiling from an adult. There are better ways to react.

For parents: Not everyone wants to engage in physical contact with your child(ren). Telling little Jenny to "give Del a kiss" without establishing that Del is okay with kid kisses is presumptuous and rude.


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