A week or so ago I was shopping with Munchkin. He is exceptionally well behaved in the store. We went to Target and then on to the grocery store. At the grocery store, he is responsible for label reading---when he asks for foods that aren't an acceptable healthy choice, I task him with reading labels and making a better choice. This results in him looking at the actual ingredients and content of the food.
A woman was shopping at the same time and we kept running in to her in aisles. She observed him in the cereal aisle comparing boxes of cereal before deciding on his peanut butter panda puffs. She observed him in the dairy aisle comparing processed "cheese" product to real cheese. We finished our shopping and went to the checkout lane. The lady was in line behind us. Munchkin helped me load the belt and then took the bags from the bagger and lined them up in the cart while I paid. He was polite to everyone and extremely helpful.
At this point, this woman was in awe. She looked at him and looked at me. She told me she was very impressed that he was so well behaved while shopping. I thanked her for the compliment. She then looked at him and told him that he should tell me to buy him a candy bar for behaving so nicely.
WHOA--shut the front door. I was floored. I told her kindly, "we don't reward behavior that is expected in our family". I mean seriously, why on earth should I buy my kid a candy bar for doing what I expect of him. I expect him to be well behaved and well mannered when we are out in public. The behavior expectations that I have for him are constant. When we go out to dinner, I expect that he sits in his seat, orders his meal and speaks softly. When we go to the playground, he can run amok and be loud and noisy, but he can't push or hurt others and he should treat other kids the way he would want them to treat him. When we go to a store, he is expected to stay "close enough to touch me", be helpful and not run around or be loud. This is just the way that it is. I have these expectations of him because I know that he can do them.
I am also well aware that there are a lot of 1st graders that simply would not be able to do these things and that is ok too.
What I cannot understand is why some stranger would think that it is ok to tell a child to "tell their parent" to do something. Quite frankly, I find that to be one of the things that seems to be wrong with society these days. It certainly takes a village, but that village should be more focused on manners and safety of everyone rather than demonstrating and encouraging pushy behavior by kids toward their parents.
Perhaps I am just sensitive, I don't know. What I do know is that we have expectations in our family and we expect that everyone in our family follow them-myself included. I would never presume to tell a kid to tell their parents to do something. I may tell them gently to be careful if they are in danger, or even pull them back out of the street if a car is coming (I have done this in the crosswalk on the way to school) What I would never do is intrude on another families values.