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I have a sort of etiquette question...
February 19, 2013 at 4:25 PM

My daughter is still talking about this after four days so I thought I'd pose the question to you ladies.

Four days ago my SIL was over with her two daughters, her youngest and my daughter are both 10 and the best of friends. Well, I reminded my daughter to do her chores, which includes emptying the trash can. We have a dual trashcan. It has to bins and when you put a new bag in it, you poke part of the bag through a hole at the back of the bin then put the lip of the bag around the trash can and pull tight on the part you poked through the hole. Well, my niece wanted to help my daughter so they both took out a bag of trash and were both putting a new bag in. My daughter kept trying to explain how you do it and my niece just ignored her. If you don't put the bag in just this way then it slips down into the bin the first time you put anything in it. So my daughter was really stressing that you needed to do it this particular way. She wasn't being rude but after the fourth time my daughter tried to explain it and my niece just brushed her off and told her it wasn't a big deal my daughter got upset about it.

My SIL stepped in and told my daughter that she should just say thank you when someone is trying to help you and my daughter responded with, "But she's not really helping me if I just have to fix it because she won't do it like I told her." This irritated my SIL who gave me this look of "Are you going to say anything to her?" So I just said to my daughter "Don't worry, honey, I'll fix it later. It's still polite to say thank you." She grudgingly thanked her cousin but for a couple days now she's brought it up that she didn't think she should have thanked her cousin and that if you're going to help someone you should listen to how to do the job and not ignore what you're being told.

I don't think it's a big deal, but as far as etiquette goes, what do you do in that situation? Thank the person or tell them they're doing it wrong and try to help them learn how to do it correctly?


  • LaughingTattoo
    February 19, 2013 at 4:26 PM

    You simply thank the person for helping and later go back and fix it.

  • thecoffeefairy
    February 19, 2013 at 4:27 PM
    I think saying thank you is appropriate but it should go something like this, IMO " thank you for the help but we do it this way."
  • spunky946
    February 19, 2013 at 4:27 PM
    Well I'd try to help them learn how to do it once, but if they did not want to learn, I'd say thank you, move on and fix it later.
  • Anonymous 1
    by Anonymous 1
    February 19, 2013 at 4:27 PM

    The kids are ten.  Your SIL shouldn't have gotten involved.  Kids need to learn how to work things out on their own.  IMO, it should never have come up as an issue to begin with.

  • Anonymous 2
    by Anonymous 2
    February 19, 2013 at 4:29 PM

     I'd say thanks for trying to help, then do it herself, or yourself later.

  • almondpigeon
    February 19, 2013 at 4:30 PM

    maybe if they were strangers to each other, proper etiquette would dictate that she say thank you.  but, since they're family and best friends, i see nothing wrong with what your daughter did.  i agree with her,  if you're causing me more work, it's not really helping me.

  • bustybee
    February 19, 2013 at 4:30 PM


    Quoting thecoffeefairy:

    I think saying thank you is appropriate but it should go something like this, IMO " thank you for the help but we do it this way."


  • ColleenF30
    February 19, 2013 at 4:31 PM

    I agree with your Daughter. Then again I tossed a lot of "etiquette" out the window years ago.

  • Anonymous 3
    by Anonymous 3
    February 19, 2013 at 4:32 PM

    You say thank you for the help extended.

  • Anonymous 4
    by Anonymous 4
    February 19, 2013 at 4:34 PM
    SIL should have left it alone. Kids need to navigate these things on their own at that age

    I'm not sure the correct reply. Your dd was trying to show her how to do it correct and her cousin would not listen. So I get how your dd feels she was not being helped. Maybe save chores for Shen people are not over. I bet this situation won't come up again

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