I Teach My Children To Be Rude

You read that right. I teach my children to be Rude.

These little angels? Rude?



OK. I didn’t teach them that kind of rude. They were born with a complete knowledge of how to be rude to their siblings.

If you hadn’t noticed, I have FOUR daughters. Four girls. Four female children. And I am compelled to protect them.

Many years ago when I was barely twenty I traveled around the Middle East with friends. In Egypt, I traveled with two girlfriends. Two of us were Caucasian Americans and one of us was an Asian American. The two of us who were easily identified by Egyptian men as “White American” were targeted constantly. Men would walk up to us in a museum and grab our hands or brush against our bodies. In tight spaces or taxis men surreptitiously put their hands on us attempting to touch our breasts or bottoms.

Yet our Asian friend, as much American as us two white girls, was relatively untouched. The sleazy men didn’t identify her immediately as “American” and seemed somewhat in awe of her.

Here’s a fact, Middle Eastern men do not treat their own women this way in public. They did not treat my Asian friend this way. I’ve noticed the same phenomenon all over the world.

What is it about American women that make us targets?

Here is what I think. Women in other parts of the world are raised to be RUDE. If a man “accidently” bumps in to her, she hauls off and lets him have it with a verbal tirade. I’ve seen it – and the sleazy man slinks off. These non-American women have no internal restrictions that keep them from acting rude in order to let a creepy man know to Back Off.

American girls/women have been taught: Don’t make a scene. Don’t disrespect our elders. And because someone is a friend or relative of a friend that we need to listen to and respect them.

I say NO. And so I teach my daughters to be RUDE.

This has become more crucial in recent years because my girls are getting older. They go places – Without Me. Birthday parties, sleepovers, camping trips, etc.

Nowadays our conversations go something like this:

Me: “If a friend or relative of so-in-so is bothering you in the pool or keeps talking to you and picking you up and throwing you around, what do you do?”

Daughter: “I say, ‘Get off me. Stop doing that. I’m going to tell my mom.'”

I let my kids know that there will be NO negative consequences for being Rude to a person who is making them uncomfortable, harassing them (even jokingly)  or bothering them.

They have been taught their entire lives to be kind to others. I know, I was taught the same thing. I didn’t know I could or should open my mouth and make a scene.

This world is full of predators; to keep my daughters safe, I teach them to be Rude.

Don’t get me wrong, I do want my children to be kind as well, I’ve written about it here.

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33 thoughts on “I Teach My Children To Be Rude

  1. You see? I always felt my daughter (10 yo) needed a natural talent. But ya know,she can be rude with the worst of them! I’m so proud!
    Actually, I am glad that she can express herself. Her brother is a cipher.



  2. Although American myself, my two daughters (one is European, the other Gypsy) are extremely beautiful and unfortunately that comes with a lot of issues from men no matter their age. My youngest is 16 and I had noticed some major problems of men staring at her (since the age of 12) making her extremely uncomfortable and scared. They don’t even have to be men from other countries. In one situation in the mall, several men passed by with one making a comment to my daughter right in front of me. So, I let loose and told him how inappropriate he was and so much more. He got scared and his friend was trying to pull him away from me because I was obviously drawing a scene in the middle of the food court in the mall. In the end, he apologized and after he had walked away, there was another man behind me (a father with a few little children) who said, “Great job mom!” and said I did the right thing. My daughter that day got a lesson that you need to speak up and let them know that what they are doing is wrong and to not put up with it. I gave her permission to say something rude back as well as complain about them if need be. I don’t want my daughter to ever be afraid or back down, especially when she is young. We get so accustomed to telling our kids how to have good manners and to be respectful of our elders, but rarely do parents say, “This is what you need to do if someone tries to hurt your or make you feel uncomfortable.” We have told our kids too many things to be nice. It’s time that we make changes to protect, not willingly be victims out of niceness.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is an excellent pot and conveys an important idea–the dark side of politeness–not being assertive when we should. And it’s especially true for women and girls. Good for you for teaching your girls to be rude.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is the best thing ever. I do this with my children because you are absolutely right, this world is full of predators and people are more likely to turn a blind eye to your distress or to pull out their smartphone to add your distress to the internet than they are to help. Therefore, we have to help ourselves. Good on you for teaching your daughters this very important life skill!


  5. Well said. It’s sad that we must resort to rudeness, but wisdom demands it. Good for you for looking out for your girls and teaching them to stand up for themselves! Blessings– 🙂


  6. This is great food for thought for me, thank you! We certainly need to teach our kids what is/isn’t ok. Thank you for sharing with us at The Loft!


  7. Thank you for sharing your experience from the middle east. I don’t agree that you were man handled because of a sense that white American women are publicly passive. I think you were more likely man handled because of a view that our women are promiscuous, or out of a sense of hatred over what they perceive as American arrogance in feminism. Whatever the reason though, I fully agree with teaching our daughters to stand up for themselves in the face of physical violation- I do the same!


  8. I so agree with you. The only way they can learn is to stand up for themselves. I lived in Turkey for two years and stood out as very American. I was in NATO. 70% of my staff were Turkish. The men had to learn to take orders from me. They learned fast. I did have a chance to talk to some to them about the attitude of these men toward Americans. Do you know what they said,”American women go to bed with a man the first time they meet them and they have no morales.” I was one women who showed them that was wrong. Where did they get that idea? Movies. American movies.


  9. Definitely good advice, and I wouldn’t say just for girls. But I don’t think I would call it rudeness. More like reprimand, rebuke, and reproof. And I’m not just trying to play a semantics game here. We see rudeness as negative, and rightfully so. But the Bible teaches that we are to reprimand, rebuke, and reprove when necessary. It changes it into something not only positive, but as obedience to God. But anyway, all kids should hear this!


  10. I’m stopping by from #TheLoft. This advice is so needed, I think especially in Christian culture. My husband’s family is full of abuse experiences, so this concept is one we are trying to teach our sons, as well. Yell, make a fuss, scream, absolutely! Thanks for sharing with us this week.
    Jen @ Being Confident of This 🙂


  11. Great post! I think one of the issues when you are travelling abroad is you don’t know what to do in that situation because you are in another culture. If you say something, will they understand? I have seen girls take it firsthand because they did not know WHAT to do. Speak up, that is what you do! Great reminder here. (In most cultures hitting someone with a shoe is a great insult and the point would be driven home 🙂


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