Teaching social norms to children

I had a most hilarious conversation with my preschooler the other day which prompted me to want to embark on teaching social norms to her:

A: Mummy, Teacher XX (a male teacher) said he likes the ribbon on my panty.

Me: Erm, I really don’t think he does, darling. You mean you showed him your panty?

A: Yup.

Me: Darling, you don’t go round showing people your panties, you know?

A: Why?

Me: It’s just not right. No one goes around showing people their panties. And you cannot show especially men your panties, okay?

A: So who can I show my panties to?

Me: Errr, you can only show your panties to our family… like mummy and daddy.

A: Cannot! Cannot show daddy.

Me: Why?

A: Because daddy is a MAN.

*stunned silence*


For this matter, I hardly believe that the male teacher actually said anything about her panties and even if he did, she’s probably the one who forced him to say what she wants to hear. You see, she really does go round announcing that she’s wearing new socks, a new blouse and of course, new panties. She even goes into details like, “XX, today, I’m wearing my new pink Angry Bird panties that my mummy bought!”

In her childish world, having a new pair of panties on is a really big thing and a piece of news that ought to be shared because that new item made her day. It’s something we adults feel too, especially when we wear new clothes or lingerie; the only difference being that we know better than to announce that we have something new on, underneath.

While I managed to teach her that she shouldn’t go round showing people, especially men, her panties, I still haven’t managed to get her to contain her excitement to not make public announcements, like on the bus. Nevertheless, we will try to work towards that while I secretly enjoy her childish innocence for now.

How do you teach social norms to children?

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4 Responses to Teaching social norms to children

  1. Ai Sakura says:

    aww cute. For some reason my little girl likes to randomly lift her shirt and show others her tummy! for this we just have to keep reminding her and for other manners e.g at the table, we show her examples, and reinforce with praise when she does it correctly.
    Ai Sakura recently posted…Kawaii Japanese 3D Nail Deco Art by GardeNailsMy Profile

  2. Mumseword says:

    hahaha… this is funny! I can imagine my girl doing that too!!
    Mumseword recently posted…Give Thanks–Papa & MummyMy Profile

  3. so cute! But it’s alright to keep reminding her about social norms. I also trained my girl to wear her panty straight after her shower before coming out from the bathroom coz I told her that she is growing up now and she has brothers at home so not too nice to flash herself naked everytime she is done with her bath. Now she automatically brings her towek & panty to the bathroom during bath time.

  4. Adora says:

    Mine simply can’t understand why it’s ok to walk around in panties at home and yet has to sit properly when our of the home! She tsks at us when we remind her haha.

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