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-   -   "Children should be seen and not heard." (https://www.justmommies.com/forums/f181-traditional-parenting/2221728-children-should-seen-and-not-heard.html)

Linzie January 18th, 2011 07:54 AM

"Children should be seen and not heard."
What are your thoughts on this saying? "Children should be seen and not heard". I remember hearing this from my dad a lot, usually when his football game was on. :rolleyes:

It's "traditional" in the sense that it was the norm not so far back in history. Do you use this saying? Do you believe in to be true in any situation? Discuss!!

challowell January 18th, 2011 08:13 AM

Re: "Children should be seen and not heard."
That was the way I was raised but I let my kids make noise. I just teach them there is a time to be loud and a time to be quiet.

mama0807 January 18th, 2011 08:54 AM

Re: "Children should be seen and not heard."
I do not use this saying. I think children should be able to contribute to the dinner table conversation and I always took this saying to mean that kids were not allowed to speak if the adults were, ykwim?

I'm a fan of indoor voice/outdoor voice, though.

NickieH January 18th, 2011 09:51 AM

Re: "Children should be seen and not heard."
It unrealistic and I think it sounds kind of oppressive. I don't remember my parents ever saying it, but they did constantly remind me to use my "indoor voice" which is a perfectly acceptable request. Sometimes its OK to be loud and other times a we must be quiet, thats what I will teach my children.

Linzie January 18th, 2011 10:03 AM

Re: "Children should be seen and not heard."
I agree with everyone else. Teaching indoor/outdoor voice is perfectly acceptable and that's what we teach our kids, and will be teaching Alexander. The "children should be seen and not heard" is kind of oppressive and, like Nickie said, pretty unrealistic. :lol:

angelsailor288 January 18th, 2011 10:29 AM

Re: "Children should be seen and not heard."
I agree with it to an extent, not exactly that they should be unheard but they should only talk/be loud/etc when appropriate. If two adults are talking they need to say excuse me and WAIT For a response, not keep insisting on talking. I hate that, so rude. It's good to learn to just sit there and listen.

Linzie January 18th, 2011 11:06 AM

Re: "Children should be seen and not heard."
LOL! I learned a LOT of stuff I probably should not have heard by just being quiet and listening!

Jenna January 18th, 2011 04:22 PM

Re: "Children should be seen and not heard."
I'm with the group on this one - it seems like a mean thing to say to a kid. My kid is loud most of the time, but she knows that 'shh!' means 'no more screaming!' in our house. It's not difficult to teach most kids the difference between indoor and outdoor voices.

Gaby&Emmy'sMama January 18th, 2011 05:09 PM

Re: "Children should be seen and not heard."
Obviously in certain situations that comes into play, but for the most part I let Gaby talk away all she wants.. there was very much a 'seen not heard' rule at my Nanas, and we hated it - it felt so... suffocating, and like we weren't allowed to be us...

With Gaby I don't have a chance of making her be 'seen' and not 'heard' - because she talks and talks and talks... even in her sleep.. infact, I say she sleeps in her talk :lol:

MeggysMommy January 18th, 2011 08:38 PM

Re: "Children should be seen and not heard."
I think it worked better a few generations ago then it does now. We will definitely be using the idea of inside voices. It doesnt need to be like a library 100% of the time but outside voices or yelling isnt needed indoors. I'm not going to discourage playfulness but there will be a difference.

elisette111 February 2nd, 2011 03:13 PM

Re: "Children should be seen and not heard."
My mom used this saying... but had a totally different definition of what it meant. I don't know if that's just her generation or what it was always supposed to mean. Just for clarification my mom is 70, so we're talking the WWII kids.

Anyways... children should be seen but not heard applied to when company was over, or in public situations. Kids were still kids and loud and rowdy at home or in areas they're allowed to be, but should be seen but not heard in adult situations. For example if you had company over for dinner the children would be expected to answer questions asked of them, meet everyone and be polite, etc... but would then go play in their own area, or sit quietly. Having a child run through the livingroom while you were having tea with company wouldn't be done. It also applied to other social situations... like the grocery store or whatever... in those situations kids would of course still speak and interact, but should sit quietly (or walk quietly, or whatever) unless invited by an adult to do otherwise. They weren't expected to be silent... just to do things like stand and wait for acknowledgment when running up to a group of adults - not immediately launching into whatever they have to say.

That was likely not the meaning in say, the victorian era... but I think at least in the last 50 years or more it never meant make your kids be quiet all day.

mrsrrjgandmx February 2nd, 2011 05:50 PM

Re: "Children should be seen and not heard."
My mom who is 48 was raised this way. She did NOT raise me this way and we will not raise our kids this way. We're still working on the inside voices trick but that's another issue entirely.

rebeccabaltimore and more February 2nd, 2011 07:01 PM

Re: "Children should be seen and not heard."
I don't think anyone in any of the 4 generations of either side of my family was raised this way. We're not really a quiet family, honestly. I didn't have kids for them not to be kids. Grant is going to learn that there are times to be quiet, but we're not going to behave like it's 1904.

Linzie February 2nd, 2011 08:21 PM

Re: "Children should be seen and not heard."
Oh hey! Two mommas from my PR! Gonna stick around girls? :D

bella1923 January 7th, 2012 12:32 AM

Re: "Children should be seen and not heard."
I am a firm believer in this saying. To many children are running around saying whatever comes to mind and adults using the I ALLOW MY CHILDREN TO EXPRESS THEMSELVES as an excuse why their children are rude, arrogant and **** right disrespectful. I have many friends whose homes i will not go to because their children do not understand I HAVE COMPANY STAY IN YOUR ROOM or PLEASE SAY EXCUSE ME WHEN COMING IN A ROOM FULL OF ADULTS. NOPE they just barge in talking a mile a minute sometimes about things they have no business speaking about. I had one friend whose daughter walked in the room and invited herself into an ADULT conversation. I was like ummm didn't your mom tell you to go outside. The child then told me it was her house and she is allowed to go anywhere she chose. Needless to say I along with several other adults looked to my friend who only remarked...I allow my children to speak their mind. I then told her i would be wrong if i spanked her then huh....seeing how the conversation we were having was of a very adult nature and that is why all the children present was told to go outside. My children are not allowed to interject themselves into adult conversations or be present for one. I find it amazing these same parents then get OFFENDED when they receive an RSVP to someones home and is politely told to find a sitter for their children. My question is WHY THE HELL ARE YOU OFFENDED..YOU CHOSE TO RAISE CHILDREN THAT ACT LIKE THEY BEEN RAISED BY ANIMALS...EXCUSE I WILL NOT INSULT THE ANIMALS BECAUSE THEIR YOUNG KNOW HOW TO KEEP THEIR PLACE...LOLOLOLOL....I guess once people get tired of people left out of things because of their children they will do a better job at raising them...

My name is Bella....feel free to comment...

Star Light January 7th, 2012 12:52 PM

Re: "Children should be seen and not heard."

MommyBeth January 7th, 2012 08:01 PM

Re: "Children should be seen and not heard."
I plan on a bit of "seen and not heard". Dh and I have several adult friends that we like to visit with. Most are couples. Most of the couples have children and would be bringing them with to visit. So the kids would be playing together while the adults visited. We are also working on an indoor/outdoor/play voices with her.

Dh and I were both raised by parents who had a seen and not heard rule. I was either sent outside or to my room. DH was also sent outside or to his room. While right now we can just plan things like this for at or after bedtime, there will soon be a time when some of our friends are not flexible on time like they are now.

challowell January 11th, 2012 01:46 PM

Re: "Children should be seen and not heard."

Originally Posted by Heart of the TARDIS (Post 22783566)
I'm with the group on this one - it seems like a mean thing to say to a kid. My kid is loud most of the time, but she knows that 'shh!' means 'no more screaming!' in our house. It's not difficult to teach most kids the difference between indoor and outdoor voices.

This is completely off topic but my hubby thinks it is funny there is a Doctor Who fan on "my mommy site":D

JJsmom April 30th, 2012 12:10 PM

Re: "Children should be seen and not heard."
i'm a lurker, but I just have to put in my two cents because I was JUST talking to my mom about this a couple hours ago. We both fully agree with the phrase. She was raised that way, and I was too. To us, it does not mean kids shouldn't be allowed to talk or participate in conversations, it's about children are children, and adults are the adults. We feel too many parents are trying to be best friends with their kids now and that's just not how it should be. If my mom had tried to be my friend rather than my parent, I would not be the person I am today. I remember when my mom and her mom would talk and have deep conversations, I would sit there and listen for a bit, then I'd jump in and say something and my mom would tell me to go play. I never understood why I couldn't be best friends with my mom like she was with hers. Now I'm 26 and my mom is my absolute best friend. We talk about 5 days a week and talk about everything. I have more respect for my mother than anyone out there. We share many of the same "old school" parenting practices and it works. I'm not a mom yet, but I'm a nanny, and the kid I watch listens to me, but not his parents. He also comes up to me all day and hugs and kisses me and is very sweet to me. He hits his mother all the time. I believe when you discipline your children and let them know that they are the children and you are the adult, they develope a lot of respect for you. the "children are to be seen and not heard" falls under this. It's never about making them feel like a lower class, or anything like that. Just about how everyone has a place and there is a time for everything. there's a time for kids to be with adults, and there's a time when adults need to be with adults and kids need to go and play. It works.

kathydavid May 1st, 2012 09:28 PM

Re: "Children should be seen and not heard."
Aside from inside voice / outside voice I teach my kids to speak their minds. I want them to feel like their opinions are valued and they should think for themselves. I want my kids to be independent thinkers.

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