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Miss Manners: How do I keep my kids in line when the adults behave like this?

DEAR MISS MANNERS: We host my husband’s sister and her husband for dinner at least once a week. Both of them have terrible table manners.

While it bugs me, I could ignore it if it weren’t for how it affects my children. When their aunt and uncle are over, the kids’ own manners regress.

When I tell the children not to chew with their mouths open or to ask politely for more food, their response is always, “But Aunt Jessica doesn’t have to do that!” or “Uncle Brian didn’t say please!”

Each time, the adults at the table look chagrined. (But not enough, it seems, to change their ways.)

Jessica and Brian are adults and I have no interest in parenting them or making them feel unwelcome at my house. Is it rude to respond to my children by saying, “I’m not their parents”? If so, is there a polite way to make it clear that the behavior is unacceptable from my children in front of people who are doing those same rude actions?

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