My sister-in-law chews with her mouth open.

by Kelly
(Prospect, Va)

When my husband, daughter and I go to his parents for lunch every weekend, I sometimes catch my daughter (6) accidentally chewing with her mouth open. I tell her to stop and that it isn't lady like. My SIL is 18 and chews with her mouth open, constantly smacking her lips. She has heard me tell my daughter its not lady like, and that it is gross, and still does it. I mentioned it to her yesterday that it was repulsive and sounded gross as well. She simply shrugged and said she didn't care. Is it a lost battle? Help!!!

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Understand you concern ...
by: Miss P Etiquette

Dear Kelly of Prospect, VA

Of course it is poor etiquette to chew with one's mouth open. It is also poor etiquette for one adult to point out these lapses to another adult. While it is sensible and practical for you to instruct your daughter in proper manners, it is useless to try to change another adult's poor habits. In this case, the offending party already said she did not care what you thought.

As in all things in life, you have choices. Here are two. You can simply not eat at the same table with your sister-in-law or you can accept her behavior as just one aspect of her personality. Hopefully, she has other redeeming qualities.

Thank you for your question, Kelly.

Ms. Practical Etiquette

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