DEAR ABBY: My daughter says her children, ages 11 and 8, are afraid of me because I correct their lack of manners. Is asking them to say "please" and "thank you," or to use a knife to cut things on their plate into small pieces rather than have food hanging out of their mouths, really expecting too much?
If their parents don't care, who will teach them? While I no longer expect people to keep their arms off the table, what are the minimal standards I should expect at a dinner table these days? Or am I expected to watch slobs sprawled over the table, picking at their food with their hands and chewing with their mouths open? -- RICHARD IN SARASOTA, FLA.
DEAR RICHARD: Sometimes it isn't what we say, as much as how we say it. I see nothing wrong with reminding children to use their manners and explaining what they are. But if you are doing it in such a way that your grandchildren are afraid of you, it may be time to work on your delivery.