Spike Gillespie is one of my favorite pals, even though we only see one another in person once every few years. She is also one of my favorite writers and I especially love this latest column of hers at In it, she discusses how often parents force their kids to allow other adults to violate their personal autonomy and boundaries in the guise of fostering good manners.

I'm a big believer in good manners (I'm one of the only people I know who insists that her kids say "Yes Ma'am" and "No Sir" to adults), but you will never find me instructing my kids to "Give Uncle Joe a hug" or "Be polite and sit on Aunt Martha's lap."