Children should be seen and not heard


      • discipline
        Remind children that they should be quiet and obedient in the presence of adults, and not interrupt conversations or speak out of turn

      • manners
        Encourage children to be polite and respectful by not interrupting adults or dominating conversations

    Examples of Children should be seen and not heard


      In both of these meanings, the idiom conveys the idea that children should not be disruptive or overly vocal in the presence of adults. It emphasizes the importance of discipline and good manners in children.

      Origin of "Children should be seen and not heard"

      The phrase "children should be seen and not heard" has been used for centuries, with the earliest recorded usage dating back to the 15th century. It was a common saying among English and American families, and was often used as a way to remind children of their place in society. In this context, it was meant to reinforce the traditional hierarchy of adults being in charge and children being expected to obey and be respectful.

      The phrase has also been linked to the concept of Victorian values, which emphasized strict discipline and proper behavior in children. During this time period, children were expected to be seen but not heard, as it was believed that they should not speak unless spoken to and should always show deference to their elders.

      In modern times, the phrase is often seen as outdated and controversial, as it can be seen as stifling a child's individuality and suppressing their voice. However, it is still used in some contexts as a reminder for children to behave and show respect in certain situations.