Author Topic: Dear Abby October 3  (Read 7322 times)

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Jones

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Re: Dear Abby October 3
« Reply #30 on: October 03, 2012, 11:53:42 AM »
When I was kid back in the 1980's we were encouraged to speak up to adults about not smoking and given examples of ways to do it. 

I remember this in the '90s as well, we were told that if we cared about someone it was our Duty to speak up. Then we'd trot off to Sunday school and be told that we should love our neighbors, and everyone is our neighbor. I can see a kid believing it was his Duty to speak up to a stranger, as a stranger is still a human and a "neighbor".

To address the offshoot, I think they are having programs focused on health and weight loss now too, because Jean Bean has spoken up several times since school started this season about how we need to cut back meat, she doesn't want to be overweight someday, that eating XYZ isn't healthy, she's going to be a vegetarian when she buys the groceries someday, etc. etc. Fortunately she hasn't walked up to any strangers with a cheeseburger or ice cream cone and told them to drop the food, but she has thrown away candy after a birthday party (!!!) and requested a "vegetarian alternative" when I'm making dinner. I can easily see her use preachy phrases on an adult someday if I don't step in with a few poignant lessons on "choices" now (glad this thread came up to make me think about this...) .

The parents of the boy in the letter may not have even thought about their son saying something like "don't smoke" to a stranger, especially if they've taught him not to speak to strangers, but the boy in his youth and enthusiasm to save the world (or at least this one person) spoke up anyhow. Still rude, but forgivable if no one has ever taught him it's rude and he doesn't yet have the life experience to figure it out for himself.

Sharnita

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Re: Dear Abby October 3
« Reply #31 on: October 03, 2012, 11:55:07 AM »
I think the only point of disagreement might be where the rudeness might be. I tend to see it more with the adults who basically tell kids it is their duty to say something speci,ifically abour smoking. Now, the intent might be "if you see your 11 yo classmate trying to smoke you should discourage them". I think they are not real good at explaining that nuance and the kids end up confused

Piratelvr1121

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Re: Dear Abby October 3
« Reply #32 on: October 03, 2012, 11:58:53 AM »
I remember being in elementary school when they were doing these anti smoking campaigns and they really do lay it on thick that kids are supposed to do the equivalent of bible thumping when it comes to stopping smoking.  If you know someone who smokes, tell them not to!  And when my boys were in kindergarten they came home talking about it too so I don't think things have changed much.

So while it's rude and annoying, I might forgive a little kid of that if they've been told to go around discouraging people from smoking and no one else has told them otherwise.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

ettiquit

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Re: Dear Abby October 3
« Reply #33 on: October 03, 2012, 12:22:15 PM »
My 9 year old knows better than to lecture strangers, but I do suspect that the kid in question was acting on what he was taught at school.

I remember when my niece and nephew were taught about the dangers of alcohol.  I have no idea what their school actually taught them, but for awhile anytime my brother had a beer or a glass of wine, they would FREAK OUT.  My bro had to un-teach them some of what they learned at school.  :-\

Hawkwatcher

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Re: Dear Abby October 3
« Reply #34 on: October 03, 2012, 02:43:07 PM »
My 9 year old knows better than to lecture strangers, but I do suspect that the kid in question was acting on what he was taught at school.

I remember when my niece and nephew were taught about the dangers of alcohol.  I have no idea what their school actually taught them, but for awhile anytime my brother had a beer or a glass of wine, they would FREAK OUT.  My bro had to un-teach them some of what they learned at school.  :-\

It sounds like some of these schools need to be careful about how they teach kids.  Some people might not be as cool as your brother and the letter writer.

violinp

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Re: Dear Abby October 3
« Reply #35 on: October 03, 2012, 03:01:54 PM »
My 9 year old knows better than to lecture strangers, but I do suspect that the kid in question was acting on what he was taught at school.

I remember when my niece and nephew were taught about the dangers of alcohol.  I have no idea what their school actually taught them, but for awhile anytime my brother had a beer or a glass of wine, they would FREAK OUT.  My bro had to un-teach them some of what they learned at school.  :-\

It sounds like some of these schools need to be careful about how they teach kids.  Some people might not be as cool as your brother and the letter writer.

There were kids at my school who thought they and I were alcoholics because we drank underage...it was a sip of Communion wine.  ::) We were taught that drugs and alcohol are BAD BAD BAD, and you should never ever have them, because they're so dangerous.

Back to the OP: Yes, smoking endangers your health, but no one should be going up to random smokers and telling them not to smoke - even if the person talking to smokers is a child. I was taught never to comment on other people I didn't know, and I certainly wasn't allowed to go up to random people and tell them not to smoke. Abby was being snarky and rude to hide behind someone else's rudeness to have a bully pulpit.
"It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, but even more to stand up to your friends" - Harry Potter


hobish

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Re: Dear Abby October 3
« Reply #36 on: October 03, 2012, 03:01:59 PM »
Dear Abby,

Stop being obtuse.

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MrsJWine

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Re: Dear Abby October 3
« Reply #37 on: October 03, 2012, 03:07:21 PM »
"When that random stranger chastised me for smoking, it totally made me want to quit," said no smoker ever.

You know what random comments from strangers and friends alike do? They make an addict want to light up. Because an addict knows it's bad for her, she knows it may one day kill her, she knows it's expensive, and those little reminders from "honest" people just make them stressed and more likely to have a craving.

And I think by age nine, most kids are capable of understanding that you're not supposed to comment on other people's behavior and appearance.

ETA: I speak from experience here. I was only able to stop smoking by convincing myself that I wasn't really quitting; I was just waiting an extra 5 (10, 20, 60, and so on) minutes before indulging, and if I really wanted one, I could have one. Telling myself I had to quit so I didn't get lung cancer was a surefire way to fail. Years later, I still allow myself to light up if the craving is extremely strong. This only happens about once a year, so I'm pretty sure it's not killing me.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2012, 03:18:17 PM by MrsJWine »


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Utah

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Re: Dear Abby October 3
« Reply #38 on: October 03, 2012, 03:10:54 PM »
Dear Abby,

Stop being obtuse.

HONEST IN NEW JERSEY

 ;D

TXJess

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Re: Dear Abby October 3
« Reply #39 on: October 03, 2012, 03:43:45 PM »
I was also that kid... and what I did was worse! When I was 3 or 4, my dad's boss came over to my house (I don't remember why) and was smoking a cigarette outside. I told him smoking was bad for him, and he shouldn't smoke. I'm pretty sure my mom almost fainted. It's funny to laugh about now, but my parents were sooo embarassed. I don't think dad's boss was too offended, because I ended up working for him when I was 17.

I agree that it was a distrespectful thing to say, but then again, sometimes little things slip past the filter of even the most well behaved kids.

snowdragon

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Re: Dear Abby October 3
« Reply #40 on: October 03, 2012, 04:26:19 PM »
     If adults are not to tell kids to behave, then kids have no right to tell adults to behave in a manner the kid wants.  I really think Abby lost it here - and I would look none to kindly on any child who tried this. The kid is really lucky the adult here didn't tell the kid off, wasn't high, drunk, crazy or a combination there of.  Approaching anyone on their behavior is a risky business these days and teaching a kid that they have the "right"to do this is not a good thing to do.
 

Twik

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Re: Dear Abby October 3
« Reply #41 on: October 03, 2012, 05:30:13 PM »
I remember being in elementary school when they were doing these anti smoking campaigns and they really do lay it on thick that kids are supposed to do the equivalent of bible thumping when it comes to stopping smoking.  If you know someone who smokes, tell them not to!

Well, it's not new - when my brother was 9, he went around and threw all the ashtrays in our home into the garbage. Oh, including the Waterford crystal wedding present one.  :(

But I think this is going to be a growing problem in schools, many who have taken health education into health advocacy to an alarming degree. On the one hand, they're teaching children to smoking, and eating junk food and so forth is bad. But at the same time, I don't think they're teaching children the balance that you simply have to expect everyone to have *some* bad habits, and haranguing people for eating meat is not going to be less annoying than haranguing them for not going to church. They want children to be tolerant, while giving them a lot to not be tolerant about, "because it's bad, you know?"
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

Amava

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Re: Dear Abby October 3
« Reply #42 on: October 03, 2012, 06:38:30 PM »
I was also that kid... and what I did was worse! When I was 3 or 4, my dad's boss came over to my house (I don't remember why) and was smoking a cigarette outside. I told him smoking was bad for him, and he shouldn't smoke. I'm pretty sure my mom almost fainted. It's funny to laugh about now, but my parents were sooo embarassed. I don't think dad's boss was too offended, because I ended up working for him when I was 17.

Hahaha oh dear! Well, I wouldn't hold it against  a child, later young adult, for years, either, if they said something like that to me, or made some other mistake against manners in their childhood. But in the very moment they said it, I would tell them to mind their own business.  :D

Iris

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Re: Dear Abby October 3
« Reply #43 on: October 04, 2012, 04:03:28 AM »
On the one hand, yes it is of course rude for anyone to comment on anything to a stranger and the child was undoubtedly rude. On the other hand this is pretty typical behaviour for a 9 year old. Dear Niece told off her uncle last year (when she was 9) because he dropped his cigarette butt in the gutter. She had just learnt at school about how litter in that area washed straight down the storm water system to the beach and was *furious* that (to her) uncle was just throwing his cigarette butt in the ocean. SIL kept a very straight face and took niece aside and explained about manners and commenting on others' behaviour. (She confided in me later that *actually* she had been longing to say something herself, but it wouldn't do for DN to know that).

On the other hand I really think it is kind of pointless getting upset about things children say. Discipline them, certainly, correct them, absolutely, but get personally upset? Why bother? This woman got so fired up that she wrote into Dear Abby about a 2-word exchange. Of course she has a perfect right to do that but really, why does she care? I would be more likely to be upset if the child's parent was right there and took no action to correct them.
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kherbert05

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Re: Dear Abby October 3
« Reply #44 on: October 04, 2012, 06:27:02 AM »
We have Kids and Cops at my school. Deputy S draws a big line in the sand between illegal for kids and legal for adults. He is very specific about kid do not tell strange adults what to do - and you need to be respectful when talking to your loved ones. He explains that hounding people to do something rarely works.
Don't Teach Them For Your Past. Teach Them For Their Future