Author Topic: Dear Abby October 3  (Read 7467 times)

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hobish

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Re: Dear Abby October 3
« Reply #45 on: October 04, 2012, 09:22:32 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.

Yes, but there is a difference between some anonymous woman writing into the column, and a well-respected nationally syndicated columnist to give a blanket go-ahead for children to chastise adults in the name of being “honest.” Dear Abby’s transgression is far worse than anything the writer did (which i wouldn't even call wrong.)

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Iris

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Re: Dear Abby October 3
« Reply #46 on: October 04, 2012, 09:37:02 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.

Yes, but there is a difference between some anonymous woman writing into the column, and a well-respected nationally syndicated columnist to give a blanket go-ahead for children to chastise adults in the name of being “honest.” Dear Abby’s transgression is far worse than anything the writer did (which i wouldn't even call wrong.)

I don't think the woman did anything wrong at all. As I said, she had a perfect right to write to Abby. I just think it's a shame to get so very upset over two words, particularly from a child. I didn't mean at all to imply that she was not right in any way.

I hadn't considered Abby to be honest. I agree that she was way out of line.
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snowdragon

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Re: Dear Abby October 3
« Reply #47 on: October 04, 2012, 09:48:04 PM »
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.


   On this board, I have seen people say that it's not ok to discipline or correct another person's child. Now adults are not even supposed to have feelings about things kids say????  People have the right to feel what they feel. No matter who said it. Just because the words come from a kid doesn't make them less annoying/hurtful/hateful/or what have you. And adults should not have to shut off their feelings because someone didn't teach their kid manners.

nuit93

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Re: Dear Abby October 3
« Reply #48 on: October 04, 2012, 10:26:45 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.  :-\

Sounds like the DARE program.  I really wish they'd get rid of it.

Iris

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Re: Dear Abby October 3
« Reply #49 on: October 04, 2012, 11:20:44 PM »
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.


   On this board, I have seen people say that it's not ok to discipline or correct another person's child. Now adults are not even supposed to have feelings about things kids say????  People have the right to feel what they feel. No matter who said it. Just because the words come from a kid doesn't make them less annoying/hurtful/hateful/or what have you. And adults should not have to shut off their feelings because someone didn't teach their kid manners.

I have already said this


I don't think the woman did anything wrong at all. As I said, she had a perfect right to write to Abby. I just think it's a shame to get so very upset over two words, particularly from a child. I didn't mean at all to imply that she was not right in any way.

I hadn't considered Abby to be honest. I agree that she was way out of line.

on this point. I don't intend to clarify my position on the woman's emotions again. At no point have I said that she had no right to feel what she feels.

In terms of disciplining other people's children that was a general point, not intended as a comment on this particular case. But yes, if anyone of any age at all approaches you and says "Don't smoke" you are perfectly entitled to say "Excuse me?" accompanied by the Icy Look Of Death. I discipline other people's children daily as part of my job but separate to that would have no problems in everyday life treating a rude child exactly as I would treat a rude adult. For the record, I wouldn't really care beyond the moment if an adult said something like that to me either unless they were someone I cared about or respected. Obviously you and the Letter Writer feel differently but I'm more of a "Don't sweat the small stuff" gal when it comes to these things. Although in other matters... ;)
"Can't do anything with children, can you?" the woman said.

Poirot thought you could, but forebore to say so.

Erich L-ster

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Re: Dear Abby October 3
« Reply #50 on: October 04, 2012, 11:28:23 PM »
"Don't smoke!" is a lot ruder than "Smoking is bad for you" so the kid took the rudest tact possible. Child shouldn't be addressing strangers at all when it's unnecessary anyway.

Even if the lot were a no-smoking area, the kid is not the parking lot police. It's still none of the kid's business.

Sharnita

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Re: Dear Abby October 3
« Reply #51 on: October 04, 2012, 11:35:21 PM »
Actually, I disagree there. If I understand you are saying that the kid shouldn't say anything even if she is smoking in a non-smoking area because he is a kid and not an authority figure? I think that under those circumstances he can speak up

MariaE

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Re: Dear Abby October 3
« Reply #52 on: October 05, 2012, 02:15:32 AM »
Even if the lot were a no-smoking area, the kid is not the parking lot police. It's still none of the kid's business.

Completely disagree. If he was there and thus affected by the smoke it was very much his business.
 
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hobish

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Re: Dear Abby October 3
« Reply #53 on: October 05, 2012, 12:19:58 PM »
Actually, I disagree there. If I understand you are saying that the kid shouldn't say anything even if she is smoking in a non-smoking area because he is a kid and not an authority figure? I think that under those circumstances he can speak up

I had a kid do that once. I had no idea i was in a non-smoking zone. I am glad he said something, but he said, "Hey, did you know there is no smoking here?" as opposed to "Don't smoke." The latter would not have been quite as appreciated.
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hobish

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Re: Dear Abby October 3
« Reply #54 on: October 05, 2012, 12:21:11 PM »
I don't think the woman did anything wrong at all. As I said, she had a perfect right to write to Abby. I just think it's a shame to get so very upset over two words, particularly from a child. I didn't mean at all to imply that she was not right in any way.

I hadn't considered Abby to be honest. I agree that she was way out of line.

Trimmed.
Sorry i misunderstood. My reading comprehension is not tops lately  :)
It's alright, man. I'm only bleeding, man. Stay hungry, stay free, and do the best you can.
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Iris

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Re: Dear Abby October 3
« Reply #55 on: October 05, 2012, 05:04:20 PM »
I don't think the woman did anything wrong at all. As I said, she had a perfect right to write to Abby. I just think it's a shame to get so very upset over two words, particularly from a child. I didn't mean at all to imply that she was not right in any way.

I hadn't considered Abby to be honest. I agree that she was way out of line.

Trimmed.
Sorry i misunderstood. My reading comprehension is not tops lately  :)

Or I didn't express it properly. Or all those lasers and LEDs have blinded you :)
"Can't do anything with children, can you?" the woman said.

Poirot thought you could, but forebore to say so.

cheyne

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Re: Dear Abby October 3
« Reply #56 on: October 05, 2012, 05:33:31 PM »
I think this Abby is a pinhead.  Those reading her "advice" will now think it's OK to accost random strangers and tell them what they should/shouldn't be doing.

All this "education" of our children reminds me of Orwell's 1984

kareng57

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Re: Dear Abby October 3
« Reply #57 on: October 05, 2012, 10:44:48 PM »
I remember we came down pretty hard on DS #1 when he told a friend of ours "you shouldn't smoke!"  But in all fairness, he'd learned it from Captain Kangaroo and we hadn't yet had a chance to reinforce the message that little people don't tell big people what to do, as well-meaning as they might be.  And he was only about 4, which is very different from 8 or 9 as in the original letter. 

As PPs have said - if it was truly an outdoor non-smoking zone, the child could have politely informed the letter-writer about that.  One thing that I think some of these anti-smoking/anti-drug programs neglect is that they don't inform kids that once people start smoking - stopping is very difficult. Of course it can be done, but many adults who smoke have already tried stopping several times - and even if they still smoke, they might have cut down substantially from the amount they were previously smoking. No adults in the developed world who smokes can be unaware that it's not good for him/her - they don't need a child, especially a stranger-child, to tell them that.

Margo

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Re: Dear Abby October 3
« Reply #58 on: October 08, 2012, 09:31:39 AM »
apologies if this has been said (I'm having trouble loading pp2-3 of the comments) but to me, saying "Don't Smoke" is rude (unless LW was in a non-smoking area)

I can see a small child saying something like 'Smoking is bad for you' or 'smoking kills' in a wanting-to-be-helpful / passing on information way.

If LW had been in a non-smoking area then I think it would be OK for the child (or any other affected person) to point this out, and to ask her not to smoke there. It appears that child was rude in *how* he made his point, but I think that is understandable - learning to be firm but polite takes practice!

Sophia

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Re: Dear Abby October 3
« Reply #59 on: October 08, 2012, 09:57:52 AM »
So what its ok for kids to talk to strangers now?  Because I'm pretty sure when I was a kid as strongly as the "don't smoke" message was drilled into my head, the "don't talk to strangers" message was drilled in more.  Sheesh.

I do think the kid was being disrespectful.  Yes he was honest too - people shouldn't smoke - but adults are allowed to make individual personal bad choices, and that should be respected over generalities.

They don't teach the "Don't talk to strangers" thing anymore.  Kids would be quiet while the bad man was hauling them off because the other people nearby were also strangers.