Author Topic: "No kids? Lucky you!"  (Read 6624 times)

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Captain Hastings

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Re: "No kids? Lucky you!"
« Reply #30 on: October 05, 2012, 05:03:47 PM »
Not really the same thing as make assumptions about somebody's reproduction and family

If she'd said, "You must be so thrilled not to have children, I know a person like you would never want them," that would be a pretty harsh statement making a bold assumption.

But "Lucky you!" is more like a "Aargh, kids, amirite?"

Intent plays a big part in determining rudeness. Purposely shoving is much different than accidentally bumping into a person.

demarco

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Re: "No kids? Lucky you!"
« Reply #31 on: October 05, 2012, 06:16:38 PM »
My response to this statement Is always, ""Luck didn't have a anything to do with it." 

snowdragon

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Re: "No kids? Lucky you!"
« Reply #32 on: October 05, 2012, 06:17:51 PM »
I witnessed this going really bad once

two clerks in a store, one obviously new was asked if she had kids and got the "lucky you" response and the new girl looked like she was going to cry.  She gathered herself together and said, "neither my husband nor I consider ourselves to be lucky to have lost our son. He was only a few hours old." and walked away.  No one in the very long line of Christmas returns begrudged her walking away. We all felt too badly for her.

Sir_Jeffrey

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Re: "No kids? Lucky you!"
« Reply #33 on: October 05, 2012, 08:30:36 PM »
To share my experience, I've never been married or fathered any children, and when I was starting a new job, and getting acquainted with my new co-workers someone asked me if I had kids, I said "No", and the woman who asked the question said "Don't feel bad, you've saved yourself a lot of grief"---thing was, this woman had children and grandchildren!

I am only sharing my experience, and with my life circumstances being what they've been, I found this rather amusing, but I realize that some folks have no kids and wish they could have one or more, so I do feel sorry for them.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2012, 01:18:31 PM by Sir_Jeffrey »
Jeff

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Re: "No kids? Lucky you!"
« Reply #34 on: October 05, 2012, 08:38:11 PM »
My response to this statement Is always, ""Luck didn't have a anything to do with it."

Me too. I detest the "lucky you" statement. I'm childfree by choice and I often got this from people with kids when I got to do something fun and expensive. No matter that when they got to do things like that I was happy for them and expressed it. When I was having fun I got sour grapes from them. Didn't ruin my fun, but did make me think less of them.

What I really wanted to say is "what does luck have to do with it? It's not like I slipped and fell onto some contraceptives!"
Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.
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Allyson

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Re: "No kids? Lucky you!"
« Reply #35 on: October 05, 2012, 08:57:47 PM »
'Lucky you' is a bit trite, but I don't think it's worth making a thing over, really. I definitely wouldn't take it as any comment on how much a parent loves her kids or feel badly for those kids or anything. I know tons of parents who say things like 'argh, I'd sell my kids to carnival owners' or post things like "Available Now: One 4 Year Old!" None of these parents actually want to rid themselves of their kids.

As for it offending those who want kids but don't have them, it just seems it'd be better to take it in the spirit in which it was intended--an off the cuff silly joke. If it is truly hurtful to hear that, then maybe a quiet word in private would be best, something like 'I know you didn't mean it that way, but actually I am trying to have kids and hearing comments like that just twists the knife'. I don't see 'shaming' them by gasping in shock or bursting into tears as being proportional or helpful in this instance.

Sharnita

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Re: "No kids? Lucky you!"
« Reply #36 on: October 05, 2012, 09:11:12 PM »
'Lucky you' is a bit trite, but I don't think it's worth making a thing over, really. I definitely wouldn't take it as any comment on how much a parent loves her kids or feel badly for those kids or anything. I know tons of parents who say things like 'argh, I'd sell my kids to carnival owners' or post things like "Available Now: One 4 Year Old!" None of these parents actually want to rid themselves of their kids.

As for it offending those who want kids but don't have them, it just seems it'd be better to take it in the spirit in which it was intended--an off the cuff silly joke. If it is truly hurtful to hear that, then maybe a quiet word in private would be best, something like 'I know you didn't mean it that way, but actually I am trying to have kids and hearing comments like that just twists the knife'. I don't see 'shaming' them by gasping in shock or bursting into tears as being proportional or helpful in this instance.

The thing that I find interesting is that the possibility that it could be really hurtful has been introduced here - that was pretty much OP's whole idea from what I could tell but I don't really see a lot of people responding with "I never really thought about it but now that you mention the possibility of causing somebody pain maybe it is a phrase I will try to avoid in the future".  Even knowing it could and does cause some people pain the response seems to be "They should be able to get over it and see it from my point of view". 

CakeEater

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Re: "No kids? Lucky you!"
« Reply #37 on: October 05, 2012, 11:02:07 PM »
'Lucky you' is a bit trite, but I don't think it's worth making a thing over, really. I definitely wouldn't take it as any comment on how much a parent loves her kids or feel badly for those kids or anything. I know tons of parents who say things like 'argh, I'd sell my kids to carnival owners' or post things like "Available Now: One 4 Year Old!" None of these parents actually want to rid themselves of their kids.

As for it offending those who want kids but don't have them, it just seems it'd be better to take it in the spirit in which it was intended--an off the cuff silly joke. If it is truly hurtful to hear that, then maybe a quiet word in private would be best, something like 'I know you didn't mean it that way, but actually I am trying to have kids and hearing comments like that just twists the knife'. I don't see 'shaming' them by gasping in shock or bursting into tears as being proportional or helpful in this instance.

The thing that I find interesting is that the possibility that it could be really hurtful has been introduced here - that was pretty much OP's whole idea from what I could tell but I don't really see a lot of people responding with "I never really thought about it but now that you mention the possibility of causing somebody pain maybe it is a phrase I will try to avoid in the future".  Even knowing it could and does cause some people pain the response seems to be "They should be able to get over it and see it from my point of view".

I wouldn't say that this is a great thing to say - of course it could be very hurtful. I was responding to people suggesting gasping in mock horror and asking if she truly regretted having children. I think that's a bit of a stretch, and an OTT reaction, especially if this wasn't an issue for you, and you weren't personally hurt because of the loss of a child, or the inability to conceive.

This was clearly an off the cuff remark by someone frustrated with her own children that day, who hadn't thought about the other person's sitution. I have thought about how such a statement might be hurtful, and I don't think people who are genuinely hurt should just 'get over it'. But someone who was not genuinely hurt, as in the OP, should just let this kind of comment sail right past, rather than taking it too seriously.

'Lucky you', I believe, is a comment meaning, 'that must be nice', not a genuine expression that she thinks actual luck had anything to do with it.

Sharnita

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Re: "No kids? Lucky you!"
« Reply #38 on: October 05, 2012, 11:05:25 PM »
But "that must be nice" is just another assumption.

I think that OP was thinking it would be better for her to give a gentle word from the wise then to keep her mouth shut and let them continue to repeat clueless comments until they do manage to say it to somebody who is caused pain.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2012, 11:08:53 PM by Sharnita »

CakeEater

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Re: "No kids? Lucky you!"
« Reply #39 on: October 06, 2012, 04:24:11 AM »
But "that must be nice" is just another assumption.

I think that OP was thinking it would be better for her to give a gentle word from the wise then to keep her mouth shut and let them continue to repeat clueless comments until they do manage to say it to somebody who is caused pain.

I was responding there to those who had comments about luck having nothing to do with being child-free, falling on contracteptives etc. I highly doubt that this person had no idea about the cause of babies, therefore truly believing that the OP was literally lucky to not have fallen pregnant.

I think a gentle word would be fine. Mock gasping and accusations of regreting her children's briths would be a bit too much.

Redsoil

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Re: "No kids? Lucky you!"
« Reply #40 on: October 06, 2012, 07:19:05 AM »
I think quite often, people do not understand how best to deal with those who are "outside their experience" (eg:  childfree) and so can be somewhat awkward in their "repartee".    Their canned responses to those like themselves simply do not apply, so they're caught without an easy fall-back position.

I find pre-emptively taking offence at a remark which may not be meant maliciously only makes one's own life that much more difficult.  The mindset we carry from day-to-day often determines our mood, path in life, and even defines how others react to us in our relatonships.  Carrying a perpetual chip (not that I'm actually suggesting anyone here does so) is only going to ultimately hurt oneself.

Obviously, such a remark can be insensitive especially to those who would like to have children, but thoughtlessness can be attributed to many of us. 

I'm CF myself, and thankfully, as I've aged, comments on my status have become fewer, and less judgemental.  There were certainly some doozies in the past! 
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Mikayla

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Re: "No kids? Lucky you!"
« Reply #41 on: October 06, 2012, 04:53:28 PM »
As someone who has no children and is actively TTC (unsuccessfully for over a year), I can say this wouldn't bother me at all. People can love their children like crazy and still sometimes express a wistful envy at people who don't. It's just blather, not a serious conversation about their life's regrets.

I completely agree. 

And I also think kids in a healthy family situation aren't going to be harmed by overhearing a random comment.  My mom used to routinely threaten to give us "back to the Indians".  I have no clue where that came from!  But we knew she wasn't serious.

Captain Hastings

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Re: "No kids? Lucky you!"
« Reply #42 on: October 06, 2012, 04:57:28 PM »
I find pre-emptively taking offence at a remark which may not be meant maliciously only makes one's own life that much more difficult.  The mindset we carry from day-to-day often determines our mood, path in life, and even defines how others react to us in our relatonships.  Carrying a perpetual chip (not that I'm actually suggesting anyone here does so) is only going to ultimately hurt oneself.

Very well put. There are always going to be innocent things that are hurtful to someone—I might, for instance, hear a song on the radio that reminds me of an especially painful event in my life. It's very unfortunate that I had to hear it, but life is full of painful things that we have to deal with the best we can (ugh, that sounds so grim!)

I think giving each other the benefit of the doubt when we inadvertently say something cruel is a true universal kindness. People who say awful things knowing darn well how deep they will cut are a different matter entirely.

aloe

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Re: "No kids? Lucky you!"
« Reply #43 on: October 06, 2012, 07:01:58 PM »
I don't have children and sometimes I hear that "Lucky you" comment or more commonly, a strange look on their face with some comment about how sorry they feel for me.  I look at it as inappropriate remarks in any case as I am very happy with my life (married, no kids, over 55) but I take it like a duck rolling water off its back.

Everything in life is a tradeoff - I was never a "kid person" and found out in my 20's I was infertile anyway.  I have enjoyed a life of freedom...but will never know the joys and trials of having children and grandchildren...and I may be more alone in old age than those who have families.  But I accept that...and I accept the choice of others to have families.

I think it is good etiquette-wise to just not make comments on peoples' choices such as family planning.

Better to keep one's mouth shut than blurt out something offensive to someone.

Sharnita

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Re: "No kids? Lucky you!"
« Reply #44 on: October 06, 2012, 07:11:41 PM »
I don't have children and sometimes I hear that "Lucky you" comment or more commonly, a strange look on their face with some comment about how sorry they feel for me.  I look at it as inappropriate remarks in any case as I am very happy with my life (married, no kids, over 55) but I take it like a duck rolling water off its back.

Everything in life is a tradeoff - I was never a "kid person" and found out in my 20's I was infertile anyway.  I have enjoyed a life of freedom...but will never know the joys and trials of having children and grandchildren...and I may be more alone in old age than those who have families.  But I accept that...and I accept the choice of others to have families.

I think it is good etiquette-wise to just not make comments on peoples' choices such as family planning.

Better to keep one's mouth shut than blurt out something offensive to someone.

Yeah, if they didn't give an indication as to how they felt about it it seems like the kinder, wiser thing to do to say nothing.