Author Topic: "Parenting" kids that aren't yours?  (Read 7158 times)

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TootsNYC

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Re: "Parenting" kids that aren't yours?
« Reply #90 on: December 13, 2012, 02:28:46 PM »

I think that is one of the ear marks of rude behavior - doing or saying something that negatively affects other people. It is rude to intrude on or inconvenience others.

I disagree with as a blanket statement. I see too many people feeling guilty because--oh, they want to let their dog out and the neighbor's pooch barks at it; or they had a lot of questions for the customer service rep or had trouble filling out their check and made the people behind them wait.

Or too many people crabby because someone else is living their live inconveniently--so they say, "shouldn't the retired people travel to the shore at off-peak times, so they don't inconvenience the other people who can't go earlier in the day?" Or they get mad because the person ahead of them didn't pre-fill-out their check while they're waiting for their purchase to be rung up.

Or they flash some parent the Ice Glare of Death because their kids are laughing at one another in the store, and the noise bothers them.

There's a reason we ended up with the phrase, "Excuse me for living!"

We are all going to inconvenience people sometimes. That doesn't make us rude.

I'm not sure I can completely articulate when "inconveniencing someone" becomes impolite.

Bah12, I love your point about the village--that *is* what the whole concept is, that we all have a stake in, and a responsibility to, create a great environment for children to grow up in. It's not ONLY about things like stepping it to stop a kid from accidentally hurting himself, and it's not about other people having to pick up the slack.

Hmmmmm

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Re: "Parenting" kids that aren't yours?
« Reply #91 on: December 13, 2012, 02:36:47 PM »
Do posters think that we as a society are moving away from the 'village' mindset? Or did it really exist? I hear stories from other cultures that seem a lot more accepting and encouraging of 'everyone can correct a child', but in this culture it does seem we are moving away from that. I suppose like all shifts it's got some good and bad outcomes. I remember casually telling a coworker about a friend of mine who had visited another country where he said social mores were much different, people would think nothing of correcting children. She got actively angry at the idea that someone might do that with *her* kids. Attitudes like that have me shying away from interacting with kids who aren't mine, as I wouldn't want to accidentally offend a parent.

 I don't think we ever had it, really. It was a campaign slogan during the first Clinton campaign that was co-opted in ways that were never meant to be.  And the people who used it, used it in ways it was never meant to be - when I worked retail I heard this more times than I care to count for people who left their kids in the toy dept and left ( either the department or the store) and then whined when the kid wasn't there when they got back about how " Why weren't the employees watching - it takes a village dontyaknow?" or the kids who want to participate in X activity and wants the community to pay for a new skate park, football field, band uniform or whatever - it takes a village, but should those self same kids be trespassing or doing damage to public/private property,,,then people get upset at anyone saying anything to the kids.

  Right now this is a big issue in my hometown...the kids and parents want the townsfolk to pay for a skatepark - but scream discrimination when these kids are told to stop blocking traffic with their tricks, stop blocking doorways and driveways to homes and businesses, get off the steps of townhall and not to ride on planters, benches ect because it damages them.  The kids have done so much damage to the benches around the town center and the local nursing home that the benches have been removed from both - so now the kids are trying to skate on the local religious shrine on church grounds.


 It seems that tolerance for it is waning in certain sectors, but it will be a long time before it stops being an issue, I think. I hope it evolves into something more healthy for all sectors of society.

And it works both ways.  If a general person feels that because "it takes a village" to raise a kid that they can correct any and all behavior, are they then going to take responsibility when the kid doesn't listen?

Like someone said "the village" that helps me raise my child doesn't just correct bad manners and behavior problems.  They also love and encourage her.  They praise and point out good behavior, mentor her, teach her the lessons and then help me reinforce and correct them as necessary.  A stranger pointing out "bad" behavior and correcting my child doesn't do any of that.  They don't appear to be helpful at all.  They look like busy-bodies who feel that it's their right to insert their "power" over a child at any given moment.  And 9  times out of 10, they wouldn't correct these same behaviors in an adult, so it also comes across as disrespectful.

My friend recounted a story to me once where her DS was counting cereal boxes in the grocery store (touching them on the shelves as he counted) and some lady came up to him and said "you shouldn't touch those.  Didn't your parents ever tell you that you shouldn't touch things in stores?"  She was livid.  And I would have been too.  She had no authority in that store or over that child, yet she felt that it was her right to correct him.  I may not have taken it as a personal insult, but at the same time it comes across as some serious boundary crossing to think that she had any right to "parent" him at that moment.

I agree that "stranger" comments should go both ways.  And in my experience as a child and has a parent I do remember more compliments occuring than corrections.

In your example above, I don't see why "livid" was her reaction.  A simple "no I haven't because I disagree that touching cereal boxes on an aisle is inappropriate."

But I agree that if a parent doesn't want a negative comment to be made they shouldn't accept or expect positive ones either. 

You could even switch up your example above.  Your friend could have told her child to stop touching the cereal boxes but the woman may not have heard that so instead comes up and says "Why what a smart child you are to be able to count so well."  In this example she should be livid too because the woman is reinforcing behavior you friend didn't like.

snowdragon

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Re: "Parenting" kids that aren't yours?
« Reply #92 on: December 13, 2012, 02:44:51 PM »


Bah12, I love your point about the village--that *is* what the whole concept is, that we all have a stake in, and a responsibility to, create a great environment for children to grow up in. It's not ONLY about things like stepping it to stop a kid from accidentally hurting himself, and it's not about other people having to pick up the slack.

Sorry, no, everyone does not have a responsibility to children. Their Parents do and that's it. The rest of us have absolutely no responsibility towards kids at all, beyond paying our taxes for schools and such. Then we can go live our lives as we see fit with out concern for creating anything  for anyone. It seems to me that this whole "village" mentality benefits only one side of the equation.

Wordgeek

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Re: "Parenting" kids that aren't yours?
« Reply #93 on: December 13, 2012, 02:54:34 PM »
The etiquette aspects of this situation have been adequately dealt with.