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  • February 11, 2016, 09:10:48 AM

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Author Topic: S/O "He gets that from his dad"  (Read 1910 times)

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Semperviren

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S/O "He gets that from his dad"
« on: January 29, 2016, 08:34:15 PM »
Not really "technoquette" but I'm posting it in here since it's a spinoff of the technoquette thread about a Facebook posting where the father got full credit for all the OP's son's good qualities.

My MIL does the extreme version of this...any positive traits my DD shows (kindness, intelligence, honesty) she is lightning quick to claim credit for- "She gets that from MY side (MIL's)" or "She's just like her father" (now deceased).

Any poor habits among her children or grandchild? Hereditary Diseases? Undesirable traits? Mental illness? You guessed it...those came from somewhere else in the woodpile (my family or her ex-husband's). Definitely not from her or her line of the family. She is so blatantly obvious about it (and so blithely unaware that she's doing it) it would be funny if it weren't so irritating.

 I admit, it's hard for me to address this one politely. It's been suggested that I gently tease her about it but I'm afraid it will sound mean and sarcastic (because I'm annoyed). Any ideas?

Lynn2000

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Re: S/O "He gets that from his dad"
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2016, 09:25:53 PM »
One idea: Could you sound genuinely curious? Like, "Oh? I didn't realize your ex's family had Bad Habit in it. Who was it?" Like it's a normal conversation and you're talking about a neutral trait like red hair or something.

Another idea might be to get to the root of talking bad about someone. "MIL, I don't really want to gossip about Bob's mental illness. Can we talk about something more positive?"

A third idea would be to point out that she does this, straightforwardly. "MIL, I've noticed that whenever someone shows a bad trait, you insist it couldn't come from your line of the family. But whenever they show a good trait, you take credit for it. Do you realize you've been doing this?" Kind of like it's a bad habit, like drumming her fingers or chewing her nails, and you're helpfully pointing it out. If it's pointed out to her directly, she may catch herself before she does it again.
~Lynn2000

PlainJane

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Re: S/O "He gets that from his dad"
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2016, 06:47:36 AM »
We do this in my family, both FOO and in-laws, but it is always, always with a smile and a wink, i.e., a joke.

If someone said that in earnest, I think there would be a slight pause followed with, "Well bless your heart," or perhaps the eHell approved, "What an interesting assumption."

Mustard

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Re: S/O "He gets that from his dad"
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2016, 08:04:04 AM »
Someone once told me that my daughter 'must have got her brains from T's side of the family'.  I said that must be right as my family still had theirs...

miredrose326

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Re: S/O "He gets that from his dad"
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2016, 08:18:47 AM »
My ex-husband, who has seen my 16 year old daughter less than 10 times in the last 14 years, always claims credit for anything good I say about her. The whole, she got her brains from him. It's annoying but I just roll my eyes and then change my privacy settings so he doesn't see my updates unless they actually are things he needs to know.
My beautiful babies 

Lula

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Re: S/O "He gets that from his dad"
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2016, 09:23:39 AM »
Someone once told me that my daughter 'must have got her brains from T's side of the family'.  I said that must be right as my family still had theirs...

Ha!  Perfect.

shhh its me

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Re: S/O "He gets that from his dad"
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2016, 10:51:54 AM »
  Are you distant or close and do you want to be close?

Frankly I would 100% let go "They get *insert positive trait* from my son ,my deceased child  

Blaming negative traits/things/happenstance on you ,or ex , random other person the the gene pool I would find toxic though.IT matters how close you want to be and how old the kids are.  Maybe you tell her less negative things if you are ok with being more distant , if the kids are young and impressionable its more important IMHO to correct "You are shy because your mom has anxiety." then it would be with an adult you who can have a more honest and deep conversation.

Semperviren

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Re: S/O "He gets that from his dad"
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2016, 03:05:24 PM »
  Are you distant or close and do you want to be close?

Frankly I would 100% let go "They get *insert positive trait* from my son ,my deceased child  

Blaming negative traits/things/happenstance on you ,or ex , random other person the the gene pool I would find toxic though.IT matters how close you want to be and how old the kids are.  Maybe you tell her less negative things if you are ok with being more distant , if the kids are young and impressionable its more important IMHO to correct "You are shy because your mom has anxiety." then it would be with an adult you who can have a more honest and deep conversation.

Re: the bolded- yes, I'm very conscious of that and really don't mind that (DD is in fact very like her father and I'm as likely as anyone to point out those similarities.)

It's just the overall habit- all that is good and pure comes from her side; anything unfortunate or a condition once considered "shameful" is promptly blamed on my family or her ex's. Anything good that she can't take credit for came out of thin air ("She's so creative! She definitely didn't get that from my side. It's just how she is, I guess."  ::)

It's mostly silly stuff but occasionally wanders into the toxic- remarking on instances of alcoholism or mental illness in either my family or FIL's while fervently insisting that no such thing exists in her family.

She seems to have this mentality that "good genes" are some sort of personal virtue whereas less desirable hereditary traits are somehow shameful.

We are generally pretty close and overall she's a good person but like with any relative there are things that drive you bananas no matter how much you love them.

She usually responds well to being gently teased or reminded of her habits- but everything I think of to say to her about this sounds edgy and sarcastic.


Daffydilly

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Re: S/O "He gets that from his dad"
« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2016, 09:44:43 AM »
I'd just give her a curious look if she makes another "my side gave her that characteristic" statement. "Mil, I'd appreciate it if you stopped the my side gave her that statements. I'd like to encourage DD to have an appreciation of all her loved ones and to be loved for herself. Statements like that teach her some people are bad and some are good. It's disrespectful to her and teaches her the wrong lesson."

mandycorn

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Re: S/O "He gets that from his dad"
« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2016, 04:07:18 PM »
Could you gently tease her, with a big smile, next time she assigns credit unevenly with a comment like "oh, you (or your family) only want credit for the good stuff, huh?" I think that would work well especially if she's assigning "blame" for a characteristic that exists on both sides.
"The trouble with quotes on the Internet is that you never know if they are genuine" - Abraham Lincoln 

gmatoy

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Re: S/O "He gets that from his dad"
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2016, 08:11:59 PM »
Someone once told me that my daughter 'must have got her brains from T's side of the family'.  I said that must be right as my family still had theirs...

Please, please, please tell me that I can borrow that!

Thipu1

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Re: S/O "He gets that from his dad"
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2016, 09:51:26 AM »
When I was a child I was always coached to attribute anything that I did right to having 'good parents' or 'good teachers'.  Allowing me to claim any accomplishment for my own would have been seen as allowing a child to 'get big head'.

We have to remember that remarks like these say nothing about the person being complimented.  It's about bolstering the self esteem of the person making the comparison.  Everybody knows it but nobody dares to say anything to the contrary.   

Mustard

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Re: S/O "He gets that from his dad"
« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2016, 11:11:43 AM »
Someone once told me that my daughter 'must have got her brains from T's side of the family'.  I said that must be right as my family still had theirs...

Please, please, please tell me that I can borrow that!


Absolutely!