Author Topic: Dramatically Different Points of View and Beating Dead Horses...  (Read 14640 times)

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magiccat26

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Re: Dramatically Different Points of View and Beating Dead Horses...
« Reply #15 on: August 04, 2011, 09:36:48 AM »
Everyone has such good ideas!

The fun part of all this is that my next door neighbor (Richard, who has 4 kids) works in Administration and heavily involved in Curriculum development for the school district...he just moved next door a month ago.  Two other neighbors also work for the schools and the Superintendent is a friend of my husband.  Add to all that my MIL and two of my best friends were/are teachers and you can see we are very invested in public education, especially in this particular school district!

The reason this came to the forefront of my thoughts this week (it's been going on all summer), is because we were all outside on Sunday watching the kids play and Donna started off on her soapbox about the evils of public education in front of Richard (who had not witnessed one of these tirades).  It was awkward.  I could tell that Richard was not amused but he managed to keep his cool while gently rebuffing many of her wild generalizations about public schools.

What a great impression she made for our newest neighbor who only stopped by to ask about enrollment  ::)
« Last Edit: August 04, 2011, 09:53:09 AM by magiccat26 »
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kschmid5

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Re: Dramatically Different Points of View and Beating Dead Horses...
« Reply #16 on: August 04, 2011, 09:50:56 AM »
How about keeping her on topic?

Vicki, New Neighbor wasn't asking for our opinions on the state of public schooling. She is just asking for registration dates.  New Neighbor, the dates are X- Z.

Or, depending on the age of the kids and type of play, I'd consider alternating whose house the kids are playing at, and you and Vicki can use the time to run errands or do other fun things.   "Oh, the kids are fine just playing in the backyard, and I'm going to do some outside chores while they are running through the sprinklers. Why don't you go run some errands or go check out New Local Organic Food Store?  I can call if anything happens." 

When it's her time to watch the kids, just remove yourself by saying that you have an appointment, and you are so glad that this alternating playtime seems to be working so well, since Kitten doesn't have to sit in the dentist's/vet's waiting room.

SuperMartianRobotGirl

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Re: Dramatically Different Points of View and Beating Dead Horses...
« Reply #17 on: August 04, 2011, 07:18:25 PM »
"I appreciate how important these issues are to you, but I'm not comfortable discussing them, especially since I've made different decisions for my own family."

Calypso

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Re: Dramatically Different Points of View and Beating Dead Horses...
« Reply #18 on: August 05, 2011, 06:04:41 PM »
First, you need to stop worrying about Donna's interactions with Richard, New Neighbor, or anyone else who isn't you. They're adults, let them handle it.

My impression is that, while Donna may indeed be very passionate about her hobbyhorses, she's also quite lonely. I think you need to stop hearing her rants as trying to give you information, and start hearing them as "I need to have a contact with another human and this is all I can think of to talk about, I need validation, I need need need." She isn't trashing your different choices, I don't think---she isn't thinking about you at all. She just wants an ear.

Which is not to say it has to be yours. When there's other people in the group, I think you have to let her talk, but when it's just the two of you, you can hold up your hand and say "hey, babe, I know---you've told me before --- I know you know, you know I know, you know?"  8) or something equally light. Ask her if she belongs to any forums or groups on these topics. Ask her if she goes to meetings or is otherwise involved with people who share her interests. And then find something else you two can discuss.

(I hope she isn't equally "passionate" about current events, movies, the weather, what-are-you-doing-for-vacation, etc etc.... ::) )

magiccat26

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Re: Dramatically Different Points of View and Beating Dead Horses...
« Reply #19 on: August 05, 2011, 06:36:43 PM »
First, you need to stop worrying about Donna's interactions with Richard, New Neighbor, or anyone else who isn't you. They're adults, let them handle it.

My impression is that, while Donna may indeed be very passionate about her hobbyhorses, she's also quite lonely. I think you need to stop hearing her rants as trying to give you information, and start hearing them as "I need to have a contact with another human and this is all I can think of to talk about, I need validation, I need need need." She isn't trashing your different choices, I don't think---she isn't thinking about you at all. She just wants an ear.

Which is not to say it has to be yours. When there's other people in the group, I think you have to let her talk, but when it's just the two of you, you can hold up your hand and say "hey, babe, I know---you've told me before --- I know you know, you know I know, you know?"  8) or something equally light. Ask her if she belongs to any forums or groups on these topics. Ask her if she goes to meetings or is otherwise involved with people who share her interests. And then find something else you two can discuss.

(I hope she isn't equally "passionate" about current events, movies, the weather, what-are-you-doing-for-vacation, etc etc.... ::) )

Calypso, you make a very good point.  Donna moved here from faraway.  The move was initiated by her husband's company and they really didn't have a choice (since they are a single-income family).  She doesn't have a single family member nearby and almost no support network.  From other conversations with her, I know that:

1) Our small conservative little town was not her first choice.  She hates that it is a 10 minute drive to get to a grocery store and about a 40+ minute drive to get to a health food store.  Heck, EVERYTHING is a bit of a drive.  I love it here, but it is not for everyone!

2)  She and her husband went through a very rough time and almost divorced.  They worked it out, but I suspect she only stayed for the sake of her three kids.  Her youngest daughter (Kitten's friend) did not handle the fighting well at all.  The move away from everything she had ever known only created more stress.  Donna has been dealing with the fallout and has had her hands full with this child.  I think she actually enjoys it when her youngest spends the day at my house playing with Kitten because it gives her a break  :) 

3)  Her oldest daughter was a premature baby and has serious health issues.  One of which is something similar to ceciliac disease (thus causing Donna to have to research special diets, etc).  She also has severe learning disabilities and she had a bad experience with the public schools where she was living when OD started school (thus why she started home schooling her child and decided to do it with the younger kids too). 

4)  Her husband travels all the time (like 80%) so she is often left alone in their home with three kids.  Of course, she gets no break because they are home-schooled and involved in extracurricular activities up to 30 hours per week each.

I am trying to be understanding and believe it or not, Donna and I do have many things in common.  We are both liberal thinkers in a conservative environment.  We have similar child raising philosophies (we're not helicopter parents like so many of my friends  ;)), and other positive stuff.  I would like to keep our friendship...however, I'm really tired of these two topics dominating EVERY conversation.  I like your suggestions and will try that next time.  I will probably see her this weekend, so I'll try to post an update if I have one.

Thanks again!

P.S. - Funny you should mention her passions...she also has VERY strong opinions about the TSA...but that topic only came up when I mentioned we were flying for our vacation.   ;)
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bopper

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Re: Dramatically Different Points of View and Beating Dead Horses...
« Reply #20 on: September 07, 2011, 01:25:01 PM »
"Donna, you don't have to justify yourself to me. I am glad we live in a state/country that allows us to choose the best school situation that works for our family."

QueenofAllThings

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Re: Dramatically Different Points of View and Beating Dead Horses...
« Reply #21 on: September 15, 2011, 07:21:37 PM »
Quote
"Donna, I'm glad you've found what works for you and *BIG SMILE* we're glad to have found what works for us. Isn't it great we live in a free country where we can each decide what we think is best for our own kids?"

and if she continues..

"Donna, it's starting to sound a lot like you disapprove of how we have chosen to educate/feed our daughter? I'm sure you are talking about what works for you and that's great, but I'm starting feel a bit uncomfortable." (quizzical, puzzled, friendly tone)


This! And I think it's wonderful that you recognize what she's going through  :)

Shiraz_Much?

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Re: Dramatically Different Points of View and Beating Dead Horses...
« Reply #22 on: September 16, 2011, 03:54:00 PM »
"Donna, you don't have to justify yourself to me. I am glad we live in a state/country that allows us to choose the best school situation that works for our family."
I think this is perfect.  It validates her feelings and also lets her know, nicely, that your choice is different but just as good.

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heathert

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Re: Dramatically Different Points of View and Beating Dead Horses...
« Reply #23 on: September 18, 2011, 06:57:04 PM »
I'm wondering if she starts going off on a tangent if you can stop her before she finishes and state what her beliefs on that topic are, so that  would hopefully make her realize that you KNOW what her POV is, possibly better than she does? Hope I'm making sense.

Master_Edward

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Re: Dramatically Different Points of View and Beating Dead Horses...
« Reply #24 on: October 15, 2011, 10:21:59 PM »
I like what Lisbeth said. Or when she goes off again (because she will) and ends with Of course that's just my opinion you could stare at her and say, yes that's just your opinion and I don't recall anybody asking for it! >:D

Ed.

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Re: Dramatically Different Points of View and Beating Dead Horses...
« Reply #25 on: October 22, 2011, 04:35:18 PM »
I don't disagree with you about Donna, but her daughter (Vicki) is a good kid.  My child is an only child and is desperate to have kids to play with.  Most of the Moms in our community are the "scheduled play dates with planned activities" types.  Donna and I are one of the few who think "spontaneous play time is good and healthy!"  Vicki is often at our house and it has become apparent that she is lonely too. 

Since she is home schooled, she rarely gets social time with any other kids beside her siblings.  She does go to gymnastics, but her Mom is pushing her to be competitive and so it's not really a "social" thing for her.  Our home is VERY laid back...and I can see her relaxing and enjoying herself.  I would hate to punish the girls because the Mother is a bit of a pain.

I want to maintain a friendly but distant connection with Donna for both Vicki and Kitten's sake.  That's why I was hoping for some suggestions on how to get her to stay off her soapbox.  (I'm hoping I can be brave enough to try some of the suggestions here!)

DH and I are of similar opinions.  There are pros and cons to many different lifestyles and every family should choose what works for them.  We try to be healthy, but we're not militant about it.  We send our child to public school, but we are VERY involved and work with her at home too.  We've tried to find a balance that works for us. 

I'm glad Donna is so involved with her children and their health, but her choices are not the right ones for us.  I just wish I could get this across to her.  She's not going to change my mind and I know I'm not going to change her mind.

If it makes any difference, Donna is 20 years older than me and admits that she's very set in her ways.

You said it best, yourself.

"Donna, your choices are not the right ones for my family.  Perhaps your lectures should remain inside your home as part of your belief system, and not visited on others.  I consider this topic - and the other one (whichever she isn't ranting about at the time) to be closed."
"We ate the pies."

hobish

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Re: Dramatically Different Points of View and Beating Dead Horses...
« Reply #26 on: November 01, 2011, 12:01:08 PM »

How have things been gong now that school has been back in session for a while?

It's alright, man. I'm only bleeding, man. Stay hungry, stay free, and do the best you can.
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rashea

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Re: Dramatically Different Points of View and Beating Dead Horses...
« Reply #27 on: November 01, 2011, 02:11:33 PM »
My concern is that she'll unleash these rants/lectures on your child. How will Kitten handle it if she gets lectured on the evils of eating non-organic food (and don't get me started, because I could lecture her right back)? Will Kitten come away with the idea that her parents don't love her because they are sending her to a school that will stifle her and feeding her food that will poison her?

I think an honest conversation with Donna about how you love that she's passionate, but that it's not okay to lecture you is a good start. I think it may be even more important to explain how just as you respect her limits on feeding her children, you need her to respect your choices and not talk about it in front of the kids.
"Manners change, principles don't. It's about treating people with consideration, respect and honesty." Peter Post

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magiccat26

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Re: Dramatically Different Points of View and Beating Dead Horses...
« Reply #28 on: November 01, 2011, 02:33:51 PM »
I have backed away from Donna and basically excuse myself quickly after exchanging a few VERY neutral pleasantries.

Kitten still plays outside with Vicki, but she has been told not to go inside without permission.  Since Vicki always wants to come to our house, I let her (with Donna's permission), but have told her that I cannot offer her anything except water...if she gets hungry, she will need to go home to get a snack.

I think Donna is beginning to realize that ALL the neighbors are distancing themselves from her.  I know she's a little angry about it, but I think she realizes that she only has herself to blame.  Her husband seems to realize it too; he's making more of an effort to spend time with the other parents and express that he and his wife don't always see eye-to-eye.

It's just an odd situation all the way around.


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hobish

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Re: Dramatically Different Points of View and Beating Dead Horses...
« Reply #29 on: November 01, 2011, 06:26:55 PM »


Well... odd beats unfriendly, right? Thanks for the update; i have been wondering how you've been doing.
It's alright, man. I'm only bleeding, man. Stay hungry, stay free, and do the best you can.
~Gaslight Anthem