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Thread: The way we speak to our kids...

  1. #1

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    Default The way we speak to our kids...

    Does it ever bother you the way other people talk to their kids? Of course swearing and so forth isn't something I like at all very much, and I've raised Paris in such a way that if she sees someone doing that she'll often say in a very loud voice "She's not a very nice mummy is she?" ROFL! BUT I get sooooo irate at the way some parents talk to their kids overall, tone, body language etc. But growing up in a similar environment I know how embarressing and awful it would be for those poor kids if I actually walked up and gave the parents a mouthful so I've had to bite my tongue many times. But I don't know if its being pregnant or what but today I was the closest I've ever been to saying something. We were out at a local shop (Target has a 20% off baby stuff sale WOOHOO) and we were sitting in a small cafe having lunch. A family walked in with a young girl (possibly in late teens early 20's) and a middle aged woman and man, and two small children I wasn't sure if the older woman was the mother or grandmother. They looked very respectable (not that that means much...but ykwim) anyway the second that they sat down every word that was spoken to the children was "spat" at them, the were told continually to "Shuttup" and the adults just seemed to be quite rude. Now IMO the kids were very well behaved, they were just asking about what they were going to have etc, weren't being rude or loud or anything like that so to me (and even if they had been two wrongs don't make a right!) they certainly didn't deserve the way they were being treated. Now I know most people would be thinking "OH but you don't know how they've acted all day" but even if they had been terrors all morning do they still deserve to be treated this way? Is this setting them a good example? I really don't think so, and just because someone does something to you that makes you unhappy is that reason enough to talk to them like dirt? I would never treat my husband or any of my friends that way if I were unhappy with them, so why on earth would I treat my kids this way. I read once we often treat our kids worse than we do anyone else that we know including our partners, and I see this so often and it makes me feel so sad. How is it paving the way for a healthy long term relationship? Shouldn't we be treating them better?

    I dunno the whole thing got me thinking... and I left lunch feeling a bit down and out. But my little sweetheart, whom I think also wasn't happy with the way they were acting, grabbed my hand on the way out squeezed it tightly and said "Mummy when I grow up I want to be just like you!" And I just thought to myself, if only they knew what they were missing out on!



    *hugs*
    Cailin

  2. #2

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    I think you are being a bit hard on yourself miss shannon And I am certainly no saint! We all have bad days, but when its the whole family and you can see this is how they interact normally it makes me sad. I hope I didn't come across badly, I just really wish people would stop and think sometimes iykwim? Its not just about that moment, its about when they are 16 and you ask them how their day was and you get the standard "Fine!" or it ends up being the way siblings treat each other because its how they are treated themselves? I think it can really effect other parts of how our kids learn to communicate with others, and moreso the affect it has on the parent child relationship can be quite detrimental. I hope I didn't come across as a saint LOL! As I am far from it, it just made me really sad and wanted to see how others felt

    *hugs*
    Cailin

  3. #3
    Tigergirl1980 Guest

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    I find it disgraceful. The people over our back fence make me sick. Always telling their children (I think they have 3, 2 boys 1 girl) to "f'ing shut up" or "don't f'ing do that", "get the f out!" One evening the little girl was in the bath, and I think she was messing around a little and being loud and the mother screamed at her that if she didn't start behaving she was going to f'ing drown her. And on another day she screamed at her "for god's sake you're 3 (or maybe it was 4) years old wipe your own f'ing a$$" I could not believe it, they might be little monsters sometimes but I don't think there is any excuse for that type of treatment. And the father is no better always yelling at them and slamming doors. I can only imagine how these children will treat others and their own children when they get bigger.

  4. #4

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    Friends of our talk to their kids appallingly. They also talk to each other poorly most of the time. I think it shows that they have no respect for one another or their children. Their children (1girl, 2boys) are right little terrors, and the father is always saying what [email protected]#$%^& they are, but it is his fault for not parenting them and giving them boundaries and a little discipline. These children are truly products of their upbringing and it makes both DH and I sad that those poor little kids will more than likely grow up with no self esteem or respect. It drives DH insane to see the way his mate talks to his family and even though he has digs at his mate for it, his mate doesn't change his attitude. Because of this we rarely invite them to gatherings where others will be present for embarrassment of his behaviour. I think Cailin that Paris is so intuitive because she probably knows how here feelings would be hurt if she was spoken to that way. Kids just have a knack for picking this sort of thing up.

  5. #5

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    Cailin, I agree ... it is sad the way some families interact. And Shannon, I cannot imagine that you being a little bit snappy with the kids is even remotely like the nasty behaviour Cailin's referring to. I can only imagine how hectic it gets with young kids ... no matter how much you love them, sometimes they try the patience of a saint and it is no reflection on you!

    The people Cailin saw sound a bit like our neighbours, except their neglect is more along the lines of being unable to communicate with each other apart from screaming. The father is an idiot and I haven't really worked the mother out at all. The kids exhibit a broad range of behaviour ... one of the girls latches onto any available female adult who will give her the time of day (last Christmas, this was me). The other girl rants and screams all the time at her parents and the other kids. It's very disturbing. Somehow they managed to have another new baby last Christmas. This one is a boy and it is the only one the father can be bothered with. It remains to be seen whether his affection will hold out as the child grows!

  6. #6

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    Its so hard to watch isn't it? We find it hard atm with Matilda not listening to a word we say or being directly defient (meaning she knows something is wrong like touching a power source but she will look at us and laugh as she touches it, and then tantrums when we pull her away) we usually give her the chance of removing herself from the situation, then we let her know if she won't then we will have too. And if she goes back then we will need to have some time away and after 1 minute she can play with her toys again... Sometimes I must admit if after our 3rd go she does it again DH gets louder and louder and I get upset at him for it. He doesn't mean too, and doesn't even notice but I am often saying "its not that she has a hearing problem my love, its that she is choosing not to listen atm..."

    Sorry to get off the subject, but I agree...I hate hearing parents talk down to their children and spit at them or yell orders to them as though they are dogs. I would like to think that we give Matilda 3 chances to obey before we start getting cranky....

  7. #7

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    I think there is a big difference between losing ones temper (as is perfectly human!) and talking down to your children for the basic of things. Marc and I were chatting about it more tonight and we think its often those parents that hold "grudges" against their children. For instance they have a bad morning etc and the parent holds onto that and treats them this way for the rest of the day.

    I think on the opposite side if we were to show no emotion when upset it would be just as damaging, I am moreso talking about how we react on a day to day basis... Being cranky and being plain rude are two different things

    Its all about how we communicate, if we ignore our children they learn to ignore us, if we fight with our children and yell and scream (and I mean CONSTANTLY lol) they too will think this is the only way to deal with a situation, and if we acknowledge them without listening ie. "Mummy do you like my painting" the parent replies "Yes thats lovely" and doesn't even look at it ](*,) they will only do the same to them in the future.

    We all get upset sometimes, and thats a good thing I think, as it shows our children the entire spectrum of emotions. But I also think there is a big difference between having the occasional spack attack (I've had my banshee moments ) and having no respect for our children as people.

    And when it comes to parents that swear at their children, I have no problems asking them politely if they can tone it down in front of my daughter. She doesn't get spoken to this way and she doesn't need to hear it IMO. I'm so glad we don't have neighbours like that!

    *mwa*
    Cailin

  8. #8

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    I think it is very, very sad how some parents speak to their children. There is no excuse for it and it makes me so angry when I see it. The saddest thing is that these kids are probably going to do the same with their kids because they don’t know any different.

    Cailin, Paris sounds like a very special little girl and you should be proud of her and how she is being raised.

  9. #9

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    We say a few things to Jenna now that we will have to get out of doing before she really knows what we mean. Like we call her ratbag, trouble and sometimes tubby 8-[ - her thighs are soooo big... LOL. And the swearing - we have to cut that out now!
    But we are also praising her all the time, lots of good girls, and give mummy kisses, and "cuddle cuddle, squeeze" etc. She's a very affectionate child already, so we cant be doing too much wrong I guess. When playing with other babies she leans her head against them - as if to cuddle. Its soooo sweet.
    But I too dislike seeing parents talk really badly to their kids - especially swearing AT them (as opposed to swearing around them) even in a shop we were never yelled at as kids. My mum used to put this vice grip around our arms and escort us to the car. We wouldbe bawling, but mum didn't look like a bad mum.

    I guess at the end of the day we can say that we would never be like that, and how bad it is - but we cant really judge other parents? I mean - each generation likes to improve from the one before I think, and maybe these peoples parents were even worse - so they think they are doing much better.
    Does that make sense? Also - its hard to know everyone's circumstances, and while yes hitting and swearing are unacceptable in our worlds, we are the lucky ones to know that.

    Sorry to sound so PC - but sometimes we need to walk in others shoes before we really know why they act the way they do. Its so sad to see kids in not as supportive environments, so I understand why you felt down Cailin.
    Fi

  10. #10

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    Shannon,
    you said:
    I'm not sure that everybody can quite control their emotions appropriately iykwim.
    I think that there are very few mothers with a child/children 3 or over who has not "snapped" in some way eg. either by yelling at their child or giving the vice like grip a little too hard! Remember ,we (mothers) are only human too and if we are not feeling 100% ourselves and then have the people we love most, push our buttons then it is difficult not to respond in some way. And you have additional stresses with your special girls. so don't be too hard on yourself. You sound completely normal to me.

    Cailin, you do sound like a saint LOL but there have to be some on this earth!
    I get very sad and embarrassed seeing those parents who yell and swear at their kids and expect that to have some positive effect on their behaviour.

  11. #11
    Tigergirl1980 Guest

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    Awwww Shannon, I think you are being way too hard on yourself, particularly in your situation. I can't even begin to imagine how hard things must be for you, I'm surprise that you are still able to function and still be intelligent and articulate. I think I would just be a lump on the floor incapable of doing anything at all. I think that you are doing a superb job and I know I'm not there to see everything that you do, but I don't blame you for being at the end of your rope at times, it must be extremely frustrating for you. It breaks my heart that you feel this way, please know that I am always here if you need to talk, you have my number and if not I can give it again, but you also have my e-mail and I am on your messenger. Would love to get together again soon too, especially if you're gonna be going to Brissy.

    Take care

  12. #12
    Tigergirl1980 Guest

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    You don't have to apologise at all

  13. #13
    *Yvette* Guest

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    How we speak to our children is so important.

    Before I start on my inevitable waffle, Shannon, you're so hard on yourself, and so brave too. I love that you're so open about observing your own weaknesses. I'm sure you judge yourself too harshly, but I still admire that you're so open about it. And Cailin, whatever you're doing with Paris must be working because she's such a delight, but I get the feeling it's not so much anything you specifically do, but rather your natural respect for her as a person and also for yourself that does the trick.

    I like to think I must be doing something right too, because my kids are perfect, he he. Seriously though, I'm proud of Lola and Ruth, and I do think seriously about how I talk to them. I do swear in front of them, but they don't swear. I do show anger and sometimes lose my cool, but in the context of showing all emotions, so they see me as human too.

    I think it's a good thing to be quite firm with kids as is appropriate to their age, it makes them feel safe to have limits, as if mum/dad are confidently in control it shows they're capable of taking care of things. The main thing I've always tried to keep in mind though is setting a good example. I don't always succeed, but if the intention is always there, you muddle through!

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cailin
    I've raised Paris in such a way that if she sees someone doing that she'll often say in a very loud voice "She's not a very nice mummy is she?" ROFL! ...
    I dunno the whole thing got me thinking... and I left lunch feeling a bit down and out. But my little sweetheart, whom I think also wasn't happy with the way they were acting, grabbed my hand on the way out squeezed it tightly and said "Mummy when I grow up I want to be just like you!" And I just thought to myself, if only they knew what they were missing out on!
    Cailin, whatever you've done, can you teach me please??!!! I want Lucy to be just like that, Paris sounds precious!

  15. #15

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    Cailin, you bring up such a valid point. It's families like the one you mentioned that make me check myself and ensure that I'm talking to my little girl in the correct manner. I do agree that sometimes when you're sleep deprived or just plainly moody that it can be difficult to keep your temper in check; and it does at times emerge in the way that you speak to your children without you meaning it to.

    We have neighbours across the road (I know this sounds bad, but we now live in a lower socio-economic area and I have found this behaviour more previlant since we have moved here), which is a single mum. She has 4 children ranging in age from 2year though to 10years. I dont want to be too tough on the Mum as I don't know how hard it is to be a single Mum, except to reflect back on my own childhood when my Dad wasn't around. But, she is simply appalling in the way that she speaks to her children. I mean, it borderlines at times on just plain child abuse.

    There is not an afternoon where she is not screaming abuse at these children...not to mention she sends these children out after dark delivering newspapers and phamplets in the mail. Only her very youngest does not do so. She actually sends her tiny 5yr old daughter out after dark on her bike; and the bike is bigger than the kid!

    What is so suprising is that these kids are by no means bratty, rude little sods like you would almost expect from the verbal splattering they receive. They're polite and although not perfect (kids will be kids); they have beautiful manners which don't in any way reflect the manner in which their mother publicly treats them.

  16. #16

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    I think we all have our bad days, I am guilty of snapping and yelling at my children when I am having an off day, I hate doing it but at times I just cant help it IUKWIM, I just wanted to add my take on this too,

    Shannon I think you are being way to hard on yourself, afterall you are only human, and have suffered alot of stress, and stress does funny things to our minds and bodies, sometimes things get out of control and we loose it, I am guilty of this but I think it is the way we treat our children on a dialy basis that makes the difference and I am posative from reading many of you past posts that your girls know how much you love them.

    I am deffinatley no saint whrn it comes to this subject I have 'lost it' before and yell and scream at my kids sometimes but this is not my usual daily behaviour this is when things get beyond me and get to much that i just can not take on another thing IUKWIM, I dont like to judge people because I think that when we are out shopping or something that this is when most of our children are on their worst behaviour so I do not stare at the mum telling her kids off or that little girl screaming because she wants something I try to just ignore it, I hate the fact that people stare at you when you try to disipline your child in the shops ( sorry off the subject a little ), I agree with what you said Cailin you can just see that some of these kids are treated this way all of the time that this is indeed the way their parents communicate with them and that is so very very sad, sometimes you just think 'how could you' or 'how dare you'

    I have a couple of friends who both drive me crazy with telling me I am to easy on my kids and that they get away with to much and often suffer through the comments of 'well why would she stop, she got her own way' or 'I would never let my child get away with that'
    My first friend does not know how to speak to her children in a 'normal' manner her and her husband just yell and swear at their 3 children one of which has just turned 1yr old he often gets called a C**** sucker, or a little D head, he gets told to shut the F*** up all of the time and has done since he was about 4 weeks old by his father who has not even really held him or cuddled him,
    they also have a 4 yr old boy and a 2 and a half year old girl I love these kids and I often shead a tear for them because I know that they really dont feel loved, they speak to these kids just as bad if not worse than the baby I have never heard either mum or dad say anyhthing nice about thier kids they just complain and infact yesterday mum said to me 'I wish i was not a mum anymore' now I have known the mum for many many years about 15 to be exact and I know that all she ever wanted was a family and I can not beleive she treats them this way,
    My husband and I no longer visit them as we dont want our kids subjected to this behaviour it sadens me so to write such things but I know that the core of the problem is that both mum and dad are miserable and they speak to eachother this way too, all of the children do not know how to talk to eachother they just yell and scream and throw tantrums.

    My other friend is also just so unhappy she takes it out on her 2 kids they are great kids but her behaviour is affecting them this i can see now, she never talks to her children she just yells at them or snaps at them,
    After spending almost 2 weeks away with them we left our holiday early as we just could not take it anymore it was embarresing as we did not want others in the park to think we were the same I was yelled at on several occasions over the way I let my kids get away with things and she turned alot of her anger toward my son,
    In the end we left before we had a confrontation, I have lost alot of respect for her, her little girls have become very sneaky and often lie about things I beleive this is a direcxt result of being screamed at since they were literally new borns, again this behaviour is a direct result of both her and her husband being so dreadfully unhappy he basicly runs his own life while she is full time studying at Uni and trying to care for the kids she punishes them for his wrong doings and pushes them aside to try and get at her husband and make him pay so to speak.

    I am sad to write these things about to women I really care about but I am feeling as though I dont want to be around them any more because of their behaviours and I feel so very uncomfortable and so do my children these are people I have spent alot of time with so please know this is not a rash or quick to judge situation,
    I just dont know what to do as I am not one to confront them and have my say I dont feel that this would work any way but especially for my first friend I kinda want to protect her children if that makes sence I know there is not anything I can do but it frustrates me and makes me so sad to see it happening infront of me.
    Last edited by *Elle*; May 16th, 2006 at 10:40 AM.

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