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Mean kid at LLL - Page 2

post #21 of 25

OK, that makes sense.  I kind of identify with that.  I feel clueless a lot of the time and can be blunt.  I guess there's a secret to it, a trick.  Some people have a knack for finessing a situation, I certainly don't.  It doesn't come naturally. 


However, I still don't think it's complicated. It is simple. Not easy, but there's nothing for it but to do it.  And don't forget, there is still the other person's factor.  You are NOT completely responsible for making this a successful interaction.  Once you talk to the other mom, the ball is in her court, regardless. If you do your very best and you know you were polite then it's fair to say that how she responds tells you more about her than about you.  Either she will step up and do what she needs to do to keep her child from being mean to your child, or she will not. From there the ball is back in your court and you decide what you want to do.

post #22 of 25

OP, regarding the "secret"... my DP is amazing at connecting with people, defusing conflicts, and just getting people to calm down.  He says stuff that I would never dream of saying but it never comes across as condescending.  It comes across as warm, genuine, and concerned. 


I am not like this.  Not very good at connecting, not very good at listening.


I asked him recently about what he is thinking when he talks to people and he says that... everyone is a mirror.  When people talk to you, it's not really about you.  When someone says somethign to you about you, it's really about them.  So you listen to hear what they are saying about themselves.


Then he says that he tries to understand what the other person is saying, about themselves, about the situation, or the conversation, and then when he thinks he hears it, he repeats it back to them to make sure that he does get it.  He says he tries to be a mirror.  The other person might say, "No, that's not what I meant."  Or they might say, "Yes, you understand me."


He says when people hear him mirroring their thoughts back to them that is the only time when he can introduce his own thought.  Because now everyone is on the same page.  I've noticed people are more willing to listen to him once this happens - and he is in a better position to frame his thoughts in a way that makes sense to them.


It seems like his own intuitive approach to what Naomi Aldort describes in some of her writings as empathetic communication. 


Try it the next time someone expresses a harmless opinion that is foreign to you - just echo back the person's opinion to see if you've really understood - and see what happens.  I've actually been trying to do this ("Oh it sounds like you don't really like peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, and you're disappointed that no one wants to make the regular chip ones.") and while it feels a little weird to me, I have to say, it works.  I've actually had people say, "Now it sounds like you understand me."  


It is easier for me to do than offer sympathy, because I feel like I never know what the other person is feeling.  You aren't trying to name their feelings or anything like that.  (Like, "ooh, that sounds hard." can be met with, "Actually it's not hard...." or "You're angry" with "No, I'm not angry...." unless they actually say, "I am angry.") 

post #23 of 25
Originally Posted by LDSmomma View Post


Unfortunately, there IS a secret, at least that's how it seems to me. 



I like "never assume malice when mere ignorance will do." So, maybe it isn't a "mean" 9 yo, but a 9 yo who doesn't know how to play with a 2 yo. Now that's a different problem isn't it?


But again, I think the real problem is lack of supervision. Is LLL always at the 9 yo's house? That must be really tough to have these random strangers come in go pawing all over his stuff. Imagine how you would feel if a group of women who don't even LIKE to cook, much less know how came into your kitchen once week and went through all your stuff.

post #24 of 25

I think how you broach it depends in part on the situation.  You still haven't said where the meetings are taking place, what other children are doing, or even if there are any other children.  I can think of several diplomatic ways to begin a conversation, but each would only apply in certain situations.

post #25 of 25

Well it is a suggestion, not something to necessarily ENFORCE......IF the children are not disrupting the meeting.  We also have a few people who bring older children to our meetings--which are not in anyone's home.  It works OK when it's just one set of siblings....often times though too many more and even though they are just playing like "normal kids" it gets loud and hard to hear.  (we have not, that i'm aware of, had issue with 'mean big kids')  It's not that big kids are "forbidden" simply a realistic recognization that older children can survive a couple hours with another person and are more likely to get bored and disruptive than even a nursing toddler who is provided with age-appropriate toys.


I know it can be hard if someone is single or has a spouse that works at meeting time...but it's your job as the parent to make sure they have something they can do quietly.

the other day I was at a meeting--different group--that had several kids in attendance--one was probably 11 just a guess, he was back at a table with a notebook, food, and a book to read.  You really hardly knew he was there.(WE didn't tell him to sit alone, I don't know if his mom did, but it appeared to be entirely his choice.)  THAT is what would be appropriate in my mind for a LLL meeting.  yes, they can come talk to their mom and stuff, but it is absolutely NOT appropriate for them to be picking on the little children.


Also most LLL meetings I have been to begin with the announcement about feel free to move and tend to your kids' needs---EVERYONE obviously needs to do that, if your 2 year old is bothering the big kid, you also need to be aware and distract them. 


I stand by the original statement though....if it's at your house, your 9 year old is old enough to spend a couple hours occupying themselves in a space away from the little kids for 2 hours once a month, if they're not the kind of kid who enjoys "babysitting" and playing with the little kids.  Heck, my SIX year old could be convinced to stay in a room with his MagnaDoodle to write on and play with, the laptop for online games, and Spongebob on TV and be totally happy for a couple hours!


The purpose of the LLL meeting is for the moms to come get answers to their breastfeeding questions.  If moms are staying away because children who are well past the need for absolute constant contact with Mom are making it hard for the mothers to hear the discussion, or participate in it because they are having to protect their little ones from older kids who are hurting them....then that is an issue the Leader needs to address. 

And some people don't have the luxury of finding another group, where I am, for example....I am pretty sure we are the *only* current group--I know there were a couple an hour north and south of me...but I think they are now without Leaders.  :(


Again, I am NOT anyone affiliated with LLL, just a person who's attended meetings a long time and thought about applying at one point.


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