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Do you think this woman was being uptight?

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 

edited b/c


Edited by MamaofLiam - 6/14/11 at 6:07pm
post #2 of 38

1.  Jane was totally out of line.  If she has issues with her kids hearing stuff that happens to real people in real life then she needs to be the one to leave the table.  Not that her kids were probably listening to your boring 'ol grownup talk anyway.  The fact that she made your tragedy all about her is disturbing on a number of levels (and the PODS thing really really sucks!  Wow!).

 

2.  Again I am pretty sure that kids that young are not going to be listening or caring to adult chatter, and if they were they are going to have no idea what to make of it.  What sucks about this for Jane's family is that her kids are apparently not going to get any clarification at home for what they do pick up so they are going to have to come to their own conclusions.  And that can be scary for a kid...scarier than being in the know in the first place I think.

 

3.  I keep the radio on NPR all day.  Eventually (I hope) my kid is going to wonder why some stuff makes me mad and some stuff makes me sad.  I am more than happy to tell him, because I don't think you do a service to kids by keeping them in the dark about the way the world works.  I will probably be more reticent when it comes to bad things happening specifically to kids, because I don't want my kid to empathize too closely when he is too young to effectively deal with the fear that will bring.

 

post #3 of 38

I dunno, I have a 5 y/o and so am around a lot of 5 y/o's and I have to say that burglars and bad guys seem to be big deals to that age group to the point of obsession. Little kids have big fears, y/k? So your cousin may have been approaching it from that angle--maybe her kid had been having nightmares or fears or whatever on that topic and she didn't want to have a major debriefing later.

 

If I had been in that situation, I'd have left the room w/ my kids or if I had to, let it ride, but only because I'm a total wimp when it comes to confrontation. Inwardly, I'd be shouting "SHUT UP!!!" knowing that both kids would be grilling me later about the incident (my 3 y/o has picked up on bad guys thanks to big bro).  So my attitude is why cause myself and them trouble. If WE were burglarized I'd def explain, for your sitch it'd be more like me just wanting to avoid bedtime troubles later on. "But WHY did they break into Aunt's POD? What's a POD? Did they steal their toys? Which ones? Why didn't the police stop them?" "Where are they now?" Will they come to our house?" etc. Ugh, I get weary imagining it!

 

To answer your questions, though, I don't think Jane was being a good mom or uptight mom, just the mom she's comfortable being. Same for the dad, although I do think they should be on the same page. We tell our kids things that will affect them, but of course in a way we feel to be age-appropriate. So if we have a death in the family, they'd hear about it, but if my neighbor did, probably not.

 

I've got to say though, I'm going w/ my 5 y/o theory. DH and I could talk about drugs and I don't think my oldest would even listen, much less understand, but he def is aware of burglars and would hang on every word. I wouldn't really even care if he heard about drugs--that's a nice values teachable moment. Burglars and robberies are just scary.

 

post #4 of 38

I think it's fine for her to have whatever standards she wants in terms of what she exposes her kids to, but she was tactless in the way she spoke to you about it. She should have left the table if she was uncomfortable. 

 

As for her DH having different standards, that's fairly common -- I've seen lots of situations in which one parent allows something that their spouse doesn't so I don't find that odd. I've often seen a dad giving a kid an extra cookie or whatever and saying, "Eh, it's fine, Mom isn't around" or something like that. 

 

I share most everything that happens directly to us with my kids (in an age appropriate manner), but that doesn't mean I want them listening to the problems of everyone we know. I wouldn't have a problem with the subject you were discussing, OP, but I can imagine a scenario where I'd be uncomfortable with someone sharing about a sensitive subject in front of my kids. But I'd take my kids out of earshot rather than basically shushing another adult in front of a table full of people. 

 

One thing I don't do in front of my kids is badmouth people (like discussing arguments with extended family or something), so if someone starts in on that in front of my kids, that's a situation where I take the kids outside or something. 

post #5 of 38

1) Was Jane being too uptight, or being a good mom?

 

I think if Jane doesn't like it, she could go get some more punch or take the kids to a different area for a few minutes while you talked about it.  I think she's being a bit uptight, but I also sort of understand because I have a super sensitive 5yo who could possibly be disturbed by such news and I may or may not want to handle it that night.  So I think if Jane doesn't want her kids to hear it she should take them away, not stop you.

2) What do you think about what her husband did a few weeks later?

 

I think it is pretty common for people to have different standards on that - I've seen it myself in a number of families.  I would guess Jane doesn't realize her DH does that, but maybe she knows and just controls what she can see.  As far as what he talked about in front of the kids - I almost find that sort of thing easier because it isn't going to "happen to us" like a burglary could.  I wouldn't personally talk about that stuff in front of my 5 and 3yo, but I do hear that stuff on the radio with them around and explain it.

3) Ultimately, what do you share/not share with your children about the problems that arise in your life (burglary, death..)?

 

I share things that happen around us, and I share simple details about big world events, but I don't have a lot of negative news sources pouring into their lives.  My 3yo would use it as evil story fodder for his play scenarios, and my 5yo would be heartbroken beyond anything by the gorey details. 

 

As far as what we ultimately share - I guess I don't bring things up, but when they come up around us (friends, NPR...), I try to explain it simply and emphasize the resolution -like there was a robbery at the local gas station and a friend was talking about it in front of my 5yo, so I talked briefly to my 5yo about it afterwards making sure she didn't have any questions.  My 5yo was more disturbed by having recently being read 101 dalmatians (and she was emphatic about the fact that it was too scary for her and never wants to read it again, but an armed gunman and school lockdown nearby weren't scary because the police handled it). :)

 

Tjej

 

 

post #6 of 38
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chamomile Girl View Post

1.  Jane was totally out of line.  If she has issues with her kids hearing stuff that happens to real people in real life then she needs to be the one to leave the table.  Not that her kids were probably listening to your boring 'ol grownup talk anyway.  The fact that she made your tragedy all about her is disturbing on a number of levels (and the PODS thing really really sucks!  Wow!).

 

Yes, the POD thing really sucked! We will never use them again. When it happened in my head I was thinking why doesn't she leave the table. Or at least acknowledge that what happened to us sucked by saying "I'm sorry that happened to you but..."

 

2.  Again I am pretty sure that kids that young are not going to be listening or caring to adult chatter, and if they were they are going to have no idea what to make of it.  What sucks about this for Jane's family is that her kids are apparently not going to get any clarification at home for what they do pick up so they are going to have to come to their own conclusions.  And that can be scary for a kid...scarier than being in the know in the first place I think.

 

3.  I keep the radio on NPR all day.  Eventually (I hope) my kid is going to wonder why some stuff makes me mad and some stuff makes me sad.  I am more than happy to tell him, because I don't think you do a service to kids by keeping them in the dark about the way the world works.  I will probably be more reticent when it comes to bad things happening specifically to kids, because I don't want my kid to empathize too closely when he is too young to effectively deal with the fear that will bring.

 

I agree to all of the above.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by limabean View Post

I share most everything that happens directly to us with my kids (in an age appropriate manner), but that doesn't mean I want them listening to the problems of everyone we know. I wouldn't have a problem with the subject you were discussing, OP, but I can imagine a scenario where I'd be uncomfortable with someone sharing about a sensitive subject in front of my kids. But I'd take my kids out of earshot rather than basically shushing another adult in front of a table full of people. 

 

One thing I don't do in front of my kids is badmouth people (like discussing arguments with extended family or something), so if someone starts in on that in front of my kids, that's a situation where I take the kids outside or something. 


I completely agree with you about there being some scenarios where I would be uncomfortable with the subject matter, i.e., gruesome details of murder or highly sexual conversation. In both of those cases I would excuse myself and take my children with me. I don't think it's generally appropriate to direct adults about what they can and cannot talk about in an adult setting. 

 

post #7 of 38
If she didn't want her kids to hear it I would have distracted them or perhaps gotten up. I think she was rude the way she handled it....and her DH should give the same respect to you that his wife expects for his kids.
post #8 of 38
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by newbymom05 View Post

I dunno, I have a 5 y/o and so am around a lot of 5 y/o's and I have to say that burglars and bad guys seem to be big deals to that age group to the point of obsession. Little kids have big fears, y/k? So your cousin may have been approaching it from that angle--maybe her kid had been having nightmares or fears or whatever on that topic and she didn't want to have a major debriefing later.

 

If I had been in that situation, I'd have left the room w/ my kids or if I had to, let it ride, but only because I'm a total wimp when it comes to confrontation. Inwardly, I'd be shouting "SHUT UP!!!" knowing that both kids would be grilling me later about the incident (my 3 y/o has picked up on bad guys thanks to big bro).  So my attitude is why cause myself and them trouble. If WE were burglarized I'd def explain, for your sitch it'd be more like me just wanting to avoid bedtime troubles later on. "But WHY did they break into Aunt's POD? What's a POD? Did they steal their toys? Which ones? Why didn't the police stop them?" "Where are they now?" Will they come to our house?" etc. Ugh, I get weary imagining it!

 

To answer your questions, though, I don't think Jane was being a good mom or uptight mom, just the mom she's comfortable being. Same for the dad, although I do think they should be on the same page. We tell our kids things that will affect them, but of course in a way we feel to be age-appropriate. So if we have a death in the family, they'd hear about it, but if my neighbor did, probably not.

 

I've got to say though, I'm going w/ my 5 y/o theory. DH and I could talk about drugs and I don't think my oldest would even listen, much less understand, but he def is aware of burglars and would hang on every word. I wouldn't really even care if he heard about drugs--that's a nice values teachable moment. Burglars and robberies are just scary.

 


That's interesting, I'd never thought about it from the perspective. I could see how it might be in response to the 5 y/o being sensitive to the burglary issue. But in this case I really believe it was the mother who was more sensitive than the child. I know Jane pretty well. But you do have a point. I get it's her kid and I believe she can parent how she wants to. I was peeved that she felt it was her place to tell me what I could and could not talk about in the setting we were in.

 

post #9 of 38

I agree....jane had the problem and should have left the table and never mentioned it to you.

post #10 of 38

I think that she was being uptight and should have tried to find a way to be more respectful of your need to talk to family about something very troubling  but she is right that kids do hear a lot of what we say and it can worry some children even when we think they aren't listening.  She may know that this type of information is scary to her kids so she wanted to protect them from hearing it.  I used to keep the radio on NPR all the time and thought nothing of it, but the stories really disturbed my dd when she was in preschool and it took her teacher pointing out some of the ways that was showing up in her dramatic play time at school to convince me to scale back on what I let her listen to.  I didn't notice how much she heard and what an effect it had on her until I turned the radio off during the days and a lot of her tenseness and worry went away.  Now that she is older and able to handle that type of news without worry, or if she is worried she is able to pinpoint the source of her worry and talk to me about it, we listen to NPR a lot again and it is something that is important to her also.  Other kids may never be as effected by all the bad news they hear like my dd was though and it may never be necessary to turn off the radio or tv news.  For my dd though she just needed time to grow up a bit before she was able to handle hearing the world's troubles.

 

As for things in our lives, I try not to share too much of the worrisome stuff.  I share deaths, illnesses, and let her know when we can't afford something because we need the money for a need instead of a want.  I try to make sure the negative stuff doesn't overwhelm her life though and I don't tell her something without having a plan for helping her through it.  She doesn't need to know the little things that cause stress, she doesn't need to know that we don't have much money, and she doesn't need to know that I hate my job and feel like life is never going to go anywhere for us.  Those things are adult worries and she only needs to know that she is loved, secure, and will always have her needs and some of her wants met.

post #11 of 38
Eh, yes she was a bit rude.

But I did protect my littles from scary stuff. They didn't watch the news until they were ten or so.
post #12 of 38
I can see Jane not wanting her 5-year-old to hear about the burglary, as some kids get really scared about stuff like that and it can make them have trouble sleeping because they're afraid of the house getting broken into at night. But she should have just quietly excused herself and taken the kids to do something else. It was rude of her to shush you.
post #13 of 38

Hmm, I dunno. I would privately think she was uptight but I have a kid who is not at all sensitive. She might have been very interested in the topic, but not at all scared. But just because that's the way my kiddo is doesn't mean that's the way it is for all kids.

 

If you had been discussing rape, I would have been very uncomfortable and either taken my kid out of earshot or asked you to save the topic for later. I don't think that's a topic my 5 year old needs to hear about, whether it happens in real life or not. So that's my acknowledgment that this is a matter of where you draw the line, and we're all going to draw the line in different places.

 

If I thought my kid was just really, unusually sensitive, I would choose to take my child out of earshot if possible, and only ask you to discontinue to the conversation if that move wasn't very realistic for some reason. If you were talking about rape, I might feel I had the right to ask you to stop talking about because I'd think that most people would agree it's not an appropriate topic for little ears (though I might have avoided confrontation anyway).

 

I'm very sorry to hear about what happened.

post #14 of 38

1. If her kids are sensitive, she needs to be prepared to tell people "could you hold that story for a bit so we can finish up and go somewhere else? my kids are really sensitive to those things."

 

2. If her kids are sensitive, then she needs to be told that her dh is terrorizing them.

 

3. I have a 32 month old, so her grasp of these things is pretty limited. E.g. she loves to watch the Baby Mozart dvd (music, colors, trains!) but needs me to hold her when a puppet says "blah!", but a Family Guy episode where Bryan got his tail cut off (dh and I were both sitting stunnded thinking "OMG they went THERE???" before we could hit the power button) she just thought for a second and calmly remarked "doggy have ouchie? doggie need bandaid, doggy need kisses" and she's seen the character since then and hasn't asked about his ouchie so clearly she figures he got a bandaid and it was all good.

post #15 of 38

Another thought...I already posted on how I think she could have just been acting for her own convenience in not wanting to deal w/ explanations later, but after reading other replies it made me think of my very sensitive SIL. She has an anxiety disorder and some things just send her running for the Xanax. She has sheltered her (now adult) daughters in a way that I personally disagree with, but I think in part it was due more to her mental state more than any parenting philosophy. She can be disturbed by things that most people would find innocuous. So maybe that's playing a role too.

post #16 of 38

do you think jane was trying to inform everyone about what she doesnt want her kids to hear. and she felt easier or safer saying it to you than other family members? so the moment she got the opportunity she used it. 

 

or something must have happened and she was having a hard time dealing with it? and thus got 'snarky'? was this behaviour out of line for her, or has she been this way usually. 

 

i am pretty disappointed with the husband. i would be v. unhappy if i caught 'my dh' talking like that in front of my kids when he knows how i feel about it. 

 

for myself with anyone i try to read beyond what they said. i have found they rarely mean it. i have been trained by friends who struggle to use the right words so i get what they are saying though a stranger would have interpretted quite differently.

post #17 of 38
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by newbymom05 View Post

Another thought...I already posted on how I think she could have just been acting for her own convenience in not wanting to deal w/ explanations later, but after reading other replies it made me think of my very sensitive SIL. She has an anxiety disorder and some things just send her running for the Xanax. She has sheltered her (now adult) daughters in a way that I personally disagree with, but I think in part it was due more to her mental state more than any parenting philosophy. She can be disturbed by things that most people would find innocuous. So maybe that's playing a role too.


The above seems to be right on as far as my hunch goes. I think she has some anxiety, and that causes her to be disturbed by things other ppl aren't. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by meemee View Post

do you think jane was trying to inform everyone about what she doesnt want her kids to hear. and she felt easier or safer saying it to you than other family members? so the moment she got the opportunity she used it. 

 

or something must have happened and she was having a hard time dealing with it? and thus got 'snarky'? was this behaviour out of line for her, or has she been this way usually. 

 

i am pretty disappointed with the husband. i would be v. unhappy if i caught 'my dh' talking like that in front of my kids when he knows how i feel about it. 

 

for myself with anyone i try to read beyond what they said. i have found they rarely mean it. i have been trained by friends who struggle to use the right words so i get what they are saying though a stranger would have interpretted quite differently.

 

i'm not sure about the first 2 questions. But this behavior is pretty much in line with my experiences with her. This is the way she is normally - just never so directly pointed at me. I think she likes to have very tight controls on things in regards to her children. I have a hard time reading her though, since I've only really gotten to know her through her children and not so much her personally. I think she would be upset if she knew her husband talked about that in front of them. 

 

Thank you to everyone who has posted. You have helped validate my initial feelings of being hurt by her basically shushing me, as well as brought to light some points I had never considered. I did feel very embarrassed, hurt and uncomfortable when it happened. I don't think she has any problems with me personally, but rather these are her issues that she was reacting to. 

 

In the future, if something like this were to occur (let's say to you), how would you respond? Or how would you have responded in the situation I was in?
 

 


Edited by MamaofLiam - 5/14/11 at 11:45am
post #18 of 38

In the future, I'd say "Jane, you're going to want to make sure your kids stay away from this room for about 20 minutes, I've got some news."

 

In the moment, in an ideal world, after my stunned amazement, I like to imagine I could've had the presence of mind to say "that's okay, I'll finish telling everyone else the story when you've finished up and gone somewhere else."

post #19 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post

In the future, I'd say "Jane, you're going to want to make sure your kids stay away from this room for about 20 minutes, I've got some news."

 

In the moment, in an ideal world, after my stunned amazement, I like to imagine I could've had the presence of mind to say "that's okay, I'll finish telling everyone else the story when you've finished up and gone somewhere else."

yup i'm with sapphire chan. I would give a warning too. 

 

gosh at that moment i dont think i would have reacted any differently than you. that's how it usually works out. i get upset and sad. and then i go sit by myself. that's when i try and figure out what the person was trying to say. that's why i raised that point. many times my friends tell me things directly in a group so everybody knows. they know i wouldnt mind if they directed it at me. i'd imagine she found it easier directly talking to you than she would any other member - even if it came out rude. or maybe as pp pointed out she is so anxious she has no idea how rude she was being. 

 

personally thinking about that person helps take my anger and hurt away. its like how i got rid of my road rage. i used to flip out at drivers cutting me off on the freeway. i had to get a handle of me getting upset after dd, so i'd tell myself ah poor thing. their child is in an emergency adn so they are rushing off. that makes it sooo sooo much easier dealing with my emotions. 
 

 

post #20 of 38

In the future, if something like this were to occur (let's say to you), how would you respond? Or how would you have responded in the situation I was in?

 

Well IME, if she's truly like my anxiety-prone SIL, it'll happen again no matter what you do. I've just learned to prep myself to deal w/ SIL and not take it personally, although it's hard not to. Like in your example. It was offensive, not because she had different views on what's disturbing, but because she grabbed your moment of family attention plus indirectly implied that she was a better parent (I never talk about those things around my children!).  That makes it personal even though it's clearly her issue, not yours. I'd let it go, but again, I don't like confrontation, esp w/ a diva. If I were irritated enough I'd accept the rebuke but be passive aggressive and say "Oh, sorry, I'd better tell you later when Jane isn't here."

 

 

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