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punishing children by ruining other people's plans? - Page 3

post #41 of 81

Okay I've only read the first page, but really?  So I am supposed to not parent my own child because it might upset yours?  Really?  Let's give an example.  Say my 9 year old has plans to go to a move in the evening with a friend.  During the day she mouthed off horribly and refused to clean her room even though that had been one of the contingincies for being allowed to go to the movie.  So.... I am supposed to allow her to go anyways because it might disappoint YOUR child?  I am trying very hard to wrap my mind around this logic but it is still not making sense to me.  My job as a parent is to raise my child the way I see fit.  In my house if you misbehave (like in the example, mouthing off and refusing to do what you were supposed to) you are not getting away with no consequences.  Parent your child the way you see fit and the rest of us who expect our children to have consequences for their actions will do the same.

post #42 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heavenly View Post

Okay I've only read the first page, but really?  So I am supposed to not parent my own child because it might upset yours?  Really?  Let's give an example.  Say my 9 year old has plans to go to a move in the evening with a friend.  During the day she mouthed off horribly and refused to clean her room even though that had been one of the contingincies for being allowed to go to the movie.  So.... I am supposed to allow her to go anyways because it might disappoint YOUR child?  I am trying very hard to wrap my mind around this logic but it is still not making sense to me.  My job as a parent is to raise my child the way I see fit.  In my house if you misbehave (like in the example, mouthing off and refusing to do what you were supposed to) you are not getting away with no consequences.  Parent your child the way you see fit and the rest of us who expect our children to have consequences for their actions will do the same.


Thanks, I said something similar, too.
post #43 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heavenly View Post

Okay I've only read the first page, but really?  So I am supposed to not parent my own child because it might upset yours?  Really?  Let's give an example.  Say my 9 year old has plans to go to a move in the evening with a friend.  During the day she mouthed off horribly and refused to clean her room even though that had been one of the contingincies for being allowed to go to the movie.  So.... I am supposed to allow her to go anyways because it might disappoint YOUR child?


I think it might depend on the age of the children involved.  If the kids are really young (say, younger than school age), it is hard to change plans at the last minute.  You work so hard to get them ready for a play date, turning it off at the last moment can be difficult.  And yes, I think that being courteous to others should play into your decisions.  But for a school aged child?  Absolutely I think its OK for plans to need a change as a consequence of behavior.  And certainly if a child is behaving in a way as to be unsafe then that would also matter.

 

Of course, I think that parents should also take into account the magnitude of the plans that are being interupted relatively to the offense being punished.  Calling off a major big deal (say, amusement park trip) for a relatively small offense (say, not remembering to do a chore) might be overkill.  And if its something that another parent spent more than a couple of dollars on, then the cancelling parent should reimburse the hosting parent.  I got left holding a $50 theater ticket last year with a too-late-to-find-a-replacement cancellation and I was really angry.  Sure, discipline your child as you see fit, but it shouldn't cost me money!

 

And I still hold that a paying job (be it "real" or babysitting) is a different story entirely.

post #44 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by philomom View Post



Thanks, I said something similar, too.


I'm thirding that post.

post #45 of 81
I don't see how you can make plans with your kids at all without being flexible. Kids get cranky, sick, have tantrums, whatever, and plans change just because you're with a young unpredictable kid.
post #46 of 81

In our family, cancelling an activity with a friend or relative as part of a punishment would involve getting our social circle involved in our family's personal business, and that's not something we like to do. Discipline is an internal affair for us. 

 

That said, I'm sure my children are capable of doing something scary/dangerous enough for me to not give a god goshdarn if other people know they are being disciplined for it. It's just not a frequent thing. 

post #47 of 81

Highly inconsiderate and unacceptable. I'd be pissed. If they must punish their kids, let them do it in a way that doesnt involve other people. Let me guess, if they are that inconsiderate to other people, i wonder what they are like with their own children :shrug

post #48 of 81

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by philomom View Post

you should be happy other parents are trying to keep their kids in line.


I'm never happy to hear about punitive parents and kids being punished, it just makes me feel bad for them.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by LROM View Post

I don't see it at all as "punishing my kid", even though my kid may well be and has been disappointed by a change in plans.

 


If my kid has a playdate with Johnny and Johnny refuses to eat his peas and is thus grounded and cannot have the playdate, it looks to me like Johnny and my kid are getting exactly the same punishment.  What ends up happening then is that I have to find something *really fun* (ie, either expensive and/or requiring way too much energy from me) to do with my kid to make it up to him, so he is not experiencing this as being punished when I should have had a nice afternoon chatting with Johnny's mom while we  sipped ice coffee and hung out at the playground.  

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heavenly View Post

Okay I've only read the first page, but really?  So I am supposed to not parent my own child because it might upset yours?  Really?  Let's give an example.  Say my 9 year old has plans to go to a move in the evening with a friend.  During the day she mouthed off horribly and refused to clean her room even though that had been one of the contingincies for being allowed to go to the movie.  So.... I am supposed to allow her to go anyways because it might disappoint YOUR child?  I am trying very hard to wrap my mind around this logic but it is still not making sense to me.  My job as a parent is to raise my child the way I see fit.  In my house if you misbehave (like in the example, mouthing off and refusing to do what you were supposed to) you are not getting away with no consequences.  Parent your child the way you see fit and the rest of us who expect our children to have consequences for their actions will do the same.


Yeah, I wouldn't want to hang out with you or your child if this happened.  I would feel sad for your child, but, if after I said to you, "wow that really f'd up our whole day and made my child sad, etc, I need for you not to cancel playdates unless there's a real reason you can't do it", you said "well I need to be allowed to be punitive to my child whether I have made plans with you or not," I'd have to really start steering my kid away from your kid.  If a parent is feeling the need to exert their authority over their child, I think they should be able to figure out a way to do it that is not going to hurt my child and I don't want to leave my child open to that if I can help it.

 

Btw, I do expect my child to be relatively well-behaved and courteous, and he normally is very much so, but there is very little doling out of consequences here.  I'm not sure if there have ever been *any* parent-originated consequences.  Once in a while there might be some natural ones, but I'm not even keen on those unless they're fairly mild.  I guess I'm saying this because of the last line of your post which seems so ...  accusatory toward those of us who aren't so big on causing our children pain in the name of making them better people.  I'd like to out myself as "one of those parents" in case I haven't already made it clear enough.

 

post #49 of 81

I had a friend do this constantly! I could understand a once in awhile thing for really important discipline issues but not on a regular basis. Rude. 

 

That being said- age of kid matters. Situation matters. 

post #50 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post

I don't see how you can make plans with your kids at all without being flexible. Kids get cranky, sick, have tantrums, whatever, and plans change just because you're with a young unpredictable kid.


I don't see canceling because of being sick or even just not being up to it or because of crankiness/tantruming being the same thing at all.  I don't even see the scenario of the little boy who ran away (as it was originally assumed that it had happened just before the party) as the same.  If he had run away that morning, there would be a lot to say for making a big deal of it right then and part of that would be that social engagements would be cancelled.  Those things are different than someone punishing a child by canceling plans with another child.  

 

post #51 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by rubidoux View Post


Yeah, I wouldn't want to hang out with you or your child if this happened.  I would feel sad for your child, but, if after I said to you, "wow that really f'd up our whole day and made my child sad, etc, I need for you not to cancel playdates unless there's a real reason you can't do it", you said "well I need to be allowed to be punitive to my child whether I have made plans with you or not," I'd have to really start steering my kid away from your kid.  If a parent is feeling the need to exert their authority over their child, I think they should be able to figure out a way to do it that is not going to hurt my child and I don't want to leave my child open to that if I can help it.

 



To be honest, I'm not sure I could hang out with somebody who demanded that THEY be the final arbiters about what is a "real reason" for everyone else. I've had playdates cancelled and never felt guilt-driven or that I needed to give my child an expensive outing in order to "make up" for it.  Also, I'm not real big on guiltripping, for not entirely rational reasons (had a mom who couldn't handle things if they weren't done her specific way, and would then lash out by telling you what a horrific mean nasty awful traitorous person you were for daring to disappoint her).

 

I guess I don't understand the fear/anger of having to deal with a disappointed child.  Maybe my kids have just had an unusual life, but we've had many playdates cancelled because of sickness (either on the part of the parent or child or sibling), a last minute emergency, a soccer/game that ran late, car break downs, ect.  Heck, even I have had to cancel fun plans with one or more of my kids due to similar reasons.

 

But, no harm, no foul.  You have to do what you need to do for you and yours.

post #52 of 81


Quote:

Originally Posted by Tigerchild View Post

To be honest, I'm not sure I could hang out with somebody who demanded that THEY be the final arbiters about what is a "real reason" for everyone else. I've had playdates cancelled and never felt guilt-driven or that I needed to give my child an expensive outing in order to "make up" for it.  Also, I'm not real big on guiltripping, for not entirely rational reasons (had a mom who couldn't handle things if they weren't done her specific way, and would then lash out by telling you what a horrific mean nasty awful traitorous person you were for daring to disappoint her).

 

I guess I don't understand the fear/anger of having to deal with a disappointed child.  Maybe my kids have just had an unusual life, but we've had many playdates cancelled because of sickness (either on the part of the parent or child or sibling), a last minute emergency, a soccer/game that ran late, car break downs, ect.  Heck, even I have had to cancel fun plans with one or more of my kids due to similar reasons.

 

But, no harm, no foul.  You have to do what you need to do for you and yours.


I don't think I need to be the final arbiter about what a "real reason" is for *everyone*else*, but I do know that if someone is willing to hurt my kid because they think they need to hurt their own kid, then that's not a great relationship for us.  I'm actually pretty open about what reasons I find acceptable.  (And btw, I do feel that I am the final arbiter of what is acceptable to me in my relationships, I cannot even think of who else would be.  Who makes the decisions for you?)  I cannot think of anything else that is unacceptable to me (though I did once have a friend who would call in a fake-whiney voice and say she had a headache to cancel and that got old fast, for many of her friends).  We have had plenty of plans cancelled on us and there have been times when we've had to cancel.  That doesn't bother me.  It's the canceling for totally unnecessary reasons when my kid is looking forward to something.  I don't think that means I have some phobia of a disappointed child.  I don't want my child to be unnecessarily disappointed.  I love him.  

 

And, fwiw, I suppose that there probably would be some situations where I wouldn't put my foot down about it.  In this conversation and particularly in the post I was responding to, it seems like there's really no feeling on the punisher's end about what she is doing to the other parties involved  --  like it's my kid and I need to teach him a lesson and I don't care how it effects some other kid who's hurt in the process.  Heavenly's tone seemed incredulous at the idea that she would even deign to consider the other child's feelings for even a moment.  If we were on the receiving end of that attitude, I would feel like my kid was really disrespected and I would just not be okay with that.  Otoh, if a parent called me up and said they were having a really hard time with discipline issues and they wish they didn't have to but there was really no way around it...  I might look at that a little differently.  I would still think it was sucky, probably, but I would certainly have some sympathy with a parent who was just trying to get on track.  

 

When I was nine I had a birthday sleepover planned, just me and two friends.  They both cancelled at the last minute, one because she was grounded (don't remember for the other one).  I still feel sad about it.  It was a pretty rough time in my life all around (just moved to another state, didn't know anyone, etc), but that event sticks out.  So it was not just a disappointment, but a disappoint in a generally unhappy and lonely life.  Maybe I am overblowing the significance of a child's disappointment because what sticks out in my memory is this one really hurtful moment for me.  But even if I'm blowing it out of proportion, it's not a small thing.  When we couldn't go to that b'day party because of the lice thing, it was not a small disappointment for Milo.  He had been looking forward to that party for weeks.  It was going to be the first time that he was able to see his two best friends in several months.  Of course I took him out to do something fun instead.  Would you just tell your kid, sorry disappointments happen, why don't you sit on the couch and read a book?  I bet you would have felt the need to come up with something fun for your kid to do in that situation.

 

I had kind of forgotten about this, but not too far back someone called to make a spur of the moment playdate with us  --  with me and my 2 1/2 year old.  We were going to go to the zoo and we were getting ready, she had called and said something like let's meet in an hour.  While I was in the shower she called to cancel.  She said her kids were annoying her in the car and she had told them if they didn't behave they were going to go home, and then she had to go home because they weren't behaving.  So, I took my kid to the zoo alone since I had already told him that was what we were getting ready for.  It kinda sucked.  And it was completely unnecessary.  It wasn't the hugest big deal in the world, but I do wish that she had thought, oh I made plans WITH SOMEONE ELSE, so I'd better not make threats that will lead me to messing up their day.  In this case I was probably a lot more disappointed than Augie was  --  he just wanted to go to the zoo, I was looking forward to hanging out with my friend.  But I didn't sign up to go alone to the freaking zoo!  Gah!  I was irritated, but it gets under my skin much less if it isn't hurtful to my kid. I did feel though, that if this becomes any kind of a pattern, it just cannot be part of my life.  

 

ETA:  Sorry to add one more thing...  but I am wondering about this:


Quote:
Originally Posted by rubidoux View Post

 after I said to you, "wow that really f'd up our whole day and made my child sad, etc, I need for you not to cancel playdates unless there's a real reason you can't do it", you said "well I need to be allowed to be punitive to my child whether I have made plans with you or not," I'd have to really start steering my kid away from your kid.  

 


You said this was guilt tripping, and I do certainly see where the other person might feel bad hearing it.  I guess I am wondering  --  and this is an honest, sincere question  --  how I can communicate the crux of my message here to someone without letting them know that it was a sucky thing for me and my kid.  Or should that not even been done?  Maybe I err too far on the end of trying to be straight forward with stuff because I am afraid of getting stuck in unhealthy dynamics (in my family of origin sticking up for oneself isn't encouraged).  I think my normal mode is to not say anything unless it's really important to me, and if it is really important to me, I probably don't sugar coat it because I just need it to be on the table.

Edited by rubidoux - 9/25/11 at 2:27am
post #53 of 81
Thread Starter 

I would much rather hear it straight out than sugar-coated. I wish we all were better able to communicate in that way.

post #54 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by rubidoux View Post

 



You said this was guilt tripping, and I do certainly see where the other person might feel bad hearing it.  I guess I am wondering  --  and this is an honest, sincere question  --  how I can communicate the crux of my message here to someone without letting them know that it was a sucky thing for me and my kid.  Or should that not even been done? 

 

I think you can let them know your child was disappointed if you want to.  It might feel like you are trying to guilt trip them, but if you need to say it, have the conversation and let the dice fall as they may.   I would say that if I were the recipient of such a conversation after cancelling once I would feel like you were trying to guilt me - if I were the recipient of such a conversation after I had cancelled several time, I would fell a little guilty, and it might cause me to put future plans on hold until I had discipline issues sorted out as I really do not like being unreliable 

 

I tend to think other parents know cancelling plans disappoints other children (heck - they are parents too and I do not doubt this has happened to them).

 

As per the bolded - no.  Just no.  You should absolutely not communicate to the other parents that "they should not ground when they have plans"  as you are budding into their parenting.  If someone called me and said I should not have grounded my child because their child was disappointed in missing a playdate, I would be very unlikely to make playdates with them in the future.  I don't need to be lectured by other parents on how to parent.

 

My son has a friend who cancels with some regularity (less as he has aged, thankfully) for being "grounded."  I think his parents overuse grounding, but it is not my business.  I have had a couple of discussion with DS on how M. is not reliable.  When he was younger, I would say  "sure, invite M, but why don't we also invite T in case M cancels?"  Cancelling plans is party of life - it is good to learn how to deal with it - and it is good to learn which friends are good for making plans with, and which are better for chatting on the phone/seeing at school, etc.  

 


 

 


Edited by purslaine - 9/25/11 at 3:29pm
post #55 of 81

I can see how cancelling plans often would be an issue.  However we just don't really know what other people are going through with their kids.  We can make up all sorts of scenarios and explanations but really who are we to judge? 

 

I would cancel plans and have before.  I talked to the mom about it and she was actually on my side about the whole issue.  When I cancelled I also rescheduled.  And it worked for both of us.  Kids really do understand these things.  Especially when the consequences of their actions are clear.  She can't go because she was told she needed to do this and she chose not to.  DD1 has had this happen, she wasn't mad at the parents she was mad at her friend.  She felt her friend had let her down. 

 

There are facts of life, poor behavior shouldn't be rewarded.  To expect it to be for your kids feelings... what is that really telling them? 

post #56 of 81

It's a case-by-case thing.  Good mothers are bound to disagree, at least some of the time, on what justifies grounding and what doesn't.  And it's best if we moms try to give each other the benefit of the doubt!  

 

My friend ("Jane") and I both have 4 kids in similar age-groups, so we get together and do things a lot - either as families, or with pairings of different kids.  Jane has another friend with 4 similarly-aged kids ("Mary").  Many times, I've been frustrated by Jane grounding her kids and messing up plans for mine.  And many times Jane has complained to me of Mary doing the same thing, to Jane's kids.

 

Here are the two glaring similarities I see:  (Let's say "Mom A" is the one who grounds her kid; and "Mom B" is the one whose kid's plans become collateral damage.)

 

#1- Mom B rarely argues with the idea that lessons are better-taught right now.  Instead, she feels the reason Mom A grounded her kid didn't rise to a level that justified disappointing Mom B's kid.  

 

"If your son had beaten his brother with a baseball bat, I could see not letting him go to the movies with a friend, an hour later!  But if he simply failed to make his bed, couldn't you come up with a consequence that doesn't punish MY kid!?"  

 

This seems to be what the OP is saying:  The grounded kid got up late and was then late for school.  It's not like she shoplifted!  Maybe her Mom could get her a louder alarm clock; or force her to leave on time for school, even if she wasn't finished styling her hair.  But don't make your daughter cancel plans with my kid, who didn't do anything wrong!!

 

#2- When Mom A threatens her kid with grounding, she always hopes she won't have to follow through.  Isn't that the case any time we punish our kids?  We don't want them to ever suffer consequences.  We want the risk of consequences to motivate them to do what they're supposed to do!  But when that backfires, what's a Mom to do?  Seem wishy-washy and ineffective to her own child, in order to placate someone else's?  Maybe, depending on the circumstances.  But it's certainly not an easy call.  There's not only one right answer.

 

I try to remember not to use things as threats, if it would just be too awful to follow through (like not going to a friend's birthday party, or a sleepover, or any other "major" event).  But sometimes a big threat seems necessary - either because my kid messed up in a major way, OR because something small has become chronic and no other consequences seem to be working.  

 

I also try to remember that other moms find themselves in the same boat, and to assume they're making the best decisions they can, just like I am.  I'm conscious that the hurt of watching my own kids be disappointed can really cloud my sympathy for what another mom's dealing with, with her kid.

post #57 of 81

This is a really interesting discussion.

 

I would be annoyed if my friend were constantly cancelling plans with me, for whatever reason.  However, I really don't think that I get to decide what a good reason is for her.

 

 

When plans are cancelled with my family, my kids are sometimes bummed about it.  I'm okay with this.  I do (obviously) express my sympathy and will actively involve my kids in "Well, Jack's mom said they can't come to the playground this afternoon.  Do you guys still want to go, or would you rather stay here?" ---- but I'm okay with my kids getting disappointed now and then and learning to get over it and through it.  Kids who are never disappointed/having to come up with a solution are going to run into problems later in life if they've never learned to practice with the "small things".

 

Also, I don't want them to think that everything is All About Them.  Jack not being able to come to the playground is not about my kids.  It's about Jack.  My kids have to deal with Jack's consequence, indirectly, but, bluntly, I think that that's life.  How many times as adults have we had to deal with the poor consequences of somebody else's poor decision?

 

If Jack's mom constantly cancelled plans with me to punish Jack for not eating his peas, then I would probably find other friends to hang with because I like making plans and following through.  However, to decide what is/isn't a "good reason" to cancel is totally not my problem or business.  Honestly, I'm fine when other moms cancel plans even when the other mom just doesn't feel like getting dressed that day.  :)  It's just not something I choose to worry about.

 

 

post #58 of 81

If you'd tell someone that they ruined you and your kids WHOLE day because of a cancellation, over a one time off thing, then I think that's totally over the top.  If you want to claim real honesty, I think you should be up front, when the playdate is scheduled:  "You know, my kid and I don't handle disappointment well--if there's a cancellation it's really upsetting.  This might seem weird to you, but that's how it is with us because of stuff that's happened in the past.  Please don't break the playdate unless it's an emergency."  That kind of also puts some of the responsibility of the feelings on you as well.  Because your reaction to other people's feelings isn't all about them, or even all their fault--it does have some degree of responsibility in YOU.

 

Again, I concede that my desire to have someone who would react that strongly to a cancellation that didn't line up with their preferences to be willing to own their part is based off my own personal background and experiences (similar to you basing people who cancel playdates over anything other than what you would do is based in your past experiences).  I never cancel playdates for stupid reasons, it has to be a big thing;  and someone flipping their lid at me because of things that happened when they were a kid or other people in the past would pretty much insure that I never made anything but last minute plans with that person again (then again, sounds like it'd be one strike you're out for them too, so maybe that's a non-issue).

 

I'm human.  The brutal, blunt truth of things is that there will be times when I will disappoint people.  My kids, my friends, neighbors, everyone.  And there are times when everyone in my life might disappoint me (let's hope not all at once, but even if it happened that way, it wouldn't be the individual's responsiblity that the collective failed me!).  Hey, there have been times when I have told people "I'm fragile about this or that, so please let me know as much in advance as possible if this has to change" when I am.  I feel that's only fair.  Ultimately, I feel the responsibility of one's emotions and how you deal with it is the person who's feeling those emotions.

post #59 of 81

While I think it is important for children to learn to deal with disappointment and changes of plans, I also think it is important for children to learn to take others into consideration.  In the OP, it sounds as though plans were made and arranged around when the niece could go (so perhaps at a time that wasn't as convenient for the OP's daughter), so I can definitely understand being upset under those circumstances.  When we make plans with someone, we may choose to do that over doing something else with someone else, or at a time or day which isn't the most convenient or a place which isn't the most convenient so we can accommodate the other person.  We may rearrange our schedule for them.    I understand how things happen to prevent plans from occurring, but i do think it is best to not cancel unless it is necessary (ie. illness or something).  There are certainly enough "natural" times when plans have go be cancelled (illness, bad weather, car breakdowns) that kids can learn from to deal with disappointment and change of plans.

 

Also, I will say that I don't totally understand cancelling plans due to a bad mood, tantrums, having a bad day.  When we are having a bad day, kids are having lots of tantrums, kids are in a bad mood, oftentimes getting out of the house and being around other people is EXACTLY what we need to turn the day around.  I realize all kids and parents are different, but for us, if my kids are being cranky or having tantrums or not doing well, sometimes a change of scenery and being around other people can help a lot.   For others, that may be difference, and if things are bad at home, they will be worse when out...but that hasn't been true for us.

post #60 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by ameliabedelia View Post

While I think it is important for children to learn to deal with disappointment and changes of plans, I also think it is important for children to learn to take others into consideration.  In the OP, it sounds as though plans were made and arranged around when the niece could go (so perhaps at a time that wasn't as convenient for the OP's daughter), so I can definitely understand being upset under those circumstances.  When we make plans with someone, we may choose to do that over doing something else with someone else, or at a time or day which isn't the most convenient or a place which isn't the most convenient so we can accommodate the other person.  We may rearrange our schedule for them.    I understand how things happen to prevent plans from occurring, but i do think it is best to not cancel unless it is necessary (ie. illness or something).  There are certainly enough "natural" times when plans have go be cancelled (illness, bad weather, car breakdowns) that kids can learn from to deal with disappointment and change of plans.

 

Also, I will say that I don't totally understand cancelling plans due to a bad mood, tantrums, having a bad day.  When we are having a bad day, kids are having lots of tantrums, kids are in a bad mood, oftentimes getting out of the house and being around other people is EXACTLY what we need to turn the day around.  I realize all kids and parents are different, but for us, if my kids are being cranky or having tantrums or not doing well, sometimes a change of scenery and being around other people can help a lot.   For others, that may be difference, and if things are bad at home, they will be worse when out...but that hasn't been true for us.


I'm going to assume we all know our own kids best. I know when it's likely to cheer a kid up to go out, but I also know when nothing is going to go well for my kid that day and it's best for us to stay home.

We have to be flexible in this world. It's part of dealing with life and other people. Sometimes plans change, and we aren't in control of other people or their reasons for changing plans. There's no way we'll agree with other people's reasons every time, and they won't agree with us every time either.
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