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ARRRGGGH ! MIL cut my boys' hair ! - Page 6

post #101 of 161
Shann,
Your update post really concerns me, I was sympathetic to the whole situation before but I don't understand how you can think it's OK for your children to be using that kind of language and to be seriously considering a revenge plan. I must admit I thought it was all in jest at first and then it was funny - but to seriously consider doing this just isn't right.

Letting them make their own decisions is all well and good but as parents we should also be trying to teach them right from wrong. Why not consider teaching them to let it go and get on with their lives not hold a grudge, seek revenge and use foul language?
post #102 of 161
I have been following this thread, and while I feel bad for your boys, I think this might be an opportunity to focus on more effective communication. I would agree that your boys have every right to be furious. They were violated. Period. I also think that they have every right to vent their anger, but I'm not sure that telling Mil to F@#$ Off is effective communication. Yes, it communicates how angry they are, but I feel like other verbal tools might serve them better in life. Such as saying, "You violated me, I am very angry, I don't trust you anymore, and I don't want to see you." This would lay it out for MIL loud and clear. I certainly wouldn't punish your kids for expressing themselves to her, but I might use it as an opportunity to discuss other ways to express anger and hurt feelings, which you might have already done.

I just think of this in relation to when I'm angry at dp, Sometimes I throw a small tantrum and yell at him, then I usually take a moment to regroup. I walk around the farm, breathe deeply, then come back and actually try to discuss things, and explain what I actually mean. Freaking out can let off steam, but it tends not to be effective in communicating what I am exactly upset about. JMO
post #103 of 161
post #104 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by missbliss
Such as saying, "You violated me, I am very angry, I don't trust you anymore, and I don't want to see you." This would lay it out for MIL loud and clear. I certainly wouldn't punish your kids for expressing themselves to her, but I might use it as an opportunity to discuss other ways to express anger and hurt feelings, which you might have already done.
He's six. Do you really think it's reasonable to expect this kind of response from him?
post #105 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by eilonwy
He's six. Do you really think it's reasonable to expect this kind of response from him?
No, Sorry. Not at all. I realized after I posted that I was unclear. I meant that it was something to model, or discuss with the kids. I assume that there would be a six year old or an eight year old version, whether it was, "That's not fair, or I'm really mad" or whatever. I think I was just trying to suggest bringing up feelings when angry, rather than just venting through swearing, which I really do believe does have a place, it just isn't descriptive enough. Hope this clarifies what I was thinking.
post #106 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by eilonwy
He's six. Do you really think it's reasonable to expect this kind of response from him?
With the exception of the "You violated me" part, missbliss' suggestion is something that my almost 4-year-old has had a handle on for quite some time now. And the violation part he gets, he just wouldn't use those words to express it.

I see Shann allowing her kids to feel their true emotions, and that's great. What I don't see is much of any guidance on how to express and process their anger in a way that won't alienate and might actually get through to other people, might be productive. In other words, they're not getting the tools they need to grow into adults who are successful communicators and more than a series of emotional explosions.

My apologies, Shann, if that doens't truly represent the situation with your children. It's just what I see from everything you've posted here.
post #107 of 161
Hi everyone! I'm Greaseball.
post #108 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shann
Suddenly he just shouted into the phone "F*ck you , b*tch !" and handed the phone to his brother. Then the 8 y/o talked to her and eventually said the same thing and alot more to her, and hung up on her !
Shann, your sons' behavior is hateful, that's all there is to it. It doesn't matter whether they have just cause to be angry, there's absolutely no excuse for being hateful. Respect is a two-way street, and if you expect that you and your boys be treated respectfully by others, you have to display it yourselves. You act as though other people only have worth insofar as they are useful to you, and if they aren't, that it's perfectly acceptable to treat them as shabbily as possible. I think your sons will ultimately suffer for your poor example either by being shunned by prospective playmates and their families (and believe me, the VAST majority of families, no matter how open and liberal, would not tolerate a child behaving like this) or by alienating those around them with their offensive outburts. How do you expect your children to learn how to get along with others if you don't teach them? It's not about being allowed to express their emotions. Everryone agrees that children should always be allowed to express their feelings. But you seem to either not understand or not care that there are better ways to express oneself than by being vulgar and hateful.
post #109 of 161
I do agree that allowing you boys to express themselves freely and comfortably is good, but that you may want to give them more guidence in constructive confrontations. I have no prob with my kids swearing, but I wouldn't want them to call anyone a fucking bitch, no matter what that person did to them. It just isn't constructive and it, unfortunately, doesn't offer the closure you'd expect such stong words to give (hence the boys want more and are planning the picture).

Anyway, maybe you can talk to them about what we can do when someone wrongs us but is no longer a threat to us (as I assume grandma isn't since none of you will be seeing her any time soon). They are going to be wronged many times in the future and will want more constructive redresses to these wrongs than name calling.

Good luck.
post #110 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by dandamomma
I think your sons will ultimately suffer for your poor example either by being shunned by prospective playmates and their families (and believe me, the VAST majority of families, no matter how open and liberal, would not tolerate a child behaving like this) or by alienating those around them with their offensive outburts. How do you expect your children to learn how to get along with others if you don't teach them? .

No, There are no real world repucussions to calling people who wrong you a "b." By the time they are teenagers most of thier friends will talk that way. In fact, studies show that most elemtary kids swear when adults are not around (heard from a sociologist on Freshair).

I can imagine Shann's kids being pretty popular when they are older (confident gutsy kids are always a hit) and in high school most of thier friends' parents will be way more worried about thier kids' friends doing drugs than about thier kids' friends namecalling the driver who cuts them off.


But though there are no real world repucussions to calling people who wrong you a "b," it doesn't make it right. And that is what we are talking about here. What is right and wrong for our kids, not what is more useful and/or harmful.
post #111 of 161
First, I'm not talking about teenagers (I wouldn't have called them "playmates" if they were teens) and second, there absolutely are consequences to telling people to f*ck off, b*tch. Try telling your boss that, or your neighbor. Do you think you will be warmly welcomed after that? If you made a friend angry and she told you to "f*ck off, b*tch," would you be in a hurry to resume your friendship with her? How about telling the police officer to f*ck off? Think he or she will just laugh and think you're confident and gutsy? I also have to disagree with you that teenagers in general think swearing and being foul-mouthed and crude are cool. Maybe some teenagers do, but many, many do not. I would never, ever let my children hang out with other children (teenagers, doesn't matter what age) if I knew that they talked that way and that, worse yet, their parents condoned it. And I doubt that I'm alone in that sentiment, and I am not someone who is generally considered conservative and uptight. In fact, it's not even so much the words themselves (although I do find them offensive) as it is the intention to hurt other people that accompanies their use.
post #112 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by dandamomma
First, I'm not talking about teenagers (I wouldn't have called them "playmates" if they were teens) and second, there absolutely are consequences to telling people to f*ck off, b*tch. Try telling your boss that, or your neighbor. Do you think you will be warmly welcomed after that? If you made a friend angry and she told you to "f*ck off, b*tch," would you be in a hurry to resume your friendship with her? How about telling the police officer to f*ck off? Think he or she will just laugh and think you're confident and gutsy? I also have to disagree with you that teenagers in general think swearing and being foul-mouthed and crude are cool. Maybe some teenagers do, but many, many do not. I would never, ever let my children hang out with other children (teenagers, doesn't matter what age) if I knew that they talked that way and that, worse yet, their parents condoned it. And I doubt that I'm alone in that sentiment, and I am not someone who is generally considered conservative and uptight. In fact, it's not even so much the words themselves (although I do find them offensive) as it is the intention to hurt other people that accompanies their use.
My point was that we shouldn't be teaching our kids to do or not do something becuase of its positive or negative reprecussions (don't namecall becuase then people won't like you - which isn't true really except for the obvious don't namecall people who have power over you or people you want to stay in close relatiosnhips with), but becuase there is an ideal that they (and we) should be striving for. That is all I was saying - that we don't want to teach our kids to calculate thier actions based on solely, or even mostly, on whether these actions will get them what they want - friends and aproval in thsi case.

I actually agree with you about being respectful to other people part (even people who don't agree with you or who have hurt you). Just the other motivation I took issue with.

BTW, all the cool, popular kids I went to high school with swore like crazy. Maybe it is place and time specific - small moneyed town in the deep South in the 80s.
post #113 of 161
I don't think I ever said that these children shouldn't call others horrible names just because of how other people might react. I just mentioned that, if they do this, the result will probably be that they are not welcomed by most people. And I think that is a shame, because I think these children will end up suffering for their mother's example. We are in agreement that people shouldn't call others horrible names simply because it's disrespectful and mean.
post #114 of 161
I really don't think they will suffer. I was very unliked in elemenary school and had no freinds but was still really happy becuse my family was where I got most of my social life and they loved and accepted me. Peers don't become too important until Jr. high - (and jr. high is the center of the name call and giggle universe).

Now I'm questioning my last statement though. Is it never ok to be disrespetful to someone when they have hurt you but are no longe r athreat to you? I mean we wouldn't expect someone who was molested to be respectful if the molester called them? Just thinking outlod here . . .
post #115 of 161
Quote:
Is it never ok to be disrespetful to someone when they have hurt you but are no longe r athreat to you? I mean we wouldn't expect someone who was molested to be respectful if the molester called them? Just thinking outlod here . . .
That is true. And people can say "Being molested cannot be compared to having your hair cut" all they want, but maybe this haircutting incident is the worst thing that has ever happened to these boys.

And maybe the MIL is still a threat. We don't know what she said to make the boys react that way. If my child started swearing at an adult I would be more concerned about what the adult had done.

BTW, anyone who is going to "not allow" their children to be friends with children who swear will either find out that they cannot control what their teenage children do, or that their children will have very few friends.
post #116 of 161
I have been following this thread since the begining. I haven't posted before, because I could tell that things were getting heated, but I couldn't just stand by and say nothing. First of all saying that these children will never have friends and will be poor citizens is just down right rude. You don't know these people or what they are going through and your name calling doesn't really have a place here. Second, although I would like to model good communication and respect to my children there are some people in the world who just don't respond to that. I grew up sharing a home with my grandmother. This woman hated me from the day I was born. She never missed a time to tell me how awful I was and how my brother was better than me. I absolutely hated her, and I have had a very hard time coming to terms with how she treated me. I tried being respectful and explaining to her how I felt. She never listened. I had friends who were boys so naturally I must be sleeping with all of them. I died my hair black which made me a wh*re (I still don't understand that connection). I wasn't a Christian so I was stupid and evil. She had so many judgements and she just couldn't handle the fact that it was my life and I was going to live it my way. My parents never did much to stand up for me either. They always told me to stay away from her and not make her mad. She always came looking for me, and she listened in on my phone conversations. I wouldn't have made nearly as much trouble as a teen if she would have just left me alone. Eventually our fights always ended up as shouting and cursing matches. And for some one who prided herself on being an upstanding lady she sure could curse. She even gave one of my friends the finger one day. What I am trying to say in this anicdote is just that there are some people you just can't reason with. You can be respectful and kind and still never get through to them. Did cursing at my grandmother help things, Well no, but it didn't make them any worse either. And it did make me feel better. You shouldn't judge a person until you have been exactly where they are. I appluad Shann for not punishing her kids. Maybe she should have discussed with them better ways to express themselves, but if I were in her position I think I would have done something similar. There are people in the world who are just so close minded and antagonistic that there really isn't anything better to say to them.
post #117 of 161
Quote:
That woman asked to talk to them and must have said something to make them really mad and they responded in the only way they knew how.
I would hope that I would have managed to have taught our children more civil, yet equally clear, ways of communicating their feelings than that were we to ever be in a similar situation.

But that's just us, and every family's different....
post #118 of 161
I think that people should do the right thing because it's the right thing to do, not because they hope to "get something" from it. Yes, being respectful to the MIL probably won't change anything, but you still do it because it's the right thing to do. Speaking as one who was molested and who continued to face my abuser frequently for many years, I can say that being respectful to people is the better way to heal than is dragging around your anger and reigniting it any chance you get.

Also, I am not so naive as to think that my kids' friends won't swear. What I said is that I won't allow my children to hang out with people who "talk that way" (like Shann's kids do), which is to say violently verbally assaulting those who have displeased them (ESPECIALLY when their parents condone it). Like I also said, it's not the swearing per se, it's the hatred directed toward people that's the problem. That is not a value I want to inculcate in my children.

I also never said these children would be friendless. I said that they would likely be shunned by prospective playmates (probably not EVERY prospective playmate).

Shann posted this thread, presumably, because she wanted people to know about what happened and hear what people had to say. I read this entire thread today and I said what I had to say. I stand by my opinion that Shann's kids' behavior is hateful and that it's a poor value to inculcate, and I also believe that if her kids continue to behave this way, they will suffer for it at some point in the future. Take my opinion or leave it.
post #119 of 161
I'll take it, dandamomma. I totally agree.
post #120 of 161
I'll take it too - ITA.

Also I will add that my 14 year old absolutely HATES it when people swear - I know it's just one kid but he really does.

I think the main thing that gets me is that we are not talking about teenagers or adults - if the kids were say 14 and 16 I don't think many people would be getting AS upset over the language. Might not be right and would still be disturbing but could be more well understood as their friends may talk that way and we could say that it just sort of slipped out. In this case we are talking about a SIX year old and an EIGHT year old. I would be mortified if my kids used that kind of language at that age. JMO.
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