How do you or would you handle this? - Mothering Forums

 
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#1 of 9 Old 02-08-2017, 07:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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How do you or would you handle this?

If someone that's distantly related to you like let's say hypothetically your bil's sister (sister's husband's sister) puts down your child behind your back and you hear it, how would you react?


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Don't imagine the worst incidents in your emotional life -- keep a positive attitude.
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#2 of 9 Old 02-09-2017, 05:00 AM
 
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Don't know

I guess it would depend on the severity/type of the insult/slander. I'm the sort of person that avoids conflict, and I might say or do nothing if it was something trivial. How do you know what you heard was accurate? How often do you see her? If you are with them very frequently it might be more of an issue.

Here's an odd scenario: I was in a coworkers (mothers) car going to work, her mother was in fact driving, they sort of offered or were told to give me a lift. So I am there, sitting in the back when for some reason I hear them mocking people who die of high blood pressure/strokes/annurisms. It was horrible and like being in a car with a couple of ghouls. I think I just said in as normal a voice as I could manage that my MIL died of that and it was horrible. If people are truly horrible what are you going to do? I mean, obviously they wouldn't know that but it was still terrible. Who does that?
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#3 of 9 Old 02-10-2017, 07:22 AM
 
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I really thought about this, because it's such a real-world possibility.

Mostly, it would depend on my relationship with her. If she were someone with whom I were close and valued the relationship, I would try to bring it up in as non-threatening a way as possible. The key word is "try" - I can easily imagine myself being too chicken, but I think I would do it. If we weren't close, which sounds to be the case, especially if she were not someone I generally respected and valued in my life, I'd make sure there was always as much distance as possible between us (and between her and my kid). If she were someone I generally considered to be mean or a loose cannon, I'd very actively manage my kid's relationship with her and try to debrief any interactions (if the kid is old enough - I can't remember how old yours are). "What did you think about what Aunty said about your cousin?" If I thought my sister would understand, I'd alert her to my intentions.

The other part is that I would carefully consider what I heard. We don't often get to hear uncensored what others think of us, and sometimes this can be really valuable information. If it were specific and news to you, like "JJ never shares with the younger kids," I'd try to observe my kid with her comment in mind, even if I never wanted to speak to the woman again. But if it were just something like "JJ's such a snot" when your kid happened to be tired and hungry, then I'd ignore it.

Last edited by Letitia; 02-10-2017 at 07:31 AM.
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#4 of 9 Old 02-11-2017, 08:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks.


The relation is hypothetical. I don't have a sister. This person and I didn't get along. But, that was a long, long time ago. After that we've met (only at family occasions) and been civil. The time this episode took place, I thought we have moved a step above. However, this happened 3 times during that 1 day. First, a few years ago she had said something. That could have been dd interpreting incorrectly since I wasn't there personally. This time she yelled at dd in front of me. The first two times I overheard. The third time I wasn't around but had just got to the room. She hadn't seen me and yelled at dd. Then she saw me, looked scared but then continued to reprimand dd as if she wasn't doing this behind my back. Just for the record she and I have a child the same age. Dd is way ahead of hers academically. She is an advanced child. I know this could be jealousy. But does that mean I just stand back and be a bystander? The relative to whom she is related is important to me.

Don't imagine the worst incidents in your emotional life -- keep a positive attitude.

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#5 of 9 Old 02-11-2017, 03:54 PM
 
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Oh that's worse. I thought you meant she was talking about your child, not to your child.

Well, I wouldn't talk with her with the kids around, but if it happened again I wouldn't be hesitant to protect my daughter from being yelled at. Go and stand between, physically or verbally. I think it's really important as a child to know that your parent has your back in terms of preventing abuse of any type. Go stand by your daughter, say "Hey, what's going on? Do not yell at XX. How can I help figure out a better way to address this?" or something like that. Support your child, but also address whatever happened. There's a risk - if she's immature, this woman may feel very threatened and shift her anger to you. If it were me that would be OK, but I can be more than feisty and am not easily intimidated. Be prepared for how you would handle it. I have to work very, very hard not to yell back and to stay in a place of feeling strong but controlled.

I would also approach her during a neutral time to head off having to do it in the heat of the moment. You will have to be super non-threatening. "I saw you were super upset with XX. What can we do to keep that from happening again?"

Is the person you have in common someone you could ask for advice about how to approach the situation when it's not heat of the moment?
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#6 of 9 Old 02-12-2017, 06:06 AM
 
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I am in a position of having raised a child that needed a lot of correction, and also having many relatives that felt they had something to add to that experience, both in opinion and direct intervention, so I understand!

Two things come to mind for me. Sometimes my child really did need to be stopped/corrected, whatever, and because I was in mama bear mode I didn't always see it clearly at the time. Something I saw as 'yelling' might not have really been yelling, in hindsight. We all have a tendency to protect our own and can see through a lens that magnifies the insult. Was your daughter upset? Did she interpret it as a 'yell' or did she just shrug and move on? I would sometimes self reflect and ask myself whether it was a big deal or not, before talking to someone.

If it was a big deal, my child was upset, or something else was really 'off', I would approach the person and let them know that in the future I would prefer they come get me rather than dealing with it themselves. This let them know that I was prepared to provide guidance to my child and not just 'let it go' and it gave them an action step so they didn't feel unable to address the situation. This worked out very well at family gatherings. My child was not always in the wrong, but as a smart child who didn't always read social cues as well, there were sometimes things to be learned for my child.

 











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#7 of 9 Old 02-12-2017, 07:48 AM
 
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agree

It can be hard when we run into differing parenting approaches/viewpoints on life. Since we don't know what your "friend" was yelling about it's hard to comment, was your daughter doing something unsafe, harmful etc? Or was it just personal issues? Was this person saying unnecessary hurtful things or was she trying control a situation that was getting out of hand? You could as the other poster said, try to enlist your "friend" as an ally in this situation, and tell them to get you if things were hard for her to manage. Kids can do the craziest things you would never expect, you'd think you'd raised them better or they were smart enough to know better etc. but they are still kids doing stupid things.
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#8 of 9 Old 02-16-2017, 03:17 AM
 
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It would depend on what exactly they said and if it was really malicious. There are certain things I'm more paranoid about with regard to my child's behaviour, so I may bite back to them a little more? It's more than likely jealousy xxxx

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#9 of 9 Old 02-19-2017, 08:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am just going to keep it short without giving too many details. Dd asked her younger dd (5) in my presence, if she had every straightened her hair? The kid has very curly hair. The mother got very upset about it. Dd has straight hair.

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