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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone felt compelled to offer advice to a stranger?<br><br>
I was at DD's soccer game and there was a couple there whose son is on dd's team, but who also has a 2-3 year old dd who comes to watch the game with mom and dad. Dad is assistant coach so he is off on the sidelines, and I talk casually to mom and her dd (who happens to look a lot like mine with bright blonde hair <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/heartbeat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="heartbeat"> ) Anyway hers is usually quite well behaved but I think she was getting bored at this game. For some reason she hit mom and was whining, etc. Mom then proceeded to use many tactics that I myself have found ineffective, including:<br><br>
"Apologize to me right now!"<br>
"No, go sit in your own chair I don't want you on my lap anymore"<br>
"If you don't apologize you can't go to the cider mill after the game with us"<br>
"If you don't stop yelling I'm taking you to the car!"<br>
"If you don't apologize right now I'm telling your dad!" (what?!) <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/nut.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="nut"><br>
Meanwhile the child was begging her mom to let her say something....but mom said "Be quiet right now, no I don't want to hear what you have to say"<br>
"I am going to count to three...."<br>
and so on for like 15 minutes, and I could tell that mom was getting embarrassed and just wanted the girl to please SHUTUP! as if she was on the brink of screaming at her, and the whole time I just wanted to offer a polite and sincere suggestion SOOOOOO badly, because I have used these lines before and have since found ways that work better for us. But that would be totally inappropriate right, since unsolicited advice is never welcome, is it? It was torture having to listen to this!<br>
So the dd gets mom to calm down enough ( <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> ) and says "Mommy, please can I say something?" which she had been trying to do the whole time and mom says "WHAT?" "Sorry mama" and the mom had the nerve to say.... "sorry for what....?" I think this mom could have benefitted from some advice from someone (but I didn't have the guts to give it). Just to show her that there are ways to deal without using empty threats. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/blahblah.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="blah blah"><br><br>
How does it make you feel when you see something like this go down right next to you? Have you ever considered offering advice and why? Are these better questions to discuss? Does my intention for posting this seem more clear now? Thanks girls <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Not a good idea. I'm sure you would be offended if the tables were turned and she tried to tell you your way was all wrong and to do things her way. JMO.
 

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I wouldn't try to give her advice. I'm sure we all know how offensive that can be. It's her right to make her own mistakes. If she ever asks you for advice you could tell her, "What we do is this: ___" but otherwise you just have to suck it up and MYOB.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah I know I would never give advice without being asked, but you know what I'm saying.....
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Bethla</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I have never taken any suggestions from people and I imagine most others don't either.</div>
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Mom then proceeded to do everything wrong in the book:</td>
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Wrong in <i>your</i> book.
 

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I can think of worse things that some parents might do. And I wouldn't doubt if she was extra strict out of paranoia that people would be judging her for being too lax with a whiney kid.
 

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Welllll. I intervene all the time. Drives my poor dh crazy as he just wants to hide. But especially when I see children verbally, emotionally or physically assaulted and from what you described this fits almost all three, imnsho.<br><br>
I usually diplomatically and with great finesse *empathize* with the parent and suggest a couple of books to "make their life easier". EVERY time, the parent has ended up Thanking me!<br><br>
I say something along the lines of 'Oh, I see you have a spirited (active, strong minded) daughter, like I do. My friend gave me a couple of books that made my life so much easier. Here are the names of them. Gosh, I don't know what I would have done without them; it can be so frustrating sometimes. I have seen them at the library even.' And I give them a little paper with these two book titles written down:<br><br>
Kids, Parents and Power Struggles<br>
Raising Your Spirited Child<br><br>
Btw, they are both empathetic to the child's pov and if any parent reads anything out of either, it is nearly impossible not to be moved to change the dynamic to cooperation and respectful, reflective listening and compassionate problem solving. I highly recommend both.<br><br>
If I were to witness a child being hit, I would just empatically say "STOP! How can I help, you seem so upset, what can I do to help?" And do the book spiel above. Unless, it appeared to be abuse, then I would call 911 and collect all identifying information possible (car license, make) to provide to the police. I am passionately willing to intervene, because I was that child.<br><br>
HTH, Pat
 

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I have had similar moments observing awful behavior from a parent where I've been tempted to say something, and then I have caught myself on the other side where I have said something impulsively to my daughter that has been overheard and it's not the way I normally act and I'm mortified at what came out of my mouth in anger and frustration. At those moments I would not appreciate any kind of suggestions from a stranger because I'm struggling with my own demons and they don't know me from Adam.<br><br>
But I do have family members (dh's family) who regularly talk in belittling ways to their children, and in those situations when I know it's the norm for them, I find ways to interact positively with the children, away from their parents.
 

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I don't intervene really. I'd be offended if someone stepped in and said "Maam you shouldn't let your kids go outside in the rain without a coat." or etc so I try to think about the shoe being on the other foot and such. I might try to be a positive example though. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> I understand how frustrating it can be to witness people being hurtful and demeaning to their children.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yes I agree with everyone, it is hard to tell if the parent is just having an "off" day - which I have had of course - or interacts with the child this way all the time. I am probably not going to see this parent again as it was the last game of the season, and also this is the first time I saw an interaction like this between the mom and daughter so that's probably why I was so shocked.<br><br>
I wasn't going to confront them. If I was, I would have then. I was just asking everyone if they have ever been in this situation. I know that she is a competent mom. I just felt like <i>running away</i> because I had to listen to her struggling with her child. I was so frustrated because I know that I have been in her shoes and I feel like if it had been appropriate to suggest a different approach she would may have benefited.<br><br>
As in- when one of us is in public and we avert a tantrum by using a GD tactic and a complete stranger compliments us on being so tactful. I know that if someone came up to me and commented on how horrific my parenting skills were I would probably do some WWF Smackdown or something. I was just suprised that this mom used all (not one but basically all) of the lines that never seem work. BTW <b>UmmBnB</b> You're right, I was being presumptuous. sorry, I just meant that the phrases she used were a little typical of a parent that was at a loss of what to do. Trust me, I have been in her shoes. I have used all those lines bafore I am sure, but not all at once! I just coudn't believe it!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>scubamama</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Welllll. I intervene all the time. Drives my poor dh crazy as he just wants to hide. But especially when I see children verbally, emotionally or physically assaulted and from what you described this fits almost all three, imnsho.<br><br>
I usually diplomatically and with great finesse *empathize* with the parent and suggest a couple of books to "make their life easier". EVERY time, the parent has ended up Thanking me!<br><br>
I say something along the lines of 'Oh, I see you have a spirited (active, strong minded) daughter, like I do. My friend gave me a couple of books that made my life so much easier. Here are the names of them. Gosh, I don't know what I would have done without them; it can be so frustrating sometimes. I have seen them at the library even.' And I give them a little paper with these two book titles written down:<br><br>
Kids, Parents and Power Struggles<br>
Raising Your Spirited Child<br></div>
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It sounds like you try to be kind about it... but I think most people would see this as candy coated buttinskiness,<br><br>
I would be offended no matter how you said it. It is just not the place of a stranger. Heck, half the time I don't want that kind of info even from my inlaws unless I ask.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>SunRayeMomi</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I was at DD's soccer game yesterday and there was a couple there whose son is on dd's team, but who also has a 2-3 year old dd who comes to watch the game with mom and dad. Dad is assistant coach so he is off on the sidelines, and I talk casually to mom and her dd (who happens to look a lot like mine with bright blonde hair <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/heartbeat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="heartbeat"> ) Anyway hers is usually quite well behaved but I think she was getting bored at this game. For some reason she hit mom and was whining, etc. Mom then proceeded to do <i>everything</i> wrong in the book:<br><br>
"Apologize to me right now!"<br>
"No, go sit in your own chair I don't want you on my lap anymore"<br>
"If you don't apologize you can't go to the cider mill after the game with us"<br>
"If you don't stop yelling I'm taking you to the car!"<br>
"If you don't apologize right now I'm telling your dad!" (what?!) <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/nut.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="nut"><br>
Meanwhile the child was begging her mom to let her say something....but mom said "Be quiet right now, no I don't want to hear what you have to say"<br>
"I am going to count to three...."<br>
and so on for like 15 minutes, and I could tell that mom was getting embarrassed and just wanted the girl to please SHUTUP! as if she was on the brink of screaming at her, and the whole time I just wanted to offer a polite and sincere suggestion SOOOOOO badly, because she was going about it alllll wrong. But that would be totally inappropriate, right? I mean, unsolicited advice is never welcome, is it? It was torture having to listen to this!<br>
So the dd gets mom to calm down enough ( <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> ) and says "Mommy, please can I say something?" which she had been trying to do the whole time and mom says "WHAT?"<br><br>
"Sorry mama" and the mom had the nerve to say.... "sorry for what....?" ERGH! This mom totally treated her dd as if dd was not a person and did not deserve to be listened to. And when a kid hits someone you don't force an apology, you explain to them how it feels when someone you love hurts you and teach them to be emphatic to begin with.... Besides, I see no point to arguing with a 3 YEAR OLD! anyway <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/blahblah.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="blah blah"><br><br>
Have any of you ever been this close to pulling the mom aside and going through step by step everything she did wrong and why?!</div>
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You say that the Mom did everything wrong in the book. Whose book? Your book? I hate to break it to you, but people have the right to parent any way they wish(and, no, abuse doesn't fit under that umbrella).Your way may not work for them. Mind your own business.Trust me, life is much simpler when you concentrate on your own affairs<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Once again, I DIDN'T say anything to her. I was never going to! I guess I should just not express my opinions or concerns..... not to her but not even online? I said in the OP, I didn't say anything to her. And I apologize for the comment of "<i>everything</i> wrong in the book" The mom just looked to be at her wit's end.<br><br>
Are we saying that of the things she said she couldn't have changed anything, that she couldn't have done anything to handle the situation easier for both of them ?... Since I won't see her again, perhaps it's a moot point. I just thought some on this board would have constructive criticsm for people that may be struggling with using these tactics? I know I am not a perfect GDer.??? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>SunRayeMomi</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Are we saying that of the things she said she couldn't have changed anything, that she couldn't have done anything to handle the situation easier for both of them ?... Since I won't see her again, perhaps it's a moot point. I just thought some on this board would have constructive criticsm for people that may be struggling with using these tactics? I know I am not a perfect GDer.??? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"></div>
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I think what you really want to hear is "Oh, that mom can't parent effectively and needs you to intervene. You should definitely have said something." But unless you want a complete snow job, you won't hear it from me....or a few others who have already replied,imho.<br>
Again, what works for you may not work for someone else. I'll say it before and I'll say it again-Focus on your own family and its needs. I don't want to sound nasty, but I doubt that you are so perfect that you can start doling out parenting advice to perfect strangers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Since you are offering no positive ideas I can only assume that you are in fact the one that assumes her tactics to be golden. Maybe if I mentioned that I am a child psychologist you would take my suggestions more seriously. When is a fellow mom a good source of advice then?
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>SunRayeMomi</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Since you are offering no positive ideas I can only assume that you are in fact the one that assumes her tactics to be golden. Maybe if I mentioned that I am a child psychologist you would take my suggestions more seriously. When is a fellow mom a good source of advice then?</div>
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I wouldn't care if you are a child psychologist or the damned garbage collector. In your OP, you come across as an elitist know-it-all. I especially love the comment "Mom was doing everything wrong in the book". Again I ask-what book?!! I may not have used her tactics myself, but it isn't my pace to comment on consider what she might be doing incorrectly. And I stress "might".<br><br>
Again, take care of yourself and your own needs. I guarantee-life is easier when you do that<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>SunRayeMomi</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Since you are offering no positive ideas I can only assume that you are in fact the one that assumes her tactics to be golden. Maybe if I mentioned that I am a child psychologist you would take my suggestions more seriously. When is a fellow mom a good source of advice then?</div>
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Well, what do you want to hear? "Oh,yes, the next time you see someone parenting in a way that you find offensive, embarrass her-and yourself-by offering unsolicted advice. She'll tell you where to go, you'll look like an idout and nothing will change"?
 

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It's so hard to watch children be yelled at by their parents.<br><br>
My dh's cousin yells at her rambunctious boy all the time. I know she loves him dearly but I rarely see it in action, as her voice is always harsh with him. So what I try to do is just demonstrate gentleness with him... giving him lots of hugs and love, offering him choices instead of just saying "No!" or "KNock it off!" like his mama tends to do. Giving him the attention he craves. I just hope she notices, and notices the great response in his attitude.
 
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