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OT- undermining

SonOfABrisketMaker's picture

When BS18 was young, he needed very strict instructions and boundaries. There were many times that older women would criticize me or look at me odd for my rigid insistence. I assumed it was because I was so young, myself, and was overly strict.

 DD7 is a much friendlier and more engaging child than BS was. She’s chatty, curious, ready to try new things. As a result, no matter where we go I am even more undermined in my parenting and it’s, frankly, p!ssing me off. When I tell my child to stay seated and not bug people at a restaurant, it’s not an invitation for the restaurant owner to invite my kid to come make her own dessert. It’s because I’m trying to teach her basic f*cking courtesy in every situation. Because in 4 years it won’t be so cute for little Helen Keller to be wandering up to strangers to strike up a conversation in the middle of their meal. Because one day my precocious little princess is going to try and befriend the stranger at the grocery store who is a child molester. But if I put my foot down with the safe people to help reinforce boundaries to keep her safe and polite, I just look like an a$$hole. It might be ok to you for her to do this stuff, but it teaches her to disregard authority and sneak around til she finds a yes man.


lieutenant_dad's picture

I'm shocked any adult just walks up to your kid and offers them something. Especially something like a customized dessert. I'd start readying a few responses to inconsiderate adults:

"I don't appreciate you asking my child if they would like to do something. If you would like for them to do something, ask me."

I don't ever remember an adult asking me if I wanted to do something without clearing it with my parents first, or making me clear with my parents first (example: neighbor-friend was taking his kids to the park and said if we wanted to go, we needed to get one of our parents to come outside and say it was okay; neighbor also happened to be our dentist, and his wife babysat my sister). So this whole phenomenon of adults just whisking kids away to do fun stuff is weird.

ProbablyAlreadyInsane's picture

We have a similar issue with SD6. She's TOO friendly, so we're trying to nip it in the bud and fix that. Meanwhile random stranger at the ball park is offering her whole funnel cakes and people are inviting her to try things without ever consulting Dh or I. I even walked outside the other day to the neighbor teching her to drive the zero-turn mower because "she asked and was so cute." UGH. It's exhausting as he!!. I wish I had a solution for you, but all I can do is relate.

SonOfABrisketMaker's picture

it’s not just me. I’ll do you one better than the lawn mower. Disney Daddy DH took her out to the airport to look at small airplanes and she ended up taking a flight in a classic plane that was made out of balsa wood and fabric. Because “she was asking intelligent questions and could read the word “throttle””. So this ancient old guy offered her to look in his plane, was enchanted by her being vivacious and asked HER if she wanted to go for a ride. What if he had a history of heart attack? Who restored the plane? Were they competent? How many flight hours has it been safe? Who knows??

ProbablyAlreadyInsane's picture

No matter how cute a kid is, I firmly believe that talking to the parents BEFORE offering it to the child is 100% necessary! Not to mention polite!

beebeel's picture

My kid is only 3, but he's like this. I'm embracing it. I'm not going to change his personality and trying would probably mess him up. I don't let him out of my sight when he's meeting his new "friends" at the store, park or restaurant, so what would I have to be worried about? 

SonOfABrisketMaker's picture

when we go out to eat and I tell her to sit down and mind her business, it teaches her to ignore authority when another adult tells her she can get up and do something else. In 4 years I’ll have an uncontrollable tween with a double dose of attitude. There is a time and place for socializing and the restaurant/movie theater/retail shop is not it. 

beebeel's picture

Public places are inappropriate venues for socializing? What the hell? I understand feeling undermined by strangers, but I don't see how strangers are going to affect how you parent her on a regular basis. You are wound super tight, woman. You are going to crush that poor girl's spirit.

shamds's picture

my 3.5 yr old daughter is very friendly. She craves attention from people, you can thank her lovely 3 half siblings who ignore her so she at times loves meeting new people. However she would hesitate with someone she doesn’t know walking off with her. She is always in my watch but say when we are at the store, she wants to help hand groceries to the checkout person. When we stay at a hotel she is openly talking and following housekeeping when they clean our room, she even says hi and bye... so if housekeeping talk back to her because she’s being friendly, do i get shitty and say “don’t talk to my kid?” 

In my experiences when my daughter has gone to store people of course with me, she is friendly and such a chatterbox, those people always smile because its cute and having a nice happy kid come up to a storeperson who had such a shitty day could just make them smile a little bit.

there is a big difference between letting your kid be friendly and in all my experiences never have i had someone even in a public place like restaurant tell off my daughter to go back to her parents. She doesn’t wander far off. She is always with us and i aleays hve my eyes on her. 

If she sees a child at the next table with her family and says hi, that kid says hi back and both me and that other kids parents are smiling. I’d rather teach my child to be friendly to people.

big difference with saying they could be paedophiles. When your child understands you do need to have that talk to never walk off with strangers and if you don’t get permission from mummy or daddy first you don’t go but walking upto a table nearby and saying hi and asking that couple what they are eating out if curiosity, i’ve never known people to tell a kid to bugger off. 

The restaurant owner asking “hey would you like to make a dessert in front of you”, well if your daughter had allergies you could tell them right away but maybe that restaurant owner saw her being a little inquisitive and energetic and thought maybe her mum and dad want a quiet lunch or dinner in peace. That store owner was being polite but you’ve taken it the complete opposite like how dare he overstep my authority... i doubt a restaurant owner just walks off with a kid. This restaurant owner said it in front of you and if you object say because of allergies or she hasn’t finished her dinner, just say that... no biggie... but you’ve suddenly jumped to a conclusion well if you say no this restaurant owner thinks you are just over the top or highly strung...

lieutenant_dad's picture

I don't always want to meet your 3 year old all because he wants to meet me. I understand giving him freedom to meet people, but there has to be some boundaries. All because I wave at an adorable kid 3 tables over or in th booth behind me doesn't mean I want to share my meal with him.

And I think what OP is saying is she doesn't like adults asking the kid if they want to do something without checking with her first. I just assumed that if the manager said "ma'am, I'd like to offer your daughter the chance to make her own dessert" that OP would have said "sure" or least been able to ask questions. It's rude to ignore a parent who is there with their child ESPECIALLY when you want to take the kid away to give them a treat.

I'm not against letting kids explore their world, but it should come at the express permission of the parents AND shouldn't be an inconvenience/annoyance to others.

beebeel's picture

Yeah I understand all of that. My kid is learning that not everyone says "Hi" in return and that some people want nothing to do with him. *Shrugs*

I highly doubt that chef brought the kid into the kitchen without one of her parents indicating that it was OK. It sounds like the DH is all for allowing these experiences if he let her ride in that airplane.

So maybe the OP is more upset with her DH undermining her philosophy on parenting than strangers. He has much more of an impact, so that would allow this all to make sense to me.

futurobrillante99's picture

Amen LD.

You think your inquisitive preschooler to 10 year old is so precocious and full of intelligent curiosity for the world, but if I'm somewhere having a meal with friends or family or in some other public space doing my thing without kids, it is PRESUMPTUOUS to unleash your child to freely wander, stare, ask "intelligent" questions in certain scenarios.

Equip your child with skills of perception to know the right time and place, and to read a situation and the reactions of others to know if engaging is appropriate.

Don't squash their wonder or curiosity, but CHANNEL it and let them know when and to what degree is is appropriate.

Essentially, your child needs to be equipped with the powers of observation, consideration, respect and some social skills to range free and into the space of other people. Your child's "free spirit" is not license to cross my boundaries or invade my space.

Manners and respect have been sacrificed on the altar of the almightly child aka snowflake.

justmakingthebest's picture

I hate when people would tell me "Ohhh, it's ok, you should let them ________" -- Nope. I am the parent. I have spoken. Back the F off buddy. 

Maybe that is why my 11 and 13 year olds are constantly complemented on their manners? Their teachers always tell me how respectful they are- always say Ma'am and Sir. I just am bringing my kids up the way that I think they should be. To each their own, but don't contradict me as the parent!