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Thread: How to handle this?

  1. #1
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    Default How to handle this?

    We were at urgent care today, checking Mira's foot out. She commented on a larger woman, saying (very loudly) "That's a big lady". I tried ignoring it, which prompted her to repeat herself. Eventually, I ended up admitting that she was correct, and telling her that people come tall, short, big, small, but what they look like doesn't matter.

    What concerns me is that she only commented on this lady, and another, that she thought looks like my cousin (she does, a little). I've never pointed out anything along those lines, so it was kind of mortifying to hear her announce it so loudly. When the lady came and sat next to us, Mira moved, saying she didn't want her sitting there (the seats next to us had been empty until then). How would you handle this?

  2. #2

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    We used the classic line from Dinosaur Train, "Everybody has different features." Then later she learned that it is not polite to point out other people's features. When my kid was 2, she was in an elevator with an African American woman (not common in our neighborhood unfortunately) and my kid said, Mommy! That lady has brown skin!!! I just said, yes, isn't it beautiful? And that was that. But...kids. Sheesh.

  3. #3

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    Oh man. Matthew has made similar comments and like tapir we try to explain that people have different features. A repairman came to our house when DS1 was younger. He happened to be a tall large black man and Kevin cried at the sight of him saying he was scary. Kevin had serious trouble pronouncing words at the time but his speech was of course crystal clear at the moment. I had to explain that he was a nice man who was helping us with our fridge. Mortifying!
    KEVIN (6) & MATTHEW (4)

  4. #4

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    Totally off the topic, but tapir's daughter's comment reminded me of something my daughter said once. Being near DC, my kids have always been around African American people and never thought anything of it. We were in the car one day and on the radio, the DJ said something about "black people" and Laura (she must have been around 4 or 5 at the time) said "Mommy, I've never seen a black person." I told her sure you have, like Mrs. Bishop at church (Mrs. Bishop was the lady who at that time took care of the nursery at our church). Laura goes, "She's not black. She's brown." Gotta love kids.
    Lynne, Grandma to three beautiful girls and one handsome little man!


  5. #5
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    I think that part of the problem is that I can ask her not to do something, but then cannot answer the inevitable 'Why?' She was pointing at a couple of people (That man and that man are sleeping), and I asked that she not point. Why? Because it's rude. Why? Well, I couldn't really answer what is so rude about it.

  6. #6

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    To answer the 'why' I told Emme we don't do these things because it hurts people feelings when we talk about them, point at them, say things about how they look or act. But I also told her it's normal to notice those differences and she can always come to me privately and say anything she wants to say, ask anything she wants to ask.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by MomOfAnOnly View Post
    To answer the 'why' I told Emme we don't do these things because it hurts people feelings when we talk about them, point at them, say things about how they look or act. But I also told her it's normal to notice those differences and she can always come to me privately and say anything she wants to say, ask anything she wants to ask.
    That's what I have done in the past, when she used the N-word (out of context; she was rhyming). She paid no attention to it at the time, and then asked me, months later, if it would hurt other people's feelings if she used it. Then went on to say it a gazillion times. Thankfully, that was at home, so I did have the option of ignoring her.

    At what age do kids develop a filter?

  8. #8

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    Chris has done this and I just told him it's nice to say things like that and it can hurt people's feelings. We haven't had a huge problem with it since but he will sometimes whisper to me about someone and I tell him again it's not nice. He also says that people are brown, not black. I think it's so cute. He was seriously confused the 1st time he heard someone say black person, made no sense to him! And he says he is peach!
    Candice, 28, STC 7+ years


  9. #9

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    Emme's filter has been partially there for about a year now, I think? It could have been over a year that I took her aside and told her she shouldn't comment about grandmas "big belly" because it could hurt her feelings, she cried and cried because she was sad that she might have hurt grandmas feelings (to be fair though, my mom says things about her "big belly" right to Emme. It's maddening). In the last 8+ months Emme has obviously noticed physical things about family members and not commented on it until much later when she brought it up to me.

  10. #10

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    Yes, my 4-year-old also now understands (1) we don't comment about the way people look, and (2) if you have any questions, ask mommy or daddy privately. I think with the younger kids, you just have to really hammer in the "everyone looks different" concept and be very aware that the people with whom they spend the most time are not unwittingly pointing out people's differences.

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    We were at Wal-Mart one day and Cody was like "Mom that guy is BIG"! Talking about the cashier and he said it so loud. I told Cody that was not nice and I apologized to the cashier. I felt so embrassed when we got into the car I told Cody it is not nice to talk about how people are big/ small/ etc. He was like " But... Mom he was big its true". I told him it doesn't matter if its true we just don't need to talk about it.



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    Try to not worry too much. I think most of us that are big, know we are big. And do not take it seriously when a toddler/preschooler points it out. A small child pointing out stuff that doesn't really know better is vastly different than other adults making fun of you.

    Jennifer, 35, DH 36

  13. #13

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    Slightly OT...Matthew recently has asked both dh and my dad if they were pregnant...


  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by anonsouthernbell View Post
    Slightly OT...Matthew recently has asked both dh and my dad if they were pregnant...
    Get him to stop doing that before he asks a lady! LOL

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    That's a hard situation, isn't it? I think telling your child that people come in all shapes and sizes is a good way to handle things. But yeah, in the moment it's hard to think rationally. It's so easy to get embarrassed and just try to shush them. My mom likes to tell the story of when I was about 2 or 3 and we were in the grocery store waiting to check out, and I pointed to the man in front of us and shouted, "Mom, that man has a penis!!" This is why she has no sympathy for me when we walk thru women's underwear departments and Ali pokes in all the bra cups, hollering, "Boobs, boobs, boobs!"

    ~ Cassie, mama to Madison (8), Ali (4) & Wesley (new dude!)


  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzmom View Post
    That's a hard situation, isn't it? I think telling your child that people come in all shapes and sizes is a good way to handle things. But yeah, in the moment it's hard to think rationally. It's so easy to get embarrassed and just try to shush them. My mom likes to tell the story of when I was about 2 or 3 and we were in the grocery store waiting to check out, and I pointed to the man in front of us and shouted, "Mom, that man has a penis!!" This is why she has no sympathy for me when we walk thru women's underwear departments and Ali pokes in all the bra cups, hollering, "Boobs, boobs, boobs!"
    omg that is hysterical!Yeah we have dealt with so much of this. DD2 saying, "mommy look a tiny man"! DD1 saying, "that kid is dead" about a very low functioning boy in a wheelchair (that one was very upsetting and embarrassing), DD1 calling every black woman she saw "Oprah", DD1 saying another woman had a baby in her belly like I did when I was pregnant (she didn't). Sigh. I could go on. Luckily they are not very loud kids lol. I do the same - tell them everyone is different and come in different shapes and colors and that is what makes us all unique but sometimes pointing out things makes people sad and uncomfortable so it's best not to do it. We get enough of it at home - mommy your sides are squishy, mommy your butt is big, daddy has a big belly, etc. It's really hard to explain WHAT comments are ok though. DD2 has huge eyes and lots of people compliment her on them so to say, "don't point out that a body part is big" is confusing. By saying, "don't comment on people's features" you eliminate compliments too.
    Thing 1 (8), Thing 2 (5), Thing 3 (2)

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