When my kids were small there was always that one classmate, or friend, or friend’s child, who had no filters. I’ll be the first to say that all small children say things that totally and completely embarrass us and others. Tiny tots are notorious for being rude. They ask people why they’re too fat or too thin. They comment on hair loss. They ask rude questions and call everything exactly as they see it – especially if it is not how things are at their house, or with their parents.
Yes, parents of overly precocious children, this is for you. Your little darling is not cute or smart. Your child is rude.
That said, we all grow up. By the time a child is seven or eight they should be learning to use their filters. And no, that age is not too young. Get with it parents. Once a child starts school they need to buck it up and learn to be a good citizen. And you have to get on their little butts and remind them not only to be nice, but WHY they need to be nice.
After a child starts school embarrassing personal (and rude) questions and comments are no longer cute.
Unfortunately there are always those kids who never learn about filters.
They say things like:
- My mommy says fill in the blank.
- At our house we ALWAYS fill in the blank with something the child observes you don’t do.
- Why do you fill in the blank with something rude and nosey.
As adults these people are insufferable and make horrible friends and co-workers. Most of them, I’d say 98%, don’t even know what they’re doing. The other 2% is just doing it out of spite. I know, I know, I know, we all slip up from time to time, and then feel bad about it afterwords, but those that isn’t what I’m talking about. You know what I’m talking about. Below is a list of examples.
- Unsolicited advice or comments about someone’s body. This includes giving friends brochures from diet seminars, groups, or articles about weight loss.
- Just one? You need another baby.
- Does you husband wish you’d had a boy?
- To a pregnant woman: What if your daughter is gay? Does it matter? So what if my child is gay? Do you expect me to love her less? Don’t be homophobic? And what if my child is an artist? What if my child likes chemistry? What if my child gardens? What if my child likes to pretend he is a bear? Just shut the fuck up.
- Is he gay? Assuming a young man we know gay because he skated. No but I’ll point out another skater who is. Does it matter? Really? Does it matter. I’ll adore them either way.
- Is he good in bed?
- Did you do it last night? No it is not ok to be obsessed with your friend’s sex lives and make unsolicited comments.
- Beautiful dress. It fits great, but you look better in blue. Yes, we all know about the undermined back-stab compliment.
- I like your hair better long.
- At a BBQ joint: Don’t they have anything vegan?
- At a Japanese restaurant when somebody else orders sushi: I hate raw fish. OK then don’t order raw fish.
- I thought you only dated guys with blonde hair?
I’m sure all of you have examples of blurted out, rude, and sometimes shocking, and usually hurtful comments.
So parents, you need to make sure your children, especially your young adult children aren’t doing this. On the other hand, if they act like this it is possible that they learned it from you. I hope not.
Giving advice, or asking questions is fine and normal. Blurting out whatever pops into your head is not. Always, always, always, teach your kids to think before they speak.
- Will it hurt someone?
- Will it hurt them?
- Is it rude?
- Will everyone think you’re rude and you’ll NEVER be invited back.
- Will you end up eating lunch alone from now on?
This is basic kindergarten stuff but some kids just didn’t listen to their teacher because they were too busy either eating paste or saying mean things to other kids.
I swear, I don’t even know the motivation of some people. Maybe it makes them feel better about them selves if they try to push down others. That is pretty sad if you think about it.
And of course these are ALWAYS the people who have to make the asshole remarks on social media. Tell your kids that if someone says something on social media you disagree with just to move on. Don’t be a troll. Don’t feel like you ALWAYS have to comment. If someone posts a photo of their Chihuahua dog don’t comment I didn’t know you have a shake and hate. Just say the dog is cute or move on and don’t say anything.
When you’re an adult rude comments aren’t funny. Remind your children of that. And guess what, you DO need to remind YOUR kids. Even the best kids need to be reminded so that by the time they’re adults they aren’t branded as assholes.
I’m not taking about normal discussions, or debates. That is ok. We can agree to disagree. Or we can agree not to agree. Or we can give advice in a nice helpful way. But we don’t have to be crass or rude to put someone down or make ourselves feel superior.
Of course very ancient, very young, and special needs folks will blurt things out because they can’t help it. This is not about them. We love them because we know what is going on. But most people don’t fall into that category. You can help it.
But you know the snotty condescending types I’m talking about. Don’t be like them. If your college kid is one of these folks don’t be shocked when their dorm-mate asks for a transfer to another room.
This goes for all of you Vampires and Werewolves too. Yes, I had to get that in there. You know who you are.
As always talk to your kids. Talk with your kids. Think about what you say. We could all be better. Even I could be better.
~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman