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loshan
01-29-2011, 01:53 AM
We live in the mountains and our land backs up to national forest land. As a result, we get lots of visitors throughout the year.

My SO's nephew comes up alot with his son, and every couple of months he brings his best friend and his kids.

I have no problem with any of them, with the exception of the 10 YO. He irritates the hell out of me. For instance, tonight when they arrived, I had baked a cake. I asked if they wanted a piece...well of course...YAAAY CAKE! When I hand him his plate, he looks at it and says "What is this? What's in it anyway?" :rolleyes:

I don't think it comes across in my interactions with him, I try to treat him just like all the rest, but his blossoming personality grates on me badly.

When I mentioned this to the SO, he was incredulous. "What kind of a problem can a 47 YO woman have with a 10 YO?" "He's just a kid." ...etc, etc.

I don't expect him to be anything but a kid, but I just can't help my gut reaction to him. The SO has decided that this is some defect in me (he loves kids....any and all, and neither of us has any of our own.)

So what's the consensus? Does not liking a 10 YO make me awful....or normal?:confused:

Kyla
01-29-2011, 01:59 AM
Of course it's okay. Kids are people too, and some of them have lousy personalities and are jerks. I used to be an elementary school teacher and I really disliked several of my students, who were awful brats.

don't ask
01-29-2011, 02:07 AM
I used to absolutely loathe one of my best friend's kids. He just had a full-of-himself personality that gave me the shits. I only used to see him once or twice a year and was thankful because it was hard not to be mean to him.

As he got older I found he'd changed and I liked him more. Now he is in his mid 20s and lives in the same city as me. We are firm friends and regularly get together for things that we both like - trivia, bands, sport, drinking and eating. This despite me being his father's age.

The Devil's Grandmother
01-29-2011, 02:10 AM
I don't think it comes across in my interactions with him, I try to treat him just like all the rest, but his blossoming personality grates on me badly.
The kid probably knows. People often do.
I agree with Kyla, people who claim to love all children/dogs/whatever either haven't met an asshole or are in denial. (I don't mean to be harsh on your SO, but how much does he really interact with the kids?)
I had a cousin was a jerk from birth. I sometimes felt bad about how I disliked him, so I kept giving him second chances. Last time I saw him he was about 17 and still jerky. I hope he got better.

loshan
01-29-2011, 02:13 AM
Thanks, you guys made me feel like I'm not really a monster. On this issue anyway.:D

Not having my own kids, I just don't have the exposure to know if this is "normal" or not.

I have wondered if maybe as this kid gets older and "grows into" or "out of" his sanctimonious bullshit, maybe I'd like him.

He's a smart kid....just no "people skills", as my mother would say. And he's bossy and opionated, just like someone whose screen name appears at the top of this post.:cool:

Jake Jones
01-29-2011, 02:18 AM
It's absolutely okay to not like a kid. Some kids display no redeeming qualities whatsover. However, until that kid becomes an adult, you owe it to everyone to keep your opinion to yourself.

People don't change very often as adults. Kids change all the time.

loshan
01-29-2011, 02:19 AM
(I don't mean to be harsh on your SO, but how much does he really interact with the kids?)

I thought that also. He loves all his and my (very numerous) nieces and nephews, all the neighbor/friend's kids, and he is GREAT with children of any age, but doesn't have day to day interactions with any but one nephew.

He's also the guy who always WANTED kids (I didn't. At the ripe old age of 3, I announced my intention never to have them and have felt that way pretty much all my life). So I'm sure that colors his opinion.

loshan
01-29-2011, 02:23 AM
It's absolutely okay to not like a kid. Some kids display no redeeming qualities whatsover. However, until that kid becomes an adult, you owe it to everyone to keep your opinion to yourself.

People don't change very often as adults. Kids change all the time.

Which is why I never said anything to anyone 'til tonight. He asked if I liked "John's" kids and I told the truth...."I have a problem with "Trevor.)

I would never, ever say anything to Trevor, his parents or anyone but the SO and a few, select, distant friends.

loshan
01-29-2011, 02:25 AM
So I'm sure that colors his opinion.

Missed the edit.....

AND MINE.:smack:

Jake Jones
01-29-2011, 02:43 AM
Which is why I never said anything to anyone 'til tonight. He asked if I liked "John's" kids and I told the truth...."I have a problem with "Trevor.)

I would never, ever say anything to Trevor, his parents or anyone but the SO and a few, select, distant friends.
I certainly wasn't accusing you, just sharing my general opinion. I don't have now, nor will ever have children, like you.

I do believe that kids should be somewhat sheltered while they are kids. If the parents can't get their kids to stop being dicks by the time they reach adulthood, the matter of blame is mostly irrelevant. Just another asshole in the world.

Mostly though, the only shitty kids I've met were spawn of shitty parents, so I tend to not associate with any of them when I can avoid it.

monstro
01-29-2011, 10:05 AM
I have a low tolerance for certain personality flaws--and I don't really make an exception for kids even though are not self-aware yet to control themselves yet.

Sometimes the kids in my own family say or do things that, at least in that particular moment, make me don't like them. Some people like the raw honesty that children have, but I don't. Especially if they're at the age where it's not cute anymore.

I'm totally old-school...or at least I have this fantasy that I am. I don't like kids talking to me any ole kind of way. If a kid had acted like the one in the OP did, I probably would have said something "Do you want a piece or not, kid? You do? OK, then. Take the plate and sit your ass down somewhere. No one has time for your 21 questions."

Yeah, the kid would probably not like me afterwards but at least he'd watch his mouth when in my presence.

handsomeharry
01-29-2011, 10:48 AM
SO could be trying to pull your chain. Mighty suspicious that he asked you that question. What would prompt it?
SO is being a 'wit' it seems to me.
Also, of course it's alright to not love all children. That is why Eddie Haskell is still so well remembered and revered.

Best wishes,
hh

Ca3799
01-29-2011, 10:50 AM
I, too, remember being shocked at myself the first time I ran across a kid I just couldn't like and, Lord knows, I did put quite a bit of effort into it.

The fact is that kid is an annoying, sneaky, manipulative, destructive and whiny little sh*t. I put a lot of effort into developing a friendship and understanding with him and his family, but I just gave up on the lot of them after a while.

I have a lot of kids in my house- mine and half the neighborhood it seems like. My DH and I joke that we run a teenager flop house.

On the one hand I like having kids over. I like kids, and I know where they are and what they are doing. On the other hand, my house can sometimes turn into a 'kid dump' for parents who don't want to deal with or feed their own.

There are always kids you like more and kids you like less and sometimes it's just a matter of finding common ground and having clear rules for kid behavior that will keep things running smoothly. I'm used to kids new to my house pushing the envelope to see what they can get away with or where the boundaries are, but that kid, I'm sorry to say, I just had to give up on.

I find the kids that are the worst behaved at my house are the ones that the parents don't interact with as much as they bark orders at. These kids are not used to having conversations with adults and sometimes it takes a while to get them to elevate their game.

WhyNot
01-29-2011, 11:37 AM
Every adult asshole was once a child. Generally, they were assholes then, too. (The corollary to this is that most assholes get old. Old assholes are still assholes; age does not automatically give assholes wisdom and charm.)

However, yes, it's possible for them to grow out of it, so you should try to keep it to yourself. One of my goddaughters was a Grade A asshole from birth to about age 15. Now she's 18 and getting to be quite a lovely person. I'm glad I didn't let my dislike of her show much when she was younger, or I wouldn't be getting to know the charming young woman she is today.

AClockworkMelon
01-29-2011, 11:41 AM
Don't sweat it. The way you feel about Trevor is the way I feel about children in general.

Ephemera
01-29-2011, 11:48 AM
I dislike my nephew, or one of my cousins that's also his age, and though I'm not mean to them, I don't really hide my opinion of them to anyone that asks. Anyone that claims to like every child, animal, or whatever is full of it.

loshan
01-29-2011, 12:01 PM
[QUOTE=monstro;13407942]If a kid had acted like the one in the OP did, I probably would have said something "Do you want a piece or not, kid? You do? OK, then. Take the plate and sit your ass down somewhere. No one has time for your 21 questions."
QUOTE]

I told him it was cake, frosting and poison. :D

dangermom
01-29-2011, 12:13 PM
Good for you. I probably would have looked at him, looked at the cake, and said, "You don't want it then? OK." And given it to another kid. He can have cake when he can act like a civilized human being.


ETA: my kid would have asked what was in the cake, but she would have done it politely and explained that she has food allergies.

Ogre
01-29-2011, 12:27 PM
Some kids totally make my smackin' hand itch. Some are as agreeable as can be. I can say the same thing about adults as a group, so don't feel like a terrible person.

Teacake
01-29-2011, 12:27 PM
That's absurd. No-one would expect a kid to like every adult, no-one expects any kid or adult to like all their peers, so why should there be any expectation that as an adult you should like every kid? There are several kids I have to deal with who I can't stand, with good reason or just because they're people and so am I. Sometimes we don't like each other.

loshan
01-29-2011, 12:39 PM
"You ARE making us lunch for when we get back from snowmobiling, right? Cuz cereal is not that good of a breakfast." :dubious:

Yeah, lunch will be ready. For everybody else. Cereal all day for you kid.

StuffLikeThatThere
01-29-2011, 12:40 PM
My neighbor kid is really, really annoying. She's 12? 13? Right around there. She is sullen and pouty and yet somehow wants to be a teacher's pet (I'm involved with our local schools in a teacher-ish capacity, though I am not a teacher). She brags about her skills at everything, which in reality are generally acceptable but not outstanding, and puts down other kids in sly ways. Also, she consistently tells whoppers.

I try to keep several things in mind. First, up until a couple of years ago, her life was pretty unstable. Things have really smoothed out and stabilized for her, but I imagine it will take a while for life to feel really safe. Second, I think she has no sense of self-worth, and so she's trying to be clever and brag to make up for it. Most of her lies are positioning to make herself feel better. Third, she's thirteen (or thereabouts). I was supremely annoying at thirteen, and look at me now! :) It's just a miserable age.

So generally, I do my best to be kind and generous to her without allowing her to take advantage of me or the other kids with her BS. I believe this is the correct course of action.

But dear God in Heaven, she is ANNOYING!

ShelliBean
01-29-2011, 12:43 PM
My oldest has one friend that I don't like. I can't put my finger on it exactly. He's never done anything wrong, really. He just rubs me the wrong way. Upon meeting him a few of my friends have had the same reaction. It's kind of an attitude or way of talking to you that says "I may be 6/8/10 and you are an adult, but I am clearly the superior here." Like the day I overheard the two boys discussing some electronics and he had something my kid didn't so the boy walked up to me and wanted to know "Why haven't you bought him a computer yet?" It wasn't inquisitive. It was accusatory. I simply asked him if he would like to pay for it - but it is stuff like that all the time.

When we found out they were moving I was oh so sad, then my SO and I privately did the dance of joy.

phouka
01-29-2011, 12:48 PM
When I became a teacher, I knew there would be kids that I liked so much I'd have to be careful not to show favoritism. What I didn't expect was that there would be kids I disliked so much, I'd have to work hard not squish them like bugs.

It was usually a kid who had a terrible sense of entitlement, or was cruel to other kids, or was a complete drama queen. When that was the case, I had to focus on the behavior and not the kid. If the behavior was not acceptable, I squished the behavior. ("Student, we don't treat people like that. This is your one warning. Do it again, I call your parents. Do it a third time, you go to the office.") I also had to make a point to reinforce the good behavior so the kid didn't feel like I hated him (even if I did).

The thing is, actions shape feelings. So, when I started praising the kids I disliked when they were behaving well, the kids behaved better, and I found that I disliked them less. In some cases, the kids behavior improved so much that I found I really had started to like them.

FairyChatMom
01-29-2011, 12:57 PM
I have a nephew I can't stand. He's 20, and he's been a rude brat since he was a kid. But being the only boy grandchild on that side of the family, he can do no wrong. :rolleyes: He can't manage a "Hello" for us ever. Nor does he feel compelled to say "Thank you" - I knitted him and his sister afghans for Christmas - he neither acknowledged nor thanked me for it. I went so far as to write to him and ask if he ever received it - no reply. Whenever we leave a place we've been where he's present, we play a game "Did he talk to you?"

And it's not a shyness or awkwardness issue - I've watched him with other people. Apparently, it's just us.

No biggie. He's not getting gifts from me ever again. He'll be graduating from college soon. He might get a card. I'm not sure he's worth the price of the postage.

loshan
01-29-2011, 12:57 PM
"I may be 6/8/10 and you are an adult, but I am clearly the superior here." Like the day I overheard the two boys discussing some electronics and he had something my kid didn't so the boy walked up to me and wanted to know "Why haven't you bought him a computer yet?" It wasn't inquisitive. It was accusatory.

THIS.

AND THIS.

"Some kids totally make my smackin' hand itch"

I'm not being very articulate this morning. But you guys have hit the nail on the head, and are making it much easier to be around him today.

A safe place to bitch is a wonderful thing.

FuzzyOgre
01-29-2011, 01:14 PM
Speaking from personal experience, it sounds a little like Aspergers/Autism Syndrome. I was bad for a certain bluntness like that. Rubbing people the wrong way seems to be the Aspie shibboleth.

What really tips me off is the "what is this, whats in it?" statement. Everything to me was(and still often is) its own object, its own type. Does that make sense?

If it were me offering the cake, I would have answered "worms, slugs and snail turds". The reaction you get can be very telling.

Oh, and its ok to dislike kids. I do. But as someone said, its unfair to hold it against them: they might turn out ok in the end.

statsman1982
01-29-2011, 01:15 PM
To paraphrase George Carlin, kids are like any other group of people. Some winners. A whole lot of losers.

You are under no obligation to like a kid because he/she is a kid. But, as others have said, the personalities of children are fairly mutable, so keep it to yourself until he's an adult.

Tom Tildrum
01-29-2011, 01:22 PM
He's entering the age range where a lot of kids become loathsome for a while.

FriarTed
01-29-2011, 01:45 PM
"You ARE making us lunch for when we get back from snowmobiling, right? Cuz cereal is not that good of a breakfast." :dubious:

Yeah, lunch will be ready. For everybody else. Cereal all day for you kid.

Was this just now? Please tell us that you'll stick with this & how he reacts!

Does he have trouble walking? 'Cause he's got some big brass ones.

loshan
01-29-2011, 01:53 PM
Was this just now? Please tell us that you'll stick with this & how he reacts!

Does he have trouble walking? 'Cause he's got some big brass ones.

Yes, just before they left for the morning ride. And, No, he'll get the same pizza everyone else gets.

Of course, I could add a crunchy topping of Fruit Loops and Coco Puffs to his slices. :D

Peremensoe
01-29-2011, 02:06 PM
Some respondents seem to feel the kid shouldn't have asked what was in the cake. I understand he may have done so in an obnoxious way, but I think the best bet is often to ignore the obnoxious aspect and respond as if the best-possible interpretation is the only one. Pretend he's your friend, saying "ooh, what's in this," with enthusiasm. So respond, with enthusiasm, about the provenance of the recipe, the great ingredients you used, how good it was the first time you had it, so on. Whatever the differences are between this cake and whatever "cake" was to him previously, cast them as good things--because they are, right?

Look, it's clear the kid can stand to learn better modulation of his remarks. (Plenty of adults, too.) But when he says "cereal isn't that good of a breakfast," he's absolutely correct, and probably repeating or paraphrasing something his parents have told him. And when he says "you are making us lunch," I understand it came across as commanding, but again, I suspect the most productive response is to pretend it was said better. If you act like people around you (and not just kids) have only the best possible intentions and implications, often you'll find that they modify their behavior to be more in line with your favorable interpretations.

loshan
01-29-2011, 02:29 PM
I will try that spark240.

BTW, I agree that cereal "isn't that good of a breakfast." And "parroting the parents" was the first thought I had when he said that. Everyone else had scrambled eggs, hashbrowns and toast. The cereal was his choice. :confused:

Peremensoe
01-29-2011, 02:43 PM
BTW, I agree that cereal "isn't that good of a breakfast." And "parroting the parents" was the first thought I had when he said that. Everyone else had scrambled eggs, hashbrowns and toast. The cereal was his choice. :confused:

Interesting. Well, I suppose one way to apply the approach I described would have been to act like he was regretting his own poor choice. Say, with sympathy rather than reproach, "yeah, I guess you wish you'd had some eggs and hashbrowns, now. They were good. Well, lunch will be good too."

Cat Whisperer
01-29-2011, 02:49 PM
"You ARE making us lunch for when we get back from snowmobiling, right? Cuz cereal is not that good of a breakfast." :dubious:

Yeah, lunch will be ready. For everybody else. Cereal all day for you kid.

I will try that spark240.

BTW, I agree that cereal "isn't that good of a breakfast." And "parroting the parents" was the first thought I had when he said that. Everyone else had scrambled eggs, hashbrowns and toast. The cereal was his choice. :confused:
At this point, I'm wondering what's wrong with your SO that he doesn't see how incredibly obnoxious this kid is.

rhubarbarin
01-29-2011, 02:57 PM
Hell yes, it's fine and totally normal. Some kids are little shits. Sometimes even your own kids are unbearable.

I enjoy the company of kids, like most kids, and I'm pretty patient, but kids are people like everyone else and there will always be some I like, some I don't. I have certain standards for basic politeness and I do best when I can discipline/correct children for misbehaving; that's not really allowed in most situations anymore, with parenting norms these days. It's hard when kids are rude and obnoxious and I just have to take it. I do get mad about it sometimes. I never, ever take out my irritation with some kids by snarking at them - most kids who act this way just haven't gotten negative feedback about it from the adults in their lives. There are a ton of parents who don't discipline their kids at all, and it's not really the kid's fault that no one tells them or shows them how to act right.

Sometimes there's copious good parenting and discipline, and the kid is still a PITA in some way. What are you going to do?

I love my boyfriend's nephew dearly and have known him his whole life, but often he really chaps my ass and has since he was 2 years old! His sisters, on the other hand, I never get annoyed with - they are just more polite and enjoyable to be around. I don't beat myself up about it - the kid can be rude and annoying, and has a strong personality his parents haven't dealt with before. He'll probably turn out well in the end, and a lot of time I think he's the cutest.

Chefguy
01-29-2011, 03:23 PM
I dislike most male children under the age of twelve. They're generally obnoxious and ill-behaved and I have zero tolerance for it. I'd blame the parents, but I didn't even like my own youngest son until he was about 20 years old and had finally outgrown his stunted maturity.

ZPG Zealot
01-29-2011, 03:59 PM
[QUOTE=monstro;13407942]If a kid had acted like the one in the OP did, I probably would have said something "Do you want a piece or not, kid? You do? OK, then. Take the plate and sit your ass down somewhere. No one has time for your 21 questions."
QUOTE]

I told him it was cake, frosting and poison. :D

If an adult told me that when I was a chiild, I would have responded by dumping the uneaten cake in most visible garbage can. With so many people having either food allergies or religious proscriptions against eating various foods under various conditions, having someone ask what is in a food item offered to them, seems perfectly natural to me. In fact, when I am a host I ususally offer such information upfront (along with a few alternatives) when offereing refreshments.

StuffLikeThatThere
01-29-2011, 04:07 PM
[QUOTE=loshan;13408168]

If an adult told me that when I was a chiild, I would have responded by dumping the uneaten cake in most visible garbage can. With so many people having either food allergies or religious proscriptions against eating various foods under various conditions, having someone ask what is in a food item offered to them, seems perfectly natural to me. In fact, when I am a host I ususally offer such information upfront (along with a few alternatives) when offereing refreshments.

Sure. And if the kid had said, "Excuse me. Does this have tree nuts in it?" we wouldn't be having this conversation.

ZPG Zealot
01-29-2011, 04:42 PM
[QUOTE=ZPG Zealot;13408827]

Sure. And if the kid had said, "Excuse me. Does this have tree nuts in it?" we wouldn't be having this conversation.

I suspect we would. "What is this?" and "What's in this?" are rather innocent question people with allergies or food taboos ask all the time. The only people I have observed get angry over those questions were ready to take offensive over anything. In cultural situations where many types of people interact it is consider de riguer for the host to provide this type of information so guests can make informed decisions about their food choices.

CanvasShoes
01-29-2011, 04:54 PM
We live in the mountains and our land backs up to national forest land. As a result, we get lots of visitors throughout the year.

My SO's nephew comes up alot with his son, and every couple of months he brings his best friend and his kids.

I have no problem with any of them, with the exception of the 10 YO. He irritates the hell out of me. For instance, tonight when they arrived, I had baked a cake. I asked if they wanted a piece...well of course...YAAAY CAKE! When I hand him his plate, he looks at it and says "What is this? What's in it anyway?" :rolleyes:
..............snip....

So what's the consensus? Does not liking a 10 YO make me awful....or normal?:confused:Sounds like the parents were lax in teaching him appropriate social behaviour (or at least how to pretend).

And no, I don't think there's anything wrong with you regarding how you feel. What a insufferably snooty bratty way to behave! This boy is definitely old enough to have learned how to behave properly in a social setting such as the one you describe.

CanvasShoes
01-29-2011, 05:00 PM
"You ARE making us lunch for when we get back from snowmobiling, right? Cuz cereal is not that good of a breakfast." :dubious:

Yeah, lunch will be ready. For everybody else. Cereal all day for you kid.Good grief! What a mouthy little brat!

Kaio
01-29-2011, 05:01 PM
Yeah, I recently visited my extended family, and my 10-year-old nephew was, to put it mildly, very controlling. I wouldn't admire such a trait to begin with, but it's also a particular hot-button with me. I avoided him for the rest of the trip, though I didn't say anything. His older sibs seem to be turning out okay, though, so I'm hoping it's something that he'll outgrow in short order.

I dislike kids in general, but I'm okay with them for the durations that they can act civilized and adult-like. I'll leave once they revert to type, though.

loshan
01-29-2011, 05:09 PM
ZPG: Although I can see that being an issue, and I always ask parents for this info if their kids are eating at my house, this particular child has been around here more than a few times and doesn't have food allergies.

He's just lacking in manners and has a condescending attitude about damn near everything.

When they came back from snowmobiling, he informed the SO that, "you guys really should get new snowmobiles because those don't look very good." Not, "thank you for letting me ride". NOT, "wow, that was fun".:rolleyes:

And, just like that, I saw understanding dawn on the SO's face and I am no longer a horrible person.:smack::D

even sven
01-29-2011, 05:15 PM
Kids can be annoying, but I think you still owe it to them to try to guide them and work with them. Part of growing up is finding your independence, and I think most kids go through a stage where they try to assert that by showing disinterest/disdain/snobbiness towards adults. It's a way to differentiate yourself from the adults in your life..."Oh, you like cake? Well, I don't like cake." The trick is to show them that it isn't working, and encourage them towards a better path towards independence.

flatlined
01-29-2011, 05:19 PM
I am childfree by choice. I like kids, but the idea of being responsible for a human life 24/7/365 for at least 18 years makes me want to curl up under the bed and hide.

That being said, if my nephew had DEMANDED to know what was in the cake, I would have taken his plate and handed him the cookbook while serving cake to everyone else. If the ingredient list had pleased him, I'd serve him some cake too, but I wouldn't get up from the table to do it. He would have to wait until after I was done enjoying the cake with everyone else. I would discuss the recipe with him and answer any questions he had, but he'd have to wait for the cake.

Now, if he had asked if there were nuts in the cake, I'd have told him "No, David. I know you are allergic to nuts. You are my favorite nephew, afterall. I want to keep you around for a while."

Family members usually know about other family members' food preferences and/or allergies. I don't cook for strangers, so don't usually have to worry about keeping ingredient lists in my memory.

edited to add that while I read while I eat, I don't let people who have to be reminded to wash dirty hands before eating to eat and read my books. This applied to an ex-boyfriend as well.

River Hippie
01-29-2011, 05:22 PM
Of course it's okay. Kids are people too, and some of them have lousy personalities and are jerks. I used to be an elementary school teacher and I really disliked several of my students, who were awful brats.

Agree with that.

Rex Goliath
01-29-2011, 05:25 PM
I asked if they wanted a piece...well of course...YAAAY CAKE! When I hand him his plate, he looks at it and says "What is this? What's in it anyway?"

Honestly, this sounds like me when I was a kid. A lot of that sass is learned from TV, because on television characters that talk like this are considered charismatic and independent. (House is an example.) My childhood was spent in a house where opinions are kept to oneself, and to this day I have problems expressing my opinions in a healthy, non-asshole way.

I grew up my whole life hearing "don't you talk back to me", "don't be a smartass", and "if you were my kid I'd beat you with a belt" but I honestly had no idea how what I was saying was offensive. Some kids are somewhat lacking in self-awareness, are completely unable to detect the tone of their own voices or the effect that their comments have on others.

For kids like me, keeping your mouth shut or yelling are not useful. They either reinforce the negative behavior of just make them think you're an asshole, and not worth listening to. Politely demonstrating a nicer, more effective way to express that particular opinion is, in my opinion, the best way to help the kid.

YMMV

WhyNot
01-29-2011, 05:28 PM
I suspect we would. "What is this?" and "What's in this?" are rather innocent question people with allergies or food taboos ask all the time.

No. Not if they want to stay alive. Name the allergen/s, and I'll tell you if any of them are in there. Not just because it's more polite, but because it's safer that way. I may forget the cinnamon in my chili if you just ask me what's in it ("Oh...onions, tomatoes, beef, chili beans... y'know, chili stuff!") but if you specifically ask me if it has cinnamon, I'm far more likely to remember that, oh yes, this time I did put some cinnamon in, even though I don't always do that.

My daughter is gluten intolerant. I don't expect everyone to know what "gluten" is, or what ingredients have it, or to give her a list of ingredients which she won't understand anyhow. I do expect her to politely say, "Mrs. Smith, I can't eat wheat or rye or barley - are any of those in this cake?"

CanvasShoes
01-29-2011, 05:30 PM
ZPG: And, just like that, I saw understanding dawn on the SO's face and I am no longer a horrible person.:smack::D

Oh good! Now you don't have to go around with him secretly thinking you're mean or something. :)

Kolga
01-29-2011, 05:36 PM
I think from the rest of the posts about this child's behavior that it's clear that the child wasn't asking about the cake for allergy purposes.

"Here, have some cake!" "What is this? What's in it?"

"You ARE making us lunch for when we get back from snowmobiling, right? Cuz cereal is not that good of a breakfast." (when the child himself chose cereal)

"You guys really should get new snowmobiles because those don't look very good."

This pattern of relatively snotty (according to the content) statements would make my smackin' hand itch, too. The kid obviously might grow out of that behavior, so you should definitely hide your smackin' hand itchin' for now and treat the child like you'd treat other children, but...DAMN. Those are some snotty-ass statements, when taken as a pattern.

dangermom
01-29-2011, 05:43 PM
[QUOTE=loshan;13408168]

If an adult told me that when I was a chiild, I would have responded by dumping the uneaten cake in most visible garbage can. With so many people having either food allergies or religious proscriptions against eating various foods under various conditions, having someone ask what is in a food item offered to them, seems perfectly natural to me. In fact, when I am a host I ususally offer such information upfront (along with a few alternatives) when offereing refreshments.
There's a difference between politely asking about possible allergens and rudely mouthing off because TV has taught you that it's cool.

loshan
01-29-2011, 06:13 PM
Just so you all don't think I am only looking for the bad, this same kid is very protective, helpful and kind to his little brother (5 YO) and is very gentle with the animals around here.

Fretful Porpentine
01-29-2011, 06:26 PM
Honestly, this sounds like me when I was a kid. A lot of that sass is learned from TV, because on television characters that talk like this are considered charismatic and independent. (House is an example.) My childhood was spent in a house where opinions are kept to oneself, and to this day I have problems expressing my opinions in a healthy, non-asshole way.

I grew up my whole life hearing "don't you talk back to me", "don't be a smartass", and "if you were my kid I'd beat you with a belt" but I honestly had no idea how what I was saying was offensive. Some kids are somewhat lacking in self-awareness, are completely unable to detect the tone of their own voices or the effect that their comments have on others.

For kids like me, keeping your mouth shut or yelling are not useful. They either reinforce the negative behavior of just make them think you're an asshole, and not worth listening to. Politely demonstrating a nicer, more effective way to express that particular opinion is, in my opinion, the best way to help the kid.

YMMV

I agree with this. Yes, the kid is being rude, but I wouldn't write him off as a lost cause if nobody has ever taught him how to be polite.

(And I, too, had a hugely difficult time learning how to hear tone and tell the difference between socially appropriate and inappropriate things to say; some kids are just not wired to pick up on social cues that easily.)

monstro
01-29-2011, 06:37 PM
Speaking from personal experience, it sounds a little like Aspergers/Autism Syndrome. I was bad for a certain bluntness like that. Rubbing people the wrong way seems to be the Aspie shibboleth...

I don't mean to pick on you, so don't take this post the wrong way. But frankly, I'm tired of people pathologizing bratty behavior in kids. Yes, a very small percentage of kids lack social skills because of atypical neurological wiring. But the vast majority are perfectly normal...it's just that they have too high of an opinion of themselves and their ideas. And there's nothing wrong with taking them down a peg either. Not abusively, of course, but not wth soft, gentle tones either.

The fear that a kid could be ADD, ASD, OCD, or whatever is what makes people afraid of correcting children--both their own and other people's--nowadays. I know these disorders are very real, but like I said before, they don't apply to the vast majority of kids.

If they don't get trained during childhood, then they will get it later in life in the form of a good punch in the throat or someone going off on them in the workplace.

For instance, the other day a coworker made yet another annoying remark about my lunch. I let it pass, thinking that's just the way she is as a person and no need to blow a gasket. The very next day, though, I had the same lunch and she made the same annoying remark, except very loudly and childishly (fyi, my major "faux pas" was putting ketchup on chicken :dubious:). I was already in a bad mood, so her commentary just made me want to wring her neck. Instead I told her I was eating lunch alone and went back to my office. I've been considering doing it on a permanent basis for awhile, but this interaction has made up my mind. Fuck socializing just for the sake of it.

This bratty adult was no doubt a spoiled, overly-opinionated kid. She annoys everyone and has even been told as much to her face by the boss. But of course, she can't see it. Maybe if she had been told off a few times in childhood, she wouldn't have such a blindspot now.

My parents went overboard sometimes, but at least no one could have ever accused any of their kids of being brats. Even my rebellious sister was always respectful to teachers and authority figures.

Yelling at a kid every now and then is not going to scar them. Yelling indiscriminately over minor stuff is bad. But disrespect should be pointed out swiftly, damn hurt feelings and humiliation. When you're rude, you should feel the consequences of your actions and not just be given a pass. I don't care how old you are.

loshan
01-29-2011, 06:49 PM
And, as a slight hijack to my own thread. Little brother just came in to inform me that big brother was stuck "in a snow drip.":D

Tess
01-29-2011, 06:52 PM
"You ARE making us lunch for when we get back from snowmobiling, right? Cuz cereal is not that good of a breakfast." :dubious:

Sounds to me like Trevor just offered to get up early and cook everyone breakfast next time. Make sure to thank him loudly and let everyone know how thoughtful Trevor's being.

CanvasShoes
01-29-2011, 07:00 PM
Sounds to me like Trevor just offered to get up early and cook everyone breakfast next time. Make sure to thank him loudly and let everyone know how thoughtful Trevor's being.

OooOOOOh, good idea, or as a modified version, just make sure that it be known loudly (enough) and to all and sundry that Trevor wants a hot breakfast and NOT cereal.

Ha HA!

Rex Goliath
01-29-2011, 07:02 PM
When you're rude, you should feel the consequences of your actions and not just be given a pass. I don't care how old you are.
You must also comprehend why you are rude, or you will learn nothing from the encounter except "that guy who keeps yelling at me is a dick." Perhaps if someone had been more patient with you in your childhood in explaining proper ways to express opinions, you would have calmly told the coworker that their comments bother you and to please stop instead of taking your ball and going home.

ZPG Zealot
01-29-2011, 07:17 PM
[QUOTE=ZPG Zealot;13408827]
There's a difference between politely asking about possible allergens and rudely mouthing off because TV has taught you that it's cool.

I can't see how asking "What's in this?" is rude. If it was a raw, piece of fruit, yes, but a cake. "What's in this?" is probably the first question I ask when anybody including my husband offers me food.

monstro
01-29-2011, 07:19 PM
You must also comprehend why you are rude, or you will learn nothing from the encounter except "that guy who keeps yelling at me is a dick."

Of course. I'm not advocating empty hollering. But if a kid is rolling his eyes and you yell at them to stop, you shouldn't have to go into a full dissertation about why rolling your eyes is rude.

If I tell Trevor to take the cake and sit his ass down somewhere and stop asking so many questions, I know I haven't exactly taught him anything explicitly. But if there's an intelligent human being inside him, he will examine the incident and think about why his question and non-verbal behavior would evoke such a response.

I used to get yelled at somewhat frequently between the ages of 9-12. I remember being yelled at for things I didn't do. I remembering being yelled at for things that didn't merit yelling. But never do I remember being confused about why I was being yelled at. I always knew what it was that I had done or what was perceived that I had done. I think most kids in that age range are the same way.

The gentle explanation time is for younger kids (seven and younger.) Once you stop being cute, you don't get the "he doesn't know any better" treatment anymore, IMHO.

CanvasShoes
01-29-2011, 07:30 PM
I can't see how asking "What's in this?" is rude. If it was a raw, piece of fruit, yes, but a cake. "What's in this?" is probably the first question I ask when anybody including my husband offers me food.

It's not WHAT he asked, it's HOW he asked it, coupled with the several other examples of his mouthy, snotty attitude.

you with the face
01-29-2011, 07:43 PM
"What is this? What's in it?"

My gut instinct would have been to flatly say "Obviously it's cake. Either eat it and say thank you, or don't and be quiet, okay?"

loshan
01-29-2011, 07:52 PM
It's not WHAT he asked, it's HOW he asked it, coupled with the several other examples of his mouthy, snotty attitude.

Exactly.

If you come to my house and I offer you chocolate cake, you may ask "Does this have [insert offending ingredient here] in it?" Not a thing wrong with that.

If you come to my house and I offer you chocolate cake and you say "Yes, I would love some." Then when the plate is presented to you, procede to look at it like it came from outer space and demand to know what's in it, that's rude.

I offered cake, you asked for cake, I give you cake. It's cake. With frosting. Exactly as advertised.

Rex Goliath
01-29-2011, 08:01 PM
If I tell Trevor to take the cake and sit his ass down somewhere and stop asking so many questions, I know I haven't exactly taught him anything explicitly. But if there's an intelligent human being inside him, he will examine the incident and think about why his question and non-verbal behavior would evoke such a response.
...
But never do I remember being confused about why I was being yelled at. I always knew what it was that I had done or what was perceived that I had done.
I wish it had been that easy for me. I am jealous that things which have taken me years of practice came so effortlessly to you and the rest of the general population. I imagine it's as easy for you as dancing is for some people: a natural ability you can not imagine being without. Many people do not find graceful social interaction so effortless, and "well they're stupid" is an overly simplistic worldview that does not do you any favors.

I am by no means a shut-in recluse who lives on the internet. I am considered by many to be charismatic, kind, and confident, but it is only the result of patient and kind individuals helping explain, step by step, how I can improve my behavior.

You are right that, if it's not your kid, you don't owe them life skills training and "shut the fuck up and eat your cake" is a reasonable consequence for assholish behavior. But it would be nice of you to rise above the minimum expected level of decency.

Kaio
01-29-2011, 08:32 PM
It's not WHAT he asked, it's HOW he asked it, coupled with the several other examples of his mouthy, snotty attitude.

Plus the fact that we've already established that the OP knows the kid well enough to know he doesn't have any food allergies. There's no medical reason for him to be asking.

CanvasShoes
01-29-2011, 09:14 PM
I wish it had been that easy for me. I am jealous that things which have taken me years of practice came so effortlessly to you and the rest of the general population. I imagine it's as easy for you as dancing is for some people: a natural ability you can not imagine being without. Many people do not find graceful social interaction so effortless, and "well they're stupid" is an overly simplistic worldview that does not do you any favors.

I am by no means a shut-in recluse who lives on the internet. I am considered by many to be charismatic, kind, and confident, but it is only the result of patient and kind individuals helping explain, step by step, how I can improve my behavior.

You are right that, if it's not your kid, you don't owe them life skills training and "shut the fuck up and eat your cake" is a reasonable consequence for assholish behavior. But it would be nice of you to rise above the minimum expected level of decency.
Can you tell us an (some) example(s) of how you didn't understand a specific social interaction? Is it that you couldn't hear the tone people used? Did you speak too quickly before you thought about how it would "sound"? I think a lot of people, like myself, just assume that the child isn't taught by his/her parents.

Did you really feel that you simply lacked those skills period (as in you were tone-deaf to nuances of social behaviour)? Or that you were simply a late-bloomer in learning them?

monstro
01-29-2011, 09:34 PM
I wish it had been that easy for me. I am jealous that things which have taken me years of practice came so effortlessly to you and the rest of the general population. I imagine it's as easy for you as dancing is for some people: a natural ability you can not imagine being without. Many people do not find graceful social interaction so effortless, and "well they're stupid" is an overly simplistic worldview that does not do you any favors.

No, I had to learn just like eveyone else did. Some of us learn faster than others, but no one is born knowing. And it isn't/hasn't been easy for me either. I'm a giant weirdo and used to get yelled at for things that I could not help or (more commonly) things that didn't matter to a whole bunch of anything. But I'm glad that I was corrected when I was wrong, even if it was done harshly, because I learned from my mistakes that way.

We aren't taking about outliers, though. We are talking about normal, every-day bratty kids who know the rules but just choose not to follow them. Most kids are good most of the time, but almost every kid has a bratty moment some time. Fortunately, most times it's by accident--like a slip of the tongue, forgetting to say 'thank you', being too familiar with someone, etc. But sometimes a kid is a jerk and delights in it because they know they'll probably get away with it.

I am by no means a shut-in recluse who lives on the internet. I am considered by many to be charismatic, kind, and confident, but it is only the result of patient and kind individuals helping explain, step by step, how I can improve my behavior.

I'm happy that you were raised in the way you needed to be raised. Sounds like the kid in the OP has not been raised that way, wouldn't you agree?

You are right that, if it's not your kid, you don't owe them life skills training and "shut the fuck up and eat your cake" is a reasonable consequence for assholish behavior. But it would be nice of you to rise above the minimum expected level of decency.

I don't think "sit down, eat your cake, and stop asking so many questions" is indecdent, mean, harsh, or assholish. Not in response to jerkish behavior, no. Now if Trevor was socially handicapped in some way, obviously I wouldn't be so curt with him. But I would still say to him, "Trevor, I would like you to rephrase that question to me so that it sounds respectful. Because what you just said did not sound respectful at all." And I would not give him any cake until he could behave appropriately.

I'm all for kids having rights, but adults should not be guilted into being "nice" to bad-behaving ones just because they're kids. And I don't think an adult should wait for a parent to do the disciplining either. But that's a whole 'nother can of worms.

Eyebrows 0f Doom
01-29-2011, 10:54 PM
Is it really that hard to quote correctly?


I can't see how asking "What's in this?" is rude. If it was a raw, piece of fruit, yes, but a cake. "What's in this?" is probably the first question I ask when anybody including my husband offers me food.

Good for you, but before anyone here should consider your opinion they need to realize that you are insane (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=593049).

Hmm, I wonder if someone handing you something to eat means what they really want to do is force-feed you.

Guinastasia
01-30-2011, 12:00 AM
I can't see how asking "What's in this?" is rude. If it was a raw, piece of fruit, yes, but a cake. "What's in this?" is probably the first question I ask when anybody including my husband offers me food.



Yeah, but we "WASP"'s do things differently.

DummyGladHands
01-30-2011, 12:08 AM
At 10 yrs. old, it's ok, IMHO, to ask them if they would like to be treated as a child or as a young man. If they prefer to be a child, then it's sit down, shut up and eat it. If he would like to be treated as a young man, then it's OK to engage in the conversation about "why do you ask? Are you allergic? Is there something in particular you don't like?" Make it their choice.

Kolga
01-30-2011, 12:14 AM
Yeah, but we "WASP"'s do things differently.

:D

Cat Whisperer
01-30-2011, 12:16 AM
<snip>
And, just like that, I saw understanding dawn on the SO's face and I am no longer a horrible person.:smack::DYay! He sees the light!
Is it really that hard to quote correctly?



Good for you, but before anyone here should consider your opinion they need to realize that you are insane (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=593049).True enough.

I don't think I have ever asked someone, when offering me food, what's in this? I have no food allergies, so I don't act so rudely (because I was raised better).

seanchai
01-30-2011, 12:16 AM
Kids don't always know how to ask questions, or understand how they sound to others.
You can, gently, rework their bitchy comments.

I was about 6 when I asked some beloved company, "When are you leaving?" My mother laughed and said, "I think she means, how long can you stay?" I remember this well, because I saw what I SHOULD have asked.

I don't know why the young man we've been discussing hasn't been hauled back by his parental authority, but if he mouthed off to me, I would tell him he was out of line. eg about the snowmobiling: "It's not considered the done thing to make comments about the equipment when you've been out enjoying same. Didn't you want to thank your uncle for taking you out? If you don't he might not be so eager to take you again."

And sure as eggs are eggs the young man would be expected to clear the table / help with the dishes. Because he's young and because he's a guest. "I know you don't like to be thanked <name>, because I don't hear you thanking others. But I'd like to extend my appreciation for your help in the kitchen."

an seanchai

monstro
01-30-2011, 12:55 AM
At 10 yrs. old, it's ok, IMHO, to ask them if they would like to be treated as a child or as a young man. If they prefer to be a child, then it's sit down, shut up and eat it. If he would like to be treated as a young man, then it's OK to engage in the conversation about "why do you ask? Are you allergic? Is there something in particular you don't like?" Make it their choice.

I think it's ok to ask the 10-year-old in question if he wants the piece of cake or not.

Your approach would confuse the hell out of me if I were a kid. And I'm not seeing how it would teach me how to be more respectful when receiving something nice from an adult.

Carmady
01-30-2011, 01:09 AM
It depends what type of cake it was.

If it was a simple chocolate cake, then no excuse. But if it was a very interesting-looking cake, then the question was rudely posed, but it is understandable for curiosity to win out in a kid who isn't necessarily a "rude kid" in general.

Sure, we grown ups know to let family try it first and whisper "are there coconuts/white chocolate/etc" and then claim to be full/secretly toss it if there is. But kids are more straightforward.

OleOneEye
01-30-2011, 01:11 AM
I don't think I have ever asked someone, when offering me food, what's in this? I have no food allergies, so I don't act so rudely (because I was raised better).

I don't think it's a question of being raised better. If someone offers me a piece of vaguely beige-ish cake, I'm going to ask them what flavor it is. It could be coffee-flavored, for example. If I bite into it and find out it's coffee-flavored, and end up throwing the rest away because I don't like coffee, that's one less piece that could have gone to someone who actually likes coffee. What a waste!

Kolga
01-30-2011, 01:18 AM
I don't think it's a question of being raised better. If someone offers me a piece of vaguely beige-ish cake, I'm going to ask them what flavor it is. It could be coffee-flavored, for example. If I bite into it and find out it's coffee-flavored, and end up throwing the rest away because I don't like coffee, that's one less piece that could have gone to someone who actually likes coffee. What a waste!

And I'm sure that you, and every other person who claims to be excusing this boy's behavior, can see the difference between someone asking "what kind of cake is this?" and the pattern of behavior that has been relayed in this thread.

loshan
01-30-2011, 01:31 AM
[QUOTE=Carmady;13410155] If it was a simple chocolate cake, then no excuse. But if it was a very interesting-looking cake, then the question was rudely posed, but it is understandable for curiosity to win out in a kid who isn't necessarily a "rude kid" in general. [QUOTE]

For the record: standard boxed chocolate cake mix with chocolate frosting out of a can.

If I know kids are involved, it is simpler and easier to stick with the tried and true. No weird ingredients or complex flavors necessary.

ETA I guess it is hard to quote properly. Don't know what I'm doing wrong here.

Diogenes the Cynic
01-30-2011, 01:35 AM
When I was a teacher, there were definitely kids I liked better than other kids, and some kids i didn't like at all. Your visceral. emotional responses to a kid are not voluntary, don't make you a monster and aren't weird. What does matter is how you treat them, and you still have to treat them with kindness. That doesn't mean you have to be a doormat for them, but be nice to them and show some basic compassion, regardless. The kids that are the meanest usually have reason for it, and I was surprised more than once, both as a teacher and when I ran inner city after school programs and summer day camps at how responsive some of the most seemingly unreachable, most incorrigable kids could be to receiving a little bit of kindness and encouragement from an adult. Sometimes I felt like I was literally the first adult who had ever said anything nice to them, and they lept on it like oxygen.

Anyway, remember that they're kids, not little adults.

loshan
01-30-2011, 01:48 AM
Thank you for this Diogenes.
Not having or working with children has greatly limited my experience and I don't think I have ever been around any other child that pushed my buttons like this one. I have dealt with my share of bad behavior and general "kidness", but not this type of, "I really don't like this kid", reaction in myself. I am kind to him despite this, but he still may sense my dislike and that may color his reactions to me also.

Diogenes the Cynic
01-30-2011, 01:57 AM
I know the reaction well. It doesn't make you abnormal, and your kindness won't necessarily make a difference, but it's still worth a try. I never once regretted being nice to a kid, no matter what kind of little asshole he was.

OleOneEye
01-30-2011, 04:11 AM
And I'm sure that you, and every other person who claims to be excusing this boy's behavior, can see the difference between someone asking "what kind of cake is this?" and the pattern of behavior that has been relayed in this thread.

Don't get me wrong - the boy sounds plenty rude - I just don't think this is an example of his rudeness.

FuzzyOgre
01-30-2011, 05:48 AM
I don't mean to pick on you, so don't take this post the wrong way. But frankly, I'm tired of people pathologizing bratty behavior in kids. Yes, a very small percentage of kids lack social skills because of atypical neurological wiring.
Not a problem. You are not picking at all. I really thought twice about posting that anyway.

But the vast majority are perfectly normal...it's just that they have too high of an opinion of themselves and their ideas. And there's nothing wrong with taking them down a peg either. Not abusively, of course, but not wth soft, gentle tones either.

The fear that a kid could be ADD, ASD, OCD, or whatever is what makes people afraid of correcting children--both their own and other people's--nowadays. I know these disorders are very real, but like I said before, they don't apply to the vast majority of kids.

An asshole is an asshole regardless of innocence or circumstance. The kids a little jerk, plain and simple. But there is ALWAYS a reason why. "Just because" is a shitty answer. And regardless of circumstance, it does not negate the need for corrective measures.

If they don't get trained during childhood, then they will get it later in life in the form of a good punch in the throat or someone going off on them in the workplace.

Unfortunately yes.

Yelling at a kid every now and then is not going to scar them. Yelling indiscriminately over minor stuff is bad. But disrespect should be pointed out swiftly, damn hurt feelings and humiliation. When you're rude, you should feel the consequences of your actions and not just be given a pass. I don't care how old you are.

Or what you are, neurologically. But you are pidgin-holing him too, and thats the same as pathologizing. You just dont have a formal term.

monstro
01-30-2011, 09:16 AM
Or what you are, neurologically. But you are pidgin-holing him too, and thats the same as pathologizing. You just dont have a formal term.

Would you mind expounding?

Ca3799
01-30-2011, 09:26 AM
Sometimes I felt like I was literally the first adult who had ever said anything nice to them, and they lept on it like oxygen.



One time my kids and I chatted up a little girl who was playing at the park where I had taken my kids to play after school. This park is adjacent to the elementary school and both are about 3 blocks from where I live.

Then she followed us home.

I kept trying to shoo her off at each of the three intersections on the way to my house, but she insisted she knew the neighborhood and knew how to get home and continued to follow us from a little distance.

Then she just sat down on the curb in front of my house.

I went out to see what she was doing and she said that maybe she really didn't know where she was after all.

Crap.

So, I drove her back to the playground and had her point out to me how she walks home and took her to her apartment. Her mom didn't seem at all alarmed that she was about and hour and a half, maybe two hours, late to get home from school.

I always felt for that kid. Was she so starved for attention that she would follow stranger home? Didn't her mom notice her missing?

elbows
01-30-2011, 11:18 AM
He totally knows he's hitting your button and being a little shit. But he's a kid, it's probably just a phase, in reality. But definitely supremely annoying.

If I were you, I'd be working on my best, "Eat Shit" grin, while saying the word, 'Indeed!'.

It's the perfect response, it's not a push back, it's a question, a statement, an acknowledgment, and it's a little confusing. Hardly a situation where it isn't the perfect response!

Any further questions receive only the, "Eat Shit" grin, as response. Further engagement is futile, and will only create drama and conflict, just move along.

Dangerosa
01-30-2011, 12:41 PM
Normal.

I have a friend with a kid about that age that I can't stand. He is whiny. He is rude. He is badly behaved. He likes to be the victim when he doesn't get his own way i.e. "Dangerosa won't let me play with her iPhone because she doesn't LIKE me." Well, yes, I don't like the little brat, but my phone is also NOT A TOY and none of the kids are playing with my phone.

loshan
01-30-2011, 02:53 PM
This morning, before they went out riding again, the SO asked Trevor if he had fun yesterday. He said, "Well, yeah, but it would have been more fun on newer, faster snowmobiles."
SO said, "Well, then I guess you don't want to go today?"
Trevor sputtered a few minutes and got angry because he thought he was going to be left behind.
SO then informed him that IF we bought newer, faster sleds.....we wouldn't let an 10 year old ride them by himself.
He then gave him a little direction. "You are a guest in my house and I am allowing you to ride my sleds. If you don't think they are good enough, that's your opinion, but it is damned rude to say that to me. The proper thing to say is, 'Thank you for letting me ride.' Otherwise, you can be sure you won't be asked to come back and/or won't be allowed to ride with the rest of us since you find it beneath you."
He sputtered a little and started to come back with a "but." That got cut off very quickly. "No buts. My house, my sleds, my rules. In this house, you mind your manners or you don't get to do the fun stuff. Period."
His dad came in for the end of this and asked what was going on. When he heard what the kid had said yesterday, I thought I saw a little steam starting under the collar. He is a weekend dad and now that I think about it, I don't recall that the kid has never pulled this stuff here when Dad was in the area.
We'll see what happens now that he has been called on the carpet by both the host and the Dad.

Diogenes the Cynic
01-30-2011, 02:58 PM
Sometimes a little direction like that is necessary. There are kids who have literally never been taught basic manners and don't even know they're being rude.

loshan
01-30-2011, 04:23 PM
Well, it worked. For now.

When they came in for lunch, we had shredded pork tacos. Leftovers from last night's pulled pork sandwiches and coleslaw. Trevor told me he really liked "that meat". He asked me what is was, "so dad could maybe bring some more of that when we come back next time. Maybe, you could cook that again?"

When I told him it was pork butt, hilarity ensued from all three boys.
"We're eating BUTT?!!!" :D

However, he did say "Thank you" and said "See, Dad, I do too have manners."

We'll see if that holds when they come back in a couple weeks.

ETA: I still have that gut reaction to the kid, but at least this helps a little.

Left Hand of Dorkness
01-30-2011, 09:05 PM
When I was a teacher, there were definitely kids I liked better than other kids, and some kids i didn't like at all.
How I figure it is, loving all my students is a professional obligation, and I do love them all. There's no professional obligation to like them all.

I'm glad to hear that the direction is paying off! Every year I have a student or two like that, a kid who's just really mouthy and backtalky, or who lies constantly, or is rude to me and to peers. It's part of my job to help them improve this behavior, so I do a lot of pulling students aside and giving them completely unambiguous (to put it nicely) direction in what they just did wrong and what I expect of them next time.

When I was a kid, I was constantly told how smart I was, and I know I was insufferable about it. I remember in fourth grade when the AG teacher held me back from lunch and ripped me a new one about my arrogance. I adored her, and I spent the conversation in tears. And it changed my life.

She was fulfilling a professional obligation to me, for which I am very thankful. I think it's not necessary for you to do it as a host, but it's also not out of bounds to tell the kid that a certain behavior is rude, and to respond to the kid much more bluntly than you would to an adult pulling the same crap.

RickJay
01-30-2011, 09:44 PM
Speaking from personal experience, it sounds a little like Aspergers/Autism Syndrome.
Not every bad personality trait mentioned on an Internet message board is Asperger's.

CanvasShoes
01-31-2011, 12:01 AM
Is it really that hard to quote correctly?



Good for you, but before anyone here should consider your opinion they need to realize that you are insane (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=593049).

Hmm, I wonder if someone handing you something to eat means what they really want to do is force-feed you.

:eek:

Wow..... That's...interesting....wow. What a character.

BigT
01-31-2011, 12:02 AM
I suspect we would. "What is this?" and "What's in this?" are rather innocent question people with allergies or food taboos ask all the time. The only people I have observed get angry over those questions were ready to take offensive over anything. In cultural situations where many types of people interact it is consider de riguer for the host to provide this type of information so guests can make informed decisions about their food choices.

Oh, the irony. It burns.

BigT
01-31-2011, 12:08 AM
This morning, before they went out riding again, the SO asked Trevor if he had fun yesterday. He said, "Well, yeah, but it would have been more fun on newer, faster snowmobiles."
SO said, "Well, then I guess you don't want to go today?"
Trevor sputtered a few minutes and got angry because he thought he was going to be left behind.
SO then informed him that IF we bought newer, faster sleds.....we wouldn't let an 10 year old ride them by himself.
He then gave him a little direction. "You are a guest in my house and I am allowing you to ride my sleds. If you don't think they are good enough, that's your opinion, but it is damned rude to say that to me. The proper thing to say is, 'Thank you for letting me ride.' Otherwise, you can be sure you won't be asked to come back and/or won't be allowed to ride with the rest of us since you find it beneath you."
He sputtered a little and started to come back with a "but." That got cut off very quickly. "No buts. My house, my sleds, my rules. In this house, you mind your manners or you don't get to do the fun stuff. Period."
His dad came in for the end of this and asked what was going on. When he heard what the kid had said yesterday, I thought I saw a little steam starting under the collar. He is a weekend dad and now that I think about it, I don't recall that the kid has never pulled this stuff here when Dad was in the area.
We'll see what happens now that he has been called on the carpet by both the host and the Dad.

I wonder if the ability to respond in that way factors into your SO's love of kids. If he doesn't put up with their bullshit, maybe said bullshit isn't that big a deal to him. For him, it's just a chance to teach basic social skills, and not anything worth getting upset about.

I know my sister is that way. I on the other hand have a hard time disciplining anyone, as it really does "hurt me more than it hurts them."

BigT
01-31-2011, 12:15 AM
Oh, the irony. It burns.

I should probably clarify, so as not to be a jerk. You, ZPG, get upset about a bunch of things that most of us think are no big deal. I am sure that many wuld classify you as the same type of person as you describe. Assuming you do not believe this about yourself, that should be sufficient evidence of the innacuracy of your statement.

The real issue is that different people have differnet buttons, and expect different things out of different people. I know a lot of people who believe you should not question free food, and, although I disagree even I can hear a kid asking "What's in this?" in a rude manner. You can say "Ew" with just your tone of voice.

Nava
01-31-2011, 05:23 AM
I agree with Kyla, people who claim to love all children/dogs/whatever either haven't met an asshole or are in denial. (I don't mean to be harsh on your SO, but how much does he really interact with the kids?)

Or they don't really look at members of that group as individuals. Or what they like is... doing things to them.

Like those old folk who claim to like kids but what they like is squeezing kids' cheeks, even after the kid is bawling "nooo booboo noooooo!" That's not someone who likes kids, that's either a sadist who can't take it out on anybody her own size or someone who views the child as a toy ("looks at those chubby cheeks! so soft!") and not a human being.
I've seen people be as crappy with dogs: cats usually snarl, claw and bite sooner than infants and dogs :mad:


Back when I was a kid, there were quite a few kids I didn't like/didn't like much. That didn't mean I would be mean to them or anything, but... well, one of them was such a terror, his name is still used locally as an insult 35 years later, by people who don't even know why that name is an insult. I don't see why my being older should mean I have to like anybody who happens to be shorter than the table.

RickJay
01-31-2011, 09:10 AM
Don't sweat it. The way you feel about Trevor is the way I feel about children in general.
That isn't the same feeling at all.

ENugent
01-31-2011, 12:59 PM
well, one of them was such a terror, his name is still used locally as an insult 35 years later, by people who don't even know why that name is an insult.
Ron? ;)

kenobi 65
01-31-2011, 01:35 PM
Trevor sounds a lot like my nephew. Nathaniel isn't a bad kid, but he's not well-socialized. He can be very rude, he's very selfish, and he has real problems with impulse control and emotional outbursts. I think a lot of Nathaniel's problems come from his parents, and they way they've chosen to raise him -- when we first started to notice these issues, five or six years ago (he's 10 now), he wasn't nearly as bad when he wasn't with his parents (he was better-behaved when he was only around my wife and me, or his grandparents).

But, lately, his behavior's gotten worse, and it's gotten to the point where we really don't enjoy spending much time around him. It's a shame, because when he was a little kid, he and my wife were very close.

It doesn't help that he's allowed to eat whatever he wants, whenever he wants, and has been allowed to become very overweight. But, at least, his parents have finally realized that they're creating a little monster, and they're taking him to counseling. We sincerely hope he'll be able to turn things around.

Frylock
01-31-2011, 01:49 PM
If you felt somehow personally insulted by the kid asking what was in the cake, that seems odd to me. He's a 10 year old, so he is by definition absolutely stupid about social niceties. This is to be expected. No insult intended.

That doesn't mean you have to like the behavior or the kid of course.

When I encounter things like that in kids I interact with, I just straightforwardly tell them (with no aggravation in my voice) that they just did something kind of rude, that people won't usually react well to that kind of thing, or something along those lines. It's a "teaching moment" I guess. Then I hand them the cake and if they ask again then I ask them why they want to know and we go from there.

kenobi 65
01-31-2011, 01:59 PM
I'll also note that, unfortunately, I think it's not uncommon for kids to have bad manners today.

My wife is an elementary-school teacher, and she's very firm about her students having good manners and speaking to people (especially adults, but even each other) in a respectful fashion. She tells me that, over the 20 years of her career, she's seeing more and more kids who simply have no clue about manners; she suspect that most of them simply aren't taught manners at home.

(OTOH, I think it's a meme that's been around for many generations -- "these kids today are disrespectful / have no manners!" :D )

perfectparanoia
01-31-2011, 02:10 PM
We have the biggest problem with this with our daughter. You see, we just got her a year ago and for the first 6 years of her life, she didn't really have conversations with grownups.

Everything she would say would be in the most negative way possible. She would (seemingly) insult everything. Stupid things like, 'we're having pizza,' said in the whiniest way possible to saying people were fat.

Turns out, she really didn't know how else to talk and still get the grownups to listen. We promised to listen (or tell her when we can't, cause if I am in the middle of something, my brain is sometimes off the hook) if she promised to say what she really meant (i.e. 'Oh, good, we're having pizza.') and not to insult people or things. She will still do it sometimes (resulting in a raised eyebrow from me and a sorry from her) but at least she knows when she is being rude.

I mean, if the kid's object was to get your attention (and for most kids, this is their objective in any given situation based on what our therapist says), it did work.

I think you did a fine job of directing the attention to more positive things.

(Though you could be in trouble, kids usually do the worst things to the people they like the most/feel the closest to.)

loshan
01-31-2011, 02:13 PM
I'll also note that, unfortunately, I think it's not uncommon for kids to have bad manners today.

My wife is an elementary-school teacher, and she's very firm about her students having good manners and speaking to people (especially adults, but even each other) in a respectful fashion. She tells me that, over the 20 years of her career, she's seeing more and more kids who simply have no clue about manners; she suspect that most of them simply aren't taught manners at home.

(OTOH, I think it's a meme that's been around for many generations -- "these kids today are disrespectful / have no manners!" :D )

AND they won't stay off my lawn!

However, that was another one of my nitpicks this weekend. When I ask if you would like another taco, the correct answer isn't "yeah". It is 'yes, please." And when I say (in that Mom tone of voice), "Yes, what? Trevor? Shouldn't you say please?", the answer isn't "Whatever". :(

Laggard
01-31-2011, 02:48 PM
Do parents ever not like their kids? I mean, they probably love them but can they objectively look at their kid and say "this kid has no redeeming qualities?"

loshan
01-31-2011, 02:54 PM
Do parents ever not like their kids? I mean, they probably love them but can they objectively look at their kid and say "this kid has no redeeming qualities?"

Good question. Worthy of it's own thread.

Although my Mom would never, ever say it out loud. I don't think she much likes my middle sister.

rhubarbarin
01-31-2011, 03:13 PM
If you felt somehow personally insulted by the kid asking what was in the cake, that seems odd to me. He's a 10 year old, so he is by definition absolutely stupid about social niceties. This is to be expected. No insult intended.

This doesn't make any sense to me, because most of the 10-year-olds I have interacted with in the last 10 years have a fairly good grasp on social niceties, and don't do/say things like this kid does. Hell, 4 or 5 years old is more than old enough to have a grasp on being polite to other people and respectful to adults.

However I can agree that it's not part of parenting for many kids these days to be taught social niceties and to speak respectfully to adults, so more and more do not.

kenobi 65
01-31-2011, 03:43 PM
Hell, 4 or 5 years old is more than old enough to have a grasp on being polite to other people and respectful to adults.

Agreed. A 10-year-old (who does not otherwise have developmental issues) is perfectly capable of being polite. If he doesn't, either he (a) was never taught to do so, or (b) he actively chooses to be rude. If it's the former case (and I suspect the vast majority of "rude kids" are in this camp), it's likely that his parents never taught him, and may well be ignorant of such things themselves. If it's the latter, well, he's a schmuck.

loshan
01-31-2011, 04:06 PM
Trevor's brother at 5 YO has vastly better manners than his brother.
So, in this case, I am guessing it isn't the parents. Little brother consistently says please and thank you (doesn't always remember, but well over 70% of the time). Trevor chooses to be rude.

Stop no Exit
01-31-2011, 08:12 PM
...However, he did say "Thank you" and said "See, Dad, I do too have manners."


My vote goes to choosing to be rude, and maybe he just needed someone to call him out on it. Bravo to the SO for paying attention and nipping it in the bud! (Even if you did look like the "bad guy" at first.) Bravo to the father for the added input! I think all 3 of them got an eye-opener. Hopefully, it'll stick.

But, if he says anything else about cereal, make sure you have a good one for him next time. Something healthy, like Grape-Nuts. :eek: :D

loshan
01-31-2011, 10:35 PM
My vote goes to choosing to be rude, and maybe he just needed someone to call him out on it. Bravo to the SO for paying attention and nipping it in the bud! (Even if you did look like the "bad guy" at first.) Bravo to the father for the added input! I think all 3 of them got an eye-opener. Hopefully, it'll stick.

But, if he says anything else about cereal, make sure you have a good one for him next time. Something healthy, like Grape-Nuts. :eek: :D

Ooooooo.....OLD PEOPLE CEREAL! :eek:

I'll be sure to have some on hand next time. :D

kenobi 65
01-31-2011, 11:04 PM
Ooooooo.....OLD PEOPLE CEREAL! :eek:

Something with lots and lots of bran. ;)

Cat Whisperer
02-01-2011, 12:49 AM
Yeah - All Bran. I guess he's too young for you to tell him he's full of shit, though. :D

Maiira
02-01-2011, 01:55 AM
...When I ask if you would like another taco, the correct answer isn't "yeah". It is 'yes, please." And when I say (in that Mom tone of voice), "Yes, what? Trevor? Shouldn't you say please?", the answer isn't "Whatever". :(

Next time he doesn't say please, cut out that last sentence ("shouldn't you say please?") Just say "yes, what?" and have HIM say the "please." (And don't give him another taco until he does.) If you say "shouldn't you say please?" it sounds like you're merely suggesting that he say "please," instead of insisting that he do so. It's also feeding him the answer, giving him the opportunity to say what basically amounts to "yeah, that," which is not the answer you want.

In fact, when you're dealing with kids, and you specifically want them to obey you, cut the word "should" out of your vocabulary altogether. As I said in the paragraph above, "should" sounds more like a suggestion than a command. My mother learned this when she became an elementary school librarian--the teachers who had the best control over their classes said things like "sit down," instead of "you should sit down." There were other factors as well, of course, (like, say, an intimidating physical appearance) but direct, assertive language does help.

Nava
02-01-2011, 02:55 AM
Ron? ;)

Nope, he's a William: evil-minded and butt-obsessed, but I don't think anybody has called him dumb.

Nava
02-01-2011, 03:03 AM
Do parents ever not like their kids? I mean, they probably love them but can they objectively look at their kid and say "this kid has no redeeming qualities?"

Do not read this thread (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=594722&highlight=balcony) if you get depressed easily.