To think this girl's behaviour was odd and slightly rude?

(175 Posts)
queenforaday Fri 08-Aug-14 16:12:08

Earlier today I was out shopping with my DS (13) who has special needs. Because of this special needs he is quite immature and younger than his years.

Around lunchtime we called into Starbucks for a drink and a bite to eat. We got served quickly as it was actually oddly quiet (was expecting it to be busy) but there was only another three tables occupied. We'd been sitting for a couple of minutes when a teenage girl came in, about 17 or 18 I'd say, with an older man (who I presume was her dad). The dad ordered his drinks at the till whilst the girl found a seat and sat down. She wasn't sitting that far from us - only about two tables along iyswim but we were sitting quite a distance from the till and counter.

My DS was obviously distracted by this because before I had a chance to stop him he got up and walked over to the girl and started talking to her - nothing sinister, just saying "hi" and "hello" however the girl simply glanced up, didn't say anything then looked back down again. My DS started talking to her again but by this point I was over there myself and was gently guiding him back over to our table. As I was guiding him over I apologised to the girl however she didn't acknowledge this or say anything and instead got up and went to sit upstairs instead shock. I don't think her dad realised what had happened because he followed her over to her seat upstairs about a minute later.

I've been thinking about it since I got home and I think it was weird. My DS was upset by it too as he asked later why she wouldn't talk to him. I mean I get that not everyone wants to get along with my son which is fine but I've always found that most people have been happy to at least say "hi" back to him. Which he is usually happy with and leaves them alone after that.

sad

TattyDevine Fri 08-Aug-14 22:25:57

I don't think this girl was unreasonable given her age, he just got the wrong girl!

If he'd had me, I'd have bended his ear, then my kids would have, and then he'd be begging you to get him the hell away from the extrovert social butterfly types.

Got the wrong café and the wrong people.

Jehovas run crying from my house never to return.

All are welcome?!

Canyouforgiveher Fri 08-Aug-14 22:31:01

I think it fair to say that girls/women get more unsolicited attention from men than boys/men do. I don't expect my 17 year old son if sititing in a coffee shop to have to know how to deal politely with 30 year old women trying to chat him up. I wouldn't be surprised at all if my 17 year old daughter had to deal with that.

Maybe this young woman felt afraid. Was that so unreasonable. Is she supposed to diagnose the young man, appropriately assess his danger level, and smile all at the same time. Why does she have to be nice to a stranger? Lovely if she was but why blame her if she wasn't?

I am teaching my children to not feel the need to please strangers at the expense of their own feelings of personal safety. I will be placing greater emphasis on this for my daughters than my son because of the societal pressure on women/girls to please/accommodate etc.

hmc Fri 08-Aug-14 22:31:43

Agree it is not always clear cut TheNapoleon - but this scenario seems to be one of the more straight forward ones to read.

Also the closing down of an interaction can take place at a slightly later stage when it becomes apparent that the stranger is a problem - rather than at the initial hello?

I suppose dependent upon personality some people may find this more difficult to deal with than others. I am probably unduly influenced because I have a savvy, assertive dd (at 12!), but appreciate she may not be typical

Livnletliv Fri 08-Aug-14 22:32:38

Yabu and seeing the world in a self-centred way which we all do all too often.

Although you expect kindness and understanding from others I can't see you extending this attitude to the girl in this scenario. As others have said she is not obliged to talk to anyone, she doesn't know your ds, she may have hundreds of reasons or none not to respond to a stranger approaching her. Your thread tittle sounds unsympathetic and judgemental.

However I hope your ds is ok and will have the opportunity to learn about social boundaries in a way that works for him and doesn't hurt his feelings unduly. As a teenager he is bound to feel rejected at times and this could be a good opportunity to start engaging with these issues. Good luck.

heythatsnotme Fri 08-Aug-14 22:36:01

The part I think some people are missing is the OP did apologise.

I'd have been embarrassed by a random lad saying hi to me at 17 but if he was then hurriedly followed by an apologetic mum, you would twig he had additional needs of some sort and even if you were really shy a quick smile would do it?

I used to care for a young woman with special needs - hers were more physical than mental but she said that she noticed as a child she was treated with kindness and respect. As she grew into adulthood, she became a nuisance. sad Really awful.

I hope your DS is all right now. Stuff like this IS rotten flowers and I don't think the OP did anything wrong other than be a bit hurt on her sons behalf.

Thenapoleonofcrime Fri 08-Aug-14 22:36:59

Hmc yes, I would hope my girls could read this type of situation as well, but more times than not, I have been sucked into situations which haven't been what I had initially thought they were- most notably when people begging started asking for a couple of pounds and I was scammed twice by the petrol scam before realizing that there never seemed to be a car!

You do have to balance it all up- it's hard to call here, the 13 year old might be a very young-looking child obviously with SN or he might be a 6 footer with no obvious difficulties- things like this also make a difference and I know those who worked with people with SN's say it is often much harder if people present typically, as there are then a whole host of expectations about people behaving typically as well.

I would have chatted to him, but I am a middle-aged lady and would know no 13 year old lads would have been trying to chat me up!

SweetSummerSweetPea Fri 08-Aug-14 22:37:55

heythatsnotme Fri 08-Aug-14 22:36:01

Absoluty. Totally agree and its this part that I probably find the most upsetting.

zzzzz Fri 08-Aug-14 22:39:31

Yes I think YABU "To think this girl's behaviour was odd and slightly rude?", because EXACTLY the same thing could be said of your sons behaviour. It seems unreasonable to me for someone with a child who struggles with social interaction to describe someone else's behaviour as "odd" and "rude". I fact it's quite an "odd and rude" way of thinking about it given your background. confused

SweetSummerSweetPea Fri 08-Aug-14 22:41:15

I'd have been embarrassed by a random lad saying hi to me at 17 but if he was then hurriedly followed by an apologetic mum, you would twig he had additional needs of some sort and even if you were really shy a quick smile would do it?

Yes

PistolWhipped Fri 08-Aug-14 22:43:02

^what she said^

PistolWhipped Fri 08-Aug-14 22:43:57

^I meant what zzzzz said^

Delatron Fri 08-Aug-14 23:10:00

Why would she want to talk to a random stranger? He just said 'hi'? So no purpose to the conversation? What was she supposed to do? That would have pissed me off at any age and made me move. Sorry but YABU and he needs to learn boundaries.

AmysTiara Sat 09-Aug-14 00:02:31

Yabu it seems just a case of teenage girl ignores teenage lad.

AChickenNamedDirk Sat 09-Aug-14 08:14:29

Yabvvu. You took very good action but she didn't have to be polite

I'm adult with my own health issues and sometimes I just want to be left alone and not observed or bothered.I would have probably moved in that situation because quite frankly offending others comes right down my list of concerns at times.
My point being that it's not all about your son and his response. You have no idea what was going on for that girl and she is perfectly within her rights to move or even leave the shop

I think you need to get used to society around you not understanding your sons additional needs.

.

feathermucker Sat 09-Aug-14 08:54:28

Sorry, but I don't understand why people are making 'excuses' for this girl or speculating as to her reasons. She is fully entitled not to say hi or acknowledge your son; her prerogative.

You have no idea about her, her life or her situation.

I can be incredibly private at times and may not want to say hi etc in a similar situation.

Aeroflotgirl Sat 09-Aug-14 08:59:14

Op please don't give it another thought, you will never see them again. You have been unfairly lambasted on here, when an op on another thread is supposed to be fine according to MN, with an elderly neighbour with suspected SN, spying on her and going out of his way to chat with her, even building a platform where he is able to interact with her and peer over her fence, despite her being not ok with it! The girl is 17 not 7, she should have acknowledged your apology.

CouldntGiveAMonkeysToss Sat 09-Aug-14 09:25:44

YABVU. As a teenager I had anxiety and depression as a result of abuse. If someone had approached me and started talking to me unexpectedly I would have had to fight back tears and would probably have left.
I think even a teenager who didn't have anxiety would be quite normal to react as the girl did. Some people just do not like to be approached by strangers.

I'm now a 26 yr old adult and if your son came over for a chat I'd happily chat to him but 10 years ago I wouldn't have been able to.

BoneyBackJefferson Sat 09-Aug-14 09:35:41

I don't think that anyone was wrong here,

Your son can speak to anyone he wants to.
She has a right not to speak to anyone.
You where right to apologise but probably compounded the issue.
She wanted her own space/time with her (alleged) father (we don't know) so she moved.

YABU though to think that this girl's behaviour was "odd" or "rude".

FanjoForTheMammaries Sat 09-Aug-14 09:38:38

I think it was slightly rude of her but also it will be a bit of a tender spot for you as you will be sensitive about your son and his social difficulties and protective of him.

I understand thanks

FanjoForTheMammaries Sat 09-Aug-14 09:39:09

Aeroflotgirl that was necessary why?

stillenacht1 Sat 09-Aug-14 09:41:12

I understand too xx

My thread about the Inbetweeners movie and this thread (although I have only read the first few posts) seems to be a bit bashy on us as SN parents.

FanjoForTheMammaries Sat 09-Aug-14 09:41:51

Most threads are these days

stillenacht1 Sat 09-Aug-14 09:43:26

hmmhmm

Aeroflotgirl Sat 09-Aug-14 09:48:41

fanjo what are you talking about?

Aeroflotgirl Sat 09-Aug-14 09:57:37

Oh yes I see, well it's true, girl who does not want to talk to op ds received support on this thread, op on the other thread who is tired of neighbour constantly popping his head over the fence for a chat when she does not want to, treated a bit harshly. I guess tge difference is she's an adult tge girl is a teen. I've had to apologise to people when dd has riffled through people's bags, or stimms near them, it just washes over me now.

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