ZOMBIE THREAD ALERT: This thread hasn't been posted on for a while.
A quick rant about the DSC's mum(36 Posts)
DSD's (age 15) Mum is still adamant that she is not going to go away to College in September; despite signing the application form and taking her to the open day last week. She takes every opportunity to tell DP and DSD that it "won't be happening". DP and I are doing what we can to support DSD, but we now realise that their Mums behaviour regarding this is having an affect on DSS as well.
DSS (age 9) stated confidently this weekend that his sister "isn't ready" to go to College. I had to try hard not to laugh out loud when he said it, as the words were so out of context for a 9 year old - he is repeating parrot-fashion what he hears his Mum saying with absolutely no idea what it means!
I was quite tough on him, and insisted that he explain to me what he meant, and what DSD would have to do differently in his opinion to be "ready" to leave home. He floundered about, coming up with things that he couldn't do which he thought that DSD would need to be able to do before she went away, and eventually he said that because DSD doesn't do what she is told by her Mum, then she's not ready to leave home.
There was sheer bewilderment on his face when I told him that I thought he should be very proud of his big sister for her ambition and determination and for being brave enough to choose to do something that will be a bit scary but exciting at the same time.
It's just so sad that his understanding of maturity and adulthood is compliance with his Mums wishes. In the past, he seems to have been frightened to express an opinion that contradicts his Mum; now he doesn't seem able to think independently from her; his views, opinions, likes and dislikes are entirely dictated by his Mum - and he repeats them openly, even though he doesn't know what they mean.
The point is that a 9 year old shouldn't feel "bewildered" or "flounder around" if he is simply asked why he thinks something.
Surely it's showing an interest in the child's personality to respond to their comments? Or as adults are we supposed to never question a child on their feelings and beliefs?
My ds would still believe in monsters under the bed and ghosts on the shed if I hadn't talked through his feelings and beliefs.
Surely I should treat my step children in the same way?
Only a step-mum could be accused of browbeating by encouraging DSC to have pride in their siblings
There aren't many rules in our family - but one we do have is that privileges come hand in hand with responsibility.
If DSS isn't ready for the responsibility of discussing his opinions, then he isn't ready for the privilege of taking part in adult dinner time conversation; something he values and enjoys.
DSS1, at about the age of 15, loudly and clearly told DSS2 (about 10 at the time), that if he didn't do better in his school tests, then he would end up going to "Stupid School". He meant the local comp, rather than the school DSS1 was at.
When questioned, he admitted that this is what his mother had said. So he was repeating this verbatim, in parrot fasion, in a manner which was bullying DSS2, making him stressed and impacting his self esteem (this wasn't an isolated statement). Now should we have not tackled that in case DSS1 felt "bewildered", as he was merely repeated his mother, all the while allowing the impacts on DSS2 to continue . Not withstanding that, should we as adults allow a child to think it's ok to refer to "stupid school", for people who don't pass tests
I think you're right, that if he's spouting rubbish that he doesn't understand and just repeating things his mother's said, you need some way of shutting him up. I'm just not sure challenging him to defend his views is the way to go. I think I'd go for something that implies he is too young to have a view on the issues - "well it's hard for parents to judge when they're DCS are old enough, and mums always worry about their DCs being away from them" kind of thing - implying that you know those are his mum's views not his, and understand where they're coming from, even though you don't agree. Rather than telling him he should be proud of his DSis for standing up to their mum. Only a very confident/rebellious child would do that at 9.
I think it's good to listen to his opinion and then give yours and explain your (positive for the child) reasons behind it.
So you can say "I'm sorry you feel that way, I think it will be a great thing for dsd because she will become very independent and be doing something she loves and she will have a great career at the end of it. Why do you think it won't be great for dsd?"
So dss has seen you give your reasons, then he is invited to share his views. If his views are his own and it's all done in a non confrontational way, he should respond with genuine reasons which he can articulate. Even if that's to say she might lose her pencil case or something.
I agree with what purpleroses is saying, and I don't think that telling someone - anyone - what they "should" think is going to help them learn to form their own opinions.
I think there is a big difference between expressing a different opinion for a child to take on board and process, and putting them on the spot to explain an opinion that they've expressed when you know that it's their parent's opinion. And where you have a situation where there is acrimony and you have the RP forcing their will and opinions on the children, I really can't see how challenging that opinion through a 9 year old will help the overall situation. I think I would be concerned that the 9 year old may go back to his mum and repeat what was said and that that would inflame things. Is this the girl who has only just started coming to your home again (or am I getting stories muddled?).
The whole situation around her going to College and her parents' differing opinions sounds stressful enough, I think if it were me I'd be keeping a 9 year old well out of that. I don't discuss anything with dsd (17, lives with me and not her Dad) about dd and dsd often comes back from her Dad's full of what he and his girlfriend have said/think about dd and contact/me.
I just refuse to go there at all with dsd. They can choose to discuss things with her and make her piggy in the middle. I won't. It's not anything she needs to be concerned about or involved with, and most of all it isn't fair on her.
My daughter is more than capable of disagreeing with me, but spouts her Dads opinions parrot fashion with no rhyme or reason. Dsd is the opposite, believing and reciting everything her mum says but arguing with dad. I wonder if there is always one parent who is "favoured" in this way... And if it happens in together families too? I agree it is nauseating. I disagreed with both of my parents in equal amounts and knew I had the right to question things and have my own opinion. I'm very grateful for that.
What an ego one must have to teach ones children to believe everything they say without question.
"try hard not to laugh out"
" I insisted he that he explain to me"
"he floundered about"
He is 9 yrs old.
yes he is repeating things, my DCs do the same. His understanding of maturity is given to him by the adults around him - that includes his father and SM, not just his mother. ever thought he might find it scary he is losing a constant in his life.
Just think OP could either have presented it better to the forum or dealt with it better, because it sure as hell comes across as her enjoying putting her view on to a 9 yr old and making him feel small,scared and not sure - "bewilderment".
Sad because notadisney usually comes across as sensible but on this occasion really does not.
I didn't actually express my own opinion about DSD 'readiness' although yes, i did say that if DSD was my big sister I'd be very proud of her and thought that he could do the same.
It is often amusing when a child mimics adult behaviour or language out of context - youtube is full of such videos - which is what I meant when I said that I tried not to laugh out loud; I went on to express my sadness at the impact this is having on both DCs.
I have much higher expectations of 9 year olds than many on this thread - as i said, if hes mature enough to voice his opinion in that environment, then I believe that he should be taught that it comes with the responsibility to explain and justify. His peers are engaging in debate and persuasive argument at school; parroting opinions will prevent him achieving in that as well.
I've never tolerated DCs being 'background noise', I've always listened and engaged which means that my DD doesn't blurt out whatever comes in to her head before considering it. DSS is now learning the same lesson; sometimes painfully. His random, attention-seeking question "Is that true?" regarding what was written on the side of a packet of biscuits resulted in a conversation about why he thought I would know the answer if he didn't, whether he thought the manufacturer should be allowed to print untruths on their packet and culminated in DP spending time with him writing to the manufacturer to ask them the same question. He admits now that it was a valuable lesson in thinking before he speaks!
I think that not wanting a 15 year old to go away to college during the week is a valid opinion to have as a parent. I would imagine it can be seen as being obstructive and unsupportive of a dd who knows what she wants and is brave etc just as it could be viewed as being caring and wise about a daughters true capabilities and maturities. Your dss like all 9 year old will repeat what he has heard at home and I don't really think you should bring him into your disagreement with your dsd mum. I know from reading your other posts that you dislike your dsd mum and you may well have good reason to do so but I think you should be very careful to try as much as possible not to put this quite immature 9 year old in the middle. You have said before that he is very immature and lacking in his ability to make decisions. I am not sure this is the way to tackle it.
I wouldn't take too much notice of what a nine year old says. It's not up to him what his sister does. But I think 15 is too young to go to college. I'd leave them to make the decision themselves what is best. It's not really up to you to decide. And I don't think it's up to you to quiz him on his opinions. He's only nine.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.