I know I'm the adult blah blah blah....

(33 Posts)
TheMumsRush Sat 05-Oct-13 14:02:43

But my dsd 7 brings up my dm who passed away some years ago. Today for example dsd: "was your mum married?"
Me: "yes, to my dad"
Dsd: "she's dead now!"(with a smirk)
Me: "yes, and it makes me sad" dsd still smirking. I've always ignored it in the passed and changed the subject. Today I told DH it upsets me and she is so blunt about it. He pulled her up on it and told me she was smirking then! What would you make of it? I think she's doing it to get a reaction. She's laughed at her db when he's been upset and crying....can you teach compassion?

TheMumsRush Sat 05-Oct-13 14:15:26

Meant to say, i know I'm the adult, but it still hurts

nameimadeupjustnow Sat 05-Oct-13 14:19:00

Have you asked her, 'Why are you talking about my lovely mum with a smirk on your face? Are you trying to make me feel bad?'

IslaValargeone Sat 05-Oct-13 14:19:03

Sorry she is upsetting you, but if you think she is doing it to get a reaction then try your hardest not to give her one.
I don't think you can teach compassion. Not very nice that she wants to see you sad for whatever reason, but I certainly wouldn't give her the satisfaction, 7 or not.

TheMumsRush Sat 05-Oct-13 14:28:28

I know, I've always given the benefit of the doubt in the past, and said "well she's only 5/6/7" and I have always just said "yes unfortunately my mum is dead" and changed the subject (also to stop me bawling). I just don't understand it, I've been quite upset today, I said to DH, of she smirks because it's a reaction to an uncomfortable subject (as he suggested) then why bring it up at all? And if Simone did have compassion, then there would be no smirk

IslaValargeone Sat 05-Oct-13 14:39:59

It's obviously very difficult for you, but you are going to have to find a way of being as non reactive as possible.
7 is certainly old enough to have sussed out how to push your buttons, I'm sure she'll start to be a bit more compassionate re her brother and similar situations soon enough.
But I certainly wouldn't respond when she feels the urge to be a bit 'pokey'
with you.

purpleroses Sat 05-Oct-13 17:24:08

Is her own mum around? If so, you could try helping her to identify with how you feel about it by asking how she'd feel if her own mum had died. It's a bit blunt, but might just help her to realise that you felt about your mum the same that she feels about hers.

Some people do smirk as a reaction to being a little on edge about something and not being sure how to react. She may have an idea that it makes you sad, but it doesn't actually make her sad (as she never knew your mum) and she's not yet developed the skills to show the correct reaction. Do you think maybe she's sussed that it's something you're uncomfortable talking about (to her) and wants to understand why?

TheMumsRush Sat 05-Oct-13 17:30:07

Yes her own mum is around, I did think of saying that but thought is was a bit harsh. As for her smirking because she feels uncomfortable, like I said, it's her who brings it up so bluntly in the first place, so if it's an uncomfortable subject for her, why bring it up at all? I don't react in front of her but have had to say something to DH.

TheMumsRush Sat 05-Oct-13 17:33:19

I think what upset me more is that when DH talked to her about it she still found if funny. It kind of confirmed to me she had no concern for my feelings sad this is a girl who I have bought little gifts for, washed sick out of hair, comforted her in the night and organised party's for! It's not like I'm the wicked SM sad

purpleroses Sat 05-Oct-13 17:36:37

She might be bringing it up because she's trying to figure out how you feel about it, and how she feels, etc. Kids don't necessarily avoid things that make them uncomfortable - they may know it's something they need to understand. My DS went through a real phase of trying to figure out death and asking all sorts of questions whilst he did. I think the worst ones related to worms and my late granddad's body... confused

purpleroses Sat 05-Oct-13 17:37:48

Is she any better with anyone else's feelings? Does she show compassion to others in her family? If not, then you should try not to take it personally.

TheMumsRush Sat 05-Oct-13 17:38:58

Oh no! I know, I need to just ignore and try to explain to her it makes me sad without letting my emotions take over

Johnny5needsinput Sat 05-Oct-13 17:42:53

I think you might have used her name in your post of 14.28 you might want to report it.

TheProsAndConsOfHitchhiking Sat 05-Oct-13 17:46:08

Have you/your dh ever spoken to her about death? Maybe it is a subject her mum avoids but she knows you react when she brings it up and is confused about the subject?

Not nice for you I know, but youngsters can unfortunately smirk or even laugh when dealing with such difficult subjects, it's a way of dealing with embarrassment. Whys she asking about your mum?

VoiceofRaisin Sat 05-Oct-13 17:51:34

purpleroses is spot on. Children want to explore uncomfortable subjects, and "smirking" when spoken to sternly is often from embarrassment and is a form of appeasement. It must be tough on you but please don't assume there is any malicious intent - that is most unlikely.

i am sorry you lost your mum.

TheMumsRush Sat 05-Oct-13 17:51:52

Thanks jonny, that was a typo for some one x

steppemum Netherlands Sat 05-Oct-13 17:53:32

actually I think you can and do teach compassion. Children don't naturally empathise with others and we have to help them learn. That is why we say things like ''it isn't kind to say xxx''

I think she is trying to get a reaction, so I would call her on it in a not reactive way (if possible!) make it reflect back on her

something like ''you know I loved my mum and it was very sad when she died, so I think you are old enough to know that it isn't kind to keep asking someone about something that makes them sad, and smirking while you do it, well, that doesn't really show your nice side does it?''

purpleroses Sat 05-Oct-13 18:22:50

The other thing I think children don't always understand is how we feel about our parents once we're adults. They know they don't fill the same role to us as parents do for them - as children, and don't really have much sense of what the relationship does involve. She may actually need some of the reasons it makes you sad spelling out for her to understand - Eg "It means I can't phone her up any more to ask her advice on things, or introduce her to DP or you", etc. Which may be painful for you to do. Maybe your DP could help her understand how grown ups feel about their parents, and why they are sad if they're not around.

Rather than telling her not to smirk, do you think you or DP could suggest more appropriate actions for her to take when you're sad Eg DP could suggest she gives you a hug, or lends you a teddy of hers to make you happy.

Agree that children do always have to learn compassion, and some need it spelling out, rather than just soaking it up effortlessly. Doesn't mean she can't learn it.

TheMumsRush Sat 05-Oct-13 19:25:09

I don't know why she is asking about my mum, she knows she has passed away but just brings her up at odd moments and catches me off guard! I will pull her up a bit more, I do with any other subject that needs to be addressed (not often) but this is a bit close to my hart and it's hard to cut off. Thanks for your replays x

Kaluki Sat 05-Oct-13 21:10:18

Be blunt right back at her,
"Don't smile about it , that's unkind!"
Or
"How would you feel if I smiled when you were sad about something?"
Sometimes kids only react to straight talking honesty!

TheMumsRush Sat 05-Oct-13 22:00:01

Kalkui, I think you may be right, the irony is, I don't want to be un kind or give reason for her to not want to but it and say I'm not nice

TheMumsRush Sat 05-Oct-13 22:01:12

Cross out but it in last post

ICameOnTheJitney Sat 05-Oct-13 22:06:53

My DD does this a bit...I don't think it's malicious. It's their way of trying to make sense and feeling some embarrassment. I just ignore it. SHe's a child...you're probably expecting too much.

TheMumsRush Sat 05-Oct-13 22:14:35

How old is your dd?

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