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?

VoiceofRaisin Mon 07-Oct-13 17:10:26

obviously, I meant subtly! The easiest way to teach empathy is to imagine being in someone else's shoes. So perhaps the DSD could try to think ahead many years and how she would nonetheless feel sad when her mum dies (and everyone does die one day so I don't think you should shield a 7yo from that if they are asking about death). Then she might not keep picking at this open wound. Kids know when they are fobbed off with half truths.

TheMumsRush Mon 07-Oct-13 16:03:14

I understand what you are saying and that does make sense. She hasn't seen me upset, and I do hide my feelings a lot. Maybe I shouldn't. I just don't feel comfortable sharing those emotions on that subject just yet x

ChinaCupsandSaucers Mon 07-Oct-13 11:40:15

OP has your DSD seen you upset when she (or someone else) has talked about your Mum?

It won't do her any harm at all to express the emotion you feel when thinking about Mum - if her questions make you tearful, then let her see that, explain that you miss your Mum and that you loved her very much.

DCs often can't quite relate when they realise that people they know/see in one role have other roles as well - young DCs often find it funny when they see their teachers shopping, and realise that they have a life away from school with a home, and DCs of their own, for instance. This might be similar; your DSD might be smirking not because of your loss, but because its amusing that grownups like you have a Mum, just like she has!

Kaluki Mon 07-Oct-13 10:42:48

No child wants to think about hie they will feel when their mum dies.
They should be able to think about how it feels when someone laughs about something that makes them sad.

ICameOnTheJitney Mon 07-Oct-13 10:01:06

I don/t think discussing "when your Mum dies" with a SEVEN year old is appropriate Rasin and if someone did that to my daughter, they'd bloody know about it!

VoiceofRaisin Mon 07-Oct-13 09:31:09

I wouldn't "pull her up" on it. I would talk to her about how it makes you feel, how she might feel one day when her DM dies and about how she is not going to die any time soon as she is young (this is often a worry for DC around death - they can't help being self centred).

TheMumsRush Sat 05-Oct-13 22:26:31

Sorry, that was a bit snappy of me, just don't like the obvious being pointed out and it's been a long day and I'm tired sad thanks again to all. I do appreciate it and have some food for thought x

TheMumsRush Sat 05-Oct-13 22:19:27

Plus I know she's a child, well aware of that!

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

How old is your dd?

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 22:01:12

Cross out but it in last post

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

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 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

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.

steppemum 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?''

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

Thanks jonny, that was a typo for some one x

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.

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?

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?

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.

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

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.

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

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

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