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To feel rage about parents being ungracious about their children

(68 Posts)
HilaryClinton Sat 09-Feb-13 13:11:53

In the last week I've heard people say about their children and in front of their children: "I don't know what he said the the (music) examiner, he'll never actually practice" when the child had done really well in a music exam. "Are you sure it's my children you're talking about" when they had behaved well at a birthday party and "oh she's not normally like this!" when the three year old was being so nice playing with my three year olds.

AIBU to want to shout at parents who are ungracious about their children and write all these ones off as spiteful fuckers.

ArfurFoulkesayke Sat 09-Feb-13 14:53:24

Thumbwitch my DM used to do exactly that to me, jokingly (I see now) but it definitely had an impact.

Chandon Sat 09-Feb-13 14:55:40

Oh no! I call my DC nutters and pickles, but they know it is a joke.

HilaryClinton Sat 09-Feb-13 14:57:16

I think there is an ocean of difference between confronting a child's faults and rejecting a nice comment outright.

LynetteScavo Sat 09-Feb-13 14:57:51

My own mother said "I think they've got the wrong child" in front of DS! after reading DS1's school report in which the music teacher praised his abilities. angry

I have been known to do it a bit myself during conversation when it becomes apparent that my DC is outshining somebody elses DC at something; for example if I was watching sports day where my DC was winning every race and I was sitting next to someone who's child was loosing every race, I might point out that my DC is't good at everything.

HilaryClinton Sat 09-Feb-13 14:58:03

Chandon- how do they know? And are you sure?

IsThatTrue Sat 09-Feb-13 14:59:11

I tell people dcs aren't always well behaved at home like school because I don't like anybody telling them they can do no wrong. They know I think they are awesome. We also celebrate their achievements and I've never uttered the words 'you must be talking about somebody else'.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Sat 09-Feb-13 14:59:28

I agree with wannabe - it's a pattern that people get into in order to not appear to be bragging or smug. But actually, OP, I agree with you that it needs to be challenged, or at least thought about.

Sometimes it's OK, but sometimes thoughtless comments wound children, because they are children and not as robust as adults

TreadOnTheCracks Sat 09-Feb-13 15:00:10

I agree it's a shame, i try to only think it, not say it.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Sat 09-Feb-13 15:02:11

"YANBU There are so many parents and teachers who don't realise that young DCs don't understand sarcasm or lightheartedness"

That is very true ppeatfruit

ppeatfruit Sat 09-Feb-13 15:03:37

Ariel I've never noticed them needing praise constantly (I'm an ex C.M. nanny, E.Y. teacher and M of 3) . It can be constructive like the criticism.

herewegoloubylou Sat 09-Feb-13 15:03:53

The way I see it, a parent's loyalty should be to their child, so thinking about what impression their words will have on the child, not on neighbours and bystanders. It may make the parent more "popular" to make fun of their own child, but it's shit for the kid

JamieandtheMagicTorch Sat 09-Feb-13 15:05:42


I agree with that, too.

I hasten to add that I have made mistakes before.

HecateWhoopass Sat 09-Feb-13 15:07:25

Yup. I agree with wannabe too.

It's actually almost as though it's a bad thing to be proud of your children. hmm

If someone ever says anything nice about them, instead of saying "thanks, we're really proud of them", we find something negative to say about them.

I've done it myself.

Oh, isn't he polite?

haha, you should be a fly on the wall at home!

It's really damaging and since I realised I do it, I have made a conscious effort to stop and to just say thanks.

I think it's an extension of this thing many of us have about ourselves. Can't accept a compliment. I love that dress. Oh this old thing? I've always thought it makes me look fat...

It's ok to just say thank you. Or even to agree that you're proud of them. you don't have to put them down in order to not be seen to be accepting a compliment.

HilaryClinton Sat 09-Feb-13 15:07:52

Yy. It's the disloyalty to what has been achieved/done

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Sat 09-Feb-13 15:09:14

ppeatfruit, I've noticed it. Children in Y6 even not having the confidence to do anything on their own without praise and reassurance from an adult at every step.

However, it's irrelevant, seeing as I agree with the OP essentially smile

ppeatfruit Sat 09-Feb-13 15:17:23

Thanks jamie grin

JamieandtheMagicTorch Sat 09-Feb-13 15:26:24


That's exactly what I was thinking - it being a bit like not being able to accept compliments about ourselves

ppeatfruit Sat 09-Feb-13 15:36:38

Maybe Ariel Those particular DCs are just needy and insecure anyway and would be with or without the praise IFYSWIM.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Sat 09-Feb-13 15:38:30

Maybe. A lot of teachers/lecturers are saying the same though.

herewegoloubylou Sat 09-Feb-13 15:39:51

I think it's a lot worse than not being able to accept compliments ourselves - because they are children, and we are their parents.

ppeatfruit Sat 09-Feb-13 15:45:40

Perhaps it's down to the micro management of everything nowadays just not letting DCs get on with stuff on their own.

I remember teaching Y1 'art' copying Van Gogh's The Sunflowers on tiny pieces of paper shock WTF !!!! Y1!!!

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Sat 09-Feb-13 15:50:54


Picturesinthefirelight Sat 09-Feb-13 15:52:46


I do it to over confident dd as there will co e a time when she realises that she has to actually work to achieve something rather than finding it easy.
She's the sort of child who coasts then pulls it out of the bag for an exam.

I praise effort not achievement. Also as I work in the performing arts it's easy to find extra faults with your own child so when she goes well in a performance I do downplay it.

ppeatfruit Sat 09-Feb-13 16:04:17

It's not her fault she's bright though Pictures She still needs encouragement for her self esteem. She'll find out how difficult life is soon enough.

Picturesinthefirelight Sat 09-Feb-13 16:21:10

Yes but she could be brilliant if she put some effort in!

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