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To think in teaching my dc's to be kind, thoughtful & respectful I'm doing them a disservice?

(33 Posts)
weedinthepool Fri 11-Jul-14 14:36:42

I know it sounds bonkers but the past couple of months have shown me that constantly being selfless & doing the right thing gets you nowhere!

I'm a good person. I don't stand on insects & kill them, I help old ladies across the road, I pick up children who are crying, I give to charity, I work in a public sector job, I don't judge anyone as I feel if you haven't walked in their shoes you shouldn't, I recycle, I buy responsibly etc etc.

I'm not perfect by a long shot but I try to make good decisions and try to get my dc's to do the same.

I've been turned down for a second job in a month today, I've been told off by my mum & stbxh today about petty stuff re the dc's, a horrible man cut me up, I didn't respond and he gave me the finger and DS2's friend has thrown a temper tantrum at school about sports day and got the gold that DS2 was beaming about last night. I've just read a shitty email from my current boss because I took AL on Wednesday to prepare for my interview and 'wasn't there for a family in need whose child care has failed. All in all I'm feeling that if you act aggressive, sulky, bossy or dishonest enough you get what you want. All these people have actually seemed to enjoy putting me down today & I feel like I'm making a mistake with my parenting & the dc's are not actually learning to be good people but doormats! Aaarggh. Rant over. AIBU to start getting aggressive? I'd rather not as it doesn't cone naturally but if anyone can give me tips on being assertive but still a nice human being please do so before I turn into Scrooge.

weedinthepool Fri 11-Jul-14 14:40:13

Sorry have read post back and it's a bit woe is me & I sound like a martyr. Emotions getting to me.

MrsTerryPratchett Fri 11-Jul-14 14:43:48


Acknowledge something positive about the other person
Describe the situation neutrally
Express your feelings
Specify what you want
Consequences (positive) for the other person.

For your child's situation, to the other child: I know you are a really good friend to me. You want the gold I won. I feel really sad and disappointed about that. I want to keep my own medal and next time, I will give you a really good race and maybe you will win. Terrible execution but you get the system...

MrsTerryPratchett Fri 11-Jul-14 14:44:23

This system means you get to be 'nice' and assertive at the same time.

spence24 Fri 11-Jul-14 14:50:40

Getting aggressive is never the way, but deciding to not let others dictate my life, and learning to be powerfully assertive is probably the best thing I've ever done for myself.

It sounds simple, but takes a lot of guts to be able to just say "No, this is not an acceptable way to treat me" - to anyone, regardless of age, or status in your life.

You can still be a good, kind, caring and honest person who doesn't take shit from people - you will gain a hell of a lot of respect from it too, which only spurs you on to continue. But you have to decide on a Day One for it all to begin.

Take one step at a time. Question the school on why a tempter tantrum wasn't addressed appropriately. Use the proper channels if you must.

Soon to be ex - stand your ground. Walk away. Keep it simple, even if it comes across as patronising to them - they'll soon learn you aren't to be taken for a fool.

You are the only person who can make a difference in your life. And that's what it is - YOUR life. Do what YOU feel is best for YOU.

Good luck! smile

spence24 Fri 11-Jul-14 14:51:53

Also in total agreement with what MrsTerryPratchett said! smile

Lweji Fri 11-Jul-14 14:55:18

I can be nice (although some people may think I'm not) and the type of going to help people in need and so on, but I can also be very assertive.

I think there is a difference between being nice and taking it all or not reacting.

You can react to things in a non-confrontational, but firm way. Negotiating is better than accepting things or being aggressive, but don't back down on important things for you.

MrsTerryPratchett Fri 11-Jul-14 14:58:40

I'm getting a master class at the moment from a woman I work with. It is like being savaged by a puppy. She is tiny, softly spoken, kind and caring but TAKES NO SHIT. I think she's great and will be attempting to channel her at all times.

SallyMcgally Fri 11-Jul-14 15:01:20

thanks you sound lovely, and you're entitled to feel sore after all those shitty things happening to you.
It's so hard. I try to teach my kids to be the best person they can be, and DS1 has suffered a lot from bullying. But I'm so so proud of him for never ever being cruel, and never allowing himself to sink to the bullies' levels. Even now, when he stands up for himself he doesn't hone in on things that I definitely would have done at his age, because he would feel too bad. I think there's an element of truth in pushy people getting ahead sometimes, but I think ultimately you have a nicer life behaving with integrity as you do and as your DS does as well.
Have a wine for the end of a crappy week.

BackforGood Fri 11-Jul-14 15:17:50

Yes, YABU.
Being kind, thoughtful and respectful are excellent qualities to have in life.
Doesn't equate to being completely protected from having bad days or weeks or months or years though, just means you have people there for you, when you need them, IME.

SiennaBlake Fri 11-Jul-14 15:20:37

I like that ADESC thing! I've never heard of that before! Can we do some more examples please please?

MrsTerryPratchett Fri 11-Jul-14 15:36:25

The ADESC this is my favorite. It's an adaptation of a lot of assertiveness stuff with nice tacked on the beginning and end. Canadian, there's a surprise; assertive with extra nice attached. The recency effect means people remember the nice at the beginning and end and think you are a nice person, even though you just got what you wanted. Bwahaha.

Damnautocorrect Fri 11-Jul-14 15:44:07

I'm EXACTLY the same, I watch other kids getting stuff over ds and think 'am I doing this wrong?'. I have the same values as you, I go through life trying not to upset or hurt anyone or anything, I dont judge, I don't say anything about anyone I wouldn't to their face.
Yet somehow at least twice a day I am reminded in someway that these values are probably worthless and get you nowhere. Wether it be some arse getting road rage or a mum pushing infront of me to get their child.
I'm having councilling for anxiety and this exact topic is up for my next discussion!

gobbin Fri 11-Jul-14 15:56:55

ADESC sounds good. We know it as 'shit sandwich'! (Nice bit, nasty bit, nice bit)

AdamLambsbreath Fri 11-Jul-14 15:57:53

Weed, I have days like yours and I've wondered the same thing.

I tend to think that those who are selfish, dishonest and unpleasant are their own punishment. They seem to have got the better of you in those brief moments when you have run-ins with them, but remember they're living the kind of life that kind of attitude creates 24/7.

For example, the worst time of my life involved being screwed over by an employer during a terrible personal crisis. He was one of the most unpleasant and amoral people I'd ever met. He also has a failed marriage, a custody battle over his kid, can't get a girlfriend, has no friends, and is paranoid that everyone's out to get him. No, I couldn't protect myself from him or give him his comeuppance and yes, he had taken advantage of my honesty and integrity, but that didn't mean he'd won.

My dad said a helpful thing once, when I was angry about said man: 'Look, you wouldn't want to spend 5 minutes inside his head.' And indeed I wouldn't. It'd be hell in there.

It's hard to keep this in mind when you have a day FULL of shitty encounters, but I find it helps.

MrsTerryPratchett Fri 11-Jul-14 15:59:40

gobbin I work with maginalised youth and that is exactly what I call it when I'm talking to them!

cailindana Fri 11-Jul-14 16:05:43

"Constantly being selfless" is definitely not a good way to live. You absolutely must look out for yourself. Why should others do that for you? That's not to say that you look out for yourself above all others, but there is no reason for anyone else to look after your interests, that is your job. Be kind, be considerate, but be clear on what you need and want and make sure you get those things, under your own steam and with your own initiative. Help others, definitely, but only if you can afford it and you are not expecting payback. People might criticise you, so what? They don't get to decide who you are. You do.

CoffeeTea103 Fri 11-Jul-14 16:08:11

You sound lovely, I don't think you should change that. You just have come across the wrong people who don't appreciate those qualities in someone.

Rebecca2014 Fri 11-Jul-14 16:10:28

I agree with you. I am a nice and shy person and because of that certain people at my previous jobs have tried bullying me...just because I am quiet!

The fact is the only thing people care about are themselves and their family/friends so fuck em all.

weedinthepool Fri 11-Jul-14 19:35:49

Well Karma just kicked me well & truly in the are. I got the job!!! The rejection email was sent in error and the manager phoned me & offered me it verbally. So being decent & not kicking off demanding feedback and sitting on it for a bit worked!

Thanks so much to everyone. I Luke the small, softly spoken pleasant boss who TAKES NO SHIT. I shall be challenging that. And I stood up to stbxh with his bitching about the dc's diet and he backed off. I didn't feel like a bitch doing it I felt that what I was saying was in the dc's best interest and I didn't let what he thought dissuade me from challenging. Now just to tackle m mum grin I think I might try the 'Did you mean to be so rude line'.

Tangerinefairy Fri 11-Jul-14 19:48:44

Yeah! Well done weedinthepool! Good for you! I know exactly how you feel. I think it is about balance. Don't always be the reasonable one, tell people they have pissed you off sometimes. It can be surprisingly effective and why should you always acquiesce?

My boss is just as you describe your colleague MrsTerry. I have such admiration for her. She is the most sweet natured, sincere, giving person but she has a rod of iron running through her and if she feels strongly about something you bloody well know it! Brilliant.

Tangerinefairy Fri 11-Jul-14 19:50:04

cailindana that is a brilliant post.

Lweji Fri 11-Jul-14 21:00:17

smile Keep it going.

MrsWinnibago Fri 11-Jul-14 21:11:55

YABU. All you need is love. I stand VERY strongly beside the moral codes with which I was brought up. I'm not rich but I AM happy. I have a lovely DH (to be) and two stunning DDs. I also have ambition and a good time sometimes.

My DDs are popular and their school reports say how kind and thoughtful they both are.

That'll do me.

MrsTerryPratchett Fri 11-Jul-14 21:13:58

Iron fist in a velvet glove, Tangerine.

Also, the same person who gave me ADESC also gave me, "if you don't ask for it, you don't get to bitch about not getting it".

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