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Embarassing behaviour

(77 Posts)
Lynne33 Fri 27-Sep-02 11:45:46

Just thought I would share my embarrasment with you all. My dd has taken to shouting abuse at innocent by-standers!!! It's true, she'll just decide she doesn't like the look of someone and shout 'Go 'way lady, go 'way man' at the top of her voice. I'm standing there shooshing away and telling her not to be so rude, and she's loving watching me squirm. Has anyone else experienced this?

Rhubarb Fri 27-Sep-02 13:18:21

I think nearly everyone experiences this Lynne33! My dd's favourite was to say "That's not a lady, it's a man!" at the top of her voice to poor women standing next to her. One of the mothers at mums and tots is fairly chubby, but not fat, yet my dd insists on calling her 'big Sue' which is very embarrassing for both me and poor Sue! My tactic is not to give her a reaction, as this is what she is looking for. Instead I would calmly say "Ooh look at what that little girl's doing!" or "Look at that pretty picture over there!" anything to distract her and shut her up really!

She'll grow out of it - honestly!

tigermoth Fri 27-Sep-02 13:24:36

I nearly changed my name for this, the shame is so bad

My 3 year old has always had a great ear for negatives and swearwords. We honestly don't swear at home much or in the car, if at all. Our oldest son latched on to the odd bad word, but nothing like as eagerly as son number two.

For an awful two weeks in the summer, my toddler's favourite phrase on being told off by me, was 'you f****** bitch'. This culminated in the following delightful experience: I had to run after him on a beach at Broadstairs - he had bolted to investigate the small fairground there. On carrying him back to base camp, he repeatedly shouted at full throttle 'you f******bitch'. The beach was crowded of course.

Telling this to my husband, he said I should have slapped him to shock him into silence. It did cross my mind at the time but I couldn't face the thought of giving the captive audience on the beach even more to be horrified about.

I nearly started a thread about this here ie 'should you slap your toddler to silence them if they swear badly in public?' but thought, no, don't do it - too contentious :0

Anyway, ignoring the phrase worked, sort of, and after a a few weeks it left his vocabulary, to be replaced first by 'bl**** wasps' (it was hot on holiday) and now 'you dips**t' said to anyone he doesn't like the look of. Luckily he doesn't say these things very often and not very clearly, so I think the recipients are unaware they have been sworn at (apart from the horrific Broadstairs incident and he was swearing at me luckily). I always try and check recipient's faces for signs of upset, and will say sorry if they have noticed, but if all seems OK I just say 'come along now' in a stern voice and drag the toddler off. Then I'll tell him off for shouting or whatever else he's done that was naughty, but not mention the bad words themselves. Don't want them to seem powerful and worthy of being singled out.

If you find yourself getting upset and your ds is loving this, Lynne33, I suppose my advice is to be thick skinned and quickly and firmly remove her from the situation. Then do your telling off at a distance and say sorry yourself to the person your daughter has shouted abuse at.

I have to admit, though, that as my toddler gets older and more aware, I'm going to try getting him to say sorry himself to the person he has sworn at. Don't know how this will go down at all.

Scatterbrain Fri 27-Sep-02 13:25:00

Ooh Rhubarb that IS embarassing !

Being hugely paranoid about my size (16) if I was Sue I would be absolutely convinced that you must call me "Big Sue" at home - otherwise where would dd have got it from ?

I will try now not to take any "Big" comments from toddlers seriously !

SoupDragon Fri 27-Sep-02 13:35:24

Oh, I feel so much better reading this...

I'm sure I've said this elsewhere before but I spent 10 minutes in a restaurant listening to my 2 1/2 yr old asking "Where's my bl**dy shoe? Have you seen my bl**dy shoe mummy?" Luckily we were in a quiet corner.

This summer, my dad followed DS1 up the beach to me whilst he (DS1) cried "Go away! I want my mummy!". As this was just after the Soham kidnapping, my dad was embarrassed and rather scared at the time and felt he couldn't pick his grandson up.

DS1 also picked up on the only swearword inthe whole of the film Notting Hill. We have the joys of this to come with DS2 as he's rather slower with his language so far.

And as a small child, I (allegedly) tugged my mum's skirt whilst she was talking to someone and asked "Is this the nosey old cow?"

Rhubarb Fri 27-Sep-02 13:42:57

Scatterbrain - or should that be brian? I never thought of that you know! Do you suppose she really thinks we call her 'big Sue' at home??? I'm going to go bright red when I see next! It's just that my dd now differentiates between big and small. Oh it's no use justifying it, no wonder she's been a bit quiet lately!

Scatterbrain Fri 27-Sep-02 13:43:57

Well - back in Wales in the late 60's when the population wan't very cosmopolitan I saw my first ever black person and shouted very loudly "Mummy - why has that man got a black face ?" to which he apparently replied "I'm black all over" in a very posh voice !

But for some reason my mother found this less embarassing than when I shouted at the zoo "Mummy that elephant is doing a big job !"

Scatterbrain Fri 27-Sep-02 13:45:14

Rhubarb, Sorry - she may of course not have given it a second thought - I'm just paranoid !
Didn't mean to worry you !

sobernow Fri 27-Sep-02 13:47:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FrancesJ Fri 27-Sep-02 13:53:41

Well, I've not reached the stage of dd doing this yet (joy is yet to come) but I have been on the recieving end of toddler abuse, years ago, when commuting back from late shifts I'd regularly get a train shared by a toddler and his Mummy, and regularly help them change platforms (it was an over a bridge job, and I was not going to watch a woman struggling with child and buggy). Anyway, toddler did not like me one little bit, and was forever yelling for me to go away and put down his buggy. Poor mother was deeply embarrassed, so I felt for her, to be honest. Didn't really take any notice of the toddler (thought he was annoying, but that was about it, really). So I wouldn't be too embarrassed about it - I was more concerned about this woman's obvious embarassment than the toddler, and I think most people would be the same.

FrancesJ Fri 27-Sep-02 13:55:07

lol @ sobernow and scatterbrain. OOooh, lovely stories How did Sheila react, btw?

susanmt Fri 27-Sep-02 14:06:11

My dd gets a bit upset if you try to force her to go in a particular direction when out for a walk, in town etc. She shouts 'Don't hurt me Mummy' REALLY loudly if I try to take her hand, as if I was beating her at home. I just wait to be targeted by a social worker in the street!!

tigermoth Fri 27-Sep-02 14:16:42

FrancisJ - it's nice to hear about child swearing from the witness' point of view. I still cringe when I think what the Broadstairs audience must have thought about my son and I.

Alley22 Fri 27-Sep-02 14:55:00

Hi Tigermoth, I didnt think anyone else lived close to me, Im in Ramsgate.

Alley

Marina Fri 27-Sep-02 15:36:22

Sobernow, that really is - and so are the rest of these tales. Hope they make you feel less awkward, Lynne33 - mine specialises in whining in a piercing voice on the bus, "I don't like the face of that man..." and then staring at them fixedly until we get off.

JJ Fri 27-Sep-02 19:06:26

Sorry tigermoth, that is the funniest thing I've heard in a while. My friend and I were witnessing a toddler's tantrum today and giggling at the rememberance of tantrums past while trying to throw reassuring vibes at the mother. Anyone who has kids should understand all of this.

Lynne33 Fri 27-Sep-02 19:09:55

Thanks all of you, you've really made me smile .

I suppose we should look upon these incidents as the wonderful innocence of childhood - it's just a shame we have to bear the brunt of the embarrassment!!!!

emsiewill Fri 27-Sep-02 19:13:03

dd2 was on the bus with dh today, a black man got on and sat in front of them. Dd took an instant dislike to him, shouting "I don't like him, he's really scary, I think he's a witch". Dh was dying inside.
I've just asked her why she was scared of the man on the bus and she said "because he roared at me". But I bet everyone else on the bus couldn't work that out.

percy Fri 27-Sep-02 19:52:05

our old babysitter came over one night with her boyfriend, an asian guy. my ds was 2 at the time, and after introducing him to the boyfriend we asked him if he could remember his name..... 'baa baa black sheep' was the reply.

Willow2 Fri 27-Sep-02 20:52:00

after a day of more foul behaviour this has brought a well needed smile to my face... so only right that I share back...

ds has, when having difficulty either getting his toy car to go round corners or doing a jigsaw, been known to utter "oh for fxxxx sake". My only consolation for being a terrible mother is that at least he is swearing in context.

I believe it to be a genetic condition as as a small child my sister, on seeing a fly on my mother's leg, kindly enquired "shall I fxxx it off with my foot?"

Oh yes, and another one. When I was little I asked my mum why black people were a different colour. Mum explained that originally they had come from much hotter countries like Africa, and so God had given them skin that wouldn't sunburn. Not long afterwards mum took me to see friends in Brixton. It was the first time I had seen so many black people and so I turned to her and asked loudly, "Mum, are we in Africa?"

sobernow Fri 27-Sep-02 20:59:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WideWebWitch Fri 27-Sep-02 21:08:15

Oh, all these are making me laugh too. Tigermoth, how mortifying, but you did the right thing not to give them more to gawp at!

OK, here's mine. We were in a traffic jam and I said "oh for god's sake what is with this bloody traffic?" Ds replied: "Shouldn't say bloody mummy, it's rude and people will think you don't know many words if you have to use it" (what I say to him if he swears). As we rounded the corner I suddenly saw that a huge lorry was the cause of the hold up so I said "ohhhh, it's a lorry that's causing this nightmare"

Ds (then 3.5) gave a huge sigh, like an old man, glanced out of the window in bored fashion and drawled "fuckin' lorry"

I didn't let him see that I was laughing my head off but like you Willow2, I am pleased that I have at least taught him to use bad language in context... oooo, I'm proud

Lynne33 Fri 27-Sep-02 21:13:21

Seeing as we are admitting our children's foul language, I thought I would add one of my own. My dd has started to say 'Oh buggar' when she does something wrong (can't think where she got it from!!). So, thinking I was really clever I said 'Well, really, you shouldn't say bother!!' sounding really shocked. She thought this was great and started to say 'bother' instead, as she thought it would wind me up.

However, she flummoxed me the other day, she fell over and shouted 'Oh b*****ks', I just couldn't think of a suitable replacement!!

SoupDragon Fri 27-Sep-02 22:31:25

I think we used "Bricks" instead of "B****cks". lol

We use the technique of thinking of an innocent alternative and telling DS1 that if he's going to say it, say it properly. We had a spate of "for f***s sake!" which we told him was actually Face Ache. It worked really well.

sb34 Sat 28-Sep-02 01:27:15

Message withdrawn

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