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At what age would you tell a kid off for staring?

(31 Posts)
Jimjamskeepingoffvaxthreads Wed 31-May-06 10:43:41

Yesterday we went out for a walk. DS1 started kicking off a bit, so I had both hands on him, he was trying to pull me over/run away. My helper person had ds2 and ds3 who were waiting to start the walk.

A child of about 11 (maybe 10, maybe 12) was running past ds1, he stopped about 1 or 2 feet away and just stared. Like he was watching TV or something. I stared back, but didn't say anything.He stayed there staring until I managed to get ds1 away. Partly I didn't say anything because I was trying to deal with ds1 so was talking to him, but partly because I don't know at what age children should be expected not to stare. I have noticed that early teens are often the worst offenders.

Also thought of that film and the "teach your children some compassion" line or however it goes when the boy is staring at thr flicky flappy boy.

FioFio Wed 31-May-06 10:45:30

Message deleted

nothercules Wed 31-May-06 10:47:13

My ds is 10 and knows not to stare. I cant remember when he was old enough to understand it was wrong to stare but I guess as soon as they are old enough to understand why it's wrong.

pucca Wed 31-May-06 10:49:37

I HATE this, i think it is very very rude. Especially with older kids, like teens.

I would have said "hello" like Fio said.

Jimjamskeepingoffvaxthreads Wed 31-May-06 10:51:16

oh no the eldery ime just say things like "ooh look Mavis there's another one. and "what's your name? what's the matter cat got your tongue? Children today are so rude they never answer when spoken to"

He was kind of gawping an a mesmerised way which was why I didn't say hello. No sign of a mother or father. I wanted to say "don't stare" but wondered whether that was being a bit maean and I should accept that part of my role is to provide entertainment for the local pre-teens I just have no idea when it's reasonable to expect kids not to stare.

The other problem I have when ds1 is going off on one is that I find it really hard to give my attention to anything else so I usually kind of zone out and don't really notice anyone around me, but we were practically tripping over this kid.

peachyClair Wed 31-May-06 10:56:06

I don't tell them not to stare because I'd find that even worse if Sam was kicking off, but I do say 'yes that child ahs a nice blue coat dioesn't he?' or whatever, to make the kids aware of what they're doing. Not DS1 obv, he can't help it.
We had a lovely family next to us camping- Sam took to staring so I explained about his AS. At first I wprried because she came out with the 'oh yes, my sis teaches SN kids I understand' line I get so much, but in fact they were crilliant and the kids got on well- they seemed to know when to pull their lad away from the situation, when Sam was overloaded.

Jimjamskeepingoffvaxthreads Wed 31-May-06 11:03:01

dp you say that to your kids peachclair? I would just distract ds2 (4) then tell him afterwards, out of earshot not to. TBH I don't think he notices very much though as he's so used to going into ds1's school. The boy staring here was a stranger.

onlyjoking9329 Wed 31-May-06 11:04:22

its horrible to be stared at, dunno if its in the same league as the comment thou, we get stared at quite often, but usually by adults, problem we have is that i tell my kids its rude to stare, they are 12 & 9 but of course they still do it and cos they look pretty much NT people think they are rude,once had two young lads staring at one of my girls, DD asked why they were looking at her i told her very loudly that they thought she was sooo beautiful they couldn't stop looking at her! they soon looked away

2shoes Wed 31-May-06 13:39:25

we get stared at all the time. If it is a small child I say hello she won't bite. but a child of that age I would have said something as it's out of order. I don't think they mean to be rotten just not been told by there parents. I had a ding dong with a mother in asda when I made a comment said her kid was to young to know!!!!!!!in my mind they are never too young.

kid Wed 31-May-06 13:51:54

I distract my children from staring at people, regardless of why they are staring at them. (DD was staring at a man yesterday while he ate his chips, he even offered her one!)
I explain to them after that its rude to stare at people.

Securlurking Wed 31-May-06 13:52:17

Could it be that the staring child had SN (without obvious physical manifestations) perhaps he was staring in the same way as some others here describe with their SN children.

(fence sitter I know lol!)

peachyClair Wed 31-May-06 14:22:03

Yes I do say that- but NOT for the benefoit of the parent or child, for the benefit of my kids; it kind of snaps them out of it. Also, I find when Sam is stared at, he seems a lot more uncomfaortable by parents nudging their kids and saying what are yuou staring at? or don't look! (as if he is dirty or infectious), if he has a reason for the staring- eg, his smart new galsses- it doens't upset him so much. he just takes it at face value.

TBH though if Sam stares I just say sorry he's got AS, and DS2 and DS3 don't stare coz not a lot matches up to what they witness at home anyway!!

Chocol8 Wed 31-May-06 18:05:03

My ds was told not to stare when he started doing it - at the time he constantly stared at people in wheelchairs. I explained three times on separate occasions and asked how would he feel if he was the person being stared at.

He stopped pretty sharpish, which I was pleased about - after all, it's usually people staring at him because of his behaviour, but he now comments to me if someone is staring at him.

Just wondered if perhaps this boy had a sibling at home that does the same thing as your ds Jimjams. If someone is staring at me or ds, I tend to stare back until they look away or say "can I help you?" (cos I is nasty!!!)

Jimjamskeepingoffvaxthreads Wed 31-May-06 19:21:23

I think he was just staring because ds1 was in big freak show mode. There were no parents in sight at all, so I think it would be unlikely that he would have any sort of significant SN.

Today we went for a walk on dartmoor. DS3 was in the rucksack thingy on my back and we stopped near some kids plus parents to get a hat to put on ds3. I held ds1 by the hands whilst my direct payments helper found the hat in the rucksack. Anyway it took too long for ds1 (like 20 seconds) so ds1 started kicking off. Quite a few people turned around and most looked away again straight away (fair enough) but one woman- a mother with 2 kids really stared. I don't know if she was giving me the evils for having a naughty child. She was too far away for me to say anything soafter she had been staring for a while I mouthed "don't stare" and she did look away again.

Angeliz Wed 31-May-06 19:27:10

I distract too and i do tell dd (5) not to stare at people.

nikkie Thu 01-Jun-06 21:33:30

Mine are 4 & 6 and I always try to distract them ,its my Nanna thats awful for staring and pointing at anyone (fat people ar her favourite though )

2shoes Thu 01-Jun-06 21:36:58

nikkie lol my mil is like that but she also comments in a loud voice!

soapbox Thu 01-Jun-06 22:00:24

I'm not keen on telling them not to stare at people who look or act differently to them. I think it just reinforces the very idea that there is something to stare at!

Like others I would find something to comment on in the scene rather than tell them to stop staring.

So in the case you are describing I would say something like - gosh isn't that boy a very fast runner, his mum is going to have to quicken up if she is going to catch him. Something to make the scene seem 'everyday' rather than 'different'. I want them to be connected to all behaviours not to see some as more noteworthy than others. And frankly the not staring makes me think of being oblivious which is too close to the keep 'them' locked away and out of sight for me to be comfortable with IYSWIM.

OTOH - I can see that we might all look like we are gawping using my method

Blossomhill Thu 01-Jun-06 22:06:18

I would tell my 8 yr old not to stare (he doesn't). As for my 6 yr old who has sn she probably would and would say something like "why are you doing that?" blah de blah but that's part of her sn, being literal and saying what she thinks (much to my

Actually was in Hastings and there was a lady probably in her 40's who had very severe sn and was making lots of different loud noises and screams. I was hoping and praying dd wouldn't say anything or stare and thank god she didn't.

The thing with my ds is that from about the age of 4 he has been around children with all types of sn and he really doesn't bat an eyelid.

nikkie Thu 01-Jun-06 22:08:10

My Nanna can't speak but she does laugh at fat people

Jimjamskeepingoffvaxthreads Thu 01-Jun-06 22:10:26

soapbox I don't understand- please explain.

I was holding ds1 by 2 hands he was pulling away from me (even if you can';t view the film the still gives a pretty good impression. We were in that pose, except I was using 2 hands The kid was standing closer than the trike, ds1's side.

How would your comment make any sense.

I have to explain here- when ds1 is in that mode I find it incredibly difficult to co-ordinate talking to anyone else. In this case I was saying "bye bye restaurant, ds1 standing, ds1 walking, countdown then walk, 10 ....1, walking ds1" etc etc. I can;t manage much more than ;'don't stare" (and fuck off under my breath )

Jimjamskeepingoffvaxthreads Thu 01-Jun-06 22:12:10

Oh I think that came out wrong, I mean please explain as in I am genuinely interested.

The lady in the still is using 2 hands- but ds1 had 2 hands in mine. so slightly less pully.

soapbox Thu 01-Jun-06 22:12:52

Ah sorry - I thought he had actually run away and you were chasing him - didn't read it properly!

Jimjamskeepingoffvaxthreads Thu 01-Jun-06 22:14:16

oh god no, if he;s running I'm after him, he's way faster than me! No-one gets spoken to then!

soapbox Thu 01-Jun-06 22:18:56

So in the scenario you outlined, I'd say something like - gosh that boy is strong isn;t he.

What I am trying to say, is that people stare because they are seeing something 'different' from them, someone fatter, spottier, disabled and so on. I'd rather teach them that there is nothing 'different' in the first place worthy of staring at, than just telling them not to stare!

Ideally by the time they were 10 or 11 the message might have hit home and they would feel no need to stare, not because it is impolite but because they don't think everyone who is different to them is stareworthy.

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