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Why do people feel the need (a vent)....


Hikin' Mama
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To tell other people what they should and should not do. And I'm talking about things that do not affect the other person in anyway, shape or form. For example:

 

"You should get rid of that dog."

 

"You shouldn't run."

 

"You shouldn't run so much."

 

"Why did you get that cat? I don't like cats."

 

"You should wash your car. It only takes 5 minutes."

 

"You shouldn't hike by yourself." (I don't. I hike with the dog you don't like, but that you never actually see.)

 

"You should cook your (fill in the blank) this way instead of the way you do it."

 

"You should eat bread. You're supposed to eat whole grains." (I have celiac and we've already been over this. Not to mention the 15 years of diarrhea I had before I figured out the gluten connection.)

 

AARGH! Why do people find the need to comment on things that have absolutely no bearing on their lives?!?!

 

Thank you for letting me vent. It has been building for some time now. :)

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Grrr.

My FIL does it all the time. We'll be talking about something we really enjoy or DS will share what he's up to, and FIL will launch in with the You Shoulds (as in, you should do opposite of what you are telling me you enjoy). They are always off base.

No idea why people feel it necessary, but I'm sorry you are having to deal with it right now. Ugh.

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Yup.  I have a MIL that does this.  There is nothing that I do correctly.  

 

And we push our kids to do activities, they can't enjoy it that much.

And we spend too much money. 

And our house is too clean.

And SHE worked full time when her kids were little, and they turned out just fine.

And I shouldn't get rid of things that might be useful years from now.

And, and, and.........

 

I try to tune it out, but it's hard!!!

 

 

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Almost every conversation with my brother-in-law seems to start this way, except the suggestion always involves money. He doesn't seem to understand that he and his wife together earn five times as much as my husband and I, so his suggestions really are not feasible. We are not going to get a gym membership, we are not going to trade in our paid-off vehicle for a new vehicle (no matter how high quality you feel it is), we are not going to buy expensive kitchen gadgets just because they are cool, and for crying out loud we are not renting a condo on the beach with you when you go on vacation.

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AARGH! Why do people find the need to comment on things that have absolutely no bearing on their lives?!?!

 

It's the sound of people reflecting about their own experiences "out loud."

 

Thank you for letting me vent. It has been building for some time now.  :)

 

Now you know they're talking about/to themselves, you can "translate" it, in hopes of preserving your sanity. Here, let me get you started...

 

"You shouldn't run."

 

"You shouldn't run so much."

 

"You shouldn't hike by yourself." (I don't. I hike with the dog you don't like, but that you never actually see.)

 

"You should cook your (fill in the blank) this way instead of the way you do it."

 

"You should eat bread. You're supposed to eat whole grains." (I have celiac and we've already been over this. Not to mention the 15 years of diarrhea I had before I figured out the gluten connection.)

 

"I don't take care of my health as much as I'd like, but I recognize the value of taking care of physical health. I don't want to feel guilty but I don't want to change what I'm doing, either. Here, let me critique you so I can feel clever and helpful instead of changing myself."

 

"You should wash your car. It only takes 5 minutes."

 
"I take care of my possessions because they make me feel like others can see my value and worth, including my opinions, from a distance. You should do that too, because that's what I do. It makes sense. When you don't, I get confused and frustrated. What do you value if you don't value what I do? What are your opinions if they're not the same as mine? Why aren't they? What's wrong with mine? What's wrong with you? I can't see them in the reflection of my face from the hood of your car! Ack!"
 

"You should get rid of that dog."

 

"Why did you get that cat? I don't like cats."

 

"Dogs drool and leave poop behind to clean up. I don't like cleaning up poop, and besides, dogs take work. Cats are mysterious, more so than any other animal on earth. I don't understand them and so they confuse and frustrate me. Do they hear me? Are they listening? Is it mocking me? Why is it looking at me like that? Would it hear me have sex? Oh god, how embarrassing! Or is it? It's just a stupid animal, right? Or is it? That thing knows what I'm saying, it just refuses to comply to my wishes! Whose the Queen of the Castle here, missy? It ain't you! I'm the one with oposable thumbs! Muahahaha! Fine, I'll open the door for you, just stop all that racket. Dang it, the dog pooped again right on the stoop. I need a Club Med vacation."

 

 

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Yup.  I have a MIL that does this.  There is nothing that I do correctly.  

 

And we push our kids to do activities, they can't enjoy it that much.

And we spend too much money. 

And our house is too clean.

And SHE worked full time when her kids were little, and they turned out just fine.

And I shouldn't get rid of things that might be useful years from now.

And, and, and.........

 

I try to tune it out, but it's hard!!!

 

The "we did this and we/our kids turned out fine" comments always kill me.    As if the circumstances are exactly the same so we could expect the same outcome.  I hope I never say ".... and I turned out fine" to anyone, ever.

 

The other that really gets me is people who have neurotypical, high-achieving kids advising me on everything I'm doing wrong with my ADD/LD kid.   "Why don't you just have him work harder?" is a recent favorite. 

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I totally understand! My MIL does this. She is great in lots of ways but can't keep her opinions to herself. i have heard it all from her. My own mom doesn't tell me what to do but she does tell me what to buy. Constantly. Every week I get pictures of this great vase or beautiful rug or fabulous patio set that I need right now. And every week I say the same thing-i love it but we are saving up for XYZ. Makes me nuts.

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I think Albeto hit the nail on the head, upthread.  

 

And yep, marbel, I get that here, too.  My extremely hard working dyslexic, dysgraphic, sensory issues kid that struggles every day and cares deeply just needs to work even harder because, well, obviously his issues are lack of effort.  So what if there are only 24 hours in a day?  Max those hours out.  Who cares about sleep!?

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It's the sound of people reflecting about their own experiences "out loud."

 

 

Now you know they're talking about/to themselves, you can "translate" it, in hopes of preserving your sanity. Here, let me get you started...

 

 

"I don't take care of my health as much as I'd like, but I recognize the value of taking care of physical health. I don't want to feel guilty but I don't want to change what I'm doing, either. Here, let me critique you so I can feel clever and helpful instead of changing myself."

 

 
"I take care of my possessions because they make me feel like others can see my value and worth, including my opinions, from a distance. You should do that too, because that's what I do. It makes sense. When you don't, I get confused and frustrated. What do you value if you don't value what I do? What are your opinions if they're not the same as mine? Why aren't they? What's wrong with mine? What's wrong with you? I can't see them in the reflection of my face from the hood of your car! Ack!"
 

 

"Dogs drool and leave poop behind to clean up. I don't like cleaning up poop, and besides, dogs take work. Cats are mysterious, more so than any other animal on earth. I don't understand them and so they confuse and frustrate me. Do they hear me? Are they listening? Is it mocking me? Why is it looking at me like that? Would it hear me have sex? Oh god, how embarrassing! Or is it? It's just a stupid animal, right? Or is it? That thing knows what I'm saying, it just refuses to comply to my wishes! Whose the Queen of the Castle here, missy? It ain't you! I'm the one with oposable thumbs! Muahahaha! Fine, I'll open the door for you, just stop all that racket. Dang it, the dog pooped again right on the stoop. I need a Club Med vacation."

 

 

 

*ding-ding!* We have a winner!

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The "we did this and we/our kids turned out fine" comments always kill me.    As if the circumstances are exactly the same so we could expect the same outcome.  I hope I never say ".... and I turned out fine" to anyone, ever.

 

The other that really gets me is people who have neurotypical, high-achieving kids advising me on everything I'm doing wrong with my ADD/LD kid.   "Why don't you just have him work harder?" is a recent favorite. 

In regards to the highlighted (and all the mommy wars about formula/bre*st feeding, vax/antivax, etc), I typically just say "Everyone messes up their kids in some way. You do/did it your way. I'll do it mine." Then, I give my Southern "go to heck" smile and go on my merry way. 

 

 

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The "we did this and we/our kids turned out fine" comments always kill me.    As if the circumstances are exactly the same so we could expect the same outcome.  I hope I never say ".... and I turned out fine" to anyone, ever.

 

The other that really gets me is people who have neurotypical, high-achieving kids advising me on everything I'm doing wrong with my ADD/LD kid.   "Why don't you just have him work harder?" is a recent favorite. 

 

Oh man, that really frosts my wheaties. When people assume their experiences are somehow universal and apply to my experiences, not having any clue what my experiences are, I just want to skip the passive and launch straight into aggressive. But I don't, because surprisingly enough, I'm neurotic about avoiding conflict in person. But yeah, I've been told my kid's problems would be solved by being more strict, lightening up, enforcing consequences, ignoring certain behavior, relying on god more, relying on me and my instincts more, read more books, don't read those books, let the school have 'im, don't let him near the school, etc, etc, etc. 

 

In these situations, now that my family is older and all the fires have been put out, I can laugh. I'm always reminded of the time my mother in law answered my husband's question about whether or not I would remember the pain of childbirth. My mother in law had cesarean sections exclusively, so how could she know about this particular element? Well, her husband was an ob/gyn, who, last I'd heard, had never shot an 8 pound bullet out of a formerly tiny, fragile, relatively pampered body part either. But apparently they knew better than I, who at the time of questioning still had to sit on one cheek or the other. :glare:

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Oh man, that really frosts my wheaties. When people assume their experiences are somehow universal and apply to my experiences, not having any clue what my experiences are, I just want to skip the passive and launch straight into aggressive. But I don't, because surprisingly enough, I'm neurotic about avoiding conflict in person. But yeah, I've been told my kid's problems would be solved by being more strict, lightening up, enforcing consequences, ignoring certain behavior, relying on god more, relying on me and my instincts more, read more books, don't read those books, let the school have 'im, don't let him near the school, etc, etc, etc. 

 

I'm doing more writing for a parenting blog for er....more challenging kids. I keep reinforcing that you can't *fix* a child. Some kids are easy. Some kids are hard. So you try to meet them where they are and help them learn to manage themselves in a healthy manner. Every single article I write, I point that out. Nothing that the parent can do can make a hard kid an easy kid. But by studying our kids we can kind of learn what makes them tick and try to direct them toward right and away from wrong.

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I'm doing more writing for a parenting blog for er....more challenging kids. I keep reinforcing that you can't *fix* a child. Some kids are easy. Some kids are hard. So you try to meet them where they are and help them learn to manage themselves in a healthy manner. Every single article I write, I point that out. Nothing that the parent can do can make a hard kid an easy kid. But by studying our kids we can kind of learn what makes them tick and try to direct them toward right and away from wrong.

 

I've come to the conclusion that when adults speak of "good" kids, or "well-behaved" kids, what they are really referring to is "convenient" kids. Kids who don't require us to change our own plans on the fly are convenient. Kids who don't challenge us to rethink our plans in general are convenient. Kids who don't require more time than we need to decompress are convenient. Kids who don't embarrass us in public are convenient. We work so hard to mold kids to be convenient within society in general, that I think we really do us all a disservice - them and us. To adapt a well known and well loved quote, Convenient people seldom make history. 

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"I don't take care of my health as much as I'd like, but I recognize the value of taking care of physical health. I don't want to feel guilty but I don't want to change what I'm doing, either. Here, let me critique you so I can feel clever and helpful instead of changing myself."

 

Especially this. Man, I get crap all the time about fitness. It's one of my two big hobbies. I like it. It makes me feel good. I'm not criticizing other people for not doing it. I'm happy to leave them alone in their decisions. I wish they'd reciprocate. 

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I've come to the conclusion that when adults speak of "good" kids, or "well-behaved" kids, what they are really referring to is "convenient" kids. Kids who don't require us to change our own plans on the fly are convenient. Kids who don't challenge us to rethink our plans in general are convenient. Kids who don't require more time than we need to decompress are convenient. Kids who don't embarrass us in public are convenient. We work so hard to mold kids to be convenient within society in general, that I think we really do us all a disservice - them and us. To adapt a well known and well loved quote, Convenient people seldom make history. 

 

And you know what? You can have a good kid, in fact a GREAT kid who is NOT easy.  I have one. She's great! She has a good head on her shoulders for a 17 year old. She likes people, she's smart, and she has a good heart and wants to do right. Yet, she's far from easy. She can be moody, difficult, and temperamental. But she's GREAT kid.

 

Deep down, she wants to do right, no matter what.

 

Even if she does have days when she's hormonal and rather crabby.

 

So sorry OP for veering off topic. I'll quit now.

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To tell other people what they should and should not do. And I'm talking about things that do not affect the other person in anyway, shape or form. For example:

 

"You should get rid of that dog."

 

"You shouldn't run."

 

"You shouldn't run so much."

 

"Why did you get that cat? I don't like cats."

 

"You should wash your car. It only takes 5 minutes."

 

"You shouldn't hike by yourself." (I don't. I hike with the dog you don't like, but that you never actually see.)

 

"You should cook your (fill in the blank) this way instead of the way you do it."

 

"You should eat bread. You're supposed to eat whole grains." (I have celiac and we've already been over this. Not to mention the 15 years of diarrhea I had before I figured out the gluten connection.)

 

AARGH! Why do people find the need to comment on things that have absolutely no bearing on their lives?!?!

 

Thank you for letting me vent. It has been building for some time now. :)

Echoes of my mother. I know she loves me, and shares information that she thinks I need to hear, but to her there is only one way to do any given thing. Variations on her method incur scrutiny. I understand how she is and try to let it roll off.

 

Sorry, OP, it does get hard to hear.

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And you know what? You can have a good kid, in fact a GREAT kid who is NOT easy. I have one. She's great! She has a good head on her shoulders for a 17 year old. She likes people, she's smart, and she has a good heart and wants to do right. Yet, she's far from easy. She can be moody, difficult, and temperamental. But she's GREAT kid.

 

Deep down, she wants to do right, no matter what.

 

Even if she does have days when she's hormonal and rather crabby.

 

So sorry OP for veering off topic. I'll quit now.

Bingo! My two most challenging, defiant, mind bogglingly stubborn kids are wonderful children. Smart, sweet, helpful, loving with their siblings and me (most of the time). They're a whole lot of work, but they are not bad children - just really, really trying. And they require totally different solutions and problem solving than their more compliant siblings.

 

I wouldn't trade them, but some days I do admit to hiding in the bathroom with chocolate to avoid them ;)

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And you know what? You can have a good kid, in fact a GREAT kid who is NOT easy. I have one. She's great! She has a good head on her shoulders for a 17 year old. She likes people, she's smart, and she has a good heart and wants to do right. Yet, she's far from easy. She can be moody, difficult, and temperamental. But she's GREAT kid.

 

Deep down, she wants to do right, no matter what.

 

Even if she does have days when she's hormonal and rather crabby.

 

So sorry OP for veering off topic. I'll quit now.

One of my kids was MUCH harder to raise than the other two. In fact, the other two were pretty easy. But the harder one made me grow as a person and is now an adult who blesses my socks off. I am so proud of how he is handling the challenges of adult life.

 

And I think albeto hit the nail on the head about the convenient thing.

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