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There’s a video I came across of a celebrity mom pretty much getting called out by her child on what she was wearing to step out. It was hilarious to see her turn the camera off when her kid went on about “too much deodorant.” While it was funny to watch, I know our little savages can go overboard and make a situation uncomfortable for everyone involved.
It got me wondering, has your child or any child for that matter ever called you out over something you’re doing or not doing? Was it in private or public? Plus, how did it make you feel, and how did you handle it?
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Young children can be brutally honest, especially before they learn how to filter their thoughts. While I do think that it is important to address our kids if they are tactless, this is a skill that needs to be taught. Being tactful can be difficult as it means walking the line between honesty and respect and kindness.
When they were little, my kids often blurted out completely tactless and insensitive comments while in public. These were usually based on their observations for example that something smelled or tasted bad, or a certain person's physical attributes or disabilities. In my opinion, in these moments, the most important thing is not what your child has said, but how you respond. In these learning moments, we can talk about respect and kindness. In some instances, I have found that some people prefer the open honesty of a child than to have adults cast sidelong glances, stare, or make mumbled comments.
If there is one thing my kids have taught me, it is to watch my own words, as kids are quite likely to repeat what they have heard you say at some point in the future.
When my 9-year-old daughter was younger, we went to visit my mother-in-law in the province. It has been awhile since we last saw and visited her, so I was a little shy at that time. She asked if we have already eaten and I said, yes. My daughter blurted, " Mom, we have not eaten our lunch yet! What are you talking about? "
I was really shocked hearing it and my mother-in-law just laughed and prepared a sumptuous meal for us. While I was a little worried with whatever word my daughter can say at anytime, I really did not want to stop and shut her up because she might think that it is bad to be outspoken. But I always explain that being outspoken and confident always comes with being tactful.
Two of my 7 kids seem to lack a filter when it comes to speaking their mind. I can vividly recall one specific incident when my son (3 years old at the time), called a woman in the supermarket 'very, very fat'. I was extremely embarrassed and so was the poor woman. I apologised to the lady and made a quick exit but in hindsight could have handled that much better. I could have said something like 'oh, but did you notice her beautiful hair' - or draw attention to some other positive attribute. I did speak to my son about it after and explained that comments like that can hurt peoples feelings.
Oh gosh....kids sure know how to embarrass us some times.
My grandkids call me out both in private and public all of the time. So far, it has been innocent and harmless, and I take it with a grain of salt. Mostly they are just curious. But other family members do find it to be a bit too bold and disrespectful.
If it were ill-willed or mean, I would be the first to call them out on their behavior, but so far, I do not believe that they are stating any of their perceptions with mean intent.
One example is my 4-year-old, adorable granddaughter. She is the love of my life, and we adore each other. However,r when I had my hair cut short, I knew she did not like it. The first thing she stated was that I looked like a boy. I was not insulted and explained that women and men both have long and short hair if they wish.
After a few days, this little angle pointed out to me, "You know, your hair can grow, and it can get long again". I know that was her nice way of stating that she wanted me to grow my hair longer.
For the most part, these are the types of comments that I get from my grands. As they get older and they start to give me ill-willed comments, my tone may change with them, and I will address it in the moment as a disrespectful comment that is not tolerated. But for now, I roll with it.