Things they say


How are you supposed to deal with kids who call each other stupid, idiot, who tell each other to Shut Up, who talk to each other with such disrespect, who yell and fight with their siblings? (of course, it must be noted that this does NOT apply to my children at all, in any way, shape, form or manner, and is just merely a hypothetical as I have heard this is what normal human children do).

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  1. David says:

    It’s what normal children do. You answered your own question.

  2. Mark says:

    Yep, that’s what kids do. Especially siblings.

  3. hadassahsabo says:

    but if they are so mean and ugly to their sibs what are they like to their friends?

  4. Lara says:

    Yes, this is what normal children do… when they are not taught by their parents that this is NOT how to treat others. The training starts from birth if they hear and see positive they repeat it and the same is true with negative. It is all a cycle and has to be altered by the people in charge (parents). I have found that when I am dealing with other people’s children who behave in that manner, I inform not only the children but the parents too that that type of negative behavior will not be tolerated around me or my children and that if it is not addressed they will not be welcome.
    The big thing that irritates me about it is when parents sit back and say that kids will be kids and that they had nothing to do with it. But the truth is that the parents are responsible either directly by their own actions or indirectly by allowing undesirable role models in their child’s life. Bottom line is that we adults are the ones that need to mold or children not only through our actions but also through diligence in monitoring them. We NEED to know who are children are hanging out with, what they are doing, what they watch, read, etc. If we don’t pay attention to these things and they become disrespectful or God forbid violent we have no one to blame but ourselves.

  5. ladylockandload says:

    Sometimes siblings are tired, cranky, and irritable from a long day at school and they can fight. Personally, I grew up in a large family and there was alot of fighting, with my mother and father too busy to “police” constantly. I taught my girls very early on that if they want a sister when they grow up, a sister that wants to keep in touch with them, they should be nice to each other NOW. I do not tolerate fighting and picking on one another, not allowed in my house.

  6. you know me and my little brother were like that when we were kids…there was a couple of years when he would pinch me constantly. Bleh.

    Anyways, what got us to get along is when our parents were being jerks to both of us I guess…we kinda banded together and did things behind their backs. Eventually we started hanging out with each other and had a bunch of mutual friends when we were in our late teens (he is a year and a half younger than me so our weekend shabbas social group was the same people) Now that we are in our mid/late 20s, we are still very close and talk all the time (and we still have a bunch of mutual friends).

  7. Mark says:

    Mostly they are worse with siblings than with friends. You are toughest on the ones you love :-)

  8. Jewish Side says:

    You know what, when I was younger – 11/12 years old, I truly loved my siblings, especially my little brother and sister. They were precious to me, and I could never picture myself being mean to them in any form. Then my friend would come over and she would always comment about it and said she doesn’t understand how I don’t fight with my sister. When I would go to her house I would always see her calling her sister names and such. Eventually I suppose I became desensitized to it, and figured that’s what normal siblings do. But my friend was a great friend to me even though she would call her sister names and fight with her, at times I felt like sticking up for her sister though.

    Also, lots of people tend to fight with their family because they know family will always be there for them, because they live with them. While friendships can break if there’s a fight.

    If the parent starts when the kid is young and teaches them that it’s not nice to call people names and such, then they can mold the child to act properly. If on the other hand, the child gets away with it for a long time then it becomes a part of them and they don’t see what’s wrong with it, and they’ll continue till they gain some senses on their own.

  9. CB says:

    If there is one thing that was/is important to me when raising my kids (there are actually other important things come to think of it:) it was that they get along, respect each other and are nice to each other. It is something that I have worked hard on and it has paid off. I have never tolerated name calling and the like. And you know what? They learn quickly and it bacame part of them and then it wasn’t difficult. If there was a slip up and I heard something I didn’t like, I would say something like – “don’t you dare talk to your sister that way”! I would also always remind them that the best thing I ever gave any of them was a sister etc…
    There is one family that we are very good friend with whose children are the same ages as mine and who we get together with often. I would always be shocked at the way they spoke to each other and now when they are in their late teens I still hear them being nasty to each other 0 it’s disgusting. I used to also use them as an example after we would spend time with them I would tell my kids not to learn from them and not to talk to each other the way those kids did.

  10. I cry.

    I wonder if all of your commentors have kids or not.

    I had all sorts of condescending ideas about parenting until I had kids of my own.

    It is naive to think that kids behavior is a sole reflection of their parents’ behavior. Though our own modeling is a huge influence, there are so many other factors that shape how our children behave.

    What do we when we see inappropriate behavior? I am trying something new. Whenever the kids say something I don’t like, or in a way I don’t like, I provide them with the words and tone that I would like to hear and I make them speak in an appropriate fashion. They don’t like it, but my current feeling is that it will be more effective than simply admonishing them or sending them to their rooms.

  11. Z! says:

    From sibling experience, all that name calling can bring you closer. When you fight for something, it means you care about it. It would hurt us, and especially our parents more if we ignored each other.
    If the name calling and fighting is seldom, and used under duress, then I wouldn’t worry about it. But when you catch it being done- SAY SOMETHING. If you don’t like it- say so. Your little voice might crawl into their mind one day and they might stop themselves.

    Lara- I will never forget my friend’s daughter coming home from preschool one day and name calling her mother. This was NOT a learned behaviour at home. It came from the School. It’s a very good school, and seperating the kids that name call from those who don’t is impossible. Although my friend has since reprimanded her daughter, and has several times since- it IS what normal children do.

  12. Lara says:

    well then based on all of the responses above i guess my children, myself and my parents for that matter aren’t normal. From the first time that I ventured out of my childhood home at a young age my parents made sure that I understood that certain people behave in a way that can be hurtful and that it would not be tolerated. It was explained to me in a way that I understood how much that could hurt someone. This same procedure was repeated with my oldest child and is now continuing with my two younger ones.

    While I know that I am not going to be able to police everything that is influencing my children I do know that with the right guidance I can effect how my children react to it. I can make sure that they understand when they hear or how they see others behaving in a certain is not always appropriate. I can make sure when I start to see the warning signs that my kids are going down that path I stop it. In my home I make sure that everyone respects each other and my children are better for it. I know when they step out of my front door to go anywhere with or without me that they treat everyone they encounter with respect. In the home they show love and respect to their siblings and to myself and my husband.

    So I guess based on what I hear from people about how their children or their friends children behave my family is very abnormal. And to tell the truth, I couldn’t be happier, because I know that if I continue with my diligence regarding my children they will grow to be respectful, loving and very happy. So I couldn’t be more proud to say that I live in a household of freaks.

  13. Just curious, Lara, how old are your kids?

  14. Hadassa — thought of something else…

    There are a few “mantras” that we say in our home, hoping that repetition will be like water on a stone:

    “your sister/brother is your best friend”

    “it is your job to take care of your sister/brother”

    “it is good to do more than your ‘fair share’”

    I also remind my kids that my siblings and I fought when we were little, but we really value each other today. They see that we are all very close and that “family first” is our motto.

  15. Mark says:

    Me too! Before I had children, I was an absolute expert. I knew everything and could give advice on any child rearing related matter. But then I had children and miraculously all that wonderful knowledge and expertise that I had seems to have disappeared :-) Same for my wife.

    Mark [5 kids, ages 3 1/2 to 10]

  16. Mark — just wait… the best is yet to come!! ;-)

    (every few months, I call my mom and just apologize….)

  17. hadassahsabo says:

    i am very much enjoying this discussion – RivkA – when my kids are rude to each other i just ask them “you pray to G-d with that mouth?” or “you kiss your mother with that mouth?” – sometimes it works and they apologize.

    Mark – yeah, my kids were going to be perfect. turns out that they are – but in a totally different way that i expected :D

    Lara – i think it is all a matter of perspective. well behaved kids are not freaks, tho, you are very blessed.

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