What an conversation starter!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Christy, Jun 19, 2008.

  1. Christy

    Christy New Member

    How's this for socially inappropriate? We walk into difficult child's new tae kwon do class and difficult child immediately introduces himself by saying...

    "Hi my name is N and I am adopted because my old parents were poor and my new ones buy me lots of stuff."

    The parents immediately shot me questioning looks and the kids wanted to know exactly how much stuff he had-LOL

    Needless to say, we had a conversation about this later. Unfortunately, due to his history of neglect, he remembers being hungry and not having much but this is not how it came across. I also asked him why he thought it was important for a group of people he just met to know this? This got me an "I don't know, is it supposed to be a secret?"
  2. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    K seems to not have a social filter as far as what should be said out loud and in public and what is for home or family conversation.

    She will just start vomiting information to complete strangers... I have posted about this before. I have yet to find a shutoff switch or a monitor or any way to get her to understand that there is a need to know, or a not need to know...
  3. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts


    I'm not surprised - the tweedles still do this at almost 14 years of age. I do think the hx of neglect makes a lasting impact on our difficult children.

    Modeling & practicing appropriate conversation & introductions with the tweedles is an almost daily event. We also spend lots of time teaching kt not to approach strangers & not to give out personal information.

    kt once told me that she was proud to have been adopted by husband & myself & that's why she would tell people right away.

    You may never know the why's; & really does it matter? Now it's a matter of moving forward & teaching your difficult child the correct way to introduce himself in the community.

  4. bran155

    bran155 Guest

    lol "Out of the mouth of babes", especially our "babes"!!! How cute though!!! Mine is 17 and still says THE MOST inappropriate things, it is very embarrassing at times, considering she is 17 and cant get away with "the cute thing" anymore. :)
  5. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    OMG! ROFL!
    My difficult child gets very dark in summer, espcially since he's mixed race, AA.
    We were standing in line one August, paying tuition and buying books, and a friend of his from the yr b4 came up and shouted, "Wow! I almost didn't recognize you. You look like you're adopted or something!"
    We said, "He is." The friend's eyebrows shot up and somehow the topic came up that he gets twice as many gifts, some from us and some from his birth family. That elicited another "Wow."
    Kids are so funny,
  6. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    You may not recognize it - but it's bragging rights.

    Like - My Mom is an astronaut, or My dad is a senator - he starts off by telling people he has great parents. Bragging.

    I would just sit him down and say "You know what? Adopted kids are twice as special as any other kids because YOU were very VERY much wanted in this family. I could NOT love you MORE if I had given birth to you myself."

    Sometimes that's what we're looking for. To know We as adoptees are just as important as kids that you gave birth to - because in our minds we're a little less and will be for a long time until we work it out in our own heads.

    Another nice thing to hear is

    "You know what - you can tell people you are adopted all day long if that makes you feel good, and you are - but MORE important that being adopted is KNOWING that I LOVE YOU and YOU ARE MY SON to me. Not my adopted son - MY SON."

  7. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    It's not always bragging. For difficult child 1, it was about "This is what is big in my life right now, I will share it because it is important to me."

    In his case, it was getting a diagnosis of Asperger's (which totally turned off the last shreds of friendships with the "normal" kids, the ones who were now a bit scared of him) and then again, when he qualified for a disability pension at age 16, while still in high school. OK, we made sure he couldn't access the money except to pay medical bills, but he made it sound like he was happy to be disabled because he got all this money from the government for it. Not popular - our country is very "down" on people getting government money for what they perceive as inappropriate reasons. even my best friend has been very critical that difficult child 1 has been on the pension (which her taxes help pay for).

    None of this was what difficult child 1 could understand, so he kept blurting it out. At school it made him seem even more of a freak and he was ostracised even more.

    Then last week, when difficult child 1, girlfriend & I dropped in to visit me best friend to talk about wedding plans (best friend is making the wedding dress) difficult child 1 noticed a new piece of furniture. He walked over to it, ran his hand over it and said, "That sanding job wouldn't pass muster in MY sanding booth at my new job."
    As it turned out, she had sanded the unit herself, and done the lacquer job also. She was unimpressed at his criticism of her handiwork - very tactless. She & I were talking about it today - she did the job to her personal specifications, which are good enough for most people. difficult child 1's boss seems to be delighted to have someone so Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) in charge of quality control in the sanding booth...

    His wedding speech is going to be interesting...

  8. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Marg, LOL!
  9. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think, while perhaps an inappropriate opening for his first class with folks who you all had no history with, it showed confidence, acceptance of his situation, and a little bragging. Not an unhealthy thing.

    As Linda mentioned, having a discussion about appropriate information for sharing sounds in order! But I did smile when I read what he said!

  10. Christy

    Christy New Member

    Thanks guys for helping me reframe this in a positive light. I never thought of it as bragging-LOL!

    We did discuss why it wasn't appropriate to start a conversation this way and I once again tried to explain that it was not just that his birth parents were poor but that it was that they were not able to learn the skills necessary to take care of and parent a child. It is actually kind of hard to explain to him because in reality, they needed to do very little and social services was really trying to support them but they just didn't bother to do the things they needed to do :(

    Marg, that is too funny! I am sure your friend really appreciated his critism.
  11. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Some people just don't have the knack of tact and diplomacy.

    husband had a difficult child aunt who regularly would open her mouth just to change feet. She never seemed to realise just how WRONG her remarks were. She wasn't mean or nasty in any way, just totally clueless.

    I have told this story here before, but it IS priceless.
    easy child was my first baby, and was also a very beautiful baby, even by baby standards and through my biased mother's eyes. I am not ugly, but neither do I get second looks. easy child did. Perhaps because she was malnourished before birth, so she didn't have rolls of fat; I don't know. But she had a perfect, full, rosebud mouth; wide blue-grey eyes loaded with lashes, and plenty of long, chestnut curls. She really did attract attention just because she was such a strikingly attractive baby.
    Meanwhile I was still working full-time, had just gone back to work after only three months maternity leave. We were visiting a relative in hospital, husband had met me at work and after collecting easy child form child care, we had gone to the hospital as a family group. Since I worked alongside the men in a fairly male-dominated job, I wasn't exactly wearing typical female office wear. I was wearing jeans and t-shirt, with sneakers on my feet. I had changed easy child into a pretty white lacy dress.

    As usual, everyone exclaimed over the baby. husband's aunt was especially vocal (why is it that the most tactless people also have the loudest voices?). She announced loudly to the whole family, plus everyone else on that entire floor of the hospital, "Oh, isn't she beautiful? What an absolutely beautiful baby! AND WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT THAT YOU'D HAVE SUCH A PRETTY BABY?"

    I just laughed. Her husband was scandalised and was kicking her shins under the coffee table ('how could you?" he hissed at her, while she glanced at him, bewildered, with a "what on earth is wrong with you?" look).

    I understood exactly what she meant - I'm ordinary-looking, easy child was definitely extraordinary. It was like the child photos of Brooke Shields, with her mother (only mother, without makeup). But it sure didn't come out that way!

    I'm sure that other patients and nurses thought the aunt was being nasty, because they didn't know her. But I knew she was a good-hearted woman and was simply trying to compliment me and express her delight in the extraordinary creature I had magically given birth to, like Helen of Troy hatched from a swan's egg. A goddess, from a barnyard creature.

    So when you hear difficult child say something tactless, try to put a kind spin on it and use it as a teaching opportunity (if you can, without making it more obvious) instead of thinking he was being mean. If he WAS trying to be mean, then you take the wind out of his sails by deliberately not getting offended.

    Meanwhile, make sure you write it all down. You can then trot it all out for his 21st. A really good plan - try to have 21 "gaffes" by the time his 21st birthday comes round. Write each one out in big print on a poster, and stick it to the wall with a number on it. You could even have a party game - ask the guests to guess how old he was when he said each one.

    A mother's vengeance is definitely a much more enjoyable dish when served cold!

  12. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    I never meant to imply that the pride our difficult children feel in being adopted is wrong - I hope it didn't come across that way.

    For us, teaching kt & wm who & when to tell personal things such as being adopted is very important. AND we always wanted them to feel as if they were our very own children. husband & I have never introduced the tweedles as our adopted children - we wanted them to feel "normal", for lack of a better word.

    Adoption (other than the emotional baggage that comes with it) has never been an issue; it's just another way to become a family.