OT: Taming The Tongue

Avatar for cfk_3
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-14-1999
OT: Taming The Tongue
13
Sun, 12-02-2012 - 7:13pm

I called my nieces spoiled earlier today.  To their faces.  They made a remark about being embarrassed to ride in their grandfather's 90's era Lexus which doesn't have one dent in it and has a brand new coat of paint.  It's not loud, it runs fine.  I don't get it.  I apologized almost immediately for using the word spoiled and left it at that . . . I guess entitled was the proper word to have used, but they wouldn't have known what it meant.  I'm feeling like crap, even though I apologized but more than that, I don't understand why I can't keep my thoughts to myself.  Other people do it successfully, why can't I?  This is a real struggle for me.  Does anyone else struggle with such?  It makes me feel like weak sauce!  I hate it!  UGH.  

 P.S.  I miss spell check!

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Community Leader
Registered: 07-16-2001
Sun, 12-02-2012 - 7:30pm

Honestly, there are worse things you could have called them.  A lot of kids are spoiled these days, or entitled, or whatever you want to call it.  We focus so much on trying to keep them happy that we forget that unhappiness is a part of life. 

To be honest, I've told students they are spoiled before.  Not in a mean way, more joking...yet not.  They'll start talking about how they are getting an ipad and phone and the newest game system for Christmas, and I just can't help but say, "Geez, you guys are spoiled these days!  I asked for Barbies at your age!" 

I have the most trouble keeping my mouth shut with coworkers.  Sometimes I do okay, sometimes not.  It really depends on my mood.

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-03-2009
Sun, 12-02-2012 - 7:43pm
I don't think you should beat yourself up over this one. Instead of your nieces being grateful they have a grandparent willing to shuttle them around in a vehicle that is not only safe and well maintained, but of a luxury brand they sat there nitpicking about the age of the vehicle. Plenty of other kids their age don't have a relative willing to shuttle them anywhere and instead walk for miles in harsh weather, take the bus/subway/train, or ride a bicycle to get where they need to be. Their failure to recognize their good fortune and choosing to complain that they don't have something newer is spoiled or entitled behavior and they won't learn that unless they are called on it. And you could have further enhanced this lesson by using the word entitled and then making them look up the definition.
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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Sun, 12-02-2012 - 8:29pm

Maybe you shouldn't have called them spoiled, but I think it was good that you brought it up--so what if grandpa has an older car?  There are worse things.  And what it he had an old car that wasn't a Lexus and didn't look so good?  Shouldn't they just "endure" the embarrassment because they have a grandpa?  It would have brought about a good discussion about materialism and what is important in life.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-10-2005
Sun, 12-02-2012 - 8:33pm

Umm yeah, I struggle with this. And even if I manage to bite my tongue, I am awful at hiding my facial expressions!  Clearly I am awful at poker.

I think it's important to be self-aware.  It sounds like you know this is something you'd like to work on, and that, plus your apology, goes a long way.  You're not weak at all.  One of the methods I try to use is the "I feel ___ when you ____ because ___".  But of course, sometimes things pop out before I get to use that format.  We're human, after all.

Avatar for cfk_3
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-14-1999
Sun, 12-02-2012 - 10:56pm
I need to make "use your words" my new mantra which, seems kind of silly at my age but better late than never as they say. Thanks for all of your thoughtful replies.
Avatar for xxxs
Community Leader
Registered: 01-25-2010
Mon, 12-03-2012 - 2:01pm

  Don't beat your self up this has been going on for thousands of years!  The Ancient Greeks observed the same things!  It is a human thing when at that age.  

dragowoman

Avatar for cfk_3
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-14-1999
Mon, 12-03-2012 - 8:25pm

Thanks, X. I just don't want their memory of me to be that of an Aunt Meanie. I had an aunt growing up who would engage in back and forth's with me. I kind of resented her because of it. She passed from cancer when I was in my mid 20's and it wasn't until very recently that I started remembering all of the fun things she did with me. I also now realize what it's like to be in close quarters with a mouthy teen. It's not always a walk in the park. I wish I could thank her, and apologize for being such a brat.

Avatar for Kendahke1
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-09-2012
Tue, 12-04-2012 - 8:11am

I honestly do not see anything wrong with telling them the truth.  How do they think their grandfather feels when they show their ingratitude for him even taking them somewhere in his car?

my ex's daughter "jokingly" says mean things about the car he drives and how she is embarassed to ride in that car.  I asked him did she know that the reasons why he drove that car was so that she could have private music lessons, go to private school, take acting classes, get her modeling portfolio shot and go to a performing arts college to which she did not get a scholarship to attend?  All that money could go towards him buying himself a new car.

As far as I can read, the truth requires no apology.

Avatar for cfk_3
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-14-1999
Tue, 12-04-2012 - 11:31am
In truth, they've been through a lot. They are spoiled in some ways, but in other ways they've actually been neglected. Spoiled just wasn't the word to have used. That's why I apologized. I was also disappointed in myself that I was engaging in this unhealthy exchange of words with a 16 year old. I'm the adult, and should be able to remain in control of a conversation instead of allowing it to escalate.
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2012
Tue, 12-04-2012 - 6:29pm

I have told my granddaughter that and she is only 6. But she can be an obnoxious child. She is from a split family and her father is many miles away and does not see her often. I feel there is no excuse for that with technology today and Skype...but that is another topic.

Her mother over "gifts" her with items to "make up" for the fathers inattention. I think it would better be spent giving her attention not things. She says "ick" about certain foods (many kids don't know where their next meal is coming from) and fusses over certain toys that are given to her.

I have mentioned to her regarding the fact that she is "spoiled" but also let her know that others do not have as much as her and wish they were as lucky as she was.

So I think I would have said the same to your nieces, but then explained why, and I would not have apologized. As another poster said, they are lucky to have a grampa who will taxi them around.

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