Posts Tagged "rudeness"

Restraint or Not To Restrain?

Dear Kid,

of course you're entitled to my opinion. All my opinions. DearKidLoveMom.comI was browsing Facebook (shocking, I know) and found a very interesting thought a friend of mine had posted:

So many things to say, but not one reason in the world to say them. Don’t you just wish this thought occurred to more people before they started typing????!!!! Just saying….

What was even more interesting to me were the comments people shared (and no, none of the comments were from me).

Commenter 1: When my son (now 21) first got Facebook, as “good” parents, we insisted on being his friend so we could monitor what he was doing and who he was conversing with. Early on, he had a post and I commented on it. Shortly thereafter, he came downstairs and said, “Mom…don’t write on my wall. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.” This has become our family mantra. I wish more people would take a minute to think about this before saying things they probably shouldn’t.

Commenter 2: I just heard on NPR that a teacher is sharing this acronym with her students: W.A.I.T. which stands for Why Am I Talking? If it serves no useful purpose, why talk?

Commenter 3: I have an opinion on everything. My very wise husband says, “yes, (sweetheart)….you are entitled to your opinion – but not everyone wants to hear it”

Just because you think something, does not mean you are required to share it for everyone and their brother to see (and by “everyone and their brother” I mean everyone on the planet who’s ever thought of being anywhere near social media).

What do you think? Are you entitled to say anything you think? Or should you show restraint?

Love, Mom

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TEDxCincinnati and Watch Your Tone

Dear Kid,

I just re-read the blog Social Media Doesn’t Mean You Are Required to Be Rude. It was the second blog ever published here on DearKidLoveMom, and it is still one of the most often read posts.

As I begin working on social media for TEDxCincinnati (yep, I’m their social media person—you may feel free to be impressed. I’m personally thrilled and amazed), I’m looking at social media in a slightly new light. I’m working with new people and we’ve got a (mostly) whole new audience.

Because of all the newness, I decided doing some research about social media might be in order. And by “research” I mean re-reading my old blog and talking to a few friends.

Turns out, my wisdom from two years ago is just as relevant (perhaps even more relevant) today as it was then. As we become increasingly electronic (Apple Watch?), we need to be even more vigilant about what we put in our e-communication.

Tone of voice is easy to interpret when you can hear it (and by “easy” I mean you have a shot at getting it right). Tone of voice is very easy to misinterpret when you read it (and by “misinterpret” I mean make it be whatever your mood wants it to be).

Tone—in spoken communication—is about the speaker, not the listener (ok, a bit about the listener). Tone—in written communication—is about the reader, not the writer.

After receiving two emails this week from someone saying that I hadn’t given them the right information and replying to both that I had, I finally went over to the person. “Oh, I figured it out—you were right,” he said. “Glad you got,” I replied. “But please stop yelling at me.” “I wasn’t yelling,” he said.

Except he was. And I still haven’t really gotten over it.

My issue, I know. But his issue too. I don’t think he thought he was yelling. But I also doubt he thought through the effect his communication style would have.

A little thought and a little politeness go a long way.

Love, Mom

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Five Rules Every College Student MUST Know

Five Rules Every College Student Must Know DearKidLoveMom.comDear Kid,

A friend of mine who lives in Arizona called me the other night. Her son, the same age as you, was home for the college winter break and she was frustrated. Her formerly delightful child had changed some. Truth be told, she said, he was being rude and a royal pain in the patoot.

As we chatted, I realized no one had reviewed the Five Rules Every College Student Must Know with her son. A terrible oversight. I take full responsibility.

So without further ado, here are the

Five Rules Every College Student Must Know.

Children always need their parents and parents always need their children. Not always as in “every minute of every day” but always as in throughout our entire lives. As children grow up, the relationship changes, but it never disappears. At 2 months old, you needed someone to feed you and dress you and entertain you when sleep was not on your schedule (which was most of the time). At 12 years old, you needed to talk about friends and the Evils of Lunchroom Behavior. At 15 years old, we talked about driving, girls, food, and responsibility (and with Pi the impact of pink versus black nail polish). These days, we talk about college, responsibility, the future, jobs, girls, and food. Ok, some themes don’t change.

The point is no matter how old you get (personally, I intend to stop aging right about now), you will always be important to us. Hopefully, we will always be important to you.

We all have bad days. When I was a growing up, every now and then Grandpa would come home and say, “I am good and angry. It has nothing to do with you, but go easy.” Since we didn’t have no stupid children in our house, we went easy, he recovered from whatever had upset him, and life was good.

I knew I too occasionally used that type statement, but I didn’t realize how impactful it was (or perhaps how often I’d said it) until you came home from school one day and said, “I’m really angry. It has nothing to do with you, and I apologize in advance if I yell.” I was so proud of you for being able to identify that you were upset and still have the presence of mind to realize that just because people were in your general proximity didn’t mean they were responsible (and that you really didn’t intend to take it out on us).

We all have bad days. It’s not necessary to share the mood.

Rudeness–especially ongoing rudeness–is never OK. There is no call for rudeness, especially directed at your loving (and generally perfect) parents. There are no scientific studies (at least none that I’m aware of) showing the value of being a snot to your parents. There are no curricula (at least none that I’m aware of) for the first semester of college in which you are taught to be obnoxious to those who brought you into the world. There are no machines (at least none that I’m aware of) that somehow remove the phrases “please,” “thank you,” and “how can I help?” once you begin your college career.

This is your home, not a hotel. Hotels are great (as long as you can get a room). Other people clean the bathroom, other people make the beds and vacuum the floor, you can call room service and they’ll bring you all sorts of yummies. Of course, you’re generally confined to just one room (yours), the breakfast selection is limited (but if you’re a huge fan of bagels-from-a-bag and make your own waffles you might be set), and you have to pay astronomic amounts to spend the night with your head on a pillow that some stranger used the night before.

Home doesn’t come with all the servants (at least your home doesn’t), but it does come with food you can help yourself to, cars you can (sometimes) borrow, and rules. The rules, the chores, and the love are always here–no matter what. When you have your own home, you can make the rules (or not), eliminate the chores, and live however you like. And if you think that’s likely to happen, I will giggle until the cows come home because it’s amazing how one’s perspective on these things changes over time.

I’m sorry goes a long way. There are times when we are emotionally exhausted. When we’ve had to work really hard for a long time to hold it together. (For your sister, this was a daily occurrence when she was in pre-school.) Then we reach a safe spot and don’t feel the obligation to continue to have such a tight grip on ourselves, and we lose it.

Losing it looks different for different people. Some people yell, some people sulk, some people check out, some people become mass murderers. Some people aim for all at once. If you can recognize what’s going on in advance and warn the general public that you are a walking Mt. Vesuvius about to blow, that helps. If you can’t, and you end up spewing emotional lava all over your friends and family, don’t forget to apologize once the eruption is over. (Not right away, because you probably still have molten rock in your teeth. But as soon as you return to human status.) An apology makes a big difference.

To you, and my friend’s son who is now back in California getting ready for his second semester, I wish you a wonderful second half of your freshman year. You can do it, kid. You rock. (Not the molten kind.)

Love, Mom

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Social Media Doesn’t Mean You Are Required to Be Rude

girl-on-mobile-phoneDear Kid,

Is it just me, or has the whole world lost it?

I just read the article Why Eye Contact Still Matters In The Age of Email which basically laments the “new” rudeness that has emerged now that teens and college students are spending so much time on their electronic communication devices. The article suggests that because people are communicating in ways that are not face-to-face they feel a freedom to be rude. (It also suggests that because “everyone is watching” people are no longer willing to take risks, but that is a discussion for another day. Tomorrow perhaps.)

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