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Boundaries: Children & Adults

Discussion in 'Society & Culture' started by Shadowhunter, May 28, 2015.

  1. Shadowhunter

    Shadowhunter Active Member

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    I've contemplated starting this thread for months now but an incident yesterday morning really pissed me off. I have experienced myself as well as witnessed and heard examples from other people complaining about children's behavior and sometimes, the behavior of the adults around them.

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    What do you think are appropriate interactions with children and adults? Should there be any boundaries at all?

    Personally, I respect children just the same as I do with adults and avoid interacting with them unless I know them very well, and even so I do not force hugs, kisses or other physical gestures. I let the child sit/stand/walk where he/she wants and let them lead by their own comfort levels basically and try to steer conversations to safe topics if not educating/thought provoking or developmentally stimulating. I also teach my own child about stranger danger and body safety and I respect that with others I see as well.

    However, I have come across a great deal of people that totally disregard boundaries for children and adults as well. I continue to be told that this is normal, stay quiet, let them have their way, that's Trinidad for you, etc. Yesterday marked the third time someone yelled in my infant child's face. I consider this verbal and emotional abuse and extremely inappropriate. If you want to teach your children that this is how you treat other people, including infants, then that's on you. Don't impose your BS on others though. IMO children mirror the behavior of others and frequent displays of aggressive behavior may very well lead to related changes in a child's behavior and/or thought patterns.

    Before you consider whether he "looked for it" or not as is classic with Trini victim blaming for those with that mentality, his crime was singing and humming to himself and asking for mom and milk while he was with a relative in a store because he was tired and hungry. He did the same thing with me hours later after drinking his milk; singing and humming, and talking to me about what he saw and the people in the pharmacy gushed and cooed "look how he entertaining himself! hear him sing! aww!!" instead of following the relative around for a few minutes yelling at the child about how making noise was giving trouble and being bad and he was a bad boy.



    Stop. What do you think about this scenario at this point?

    (Continue)



    Beneath the surface, my son has some health issues that require anyone caring for him to be on high alert at all times. This is why I rarely leave others with him and am mostly a helicopter parent keeping him glued to my side almost 24/7. I rarely ask others to hold or interact with him and very rarely will leave him alone with that same one relative if I am nearby for very short periods of time. When we are in familiar and comfortable environments I lag behind and let him do his thing where and with whom he is comfortable but remain nearby to act as his advocate in the event of inappropriate circumstances. Also kidnapping is real. *strikes fear in the hearts of parents everywhere*

    Seems paranoid, I know, but I need someone with both childcare and special needs education and experience if someone is to be alone with him or things can go south very quickly. For someone inexperienced with his issues, they may panic and react in an incorrect manner leading to further health problems or fail to react at all. I have to consider every ingredient in everything going in or on his body (including food, clothing, and hair & skin products on people who will be interacting with him), clothing texture, scents, too many lights, too noisy, not stimulating enough, will this cause an allergic reaction? will this overwhelm him? will he be hyper-reactive to this? does he have enough avenues for sensory integration to keep him balanced? will I have resources at my disposal for damage control if something happens? do I have preventative measures in place? etc.

    Despite this, he is very empathetic even as a child and usually demonstrates caring actions and words with others, especially children, and can be protective over those he sees being scolded or hit. He is a child and is still learning how to express what he wants, needs, and dislikes and that is his right as a child IMO but he does express himself when he remembers how and is emotionally able to, just as he expressed what he needed to the relative in the store when he was hungry and tired (also in pain from teething) without bothering anyone.

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    What do you think now?



    It seems though, that the real reason I had a child was for others to use as an emotional punching bag. If I decided to find out who this woman was and drop some level cuss and a planass or two, I would be rude and inappropriate though, right? I am already told I am rude, hostile, etc. for telling people as it is when they come to touch him with perfume laden clothes and scented hand creams, try to push food/drink/toys in his mouth without letting me know or check the ingredients, or grab and pinch or try to pull him out of my arms with no warning or permission. Not rude if you wanna reprimand my kid for whatever messed up $#!% you have in your head though right?#doublestandards


    Here's why I have to let this incident "slide":
    1. I have no idea who this loud mouthed mofo is and it would be obsessive and a bit mental to find out just to put her in her place.
    2. She's not the only person who does this. This is a wide-spread mentality.
    3. Retribution is not the answer IMO.
    4. I have to soothe my son's nightmares and correct his mutterings of "I'm bad boy" myself and demonstrate how to react appropriately to these situations myself because others are incapable of doing it and many people in society will say it's "small ting' and to just forget it happened and teach him to sweep it under the rug. *waves resting bitch face flag high* It is up to me to teach him how to move on in a healthy manner from these experiences, which can be traumatizing to children, and was indeed a traumatic event for him. That's my responsibility and I own it. I should have been there to react accordingly and I wasn't. I don't know who the $%#@ it's up to to keep boundary stompers on a leash. I would think society/community because "it takes a village" and all but society/village has failed miserably if you ask me.


    [​IMG]

    These are some examples of what healthy boundaries are between children and adults IMO:


    • Always ask for permission/consent.
    • Do not touch without consent.
    • Do not act in an aggressive or violent manner.
    • If consent is given, only touch "safe" body parts i.e. handshakes, high fives, hold hands, foot games, etc.
    • No one has the right to touch you, speak to you, or behave in front of you in a manner that makes you uncomfortable.
    • No one has the right to force you to do something you are not comfortable with.
    • Respect others. This is everyone's automatic right.
    • No one has the right to take your belongings without your knowledge and consent.
    • Being forced to agree to something through threats, aggression, violence, manipulation, blackmail, bribery, fear, silence, etc. is not agreeing or consent.
    • Private body parts should be identified as such and told to only be touched (washed etc) by you i.e. who it belongs too.
    • Tell your parents, doctor, or someone you trust if someone does anything to make you feel uncomfortable. If they don't listen, keep looking for someone who will.
    • Do not yell, scream, hit, squeeze, hurt, kick, slap, punch, etc. anyone.
    • Children's rights include the right to be advocated for and protected.
    • Adults do not have the right to emotionally, verbally, physically, or sexually hurt anyone. It does not matter if you are smaller, weaker, sicker, quieter, smarter, scared, big, silly, alone, and/or loud. When dealing with children, adults know better. Children are still learning.
    • You always have the right to be respected, just as you should respect others.
    • You have a right to personal space and privacy, just as others do.
    • Do not take anything from anyone or give anything to anyone without prior knowledge and consent from your parents/guardians.
    • Don't talk to strangers unless your parents/guardians say it's okay.
    • You do not have to answer every question that is asked or do everything you are told to. Go to your parents/guardian if a stranger tries to talk to you.



    I know I didn't get everything and not everyone may agree with those as these are my personal beliefs. Here's an excerpt from Psychology Today on fundamental human rights that may be easier to relate to:



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    What are your thoughts on boundaries between children and adults?
    What did I miss? Would you change any of these? Please share this around and make these boundaries (i.e. common forms of courtesy and respect) common knowledge. I refuse to accept this kind of [mis]behavior as a "normal" Trini thing or "small ting" and I hope that woman and people who behave like her and encourage/enable such behavior see this as well.
     
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  3. LadyDeath

    LadyDeath Senior Marketing Officer
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    Thank you for this post Shadow. It is very enlightening to know the boundaries between children and adults.
    I am truly sorry that this had to happen to your son. If i was in that situation i would of def went back for that person and give them a piece of my mind! That's your child and people don't know what you are going through to raise him, but reprimanding him for simply being a child ! wtf!

    Many Trini people do not understand their own children and respect their boundaries, that's why so many of children's disabilities go undetected here in Trinidad such as ADHD, Dyslexia & Autism and many more. We grew up being beaten, scolded or forced in situations and these are seen as parental methods for raising a 'successful child' . We need to understand children and respect their opinions .On the other hand, we also need to learn how to respect other parents on their 'modern' methods of raising their children and not butt in we feel.

    Child abuse is also a serious issue going on in T&T. Children are delicate, vulnerable and so innocent . We need to be careful what we say or do to them because it is the early experiences that's shaping their future. Children grow up with serious emotional and mental issues from bad experiences.
     
  4. nirtime

    nirtime Active Member

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    I would trace that woman and she would get the blow out of a life time. she feel she bad with my child, she doh know bad until she interfere with some ppl children.

    Ive heard the stories of parents pulling blades for people who hit /yell at their child. There's lots more that some parents will do but its not as frequent and people take it for granted like all things depending on how much they care about their child.
     
  5. Shadowhunter

    Shadowhunter Active Member

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    If I seriously trip off on one of these people one day, I will be considered wrong though eh. I strongly believe in leading by example and I think when children are behaving in unpleasant manners there is a reason behind it. It may be personal for them if they do not feel well, are reacting to something, or have something going on behind the scenes.

    But sometimes I believe it is because they are mimicking and acting out as a result of the adult behavior around them and towards them. I think before we judge the current generation, we have to look at the generations teaching them and guiding/misguiding them, such as people inappropriately reprimanding other people's children (can you tell I'm still pissed? lol).

    Regardless, I do not think it is appropriate to reprimand someone else's child under any circumstances. When necessary, you may make a complaint to the parent/guardian/supervisor etc. Even so, you don't have to like their reaction or lack of action as the parent-child relationship is off limits to those outside that relationship. You cannot force a parent to abuse or treat their child the way you demand so you can feel good. Unless a child is being abused by their parent, you have no right whatsoever to get in the middle and dish out any form of abuse or "discipline". In the event of child abuse, you can go to the police, a social worker, or call ChildLine at 800 4321 or 131.

    Sadly I know a lot of folks that still believe you can beat anything out of a child eg. ADHD, dyslexia, etc. I can't imagine the lives those children lead with no understanding, support, help, and room to grow in their own way with people like that punishing them for things they cannot control, worse yet for the way they are perceived and treated by others in the outside world who are showing them how people treat each other outside the home.
     
  6. nirtime

    nirtime Active Member

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    Yes that I agree with. Nobody else is supposed to meddle with the child. If the behaviour is out of bounds take the complaint to the parents and let them deal with it. If they choose to ignore it at a young age, they will pay the price for it at an older age then the parents themselves will be sorry.

    I realise by being quiet and patient you wasting your time if you are a parent and your child is taken advantage off.
     
  7. Shadowhunter

    Shadowhunter Active Member

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    I agree. If what the guardian is doing is detrimental to the child, there are child abuse authorities that can get involved. I have personally known people that went to great extents to block their children from the outside world and raise them in certain ways, only to find out in the teenage years that other children or adults in school or in the community etc have been sources of the same things the parents tried to avoid exposing their children to eg. cursing, promiscuity, fighting, stealing etc. In every case of this I have come across, if the child or children get into trouble, or their learned "bad habits" are discovered by others, the common reaction from others is to insist the parents have caused it and are "bad" parents and/or to try reprimanding the children themselves believing that the parents are just not beating the children straight or beating/threatening the "right" behavior into them.

    However, I have equally known people that intentionally taught their children to curse, engage in gender based violence, learn bigoted slurs, and lie and steal. When the time comes that the children are old enough to turn on them, at least in the families I have seen, they are confused as to where the children learned these things from and will blame everyone from teachers to video games. I also believe that if you teach your children not to do those things but do it anyway around them, eg. beat people in front of them whether men or women, talk openly about supporting hate crimes and condemning those who are different, curse and use bigoted slurs openly, steal and lie, etc. that is still a way of teaching them such behaviors by becoming real life demonstrations for them.

    I have learned the hard way that children need to advocated for because too many adults use their age and size to their advantage, quite inappropriately and are not perceived to be wrong until the child in the situation ends up in therapy, a hospital, or a morgue. It is easy to belittle, insult, threaten, intimidate, manipulate, and otherwise hurt someone who is smaller and weaker than you. The problem is, you need to exercise caution in those situations as well because I have met a great number of people who are "wrong and strong" and will quickly resort to violence if interrupted, questioned, stopped, etc. I have learned to assert myself for my own child's well being as well but I am not always the only person with him and there are still way too many people that insist on allowing boundary stomping behaviors, even at the mental, emotional, or physical detriment to a young impressionable child. This is frustrating beyond description and people need to wake up and realize this is not okay IMO.
     
  8. nirtime

    nirtime Active Member

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    Honestly no child can be sheltered from the harshness and negatives around us. It can be instilled in them the undesireableness of the behaviour and also proper values.
     
  9. Shadowhunter

    Shadowhunter Active Member

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    I think it's very easy to influence children either way and however a child behaves, they should have demonstrations of proper behavior around them. A lot of people hold games and shows responsible for children picking up "bad habits" but will not consider real life demonstrations as having the same effect. I can't take people seriously when they beat and threaten children and are then surprised when the child eventually displays some aggressive behavior.

    Look at all this criminal youth we have. What will happen when one of them get vex and dish out the same treatment they are given by others, regardless of age? It will be considered right for the adult to behave like an @$$, not for the child to follow exactly what they are shown. If you treat children like they are "bad" or like criminals, what kind of behavior do you expect to get?

    Instead of adults stomping around like damned bullies all over the place waiting to dish out reprimands from their high horses at the slightest movement or noise, why can't adults instead use their elder collective intelligence and put some work into supporting each other and setting better examples for these easily influenced children? (That would be too much work and won't make them feel "big" enough so nope.)
     
  10. Shadowhunter

    Shadowhunter Active Member

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    I just want to add in this excerpt from ChildLinett.org:

    I think this is a good resource to keep on hand for those interested in interacting with children and influencing and treating them appropriately. ChildLine is a free, confidential helpline dedicated to help all children and young adults under the age of 25. If you are over 25, you may still feel free to call to get help for youths around you.
     
  11. LadyDeath

    LadyDeath Senior Marketing Officer
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    I see these things on a daily basis and sometimes when you see people treating their child badly, you cannot say anything.
    My neighbours used to beat their children or punish them because they did poor in their test. Then embarass them infront of people and have them laugh at the children. Due to this these children grew up with alot of emotional issues.

    Their are boundaries that even parents need to respect. Don't embarass or hurt your children. Instead try to talk, understand, nurture and help them. Some parents think fear is the best way to raise children and they are so damn wrong. After being raised in a strict household where i couldn't even talk to my parents about certain things i turned out fine, however, i will never do my own children that.
     
  12. Shadowhunter

    Shadowhunter Active Member

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    Abuse is the only time I see it appropriate to intervene in a parent-child relationship. There are places to go to for help such as those listed above. Otherwise, there is no reason that is good enough to excuse imposing oneself on a child or on a parent on their child's behalf in such manners.

    Not everyone is fortunate enough to escape the ill effects of such childhood experiences. A lot of people walk around with depression, anxiety, PTSD, eating disorders, and complexes that go on untreated. This not only poses potential harm to themselves, but to people around them as well. There are a lot of people with anger issues, for example, hurting others. Some of them can be helped and just refuse to acknowledge that they have a problem, accept help, or that what they are doing is wrong or inappropriate at all. Children are not "supposed to" answer back, fight back etc. so it's just easier for them to project whatever they want to on children much more than they would on adults who can do something back.
     
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