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Old 09-29-2003, 11:10 AM
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Kids relating to elderly people

My son feels uncomfortable around older people. He says they look weird. I've explained about how we change when we age and that we're still the same inside, but he has gone so far as to be rude to his grandmother - hugging everyone in the family except her.

Any ideas on how I can respect his feelings but require that he be polite to others?
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Old 09-29-2003, 11:27 AM
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I wish I had a good answer for you. Being a grandmother I know we look "wierd". It freaks me out sometimes to see myself in the mirror.

I can remember when I was younger that certain older people I tried to avoid. Usually because they gave wet slobbery kisses. But never because they looked "wierd".

Hopefully it is a phase he's going through and that his grandmother can get through his rejection in tact. Maybe she will remember certain older people that gave slobbery kisses and she won't be too hurt.

I know my grandkids give me quick hugs when I've got the ben gay slapped on and I do understand that.

Maybe someone who has gone through this will have some helpful advice.
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Old 10-01-2003, 07:53 AM
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thanks to ladyinmaille

I called my pediatrician and she says he's just pushing my buttons. He's always been a "challenging" kid and this is one more way he's found to control his world.

I talked to my mother-in-law and we decided to ignore it!
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Old 10-01-2003, 08:16 AM
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My youngest DS is the same way!

He is such a sweet , docile child that I am certain that he doesn't do it to "push anyone's buttons". He also will not go near someone that he knows is "sick"......our 22 mo. old niece has a feeding tube....he cries if we make him go near her. He will, however, go up to a handicapped person in a wheel chair without a second thought!

We've been there, done that with the "ignoring it" and it sure didn't make any difference with our DS. But, perhaps it will work with your son...especially if he is doing it just to "push your buttons".

I just wish we could figure out why DS does it and how to remedy it!
Hook 'Em Horns!!!!
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Old 10-01-2003, 09:20 AM
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Sparkysmom, I'm glad that you have handled the situation and have a plan in place in order to resolve it. It could be he will not change his behavior but you have discussed it with the mother in law so she knows you do not encourage or condone his behavior. I'm sure if I were the mother in law involved I would really appreciate the phone call stating yes, it is a problem, and this is the approach we are going to make.

Abear, it sounds like your son has a fear brought on by something. Who knows where fears come from. Some you can pin down like I know where my fear of needles comes from but I'll be darned if I know where my fear of heights came from. Given time, he may outgrow it, or he may always feel uncomfortable. I don't see where pushing the issue would help but then I haven't been trained on how to help. You are the mom and you know your son better than anyone so if I were you I'd trust your own instincts.

As moms all we can do is try one thing and then the next and hope something helps our children.
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Old 10-12-2003, 04:49 AM
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Had to when I read this thread. My now 6 YO dgd wouldn't go near her Great Aunt Trudy (deceased a few months ago sadly) when she was little. She would talk to her but would not let Aunt Trudy kiss her. Aunt Trudy just laughed, thought it was kind of funny. We finally figured out that it was becasue AT had whiskers. :p
I don't know how old the son mentioned in the first post is, but give him time. I'm sure he'll outgrow it. In the meantime I WOULD insist that he be polite.

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Old 10-19-2003, 04:55 PM
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Umm.. there is a social advantage to living in a city...Remember when I told you how Italian families are? They get together very often. Family lives near family, usually several generations, on the same block or in the same house. Kids get use to all age groups.. young and old within the family, and their friends' family.
So older or people that are infirm or disabled are not strange to them. When my son was 10, he used to read to an older neighbor, who lived across the street. He would go over several times a week. When we visited friends, it was in the same situation, aunts, uncles, great aunts and uncles, grandparents....

Since we are such a mobile society now, people do not have that advantage or family support group.
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Old 10-20-2003, 12:28 AM
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Hi Ladies,

I am a caregiver for the elderly. I love them dearly. I can remember thinking they were weird when I was a child also. You grow out of it.

Maybe (is it Sparky?) he can sit and hang out with just grandma by himslef, play cards or some other favorite game, look at old photos and listen to stories from when grandma was a kid. Instill in him, as you have, that grandma is a person too and didn't always look "weird". Maybe you can find some pictures of when she was Sparky's age. Maybe someday he'll develope a great relationship with her if he spends some alone time with her.
With you nearby of course, you don't want to freak the poor kid out. lol

let us know how it's coming along.............Deb
Mom of 3
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Old 10-26-2003, 06:58 AM
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Lightbulb Relating to Elderly

Hi everyone,
I came in specifically to answer this question but I see that another (wise) person has already beat me to it
I would totally agree with the Photo idea and I would expand on it.
Without even talking about the behavior towards Grandma, begin a discussion about family and bring out the older photo albums (even if you need to borrow them) First show him his OWN baby pictures and ask him if he thinks he looks different now. Talk about how he has changed since he was born.
Then show him YOUR baby or childhood pictures and ask him if he thinks YOU look different now. You will laugh I am sure, make it fun! Get him THINKING ;-)
While doing this dont talk about Grandma.
Then show him childhood or at least younger pictures of some older family members that he knows and see if he recognizes any of them if he does tell him thats great and tell him that is because they are still the same people and that we all look different at different ages and no age is better, just different.
I would ask him "How would it make you feel if people said you looked weird because you arent a baby any more"?
Now show him pictures of Grandma as a child and ask him if he would like that person and talk about the GIRL out of context as Grandma.
I would ask him if he will love you when you are a Grandma also.
Let him see that changing with age is a normal part of life and that it is even happening to HIM!
In the mean time I wouldnt make much of a fuss about his "opinions" but I would insist on him treating Grandma with respect.
I hope this helps I wish you all the best I hope he learns to love his Grandma and enjoy all of the love and wisdom that she has to offer!
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Old 10-26-2003, 11:34 AM
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Many times I have read or have seen on TV of various groups like Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Brownies, Sunday School classes, etc. starting an "Adopt a Grandparent." Once a week they would visit the nursing home where they sat with the same person and both got to know each other by telling about their lives. On holidays and birthdays both were given something they had made, and some wonderful friendships developed. All of the kids (young and old) had wonderful times and enjoyed each other immensely. It changed their attitudes about older people, and vice versa.
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