I feel like I may have brought this up before but then I don't feel like I have. If so, someone just remind me and I'll look for the link. I'm pretty sure I wanted to but just didn't because of the sensitive topic.
Anyway. Here I go. Racism. I feel like I'm already having to deal with it in front of my children. Well, Michael, obviously. Honestly, I never realized this person (I guess paid very much attention to the fact) made racist comments let alone as often as they do. And it's a family member on dh's side.
I brought it up to dh before and the result of that conversation (if that's what you'd call it) was that the next time it happened he would say something. All I'm looking for is something as gentle as "please don't talk like that in front of Michael." I don't want to get into a war with anyone. But it's happened again and nothing was said.
I'm always the bad guy. (and don't worry, I know I need to be when stuff like this happens. I am the best advocate for my child(ren)) And if this was my side of the family or a friend or aquaintance of mine I'd have NO PROBLEMS saying something immediately. I think it bothered me more that dh kept silent.
How do you feel about this? If it was dh's side of the family do you feel it is his place to say something? I feel like I'm mad about it now. The situation comes into my head at random times and frustrates me. I'm kind of wondering if I should send an email about it instead of waiting until the next time it happens? I'm not trying to change anyone's opinions about anything. I'm just asking for respect for my children, my family, my home.
And believe me. I know Michael is only 2 but he takes everything in and he repeats. And some of the comments that have been made are beyond inappropriate. It is time now. He isn't too little.
Not to mention the fact if I didn't have children - why do you think you can talk like that in front of me or in my home? You don't care about my thoughts and feelings about other people. Good and bad come in all sizes, shapes and colors, etc!
Ugh. Grrr. Sorry for the rant. Okay, I think I'm done.
Last edited by Readyforbaby1; 08-12-2011 at 06:26 AM.
I feel for you Julie. My parents are horrible for this. They are just small town people who grew up in a priviledged white background and have no concept of how they sound. It bothers me immensely. I have yet to say anything directly to them, but I make a point of expressing my opinion in contradiction to them and speak to the kids directly about treating everyone the same. It helps that we are from a large, diverse city so we are always surrounded by people of different backgrounds and abilities and we talk about it all the time. One of my best friend's nephew's has s.b. and uses canes...we use playdates with him to talk about treating everyone the same...he's hilarious and gets right into it too! Anyhow, I bet DH is afraid of starting a war. If my parent's spoke that way in my home I would not allow it, at their home I feel I can't tell them how to talk...I just try to educate my kids at other times and speak up to disagree with them so my kids know that I am not okay with it.
me and DH 09/06/05
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Ah Julie, that sucks. We don't have the racism issue, but there are for sure other things that I wish DH would handle in regard to his family that he doesn't. I too feel like I'm always the bad guy for actually saying something and doing what I feel is best for my child. The last time we visited my ILs (it helps that they're across the country), I made it very clear to DH that it was HIS job to say something and that I would be very angry if he didn't. He did much better, although honestly I think he doesn't notice when some of his family members cross the line.
I wouldn't tolerate racist comments in front of my kids and I would say something if my DH didn't...but I think that since it's his family, your DH needs to be the one to say something. I would let him know again how much it bothers you.
I'm sorry, that totally sucks. We don't have any issues with my family, but DH's family, ugh. We moved far away from them and I'm happy I don't have to deal with that stuff anymore. And they're all mixed races, so you would think they wouldn't be like that. I definitely feel like it's DH's job to say something, but they totally have to be reminded. I know my DH just thinks not saying anything about everything keeps the peace, but things need to be said and people need to be aware of their ignorance.
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I think YOU have a right to say something.
I have had to confront my MIL about this. She lives in manchester, UK and there are a lot of different races.... whenever she visits she always has something to say about them. Where I live, there aren't as many races and so DD isn't aware of any difference in people (if that makes sense) so the last thing I would want as her Mum is for her to say something awful if she was to ever come across someone of a different race!
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If It was DH's family I would tell DH to say something or I would probably pop off in the heat of the moment and do it myself. If it doesn't work I would simply stop being around that person.
I don't want my kids to grow up thinking that any of us are different just because of the color or our skin or religion or gender, etc etc. The one thing I love about Deacon's daycare is that its very diverse with race and he has no idea.
I'm sorry you have to deal with this, Julie. It's sad to that intolerance is still alive and well.
I'm always of the opinion, for better or worse, if it's offensive or can hurt someone, I'm going to speak up. Because I really believe people say and do things without meaning to be rude or dangerous. So if no one ever speaks up, they will never realize what they're doing is wrong.
DH's family is great at turning away and pretending things didn't happen when something goes down. Expecially if it's my FIL saying or doing it. I always speak up. I'm sure they wish I would stay quiet. But I speak up, not even for my child's sake, but because I don't want to hear that kind of talk or see bad behavior.
I would like it if DH spoke up so I didn't always have to be the bad guy, but I also understand that he was taught to handle this stuff differently than I was. He was taught to look the other way when something bothers him. I was taught to speak up and come to the defence of others and myself. I do try to not get angry and stay respectful when I'm pointing out when something bothers me- expecially if it's with my inlaws. I try to not say something I will regret and so far, as an adult, I've been able to do that.
I think it teaches your child good lessons too, to speak up. I would say something to the effect of," We are teaching Micheal to treat all people with respect and kindness. While I cannot change your opnions I do ask that you keep you them to yourself while my child or I am around." If that was not enough to put a lid on it. I would no longer be around this person. I f that was not an option, I would leave the room whenever they said something offensive. Those moments I would say, "Come on Micheal, let's go take a little walk." I feel like that teaches your child, that when you cannot control the situitation with your words, you can always walk away.
GL, Julie! That is a tough spot to be in.
That is a tough spot to be in! I would hope dh would say something since it's his family, but if not, if it were me I'd have no trouble speaking up to certain members of my dh's family. Sometimes his brothers annoy me like crazy, and I don't mind being snarky back to them.
Hopefully it will stop before the boys pick up on too much.
I agree with the general consensus here. I think it makes more sense that your DH say something since it is his family. However, if he isn't willing to do it then you have every right to step in and stand your ground.
I actually started worrying about this before we ever even got pregnant. DH's family is from a very small town in Oklahoma and I swear they are living 50 years the past. In fact, I was ganged up on by both DH's parents and his grandmother one night because I dared to say that it's not our place to judge people. One of them made some comment about gay people and I just blurted it out. They can come across as so intolerant sometimes and it just makes me cringe. If they speak that way around Jordan then it will really become an issue.
I've brought it up with DH a few times just to let him know that I expect him to say something if they start up with the hateful speech. If he doesn't say something then I will. I'm not confrontational in the least but I suspect that the mama bear in me will come out if such a situation arises.
I'm sorry you are having to deal with this
It's easier said than done, but depending on what was said, I would either bug DH to do something about it or since I know he is too nice to say something, I would say something or remove DS from the situation. Our LO's are taking so much in right now. It is our duty to protect them.
I'm not sure how I would address the concern, after the fact. I like to try to address it in the moment.
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