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Old 05-10-2009, 05:57 PM
 
Location: Stuck on the East Coast, hoping to head West
3,785 posts, read 8,765,275 times
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We've always gently corrected our kids when they stare. If we notice that they've made another person uncomfortable, we simply apologize on behalf of our child and remind them not to stare. As they've gotten older (now the youngest is 10); it hasn't been an issue.

If I find another child staring at me, I usually ignore them. If they really annoy me, I'll stare back until they look away. Most of the time, though, if I turn so that all they see is the back of my head, they end up turning away.

Incidentally, my kids and their friends often correct other kids who stare at them. They'll say something like "what are you looking at?". We used to say stuff like that when we were kids, too, so I'd think at some point a child who stares is eventually gonna stop just because the other kids are going to give him/her a hard time about it.
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Old 05-10-2009, 06:08 PM
 
Location: The Hall of Justice
25,907 posts, read 34,981,619 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thebanker View Post
Sorry to hear that but that's why I said if you are being stared at, try to develop a thick skin instead of reprimanding pple who stare at you. If anyone reprimanded ur child Julia, what would they gain? Are they not better off developing thick skin?
Well, if someone tried to reprimand my child, he or she would get nowhere. Like I said, my daughter doesn't have any sense of what is rude or embarrassing. She does know that hurting someone's feelings is bad, so if the person said, "That hurts my feelings," she'd know she wasn't supposed to do that. She would probably apologize without prompting, but I honestly don't think she has developed the capacity to feel things like regret. If she does feel some sadness, it's fleeting at best.

If the person said something like, "What are you looking at?" or "What do you want?" she would just answer them candidly. It can be mortifying, and we always apologize when she is rude, but it's also difficult to correct her without making a scene. Instead, we usually say something like, "Don't stare at people, honey," and try to distract her with something else.
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Old 06-23-2011, 05:19 AM
 
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I understand about kids who are young and curious about someone who is very different from what they are used to but how would you handle a clearly disrespectful middle schooler who stares (with a big fake smile) in a challenging way? I substitute in a middle school and I have found that a few of these preteens enjoy the act of trying to stare me down in a clear attempt to make me uncomfortable. (Obviously they are supposed to be looking elsewhere at these times, ie: reading or listening to another teacher) I have tried giving them a smile in return but the stare just continues. Any advice?

Last edited by JILLIES MOM; 06-23-2011 at 05:37 AM..
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Old 06-23-2011, 08:38 AM
 
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Why can't you just ignore it?....Most little people are very curious....We should not feel it's wrong when they look...as at least they're honest in their actions....not sneaking peeks like the adults....I think when little people stare at you, you might try waving at them...sometimes that's all it takes to make them shyly turn away....
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Old 06-23-2011, 09:02 AM
 
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Middle-schoolers are no longer little people. I could understand 5-6-7 year olds staring, but middle-schoolers are being deliberate and challenging when they try to stare someone down. With little ones, a smile or wave usually gets one back from them, but when older kids stare, I stare right back. That usually gets them flustered enough to look away.
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Old 06-23-2011, 12:19 PM
 
Location: In a house
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If someone stares at you, try waving at them, or smiling. Or both.

When I was younger I was in a car accident. I had a long scar on my leg from surgery, on my outer thigh. It was red, obvious, and summertime. A mom and her kids were passing me on the beach, and one of the kid pointed at me and said something like, "Hey look at that lady with the scar mom!" The mother was mortified. It didn't bother me at all - I mean I DID have a scar, it IS different, and I probably would've stared too if I saw it on someone else.

However, I took this as an opportunity, rather than a humiliation. I figure, if they're going to stare - and obviously they were - maybe they should have something pretty to look at. So I packed my stuff, took a drive down the other end of the beach, and walked into the tattoo parlor and got a butterfly hovering over the flower at the top of the scar.

Now, when people stare, they have something pretty to look at. The only reason I didn't get a whole rose-vine up the length of the scar was the inker said inking directly on scars doesn't always turn out so great looking and sometimes the ink doesn't "take."

People who know they look "unusual" have to accept that people WILL stare at them. There's no shame in it, there's no harm in it. You're unusual. You're gaze-worthy. People are curious creatures by nature. And - you probably stare at people too and don't even realize you're doing it.
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Old 08-24-2011, 07:39 PM
 
Location: Virginia
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@AnonChick That was very creative and very considerate of you. For me, I guess kids who stare are just normal indications that they might have seen the "uniqueness" in someone for the first time and that probably made them curious. But I do expect an adult to be able to explain it to them so that they can understand that there are special people that we still do need to respect like everyone else deserves to be respected. It would be too rude though if a kid, especially who's 8+ years old would laugh at someone's uniqueness. That pretty much deserves reprimanding from parents because you would want to expect the parents or any adult would have thought them respect by that time. Unless of course if the child is special themselves.
Overall, I agree that a smile would be a good response to those stares. We can never really control how other people see us but we can prove to them that we are still beautiful despite our weaknesses.
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Old 08-25-2011, 06:29 AM
 
Location: 500 miles from home
27,252 posts, read 15,040,977 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Belinda_Cooperstone1 View Post
I will never forget when I was about 12 yrs old. I had a lazy eye, one day standing in line at the grocery store there was a little girl sitting in the front of the cart. She was just staring at me and make funny faces every time I looked at her. It was starting to bother me and my mother noticed. So my mother looked at the little girl and said "Hello, what's your name?" the girl told her. Then my mother said "That's a lovely name, do you want to know what my daughters name is?' The girl nodded her head and my mother told her. Then my mother asked if there was anything the little girl wanted to ask her about me. The little girl asked " Why is her eye like that?" So my mom explained the best she could for the girls age as to why and how my eye was like that. at the end she asked the girl if she understood and had more questions. The little girl asked if I could see out of my eye and my mom said yes, then she asked if I was only seeing things where my eye was pointed and my mom explained I could see like she could except that one eye was a little lazy. The girl giggled at that.

I will never forget how my mom handled that. It made me feel more comfortable and it answered the little girls questions. But my mom did it so that she did not sound upset or mad or embarrassed to have me as a daughter, she was calm and warm. When the little girls mom went to apologize my mother wouldn't hear of it. She said the little girl was curious and saw something new that she did not understand. It was her job to explain and educate.

I think that is how people should do it if anyone stares, a lot of time it is because it is something they never saw before or have no knowledge about it. It is for us to educate them. I have since had surgery to correct it, but because of the way my mom handled it I am humbled by anything and anyone different.
Your Mom was awesome in how she handled that! Kudos to her and to you for recognizing it.
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Old 08-25-2011, 10:41 PM
 
Location: Virginia
3 posts, read 3,091 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paprica View Post
@AnonChick That was very creative and very considerate of you. For me, I guess kids who stare are just normal indications that they might have seen the "uniqueness" in someone for the first time and that probably made them curious. But I do expect an adult to be able to explain it to them so that they can understand that there are special people that we still do need to respect like everyone else deserves to be respected. It would be too rude though if a kid, especially who's 8+ years old would laugh at someone's uniqueness. That pretty much deserves reprimanding from parents because you would want to expect the parents or any adult would have thought them respect by that time. Unless of course if the child is special themselves.
This page is probably a good read for curious parents out there who's concerned about disciplining their kids or teens.
Overall, I agree that a smile would be a good response to those stares. We can never really control how other people see us but we can prove to them that we are still beautiful despite our weaknesses.
One more thing, it would be nice to teach our kids on appreciating the uniqueness in other people. It would be great to expose them with kids who have disabilities like letting them involved in any community service for the kids with disabilities. I'm sure your area has a list of where to find these organizations helping these type of kids. It will allow them to accept any people that will come into their lives as they grow older.
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Old 08-25-2011, 11:02 PM
 
1,846 posts, read 2,640,862 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by observer53 View Post
Question for you parents out there.

I've noticed more and more that children who are old enough to know better, are apparently not being taught that it's not polite to stare at someone who may look "different" for reasons beyond that person's control. I find myself getting increasingly tired of it, frankly.

Would you, as the parent who is in the vicinity but not watching the behavior, want it brought to your attention, or simply have the child be told directly (and calmly) that it is not polite to stare at people, and please stop, and find something else to look at? Does it depend on the age or apparent age of the child? Looking for some good advice here. Thanks!
It is very sad that you need to post this...As RESPONSIBLE parents this should be taught at a very young age...

Toddlers and young preschoolers (3 to maybe 4 depending on the child)
Are staring out of curiousity, this is new for them and the concept of "judging" or doing it out of rudeness or malice is beyond their scope of knowledge...


HOWEVER older 4's and we all know the ones...They are already advanced in their thinking and have already encompassed "Learned behaviors" as well as a colorful vocab that is hurtful should be reprimanded asap by the parent...


Rule of thumb for me? If they appear to be 5 or older...meaning I see no indications of them just being a big toddler or a young 4 , this is common sense...Honestly? Even at 4 I would get embarrassed if my child stared at someone whom had special needs or looked different...And I would tell him to stop staring period...And if he had a hard time stopping? I knew he needed help making a good decision and I would remove him from the area..period!

As a former Pre-k specialist over half of my classroom was special needs, autistic, down syndrome and one child had a feeding tube..when we would take our kids to play somewhere different it would anger me to see children staring and I was not so nice...
I would tell the children.."It is rude to stare." If this did not stop them? I would state "Shows over go play.." In hopes that they would tell their parents so I could educate their folks..I never could sugar coat...
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