Does anyone have suggestions for how to respond to rude/ unthinking/ prying comments? I know some folks launch into explanations to educate the questioner, but I don't think that's me. I'd rather just have a few pat answers that I could give to end the conversation (without alarming my son, or making him feel awkward).
I'm interested in hearing how you respond to casual observers (someone in line at the supermarket) as well as closer relationships (we keep trying to explain to our family, but some of them just keep barrelling into what we feel are hurtful or nosy questions or comments).
Bonus points for re-telling obnoxious questions and comments, to make the rest of us feel like we're not the only ones getting this... I could use a chuckle!
Thanks! (cross-posted)
I think my five year old son summed it up best. While in Wal-mart a lady approached him (which STILL pisses me off) and said, "Is he your real brother?" My wonderful son, who had no idea what she was REALLY asking, leaned over and touched his brother. He said, "Yes he's real--see--touch him!"
I just smiled demurely and kept pushing my cart.
Out of the mouths of babes.
Oh, when asked that (and I have been asked it a few times) I say, "I think you mean is he my biological son. No he was adopted from Guatemala." I got that answer from this forum. It is a gentle way of correcting the questioner.
Hopping over from the Bulgarian forum, but I have gotten a few times "Boy, she looks nothing like you" comments, to which I reply, "Yea - but she sure acts just like me!"
It seems to help with my daughter, it deflects the question, but still ties us together.
One of my favorite responses, when my son isn't there to listen, to a rude question is:
"Gee, that is a question most adoptive parents find offensive."
When my son is there, I often educate, or just say "our family was created thru the miracle of adoption".
Kay Jarboe
"Boy, she looks nothing like you" comments, to which I reply, "Yea - but she sure acts just like me!"
It seems to help with my daughter, it deflects the question, but still ties us together.
Thanks for sharing ... I LOVE IT! ...and it is so true. My DD does act alot like me !
I remember reading a post once about this, and someone had given excellent advice. Answer the question in a way that would be appropriate in front of your child if your child could understand you. (Depending on your child's age, he/she may, and one day he/she will). In other words, answer in a way you would want your child to answer. I try to answer honestly and to set a good example. That said, if the inquirer is rude about it, I would stand up for myself and my child and be assertive, but not necessarily rude back. I hope that makes sense - I have "followed this rule" and I think it helps to know what to say each time. :)
When someone says, "She doesn't look anything like you" say: "That's because you can't see our hearts. Our hearts look EXACTLY the same!"
I love all the responses. Thanks. When we were in our parent training, the instructor gave us a few ways to handle these fun situations. But she did always say remember that your children can hear you.
I have two biological children and I have many people ask me why I would adopt. (Depending on who is asking, I have said, "because we are not DNA snobs" I had the adoption coordinator for the county ask why I wouldn't take one of the foster children in the city I live in. I responded to her that many children need homes all over the world and that the conditions in third world countries are far worse than in the United States. Two people have asked me how much it cost and I asked them back - are you interested in adoption, I would be happy to give you info. And finally, the one I have been using the most - I just look at them - pause for awhile and then change the subject - "Oh, what a great day, I can't wait to go home and enjoy it!! :coffee:
I have not had to do this yet but I liked the idea someone else gave me of asking "what are your intentions?" that way if it was just a rude or unthoughtful comment they will usually back off or if it truly is someone who wants to adopt and is interested in the process than I would be happy to share with them.
Another idea I got from someone else is if they ask "where is she from?", turn to the child and say "Ava would you like to tell the lady where you are from?" And then the child can choose to answer them or not, and the answer may be something silly but I like how this gives the power back to the child.
When someone asks how much the adoption was or asks was it expensive I always reply, "My daughter is priceless and you just can't put a dollar amount on that." And I get that question probably more than all others.
We were in the mall the other day and a woman said to me "where did he get those beautiful brown eyes" and then looked at Dh and said "you get those from your Daddy (Dh has brown eyes)" DH responded with "we think his dad had brown eyes".
I was so angry at him! When we left I asked him if he liked making me look like a sl** (loose woman). He looked at me funny and I told him - that's what it sounded like - like I slept around and didn't know what his father looked like. I also asked him if that is what he wants his son to think too.
Remember - we think come backs are funny but our children may not see the humor in them. Someone here who is very wise told me to just say "why do you ask". It's a good response to any personal question asked by a stranger and it really puts things back on them.
ok, ok ... I have 2!! I was going into the NEX (Navy store) and my id card has to be checked. The woman checking this day asked if their father was Japanese .... I was a LITTLE puzzed by this question so I said, "Nope, he's American. I'm Japanese though" :evilgrin: (I have blond hair and green eyes ---> about as Irish as they come!!) and carted off.
Then, we were in Baby Gap and the sales person asked if they were mine. I replied, very calmy, with "nope, there was a woman in the parking lot who looked as if she were frazzled with 2 so I thought I would take them" not 100% sure she got it but, really .... HUSH! :p
I have had some rude questions, and I'm learning to handle them gracefully. But I want to share with you something cute ontopic:
I was at the grocery store last week and an elderly woman asked by very outgoing 2 & 1/2 year old where she got her cute dimples. Maria smiled at her and said, "Guatemala." I just died!
My favorite:
Comment "He must look like his father"
Response "I don't know, I never met him"
Here is my plan for the "does he speak English?" question.
I will teach him to say: "Non, mais je parle franais."
If my daughter (caucasian, adopted from the US) is with us, I want to teach her to chime in with: "Pero yo hablo espaol."