How to deal with a close-minded person??

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SallyTimm

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How to deal with a close-minded person??

Post by SallyTimm » Tue May 30, 14:38 2017

At my son's daycare there are some little boys who I've been trying to teach about women's issues.
I don't do any of this in secret, its all out in the open. I'm not a worker there. This might seem a bit inappropriate but I do it in a very caring manner. The teacher/adult in the class has never asked me to not do this. All I do is when I see the boys in their groups playing I go up to them and ask them questions to make them start thinking about issues important to women. I don't force any answers on them, but I do try to guide them in their thinking (who doesn't do this?).

Most of the parents don't even seem to care, when they have seen me doing this.
One father in particular said to me (verbatim) "Please stop talking to my son like that." He said "please" but his tone was incredibly direct. I wasn't afraid but I was certainly a bit nervous.

I learned from the boy that the family is catholic. I don't want to get started on my issues with that faith. And it sounds like they do go to their church pretty regularly. One day I was asking the boy if he ever saw a lady as a priest and he said "no". I asked him if that was fair. I used a few examples to get him to think and the next thing I know that same father comes right up to me and barks "What did I tell you about talking to my son?!" This time I was afraid.

I tried to calmly talk him down "why do these issues bother you so much? Why do you think you need to block your son from hearing these things."
His words to me (verbatim) "what you choose to believe is up to you...but I have no time for your nonsense."

I asked him, "Do you think it's right that there are no female priests in your church?"
He said, "how the hell do you even know I'm catholic".
I told him "I heard of it from your son."
He said (verbatim), "you asked my son what faith he is? You're a lunatic."

I won't get into the rest of it.
I did file a complaint with the daycare for how he treated me. I don't think they're doing anything about it though.

He's even asked if his son can be moved to another one of the daycare rooms. Amazing that he could care less about how that would make me feel. Making ME look like the one who chased his poor, little son out the one class and into another.

How do I get through to someone like this? I know I can't just jump into telling him about his various privileges in life due to his skin color, religion, and gender.... If he thinks I'm a lunatic for asking his son the faith they are imagine what he'd say to me if I even tried to enlighten him on the benefits he has that he doesn't even recognize in life.

Frustrating!!!!

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rowan
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Re: How to deal with a close-minded person??

Post by rowan » Tue May 30, 14:52 2017

As a strongly feminist parent, who came from a Catholic background and has rejected it thoroughly, if you are not a teacher you need to butt out of his parenting. If he has requested that you not talk to his son, then you need to not talk to his son. What you can do is talk to other kids (if the parents do not object) and he will overhear those conversations. Frankly I think it's inappropriate either way.

How would you like if people came in and proselytized to your kid? Nope. Stay out of it.
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Yorkshirebear

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Re: How to deal with a close-minded person??

Post by Yorkshirebear » Tue May 30, 15:00 2017

Personally I disagree with this, the parent politely asked you to stop yet you continued and as your not a teacher of the class then you should have respected his opinion on the matter. By all means if the other parents don't mind then continue but if they ask you not to then that's where you you stop
I can believe things that are true and things that aren't true and I can believe things where nobody knows if they're true or not. - Neil Gaiman

SallyTimm

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Re: How to deal with a close-minded person??

Post by SallyTimm » Tue May 30, 15:05 2017

So I guess I should just talk about the weather and the local sports team, right?
This is what's wrong with society. People don't want to talk about things that are meaningful.

I respect your views on this matter. But I think you're way off. For one thing, no one here even heard how I went about this. I can't stress enough how natural the original conversations flowed. I hear parents all the TIME asking other parents kids things like "Your dad makes you watch the Bears play football!!!??" So that's cool if a man wants to talk about pointless stuff like that, but I want to talk about meaningful things about how the catholic church oppresses women or how society views women as essentially chattel and that's somehow worse than one dad making fun of a little boy's dad who happens to like another football team.

Yorkshirebear

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Re: How to deal with a close-minded person??

Post by Yorkshirebear » Tue May 30, 15:15 2017

I'm not trying to police what you say, and nor is he - but you have to respect how other people want to raise their children. He did ask you politely first and you didn't respect that - it's possible he thinks you're in some way criticising his parenting because of his beliefs?
I can believe things that are true and things that aren't true and I can believe things where nobody knows if they're true or not. - Neil Gaiman

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DarkOne
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Re: How to deal with a close-minded person??

Post by DarkOne » Tue May 30, 16:11 2017

If this is daycare I'm picturing young children. How old are these kids exactly? And what was your complaint? That he had to repeat instructions to stay away from his child because you disregarded them in the first place? That he raised his voice? That he called your words/believes/approach/agenda or whatever it was (i don't have the full context) 'nonsense'? Or that he called you a lunatic? From what you've mentioned I don't think I see what they'd "do" about that parent. I'd be a bit surprised If they haven't asked you to stop talking to these young kids after a parent has requested you do so. If you want to have a meaningful conversation about important topics, find yourself a willing adult who can rationally analyze your argument, accept what makes sense to them and present a counter-argument. Don't go exploit impressionable young minds at an age at which try can barely distinguish between the tooth fairy and mom.

I almost feel like I'm getting trolled. Some of this just doesn't make sense...
"Winston Churchill once said 'The eyes are the windows of your face.' " -A man who's very scared of plants.

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Sonic#
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Re: How to deal with a close-minded person??

Post by Sonic# » Tue May 30, 17:18 2017

I guess I have three concerns.

The first is how to interact with kids when I'm not their parent, teacher, or otherwise put in a formal role of guidance. If I'm a guest in a space (a day care or someone's home), I view my role as somewhat limited. I can certainly respond to whatever comes up, but I have informal limits on what I can bring up of my own initiative. I also may lack the necessary knowledge of what's appropriate for these kids. Basically, it's not my place to provide guidance unless it's asked for, or unless I know the kids and/or parents well enough to be able to intercede that way. And I need to do so in a way that's safe for the kid. (Example - we're at the same church, we're well-acquainted, and I have this discussion with one or more kids or adults in the same room.)

You seem to disagree with that in approaching kids. So that comes to the second point. If I were to intercede in a group for some reason, and if I believed that no one explicitly saying "no" were a license to do so (I don't; see above), then I should respect a parent saying "no." They're the parent. They get to make that call, even if I disagree with it. That's a pretty important thing to respect, because if I were in their situation, I'd like to be able to tell strangers to not talk to my kid. And I'd see the refusal to stop as a potential threat. Dad, mom, whether I agree with them - none of that matters.
So I guess I should just talk about the weather and the local sports team, right?
Or you could not talk to them at all. There are no shortage of groups and places where people get together to talk about meaningful things. Outside a daycare, to kids, without invitation, may not be a socially appropriate context for these discussions.

SallyTimm

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Re: How to deal with a close-minded person??

Post by SallyTimm » Tue May 30, 19:07 2017

It's hard for me to give the full context of this dad's response to me. If I say "he was stern", it's hard to imagine what that's like. Maybe because "stern" isn't forceful enough of a word.

I am going to do as he requested and leave his son alone. I guess I just don't get why he wouldn't even want to hear what I have to say. I'm not saying he has to immediately agree with it. But out of all of the random, pointless conversations that don't mean squat why is it such a bad thing to talk about these issues?

But whatever.

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rowan
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Re: How to deal with a close-minded person??

Post by rowan » Tue May 30, 19:09 2017

But why do you think it's your place to talk to other people's kids about these things while they are in daycare?

A daycare which, presumably, people have chosen for reasons. One of which is probably that people don't harass their kids while going to it. You are probably literally making people feel unsafe bringing their child to this daycare.
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Re: How to deal with a close-minded person??

Post by melsbells » Wed May 31, 0:11 2017

Is this an introduction? I thought I saw Rowan link to the faq in response to Sally Timm in another thread. Although maybe this is an introduction, letting me know that ze is not about to follow any rules, despite how clearly they are articulated. Unlike DarkOne, I don't
DarkOne wrote:almost feel like I'm getting trolled
I simply feel it.

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Re: How to deal with a close-minded person??

Post by Nachos » Mon Jun 5, 13:16 2017

Yeah, unless you post an actual intro about yourself, I'm not going to respond.
Ugh, I'm tired of my signature.

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