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2 Bumps

What to do when a 9 year old tells me to shut up and I don't know anything.

I am a 4-H leader and am trying to help a family learn to show cattle. The 9 year old told me to shut up and leave him along when I asked him what the judge said to him. Then I found out he lied to his dad about what the judge had said and blamed me.
The next time I told him the do something a little different with hes calf when he went back to show again and he told me to shut up and you don't know what you are talking about and you don't know anything.
The next show him and his dad were there and I told him that if he talked back to me or I found out that he talked back to anyone else that day he would be done showing his calf.
His dad told me tha I humilliated and belittled his son and I was not alowed to treat him or his family that way.

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Asked by 4-HLeader at 3:50 PM on Sep. 9, 2012 in Tweens (9-12)

Level 3 (13 Credits)
Answers (7)
  • i'd tell his dad he is no longer under my tutelage...if i had that authority. it sounds like the apple didn't fall far from the tree.

    Answer by dullscissors at 3:52 PM on Sep. 9, 2012

  • I wonder if he gets it from his parents...

    what can you do? I have no idea- honestly

    Answer by charlotsomtimes at 3:55 PM on Sep. 9, 2012

  • You do the same thing as when an adult talks to you like that. Tell them to (politely) go eff themselves.

    Answer by feralxat at 4:07 PM on Sep. 9, 2012

  • Tell them to find someone else to help them.... I wouldn't be so nice about it after Dad's comment... but you do what you gotta do!

    Answer by Crafty26 at 4:10 PM on Sep. 9, 2012

  • I agree with Crafty! I would not be helping that family out again. I'd have told the dad that on the spot when he told me I'd belittled and humiliated his son. Especially, if I knew I hadn't and the kid had been disrespectful.

    Answer by ohwrite at 5:38 PM on Sep. 9, 2012

  • Do you know what the judge had said to him?
    My guess when someone is defensive to the point of being verbally aggressive is that they feel threatened, likely ashamed. For whatever reason, there is pressure (internal, parental, perceived pressure from you) going on and whatever the judge had said, critical or not, had felt embarrassing or humiliating. It doesn't even have to be a big deal, or anything harsh.
    This seems particularly likely if (since) he lied to his father about what the judge had said, and tried to make the "fault" yours (you gave him the wrong instructions or something) rather than his own. This kid may not perceive the situation accurately (his father may NOT be upset if he's not successful or doesn't do things correctly the first time, or doesn't win) but even so, he's operating as if it's true--that he needs to avoid negative assessment, criticism & blame by any means possible. If his dad spoke disparagingly

    Answer by girlwithC at 6:35 PM on Sep. 9, 2012

  • of you in some way when he told his dad that he got criticized/corrected for following YOUR instructions (or whatever he said) then he got further confirmation that "whoever is wrong" is IN TROUBLE (and that he NEEDS to avoid being wrong, making mistakes or looking inept.) This would also model the kind of response that you heard from him--that you don't know what you're talking about/don't know anything.
    Anyway, it sounds like this is a boy who needs to be right in order to feel OK about himself, & criticism feels threatening.

    As far as "what to do," in the first situation (when asking him about the judge's feedback provoked such a strong/inflammatory response) I'd say notice the defensiveness & don't personalize it. Start by responding to the primitive words: notice what they convey/express, perhaps by commenting that it seems he doesn't want to talk about it, or noting maybe he is upset. This is positive modeling.

    Answer by girlwithC at 6:49 PM on Sep. 9, 2012

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