Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

Lynda Loveland: Stop staring!

Posted August 17, 2011

Lynda Loveland

As an adult, staring is something we’ve learned to disguise.

We do it behind sunglasses or out of the corner of our eye. Never, EVER straight on! My four-year-old daughter is WAY behind the learning curve to successful staring. Yes, I know it’s not polite in any form, but sometimes, you just gotta. We are human after all.

Case in point, yesterday at the gym. I took Carys into the women’s locker room to change for her ballet class. I tell her to start taking off her clothes as I turn around to put our stuff in the locker. I turn back around and she’s full on staring at the mom and her two daughters changing clothes next to us.

When I say next to us, I mean right next to us. Carys is staring at someone maybe 15 inches away. Not obvious at all! I want to say to Carys, that just can’t FEEL right! Even though you’re really too young to know better, it just can’t FEEL right! She’s not moving a muscle, except those eye muscles that are working overtime. Hands to her sides, head straight ahead, staring just as hard as she can. I can feel myself getting warm.

So what do I do? Correct her now in front of the people, distract her or wait till I get her alone? I chose to tell her quietly that it’s not polite to stare at people and then I distracted her. We had a talk later about not staring at people. She seemed to get it. But we’re still going shopping for sunglasses this weekend!

Lynda is the mom of three and co-host of Mix 101.5 WRAL-FM's Bill & Lynda in the Morning. Find her here on Thursdays.


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  • Killian Aug 18, 2011

    "all Lynda Loveland ever talks about is her children. This is why I stopped listening to 101.5 when she joined.. Tired of hearing about them..."

    Duh. It's a blog about KIDS, in a section called Go Ask Mom.

    My way is similar to others' in that I'd distract them with a question or conversation topic and then we'd discuss it later.

    I'm used to being stared at because I wear a knee brace and walk with a cane. Kids generally just ask me about it; the adults just stare rudely.

  • Nicsnanni Aug 18, 2011


  • ddees Aug 18, 2011

    Explain to them how they would feel if someone was staring at them and to always remember "do undo others as you would have them do unto you". It works everytime in all situations. And when you and or your child puts those sunglasses on, please remember to remove them when you go inside. It is so rude to wear sunglasses inside and especially when talking to please teach them early the importance of not wearing them when talking to someone indoors. Mom, set a good example..... monkey see monkey do. Sunglasses indoors and staring from behind them are caddy.

  • todd23 Aug 18, 2011

    I think it's just best to distract them by asking them to look towards you and then correct them on it as soon as it's a good time. That's how I handle it with my son.

  • qrbyrd Aug 18, 2011

    As a mom of an autistic child I am use to being stared at. But a great moment happened one day at the play place at McDonalds. There was a group of EC kids there from my sons summer camp and of course some of the kids were making loud noises so we got some stares. One little girl was watching us and the next thing I know she is beside of me asking me all kinds of questions about autism and I answered everyone that I could. She tried to interact with the kids but she didn't have much success. And soon her mother came and took her away rather quickly. But she brought tears to my eyes because she was genuinely interested in my child. I wish all that stare at us were.

  • katizs Aug 18, 2011

    All the fun of being a mom - I have had to go through it with all 3 of mine especially shopping - the hardest is when they ask the questions about someone out loud in earshot of the person they are asking about! Fun thing - teaching them how to be respectful adults of life!

  • howdiditgettothis Aug 18, 2011

    like lilypony's suggestion. this is what i've tried to do with my kids & it works well.

  • whyalltheproblems Aug 18, 2011

    How funny, Zelda :) I grew up Catholic (went to Catholic school tooand can just imgaine your mom's horror. That is a great story!

  • Zelda Aug 18, 2011

    Yeah -- this must be some kind of universal phase. When I was three, we sailed from New York to Italy. I apparently stared really hard at a nun on board and then, to my mother's horror, asked her how she undressed at night! She wisely said, "The same way you do." It's been a great family story ever since.

  • kittiboo Aug 17, 2011

    It's like that moment in Walmart, where someone walks by who is rather, um, unusual-looking (for whatever reason) and you can SEE your child look, and you can even SEE the too-loud comment forming in their head, and you have a split-second to decide how to proceed before you both are completely embarrassed by your child's innocence and honesty. I have a 3 year old- we're going through a lot of that right now. Sigh.