BF and his boy's (this might be long)

lmcheckSeptember 20, 2012

Hi, I'm new here. I have been dating my BF for over a year and we recently desided he would be moving in with me. He basically was at the house all the time anyway. My BF has two boys - a 14 year old and a 8 year old. Two seperate marriages. He just recently received his divorce papers from his second marriage.

Anyway, I have a couple of problems with the 8 year old. I must add I have twin 16 yr old girls and as I have been repeatedly reminded boys are different than girls. I am trying to figure out how to express my frustration. I have two issues when it comes to the youngest. One with the BF and one with the child.

1st problem: When the BF and I started dating, he didnt want to tell his 8 yr old (then 7) that I was his girlfriend. He said he was too tender and would talk to him later. Now the problem I have with this is the kid test in the 'genusis' level at school. He is very very smart but it burns me that the BF wouldnt tell him about me. He constantly tells everyone how smart he is. So I cannot understand why he couldnt tell him. I am pretty sure that he knows mom and dad are getting a divorce. Because she is getting married next April and having a house built with her BF. I thought that maybe he may have told him that I was his girlfriend until the other day when he left the house and he wanted his son to go get in the car and waited for him to go out the door before kissing me bye. He didnt want to kiss me in front of him. I will add that I have honored his wishs and not told his son that I am 'his dad's friend' when he asked me if I were. I told him to ask his dad and told him that I liked his dad very much. Anyhow that is one problem I have ontop of the fact that he babies him. He is very short for his age and looks 6 not 8.

As for the boy, he get's into everything and does not listen at all. The BF is constantly getting onto him and telling him to stop this or that. I cannot tell you how many times we have told him the couch is for sitting and not jumping. I though after he broke a $60 clock I got on sale for $25 last Christmas he would stop but NNOOO. (I was working and my BF sent me a txt that he broke it and he spanked his butt.) It drives me crazy the stuff he get's into. I cannt tell you how much stuff they have broken or distroyed. I know my BF feels bad and sometimes he cannot replace what was broken due to (both of us) having tight finances at the moment. I know I havent said much about the 14 year old but he isn't that great either. I think my BF is naive and doesnt want to see that his oldest is lying sometimes. Last year he got in trouble at school and I am pretty sure he was the ring leader but his thing was "I dont know why the other guys didnt get in trouble." His dad believed him and thought that the school was using him for an example.

One last thing, I love my BF very much. We have been through some tough situations that I cant really get into and I know that he loves me just as much. The biggest problem I have is that I fear these two boys are going to be the thing that breaks us up. Meaning our relationship will end if things do not change.

I have sat down and discussed the problems with my BF and he came up with the rules that the boys will follow when they come to our house. I hate the feeling of dread knowing that they will be at the house. I have tried very hard to be understanding and patient but it just infuriates me that they do not listen. I mean you can correct them on something and they do the 'i'm sorry' then do it again 5 minutes later. My daughters hate for them to be at the house too. They stay in their rooms or find someplace to go just to get away from them.

I will say I am trying but want to know if anyone else out there has the same feelings or problems and what did you do about it?

I am sooo lost on what to do. And I could go on and on but this is probably way to long as it is. If I said something you dont understand - ask. I am very scared that these kids are going to be the end of us and I do not want that to happen.

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OMG - guys doesn't this sound like me about a year ago?

I went through almost the same thing you're going through. About a year ago I dated a man who had a son at the time was age 7 and I had two daughters - age 13 and 6. BF's son did not listen. He was always jumping and walking on the couches and the bed. He would lie to his dad and his dad wouldn't do anything about it.

My friend told me it was because I wasn't used to boys. She told me it would get better when he got older. Bullsh$t. The problem was whenever I would say something to BF about his son he'd get very defensive and say I was picking on his son. But he had no problem telling me when I was spoiling my daughter. BF never made his son listen to him. He would tell his son over and over not to do something and he would still do it. BF would threaten to send him to his room and his son would make his eyes go all big and beg and say NOOOOOOOOO! and BF would cave and say well, don't do it again. Five minutes later it would happen ALL OVER AGAIN.
Like you, my ex-BF and I went through some very tough times together. We had a lot in common, we had the same political and religious views. I loved him. I thought since parenting was the only thing we disagreed on that somehow we could make things work, that somehow I could ignore the annoying things his son did.

In the end, I realized love was not enough. I realized the problem was my BF and that he was a lazy parent. I realized could not be with someone whose parenting was so different from my own. I realized I could not respect a man who could not stand up to his son.

It's been almost a year since I broke up with him. Since then I've talked to him a couple of times, just as friends. He told me he caught his son in a lie. I asked him what he did about it and he said he gave a swat on the butt. Mind you, he had asked me before what he should do when his son lied to him and I had told him that it was very important that he teach his son NOW not to lie to him. I said when his son gets older this will become a big deal. If he gets accused of something at school he needs to be able to trust that his son is not lying to him. And we all know about racial profiling. If his son ever gets arrested, he needs to know that if his son tells him that the police planted drugs on him he knows his son is telling the truth.

I said when he did catch his son in a lie that he needed to make the punishment so severe he'd never do it again. So after all that, all he does is give him a little smack on the butt?

I had to go over to his house to pick up some mail that had went to his house instead of mine. When I was there we chatted for a minute. Yeah, BF was making his son pick up after himself, but then while I was trying to have a conversation with BF, son came and sat down at the table and kept interrupting us. I finally got fed up and said I had to go. So you see, don't try and kid yourself, it's not going to get better.

About five months ago I met a man who has the same political and religious views as me. He has a good job, and guess what? NO KIDS!! We've been dating and things are GREAT. My kids get along great with him. He likes my kids and says that they are well behaved.

It all comes down the parenting. Just because you and your BF have been through some rough times together does not negate the fact that he is too scared to tell his son that he's dating you. It won't make up for the fact that BF doesn't want to admit that his 14 year old lies.

Just look back at some of my old posts - particularly the one entitled - Taking the Kids out of it? Dated Oct. 24, 2011.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 2:48PM
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Hmmm, I wonder how BF is going to explain the 'lady' who now lives at Daddy's house? It was one thing while the two of you 'dated' but living together? What's BF call you, his landlord?

With the 8yr old. Has the child's parents had the child into the dr. for a eval on possible ADD/AHDD? You say kid is very bright yet needs to be told over and over and is to say the least, rambunctious. It could be it's a compulsive thing where the child would need in particular consistency and yes reminded over and over. Just something for Bf to consider looking into with child's pediatrician.

Second thing might be to consider counseling for the boys. The oldest one is perhaps going on his third potential 'family setting' . I'd think it's possible the children may need some help sorting out what all their young life has been (the changes ect).

And lastly, as Amber says, some people just have complete different parenting styles and ideas...and though the adults might make a good 'couple' the group does not make a good combination. Living together may be something you want to hold off on until you/BF/and the children spend some additional 'dating time'. You may decide that living together is not really what is going to be in all of yours best interest or at least not at this stage.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 3:44PM
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Oh man, this has "train wreck" written all over it, for so many reasons...I'll list just a few:

- lying to the 8 year old on your role in his life, then freaking springing it on him out of left field that his dad is moving in with you? Can you say "confusing"...even to an intelligent 8 yr old?

- he "spanked his butt" for jumping on a couch and breaking a freaking 25 dollar clock. Don't get me going on that God, kids are all different, and until you've had a boy, don't for a second think it's easy to get them to stop jumping and running and bouncing down the stairs on their butts. My son is almost 12 and still does things that drive me nuts with all the energy he has, and he's a good kid and an honor student and in a million years I wouldn't stoop to hitting him for anything, certainly not breaking some cheap clock from Walmart...

- Your attitude toward them...including the use of the word "hate" towards them several times. Quite frankly, it sucks. It's all about you. How about the fact that these kids have been thru family breakups and drama and all that and, and now dad is gonna be shacking up with someone who the little one isn't even quite sure who the f*ck she is in his dad's life. Not sure how much time he spends with his sons, you didn't specify, but I think they would benefit from more time just with dad, and less with his demanding girlfriend and her unrealistic expectations.

- "I mean you can correct them on something and they do the 'i'm sorry' then do it again 5 minutes later." See above regarding unrealistic expectations. My god, he is 8 years old for christ's sake.

- No justmetoo said, the oldest kid is now going on his third version of "the lady dad lives with" by the age of 14...can you imagine how confusing this is?

Sorry to come off so harsh, but man, this man really needs to live by himself and when he had his kids, not spend a lot of time in your place. And for what it's worth, I've been in this situation too, and have had numerous discussions with Amber and others here explaining why my GF of 4+ years and I have decided NOT to "blend" our families. We all get along well, but it is hard enough raising kids when you have similar parenting styles. Trying to co-exist in a situation like yours is going to fail miserably. Most likely it will wind up in your man's kids not coming around as much and thus not seeing their father as much as they should, which really sucks.

For the rest of their lives, they will feel like their dad chose "you" over "them", and resent the hell out of both of you for it. Is that what you want?

Please re-think this. I know you won't, though....very few people put the kids needs on top of theirs.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 4:44PM
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I just wanted to point out that a "genius" 8-year-old is still an 8-year-old and is no more or less capable of rational responses than any other child of that age. Being bright doesn't confer maturity.

This little boy must be in a very confusing place right now. His father and mother no longer share the same home and despite what his father has or has-not said about his current living situation and your presence in it, he certainly is aware things are not the way they were.

It's not a surprise he's acting-out. Both he and his brother have experienced a good deal of tumult.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 7:42PM
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What about your daughters? Think about the example you are presenting to them. Is this really the kind of life you want for them? Is this guy the kind of man you would choose for them?

Why would you have this guy move in with you when you already see the source of your break-up?

If you are having him move in because he's having financial problems, STOP! He'll just drag you down with him.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 12:36AM
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Wow, Thank you all for your advice. Mixed feeling on all the comments here. All of your responses have my head spinning. I'll have to admit, I have a little regret on the moving in thing now. It's a done deal right now so I need advice on making this work. Not "don't do it".

Amber, reading your post scares me and I hope that this is not where we are heading. My BF and I talked again about the 'rules' at the house and he is going to talk to both his kids again. He brought it up and made all the rules, and yes, they are rules I would have set myself.

I didn't start thinking that these kids would be the end of us 'after' we started living together.

My BF and my girls get along great and they really like having him at the house. It is just when his boys come they have a problem. Even my girls stay that they don't listen. I am going to give this some time to work and try to be patient with the 8 year old.

As for the 8 yr old being tested, I asked about that and the BF said that no he would not be so I let that one go. That is not up to me -it is up to his mom and dad. The 14 year old is on ADHD medication.

mkroopy, I agree that your comments did sound harsh and it probably sounded like it was all about me but it is not. I agree that it is confusing for both of the boys and their dad's new relationship. I just feel that there is a behavioral problem when it comes to the kids listening. It is not 'all about me' as you put it but about the kids listening and not destroying the things I have worked very hard to get. I hate to use the word 'I' there but I am not rich by any means and it has taken a lot of time to have nice things. In other words, the clock wasn't from Walmart and it wasn�t $25 (I just happen to get it on sale for that price.) and the same goes for the furniture. I work hard for the things that I have and do not want them broken. (And I forgot to mention that I had to have the boards repaired in the sofa and the chair that I just purchased last December because someone wants to 'jump' on the furniture.)

My point is that the 8 yr old does not mind when he is told something. I have several nieces and nephews and none of them act or have ever acted the way that these kids act (8yrs old or not). They are well behaved and mind their parents when told to or not to do something. This goes for my girls too. As far as I can tell; he isn't acting out but this is how both boys always have been, I say that from the 'stories' that I am told. I guess I should have also mentioned that 'his' friends recently told me that they told him not to bring the boys around because of their behavior. It wasn't until this past year (right around when he and I started dating) that they have accepted them back at their houses. It is not something I am being unrealistic or making up. I actually didn't know this until we moved in together.

Now as far as 'dad is gonna be shacking up with someone who the little one isn't even quite sure who the f*ck she is" is the point I was trying to make earlier. He should have sat him down and talked to him about mommy and daddy are getting divorced and explained several things to him. He should not have let it go so long that now (as you put it) dad is 'shacked up' with someone. Also' I just found out that the 8 yr old was there when they both signed the divorce papers. Yes I was surprised when I found out but my point is he knows. And he knows that his mommy has a boyfriend and is getting married. I don't think the 8 yr old is acting the way he does because of the divorce.

Please let me explain one more thing, I have always been a single parent to my girls. I have struggled for years to make ends meet to give THEM (my girls) 'nice' things. I have done it all on my own. Their 'father' have not been in the picture since they were 2 years old. (dead beat dad) I did not get child support for 12 years so it was all me in the raising of my two incredible girls. I will have to apologize now-but- is these last 16 years of taking care of my girls that has made me the way I am. I just believe that there is a difference in if the child is 'acting out and doing something' or he just doesn't care or want to listen. I think that my point has been misunderstood about my frustration and the problem that I am trying to convey.

As for my girls, they are really good kids. It may be wrong for moving in with my BF but I do not plan to get married. I am not going to get into why on that one - but that is my decision.

I was trying to get advice on how to make this work even though it is a difficult situation. I wanted to get advice on dealing how others dealt with a BFs kids. I really hope this isn't "rain wreck" that is being predicted.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 9:06AM
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"It's a done deal right now so I need advice on making this work."
No, it's not a done deal. Just because ya'll are living together now does not mean that he/you can't move out. Yeah, it's a hassle, but do you really want to go through years of this misery? Do you want to put your girls through years of this misery?

I'm sorry to be so negative, but it is BF's parenting or lack thereof that has allowed these boys to be this way. Even other people have told you that the kids have always been this way and wouldn't even let the kids come to their house. Good grief, this is terrible!

I totally get what you are saying about the boys "not listening." And I agree it's not about how much a clock costs, it's about teaching kids to respect things. Even if it was a $1.00 picture frame, that does not mean it's okay to break it.

"I was trying to get advice on how to make this work even though it is a difficult situation. I wanted to get advice on dealing how others dealt with a BFs kids. I really hope this isn't "train wreck" that is being predicted."
People change only when they want to and even then it's hard for them to change. I went through the same thing with my BF. We talked, argued, discussed the issues surrounding his son and his lack of parenting. BF would do better for a while and make his son mind, but then he would fall back into his old habits again.

After I broke up with BF we stayed in touch. BF told me he realized what I had been trying to tell him for so long and that he was going to start making his son mind. Okay, a couple of months later he invited us over for his son's birthday. Okay, the kids are still friends, so we went. Well, exBF's son had a neat tricycle that the son and my D6 were taking turns riding. It was the kind that spun around in place. D6 patiently waited while the son rdde the trike for a while and then it was her turn. D6 isn't on the trike for TWO seconds and the son is chasing D6 all over the street, "Can I ride now? Let me ride now" pestering her the whole time she was trying to ride!! He was following so close next to my D6 she couldn't spin the trike around like she wanted to or she would hit him.

Both me and ex-BF are in the yard, and I see what's happening. ExBF is standing right next to me, but is completely oblivious to what his kid is doing. Now, I'm sure exBF wasn't intentionally ignoring what was going on, it's just his NATURE not to pay attention to his kid. My point is, even though exBF wanted to change, he was so used to be a lazy parent for SO long he couldn't make the changes needed.

"I was trying to get advice on how to make this work even though it is a difficult situation."
What you have to understand is, there is nothing YOU can do to make this work. You aren't the one with the problem. BF is the problem.

S8 doesn't listen. Why doesn't he listen? Because his dad does not MAKE him listen. What is going to fix this? BF making his son listen. That means BF has to change the way he parents. First problem is he has to WANT to change the way he parents. Second problem is even if he is willing to change the way he parents he will fall back into old habits because it's his NATURE to be that kind of parent. Third problem, if his kids have "always been this way", how in the world is he going to change them now?
You even said a spanking for breaking your clock didn't change S8's behavior.

I'm sorry to hear that you have already moved in together, but I'm glad at least ya'll haven't gotten married. Damage control at this point would be to NOT get married. At least then you won't have to file for divorce when you finally decide that you've had enough.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 11:18AM
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Well since it's a "done deal" and you seem unwilling to either not go ahead with it, or change your minds and have him move out (not sure if his is physically in your house yet, but you can always undo it, nothing's permanent), the best advice I can offer in order to help you "make it work" is for to understand that all kids are different.

"As for my girls, they are really good kids." Yeah, I would have guessed this, from your obvious frustrations at how the EIGHT year old is acting. Understand this, there is nurture and there is nature. Not all "good kids" are that way 100% due to the incredible nurturing parents they have, and not all "difficult kids" are that way due to bad or neglectful parenting. There are some things that are just in the genes.

While I applaud you for raising your girls into good kids who never misbehaved like this, your inability to understand how not all kids are easy to raise makes me think you don't understand that not all behavior is due to parenting. Espcially since the 8 year old's brother is on ADHD meds...they don;t put kids on meds because their dad didn't enforce enough rules while he was young.

I have a 15 year old daughter that despite being a good kid in the big picture, has put her mom and I through the wringers like you wouldn't believe...she has pretty severe social anxieties that manifest themselves into behavioral issues that have me and her mom almost ready to just send her way somewhere, she is making our lives unbearable at times. We have both been very loving, attentive, discipline-minded parents over the years...yet the last few years, NOTHING has worked. Many of my friends have kids who are little freaking angels, comparatively. Sometimes, with kids, it's all a genetic crap-shoot. You never know what you are gonna get.

You, like many of my friends, won the lotto with your "good girls" who have never given you major behavioral issues. Sure, your parenting contributed to it, but it was not teh only factor involved. With our daughter, my ex and I were not so lucky. From and external point of view, very few people realize this because she is tall and slender and beautiful and always looks wonderful (her anxieties keep her from ever going out in public looking anything less than perfect), but behind the scenes, it is unreal what she has put us through, on a daily basis.

I suspect your guy is in the same boat. With the 14 year old on meds, and the 8 year old acting like he is, I suspect despite the fact that you may not think his parenting style is great, there is way more to it than that. I think until you understand that, your situation is not going to work out well. And, like I said, if your frustrations wind up in this man spending LESS time with his kids, well then that just sucks.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 11:21AM
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"S8 doesn't listen. Why doesn't he listen? Because his dad does not MAKE him listen"

Amber, I respectfully disagree that this is ALWAYS the case, it's not this simple. Please read my reply above.

I forgot to add that on friday we (ex and I) are taking my daughter to a psychiatrist to start the process of getting her evaluated to see if she might benefit from some anti anxiety meds. Not something I am happy about, but even the therapist she has been seeing for 2 years is getting frustrated with her lack of progress.

It frustrates me when I hear parents who have experienced nothing but normal, regular behaved kids think that ALL BEHAVIORAL ISSUES could be corrected with "proper parenting". It's not the case, trust me. If it has been the case with your kids, you should count your lucky stars....

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 11:31AM
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Sorry Kroopy, I did not mean to imply that "all behavioral issues" can be cured with proper parenting. Yeah, sometimes with kids it can be a genetic "crap shoot". Ever watch the black and white movie "The Bad Seed"? LOL.
My D6 is a dream, never gives me problems, always does what I say. My D14 now, sometimes I wonder if she was switched at birth, LOL.

I guess should clarify my statements. Good kids do okay with lax parenting, bad kids do even worse. I can just imagine how my D14 would be IF I wasn't on her butt 24/7.

Kroopy, you say your daughter gives you and her mother some trying times, but just imagine how she would be if you and her mother weren't putting forth the effort to stay on top of things and get her the help she needs. OP's BF is not even willing to have his son tested for ADHD.

I can have patience with kids with "issues" be they ADHD, austism, aniexty, etc, so long as the parent is making an effort and doing everything they can so that those issues are mitigated somewhat. It's a different situation when the parent doesn't even want to admit there might be a problem, or turns a blind eye to what their son is doing, as in the OP's case where BF does not want to admit when his S14 might be lying. That's what I mean when I say the problem is with BF and not the kid.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 11:58AM
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Rule #1, do not compare children. Do not put your 'well behaved and always listen' kids up against to other totally different children who were raised differently, react differently blah blah blah.

Yes, I had two ADD boys. One only needed meds for a short time (yep, about 8 to 13) and the other never did. Both two very different in compulsive levels, listening abilities ect...both raised together and in exactly the same way. But yes, I did have to react and deal with both of them differently as far as knowing when one was being a 'brat' and when he was struggling with impulse.

I had one daughter (four years younger than my oldest son) who was neither ADD or ADHD oh, but did she know exactly how to get her brothers going!

What I'm saying is learn each child. Know their high spots and temptations. Be consistent. Be calm and be prepared to repeat repeat repeat. Praise everything they do well and correctly. Let them know you realize the effort. Help them out on the 'remembering' by for example repeating the chore list for that morning several times. After a chore, perhaps then remind about the next two items off list yet to do. Realize that if they pass by a distracting 'event' that their attention to what they were headed to do just went out the window. Gentle and consistent keep them on track.

Know when to 'walk away'. It does no good to confront in the heat of the moment. Send them of to the bedroom and after everyone is calm, then talk it out. Just tidbit examples of how not to let a little issue morph into a huge scene.

You have a double 'problem' with the boys going back and forth to two different homes. Odds are BM and Dad do things differently from their individual houses than the opposite parent does. So Dad, has to work twice as hard on the redoing the consistancy when the boys get back to his house. Jumping on furniture might be acceptable at Mom's but no, it is not acceptable at Dad's. Structure is necessary. When a bored child has nothing to focus on they are tempted to self create their own activity aka entertaining themselves. Not saying you must entertain the boys nonstop, I'm saying nonconstructive times will likely be the hardest times for Dad to learn to work productively on.

You state Dad drew up the 'rule' list. Now remind Dad he must now do his part of being consistent on the rules and also to be consistent on the 'penalty' for breaking rules. Don't be extreme. It does no good to ground the child from all but breathing. Remember, bored child entertain themselves. For the 8 yr old keep it simple. Read a book for 30 minutes (it actually helps kid focus), help Dad with yardwork (focus on task and time alone with Dad, a double bonus actually).

If you intend to remain living together the girls are going to have to learn to be civil to the boys. I realize that sounds not correct but in reality it is correct. They don't have to 'hang together' (age wise they have nothing in commom really) but the girls should work towards being able to not let the boy think they hate him. Not let the boy think he is worthless and no worth a simple five minute convo before they excuse themself and make their exit. Basically if the kid is made to feel the total worthless outcast that nobody likes, nobody well even speak to and/or sit at dinner table and eat a meal with things will get worse and serious damage can be done to the little boy who is already struggling to be accepted into something (the new home and family) that he had no say in setting up.

Nobody wants broken items. And it's hard to remember in the heat of the moment that unless the kid stomped over and deliberately smashed it to the floor, that the kid really did not mean to break it. Work at finding places in the home where the child can actually play and items that he can actually play with. If kid is running and jumping in the livingroom of course something is going to get broke. So where in the home does the kid have to release engery? Outside? A familyroom? Find your consistent area this or that IS allowed and stick to it. My boys had a 'kidroom' in the basement full of bean bag chairs, huge floor pillows, shelves with kid stuff (no breakables) and lots of room for silly games like 'twister' and indoor kid bowling pin games.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 12:05PM
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Amber, I agree the the OP's BF needs to change his parenting methods of's just that I think the OP is thinking that the 8 yr old's bahvioral issues are entirely due to this. She makes statements that make it seem like parenting is completely this cause-effect thing...which we know it isn't. In her original post, she said "I mean you can correct them on something and they do the 'i'm sorry' then do it again 5 minutes later." To me this is someone who is expecting parenting an 8 yr old to work a lot different than it does. Maybe it did for her with her girls when they were younger (or perhaps it didn't but that's how she remembered it...), but many of us are not that lucky.

Good advice, justmetoo....

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 12:59PM
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