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small victory

Posted by helpwiththis (My Page) on
Wed, May 14, 08 at 10:36

My dd11 has been getting a little mouthy lately. She has been talking back and arguing when she is told to do something. It seems like I am constantly giving her warnings about this behavior. Yesterday I had it. Twice afterschool we had issues with this arguing about things she was told to do.

So, I told her enough is enough. I gave her a choice. She had plans for her two best friends to come home from school with her today and she also had a school event last night. I told her that for her attitude she was losing one and told her to pick! The school event had nothing to do with grades so she could miss it. The tears started coming and the begging began. Just told her she had 10 min to choose because in 10 min we had to leave for her school event. She kept saying she couldn't miss the school event but she wanted her friends to come over today.

I think that she was embarassed because she would have to tell her teachers that she was in trouble for her attitude at home if she did not show up for the school event.

After trying to say she would not talk for a year if I just let her do these things she finally decided to go to the school event and not have her friends over today. I told her this morning she was to tell her friends at school they could not come over and that if they showed up she would be in more trouble. I did not want her trying to have them get dropped off anyways and then it would be on me to call parents or drive them home. Also, this means that she would have to tell her friends why she was in trouble. I also called both parents today to tell them sorry about the change in plans. They thought it was a great punishment for the attutide issue and said they have been having the same issues.

This morning she was kind and pleasant. Just hoping that his punishment serves as a reminder of how she needs to behave.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: small victory

You handled it well, you have to get on it when it first starts.


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RE: small victory

Good for you, these small victories are none-the-less very improtant ones, your DD learned her actions have consequences.

You did good Mom!


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RE: small victory

I love it...good job Mom!


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RE: small victory

Personally, I'd have taken her up on the "no talking for a year" option!!! LOL!!


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RE: small victory

I think it is wrong to punish her friends for something she did. I would be pretty annoyed if someone invited my child over and then reneged, especially at the last moment.

I did my best to never punish my children in a way that would cause them any embarrassment in front of their friends or teachers. I found that embarrassment led to resentment, not correction of the behavior.


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RE: small victory

"I did my best to never punish my children in a way that would cause them any embarrassment in front of their friends or teachers."
While I don't agree with a public shaming, I don't think it's all that bad for kids to have to admit their mistakes to friends or teachers. She wouldn't necessarily have to tell her friends why she wasn't allowed to see them on Friday, just that "No, I'm grounded for the weekend, but I'll see you guys on Monday"
It's a fine line, but a little embarrassment isn't always a bad thing.

"I think it is wrong to punish her friends for something she did."
Again, I see your point in one way, that it's not all that fair that two other girls' plans were changed, but sometimes you have to punish someone else to reprimand your own child....
Lets look at A__'s recent fistfight - A__ and TheOtherBoy were playing soccer. A__ says it was a goal, TOB says it wasn't (it doesn't matter who was correct). A__ shoves TOB, TOB falls and tears A__'s shirt as he scrambles for something to break his fall. A__ jumps on him and punches him 5 or 6 times in the face for ripping his shirt. The school says that A__ is not allowed to play soccer with TOB for a few weeks. Now, IMO, A__ is 100% in the wrong here - even if he was right that it was a goal, there was no reason to shove and punch. A__ SHOULD be punished for this. However, TOB is also being punished too, because he is not allowed to play soccer with A__ (although I question why he would want to after that incident). Maybe that's not fair to TOB if he wants to play soccer with A__, but A__ needs some sort of consequences, so tough cookies TOB.
Or, what if your child had a 10 o'clock curfew on school nights, and they were out late with their new BF/GF two nights in a row? You might say "you can't see your BF/GF tonight, because you came home late twice this week". That is punishing the BF/GF too, by setting limits on that your own child must be home on time.


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RE: small victory

I agree it can go both ways. I'm not for large and public embarrassing consequences, but a little accountability for ones actions in the form of an uncomfortable consequence can do wonders.

A few years back SD was continuing to do something she had been told not to do (can't even remember what it was now) and was warned that if it did not stop she would lose having her Best friend over Friday after school, and she would have to call and explain to BF. I do not usually like to cancel plans already set as it can put the parents in a predicament if they have made plans while their child is away and disappoints the BF, but we were looking to make a point (and the mom is a BF of mine so I knew she would be cool). The behavior continued and we just handed SD the phone. I think what was much harder for her to deal with than any embarrassment was the fact that her BF was disappointed in her. It did wonders is showing her that her actions can have consequences that hurt more than just her. We've never had to hand her the phone again.


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RE: small victory

She called the parents and they did not mind.

But TOS what did you do to correct a child who constantly argues with you when you tell them to do things? Or do you never expect your children to listen to you?


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RE: small victory

I agree with tos.It upsets me to keep seing my 11 year old daughter upset when her friends parents ruin plans they have made because there child has bin playing up.my daughter is always being being let down because of this.for example she will invite a friend swimming,cinamas or just to play and then cant go because her friend cant cum for misbehaving,I can see why the friends mother does it but it still annoys me to keep seing my daughter upset


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RE: small victory

I don't think I ever canceled any specific plans that had already been made for or by my kids. The only two times I grounded any of my children were when they did something dangerous, and they didn't miss out on anything that had already been planned - they just couldn't make any new plans for that period. I haven't punished my children very often, which is not to say I haven't scolded them or insisted that they do things they didn't want to do, like chores. My youngest daughter is so sensitive that I have to be really careful to scold her very gently, or she will feel miserable and sob like her heart is breaking.

Once, my mother did not let me go to something I had been really looking forward to for some infraction. Forty-five or so years later, I still feel angry at my now long-deceased mother when I think about that. I do not remember what I did that resulted in that punishment - obviously it didn't have the desired effect of impressing on me that I shouldn't do it again. The times I thought my parents were disappointed in me were much more effective punishment than any grounding could ever have been.


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punishment

i think that punishment teaches lying to your parents as to avoid punishment. DD never lied about school, i always knew when grades go down, when other troubles happen etc, What is the point of lying?

on the other hand my nephew always lied about his grades, skipped school etc and always managed to trick his parents. My SIL asked me multiple times for advice how I managed to teach DD not to lie.

My answer: because I did not and do not punish. Since i don't punish what is the point of hiding facts from me? they on the other hand take away: computer, car, TV, don't allow friends over, make him cancel plans, don't allow to go to a school event etc. Of course he lies! He does not want the punishment! He is in his senior year and they still punish but he still does rather poorly and still lies. Even my dad who is not a very lenient parent comments: what's up with all this punishment? it just makes him to hide troubles more. let the kid be.


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RE: small victory

I think "small victory" is a good way to describe this situation. Not gonna resolve the whole issue (because obviously there is something underlying the mouthy-ness, even if it's just as simple as puberty oncoming and being a little cranky), but for an 11-year-old to see clear real-world consequences for certain outward behaviors and have some accountability, I think it sounds pretty effective.

Let's face it (and boy have I learned this the hard way myself): in this society, when people just 'mouth off', especially with any kind of attitude, the world isn't too keen on it and there can be all kinds of negative consequences, from job difficulties to social and intimate relationship problems. The fact is our behavior DOES affect other people, and if it's too unhealthy, it affects them negatively. I agree with folks such as TOS who say it's best to minimize punitive consequences on another child, and ideally the circumstances would have not made the other girls lose out (especially last-minute), but I also agree, like Ceph, with the general principle of a *little bit* of embarassment can be a very effective natural-consequences-of-your-actions-in-the-real-world kind of lesson for several abstract concepts that are otherwise difficult to 'bring home' to a child's awareness until they have experienced the consequences first-hand... such as 'mutual respect', 'honesty', 'empathy', 'healthy self-expression'. (Heck, most of us adults are like this too, we only REALLY 'get' a lot of these things when we've lived certain things out.)

On the other hand, the child shouldn't learn that she can NEVER express herself ---even negative feelings--- in the world, because that is just as unhealthy and leads to just as many (if not more) negative consequences for a person. So it's important to teach her the difference between *asserting* herself and her desires/opinions (which she has every right to have) in a way that respects that other people have those rights too vs. a 'mouthing off' attitude that pushes others away or tramples on *their* rights. It's a lifelong delicate balance so it's not going to get magicallly resolved or figured out by an 11-year-old, but just so she is on a track of learning that a balance must be attempted.

In terms of the word "victory", I would say it's also important to avoid taking on the attitude of there being a 'victor' or 'loser' in the relationship between you two, no matter how tempting it may be when a kid is acting super-bratty and pushing your buttons. Or the idea that the "victory" of simply getting her to put a lid on it for a while achieves more than just that: her putting a lid on it for a while. Ideally, the "victory" this situation will REALLY be when both you and she see that she has learned healthier ways to deal with her feelings or self-expression than just mouthing off.

The KEY thing to making this kind of lesson a healthy one vs. a mean or power-tripping one is that the child FULLY understand that it comes from love and a concern for their well-being in the world. And also a clear demonstration of *alternative*, better ways to express one's feelings. At this point you should balance your recent disciplinary action with putting forth extra effort to make sure she knows she can come to you to talk about problems that may be putting the chip on her shoulder. Without that, your disciplining method would just be enforced surface compliance, which tends to be just that: surface, and to lead to the underlying issue manifesting in an even less healthy way. In that case, it would be a "small victory" in not such a good way, emphasis on the "small".


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RE: small victory

TOS, I agree, once another mother had planned to be the one to take 3 girls to a concert. She "grounded" child and I had to drive. Fortunately I wasnt that working that weekend. I dont even know if the mother jsut didnt want to drive or not. IMHO, if you have to ground a child - you should defer it until no plans made. What if the other mother had needed that time for something.

FD, I agree with you. It is important for children to understand the natural consequences of behaivor. If a child doesnt get good grades, it will effect choice of college. If child doesnt get good solid academic background in junior high school, it will make things more difficult in high school.

I tend to think there is a direct relationship between how polite a parent is with a child and how polite a child is with parent.

As to "victory", I consider my biggest victory with my DD over the last 2 years is her getting her grades up.


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RE: small victory

I don't think you should ground a child from a planned event. It's sort of like breaking a promise to her. Ground her from her friends and phone, find another way to punish her. Make the punishment fit the crime. If she is small and goes somewhere on her bike where she shouldn't have, put away the bike. If a child plays music to loud after telling her repeatedly to turn it down, unplug the music player, etc..


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RE: small victory

Ceph,

"Or, what if your child had a 10 o'clock curfew on school nights, and they were out late with their new BF/GF two nights in a row?"

My kids have never had a curfew, as long as they called me to tell me they would be later than expected. If they didn't call, they knew I would be very worried, so they rarely forgot. My kids so far haven't dated until they were in college, and in any case you have to be at least 17 to drive a non-relative in my state, so the scenario you presented likely wouldn't happen until late teens.


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RE: small victory

yes, agree about punishment to fit the crime. like take away computer BECAUSE kid is getting bad grades due to playing on computer too much. but it is not a punishemnt per se but rather helping kid to get on track. simply taking computer away because you are mad at the kid does not help anyone. and just teaches that parents have power.

kkny, agree with your victory. DD knew that unless she does well she won't get to a good college. if she wouldn't not do well it wouldn't be the end of the world, but she would have to adjust her plans such as maybe community college or somehting of the sort. she had specific plans, so she had to do OK. She did not do well enough though to get to the best of the best, but it is kind of a natural consequence for her for being lazy lol


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RE: small victory

Yeesh, since TOS can't possibly imagine the previous scenario, let's rephrase:
What if your child didn't have a set curfew, but didn't call several nights in a row because they were hanging out with a friend who lived within walking distance from your home?
You might say "No, you're not allowed to go to So-and-so's tonight because the last couple times you went over there, you didn't call to let me know when you'd be home." even though that is punishing the friend too by depriving them of your child's company.

(No sense in replying to this. I only bothered to post it to potentially point out to TOS that sometimes you have to adjust a hypothetical question to fit your own life. Although I'm quite sure she won't get the point.)


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ceph

ceph, I think you didn't get the point not TOS. of course if the kid misses curfew repeatedly then not allowing to go out anymore fits the crime. but not allowing to go to friends (as it was promised and decided ahead of time) over something else does not fit the crime.


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RE: small victory

No, I wouldn't prevent them from going over that night if they had already promised to go. If they repeatedly forgot (not that that has actually happened), I would call them at the friend's house.

Punishment is rarely effective. When my kids have forgotten to call me they know I get worried. They don't want me to worry, so they call. Occasionally I have not arrived home by the time they expected, and they call me because they are worried. Once my adult child called to tell me that I should leave work soon because the roads were getting really bad. It is not about "doing what they are told," it is about being considerate, and that goes both ways.


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RE: small victory

FD, I think it was worse, OP had 2 friends coming home with her. In my circle, where almost everyone has plans (like taking another child to doctor, going to doctor, working later, etc.), cancelling out at last minute for other than illness is not considered acceptable. And when the other me called me, there wasnt much I could say, but now I don't regard THE MOTHER as reliable.


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being considerate

to elaborate on ceph's scenario of not calling:
I think that if my child hanging out late somewhere and repeatedly does not call me, then I didn't raise my child to be a considerate person. I didn't do a good job as a parent if my child is that inconsiderate, and punishing children for our own parenting mistakes makes no sense. You definitelly cannot instill good character by punishing. Usually by example, educating, talking to them and other approiate interventions..


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I don't live in a perfect world. Do you??

In a perfect world all children would be perfect because they were raised by perfect parents. In a perfect world there would be no punishment whatsoever. In a perfect world everyone would have the same opinions and goals because everyone would be perfect.


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RE: small victory

Oh my goodness. The child was arguing with her mother about things her mother told her to do. I am assuming it was chores or homework or some other task a child can do.

If she was arguing about it (like saying I don't want to) there is no excuse. You need to do what your parents ask of you.

If you can't do what your parents ask of you, then I think it is perfectly fine to miss out on something you want to do with friends. It teaches a lesson, if you do not do what is expected at home then you will not be able to do things you want to do.

It sounds like this was just a play at my house with friends thing she missed. Not a huge deal. She will live!


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lonepiper

no, this is not a perfect world. you are right. but it does not mean that children need to be punished for not being perfect, espcially if they are not perfect because parents are not perfect or did not do a perfect job as parents. it is not like all these punished children become perfect all of a sudden. they just become resentful- not perfect children. :)

on a serious note of course there is time and place for consequences. but as i look at troubled people, adults or children, i really doubt that punishment is that succesful ever. perpetuates more trouble.


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RE: small victory

Using the word punishment is just terminology. Getting the idea across is what it is about.


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choices and consequences

Life is all about choices and consequences for your choices.

In real life when you refuse to do what a boss wants you to do you could get fired. Getting fired may cause you to have to cancel plans you previously made.

What ever happened to respect your parents??

I do not think this child is going to look back on her life and hate her mother for the time she argued with her mother and then her mother did not let her friends come over after school that day! Geez!

In my grandparents day they got swatted on the butt, sent to bed before dinner, and told NO to things they wanted. Many people from that era turned out to be wonderful and hardworking respectful people. A lot more than are turning out wonderful today! Look at the teen suicide rate, teen pregnancy rate, and prison overpopulation nowadays! I tend to see some correlation..... If parents do not teach children that there are consequences for their actions then who will??


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RE: small victory

Every family develops its own way of handling situations like this.

I am another who would never cause embarassment to my children in front of their teachers or friends, and I also think punishment is a poor way to mold children.

My children have never given me any trouble, because, in their own words, they dont want to disappoint me. They know that I wont punish them if they do wrong, but they also know that it will hurt me if they make bad choices. My 14 year old, just recently, said the worst thing in the world for him is when I say, do what you think is best, because he KNOWS at that point, he wont be able to willingly choose a path that will hurt me or someone else.

I truly believe that respecting a childs opinion, a childs privacy, and a childs needs , a childs talents, results in a child that respects you, and society in return.

Children do learn what they live.

Of course, what works for me and my home is not necessarily what works for others, and I am not sure there is only one right way to do things. I cringe when I read about some things that go on in other families, but its not my call, so who do I think I am to judge? Most familys turn out just fine.


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RE: small victory

sending children to bed hungry is abusive. i don't know about your grabndparents but in my grandparents days no one sent no one to bed hungry and hit the kids. i mean some people did but i won't go into that....we already had a thread about that. yes my parents grew up respectful and wonderful people without being hit or sent to be hungry. my point is that none of this teaches anything. it just teaches fear and obedience.

people who end up pregnant in teen years, in jail etc are not the ones who weren't punished. you can't be serious. ask these people about family life: how much love, respect and caring their recieved from their parents. not too much. but probably plenty of punishment. so i do see a correlation, but just the opposite of what you see.


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RE: small victory

Wow, I learn something new everyday. Perfect children have perfect parents and if your children aren't perfect, it's because you didn't do your job as a perfect parent.

Sorry to say, NOBODY IS PERFECT!!!

Good parents sometimes have bad children, despite their best efforts and some really wonderful children come out of a really crappy family life. JEEZ...


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RE: small victory

I really agree with you kathline,my children have never given me any trouble either for the same reasons yours havnt.it defo works in our household.


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RE: small victory

I also agree with Kathline. It is not that my kids have never shown a lack of common sense or done something inconsiderate, but they have never given me any real trouble.

I think problems arise when a child who has been raised in a way such as Kathline's children have is suddenly plunged into a household with an authoritarian parent.


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RE: small victory

TOS -- or when a child raised in a household with an authoritarian parent becomes 18.


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RE: small victory

I dont think that because I punish my children and even in some ways that might cause emabarrassment that it will become a problem when they become 18. I know it wasnt a problem for me when I turned 18.


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iammommy

nobody said anyone is perfect. what i said is that you should not punish children for not being perfect. especially punishing them for your own mistakes or your own imperfections.


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RE: small victory

I'm not understanding why you wouldn't want to give children consequences for poor or inappropirate behavior.

My SD has no consequences at BM's house. BM thinks SD is perfect. BM also thinks she herself if perfect. I've got news for people like this....NOBODY IS PERFECT!!! If you think you or your child are perfect, that is your numero uno imperfection. Children do not have imperfections in behavior due to imperfect parenting...because there is no such thing as perfect parenting. Actions have consequences, and I think parents would be wise to teach children this. And yes, your disappointment in them can be a consequence, but in the real world your disappointment is certainly not to be the only consequence they ever suffer.

Also, a little embarrassment goes a long way. My DD just got grounded from sweets for three days because she said she finished her dinner and asked for a Reese Cup. I said okay, only later to find the rest of her dinner in the trash. She was embarrassed to explain to SD why she couldn't have ice cream with her because she didn't want her to know she had lied. Well, guess what? In the real world, if you grow up to be a liar, all sorts of people are going to figure that out. Embarrassment over your poor actions are a realistic portrayal of what's to come as you go into adulthood. I simply explained to my daughter again that she was naughty and people are going to find out...happens to everyone. DD4 even piped up and said, "Like when I colored on my cabinet. That was naughty, and I had to clean it up."

People, children and adult alike, make mistakes. Mistakes have consequences...real consequences. Consequences, both positive and negative, help people to learn better behaviors...all people, not just children.

And as for "authoritarian" parenting. The parents are supposed to be the authority. When you go to school, the principal and teachers are the autority. When you get a job, your boss is the authority. Children should not be the "authority" on what's right and wrong. That's the parents' job. Parents not only have authority over children, but also a responsibility to exercise such authority.


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RE: small victory

Ima must have had a rough day yesterday, because she certainly is seeing things that werent said. Then again, I have come to expect defensiveness from Ima, even when she isnt being critisized in any way.

I think the point was (is) that there is no one way that is right, or that is wrong , and what is right for one family may not be right for another. Whether or not a particular method is working for your family is reflected in the actions, opinions, and conflict levels in the home. If you have kids who usually do the right thing by choice, who have a trusting relationship with you, and a minimum of conflict, then I guess its working. If you have kids who lie, sneak, consistently argue against everything you say, and make really bad choices as a matter of fact, then I would say your methods are not working.

I would think the hardest situation of all would be when mom or stepmom has one style and dad has a different one, as I read fairly often about on this board. Thank God my husband and I have the same view on parenting choices, as did my mother and his father before us. We agree on virtually every aspect, and thats a tremendous blessing to our home.

PUnishment works great on a five year old. It doesnt work nearly as well on a fifteen year old. If a fifteen year old is being held in check only by the threat of punishment, then in my opinion, they would have a much harder time doing the right thing, once they are on their own and the threat of punishment is gone. Again, my opinion, and my experience in life. Others may not agree.

If you are driving to...Indianapolis....there are many roads you can take that end up at the same place. Some of them have more turns and twists than others. Raising kids is like driving...you can take a lot of different routes to get to the same goal, and MOST families raise pretty good kids in the long run, using whatever method works for them. Most kids are going to turn out okay, despite their parents.

Again, there are some things that I find appalling that other parents do, but its not my family involved, not my business. I will continue to do what works for my home.


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RE: small victory

"Punishment works great on a five year old. It doesnt work nearly as well on a fifteen year old. If a fifteen year old is being held in check only by the threat of punishment, then in my opinion, they would have a much harder time doing the right thing, once they are on their own and the threat of punishment is gone."

Kathline makes a good point here, and one that should be considered in this debate. Some of us are parenting teens, some toddlers. The methods change as their age and comprehension do, and we should remember that before we criticize.


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RE: small victory

OH my

There is a difference between a consequence, and a punishment.

If my son doesnt study for a history test, and fails it, that is a consequence. The consequence is that he has to repeat the subject.

If my son doesnt study for a history test, fails it, and then is grounded for a week , and his cell phone taken away,because he failed it, that is a punishment.

Or, in the case one of the other posters had, where the stepkid was running up the phone bill and not paying it...the phone being cut off for non payment is the consequence. Anything on top of that would be punishment. Lesson? Pay your bills.

In my opinion, the punishment is not warranted, since the consequence alone is "punishment " enough.

I do not want my children to do what is right because they are afraid of what I will do. I want them to do right because they are not willing to live with the natural consequence of choosing poorly.

Also, I certainly hope you are confusing authoritarian parenting, with authoratative parenting. Authoritarian parenting is unhealthy and controlling, and results in kids with some pretty nasty problems, probably as much as permissive parenting does. THe best parental outcomes are those in which the kids are given great latitude to make their own choices, but allowed to live with the natural consequences of those actions.

ANd there I am generalizing. SIgh. I have to stop that, as each family is unique.


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RE: small victory

Again everthing kathline says is what id write myself.very true.


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I had a good day yesterday Kathline, but thanks for your concern.

I just came on here last night and while I think this thread started out as a positive one for OP, she had a 'small victory' in her situation, then the thread starts becoming tainted with a bunch of self righteous BS with the following statements:

"I think it is wrong to punish her friends for something she did."
"I don't think I ever canceled any specific plans that had already been made for or by my kids. The only two times I grounded any of my children were when they did something dangerous, and they didn't miss out on anything that had already been planned - they just couldn't make any new plans for that period."
"i think that punishment teaches lying to your parents as to avoid punishment."
"I don't think you should ground a child from a planned event. It's sort of like breaking a promise to her."
"In my circle, where almost everyone has plans (like taking another child to doctor, going to doctor, working later, etc.), cancelling out at last minute for other than illness is not considered acceptable."
"I think that if my child hanging out late somewhere and repeatedly does not call me, then I didn't raise my child to be a considerate person. I didn't do a good job as a parent if my child is that inconsiderate, and punishing children for our own parenting mistakes makes no sense."
"I am another who would never cause embarassment to my children in front of their teachers or friends, and I also think punishment is a poor way to mold children."

Now, I admit, I was skimming and yes, I did read all of Kathline's post and agree with much of it and that she points out that it's specific to HER family, but the others all seem to be saying "I'm so perfect, my kids are so perfect. blah blah blah" when I thought the solution OP came up with, worked for her and it's a victory in dealing with some kids to find something that makes them think and stay on (or get back on) the right track and to try to tear it apart with self righteous comments... I mean when you use the phrases "I would never", "I don't think I ever", "In my circle", or the best one "I didn't do a good job as a parent if my child is that inconsiderate, and punishing children for our own parenting mistakes makes no sense." which is like saying that nobody should punish a child because they are the way they are because we made them that way by our mistakes. I think thats a crock because kids learn behaviors from their peers and society as well as their parents. And when you have two parents raising a child in two homes, can one punish the child for things the other is teaching them? Or do we just sit back and let them use foul language because their other parent allows it. If they learn to be disrespectful in one home and act that way in the other home, whose fault is it then? There is more than one person that needs to do a good job at parenting the child, not just one.

That's fine if you want to think that I am being defensive but I found the direction that this thread went, pretty stupid and ridiculous. Everyone can sit around and say what they will or won't do in "their" home but this thread was about OP and the situation in HER home and that this worked for HER.

OP, congratulations!!! (on finding what works for you)


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ohmy

it is again about lying issue. Oh my, your DD lied about eating her dinner, so you punished her, but she lies about things to avoid punishment! If she would know there is no punishment why would she lie? so punishing her just teaches her to lie better next time.


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RE: small victory

consequences and punishment is a different thing. agree.


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iamommy

once again iamommy no one says our children are perfect or we are. we (people who said that) are just saying that we generally do not punish, especially not for minor offenses. it does not make us perfect, it just makes us "not punishing". if anyone here can prove that strict parenting make their chidlren somehow more succesful, i would like to see that.


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RE: small victory

And I was trying to make a point about being considerate to other parents, not that I am perfect, yadayadayaday. At the end of the day, it never helps to have a reputation as an unreliable parent.


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RE: finedreams

If you reread my post, my DD did not lie to avoid punishment. She lied so that she could eat a Reese Cup even though she didn't want to finish her dinner. There would have been no punishment for not finishing her dinner...there just wouldn't have been any dessert. Or maybe you consider no dessert punishment, but I don't. Had she not finished her dinner and simply told me she was no longer hungry, that would have been fine with me, and she would have still been allowed the treat at nighttime snack. It was more than just lying. She was trying to be deceitful and bend the rules to her own whims...something all children try out once in a while. I just reinforced that I, not she, is in charge here...because I'm the parent. The lying was never about avoiding punishment...


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RE: small victory

I don't think strict parenting works and I don't think that permissive parenting works. Flexibility within boundaries is what I think works best. Some children respond in one way that another child doesn't. There is no way to say what will work for all children, all the time.

If my daughter had plans to go to a concert and her friend's mom was going to drive but her friend got in trouble for something at the last minute and was grounded, then I can see where it would be annoying to cancel the concert or I would have to drive my own daughter if I felt she should get to go. However, we can't reward bad behavior because they had prior plans to have fun and it will affect someone else. Then the kids might start making prior plans with their friends all the time and they will never have to miss out on any fun because they have now involved their friends and under your theory, you can't let down the friends (or punish the friends as you put it) so I can also see how a manipulative child could use that to their advantage. As a parent, I would not think it was right that my daughter's friend got away with something because the mother didn't want to 'punish' my daughter. When you are parenting, you have to do what you have to do. I guess if they have committed to driving the kids, then it would have been more appropriate for her to say, "I'm still going to drive the girls but my DD won't be going to the concert because she's grounded". That's probably what I would do if I had made a commitment to drive or something of that nature. But I don't think I would consider the parent that cancels as unreliable as much as I would think that they are doing what they have to in order to teach the girl a lesson. Sometimes it's harder to do the right thing. Letting her go just because she has plans is teaching her to make plans so she won't ever miss out on anything. It goes both ways I guess.


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RE: small victory

I am not an unreliable parent. The two girls that were to come over live near us. We were not being relied on to babysit as both their moms are home afterschool. It was just plans to all get together at my house. The parents understood and even agreed it was a good idea. I am pretty sure the two other girls still got together at one of their houses.

My daughter has to learn that her negative attitude will affect her. I should not have to beg her to do chores and homework, nor should I have to listen to her tell me why she should not do it and keep complaining about it. Do it and get it over with! We all have to do things we do not want to do at some point--thats life!

I am not an overly strict parent but I do expect respect from my dd and sd. I respect them and treat them well and do not degrade them or talk to them rudely. I expect the same from them. When they ask me to drive them to a friends house or run to the store and get them something for a school project I do it because it needs to be done. I do not complain and tell them why I should not do it.

Thanks to all for posting.


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RE: small victory

"Letting her go just because she has plans is teaching her to make plans so she won't ever miss out on anything."

That is a real stretch. That would require a level of organization and foresight that few teenagers possess, not to mention that virtually no one can make plans for the rest of their life, or even every day for the next month.


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RE: small victory

"Letting her go just because she has plans is teaching her to make plans so she won't ever miss out on anything."

I took that to mean that you do not want to give your children the impression that no matter what they do they will be able to keep plans. I recall missing a jr. high dance because I got in trouble. I cried and cried about it and begged my parents to let me go with my friends as we had planned. Their response "you knew better than to do __________, so live with the decision you made and the results of your decision". If they had let me go to the dance because it was already planned I do not think the consequences would have had as much effect on me as they did.

And I don't think that children should behave in fear of consequences by their parents. But I also don't think children should behave because of guilt from their parents.

I think that teaching them that actions have consequences will help them to pick actions with desirable consequences rather than actions that will cause negative consequences.


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RE: small victory

Oh I don't know - i think my SD could figure that out pretty quickly. 'SD, you are grounded for a week . . . except Friday because you and Amy had plans and Saturday because you and Jill had plans. Sunday through Thursday, when you have sports and school activities and generally don't do much socializing anyway, you are grounded.' Doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that making plans for each weekend ahead of time insures you are not stuck in the house.
" When you are parenting, you have to do what you have to do. I guess if they have committed to driving the kids, then it would have been more appropriate for her to say, "I'm still going to drive the girls but my DD won't be going to the concert because she's grounded"."

This is exactly what I would have done.


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RE: small victory

mom2emall I was also not allowed to go to junior high some kind of Christmas party and then my dad changed his mind and said: you planned for it, go, but make sure you do not do what you did anymore. i always remembered it and it taught me a lot. i did not do stupid stuff like i did (hid some facts about trouble in school). it taught me more than if he would continue wiht the punishment. I did well in life despite the fact that i went to that party :) i still remember that party it because I was so grateful to my parents to let me go and that's why that party was even more fun!!!


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RE: small victory

Well for you that worked. For me, it taught me a lesson not going. Some kids are like you and may just need the "threat" of not going. Others may be like me and need the actual carry through of not being able to go.

I turned out great and didn't need any counseling to deal with missing a school dance!


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mom2emall

you misunderstood. it is not the threat that taught me anything. it was the fact that my parents were kind and understanding and forgiving and loved me despite the fact that I screwed up in school and that dissapointing them is not a good idea. that's why i didn't have any major troubles in school since then.


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follow through

They threatened you with not going to the dance and then gave in. I do not see that as kind and understanding. I just see that as them not wanting to follow through with a consequence. Sometimes that can backfire because kids will know that parents say one thing and do another.

If you don't believe me watch Supernanny. The parents on there are ones who can't tell their kids no (or always tell their kids no) and rarely stick to a consequence. They don't give into the child all the time because they are caring and understanding, they do it because they can't deal with the child crying and yelling and it is easier to give in!


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RE: small victory

So they manage to have plans for the following weekend, and the one after that? I don't think most kids plan that far ahead, and even if yours happens to, it is doubtful that his friends would also.

I don't see how not going to a dance can be a consequence of anything, other than perhaps something like getting drunk on the way there and not being allowed in. It is NOT a consequence of being rude to your parents, or not doing your chores, etc. - it is a punishment. An analogous situation would be getting fired from your job because you left your dishes in the sink at home or you were rude to your mother. They are totally unrelated.


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relating

You do not do what your parents want you to do (be respectful) and they don't let you do something you want to do (plans with friends).

They relate!


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friends

And I hardly think taking away one day of hanging out with local friends afterschool at your house is horrible! Especially if the friends just went to one of their houses to hang out instead and the parents were not relying on you for babysitting or rides!


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RE: small victory

supernanny is a reality type of show, i don't think of it as somehting to completely rely on. in most of the episods i saw family was majorly screwed up and dysfunctional and kids behaved the way they have learned form parents. so parents needed the fixing not the kids.

you cannot force respect by punishing.


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what the?

they did not give in. they acted as intelligent people do. they sat and discussed with each other if this is appropriate action. then they discussed it with me. and then they realized that their idea of consequence is not productive and is pretty stupid. as intelligent people do they changed their mind after deeper analysis of a situatuion. they realized that they came up with the consequnce based on initial angry reaction not on intelligent thinking. maybe you prefer they swat me on a butt or send me to bed hungry but they did not. and as i said i never caused any problems. if you think their intelligent decision was wrong then I would cause trouble. but i never did. you are visibly frustrate me by pretending you do not understand what i am saying.


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unrelated consequences

TOS, exactly.

that's why with the school dance my parents changed their mind although intitially they said: you cannot go. they realized that it is totally unrelated to whatever was the offense.

I liked about getting drunk on the way to the dance and not being let in. hahah this would teach you to drink after the dance, not before. haha

oh i can think of a not going to the dance can be a consequnce of: not bying a ticket ahead of time? spending money on something else when it was intended for the dance? being known for causing fights at the dances so you are not allowed there anymore... these consequences are related I guess. But i like the one about getting drunk more. hahaha it seriously made me laugh out loud hahaha


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RE: small victory

It was my understanding that the issue here was not about OP grounding her from hanging out with her friends. Didn't OP give her a choice??? Miss a school event or don't hang out with friends. The child chose her own consequence, punishment or whatever you want to call it. It was HER choice and it seems she learned from it.

And it is a natural consequence if my child is being disrespectful and then wants me to take them to the dance, or give them money for the dance, they shouldn't expect me to do anything for them when they are disrespectful. I've seen pathetic parents in stores where the child is demanding them to buy something and talking to the parent like trash and the parent goes ahead and buys it. Or worse, the parent kissing the butt of the offending child. DISGUSTING to see and I've seen parents do this with little kids as well as teenagers. It's sad to see parents cave and grovel so their kids will like them. Who cares if the kid likes you if they have no respect for you?


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RE: small victory

Who cares if they say "Yes, sir" and "No, ma'am" all the time if they don't FEEL love and respect for their parents?


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RE: small victory

respect is more than saying yes sir and thank you. It doesn't matter if they FEEL anything. It's how they behave that is important.

I stood in a store where a kid (about 13) was looking at shoes. Mom was picking out some and the kid says "no, those are stupid", mom says "well what do you want?" and the kid says, "these ones", mom says "those are too expensive", kid says "you said I get to pick them", mom say, "I only have $xx", kid says, "I don't care, I want these ones" mom says, "well I don't have enough money" and kid says, "you're so stupid. you have more money you liar." and mom says, "I don't want to spend more than $xx on the shoes. I have other bills to pay.", kid says "I hate you" and mom says, "well, what about these?", kid says, "nevermind, I will look stupid in those" so mom caves and buys them. Then mom tells the kid SHE's sorry.

I've seen other situations where parents allow their kids to talk to them like this and then buy them or give them things to 'keep the peace' or maybe they are trying to buy a child's love. If you have house rules and the child disregards them because they 'want to', not because they forget one time but they just think it shouldn't apply to them, so they ignore them. That's disrespect too.


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RE: small victory

it does matter if they FEEl love and respect. absolutelly matters. no, just behaving properly is not enough. If kids hate their parents and yet show respect because they are told so, sooner or later it is going to backfire. it is going to end with rebellion etc. Absolutelly disagree with you. What they FEEL matters big time!


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iammommy

kid behaves this way because he was raised this way. rude and disrespectful.

possibly parents are disrecptful to each other or to a kid or to whoever. or kid is ignored. that's not about house rules.

if you raise your child to be inconsidered (probably being inconsidered yourself) then you deal with consequences such as embarassment at the store.

this kid didn't wake up one morning and became selfish.

raising a child is to day to day education (I don't mean a degree but overall education of a mind and soul), reading him good books that teach about importance of respect to people, sharing stories with him that teach good stuff, teach him by example how things should be done etc etc. Involve other family members that can teach proper things.

Most of these parents did none of that and yet they expect kids to learn all that stuff. From where? and then when kids have learned nothing by age 13, parents punish them for their own lack of parenting skills.

I had a very expereinced and well known professor once who told us that if you missed on something with kids by age 2, you forever missed on something and will deal with the consequnces. It could be corrected but it would require a lot of work what parents do not sign up for. He used to say that he could watch parents interacting with 2 year olds and he could say which kids will struggle in their lives with behavior, academics etc

So parents need to be taught how to educate their children
, not that kids have to be punished for not learning somehting they have never been taught!!!!


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RE: small victory

Just saying to OP, it seems to me the punishment fit the crime, your DD got a little reminder that when Momma tells you to move your fanny & do something you do it!

Guess I'm old school, I probably would have done the same exact thing, no I'm sure of it.

I think you did good, and next time she will remember that you expect her to do her chores and such-period..

Good for you! Parenting is not about always being the good guy. My sis never ever disciplined or told her son no to anything. He is now 15 & she is paying the price believe me..


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RE: small victory

finedreams is absolutely right, that absolutely it matters if the FEEL love and respect. "Respectful" behavior means nothing by itself.

The mother could have avoided the problem altogether had she told the child in the first place that he could pick out his shoes, as long as they were less than $x.


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RE: small victory

Thanks catlettuce. Somehow this post has turned into a debate on how to be the perfect parent and that if your the perfect parent your child will never in their life deal with a consequence! If everyone is so perfect what made them look for an advice forum?? Oh ya it must be to share their wisdom! LOL


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RE: small victory

"So parents need to be taught how to educate their children
, not that kids have to be punished for not learning somehting they have never been taught!!!!"

and finedreams, what is your answer for a child that is raised in two homes with two sets of rules and two very different moral compasses? What do you do when one parent wants their little girl to dress in cute, little girl outfits and watch G rated movies and not use foul language and the other parent sees nothing wrong with trampy clothes, bump & grind dancing to hip hop music & nasty lyrics and flirting with boys at age 8-9? When a child is growing up in two very different homes (not saying either one is the right way, they are just different), then what is acceptable behavior? Do the parent's ignore the things the child is being taught in their other parent's house because it's the other parent's fault? Or do they try to correct it and set a good example? How would you handle it with your child, if she came home from her dad and used foul language you didn't allow in your home. Then you tell her it's not acceptable in your house and she argues that dad lets her say it. Do you give her consequences for continuing to do it? Not all parents get along and follow one set of rules. Your situation isn't the same as everybody else's. While you may not have had any problems like that with your ex or with your daughter, some families do. Sometimes you have to do something to correct them when it's not enough to just set a good example. My husband and I don't curse and yet, I took SD to the park and when she couldn't get up to the swing by herself, she said the F word. She was told it's not allowed to use that word and yet she still used it again when she gets frustrated. Her mom talks that way and we have no control over how her mom acts. Should we just allow her to talk that way too? After all, it's not 'her' fault, she can blame her mom for teaching her that.

They have lots to say but I'm still waiting to hear wisdom in it....


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RE: small victory

"Do you give her consequences for continuing to do it?"

That's the thing about consequences - you can't "give" them. They just occur in the normal course of events. A consequence of a nine year old swearing at inappropriate times might be that her friends' parents might be shocked and she might not be allowed to play with them. Or maybe not.

I think a better alternative would be for her father to explain that some people are shocked by that particular word, and give her some alternatives to use in such situations.

Or you could just ignore it. Telling her she is "not allowed" to use that word is likely to be counter-productive.


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RE: small victory

LMAO, what would be the "alternative" words for her father to give? Just curious and all.


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RE: small victory

You're joking, right?

There are many he could offer a 9 year old, from the very mild but not very satisfying, "oh, fudge," to the one that begins with "s" - still a swear and probably unacceptable to him, but one that is a lot milder than what she has been using.


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RE: small victory

Ima, I agree that its much more difficult when there are different standardsd and different rules at two houses.

I could explain til I am blue in the face what works at our home, but I dont think most people get it, thus the constant struggling. What I am about to say also works for spouses. As human beings, we really need to stop trying to change other people to suit us. My husband and I have been together 8 years now and have never had a fight. Hell, we have never even had anything more than a polite disagreement. Why? because both of us realize we dont own the other person, and we can only make choices for ourselves - and that other peoples choices are just as valid as ours.

My kids, AND my stepkids, want to be like my husband and I.They have such a high opinion of us, that they try to pattern their lives after us. They watch us , constantly, in every situation, to see how we handle things. Our childrem resist doing things that we dont approve of because they want to be like us, and they want us to be pleased with them. It takes time, trust, acceptance of individuality, and a lot of patience and letting things go to get to that point. It takes giving a child permission to be who they are, even if its not who you want them to be.

Its getting to the point where your kids no that no matter what, no matter how many times they change their minds, or screw up, or fall short of their own goals, YOU are on their side, and you KNOW that they will figure it out. Its believing in them no matter what, and often times, its helping them to believe in t hemselves. When something doesnt work for them, its encouraging them to find another way. ITs reminding them that at 14, or 18, or even 22, there is lots and lots of time to change direction or fix what is wrong. ITs letting them know its okay if they fail, or if they take some time to figure it out. Its promising them that no matter what, they can never make you stop loving them, or stop being there for them.

It is NOT letting them use your resources or take advantage of you. Its helping them up, not letting them walk on you. Its the kind of relationship that takes a lot of trust to build. ITs also not figuring it out for them. They have to do that on their own.

IF you want to have rules, you must have relationship. THe stronger the relationship, the less the rules are needed. Most kids WANT to please their parents, and most kids want their parents approval.

You constantly mock the way TOS raises her kids. Yes, I think TOS is hanging on to the wound of her husband leaving, and yes, unfortunately, I think that her kids are absorbing some of that. I think though, that TOS raises her kids in a way that they can make their own choices. I dont think TOS sweats the small stuff, and I think she has a healthy respect for the fact that you cant control what your kids think, or what they choose to do. You can only guide them in what you feel is the right direction. THe hardest part of course, is when they dont agree that the direction you are trying to guide them is the right one for them.
In your case, I think your SD is trying to play you and your husband against bm because she wants attention. THere is nothing wrong with wanting attention, even if the drama queen stuff is the wrong way to get it. I think you overreact to a lot of things, and I think you take things personally when they dont work out the way you think they should. I think its childish the way you throw the troll word around and it indicates that you dont like it when you arent in control of what someone else things or does. You see any disagreement with you as an attack, and you always have to have the last word. Yes, TOS is stuck on the cheating husband thing. But she has a lot of other valid things to say. As for your stepchild and bm, I think you are caught in a power struggle that you never intended to be caught in, but you dont know how to let it go.

I have to ask you, why on earth does it MATTER to you what I, or TOS, or your stepchilds mother, or anyone else, has to say about you or the way you do things? Its YOUR life...live it as YOU choose. Other peoples opinions are like a**holes....everyone has one. The only one that should matter is your own.

I wouldnt punish my stepchild or my child for saying the f word. I would indicate that I dont like to hear those kind of words, that I think using those words makes someone look cheap and trashy, and that I would prefer they not use those words in my presence. IN fact, we have had the same situation twice, once with my third son, and with my sd, both of whom went through a stage where they would swear in our presence. Other than pointing out that using trashy language makes the person using seem unintelligent and poorly mannered, we did nothing. HOwever, we did make a point of commenting positively when stretches went by without any cursing from those two.

It took three weeks for it to stop. Sometimes I think kids swear for the shock factor more than anything else, and if the shock factor doesnt work, then there is no reward in it for them. We have fairly open communication with all of our kids. When someone would swear , they knew we didnt appreciate it. If they continued to swear, then we would cut the conversation off and do something else.

Even my three foster kids, all of whom had different problems when they came to us as teens, managed to turn it around within six months. One of them it took three years before they figured out what they wanted in life. Life is a journey, not a destination. Who the hell are we to decide that someone else is doing it wrong?
I wont say that we have never had any problems with any of our kids. We have. Every parent does. BUt we havent ever had a long term problem of any significance.

Punishment, when you are trying to change a habit, doesnt do much. I agree that punishment has its places in extreme cases, but overall, its a lot better to have the respect of your children to the extent that they would rather not disappoint you.

As they are fond of saying here in Louisiana....you catch more flies with honey than vinegar.


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RE: small victory

wow, kathline, what a great post. Lays out the keys to healthy parenting (at least, as I see them), concisely and eloquently. I have no doubt that you are a wonderful parent (as are others on here, no disrespect to anyone else...)

As for possible ways to artificially maneuver some "natural consequences" for certain actions, I agree that it's inherently kinda counter-intuitive. but I don't think it's always impossible. I'll relate an example. A co-worker or mine has 3 sons (between 10 and 17). She was lamenting one day that one of her sons kept taking some of her favorite cd's out of her car without asking, and she's all excited to hear a certain song on the drive only to find it gone. She's asked him not to do so repreatedly, but he wasn't 'getting it' and she was getting more & more upset. We were talking about how to address the situation, agreeing that serious punishment would be excessive and that the "natural consequences" thing is best, but lol, she doesn't like any of his music enough to swipe HIS cd's and he knows it! So that would just be silly, even though it would be the perfect, point-for-point inversion... So we agreed that the lesson would be more-or-less learned the same way if it was simply *another* material object of his ---one which she knew he was currently really excited about, in this case a cool new bookbag--- that 'went missing' when he was most looking forward to using it. So she went into his room while he was out (the equivalent of him going into her car, neither are obsessed with "off-limits" geography), took his bookbag (he still had several older ones to use) and didn't tell him. She waited for him to complain to her about it and when he did, she approached it with humor instead of gloom-and-doom, which I think is important to keeping the relationship and the lesson healthy and positive instead of hostile and tit-for-tat passive-aggressive. "Sucks to be looking forward to using something, only to find it swiped, doesn't it?" And they actually both laughed. he said "okay, okay, I get it..." and they haven't had any problem since. I thought that was a really great story. Sometimes people HAVE to experience things firsthand to REALLY learn the effects of their actions. But the key, again, is to make this a positive learning experience, not to control the kid or display a capricious omnipotence about it.


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RE: small victory

I just have to say really well said kathline


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RE: small victory

kathline you couldn't be more right. thank you for such a wise post.


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