Parenting - Gushes, Rants, Advice & Worries

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Parenting - Gushes, Rants, Advice & Worries

Postby Whizbang » Wed Aug 05, 2015 9:41 pm UTC

In this thread we discuss all things related to parenting. Please share your stories, questions, worries, rants, and advice here.

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Re: Parenting - Gushes, Rants, Advice & Worries

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Aug 05, 2015 11:31 pm UTC

I adore kids and have a blast with them. I worry about everything. That I'll screw something up and hurt them, that I'll be impatient and snap when I shouldn't, that I'll be too frivolous when they need a steady hand, that I won't be able to handle them growing up. I heard a great quote that I keep thinking about re; parenting -

It's easy to know what kind of parent you needed, but it's harder to be the sort of parent your kids need.


Of course, as nothing more than an uncle and frequent babysitter, what I know about parenting amounts to jack shit.
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Re: Parenting - Gushes, Rants, Advice & Worries

Postby Whizbang » Thu Aug 06, 2015 12:33 am UTC

Zamfir wrote:
Spoiler:
I see I still have some worries ahead of me... our little one can turn from back to fron . but according to the books it's easier to go from front to back. And she can't. Which means she turns onto her tummy, and is then pissed off at finding herself on her tummy.

This already brings on deep worries that I haven't put her enough on her tummy, so her arms are now weak, and is it hurting her development? She will be slow at crawling, and then she can't properly explore her environment, which is bad for mental development, etc. Until she can't go to Yale, apparently :-) And I won't be the bow I could have been


Is Yale a good thing anyway? I thought George Bush went to Yale, I assumed it was a school for the not-so-bright kids of rich people?


I am not a pediatrician, so definitely take that into account, but I think you should be alright. Babies' natural curiosity and growth will take care of arm/neck strength, as long as you're not actively preventing them from exploring. Just try to resist the natural urge to rush and pick them up if they get upset. If she ends up on her belly and grumps a bit, let her grump. Let her rage a little bit. Once she starts to realize it isn't so bad, she'll calm down and star exploring.

From personal experience, neither of my sons found it at all easy to go from front to back as early as the books suggested. They both got over it. As a matter of fact, they both also had difficulties crawling due to the slippery hardwood or linoleum floors throughout the house. They pretty much went from scooting about on their bellies to standing and cruising on furniture. Babies develop at their own schedule.


@Iz,

Every kid needs a great uncle. And there definitely is an element of learning to fly by making a nest (to make up my own confused metaphor). You start out small with just keeping this flopping bit of human alive, and grow into your role of parent from there.

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Re: Parenting - Gushes, Rants, Advice & Worries

Postby PictureSarah » Thu Aug 06, 2015 4:05 am UTC

My kid definitely started rolling from back to front before he started rolling from front to back. Oddly. And now, at just-turned-two, he is running, climbing, jumping, starting to master the balance bike, knows all his colors, most of his letters, some of his numbers, speaks in sentences, and is obviously a genius. Obviously.
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Re: Parenting - Gushes, Rants, Advice & Worries

Postby Moo » Thu Aug 06, 2015 8:35 am UTC

I don't remember the details of Lukas rolling due to the first year blurring into one long sleep deprived zombie state of exhausting amazingness.

Parenting is HARD, but the thing is that no-one has it figured out. Everyone muddles through and makes mistakes. All you can really do is know your kid, know the behaviour you want them to exhibit, then model it more often than not.

We seem to be doing ok so far
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Re: Parenting - Gushes, Rants, Advice & Worries

Postby PictureSarah » Thu Aug 06, 2015 3:16 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:I worry about everything. That I'll screw something up and hurt them, that I'll be impatient and snap when I shouldn't, that I'll be too frivolous when they need a steady hand, that I won't be able to handle them growing up.


If my experience thus far is any indication, you WILL do all of the above. I'm just happy when I spend the majority of the time not doing it. And I try to use the happiness, health and development (social-emotional, intellectual, physical) of my child as a reason not to be too hard on myself, because despite my failings as a parent, he is doing fantastically in pretty much all respects.

Another picture because cute.
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Re: Parenting - Gushes, Rants, Advice & Worries

Postby Zamfir » Thu Aug 06, 2015 7:46 pm UTC

Acheivement of the day: both feet in the mouth at the same time! It's not the desired tummy roll yet, but you take what's on offer. I am constantly amazed by toddlers who walk (or talk), like picturesarah's picture. I can see daily how much you have to learn to get there...

Here she is with her great-grandmother.
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Re: Parenting - Gushes, Rants, Advice & Worries

Postby eran_rathan » Fri Aug 07, 2015 1:58 pm UTC

We got lucky - Daughter #1 was a sweetheart, easy-going, laid-back, slept through the night almost immediately, very chill.

Daughter #2 was the complete opposite - she did not sleep through the night until she was almost 2, colicky, rambunctious, up and running at 13 months, climbing before that (she reached the ceiling on the outside of the stair bannister at a year old).

Image

Don't let the cute fool you.


Actually, any parents in here have any experience with kids with mental illnesses? I worry sometimes that she might be bipolar. My wife is bipolar, and it runs in her family, and K shows signs of it occasionally.
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Re: Parenting - Gushes, Rants, Advice & Worries

Postby Whizbang » Fri Aug 07, 2015 2:13 pm UTC

My wife seriously debated whether or not to have a second. We called our first our "Sucker Baby" (me jokingly, her half-seriously), as in he was good and cute enough that he would sucker you into having another, which would be a problem child.

Luckily we didn't get suckered. We're not trying for a third, however. Now that he is 17 months, though, he is turning into quite the curtain climber. Our first son, maybe because of over attentiveness, never tried the stunts our second one does on a daily basis.

Here is a picture that illustrates his personality well, I believe:
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Re: Parenting - Gushes, Rants, Advice & Worries

Postby eran_rathan » Fri Aug 07, 2015 2:36 pm UTC

Man, I wish I had a picture of K with her devil-child face.

A good example - I woke up one morning to the sound of banging coming from the kitchen (this was about 4 AM). WTH? I am thinking, and I stumble into the kitchen to see K with a hammer in one hand, a carton of eggs in the other, and two seriously splattered eggs on the floor with bits of eggshell and yolk on the hammer. I stand there incredulous for a moment, and she looks at me, puts down the hammer, and says quietly, "I made a bad choice."
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Re: Parenting - Gushes, Rants, Advice & Worries

Postby Whizbang » Fri Aug 07, 2015 2:38 pm UTC

Ha!

Now, the question: Was the bad choice the activity in general or something more specific like the type of hammer used, which eggs were used, or the time of night?

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Re: Parenting - Gushes, Rants, Advice & Worries

Postby eran_rathan » Fri Aug 07, 2015 2:45 pm UTC

Probably given my expression, the entire activity. She's never really given an explanation about why she was doing it, either.
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Re: Parenting - Gushes, Rants, Advice & Worries

Postby Whizbang » Fri Aug 07, 2015 2:56 pm UTC

If you want to make an omelette you have to break a few eggs.

With a hammer, evidently.

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Re: Parenting - Gushes, Rants, Advice & Worries

Postby Izawwlgood » Fri Aug 07, 2015 3:36 pm UTC

Seeeeeeeeeeee, were I you in that situation I'd probably have burst out laughing and that's not very authority figure-esque. Is smashing a few eggs with her an example of positive reinforcement of bad behavior?

My boss tells a great similar story about how one day they were sitting around and they heard their kid shout 'ALL THE MONEY IS GONE' and went to investigate. Evidently the CD drive seemed like a great repository for a pile of coins.
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Re: Parenting - Gushes, Rants, Advice & Worries

Postby Whizbang » Fri Aug 07, 2015 4:31 pm UTC

The trick, which I understand very few people master (and I won't even pretend to have competency at), is to not get caught up in the moment and to take a second to decide what kind of teaching moment you want to make of it. Do you teach that it is not good to go around breaking things with a hammer at 4am? Do you teach her the proper technique for making/breaking eggs? Do you teach her to laugh at her own silly mistakes? Obviously this is not a complete list of possible lessons, and obviously not all lessons are mutually exclusive.

Though, at 4am, I am sure most people's gut reaction is to yell, "What the heck* do you think you are doing?!"

*Or similar expletive

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Re: Parenting - Gushes, Rants, Advice & Worries

Postby PictureSarah » Fri Aug 07, 2015 4:53 pm UTC

Rather than getting upset, I've been trying to respond with "I can't believe you've done this!"
In a British accent. It works sometimes.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wKbU8B-QVZk

The egg story cracks me up, partly because you know that "You made a bad choice" is probably something she hears often enough that it was the first thing out of her mouth when she was caught in the midst of completely ridiculous behavior. Last weekend while we were walking at the park, a boy walking in front of us (maybe 10?) casually reached up and ripped a fistful of leaves off of a tree as he walked by. My kid was indignant, and proceeded to scold him. "No! You hurt the tree! Not kind, not safe, not funny!" Sometimes I think "Not kind, not safe, and not funny" is becoming our household chant.
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Re: Parenting - Gushes, Rants, Advice & Worries

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Aug 10, 2015 2:42 pm UTC

We all took a walk down to the river, five of us and two toddlers. I was standing next to one of the toddlers throwing rocks into the water, when the other toddler toddled on up, lost his footing, and fell into the mud.

He was fine, only startled, but after we got home I spent the rest of the evening panicking about what could have happened. I don't understand how parents don't exist in a constant state of worry about their kids getting hurt, and am kicking myself right now for now reacting faster to him taking a tumble. Poor kid.
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Re: Parenting - Gushes, Rants, Advice & Worries

Postby Whizbang » Mon Aug 10, 2015 3:06 pm UTC

Kids tumble. It happens, no matter how careful and watchful you are. So don't fret it overly much.

That said, as a parent, I do seem to be in a perpetual state of near panic over my kids' natural need to explore and try new things. You try to walk a fine line between preventing them from harming themselves too badly and preventing them from exploring their world and learning new skills (including the reason why we fall down, Master Wayne).

So, in this scenario, the kid fell in the mud, right? That means the water was right there, not like a decent drop away? If what I gather is correct (in that you were on a river bank that was somewhat muddy/soft), then I wouldn't worry too much about "What might have happened". The worst would have been that the kid got wet. You, as an attentive and caring adult, would have immediately grabbed the kid out of the water before any harm was done beyond a little shock to the toddler. In fact, babies (and toddlers) have a natural instinct to not breath in when splashed/submerged with water. So you have a few of seconds to pull them free before they suck in.

'Course, I am far removed from the situation (maybe the river was full of crocodiles or shards of glass or something). I am only trying to prevent you from worrying/beating yourself up over a situation that, really, is very everyday for the life of a toddler. Toddlers toddle. Kids get hurt. You try to limit the pain and injury, and keep a constant watch for truly dangerous behaviors or situations (Yes, I know the older kids are climbing that big rock, little one, but you can barely walk let alone scale something 5 times your height.) Be responsibly aware and careful, but don't let the panic/fear ruin the experience for the both of you. Besides, by the time you correct for their current set of dangers, they'll have outgrown them and moved on to bigger, badder things.

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Re: Parenting - Gushes, Rants, Advice & Worries

Postby Neil_Boekend » Mon Aug 10, 2015 3:35 pm UTC

IMHO, and I am not a parent, kids need to experience getting bumps and bruises. And get over it and go on. The only thing you need to protect them from in this regard is stuff that may maim or kill them (for example electrical outlets, dangerous chemicals, sharp objects and unsafe heights). Taking a tumble and getting a bruise because they slip is part of growing up. It is how they learn what they can and cannot do. It is certainly how I learned it.
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Re: Parenting - Gushes, Rants, Advice & Worries

Postby PictureSarah » Mon Aug 10, 2015 3:55 pm UTC

Learning about gravity is part of life. I feel like between the ages of 1 year - 18 months, my kid was one big bruise, and he still usually has pretty bruised up shins from running into stuff. I try to be as hands-off about it as possible while still keeping him from dying, and for the most part, I manage to be pretty relaxed.
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Re: Parenting - Gushes, Rants, Advice & Worries

Postby eran_rathan » Mon Aug 10, 2015 9:20 pm UTC

K is 4 and is a constant pile of bruises. In a very similar situation to Izawwl, she fell in a river at about 2 while fishing with Grandpa - and got up and laughed, then tried to push/drag everyone else into the river too.



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Re: Parenting - Gushes, Rants, Advice & Worries

Postby Shro » Mon Aug 10, 2015 10:41 pm UTC

Not to mention that little kids are literally made of rubber. Okay, maybe figuratively, but there are a lot of factors that make injuries for little kids a lot easier to bounce back from than injuries as an adult. They don't have as much mass or momentum, so barring outside forces, they can't really run into things that hard to hurt themselves that much. Their bones are softer and less brittle, so they're less likely to break, open growth plates make healing easier on the bones if they do break, and the fact that everything is growing and changing anyway makes little humans very heal-able. So if there was ever a time for ouchies to happen, and for little humans to learn their boundaries, childhood is definitely it.
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Re: Parenting - Gushes, Rants, Advice & Worries

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Aug 11, 2015 12:24 am UTC

I know all that objectively, and for many tumbles I've seen kids take I've reacted just fine. Smile encouragingly, ask calmly if they're alright, give them a hug if they need it, everything's cool. Kid walking down the hall and slipping and falling onto their butt, that's fine. I've also mostly reacted calmly when a kid hurts themselves bad enough to need more than just a dust off and some reassurance.

I was panicky here because I was right next to him, and I didn't see him tumble until it was too late. Because he fell onto a (pretty soft) mess of brush in the (super soft) mud after doing a complete headfirst somersault, and there were rocks and pointy things and man eating snakes and alligators and blahblahblah. His parents not being worried or upset is a good sign, of course, but I feel like this one was my fault for effectively turning my back on a toddler near a riverbank for long enough for the kid to take a tumble.
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Re: Parenting - Gushes, Rants, Advice & Worries

Postby Whizbang » Tue Aug 11, 2015 1:15 am UTC

One time we were staying in a hotel. Our oldest son was three at the time. We had set up a little bed for him on the floor next to my wife. She got up in the middle of the night to pee. When she looked down to step around him (we had left the bathroom light on and the door cracked as a nightlight, so she could see just fine), he was not there. Calmly she looked around to see where he had rolled. Then she checked by the foot of the bed. Then my side. Then under the bed. Then, maybe not so calmly at this point, she checked the bathroom. He was nowhere to be found. She then woke me up with a panicky, "I can't find T--!"

"Buh?"

"I can't find him! I've checked the whole room!"

So I leapt out of bed and quickly checked the small room. What the hell? The door was latched and deadbolted and chained. The window was closed and locked. Where the?! What the?!

We just stood there looking at each other, eyes as wide as they could go.

"T--, where are you?" My wife calls in a quivering voice.

"Right here, Mama!"

Our heads whip around to the small desk, where he had been hiding behind the only chair in the room.

What do you do but collapse on the bed giggling, holding back tears?

I still get chills remembering that two minutes of absolute dread. We never got a straight answer as to why he hid there or how long he'd been hiding.

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Re: Parenting - Gushes, Rants, Advice & Worries

Postby AngrySquirrel » Tue Aug 11, 2015 10:31 am UTC

So, how do you respond when a child you're responsible for watching and getting to kindergarden (3-4 years old) refuses to go outside cause "I'm not pretty when I wear pants. I'm only pretty if I wear a dress and I don't want to go outside if I'm not pretty."

And I'm not talking about how to prevent that conversation or whose fault it is or how to deal with it by talking to the adults in her life. I'm only out to figure out what to respond to her with in that immediate situation.
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Re: Parenting - Gushes, Rants, Advice & Worries

Postby Moo » Tue Aug 11, 2015 10:35 am UTC

Oh, wow. Maybe google an image of someone she finds pretty, wearing pants?
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Re: Parenting - Gushes, Rants, Advice & Worries

Postby Whizbang » Tue Aug 11, 2015 1:07 pm UTC

For the purposes of getting her out the door quickly, I'd say just put a skirt on her. Then deal with undoing whatever was done at a later time (making sure that later time actually happens).

Also, kids go through weird phases of things, especially clothes. This may resolve itself before you even get a chance to resolve it for her. Tomorrow she may insist she can only go out if she is wearing fairy wings.

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Re: Parenting - Gushes, Rants, Advice & Worries

Postby AngrySquirrel » Tue Aug 11, 2015 1:27 pm UTC

Whizbang wrote:For the purposes of getting her out the door quickly, I'd say just put a skirt on her. Then deal with undoing whatever was done at a later time (making sure that later time actually happens).

Also, kids go through weird phases of things, especially clothes. This may resolve itself before you even get a chance to resolve it for her. Tomorrow she may insist she can only go out if she is wearing fairy wings.

Putting on a skirt is not very practical (for instance when the purpose of going outside is going to the forest).

And I'm not going to be the one to resolve it. I'm just the aunt and I see them tops 3 times a year. The reason it's happening is cause people in kindergarden and other parents have been telling her how pretty she is when she wears a dress so much it's translated into "you're only pretty when you wear a dress and being pretty is the most important thing" in her head. Her own parents try to avoid it and they will adress it with the kindergarden and with her. But that is not something I am in a position to fix. I just need to make sure she comes with me and don't miss out on things cause she thinks being pretty is more important than having fun. I tried dealing with it by asking her questions about it and why she felt that way, but I don't think it really worked, so I'm trying to figure out what to do if this happens again the next time I interact with her (or some of the other kids I occasionally look after).
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Re: Parenting - Gushes, Rants, Advice & Worries

Postby Whizbang » Tue Aug 11, 2015 2:02 pm UTC

Dealing with other people's kids can be difficult. There is usually a load of baggage that goes along with it, and all you can do it grin and bear it. Do the best you can with the time you've got, but ultimately it is not your responsibility and frequently the parents can get upset if you step on their toes.

One bit of advice, such as it is, that I can suggest is that sometimes you truly shouldn't give a kid a choice in the matter. Firmly insist that she needs pants, that skirts are not appropriate for a hike in the woods. Today is not about being pretty but having fun in the woods. Now march, little missy. Once they get over the initial huffy-ness of being thwarted, they tend to relax and have fun (though obviously some kids can keep a good huff going all day). Get her out among the birds and trees and sunshine and her natural playfulness and curiosity will take over.

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Re: Parenting - Gushes, Rants, Advice & Worries

Postby Moo » Tue Aug 11, 2015 2:34 pm UTC

Further to what Whizbang said (and not really applicable for AS) - don't give kids choices you don't know and accept the outcome of.
"What do you want for dinner" - you can't control the outcome ("Ice cream pizza!")
"Do you want fish or pasta for dinner?" - controlled outcome.

This is some of the most helpful advise a baby book ever gave me (some of the only helpful advice?). I just wish my husband would heed it. He gets suckered all the time.
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Re: Parenting - Gushes, Rants, Advice & Worries

Postby Whizbang » Tue Aug 11, 2015 2:38 pm UTC

One thing my wife does is to ask if my son wants to come with us to the store.

"No," he says, immediately and firmly.

"Yeah, why don't you come?" she responds.

And so goes a back and forth until we have two grumpy people, my son insisting he isn't going and my wife telling him to get in the car and drop the attitude.

Why did you give him a choice if you didn't intend to give him a choice? Then she gets grumpy with me for asking this, and a fun-filled trip to the store ensues.

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Re: Parenting - Gushes, Rants, Advice & Worries

Postby Moo » Tue Aug 11, 2015 2:50 pm UTC

I imagine this is more or less how online shopping was invented :)
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Re: Parenting - Gushes, Rants, Advice & Worries

Postby PAstrychef » Tue Aug 11, 2015 4:30 pm UTC

In general, I found being asked if I wanted to do something that wasn't really a choice one of most infuriating things my parents could do.
"Please take out the trash" was much better than " why don't you take out the trash" or " do you want to take out the trash?"
I get really tired of the whole " you're so pretty!" thing.
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Re: Parenting - Gushes, Rants, Advice & Worries

Postby PictureSarah » Tue Aug 11, 2015 6:34 pm UTC

Alternately, let her make whatever choices she wants, and then live with the consequences.

"Oh, you scraped your leg and ripped your skirt? Maybe pants would have been a better choice for hiking around the woods. We'll be sure to remember that for next time!"
"A ship is safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for."

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Re: Parenting - Gushes, Rants, Advice & Worries

Postby Neil_Boekend » Tue Aug 11, 2015 7:00 pm UTC

In case of serious scrapes in dirty surroundings be sure to get a tetanus shot if it isn't up to date or if they have never had one.
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Re: Parenting - Gushes, Rants, Advice & Worries

Postby Quercus » Tue Aug 11, 2015 9:53 pm UTC

PictureSarah wrote:Alternately, let her make whatever choices she wants, and then live with the consequences.

"Oh, you scraped your leg and ripped your skirt? Maybe pants would have been a better choice for hiking around the woods. We'll be sure to remember that for next time!"


In many parts of the world I would imagine that ticks (and more importantly tick-borne diseases) would make that a somewhat unsafe strategy.

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Re: Parenting - Gushes, Rants, Advice & Worries

Postby Moo » Wed Aug 12, 2015 8:23 am UTC

PAstrychef wrote:In general, I found being asked if I wanted to do something that wasn't really a choice one of most infuriating things my parents could do.
"Please take out the trash" was much better than " why don't you take out the trash" or " do you want to take out the trash?"
I get really tired of the whole " you're so pretty!" thing.

Agreed, those are not really choices. I mean more along the lines of "do you want to take out the trash now, or after dinner?" or "do you want to take out the trash, or feed the pets?".
Proverbs 9:7-8 wrote:Anyone who rebukes a mocker will get an insult in return. Anyone who corrects the wicked will get hurt. So don't bother correcting mockers; they will only hate you.

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Re: Parenting - Gushes, Rants, Advice & Worries

Postby Neil_Boekend » Wed Aug 12, 2015 9:47 am UTC

My parents found it especially infuriating if I answered "No I don't want to".
Mikeski wrote:A "What If" update is never late. Nor is it early. It is posted precisely when it should be.

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flicky1991 wrote:I'm being quoted too much!

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Re: Parenting - Gushes, Rants, Advice & Worries

Postby Moo » Wed Aug 12, 2015 9:51 am UTC

Yes, but then the removal of power from the child is a result of a bad choice by the child themselves, not because the parents didn't try to empower the child. Then all bets are off. When L does that, I tell him that if he doesn't make a choice, I will. That usually quickly "enables" him to make one of the offered choices.
Proverbs 9:7-8 wrote:Anyone who rebukes a mocker will get an insult in return. Anyone who corrects the wicked will get hurt. So don't bother correcting mockers; they will only hate you.

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Re: Parenting - Gushes, Rants, Advice & Worries

Postby Neil_Boekend » Wed Aug 12, 2015 9:57 am UTC

It's just an illusion of power. It's not like taking out the trash is optional. Removing the illusion of power is different from removing actual power.
Besides, They asked a question they didn't like the most obvious answer to. I just responded in the way that optimizes their infuriation and my continuing to do what I want for a minute.
Mikeski wrote:A "What If" update is never late. Nor is it early. It is posted precisely when it should be.

patzer's signature wrote:
flicky1991 wrote:I'm being quoted too much!

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