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User Topic: Advice sought from parents of older kids
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Default  Posted: 3:20 PM, April 26th (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

a) Dont forget the golden rule: Its your job to their parent being their friend is optional although it might make the prime job easier.
b) I too strongly support the family dinner. Make sure everyone gets a chance to participate.
c) Expose them to culture. Make sure they know how to behave and eat at a good restaurant, how to go through an art gallery and how to sit through a play.
d) Teach them that courtesy is free but can open doors (an example: My daughter was offered a weekend job at a local grocery store because the manager noticed how polite she was in dealing with the staff. He told me that this is fast becoming a unique feature in our society).
e) Never expect more from them than they are capable of delivering.
f) Never underestimate what they can deliver.

"If, therefore, any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone." Epictetus

Posts: 5565 | Registered: Sep 2005
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Default  Posted: 7:02 PM, April 26th (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Not a parent, but I was spending the night at my parents' house last month and thanking them for being such fabulous parents (there may have been a bit of wine involved...)

My dad said, "I think that the best thing we did as parents..."

(I am expecting something profound, like always being supportive, saying no, expecting you to go to college...)

"...was to introduce you to movie musicals."

I am still laughing about this! But, one of my fondest memories is of my 3 siblings and parents crammed into a Ford Crown Victoria to travel 1,000 miles away to see our favorite baseball team and singing the songs to "1776" as a family.

I've told this to some of my coworkers with kids my age, and all of them say that the best things they did was spend time with their kids -- vacations, etc.

I had amazing parents. People always say that every has FOO issues, and I don't think that I do. Mine were amazing. They were accepting, fun, parents with high expectations. They weren't friends with us when we were growing up, but they are friends with all 4 of us now.

Me: BW, divorced, now fabulous and happy!

Married: 11 years, no kids

Character is destiny

Posts: 3402 | Registered: Dec 2011
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Default  Posted: 7:11 PM, April 26th (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage


Your post made me smile, and reminded me---

Always, always, always sing loudly to old tunes (whether it be musicals, or Elvis, or 70s music, or even......disco!!!) with your kids while on long car rides (or not so long).

Also some of my fondest memories with my kids .

It's cool because now DD and I have similar taste in music. We blast DMB and Jack Johnson and John Mayer and belt it out . (sorry for the t/j)

Take up your space (and do it well).

"That's the thing about pain, it demands to be felt."

Posts: 37987 | Registered: Sep 2007
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Default  Posted: 7:15 PM, April 26th (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

What has worked for me:

Start teaching when they are tiny.

Teach by example, children learn as much by what they see as what they hear.

Let them know you.


Imagine a world where the words you speak appear on your skin. Would you be more careful of what you say?

Posts: 32 | Registered: Feb 2014 | From: Australia
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Default  Posted: 7:16 PM, April 26th (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I agree that there is something great about music! Now, my parents and I listen to Johnny Cash while playing cards, and we dance when we go out together. It's great fun, and music is so cathartic!

Me: BW, divorced, now fabulous and happy!

Married: 11 years, no kids

Character is destiny

Posts: 3402 | Registered: Dec 2011
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Default  Posted: 7:34 PM, April 26th (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

My parents did an awesome job raising my siblings and me. They had high expectations of us but let us be who we were. We travelled to a lot of strange civil war battlefields. Name a battlefield, chances are I've been there:)
They let us fight our own battles...if something went wrong in school, they'd talk to us about it, help us troubleshoot and then ask if we wanted them to step in. They believed we should be involved in something after school. They didn't care what it was so long as it was structured. We all had summer jobs starting at age 13. They let us fail but were always there to dust us off, give us a hug, then shove us back out there.
As we grew, they treated us more and more like equals. I have an excellent relationship with my folks. I enjoy their company. I can only hope to replicate what they did with me with Teslet.

"Thou art the son and heir of a mongrel bitch." --King Lear

Posts: 4683 | Registered: Jan 2012 | From: Indiana
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Default  Posted: 7:40 PM, April 26th (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

The musical thing is important! We didn't do this, but every time we were in the car listening to the radio it was the oldies station. I took a glance at what my then 20 year old had on her iPod. That's right- the Bay City Rollers!! Saturday night. I thought to myself, mission complete!

his Dday: 2/10 but TT until 7/11
my Ddays: 1/12, 4/12 broken NC 12/12

me (WW/BS): 48
him: (BS/WH)52
4 kiddos in mid 20's

The conditions we face do not define us. They remind us of who we are and who we want to be.

Posts: 5247 | Registered: Dec 2010 | From: Midwest
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Default  Posted: 10:14 PM, April 26th (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

This is a bugbear for me. So many parents do everything for their kids. Teach them how to be self sufficient. So they don't have to rely on anyone to do stuff for them.

This means all the boring stuff, like ironing, washing, dishes, cooking, banking, how the tax system works, credit cards.

Teach them how to manage their time.

Make them get a part time job outside of school hours it teaches them independence and money managing skills.

Don't buy everything for them. Make sure they know the value of money and time.

It's ok for kids to be bored. Don't fill up all their time with extras like a million sports etc.

Make sure they still have fun!

"Loving someone should not mean losing you. Love empowers you. It shouldn't erase you. - Thelma Davis.

Posts: 1358 | Registered: Aug 2012 | From: Australia
Member # 27325
Default  Posted: 11:05 PM, April 26th (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Love the advice!

I also have to comment... I remember about 15 years ago my dad and I were driving to the store and a CCR song came on (Down on the Corner). We were parking, and I thought, "Man, I wish we could just sit and listen to the song." I didn't even think of asking to do that, though, since my dad was practical, and would probably say, "no, we have to go to the store..." Wouldn't you know, Dad turns to me and says, "This is a great song, do you mind if we just sit here and listen to it for a few minutes"

We sat in the parking lot, maybe for two minutes, and listened to that song. Dad died a few years later and when ever I hear a CCR song I KNOW he's with me. It took two minutes for him to leave me with a fantastic memory that I remember every time I hear a CCR song

Love you, Dad!

Posts: 1401 | Registered: Jan 2010
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Default  Posted: 1:01 AM, April 27th (Sunday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Remember to take pictures of the ordinary events too. I have lots of pictures of baseball games, holidays, etc. but I don't have a lot of pictures when the kids were just being kids at home.

When your kids are talking to you - listen. Put down the dish towel. Forget the laundry.

Finally, remember that no matter how hard you try, you will mess up once in awhile. Forgive yourself and move on.

Posts: 24 | Registered: Dec 2013 | From: US
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Default  Posted: 2:31 AM, April 27th (Sunday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Many say discipline. I say equal parts discipline (i.e. tough love sometimes) and love. A child can never have too much love, albeit coddling and overlooking indiscretions isn't healthy for them either.
Also, hang on until the ride is over when they hit the rebellious stage. What I didn't know with the first DS but learned in time for the second DS is that "this too shall pass". Both were basically good boys, but both hit the rebellious stage later. It caught me off guard and broke my heart with first DS. I was ready with youngest DS.
They will say and do some hurtful stuff. They are just confused but they eventually get it. So strap in and wait it out.

I don't need further confirmation of what a fuckwit he is. I already have plenty, thanks very much. -SBB
D: 7/2/2014

Posts: 2325 | Registered: Aug 2013 | From: AZ
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Default  Posted: 2:46 PM, April 27th (Sunday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I tried to teach my children to think for themselves and to do what they believed to be right, even if it annoyed other people or broke the rules.

Self discipline is far more effective than imposed discipline. If children only do the right thing because they will be rewarded or fear punishment, there's little to stop them doing the right thing when there is no reward or punishment.

Of course, by teaching your children to think and that rules don't have to be obeyed, you will need to be prepared to defend your position logically and well when it comes to adolescent disagreements. Inevitably, there will come the day when you cry exasperatedly: "Because I say so!"

But if you take the time to explain the reasons for any rules to your children (whether yours or those of school and society) and discuss them, and occasionally to justify your own constraints, I believe that in challenging situations they will be more likely to make good decisions themselves. Thus they will not necessarily follow the crowd into stupidity or cruelty; will be better prepared to stand up for what is right or just, even when it is difficult to do so; will be less naive and thus better able to protect themselves from danger; and so on.

In those difficult, exploratory, teenage years, my children tended to make good decisions for themselves, for which I am very thankful.

Coincidentally, I was thinking about this philosophy in hearing the reports on the heart-rending Korean ferry disaster. The passengers were told to stay below deck. It seems that most of the children who survived were those who thought for themselves and disobeyed.

[This message edited by Cally60 at 2:49 PM, April 27th (Sunday)]

Posts: 2116 | Registered: Mar 2009
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Default  Posted: 3:25 PM, April 27th (Sunday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

If I had to pinpoint one thing that made my life as a parent easier, I'd have to say it was my university course in developmental psychology. My kids always said Mum always knew what phase they were in before it happened! It's comforting to know that these phases are completely normal, that they occur for a valid reason, and that they will not last forever. If you haven't taken this course, seek one out. Or buy the text book and devour it.

Other than that, I guess my best advice would be:

Choose your battles carefully. If the outcome won't matter 20 years from now, it probably doesn't matter now. If it will, then it does, but you don't need to win just to prove you're the parent.

Hold them very close then let them go. Protect them when they're too young to make good decisions for themselves, but gradually give them the freedom to become their own persons. Helicopter parenting isn't doing the kids any favours. They need to learn how to navigate the world.

Don't negate their feelings. Allow them to experience sadness or defeat. Let their feelings wash over them, without saying, "Don't be sad" or "It didn't matter that you didn't get that trophy" or "She wasn't worth it anyway". They have to learn to trust their own feelings. Commiserate with them, though. "I'm so sorry you feel sad" or "Honey, I'm sorry your team lost" acknowledges their feelings without negating them.

Teach them manners. You may not think they're "getting it" but they are, and it will show in time. Every time my son pulls out my chair for me, I thank myself! LOL.

Use humour to sugar-coat your parental rules. It helps the medicine go down. "Oh, go ahead. Humour the old bag" and "Because I'm bigger than you are and I can beat you up" were two of my go-to remarks when my kids questioned my requests. The latter, I should add, was a big joke because I never even once spanked my kids!

Make chores a game when they're younger. I was reminded of this on Easter weekend with my granddaughters. I asked them to pick up the straw from their Easter baskets. They ignored the request. After a few minutes, I got a couple of empty baskets and said to them, "Can you see how much straw you can collect?" Then it became a game. When they brought their baskets back (and every single bit of mess was gone from the floors!!!!), I rewarded each of them with an extra Easter egg. This is an example of what my own kids now call "sneaky Mumsy".

And above all, touch them. Human touch is therapeutic. Hug them a lot; one can NEVER have too many hugs. Smooth their hair. Rub their little backs when they're going to sleep. My daughter still sometimes asks me to rub her back when she's nodding off!

Age: 64..ummmmmmm,, hell born in 1947. You figure it out!

"I could have missed the pain, but I would have had to miss the dance." Garth Brooks

Posts: 7278 | Registered: Jul 2007 | From: Toronto, Canada
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Default  Posted: 9:37 AM, April 28th (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Let them make mistakes - they are the best learning tools of youth.

Encourage them to problem solve on their own. You can and should be their backup and step in if it is something too serious. But they will eventually have to deal with real life on their own and doing it with the safety net of living at home will give them invaluable experience.

Eat together when you can - at the table. This is a perfect time to teach manners, have conversation, and bond.

Go on trips together whenever you can squeeze out the money. We took car trips every 3 or 4 years and those are some of the best memories for my sons.

There is no one right way to parent. You learn as you go and you WILL make mistakes. But somehow the human race keeps going. Don't sweat the small stuff.


Even if you can't control the world around you, you are still the master of your own soul.

Posts: 7738 | Registered: Aug 2005
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