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We are the strictest parents?! - Page 6

post #101 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by churndash View Post
I grew up in a very liberal, permissive household and I got into all sorts of trouble as a teenager - not trouble with my parents, of course, because they felt I was old enough to make my own mistakes and pay the consequences.

But I wasn't really. I wasn't old enough at 16 to understand that getting drunk and passing out at some party would result in waking up wondering if a strange guy had sex with you while you were unconscious and how horrible that moment would feel.

There were times I felt that my parents didn't even really care about me. Some of my friends had to be home by midnight - I had no curfew. Didn't they care if I made it home at night?

I love my parents and I know they were doing what they thought was right but it wasn't right for me. I think I would have been a lot happier with some rules.

I have rules for my kids, including my teen, and they are in place to help her, not punish her. Sometimes she is angry when I won't let her do something, but that's okay. It would be impossible for a child to go through life never being mad at their parent.
I've heard this. I would like to think that I can be deeply involved in my child's well-being and life without becoming overly authoritarian. Like everything try and find balance.

Not to mention a 16 year old could find themselves in a similarly scary situation after lying to her parents about sleeping at Suzy's house.
post #102 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post
The more I think about it the more I am convinced it is not the rules (or lack of them per se) that is important - it is the intent, and relationships.

You may think it is Ok for most 13 year olds to watch Saw - I may not.

Last time I checked there was no rule book on who is right in these situations(and if you have one, can you loan it to me, please!?!)

What I do think matter is that you parent intentionally.

EX: let child watch saw because you genuinely believe a 13 year is capable of handling it, watch it with them, ask them about it, help them determine if this is something they find entertaining versus let them watch it because you can't be botherred parenting them

ex: do not let child watch saw. Explain reasons as much as necessary. Let them know you love them, you get that they do not agree with you, but the decision is coming from a place of concern. Offer alternatives to Saw. Talk about when and under what circumstances Saw might be allowed. versus do not let the watch Saw "because it is my house and I said so". Come off as controlling.

I think if adult children understand that parents had their best intentions growing up and made informed decsions to the best of ability, even if they made mistakes, they will forgive us
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post #103 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by churndash View Post
I grew up in a very liberal, permissive household and I got into all sorts of trouble as a teenager - not trouble with my parents, of course, because they felt I was old enough to make my own mistakes and pay the consequences.

But I wasn't really. I wasn't old enough at 16 to understand that getting drunk and passing out at some party would result in waking up wondering if a strange guy had sex with you while you were unconscious and how horrible that moment would feel.
However, let's not forget that not ALL teens feel that getting drunk (let alone to the point of passing out) is a great or fun thing to do. Neither of my two - or their friends (who range in age from 14 - 19) - drink. Both of mine know that, if they want a glass of wine or beer or whatever, I will allow them to have it. At home. Not their friends, though. That's up to their parents. The only time either of them have was when A (15 at the time, I think) had a half glass of champagne on New Year's Eve.

Quote:
Originally Posted by churndash View Post
There were times I felt that my parents didn't even really care about me. Some of my friends had to be home by midnight - I had no curfew. Didn't they care if I made it home at night?
Mine don't have a curfew. Doesn't mean I don't care. What it does mean is that it depends on the particular situation. Who they're going with, how they're getting there/back, where they're going. And whether or not it's a school night. We usually come up with a mutually acceptable time - and a call is expected if they're not going to be home by then. But ya know.... I offer the same courtesy. If I'm going out, I let them know when I plan to be home, and I call if I'm going to be late.

They also know that they can call, regardless of the time, if they need me to come get them. So if one of their friends DOES make a foolish choice, they can get home safely - and I"ll take any others who need a ride.

Quote:
Originally Posted by churndash View Post
I love my parents and I know they were doing what they thought was right but it wasn't right for me. I think I would have been a lot happier with some rules.
And that's the key - it depends on the individual kid and the parents in question.
post #104 of 119
This is such a great discussion. It's really made me think very concretely about why we have certain "guidelines" in our house and why we are totally winging it sometimes.

I do think a lot depends upon the child. Our oldest totally resists any type of structure, but is also occasionally lacking in motivation and focus. So we have to work on providing her with a structure that helps her be motivated and focus on the things she wants to do (like being good at the violin) and needs to do (like keeping a bare minimum of cleanliness in her room so that the ants don't over run it, the dog doesn't eat food off her left over plates and puke on her bed, that sort of thing).

My youngest is OVERLY focused and is very hung up on details. A very high stress child. Helping her work and live within a *less* structured life has been something of a goal for us. I'm talking a child who, in 2nd grade, would spend 3 hours, crying, on her homework--not because her teacher assigned a bunch of homework, not because we made her or had any expectations, but because she wanted to write it all PERFECTLY without ANY eraser marks or mistakes or sloppiness. As opposed to my older child who would turn a crumpled, ripped, stained paper with illegible writing in (she now types most of her homework). It's been a learning experience for all of us.

After reading these posts, I see where my husband and I are "stricter" than some parents, but not as strict as others. Basically, we work on the assumption that our kids are reasonable and trustworthy. We can work on this because they have shown us that they are. I know not everyone is this lucky with their family life, and I am very aware and appreciative of our kids. I have a wonderful friend who has a daughter who is hell bent on self destructing; I know we are lucky.

We don't have any hard and fast rules for our kids, just like we don't have any hard and fast rules in our marriage. Basically, we're trying to work together to have a household that we all find safe and enjoyable. If the kids ask us to do something that seems out of the ordinary, if they disagree with us, or if there is some surliness that exceeds what we feel is acceptable, we'll talk about it. Typically either we aren't getting something, or the kid is being a kid (developmentally) and not really thinking about the family unit as a whole, something like that. We just discuss what is going on, and then try to come to a mutually acceptable conclusion.

Example--DD#1, who is smart as heck, got a D last semester in math (this after years of As in math). She wasn't grounded necessarily, but she did have to replace some free time with some extra math study time. We discussed her grade, what her problems in the class were, and how she could address this. We suggested the extra study time, and she agreed it could be helpful. It was (though frankly, not to the point *I* would like). Our goal wasn't so much to punish as it was to help her evaluate how to manage her time, what her strengths and weaknesses were, and how she could improve her work and understanding in this class. She knows we continue to monitor her grades online. Frankly, she likes to ask "Did you see me ace that test? Is it showing I missed any assignments?" She doesn't see it as controlling so much as us being involved and helping her.

Am I contributing anything to this discussion, or just rambling? I don't know. I do know that, even though I disagree with some of the opinions and parenting styles that have been discussed, it has been nice to see what works for others. I appreciate being forced to evaluate why I am uncomfortable with Dar's daughter watching "Rocky Horror Picture Show" at age 7, but not at all uncomfortable with my children watching "Monty Python's Holy Grail" at that age, for example. Or why I am comfortable with NOT checking my oldest daughter's email, but also have not yet approving a facebook account. I think that sometimes my gut responses are not always right, because they are based on culture as well as my own upbringing; and sometimes I do not want my biases, ingrained indoctrinations and personal likes/dislikes to guide what I do in my family. The constant reevaluation and new perspectives are great. I appreciate everyone's input and discussion.
post #105 of 119
Just wanted to add, Dar, that I'm not picking on you or thinking you are a bad parent. Just using your post as an example. As in:

Me reading Dar's post and thinking in my head: "OMG, she let a 7 year old watch Rocky Horror?! WTF, that is waay too adult and mature."

And then "She seems like such a good parent, I know she wouldn't intentionally screw up her kid, why would she do such a thing?"

And then "Well, is it really that bad? Is it worse than Disney?"

And then "I guess it's probably not worse than "The Holy Grail."

And then "Why did I have such a bad reaction to the thought of Rocky Horror?"

And then "Is it because there is so much more overt, crazy sex? Why do I not mind them watching stuff like "Lord of the Rings" with its violence, or some stupid disney movie with its sexism and consumerism, but I object to "Rocky Horror"? Is it because I'm going along with what's acceptable in society at large, or do I really feel this way? Or is it because I *LIKE* "the Holy Grail" and "Lord of the Rings" and I don't really want to watch "Rocky Horror" over and over again? Am I just rationalizing what I'll let my kids watch, based on what *I* want to watch?"

That's what I mean, when I say that Dar's post made me think.

And I suppose the rest of my other post could be shortened to say: We assume our kids respect and trust us and that they want a safe and happy place to live, and we treat them the same way. We all talk. We all honestly enjoy and respect each other. We try to make parenting/family decisions based on this.

I blabber too much. Really, I'm just trying to avoid the laundry. I hate the laundry.
post #106 of 119
Quote:
Mine don't have a curfew. Doesn't mean I don't care.
I never suggested that you didn't care. I was only relating how I felt as a teenager. (which was a long time ago before there were cell phones and you could just call mom and dad if you wanted to come home).

Anyway, I was just trying to offer a different perspective. My parents thought they were doing the right thing by giving me space and privacy and letting me do my own thing but I was really overwhelmed and even scared sometimes. I didn't tell my parents about these feelings because I didn't want to let them down when they thought I was so mature. And since I had some friends whose parents were super strict, I felt ungrateful that I didn't love the freedom I had.

I think my opinion and experiences are valid, even if they aren't the same as everyone else's here.
post #107 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by churndash View Post
I grew up in a very liberal, permissive household and I got into all sorts of trouble as a teenager - not trouble with my parents, of course, because they felt I was old enough to make my own mistakes and pay the consequences.

But I wasn't really. I wasn't old enough at 16 to understand that getting drunk and passing out at some party would result in waking up wondering if a strange guy had sex with you while you were unconscious and how horrible that moment would feel.

There were times I felt that my parents didn't even really care about me. Some of my friends had to be home by midnight - I had no curfew. Didn't they care if I made it home at night?

I love my parents and I know they were doing what they thought was right but it wasn't right for me. I think I would have been a lot happier with some rules.

I have rules for my kids, including my teen, and they are in place to help her, not punish her. Sometimes she is angry when I won't let her do something, but that's okay. It would be impossible for a child to go through life never being mad at their parent.
I also grew up with liberal, permissive parents. I know that kids don't come with instructions and that different people with differing ideologies will approach parenting completely....well.....different. It's taken me a long time to forgive my parents for what I consider to be benign neglect and self-centeredness, but we still aren't close.

My parents were very hung up on "natural consequences" and "independence." Apparently, my mom left me alone for short periods of time starting at age four, which I find appalling. I never got into any trouble as a teen; mostly because I was just lucky. I drank and had sex. But I'm also not a reckless person, so I always used protection and never drank and drove or anything. Because I didn't have much in the way of support at home and was picked on at school, I was always looking for approval and pretty much kept my nose clean.

My parents, though, were also not involved in my life at all past the age of 12 or so. We never did "family" things. They were total homebodies that only watched TV and read, didn't like board games or anything. They never had company over.

I was and am somewhat extroverted, and was always out of the house. What ended up happening was that I married a complete loser when I was 18 and moved halfway across the country. The loser and I got divorced a short while later, but I never moved back home. I feel closer to my friends than I do to my family.

So I guess that for me, regulation of my kids is not so important as connection. I think that when kids have a good connection with their parents, and their parents are good people (as I think I am) and good role models, then they will naturally tend to do the right thing.
post #108 of 119
lorijds I just want to say that I loved your posts and found it to be perfect lunchtime reading ... sorry about the laundry
post #109 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by churndash View Post
I never suggested that you didn't care. I was only relating how I felt as a teenager. (which was a long time ago before there were cell phones and you could just call mom and dad if you wanted to come home).
LOL I grew up long before cell phones. I don't recall ever being somewhere (wait - there was the golf course situation.....) where I could not get to a phone (public or home) to call my folks to come get me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by churndash View Post
I think my opinion and experiences are valid, even if they aren't the same as everyone else's here.
Didn't say it wasn't. I can understand that you may have felt your parents didn't care by not giving you a curfew. There are ways to avoid that feeling, which is what I was describing.
post #110 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtiger View Post
However, let's not forget that not ALL teens feel that getting drunk (let alone to the point of passing out) is a great or fun thing to do. Neither of my two - or their friends (who range in age from 14 - 19) - drink. Both of mine know that, if they want a glass of wine or beer or whatever, I will allow them to have it. At home. Not their friends, though. That's up to their parents. The only time either of them have was when A (15 at the time, I think) had a half glass of champagne on New Year's Eve.



Mine don't have a curfew. Doesn't mean I don't care. What it does mean is that it depends on the particular situation. Who they're going with, how they're getting there/back, where they're going. And whether or not it's a school night. We usually come up with a mutually acceptable time - and a call is expected if they're not going to be home by then. But ya know.... I offer the same courtesy. If I'm going out, I let them know when I plan to be home, and I call if I'm going to be late.

They also know that they can call, regardless of the time, if they need me to come get them. So if one of their friends DOES make a foolish choice, they can get home safely - and I"ll take any others who need a ride.



And that's the key - it depends on the individual kid and the parents in question.
That's very much how I was raised -- given lots of freedom, no curfew (just situation-specific, mutually-agreed-upon times to be home), calling if I was going to be late, having a glass of wine at dinner (or a beer), etc. It was absolutely ideal, and I am so pleased to see my kids growing with the kind of independence and maturity that make me think they will handle the same style of parenting equally well. Actually, I think most kids who are given freedom and treated with respect from the start WILL respond well to increased freedom and responsibility as teens. IME, it's the kids who are raised in strict households who rebel in dangerous ways. When you're raised with freedom and responsibility, you appreciate what you have and you don't try to screw it up!
post #111 of 119
:
Quote:
Originally Posted by lorijds View Post
Am I just rationalizing what I'll let my kids watch, based on what *I* want to watch?"
There's a pretty long list of stuff Lina will only be allowed to watch with dh while I'm well away from the house. Or she'll have to tell me where to close my eyes.
post #112 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by lorijds View Post
Just wanted to add, Dar, that I'm not picking on you or thinking you are a bad parent. Just using your post as an example. As in:

Me reading Dar's post and thinking in my head: "OMG, she let a 7 year old watch Rocky Horror?! WTF, that is waay too adult and mature."

And then "She seems like such a good parent, I know she wouldn't intentionally screw up her kid, why would she do such a thing?"

And then "Well, is it really that bad? Is it worse than Disney?"

And then "I guess it's probably not worse than "The Holy Grail."

And then "Why did I have such a bad reaction to the thought of Rocky Horror?"

And then "Is it because there is so much more overt, crazy sex? Why do I not mind them watching stuff like "Lord of the Rings" with its violence, or some stupid disney movie with its sexism and consumerism, but I object to "Rocky Horror"? Is it because I'm going along with what's acceptable in society at large, or do I really feel this way? Or is it because I *LIKE* "the Holy Grail" and "Lord of the Rings" and I don't really want to watch "Rocky Horror" over and over again? Am I just rationalizing what I'll let my kids watch, based on what *I* want to watch?"

That's what I mean, when I say that Dar's post made me think.

And I suppose the rest of my other post could be shortened to say: We assume our kids respect and trust us and that they want a safe and happy place to live, and we treat them the same way. We all talk. We all honestly enjoy and respect each other. We try to make parenting/family decisions based on this.

I blabber too much. Really, I'm just trying to avoid the laundry. I hate the laundry.
I love how you think, it's a lot like I do.
post #113 of 119
I like how both of you think!

On the other hand, when Rain was 7 she was completely traumatized by a PG-13 movie, and she still clearly remembers this epsiode as one of my biggest screw-ups. She wanted to rent Gorillas in the Mist from the library, and I thought it would be cool... great story about a woman scientist learning about gorillas, sort of adventurous but uplifting... yup, let's get it. All goes well until the end of the movie, when a shadowy figure with a mackete creeps into Dian Fossey's tent as she sleeps. Rain starts to panic - "I don't like this? Is he going to kill her? I don't want him to kill her?" I reassure her - nope, it'll be fine, I just saw her interviewed the other day so I know she's alive, someone is probably going to rescue her soon... and so on. She's nervously watching and waiting, and then the hand chops down and the scene ends. Real panic, and I'm really confised but saying no, no, it's a dream or something, I *know* she doesn't die... cut to the funeral. Rain is sobbing...

I run to the internet and realize that I have confused Jane Goodall, who worked with chimps and is very much alive, with Diane Fossey, who worked with gorillas and... isn't. Oops. Yup, big oops. I felt so bad...

But Rocky Horror was all camp and singing and fun dance moves, and knowing when to hold up your lighter and when to throw what... and she watched a bunch of Monty Python at that age too... just fun stuff.

Oh, and she also watched the first 10 minutes of The Last Emperor at that age (also PG-13) while being babysat by a homeschooling family... and ran off shrieking (not literally, but, you know). The mom was very apologetic.. she thought it would be a good way for all the kids to learn some history... but the movie opens with a guy cutting his wrists...

I'm rambling on, clearly...

dar
post #114 of 119
My mom took me to see Gorillas in the Mist when I was (I can't remember my exact age, but it was at the Aloha theatre, and we lived in Aloha from when I was 11-18) around 11-13. It seriously traumatized me and I still had nightmares about it into my early 20's.
post #115 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Purity♥Lake~ View Post
I can't remember my exact age, but it was at the Aloha theatre, and we lived in Aloha from when I was 11-18
Where is Aloha?
post #116 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2xy View Post
Where is Aloha?
Michigan, Oregon, Washington, or Louisiana.

, that suburb out by Beaverton.
post #117 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
Michigan, Oregon, Washington, or Louisiana.


Oregon.

and in Oregon, it's pronounced ah-lo-wa
post #118 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by lorijds View Post
And then "Is it because there is so much more overt, crazy sex? Why do I not mind them watching stuff like "Lord of the Rings" with its violence, or some stupid disney movie with its sexism and consumerism, but I object to "Rocky Horror"? Is it because I'm going along with what's acceptable in society at large, or do I really feel this way? Or is it because I *LIKE* "the Holy Grail" and "Lord of the Rings" and I don't really want to watch "Rocky Horror" over and over again? Am I just rationalizing what I'll let my kids watch, based on what *I* want to watch?"
This part kind of makes me laugh. I could probably stomach Rocky Horror Picture Show one or two more times in my life (I've seen it twice), but no more than that. It's just not my thing at all. OTOH, I have no problem telling ds1 that "sure - if it won't bother you, you can watch [fill in blank] at your friend's house, but you're not watching it here...at least not when I'm home" (which is pretty much always). DH has even less stomach for gore than I do, I think, so ds1 is out of luck. I also don't want him bringing any really freaky looking video cases into our house, because I don't want to have to explain them to dd and ds2. So...ds1 is definitely limited by what I want to watch, as are dd and ds2 (to a lesser degree, because I can tune out things I consider to be inane more easily than I can tune out things I consider freaky or gross)...but I'm very upfront about why they can't watch them.

DH and I even do that. I have movies that I only put on after dh has gone to bed or whatever, because he doesn't like them that much (I'm a huge fan of 80s action films - pretty much all of them - and dh doesn't like them as much as I do). He only puts on certain music if I'm not around. I don't tell him he can't listen to such-and-such, but he knows I don't like it, so he doesn't play it, yk?
post #119 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
Michigan, Oregon, Washington, or Louisiana.

, that suburb out by Beaverton.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Purity♥Lake~ View Post


Oregon.

and in Oregon, it's pronounced ah-lo-wa
Oh.

I thought you were talking about the Aloha Theater in Hawaii, which is on the Big Island. But there's no town called Aloha there.
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