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We are the strictest parents?! - Page 5

post #81 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by because why not? View Post
She really just blows raspberries into the air at me, but the result is that I end up with her spit on my face. We've been through this several times, so she knows better. But no, she isn't hocking a loog and shooting it at me- it isn't an angry, mean-spirited act so much as just pushing her boundaries and craving a response.

I don't mean to derail. Carry on!

But I think the point you are making is that you did not retaliate in a childlike manner... you handled it with care and understanding and direction ... do our teens not deserve the same? ... you made a good point
post #82 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by choli View Post
Sigh. I know she'll grow out of it (probably just in time for DD2 to start with it) but at times it feels like nothing is appreciated and all I've done is created an entitlement minded nasty toned little baggage.:

I know what you mean ... after I remind myself that its a good thing my kids are willing to speak their mind, I remind them how I would prefer to be spoken to and how it makes me feel when act that way.
post #83 of 119
I don't have a teen yet, but have been following this thread with interest. The only thing I think I have to add to this conversation is an encouragement to all parents to take a look into Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg. His writing speaks to these situations in raising teens nicely, I think, and supports communication between parents and teens being respectful in both directions because we're all human, rather than because a parent (or other authority figure) "deserves" respect because they're, well, in power.
post #84 of 119
After reading most of this thread, and responding earlier, I want to go back to basics. I our house, our parenting philosophy is (and always has been) based on trust and respect. When a 4-year-old is having a tantrum, we respected and honored the feelings - even if we didn't allow the tantrum to take place at the dinner table. That was part of THEM learning to respect our rights, like having a meal without anyone screaming. They also learned to trust that we were not setting rules because we were mindless, strict, horrible parents - we discussed practically every rule and decision, and gave the reasons behind them.

Example: you need to go to bed at a reasonable time so you aren't tired and cranky in school. When they asked for a later bedtime ("our friends get to stay up later!"), I would explain that if they were able to wake up on their own in the morning without the alarm on a regular basis, then they were obviously getting enough sleep, and could stay up later. If they needed to be dragged out of bed, obviously they were not getting enough sleep, and staying up later was not an option. Eventually they realized that this made sense, and willingly went to bed at a reasonable time - even on weekends - because they didn't like the feeling of a tired, cranky morning and school day. They realized that their bodies, not their parents, determined bedtime. Given enough situations like this, they learned to trust us, and spent less time questioning the rules. We had never given them a reason to NOT trust us, and we had proven ourselves to be fair and reasonable.

As the boys got older (they are 14-1/2 now), the issues changed, but the basis of trust and respect remains. We talk about stuff, and sometimes they have convincing enough arguments for me to change my initial response to a request. I won't change my mind if someone throws a fit - only rationale, thoughtful discussion can open the door to change. Consequently, our kids have learned to think hard about WHY they want something, so they can convince me (and I'm NOT an easy sell!)

We respect each other's privacy (no one in our family enters a closed door without knocking first and getting permission); we respect each other's feelings. The rules are pretty much the same for the adults as they are for the kids, which makes life a lot easier. We respect their opinions, and as they have gotten older have enjoyed watching them develop their own ideas about politics, the environment, technology, school - just about anything. They know they will be taken seriously.

And TRUST - that's the biggie. We trust them to do the right thing in different situation, and they usually do. And they trust US to behave in a reasonable fashion (at least most of the time). I can't overemphasize how important this is! One of my sons has been suffering from depression for the last few months, to the point where he was having suicidal thoughts. It took him a few days, but he told me about those thoughts - even though he knew that it was one thing no parent on the planet wants to hear. A week later when the random thoughts became a suicide plan, he told me immediately, and I admitted him to the hospital. It took an incredible level of trust to confide in me, and I will be forever grateful that he did. I later learned that only 30% of kids with suicidal thoughts tell their parents.

So here's our parenting in a nutshell: Is this decision respectful? Will it promote trust or erode it? Do I respect his opinion and ideas? Do I trust him?

Keeping those questions at the top of the list tends to make everything else fall into place.
post #85 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by nd_deadhead View Post
After reading most of this thread, and responding earlier, I want to go back to basics. I our house, our parenting philosophy is (and always has been) based on trust and respect. When a 4-year-old is having a tantrum, we respected and honored the feelings - even if we didn't allow the tantrum to take place at the dinner table. That was part of THEM learning to respect our rights, like having a meal without anyone screaming. They also learned to trust that we were not setting rules because we were mindless, strict, horrible parents - we discussed practically every rule and decision, and gave the reasons behind them.

Example: you need to go to bed at a reasonable time so you aren't tired and cranky in school. When they asked for a later bedtime ("our friends get to stay up later!"), I would explain that if they were able to wake up on their own in the morning without the alarm on a regular basis, then they were obviously getting enough sleep, and could stay up later. If they needed to be dragged out of bed, obviously they were not getting enough sleep, and staying up later was not an option. Eventually they realized that this made sense, and willingly went to bed at a reasonable time - even on weekends - because they didn't like the feeling of a tired, cranky morning and school day. They realized that their bodies, not their parents, determined bedtime. Given enough situations like this, they learned to trust us, and spent less time questioning the rules. We had never given them a reason to NOT trust us, and we had proven ourselves to be fair and reasonable.

As the boys got older (they are 14-1/2 now), the issues changed, but the basis of trust and respect remains. We talk about stuff, and sometimes they have convincing enough arguments for me to change my initial response to a request. I won't change my mind if someone throws a fit - only rationale, thoughtful discussion can open the door to change. Consequently, our kids have learned to think hard about WHY they want something, so they can convince me (and I'm NOT an easy sell!)

We respect each other's privacy (no one in our family enters a closed door without knocking first and getting permission); we respect each other's feelings. The rules are pretty much the same for the adults as they are for the kids, which makes life a lot easier. We respect their opinions, and as they have gotten older have enjoyed watching them develop their own ideas about politics, the environment, technology, school - just about anything. They know they will be taken seriously.

And TRUST - that's the biggie. We trust them to do the right thing in different situation, and they usually do. And they trust US to behave in a reasonable fashion (at least most of the time). I can't overemphasize how important this is! One of my sons has been suffering from depression for the last few months, to the point where he was having suicidal thoughts. It took him a few days, but he told me about those thoughts - even though he knew that it was one thing no parent on the planet wants to hear. A week later when the random thoughts became a suicide plan, he told me immediately, and I admitted him to the hospital. It took an incredible level of trust to confide in me, and I will be forever grateful that he did. I later learned that only 30% of kids with suicidal thoughts tell their parents.

So here's our parenting in a nutshell: Is this decision respectful? Will it promote trust or erode it? Do I respect his opinion and ideas? Do I trust him?

Keeping those questions at the top of the list tends to make everything else fall into place.
OMG! What a fantastic post!!!! you summed up my own hopes, dreams and parenting philosophy so well, can I print this out and put in on my fridge? :
post #86 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by nd_deadhead View Post
lAnd TRUST - that's the biggie. We trust them to do the right thing in different situation, and they usually do. And they trust US to behave in a reasonable fashion (at least most of the time). I can't overemphasize how important this is! One of my sons has been suffering from depression for the last few months, to the point where he was having suicidal thoughts. It took him a few days, but he told me about those thoughts - even though he knew that it was one thing no parent on the planet wants to hear. A week later when the random thoughts became a suicide plan, he told me immediately, and I admitted him to the hospital. It took an incredible level of trust to confide in me, and I will be forever grateful that he did. I later learned that only 30% of kids with suicidal thoughts tell their parents.
FWIW, I'm sure your parenting approach contributed to him telling you, but it's not all of it. I trusted my mom 100%...and never said one word to her, or anyone else, about my suicidal thoughts as a teen. I never even told most of my friends, because I was afraid they'd decide to get me help, and I didn't want it. I figured my mom would take it seriously...and probably admit me to the hospital, as you did. That's why I never told her.
post #87 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar View Post
I have to admit, when Rain was 13 I never would have considered asking one of her friends if she was allowed to watch a certain movie... in my world, 13 year olds are competent to know what movies that want to watch or are permitted to watch, and I don't see ensuring that as my job.
Me, neither.

I want to say that, out of all my kids' friends, the ones who seem to have poor coping skills are the ones who have overly-controlling and sheltering parents.

DS2 is 13, and he has a Facebook page and a Myspace page. I'm his friend on both of them, but it's not because I want to see what he's "doing." He's had his own email for years. He watches pretty much whatever he wants; he has enough self-awareness to know if something bothers him, and since he's not forbidden from seeing those things by me, he has nothing to prove to anyone.

No, I don't parent the way I do to upset other parents. I do what I think is best for my family. If a kid comes over and tells me that he's allowed to watch an R-rated movie even though he's not, that tells me something.
post #88 of 119
Toni, great post. I'm not nearly that consistent myself, but I try to parent this way, too. I think I've influenced dh this way as well, at least a little.
post #89 of 119
I agree that it's a delicate balance between giving them the space to grow and learn on their own while also sticking to your personal ideals and understanding your own expectations.

I disagree with whoever on the front page said the movies we saw as kids were not as graphic as current films. That's just not exactly true.

I think we all know we can raise our children as we know is right. I know for myself, I want trust and compassion and tolerance in my relationship with my children. It is what I try to cultivate in all relationships. Sometimes it comes easily and sometimes it's hard.

My daughter is ten. She has seen Milk (which was mentioned on the front page) and tons of other films I know her friends have not seen. She has her own email address but forgets to check it LOL She doesn't have a facebook account but plays games on mine (vampires, pet society, superpokepets...). She calls friends on the phone. She makes her own decisions about her hair and her clothes. I know ten is different than 13 but I hope that when we hit those years, we'll work to maintain the level of trust we have right now.
post #90 of 119
In all honesty, I give little to know thought to how others may view my parenting decisions. Yes, I am one of the more permissive parents in my kids' peer group. There are few "hard and fast" rules in our home. The main ones are - no one abuses our pets, non-family members don't belong in my bedroom unless I give the okay, and... don't put an empty milk jug back in the fridge. Oh - and tell me when said milk jug is empty at some time other than 5am! Pretty much everything else is on a case-by-case basis.

Do I ask kids if they're allowed to watch something? Yep. Followed by "so.... if I called your folks - they'd be cool with it?" The kids know not to lie to me.

Do some of those kids go home and tell their parents "but Mrs T lets HER kids do X, Y, Z."? I'm sure they do. But really? Not my problem. I've had some parents tell me off. I've had others tell me that my kids are among the few who come into their home and do not automatically assume that they can take/use/eat whatever they choose. They are unfailingly polite and always ask first.

When I say no to something, my kids always know why and understand that it isn't arbitrary. They also know that, if they disagree, they are welcome to present their pov - and I will sometimes rethink my position.

My goal as a parent is to raise two young adults who are able to make reasoned choices and know how to navigate the world they inhabit. Sometimes I let them do things that have my heart in my throat (like allowing my 15yo to take a rail trip via Amtrak from Philly - Boston alone to visit a friend).

My Mom sometimes pales at the things I allow them to do, but she will be the first to tell you what great kids they are, and that it has a lot to do with how I've raised them.

SO... sorry if my way of raising them makes it hard for another parent. But that really isn't my problem.
post #91 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtiger View Post
In all honesty, I give little to know thought to how others may view my parenting decisions. Yes, I am one of the more permissive parents in my kids' peer group. There are few "hard and fast" rules in our home. The main ones are - no one abuses our pets, non-family members don't belong in my bedroom unless I give the okay, and... don't put an empty milk jug back in the fridge. Oh - and tell me when said milk jug is empty at some time other than 5am! Pretty much everything else is on a case-by-case basis.

Do I ask kids if they're allowed to watch something? Yep. Followed by "so.... if I called your folks - they'd be cool with it?" The kids know not to lie to me.

Do some of those kids go home and tell their parents "but Mrs T lets HER kids do X, Y, Z."? I'm sure they do. But really? Not my problem. I've had some parents tell me off. I've had others tell me that my kids are among the few who come into their home and do not automatically assume that they can take/use/eat whatever they choose. They are unfailingly polite and always ask first.

When I say no to something, my kids always know why and understand that it isn't arbitrary. They also know that, if they disagree, they are welcome to present their pov - and I will sometimes rethink my position.

My goal as a parent is to raise two young adults who are able to make reasoned choices and know how to navigate the world they inhabit. Sometimes I let them do things that have my heart in my throat (like allowing my 15yo to take a rail trip via Amtrak from Philly - Boston alone to visit a friend).

My Mom sometimes pales at the things I allow them to do, but she will be the first to tell you what great kids they are, and that it has a lot to do with how I've raised them.

SO... sorry if my way of raising them makes it hard for another parent. But that really isn't my problem.
I love this post and aspire to parent my kids in the same way. I have a question though. You have few hard and fast rules...the ones you list make total sense to me. How do you handle when your kids blow off their responsibilities? Whether it's not unloading the dishwasher or choosing to not do homework, turn in assignments, what have you? Leaving piles of their cr*p all over the house?
I do not mean this in a snarky way. As I said, I love how you describe your parenting. I feel like I tend to micromanage my kids sometimes and I hate it. However, when I have left them to take responsibility, they totally blow it off and I am left with a messy house and teachers requesting meetings and conferences because my kids don't pull their weight.
post #92 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cherie2 View Post
and you would not be there to discuss it with them..

maybe the worst that could happen is they could build up resentment towards you and not care what your opinions are...

or they could feel so controlled that they rebel and spend years doing things just because they were not "allowed" instead choosing them

Really I don’t mean to be adversarial, but I have reasons for letting my children do the things I let them do, and its not so your kids can come home and tell you I let them do it.
I agree with this so much. My kids already have or will have by 13 the freedoms to do all the things that you son can't, OP, and it's because that's what we feel is best for them. I am not about to alter my parenting (and my core values -- which include being 100% anti-censorship) in order to make other, stricter parents have an easier time parenting in a way that I find completely objectionable.

I hope that you will reconsider how little privacy you are allowing your son, and how this may impact him as he ages -- you are underestimating things if you think the worst ramifications this will have is that he watches a bunch of R-rated movies as soon as he turns 17.
post #93 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by chiromamma View Post
You have few hard and fast rules...the ones you list make total sense to me. How do you handle when your kids blow off their responsibilities? Whether it's not unloading the dishwasher or choosing to not do homework, turn in assignments, what have you? Leaving piles of their cr*p all over the house?
I do not mean this in a snarky way. As I said, I love how you describe your parenting. I feel like I tend to micromanage my kids sometimes and I hate it. However, when I have left them to take responsibility, they totally blow it off and I am left with a messy house and teachers requesting meetings and conferences because my kids don't pull their weight.
I'm not answering for Mtiger....I'm just answering because she and I parent similarly.

I can't speak for the teacher/school thing. Allowing my children to pursue the things they deem important is one of the reasons we homeschool. I'm totally not interested in playing the game of school. When people blow things off, it's because it has no real importance for them, IMO.

As for chores....when they were younger we did them together. Our house is messy anyway, but not dysfunctional messy. It's active-people-living-life messy. They're older now and tend not to blow off their responsibilities. They understand that DH and I work hard to provide for them and to better our lives (I'm in school in addition to WOTH), and that if we have more chores to do, we'll have less time and are less likely to feel like taking them places or doing stuff with them.

I also know that if one of my kids is feeling lazy and procrastinating on their chores, that they're human. Sometimes I don't feel like washing dishes, either. So on those rare occasions, I will sometimes do it for them....knowing fully well that the next time the dog pesters me to let him out (which is about a million times a day), one of the boys will help me out.

On a tangent....

One thing I've noticed about lots of people that I work with and even my DH sometimes....they have a "it's not my job" attitude. My parents never made me do any chores. They just asked me to help and I did. I often grumbled, but I still helped. Seriously....my kids each have ONE regular chore that has to be done daily. DS1 has to take out the trash and recycling. DS2 has to unload the dishwasher. Everything else is on a per request basis or I pay them for it (washing the car, cutting the grass, shoveling snow).

I've noticed that if I ask my older DS to do the dishes or ask younger DS to take out the trash for whatever reason, I get the "it's Brother's job" response. I originally implemented these chores to keep things simplified around here, but I sometimes regret having done it. I think it's weird that they're both willing to help out with just about anything else, except for "Brother's job."

When I see something that needs to be done, I just do it, even if it's not my job. I wonder sometimes if my parents had it right about this one thing.
post #94 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jessy1019 View Post
I agree with this so much. My kids already have or will have by 13 the freedoms to do all the things that you son can't, OP, and it's because that's what we feel is best for them. I am not about to alter my parenting (and my core values -- which include being 100% anti-censorship) in order to make other, stricter parents have an easier time parenting in a way that I find completely objectionable.

I hope that you will reconsider how little privacy you are allowing your son, and how this may impact him as he ages -- you are underestimating things if you think the worst ramifications this will have is that he watches a bunch of R-rated movies as soon as he turns 17.
This.

At 13, I believe that a kid has to have developed a basic sense of self and a basic sense of responsibility--and in order to develop that, they have to have the ability to make decisions as to what is right and wrong for them to do.

You really don't know, at 13, how much longer you are going to have true influence over them. At 14, I sought out and considered going to a boarding honors high school (my state has a boarding public high school for honors students), even though I ultimately decided that it wasn't the right choice for me. My husband basically moved out of his parents house at 15, to go to his state's honors high school. With the addition of associated summer activities, he really never lived under their roof for more than a month at a time again.
post #95 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2xy View Post
On a tangent....

One thing I've noticed about lots of people that I work with and even my DH sometimes....they have a "it's not my job" attitude. My parents never made me do any chores. They just asked me to help and I did. I often grumbled, but I still helped.
This is interesting. DH used to worry about ds1 not getting tings done, because he didn't have chores. DH had chores, and he's pretty self-motivated, and gets things done around here. OTOH...I never had chores, and I always got things done at home, as well. My parents operated on the basis of asking for, and receiving help, not on a set list of chores.

I have given ds1 several chores, but we've assigned those more to ensure that he learns how to do them. I'm somewhat horrified at how many adults can't clean a bathroom, scrub a toilet or vacuum, yk? DS1 has been on bathrooms on alternating weekends for about a month and a half (he's done them 3 or 4 times) and he's getting much better at seeing what needs to be done. I'm honestly more concerned that he learn that, than I am that he "does his chores".

I don't worry much about him pulling his own weight, because he's always helped out. He used to come with me to the grocery store, and he'd carry a bag all the way home, even when he was only 5 or 6. He helps out with his siblings when necessary. Last night, my bread machine beeped at me, and I was washing dishes, so I got ds1 to take the dough out, remove the paddle and re-shape the loaf. That's not a big thing, but I like knowing he'll help if I need him to.

Quote:
When I see something that needs to be done, I just do it, even if it's not my job. I wonder sometimes if my parents had it right about this one thing.

I'm mostly like that, too. There are a few things I'll dodge for a while, if I can, but it's more because I really hate doing them. I don't tend to do ds1's trash and recycling chores, but that's mostly because I'm home with the kids, and taking them down to the dumpster 2-3 times becomes a half-day task. Normally, if I notice that the garbage needs to go out, it's when I'm in the middle of something, so I don't really have time to take the kids on errands.
post #96 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2xy View Post
I'm not answering for Mtiger...
On a tangent....

One thing I've noticed about lots of people that I work with and even my DH sometimes....they have a "it's not my job" attitude. My parents never made me do any chores. They just asked me to help and I did. I often grumbled, but I still helped. Seriously....my kids each have ONE regular chore that has to be done daily. DS1 has to take out the trash and recycling. DS2 has to unload the dishwasher. Everything else is on a per request basis or I pay them for it (washing the car, cutting the grass, shoveling snow).

I've noticed that if I ask my older DS to do the dishes or ask younger DS to take out the trash for whatever reason, I get the "it's Brother's job" response. I originally implemented these chores to keep things simplified around here, but I sometimes regret having done it. I think it's weird that they're both willing to help out with just about anything else, except for "Brother's job."

When I see something that needs to be done, I just do it, even if it's not my job. I wonder sometimes if my parents had it right about this one thing.
Honestly, I have found this to be so true. Having let go of the assigned chores, my kids are more reasonable and willing to help when I just ask for the help when it's needed. We had DD assigned to unloading the dishwasher. Well, 2 days a week she doesn't get home unitl 8pm. It makes no sense to have that wait because it's "her job". DS's do kitcehn stuff those nights.
On the school thing, I get it about importance but my kids choose to be in a school they picked out so inherent in that choice is the agreeing to do what's asked of them. I'm happy to homeschool and let them guide the curriculum. They love the community and travel opportunities of the school they are in.
Anyway. I think I'll do away with the chores list.
post #97 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by chiromamma View Post
I love this post and aspire to parent my kids in the same way. I have a question though. You have few hard and fast rules...the ones you list make total sense to me. How do you handle when your kids blow off their responsibilities? Whether it's not unloading the dishwasher or choosing to not do homework, turn in assignments, what have you? Leaving piles of their cr*p all over the house?
I do not mean this in a snarky way. As I said, I love how you describe your parenting. I feel like I tend to micromanage my kids sometimes and I hate it. However, when I have left them to take responsibility, they totally blow it off and I am left with a messy house and teachers requesting meetings and conferences because my kids don't pull their weight.
I didn't take it in a snarky way.

We don't really have assigned chores. Pretty much, we all know what needs to be done, and we pull together, picking up slack as needed. Both of the kids can cook, do laundry, etc. and do as needed. Not every day, but depending on their schedule and mine. The only thing that NEEDS to be done daily is feeding the animals & letting the hounds out - I take the morning as I'm the first one up. Letting them out during the day and feeding them at night depends on who's home when.

When they were much younger, it pretty much came down to "we can work together and have time for all three of us to do something fun, or you can leave it to me and there won't be much time for fun at all."

As for homework, etc... I keep an eye on their online grade books, and if I see something of concern I suggest that the relevant child check it as well. They can see the effect a zero has on their grade as well as I can - and they don't like it much. While I am always available to help, I'm relatively hands off otherwise.
post #98 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by because why not? View Post
I've been around the parenting cicuit. I've done the big forums, the private forums, the coop schools and the homeschool groups, and one thing that really distresses me is this: When it comes to teens, all of our gentle, intuitive, child-led philosophies seem to fly out the window. It makes me wonder if we were ever genuine in the first place, or if we were only in it while our kids were more moldable. More compliant. When our tots are defiant, we listen to their needs. We respect their individuality and adjust to it. But when our teens behave the same way, they're treated with mockery and contempt, and it makes me wonder if the whole idea of respecting our children is a put-on that we can only stomach when we know our kids will be dependent on us for the foreseeable future. It's all a ruse then, isn't it?
This is FANTASTIC! Thank you so very much.
post #99 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by chiromamma View Post
Honestly, I have found this to be so true. Having let go of the assigned chores, my kids are more reasonable and willing to help when I just ask for the help when it's needed. We had DD assigned to unloading the dishwasher. Well, 2 days a week she doesn't get home unitl 8pm. It makes no sense to have that wait because it's "her job". DS's do kitcehn stuff those nights.
I've never thought of it in these terms before, but yeah, this has been so true for us. The times when I've tried to implement specific chores have always gone badly - and it's usually been pretty minor stuff, like feeding the pets once a day. It used to really irk me, but in retrospect I think I was interfering with the flow of our days, so it didn't work. When I keep the focus on both of us doing what needs to be done, things go more smoothly... when I focus on how much more often I'm doing Chore X than Rain is, I feel put-upon and grouchy...

Dar
post #100 of 119
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.
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