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I really need advice (DH telling me how to raise my kids) - Page 2

post #21 of 30

Whether or not you and your kids' dad are doing a stellar job in raising them....I have an issue with someone telling me how to parent when they didn't do a very good job of it, themselves. Sure, your DH might think he made mistakes, but there's no guarantee that his new-and-improved approach would have resulted in a positive outcome. It might have just resulted in an outcome that was still negative, just different.

 

I have a friend who likes to give parenting advice, and her family is a mess, IMO. She was somewhat strict with her older children, and there is a big gap between the older ones and the younger ones. Her older ones rebelled and acted out to the point of police involvement. As the younger ones grew, she decided that the way to avoid a similar outcome was to become totally permissive, which has resulted in more harmony but the same delinquent behavior.

 

If someone is going to lecture me on how to cook a gourmet meal, they'd better show me that they can cook a gourmet meal. KWIM?

post #22 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2xy View Post

Whether or not you and your kids' dad are doing a stellar job in raising them....I have an issue with someone telling me how to parent when they didn't do a very good job of it, themselves. Sure, your DH might think he made mistakes, but there's no guarantee that his new-and-improved approach would have resulted in a positive outcome. It might have just resulted in an outcome that was still negative, just different.

 

I have a friend who likes to give parenting advice, and her family is a mess, IMO. She was somewhat strict with her older children, and there is a big gap between the older ones and the younger ones. Her older ones rebelled and acted out to the point of police involvement. As the younger ones grew, she decided that the way to avoid a similar outcome was to become totally permissive, which has resulted in more harmony but the same delinquent behavior.

 

If someone is going to lecture me on how to cook a gourmet meal, they'd better show me that they can cook a gourmet meal. KWIM?


This.        

 

I guess, though I am not completely 100% confident with my approach, this is more of what is bothering me.  Smithie, I will take what you are saying into consideration, and I appreciate that you took the time to respond to me :)

 

 

Parenting a teen is not easy, and having a blended family with a teen is even harder. If DH were DS's dad, I would let him be the heavy (or not, depending on what we agreed to)  I find it incredibly hard to be the tough parent, just my personality, BUT, I will add that I AM NOT the kind of parent who does not parent, I put a lot of thought into the decisions I make. I am also the "heavy" parent sometimes, even though it is an area of discomfort.  There are also "not perfect" moments for me, and it is incredibly upsetting to have someone there who is so ready to "call me out" when I am in error.

 

I will also add that we have come to a sort of agreement that he backs off somewhat when it comes to DS. For now, this is working.

 

 

post #23 of 30

Parenting is truly the hardest gig out there...and none of us really know how we're doing or how things will turn out, so we all just have to keep doing the best we can.  And single parent and blended families doesn't always help make it easier.

 

I think it's really great that you realize that you have your own doubts about your decisions.  I really believe the biggest reason his comments sting so much has more to do with the fact that you are judging and questionning yourself and he's just saying it out loud. 

 

It's tough sometimes.  I know when situations are difficult for me, I often wish I could go to the other parent or my partner to figure out the perfect solution or feel 100% supported in my decisions.  It doesn't happen like that though.  I know my partner especially, wants to help and offer advice, but it doesn't always come across the way I'm sure he's intending it.  And, when I am already feeling vulnerable and unsure, the words sting so much because he's saying out loud what I've been scared to admit myself.

 

When that happens, I usually turn to a girlfriend.  I find someone I can confide in and will support me unconditionally.  Girlfriends are great for that.  I also really look at the choices I am making and determine if I want to stay on the course I'm on...or re-evaluate.

 

Like I've said...parenting is the toughest job we'll ever do and we just have to keep taking it one step at a time.  I know you're doing a great job, Beloved.  Keep listening to your inner voice, your child and keep loving your partner too. 

post #24 of 30


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithie View Post

"I can't control what he doesn when we are not around (and I cannot be near him all of the time, he is in a stage of his life when he likes to be with his friends a lot.)"

 

My son is at the stage where he likes to eat cupcakes with green frosting for breakfast.  Doesn't mean that's something I allow. 

 

If your 15-year-old is leaving the house to hang with his friends and get high, you KNOW he's getting high, and he's not grounded - well, no wonder you're hearing appalled exclamations from the other room. If you can't or won't keep a kid that you don't trust in the house, you are making a grave error and creating a dangerous situation.

 

I'm sure your DH is being totally undiplomatic and rude. No doubt. And given how recent the marriage is, you're right, he shouldn't discipline your teenager. But YOU should. School home homework dinner TV bed. That's his world until he earns your trust again. Hanging on the corner is not a sacred adolescent right - it's a privilege, and one that needs to be revoked. Don't worry - he'll be hanging on the corner plenty when he visits his Dad. But even if his Dad lives in bizarro world, it's your job to insist on real-world rules and values when he's with you. 

 


There are very different parenting styles in this post. Some of us allow our children to eat anything in the house ........ not that I make cupcakes more than a few times a year. For some of us discipline means guiding our children so they can make good choices. For others disciplines means making our children do or not do things. And then there are all the discipline styles in between.  Suddenly becoming a authoritarian "do what I say" type of parent just as a young adult is starting to pull away isn't a good idea. It can bring on more rebellion and stop all the communication. It's much harder influencing some one who isn't talking to you. If you've always been a "do what I say" kind of parent, your teen probably expects it. If you've valued discussion, choice and had a respectful relationship with your child a calm "I think you're making some bad choices" and a discussion on possible consequences is more effective than a panicked grounding. Most people survive the natural rebellion and experimentation that happens during their teen and young adult years. Having an adult they trust and feel comfortable coming to with the issues in their life can really help them come out of this chaotic time ok.

The whole issue of this post is respect. The OP is trying to respectfully guide her DS while preserving the relationship they have. And she is trying to get her DH to treat her with respect.

post #25 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MsChatsAlot View Post

 

 

I think it's really great that you realize that you have your own doubts about your decisions.  I really believe the biggest reason his comments sting so much has more to do with the fact that you are judging and questionning yourself and he's just saying it out loud. 

 

It's tough sometimes.  I know when situations are difficult for me, I often wish I could go to the other parent or my partner to figure out the perfect solution or feel 100% supported in my decisions.  It doesn't happen like that though.  I know my partner especially, wants to help and offer advice, but it doesn't always come across the way I'm sure he's intending it.  And, when I am already feeling vulnerable and unsure, the words sting so much because he's saying out loud what I've been scared to admit myself.

 


That is so true, that IS why it stings, he is striking the nerve of my deepest insecurities in parenting. Thank you for posting that :) (and thank you for the validation)

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh View Post


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithie View Post

"I can't control what he doesn when we are not around (and I cannot be near him all of the time, he is in a stage of his life when he likes to be with his friends a lot.)"

 

My son is at the stage where he likes to eat cupcakes with green frosting for breakfast.  Doesn't mean that's something I allow. 

 

If your 15-year-old is leaving the house to hang with his friends and get high, you KNOW he's getting high, and he's not grounded - well, no wonder you're hearing appalled exclamations from the other room. If you can't or won't keep a kid that you don't trust in the house, you are making a grave error and creating a dangerous situation.

 

I'm sure your DH is being totally undiplomatic and rude. No doubt. And given how recent the marriage is, you're right, he shouldn't discipline your teenager. But YOU should. School home homework dinner TV bed. That's his world until he earns your trust again. Hanging on the corner is not a sacred adolescent right - it's a privilege, and one that needs to be revoked. Don't worry - he'll be hanging on the corner plenty when he visits his Dad. But even if his Dad lives in bizarro world, it's your job to insist on real-world rules and values when he's with you. 

 


There are very different parenting styles in this post. Some of us allow our children to eat anything in the house ........ not that I make cupcakes more than a few times a year. For some of us discipline means guiding our children so they can make good choices. For others disciplines means making our children do or not do things. And then there are all the discipline styles in between.  Suddenly becoming a authoritarian "do what I say" type of parent just as a young adult is starting to pull away isn't a good idea. It can bring on more rebellion and stop all the communication. It's much harder influencing some one who isn't talking to you. If you've always been a "do what I say" kind of parent, your teen probably expects it. If you've valued discussion, choice and had a respectful relationship with your child a calm "I think you're making some bad choices" and a discussion on possible consequences is more effective than a panicked grounding. Most people survive the natural rebellion and experimentation that happens during their teen and young adult years. Having an adult they trust and feel comfortable coming to with the issues in their life can really help them come out of this chaotic time ok.

The whole issue of this post is respect. The OP is trying to respectfully guide her DS while preserving the relationship they have. And she is trying to get her DH to treat her with respect.


You got it with the differing parenting styles. I have tried DH's approach with DS, and DS knows it's coming from DH and he sees right through it. I don't want to come in between him and his stepdad's relationship. We have to figure out my DH's role in his life. I really want them to be closer so they can talk.  He also snuck out of the house one night after I had "punished" him or given him the kind of consequence DH suggested. He did got grounded from me for that, no DH input required (so I am not a pushover)  

 

When it comes to smoking and pot, we talk about it, and explain why I disagree with his doing it at his age, and I tell him that it is illegal ()both cigs and pot)  and he (and I) could get in huge trouble if he was caught.  

 

 

post #26 of 30
Thread Starter 

Oh, and FTR, I have not smoked (cigs or pot) since before I was pregnant with him (my oldest)

post #27 of 30

 

"If you've always been a "do what I say" kind of parent, your teen probably expects it. If you've valued discussion, choice and had a respectful relationship..."

 

That's a false dichotomy. We value discussion and choice in this house. We respect our children's perspective on everything, and their array of choices, including about big-deal things like schooling, is pretty impressive. But when it's an issue of safety, what we say goes and there's not even the CONCEPT that our kids might "see through" (!!!) our stated instructions. I can't imagine ever worrying that my motives were being analyzed by the child I was plucking out of danger. And a 15-year-old sneaking out of the house is pretty much the textbook definition of danger. That's the kind of stuff that ends up on the news. Ditto for the ingestion of intoxicants in a group of "friends" at a location unknown to the parents! 

 

It's easier with little kids, I realize. But it's perhaps more important with the big ones. There are a pack of adolescents that roam my neighborhood playing "soldier" with real BB guns. I am sure that their parents are worried about severing the lines of communication if they impose an "authoritarian" punishment such as grounding their sons until they feel they can trust them not to shoot up the suburbs. They are worried about the wrong thing, IMO - they should be worried about injuries, police involvement, etc. I hear that a stint in juvie really damages those communication lines!

 

Not directed at the OP, just generally: A child who is being taught that sulking, sneaking, rudeness and breaking the law don't have consequences now that he's "big" is being set up for a hard, hard lesson in life. It doesn't further the emotional bond to let your teenager snarl at you and disobey you without correcting them. It HURTS them, because it reinforces their delusion that the family structure as they know it is gone, that they are isolated, that they they can no longer look to you for help when they do wrong. If you aren't in charge when things go wrong, and they aren't ready to be in charge and keep things from going wrong - then who the heck is driving the bus? How scary that must be, for the kid that is struggling with behavior/temptation/apathy/depression/insert-your-transient-teenage-neuroses-here. 

post #28 of 30

Okay, this is turning into a teen parenting thread but I think Smithie's point is highly debatable.  Of course, parents should step in in dangerous situations.  However, there's no obvious conclusion that his activity is dangerous in the sense that a "lay down the law/no discussion" approach is necessary.  It's the kind of slow slide/warning sign that could just as easily warrant lots of attention and discussion and help in figuring things out together.  I also don't buy the idea that when parents don't take an authoritarian approach make their kids thing that no one's driving the bus.  I think kids, especially older kids, are capable of understanding that parents have different approaches to things and that if their parent chooses to work "with" them that that doesn't mean they aren't providing guidance and leadership.  And, for what it's worth, parents of teens can't guarantee anything in terms of making sure the world stays safe and sound for them. That's true for younger children as well but I think it's a more compelling argument that it's important to maintain that illusion.  Teens are developing autonomy and our job is to assist in that process, not to block it just because we're scared of where that will take them.

post #29 of 30

 

"I also don't buy the idea that when parents don't take an authoritarian approach make their kids thing that no one's driving the bus." 

 

I agree, this idea is highly debatable. Good thing it's not my idea. pinktongue.gif My idea is, a teenager doing something dangerous and seeing his/her parents fail to intervene and put a stop to it is confirmed in their feelings of being isolated, alienated from humanity, yada yada yada. Not something HARD. Not something SCARY. Not something IMPORTANT. Something DANGEROUS. 

 

"However, there's no obvious conclusion that his activity is dangerous in the sense that a "lay down the law/no discussion" approach is necessary."

 

Here's where I see no room for debate. If your kid sneaks out of the house and you don't know where he is, that's not a sign or symptom of impending serious danger. It IS serious danger. Add in the history of illegal drug use, and I think that a repeated failure to intervene might meet the legal criteria for neglect. (I'm not saying that anybody will or should call CPS on the OP, remember, she got all big and bad and authoritarian and GROUNDED her son when she caught him sneaking out.) But that's one of the ways that parents find themselves interfacing with CPS and the juvenile justice system - they can't/won't intervene when the sneaking out/drug use/BB gun fights through the neighborhood/hanging with the bad crowd starts, and so their kid, who had showed them so clearly that sh/e had not developed beyond the need for supervision in their social activities, is on hand when something bad happens - or the victim of that bad thing. 

 

 

 

  

post #30 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh View Post

If you've always been a "do what I say" kind of parent, your teen probably expects it. If you've valued discussion, choice and had a respectful relationship with your child...

I don't have enough time to respond to the whole "parenting-styles" trend this discussion seems to be taking.  But this quote implies that the parenting style Smithie depicted is inherently disrespectful of children.  An adult can certainly be respectful of their child while embracing the fact that the child has far less maturity and experience and should not be the equal of his parents, in making decisions, especially after demonstrating that he will choose to do things that could hurt him or land him in jail - and which could have legal consequences for his parents, since he is still a minor!  Believing your child is capable of doing better, when he's screwing up; and believing he can survive the disappointment/resentment/frustration of being given rules/consequences appropriate to his behavior IS respectful of him, as a person.  One could argue that allowing him to continue behavior that could lead to truly intolerable circumstances (jail) - because a parent prefers to avoid conflict with the child, or doesn't think the child can do any better - is less respectful of him, as a person.

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