- topicPre Teenstagged by LittlePlumHill, 7/16/13
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Totally lost when it comes to parenting a preteen - help please! - Page 2post #21 of 287/19/13 at 10:00pmThread StarterThats a really great point... I agree to a large degree and can see how my parents modelled these values for me... But they also taught me how to do a lot of things that have benefited me in my adult life... They had high expectations of me and held me to a high standard... I'm really grateful they trusted me and challenged me to always try a little harder than the time before... It has served me very well.post #22 of 287/19/13 at 10:46pmI really highly recommend the book Raising a Thinking Pre-Teen. It has a lot of wonderful family activities that raise emotional awareness as a family but specifically for preteens. It sounds like some of your worry is based on your DS not seeming to.get that his actions affect how other people feel about him and he only seems to care in the short term and the strategies in this book may be very helpful for that. I felt that it was much more helpful than How to Talk so Kids Will Listen ... because it goes beyond just conversations.post #23 of 287/20/13 at 7:17amThread Starter
Not so much how people feel about him, but how to be successful in life so he can accomplish his life dreams. My hubs and I are living our dream life... we take risks, but we are also good honest hard working people who enjoy a simple life. It's not about materialist gain... but about knowing what you truly want in life and going for it.post #24 of 287/20/13 at 8:16ampost #25 of 287/20/13 at 9:12am
I wouldn't say that the suggestions you got were to "lower your expectations" or to "just let him play", etc. I can only speak for my own remarks so I'll stick to that.
My daughter does help out around the house. And I expect her to do so. By "expect" I mean that if she doesn't help it's time to have a talk, figure out what the problem is, and solve it. We don't attempt to do this when she has just failed to do something I've asked her to do several times. Instead, I wait until it is a good time, we are both calm and happy and preferable while we are connecting with some joint activity we both enjoy. She is always very receptive. As you said, kids raised AP naturally want to preserve that close, trusting relationship they have with you.
If I ask her to do something and she says "not now" then I let her know a time frame. Some things really can wait, other things I need done pretty soon. So I will tell her "I need this done in the next 15 minutes" or "I need this done before bedtime" and then I ask her to pick a time and tell me when. She may say "right after I'm done with this drawing" or "how about when I have to get up to go feed the cats?" or "I will do it before bedtime but can you please remind me again so I don't forget?". By letting her choose the time to do it *within the time that I need it to be done* it saves an awful lot of nagging. And it is very rare that she goes back on her stated time.
It's not that I have low expectations for my daughter, it's that I trust if she is not doing something, "rebelling", and we are getting into arguments about it, then obviously something is not working for her. Maybe the task is too much for whatever reason. When I take the time to ask my kids to explain why they are balking, resistant to something, etc I am often very surprised at the very legitimate reasons why; or sometimes they don't actually know but over the years of doing this they are becoming good at self-exploration and figuring out what the issue is within themselves.
I also try to avoid, at all costs, the "what if they never learn to BLANK" dialogue in my head. Honestly, this line of thinking is like making up stuff to worry about when we parents have enough to worry about already! :)
Here's one example to hopefully help you feel better: my mother did not grow up here; she was raised in a family with servants and she never did chores as a child or teen. consequently, I never did them either (she did them all b/c it was a foreign concept for her to have kids doing such things). She was a tireless homemaker who could cook and keep a clean house and when we were a bit older she went back to work full time and managed that as well. When I had my kids I left my full time career to be a stay home mum and now I work part time from home. Despite both my mother and I never having been made to do chores or take on much responsibility as kids, we became adults who could do so readily.
It sounds like you are a great mum who is close to your child and I think you need to trust that that, plus the modelling of the values you want for your kids, is enough.post #26 of 287/20/13 at 1:00pmThread Starterpost #27 of 287/20/13 at 3:02pm
My advice wasn't so much to lower your standards for where you would like him to end up, but rather to be realistic about where he is right now and give him tasks he can succeed in, and give it some time before trying to move him to the next level. Keep him him moving along with more difficult task and more responsible, but start with where he is right now.
I'm sure his writing level isn't any near ready for college, or even high school. But by doing work that is appropriate for a 10 year old, he is very gradually getting better and better at those skills. It's the same kind of thing.
Also, I sense a lot of fear in your posts about him. Fear of him being lazy, being a lair, etc. Could you pivot that to having him confidence in him? What are his strengths? What do you really like about him?post #28 of 287/24/13 at 5:08am
I think it is great that you are wise enough to want to equip your son with skills that will help him in life. I just think there are different approaches to doing this. I think it is more effective to be the source o praise ond confidence in a child's life. They will have many challenges to face and I think to hear form their parents that they are good strong and trustworthy will instill that inner confidence in them. I think it is fine to give them chores and responsibility but maybe not at the cost of taking away thins if they don't do it how you want them to. It is a confusing subject and hard for me to really explain my position other than that I think by modeling you and your husband's good work ethics and good values, that will naturally become a part of his life as he gropw up- from watching you be that way. At the same time if he is already worrying if he is okay as he is, and having to find ways to seek and get approval, that could set up a confusing internal dialogue for him. I think it is better to try to tell and show your kid how good they are already. To practice prescence and mindfulness and kindness in themoment and to reall give them a strong sense of self approval.
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