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Radical unschoolers and rude kids - Page 9

post #161 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by chfriend View Post
Got it. I think if I were the mom with the crying 8 year old that my "friend" considered a "brat," the "natural consequence" would be that I'd see that friend again when my kids were grown.
It didn't sound to me like it was the crying that made momofcutie think of this child as a brat.

Quote:
momofcutie said: She's defiant and rude and still bites other kids sometimes! But my friend says, 'I don't want to break her spirit!" She calls my son names like loser and dork, and then her mom defends it by saying she doesn't really know what the words mean.
If a child behaves like this at the age of 8 - which I do think is outside of the bounds of acceptable behaviour absent any organic issues - and more importantly if the mother doesn't do anything to help this child learn more appropriate ways to interact with other people then I personally would be comfortable not inviting that particular child into my home and depending on my friendship with the mom I probably would have said something similar.

I have a h/s friend whose almost 7 y/o deliberately hit me in a fit of anger last summer while I was watching her for her parents. The child was upset at having been left with me but as much as I understand that, she is not welcome in my home until I can feel comfortable that the situation will not repeat itself. Unfortunately it seems the pattern is continuing. I would feel the same about a child who was continually and deliberately mean, aggressive or rude, to me or my children. I see the mother socially without her children, and we see the kids at group events, but I am not comfortable with anything beyond that.

I do think that these are logical consequences of behaviour for both the mother and the child.
Karen
post #162 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamarhu View Post
me too - can we create a "What Dar said" sticky?
A sticky and a smilie?

Pat
post #163 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by chfriend View Post
momofcutie made a very unkind suggestion to a kid having a hard time.
I would have probably told the child that they could come over on a day when everyone was in a good mood.
post #164 of 200
I have told my husband's niece that she is not going to join us when she has asked to. (She's been between 7 and 9 years old on the three occasions that this has happened.) When she has asked why, I have said to her very plainly, "Because in the time you have been with us today, you have been unkind, mouthy, and uncooperative, and I don't care to continue my day that way." I don't think that's mean. I think that's honest.

I also told the same niece, when she was four years old and told me that she wished that I was her babysitter rather than her other aunt because I was her FAAAAAVORITE aunt (unlikely, as I live four hours away and rarely see her, whereas her babysitter aunt has her come for girls'-nights-out, pizza parties, shopping trips, etc.) that she wouldn't like me much if I was her babysitter because I would make her behave (the babysitter aunt tolerates being screamed at, spit at, kicked, etc.). I don't think that's mean, either. It's honest.

Now, this is a girl who has lots of problems and is on three different meds for behavioral issues. Strangely, though, she behaves really well and is very pleasant when she's with my dh and me, who make it quite plain that rude, uncooperative behavior won't fly.

And yes, I know that if she were my child, just making my expectations plain would not easily alleviate the behavioral issues. My point is that since there are consequences to treating us poorly, she doesn't. (Or at least not as poorly as she treats those who don't draw the line.)

Namaste!
post #165 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by chfriend View Post
I guess that's my point. momofcutie made a very unkind suggestion to a kid having a hard time. People don't necessarily want to be around that, so I think I'd probably distance myself in the friendship if someone thought that was a productive way to handle it.
I didn't see it as unkind so much as trying to meet the needs of multiple kids - the one who wanted to come over and the one who clearly was not in the right 'space' to be social. I think it gave the mother of the child a chance to talk about acceptable behaviour - and if this is acceptable to that family then it is a chance for both the mother and the child to learn that their behaviour can affect whether people want to be with them.

Karen
post #166 of 200
I think that it would not be rude if the person took responsibility for her own reactions. "I'm having a hard time with you not getting in the elevator.." or whatever. I guess I'm thinking that someone who says an 8 year old acts like a 3 year old and thinks of her as a brat may not have come at this "problem solving" with a kind and warm spirit.

But I'm willing to believe that I've misjudged the situation.
post #167 of 200
Quote:
Sometimes I hold my tongue. Sometimes I speak up. I wouldn't ever tell my friend that her kid is a "brat," but I would definitely let her know that her child's behavior bothers me, and why.

And if she chose to sever the friendship because of that, then I don't think she was ever really a friend to begin with. I don't need fair-weather friends, and so it wouldn't be my loss.
I haven't read every page of this thread but wanted to say I agree but it does depend on how you talk to your friend. Years ago, I had very close friend who was telling me that I *had* to give my youngest DD (then 5 months) solid food and a pacifier. I don't use pacifiers with my kids (my personal choice) and I don't feed solids until 6 months... if even then. She was "forceful" about it and wouldn't let me parent my kid my way. Our relationship ended.

Someone thinks my DD is acting like a brat, I expect them to tell me, not my kid. But not to be snarky about and have an adult conversation about it. I know my child has had behavioral issues that had nothing to do with homeschooling/unschooling - it had to do with underlying issues (a nasty 1st marriage, bitter divorce, moves to a new state, etc, etc.)... we should see beyond the surface to see what is going on.

But I wouldn't stop another kid from telling mine about her rude behavior...

BTW, regardless of any issues or not, natural consequences work beautifully many many times in changing behavior... and having consistent, non-enabling parents help, too.
post #168 of 200
chfriend-Hmmm. My making the statement that the 8 year old was "having a hard time" was a NICE way of describing the situation. She'd been throwing fits and refusing to get in the elevator because she was mad that her 6 year old sister was spending birthday money at Build a Bear Workshop and she didn't get to (because it wasn't her birthday!) That's what set it off. This is behavior I'd expect in a much younger child, but not in an 8 year old.

I've never called her a brat to her face and I've never called her a brat to her mom. I wouldn't do that. But that's how I think of her. Her siblings usually get the short end of the stick and have to leave events early when their sister acts up-even if they are behaving wonderfully. So I was ok with them coming over, but not their misbehaving older sister. I think it's ok to set that boundary.

I've been friends with her mom for over 8 years. I've known the daughter since she was born. I was at the birth of their last child. The problem here is that her mom doesn't realize there's a problem, or she thinks her daughter's behavior is not a problem, but is just a part of having a "free spirited" child.
post #169 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by cbmr777 View Post
I

Someone thinks my DD is acting like a brat, I expect them to tell me, not my kid. But not to be snarky about and have an adult conversation about it. I know my child has had behavioral issues that had nothing to do with homeschooling/unschooling - it had to do with underlying issues (a nasty 1st marriage, bitter divorce, moves to a new state, etc, etc.)... we should see beyond the surface to see what is going on.
I think I see the "natural consequence" approach as described as inherently unkind. I see the natural consequence of a kid having trouble at the mall as providing me a chance to be supportive of her mom. It sounds like a rough trip.

If I had a friend whose 8 year old bit people, I'd ask if there was any way I could help...or what she's thinking about it...sometime when the kids weren't there.

I wouldn't assume that their educational approach had anything to do with it.

You see a "brat." I see a struggling little kid.
post #170 of 200
[QUOTE=momofcutie;6920519] This is behavior I'd expect in a much younger child, but not in an 8 year old.

QUOTE]

It's my understanding that child development is not a straight line track, but a series of progressions and regressions.

Did you (or anyone) offer her sympathy for her feelings at the Build a Bear store?
post #171 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by chfriend View Post
I think I see the "natural consequence" approach as described as inherently unkind.
The whole point of natural consequences is that when you make a choice, there's a consequence. It may be a good one or it may be a bad one. If you make poor choices, the way you learn from those choices is by the consequences of your decisions. If you refuse to go to work, you get fired. If you don't take good care of your toys, they get broken. Unkind or not, that's the way real life is. Another tenet of natural consequences is that it's better for kids to learn from their choices when they're young, when the choices they make aren't high stakes. Ex: You're rude and aggressive, you don't get invited over for a play date versus you get into a physical fight at 18 and you go to jail.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chfriend View Post
I wouldn't assume that their educational approach had anything to do with it.
I didn't in this situation. This family has only been homeschooling this school year. The behavior problems existed way before they started homeschooling. This is more of a parenting and lifestyle problem. I shouldn't have posted about this family in this thread. Sorry everyone!
post #172 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by momofcutie View Post
chfriend-Hmmm. My making the statement that the 8 year old was "having a hard time" was a NICE way of describing the situation. She'd been throwing fits and refusing to get in the elevator because she was mad that her 6 year old sister was spending birthday money at Build a Bear Workshop and she didn't get to (because it wasn't her birthday!) That's what set it off. This is behavior I'd expect in a much younger child, but not in an 8 year old.
Birthdays are hard. They just are. It's difficult to watch another child get presents and money and special outings and and and... Even the best "behaved" children can have a hard time with others' birthdays.

Quote:
Originally Posted by momofcutie View Post
I've never called her a brat to her face and I've never called her a brat to her mom. I wouldn't do that. But that's how I think of her. Her siblings usually get the short end of the stick and have to leave events early when their sister acts up-even if they are behaving wonderfully. So I was ok with them coming over, but not their misbehaving older sister. I think it's ok to set that boundary.

I've been friends with her mom for over 8 years. I've known the daughter since she was born. I was at the birth of their last child. The problem here is that her mom doesn't realize there's a problem, or she thinks her daughter's behavior is not a problem, but is just a part of having a "free spirited" child.
You know, this makes me wonder if it's an allergy or something else that she's unable to control. Assuming the same parents, same sort of parenting (generally speaking), same environment, etc., and she's having emotional difficulties while her siblings aren't, it sounds like something's wrong. Especially your note about biting others. That, to me, points to something beyond lax parenting.

My son has a soy allergy that went unrecognized for over three years (from age 3.5 to 6.5). It caused him to act in ways that would have astounded just about anyone. I was very close to calling a doctor to talk about rapid cycling bipolar disorder when I realized what the problem really was. We cut out the soy, and the change was immediate and extraordinary. Overnight, the problem completely disappeared.

I'm not saying this child isn't difficult to be around, but there may be reasons for her behavior that have nothing to do with her parenting. Just something to think about.
post #173 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by chfriend View Post
I see a struggling little kid.
post #174 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by chfriend View Post
Did you (or anyone) offer her sympathy for her feelings at the Build a Bear store?
Yes, her mother went over and hugged her. In my opinion, that was only rewarding her behavior. Her mother's attention was then on her and not on helping her younger sister (the birthday girl) pick out her stuffed animal. I helped her instead.
post #175 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by momofcutie View Post
Yes, her mother went over and hugged her. In my opinion, that was only rewarding her behavior. Her mother's attention was then on her and not on helping her younger sister (the birthday girl) pick out her stuffed animal. I helped her instead.
She sounds like an awesome mom. I'm guessing that you and she will not agree on the correct ways to offer guidance to your children since she is travelling a non-behaviorist road.
post #176 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by folkypoet View Post
You know, this makes me wonder if it's an allergy or something else that she's unable to control. Assuming the same parents, same sort of parenting (generally speaking), same environment, etc., and she's having emotional difficulties while her siblings aren't, it sounds like something's wrong. Especially your note about biting others. That, to me, points to something beyond lax parenting.
Very good point. I have considered that something else might be going on. There are a couple things that conflict with that idea though. One is that her natural temperament is very intense. Her siblings are very laid back like their mom. Her parenting style works just fine for them, but I don't know that it's a good fit for their oldest daughter. She runs the show. Also, she spent 3 years in public school and according to her teachers, she behaved really well at school. They NEVER had to go to a meeting with the teacher or principal about her behavior at school. Mutual friends of ours were also surprised at that. We thought she'd be in for a rude awakening once she started school, but she behaved just fine there. I think her fear of being embarassed in front of her friends made her choose to behave at school. I think she does well with structure and limits-even if she doesn't think she wants them. If her behavior was due to something organic, it would have happened at school too.

I've wondered about early onset bipolar disorder. (Her dad is bipolar.) But I don't think my friend would really get an evaluation done. She doesn't believe in "labels" for kids and as I mentioned earlier, she doesn't really see it as a problem. But again, if she is bipolar, would she have been able to keep it together at school?

I don't want to hijack this thread. I posted over in Parenting Issues about this: http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=588044
post #177 of 200
momofcutie...have you read "Unconditional Parenting" by Alfie Kohn? It might give you some insight into your friend's parenting choices.
post #178 of 200
No I haven't. And I haven't been to the Gentle Discipline forum here. (I don't even know what that is!) Is my friend more of a GD parent?
post #179 of 200
It might explain why she did such an amazing job of accepting your child rather than focusing on his behaviors. (I peeked at the other thread ) A couple of good reads would be Unconditional Parenting and the Out of Sync child. Kudos to your friend for hanging in there with her oldest.

GD is not necessarily non-behaviorist. One can be gentle and only focus on someone's behavior, rather than the underlying need and person.
post #180 of 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by momofcutie View Post
Also, she spent 3 years in public school and according to her teachers, she behaved really well at school. They NEVER had to go to a meeting with the teacher or principal about her behavior at school. Mutual friends of ours were also surprised at that. We thought she'd be in for a rude awakening once she started school, but she behaved just fine there. I think her fear of being embarassed in front of her friends made her choose to behave at school. I think she does well with structure and limits-even if she doesn't think she wants them. If her behavior was due to something organic, it would have happened at school too.
I'd have guessed the same thing before it happened to us. If you're familiar with rapid cycling bipolar, that will give you a good idea of what my son was like. He "cycled" several times a day, going from full-tilt violent rage to calm, sweet, gentle and loving (and vice versa) in a matter of seconds. The smallest things would set him off. When he was raging, there was no way to calm him down. We just had to ride it out together. Anyway, the interesting thing about it was that it happened only when we were alone together. My family and friends never really saw it. Now, he would get worn out and upset easily when in the presence of others, but he never raged. He saved that for me. My best guess is that he felt safe enough to rage when it was just me. So, even though it wasn't something he could fully control, he could control it enough to let it out only when he felt it was safe.

Even on a smaller scale, I know that most children save their worst moments for the people they feel closest to. Makes sense, really. I know I put on a happy face when I'm out in the world. I really only express my true feelings to close family and friends....
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