January 2012 Whatever Ladies Are All Done Having Their Babies! - Page 9 - Mothering Forums

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Old 01-17-2012, 05:03 AM
 
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DD is 3 months old and just reallly started napping rather than just in a sleep/eat/awke cycle. I haven't really got it pinned down as to when they happen yet, but I've had to start actually putting her down for a nap, which means nursing or wearing. or sometimes just cuddles, but she's not in that newborn-doze-off-whenever stage anymore.

 

I didn't do it as much with Gabe, but I LOVE babywearing. I don't know how people with kids as close to gether in age as Gabe and Norah are do without it. (maybe they use a stroller more??) I use the stroller, and have nothing against its use, but babywearing is so much easier, and I still get snuggles that way.

 

I have a mom's night out tonight! I am so excited! an evening w/o my MIL!!! and it's nice to have time without DH too once in a while, hehe. It's with a local cloth diaper group (that I didn't even know existed until a few weeks ago!)

 

MW: did you read any books on unschooling? if you did, are there any you liked and would recommend? I'm just curious.


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Old 01-17-2012, 06:13 AM
 
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Originally Posted by MarineWife View Post

you know where i am on the structured schooling-unschooling spectrum. ethan probably didn't write his name until he was 6 or 7. since we home/unschool it wasn't an issue. except for at school, when would a young child to write her name anyway?
comparing your child to others is a bad idea but i know it's hard to not do. 


It's really hard not to compare!  I need to stop doing it and just go with the flow.  Before seeing what these other kids are capable of, I wouldn't have dreamed that she "should" be able to do it.

Do you follow a curriculum, even loosely, then for the boys?

When do you find time to do it?  

I find that even though she may not be writing her name, she has strengths in other areas.  She is awesome at coloring, and can memorize lyrics and words to things practically the first time through.  (That's something I can do as well).  She can pretty much recite episodes of her favorite shows without being prompted!

And she draws awesome faces, and makes up stories to go along with the characters she draws.

 

Something I read (maybe in a link you posted, MW) is that most of what kids spit back out at this age is just memorization and not things they actually learn.  So ABCs and 123s and even 2nd languages isn't something that will stick unless it's kept up.  Food for thought.

 

I also think that you're right in that unless there is a reason for a child to be writing their name, I shouldn't worry over it.  And it wasn't/isn't school that prompted this -- I have one friend who is homeschooling and the other, I'm not sure, I only know her online, but I'm pretty sure her girl isn't in school.

 

They both only have their 3 year olds though.  I think that b/c I had Finn, I'm slacking a bit in what I could be teaching Nora just  b/c I lack the time and thought to do it.  greensad.gif

 

For the most part, Nora's school is free play.  She gets there, they go outside or to the gym to play.  They have snack.  Then the teacher may read a book to them, or introduce a letter, or they'll do a dance game.  Then free play in zones (kitchen, drama, sensory, art, building).  They have a few potty breaks in between.  Then the rest of the time she's there she can play whatever.

 

Her favorite part of the day is the last half hour or so.  They bring whoever is left, whoever hasn't gotten picked up yet, down to one room that just happens to be the young toddler room.  TONS of toys there, puppets, dinosaurs, cars, puzzles, you name it.  The two teachers that run the room are SO nice.  Last night I went to pick Nora up and she was wearing a scientist costume with a funny hat and vacuuming the rug with a toy vacuum!  And of course I didn't have my camera, the ONE time I didn't have it with me!!

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarineWife View Post

Would your dh be more helpful if you gave him specific things to do? I think a lot of men just don't know what to do in the early weeks and months when babies don't seem to need anything except Mama. if i don't tell my dh what to do, he won't do much of anything. most of the time, though, he will do whatever i ask. it gets annoying having to ask all the time. i think he should know by now but there's not much i can do about that.


I agree it's annoying to ask but it's the only way to get things done that need doing.  Even now, 5 months after baby, if I don't remind DH to do things, he doesn't think to do them himself.  Even if I leave DS with him for an extra hour of sleep in the am, when I come out, I have to ask, did you change his diaper?   Sometimes he hasn't!  Ugh.  Gross.  Poor baby!

Kinder - ASK.  Tell him you need him home to do XY and Z.  Tell him you need him home just so you can sleep if you need to!  Or that he needs to help with chores, or just BE THERE with you.

I don't think that's whining or too much to ask.  

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by akind1 View Post

I didn't do it as much with Gabe, but I LOVE babywearing. I don't know how people with kids as close to gether in age as Gabe and Norah are do without it. (maybe they use a stroller more??) I use the stroller, and have nothing against its use, but babywearing is so much easier, and I still get snuggles that way.

 

I have a mom's night out tonight! I am so excited! an evening w/o my MIL!!! and it's nice to have time without DH too once in a while, hehe. It's with a local cloth diaper group (that I didn't even know existed until a few weeks ago!)


Ditto on the bw'ing!!  I don't know how I would get thru most outings w/o my carrier.  I'm more comfortable, baby is, and plus is just so much more convenient.  

 

Yayy for a night out!!  Enjoy!!

 


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Old 01-17-2012, 07:04 AM
 
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Sounds as if she has a great school! When I "taught" preschool (it wasn't really teaching; I was one of the leads in the preschool age room in a daycare) that is pretty much how our day went. the closest really structured thing sometimes was crafts.

 

I think focusing on kids' strenghths is important. DS, for example, isn't really speaking in sentences yet, and doesn't have as many words as some of his age mates. But his comprehension is awesome, and he follows directions really well. He loves songs with hand motions, and I need to learn/remember more of them. after one or two repeatitions? I can't spell today . . . . he follows along well with the motions. he doesn't try to sing along. and he works the iPhone and iPad better than most adults.

 

He doesn't dress himself yet (should he be able to? or try?) Sometimes he tries to UN dress himself. But that's not something I've had him try yet.

 

DH doesn't change diapers nearly as often as I'd like. FIL actually is far more on the ball about that.  Even if he does sometimes put diapers on backwards LOL

 

 


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Old 01-17-2012, 07:12 AM
 
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Kat, Nora JUST started dressing herself and changing her clothes like 65 times a day!  She could do one or two things before probably but never showed interest.  All of a sudden one day she got dressed on her own, and a few times that day she announced she was going to "change".

It's fun but messy.  She ends up throwing her clothes all around her room.

 

I like that not much about Nora's school is sitting and doing.  That's not what I wanted for her at all -- but I did want some sort of education going on (for what I was going to be paying).  So, learning a letter, learning a song, learning to follow direction.  Learning to interact with other kids her age.  That's what's important to me for her right now.

 

So, lately, whether it's teething or wonder week, who knows, Finn's sleep has been sucking.  Two nights ago he was up like every hour and it was murder.  He only wanted to lay on me, which I just can't do, I can't sleep well like that.  I put him in the cosleeper and he immediately started fussing.  I always sleep in a tank top and a tshirt, so quickly I whipped off my tshirt and set it right next to him, and took his arm and wrapped it around it.  Almost instantly he snuggled up to it and relaxed.  I did it again last night and it worked, too!  He slept for like 2.5 hours in a stretch!  So -- idk if it'll help anyone, but had to throw that out there.  I think that's pretty cool.


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Old 01-17-2012, 07:37 AM
 
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That's a relief then; he cooperates with getting dressed. The only thing he tries to put on himself are socks and shoes (with no success, unless they are mine or DH's LOL)

 

Sorry the sleep has been sucking. Usually when my sleep sucks, it's my own fault for not going to bed when I should. I think with Gabe, he only woke alot to nurse right around the time I got pregnant and right after until he weaned; he was nursing every hour. Norah hasn't done that yet, the waking every hour. I hope she doesn't!

 

no tips or tricks, but hang in there!


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Old 01-17-2012, 08:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Kat ~ I've only read 2 unschooling books, the unschooling handbook by Mary Griffith and Sandra Dodd's Big Book of Unschooling. I can't remember if I found the first helpful. I read it a long time ago. I've never pulled it back out again. I like Sandra Dodd's book. Is more of a collection of thoughts/essays. They are interesting and very mind-opening if you don't know much about radical unschooling. Mostly, I joined yahoo groups and read blogs and websites.

This is a good one: http://joyfullyrejoycing.com/. Sandra Dodd has a website, too. I find it hard to navigate. It's not organized in a way that makes sense to my brain.

I left the yahoo groups and don't read the blogs or websites anymore because they got very redundant. I realized the same handful of people dominate all the online radical unschooling groups. It's really quite bizarre. No matter which group, website or blog I found, there was at least one of these same people saying the same things. Some are very nice about it and make a lot of sense. Sandra Dodd, however, is quite abrasive and can be downright rude and nasty. I think it's more in her writing/web posting style (maybe she's kind of like me, blunt and to the point) but she upsets and angers a lot of people. lol.gif because of that, i don't really recommend her.

i've also gotten to a point where i'm not sure all the things people report on the internet are true. It seems too good to be true, especially after my experiences with it with my kids. I'm sure those people who promote RU would say the problems come from me not doing things correctly, and they may be right, but I think that's more because it's impossible for anyone to live that way rather than it being a personal flaw of mine.

That's wrt the social/behavioral/discipline stuff, not the educational stuff. I do believe that kids will truly learn if they are allowed to explore the world the way they want rather than being taught what anyone things they should know. And, I also still believe in the basic concepts of RU. I don't believe in forcing or refusing any foods or clothes or any type of personal expression. I guess the only thing I really fail at wrt RU is cleaning. I do sometimes make the kids clean because I just can't do it all myself and I can't stand to leave things the way they are. I also haven't figure out how to get the boys to get along within the principles of RU. I could spend my entire day discussing, empathizing, negotiating and never get anywhere so sometimes I just make the decision whether the boys like it or not. I guess maybe some RUers would say those situations are sometimes unavoidable and I'm not a failure for having to do it on rare occasions. I remember a lot of them suggesting that when you have to do something like that, to tell your child you are sorry but you don't know any other or better way atm and allow your child to suggest other solutions at another time. Anyway, I could obviously go on and on. There is so much to cover. No way to cover life in a web post.

Carrie ~ Unschooling is the opposite of curricula. My kids just live and play and learn. I do have workbooks laying around but only because Ethan likes to do "schoolwork" sometimes. While I may sometimes suggest that he do some reading or writing or drawing or painting or whatever, I don't ever make him do anything like that. We don't follow any schedule. We don't have school hours or even school days. The only reason I keep an attendance sheet is because it's required by the state. It's really a joke because I just check off almost every week day as having been attended. I mean, how can you be homeschooled and be at home and not be in attendance? eyesroll.gif Every day is part of their education. It's impossible to not learn so it's ridiculous to think in those terms (to me, anyway). Everything that we do is just as important as anything else so there are no school subjects/academics that are more important or emphasized over say TV watching or video game playing or cleaning the toilet or grocery shopping or talking with friends.

Frankly, I think Ethan has made the strides he's made in reading from playing video games on the PS3. He's also learned a lot of math and problem solving from them. Yesterday he was playing Uncharted 3 and was doing these puzzle parts. It reminded me a lot of the Indiana Jones movies, which we had just happened to watch the night before. He had to solve puzzles in order to make his way through some tomb or something and collect artifacts. He had to repeatedly refer to his notebook in the game and read and remember directions. Lots of problem solving and critical thinking and fun.

I'm not really sure how Ethan has learned all the math he knows. lol.gif He just seems to know it. He intuitively knows how numbers work and can do multiplication and division off the top of his head when presented with a real life problem. He can walk into a store, look at merchandise, add and estimate costs and determine if he has enough money, how much more he needs or how much he'll have left over. He doesn't even know that he's doing MATH. There's no fear or confusion around it. He just knows and does it. It's really amazing. I think that's where that understanding vs. rote memorization that you mentioned comes in to play.

Kellen is already following suit. He can add and subtract. He can look at groups and intuitively know how much is there, how much less or more will be after sharing it or whatever. I used to joke just a few months ago about how he could count to 10 in Korean but still couldn't count in English (not in front of him). Then, spontaneously, maybe a month or so ago he counted something straight through past 10. I can't remember how high he went. Some people might say that 4.5yo is late to just be doing that, but just like writing your name, what need does a 2-3yo have for knowing how to count by themselves? And, even if they can repeat back what you say, does that mean they understand it all? I know Kellen understands exactly what it means when he counts because he's doing it for practical reasons not just to be reciting words without concrete meaning. Again, I could go on and on so I better stop now.

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Old 01-17-2012, 08:53 AM
 
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ITA wrt the rote memorization; I have friends whose kids are Gabe's age that count, but I don't know that they understand that One is 1 thing  - I think more likely they are just repeating back a series of numbers. Same with ABC's.

 

I don't know if I could be as unstructured as radical unschooling, because I think some kids really benefit from structure - it does help some kids focus and learn better. Granted, not all kids work well within that system, but SOME do.

 

I don't know if I said this, but back before Christmas, we did our first storytime at the zoo  - Gabe went right in and sat on a stool, and pretty much stayed there the whole time. I was shocked, because, as far as I know, we've never done that before. Even on TV, the closest is Olivia, which part of that is in a classroom with desks. Now, of course, there were a lot of other kids sitting on stools, but maybe that just shows how well he kind of observes and adapts to what a situation requires. (because it's not like I told him to go sit on a stool, I didn't think he would)

 

He's always surprising me with what he's capable of.

 

MW: I think it's great how well your boys are doing with math. It's always been my opinion that kids hate math because the teachers that first teach them math hate math and don't know how to teach it. The teachers go into things like fractions with fear and trepidations, like "this is hard stuff" and the kids absorb that feeling with the subject matter. I didn't like math, even though I was good at it, until I got to high school and had teachers that really liked it and knew how to teach it so we'd enjoy it. They need those sorts of teachers in elemetary school, so the kids start with a love of learning math.

 

IME lots of elementary school teachers love reading and crafts and music, but few, if any, like science and math. IDK why, but that's what I've noticed.


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Old 01-17-2012, 10:23 AM
 
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I like that not much about Nora's school is sitting and doing.  That's not what I wanted for her at all -- but I did want some sort of education going on (for what I was going to be paying).  So, learning a letter, learning a song, learning to follow direction.  Learning to interact with other kids her age.  That's what's important to me for her right now.

 

So, lately, whether it's teething or wonder week, who knows, Finn's sleep has been sucking.  Two nights ago he was up like every hour and it was murder.  He only wanted to lay on me, which I just can't do, I can't sleep well like that.  I put him in the cosleeper and he immediately started fussing.  I always sleep in a tank top and a tshirt, so quickly I whipped off my tshirt and set it right next to him, and took his arm and wrapped it around it.  Almost instantly he snuggled up to it and relaxed.  I did it again last night and it worked, too!  He slept for like 2.5 hours in a stretch!  So -- idk if it'll help anyone, but had to throw that out there.  I think that's pretty cool.

ITA about 'school' at that age. I think for the first several years that kids are in a formal setting, be it daycare, nursery, montessori, pre-school, or even just kindergarden if they don't do something before that-- I think the important take away from those years is the interaction and social development. As you pointed out, the rule following, and directions, etc. I don't so much care if my child (in theory) learns their ABCs or counting while at 'school', I can do that at home. I want them to be able to interact well with others and learn to be in a public setting.

 

Tenley has had a rough couple nights too, and I might try your trick. She wants to be on me, and the last little bit I've been latching her on, and then dozing off myself. But the problem is that then she nurses for ten minutes or so, and then on and off for the next two hours while I'm dozing, she'll latch and unlatch, all the while flailing her arms and legs. When I finally decide it's enough and she needs to go to sleep, and unlatch her for good, she shrieks bloody murder. It sometimes takes 45 minutes to calm her down again, and usually only through me nursing her again. But if I stay awake and nurse her for 10-15, and then gently pull her off, I can put her down in her bassinet within 10 minutes and she'll sleep for 2 hours or more. The problem is that I'm so tired during the night, that I've started more often falling asleep nursing, and we end up with the first scenario. I think I'm going to try a few nights getting out of bed to nurse her, and then bringing her back and seeing if it helps. I'm a walking zombie during the day right now, and at night, she cries, and I want to cry. lol. 

 

DH had his first day back at work yesterday and we survived! lol We went to the library, the deli, the bank, and stopped and picked up more diapers, and then dropped by my aunts for the first time so she could meet Tenley. Funny/not funny about the diapers. 6 of the inserts were supposed to be hemp/bamboo (I honestly don't remember), and when I picked them up and went through the bag, they're totally toddler sized bummis prefolds. It was still a great deal, but really people? I didn't check over them properly when I was there because DD started screaming. 


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Old 01-17-2012, 12:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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There are levels to radical unschooling and you can have structure without rigid schedules and things. I think that's something that's confusing about RU. People read or hear about it and think it means the kids have no limits or structure or boundaries or anything but it doesn't have to be like that. It's more about not using force, fear or coercion to make kids do things. It's about finding ways to get kids to want to do things. It's really hard to explain, which is why I think there's so much confusion about it.

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Old 01-17-2012, 01:30 PM
 
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see, I just figured it meant you let kids learn on their own without a curriculum; I figured you would still instill some boundaries and structure in a general sense.

 

Some homeschool is super-structured (especially the "canned" programs that include videos, etc - the parent is really a proctor, not a teacher) I don't like those at all. I want my kids to learn to really THINK about things. not just force feed them facts.


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Old 01-17-2012, 01:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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there's unschooling that is like you described and then there's radical unschooling when the concept encompasses everything about the child's life. there are people who unschool academics but are still super strict about food and chores and bedtime and stuff like that. RUers let their children decide what, when and how, if at all, they do any of that stuff. there's no making kids brush their teeth or bathe or refusing to let them have soda or eat ice cream for a week or limiting TV or computer or video game time. the idea is that they will learn to self-regulate, which they do for the most part.

my difficulty with RU is the cleaning. i can't keep everything clean on my own, especially with the messes the boys make. they will clean some eventually if i wait long enough. the thing is that i usually can't wait long enough. i get overwhelmed and anxious about the mess and have to have it cleaned and i need their help. I do see how forcing chores and applying punishments when they aren't done is problematic so I try to make it fun and all of us working together but I'm not always successful at that. I do sometimes tell the boys that they can't have people over or play with friends until the house is cleaned at least some, which is upsetting to them, but sometimes I just don't know what else to do.

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Old 01-17-2012, 02:58 PM
 
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See, with chores, I do think kid should be encouraged to do them. Not forced, but definitely encouraged. I also like allowances (as in monetary ones) when the child is old enough - maybe 5? -

 

Even now, Gabe is only 2, but he can choose to "help" with dishes after dinner. regardless of whether he does or not he gets a treat after. (the treat does help transition him when the dishes are done, otherwise he would stay and play in the sink all night) I really don't believe in forcing kids to do things. I don't think it really teaches anything, other than resentment towards the activity and the person forcing them to do it.

 

I *think* when we start schooling, I want there to be a pattern to the day, like wake up, breakfast, clothes, etc, then a period of guided activity - like books or arts/crafts or music/dancing - then free play, lunch, repeat. What I love about home/unschooling is that you have the flexibility to follow your kids' interests. You could spend a weekend on a historical trip to Old Salem, for example rather than just a couple hours you'd get in a school field trip.

 

Alot will depend on if I'm still working when Gabe is school age, and how much of it's at home. and whether and how much DH is working too.

 

So - I got my ring sling! and I can nurse in it! not hands free, but at least with one hand free. I like it well enough that I think I will get a water sling too: now is the time to get them cheap on FSOT.

 

I decided to spend my PP on the clearance BG 4.0's - buy 2 get 1 free - I know we like them, they still fit Gabe well, and should work on Norah too.


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Old 01-17-2012, 03:27 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MarineWife View Post

 there's no making kids brush their teeth or bathe or refusing to let them have soda or eat ice cream for a week or limiting TV or computer or video game time. the idea is that they will learn to self-regulate, which they do for the most part.
 


See, that's the part where I think some kids NEED structure and guidance. My DSC have that type of environment over at their mom's house and they have yet to self-regulate and you can see their ages in my siggy. Funny/not funny story about that. I bought new toothbrushes for everyone right before Christmas. The kids came home Christmas Day and I told everyone that I threw away all the old toothbrushes and they needed to come choose a new toothbrush from the package. I left them on the kitchen counter and assumed everyone did that. Christmas was on Sunday. On Wednesday afternoon, DSS 17 was getting ready to go to his girlfriend's house. He comes in the kitchen and says to me "Did we get new toothbrushes? Where's mine?" I pointed him in the direction of the remaining toothbrushes but all I could think was that he had not brushed his teeth since he came home on Sunday....GAAAAHHHHH!

 

So I know all of you saw on FB that DD is back in the hospital. I updated her caringbridge page with the story but basically, her sats were low, 63-68% and her doctor said she needed to be in the ER. After we got there and he checked her out, he admitted us. She's still there. I left her w/DH so I could work my scheduled shift for tonight. So I just need to complain for a minute about something. Now, this may not be the healthiest thing but whenever there is a crisis/issue that needs to be addressed, I just dig in and take care of things til the situation is resolved or the crisis is over. I don't whine about being tired, I can run on little to no sleep, go hours w/out going to the bathroom or eating, etc. I just do what needs to be done. I noticed a difference in the people around me and how they handle situations like this after Ava was born but I thought my frustration was hormonal etc. But it's cropping up again. DH is whining about the air in the hospital room making him sneeze, he only got 5 hours of sleep, he's tired, he's hungry, he's thirsty, he has so much to do, etc. My mom visited this morning and she was complaining about how tired she is because she was worried about Ava and didn't fall asleep until about midnight. I'm just looking at both of them thinking "you people have no idea!". I had MAYBE 3 hours total of sleep last night, I haven't showered since yesterday morning, hardly had anything to eat, went hours yesterday evening before I could get DD settled to the point that I could go to the bathroom, etc. All I can think is get over it people! We need to deal with DD being in the hospital. We don't have time for you to whine about your cold/allergies or whatever. Take some medicine and move on! GRRRRR!

 

Oh and about the t-shirt thing that Baby_Cakes suggested. Here's a pic of how I am able to get DD to sleep away from me:

IMG00312-20120103-1303.jpg

 

That's one of my pillows that she is leaning up against. A lot of times, she will turn her face towards the pillow and rub it with one hand. She needs to smell me near her. I think that's why she naps so well in our bed during the day because the sheets smell like us. Also that striped blanket she's laying on was in our bed for a few weeks so it smells like us too. I need to start sleeping with a new one and replace that one soon.

 


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Old 01-18-2012, 06:22 AM
 
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Annie - Ava is adorable, and I hope she is home again soon. What's her next surgery?

 

I don't know if it is some women, or just mamas, but I am the same way. I have not been in as extreme a crisis as you, but in just day to day life, I survive on less sleep with less comfort measures (food, showers, etc) without complaint than DH or MIL can handle. As long as everyone doesn't fall to pieces!

 

feel free to vent away!


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Old 01-18-2012, 09:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Annie ~ I say tell your DH and your mom all of that. You don't have time to listen to their petty complaints when your baby is in the hospital. They probably have no idea that they are putting more stress on you (not doing it on purpose, I mean) but they need to know.

Are they still discussing her surgery today? Did her docs give you any idea of what they will recommend?

I give my boys allowance. Ethan has gotten one since he was 5 or 6. I want to say 6 because I had to give Kellen and allowance since Ethan was getting one and I only remember giving Kellen $3. I give them the amount of their ages every week. It's totally arbitrary but that was the best I could come up with. It's not tied to any chores or anything. They get it because they are part of the family so the family money is part theirs. I also don't want them to learn that they should be rewarded just for being responsible for themselves. KWIM? They are expected to keep their own spaces clean because that's what's expected, not so they can get paid. They can earn extra money for doing special jobs like cleaning the windows or washing the car but not for just helping me with some regular thing. Like, I don't pay Ethan extra when he cleans a bathroom. That's a normal, every day household chore and needs to get done without anyone being paid.

The thing with knowing whether or not a kid will self-regulate, say with brushing their teeth, is that you have to wait until they do without any pressure or fussing or anything. You also can't apply it to kids who go to school. They have to be free all the time, not just while home because a parent isn't involved.

If the oldest is only 11, you can't say that they won't do that on their own. Almost certainly, with every person, s/he will eventually brush his/her teeth. That doesn't mean that you can't remind the child and talk to the child about why brushing and eating healthy and drinking plenty of water is important for dental health (but not in a scary way and be honest. you can't say that if you don't brush your teeth, all your teeth will rot and fall out. there's just no way to know something like that and, if you say untrue things like that to the kids, they will eventually not believe you about most things.). You just don't make the child brush his teeth if he doesn't want to. You don't hold a screaming toddler down while you brush her teeth. You don't tell an older child that he won't get any treats, candy, unless he brushes his teeth. You provide them with toothbrushes and toothpastes that they like and remind and encourage but don't nag or threaten or get angry or punish if they don't do it.

I've never actually had any trouble with my kids brushing their teeth. They need to be reminded and sometimes we all forget. Kellen needs help focusing on getting it done because he's so full of energy and so distractable. But, I've never had one of them just flat out refuse to brush their teeth for more than a day or two. And, here's the thing, once they become teenagers you'll have no control over that at all. Ryan went for I don't know how long without brushing his teeth during his early teenage years and I wasn't into RU then. He also didn't bathe very often during that time. He would just rinse his mouth with Scope and use a lot of Axe. The house reeked of Axe! lol.gif I think it was around 17 that I realized he was showering and brushing his teeth regularly. He hasn't had any major problems with his teeth, a few cavities but that's it.

An RUer would tell you that you can't say self-regulation didn't work because your child watched TV all day for two days or they didn't brush their teeth for a week so you had to step in, especially if you are anxious about it the entire time. You have to really let go of it all and let the children decide all the time every time without any kind of pressure. And, different kids have different regulators. Ethan has said before, "Time to turn off the game. It's not good to play video games too much." He will walk away from the screen to play outside with friends (unless he just got a brand new he really likes). He also turns down desserts or doesn't finish all of a soda he's given because he knows he can have as much as he wants so he doesn't need to scarf it. Kellen is the same way. He'll turn the TV on but then run off to play. He'll have a choice of water, juice, milk and soda to drink and just as often he'll choose something other than soda. Both the boys are like that, actually. They ask for veggies and eat them. They know when they are tired or not feeling well because they haven't eaten well.

I don't have any fear of them having eating disorders or being addicted to the screen because they are given the opportunity to learn for themselves what's healthy and what isn't rather than having someone else always telling them what's good and bad for them. Now, I can't prove this, but it's the complete opposite of most other kids I see who are controlled so much. Those who aren't allowed sweets or soda or TV or computer will gorge themselves on them when given the chance, all the while afraid of getting caught and punished. It's really sad to see.

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Old 01-18-2012, 09:32 AM
 
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WRT brushing teeth: Gabe does his when we brush ours and he happens to be nearby. He'll ask for his toothbrush and go to town. We've never brushed his teeth for him.

 

The only personal hygeine thing that I've ever forced is nail clipping. I had a victory a few days ago, because I was clipping Norah's nails and went to clip Gabe's and he let me without fussing. I don't know if it's because he saw me do Norah's and she was ok, or what, but I hope it happens again! I've let him play with clippers and he loves to pretend he's clipping nails with them, or some other object, but he has always fought that. I do try to force it, because his nails get filthy underneath and scratch him and us. otherwise I wouldn't care.

 

that sounds like a good rule of thumb for allowance.

 

as far as just letting kids be . . . I don't know, I think there do need to be some external boundaries places on them. They will have them as adults - like speed limits - (though I could argue that these are largely ignored) and should learn to work within them. I know I let Gabe "get away" with far more than most parents of toddlers. He's allowed to climb and jump and stay up late. He doesn't have a set nap time. But we do try to model and encourage safe ways to climb and jump. and he will always eventually fall asleep.

 

Like jumping on the couch (I personally don't care really, but MIL does) - I started placing big floor pillows on the floor and he is permitted to jump on those, and he loves it. Granted, he still does jump on the couch sometimes.

 

IDK; it's one of those things where if it works for you, go for it; if something else floats your boat, great! But I love hearing how people do things differently, because it gives me some ideas of what to do as the kids get older.


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Old 01-18-2012, 10:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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But we do try to model and encourage safe ways to climb and jump. and he will always eventually fall asleep.

 

Like jumping on the couch (I personally don't care really, but MIL does) - I started placing big floor pillows on the floor and he is permitted to jump on those, and he loves it.


This is exactly the type of thing a RUer would recommend. If your child wants to do something that is unacceptable to you or those around you, find a way that s/he can do it in an acceptable way rather than just outright refusing and punishing for breaking the rule. Modeling is a big thing, too, as you do with brushing teeth and, probably, clipping Norah's nails.

RU doesn't mean not having any boundaries, either. Most everyone has boundaries. It's about finding ways to get everyone's needs/wants met without the use of force. It shouldn't be that the kids are running amock over the parents or that the parents are controlling the children. It's a cooperative effort.

As to learning to live within societies rules and laws, kids learn that through living. By being respected and learning to respect others at home, they learn to respect the laws outside the home. Using force to make kids follow arbitrary rules at home does not really teach them to respect societies laws. It's more likely to teach them that they need to not get caught. Does that make sense?

Like lying. Again using my kids compared to others I know who have to live without a lot of rules and parental control and fear of punishments. My kids don't lie. Even the neighborhood adults know that, if they want to know what really happened between the kids, they can ask Ethan. He will tell the truth. Once he did and a friend got mad at him. He said to me, "I'm not going to lie." Many of the other kids, otoh, will lie because they are afraid of getting into trouble. If something happens near my home and I intercede, many of the other kids will run away because they are afraid of getting into "trouble". Ethan tries to tell them that they aren't in trouble. I just want to know the truth so that I can help (because I don't assume any of the kids are doing anything on purpose to be mean or bad). But because they live with the fear of punishment at home and school, they assume everyone will treat them like that. They also don't learn how to work things out together because the adults in their lives are always stepping in and taking control, usually in a mean way themselves. So, what do the kids learn from that? To sneak and lie to avoid punishment and that the use of force is the way to get what you want.

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Old 01-18-2012, 02:24 PM
 
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Ava's surgery is scheduled for Friday morning. I haven't put anything on FB yet because we haven't had a chance to talk to the kids yet. I'm very relieved. Her cardiologist was worried about telling me because it's so soon but I am glad. They are keeping us inpatient until then so they can get all her labs, xrays, etc done and we can meet with the surgeon easily when he's available. She will head down about 6:45 AM Friday morning.

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Old 01-18-2012, 02:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks for letting us know, annie.

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Old 01-18-2012, 03:11 PM
 
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Ava's surgery is scheduled for Friday morning. I haven't put anything on FB yet because we haven't had a chance to talk to the kids yet. I'm very relieved. Her cardiologist was worried about telling me because it's so soon but I am glad. They are keeping us inpatient until then so they can get all her labs, xrays, etc done and we can meet with the surgeon easily when he's available. She will head down about 6:45 AM Friday morning.


nak

 

hug2.gif  I'm glad you got answers and a date.  I'm sure having concrete info helps.  KUP, Ava and your family will be in my thoughts!!

 

I used to fight N for teeth brushing, then I just gave up.  I couldn't keep fighting her.  Slowly she started to allow me to do it.  I have yet to take her to the dentist tho, so I'm a little worried.  I hope she doesn't need a lot of work done.

I can't allow her to just eat whatever.  She would never eat, she would have lollipops all day long.  She doesn't have a huge appetite soo I try to make her calories count.  I like for her to try new things, at least one bite.  If she doesnt eat she may just get cereal or a sandwich before bed.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Old 01-18-2012, 05:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I can't allow her to just eat whatever.  She would never eat, she would have lollipops all day long.  She doesn't have a huge appetite soo I try to make her calories count.  I like for her to try new things, at least one bite.  If she doesnt eat she may just get cereal or a sandwich before bed.  

First, don't take this as me saying that any of you should do any of this. I'm just trying to explain the concept. Like I said previously, I think it's impossible for one person to do it all the time. It certainly was/is for me.

She may eat lollipops all day long for a day or even a few days (although, I seriously doubt it because she would start to feel hungry). Eventually, though, I can pretty much guarantee that she will want to eat something else. One thing that RUers do is set out what are called monkey platters. They are plates or trays of various different foods for the kids to eat as they wish. You can put whatever you want on them as long as it's a variety, a little something with protein, some veggies, fruits and sweets. The kids will almost always eat the variety. Kids go through phases of what they want to eat. If you always offer a variety, they will come back to things they had given up before and try new things periodically. Along with that, you talk to your kids about how they feel when they eat a lot of this or not enough of that so they can learn to make the connection between how they feel physically and emotionally and what they eat. It's a great way for them to learn how food can affect them without even really having to get into whether or not it's healthy. They'll figure out what's healthy by being able to recognize what makes them feel good and what makes them feel bad.

And leads to the thing I think I keep missing to point out that leads to a the big misconception with RU. I'm not good at explaining it. Even though there aren't a lot of arbitrary rules and rewards and punishments and parental control, the kids are not left alone. The parents are always there, interacting with the kids, available to help or suggest or facilitate, offering new interests and opportunities. There's just no coercion or force involved to make kids do anything. The kids are allowed to make their own choices about all of it.


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Old 01-18-2012, 07:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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i've been meaningto tell you all that i got rid of my swing. D can now sit in the high chair and he seems to like that better. he's at the same height as everyone else and he has a tray for toys to play with. my swing didn't swing on it's own anymore anyway. i noticed that it was gone from my trash before the trash collectors came this morning. lol.gif that happens a lot around here. put anything out that looks remotely useable and it gets snatched. i had to cut the straps on the carseats that i threw out after ryan's car crash. anyway, i'm so glad to have that thing out of my house not taking up space anymore.

i took K to the most boring gymnastics class today. i don't think we'll go back. i want to try the other school but all the classes are in the morning. the latest is at 10 am. i didn't even get out of bed this morning until 10:20. hide.gif

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Old 01-18-2012, 07:27 PM
 
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I think I get what you're saying.  It seems like a happy way to live -- a very easy going and non-stressful way to raise kids.  I just wonder how practical is it vs how good it sounds in theory.  But food for thought, that's for sure!

 

I still use the swing a bit even though I said I wasn't going to.  I put Finn in it while I put Nora to bed when Chris is out of town.  Once she's settled asleep, I come back out and unwind for a bit if I want, or else I just grab him and go right to bed.  Since she's sleeping in my bed again, I don't think I can just put him in the cosleeper, I'm afraid she'll wake him up.  Though, I haven't tried yet.  I've just been too tired.  It's so hard to try something new when the way you're doing things is still working!!  I'm afraid to mess up any routine, especially when DH isn't here to bail me out if things go horribly wrong.

 

He's gone today to NYC and tmw he's taking the car somewhere in NJ.  Next week he goes back to Raleigh.  Lots of travel!  It's good for him, for his job.  He's really trying to increase visibility in the company so he can move up to a senior level.  That will really help us out if he can get promoted, especially since we are wanting to move so badly.  Plus -- it gets him out of my hair.  It's hard being a SAHM with a DH who works from home.  There is literally NO time apart.  I think a little bit of absence makes the heart grow fonder, at least for us.  I tend to get annoyed when I hear him coming down the stairs,  and since we only have 1 bathroom in our house, I get annoyed when he uses it.  LOL.  Isn't that dumb?  I just sometimes feel strangled by all the togetherness!!  

 

Ok.  It's late, I'm off to relax a bit and then off to bed.  


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Old 01-18-2012, 08:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yeah, well, I failed big time with a lot of the RU stuff once Kellen got older. It was easy when he was a baby but as things got more crazy with him I just couldn't do it all anymore. One thing that got me was that, if you give the kids a choice about helping, that means they don't have to. If they choose not to help, then I'm left doing everything and I just can't do it. Maybe if Sean were home every day and on board with it all, it would be different, but that's not our life. I really wish I could do it all all the time. I do my best and that's all I can do.

You mentioning your dh traveling reminded me of another thing. I talked to Sean about how to handle his homecoming. I suggested that, when he first got home, maybe he could just take a couple of days off to catch up on sleep and adjust a little and then go back to work at least half days for a week or two. After that he could take his 2 weeks of leave. That would give us time to ease into him being home without having him around 24/7 immediately. He didn't get upset about my suggestion at all. Whew! He said it probably work that way to a certain extent anyway. He'll probably get a weekend off then have to work half days for a week and then take his leave. He said he may not be able to put off his leave because then he may not get it at all. He has something like 120 days of leave accrued so I joked about him taking all of that time. Of course, he can't really do that and keep doing his job. He's not happy about what his assignment will most likely be when he gets home, anyway. But that week of half days will at least give us all a bit of an easier adjustment period.

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Old 01-19-2012, 05:47 AM
 
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MW: glad the agreement was so easy re: sean's homecoming!

one less stress.

 

Carrie, for our entire togetherness, DH and I have been together. When we first met in person, it wasn't long before I got a job at the same company he worked for, and rather than getting an apartment on my own, I moved in with him and his parents (separate bedrooms) We carpooled to and from work more often than not, and then when he lost his job when I found out I was pregnant with Gabe, he basically became a SAHD.  He went to school for massage therapy, but that was at night. So both of us have been in the house together for basically almost 3 years. It is alot of togetherness.

 

When we worked together, people would ask why we didn't eat lunch together more often. We said, we are together ALL THE TIME. separate time is good! same thing when I'd spend weekends away with my sister or something before the babies came - I need some separate time!

 

All that to say: I hear you! it's tough being together all the time, and whatever separate time you get is such a blessing.

 

MW: I had no idea we were doing some of the RU'ing things. And some of it makes sense for older kids (like school age) but not for toddlers. Sometimes I do have to force DS to come inside or leave an area. I can't leave him outside alone, and sometimes I need to go. any tecnique I use that's not technically force is still coercion, because he doesn't WANT to come inside.

 

I had my roll eyes moment at my MIL yesterday. I was cooking dinner and I let Gabe play next to me in the sink. The water is at a dribble. MIL says to Gabe, keep that stuff in the sink, it's like GOLD. LOL - I mean, really?! Yeah, we pay for water, but it's not like GOLD. If he were wasting pumped breastmilk, I'd have that reaction, but not water. FWIW I don't think she really likes that I let him play with dishes in the sink when it's not officially "dishwashing" time. But it keeps him happy, and near me, and otherwise out of trouble. Not t hat he really gets IN trouble.


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Old 01-19-2012, 08:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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MW: I had no idea we were doing some of the RU'ing things. And some of it makes sense for older kids (like school age) but not for toddlers. Sometimes I do have to force DS to come inside or leave an area. I can't leave him outside alone, and sometimes I need to go. any tecnique I use that's not technically force is still coercion, because he doesn't WANT to come inside.

This is one of those moments I mentioned a while ago when a RUer would tell you that there are some times when you have to force, like with a toddler who wants to stay out outside and you really do have to go and there's no one who will stay outside with him. So, you calmly take him inside and explain that you know he wants to stay outside and you are sorry but you have to do whatever and you don't have another solution atm. Eventually, if you say yes in one way or another as much as possible with the child, he will learn to understand that when you say something has to be done, it's for a good reason and you won't get much protest. That's the idea, anyway.

I found that worked really well with Ethan and Kellen when they were toddlers. When Ethan hit 6.5 or 7 it didn't work so much anymore. he started questioning everything i said. complained any time we had to go somewhere, even if it was somewhere he had said he wanted to go. idk if it's normal 7yo attitude. they are getting bigger and more capable of doing more things on their so are pushing for more autonomy. most people would call it back talking or sassiness but i don't believe he does it to get me, iykwim. i think it's a normal part of development and how it plays out depends on how you deal with it.

another big principle of RU is to treat the child how you want him to behave. if you want him to be generous, be generous with him. if you want him to be helpful, be helpful to him. happily do things for the child when he asks even if you know he can do it himself because that will demonstrate caring and love and generosity. the basic idea is that if you give as much as possible to the child, the child will grow up to see the world and everything in it as abundant rather than scarce and will treat others the same. I'm talking about giving of yourself, your time, your help, your interest, your love, not things like toys and treats.

I really love that idea because I grew up feeling like no one cared enough about me to really take care of me. I didn't get the attention I craved and I think that has hurt me as an adult. I struggle to have as happy a life as I could have if I had had someone who just cared for me. That's one reason I fell in love with Sean. He did just that. He took care of me, which I had never had, and Ryan. I was so burned out from taking care of myself and then Ryan all by myself for so long that it was incredible to have someone do that for me.

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Old 01-19-2012, 08:21 AM
 
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I do like the idea, and I think we do that alot - with the generosity and helping; but then, there's a lot Gabe can't do by himself yet!

 

as far as the push-back - my IRL friends with boys that age have the same problem re: going somewhere they say they want to go and then not wanting to go or be there once they are there. I think it's normal.

 

I say "I'm sorry" alot, but I don't like it. While I have no issues with apologies in general, I think they are over-used and over-rated in small children. Quite often they really aren't sorry.

 


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Old 01-19-2012, 08:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have seen how much more helpful Ethan is toward Kellen when I'm more helpful toward Ethan. When I get stressed and overwhelmed and tell Ethan I can't do it right now, I'm busy, I'm tired, whatever, I hear the exact same words repeated back to Kellen when he asks Ethan for help.

It seems a lot of parents push their kids to do things themselves in a really mean way. I think that's really sad for the children. I think parents do that because they are afraid that, if they are too helpful toward their children, their children will not do anything for themselves. I think that usually only happens when you do things for your children with the message that they can't do it right. If you are made to feel incompetent for long enough, you will give up doing anything yourself because it will never be good enough. I think children are born wanting to learn how to do things themselves and, as long as we don't screw them up too badly, they will do just that. People don't want to be completely dependent on others. Children want to be independent, much to the consternation of their parents.

Apologies are overused, I think. They should only be said if you are really sorry and plan to try to find another way next time. Empty apologies are hurtful. When Ethan complains about having to go with me to take Kellen to a "baby" class, I don't apologize. There's nothing for me to be sorry about that. That's part of life with a family. If I get angry and yell, I apologize because I truly am sorry and did not want to do that and will do everything I can to not lose my temper the next time.

You could leave out the apology and just express empathy. "You want to stay outside and play. You are angry that I'm taking you inside. It can difficult being so young and having to do what others want most of the time. I have to take you inside because I have to get ready to go to work and it's dangerous for you to stay outside by yourself." He may get even more upset at first but that's ok. That means he's feeling more comfortable about expressing himself. As time passes, he'll learn other ways of dealing with those situations.

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Old 01-19-2012, 09:07 AM
 
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I totally agree!!

Twice now when I went to pick up Nora from school I was told she hit someone and then when asked, wouldn't say sorry.  I said I would talk to her about it, but internally I'm thinking, so what?  Maybe she wasn't sorry.  And, according to her, both times the boys did something to provoke her first and she didn't want to apologize for hitting.

I've stressed that hitting isn't nice, and instead of telling her she needs to "say sorry", she can talk to her friend and ask them not to do XYZ, or get a teacher.  In once instance she said she had asked the little boy to move and said excuse me, but when he didn't, she hula hooped an it hit him.  That's not her fault IMO.  He should have moved.  And telling Nora to apologize for hitting him with the hula hoop is stupid.  You know??

 

Thank gawd for sudafed and benadryl!!  This is like the 5th cold Nora's brought home from school.  That whole 8 colds in the baby's first year is starting to feel like a low estimate.

 

Finn seems to be giving up his morning nap already.  Isn't it too early for that??  He usually gets up for the day around 7.  He'll nap maybe 30 min while nursing around 9-930, but he won't go down for a real nap.  Then he'll do his good nap midday, and another 30-40 on the boob around 4-5.  Bedtime is 830.  Does that sound like enough sleep??

 


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Old 01-19-2012, 09:11 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarineWife View Post

Apologies are overused, I think. They should only be said if you are really sorry and plan to try to find another way next time. Empty apologies are hurtful. When Ethan complains about having to go with me to take Kellen to a "baby" class, I don't apologize. There's nothing for me to be sorry about that. That's part of life with a family. If I get angry and yell, I apologize because I truly am sorry and did not want to do that and will do everything I can to not lose my temper the next time.
You could leave out the apology and just express empathy. "You want to stay outside and play. You are angry that I'm taking you inside. It can difficult being so young and having to do what others want most of the time. I have to take you inside because I have to get ready to go to work and it's dangerous for you to stay outside by yourself." He may get even more upset at first but that's ok. That means he's feeling more comfortable about expressing himself. As time passes, he'll learn other ways of dealing with those situations.


DH and I used to get into bigger fights because we would have a fight, try to make up, agree to disagree, whatever, and he would expect me to apologize. I would explain that I couldn't apologize, because I still stood by whatever it was I said. I didn't say it out of anger, I said it because it's how I felt. He would get angry and say that if it hurt him, I should apologize for it. I always said I was sorry that it hurt him or hurt his feelings, but that I couldn't apologize for what I said (unless it was out of anger, heat of the moment, etc, but that doesn't happen that often). He doesn't get it. He thinks you should apologize if you hurt someone, and that not apologizing just means you're stubborn and can't compromise. It's nice to see someone who -gets- it!

 

Oh, and great news about the agreement on Sean's homecoming schedule!


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