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#1 of 141 Old 03-31-2004, 09:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm all for GD and everything but does anyone else just see people taking it completely too far? I feel like certain places I go mothers are trying so hard to react "correctly" to their kids behavior that they are oblivious to other people's needs. I will give a couple examples.

At the library yesterday, a young (maybe 2.5?) boy was throwing toys at other kids. His mother launched into a big discussion of this not being safe behavior, we must apologize, I don't feel good when you do this etc. Fine. Not 2 minutes later he grabbed onto a girls leg and refused to let go. Again the same discussion (while the kid is still holding onto the girl!) and then a counting to 3 until she "helped" him let go of her. Then he pushed a kid down, same discussion, which lasted at least 5 minutes. The whole time she is telling him if he can't play safe they will have to leave (and not leaving). Finally he pushed my ds (he's 14 mo) down on the floor and again the discussion. She did make him apologize and then they left, but only b/c they were leaving anyway.

How would you react to this? If this is what GD is I guess I don't do it. I would have had a discussion after the 1st incident, if my kid grabbed another kid and wouldn't let go, I would immediately pry him off, I wouldn't let him hang on while I negotiated w/ him! And if he pushed or hit anyone we would leave right away. That's how I react b/c the library is for everyone, and I don't feel my child (acting this way) should be allowed to stay if he is bothering other children and interfering w/ their fun.

Example #2. A child takes a toy away from my dd. The mom, seeing this, launches into a long discussion about this not being ok, let's give it back, do you want me to help you give it back, etc. End result, the kid doesn't give it back and my dd is upset. If my kid takes something from another kid, I will first ask her nicely to give it back, then tell her if she cannot play nicely we can't stay (these aren't personally owned toys). And if she won't give it back, I take it from her and give it back myself!

I just think I need to draw a line somewhere between my concern for my kids feelings and needs and those of other people. As much as possible I want to keep them from disturbing and hurting other kids either emotionally or physically. Where do you draw the line? Are these examples proper GD in your mind or going too far? Just curious...
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#2 of 141 Old 03-31-2004, 09:37 AM
 
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I don't know......... I don't know if I would label that gentle discipline.

I know a woman like that and I absolutely can not STAND it. She will sit there and launch into a 10 minute explanation while her dd continues the negative behavior and the victim of the child screams and sobs uncontrollably.

I believe when kids are very young and they are infringing on someone else's rights, you act THEN talk about it. If it's something that's not too major, and the other child isn't freaking out, I'll give my child the chance to act appropriately, and if she doesn't I will do it for her.

It's about teaching respect for others; that, to me, is what GD is all about.
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#3 of 141 Old 03-31-2004, 10:13 AM
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I hate that! I agree that sometimes it is not GD, just ineffective parenting!

I had a friend like this once. I finally came to the determination that I was allowing my children to come to harm. And I was doing it because I didn't want to offend. HEY! If I'm not going to be an advocate for my kids then who will! Well, it took a few months and a few stressful playdates but I now confront the child. Period. I do it at playgrounds too! (I'm soooo popular!)

Seriously, I do it in a friendly kind but firm voice. You can sometimes feel the relief of the other parents. It's sad really. I've actually told children like that to go get their mom or to go sit down! I did have a confrontation with a lady at a chick fil a once. Her 8 year old was running through the equipment knocking over 2 year olds. Mine was one of them! So after repeatedly saying, "Be careful honey, there are little kids in here....... Slow down sweetie, you're going to fast........ OOPS! You knocked him over, you need to apologize...... (finally) Young Man! You need to go sit down beside your mother, you are not being considerate of the other children trying to play"

OH! That little boy went and told his mama! And she tried to get in my face!

I actually did that this summer with my neice. She threw my sons camera in the floor on purpose. Don't know why, but I watched her do it. So did her mom. She was 3 so she is young. But my 5 year son was just sobbing. She cracked his camera. And my sil just kept talking and talking. The little girl refused to apologize to my son and he was literally broken hearted. Now I understood that the kid was tired and acting out to get attention. But hey, at some point you have to learn that you can't behave that way. And if you aren't going to talk to your kid, and it has affected my kid, then that is fair game! When I realized that my sil wasn't really going to handle it, I spoke up and said "dn, you hurt ds's feelings, you need to say you are sorry. No reponse! So I told her that since she was probably tired, and since she was going to be ugly to ds then she needed to go to her room. And she did!


OK - I've gone off on a tangent! Sorry!

It's really hard to do, you just have to come to a realization that you can't allow your children to be harmed. Period. Also, I want my kids to trust me. YKWIM. I want them to understand that I will take care of them and go to bat for them.

Trying to do the right thing with three kids and a hubby. 
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#4 of 141 Old 03-31-2004, 10:25 AM
 
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Drives me crazy, too. I think some kids can be reasoned with and some can't. Droning on might make the parent feel better but it often does little for the kid, who tunes it out immediately. I have one like this and early on, after reading a lot here on MDC, I was guilty of trying to reason with her too much. Now we cut to the chase and we are both much happier.
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#5 of 141 Old 03-31-2004, 10:30 AM
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I would perhaps go through the "Now you must consider the feelings of others" for a half-minute or so but if the child wasn't *responding* to a gentle prompting I wouldn't let it continue (I am in authority and I am obligated not to allow my child to hurt another, when the child matures he will assume self control)

If the child didn't respond I would say something like, "Joseph, you don't seem to be able to play nicely so we're going home"

If the child doesn't get to play he will learn how to play nicely.

Personally I don't think this is GD, it's LAZY parenting.

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#6 of 141 Old 03-31-2004, 11:28 AM
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I don't think it's lazy parenting, it's a mother trying to do her best and failing. She was trying to be gentle.

I think that there is a tendency of parents to expecting other parents to correct their agressive children and that don't protect their own children.

Where was the mother of the agressed girl in the library for instance. She should have jumped straight away to defend her child!

Quote:
Example #2. A child takes a toy away from my dd. The mom, seeing this, launches into a long discussion about this not being ok, let's give it back, do you want me to help you give it back, etc. End result, the kid doesn't give it back and my dd is upset.
Why didn't you jump straight in? "I'm sorry, but my dd is upset and the toy is hers".
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#7 of 141 Old 03-31-2004, 11:54 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by EllieB
Again the same discussion (while the kid is still holding onto the girl!) and then a counting to 3 until she "helped" him let go of her. Then he pushed a kid down, same discussion, which lasted at least 5 minutes. The whole time she is telling him if he can't play safe they will have to leave (and not leaving). Finally he pushed my ds (he's 14 mo) down on the floor and again the discussion.
I have to warn you I've had very little sleep and I'm feeling PG icky today, so please forgive me if this sounds a bit harsh but...

THIS IS NOT GENTLE DISCIPLINE.

THIS IS NOT DISCIPLINE AT ALL.

I'm really really sick of hearing this argument, that every wishy washy parent is using GD but "too much". It's not discipline at all. It's completely ineffective parenting and that is not what GD is about.

So let's not compare apples and oranges, shall we?

Call it what it is: ineffective, lack of parenting, whatever. But please don't suggest it has anything to do with GD.

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#8 of 141 Old 03-31-2004, 12:07 PM
 
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I know a woman like that and I absolutely can not STAND it.
Me too. I hate it, hate it. and i hate the word hate :

Piglet, i see your point about apples and oranges, but i will bet you a nickle, that these ineffective parents indeed think they are doing GD, and most likely think they are doing it right.

Unfortunately, this gives GD a bad name, and truthfully, if you didnt know any better, who would want to disclipline the "gentle" way if all you saw was that?

I think its not only ineffective, but disrespectful to the other kids and their parents.
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#9 of 141 Old 03-31-2004, 12:35 PM
 
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Ive seen this lack of parenting too........and even when there is a child that is getting hurt/pushed/hit......the parent doesnt leave the 2nd, 3rd or 4th time.

It also sends a message to the other dc's that this behavior is ok. I simply avoid this type of parent/their dc's at all costs........
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#10 of 141 Old 03-31-2004, 12:54 PM
 
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What is the point of ragging on these parents? We are all just trying to do our best as parents. Trying to get it right. If someone doesn't understand how to do gentle discipline at least they are trying! I mean, come on, there is so much out there about respecting the kids' feelings and not spanking or yelling, etc., but I don't know that there is enough information about what to do instead, and not many of us saw it modeled. And often what information about what to do instead is ineffective, at least for some kids.

I know there have been times when I've threatened to leave places because I cannot think of any other consequence and then haven't followed thru or at least not as soon as I should have. This is mostly because I am "dancing as fast I can", juggling so many things, trying to get a need or two of my own met etc. and am slow to want to follow through or am even unable to, so should not have threatened that in the first place, but didn't know what else to do. OTOH I have also often followed thru and it has been effective. Sometimes not though because she wanted to leave anyway so she didn't care.

Also, there is a lot of stuff out there about being respectful of kids and providing explanations for stuff as they are more likely to be cooperative if they understand why. Maybe these parents are trying to follow advice they've been given and are just doing their best. They have a different perspective than you do as an outside observer. I mean, it is stating the obvious, but they are emotionally involve. It is a lot easier to stand back and say what someone is doing wrong when it is not you. And yeah, sometimes you are a better parent and know better ways of handling things. And maybe people are lazy (or exhausted!!!) and ineffective, and maybe you should avoid them for your own sake. I mean, we wouldn't want to helpful, supportive and nonjudgemental or anything would we?

Does anybody ever stop and think before posting on here that some of the folks that come to this board do not have this stuff perfected yet and are trying and learning and they may be the one you saw not handling things well at the library or supermarket or whatever? Do you think it helpful to complain about their crappy parenting, saying things like lazy and that they are not a disciplinarian or whatever? Maybe you could just say what you observed and how you might have handled it differently. Pretend that the mama you saw is a student of gentle discipline and she is coming here to get some ideas.

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#11 of 141 Old 03-31-2004, 01:06 PM
 
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You know, it really sounds like this woman was trying her best.

Would you rather she just smack her kids, or yell at her kids? That would be effective parenting, right? And WAY better than TRYING to find a gentle approach, and failing, yes?

Just because someone is having difficulty finding that perfect "GD" approach, it's okay to call her lazy, or say she's not parenting?

I don't get this! I really don't!

And as far as jumping in and reprimanding other people's children- I don't feel this is really acceptable either, unless the child is visiting YOUR house, where YOU make the rules! Take care of your kid. Protect your kid- FIRST and FOREMOST. When your child is safe, talk to the PARENT! I would only speak to a child if I had spoken to the parent, and was unable to come up with a solution that allowed my child to play safely, while their child was there.

YMMV.

He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.  ~Albert Einstein
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#12 of 141 Old 03-31-2004, 01:09 PM
 
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Sofiamomma- We cross posted.

ITA. Why bother trying to change if you're just going to get bashed for not doing it "right"?

He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.  ~Albert Einstein
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#13 of 141 Old 03-31-2004, 01:17 PM
 
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The OP was stating that this dc was throwing toys at another dc. If they were throwing toys at my dc......and the parent wasnt leaving after the first talk with her dc.....then its my business to step in and remove my dd.......and if my dd got hurt....then Im going to say something as I leave. Im not going to NOT say something in that instance just bc the parent doesnt know any better.

Anything less than aggression......well, thats another story.


She doesnt have to smack her kid.........but she should leave with him.
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#14 of 141 Old 03-31-2004, 01:34 PM
 
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I guess those of us who are repeatedly disrespected, day in and day out, by someone who does not discipline get really p.o.ed after a while. It's normal to feel frustrated when you and your child are not respected..... all of the time. Maybe some mamas will come here and say: "Wow, I never realized I was blatantly disrespecting others! I'll try to be a little less wishy-washy next time."
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#15 of 141 Old 03-31-2004, 01:46 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by EllieB
Are these examples proper GD in your mind or going too far? Just curious...
Nah, that's not GD in my mind. The mama needs a little practice being consistent. Her threats are empty.

gotta fly. xo pam
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#16 of 141 Old 03-31-2004, 01:58 PM
 
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I will not tolerate my child being hit, pushed or shoved. period. end of story. Again it seems like the aggressor here is given the benefit of the doubt, or explaning away of a parent "doing her best" to parent, and another womans child is crying, sobbing etc and we are being intolerant or bashing. Of course spanking, yelling, yanking isnt the answer either, but thats not my point, and i dont think the OP's either.

Why should i have to leave the sandbox with my child because of another womans poor discipline?
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#17 of 141 Old 03-31-2004, 02:04 PM
 
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Why should i have to leave the sandbox with my child because of another womans poor discipline?

ITA!


But if the aggressor isnt leaving bc the parent isnt doing anything about it, then whats your choice? To stay there and play policewoman and watch someone else's kid so they dont hit yours again? Not worth it........
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#18 of 141 Old 03-31-2004, 02:13 PM
 
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And as far as jumping in and reprimanding other people's children- I don't feel this is really acceptable either, unless the child is visiting YOUR house, where YOU make the rules!

If the parent of said dc is not watching for whatever reason........or repeatedly chooses to do nothing when their dc takes a toy away or whatever.........then IM GOING TO SAY SOMETHING TO THAT CHILD, esp if hes trying to take my dc's toy away from her, whether its at my house or a public playground, whether I know the dc or not.

If I dont say/do something.........who will? Until my dd is old enough than Im the one who is her advocate in these situations......

(If it doesnt involve my dc, then I dont feel its my place to say anything........)



If the parent doesnt know any better, is doing their best........how else are they going to know this behavior isnt tolerated by others?
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#19 of 141 Old 03-31-2004, 02:22 PM
 
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Originally posted by lab
I hate that! I agree that sometimes it is not GD, just ineffective parenting!I
ITA. Kids have the attention span of a knat- KISS ( keep it short and simple) you can use illustrative discussions for later during a quiet time, away from the situation at hand.

You can use firm, concise language that is gentle, but you must also be prepared to be proactive. "Johnny, that is her toy, please return it " end of story, and then a really nice affirmation " thanks Johnny, I knew you were good at sharing! "
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#20 of 141 Old 03-31-2004, 02:38 PM
 
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If the parent doesnt know any better, is doing their best........how else are they going to know this behavior isnt tolerated by others?
Well, you could try gently telling them. And if they aren't recpetive, THEN use GD on thier child.

I'm using the plural, general you now:
But I guess "f**k up" parents don't deserve to be treated gently? You should just let them, and their children "have it". And I don't mean by screaming at them. Sometimes tone can be just as damaging.

But perhaps you don't care about how other people feel? If that's the case, what makes you any better than the person who you preceive as not caring about how YOU and YOUR child feel?

Perhaps this is a tone issue...a "I can't see your facial expression online" issue, but I really am getting the impression that you would treat the "offending" child more harshly than you would treat your child. That bothers me!

I'm not saying don't say anything at all! i'm not saying let your child be a victim!

I'm not saying that you need to always take your child and leave either!

But treat other people, and their children, the way you would want to be treated- WHETHER OR NOT YOU'VE BEEN TREATED THAT WAY!

I know it's easy to get angry and frustrated. I've been on both sides of this equation. I haven't always handled it well. But I've learned, from being on the receiving end of things.

He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.  ~Albert Einstein
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#21 of 141 Old 03-31-2004, 02:54 PM
 
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But I guess "fuck up" parents don't deserve to be treated gently? You should just let them, and their children "have it". And I don't mean by screaming at them. Sometimes tone can be just as damaging.

But perhaps you don't care about how other people feel? If that's the case, what makes you any better than the person who you preceive as not caring about how YOU and YOUR child feel?

I think you were directing this at everyone who didnt agree with you....myself included.

I can only say for myself.......I NEVER said and never would YELL or SCREAM at another parent or their dc....or think of them as a FUCK UP and not treat them or their dc with respect. I dont believe anyone else did here either...please post a quote if Im missing someones post.

By saying something like "that toy belongs to my dd, please let go of it" or saying to the parent "maybe you didnt notice, but your dc has hit my dc again........" or a simple "no hitting" to their dc if the parent isnt around.....these are the examples of comments I was referring to.

I would never BROW BEAT, SCREAM, OR YELL at someone..(esp a dc!) .....unless they blatenly sent their dc over to hit my dc or something equally outrageous.

Just bc we disagree with your view on how to handle this......and sound like we are fed up with these kinds of situations......doesnt mean we are all out to viciously attack another parent or treat them or their dc with anything other than how we would want to be treated.

Its a frustrating situation that alot of us face daily......... We all have to find what works for us and our dc's.
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#22 of 141 Old 03-31-2004, 03:04 PM
 
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What rainsmom said
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#23 of 141 Old 03-31-2004, 03:14 PM
 
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I think I misread your post Breathless Wonder........you werent claiming we were screaming at these parents and thier dc's.....but using a tone that was equally as damaging.

And that is not what Im saying I do........I dont think its necessary.


How does that quote go:

Be the example you want to see............

If I want to set a positive example on how to handle these situations with GENTLE COMPASSION.......then why would I or someone else who is a gentle discipline advocate not reply gently, with compassion.

Maybe our posts sound harsh......but some of us have been faced with these situations time and time again......and our dc's are the target again and again. We come here to post our frustrations.......not to offend you
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#24 of 141 Old 03-31-2004, 03:15 PM
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I don't think it's an issue of not being gentle with the bumbling mother, rather I think people are *too* polite and gentle and tolerent of these people which *feeds* into their ineptness.

How many times have *I* been the one to leave a situation because someone else's child isn't being supervises appropriately. Why should *my* child be forced to leave a public place because someone else can't figure out that talking sweetly and gently while the kid is still aggressing against another child is, ahem, ineffective and disrespectful of every one else in that environment. And it does no service to the aggressive child, either.

I have had one aggressive toddler. I know how it feels, I know how darn embarassing and challenging it is to continue with gd when others see your biting, hitting monster and just want you to give him a good swat on the tusch. But I didn't allow my son to continue while I sweetalked him. No! he learned if he couldn't control himself he was taken out of the environment.

A round or two of no play, no library, no out to lunch or *whatever* will work, trust me it will or at least give it a good try.

I don't think people are non-gentle with these parents the normal social politeness *feeds* their inept stupidity.

The most I have said in similar circumstances is along the lines of, "We must go now because this isn't a safe place to play."

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#25 of 141 Old 03-31-2004, 03:31 PM
 
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Too gentle...or not gentle enough. Sounds like a pretty clear case of damned if you do, damned if you don't!
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#26 of 141 Old 03-31-2004, 03:33 PM
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Yes hhurd, that's it with parenting, and there's no turning back
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#27 of 141 Old 03-31-2004, 03:39 PM
 
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I'm going to apologize, because I realized that I was reacting more to an event in my past, that was dredged up by this thread, than the thread itself.

When my oldest was 5, I went to our local homeschool support group gym day. I was trying to nurse my 6 mo daughter, and my son was playing less than gently with the 2 other boys his age. Neither of their parents said anything, but the mom of one of the girls playing nearby did. I got up, interrupted the baby's eating, went over and talked to my DS, it seemed to be under control, and I went and sat back down, to nurse my DD. It happened a second time, except this time, my DS had grabbed a toy from the group leader's daughter, who was sharing her toys with everyone but my DS. I interrupted the baby again, and went and talked to my DS. Again, everything seemed to be okay. I asked a parent/friend who was by the boys, if she could watch my DS. I intended on feeding the baby, and leaving. The third time it was deemed that my DS was playing to roughly, he was DRAGGED BY THE ARM over to me. The mother who dragged my DS, and the mother who led the group, proceeded to give me a verbal lashing. I was upset, and embarrassed, and hurt for my son, and myself. In retrospect, I should not have gone to the support group gym day, because I guess my DS wasn't ready for a situation like that, without me right next to him, watching his every moment, which I really couldn't do with the baby. All I remember at the time, was homeschooling was new to me, I had a young baby (who nursed constantly), I was over 1000 miles from home and family, we'd recently moved from a neighborhood we'd lived in for 4 years, to a neighborhood, 30 minutes and few towns away, where I knew no one, and my son and I were lonely.

My son is a good kid, though sometimes thoughtless and impulsive, and I struggle daily with trying to help him learn proper behavior, without resorting to the tactics my family of origin used. And I can't seem to win either way. I'm either too harsh, or to lax, depending on who you ask. My son and I are both trying but we get a lot more negative reinforcement than positive for our efforts.

So that was where I was speaking from.

But I have a feeling it won't matter to some of the posters here.

He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.  ~Albert Einstein
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#28 of 141 Old 03-31-2004, 04:07 PM
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Oh, I guess I can understand why you feel the way you do.

I had a little boy who was rough at times and I know how embarassing it can be.

I never had anyone do that to me only look down her nose at me(same woman had a son (older) who went after my daughter with a baseball bat (!) my daughter was two years younger than him and much smaller but she was able to protect herself...beat the crap out of him in fact so the woman had no business looking down her nose at me because of the behavior of my then 3yo son when she had a 12yo monster on her hands.

db
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#29 of 141 Old 03-31-2004, 05:50 PM
 
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Breathless Wonder..........after milling it over and leaving the site for awhile, I realised that it had to be something personal with you, some past event....as to why you posted what you did.

Sorry that happened to you.......... I know, it must be hard to watch more than one dc, esp with one that nurses and another that is active. Seems like thats when the older one IS more than likely to do something to get attention.

Glad you shared your experience.
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#30 of 141 Old 03-31-2004, 06:31 PM
 
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I guess the problem is rainsmom...I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt because of that.

Sometimes that is the right approach, and other times, it sets me up for heartache.

He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.  ~Albert Einstein
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