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Old 04-03-2006, 07:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Old 04-03-2006, 08:32 PM
 
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I always run into problems when I start to think in terms of "how I want DS to turn out." Parenting doesn't work very well as a product-focused endeavor. Its more about the process and the messages we communicate through our actions and methods. Its definately about faith in our children to devlop into exactly the sorts of people they are meant to be, and allowing them to be imperfect and human.

I do believe that we have great potential to influence and shape them, but I try to focus the energy I have into not harming them. Because it would be better to raise a wild child than a damaged one. And through that effort, I find that I am constantly examining myself and improving myself.

I know this is a vauge and probably unsatisfying post, but maybe its something to think about? There have been several times that our parents (Dh or mine) have made comments along the lines of, "This is not how I raised you to be." Such comments are deeply painful for us, because they imply limitations on our own choices and temperments with regard to who we really are.

I cringe when I hear people talking about shaping (or worse, "molding") young children. Who are we to think that we know how to do that??? We really don't. We live in a mess of a world. Maybe our kids know better! Who knows. Rather than comparing my job to shaping a clay pot, I prefer to compare it to growing a garden. Providing what is needed for healthy growth, guarding against threats to the plants, and watching nature take its imperfect course.
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Old 04-03-2006, 10:11 PM
 
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I too get confused about the best way to raise my kids, and like you have suffered from depression, and while I won't say I suffered child abuse my parents way of bringing me up [spare the rod spoil the child] certainly has damaged me and I found a hurtful way of being brought up [if only my sister and brother felt the same way - funny that how they think it is a good way and did and are racing their kids the same way - ok enough of topic , I'm woffling ]
We really don't know what job we have done till they are older which is scary , but if your intentions are good, and you try to put yourselves in their shoes, you hopefully shouldn't go wrong.
Parenting sure is hard.
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Old 04-03-2006, 11:12 PM
 
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I find myself worrying about the same things you mention. Especially during one of my dss phases of trying out new things, or regressing in behavior. Just got to keep in mind that these things pass, and are not an indication that you're doing things wrong.

For me, consistently reading and getting feedback from other GD parents is the best way to stay on track and be reassured that what we are doing is effective, and also good for us and our kids.

Have you read any of the books recommended on the sticky at the top of the page? Or any of Jan Hunt's writings? You can find her stuff at http://www.naturalchild.com. I also loved Unconditional Parenting by Archie Kohn. In it he describes how we can develop morals in our children, getting them to think for themselves and appreciate the effect they have on other people. In the long run, much more important than controlling their behavior. A couple of other books that I really liked are Easy to Love, DIfficult to Discipline by Becky Bailey, and Becoming the Parent You Want to Be.
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Old 04-04-2006, 12:59 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamaduck
I always run into problems when I start to think in terms of "how I want DS to turn out." Parenting doesn't work very well as a product-focused endeavor. Its more about the process and the messages we communicate through our actions and methods. Its definately about faith in our children to devlop into exactly the sorts of people they are meant to be, and allowing them to be imperfect and human.
Your post was just beautiful. You put words to exactly the kind of parent I want to be. I even called my DH over to read it Thank you.
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Old 04-04-2006, 01:17 AM
 
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Depends on your expectations. As a rule my parents were very much GD parents with us. I was always "well behaved" in the sense that they took me out to nice restaurants and adult social situations and I knew how to behave. The only time I may have been "annoying" was the fact that I was very self-assured and had no problems standing up for myself or my beliefs. Many people think "children" shouldn't.

-Angela
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Old 04-04-2006, 12:56 PM
 
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I've read so many books that are close, but not quite, my style. I'm also a fan of Unconditional Parenting, but I admit that I still praise my dd. I finally decided that my philosophy is simply the Golden Rule. How would I want to be treated? What would cause me to act in certain ways? What would help me want to behave differently if my behavior was unacceptable? Obviously, it isn't fool-proof, since my dd is her own person, and her motivations won't be the same as mine 100% of the time. But it is amazing how often mentally putting myself in her place gives me a better perspective and helps me to understand her feelings and actions more. Then we can work together. It helps me balance control issues, too.

For example, I can't make myself fall asleep on command, so why should my daughter be able to fall asleep simply because I think it is time? Instead, I help her pay attention to her body's cues and create a resftul environment to help her relax. Same approach to eating. My appetite varies occasionally, why shouldn't hers? Rather than trying to force feed or withold food, I make sure that she has healthy snacks whenever she needs them, and trust her to meet her body's needs. So far, she does an excellent job! OTOH, there are some safety issues where I feel the need to intervene. Even so, my approach is based on the respect that I would want if I were in her shoes.

Do unto children as you would have them do unto you ::
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Old 04-04-2006, 02:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Old 04-04-2006, 04:38 PM
 
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Aww...thanks, Greensleeves! I really admire you for trying to change things for your kids. It is always so hard to do things differently when we haven't had a model of that growing up.

Do unto children as you would have them do unto you ::
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Old 04-04-2006, 05:13 PM
 
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I would first like to say that in my opinion, there isn't such thing precisely as a calm house with children in it (except maybe naptime, on those occasions when I actually get both of them to sleep at the same time). I, like you, grew up in a hectic ednvironment. My mother was a single mom, who raised me through colored glasses, tainted by severe depression, suicidal tendencies, and anorexia. But I give her much credit, that all the while she didn't love herself, she certainly loved me. I have carried that love over into my parenting. I don't believe in molding my kids. People think my boistrous and loud 3 yr old is annoying and unkept, but I look at it like this: my daughter loves me. I give her the space and respect she deserves to just be herself. If I was always telling her to be quiet, and don't do this or that, or spanking her, she certainly wouldn't be the butterfly she has become. She isn't afraid to be curious, and she has good self esteem. And she is the most sensitive, caring little girl I personaly have ever met. One thing that has helped me is this: I gave birth to her. During that first yr or so, she was still a part of me. I held her, and soothed her, and nursed her. As she grew into herself, I had to learn to let go too. She is no longer a limb, or attatchment of myself. She is her own, beautiful little self. She knows exactly what she wants. I do need to remind her here and there to be "respectful" of others, but then, that word can be applied to many different things depepnding on who is using it. My advice is to just love your child. Understand that kids will be kids because they are kids. And, if you have visited a public school lately, those parents who swear they are doing everything right, are often the parents of the kids that are name calling, or throwing things. Don't be too hard on yourself. I don't believe parenting is about structure. Keeping your children safe, and loving your children unconditionally is your job. Flexibility, and sympathetic understanding are important tools. And as long as you aren't abusing your children, it doesn't matter what anyone thinks, about you or your kids. I don't know how old your dd is, but one of the values I am instilling in my daughter is SELF-respect. I think this lesson should come as soon as (if not sooner) the respect others thing. The old saying you have to love yourself before you can love another has rung very true to me in my life. I think lack of self love has caused many problems in our world today. If your dd is crystal clear about how she likes to be treated and regarded, the rest will fall into place naturally. Maybe this is an area you should particularly work on, since these ideals are fuzzy for yourself. Sit down with a notebook, and really figure out exactly what your boundries are with others. Once you have done that, it will be easier for you to understand how to teach your dd about self love and respect.
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