Ever hear "other" voices in your head? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 05-08-2003, 12:59 PM - Thread Starter
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No, I don't mean like crazy voices in your head, or anything like that. LOL!!: This thread is more of an observation than anything else........

What I mean is that sometimes, I feel that I hear other people's comments resounding in my head which leads me to question my own gut instincts. I read an article once (maybe it was here at MDC) that talked about how today's parent is inundated with so much material that when your child does something, before instinctively responding, you start thinking about what X person said you should do, or what Y person said you shouldn't do. The end result is that we start to question ourselves and the moment of *learning* for the child has passed. I guess sometimes I feel that way.

Example: If dd takes my wallet, my instinct is to distract her and give her something else to play with. But then, the "voices" (for lack of a better term: ) start in:

Should I be doing this or should I offer her an alternative? Should I redirect or does that mean that I am giving in? If I say "No" then I am overusing the term....If I allow it, then I am too permissive.....KWIM?: By the time I am done doing my mental gymnastics, DD has pulled out all my credit cards and is throwing them around!!

Today's parents especially have sooooo much information at their fingertips...books, classes, internet, e-mail, t.v. etc. I, for one, love jumping on the net, MDC or BCB and looking up new parenting tips, advice, chatting, etc. I also love reading the latest books with the newest research. But, in this vast field of knowledge that we amass, I think that sometimes our own instincts get replaced with other people's views. Sometimes I just have to take a step back and ask myself, "What does your own good judgment tell you, you should do in this situation??" Afterall, how did our parents and others get byand become good parents without all of this additional input?

IN any event, it's just an observation I thought I'd throw out there. Anyone else feel that way??
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#2 of 5 Old 05-08-2003, 01:02 PM
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Sometimes I am so immobilized trying to do the "right thing" i can't hear myself at all.
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#3 of 5 Old 05-08-2003, 02:26 PM
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I'm glad I'm not the only one hearing voices, LOL!

No, seriously, I was just thinking about this. During the infant phase, I have to say that I felt totally confident in my instincts and my ability to do the right thing. I was able to hear those "just let them cry," "you're spoiling the baby," "they're NOT sleeping through the night???" voices, and just let them roll of my back. But now, with toddlers, I'm so much less confident. I think the evidence (and my instincts) on how to respond to infants is so much clearer. But I don't feel like I have a great roadmap on dealing with toddler discipline. I really don't want to be totally laissez-faire about responding to behaviors that are unsafe or inappropriate, and I'd prefer not to isolate my kids from the world for their entire toddlerhood. I feel like I hear a lot about what NOT to do, but I don't know as well what *to* do.

We have a severe biting problem in my house (apparently common with twins) and I need to do something, and I've tried a lot of things and have only had small improvement. I have started using negative reinforcement (putting baby down when s/he bites me and saying "I don't want to play with someone who bites me" and walking away for a few seconds, then coming back). I feel like I have resorted to this after trying lots of more positive approaches (I could enumerate but then we'd be here all day). I have not resorted to Dr. Sears' last-ditch recommendation of giving them their own hand to bite, but mostly just because I think they're too young for it to have any lasting effect. And those voices definitely are in there, saying "oh, she lets them run wild," feeling like I'm a bad advertisement for EBF and cosleeping, etc. Then with the biting thing I hear the AP voices telling me to NOT do the negative reinforcement thing, and I just feel *bad* at this all the time, a feeling I rarely had when they were infants.

Anyway, I didn't mean for my first post on this forum to be a big rant. Sorry! I just feel like you could have taken the words right out of my mouth. I guess this is the area of growth and development for me right now (discipline/toddlerhood).

Hugs, and I hope this makes sense!

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#4 of 5 Old 05-08-2003, 02:29 PM
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PS: Just to illustrate, I let my kids play with my wallet with no problem--I just put everything back when they're done. So when I read your post I thought, "oh no! maybe I shouldn't be letting them play with my wallet! I'm too lax!" ARGH!

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#5 of 5 Old 05-08-2003, 09:56 PM
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In answer to your question: sure, you bet.

I can get way too analytical about my parenting. Well, I should add that I tend to dwell in general so this can be dangerous territory for me if I don't recognize it, and reign it in before it eats me alive, and drives DS (and DH) nutz. :

My response to my own second guessing is to take a step back, breathe deep and focus within--connect with my own "internal consistency", a term I learned here at MDC which has really helped me with this particular situation. I know my parenting philosophy is a good one, one that DH and I feel very good and confident about. When I start questioning every little thing I'm doing, I know I'm detaching from it and concerning myself way to much with "external consistency." [i](a term I learned here as well ). That is to say, I'm thinking over every little thing and my response to it and not actually drawing on my confidence in my ability to discipline (teach) my son.

With the situation you gave as an example (among others), I simply ask myself, "is what he's doing truly harmful or is it just annoying?" If it's harmful, I redirect. If it's not, I usually just let him do it, explore it's options and be done with it. Of course, also keeping in mind here that it's perfectly reasonable for you to set limits on those things belonging to you. If you've got it in your mind that your wallet is off limits, then that's certainly reasonable--I know I worry about mine because I keep a few Advils in it usually. My solution would be to get him his own (and old one of yours perhaps?), fill it with fun stuff (cardboard replicas of yours perhaps?) and go from there.

Best to you!

Em 43 - Wife to hubby Mom to DS born: Jan. '01
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