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#91 of 119 Old 03-24-2009, 12:00 PM
 
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In all honesty, I give little to know thought to how others may view my parenting decisions. Yes, I am one of the more permissive parents in my kids' peer group. There are few "hard and fast" rules in our home. The main ones are - no one abuses our pets, non-family members don't belong in my bedroom unless I give the okay, and... don't put an empty milk jug back in the fridge. Oh - and tell me when said milk jug is empty at some time other than 5am! Pretty much everything else is on a case-by-case basis.

Do I ask kids if they're allowed to watch something? Yep. Followed by "so.... if I called your folks - they'd be cool with it?" The kids know not to lie to me.

Do some of those kids go home and tell their parents "but Mrs T lets HER kids do X, Y, Z."? I'm sure they do. But really? Not my problem. I've had some parents tell me off. I've had others tell me that my kids are among the few who come into their home and do not automatically assume that they can take/use/eat whatever they choose. They are unfailingly polite and always ask first.

When I say no to something, my kids always know why and understand that it isn't arbitrary. They also know that, if they disagree, they are welcome to present their pov - and I will sometimes rethink my position.

My goal as a parent is to raise two young adults who are able to make reasoned choices and know how to navigate the world they inhabit. Sometimes I let them do things that have my heart in my throat (like allowing my 15yo to take a rail trip via Amtrak from Philly - Boston alone to visit a friend).

My Mom sometimes pales at the things I allow them to do, but she will be the first to tell you what great kids they are, and that it has a lot to do with how I've raised them.

SO... sorry if my way of raising them makes it hard for another parent. But that really isn't my problem.
I love this post and aspire to parent my kids in the same way. I have a question though. You have few hard and fast rules...the ones you list make total sense to me. How do you handle when your kids blow off their responsibilities? Whether it's not unloading the dishwasher or choosing to not do homework, turn in assignments, what have you? Leaving piles of their cr*p all over the house?
I do not mean this in a snarky way. As I said, I love how you describe your parenting. I feel like I tend to micromanage my kids sometimes and I hate it. However, when I have left them to take responsibility, they totally blow it off and I am left with a messy house and teachers requesting meetings and conferences because my kids don't pull their weight.
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#92 of 119 Old 03-24-2009, 12:50 PM
 
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and you would not be there to discuss it with them..

maybe the worst that could happen is they could build up resentment towards you and not care what your opinions are...

or they could feel so controlled that they rebel and spend years doing things just because they were not "allowed" instead choosing them

Really I don’t mean to be adversarial, but I have reasons for letting my children do the things I let them do, and its not so your kids can come home and tell you I let them do it.
I agree with this so much. My kids already have or will have by 13 the freedoms to do all the things that you son can't, OP, and it's because that's what we feel is best for them. I am not about to alter my parenting (and my core values -- which include being 100% anti-censorship) in order to make other, stricter parents have an easier time parenting in a way that I find completely objectionable.

I hope that you will reconsider how little privacy you are allowing your son, and how this may impact him as he ages -- you are underestimating things if you think the worst ramifications this will have is that he watches a bunch of R-rated movies as soon as he turns 17.

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#93 of 119 Old 03-24-2009, 02:04 PM
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You have few hard and fast rules...the ones you list make total sense to me. How do you handle when your kids blow off their responsibilities? Whether it's not unloading the dishwasher or choosing to not do homework, turn in assignments, what have you? Leaving piles of their cr*p all over the house?
I do not mean this in a snarky way. As I said, I love how you describe your parenting. I feel like I tend to micromanage my kids sometimes and I hate it. However, when I have left them to take responsibility, they totally blow it off and I am left with a messy house and teachers requesting meetings and conferences because my kids don't pull their weight.
I'm not answering for Mtiger....I'm just answering because she and I parent similarly.

I can't speak for the teacher/school thing. Allowing my children to pursue the things they deem important is one of the reasons we homeschool. I'm totally not interested in playing the game of school. When people blow things off, it's because it has no real importance for them, IMO.

As for chores....when they were younger we did them together. Our house is messy anyway, but not dysfunctional messy. It's active-people-living-life messy. They're older now and tend not to blow off their responsibilities. They understand that DH and I work hard to provide for them and to better our lives (I'm in school in addition to WOTH), and that if we have more chores to do, we'll have less time and are less likely to feel like taking them places or doing stuff with them.

I also know that if one of my kids is feeling lazy and procrastinating on their chores, that they're human. Sometimes I don't feel like washing dishes, either. So on those rare occasions, I will sometimes do it for them....knowing fully well that the next time the dog pesters me to let him out (which is about a million times a day), one of the boys will help me out.

On a tangent....

One thing I've noticed about lots of people that I work with and even my DH sometimes....they have a "it's not my job" attitude. My parents never made me do any chores. They just asked me to help and I did. I often grumbled, but I still helped. Seriously....my kids each have ONE regular chore that has to be done daily. DS1 has to take out the trash and recycling. DS2 has to unload the dishwasher. Everything else is on a per request basis or I pay them for it (washing the car, cutting the grass, shoveling snow).

I've noticed that if I ask my older DS to do the dishes or ask younger DS to take out the trash for whatever reason, I get the "it's Brother's job" response. I originally implemented these chores to keep things simplified around here, but I sometimes regret having done it. I think it's weird that they're both willing to help out with just about anything else, except for "Brother's job."

When I see something that needs to be done, I just do it, even if it's not my job. I wonder sometimes if my parents had it right about this one thing.
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#94 of 119 Old 03-24-2009, 02:51 PM
 
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I agree with this so much. My kids already have or will have by 13 the freedoms to do all the things that you son can't, OP, and it's because that's what we feel is best for them. I am not about to alter my parenting (and my core values -- which include being 100% anti-censorship) in order to make other, stricter parents have an easier time parenting in a way that I find completely objectionable.

I hope that you will reconsider how little privacy you are allowing your son, and how this may impact him as he ages -- you are underestimating things if you think the worst ramifications this will have is that he watches a bunch of R-rated movies as soon as he turns 17.
This.

At 13, I believe that a kid has to have developed a basic sense of self and a basic sense of responsibility--and in order to develop that, they have to have the ability to make decisions as to what is right and wrong for them to do.

You really don't know, at 13, how much longer you are going to have true influence over them. At 14, I sought out and considered going to a boarding honors high school (my state has a boarding public high school for honors students), even though I ultimately decided that it wasn't the right choice for me. My husband basically moved out of his parents house at 15, to go to his state's honors high school. With the addition of associated summer activities, he really never lived under their roof for more than a month at a time again.
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#95 of 119 Old 03-24-2009, 03:09 PM
 
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On a tangent....

One thing I've noticed about lots of people that I work with and even my DH sometimes....they have a "it's not my job" attitude. My parents never made me do any chores. They just asked me to help and I did. I often grumbled, but I still helped.
This is interesting. DH used to worry about ds1 not getting tings done, because he didn't have chores. DH had chores, and he's pretty self-motivated, and gets things done around here. OTOH...I never had chores, and I always got things done at home, as well. My parents operated on the basis of asking for, and receiving help, not on a set list of chores.

I have given ds1 several chores, but we've assigned those more to ensure that he learns how to do them. I'm somewhat horrified at how many adults can't clean a bathroom, scrub a toilet or vacuum, yk? DS1 has been on bathrooms on alternating weekends for about a month and a half (he's done them 3 or 4 times) and he's getting much better at seeing what needs to be done. I'm honestly more concerned that he learn that, than I am that he "does his chores".

I don't worry much about him pulling his own weight, because he's always helped out. He used to come with me to the grocery store, and he'd carry a bag all the way home, even when he was only 5 or 6. He helps out with his siblings when necessary. Last night, my bread machine beeped at me, and I was washing dishes, so I got ds1 to take the dough out, remove the paddle and re-shape the loaf. That's not a big thing, but I like knowing he'll help if I need him to.

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When I see something that needs to be done, I just do it, even if it's not my job. I wonder sometimes if my parents had it right about this one thing.

I'm mostly like that, too. There are a few things I'll dodge for a while, if I can, but it's more because I really hate doing them. I don't tend to do ds1's trash and recycling chores, but that's mostly because I'm home with the kids, and taking them down to the dumpster 2-3 times becomes a half-day task. Normally, if I notice that the garbage needs to go out, it's when I'm in the middle of something, so I don't really have time to take the kids on errands.

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#96 of 119 Old 03-24-2009, 07:32 PM
 
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I'm not answering for Mtiger...
On a tangent....

One thing I've noticed about lots of people that I work with and even my DH sometimes....they have a "it's not my job" attitude. My parents never made me do any chores. They just asked me to help and I did. I often grumbled, but I still helped. Seriously....my kids each have ONE regular chore that has to be done daily. DS1 has to take out the trash and recycling. DS2 has to unload the dishwasher. Everything else is on a per request basis or I pay them for it (washing the car, cutting the grass, shoveling snow).

I've noticed that if I ask my older DS to do the dishes or ask younger DS to take out the trash for whatever reason, I get the "it's Brother's job" response. I originally implemented these chores to keep things simplified around here, but I sometimes regret having done it. I think it's weird that they're both willing to help out with just about anything else, except for "Brother's job."

When I see something that needs to be done, I just do it, even if it's not my job. I wonder sometimes if my parents had it right about this one thing.
Honestly, I have found this to be so true. Having let go of the assigned chores, my kids are more reasonable and willing to help when I just ask for the help when it's needed. We had DD assigned to unloading the dishwasher. Well, 2 days a week she doesn't get home unitl 8pm. It makes no sense to have that wait because it's "her job". DS's do kitcehn stuff those nights.
On the school thing, I get it about importance but my kids choose to be in a school they picked out so inherent in that choice is the agreeing to do what's asked of them. I'm happy to homeschool and let them guide the curriculum. They love the community and travel opportunities of the school they are in.
Anyway. I think I'll do away with the chores list.
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#97 of 119 Old 03-24-2009, 10:31 PM
 
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I love this post and aspire to parent my kids in the same way. I have a question though. You have few hard and fast rules...the ones you list make total sense to me. How do you handle when your kids blow off their responsibilities? Whether it's not unloading the dishwasher or choosing to not do homework, turn in assignments, what have you? Leaving piles of their cr*p all over the house?
I do not mean this in a snarky way. As I said, I love how you describe your parenting. I feel like I tend to micromanage my kids sometimes and I hate it. However, when I have left them to take responsibility, they totally blow it off and I am left with a messy house and teachers requesting meetings and conferences because my kids don't pull their weight.
I didn't take it in a snarky way.

We don't really have assigned chores. Pretty much, we all know what needs to be done, and we pull together, picking up slack as needed. Both of the kids can cook, do laundry, etc. and do as needed. Not every day, but depending on their schedule and mine. The only thing that NEEDS to be done daily is feeding the animals & letting the hounds out - I take the morning as I'm the first one up. Letting them out during the day and feeding them at night depends on who's home when.

When they were much younger, it pretty much came down to "we can work together and have time for all three of us to do something fun, or you can leave it to me and there won't be much time for fun at all."

As for homework, etc... I keep an eye on their online grade books, and if I see something of concern I suggest that the relevant child check it as well. They can see the effect a zero has on their grade as well as I can - and they don't like it much. While I am always available to help, I'm relatively hands off otherwise.
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#98 of 119 Old 03-24-2009, 10:48 PM
 
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I've been around the parenting cicuit. I've done the big forums, the private forums, the coop schools and the homeschool groups, and one thing that really distresses me is this: When it comes to teens, all of our gentle, intuitive, child-led philosophies seem to fly out the window. It makes me wonder if we were ever genuine in the first place, or if we were only in it while our kids were more moldable. More compliant. When our tots are defiant, we listen to their needs. We respect their individuality and adjust to it. But when our teens behave the same way, they're treated with mockery and contempt, and it makes me wonder if the whole idea of respecting our children is a put-on that we can only stomach when we know our kids will be dependent on us for the foreseeable future. It's all a ruse then, isn't it?
This is FANTASTIC! Thank you so very much.

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#99 of 119 Old 03-25-2009, 12:12 AM
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Honestly, I have found this to be so true. Having let go of the assigned chores, my kids are more reasonable and willing to help when I just ask for the help when it's needed. We had DD assigned to unloading the dishwasher. Well, 2 days a week she doesn't get home unitl 8pm. It makes no sense to have that wait because it's "her job". DS's do kitcehn stuff those nights.
I've never thought of it in these terms before, but yeah, this has been so true for us. The times when I've tried to implement specific chores have always gone badly - and it's usually been pretty minor stuff, like feeding the pets once a day. It used to really irk me, but in retrospect I think I was interfering with the flow of our days, so it didn't work. When I keep the focus on both of us doing what needs to be done, things go more smoothly... when I focus on how much more often I'm doing Chore X than Rain is, I feel put-upon and grouchy...

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#100 of 119 Old 03-25-2009, 01:38 PM
 
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I grew up in a very liberal, permissive household and I got into all sorts of trouble as a teenager - not trouble with my parents, of course, because they felt I was old enough to make my own mistakes and pay the consequences.

But I wasn't really. I wasn't old enough at 16 to understand that getting drunk and passing out at some party would result in waking up wondering if a strange guy had sex with you while you were unconscious and how horrible that moment would feel.

There were times I felt that my parents didn't even really care about me. Some of my friends had to be home by midnight - I had no curfew. Didn't they care if I made it home at night?

I love my parents and I know they were doing what they thought was right but it wasn't right for me. I think I would have been a lot happier with some rules.

I have rules for my kids, including my teen, and they are in place to help her, not punish her. Sometimes she is angry when I won't let her do something, but that's okay. It would be impossible for a child to go through life never being mad at their parent.
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#101 of 119 Old 03-25-2009, 01:47 PM
 
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I grew up in a very liberal, permissive household and I got into all sorts of trouble as a teenager - not trouble with my parents, of course, because they felt I was old enough to make my own mistakes and pay the consequences.

But I wasn't really. I wasn't old enough at 16 to understand that getting drunk and passing out at some party would result in waking up wondering if a strange guy had sex with you while you were unconscious and how horrible that moment would feel.

There were times I felt that my parents didn't even really care about me. Some of my friends had to be home by midnight - I had no curfew. Didn't they care if I made it home at night?

I love my parents and I know they were doing what they thought was right but it wasn't right for me. I think I would have been a lot happier with some rules.

I have rules for my kids, including my teen, and they are in place to help her, not punish her. Sometimes she is angry when I won't let her do something, but that's okay. It would be impossible for a child to go through life never being mad at their parent.
I've heard this. I would like to think that I can be deeply involved in my child's well-being and life without becoming overly authoritarian. Like everything try and find balance.

Not to mention a 16 year old could find themselves in a similarly scary situation after lying to her parents about sleeping at Suzy's house.
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#102 of 119 Old 03-25-2009, 02:01 PM
 
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The more I think about it the more I am convinced it is not the rules (or lack of them per se) that is important - it is the intent, and relationships.

You may think it is Ok for most 13 year olds to watch Saw - I may not.

Last time I checked there was no rule book on who is right in these situations(and if you have one, can you loan it to me, please!?!)

What I do think matter is that you parent intentionally.

EX: let child watch saw because you genuinely believe a 13 year is capable of handling it, watch it with them, ask them about it, help them determine if this is something they find entertaining versus let them watch it because you can't be botherred parenting them

ex: do not let child watch saw. Explain reasons as much as necessary. Let them know you love them, you get that they do not agree with you, but the decision is coming from a place of concern. Offer alternatives to Saw. Talk about when and under what circumstances Saw might be allowed. versus do not let the watch Saw "because it is my house and I said so". Come off as controlling.

I think if adult children understand that parents had their best intentions growing up and made informed decsions to the best of ability, even if they made mistakes, they will forgive us
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#103 of 119 Old 03-25-2009, 03:28 PM
 
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I grew up in a very liberal, permissive household and I got into all sorts of trouble as a teenager - not trouble with my parents, of course, because they felt I was old enough to make my own mistakes and pay the consequences.

But I wasn't really. I wasn't old enough at 16 to understand that getting drunk and passing out at some party would result in waking up wondering if a strange guy had sex with you while you were unconscious and how horrible that moment would feel.
However, let's not forget that not ALL teens feel that getting drunk (let alone to the point of passing out) is a great or fun thing to do. Neither of my two - or their friends (who range in age from 14 - 19) - drink. Both of mine know that, if they want a glass of wine or beer or whatever, I will allow them to have it. At home. Not their friends, though. That's up to their parents. The only time either of them have was when A (15 at the time, I think) had a half glass of champagne on New Year's Eve.

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There were times I felt that my parents didn't even really care about me. Some of my friends had to be home by midnight - I had no curfew. Didn't they care if I made it home at night?
Mine don't have a curfew. Doesn't mean I don't care. What it does mean is that it depends on the particular situation. Who they're going with, how they're getting there/back, where they're going. And whether or not it's a school night. We usually come up with a mutually acceptable time - and a call is expected if they're not going to be home by then. But ya know.... I offer the same courtesy. If I'm going out, I let them know when I plan to be home, and I call if I'm going to be late.

They also know that they can call, regardless of the time, if they need me to come get them. So if one of their friends DOES make a foolish choice, they can get home safely - and I"ll take any others who need a ride.

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I love my parents and I know they were doing what they thought was right but it wasn't right for me. I think I would have been a lot happier with some rules.
And that's the key - it depends on the individual kid and the parents in question.
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#104 of 119 Old 03-25-2009, 03:36 PM
 
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This is such a great discussion. It's really made me think very concretely about why we have certain "guidelines" in our house and why we are totally winging it sometimes.

I do think a lot depends upon the child. Our oldest totally resists any type of structure, but is also occasionally lacking in motivation and focus. So we have to work on providing her with a structure that helps her be motivated and focus on the things she wants to do (like being good at the violin) and needs to do (like keeping a bare minimum of cleanliness in her room so that the ants don't over run it, the dog doesn't eat food off her left over plates and puke on her bed, that sort of thing).

My youngest is OVERLY focused and is very hung up on details. A very high stress child. Helping her work and live within a *less* structured life has been something of a goal for us. I'm talking a child who, in 2nd grade, would spend 3 hours, crying, on her homework--not because her teacher assigned a bunch of homework, not because we made her or had any expectations, but because she wanted to write it all PERFECTLY without ANY eraser marks or mistakes or sloppiness. As opposed to my older child who would turn a crumpled, ripped, stained paper with illegible writing in (she now types most of her homework). It's been a learning experience for all of us.

After reading these posts, I see where my husband and I are "stricter" than some parents, but not as strict as others. Basically, we work on the assumption that our kids are reasonable and trustworthy. We can work on this because they have shown us that they are. I know not everyone is this lucky with their family life, and I am very aware and appreciative of our kids. I have a wonderful friend who has a daughter who is hell bent on self destructing; I know we are lucky.

We don't have any hard and fast rules for our kids, just like we don't have any hard and fast rules in our marriage. Basically, we're trying to work together to have a household that we all find safe and enjoyable. If the kids ask us to do something that seems out of the ordinary, if they disagree with us, or if there is some surliness that exceeds what we feel is acceptable, we'll talk about it. Typically either we aren't getting something, or the kid is being a kid (developmentally) and not really thinking about the family unit as a whole, something like that. We just discuss what is going on, and then try to come to a mutually acceptable conclusion.

Example--DD#1, who is smart as heck, got a D last semester in math (this after years of As in math). She wasn't grounded necessarily, but she did have to replace some free time with some extra math study time. We discussed her grade, what her problems in the class were, and how she could address this. We suggested the extra study time, and she agreed it could be helpful. It was (though frankly, not to the point *I* would like). Our goal wasn't so much to punish as it was to help her evaluate how to manage her time, what her strengths and weaknesses were, and how she could improve her work and understanding in this class. She knows we continue to monitor her grades online. Frankly, she likes to ask "Did you see me ace that test? Is it showing I missed any assignments?" She doesn't see it as controlling so much as us being involved and helping her.

Am I contributing anything to this discussion, or just rambling? I don't know. I do know that, even though I disagree with some of the opinions and parenting styles that have been discussed, it has been nice to see what works for others. I appreciate being forced to evaluate why I am uncomfortable with Dar's daughter watching "Rocky Horror Picture Show" at age 7, but not at all uncomfortable with my children watching "Monty Python's Holy Grail" at that age, for example. Or why I am comfortable with NOT checking my oldest daughter's email, but also have not yet approving a facebook account. I think that sometimes my gut responses are not always right, because they are based on culture as well as my own upbringing; and sometimes I do not want my biases, ingrained indoctrinations and personal likes/dislikes to guide what I do in my family. The constant reevaluation and new perspectives are great. I appreciate everyone's input and discussion.
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#105 of 119 Old 03-25-2009, 03:49 PM
 
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Just wanted to add, Dar, that I'm not picking on you or thinking you are a bad parent. Just using your post as an example. As in:

Me reading Dar's post and thinking in my head: "OMG, she let a 7 year old watch Rocky Horror?! WTF, that is waay too adult and mature."

And then "She seems like such a good parent, I know she wouldn't intentionally screw up her kid, why would she do such a thing?"

And then "Well, is it really that bad? Is it worse than Disney?"

And then "I guess it's probably not worse than "The Holy Grail."

And then "Why did I have such a bad reaction to the thought of Rocky Horror?"

And then "Is it because there is so much more overt, crazy sex? Why do I not mind them watching stuff like "Lord of the Rings" with its violence, or some stupid disney movie with its sexism and consumerism, but I object to "Rocky Horror"? Is it because I'm going along with what's acceptable in society at large, or do I really feel this way? Or is it because I *LIKE* "the Holy Grail" and "Lord of the Rings" and I don't really want to watch "Rocky Horror" over and over again? Am I just rationalizing what I'll let my kids watch, based on what *I* want to watch?"

That's what I mean, when I say that Dar's post made me think.

And I suppose the rest of my other post could be shortened to say: We assume our kids respect and trust us and that they want a safe and happy place to live, and we treat them the same way. We all talk. We all honestly enjoy and respect each other. We try to make parenting/family decisions based on this.

I blabber too much. Really, I'm just trying to avoid the laundry. I hate the laundry.
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#106 of 119 Old 03-25-2009, 04:14 PM
 
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Mine don't have a curfew. Doesn't mean I don't care.
I never suggested that you didn't care. I was only relating how I felt as a teenager. (which was a long time ago before there were cell phones and you could just call mom and dad if you wanted to come home).

Anyway, I was just trying to offer a different perspective. My parents thought they were doing the right thing by giving me space and privacy and letting me do my own thing but I was really overwhelmed and even scared sometimes. I didn't tell my parents about these feelings because I didn't want to let them down when they thought I was so mature. And since I had some friends whose parents were super strict, I felt ungrateful that I didn't love the freedom I had.

I think my opinion and experiences are valid, even if they aren't the same as everyone else's here.
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#107 of 119 Old 03-25-2009, 04:17 PM
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I grew up in a very liberal, permissive household and I got into all sorts of trouble as a teenager - not trouble with my parents, of course, because they felt I was old enough to make my own mistakes and pay the consequences.

But I wasn't really. I wasn't old enough at 16 to understand that getting drunk and passing out at some party would result in waking up wondering if a strange guy had sex with you while you were unconscious and how horrible that moment would feel.

There were times I felt that my parents didn't even really care about me. Some of my friends had to be home by midnight - I had no curfew. Didn't they care if I made it home at night?

I love my parents and I know they were doing what they thought was right but it wasn't right for me. I think I would have been a lot happier with some rules.

I have rules for my kids, including my teen, and they are in place to help her, not punish her. Sometimes she is angry when I won't let her do something, but that's okay. It would be impossible for a child to go through life never being mad at their parent.
I also grew up with liberal, permissive parents. I know that kids don't come with instructions and that different people with differing ideologies will approach parenting completely....well.....different. It's taken me a long time to forgive my parents for what I consider to be benign neglect and self-centeredness, but we still aren't close.

My parents were very hung up on "natural consequences" and "independence." Apparently, my mom left me alone for short periods of time starting at age four, which I find appalling. I never got into any trouble as a teen; mostly because I was just lucky. I drank and had sex. But I'm also not a reckless person, so I always used protection and never drank and drove or anything. Because I didn't have much in the way of support at home and was picked on at school, I was always looking for approval and pretty much kept my nose clean.

My parents, though, were also not involved in my life at all past the age of 12 or so. We never did "family" things. They were total homebodies that only watched TV and read, didn't like board games or anything. They never had company over.

I was and am somewhat extroverted, and was always out of the house. What ended up happening was that I married a complete loser when I was 18 and moved halfway across the country. The loser and I got divorced a short while later, but I never moved back home. I feel closer to my friends than I do to my family.

So I guess that for me, regulation of my kids is not so important as connection. I think that when kids have a good connection with their parents, and their parents are good people (as I think I am) and good role models, then they will naturally tend to do the right thing.
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#108 of 119 Old 03-25-2009, 04:36 PM
 
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lorijds I just want to say that I loved your posts and found it to be perfect lunchtime reading ... sorry about the laundry

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#109 of 119 Old 03-25-2009, 05:02 PM
 
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I never suggested that you didn't care. I was only relating how I felt as a teenager. (which was a long time ago before there were cell phones and you could just call mom and dad if you wanted to come home).
LOL I grew up long before cell phones. I don't recall ever being somewhere (wait - there was the golf course situation.....) where I could not get to a phone (public or home) to call my folks to come get me.

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I think my opinion and experiences are valid, even if they aren't the same as everyone else's here.
Didn't say it wasn't. I can understand that you may have felt your parents didn't care by not giving you a curfew. There are ways to avoid that feeling, which is what I was describing.
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#110 of 119 Old 03-25-2009, 06:07 PM
 
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However, let's not forget that not ALL teens feel that getting drunk (let alone to the point of passing out) is a great or fun thing to do. Neither of my two - or their friends (who range in age from 14 - 19) - drink. Both of mine know that, if they want a glass of wine or beer or whatever, I will allow them to have it. At home. Not their friends, though. That's up to their parents. The only time either of them have was when A (15 at the time, I think) had a half glass of champagne on New Year's Eve.



Mine don't have a curfew. Doesn't mean I don't care. What it does mean is that it depends on the particular situation. Who they're going with, how they're getting there/back, where they're going. And whether or not it's a school night. We usually come up with a mutually acceptable time - and a call is expected if they're not going to be home by then. But ya know.... I offer the same courtesy. If I'm going out, I let them know when I plan to be home, and I call if I'm going to be late.

They also know that they can call, regardless of the time, if they need me to come get them. So if one of their friends DOES make a foolish choice, they can get home safely - and I"ll take any others who need a ride.



And that's the key - it depends on the individual kid and the parents in question.
That's very much how I was raised -- given lots of freedom, no curfew (just situation-specific, mutually-agreed-upon times to be home), calling if I was going to be late, having a glass of wine at dinner (or a beer), etc. It was absolutely ideal, and I am so pleased to see my kids growing with the kind of independence and maturity that make me think they will handle the same style of parenting equally well. Actually, I think most kids who are given freedom and treated with respect from the start WILL respond well to increased freedom and responsibility as teens. IME, it's the kids who are raised in strict households who rebel in dangerous ways. When you're raised with freedom and responsibility, you appreciate what you have and you don't try to screw it up!

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#111 of 119 Old 03-25-2009, 06:20 PM
 
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Am I just rationalizing what I'll let my kids watch, based on what *I* want to watch?"
There's a pretty long list of stuff Lina will only be allowed to watch with dh while I'm well away from the house. Or she'll have to tell me where to close my eyes.
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#112 of 119 Old 03-25-2009, 06:32 PM
 
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Just wanted to add, Dar, that I'm not picking on you or thinking you are a bad parent. Just using your post as an example. As in:

Me reading Dar's post and thinking in my head: "OMG, she let a 7 year old watch Rocky Horror?! WTF, that is waay too adult and mature."

And then "She seems like such a good parent, I know she wouldn't intentionally screw up her kid, why would she do such a thing?"

And then "Well, is it really that bad? Is it worse than Disney?"

And then "I guess it's probably not worse than "The Holy Grail."

And then "Why did I have such a bad reaction to the thought of Rocky Horror?"

And then "Is it because there is so much more overt, crazy sex? Why do I not mind them watching stuff like "Lord of the Rings" with its violence, or some stupid disney movie with its sexism and consumerism, but I object to "Rocky Horror"? Is it because I'm going along with what's acceptable in society at large, or do I really feel this way? Or is it because I *LIKE* "the Holy Grail" and "Lord of the Rings" and I don't really want to watch "Rocky Horror" over and over again? Am I just rationalizing what I'll let my kids watch, based on what *I* want to watch?"

That's what I mean, when I say that Dar's post made me think.

And I suppose the rest of my other post could be shortened to say: We assume our kids respect and trust us and that they want a safe and happy place to live, and we treat them the same way. We all talk. We all honestly enjoy and respect each other. We try to make parenting/family decisions based on this.

I blabber too much. Really, I'm just trying to avoid the laundry. I hate the laundry.
I love how you think, it's a lot like I do.

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#113 of 119 Old 03-25-2009, 06:50 PM
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I like how both of you think!

On the other hand, when Rain was 7 she was completely traumatized by a PG-13 movie, and she still clearly remembers this epsiode as one of my biggest screw-ups. She wanted to rent Gorillas in the Mist from the library, and I thought it would be cool... great story about a woman scientist learning about gorillas, sort of adventurous but uplifting... yup, let's get it. All goes well until the end of the movie, when a shadowy figure with a mackete creeps into Dian Fossey's tent as she sleeps. Rain starts to panic - "I don't like this? Is he going to kill her? I don't want him to kill her?" I reassure her - nope, it'll be fine, I just saw her interviewed the other day so I know she's alive, someone is probably going to rescue her soon... and so on. She's nervously watching and waiting, and then the hand chops down and the scene ends. Real panic, and I'm really confised but saying no, no, it's a dream or something, I *know* she doesn't die... cut to the funeral. Rain is sobbing...

I run to the internet and realize that I have confused Jane Goodall, who worked with chimps and is very much alive, with Diane Fossey, who worked with gorillas and... isn't. Oops. Yup, big oops. I felt so bad...

But Rocky Horror was all camp and singing and fun dance moves, and knowing when to hold up your lighter and when to throw what... and she watched a bunch of Monty Python at that age too... just fun stuff.

Oh, and she also watched the first 10 minutes of The Last Emperor at that age (also PG-13) while being babysat by a homeschooling family... and ran off shrieking (not literally, but, you know). The mom was very apologetic.. she thought it would be a good way for all the kids to learn some history... but the movie opens with a guy cutting his wrists...

I'm rambling on, clearly...

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#114 of 119 Old 03-25-2009, 07:04 PM
 
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My mom took me to see Gorillas in the Mist when I was (I can't remember my exact age, but it was at the Aloha theatre, and we lived in Aloha from when I was 11-18) around 11-13. It seriously traumatized me and I still had nightmares about it into my early 20's.

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#115 of 119 Old 03-25-2009, 07:10 PM
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I can't remember my exact age, but it was at the Aloha theatre, and we lived in Aloha from when I was 11-18
Where is Aloha?
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#116 of 119 Old 03-25-2009, 07:16 PM
 
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Where is Aloha?
Michigan, Oregon, Washington, or Louisiana.

, that suburb out by Beaverton.
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#117 of 119 Old 03-25-2009, 07:18 PM
 
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Michigan, Oregon, Washington, or Louisiana.


Oregon.

and in Oregon, it's pronounced ah-lo-wa

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#118 of 119 Old 03-25-2009, 08:17 PM
 
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And then "Is it because there is so much more overt, crazy sex? Why do I not mind them watching stuff like "Lord of the Rings" with its violence, or some stupid disney movie with its sexism and consumerism, but I object to "Rocky Horror"? Is it because I'm going along with what's acceptable in society at large, or do I really feel this way? Or is it because I *LIKE* "the Holy Grail" and "Lord of the Rings" and I don't really want to watch "Rocky Horror" over and over again? Am I just rationalizing what I'll let my kids watch, based on what *I* want to watch?"
This part kind of makes me laugh. I could probably stomach Rocky Horror Picture Show one or two more times in my life (I've seen it twice), but no more than that. It's just not my thing at all. OTOH, I have no problem telling ds1 that "sure - if it won't bother you, you can watch [fill in blank] at your friend's house, but you're not watching it here...at least not when I'm home" (which is pretty much always). DH has even less stomach for gore than I do, I think, so ds1 is out of luck. I also don't want him bringing any really freaky looking video cases into our house, because I don't want to have to explain them to dd and ds2. So...ds1 is definitely limited by what I want to watch, as are dd and ds2 (to a lesser degree, because I can tune out things I consider to be inane more easily than I can tune out things I consider freaky or gross)...but I'm very upfront about why they can't watch them.

DH and I even do that. I have movies that I only put on after dh has gone to bed or whatever, because he doesn't like them that much (I'm a huge fan of 80s action films - pretty much all of them - and dh doesn't like them as much as I do). He only puts on certain music if I'm not around. I don't tell him he can't listen to such-and-such, but he knows I don't like it, so he doesn't play it, yk?

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#119 of 119 Old 03-25-2009, 11:59 PM
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Michigan, Oregon, Washington, or Louisiana.

, that suburb out by Beaverton.
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Oregon.

and in Oregon, it's pronounced ah-lo-wa
Oh.

I thought you were talking about the Aloha Theater in Hawaii, which is on the Big Island. But there's no town called Aloha there.
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