Forgot what it's like - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 07-14-2009, 02:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Man, my oldest boy is hitting puberty. I know I was crazy at his age and now when he visits I forget what it was like. I get po'd at him for things that I really shouldn't. He's in that place between being a boy and being a man and I'm impatient with him all the time. My dad wasn't a great role model for being a dad, and I think I'm too much like him when it comes to raising my own kids.

Anybody got any advice? How do I help this kid through figuring out what things are about?

I have never been great at expresing myself and my feelings and I think I don't show him the best way to be around women.
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#2 of 6 Old 07-30-2009, 12:20 AM
 
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Daddyray, good for you for asking questions and being here and trying to become an even better father for your children. I don't have any great advice, but it strikes me that you might just start talking to your son and telling him sort of what you've said here: that you want to do better, that you want to help, that you love him dearly, that you didn't have a great role model and you'd like to make it different for him. You can apologize for being impatient and tell him you're working on it. That alone would give him a great model of how to try to start working on improving oneself.

You could check out some books about fathering. I'm not sure of any titles, although one was recommended in another thread called, "Father, The Family Protector." you might also check out the Teens forum in the Parenting-Ages and Stages area of this website. Maybe you could find advice there. A general patenting book that I really found helpful is called Unconditional Parenting. It's very different from typical thought, but I really loved the ideas. Also, Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves by Naomi Aldort was really good and I recognized a lot of bad behavior that my parents/grandparents had used with me in her descriptions and I finally was able to understand why interactions with them felt so bad to me as a child.

It's never too late to change/improve your relationship with your children. They want more than anything to connect with you and know that you love and accept them. Think about how you wish it could have been with your dad, and how you want to be with your son and let that guide you. You'll do great, you obviously care and are trying (I've noticed some other of your posts in other threads). Spend as much time as you can with him, respect who he is, appreciate and celebrate the unique gift that he is!

I hope any of this helps, I just was moved by your earnestness and openness and wanted to respond. Good luck!
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#3 of 6 Old 07-30-2009, 11:27 AM
 
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Wish I had something to suggest, Daddyray, but I got no experience raising kids that old. Good luck to you, and maybe try the Preteens and Teens forum in the Ages and Stages area.

Dad to DD 9/2008
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#4 of 6 Old 08-18-2009, 09:36 PM
 
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I am reading How to Negotiate with Kids (even when you think you shouldn't). It's a really good book!

"To err is human, to forgive, canine." - Unknown
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#5 of 6 Old 09-05-2009, 02:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the book suggestions and, angelandmisha, thanks for telling me just to tell him what I'd written. It actually helped some. I'm still not as patient as I'd like to be, but now he knows it's okay to call me on it.
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#6 of 6 Old 09-05-2009, 03:01 AM
 
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I think it's SO important to be real with our kids. To tell them how you feel and how that creates our actions. It's huge for them to see us own our behavior and to explain ourselves - even when we act poorly....I think ESPECIALLY when we act poorly.

The times that my oldest has really pushed my buttons and I've yelled at her...I've come back and apologized. I've told her that it felt bad to me to be angry like that and I know I hurt her feelings when I yelled. I explain why I yelled (I have a headache and don't feel well and got frustrated....or I didn't have enough time and I was rushed.... At this point, she has said something really insightful like "we shouldn't do that with each other" or "I'm sorry I did _____ and you got frustrated." When she offers up something like that, it's such an opportunity for me to ask "how can we do this better next time?" and then the two of us can offer some ideas. It empowers kids to be able to make suggestions and when we are open to listening to their suggestions, it makes us trustworthy and approachable to them - something we want our kids to be able to do as kids, as teens, and as adults too.

"To err is human, to forgive, canine." - Unknown
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