I don't discipline my kids! - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 74 Old 11-13-2006, 08:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Is there anything wrong with giving my DC freedom and almost no rules(except safety)?. Some people look at me like my kids are out of control...but i like them to experience things and not hold them back. I never even raise my voice to my DC, even when they do things that most parents would scream about.

Life is too short to spend pissed and yelling at your kids, right?
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#2 of 74 Old 11-13-2006, 08:45 PM
 
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That's fine and dandy and all, but IMO children need to be disciplined. You don't have to yell, spank, or beat, but they need to know what their boundries are. Parents are to guide them to make the correct choices. There was a study out years ago with teenage children, and most of them said they wished that their parents were more strict as in disciplining them. But then again, it's only MO, and each parent can do whatever they feel they have to do, but I have seen children that have become adults who were never disciplined, and most are in jail or have crappy lives because they were never taught the correct choices and were allowed to do whatever they wanted because they knew they would never get in trouble. But the same can happen to children who were disciplined, but maybe were beat and yelled at. I have yet to see children who have crappy lives when their parents disciplined with love...not that it can't happened though.

And I have a friend now who does not discipline her children, and I can't stand to be around them. They hit other children, talk back to her, yell at her, kick her & other children, and she just sits there with a stupid fake grin on her face and just ignores them. Doesn't do one thing, but yet children are crying because they got hurt by these kids. I have limit myself being around her, and I know other people have too because of her children.

Just my .02. You do whatever.
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#3 of 74 Old 11-13-2006, 08:48 PM
 
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That's fine and dandy and all, but IMO children need to be disciplined. You don't have to yell, spank, or beat, but they need to know what their boundries are. Parents are to guide them to make the correct choices. There was a study out years ago with teenage children, and most of them said they wished that their parents were more strict as in disciplining them. But then again, it's only MO, and each parent can do whatever they feel they have to do, but I have seen children that have become adults who were never disciplined, and most are in jail or have crappy lives because they were never taught the correct choices and were allowed to do whatever they wanted because they knew they would never get in trouble. But the same can happen to children who were disciplined, but maybe were beat and yelled at. I have yet to see children who have crappy lives when their parents disciplined with love...not that it can't happened though.

And I have a friend now who does not discipline her children, and I can't stand to be around them. They hit other children, talk back to her, yell at her, kick her & other children, and she just sits there with a stupid fake grin on her face and just ignores them. Doesn't do one thing, but yet children are crying because they got hurt by these kids. I have limit myself being around her, and I know other people have too because of her children.

Just my .02. You do whatever.
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#4 of 74 Old 11-13-2006, 08:52 PM
 
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You might be interested into looking into "TCS" (taking children seriously).

While I strongly believe in some aspects of the child "raising" style, I don't think I could make it work for me.

 

 

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#5 of 74 Old 11-13-2006, 08:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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i lead by example...my kids are VERY gentle souls. They would not put their hands on another persons body. Thats what kind of mother i am.
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#6 of 74 Old 11-13-2006, 08:57 PM
 
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I see discipline as "loving guidance." That's what I do...no more, no less.

~Marie : Mom to DS(11), DS(10), DD(8), DD(4), DD(2), & Happily Married to DH 12 yrs.!
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#7 of 74 Old 11-13-2006, 09:14 PM
 
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I see discipline as "loving guidance." That's what I do...no more, no less.
Exactly
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They would not put their hands on another persons body.
Be carefull with blaket statements like this... you cannot always controll what a child might do even one where the example has been ideal. (and good for you for showing the example ) but sometimes children can aggresstive ovely touchy ect despite the best enviroment. My DD has SID and things like touching sometimes inappropiatly isa huge issue for us and not something we can just leave alone. We guide though we don't punish. Discipline does NOT equal punishment.

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#8 of 74 Old 11-13-2006, 09:25 PM
 
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Is there anything wrong with giving my DC freedom and almost no rules(except safety)?. Some people look at me like my kids are out of control...but i like them to experience things and not hold them back. I never even raise my voice to my DC, even when they do things that most parents would scream about.

Life is too short to spend pissed and yelling at your kids, right?
well, I guess it depends. It sounds like you are noticing that other people seem bothered by your children's behavior. Can you pinpoint what they are doing that is perhaps innappropriate? Can you guide them toward different behavior in these situations?

I'm thinking that while it is wonderful to allow your children to have freedom and "not hold back" it is important to realize that as they grow they will be interacting with others more and more. It will help them to be able to "read" situations and act appropriately, but you have to decide how you want to handle this.
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#9 of 74 Old 11-13-2006, 10:03 PM
 
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i lead by example...my kids are VERY gentle souls. They would not put their hands on another persons body. Thats what kind of mother i am.

I also lead by example. I would never hit or scream at DC. But to imply that parents of kids who have/had hit, kicked, bit, etc are bad parents probably isn't a good idea. Kids need guidance, boundries and discipline. Children can experience things fully without being "out of control".

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#10 of 74 Old 11-13-2006, 11:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I also lead by example. I would never hit or scream at DC. But to imply that parents of kids who have/had hit, kicked, bit, etc are bad parents probably isn't a good idea. Kids need guidance, boundries and discipline. Children can experience things fully without being "out of control".

wow...i didn't know that was what i was implying...thanks for letting me know.

just remember that i am not the one flaming here. i just asked a question. and let me tell you...my kids are not out of control. they are spirited!
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#11 of 74 Old 11-13-2006, 11:14 PM
 
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Is there anything wrong with giving my DC freedom and almost no rules(except safety)?. Some people look at me like my kids are out of control...but i like them to experience things and not hold them back.
Discipline means to teach. You are disciplining them if they are learning (and of course all kids learn all the time from their parents). What you are saying is that you don't have any rules in your house. The kids can do what they want.

You ask is there anything wrong with not giving a child boundaries/rules. My opinion is that children without boundaries and rules to follow eventually will become teenagers without rules. Add attitude and hormones to that and it seems that it would spell disaster when puberty hits. As kids grow up and their world expands, there are more and more external influences. We lose the upper hand of being the biggest influence in their lives, or at least we become a lot less of an influence. Without them learning that life has rules and boundaries, they won't know where the line is and won't care if they cross it. You can have rules and boundaries and still let your child have independence and room to discover on their own. I think it's actually THE number one purpose for parents... to teach children how to participate in a society while maintaining their individuality and happiness.

You said it yourself... some people think your kids are out of control. SOMETHING else is influencing them to act that way. I doubt anybody ever says that YOU seem out of control, so their are learning to act out of control somewhere. TV maybe?

You know the best way to raise your children, but you asked the question, so I gave my opinion.
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#12 of 74 Old 11-13-2006, 11:18 PM
 
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I think children need to know boundries. Every house had different rules and there are certain "rules" you have to follow to be a citizen and have a trouble free life. So in not giving your kids boundries you are not preparing them. If they are in public or classroom school they get pleanty of rules and can't do what they want so they would get that there but at home they should respect you as a mother and have family chores and such and not let them run wild while you do all the clean up.

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#13 of 74 Old 11-13-2006, 11:26 PM
 
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Kids don't have to "learn" to act out of control. Babies are born expecting the Stone Age. They don't get it. This world isn't set up that kids can learn to negotiate it without guidance.

I don't understand what you mean by "no rules." We have a bare minimum of rules. No hitting. No throwing things at other people. No jerking the dog around by her leash... safety and respect issues. My two-year-old has no idea why it wouldn't be okay for her to color all over her brother's artwork with a crayon. She doesn't understand why she can't pour her milk into the dog's water bowl. She didn't "learn" those things from me, I don't pour MY milk into the dog's bowl or color on my 4yo's artwork, she does those things because she feels like it. If I don't redirect her, I'm not talking about punishment, how can she learn to NOT do those things?

I have a friend whose kids have "no rules" and I can't stand to be around them. She doesn't hit them or yell at them and they used to be very gentle with each other, but they are not nice kids. They are the most entitled kids I've ever met. They expect the world to bend to them because they've never had to bend. As they get older, she's having a lot of problems with them. They don't have respect for others because respect involves understanding that sometimes the needs of others are more important than yours-- the rules part. Good rules protect us from each other.

I know lots of parents that have rules, do not hit or yell at their children, and discipline without crushing their children's spirits. THere are lots of ways to do this. TCS is not for me, but it works for a lot of people. It isn't the free-for-all it appears to be at first glance. I'm really curious as to how "no rules" works.
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#14 of 74 Old 11-13-2006, 11:32 PM
 
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This is a tough issue. I do think that at some point, it is important to teach children some basic manners and cultural expectations for appropriate behavior in certain situations. The reason is not to curb their joy in life, but, rather, to give them confidence when the time comes to interact socially and professionally, so that they will know that they know what to do. For example, my parents took some effort to teach me in very concrete ways how to mingle at parties, shake hands, etc. They modeled it, of course, but they also explained tricky situations, like what to do when you shake hands with someone who does not know how to shake hands, what to do when you have a bore or a shy person at a party, that sort of thing.

At your older kids' age, they may start being able to perceive that others may shrink away from them, but not know why. Kids can pick up on nonverbal cues. So I would want to teach them how to approach things in a confident way, knowing what to do when others are rude, knowing how to make friends and so forth. Does that make sense? It can be taught in a kind, nurturing way, so that your kids see you as their adviser in such matters.

One thing I like about my stepmother, for example, is that she taught her son that when he went to dances with girls, that the girls might act shy and hang about against the wall, but that the girls really wanted to be asked to dance. She taught him how to do it, how to handle rejection, etc., etc., in a very concrete way. I wish someone had done that for me!

So I would not do much for two year old Maria, but Ryan might be ready for some super basic guidance. In a few years, as the complexity of the situations he faces increases, he will know that you are a great resource at how to make friends and so forth.
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#15 of 74 Old 11-13-2006, 11:34 PM
 
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Wow, that's really cool. Wanna come to my house and give me some pointers?
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#16 of 74 Old 11-13-2006, 11:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow, that's really cool. Wanna come to my house and give me some pointers?
i don't really get what you are saying...sarcastic?


I think when i said "no rules" i was meaning no punishment. Of course i give guidance and teach the basics about being a good human being. But sometimes my kids run around in stores (just for example), and i don't yell at them and make them stay by my side. Somepeople would smack their kids for that. but as long as i can see and hear both of my kids...i don't feel like staying by my side constanly is a nessesary rule.
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#17 of 74 Old 11-13-2006, 11:43 PM
 
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I also think it is really important to teach kids to respect another person's space (home, body), and that sometimes includes putting a limit on their behavior. For example, if your child is jumping on frogs, squishing them and laughing, it is up to you as his guide in life to stop the behavior and explain why you should not do that. If you have a great talk about it, and think he understands--but then 10 minutes later he is doing it again. That calls for a logical consequence--i.e. "you harmed the frogs, now we have to leave the park until you can show them you respect them".

Or if you child is running wild at someone's house or in the store, it is up to you as his mentor and guide in life to show him that he may be really disturbing others (hurting their ears, knocking them over, breaking things that belong to them). This may or may not include "disciplining" but is an important lesson for them to learn that they need to respect other people, so as not to grow into an obnoxious adult who only thinks of themselves, and never others. We all know grown ups like that, right?

I think that this is one of those myths about attachment parenting that people incorrectly believe (usually people who have a strong hatred for AP). Attachment parenting is not no discipline-my kid can do whatever he wants. In many ways it is the opposite of that. It is parenting with a strong connection and mentoring your child through life, helping them to be the best person they can be. To take a totally hands off approach to all discipline and guidance is similar to people who are very non-attached to their child and tend to resort to corporal punishment as the swiftest route to compliance to a child. It takes much more effort to constantly guide and set limits for our children than to either let them do whatever they want, or to do the opposite and smack them down and never listen to their feelings.

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#18 of 74 Old 11-13-2006, 11:44 PM
 
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i don't really get what you are saying...sarcastic?
: No, totally not sarcastic. I have control issues, and I can't imagine not feeling a need to control and discipline my child, but I'd like to see what magic you could work with her.
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#19 of 74 Old 11-13-2006, 11:46 PM
 
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My kids are 6 and 4. I don't have many rules at all outside of safety. I mean, I know there are some families who function best with rather strict routines (ie. make your bed in the morning, always eat at the table etc.) I don't have those kinds of rules. My guidelines seem to lie within the area of safety and respect. For example, we don't tell anyone to 'shut-up', we try to be polite to eachother, we try to be gentle with eachother verbally and physically, etc. They aren't even *rules* perse, as there is no specific punishment alloted for an infraction . I just remind them that we must treat others with respect. I dunno.
Not too sure what you're getting at with the OP.
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#20 of 74 Old 11-13-2006, 11:50 PM
 
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But sometimes my kids run around in stores (just for example), and i don't yell at them and make them stay by my side. Somepeople would smack their kids for that. but as long as i can see and hear both of my kids...i don't feel like staying by my side constanly is a nessesary rule.
That's fine, as long as your children aren't running in front of other people, scaring people, knocking things off shelves, being so loud that other's can't hear or in any other way infering with other's ability to shop or the owners ability to make a profit. My experience is that kids "without rules" are frequently the ones that make life unpleasent for those around them in public situations such as shopping. As long as you are giving that sort of guidence (which is a discpline), and you are comfortable with the safety issues, then good for you.

But be careful patting yourself on the back too much, you never know what will happen tomorrow to make you eat your words. Especially with kids!
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#21 of 74 Old 11-13-2006, 11:50 PM
 
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i don't really get what you are saying...sarcastic?


I think when i said "no rules" i was meaning no punishment. Of course i give guidance and teach the basics about being a good human being. But sometimes my kids run around in stores (just for example), and i don't yell at them and make them stay by my side. Somepeople would smack their kids for that. but as long as i can see and hear both of my kids...i don't feel like staying by my side constanly is a nessesary rule.
See. for me, running around in the store falls into the safety category. If we had an entire closed grocery store to ourselves, you can bet we'd all be running around! (that would be fun ). But as it happens, there are many people of all types and abilities pushing around huge metal shopping carts and not necessarily looking out for speeding projectiles in the form of children yk?
Also, I find it hard to think about what I need to get and stuff if I'm too busy wondering where the kids are. So as a team, we shop together. They push little kid sized carts and help me find stuff. If one team member is completely uncooperative, I have been known to leave a half-full shopping cart in the middle of an aisle and walk out of the store.
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#22 of 74 Old 11-13-2006, 11:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I mean, I know there are some families who function best with rather strict routines (ie. make your bed in the morning, always eat at the table etc.) I don't have those kinds of rules. My guidelines seem to lie within the area of safety and respect. For example, we don't tell anyone to 'shut-up', we try to be polite to eachother, we try to be gentle with eachother verbally and physically, etc.

Thats exactly what i have been trying to say (but you said it way better!).

this thread is making me feel like a horrible mother...just because i'm gentle.
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#23 of 74 Old 11-14-2006, 12:06 AM
 
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Rules and punishment are two totally, completely different things. Often unrelated. Too often unrelated, actually.

I will never understand why people think it is okay to let kids run around in public places like stores and restaurants. First and foremost, it's a safety issue. Stores are not designed to be playareas. There are stacks of sharp things, distracted adults not always looking out for little people out of their line of sight, and people trying to do their job.

Also, and this is no small thing in my book, it's rude. When I'm at the store, away from my kids, I'm trying to get back to them. When I have to deal with someone else's kids running around, getting in front of my cart, knocking things off of shelves. I'm not talking about the cranky toddler or preschooler who runs off and is reigned back in, everyone goes through that. I'm not one of those people who thinks that children should be seen and not heard in public or anything ridiculous like that, but it's glaringly obvious when a child is accoustomed to running around in public places like the whole world is their playground as opposed to a kid that's acting like a kid.

My kids stay close to me in public. Always. They are two, four, and nine. I don't trust their little hands to not reach out and grab something dangerous or their little feet to not carry them off in the direction of something they find appealing without regard to others around us who are NOT looking out for them. They are impulsive little boogers and no way do the youngest two have the tools to understand what is acceptable and not in a place like a grocery store without me there to remind them if they start to do something dangerous or just plain rude. Two and four years old? That sounds like a basic safety issue to me. It has nothing to do with being gentle.
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#24 of 74 Old 11-14-2006, 12:13 AM
 
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I certainly don't think you are a horrible mother. But the thing is, you can be gentle, and teach your child (with discipline and guidance) to grow into a gentle person as well. Teaching our children well is our most important job.

I am also very gentle. But I am "strict" about my kids respect other people and their space and feelings. To me this is part of my gentleness that I want to pass on to them--part of being a gentlewoman caring about others, not just "ours(elves)".

If you children are running through a store and people are giving you "looks", it may because they are bothering them (not respecting other's space), and also because people realize that running through the store is not safe for them or others. It may be easier to let them run wild and turn a blind eye to that kind of behavior so that you can shop, but the easy path to parenting is not always the best. Attachment parenting is hard work because it forces you to be present at all times of your child's life, rather than tuning out and letting them do as they please, no matter who it disturbs.
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#25 of 74 Old 11-14-2006, 12:14 AM
 
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I've found that either extreme, too much freedom or too little freedom constitutes neglect of their spirit. They need guidance and boundries. They thrive when there is balance. I'm not saying this in a judgmental way-it's the MAIN thing we are trying to balance in OUR own home. We are always learning.
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#26 of 74 Old 11-14-2006, 12:21 AM
 
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this thread is making me feel like a horrible mother...just because i'm gentle.
I'm wondering about the intent of this thread. Your first line was, "Is there anything wrong with giving my DC freedom and almost no rules(except safety)?" and people have answered that no, there's probably nothing wrong with that unless...and then they've listed ways in which it might be a problem.

You've already said to remember that you're not the one doing any "flaming" - and no one is flaming. It's almost as if you expected this topic to be provocative and have already decided how people will respond, and are missing their actual responses.

No one has said, "Yes it is a problem to give your chidlren freedom and no rules (except safety)" - they have mostly said that it's a very legit way to parent as long as they understand about respect as well as safety. People are pretty much agreeing with you. No one has called you a bad parent. I'm not sure how you're getting that.
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#27 of 74 Old 11-14-2006, 12:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Is there a way that i can close this thread?:

I've cried too much this week.
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#28 of 74 Old 11-14-2006, 12:24 AM
 
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wow...i didn't know that was what i was implying...thanks for letting me know.

just remember that i am not the one flaming here. i just asked a question. and let me tell you...my kids are not out of control. they are spirited!

I don't think you were flaming. And I have never met your kids so how they are I don't know I'm guessing they are beautiful normal kids. However I know I was commenting and likely the next poster that just because you've never say hit or yell will mean a child will never do it them self. We have never struck our child we also don't yell but we have delt with very real touching boundry issues. Now I'm stll glad we don't punish because what would that teach? I'd go as far to say we avoid many serious issues cause were attentive non punitive and strive for success together but to imply if "I don't they wont" just isn't fair.
I don't know your pareting style we have very firm rules my stanards are high much higher than most of my punitive friends. Permissivness in MHO can be just as damaging as punitive and for some even more so. If thats what you mean than no I don't agree but I don't know that.

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#29 of 74 Old 11-14-2006, 12:25 AM
 
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Is there a way that i can close this thread?

I've cried too much this week.
No one is criticizing you. I feel perhaps we are not reading the same thread. Everyone is agreeing that as long as safety and respect are in play (as you have said they are, and I for one believe you, I assume everyone else does too as no one has hinted otherwise), everything is probably fine. People are agreeing with you.

And the poster above me makes a very good point...I think it's important to remember that most kids will try out hitting or using strong words/tone eventually SO THAT WHEN IT HAPPENS, WE DON'T BLAME OURSELVES. It's good to remember that some of that, a lot of that, is age appropriate and all kids do it.
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#30 of 74 Old 11-14-2006, 12:34 AM
 
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But sometimes my kids run around in stores (just for example), and i don't yell at them and make them stay by my side. Somepeople would smack their kids for that. but as long as i can see and hear both of my kids...i don't feel like staying by my side constanly is a nessesary rule.
Fine as long as 1) your not compromisng their safety I'd personally don't feel safe with my DD being outta arms reach in public 2) annoying or disturbing in an innapropiate way other shoppers or employees 3) damaging property for some kids benig turned loose in a store is no biggie for others.. its a boundry their kids can't cross without causing big issues.

Wife to DH since August 01 mom to a bubbly girl October 2002 and our newest gal March 2010
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