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mamatoady 04-14-2004 04:28 PM

Ok, I realize Dr. Phil may be the LAST person I should listen to parenting advice from, but I recently(yesterday?) heard him say that we needed to have the same rules in our home that we would expect in public because we are supposed to be teaching our children how to get along in the world and, for example;(my example) if we let our kid get away with things in the home that they couldn't get away with in public then we are setting them up for failure and confusion etc. Like if I pay my child money now for a job she will do next thursday, that is bad because that wouldn't happen in "the real world"

So my question is how many of you have completely different expectations at home from public and how has it worked out for you (mom's of older children, i would especially like to hear from). The reason I ask is because we don't really have rules. Our dd (20 mo.) is allowed to jump on the beds, climb on the couch, eat on the floor, etc. etc. The things she is not allowed to do are not accessable to her (the dog food is locked up, the closet doors are closed, some of the cupboards have locks on them). So, when we go to the in-laws I have to re-direct her if she's banging on their big-screen/climbing in cuboards etc. I guess I figure she'll not be doing those things when she's five whether I make it a rule or not.

Does anyone get what I'm saying? Is it really necessary for me to have rules in my home if I don't see any benefit other than "well, if she doesn't jump on my couch, she won't jump on MIL's couch."

How do you see this type of parenting manifesting as my child gets older?

ps...we do have an unspoken, yet enforced RULE, that you can't hit the dog with the hairbrush or spatula!

thanks all!

steff 04-14-2004 04:45 PM

To me I think these rules would apply more for older children.
My children are 3 2 and 1 and I allow them to do more at home than I would visiting like the things you suggested as examples.

I don't think it will confuse them at this age. No is No to them.
But when their older in pre teens and teens. Certain things in the home that you would teach should result in what to expect from the world.

edited to add something

Mere 04-14-2004 05:30 PM

I too think it depends on the age of the child. We also allow dd to jump on the sofas and beds at our house, but we don't allow this at other people's houses unless it's really clear that it's okay. We just tell dd (27 months) that we don't do that at so-and-so's house and she seems to understand the distinction just fine. When she was smaller however, we'd just do what you do and use distraction.

mamalisa 04-14-2004 05:48 PM

We've always tried to explain that there are different rules for different places. For example, Papa will let him dance on the coffee table and blow bubbles in the living room (gotta love Papa, he's all about fun ). However he certainly would not expect to do the same thing at his Aunt Cathy's house. (which is all metal, glass, steel and leather) He can get up and down from the table at home (sometimes the dog needs a hug in the middle of dinner) but he would not be allowed to do the same thing in a resturant. I know for a fact that my ds understands that there is different behavior for different places. Much like I know that I can behave one way at work and another at a baseball game.

sunnmama 04-14-2004 10:27 PM

iSometimes I wonder about Dr. Phil....

Children are very bright, and it is easy enough for my child, at least, to differentiate between rules for home, rules for other people's home, rules for restaurants, rules for libraries, etc.

That IS getting along in the "real world". I assure you, I don't act the same way at home that I do at a friend's house, or at work, or at a bar. Different places have different rules. What in the world is that man thinking??? :

monkeysmommy 04-15-2004 02:46 AM

Sunnmama, that's exactly along the lines of what I was going to say. I think it's perfectly fine to have different rules for your children in different places. It teaches them that there are different ways to behave appropriately in settings. For instance, we run, scream and climb at the playground, but we don't do this at church. Would you not allow your child to scream at the playground because he might get confused and think it's okay to scream at church? :

I have mixed feelings about Dr. Phil. I like some of his marriage advice but his parenting is usually way off, IMO.

JanB 04-15-2004 09:36 AM

I completely agree. I mean, everyone is familiar with the concept of using an "indoor voice" and an "outdoor voice", which is a very basic example of kids easily being able to follow different rules for different situations. Even my 27-month-old knows that when we're in our fenced side yard, he can run and play freely, but in a parking lot or city sidewalk, he must hold my hand.

Part of maturity involves understanding that different behavior is appropriate in different situations, and I see no reason to teach children any differently.

Sometimes I really do think that any idiot can get his own talk show on TV! (Not that Dr. Phil is an idiot, per se, but some of his parenting advice really does cheese me off.)

luckylady 04-15-2004 09:53 AM

That is what I was going to say sunnmama - I mean, at home we lounge around in grungy sweats unbathed and that's fine. That doesn't mean I am going to go out in public that way.

Once again, Dr. Phil says something stupid. I swear the man thinks the general public has an IQ of a shoe.

scorpioqueen 04-15-2004 02:25 PM

I do sorta have the sme rules inside our home and out, but not to the extreme some goto. Basically if its something I will have to break latter I really don't want to start it now. So no my DD cannot jump on the bed (though DH and I tackle her on it:LOL ) but we don't allow her to just jump up and down ect. because eventually she will be too heavy and I don't and a big fight when it does happen.
Personally I've always hated the expression indoor outdoor voice I don't want my DD screamming to others a foot away just because we're outside. Though I totally understand playful excitement.:
However duh of course there are diffrent rules for diffrent places.... Umm isn't that just part of life?? Isn't it amazing how well our toddlers can adjust to the changes?


Susu 04-15-2004 10:14 PM

i understand the points you all are making about kids needing to know and being able to understand the differences between how to act in different types of places. it makes sense.

however, i have learned from experience that my 2 year old daughter can learn a certain amount of appropriate table manners, (not playing with food, leaning accross the table, standing on her chair) and it makes eating out with friends and family a LOT less stressful for both of us.

if you have different --and it will usually mean stricter-- rules in public, it usually means that you have to "teach" or do the reprimanding in public which i don't like to do. i think it can add extra stress and embarass the child.

edited to add:
quote:"I mean, everyone is familiar with the concept of using an "indoor voice" and an "outdoor voice""

I'm not familiar with this. but if it means that it's okay for kids to scream outdoors i'll have to agree with Deana.

lab 04-15-2004 10:34 PM

7 Attachment(s)
I've got older kids but you probably don't want to hear from me!

I had rules rules rules. Doesn't help much huh! I believe you were looking for someone with older children who had few to no rules. I guess you wanted to compare and see how it turned out!

I probably had too many rules for my first born but I was learning as I went. I will tell you that he is the most responsible child I have ever encountered! He is 10 now and comes in from school and does his homework without asking. He has complete and total impulse control. He focuses easily and is very intense. When he reads - he tunes everything out!

Right or wrong, I attribute a lot of that to his self control as a child (toddler).

My 2nd child was only 18 mos behind the first, so she had sorta the same deal.

The third was more redirected and placated, although he still had rules. We never jumped on the bed. None of them. Not even the baby! (who is 6.5 now) I do notice that my ds2 (the baby) has a harder time with self control and following direction. Not that it is a problem, more of an observation on my part.

HTH - maybe someone can post who has older children with a more easy going mom!

I will add that my oldest was 3 years and 5 mos old when the third was born. They were close huh! Anyway, I took all three of my children to the grocery store and restaurants from the time the baby was an infant! I mean infant! Because we had rules, we never had trouble going anywhere. We went everywhere too! Man, those were the days! I getting a little sad now thinking about my babies!

*Erin* 04-20-2004 01:50 AM

Once again, Dr. Phil says something stupid. I swear the man thinks the general public has an IQ of a shoe.
he's a turd. i have no use for him and his cheeky texas colliquillisms.
and his rules. his rules can bite me too. his son chafes me, and i bet he grew up with more rules than you could count.

shelbean91 04-20-2004 02:05 AM

I think kids are smart and know there are different rules in different places. A friend of mine went through a divorce a few years ago and she would go crazy when her kids came back from their dad's. (I think they did 3 days one place, 4 days the other place.) She was upset that he didn't have the same rules she had and she had a hard time getting them to listen. I told her I had heard (read?) that kids know different rules for different places and she just needed to explain that to them. (I think they were 6 and 8 or 8 and 10 at the time.) She did and they didn't have any other problems (other than adjusting to the divorce in general- who wouldn't have problems with that??)

So, I think Dr. Phil is full of it, once again.....

Now, of course, some rules ARE the same in the home and out, be polite, etc., and kids will learn which are the same and which are different.

mattjule 04-20-2004 02:08 AM

In defense of Dr. Phil (I feel like I am going to get flamed for this), he was speaking about an 11 yr old, totally spoiled child. He was saying that bribing your child with expensive toys and money to do chores, giving them the bribe, but never making them do the chores is not a way to teach them to function in the real world i.e. "you don't get paid before you work" comment. He was saying that these parents were setting their son up to fail b/c he expected to have everything handed to him on a silver platter and the world is not that way, that their overindulgence instead of any sort of dicipline was not doing him any favors in the long run (I call this lazy parenting). So before you totally anihilate the man, try taking what he says in context. I don't agree with a lot of his parenting style, but I do appreciate that every parenting episode I have seen, he is tailoring his advice to that specific situation.

That said, my ds also has different rules at home than other places. It was very hard for him to always wear a diaper at the IL's, but that is their rule and I made it clear that that did not come from me (probably not that diplomatic, but come on, would they like to wear a sposie 24 hours a day, 7 days a week?) He knows that he has to hold hands or be up in a parking lot but not at the park. I really don't think these kinds of basics are what Dr. Phil was talking about, but more subtle lessons like work ethic and personal integrity. I think those are things we should practice the same within the home as well as without or it does create confusion.

tboroson 04-20-2004 11:05 PM

I agree that Dr. Phil is a toad. Even in the context of the 11 year old boy, his statement doesn't entirely make sense. Yes, he was right about making and enforcing better rules for that particular situation. However, I imagine the 11 year old is expected to raise his hand to speak in school. I'm sure Dr. Phil would not advocate that this child should always raise his hand to speak at home. And, realistically, yes, this child *might* grow up to be paid before doing work. He may be a contractor of some sort, where 50% payment up front is expected.

On the question of what rules do we enforce for our own toddlers, I guess I'm pretty lax at home. I let Talia jump on the bed, sit on high stools at the kitchen counter even though it gives my mom heart attacks, run in and out of the house at will whenever the front door is standing open, climb the stairs by herself, many other things.

There are a few rules we enforce. She is expected to treat the cats gently (that one has been contentious in the past). She is expected to say "please" if she asks for something. She is expected to act as politely as is reasonable for a two year old at the dining table. And when Daddy or I do tell her something, she is expected to do it.

Wow, sounds like a lot when I write it all out. But, I still feel that we're pretty open, and only enforce the things that a) she can reasonably understand at this age, and b) have a good reason.

WithHannahsHeart 04-21-2004 08:40 AM

Originally posted by sunnmama
iSometimes I wonder about Dr. Phil....

That IS getting along in the "real world". I assure you, I don't act the same way at home that I do at a friend's house, or at work, or at a bar. Different places have different rules. What in the world is that man thinking??? :
ETA here. As an ADULT, i behave differently in different places, for crying out loud. I have managed to learn fine distinctions quite well, over time, on my OWN. Absolutely i allow my under two year old child to do more and relax at home. It would be criminal not to, IMO (though i know that even still i am a bit too strict at home, and i am working on relaxing MYSELF for her benefit). FWIW, my kid seems to behave much better elsewhere than at home, and it's rarely an issue. Stupid Dr. Phil really sets himself up as knowing everything about every situation, when there are SO many variables. I always say, go with your gut when it comes to your own child!

loftmama 04-28-2004 12:58 PM


we definitely have house rules and rules for other places. it may seem confusing but there aren't very many. when i taught school, i had children who spoke a certain way at home which wasn't okay in school. it was english as a second language, so i had to teach the language and expect proper usage. anyway, if the kids could use street language or curse words at home, i didn't want to place any judgment on what was okay or not okay. So, I explained school rules much like professional, office rules. When a person goes to work, he behaves a certain way and talks a certain way (most of the time). It's the same for school. I use that now with my preschooler. When we're at my MIL's house, we definitely expect different behavior.

For the record, I despise Dr. Phil. uke Ever since the episode on Oprah 3 years ago when he told a mom to get her kids out of the bed or permanent psychological damage was being done, I've boycotted both of them.

sleeping queen 04-29-2004 12:39 AM

I did like lab did with my oldest and she is also like her son. She is so responsible and great help with the twins. I probably had rules because I was one of the last of my friends to have kids and when some of my friends and their kids would come over the parents just let the kids jump, hit , or grab anything. For me personally, that is just to much chaos.

oceanbaby 04-29-2004 01:23 AM

My almost 3yo ds has never had any trouble understanding that some things are appropriate at some places but not others. So no, we don't enforce rules in our home just because they need to be enforced in other homes. Ds is a very respectful kid, and if you tell him he can't jump on grandma's couch, even though he can jump on ours, he listens.

Just to clarify, he's not the type of kid who hangs on my every word. He often ignores me completely when he doesn't like what I'm saying or if he's otherwise engaged. But it hasn't been a problem when it comes to situation appropriate behavior.

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