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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There were threads on this forum recently about how moms that have been spanked have been able to break the cycle of violence. I was wondering if there are other moms like me who are trying to get out of a different cycle, i.e. mommy martyrdom (kids getting to do whatever they feel like and mom is left dealing with the consequences of the family's poor choices) who would like to share their experience. My mom - whom I really love - was a SAHM and she saw it as her job to keep the house clean and orderly. Our job in her view was just to get the schoolwork done, bring home good grades, and in general being polite and respectful. When we did not live up to her (very minimal, one has to agree) expectations, she would be sad, and clearly made us feel rather guilty, but to be honest she did not overdo it. The main negative result from this upbringing was that I felt being a mother really sucks!
I feel like the process of:
- having high expectations for my kids
- having them learn that their actions have natural consequences (rather than shielding all negative consequences by self-sacrificing my needs and personal goals)
- establishing and upholding family rules
has been really really hard for me.
I'd like to hear moms with a similar background and see what has helped them assert and respect themselves so as to get real and meaningful cooperation from the kids, without resorting to things I do not want to do (like consequences, bribes, punishments... ) and without building up resentment.
 

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subbing--i'm curious too. my mom was just like yours, but she was also a doormat to my other-end-of-the-spectrum borderline abusinve dad. so my childhood's a confusing mess lol!

i initially came to GD as a way to make sure i woudl not abuse my son when he was a toddler and i would get so angry it'd scare us both
 

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I'm interested in others comments as well. My mom was completely permissive with the guilt thing thrown in when I stepped over a boundary I usually didn't know existed. We are very tight now but I was a mess during my teenage years. Although we practice GD and over the last year have fought to get away from all punishment, I sometimes think my expectations can be too high. Like the pp my father was abusive so I feel I walk the fine line of trying to eradicate both types of bad examples I had as a kid. I loved the book Parent Effectiveness Training. It is a great way to help my dc to take responsibility for their issues and me to take responsibility for my things. It is a great read.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by j924 View Post
I loved the book Parent Effectiveness Training.
I liked it too. It's very similar to Loving Your Child Is Not Enough, which I like better just because of the style.

I'm interested in reading this discussion. Hearing from people who've hated their super permissive upbringings has made me do a lot of thinking about my parenting. I'm sure there's a way to put it all together with non-punitive parenting, right?
 

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I don't have much experience yet, being that ds is only 2 but I definitely come from a very permissive upbringing. We had no rules that I recall - no curfew etc my mom didn't care about school, chores got done when they got done, she tried to get my brothers to clean their room and stuff but eventually she would just do it anyway.

I remember being very young and wishing my mom would CARE about me enough to place limits on me - to have rules, to care about where I was, what I was doing and who I was with. My emotions were very out of control especially during my teenage years, even though my behaviour might have been fairly tame. Eventually I had a nervous breakdown at 20 and landed myself in hospital, on antidepressant drugs for 2 yrs. I do suffer from some self esteem issues but certainly not to the extent that I did growing up. For these reasons, I want to have high expectations. I want to have rules. I want my children to learn that their actions have consequences, for themselves and for society.

The funny thing is, my mom was not neglectful really, just very trusting and permissive. Fortunately, I turned out great, happy, in a loving marriage with a decent job and a nice home recently purchased but my brothers have both had problems with drugs and petty crime and none of us even finished high school.

I really love the practices of GD I have read about and used - I like adapting the discipline to the issues that ds is having; I like having natural consequences and explaining why things happen. Personally I don't feel guilty at all about placing limits on behaviour and having house rules. I feel that they are imperative to help a child learn to respect themselves and respect others. And I do believe that ultimately the child will know that you are doing it because you love them and care about them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for your replies. I really really struggle with the word "permissive", it sounds judgemental and I know my mom did/does her very best, and this does not accurately describe how she parented the four of us. At the same time, I have many times - when I am stressed - this feeling of fear, of loss of control.... I know she felt that way too, powerless... we all turned out fine, but at times, we really behaved atrociously at home...
Cujobunny, what happens when your house rules are not respected?
J924, what do you mean that expectations are too high?
Personally, I think that it is essential that we have goals to achieve every day. Maybe small, but bigger than yesterday. Because, like if I have it as an objective to read a book when the kids are in bed, that is a need that I need to throw into the picture early on, so my kids help me clean before going to bed, and I avoid spending that time picking up all the toys. Yet it is easy to just place no goals, so one avoids disappointments, struggles... but where does that lead you?
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by gaialice View Post
Cujobunny, what happens when your house rules are not respected?
Honestly, I haven't run into this problem too much yet that I can think of. DH and I agree for the most part on what rules should be and I am very conscious to make sure that they are fair. I don't expect anyone to do something just because "I say so", but because there is a good reason to do it or a good outcome to doing it. I am careful about what I say no to. DS is only 2 and he is very verbal so I am able to explain things to him and get his cooperation. Right now he LOVES to do laundry, do dishes, sweep the floor, clean up. He loves to think that he is helping us in any way. If he doesn't want to do something I make it fun for him. For example, last night I wanted him to have a bath and he was protesting. So I took his clothes off in his bedroom and told him to run naked into the bathroom where MIL was waiting to get him into the tub. He was so excited, he streaked down the hall yelling "RUNNING NAKED!" I try to involve him in everything and I hope he carries this on into the future. I am sure it will get more difficult as he gets older and more independent but I hope that with fairness and respect he will continue to respect his home, his parents and himself.

I am curious too, gaialice, how old are your dc? And what rules if any do you have trouble with getting them to follow? It's all a learning process to me and I know my parenting methods and rules will change over time as my dc test their, and my, limits but I think the foundations will remain the same. But at this point in my ds' age, I have no idea how I will handle some of the things that my mom had to put up with, esp from my brothers.
 

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My dc are 9,7,5,3. The first are girls and baby is a boy. Maybe expectations was not the word I was looking for. I think what I was trying to say is that I have very clear cut pictures in my head as to what my family should look like and what it will look like if it is out of control. I feel I can sometime lose perspective in trying steer clear of permissivenes(which I do think can be a loaded word). I will forget about what is infact age appropriate or overreact to things that will mean nothing in a couple of years or even minutes. An example that is happening now: My ds(3) will be playing and we need to stop or transition into something else. Every time I ask him lately (even with lots of warnings that the activity is coming to a close) he will ask for "6 more minutes". On the one hand, this is awesome. He is learning how to negotiate. He is usually happy to cleanup/go whatever when that "six minutes" is up. Yet I sometimes feel like shouldn't he just listen the first time or he already had his minutes. Now while my logical mind typing this to you knows that his six minute thing is completely okay, I fell a twinge every time I give into the six minutes. I know the twinge is there because of fearing that I will fall into the role of my Mom amd get stepped all over. I'm really enjoying this thread. It has helped me a ton already.
 

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It would be less than accurate to say my mother was permissive- she offered me no guidance in any way. She wanted to be my "buddy" in a way that way overstepped boundries. It's been hard as there are lots of other issues involved (dealing with her mental illness). It wouldn't be off to say I'm stricter because my mother was permissive, and I found early that if I just did the opposite of what she did, it was a good call.
 

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I love this thread.

I was raised by a very permissive parent. She has severe bipolar disorder and really couldn't manage her role as a parent. There were many layers of problems, as you can imagine, with her mental illness. One of them was not providing clear boundaries and limits for me. I can totally relate to the pp who said that this made her feel that her mother didn't care about her. I often had this thought as a young child. In my teen years, she was even worse and at that time I thought it was a huge advantage to me as I had complete freedom to do as I wished. Scary!

I never had a strong sense of security or safety. I envied my friends who had curfews, chores, rules, etc. Their parents took the time to give some thought to these things...my mother couldn't be bothered. Well, she did the best she could and was so terribly ill that she just couldn't manage any of it.

Anyway, as a parent now I am so conscious all the time of what I'm doing and why. I put a lot of thought into my parenting and I think this has been a huge blessing out of it all. I also waited until I was in my 30s to have children and had a lot of time to work through my childhood issues.

I think if I hadn't done so much inner work, I might be a very strict/authoritarian parent because I'd want to avoid my own experience at all costs. But that is not healthy either.

So for me, it's a mix of setting loving, clear boundaries and limits and also really paying attention to who my children are and what they need from me in any given instance. Parenting can't be a formula to avoid the pitfalls of our own childhoods...we have to do our own work and be present in this role we are so blessed to have.

Yikes I went on and on. Sorry to ramble....
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by swampangel View Post
I also waited until I was in my 30s to have children and had a lot of time to work through my childhood issues.
Me too, well I was 30 four months after ds was born. My mom was 17 when I was born then had my 3 brothers all before she was 25. I'm certainly not saying that all young mothers would be the same way but my mom too thought that should make us "buddies".

We are closer now, but I still have some resentment about her parenting techniques. When she and my dad were getting divorced, she shared waayyyyy too much with me about her personal life - dating and stuff, I was like 13, 14. It was really hard to deal with. Even now I take any of her parenting advice with a grain of salt. In fact, my brother and I joke that whatever she says, we should do the opposite.

I think she regrets some things about our younger days but I couldn't discuss it with her because I would get so upset. She can be very defensive and refuse to acknowledge how her actions made me feel, saying things like "I never did that!" So I just leave the past in the past, take what I can and learn from it.

On the other hand, I'm glad she is supportive of so many natural parenting techniques - cosleeping, extended breastfeeding, etc and she really is great with ds, he loves her and she does respect my authority as his parent. Perhaps she's done a lot of personal growth as well. I love her, but sometimes I'm glad she lives 4 hours away
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Krystal323 View Post
subbing--i'm curious too. my mom was just like yours, but she was also a doormat to my other-end-of-the-spectrum borderline abusinve dad. so my childhood's a confusing mess lol!

i initially came to GD as a way to make sure i woudl not abuse my son when he was a toddler and i would get so angry it'd scare us both

i was just going to say the same thing, then I read your post.
my mother was just plain out of control. she let her husband beat me, but would do my schoolwork if I didnt get it done. so i wouldnt get in trouble. i never understood it as a kid. now i see that my mother is incabable of caring for me in the way I would need my mother to care. my dad (the man who use to beat me) and I get along great now. hes since gone to therapy and is doing wonderful.
as a result I oscilate between trying to keep my temper in check and trying to not over do the suzie homemaker stuff.
 
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