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Thread: The NEVERENDING Raising Children Thread

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Queen B's avatar
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    The NEVERENDING Raising Children Thread

    I thought the other day when we were all talking about how we were dealing with our teenagers that possibly we needed to break off a thread.

    Whether it is dealing with toddlers or teens, children can be wonderful as well as frustrating.

    Parenting tips or just a place to vent.

    I will start:
    Let's talk about teens. AARRGGHHH!

    I understand how to deal with them when they are screaming and angry but I have no clue what do with apathy.

    My example:
    15 yr old got an invitation to go to the theatre out of town. Ticket cost $75.00
    She managed to manipulate money from mom for the ticket.
    She knew about this for months...
    Two weeks ago she came and asked for $100 for shopping and food. The discussion began about how was she going to earn the money. She just did not know what to do. We gave her a few suggestions.

    Two days before, I explained to her that I did not have any jobs that I wished to pay her for to earn the money.

    Yet she still does not put out ANY effort to even give me the impression that she even wants to go. She does not put out any extra effort to do anything.

    Last night, her father and I once again try to light a fire under her to get her to do something.
    Finally I vetoed the request and went on about the work that needed to be done.

    Her father finally decided to go get the money for her to go. When I asked him what logical reason he had for doing that. All he could say was that she was going to lose the ticket money if he didn't let her go.

    So I am mad.

    She has managed to get $175.00 to go play and did not have to do anything to earn it. It was just handed to her. My husband says it is a loan that she has to pay back. So now starts the nagging and belly aching at her to go do something to earn it. He did not understand the concept of earning the money before she gets to go.

    Just venting!!!
    It is all a matter of perspective!!!

  2. #2
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Queen B View post
    ISo I am mad.

    She has managed to get $175.00 to go play and did not have to do anything to earn it. It was just handed to her. My husband says it is a loan that she has to pay back. So now starts the nagging and belly aching at her to go do something to earn it. He did not understand the concept of earning the money before she gets to go.
    I'm discovering that one of the most annoying and troublesome aspects of raising children has nothing to do with the children themselves per se, but one's partner. They always say the three most common sources for conflict in marriage/domestic life are: money, sex and raising children. The more two parents' personal/philisophical views differ on the topic of raising children the greater the potential for conflict. It seems obvious when you hear folks say "'well in that case just make sure you're both on the same page before you go ahead and have kids (duh)". Yeah, well, easier said than done. Most people just don't plan things that thoroughly ahead of time. Since we chose the adoption route to becoming parents, my wife and I had more opportunity than most to explore and discuss our philosophies on parenting beforehand, but even so we still run into disagreements and misunderstandings all the time. It just isn't possible to anticipate every contingency or situation that could arise. And when confronted with a new situation that neither discussed beforehand, the most natural thing to do is to revert to one's preprogrammed responses (which seem fated to always be different from one's partners!)
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  3. #3
    Cyburbian the north omaha star's avatar
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    Baby Star hasn't gotten here yet. I do plan to give him an allowance so that he can learn money management and responsibility. However, his allowance will be based on let's say $20 / week. He will have chores to do. If those chores aren't met then his allowance will be deducted accordingly. Hopefully, when he finds out that his $5 worth of work won't cover his $15 movie ticket and a GI Joe with the Kung Fu grip that he'll get the picture.
    I am recognizing that the voice inside my head
    is urging me to be myself but never follow someone else
    Because opinions are like voices we all have a different kind". --Q-Tip

  4. #4
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    no, you certainly cannot plan how you will raise your children before you have them and to people in here about to be married or have kids, yes, you should discuss it (it's good to know if the other one wants to spank, wants private schools, general big issue kind of things) but know that you will change and be prepared to change and be prepared for the other person to change once baby #1 arrives - the key is to stick together in front of the kids even if you don't agree - disagree in private on discipline and granting of freedoms/privileges/allowances to the kids

    believe me, I have eaten lots of humble pie due to all the times I have said to myself "Oh, I'll never do that with my kid" , etc etc. and when I got to that stage, did the same exact thing I said I would not do, you just don't know until it happens

    my husband is more strict than I am so he is quick to say no - but if we discuss it together first, we usually agree on the answer - and if he said no already, I don't turn that into a yes because that's not right and it sends a bad message to the kids

    our kids definitely know how we operate as a couple and try to manipulate us constantly (which is normal, kids are not stupid) so it's important that we do stick together

    and Queen B - I make my 14 yo earn the money she needs for special things she wants to do before she goes - or at least we have a plan - like I just got her a sleeping bag she really wanted for her trip this weekend and she knows she needs to babysit 6 hours for me to pay for it - so there are promissory notes drawn up when there are things that come up un-expectantly

  5. #5
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Queen B View post
    She managed to manipulate money from mom for the ticket.
    Is this a daughter or step-daughter? If she's your natural (and I use the term loosely knowing that she IS a teenager) and you caved first, don't blame dad when he caves too.

    If she's a step-daughter and mom isn't you, there's another whole set of dynamics for manipulation of mom, dad, & step-mom that's probably way beyond this forum.

    Either way, dad might just as well admit it's all his fault and move on to the next crisis.

  6. #6
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    The one area (so far) that my wife and I differ significantly in attitude is regarding schooling (particularly college). I really disliked school (esp. high school and college, although I did fine throughout and even got my Master's) and have the attitude that if you are going to college you need to have a reason to be there, not just because it is what you're supposed to do.

    So, my opinion can be misinterpreted as "school is lame, fight the man", which is really not my intent. My wife is more staunchly "go to college...period".

    So we have had many a discussion regarding this topic and came to the conclusion that the child certainly needs a purpose for being in college, and that I should refrain from really delineating my position until they can handle the nuance of the opinion.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

    Six seasons and a movie!

  7. #7
    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    My wife and I try to provide a united front in child-rearing efforts, but are not always successful. The biggest disagreement is education. My wife wants our son to go to a parochial school. I went to Catholic schools for six years and am very much opposed to my son attending parochial school. One reason is the additional cost. Primarily I do not see an advantage to an education that often is used to insulate the student from "those people" and "those ideas" different than the parents'. My son will be exposed to "those people" and "those ideas" in his life and it is better he does it at an early age. Education should be broadening.
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

    ~ Otterpop ~

  8. #8
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    I did half of elementary in a parochial school and half in public school with the remainder in public schools. The only thing I remember about parochial school was the ugly uniforms and Sister Mary with the ruler she used to whack us with. Always remember that the parent is the most important educator in a child's life and that not all academic learning takes place within the walls of the school.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    More on teenagers:

    If you don't think you can trust one of your kid's friends, terminate the relationship. They will invariably do something way worse than you can imagine, usually involving your kid and the local law enforcement. Don't worry about offending their parents.

    Don't pull your kid out of a school he loves and where he thrives, just to save tuition.

    Long road trips can be a good time to listen to your kid and find out what they're thinking.

    RJ and I are going to have some bumps dealing with my son; he's got an attitude and bombing in school. At least he's looking forward to moving to the panhandle.

  10. #10
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Zoning Goddess View post
    More on teenagers:

    If you don't think you can trust one of your kid's friends, terminate the relationship. They will invariably do something way worse than you can imagine, usually involving your kid and the local law enforcement. Don't worry about offending their parents.

    Don't pull your kid out of a school he loves and where he thrives, just to save tuition.

    Long road trips can be a good time to listen to your kid and find out what they're thinking.

    RJ and I are going to have some bumps dealing with my son; he's got an attitude and bombing in school. At least he's looking forward to moving to the panhandle.
    I've been lucky with the friend part...most of her friend's parents are stricter than I am so it helps.

    I agree about not moving a thriving child out of a school they love unless it's unavoidable.

    ZG-perhaps a change of venue and having RJ around might improve his attitude. I'd have an advance meeting with the school he will attend to address any issues before they multiply.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  11. #11
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Timely thread, QB.

    The good news: My youngest graduates from high school next month.
    The bad news: It's from the alternate HS. He's been enrolled there since September. Did his dad know this minor detail? HELL, NO!!!

    I'm disappointed, irritated, frustrated on so many levels.

    I rewarded his big brother generously three years ago when he graduated. But I'm not so sure about the youngest.


    Thoughts? Recommendations?

  12. #12
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by RichmondJake View post
    Timely thread, QB.

    I rewarded his big brother generously three years ago when he graduated. But I'm not so sure about the youngest.


    Thoughts? Recommendations?
    Reward him too. He's not his big brother and he knows it without having it reinforced. Don't expect immediate gratitude but the payback will come some day down the road. My boys have turned into pretty decent adults and yours will too.

  13. #13
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by RichmondJake View post
    Timely thread, QB.

    The good news: My youngest graduates from high school next month.
    The bad news: It's from the alternate HS. He's been enrolled there since September. Did his dad know this minor detail? HELL, NO!!!

    I'm disappointed, irritated, frustrated on so many levels.

    I rewarded his big brother generously three years ago when he graduated. But I'm not so sure about the youngest.


    Thoughts? Recommendations?
    By all means celebrate the graduation....he could have dropped out altogether you know. Perhaps tie the reward to having a post high school plan in place?
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  14. #14
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by RichmondJake View post
    Timely thread, QB.

    The good news: My youngest graduates from high school next month.
    The bad news: It's from the alternate HS. He's been enrolled there since September. Did his dad know this minor detail? HELL, NO!!!

    I'm disappointed, irritated, frustrated on so many levels.

    I rewarded his big brother generously three years ago when he graduated. But I'm not so sure about the youngest.


    Thoughts? Recommendations?

    EDIT: It goes without saying, I love the kid unconditionally. I'm the asshole to be "afraid of..." WTFs that all about? It's a long story.

    Thanks for your recommendations. Ya'll are right. Just wish the little fart would call me.

    Mods: can ya'll merge this? My head is blown tonight. Thanks.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Queen B's avatar
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    RJ,
    As long as he gets it, that is what counts. But yeah he should have told you.
    Hang In there!
    It is all a matter of perspective!!!

  16. #16
    Cyburbian cch's avatar
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    I'm lucky, my husband and I are usually on the same page when it comes to raising our daughter. We did disagree for awhile on whether to pay for college for her (my parents paid for mine, but his didn't). We've compromised, and we'll pay with restrictions/conditions. But, that is so far in the future. Right now the main thing is potty training, and he can't see the signs that she's about to go, like I can. If I'm busy he'll never offer to help her get to the potty or anything. Then of course he always wants me to change her diapers. He pretends like he can't smell poop .

  17. #17
         
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    My EX was in town the past two weeks and let me tell you I am SO happy I don't have to deal with him on a daily basis (he has moved out of state). That MF'er does not pay child support (EVER, not one penny); I let him stay at my house when he is in town, and has the ba!!s to talk to me about how to raise the boys? He pops in once every 6 weeks (maybe); plays a gig during that time and acts like Daddy of the Year?
    He signed away legal and physical custody during the divorce but still feels the need to let me know what he thinks I am doing wrong. But then he leaves, all goes back to normal and all the child raising is done by me with no one to answer to except my boys (oh, and my mom
    I am lucky thus far, however they are still little and young enough to be somewhat afraid of me My oldest will more than likely be a handful in his teen years but the three of us try to work as a team, know we are all "in this together" and work together well.
    Speaking of little ones, my oldest broke his leg this past weekend. Broke his knee cap and tibia, full cast from thigh to foot....great makings for the first week of summer!!!! 6-8 weeks in the hot itchy thing...poor baby!!
    Needless to say, the ex of course took off just in time for me to depleat all of my sick leave, let my work pile high on top of my desk, so he could go back to Ann Arbor (no, he did not have a job to go back to, just his 19 year old girlfriend )
    Thanks for letting me vent this afternoon

  18. #18
    Cyburbian Jen's avatar
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    oooh sorry to hear about the leg break, what a bummer at the beginning of summer!

    My oldest will be in 6th grade in the fall, and it blows my mind!!! NOOooooooooo.

    I hope my cheerful, motivated, creative, kind and friendly daughter does not turn into a moping, surly cruel chola wannabe

    And tell me, if I have let the kids slide on chores until this point is there any hope they can start to lift a finger any time soon?

    I never grounded my kids, am I an oddball? I hear 'rents say this all the time. "Your grounded for a week and with no playstation!" Do they follow thru? doubt it. That is why I dont ground, I would never follow thru! I have to say I would give in once they start bugging me, get out of here and go outside. But I can hold my ground against TV watching and screen time.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Jen View post
    And tell me, if I have let the kids slide on chores until this point is there any hope they can start to lift a finger any time soon?

    I never grounded my kids, am I an oddball? I hear 'rents say this all the time. "Your grounded for a week and with no playstation!" Do they follow thru? doubt it. That is why I dont ground, I would never follow thru! I have to say I would give in once they start bugging me, get out of here and go outside. But I can hold my ground against TV watching and screen time.
    They can always start to do chores. Some of them, like my kid, will complain and put them off as long as possible, even if it's something they've been doing for years. So if yours complains, no big deal. I play to his ego: But son, you're sooo much stronger than me, I can't possibly lift this!

    Yeah, I'm bad about letting things slide on groundings. Except when it involves another kid. I've had to ground my kid from hanging out with the miscreant next door, for up to 30 days, and stuck to my guns. Since X-mas, he has been permanently not allowed around him.

  20. #20
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Mine is pretty good about doing chores but will procrastinate if she really doesn't want to do something but I just say "if you don't do X right now, you will not get to do Y" which is generally good enough.

    As far as grounding....I don't think I've ever had to really ground her as punishment, usually it's like ZG where I "ground" her from other kids.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  21. #21
    Cyburbian Queen B's avatar
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    So after two rounds of flooding in the basement, the children still have not gotten the hint to pick their things up. The eldest is out of town this weekend with a friend and I peak into her room and I can not see the floor. I pick up all her thing and bag them in trash bags. Set the bags on her bed. When she came home I made her go through all the bags and sort them and then put it all away, a process that did not take a whole hour.

    They just did not manage to do anything with themselves last week...

    SSSOOO dad cut the cable phone and computer this morning.

    And I woke them up at 7:15. No sence in burning daylight while there are things to do.
    It is all a matter of perspective!!!

  22. #22
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Queen B View post
    So after two rounds of flooding in the basement, the children still have not gotten the hint to pick their things up. The eldest is out of town this weekend with a friend and I peak into her room and I can not see the floor. I pick up all her thing and bag them in trash bags. Set the bags on her bed. When she came home I made her go through all the bags and sort them and then put it all away, a process that did not take a whole hour.

    They just did not manage to do anything with themselves last week...

    SSSOOO dad cut the cable phone and computer this morning.

    And I woke them up at 7:15. No sence in burning daylight while there are things to do.
    You go Mom!
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  23. #23
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Bump....

    So today I braved the back to school shopping trip with my daughter. Everything was fine until we went to get some jeans for her. We were in the dressing room and she had collected an armful of jeans in a size 6 which is one size larger than she wore last year. She tried them on and I wasn't really satisfied with the way they were fitting so I told her to go get some 8s to try on to see if they fit better. To my surprise the tears starting flowing and she was all choked up. I was shocked so I asked her what was wrong and she wouldn't answer. So I started questioning her and it finally came out that she thought that because she needed an 8 that she was fat!

    I was speechless to say the very least and reassured her that she was nowhere near being fat (5'7" and 140) and that she was beautiful. She's just grown some curves and filled out in places which requires the next size up. How have any of you with girls dealt with this? (Do boys have the same problem?)
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  24. #24
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by kjelsadek View post
    Bump....

    So today I braved the back to school shopping trip with my daughter. Everything was fine until we went to get some jeans for her. We were in the dressing room and she had collected an armful of jeans in a size 6 which is one size larger than she wore last year. She tried them on and I wasn't really satisfied with the way they were fitting so I told her to go get some 8s to try on to see if they fit better. To my surprise the tears starting flowing and she was all choked up. I was shocked so I asked her what was wrong and she wouldn't answer. So I started questioning her and it finally came out that she thought that because she needed an 8 that she was fat!

    I was speechless to say the very least and reassured her that she was nowhere near being fat (5'7" and 140) and that she was beautiful. She's just grown some curves and filled out in places which requires the next size up. How have any of you with girls dealt with this? (Do boys have the same problem?)
    Please, as a father of two daugthers under the age of 5, I would also like some advanced advice on situations such as these!!!!! Please Cyburbia, if you give me adivce now, I'll have approximately 10 years to prepare.
    Last edited by btrage; 27 Aug 2007 at 9:08 PM. Reason: grammar wan't up to par

  25. #25
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    What are these "children" you speak of?

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