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Thread: Secular Confessions

  1. #42361
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    3andMe is offline Every day is a gift. It's just... does it have to be a pair of socks? Hopelessly Devoted
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    I left the house with the twins to drop off our youngest for preschool this morning and didn't end up getting back home until 5 PM. We just kept finding stuff to do. We were at one playground and there was a mom sitting on the ground and she beckoned me over and asked if she could beg me for a favor. She said she'd just split her shin open to the bone and she was going to need sutures. She was on hold with 911 but in the meantime she was just holding her hand over her wound and blood was seeping through it and she also didn't have her purse with her since she lived only a block away. I grabbed a Maxi pad out of my diaper bag and told her to hold it over the injury and DS and I trotted over to my car to get my first aid kit. We gave her a simple field dressing and found out she was a paramedic and the kids milling around her were twins, too. I ended up patching her up enough that she felt able to walk back to her house and drive herself, since she didn't think an ambulance would have car seats, although I'd offered to go get her car seats and take her and her kids to the hospital.

    That was our excitement for the day. A lot of the day we spent wandering through rose gardens.

    I've been following with interest the conversation on rewards/punishment, but I'm too tired right now to put much of a coherent thought together.


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    Omg L! What a crazy situation. How did she do that? Thank goodness you were there with a maxi pad!!

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    I am really enjoying this conversation. It is a learning experience for me being that Nolan is still so young and generally speaking (when we aren't having a meltdown) he is actually pretty compliant.

    I think most of my parenting struggles actually stem from me and my issues.

    Things are a little crazy, but I'm loving every minute of it My Blog


  4. #42364

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    That is true for most of us. I am doing some soul searching myself, in that regard. For me it comes down to an issue of unconditional love. Of course I feel that for my children but do they feel it? Did I feel it from my mom? No. ch may be why I lied to her during most of adult life because to disappoint her felt like losing her love. And I think I was heading down a path of making my kids feel that there are conditions to my affection, in small subtle ways. I will share more later from some things I have been reading, mostly for affirmation and inspiration, anyone is interested.

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    Agree. Like most things, our life experiences affect how we think and feel. I haven't done a whole ton of deep thinking on some of these things because I haven't really had to yet. But I also have just assumed I would follow what my mom and DH's mom did (they were fairly similar). They did rewards/punishments. My mom was strict. I had to stand in the corner when I was little. I just was chatting over the weekend with her about how I remember when I was 10 and told to do the dishes after dinner and I looked at her and said NO. Ended up with a tiny and I mean tiny bit of soap on my tongue and I was crying and carrying on.....I was a drama queen (it's funny now and we were laughing about it). But I never told her NO like that again. My mom was definitely the boss and was strict especially when we were younger. I had a lot more freedom and say when I was a teenager...but I knew by that point not to get into too much trouble because my mom would have taken my car or not helped with college....that sort of thing. and I knew that someday when I had my own money and my own house, I could do what I wanted or how I wanted things.

    I think that the difference is probably that I always felt unconditional love. I felt wanted and knew that my parents always had my back and my mom would always stand up for me and support me. there were high expectations (not perfection) but that was because she knew I was capable of them. I was allowed to discuss with them and have opinions (really this was when a little older like 4th grade and up when I cared to talk about stuff with them that was going on in the world) and was able to make suggestions....sometimes they were taken and followed and sometimes it was a no, we are doing it this way.

    So really it just never occured to me to do different than my mom...I like who I am and who my sister is and we have a good relationship with mom as adults. Except in one area and that was eating....she tried but my dad turned us picky. Thankfully DH and I really like veggies and have them every day so hopefully kid will see that behavior and not be as picky as I used to be.

    Jennifer, 35, DH 36

  6. #42366

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    My biggest problem is that I am not able to think that deeply about things and what the long term implications are when I'm in the heat of the moment. I get frustrated and just say the first thing that pops in my head which is usually, if you don't do X, you can't do/have Y.
    AKA Lisa724

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    I'm considering keeping a list of things where we do reward/punishment, to see what if any can be just let go. I'd like to think that I'm only doing that with things of importance, but probably not.

    There are some things where I can be lenient, but the fallout can be significant. For instance, if I didn't insist, she will not take a shower (it's 11:00, she has been out for two hours, and OMGSTINKY!). She won't sleep until after 11:00, wake up by 9:00, and be whiny/cranky/tantrumy the whole day the next day (und so weiter). She'll pick at food, be hungry half an hour later, and insist on junk (even if it is her gummy vitamins).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bridget View Post
    That is true for most of us. I am doing some soul searching myself, in that regard. For me it comes down to an issue of unconditional love. Of course I feel that for my children but do they feel it? Did I feel it from my mom? No. ch may be why I lied to her during most of adult life because to disappoint her felt like losing her love. And I think I was heading down a path of making my kids feel that there are conditions to my affection, in small subtle ways. I will share more later from some things I have been reading, mostly for affirmation and inspiration, anyone is interested.
    Love, I shamefully admit, is a broken concept for me. I'll have to think more of how to articulate my feelings, in other words, make me sound like less of a horrid human being.

    I would love to hear about what you've been reading

    Things are a little crazy, but I'm loving every minute of it My Blog


  9. #42369

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    I'm curious if Josh is really headstrong or if I just don't know how to deal with him, because if I let him not brush his teeth one night, I'll forever hear about "But you didn't make me do it that one time!" That's why, as much as I want to give him choices, I have to make sure there are no negative effects if he decides to make that choice every time. He will have cavities if I don't insist every day that he brushes his teeth. And I'm not able to just say "oh well" if he goes to bed crying because I made him brush his teeth, because it negatively affects me as well.

    Speaking about natural consequences, most of Josh's decisions actually affect me more than him and I'm having a hard time having that "oh well" attitude. He might not care if he drags his feet getting ready for the bus and I have to drive him (which never happened yet, but just as an example), but I do. What if in the future I work or go to school, and he decides to miss the bus because he actually prefers if I drive him? Then I get the negative effects of being late for work or school and he gets no consequences.

    Not to mention, DH would never get behind not having any rewards or punishments for things. He claims the reason (or a big one, anyway) he dropped out of high school was because his parents decided to stop rewarding him for doing well.

    I think it sort of occurred to me, while reading through your posts, that we take away things Josh doesn't consider rewards. Taking away story time at bedtime probably doesn't look like taking away a reward to him. It looks like we're messing up his routine. I should probably stop doing that at least.

    We got a rewards chart app the other day that keeps track of chores and bad behavior. You can assign stars, points or a monetary value to each chore and put a negative amount for bad behavior. We've only been doing that for a few days but I think that helps. We used to have a reward chart for good behavior at bedtime, which has improved, but we still have our bad nights!

    I think the problem is mostly with DH and me. It occurred to me when we took Josh to the therapist last week. The only thing I could really come up with that was inappropriate behavior was that he doesn't listen well. You need to tell him to brush his teeth (for example) 5 times before he'll go do it. The rest is just stuff that can be grating on the nerves but isn't really "bad behavior".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bridget View Post
    That is true for most of us. I am doing some soul searching myself, in that regard. For me it comes down to an issue of unconditional love. Of course I feel that for my children but do they feel it? Did I feel it from my mom? No. ch may be why I lied to her during most of adult life because to disappoint her felt like losing her love. And I think I was heading down a path of making my kids feel that there are conditions to my affection, in small subtle ways. I will share more later from some things I have been reading, mostly for affirmation and inspiration, anyone is interested.
    Until recent years, I really thought I'd nailed it on that one-that my girls definitely knew the depth of my emotions and feelings for them. Wrong. I really do not think it's possible for kids to truly get it. Parents love their children far more than children love their parents-at least through a certain phase of life. It's something I've come to accept, and just today I broached the topic with Jesi. She's just starting to 'get it' now because she's expecting. But I'm not sure she fully accepts/believes that I really, truly feel as strongly for her as she does for her soon-to-be baby.

    I know that sounds rough-but it's not once you accept it. I know it'll come around (perhaps when they're in their 30's?) and they'll see clearly. Maybe biologically it's necessary-otherwise, would kids ever leave home and pursue their own destinies?

    Mama to Bobbie 20 ~ Jesi 18 ~ Syd 14 ~ Conner 6
    I'm gonna be a Gramama! Jesi is due 11/22/13


  11. #42371
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    You know, I think that we overthink this stuff. Neither of my parents ever said 'I love you'. Ever. Yet, it never occurred to me that they might not. They showed they cared, by the way they acted. Even when I was being punished, I never doubted that it was for anything but MY good, and that my parents wouldn't have bothered if they didn't care.

  12. #42372

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    I suppose some kids just say this without thinking, but Josh has said he doesn't think I love him when I punish him. And I say it all the time. I guess kids have different reactions to being punished. My husband says that when he was punished he never repeated the offense. He was smacked though and I don't support that.

  13. #42373
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suja View Post
    You know, I think that we overthink this stuff. Neither of my parents ever said 'I love you'. Ever. Yet, it never occurred to me that they might not. They showed they cared, by the way they acted. Even when I was being punished, I never doubted that it was for anything but MY good, and that my parents wouldn't have bothered if they didn't care.
    yes this is what I was thinking too. I'm sure my mom said it when I was little but not really much that I remember. Just wasn't a family that said it....but I knew it. Even as a pre-teen or teen and I was in trouble for something and thinking mean stuff in my head about her....I knew deep down that she was right and I was wrong and deserved it. Say something like keeping my room not as a dump or getting my work done before hanging out with my friends.

    It just seems like there is a lot of pressure to find the one perfect way to do this when it really doesn't exist. I mean we all had different experiences growing up in very different families....yet we are all ok adults.

    Jennifer, 35, DH 36

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cosmosmom View Post
    It just seems like there is a lot of pressure to find the one perfect way to do this when it really doesn't exist. I mean we all had different experiences growing up in very different families....yet we are all ok adults.
    This is true. One of the most painful lessons I had to learn as a mother of older children was that no matter what I did, I was a complete and utter disappointment to my kids at various points in their life. There's no perfection, and the teens don't appreciate any sacrifice, worry, or heartache.

    I might sound bitter, but I'm not. I've come to accept it as a part of life.

    Mama to Bobbie 20 ~ Jesi 18 ~ Syd 14 ~ Conner 6
    I'm gonna be a Gramama! Jesi is due 11/22/13


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    I do have to agree that actions speak louder than words Suja.

    ETA: I am finding this conversation to be a difficult one. There is not much I can say, that doesn't come across as... bitter.
    Last edited by Smplyme89; 07-02-2013 at 11:58 AM.

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    Christina, In case you didn't know, bitter is okay. I've been extremely fortunate in having what appears to have been an idyllic childhood (it sure as heck didn't feel like it at the time). Others are not so lucky. It speaks volumes about the character of the people who endured, and survived.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smplyme89 View Post
    I do have to agree that actions speak louder than words Suja.

    ETA: I am finding this conversation to be a difficult one. There is not much I can say, that doesn't come across as... bitter.

    Mama to Bobbie 20 ~ Jesi 18 ~ Syd 14 ~ Conner 6
    I'm gonna be a Gramama! Jesi is due 11/22/13


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    Quote Originally Posted by missychrissy View Post
    This is true. One of the most painful lessons I had to learn as a mother of older children was that no matter what I did, I was a complete and utter disappointment to my kids at various points in their life. There's no perfection, and the teens don't appreciate any sacrifice, worry, or heartache.

    I might sound bitter, but I'm not. I've come to accept it as a part of life.
    So true! I mean I LOVE my mom and respect her so much. But I clearly recall being a teen and thinking in my head that she was mean and a b*tch and just wanted to make my life miserable....not all the time but when I was mad about not getting my way. LOL Lots of tears on my part at times but like I said, I was a bit of a drama queen.
    The ONLY thing I think that kept me mostly in line was that I had a bit of fear of my mom. I didn't doubt that if I pushed too much or stepped over the line, I would start to lose stuff I really wanted. Like my car...which wasn't really my car. Or the TV in my room or use of the phone. Trips with school like when I went to France or NYC with orchestra. No way in H*LL would she have payed for those things if I had been disrespectful or gotten bad grades in school when I could have done better. Or if I had ever tried smoking....OMG there would have been major issues on that one. Even when I was a legal adult, she clearly said that if got a credit card in college, she would stop helping pay for it. At the time I thought she was so mean but in retrospect, thank god she did that! I have enough debt in student loans that if I had cc debt on top of that (and I would have at that age), I would have been up a crick without a paddle.

    Looking back I'm so thankful to have had my mom love me enough to put in strict rules. My dad too...but in reality my mom did the parenting.

    Jennifer, 35, DH 36

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smplyme89 View Post
    I do have to agree that actions speak louder than words Suja.

    ETA: I am finding this conversation to be a difficult one. There is not much I can say, that doesn't come across as... bitter.
    Big huge Christina. I happen to think that you are absolutely awesome. I also think that sometimes those who had difficulties and struggles and hard times, make the most fantastic parents. My mom lost her mom in a pretty horrific way at age 13 and I have no doubt that strongly changed her into the great parent she ended up being. You sometimes have a very similar attitude to her that makes me smile.

    Jennifer, 35, DH 36

  20. #42380

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    Christina.

    I am not trying to find perfection, but when I see that something is not working I will change it. And the whole reward chart/punishment/taking things away was not working. Too much negative. Too much reward seeking.

    Kate, that is how I feel about the bedtime story. A routine that ingrained is like a promise.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bridget View Post

    I am not trying to find perfection, but when I see that something is not working I will change it. And the whole reward chart/punishment/taking things away was not working. Too much negative. Too much reward seeking.
    Oh I know, and I wasn't trying to insinuate you were trying to achieve perfection.

    I guess my thing is I really felt like I did everything I could to be the best Mommy I could be, and I changed a lot from when Bobbie was a baby to how I parent now...and yet, my girls still harbor (as teens!) a lot of resentment towards me. Some of it might be deserved, but a lot of it can only be written off as complete teenage insanity and I'm only hoping by the time they're 30 they recognize it as such.

    Mama to Bobbie 20 ~ Jesi 18 ~ Syd 14 ~ Conner 6
    I'm gonna be a Gramama! Jesi is due 11/22/13


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    I don't know about 30, Chrissy, but they will, by the time they're 40, for sure! I don't think that even the most mature and level headed of teenagers really understand fully how much their parents do for them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bridget View Post
    I am not trying to find perfection, but when I see that something is not working I will change it. And the whole reward chart/punishment/taking things away was not working. Too much negative. Too much reward seeking.

    Kate, that is how I feel about the bedtime story. A routine that ingrained is like a promise.

    That makes sense. And yeah I don't think I would like to use a story as a reward either...the librarian in me doesn't like seeing books used that way! A reward should be something special and something of value and something understood by both parties to be a reward. I don't remember ever seeing charts at home...wasn't until grade school that I remember seeing one. Instead what we got was something like we had to do some really boring errands and mom would say ahead of time that she knew that these were not fun but if we listened to her in the store and didn't ask for things, we could ride the horse at Kmart when we were done. Or stop off and get an ice cream cone. Or go to the really cool park. Something special that we wanted to do and knew what was expected of us.

    I employed that tactic when I was babysitting all those years. We had a pool and I was alone with kids and we could go swimming all afternoon and have lots of fun. But if pool rules were not followed after a warning, pool was taken away and kid had to sit on the deck (usually with me unless it was my sister not listening...other kids were younger and if I was babysitting, I stayed with them). Only took usually 1 time a summer and the kids learned to listen to me when I said to knock off the horsing around or not to jump in. Swimming was fun and valued and a treat....the rules were important to follow and I was strict on them. (I mean can you all imagine letting some teenager be the "adult" in charge babysitting your kids and swimming with them....the parents knew we had a pool and were ok with it! I mean I was trained at that time in CPR but still.....).

    Jennifer, 35, DH 36

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    Quote Originally Posted by Suja View Post
    I don't know about 30, Chrissy, but they will, by the time they're 40, for sure! I don't think that even the most mature and level headed of teenagers really understand fully how much their parents do for them.
    Mine definitely don't have a clue to the depth of my emotion for them. That was something I was certain my kids would know-I unconditionally loved them always. Yeah, right. Oh well. That's life I guess.

    Mama to Bobbie 20 ~ Jesi 18 ~ Syd 14 ~ Conner 6
    I'm gonna be a Gramama! Jesi is due 11/22/13


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    I do take away story time. As in, Mira has a choice in when she goes to bed. If she goes to bed early, she gets basically unlimited # of books/stories (usually, up to 3 of each). The later she chooses to go to bed, the fewer books/stories she gets. If she goes to bed after 10, there are no books or stories, because it really is just too late. Stories are a huge incentive for her to go to bed at a reasonable hour, about the only one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Suja View Post
    Christina, In case you didn't know, bitter is okay. I've been extremely fortunate in having what appears to have been an idyllic childhood (it sure as heck didn't feel like it at the time). Others are not so lucky. It speaks volumes about the character of the people who endured, and survived.
    A lifetime of expecting too much of ones self makes it hard for me to accept that. There are people who had it far worse than me afterall, so in my head I tell myself to "get over it" but the impact on my life and the disconnect I feel with people with whom I care for is real. Thank you for your kind words Suja

    Quote Originally Posted by Cosmosmom View Post
    Big huge Christina. I happen to think that you are absolutely awesome. I also think that sometimes those who had difficulties and struggles and hard times, make the most fantastic parents. My mom lost her mom in a pretty horrific way at age 13 and I have no doubt that strongly changed her into the great parent she ended up being. You sometimes have a very similar attitude to her that makes me smile.
    Awww thanks Jennifer

    Things are a little crazy, but I'm loving every minute of it My Blog


  27. #42387

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    Quote Originally Posted by missychrissy View Post
    This is true. One of the most painful lessons I had to learn as a mother of older children was that no matter what I did, I was a complete and utter disappointment to my kids at various points in their life. There's no perfection, and the teens don't appreciate any sacrifice, worry, or heartache.

    I might sound bitter, but I'm not. I've come to accept it as a part of life.
    Yes. None of us can be perfect and sometimes, no matter how hard we try, we will be a disappointment to our children. And, to be completely honest, there will be times they disappoint us as well. We still love them, and they still love us, but I absolutely agree with Chrissy that kids and teens don't understand our challenges, fears, struggles. I think that's how it should be, because it's not their burden to bear, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't wish occasionally that my teen had an inkling of how hard i work to be a good parent and how difficult and frustrating it can be. I do believe she knows how deeply I love her, but showing unconditional love has always been easy for me. I am certain that I'm failing her in other ways that she resents now, or will resent when she's an adult.
    -- mom to DD1 1/98 and DD2 10/09


  28. #42388
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    I've found the discussion on rewards interesting, but I haven't had a lot of time to post here lately, especially with being on my phone most of the time when I log on to here. Discussions like that deserve the key board for typing out one's thoughts. Around here, we have really spiralled out of control lately with the asking for a reward for every little thing. Travis will do something silly like snatch a toy from Cash and I'll tell him off, so he'll hand it back and then will say, "I did something good; can I have a treat?" Rich finally said enough is enough, so we've been trying to wean ourselves off the indulgence of treats. What I've started doing is dishing out points to him since he loves games where he scores points like Sonic the Hedgehog. In the morning he starts off with zero and when he does something good, I'll remind him that his points are going up. Some times he runs up to me and says, "I've done 3 good things this morning, so how many points do I have?"

    On a totally different topic, Travis had his first ever play date with someone from school, and he had a great time. I'm really proud of him. I was never allowed at any school friends' houses when I was growing up and always felt awkward around people, and I don't want the same for Travis. He had a lot of fun and wants to go back again. I feel like I'm making up for all the lost time I had growing up by making friends now. It's funny comparing what I'm like now to what I was like as a child....I'm very different!

  29. #42389
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    Mira had her first play date on Friday, and it went so well, she threw an absolutely massive tantrum when she had to leave, and cried all the way home. I told her that we'll ask them to come over, but she doesn't want them to come here, she wants to go there and sleep with Sophia (her classmate's sister, who is 6 years old). I don't think we'll be asked back
    Last edited by Suja; 07-02-2013 at 02:30 PM.

  30. #42390
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    Haha. Travis nearly did the same. He got his angry voice and was like, "I don't want to go home!" but I diffused it by saying, "Let's have a treat when we get home." I know, I know...see, bad me with the food rewards again! He asked if he could go back again tomorrow, but I said we'd have his friends over next time at our house once school is out for the summer at the end of July.

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