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Thread: Secular Confessions

  1. #43291
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    I don't know if this is actually the case or not, but my general sense is that society has become less tolerant of "kids being kids". Teachable moments are harder for parents to deal with because they're feeling judged by society at large, and perhaps this is one of the reasons parents are more reluctant to put their kids into situations where there might be teachable moments.

    Also, good thing you haven't met my kid, because you won't be able to say "every child I've met from here is truly a delight" any more

  2. #43292

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    Pish. I know Mira is delightful even though I haven't met her.
    -- mom to DD1 1/98 and DD2 10/09


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    I'm actually considering Benadryl for tonight, in a smallish dose. He tends to get awful night terrors when he's very sleep-deprived, and screams without respite. Also not a good thing on a group camping trip, and he does fine with Benadryl. He had really bad night terrors on our last group camping trip, and screamed and screamed for a good hour or so in the middle of the night, despite our best attempts to comfort him. The only way we figured people wouldn't hate us was that they had kept us awake until at least 2 am by rocking and rolling by the campfire, so it was a lame-ish turnabout.

    TV has been on today.

    I need to get back to packing.

    I was trying to find an article about how children now actually are not able to sit still as long as they could decades ago, and that a 4-year-old now is like a 5-year-old was 20 years ago in terms of patience and self-control, etc., and it's not attributable to parenting, but I'm not able to find it. I don't think I dreamed it up, and it seemed like a valid article, sort of based on the marshmallow study.

    So I absolutely agree with you, and I don't think that people should give up on trying to teach children manners and behavior, but I can also say that I try non-stop with my kids and there are some things they are just wonderful about (they are really good at please and thank you and helping out and making friends and being social and welcoming and trying new things except for foods) and some things that I cannot for the life of me get them to do, no matter how many times I try. I have never ever ever been able to successfully stop them from interrupting; I have not been able to get all three of them to sit still for one meal (although I can do it if I have one child at a restaurant by myself); and I can't get them to be quiet when I'm on the phone or not touch things that belong to other people, like at parties. So I would have a really hard time in the example you mentioned, like at church, of getting them to sit still for a service. I would spend the whole time with my hand on their legs so they wouldn't kick the pew in front of them, hissing at them to be quiet and then taking them outside when they couldn't be so I wouldn't ruin it for everyone else. And I'd hate it. And so would they.

    So today when we go camping, I'm going to have no problem with them going out and making friends all around the camp, and exploring, and they will be fine wandering around and going to the bathrooms by themselves. In fact, I'm going to have to set some ground rules about how far they can go and if they can offer food to other people's babies and which games they can play with them. They will help carry things for people and clean up and offer to set up camp. But I will have a really hard time having them sit down at the picnic table for 15 minutes for dinner.


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    omg-the phone!!! That was my nemesis when my girls were little! It was a guaranteed way to get all 3 of them wound for sound and acting like they were raised in a barn!!

    Ok, maybe not that bad but it surely felt that way. Now that I'm thinking about it, I can say that it does stop. At what age, though, I don't know.

    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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    Gretchen, it is interesting you brought up the 'we don't encourage sharing' because I was talking to my co-worker the other day about this. She put her son, who is 4, in a new daycare/VPK place and they iterally do *not* have the children share *at all* I just can't grasp the concept. They aren't even allowed to voluntarily give something they are playing with, to another child. They have to put it back in the community space and than the other child can go get it if he/she chooses.

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


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    Quote Originally Posted by Suja View Post
    I don't know if this is actually the case or not, but my general sense is that society has become less tolerant of "kids being kids". Teachable moments are harder for parents to deal with because they're feeling judged by society at large, and perhaps this is one of the reasons parents are more reluctant to put their kids into situations where there might be teachable moments.
    That's a good point. We are still working on the 'not every present belongs to you' thing with Nolan. I find that people will give me looks when I come down to his eye level to talk with him about touching 'other' peoples things, etc.

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


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    I find myself being a stricter parent than my parents were, and more strict about a number of things than a lot of people are around me. I don't care so much about how other people do it, but I pay a lot of attention to how my kids behave when waiting in line, and that they don't grab things off the shelves that there isn't a possibility of buying, and that they allow space between themselves and the people around them so that even when they are being little whirling dervishes they won't accidentally bump into someone. I don't let them run up the slides unless they are relatively alone in the playground. I let them bring toys out in public only if they are willing to share them with other people.

    I'm not sure how much of it is less tolerance of kids being kids. What happened to that expression of "Children should be seen and not heard?" I do think that children were generally taught a century ago to be quiet, sit still, and obey, to work hard, and that the older generations are still gradually expecting more of that historical precedent and that the younger generations are expecting more childlike freedom as time goes on. Parents may look back on their youth and wish they had more freedom, or reminisce about the freedom they had, and give it to their children, and as they grow older look around at the subsequent generations and think, "But we were never THAT out of control." Even my mom, who seemed incredibly permissive to me (no set bedtime, no set mealtime, let me do whatever I want and explore my world, but was a super-involved parent and educator), looks around at a lot of children now and sees a young generation who seem totally catered to and out of control.

    Reading Little House in the Prairie and what Pa had to go through in his church services was just incredible.

    Ahem. Get off my lawn, young whippersnappers.


  8. #43298
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3andMe View Post
    Ahem. Get off my lawn, young whippersnappers.
    That reminded me of this one cranky old woman that lived downtown who was just like that. She'd literally come off her porch with a broom and chase after us. I heard she'd swatted more than one kid, but I never saw it. We did harass the hell outta her though, just 'cause she was so mean.

    When I say mean, a broom-chasing event could be triggered by stepping one foot off the sidewalk and into her grass-on either side of the sidewalk. I think she didn't even like people walking ON her sidewalk, but years prior she'd been told by the police she couldn't prohibit people from doing that.
    Last edited by missychrissy; 08-09-2013 at 02:02 PM.

    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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    It's just the expression us old fogeys use to acknowledge that we're being old and grumpy and stereotypical. Just like that cranky old woman.


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    My mother-in-law says her philosophy with raising her two kids was "Owt (anything) for a quiet life" and she is still like that with the grandkids. They get pretty much whatever they want by whimpering after being told no, so I feel like a real hard a$$ when I have to discipline the kids and they are around.

    I'm sending sleep vibes to all you ladies who need them, especially you, L. We are off camping for the first time ever next weekend for 2 nights. I'm hoping it goes well. We put our newly-bought tent up in our backyard a few nights ago andwe spent the night in it. We survived, but it got a lot colder than we thought it would. The kids did great and Islept fine, but the neighbor's dogs kept Rich up. We ended up going in to the house at 4am so that Rich could get some sleep.

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    Quote Originally Posted by missychrissy View Post
    That reminded me of this one cranky old woman that lived downtown who was just like that. She'd literally come off her porch with a broom and chase after us. I heard she'd swatted more than one kid, but I never saw it. We did harass the hell outta her though, just 'cause she was so mean.

    When I say mean, a broom-chasing event could be triggered by stepping one foot off the sidewalk and into her grass-on either side of the sidewalk. I think she didn't even like people walking ON her sidewalk, but years prior she'd been told by the police she couldn't prohibit people from doing that.
    We have that lady living two doors down when we were building the house, she called VDOT and complained that we didn't get her permission before having construction vehicles use the road in front of her house. She has attempted to sue one of the neighbors, because ash from their fire landed on her lawn. Woman's nuts!

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    Oh, and since we're all grown ups, we always try to walk as close to the edge of her lawn as we can, just to piss her off.

  13. #43303
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    Ha I'm in the old and grumpy group too but I consider it really to just be more old-fashioned. L....I have a pretty good feeling that if you didn't have THREE the same or almost the same age, it would a lot easier. And yours are still pretty young.

    I was raised with fairly high expectations of behavior and have a hard time understanding a lot of the parents/kids I see today (especially if the parent only has one and isn't even trying). And I admit that I would be rolling my eyes big time at not sharing because it's not "developmentally appropriate".

    So I used to work in a daycare for a while in college. I got talked to by the new director (I was hired under the old one) after I had a kid say sorry. These were 2/3 year olds and one child hurt the other and I said something like oh no, we shouldn't hit our friends. That hurts. Why don't you tell Sam you are sorry. So he did. No biggie right. OMG, nope cannot do that because Johnny doesn't know what sorry means. Well duh director he probably doesn't....but how are they going to learn if nobody ever tells them? Same director thought it was ok to have balloons in the room....so yeah I didn't work that much longer and got a job in the library .

    And when we have gone to church...ours does both. Some weeks it is for all ages (though they have activity bags LOL). Some weeks after a short into the kids gone down into their sunday school stuff.

    Jennifer, 35, DH 36

  14. #43304

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    Savana has a really hard time sharing her things. It's not that she isn't generous. She is always making gifts for people and will often bring out her bead collection so that her friends can make jewelry, and will dig through her stuffed animals to send one home with daycare kids. But she won't share her food, or let anyone ride her bike, among other certain things that hold a lot of value to her. I don't make her. I think it's her right to make that choice. I have never made any of the kids I care for share their own things. I will say how I think another child would like to use it, and if they do it on their own, I will point out how happy they made their friend. And I am not above begging my old children to give up a toy to Sawyer just so he will stop screaming. But ultimately, it is up to them and they don't always share. I think that's ok. I have things that are mine that I don't share.

    I also learned early on in my early childhood education not to have very young children say sorry or force apologies. I ask if there is anything they can think of to fix the problem or make the person feel better. Sometimes sorry works, but sometimes not. I am one to apologize to children often, if I misread a situation, or have to say no to something important, or take something away. So I can say it can be taught without a formal, "say you're sorry!" Sawyer is a great example of that as he is always saying, "Sorry 'bout dat, Mom." He sounds just like me! Lol. I have never asked him for an apology.

    L, your youngest and my youngest would make a fine pair. Sawyer is so loud at night and he screams random things in the midst of his night wakings. Things like, "PUT IT IN THE COMPOST!" and RUB MY SQUITO BITE!" and "I NOT GONNA CHOKE ON IT, COME ON!" (The last one is my favorite as I am always sending out choking warnings when he eats to fast) The older two have come too look forward to hearing, in the morning, what he said the night before.
    Last edited by Bridget; 08-09-2013 at 05:39 PM.

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    L, I'd never be able to get Noe to sit still for a whole church service, either. Well, she does sometimes when my parents visit, but I bring crayons and paper and stuff, and I often take her outside for part of the long, stupid sermon (since it usually annoys me, anyway). The thing is that if it was something you did every single week and had done since they were infants, by now they would be able to, although I'm sure how long it would take depends entirely on the child's personality. But just throwing any kid into something like that without practice would be an utter nightmare. I guess that's kind of my point - I think we used to have more occasions where we expected certain behaviors, and parents were definitely more authoritarian, which isn't necessarily a good thing... but I do think kids need to have opportunities to practice that kind of stuff.

    As far as sharing/taking turns, I think learning to take turns is important, especially in a shared environment, but that doesn't mean that a child has to share all of her prized possessions. I think it's completely fair to have things that are off-limits. At our house when we have someone over, if there is something Noe's uncomfortable sharing/taking turns with, we put it away ahead of time, as I don't think it's courteous for her to have it out "flaunting" it to the other kid but then saying "No, you can't touch it, it's mine" (which is what this one friend of ours does that I mentioned -- he will bring a big bag of toys to our park playdate, and then say "But Noe can't use any of them." And his mom confirms, "Yes, you have ownership over your things and that is your choice." And then the kid runs around right in front of Noe playing with some awesome thing like a zippy thing that shoots discs into the air, and she just sort of stands there looking longingly at it until I take pity on her and we go play on the slide.).

    It's really just about courtesy and empathy. No one expects kids to be able to do that stuff (share, apologize, sit still, whatever) all the time or even some of the time, and shoot - it's really hard. I'm not advocating forcing kids to behave -- just noticing that it seems that our generation of parents gives less opportunity to practice and less direction in how to begin learning. The more we start saying things like "Ugh, that was horrible, let's not do that anymore," about, say, learning how to be patient and courteous when other kids are opening birthday presents, or being gracious and thankful when receiving presents of one's own, the less kids have the chance. Are they going to screw it up? Heck yeah. But maybe by the 5th time, they won't be such little beasts.

    *I don't think that last paragraph is very coherent, but I'm multitasking, if you can call eating chocorooms, tying a silk "cape" on the shoulders of a 3 year old and then asking that 3 year old to please not carry the cat by her neck multitasking.
    -- mom to DD1 1/98 and DD2 10/09


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    Quote Originally Posted by Suja View Post
    We have that lady living two doors down when we were building the house, she called VDOT and complained that we didn't get her permission before having construction vehicles use the road in front of her house. She has attempted to sue one of the neighbors, because ash from their fire landed on her lawn. Woman's nuts!
    I thought my old bat died...it sounds like she moved near you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Suja View Post
    Oh, and since we're all grown ups, we always try to walk as close to the edge of her lawn as we can, just to piss her off.

    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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    Agree G. Wish I could like what you said!

    old bat next to my sister swore at her....but said don't worry, I would hurt you before I would hurt the dog.

    Jennifer, 35, DH 36

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    Too tired to formulate a complex response. But L, I feel for you. I hope you all can get some sleep tonight. S is such a colorful little guy, even when he is having problems! Despite myself, I am amused.

    Gretchen, I'm right there with you. I think you are exactly right. How do kids learn without opportunity?
    Me (40) DH (47) & furbabies * m/c 7/08 4/12 11/12

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    Christina....anything on names for baby boy?

    Im watching the Packers...football means fall is coming soon!

    Jennifer, 35, DH 36

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    DH is watching the cowboys. I'm doing my best to ignore the fact that there is a television. Fortunately, I can't comprehend football speak, so it's easier to ignore than something in English would be.
    Me (40) DH (47) & furbabies * m/c 7/08 4/12 11/12

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    Well I wish I could say it was for lack of practice, but we ate out with the twins at least once a week and sometimes more until s. was born. It was about that time dh started working longer hours and they got more squirrelly and just way harder to contain at any meal, home or restaurant. Now it's pretty miserable to sit at a family meal together.

    S. took about a 90 minute nap on the way to the campground. I left the house 2 hours later than I'd planned because I*was*not thinking well and because I had to stop the crying so often and just could not get packed with many interruptions.

    After we got here my new tent took more than one minute to set up but it was really cool being able to set up the whole site while letting my kids roam freely around to the petting zoo or the bounce pillow and trusting that the slow speed limit and some modicum of common sense would keep them safe while I was slaving away.

    The kids pretty much ran in packs all evening. We were a huge hit because I brought a giant container of glow sticks and connecters and my kids facilitated everyone else having glow necklaces and bobbing around in the dark with bright glowing colors. I loved that they were being really helpful and kind and offering people different color combinations.

    S eventually told me he was tired and ran to the door of the tent and stripped before I could stop him, his milky white skin barely visible in the dark shadows. That's the fastest I've ever seen anyone get ready for bed.

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    I will admit that I am totally enthralled by S and his night time shenanigans. And there is definitely an element of 'My kid has done all sorts of crazy $hit, but she hasn't done *that*'. Which makes it a bit more tolerable, when she does pull her various stunts. I have given it some thought, and decided that a couple of hours of whining, and meltdowns because her blanket isn't going 'far away', is in fact, preferable to 3 O'clock wakings and singing.

    I hope everyone gets some much needed rest tonight, and you have a good time, camping.
    Last edited by Suja; 08-09-2013 at 11:55 PM.

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    I meant to keep typing. Anyway, the twins were stuck roasting smores and by the time I got everyone in the tent the older kids were chasing around playing ghost and yelling a lot. Claire said she couldn't go to sleep with all that noise but now everyone is down and I wonder if I should go out to the campfire since I'm finally feeling relaxed and have my second wind or if I should just go to sleep.
    All's well and I'll give you another update at 3:30 am if its been tough.

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    That sounds really sweet, L, and I hope you all got a very good night's sleep.
    -- mom to DD1 1/98 and DD2 10/09


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    It sounds like you had a good first evening of camping, L! I hope the trend continues.

    My birthday present from my mom and dad finally arrived today (she sent it nearly a month ago!), and my mom had sent the boys some Superman watches and Spiderman sunglasses. They were so excited to get presents. Travis wore his watch when we went out today and proudly proclaimed the time randomly as we walked around. It's a digital watch; I've tried explaining the analogue clock to him, but he doesn't full get it yet. He knows that the 12 is the hour and the 6 is half past the hour, but that's about as far as it goes. My mom was telling me awhile back that my 16 year old step-niece does not know how to tell time, and then I heard that quite a few kids these days don't bother learning to tell time because of most things being digital. That kind of freaks me out. Maybe I'm old skool like that, hanging on to analogue clocks and proper hard copy books instead of going digital.

    In other news, my student handbook came through the post the other day, and I've read it cover to cover. I have 3 classes that I have to pass and a total of 4 essays to write, the biggest being 3,000 words long. For some reason, I thought I'd have to write something as long as 10,000 words for a masters level course, but hey ho, I can do 3k no problemo. I've got a schedule of my first week at university. I feel so happy to get started! One of the tasks that we have to do in our first week is to go to an outdoor play place and we'll be analysing using outdoor play for science lessons. It's going to be so much fun! Remind me of how enthusiastic I am now in a few months when I come in here crying that the workload is dragging me down and the kids are horrible or something!

    How's everyone else's weekends going? We went to a place that is a big corn maze today and spent the whole day there. The kids had a fantastic time. I think we'll take Travis swimming tomorrow; he's really doing well now and we've decided to take him out of the group swimming lessons we've been doing and might sign him up to a one-to-one swim teacher and see how that goes.

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    Bobbie can't tell time on an analog clock. She can to some extent, but not to the minute. It blows her mind. I was shocked when I learned they don't even teach it in school any more. She was in high school before she admitted that to me, and my attempts to instruct were met with eye rolls & disdain. I guess that's my-bad because I assumed they learned it in 2nd or 3rd grade like I did.

    I can't believe it took a MONTH for that package to arrive! How insane! I'm glad it finally made its destination though.

    My week has been busy-both at work and home. I'm still adjusting/unpacking/rearranging at my mom's. Conner & Syd seem to have settled in just fine.

    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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    Guess who has been screaming andcrying in his sleep so much for the past hour that dh suggested I take him to thecar or have dh drive him home?

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    Oh, L. I'm so sorry.
    Me (40) DH (47) & furbabies * m/c 7/08 4/12 11/12

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    Wow, L. I'm so sorry. Poor little S must be tired out of his mind!

    We had a very full day yesterday, so we said we'd take it easy this morning. Dh is playing Sonic with the boys and I'm ironing.

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    Oh L What did you guys finally do?

    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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