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Thread: Secular Confessions

  1. #16291
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    You're very sweet Kate because considering the stunts Bobbie and Jessica have pulled this year, I wonder if I have any good advice at all. I'm questioning everything I did right now. I wonder if I wasn't too liberal and maybe I should have been more militant. Not that I could be. My father was a tad militant and I ran away for good when I was 16 so I guess I got mine through a couple more years!

    The only thing I can think of is something that I'm trying to remind myself of constantly. No one is perfect. I'm not perfect and my kids aren't perfect and we're all going to make dumb decisions here and there. And that's ok. Or at least I'm trying to convince myself it's ok to watch my kids make dumb decisions. Getting to the part where they make all their own decisions and only get my input when asked for is more difficult than I anticipated it would be. The desire to protect and guide them is as strong now as it was when they were toddlers. Watching Bobbie being hurt by the same guy over and over feels the same as letting Conner get beat up on the playground by a bully and just sitting there watching it happen. As a mother, every instinct in my body wants to go pound the bully and take my daughter home where she can be safe.

    The best things that my kids have learned is how to be respectful. When Jessica was in the police station, the investigator said she was very polite and respectful to him. None of the kids (thus far) have ever been mouthy or rude to any adult in their life. Jess and I talked about that a bit and she said she sees her peers get lippy with the adults at school and she says "Is it really so hard to hear them out? You can always make your point when they're done, and you don't have to have an attitude about it." I was so proud of her...but how did I do it? I dunno. I've always tried to be open with communication and let the kids tell me their side of things, even if I 'knew better' than them. I'm learning that as they get older it's harder to do.

    I've always let them have as much control as possible. Conner had pink toenails for weeks, much to Rich's chagrin. But he wanted them-and I didn't feel like it hurt anything. It was much simpler when they were little.

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


  2. #16292
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    Quote Originally Posted by missychrissy View Post
    I'll have to see if I can find that episode. I don't remember that one and I used to watch that show a lot.

    There is this one http://www.tv.com/the-cosby-show/the...de_recap;recap

    and this one http://www.tv.com/the-cosby-show/pil..._guide;summary

    Jennifer, 35, DH 36

  3. #16293

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    LOL at the pink toenails. Josh asked about painting his fingernails a while ago, I kind of hemmed and hawwed through a response and he forgot about it. I think if he asked again, I might let him do a clear or very very light pink. Toenails I could handle...but I wasn't sure about fingernails.

    I don't think anything you did caused the girls' actions. Like you said, so much is out of your control now. Regardless of what you taught them they're going to make bad decisions. I was into bad boys in high school and I ran around with guys I met online in college. Very bad things could have happened to me and I don't think any of it was a direct result of the parenting I received.
    I guess I'm just looking at how we struggle to get Josh to brush his teeth, get to school on time, sit nicely at the table and eat his food, pick up his toys, try not to use the whiny voice, say please and thank you, etc. etc. and I always wonder, how much does all of this matter? I don't want him to think he can act and talk rudely, or ignore us when we say "put on your boots, it's time to go to school", but I just hate all the fights. At the mall yesterday DH and I had a misunderstanding about which way we were going, and I had one arm and DH had the other and we were literally tugging him opposite ways. I just stopped and was stunned. Like this is not how I want to treat him. He's crying or upset about every other thing, DH is trying to control him too much, I'm trying to calm Josh down and speak to DH at the same time, DH throws up defenses and walks away, it's just chaos. Josh wanted to put a new milk in the fridge for me and he dropped it. It wasn't even opened yet so it didn't spill but DH yelled at him, "Give that to me!" and admonished me for letting him carry it. I felt so bad. He was just trying to help.

  4. #16294
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    I think those things are normal hurdles that we have to overcome with our children when they're little. My girls fought me for years about brushing their hair every morning. So much that Bobbie even reported me to her school for 'pulling her hair' when she was in Kindergarten. Imagine my surprise when child protective services showed up at my door!! I can laugh now, I assure you it wasn't funny at all when it happened.

    It really is all about patience and consistency. I hope your dh can get on the same page as you. It would help a lot.

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


  5. #16295
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    Quote Originally Posted by daylilies View Post
    Josh wanted to put a new milk in the fridge for me and he dropped it. It wasn't even opened yet so it didn't spill but DH yelled at him, "Give that to me!" and admonished me for letting him carry it. I felt so bad. He was just trying to help.
    This just breaks my heart. I remember something similar happening to me when I was a teen and I dropped a mayonnaise jar. My father hit the roof and yelled his mantra "You don't make a mistake! A mistake can cost you your life!!" I blamed that on his ptsd syndrome from Vietnam. It's awful to grow up in such an atmosphere. I hope your dh can overcome that because sh!t happens.

    Whenever I feel myself starting to get upset, I ask myself, "Is it really worth it? Is this something that is going to have an impact on their whole life, or something that I want to happen just because it's most convenient for me right now?" If it's just about my convenience, I force myself to take a chill pill and let it go. It's not always easy, and I wasn't always successful, but I think I did get to where I could let most minor things go.

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


  6. #16296

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    I really doubt he ever will. I talk to him every time I see something I'd like changed and he might do it for a couple days and then he goes back. Or he's really inconsistent. I think it has to do with his parents' parenting. On the other hand his sister was raised the same way and she is great with kids and so is her boyfriend. I really hope she has kids someday.
    So when Josh does something like refuses to brush his hair...is that something we should make a battle of, or do we let him go to school with messy hair? DH is all about sending him to school impeccable because kids get made fun of for messy hair or rumpled clothes. So do we risk the fuss he's going to make over that or let him go and teach him the lesson that if you don't brush your hair you get made fun of? Stuff like that.

  7. #16297

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    Sorry your dad was like that...that must have been tough to deal with.
    It's hard for me to separate what does and does not have an impact on his whole life. I mean, he doesn't brush his teeth, he'll have nasty teeth his whole life, right? He doesn't put on his clothes...well I guess he could be a nudist, but I'd rather he not...LOL He doesn't pick up after himself, he'll have a messy house.

    Plus just the bigger picture of listening to your parents and respecting their wishes...I feel like it's important that he does what I ask of him, at this age.

  8. #16298

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    Jesus, chrissy, your dad's reaction was intense.

    Parenting definitely isn't for wimps. Our kids learn by watching us, even when they're actively trying to ignore us.

    I don't think there's a single whiner in this group. I am really happy to have you all to talk with and hear about your day-to-day challenges. Even IRL, I don't talk about all my troubles that often with some of my best friends, since we're all just so busy. I don't want to use up the few hours we get to spend together to share the negativity in my life. It's been really nice to have found a safe space for it on APA.

    Gwenn, thanks for your advice about labeling their emotions. DH and I started doing that right away.

    Of course this morning, Bodhi kinda punched me, and when I told him No!, he said "I knocking." Oh boy.

  9. #16299
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    Quote Originally Posted by daylilies View Post
    So when Josh does something like refuses to brush his hair...is that something we should make a battle of, or do we let him go to school with messy hair? DH is all about sending him to school impeccable because kids get made fun of for messy hair or rumpled clothes. So do we risk the fuss he's going to make over that or let him go and teach him the lesson that if you don't brush your hair you get made fun of? Stuff like that.
    Can you cut it really, really short? We've given Conner a crew cut a number of times and I fear he's going to get another one because he's recently started throwing a fit about having it washed. With a crew cut, a soapy washcloth is all that is really necessary

    I talked to Conner's dr about him still pooping in his pants. He said what I already know-there's no way to make him if he's not ready. He said sometimes kids learn about going to the bathroom threw peer pressure. Once he has an accident at school, he'll learn really quick. I'm not keen on that at all because obviously I don't want Conner being picked on. I hope he gets it before it's time to start Kindergarten!

    Encourage and cajole, that's all you can do. At one point, the resistance will stop but I know of no way to make it stop. They really do want to have control over their life and will fight for it.

    Quote Originally Posted by daylilies View Post
    Sorry your dad was like that...that must have been tough to deal with.
    It's hard for me to separate what does and does not have an impact on his whole life. I mean, he doesn't brush his teeth, he'll have nasty teeth his whole life, right? He doesn't put on his clothes...well I guess he could be a nudist, but I'd rather he not...LOL He doesn't pick up after himself, he'll have a messy house.

    Plus just the bigger picture of listening to your parents and respecting their wishes...I feel like it's important that he does what I ask of him, at this age.
    Dad wasn't always like that and I really hate sharing those stories because I'm afraid it paints a bad picture of him. He really does suffer from PTSD and it's hard to predict what will trigger it. It wasn't easy to live with and was especially tough as a teen, but that wasn't the whole sum of who he was and most days he wasn't like that at all.

    I do get what you're saying about kids listening to their parents and respecting their wishes, but that's not something that is going to happen all the time. At every phase of development, they will have challenges. That's the hard part about parenting...finding which method will work best for both you and Josh. And accepting that it's just not going to be cured overnight. Some stuff (like the brushing hair thing) took years to get past with my girls. The good news is they all take care of their hair now!

    Quote Originally Posted by demigraf View Post
    Of course this morning, Bodhi kinda punched me, and when I told him No!, he said "I knocking." Oh boy.
    That's funny!!!

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


  10. #16300
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    Quote Originally Posted by daylilies View Post
    It's hard for me to separate what does and does not have an impact on his whole life. I mean, he doesn't brush his teeth, he'll have nasty teeth his whole life, right? He doesn't put on his clothes...well I guess he could be a nudist, but I'd rather he not...LOL He doesn't pick up after himself, he'll have a messy house.
    Plus just the bigger picture of listening to your parents and respecting their wishes...I feel like it's important that he does what I ask of him, at this age.
    Try not to worry so much....pretty much most things have an impact on our lives....BUT the vast majority of us grow up to be alright. I'm sure that we were all raised very differently...and we are all ok adults.

    Think back to what you remember growing up, what worked on you, what didn't, what do you think of how you were raised.
    If you feel that listening is important, than it is. Every family will have differences and different priorities.

    So for me looking back, I remember being four and I really remember my younger sisters whole life and how we were raised. My mom was of the belief that little toddlers and kids are like puppies....they need to be trained (though both will test you!). My mom would have NEVER let me leave the house when I was little looking a mess...that was important to her. I have always had long thick hair and I had to have it brushed and styled (pigtails, ponytails, braids) and had matching ribbons for all my outfits down to matching socks. Same for my sister....and often we had matching outfits to each other.
    Brushing teeth was a big deal to my mom because she still had a baby tooth or two to this day.
    Having a clean bedroom...not such a big deal.
    Mouthing off....very major deal! I was never beat but I did get soap in my mouth once when I was 10 (just a dab...have gotten worse in the shower but it made a point) and I did get my mouth slapped once. I wasn't allowed to swear or say crap or whatever. It's only been the past few years that I have said swear words in front of my parents and I have been married and out of their house for almost 8 years!
    I don't really think that a big of fear is a bad thing. Not shaking in your boots fear but just a tiny bit. I KNEW my mom meant business if she gave us the look and said Jennifer in a certain way and I did have fear there. Fear of what I'm not exactly sure...when I was little probably of having to stand in the corner, when I was older fear of say losing my TV or car. DH was raised fairly similiar so that helps though his mom is a guilter....found yelling at him didn't work much, tried soap in the mouth but his sassy self just said to her "mmm tastes good" But boy if she would tell him that she was really disappointed in him....that works great.

    It is hard though when you and DH aren't on the same page. My dad just went with whatever mom wanted. But my BFF and her DH were raised very differently and that has made things more difficult in getting things going with their daughter (which I thought was a bit of a brat when she was four and five but now at seven she was very nice and fun at thanksgiving).

    It's why when we got married it was either dog or baby first and we got Cosmo to practice on. There were some kinks in how we thought she should be trained and we got to practice on compromise and communicating and deciding on which way to be consistent with her. She is pretty well behaved and even at 7 now, still tries to test us once in a while!

    Jennifer, 35, DH 36

  11. #16301
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    Bedrooms...ah. Our house is probably very lax about bedrooms compared with others. We have 'major houseclean day' which is every Sunday, but their bedrooms I'm pretty lax on. I won't allow them to keep dirty dishes or garbage in there, but toys or clothes on the floor doesn't bother me so much. Conner has toys strung from one end of the house to the other most days. We keep the living rooms cleaned up, but the office has been known to be a disaster for a week straight.

    I could probably be stricter about the toys on the floor, but to me it's not a big deal. I was a messy bedroom keeper as a kid, but I still keep my house clean as an adult. I don't view that as a life-altering problem.

    That being said, all 3 of the girls have varying degrees in bedroom cleanliness. Bobbie is the messiest as she hates to throw anything out, and she's a writer. Papers all over! Sydney keeps her clothes on the floor. When I can't walk from the door to her bed without stepping on them, I get on her case about cleaning it up. Jessica is meticulous and always has been.

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


  12. #16302
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    Chrissy, I can't remember if I ever thanked you but your post about dairy intolerance when I was talking about Travis and his constipation was a life saver! We've switched him to goats milk for his cereal and now he is regular and has been pretty much straight after we made the switch! Without your post, I probably would still be here trying to figure out how to help him!

    I agree with y'all....parenting ain't easy and it ain't for the lazy!

  13. #16303
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    That is great that you found something to work for Travis!

    Jennifer, 35, DH 36

  14. #16304
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    yay!! I'm so glad you found the culprit! He must feel so much better now

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


  15. #16305
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    He does! And he's even doing poos in the toilet now (the constipation made pt a nightmare!)

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    I think that I'm going to suprise DH and bring home Culvers for dinner. I haven't done that much recently as I hate driving in the dark and I won't if the roads are icky but I think that they should be ok tonight and it's not totally dark now when I leave work.
    And my breakfast and lunch are so good that I have enough points to do this for dinner without going into my weekly allowance. Luckily for me I like the pot roast beef sandwhich which isn't too bad and not the butter burgers!

    Do you all have Culvers or is that a more local chain?

    Jennifer, 35, DH 36

  17. #16307
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    I've never heard of Culvers; what kind of food do they do? I am really hungry now and would love a cheeseburger, but I'm trying to lose 5 lbs and we have no beef in our house...lol. My DH doesn't really eat beef, so I hardly ever eat it anymore...I miss it....

  18. #16308
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    http://www.culvers.com/

    Known for custard and butter burgers. Step up above mcdonalds and burger king. I will get DH a double bacon cheese butter burger. Not healthy at all but he loves it and we don't do it often and we ate healthy last night and will tomorrow night. And I will skip the custard since it's Jan. and we are barely getting above zero degrees!

    Jennifer, 35, DH 36

  19. #16309
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    Quote Originally Posted by silverstar View Post
    He does! And he's even doing poos in the toilet now (the constipation made pt a nightmare!)
    I'm really so happy for him. And you!

    Quote Originally Posted by Cosmosmom View Post
    Do you all have Culvers or is that a more local chain?
    I've never heard of it either.

    I told the kids that if they're all good, we might go to Sonic (an hour from our house) in early March. That's a real treat for us...we love them, but they're so far we've only gone once. We went with ShannonG when we were in AZ and fell in love.

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


  20. #16310
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    OMG, my fb status the other day was about longing for a Sonic meal...I neeeed it!

  21. #16311
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    Me too! I'm starving for Sonic just thinking about it.

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


  22. #16312
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    Quote Originally Posted by missychrissy View Post
    I'm really so happy for him. And you!


    I've never heard of it either.

    I told the kids that if they're all good, we might go to Sonic (an hour from our house) in early March. That's a real treat for us...we love them, but they're so far we've only gone once. We went with ShannonG when we were in AZ and fell in love.
    Must be a midwest thing...I know they are all over in WI, IL and MN. It's my dad's favorite. Step above Sonic, at least that is what we think ....which we just got one like a year or two ago.

    Jennifer, 35, DH 36

  23. #16313

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    We've been having cheeseburgers once a week at home and they are like the tastiest thing in thing in the world to me. I ate two in one sitting last week! Dbf was shocked and I told him it was okay because they are grass fed so much leaner. We get our beef from a local farmer and I'm not exaggerating when I say that it's the best beef I've ever had.

    I hear all of you on the struggle to know what matters and what doesn't in the whole realm of things. I try to maintain that it's not the lesson itself that makes the difference but the manner in which we go about it.

  24. #16314
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    Quote Originally Posted by bridgetwu75 View Post
    I try to maintain that it's not the lesson itself that makes the difference but the manner in which we go about it.
    That sums it up nicely.

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


  25. #16315

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    His bedroom is not the problem, it's that our living room is kind of split, and one side is Josh's playroom, so we like to keep it kind of neat so we don't have to look at a mess when we watch tv. It's such a disaster 99% of the time and it's the first thing you see when you walk in the house so I know DH's blood pressure goes up every time he comes home to a mess. It's just a lot of clutter. I don't know how they get the kids to clean up at school, because he won't clean up at the library's playroom either, and I hate to threaten not going to the library but it's such a horrible fight every time we go, when it comes time to clean up the mess.
    I was a very disorganized child and I still am so I worry about this problem.

  26. #16316
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    He sounds just like Conner. I could show you pictures of his 'office' (where his toys are). It's just off our living room/dining room area, so it's not that big of a deal but he does string his toys out all over the place. imo, toys don't equate mess so it doesn't really get to me even though it does appear cluttered and untidy. I think your dh should realize that little kids are messy.

    Conner also doesn't like picking up, but if we're out at the dr's or wherever he'll often start helping me when he sees me pick up. Or if he doesn't, I'll point to a book and say, "Can you put that on the shelf for Mommy?" I praise him when he does, but I don't make a big deal if he doesn't. He'll get it some day.

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


  27. #16317

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    My kids are messy too as far as toys everywhere. Dbf pisses me off because after we clean the house when they start to play he will keep saying, "don't make a mess please. We just cleaned." I'm like, dude. What the heck do you want them to do if they can't play with their toys. I keep trying to explain to them that their play is their work. It's how they learn. Does he really want to hinder their learning so he can have a clean living room floor?
    Clean up is sometimes a struggle and sometimes not but usually if they at least make an effort to put it away, I'm satisfied. Savana's problem is that she's never done. Her "mess" is actually a complex little world that he has set up and she doesn't want to destroy it. I can respect that. Dbf can't. It's ongoing around here.

  28. #16318
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    When I had kids that are 4, part of the deal was that my mom didn't come home to a messy living room. I usually had them help with clean up but in reality basically I was picking the toys up and putting them in the basket or away. They weren't of a help at 3-5 years old!

    DH REALLY dislikes a mess so we clean up Cosmo's toys...she's smart and when I tried to train her to put her toys away, she got so excited about the praise that two more came out of her basket. I know shes a dog....but without a kid, I buy her a lot of toys. So many that her basket was way beyond full and DH has taken to rotating them from storage. Usually she has a couple in my bed, a few on the floor in each room, a trail up and down the hallway and a couple in the kitchen and like 8 around the living room. LOL Favorite right now is the snoopy grandma got her for xmas. And the football that will come out Sunday for the packer game!

    Jennifer, 35, DH 36

  29. #16319

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    Bridget, DH says the same thing. I'm like, so what is the correct time between when you've finished cleaning and you're allowed to make a mess again? LOL
    I'm thinking I should just lead by example, and have DH do the same, for a while. Rather than burst blood vessels over trying to get him to clean, we will just show him how to do it and maybe he will chip in when he sees us doing it.
    Today and yesterday have been very trying days...but thankfully today is almost over. It's almost time to go to the gym and then Josh has a dentist appt., then we come home and have dinner and then DH will be home.
    Oh, I did ask DH if he was extra stressed out about work or if the panic attacks were back or anything, and he said no, he's just worried about money, we're behind on a couple bills and there are some big money things we want to do with the house such as pave the driveway and maybe finish the basement. He said he's sorry it was such a stressful day yesterday.

  30. #16320

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    Kate - can you pick up a folding screen/room divider to pull in front of the mess? I know it isn't the same as having a completely clean room, but sometimes it is better if you don't see it.

    "Any idiot can face a crisis; it is this day-to-day living that wears you out." -Anton Chekhov


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