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 Post subject: Stuff you promise yourself you'll never do to your kids
PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:30 pm 
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One of the things that is so hard about having a kid, is looking at them and remembering some of the stuff your parents did and hoping that you can manage not to repeat their behaviors or mistakes with your kid. And of course, most likely we'll manage to not repeat the biggest errors, but go ahead and repeat all the rest from our unconscious patterning.

My mother repeatedly told me no one liked me and that no one wanted to be my friend. I'd make friends at school and my mother would tear them down for their faults or tell me that they were only pretending to like me and that secretly they said mean things about me behind my back because I was a loudmouthed bisque whom no one could ever like. Its so odd to be on FB and have people who were my friends back then contact me, and feel all those old feelings of insecurity rising up in me.

I can't imagine ever tearing down Leela's self-esteem like that, but I know I can often be that nasty, even without thinking. It really bothers me that I might say stuff to her like my mother did to me, and even Brett will say that his biggest fear about co-parenting with me is me becoming like my mother. Kids seem so small and vulnerable, I just can't imagine an adult choosing to hurt one. I'm hoping that awareness is going to be enough.

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 Post subject: Re: Stuff you promise yourself you'll never do to your kids
PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 7:30 pm 
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I know this is probably for people who are parents, and I feel kind of like an invader posting in the playground, but I read it everyday, so whatever. I would like to have children one day, and if/when I do I will not tell people what the gender is when pregnant if I can avoid doing that, so that maybe it will help people not have preconceived notions about how the kid will behave before they even know them, before they are even born. Also maybe less girl and boy specific toys given by people, who knows?

I will not try to force them to eat things they don't want, or use food as rewards, so as to help them not associate healthy things I may want them to eat as punishment or things like that. I also won't make comments if they eat a lot or put restrictions on how much they can eat at dinner, since I would not like to set my child up for the issues I have had, which may have been contributed to my mothers comments about "How are you so skinny and eating so much"...blah blah blah, shut up bisque, was she trying to set me up to fail and have anorexia/bulimia?

Also I won't keep them from playing outside like parents seem to a lot these days. I would make sure they had reasonable boundaries, so that they don't feel like they can bike to the next town over, and so I know where they may be, but none of the super protective stuff once they are old enough to play by themselves without too much danger.


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 Post subject: Re: Stuff you promise yourself you'll never do to your kids
PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 7:43 pm 
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My mom was super manipulative when we were young and still is to this day. She has an uncanny knack for making you feel like shitake without actually saying anything mean or nasty. I hope to never ever do that.

She also can't just come right out and say how she is feeling about something. Instead, she twist and bend things to turn it on you so you feel like the jerk. I guess that's kind of the same thing. I never want to not be open and honest with my child. I know sometimes it hurts more at the time to tell them the truth, but I would rather not walk on eggshells and lie to save someone's feelings, it really just sets them up to not know how to deal with things in the future.

She also coddled my youngest sister so badly that to this day, you cannot have a conversation with her about real problems without her totally flipping out. She is a super slow learner and all my mom did was continue to baby her rather than help her learn the hard way, always bails her out and nothing is ever her fault.

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 Post subject: Re: Stuff you promise yourself you'll never do to your kids
PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 8:42 pm 
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Whoops, wasn't quite done yet, started to edit my post and then my sister called... 45 mins later and I realized I couldn't post what I had written so here I go again.

Tofulish, I'm so sorry you had to go through that as a child, I cannot even imagine being treated that way :(

My Mom was so focused on personal appearance. She never told us we were ugly or anything but she put such an emphasis on never leaving the house "undone", your hair, makeup, outfit should all be perfect. She would (and still does) spend hours getting ready and can't even go to the grocery store unless she is done up. To this day, I still have a hard time feeling comfortable with my face bare, even though I know I am beautiful, in the back of my mind I think, if I just had a bit of concealer to cover the redness around my nose and eyes or a bit of mascara, I would look so much better.

My Dad was pretty great. He never really did anything that I feel the need to avoid as a parent.

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 Post subject: Re: Stuff you promise yourself you'll never do to your kids
PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 9:36 pm 
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Momo wrote:
My mom was super manipulative when we were young and still is to this day. She has an uncanny knack for making you feel like shitake without actually saying anything mean or nasty. I hope to never ever do that.

She also can't just come right out and say how she is feeling about something. Instead, she twist and bend things to turn it on you so you feel like the jerk. I guess that's kind of the same thing.

My Mom was so focused on personal appearance. She never told us we were ugly or anything but she put such an emphasis on never leaving the house "undone", your hair, makeup, outfit should all be perfect. She would (and still does) spend hours getting ready and can't even go to the grocery store unless she is done up. To this day, I still have a hard time feeling comfortable with my face bare, even though I know I am beautiful, in the back of my mind I think, if I just had a bit of concealer to cover the redness around my nose and eyes or a bit of mascara, I would look so much better.


Our mothers must be twins. You wrote almost everything I wanted to say. In fact one reason I decided (for now at least) that I'm not interested in having children is because I was worried I would be like my mom and that my child would also be exposed to my mother and her manipulative, emotionally abusive BS. A lot of her "punishments" were also based on humiliation and she was only appeased when I was groveling (literally) at her feet. I think this stems from her upbringing, which was emotionally and physically abusive, although that's no excuse.

Tofulish, that is really awful stuff. My mom never said things like that but she did manipulate me into making me think that all my friends were crassholes who were only interested in using me. She did this because she wanted constant companion/girlfriend/therapist to spend time with, not a daughter, and was looking for ways to destroy my other relationships. The older I got the worse it was. She was/is jealous of anyone in my life that wasn't her (my dad, my friends, any other adult women/mentors, my partner, my future MIL).

When I was younger my dad was a jerk in a lot of ways...impatient, bullying, angry. He was also really insensitive when I hit puberty -- he told me when I was 11 I had ugly hairy legs and why wasn't I shaving yet?? Also when I was about 8, I was jumping rope and he said my chest looked like two cats fighting in a gunny sack. I matured early and wasn't wearing a bra yet and what he said was so incredibly embarrassing (not to mention the mean things kids say in 3rd grade when you have a full rack) that it made me ashamed of my body throughout adolescence. He was also really critical of women's bodies (strangers on the street and my mom) and was very fat phobic despite being overweight himself. That and my mom's obsession with her body (and mine, always comparing us and telling me how much BIGGER I was than her) made me have serious body issues and I think contributed to my eating disorder as a teen. I think you have to be really careful when you have daughters (and sons, but more I think with daughters) because every.little.thing.you.say can be so hurtful and influential and can lead to self-loathing or a distorted body image. When I do outreach now with kids and teens I try really really hard to avoid/discourage that kind of behavior even though it's always buzzing around in the back of my mind. It's tough to break the pattern.

Sorry for the wall of text! I guess I've thought a lot about this.

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 Post subject: Re: Stuff you promise yourself you'll never do to your kids
PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 9:46 pm 
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Tofulish, youre such an awesome sweetheart, that on your very worst day ever...youd never even come close to ever doing anything like that to your daughter. I dont even really know you and can say absolutely thats a fact.

I dont have much bad to say about how my parents raised me. If I ever have kids, I think the one thing Id do is try to raise them in the same area and not move around. From the ages of 4 to 18 I never lived anywhere longer than 2 years. I think that sort of goofed me up a bit, especially in my teenage years. Going to new schools and having to make new friends (which takes me a while) and having to get in fights and get picked on and stand up to a whole new group of bullies each time got a bit old.

I think that all made me into a bit of a loner, which isnt a bad thing..but I can sometimes be an extreme loner, where I just loathe being around other people at times....and that sort of makes it rough to be in a relationship with others. I think I became that way from spending tons of summers just in my room reading, or years at school just alone during breaks because I didnt have any friends.

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 Post subject: Re: Stuff you promise yourself you'll never do to your kids
PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 10:36 pm 
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My parents were both pretty messed up when I was a little kid. Like, literally messed up-- on drugs and such. I grew up in a suuuuuper unstable environment because of this (and also just because of the general personality of my mom, who I lived with til I was a teenager, and the men in her life, my stepdad etc) and the one thing I've really promised myself is that no matter what happens, the Emperor is going to live in a stable household. Rules aren't going to change constantly. People's behaviors aren't going to change constantly. Plans aren't going to change constantly. I will be boring as hell before I will make my kid go through the emotional rollercoasters I was put on constantly by the adults in my life all the time.

I will try not to make promises to him that I can't keep. I will try, if I say I am going to be there for him, to actually be there. My dad was horrible about this when I was really young. He was supposed to have custody of my siblings and I on weekends, and he would frequently say he was coming-- then just not show up, because he was out drinking or using instead. He wouldn't call or anything. We would be terrified that he had been in a car accident or something. The not knowing was so bad and my stomach is still in knots remembering it.

I will try my hardest never to stay in an abusive relationship, because that forks your kids up in so many ways. I seriously did not know how to recognize an abusive relationship until I was maybe 20 and had been through 2 of my own (including one charming young man who did things like throw water on me and wipe his earwax on me in front of our friends) because I had never seen a healthy adult relationship. Let me be clear on this: I did not dump this guy because he was abusive, nor the guy before him who was abusive. Because I did not recognize it as abuse at the time, I just kinda thought that's how relationships went. That is not a way anyone should grow up.

Jeez, I could keep going all day. The funny thing is, I love my parents-- we have pretty good relationships these days. But I have learned a LOT from their mistakes as parents, and now it's on me to try to avoid the same pitfalls.

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 Post subject: Re: Stuff you promise yourself you'll never do to your kids
PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 10:45 pm 
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My parents were/are really loving and attentive, my only real complaint is they were happy with whatever we did and never gave us (me!) anything to strive for. I wish they had been impressed with my grades or encouraged me to accomplish goals. I work really hard to make sure Shae is always doing his best and not just coasting along, like I always did/do.

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 Post subject: Re: Stuff you promise yourself you'll never do to your kids
PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 10:49 pm 
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Adam Crisis wrote:
Tofulish, youre such an awesome sweetheart, that on your very worst day ever...youd never even come close to ever doing anything like that to your daughter. I dont even really know you and can say absolutely thats a fact.

Yes, this is what my brain was thinking as I was reading your post earlier. AC you said it perfectly.

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 Post subject: Re: Stuff you promise yourself you'll never do to your kids
PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 5:16 am 
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Wow, momo & couroupita, our moms all went to mom-school together! Sometimes, my mom wouldn't let me leave the house without make-up -- one time she wouldn't let me leave my room when my sister was having a birthday party unless I had make-up on.

I have a video (on youtube, tee hee) I took as an adult where we are in this old growth forest and I am trying to film this tree and my mom is trying to get my attention and I tell her to hang on and she is all, "fine, I'm not taking you to Mt. Hood." I was 27, had my own car, had moved out 6 years before, had been married for 5 years, hadn't seen my mom in over a year, and she was still pulling that shiitake.

The worst thing is that she & my dad and sister are all in denial about everything and they act like my mom is so fabulous and that all my complaints are either false memories or exaggerated. (I haven't even heard from my family since around the time Raygold was born. A few days after I had him, they were phoning me in the middle of the night -- literally, 4am -- to yell at us about something (because we are terrible people, obviously*). They didn't ever ask about Raygold or mention that I'd been pregnant and had a baby or anything. I don't even know if they know his name or when he was born.)

* They spent hours googling my name to find dirt on me (they do that to everybody they hate) once and found my myspace blog from ages ago and said they were going to sue me for slander because I had blogged about how my mom drinks too much and how they take this weird fat-blocking stuff called Alli that makes them poop orange fat and have wet, oily farts! I thought it was kind of wild that they were going to sue me, especially since they don't have the same last name as me and I only referred to them as mom/dad/my parents and it's not like CNN are going to pick up the story.

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 Post subject: Re: Stuff you promise yourself you'll never do to your kids
PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 12:47 pm 
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I don't have kids of my own, but I spend a lot of time with kids and I am planning on having my own in a few years anyway...

I love my parents and overall I am really grateful for how they raised me. I always felt loved, supported and encouraged to do my best. I do think that my parents instilled me with a massive fear of failure by focusing on how smart I was, though.

In elementary school I was always the most advanced reader in my class, got the 99th percentile on every standardized test, in the Talented and Gifted program, was pulled out for advanced math classes with older kids, stuff like that. I was a really nerdy unpopular kid who only had clothes from thrift stores and knew nothing whatsoever of current pop culture, and the only reason I had any self worth at all was because I knew I was smart. My parents constantly told me that I was smart and special and gifted. I became terrified of failing at anything, or even doing something that was hard for me. When I was in first grade and my advanced math class started covering multiplying two digit numbers, I just didn't understand and I ran out into the hallway and hid from my teacher. (I still don't know how to multiply two digit numbers--coincidence?) When a kid in my class skipped a grade and I didn't, I felt stupid and worthless. Then when I went to a school in fourth grade especially for "gifted" children I basically freaked out and stopped doing schoolwork altogether. I think this has pretty much followed me for my whole life. When I have kids, I will focus on complimenting their hard work and determination, not how smart they are. I will want them to strive to do their best , whatever their best is, but not make them feel like I love them because of their reading level, or whatever else.

Also when I was growing up my mom was very focused on weight loss, eventually losing 50 pounds and keeping it off, which is awesome for her. But there was so much talk about calories and weight loss in the house, and so many magazines around also focused on weight loss, and I became pretty obsessed with dieting when I did not need to be. My mom never encouraged this in me, and never said anything negative about my body, but I was just around it so much and was kind of a chubby kid with low self-esteem and I was so focused on losing weight and really felt like my life would be 10 times better if I did. As a parent I would definitely be aware of what messages about body image I am sending to my kids, even if I'm not doing it intentionally.

Also I am all for bargain shopping and I'm not saying I would be purchasing my kids a designer wardrobe, but, as I said earlier, until I was in fourth grade ALL of my clothes were from thrift stores and garage sales. In fourth grade I begged to go to Old Navy and got one pair of pants and one shirt, and after that every now and then I would get an outfit from Old Navy or the outlet mall. My parents were pretty broke when I was growing up, but I do wish they had recognized that in my life as a kid what I wore actually DID matter. They thought it was a silly thing that I cared so much and begged for whatever the other girls were wearing, and of course it was a silly thing to adults who didn't care about fashion in their own lives either, but I was a social outcast and some of that was because of what I wore. It sucks that that was how it worked but I wish that my parents had respected that it was the reality I lived in and tried to help out a bit, while still teaching me that you should never judge someone for what they're wearing and the problems with consumerism.

That came out so long! My parents were really good parents, I swear.

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 Post subject: Re: Stuff you promise yourself you'll never do to your kids
PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 1:30 pm 
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We will all make mistakes. I think accepting that is an important thing. Life can be messy, and we're only human. Being reflective and loving make a big difference. Being aware of how we think, how we behave, what we believe, and how our own upbringing may have affected us is crucial.

I grew up with a lot of anxiety. My parents lost a child at about 1 year, about a year before I was born. I believe this affected so much of how they saw the world and my place in it. It helped to create, in me, a lot of fear and feelings of superiority/inferiority that I have worked hard to overcome. (I was better than everyone else, the pampered prince, and I was the catered-to incompetent child unable to do for himself.)

I try hard to model something different for GG. I try to teach him to rely on himself and to understand and manage his own emotions. I praise him for independence, instead of punishing him for growing up. (Even though a part of me does wish he'd quit growing up already!) I respect his fears without encouraging him to give in to them. I talk openly with him about what things matter most in life. I try not to keep secrets from him, and not to give him secrets to keep. I try to show him that it's okay to be a fallible, emotional person trying his best.

But I'm only human. I screw up.

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 Post subject: Re: Stuff you promise yourself you'll never do to your kids
PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 1:43 pm 
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I feel lucky to have really good parents, but

My dad was babied by his parents. They pretty much paid his rent until he got married in his late 20's and paid for everything. He was majorly spoiled. Because of this he didn't want to raise his kids like that and made me work for every single thing I had. Which I think is a good thing but he took it too far. He made me buy my own lunch at school when I was only 13, I had a job after school where I earned a paycheck but I wasn't allowed to spend it on anything for myself, if I ever got into trouble he wouldn't do anything to help me out finantually or emotionally even if it was serious. I really don't agree with not helping out family members. He bullied my mom into not ever helping me out either and now that they are divorced my mom feels guilty and helps me out all the time, even too much because of her guilt of what he made me go through by myself as a teenager.

My parents didn't do this but one thing I have been hearing a lot about is parents being overly snoopy with their kids. Reading their text messages etc. I will never do this to my kid. Of course unless I suspect he is in trouble. Parents are outraged about their kids "sexting" and it just annoys me. Teenage kids are exploring their sexual selves and if the worst thing they are doing is sending provocative texts to each other I think there are other things that the parents can be worring about. When I hear about stuff like this, the first thing I do is think about what my life was when I was that age and work on it mentally from there. I think more parents need to do that.


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 Post subject: Re: Stuff you promise yourself you'll never do to your kids
PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 2:10 pm 
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I will never abuse substances or enable self-dustructive behavior (by my partner or child). That's the biggie for me. So much enabling going on in my family to this day. It's what keeps me from having a close relationship with my mom. She should really know better by now.


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 Post subject: Re: Stuff you promise yourself you'll never do to your kids
PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 2:35 pm 
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So many of you had great stuff to say re: the harm done by parents placing too much emphasis on appearance. However, an issue I had growing up is sorta the opposite - I was never really taught to groom myself, and certainly not how to do my hair etc. I kinda hope to find a middle ground for this, because while I don't think appearances should be a top priority, it bothers me that at 35 years old, I still am uncomfortable with make-up, salons, etc because it seems like most other women had some kinda training or bonding with their moms over this. And it wasn't that my parents were against the idea of being properly groomed or making attempts to look attractive, it was just that they ignored that whole thing probably out of being uncomfortable with it themselves (my mom was very obese when I was a kid.) That said, I'm the adult now so it's up to me to learn how to do my daughter's hair etc.

But a more important promise I'm making to myself is to not be a miserable human being, to not stay in my relationship if mutual love and respect ceases. My parents have stayed married for 45 years but the amount of pure vitriol towards each other is so palpable that I can barely stand to be around them. I wonder how different my siblings and I would be if we hadn't grown up around such miserable parents.


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 Post subject: Re: Stuff you promise yourself you'll never do to your kids
PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 2:45 pm 
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TheCrabbyCrafter wrote:
* They spent hours googling my name to find dirt on me (they do that to everybody they hate) once and found my myspace blog from ages ago and said they were going to sue me for slander because I had blogged about how my mom drinks too much and how they take this weird fat-blocking stuff called Alli that makes them poop orange fat and have wet, oily farts! I thought it was kind of wild that they were going to sue me, especially since they don't have the same last name as me and I only referred to them as mom/dad/my parents and it's not like CNN are going to pick up the story.


It wouldn't be great if your parents sued you or anything, but the fact that they'd have to read that outloud in front of a judge would be pretty awesome.

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 Post subject: Re: Stuff you promise yourself you'll never do to your kids
PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 3:00 pm 
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vegetable_assassin wrote:
I know this is probably for people who are parents, and I feel kind of like an invader posting in the playground, but I read it everyday,

AU CONTRAIRE, veg killer! If everyone who came into contact with kids thought this way, the world would be a whole new shade of awesome. All who interact with kids can influence their lives, not just parents and teachers.

@audrey- that is me exactly. Mr T had to do the girls' hairdos, i am totally hopeless!
@strawberry- i had similar experiences with G&T and grade skipping and often think critically about what I tell my daughter about herself. Recently I heard something on the radio that was an exploration of why praising a kid's approach to problems instead of outcome is more successful, I think about it a lot with my kid.

Tofulish, I was also brought up in a really abusive way. My father was a drill sergeant, literally, and shame and physical punishment perhaps used to be really effective on new army recruits, but it was a shitty way for a little girl to grow up.
I have all these idealistic ideas about things I will never do and say, and yet every once in a while I will say something that just astounds me with its horror. Usually it stops me right in my tracks and some dialog starts. I have told Sprog many a time that I want to bring her up differently from how I grew up, and that sometimes it's hard to change things, but I'm doing the best I can. I think she understands. We try to be really honest (sometimes too honest, and I almost feel awkward, but I know i'm doing The Right Thing), and sometimes I am ashamed to tell her how I grew up- for example, she hadn't changed the cockatiel's water in a while, and it was nasty. I told her my father in the same situation had made me drink it and then wear a sign around my neck saying how stupid I was (there were a lot of sign-around-neck punishments). shiitake like that is no fun to share.
Anyway, I am working really hard to have those things be dead, buried and thank god gone. The fact that you are thinking about this and thinking about how it effects her indicates you're not carrying on a hurtful legacy.

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 Post subject: Re: Stuff you promise yourself you'll never do to your kids
PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 3:09 pm 
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torque wrote:
vegetable_assassin wrote:
I know this is probably for people who are parents, and I feel kind of like an invader posting in the playground, but I read it everyday,

AU CONTRAIRE, veg killer! If everyone who came into contact with kids thought this way, the world would be a whole new shade of awesome. All who interact with kids can influence their lives, not just parents and teachers.


Yes! Please don't be afraid to post if you don't have kids! Some of the biggest influences in my kids lives are people who don't have children.

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 Post subject: Re: Stuff you promise yourself you'll never do to your kids
PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 3:17 pm 
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Fee wrote:
TheCrabbyCrafter wrote:
* They spent hours googling my name to find dirt on me (they do that to everybody they hate) once and found my myspace blog from ages ago and said they were going to sue me for slander because I had blogged about how my mom drinks too much and how they take this weird fat-blocking stuff called Alli that makes them poop orange fat and have wet, oily farts! I thought it was kind of wild that they were going to sue me, especially since they don't have the same last name as me and I only referred to them as mom/dad/my parents and it's not like CNN are going to pick up the story.


It wouldn't be great if your parents sued you or anything, but the fact that they'd have to read that outloud in front of a judge would be pretty awesome.

That's what I was thinking. My dad said he had talked to his lawyers (and asked myspace to take down my page) and I wondered if they'd read the offending entries and laughed their asparagi off.

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 Post subject: Re: Stuff you promise yourself you'll never do to your kids
PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 3:17 pm 
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Semen Strong
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Thanks for all the stories! And <3 AC and Momo <3

And t, that is insane. I've seen you with sprog, and you're an amazing parent. Its good to know that you can leave your upbringing behind as you raise your kid <3

Strawberryrock, your story resonates with me. I think my mother wanted us to learn to be smart, and neglected any of the social skills that make people successful, like dressing nicely, navigating social groups and making friends. My senior year of HS I was in a Catholic girls school and the nuns told my mother that they had no facilities to teach me more chemistry, physics and bio than I already knew. So I did classes at a local all girls religious college one day a week and independent study in the library the rest of the time. And I thought I was so smart and was kind of arrogant about it - I had a ton of scholarships and was in a G&T dorm and program at Rutgers. And then I got to Rutgers, and started getting Cs and I had no idea what to do to fix it. I had the same sense of failure you describe. I didn't think to ask questions, because I really thought that asking questions was letting everyone know you were stupid. So I kept trying to figure things out, and just kept falling more and more behind until I just gave up on Math and Science and went for the liberal arts stuff that I always did well at.

"Brain Rules for Babies" the author talks about praising kids for their efforts so you are teaching them skills to cope with failure for the first time they aren't the smartest kid in the class. And I definitely want to teach her to ask if she doesn't know something, and not get caught in a shame spiral trying to work things out and beating herself up for being a dummy.

And my mom also only ever bought me extra-large clothing from the sales rack - I didn't have properly fitting clothes until I got to college. My best friend in law school was the person who helped me find some sort of style that wasn't a baggy sweater and jeans.

My mom was also really forked up in a ton of ways. when my Dad asked her for a divorce, she waited until she knew he couldn't reach me and then told him I'd committed suicide. I hope never to put my own anger before my children's best interests or use their relationship with their dad to get even with him

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 Post subject: Re: Stuff you promise yourself you'll never do to your kids
PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 3:42 pm 
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Bathes in Braggs
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Tofulish wrote:
And my mom also only ever bought me extra-large clothing from the sales rack - I didn't have properly fitting clothes until I got to college. My best friend in law school was the person who helped me find some sort of style that wasn't a baggy sweater and jeans.



My mom did the exact same thing when she controlled the clothing money (and when I lived with her, I was a size 8. She'd be buying me XL/16+). I actually got called into the guidance office numerous times because it looked like I was covering up an eating disorder (and at the end of high school, I pretty much was). She is of a larger size and definitely brought all that down on me. I remember when I was 19 and got my wisdom teeth removed and my face was all puffy, she told me "Now remember what you look like with a chubby face, and never let yourself get that way!" (funny enough, that was the week I met my future husband...)

I had so many problems with eating when I was in school, and I hate blaming others for my own issues, but a lot of it was because of her. She would constantly poke and prod me, tell me how beautiful and thin my friends are, and give me that look whenever I'd reach for that second helping or dessert. I really thought those days were over with, but when I was pregnant with Ezra, she offered to take me out to buy some maternity clothes. She whisked each outfit out of the dressing room the moment after I tried it in, declaring that "it's too tight around your waist!" I left with no new clothes and a lot of tears (which she chalked up to being "overemotional" due to the pregnancy.)

With Ezra, I really am going to have an open door policy. I want him to feel comfortable with coming to me with anything. My mom still laughs at every thing that I say. Every. Thing. (I could say that I had a really rotten day, and she'd just chuckle.) I will always listen to my children. If I ever have a girl, it's going to be so hard not to just hold her close through everything and try to protect her. I never had that sort of love as I grew up, and I want to make sure I never cause her unnecessary pain.


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 Post subject: Re: Stuff you promise yourself you'll never do to your kids
PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 4:07 pm 
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Semen Strong
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My mom still laughs at every thing that I say. Every. Thing. (I could say that I had a really rotten day, and she'd just chuckle.)


That is just horrible. Yes, my mom could be counted on to take the opposite position of anything I said. She also had a long history of remembering your lowest moments and trotting them out right when you felt your worst.

Its probably no wonder I started TTC right after she died. I wouldn't have ever wanted her to be in my kid's life. My husband said he hates her just for the way she used to put me down and try and get him to agree with her.

I hope I can learn to just listen to Leela, and give her a big hug and lots of support before even trying to give her advice.

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 Post subject: Re: Stuff you promise yourself you'll never do to your kids
PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 4:26 pm 
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Flat Chesty McNoBoobs
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FootFace wrote:
We will all make mistakes. I think accepting that is an important thing. Life can be messy, and we're only human. Being reflective and loving make a big difference. Being aware of how we think, how we behave, what we believe, and how our own upbringing may have affected us is crucial.


I'm another person without children, but I'm chiming in anyway. When I look back on my childhood, I see my mom and my dad very differently. My mom, while she had some very bad years and made some mistakes, I can trust to love and look out for me. Whatever mistakes she made with me were just that, mistakes, not indicators of how she felt about me. Sure, there were periods when things were rough between us, and some of the things she did, I don't agree with, but I don't feel traumatized or hurt by her actions.

My dad, on the other hand, didn't make mistakes so much as he made choices that constantly went against me and my siblings' best interests. He left my mom and my siblings and I for a much younger woman. They're still together and have two kids, and my dad has made it very clear that that family is more important than his "starter" family: us. To this day, I simply can't trust him to look out for me or help me in any significant way. He's left me out in the cold both literally and figuratively many times. It's really done a number on me and has taken me a long time to come to grips with, and I'm still not sure I have.. He's a pretty fun drinking buddy, but if I need help, I go to my mom.

Where my non-parent experience is relevant to this thread is that since I'm the oldest of 3 (plus 2 half siblings), I have done what I can to make sure that they never feel like they're left out in the cold by me.

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 Post subject: Re: Stuff you promise yourself you'll never do to your kids
PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 4:55 pm 
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WELFARIST!
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I was parentless from the age of 10 on (mother a single parent, she went into hospital from a devastating stroke which eventually killed her, so I was left in charge of my older brother and sister from then on) but I will say the one thing she did that I wish she hadn't was that she involved me in her adult financial problems, like telling me how we were could get kicked out of our house, etc. She was really open about her financial challenges as a single mother, let's say, and I never felt any personal security, even as a kid. I was a 7-year-old worrying about making rent. Nothing's changed. LAWLZ.

Also, my sister was really affected by our Mom expressing her hatred for our father because it made her feel like a bad person, having come from him. I can't say it had the same effect on me, but I certainly agree our mother never should have dissed our father in front of us, no matter how rightfully she deserved to feel angry.

My mother was a beautiful, good-hearted person and her depression enabled her to make these mistakes with us. Other than that, for the brief time I knew her, I thought she was pretty stellar.

I hear you Jordan. We were the starter family. My father so thoroughly abandoned us that I maybe saw him less than ten times in my life and he lived only twenty minutes away. What killed my sister (again, because she felt a special affinity with our Dad) was that at his funeral his best friend, the guy who delivered the eulogy, WAS ASTONISHED AT OUR EXISTENCE. Our father never even mentioned us to his friends. This guy never knew our father had another family.

All that said, this left me to be raised mostly by my older brother which was the best thing that ever could have happened. Bro did an amazing job by focusing on my creativity and abilities and taking the time to develop what I could do (never mentioning how I looked--who cares about how I look, but what can you do?) and taking a genuine interest. He put in the time. I don't remember any unfair criticisms from him but not empty praise, either. I mean, I feel like I left my childhood years with absolute confidence in myself and my own abilities but confidence in no one else which in itself is maybe a bad thing...but I think having confidence in myself above anyone else is a pretty okay outcome, taking all the challenges of parenting and guardianship into consideration...

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 Post subject: Re: Stuff you promise yourself you'll never do to your kids
PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 5:02 pm 
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Impressive boner
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I know I'm human and sometimes I make mistakes, but these are my aims:

I won't make Baby Godzilla feel bad for being who he is.
If he tries really hard to do something but it doesn't turn out how he intended, I'll commiserate with him rather than punish him for failing.
I won't take my anger with others out on him.
I won't bully him or emotionally abuse him and if it's within my power I won't allow others to do those things to him.
I won't make him feel afraid of me.
I'll help him to work towards achieving his goals and dreams instead of trying to squash them.
I won't send him out of the room for laughing.
I won't punish him for minor things like not shutting a door or not putting a cup away.
I'll do my best to support his happiness.
I won't speak to him as though he's inferior to me.


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