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 Post subject: Re: Stuff you promise yourself you'll never do to your kids
PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 6:49 pm 
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Kelly wrote:
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.

I'm so glad this was brought up! Sometimes I feel like I'm spying on you guys because the Playground is my favorite board on the forums and I read it all the time. But seriously, before I started reading the Playground I was 100% sure I never wanted kids and wasn't at all interested in being married because the only family I had any familiarity with my own. My parents are pretty great now, but when they were married it was terrible. My poor mom was so miserable and so alone; I never wanted to be stuck in her position.
But here I've been able to see so many different kinds of happy, healthy families and people who live rich, wonderful lives with kids. I've done a complete 180 degree turn in my feelings and have you all to thank! It's led to me examine and be really careful with how I interact with my sort-of niece (my boyfriend's niece.) I love that I can be a positive role model for her and, even though she's only 4, I feel like we're pretty close pals. She is my favorite person ever. Plus, reading your all's stories and posts have given me a ton of insight into how to interact with and best support the parents and pregnant people in my life. That is way, way awesome and I'm so thankful.
Anyway, I love the Playground. You're all the best.

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 Post subject: Re: Stuff you promise yourself you'll never do to your kids
PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 8:32 pm 
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I'm not a mom, but if/when I become one someday, I will never give my child mean punishments. When I was no more than 8 or 9 my mom made my sister and I run laps around our neighborhood without walking at all. She stood outside chatting with a neighbor and looked at us like she hated us every time we ran by. It was really humiliating.

I also want to make sure I never say horrible things to my child. Once when I was misbehaving in the grocery store she told me that she was going to make me go away to live with a foster family if I didn't stop. This was when I was maybe 9, but I'm still kind of messed up because of it. I mean, I'm fine, but thinking about it makes me feel shitty.

There are many other stories like this. I understand that parenting is hard and people make mistakes, but I don't think being deliberately vicious and scary is a mistake. Some of the stuff in this thread just makes my heart break.

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 Post subject: Re: Stuff you promise yourself you'll never do to your kids
PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 9:27 pm 
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seitanicverses wrote:
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.


This is something my mom did too, and I have such mixed feelings about it. This time of year always makes me think of it because one of the things I understood very early about Christmas was that there wasn't enough money to go around, so once you reached a certain age you had to be content with not getting presents so that your younger siblings could have presents.

I think that in general, the adults in my life shared too many of their anxieties with me when I was a kid. I probably would have been anxiety prone anyway (everyone in my family is) but when everyone around you is constantly worrying out loud about everything, I don't think you can do anything except learn to worry too.

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 Post subject: Re: Stuff you promise yourself you'll never do to your kids
PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 10:27 pm 
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coldandsleepy wrote:
seitanicverses wrote:
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.


This is something my mom did too, and I have such mixed feelings about it. This time of year always makes me think of it because one of the things I understood very early about Christmas was that there wasn't enough money to go around, so once you reached a certain age you had to be content with not getting presents so that your younger siblings could have presents.

I think that in general, the adults in my life shared too many of their anxieties with me when I was a kid. I probably would have been anxiety prone anyway (everyone in my family is) but when everyone around you is constantly worrying out loud about everything, I don't think you can do anything except learn to worry too.

Yeah, my birthday is right after Christmas but I often would get my presents in February because Christmas as a single mother with four kids would drain her monies. I was quite fine with it, actually, but the actuality guilted my mother right out, naturally. The result of my b-day gifts being delayed was to bring about a certain pride in me at my maturity for not minding. But yeah, I wish she'd not have made me so privy to her troubles. When I think of my childhood when my mother was in it, it was basically me suppressing my needs and wants so as not to upset her further because I saw she was weak, I saw that whatever life delivered before I came had maxed her out and she was done. She also had a blood disorder and every time she got a small cut there was no reassurance but the reaction was: I'm going to bleed to death. Just from a little cut. There was just high, high anxiety in many realms. I was always waiting to lose her and finally, I did. Which brings me to my next point: I say, act strong for the sake of your children. It's okay to be vulnerable, naturally, and show vulnerablility but also show your kids you can bounce back from things. And if it's hard to bounce back, try and fake it to them till you make it...

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 Post subject: Re: Stuff you promise yourself you'll never do to your kids
PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2011 1:15 pm 
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My mom was super critical, and for awhile there I believed I was getting yelled at for something at least once a day (even though I was a good kid). I know I have a bit of this tendency, but I've really tried in my adult life to change my own mental state to be easier on myself and not super critical. I hope I can reign it in and not be that way with Kai.

She was also really puritan about sexuality, and would say all of the time "if you ever have sex before marriage I'll disown you" even though I was already adopted! Yeah that didn't help my self esteem much. I know for sure I'll never say anything ridiculous about disowning my child, and hope to explain the birds and bees to him in a much better way.

My parents were also very authoritarian in general, and would do the whole "end of the subject!" thing. They rarely listened to what I had to say (my mom still doesn't really) and there certainly was no negotiation. I plan on providing structure, and some gentle but firm rules instead of ruling with an iron fist.

Oh and another good one - I will never say "Just wait till your father gets home!!" We co-parent equally, the man doesn't rule our house.

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 Post subject: Re: Stuff you promise yourself you'll never do to your kids
PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2011 1:33 pm 
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seitanicverses wrote:
Yeah, my birthday is right after Christmas but I often would get my presents in February because Christmas as a single mother with four kids would drain her monies. I was quite fine with it, actually, but the actuality guilted my mother right out, naturally. The result of my b-day gifts being delayed was to bring about a certain pride in me at my maturity for not minding. But yeah, I wish she'd not have made me so privy to her troubles. When I think of my childhood when my mother was in it, it was basically me suppressing my needs and wants so as not to upset her further because I saw she was weak, I saw that whatever life delivered before I came had maxed her out and she was done. She also had a blood disorder and every time she got a small cut there was no reassurance but the reaction was: I'm going to bleed to death. Just from a little cut. There was just high, high anxiety in many realms. I was always waiting to lose her and finally, I did. Which brings me to my next point: I say, act strong for the sake of your children. It's okay to be vulnerable, naturally, and show vulnerablility but also show your kids you can bounce back from things. And if it's hard to bounce back, try and fake it to them till you make it...


Yeah-- the present thing didn't bother me either as a kid (and actually, wrapping presents for my younger siblings is one of my fondest childhood memories). Still a situation I hope to avoid with my kid, but it was the least of my worries.

And yeah, you hit the nail on the head exactly. Obviously parents are people too and people worry about things. But you don't need to tell your little kid that you're scared of (whatever serious thing) most of the time. I understand totally the desire to confide in your kids, especially if you're a bit of an introvert and don't have anyone else to confide in. But yeah. I just don't think that sort of oversharing is really healthy for your kids most of the time.

I lived with my grandparents as a younger kid (sometimes with my mom there, sometimes not) and thought of a bunch of things they did that I have promised myself not to! My grandfather used to send us to our rooms if we were crying (about anything), always with the phrase "go to your room until you can act like a human being again." Because human beings don't cry?!

He also had a lot of weird dinner table rules: adults dish out portions-- not particularly kid sized-- for kids, you have to finish everything on your plate, you have to drink a full glass of milk with every meal, you can't drink your milk too fast because then you're washing down your food, you can't drink your milk too slow because then you're lollygagging.

My grandmother's inappropriate out loud worrying about every subject on earth made (and still makes) my mom look calm and collected by comparison.

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 Post subject: Re: Stuff you promise yourself you'll never do to your kids
PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2011 1:34 pm 
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Aubade wrote:

Oh and another good one - I will never say "Just wait till your father gets home!!" We co-parent equally, the man doesn't rule our house.

I loved this cause my dad was usually way more lenient than my mom and less pissed since he wasn't there.


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 Post subject: Re: Stuff you promise yourself you'll never do to your kids
PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2011 1:39 pm 
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littlebear wrote:
Aubade wrote:

Oh and another good one - I will never say "Just wait till your father gets home!!" We co-parent equally, the man doesn't rule our house.

I loved this cause my dad was usually way more lenient than my mom and less pissed since he wasn't there.

Ha I'm sure this would be the case if I did say that. My husband is a total pushover and can barely even say no to our dog. I love that he's a gentle soul but I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to try my best not to end up the bad cop in the family.

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 Post subject: Re: Stuff you promise yourself you'll never do to your kids
PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2011 1:52 pm 
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coldandsleepy wrote:
He also had a lot of weird dinner table rules: adults dish out portions-- not particularly kid sized-- for kids, you have to finish everything on your plate, you have to drink a full glass of milk with every meal, you can't drink your milk too fast because then you're washing down your food, you can't drink your milk too slow because then you're lollygagging.

Yeah, that whole clean your plate thing was pretty widespread when I was a kid, even. I can't help but think it hearkens back especially to the Depression era and WWII rations, sort of thing. I don't think modern parents do that a whole lot, or at least I hope not. That wasn't an issue with my Mom but I remember eating at a friend's house and her Dad was like that--that you had to clean your plate. And I was not a kid who'd ever cleaned a plate in her life so I always got nervous when invited over to dinner there. It caused a lot of anxiety in their family, the clean-your-plate rule.

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 Post subject: Re: Stuff you promise yourself you'll never do to your kids
PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2011 2:00 pm 
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Aubade wrote:
My mom was super critical, and for awhile there I believed I was getting yelled at for something at least once a day (even though I was a good kid). I know I have a bit of this tendency, but I've really tried in my adult life to change my own mental state to be easier on myself and not super critical. I hope I can reign it in and not be that way with Kai.

This is something I'm working on. And I know my mother is equally critical of herself. I want to learn that it's OK to be imperfect so I can pass that on to my (so far imaginary) kids.


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 Post subject: Re: Stuff you promise yourself you'll never do to your kids
PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2011 2:04 pm 
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coldandsleepy wrote:
you can't drink your milk too fast because then you're washing down your food, you can't drink your milk too slow because then you're lollygagging..

My grandmother was the same way! Only with a lot of 4-letter words. "Stop making that noise!" "Gram, I'm breathing." "Then stop fookin breathin!" It was more funny than evil though.

@aubade- i am the bad cop, totally. Mr T is total soggy noodle. 12 years in and we are still having the same conversation
"you know, I get tired of being the only one who says no"
"Then stop telling her no"
"......"

we do the best we can......

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 Post subject: Re: Stuff you promise yourself you'll never do to your kids
PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2011 2:07 pm 
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torque wrote:
@aubade- i am the bad cop, totally. Mr T is total soggy noodle. 12 years in and we are still having the same conversation
"you know, I get tired of being the only one who says no"
"Then stop telling her no"
"......"


Image

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 Post subject: Re: Stuff you promise yourself you'll never do to your kids
PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2011 2:09 pm 
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seitanicverses wrote:
coldandsleepy wrote:
He also had a lot of weird dinner table rules: adults dish out portions-- not particularly kid sized-- for kids, you have to finish everything on your plate, you have to drink a full glass of milk with every meal, you can't drink your milk too fast because then you're washing down your food, you can't drink your milk too slow because then you're lollygagging.

Yeah, that whole clean your plate thing was pretty widespread when I was a kid, even. I can't help but think it hearkens back especially to the Depression era and WWII rations, sort of thing. I don't think modern parents do that a whole lot, or at least I hope not. That wasn't an issue with my Mom but I remember eating at a friend's house and her Dad was like that--that you had to clean your plate. And I was not a kid who'd ever cleaned a plate in her life so I always got nervous when invited over to dinner there. It caused a lot of anxiety in their family, the clean-your-plate rule.


That reminds me, we had the clean-your-plate rule too. I had to sit at the dinner table until I finished, and I remember many a night sitting at the table by myself, watching everyone else watch tv. I guess add this to the list of things I won't do.

Torque - uhoh. Guess we'll be able to commiserate when Kai gets into the terrible twos!

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 Post subject: Re: Stuff you promise yourself you'll never do to your kids
PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2011 2:39 pm 
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There are a lot of "soft" things I wouldn't do, but that would take a while so I'm at work. One concrete thing that will not happen is TV in the bedroom. I had one when I was a kid, and now at 32 I still can't fall asleep without the TV on. It's a horrible habit!!

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 Post subject: Re: Stuff you promise yourself you'll never do to your kids
PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2011 3:38 pm 
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Tofulish wrote:
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i got the "look who's popular" message..... was it by chance a picture of a BEAGLE WITH RABIES?!?!?!? hehe jk.

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 Post subject: Re: Stuff you promise yourself you'll never do to your kids
PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2011 4:32 pm 
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This thread is really depressing. Without going into a ton of details, I would hope that if anyone or their partner has issues with addiction or eating disorders that if possible, you at least begin treatment before you have children.

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 Post subject: Re: Stuff you promise yourself you'll never do to your kids
PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2011 5:10 pm 
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I know I will be bad cop because Nate didn't grow up with any real rules and believed that any rule was only there for him to break.


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 Post subject: Re: Stuff you promise yourself you'll never do to your kids
PostPosted: Tue Dec 20, 2011 5:17 pm 
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torque wrote:
Tofulish wrote:
Image

i got the "look who's popular" message..... was it by chance a picture of a BEAGLE WITH RABIES?!?!?!? hehe jk.


Hahaha! No it was Neil Patrick Harris doing a spit take. Like so, but bigger and NPH.
Image

As for the "eat all your food" and other punishments, I hope to avoid anything where we impose on her because we are bigger and we can. I know there will be some unavoidable things where we do so, for her own safety, but I want to keep them to a minimum and have her felt heard wherever possible.

On Baby Center a woman posted that her mother had taught her child to swear inadvertently she she "popped her daughter in the mouth" and then reprimanded (her words) the mother. So why for the same offense did the child get smacked and the mother got reprimanded? Because one is bigger than the other, and the mother felt free to hit her kid and post about it on a website. I would hope that I never feel like violence whether emotional or physical etc is okay

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 Post subject: Re: Stuff you promise yourself you'll never do to your kids
PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 3:38 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Stuff you promise yourself you'll never do to your kids
PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 4:27 pm 
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Vantine wrote:
This thread is really depressing.

Really? I think it's sad yeah, but in the end uplifting. It is triggering my very large desire to adopt. Though most threads in The Playground do. I think it's a good idea to write out all these things you don't want to do with your child. It makes it more of a solid goal that you can't pretend didn't exist if you broke them.

Aubade wrote:
That reminds me, we had the clean-your-plate rule too. I had to sit at the dinner table until I finished, and I remember many a night sitting at the table by myself, watching everyone else watch tv. I guess add this to the list of things I won't do.

Just a tip to all those hoping to avoid this, don't go too extreme with the opposite! My sister-in-law really hated this about her upbringing, so she swore to never push food on her son at all. Okay but now the only savory foods her son will eat are chicken nuggets and quesadillas (plain cheese). He is quite skinny and has fainted many times from the poor nutrition and I feel pretty positive that he's going to get diabetes. But she still acts like I'm a crasshole for the one time he stayed at my house and I tried feeding him something he didn't like (something healthy).

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 Post subject: Re: Stuff you promise yourself you'll never do to your kids
PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 4:54 pm 
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As far as thinking of stuff my parents did that I don't want to do, I'm conflicted. I mean there's the obvious, I'm going to never get drunk in a space my kid will be there for it. So much embarrassment with my father and his drinking. Also I'd like to try and avoid pushing my hypochondria onto my child like my father did. He'd tell me all these stories about 'people he was really close friends with' getting cancer, rare viruses, decapitated, disfiguring skin grafts... I highly doubt he knew anyone whom most of these things happened to. I think he told me so that I might be safe? With my decisions? But it just made me get nightmares and now sometimes I get pretty random anxiety attacks about dying. But I think that will be really hard for me, I know I won't tell any gross stories, but I feel like I will have a hard time not to subtly introduce it. For example if my child were to get a cut, and it would get a little red around the edges I think I might have a hard time not acting scared that it's infected. That kind of thing.

As for what I am conflicted about, it's that I look at personality traits of mine that I don't like, and I try to think of what my parents could have done to cause them, and I'm not sure there was anything they did really. Like I think about how could my child avoid this momentous apathy and procrastination and laziness that I have. I think, was it that my parents signed me up for too many after-school and summer programs in too many subjects that nothing super particular really inspires me? I doubt that because I was really the one picking them all and they would just go along with it. I'm not sure. And as a child I seemed pretty enthusiastic about things so I don't think they could have seen signs and tried to do anything about it. Maybe it was something about how my teenage years went. Maybe I wish they could have successfully steered me away from doing so many drugs, but I'm not sure how they would have been able to do that. And I don't actually regret the drugs, just think that there's a possibility they could be why I'm so damned lazy. Actually maybe it's more to do with how much of pushovers they were with my dislike for basically anything that was 'too hard'.

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 Post subject: Re: Stuff you promise yourself you'll never do to your kids
PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 4:59 pm 
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Just a tip to all those hoping to avoid this, don't go too extreme with the opposite! My sister-in-law really hated this about her upbringing, so she swore to never push food on her son at all. Okay but now the only savory foods her son will eat are chicken nuggets and quesadillas (plain cheese). He is quite skinny and has fainted many times from the poor nutrition and I feel pretty positive that he's going to get diabetes. But she still acts like I'm a crasshole for the one time he stayed at my house and I tried feeding him something he didn't like (something healthy).


I have a hard time with this one. My daughter is tiny - at her 30 month checkup, she weighed just barely 22 pounds though a more average height. I know a lot of that is genetics (I am small, and her dad was really scrawny until he hit the 11th grade or so), but I do worry when she doesn't eat what is offered. We've been pretty lucky in that she is mostly a good eater, but I have those panic-stricken moments where I want to make her finish her plate because I'm worried she'll never grow. I keep telling myself my job is to offer a variety of healthy foods, and her job is to eat them (or not)....easier said than done some days!

Like several of you, I work damn hard to make sure my daughter has a stable, loving home environment and isn't burdened by the worries that might trouble her parents. For me personally, this is so important because I know how much my parents' behavior impacted (and still impacts) me. My parents fought a lot in front of us and even split up a couple times and got back together before finally divorcing for good when I was around 12. I distinctly recall my mother telling me and my brother one time that she had cheated on my father and asking for our freaking forgiveness. I think I was maybe 10, because clearly that's information a 10-year-old should posses. As hard as this stuff was (and it still negatively impacts my relationship with my mom), I hope the silver lining in it is that I recognize how forked up much of my childhood was and work to avoid the same mistakes with Lucy.

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 Post subject: Re: Stuff you promise yourself you'll never do to your kids
PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 5:01 pm 
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I agree Mars! I like the idea of trying to remember what your parents did that didn't work for you and trying to find better role models (and I completely agree that just going in the opposite direction (rather than having a model to follow) doesn't work well. I think all my mom friends are amazing role models, and I try and borrow from them where I can.

Another thing my parents did that I hope not to do is to relativize Leela's achievements. My parents first reaction to anything was "how did everyone else do?" So if I got a 95% it was only praised and good if I was better than everyone else. It wasn't enough on its own. My mom was so competitive that I really never realized (1) you can be proud of what you did and how much effort you put in, even if you weren't better than anyone else and (2) how to work with people without needing to tear down their accomplishments mentally so I could feel better about my own. I think the strongest predictor of success and happiness is an ability to work well with others and its hard to do that if you're always trying to figure out if you're better than them or worse, rather than seeing that everyone has their own gifts and it isn't a competition. And that part is so hard - I already read how far other babies are and feel stressed that she isn't rolling over yet, is still in NB clothes, is only 22 inches long etc. So ridiculous, but its my conditioning at play :)

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My oven is bigger on the inside, and it produces lots of wibbly wobbly, cake wakey... stuff. - The PoopieB.


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 Post subject: Re: Stuff you promise yourself you'll never do to your kids
PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 5:48 pm 
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Drinks Wild Tofurkey
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Grey is just rolling over and still gets very frustrated about it, but he is good at other things. They all mature at their own rate!


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 Post subject: Re: Stuff you promise yourself you'll never do to your kids
PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2011 5:54 pm 
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Semen Strong
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Location: Cliffbar NJ
:) Absolutely! And its great to enjoy the milestones as they pop up without worrying :)

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