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 Post subject: Re: The Imperfect Parent Trap
PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 6:46 am 
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Footie, it sounds to me like you are a very good parent.

Footface wrote:
And I really need him—and he really needs—to wind down, to keep learning HOW to wind down. How to let these things go.

This is so important. I was in therapy for years and years, and in group therapy it was one of the biggest problems for all of us.. We couldn't let go, get over issues, unwind.. And it's so important. to me, it's really helped with my self esteem, my focus and my interpersonal relationships to learn this!

Footface wrote:
About an hour later, or maybe longer, he came upstairs to say he was having trouble relaxing. He had probably been reading almost all that time. I stalled. I am tired of being on-call for a task I shouldn't need to perform anymore. He's 10. He and I have talked about how to relax. I've walked him through the steps countless times.

I think it's really important to stick with this. Even though it can feel horrible, I think it's so important to stick with the knowledge you have that HE CAN DO IT BY HIMSELF. sleeping is a task everyone can do. he just needs to learn that he can, in fact, fall asleep on his own. and I think the best way to teach a kid how to do something is letting them find their own way, and sticking with it - by some point, when he realize that he has to do this on his own now, because you will not sit there, no matter how much of a tantrum he throws.. because he is a big, smart person, who can do it by himself. to me, this is sending a clear signal of trust and love to your kid, while teaching him to trust himself. because at some point it will work, and he will have a feeling of success and it will be awesome.


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 Post subject: Re: The Imperfect Parent Trap
PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 11:30 am 
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FootFace wrote:
Discipline is just so important—and so fraught. ..... There are so many ways that loving, well-meaning parents can blow it. I think I've blown it in all of them.

I have had this last thought so many dozens of times............
I think on the whole we both have kids that are wonderful, smart, creative, and well-behaved enough that we could take them anywhere and not have to worry about them being less than charming, kind and overall good kids.
But when things are bad, nothing feels more horrid.

I'm sure you've considered that there are plenty of adults who don't know how to relax, deal with anxiety and self-soothe. I think podcasts and such are great too- they've helped me through flying when I didn't think I could do it.
Also, so much horrible news lately (shooting, end of world, etc) has gotten all sorts of emotions stirred up.

hang in there. hope he wakes up and things are a bit better.

We went through a really rough patch at the end of this school year (early December) and now things are going much better. One step forward, another back, another forward.

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 Post subject: Re: The Imperfect Parent Trap
PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2015 12:42 pm 
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It's been 2+ years since the last post in this thread and (somehow) I'm still not a perfect parent. It's baffling.

I think I've become even less perfect, and it's really depressing. I worry all the time about my relationship with chompy. I still beat myself up over my failings as a parent and a person. I still fear that decisions I make (or don't make) today will have a lasting negative impact on who he turns out to be. I still feel guilty at how unpleasant I find him sometimes these days.

Parenthood is fun!

Retroactive warning for new parents: Do not read (or do not have read) this post.

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 Post subject: Re: The Imperfect Parent Trap
PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2015 12:51 pm 
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footface, I know this is a venting thread and obviously your worries are valid and all that, but I want to say that having met chompy, from an outsiders perspective he seems like a great kid who will grow up to be a good regular adult human.

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 Post subject: Re: The Imperfect Parent Trap
PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2015 1:01 pm 
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I'm pretty sure there is yet to be a perfect parent so at least you're not alone.

As a mostly functional adult I can look back and see things that my parents could have done better, but I always knew that they loved me and they were never physically or emotionally abusive and I love them and feel grateful for that, especially considering that the majority of my friends were abused in some way and didn't grow up in loving environments at all. Giving your kid a weird complex or two to work out in therapy later just gives them character and some stories to include in their first semi-autobiographical novel

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 Post subject: Re: The Imperfect Parent Trap
PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2015 4:08 pm 
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ijustdiedinside wrote:
footface, I know this is a venting thread and obviously your worries are valid and all that, but I want to say that having met chompy, from an outsiders perspective he seems like a great kid who will grow up to be a good regular adult human.

I agree with this. He's always been perfectly social and great when he's come to meet ups, even as you were venting about his behavior at home. I know as a preteen & teenager, I was horrible to my mom in ways that I would never have dreamed about being horrible to other adults. Pretty much because I absolutely trusted her to love me and be there for me even when I was making hard for her to like me. We got through it. I think you're a good dad and that he knows he's loved. That counts for a lot in the end.

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 Post subject: Re: The Imperfect Parent Trap
PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2015 9:06 pm 
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My sweet and extremely loved two and a half year old has recently taken up the hobby of hitting me, like to the point of me feeling like she's beating the crepe out of me for a minute or two. Since we're so fortunate to have a precocious talker she has also already told me she hates me a few times. I would take the beating any day over the teen verbal assaults I know are in our future. I just know I have it coming to me after the way I treated my parents when I was a teenager. Hang in there, footface!


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 Post subject: Re: The Imperfect Parent Trap
PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2015 12:58 am 
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It's true: chompy is very social and friendly and personable. He does act differently here at home sometimes. And I agree that's a good sign—that he feels safe enough here at home to act out and experiment with teenage-type stuff. I just wish it wasn't so hard.

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 Post subject: Re: The Imperfect Parent Trap
PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2015 10:57 am 
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I am finding myself trying to learn (again!) how to... Well, not detach, really, as that sounds a little clinical in this context...

Starting over: I am finding myself trying to learn (again) how to keep from getting emotionally involved when trying to discipline chompy or get him to do whatever needs to be done. It is so easy (and so pointless!) to argue, to defend, to take it personally. When I (infrequently) remember that the goal is a certain kind of behavior—and not victory—things are easier and I feel much better about myself and my relationship with chompy. It's really, really difficult not to take these things personally—you're talking like that, to me?!—but I don't think it usually is personal. And all the emotional stuff that misperception brings up just makes everything feel hard and shitty, so adversarial. I don't want to be the enemy, just the parent.

I think I used up my ration of italics for the month.

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 Post subject: Re: The Imperfect Parent Trap
PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2015 2:47 am 
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FootFace wrote:
I am finding myself trying to learn (again!) how to... Well, not detach, really, as that sounds a little clinical in this context...

Starting over: I am finding myself trying to learn (again) how to keep from getting emotionally involved when trying to discipline chompy or get him to do whatever needs to be done. It is so easy (and so pointless!) to argue, to defend, to take it personally. When I (infrequently) remember that the goal is a certain kind of behavior—and not victory—things are easier and I feel much better about myself and my relationship with chompy. It's really, really difficult not to take these things personally—you're talking like that, to me?!—but I don't think it usually is personal. And all the emotional stuff that misperception brings up just makes everything feel hard and shitty, so adversarial. I don't want to be the enemy, just the parent.

I think I used up my ration of italics for the month.


FootFace, I really identify with what you're saying. Lately I often find myself just wanting to WIN for once and ultimately, that just leaves me much more frustrated. While we're not yet to the kind of challenges you're dealing with (tiny wu is only 2.5), I hope to be as wise as you are by then.


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 Post subject: Re: The Imperfect Parent Trap
PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2015 12:50 pm 
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Oh, no no no. You should hope to be much wiser than me!

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 Post subject: Re: The Imperfect Parent Trap
PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2015 7:12 am 
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So, when the kid says she has terrorizing anxiety and needs to go see a therapist (even though she somehow manages to do all sorts of stuff if meeting up with her friends or boyfriend is involved), do you

a) rush her to the first therapist you can find, even though you have a sneaking feeling she is emulating her hypochondriac aunt and friends, therapists here are mostly bullshiitake and even better, beyond your budget, and she herself has said that she thinks therapy and drugs are both bullshiitake (but yet her boyfriend has a therapist, which has you wondering).
b) create shitty excuses to wait and see a little because you are paralyzed with fear
c) talk to her about it and acknowledge her situation and give her some online resources but not encourage her to go find a professional yet, because the only ones people have recommended are drug pushers
d) do what your own parents would have done, punish her and tell her how terrible she is.

You have two seconds to choose, and whatever decision you make will haunt you for the rest of your life.
Keep in mind that the last time she had a Serious Medical Crisis it turned out to be an invention and a super-convoluted way of getting a presciption for birth control although she could have just goddamn asked you, and so you can't help but hear people crying wolf all of a sudden.
Choose Wisely!!

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 Post subject: Re: The Imperfect Parent Trap
PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2015 9:14 am 
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So you picked C? I think I would.


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 Post subject: Re: The Imperfect Parent Trap
PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2015 9:57 am 
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It was the best I could come up with so far. Although there is a good bit of B in there as well.

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James Joyce doesn’t give a twopenny damn, but Marie Kondo does. Oh, bother. --J O'Donogue, JT


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