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Parenting Bringing up the shorties so they aren't completely messed up

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Old 09-23-2008, 08:43 AM   #46
LabRat
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I suppose being an only child, it's likely we do $poil her just a tad. However, she was explained that the first tooth is special and *we* only got quarters or the occasional dollar for ours, so that's what she should expect for the rest of them.

When I was going through her backpack last night, sure enough, there was a big note that said "Dear Tooth Fairy Thank You". She said her teacher helped her write it. We put it under her pillow last night, and she got her reply this morning.
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Old 09-24-2008, 06:20 AM   #47
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LR - it's not the actual amount that counts, it's how much they value it. And your daughter obviously really appreciated it. Good work I say.
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Old 09-24-2008, 07:22 AM   #48
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Beautifully stated, SG.
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Old 09-30-2008, 06:15 PM   #49
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Just fielded a call from SonofV.

He was calling from the library, across town over by the mall. He called to inform me that the anime club meeting was not until next month. Oh well.

"So, I'd like to hang out at Zumiez, ok?"

"I'd prefer if you hung out at the library, maybe check out a new book and we'll come pick you up after work."

"Ok."

Awesome!

First of all, he gets it. Plans changed, and he called to keep us informed. BIG, big points for that. I understand the plan we agreed to when we parted company this morning might not survive intact until we meet again tonight. So instead of just going on his merry way, without communicating to us, he called. Perfect. He knew the changes, not me. And he knew enough to call and let us know.

Frankly, we'll be going to Zumiez after work (what a coincidence!).

With this kind of thinking about the bigger picture, and his responsibilities, and his actual acting on that knowledge, I can see our trust in him was not misplaced.

I'm very very proud of him.
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Old 09-30-2008, 06:50 PM   #50
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Good job SonofV
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Old 09-30-2008, 09:30 PM   #51
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Sharp lad... how old is he?
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Old 10-01-2008, 04:04 AM   #52
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Yup, well brought up lad, well done.
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Old 10-01-2008, 09:49 AM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LabRat View Post
The tooth fairy visited our house for the first time last night. We put her tooth in an envelope addressed to "The Tooth Fairy" then under her pillow. This morning, while I was in the shower, my daughter came barreling in so excited to show me her $5 bill. A few moments later she came back in and said "Hey mom, tonight can we put a note in the envelope telling the tooth fairy I really appreciated the money?" It was really nice to hear her say that on her own.

P.S. What do you DO with your kids old teeth? I hid it in the back of my jewelry box for now. . .I need to find the hair I saved from her first haircut, and I suppose I'll put it with that.
when i bashed out the fronts of these two teeth that're still leaving a gaping hole in my lovely lovely smile
after we found the pieces of them
i informed my mother

these are going under my pillow tonight.

...she was not amused.
or inclined to give me any cash, for that matter...
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Old 10-01-2008, 10:14 AM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dar512 View Post
Good job SonofV
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenGum View Post
Sharp lad... how old is he?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sundae Girl View Post
Yup, well brought up lad, well done.
Thank you all, but hold on, there's more.

He called a couple more times, impatiently waiting for us as we made our way through the regular commuting traffic. We finally picked him up at the library, and he hopped in the car. As we circled the parking lot, lining up to drive to the mall, across the street, I launched into basically the same speech in the post above, what a good kid, thanks, glad you get it, I want to reward you for doing the right thing, etc, etc. That took us across the street into the parking lot. We were discussing was it going to be Zumiez (skateboarder shop) or Game Stop (video game shop).

As I continued to talk and drive toward the entrance closest to Game Stop, he said "I don't think I deserve to go."

"Oh really? Why?"

"Because I already went to the mall."

"Even though we talked about staying at the library?"

"Yeah."

"Ok." as we drove past the mall entrance.

That night we told him we were disappointed that he didn't keep his word, that we want to trust him, but he has to earn that trust. We also praised him for telling the truth, when he could have remained quiet, despite the fact that we could never have known.

He wasn't able to resist the temptation to cruise the mall. That's regrettable, but understandable. He disobeyed, in a small but explicit way. This is an area that he (we) need to work on. That didn't come out right. This is an example of the stage of his development and maturity. It's normal. This is him growing.

And taken as a whole, initiating the communication, cooperating with us, failing to hold up his part of the cooperation, telling us the uncomfortable truth about the situation, and doing so with plain talk is still very encouraging. I'm still as proud of him as ever, but I have made a small recalibration of my understanding of him and how I parent him. It's one of many I've made and one of many to come.
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Old 10-01-2008, 10:36 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by BigV View Post
As I continued to talk and drive toward the entrance closest to Game Stop, he said "I don't think I deserve to go."

"Oh really? Why?"

"Because I already went to the mall."

"Even though we talked about staying at the library?"

"Yeah."
This is one of the difficult parts of being a parent. You can't reward them, because they've misbehaved. But on the other hand you have to be really proud because he told the truth.
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Old 10-01-2008, 10:45 AM   #56
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You're exactly right, dar, on all counts. And we told him just that. I don't know of any other way to communicate these two important facts, especially since my response to each one is sharply different.

You misbehaved, so no reward.

You told the truth, so no trouble.

It was a wash in terms of reward/punishment, but it was win/win/win in terms of communication. I think of it as a sort of dress rehearsal for some other independent activity where the stakes are higher. Just as this is the real big deal for which he "rehearsed" back in elementary school, for example, when he asked if he could go to the playground on his own.
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Old 10-01-2008, 06:36 PM   #57
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Quote:
Dad, you remember about how you told me never to freebase crack with strangers, especially pimps? Well....
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Old 10-02-2008, 10:50 AM   #58
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u r funny...

But I am ready to have that conversation too. That is, I'm ready to have the conversation with ZenGum about a hypothetical conversation with our son about "...especially pimps...". Hehehe... good one.

A couple things first. Being a husband and father is the most important work I have in my life. I take that work very seriously. It is work, but it's work I love, and I'm happy to talk about (most of) it.

I've talked about this before. As a parent, my core responsibility to my child is to raise him to be a competent adult (there's a ton packed into that little phrase--granted). The basic method is to help him learn about the world. Those lessons change as he grows. And the way the lessons are learned changes too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigV
As a parent, some lessons I *tell* to my son. Some lessons I *show* him. Some lessons I leave for him to discover on his own. Of the three, the third one is the most potent teaching method. It's not always appropriate. "Don't play in the street" is a tell lesson--the stakes are too high to permit an error. How to ride a skateboard is a show lesson--at least at the beginning--he's way better than me now. How to get along with his peers is mostly a (series of) self discovery lessons.

The three methods are not mutually exclusive, of course. And parental temperament plays a big factor in this kind of social dynamic. I prefer the self discovery angle, but not exclusively. Others here have posted their preference for a much more authoritarian stance, mercy and Radar are a couple of examples that come to mind.
I *know* you're making with the funny here, and you have considerable talent in that regard, but someday I might be faced with a challenge to my parenting skills of such enormity. I'm not saying I'm ready today for such a challenge, but I'm planting seeds every day so that I don't have to face that one, or that he knows how to avoid that one.

For sure, whatever path he takes, *some* circumstance at any given time will be the most critical, and it might be pretty hairy indeed. When that happens, I hope little successes (and the memories of the failures and lessons learned from them) like this will carry the day. Ultimately, it will be his life, successes and failures alike. Who knows, maybe next time he'll remember my words of warning before he breaks out the crack pipe. One can only hope.
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Old 10-02-2008, 11:46 AM   #59
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I'm always impressed when parents deal with their children in a calm manner, and yet still show them that their choice was wrong/ dangerous/ hurtful.

I grew up too scared to tell my Mum many things because of her immediate angry reaction. It meant I became a model citizen (give or take some recreational drugs) but only through fear, at least until I became socially aware as an adult.

Allowing your child to tell you the truth without condoning their actions has to be a very positive way to bolster their confidence.

I still say your boy is being brought up very well, with perhaps a slightly different emphasis. He's a boy and they all have the devil in them It's how you deal with it that's important.
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Old 10-02-2008, 12:04 PM   #60
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Thank you Sundae Girl. We're doing our best, but thankfully we have a lot to work with.
Quote:
Allowing your child to tell you the truth without condoning their actions has to be a very positive way to bolster their confidence.
Keeping that channel open requires continual dredging.
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