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Old 10-10-2012, 08:41 AM   #41
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Re: Parenting style: Raising a person

I think the biggest issue here is people don't like to feel judged. IRL feel judged when I'm with my conventional friends b/c we do unconventional things like selective/delay vaccinate, VERY clean eating, homeschool, we don't do Santa or Halloween and far too many other things to mention. When I'm with like minded friends we tend to be discussing why other people don't do these things which is also judging. I have convictions and passions that can be really offensive to other people but I feel like just b/c I am passionate about them doesn't mean I have to be down on others for different choices. I feel like our society's need for tolerance and acceptance has gone so far in the other direction that being "normal" or "traditional" isn't tolerated. While I do agree that you should research and make the best decision for your family I think we all need to realize that there are various cultural, educational, and religious backgrounds that will naturally skew someones decisions. I have very poor friends with English as a second language that don't have internet at home or time to go to the library to do the research. They honestly have no choice but to trust that their pediatrician is giving them correct information. My sister is a nurse and has never heard of half of the medical alternatives that we use, she wouldn't have even known to research an alternative to antibiotics.

I know we are all seeking people to connect with and validate our parenting styles but I wish we could all (myself included) be more accepting that the majority of people are doing the very best that they can.

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Old 10-10-2012, 09:32 AM   #42
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Re: Parenting style: Raising a person

Hello and welcome to the board fellow DH
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Old 10-10-2012, 10:47 AM   #43
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Re: Parenting style: Raising a person

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I've been able to see where I made my mistake in attempting to explain a style of parenting. My parenting style is not about the individual choices I make as a parent, my style is in relation to how I came to make those choices. I'm not even suggesting that using my method of making those choices would come to the same conclusions given the circumstance of the individual situation.

Raising a person, as I call it, rather than raising a child means that you attempt to work backwards from the adult you are trying to create to decide the method in which you use to nurture that person. I imagine my son being an adult and having an imaginary conversation with that person. I ask him questions about what he would like me to do when it came to the varying issues that we as parents have to deal with. For example when it came to discipline I asked him "When you do something that I disagree with or find socially unacceptable how would you like me to teach you that this is not acceptable?" Then I imagine my imaginary grown son's answer. However I think that person would respond is how I make my choice on what to do in relation to that situation.

My post was never about the many individual topics of raising a child, it was how I came to those conclusions. If when you imagine your child and ask the adult that will be him/her would you "want me to do this, would you want me to do that" and you feel that they would agree with your choices then you agree with me 100%, as our children will be different people so will their answers. As an adult now I personally would have chosen to never be hit by my parents, I would have preferred that they used a different method. I have met adults that have said that they deserved to be hit and it is the only thing that kept them in line and that without it they would not have made it out of childhood.

Once again my post was never about my individual choices. It is about how I came to those conclusions.
I think many parents do the bolded in many different ways. A few years ago I read a book that was just about this concept, except it was written from a Christian point of view. When this author addressed physical punishment, he basically said, "It's not about how you get there, it's about where there is." This sounds a lot like what you are saying.

Just to play devil's advocate, what if your child grows up and chooses a religion that compels him to do the very things that you purposely avoided? Let's include his own children (your grand children) as well. Would he still be saying, "Thanks for letting me choose my own path." Or would it be "Why didn't you do these things for me? I feel so behind and lacking."

Some parents struggle with sports like this. Will the kids really grow up and say, "Thanks for making me play soccer all those years. It taught me perserverance, discipline, etc." Or will they say, "All that wasted time I spent playing a sport I hated when I could have been spending time with my family or learning about something I really love."

We as parents don't have a crystal ball, so we choose what we think is best based on our own adult perceptions and goals. That means that we will greatly influence our children to become the way we are or would like to be. Not because we are trying to make copies or extensions of ourselves, but because we live in our own heads and no one else's.

We also live in the present, so we have to parent in the moment and trust that it is the best for the future. I remember being bewildered at the many different sequences of solid food introduction 10 years ago as a first time parent. I sought advice from a pediatrician about it. His answer, "When there isn't a complete and total consensus on it, it probably just doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things."
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Old 10-10-2012, 12:06 PM   #44
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Re: Parenting style: Raising a person

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Some parents struggle with sports like this. Will the kids really grow up and say, "Thanks for making me play soccer all those years. It taught me perserverance, discipline, etc." Or will they say, "All that wasted time I spent playing a sport I hated when I could have been spending time with my family or learning about something I really love."
Exactly! It is so hard to know sometimes.

With DS, I think he's someone who will grow up to say "I'm glad the old man was tough on me." Hopefully. I have the fear that if we get it wrong with him, it will be a disaster. (He's 7 and he already writes moody lyrics...)

With DD, I think we have more room for error.
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Old 10-10-2012, 01:03 PM   #45
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Re: Parenting style: Raising a person

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Just to play devil's advocate, what if your child grows up and chooses a religion that compels him to do the very things that you purposely avoided? Let's include his own children (your grand children) as well. Would he still be saying, "Thanks for letting me choose my own path." Or would it be "Why didn't you do these things for me? I feel so behind and lacking."

Some parents struggle with sports like this. Will the kids really grow up and say, "Thanks for making me play soccer all those years. It taught me perserverance, discipline, etc." Or will they say, "All that wasted time I spent playing a sport I hated when I could have been spending time with my family or learning about something I really love."
I have no problem with any religion that he chooses, even if it is different than mine. However, I do not agree that any of the core religions (meaning the words found in their ancient holy books) compel anyone to do anything that I disagree with, clergy on the other hand are a different story. The Qu'ran does not require of it's followers the extremist actions that we see in many places, it is certain leaders of the faith that twist those words and encourage the lack of literacy so that their followers can not find this out for themselves. This is also a historical fact for Christians, during the Crusades most of the men who were fighting in the name of God were not able to read, did not speak latin, and did not have the money to own even one book.

I do not want my son to not be a Christian, I do not want my son to be a Christian because his father is a Christian and is unwilling to question his faith out of fear of retribution or disapproval. If he chooses that faith or any other faith when he goes out into the world and is judged by others, because although it may upset us to be judged it is as guaranteed as gravity, I want him to explain why he chose the faith of his choice and I want his answer to be stronger than "because that's what my parent's taught me" which projects my identity onto him, allowing him to choose for himself gives him the much stronger position of saying "I chose this faith because I studied the tenements of multiple religions and I found that this faith is most in line with who I am as a person because in my religion it says...."

I have to say I take issue with making my child do anything. You suggest that soccer teaches discipline and perseverance, and it most definitely can. It can also not teach these things. Both those attributes as well other good traits can be learned by many means. There are also people who do not learn those things by playing soccer or any other activity that teaches a person the specific attribute we are referring to. Also, I have to pick apart the sports subject. There is a difference between pushing your child to do something that they do not want and motivating them to push through a particularly hard time in that activity. Since I will always value my child's opinion and not be looking for the simple answer when I ask "Do you like playing soccer?" after his first few practices and he says "no" I will delve into the topic further, what specifically is the issue, "I think it is boring" versus "I don't like the way my coach treats me" are very different answers that require a different solution. The first one means that a different activity needs to be found, the second requires I go analyze the coaches methods and address it if necessary.

I remember being a child and wanting to have my opinion respected and it not. Not only by my parents but by the "authority" in religion, school etc. When I disagreed and took issue the answer was always that I couldn't understand the full breadth because of my age and lack of experience. I have instead found more evidence and support for what I figured out as a child and have been waiting for my peers to catch up ever since.
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Old 10-10-2012, 04:26 PM   #46
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Re: Parenting style: Raising a person

You could substitute any sport or activity (dance, theatre, art, music, science, chess, martial arts, scouts) for my soccer example. You can try to figure out the whys and never get a clear answer. So you are still left guessing.
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Old 10-10-2012, 05:02 PM   #47
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Re: Parenting style: Raising a person

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I remember being a child and wanting to have my opinion respected and it not.
I have learned, as my oldest daughter has grown and quickly approaching adulthood...that parenting from this position is a mistake. My child's opinion is important...but ultimately, as a child...it's simply WRONG a lot of the time. Because of my child's lack of experience with life, her opinions, beliefs, etc, are often not based on the full reality of the situation.

I remember being a child too. I remember hating knowing the feeling of "not being taken seriously." I remember swearing that when I was a parent, when I was an adult, I would take kids seriously.

I was wrong. My job as my child's parent is to make decisions based on what I believe is BEST for my child and what I believe my child NEEDS. Her thoughts and opinions should be CONSIDERED, but parenting from them as a basis will not result in her NEEDS being met to the best of my abilities.

And to be honest, I think much of the entitlement of todays teens and young 20s adults comes from parents trying to parent by "repsecting" their child's opinions and beliefs and not parenting enough according to their child's needs.
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Old 10-10-2012, 05:22 PM   #48
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Re: Parenting style: Raising a person

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I have learned, as my oldest daughter has grown and quickly approaching adulthood...that parenting from this position is a mistake. My child's opinion is important...but ultimately, as a child...it's simply WRONG a lot of the time. Because of my child's lack of experience with life, her opinions, beliefs, etc, are often not based on the full reality of the situation.

I remember being a child too. I remember hating knowing the feeling of "not being taken seriously." I remember swearing that when I was a parent, when I was an adult, I would take kids seriously.

I was wrong. My job as my child's parent is to make decisions based on what I believe is BEST for my child and what I believe my child NEEDS. Her thoughts and opinions should be CONSIDERED, but parenting from them as a basis will not result in her NEEDS being met to the best of my abilities.

And to be honest, I think much of the entitlement of todays teens and young 20s adults comes from parents trying to parent by "repsecting" their child's opinions and beliefs and not parenting enough according to their child's needs.
Well said. I think that OP has many strong opinions but the truth is he is raising an infant at this time and we all learn and grow in our parenting as our children get older. If your child's opinion is that they only want to eat candy should we respect that too? My children get to voice their opinion and be heard. Many times the answer is yes and sometimes it is a firm no. I think its naive to think that you can have a hard and fast rule for each situation or always give equal consideration to a child's feelings when it could potentially be unhealthy or put them in danger. I think that in many ways our society is raising kids to be self centered because they are so used to getting their way with their parents. I mentor teens and I've seen the destruction that a parent can unintentionally do by giving too much freedom. That's not to say that overbearing parents are equally damaging. It's a balance.
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Old 10-10-2012, 05:51 PM   #49
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Re: Parenting style: Raising a person

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You could substitute any sport or activity (dance, theatre, art, music, science, chess, martial arts, scouts) for my soccer example. You can try to figure out the whys and never get a clear answer. So you are still left guessing.
I find your bolded statement to be the core of our differences in how we see the world and therefore also our in how we plan to raise our children. I spent time in the Army, and I agree military service is not for everyone and not everyone that serves applies the values they are taught. I will always place the mission first, I will never accept defeat, I will never quit, I will never leave a fallen comrade. These are core values that I apply to every single aspect of my life. The idea that there is any aspect of parenting that is impossible to understand fully given enough effort fills me with emotions that if I described here would get me banned from the site.

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Originally Posted by happysmileylady View Post
I have learned, as my oldest daughter has grown and quickly approaching adulthood...that parenting from this position is a mistake. My child's opinion is important...but ultimately, as a child...it's simply WRONG a lot of the time. Because of my child's lack of experience with life, her opinions, beliefs, etc, are often not based on the full reality of the situation.

I remember being a child too. I remember hating knowing the feeling of "not being taken seriously." I remember swearing that when I was a parent, when I was an adult, I would take kids seriously.

I was wrong. My job as my child's parent is to make decisions based on what I believe is BEST for my child and what I believe my child NEEDS. Her thoughts and opinions should be CONSIDERED, but parenting from them as a basis will not result in her NEEDS being met to the best of my abilities.

And to be honest, I think much of the entitlement of todays teens and young 20s adults comes from parents trying to parent by "repsecting" their child's opinions and beliefs and not parenting enough according to their child's needs.
I believe we are talking about entirely different concepts. At no point am I suggesting that when my child wants to eat ice cream for every meal or smear their face with dog excrement while playing outside that I would allow their opinion in this matter to effect me.

Perhaps as a child the issues you wanted to be taken seriously on were irrelevant to anything that was pertinent to the progression of you as a person. Since you didn't describe any of these instances I am left with the only option that I have, to make assumptions.

For each issue the full reason matters. When it comes to religion, if my child were to tell me that they wanted to or didn't want to go to church, only their thoughts related to morals and faith would matter, "my friends are there" would not be a critical point for going to church as much as "I wanna sleep in and play with my toys and watch tv" wouldn't be for not going. When it comes to homeschooling vs public/private education, only there thoughts on how either would further their intellectual capacity would be relevant.

As far as entitlement goes, I find adults that expect a job because they binged drank and experimented their way through their bachelor degree (when 200 years ago college was never meant to "figure out who you are" it was meant to become an expert in a field), retirement from a company (when the company should just let them figure out how to invest their own money and finance their own retirement), that our government is expected to be responsible for every aspect of our lives, that anyone is responsible for our actions other than ourselves is just as prevalent in people in their 30's, 40's, 50's and 60's.

I find it naive to make the assumption that since I want to respect my child's opinions on core issues related to progression into adulthood that this means I want to let my child do whatever they want.
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Old 10-10-2012, 06:25 PM   #50
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Re: Parenting style: Raising a person

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I believe we are talking about entirely different concepts. At no point am I suggesting that when my child wants to eat ice cream for every meal or smear their face with dog excrement while playing outside that I would allow their opinion in this matter to effect me.

Perhaps as a child the issues you wanted to be taken seriously on were irrelevant to anything that was pertinent to the progression of you as a person. Since you didn't describe any of these instances I am left with the only option that I have, to make assumptions.

For each issue the full reason matters. When it comes to religion, if my child were to tell me that they wanted to or didn't want to go to church, only their thoughts related to morals and faith would matter, "my friends are there" would not be a critical point for going to church as much as "I wanna sleep in and play with my toys and watch tv" wouldn't be for not going. When it comes to homeschooling vs public/private education, only there thoughts on how either would further their intellectual capacity would be relevant.

As far as entitlement goes, I find adults that expect a job because they binged drank and experimented their way through their bachelor degree (when 200 years ago college was never meant to "figure out who you are" it was meant to become an expert in a field), retirement from a company (when the company should just let them figure out how to invest their own money and finance their own retirement), that our government is expected to be responsible for every aspect of our lives, that anyone is responsible for our actions other than ourselves is just as prevalent in people in their 30's, 40's, 50's and 60's.

I find it naive to make the assumption that since I want to respect my child's opinions on core issues related to progression into adulthood that this means I want to let my child do whatever they want.
That's absolutely not what I am talking about at all. I am totally talking about deeper issues. I am not talking about childhood desires like eating ice cream or sleeping in. I am talking about figuring out who my child is and deciding what form of discipline will be most effective for my child...not what I think her 24 yr old adult self might believe would have been best for her. I am talking about realizing that my child's perceptions of herself and the world around her are inherently flawed simply by the lack of knowledge base she's working with and that my job as her parent is to help her figure herself out and the world around her. In doing so I have to consider her perception and work with it...but I have to do so knowing that her perception does not equal reality.

And again, I am not talking about issues like staying up late or anything like that. I am talking about serious stuff like helping her figure out if she's gay or not, helping her figure out how to deal with the loss of a close family member, etc etc.
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