What's new
Fantasy Football - Footballguys Forums

Welcome to Our Forums. Once you've registered and logged in, you're primed to talk football, among other topics, with the sharpest and most experienced fantasy players on the internet.

How I'm going to be a better parent (1 Viewer)

gianmarco

Footballguy
I've seen this place turn into a great place to vent and talk about certain things "anonymously" as a means of support for lots of people for various things. Oftentimes it's marriage related things or money or work related things. Well, I'm going to try it out because I really think I've been failing pretty miserably and need to do much better. Especially in light of recent threads and posts here, it makes me feel even worse that I'm where I am but, here goes....

I have the most amazing 8 year old son. Smart, funny, liked by everyone, and good at just about anything he does. I love him with all my heart. I also now have a 1 year old little girl who is on her way as well :) These are the 2 joys in my life.

Yet, for some reason, I keep expecting my son to be perfect and get upset far too often over things I really shouldn't be. I've told him countless times not to run in the house. So many times I've had to ask him to put things away. Multiple reminders to say please and thank you. So many times he talks so loud or talks so much that we need to ask him to quiet down. And I do these things to try and turn him into the best man he can be. But, I find myself too often getting upset about having to repeat things and yelling and I'm really starting to feel like I'm doing a horrible job. I find myself getting much easier to get upset. I find myself yelling more. And ultimately I find him being upset with me as a result of what I'm doing.

I'm going to change that and I'm going to use this thread as a way to keep me on track and keep myself accountable. I know many of you may find this dumb, but this is going to be my "weight loss" or "resolution" thread albeit a little early. If I end up doing or saying something from here on out that I should be embarrassed about, I'll be posting it here and maybe I'll hear about it. Even if not, I'll know it's out there for anyone to see. If things start to turn around, I'll also use it as a place to show little accomplishments. But, either way, things are going to get better.

If anyone feels like jumping in for anything similar, please feel free. If I end up being the only one that posts here, I don't really care either, but would invite anyone to come in and put me in my place anytime I post something I did that I shouldn't have. I'd also invite anyone that has struggled with any of this in the past to share any wisdom in how they've been a better parent.

Right now, I'm embarrassed that I've taken so many things for granted. And I'm even more embarrassed that it's taken me this long to turn things around. That's where I'm going to start. No actual stories just yet.

 

gianmarco

Footballguy
Something I read that just makes so much sense:

Someone asked me this past weekend, “So, what were your findings from not yelling for a year? Did you learn anything?” Huh. Pretty good question. And it got me thinking, “Well, what did I learn?” I’ll tell you this; I learned a lot, a lot more than I can possible fit in a blog post! So I share with you the top 10 things that I learned from my Orange Rhino Challenge where I promised to not yell at my 4 boys for 365 days straight.

1. Yelling isn’t the only thing I haven’t done in a year (399 days to be exact!)
I also haven’t gone to bed with a gut-wrenching pit in my stomach because I felt like the worst mom ever. I haven’t bawled to my husband that I yelled again and again. And I haven’t heard my sons scream, “You’re the meanest, worstest, mommy in the whole world, I don’t love you anymore!” Yep, I learned real quickly that there are upsides to not yelling!

2. My kids are my most important audience.
When I had my “no more yelling epiphany,” I realized that I don’t yell in the presence of others because I want them to believe I am a loving and patient mom. The truth is, I already was that way…but rarely when I was alone, just always when I was in public with an audience to judge me. This is so backwards! I always have an audience – my four boys are always watching me and THEY are the audience that matters most; they are the ones I want to show just how loving, patient and “yell-free” I can be. I want my boys to judge me and proclaim, “My mommy is the bestest mommy ever!” I remember this whenever I am home and thinking I can’t keep it together; obviously I can…I do it out and about all the time!

3. Kids are just kids; and not just kids, but people too.
Like me, my kids have good days and bad days. Some days they are pleasant and sweet and listen really well; other days they are grumpy and difficult. By the way, I am always sweet and never difficult.Always. Ha! And like all kids, my boys are loud at times, they refuse to put their shoes on, and they color on the wall, especially if it is covered in brand new wallpaper that mommy loves. So, yeah, I need to watch my expectations and remember that my boys are kids: they are still learning, still growing, and still figuring out how to handle waking up on the wrong side of the bed. When they “make mistakes” I need to remember that not only does yelling not help, but like me, they don’t like to be yelled at!

4. I can’t always control my kids’ actions, but I can always control my reaction.
I can try my hardest to follow all the parenting tricks of the trade for well-disciplined children, but since my kids are just kids, they sometimes won’t do what I want. I can decide if I want to scream “Pick up your Legos! ” when they don’t listen or if I want to walk away for a second, regain composure by doing some jumping jacks, and then return with a new approach. P.S. Walking away and taking a breather can actually get the Legos picked up faster than yelling.

5. Yelling doesn’t work.
There were numerous times when I wanted to quit my Orange Rhino Challenge, when I thought yelling would just be easier than finding deep breaths and creative alternatives to yelling. But I knew better. Early on, I learned that yelling simply doesn’t work, that it just makes things spiral out of control and it makes it hard for my boys to hear what I want them to learn. How can they clearly here me “say” “Hurry up, get your backpacks, your shoes, your jackets, don’t touch each other, go faster, you an do it yourself!” when it’s all a garbled, loud mix of intimidating orders that are making them cry?

6. Incredible moments can happen when you don’t yell.
One night I heard footsteps coming downstairs well after bedtime. Although infuriated that my “me-time” was interrupted, I remained calm and returned said child to bed. As I tucked him in he said “Mommy, will you love me if I go to heaven first, because if you go first, I will still love you. In fact, I will always love you.” Tears still come to my eyes just writing that. I can guarantee if I had yelled “GET BACK IN BED!” we never would have had that sweet, very important conversation.

7. Not yelling is challenging, but it can be done!
I am not going to say not yelling is “easy peasy,” but getting creative with alternatives certainly made it easier and more doable. And after yelling into the toilet, beating my chest like a gorilla, singing Lalala, Lalala it’s Elmo’s world, and using orange napkins at mealtime as a reminder of my promise, it certainly got a heck of a lot easier. Sure, I feel silly at times doing these things, but they keep me from losing it. So do my new favorite words: “at least.” These two small words give me great perspective and remind me to chill out. I use them readily in any annoying but not yell worthy kid situation. “He just dropped an entire jug of milk on the floor…at least it wasn’t glass and at least he was trying to help!”

8. Often times, I am the problem, not my kids.
The break-up line, “It’s not you, it’s me” rings uncomfortably true when learning not to yell. I quickly realized that oftentimes I wanted to yell because I had a fight with my husband, I was overwhelmed by my to-do list, I was tired or it was that time of the month, not because the kids were behaving “badly.” I also quickly realized that acknowledging my personal triggers by saying out loud: “Orange Rhino, you have wicked PMS and need chocolate, you aren’t mad at the kids, don’t yell” works really well to keep yells at bay.

9. Taking care of me helps me to not yell.
I was always great at taking care of others; I was not, however, always good at taking care of myself until now. Once I realized that personal triggers like feeling overweight, feeling disconnected from friends, and feeling exhausted set me up to yell, I started taking care of me. I started going to bed earlier, prioritizing exercise, trying to call one friend a day and most importantly, I started telling myself it’s okay to not be perfect. Taking care of me not only helps me not yell, but it also makes me happier, more relaxed, and more loving. Ah, the benefits of not yelling extend far beyond parenting! There is no doubt that I am in a better parenting AND personal place now that I don’t yell. Just to name a few unexpected benefits of not yelling: I do more random acts of kindness, I handle stressful situations more gracefully, and I communicate more lovingly with my husband.

10. Not yelling feels awesome.
Now that I have stopped yelling, not only do I feel happier and calmer, I also feel lighter. I go to bed guilt-free (except for the extra cookie I ate that day, oops) and wake-up more confident that I can parent with greater understanding of my kids, my needs, and how to be more loving and patient. And I am pretty sure my kids feel happier and calmer too. I know everyone wants to read, “I stopped yelling and not only do I feel great, but also my kids are now calmer AND perfectly behaved.“ Well, they aren’t. They are still kids. But, yes tantrums are shorter and some are completely avoided. Now that I am calmer, I can think more rationally to resolve potential problems before meltdown mania. But forget perfectly behaved kids for a second. My kids are most definitely more loving towards me, and now tell me quite often “I love you Orange Rhino mommy!” and that feels more than awesome, it feels phenomenal.
 

KCitons

Footballguy
I've seen this place turn into a great place to vent and talk about certain things "anonymously" as a means of support for lots of people for various things. Oftentimes it's marriage related things or money or work related things. Well, I'm going to try it out because I really think I've been failing pretty miserably and need to do much better. Especially in light of recent threads and posts here, it makes me feel even worse that I'm where I am but, here goes....

I have the most amazing 8 year old son. Smart, funny, liked by everyone, and good at just about anything he does. I love him with all my heart. I also now have a 1 year old little girl who is on her way as well :) These are the 2 joys in my life.

Yet, for some reason, I keep expecting my son to be perfect and get upset far too often over things I really shouldn't be. I've told him countless times not to run in the house. So many times I've had to ask him to put things away. Multiple reminders to say please and thank you. So many times he talks so loud or talks so much that we need to ask him to quiet down. And I do these things to try and turn him into the best man he can be. But, I find myself too often getting upset about having to repeat things and yelling and I'm really starting to feel like I'm doing a horrible job. I find myself getting much easier to get upset. I find myself yelling more. And ultimately I find him being upset with me as a result of what I'm doing.

I'm going to change that and I'm going to use this thread as a way to keep me on track and keep myself accountable. I know many of you may find this dumb, but this is going to be my "weight loss" or "resolution" thread albeit a little early. If I end up doing or saying something from here on out that I should be embarrassed about, I'll be posting it here and maybe I'll hear about it. Even if not, I'll know it's out there for anyone to see. If things start to turn around, I'll also use it as a place to show little accomplishments. But, either way, things are going to get better.

If anyone feels like jumping in for anything similar, please feel free. If I end up being the only one that posts here, I don't really care either, but would invite anyone to come in and put me in my place anytime I post something I did that I shouldn't have. I'd also invite anyone that has struggled with any of this in the past to share any wisdom in how they've been a better parent.

Right now, I'm embarrassed that I've taken so many things for granted. And I'm even more embarrassed that it's taken me this long to turn things around. That's where I'm going to start. No actual stories just yet.
Enough said. Tough love isn't always easy on a parent.

Wait until they are teenagers. No matter how loud you yell, they don't listen.

 

AcerFC

Footballguy
Im a great dad but a lousy parent.

A few posters from here gave me some great suggestions.

Pick something the love and that is what you threaten them with. If they dont have something, find something. Tell them you will take it away and stick to it

 

Brony

Footballguy
I don't have any advice, but I have a 7 year old that has to be told something 25 times before she'll do it. So you're not the only one.

If it was up to me, I'd allow her to be late to something or miss a birthday party because of her dilly-dallying. Alas, it's not up to me and I'm either yelling and/or drinking moreso because I can't parent the way I want than because my kids don't listen.

 

TheIronSheik

SUPER ELITE UPPER TIER
I sometimes feel similar feelings. And I usually have to remind myself that my daughter just turned 10. There are times when I get mad at her because I expect her to know the same things I know or how to act. And when I remind myself that I've had many more years to perfect where I'm at, I feel horrible for thinking those thoughts.

But I know I'm a good parent. And I know she loves me. I wouldn't be too hard on yourself. I'm sure you're not as bad as you think you are in their eyes.

 

Nathan R. Jessep

That Hug Life
You are not alone, my friend. I've had these same thoughts. This week, even.

And thanks for posting that list. Common sense, mostly, but we all need reminders sometimes.

Good luck and :blackdot:

 

ChiefD

Footballguy
What you are experiencing is the same thing we've all gone through as parents. I have an 8 year old, a 6 year old, and a 3 year old. Yelling is necessary sometimes. And I catch myself many times thinking to myself: why am I yelling so much.

The important things that I've figured out is:

1. Be firm. They have to know where the line is that they can't cross. If it causes hurt feelings, so be it. You are teaching them.

2. Tell them you love them. A lot. Kids will also try to push their parents. It's what they do. As long as you tell them every day: I love you, you'll be fine.

There is no manual for this. You do your best and hope.

 

gmbacm

Footballguy
I sometimes feel similar feelings. And I usually have to remind myself that my daughter just turned 10. There are times when I get mad at her because I expect her to know the same things I know or how to act. And when I remind myself that I've had many more years to perfect where I'm at, I feel horrible for thinking those thoughts.

But I know I'm a good parent. And I know she loves me. I wouldn't be too hard on yourself. I'm sure you're not as bad as you think you are in their eyes.
:goodposting:

 

moleculo

Footballguy
:blackdot: right there with you.

I'm not sure I know how to get my point across without raising my voice. Pretty sure my wife can't either. She's home with the kids (girls, 6 and 4) all day (except when they are in school) and by the time I get home, she's usually at her wits end. The toy room hasn't been properly cleaned in a month despite us asking them to do it daily, the girls cannot stop touching Christmas stuff, they can't seem to go a day without fighting about something stupid, etc. So she is at her wits end by the time I get home. I end up picking up on her vibe and backing up her yelling at the kids because it's important for us to be unified, but then I feel guilty - like I'm really yelling at the kids because they've put my wife in a bad mood.

We need to find a better system but haven't figured it out yet.

ETA: my current plan of attack is trying to keep her happy so she can have more patience with the girls. I'm doing that by trying to take on more house-hold responsibilities. For example, I've taken on the responsibility of doing all of the laundry, 100%. I've also identified some other triggers, such as general household clutter. If we can get some of the clutter cleared out, I believe my wife will feel more relaxed which will translate to more patience.

 
Last edited by a moderator:

Brony

Footballguy
:blackdot: right there with you.

I'm not sure I know how to get my point across without raising my voice. Pretty sure my wife can't either. She's home with the kids (girls, 6 and 4) all day (except when they are in school) and by the time I get home, she's usually at her wits end. The toy room hasn't been properly cleaned in a month despite us asking them to do it daily, the girls cannot stop touching Christmas stuff, they can't seem to go a day without fighting about something stupid, etc. So she is at her wits end by the time I get home. I end up picking up on her vibe and backing up her yelling at the kids because it's important for us to be unified, but then I feel guilty - like I'm really yelling at the kids because they've put my wife in a bad mood.

We need to find a better system but haven't figured it out yet.
Amen brother. I can tolerate my kids acting like spaz's - they're supposed to. When my wife starts yelling, it's like nails on a chalkboard.

 

Clifford

Footballguy
Your kids will never stop frustrating you or not doing things the way you want them to. I struggle with this as well a bit, but my kid is very sweet and really wants to do right. It's just that sometimes he drags his feet a bit.

BG: I am currently reading a book about motivation, examining intrinsic motivation vs extrinsic (IE carrots and sticks). Not very far in but there is a ton of research out there that says the tried and true reward v punishment system of motivation is deeply flawed if you examine end results. So this got me thinking...

Case in point: Our son (5) has two chores, cleaning up his toys and feeding the pets. In return he gets $2 a week. I noticed that despite him being delighted to receive his allowance, he was dragging his feet more and more every time he had to feed the dog. Saying his allowance would go away didn't seem to have much effect in getting rid of the complaining, but it did get him to do it. But what I wanted to do was eliminate the complaining. So instead of removing the carrot, or implementing a stick, I explained to him that the dogs were a part of our family, and feeding them was a really big responsibility. Also that the dogs have always looked out for him and love him, and being the one to feed them makes him a special person in their eyes. Kinda made it sound like a privilege. Last night, when I asked him to feed the dogs, a neighborhood friend had just come over AND he was in the middle of a brand new iPad game (think Angry birds meets mario kart).

Not only did he not complain about having to put the game or having a friend over, he proceeded to explain to his friend what a big responsibility it was to feed the dogs and how he was doing it because they used to look after him when he was little.

Not saying I have motivation figured out but it was interesting seeing the difference and applying a little bit of the learning from the book (Drive) to him.

As for yelling I have caught myself doing the same things. One time at the beach I was putting up a pop tent and he wouldn't stop talking and I told him (in a fit of frustration) to shut up. I felt terrible about it and still do. He got his feelings hurt and even brought it up weeks later.

Basically exercise tolerance, have a laugh at it, and do your best to make sure that you focus on love, not being tough on them or expecting them to be perfect. I wasn't perfect as a kid, chances are you weren't either. so just try and remember what it was like and ease up on the little guy. He's going to forget stuff, he's going to whine and he's eventually going to outright defy you. These are all things that will and should happen so don't fight it. Just show as much love and patience as you can muster, and when something's important give your kid the the benefit of the doubt and explain why. If you can make him understand the why behind the behaviors and actions you want to see him display, you might get better results.

Good for you for focusing on improving.

 

mr roboto

Footballguy
I've learned that you have to make the consequences not your fault, but theirs. If you _____, then ________ will happen. Make it clear and proactive. Then reinforce with them that you told them what would happen.

I yell too much, and agree that it can't be a primary communication tool. But often I've noticed parents who yell are reacting to their kid and not being proactive. Yell, kid stops, parent moves on, kid continues.

 

Bull Dozier

Footballguy
A lot of parents give their kids way too much freedom. Kids crave structure and limits. It allows them to feel confident and act appropriately. Here are my general (and I'm no expert) tips and getting your kids to behave:

-never make threats you don't intend on following through on such as "if you do that again, I'm taking away X." If s/he does it again and you don't take it away, the kid just learned they don't have to listen to you. Don't make a huge threat to scare them, then fail to follow through. It is effective to give them a consequance but the consequence has to happen. Kids will learn quickly when they actually experience the consequence.

-When you are in a particular situation where you needs the kids to "behave" be specific rather than general. Telling your kids to "behave" is too broad. When you are in a restaraunt for example, tell them they have to stay in their seat and use their indoor voice. Now they have specific goals to meet, and the success in following the rules will encourage the same behavior the next time.

 

Clown Car

Footballguy
I think once you realize you are going to have to say, repeat, instruct, over and over and over again, it gets easier to accept. He isn't a bad kid for needing to be reminded. He's just a kid. You aren't doing it wrong because you have to tell him over and over, it's just how it is. He will get it. Right around the time he gets his own house. I have found if I want 5 kids to get their shoes on and get in the car, I have to say it 5 times. If I want it done again tomorrow, it will be 5 more times. Don't get mad.

Good luck!

 

NutterButter

Footballguy
Your kids will never stop frustrating you or not doing things the way you want them to. I struggle with this as well a bit, but my kid is very sweet and really wants to do right. It's just that sometimes he drags his feet a bit.

BG: I am currently reading a book about motivation, examining intrinsic motivation vs extrinsic (IE carrots and sticks). Not very far in but there is a ton of research out there that says the tried and true reward v punishment system of motivation is deeply flawed if you examine end results. So this got me thinking...

Case in point: Our son (5) has two chores, cleaning up his toys and feeding the pets. In return he gets $2 a week. I noticed that despite him being delighted to receive his allowance, he was dragging his feet more and more every time he had to feed the dog. Saying his allowance would go away didn't seem to have much effect in getting rid of the complaining, but it did get him to do it. But what I wanted to do was eliminate the complaining. So instead of removing the carrot, or implementing a stick, I explained to him that the dogs were a part of our family, and feeding them was a really big responsibility. Also that the dogs have always looked out for him and love him, and being the one to feed them makes him a special person in their eyes. Kinda made it sound like a privilege. Last night, when I asked him to feed the dogs, a neighborhood friend had just come over AND he was in the middle of a brand new iPad game (think Angry birds meets mario kart).

Not only did he not complain about having to put the game or having a friend over, he proceeded to explain to his friend what a big responsibility it was to feed the dogs and how he was doing it because they used to look after him when he was little.

Not saying I have motivation figured out but it was interesting seeing the difference and applying a little bit of the learning from the book (Drive) to him.

As for yelling I have caught myself doing the same things. One time at the beach I was putting up a pop tent and he wouldn't stop talking and I told him (in a fit of frustration) to shut up. I felt terrible about it and still do. He got his feelings hurt and even brought it up weeks later.

Basically exercise tolerance, have a laugh at it, and do your best to make sure that you focus on love, not being tough on them or expecting them to be perfect. I wasn't perfect as a kid, chances are you weren't either. so just try and remember what it was like and ease up on the little guy. He's going to forget stuff, he's going to whine and he's eventually going to outright defy you. These are all things that will and should happen so don't fight it. Just show as much love and patience as you can muster, and when something's important give your kid the the benefit of the doubt and explain why. If you can make him understand the why behind the behaviors and actions you want to see him display, you might get better results.

Good for you for focusing on improving.
I like this a lot. I've gotten some very good results with frequently having conversations with my 7 year old in which I take the time to explain things to her and also listening to what's going on in her head. Its blows my mind some of the things she has to say. I don't think parents really take enough time to talk and and listen to their kids. Its also something that I think will pay huge dividends down road. If all you're doing is yelling or trying to influence their behavior through material rewards, that seems like a recipe for a terrible relationship later on.

 
Last edited by a moderator:

Worm

slimy ninja
If you are worried about if you yell too much, trying to better yourself as a parent, figure out what works for your kids, etc., you are already a good parent.

Just keep that in mind.

 

The_Man

Footballguy
I really like the one above not making idle threats. I see it all the time, and all it does is teach your kid that there aren't really consequences for their actions. Stupid stuff like at a store, I hear a parent tell a kid, "Come over here right now or I'm going to leave you." But even in moments of frustration, like "That's it, no TV for a week." If you say it, you better be willing to enforce it.

While I agree with setting clear expectations, I'm not a big fan of the "If/then" structure, because it introduces the element of choice into the kid's brain. Once you give them an "If," they can then decide for themselves whether or not they're willing to do the time for the crime. I feel a "Do not.." is more effective than an "If/then" because you're clearly establishing what is not permissible, rather than saying what will happen in the event they do the thing you don't want them to do.

Also, don't confuse yelling with firmness or effective discipline. The two often (maybe even usually) have nothing to do with each other. Yelling is almost always an overreaction. When your kid is disobeying, it's usually an inherently stressful situation, and all the yelling does is ratchet up the emotion for everyone involved. A soft, firm word that explains clearly what the expectation is (or why the kid is not meeting that expectation), backed up with infrequent, but appropriately strict punishment when necessary, is way better than a continually repeating cycle of yelling.

 

bushdocda

Footballguy
:blackdot:

I get out of my mind frustrated with my son and it derails me pretty bad sometimes. I am still trying to find the balance.

 

Clifford

Footballguy
I really like the one above not making idle threats. I see it all the time, and all it does is teach your kid that there aren't really consequences for their actions. Stupid stuff like at a store, I hear a parent tell a kid, "Come over here right now or I'm going to leave you." But even in moments of frustration, like "That's it, no TV for a week." If you say it, you better be willing to enforce it.

While I agree with setting clear expectations, I'm not a big fan of the "If/then" structure, because it introduces the element of choice into the kid's brain. Once you give them an "If," they can then decide for themselves whether or not they're willing to do the time for the crime. I feel a "Do not.." is more effective than an "If/then" because you're clearly establishing what is not permissible, rather than saying what will happen in the event they do the thing you don't want them to do.

Also, don't confuse yelling with firmness or effective discipline. The two often (maybe even usually) have nothing to do with each other. Yelling is almost always an overreaction. When your kid is disobeying, it's usually an inherently stressful situation, and all the yelling does is ratchet up the emotion for everyone involved. A soft, firm word that explains clearly what the expectation is (or why the kid is not meeting that expectation), backed up with infrequent, but appropriately strict punishment when necessary, is way better than a continually repeating cycle of yelling.
:goodposting:

I instituted counting to 3 early on. Now if I want something done or he isn't listening and I want him to, all I have to do is ask, in a calm voice "Do I need to start counting?" and he does what I want him to do.

Yelling really isn't necessary.

 

Jaysus

Good times!
I yelled at my daughter last night; she cried immediately because she's ever heard me yell like that before. I've raised my voice to get her attention in the past, but last night was different. I still feel awful about it. :(

 

The Hank

Footballguy
I am working every day to become a better father to my 2 yr old and 4 mo old. It's the most difficult thing I've had to adapt to, but its also the most rewarding.

Thankfully I've had a great role model growing up and if I can be half as good I'll be a damn good padre.

I get worked up over stuff too quickly and over react, I am working on this and feel like I am making big improvements.

:blackdot: for sure.

 

Clifford

Footballguy
Time-out, time determined by how important what I am asking him to do. It doesn't happen often. I haven't gotten to 2 in over a year.

 

Apes with Guns

Footballguy
i've found being honest really helps. I've explained to my son that I made a ton of mistakes, and the best result of those would be that he learns from them. He still insists on learning some things the hard way, but I see him trusting me more and more. I think he really believes, and understands, that I have his best interests at heart. And that makes me happier than him thinking I don't want him to do something because I'm mean.

 

Apes with Guns

Footballguy
Oh, and i second the kudos to you for your attention to this. In my mind, nothing is more important, or rewarding, then your relationship with your children. They are fascinating people if you take the time to figure out what makes them tick.

 

Cold Dead Hands

Footballguy
I really like the one above not making idle threats. I see it all the time, and all it does is teach your kid that there aren't really consequences for their actions. Stupid stuff like at a store, I hear a parent tell a kid, "Come over here right now or I'm going to leave you." But even in moments of frustration, like "That's it, no TV for a week." If you say it, you better be willing to enforce it.

While I agree with setting clear expectations, I'm not a big fan of the "If/then" structure, because it introduces the element of choice into the kid's brain. Once you give them an "If," they can then decide for themselves whether or not they're willing to do the time for the crime. I feel a "Do not.." is more effective than an "If/then" because you're clearly establishing what is not permissible, rather than saying what will happen in the event they do the thing you don't want them to do.

Also, don't confuse yelling with firmness or effective discipline. The two often (maybe even usually) have nothing to do with each other. Yelling is almost always an overreaction. When your kid is disobeying, it's usually an inherently stressful situation, and all the yelling does is ratchet up the emotion for everyone involved. A soft, firm word that explains clearly what the expectation is (or why the kid is not meeting that expectation), backed up with infrequent, but appropriately strict punishment when necessary, is way better than a continually repeating cycle of yelling.
I make threats and follow through. I got tired of telling my sons to clean their room and then coming in an hour later to a much bigger mess. So I said, anything that is not put away, where it goes, when I come back in 20 minutes will go into the trashbag and go to goodwill. 20 minutes later, many tears and much begging while I bag up a good quarter of their total estimated kid worth.

They know that I mean what I say and they listen. They knew before too but kids have lapses. Also was a good way to purge some crap.

 

Bull Dozier

Footballguy
I really like the one above not making idle threats. I see it all the time, and all it does is teach your kid that there aren't really consequences for their actions. Stupid stuff like at a store, I hear a parent tell a kid, "Come over here right now or I'm going to leave you." But even in moments of frustration, like "That's it, no TV for a week." If you say it, you better be willing to enforce it.

While I agree with setting clear expectations, I'm not a big fan of the "If/then" structure, because it introduces the element of choice into the kid's brain. Once you give them an "If," they can then decide for themselves whether or not they're willing to do the time for the crime. I feel a "Do not.." is more effective than an "If/then" because you're clearly establishing what is not permissible, rather than saying what will happen in the event they do the thing you don't want them to do.

Also, don't confuse yelling with firmness or effective discipline. The two often (maybe even usually) have nothing to do with each other. Yelling is almost always an overreaction. When your kid is disobeying, it's usually an inherently stressful situation, and all the yelling does is ratchet up the emotion for everyone involved. A soft, firm word that explains clearly what the expectation is (or why the kid is not meeting that expectation), backed up with infrequent, but appropriately strict punishment when necessary, is way better than a continually repeating cycle of yelling.
I think an if/then structure should only apply once the child has already done the behavior once and you are trying to get them to stop. "If you do it again, then..." I would not walk into a restaraunt and say "if you do x then..." because you are only planting the seed. If the consequence you've given them doesn't stop the behavior, you need to alter the consequence.

Time-out, time determined by how important what I am asking him to do. It doesn't happen often. I haven't gotten to 2 in over a year.
I'm not saying you are wrong, but what I've read is that the timeout needs to be in relation to the age of a child. A ten minute time out is worthless for a two year old, because before five minutes are up they have no idea why they are in a time out anymore. I believe the standard we used was 1 (or 2, now I can't remember, it has been a long time) minutes per age of the child.

 

belljr

Footballguy
good thread.... i too find myself being my father and yelling for the sake of yelling..

the difference is if i do yell and feel it was unwarranted i will sit down with my daughter and apologize and let her know i love her.

that being said a few welk placed yells have gained positive results:bag:

 

The_Man

Footballguy
good thread.... i too find myself being my father and yelling for the sake of yelling..

the difference is if i do yell and feel it was unwarranted i will sit down with my daughter and apologize and let her know i love her.

that being said a few well placed yells have gained positive results :bag:
No need for a bag. That's one of the advantages of rarely yelling - when you really have to go there, it carries a big impact.

I'm happy to be coming out the far side of this tunnel - my oldest turned 16 yesterday. I hardly ever yelled at him, and now never do - exasperated conversations aplenty, but I feel we both get more out of those (and I get better results) than from yelling.

 

Clifford

Footballguy
I really like the one above not making idle threats. I see it all the time, and all it does is teach your kid that there aren't really consequences for their actions. Stupid stuff like at a store, I hear a parent tell a kid, "Come over here right now or I'm going to leave you." But even in moments of frustration, like "That's it, no TV for a week." If you say it, you better be willing to enforce it.

While I agree with setting clear expectations, I'm not a big fan of the "If/then" structure, because it introduces the element of choice into the kid's brain. Once you give them an "If," they can then decide for themselves whether or not they're willing to do the time for the crime. I feel a "Do not.." is more effective than an "If/then" because you're clearly establishing what is not permissible, rather than saying what will happen in the event they do the thing you don't want them to do.

Also, don't confuse yelling with firmness or effective discipline. The two often (maybe even usually) have nothing to do with each other. Yelling is almost always an overreaction. When your kid is disobeying, it's usually an inherently stressful situation, and all the yelling does is ratchet up the emotion for everyone involved. A soft, firm word that explains clearly what the expectation is (or why the kid is not meeting that expectation), backed up with infrequent, but appropriately strict punishment when necessary, is way better than a continually repeating cycle of yelling.
I think an if/then structure should only apply once the child has already done the behavior once and you are trying to get them to stop. "If you do it again, then..." I would not walk into a restaraunt and say "if you do x then..." because you are only planting the seed. If the consequence you've given them doesn't stop the behavior, you need to alter the consequence.

Time-out, time determined by how important what I am asking him to do. It doesn't happen often. I haven't gotten to 2 in over a year.
I'm not saying you are wrong, but what I've read is that the timeout needs to be in relation to the age of a child. A ten minute time out is worthless for a two year old, because before five minutes are up they have no idea why they are in a time out anymore. I believe the standard we used was 1 (or 2, now I can't remember, it has been a long time) minutes per age of the child.
yeah, but if he's five and does something really minor I grant the leeway to give him a four minute timeout. Like I said, it practically never happens.

 

bostonfred

Footballguy
Just read this on fb the other day, seemed like good timing.

http://www.handsfreemama.com/2013/12/10/the-bully-too-close-to-home/

During the two years of my overly distracted life, I communicated more to a screen than to the people in my family. My schedule was so tightly packed that I constantly found myself saying, “We don’t have time for that.” And because there wasn’t a minute to spare, that meant no time to relax, be silly, or marvel at interesting wonders along our path. I was so focused on my “agenda” that I lost sight of what really mattered.

Calling all the shots was a mean voice in my head. My internal drill sergeant was continually pushing me to make everything sound better, look better, and taste better. My body, my house, and my achievements were never good enough. Holding myself to such unattainable standards weighed heavily on my soul and my inner turmoil eventually spilled out at people I loved the most.

Sadly, there was one person in particular who bore the brunt of my discontent: my first-born daughter.

She could not make mess without me shaking my head in disappointment.

She could not forget her homework, her jacket, or her lunchbox without me making a big deal about it.

She could not spill,

stain,

break,

or misplace

without being made to feel like she’d made the worst mistake in the world.

Although it pains me to write this, I remember sighing heavily in annoyance when she fell down and hurt herself because it threw me off my “master schedule.” My daughter was not allowed to be a child who learned by trying and yes, sometimes failing.

The truth hurts, but the truth heals … and brings me closer to the person and parent I want to be.

Every time I came down hard on my daughter, I justified my behavior by telling myself I was doing it to help her—help her become more responsible, capable, efficient, and prepare for the real world.

I told myself I was building her up.

But in reality, I was tearing her down.

I vividly remember the day my mother was visiting from out-of-town. The children were playing alone in the basement. My younger daughter began crying hysterically. I ran downstairs fearing she was seriously hurt.

The first question out of my mouth was directed at my older daughter. “What did you do?” I asked angrily.

My child didn’t bother to explain that her little sister had slipped on the library book that was sitting on the bottom step. There really was no point. My beautiful child with humongous brown eyes that once held so much optimism looked defeated. Silent tears of a broken spirit slid down her face. My daughter knew it didn’t matter what she said, she’d still be wrong; it would still be her fault.

And there was my mother standing beside her, a silent witness to the whole ugly scene.

As my older daughter ran off to the sanctity of her bedroom, an unexpected question came out of my mouth. “You think I am too hard on her, don’t you?” I snapped.

My mom, who’d experienced her own difficult parenting moments and struggles, held no judgment in her eyes, only sadness. Her simple response of “yes” only confirmed what I knew in my heart.

I mustered up the courage to find the words that needed to be said. Apologizing didn’t come easily for someone who strived to make everything look perfect all the time, but I knew what needed to be said.

I found my child crumpled up like a dejected rag doll on top of her bed—her face puffy and red from crying.

“I’m sorry,” I mumbled.

My daughter didn’t move.

I sat down on the edge of her bed and began saying things I’d never said to another human being—not even myself. “I feel mad inside a lot. I often speak badly about myself in my head. I bully myself. And when I bully myself, it makes me unhappy and then I treat others badly—especially you. It is not right, and I am going to stop. I am not sure how, but I will stop. I am so very sorry,” I vowed trying not to cry.

My daughter looked unsure as to what to do with this confession, this unusual offering from her mother who rarely admitted any wrongdoing. I didn’t blame her for the skeptical look she gave me. I understood why she didn’t say anything back, but somewhere in those eyes I saw hope—hope that things could be different.

I desperately wanted things to be different too. It was time to stop being so hard on my child; it was time to stop being so hard on myself. I prayed I could stand up to the inner bully. I knew I needed an easy first step. I decided to use one simple word: STOP.

Within the hour, I had a chance to try it. The first critical thought that popped into my head arose as I was preparing to leave the house. I looked at my reflection and thought, “You look fat. You can’t go out looking like that.”

“Stop!” I assertively thought to myself, shutting down any further criticisms. Then I quickly turned away from the mirror and recited these words: “Only love today. Only love today.”

I used the same strategy when interacting with my child a few minutes later. Before any harsh words came out of my mouth about the way she was sloppily packing her bag of things, I cut off my inner critic by saying, “Stop! Only love today.” Then I swallowed the hurtful words and relaxed my disapproving face.

Within mere days of using the “stop” technique, I noticed a change. With a more positive thought process, it was easier to let go of the need to control, dictate, and criticize. In response, my daughter began taking more chances and began revealing her true passions. She started movie making and website design on the computer. She made doll furniture and clothing to sell in the neighborhood. She began baking new recipes without any help. Nothing she did was perfect. Nor was it mess-free or mistake-free, but the moment I said something positive, I saw her blossom a little more. That is when I began to clearly see beyond the mistakes and messes to what was truly important.

I began noticing my child’s inner beauty rather than looking for perfection on the outside.

I began paying more attention to the person she was rather than the successes she achieved.

I began letting her be who she was meant to be instead of some idealistic version I had in my head.

When I stopped being a bully to my child and myself opportunities for growth and connection opened up. Over time, significant progress was made. In a little less than two years on my journey to let go of perfection and distraction, I received the confirmation I never thought I would receive.

My daughter was outside before school tending to a garden she created smack dab in the middle of the yard. I watched from the kitchen window as she lovingly tended to her miniature plot. I was captivated by the utter joy on her face. She was clearly at peace.

N's garden #handsfreemama

Since my dad loves to garden and had taught my daughter a few things, I took a picture and sent my parents. Nothing could have prepared me for the gift I would receive in return.

My parents wrote: “Thank for this precious picture of our beautiful granddaughter. Over the last two years, we have seen a tremendous change in her. We no longer see a scared look in her eyes; she is less fearful about you being upset or impatient with her. She is much happier and more relaxed. She is thriving and growing into a content, creative, and nurturing person. We know for a fact the changes we see in her coincide with the changes we have also seen in you.”

My friends, I have the following message to offer anyone who wants to believe today can be different than yesterday:

If you think that criticizing, belittling, or critiquing yourself will make you smarter, fitter, or more valuable, please reconsider.

If you think badgering, bullying, or constantly correcting your child will make him or her more likable, more confident, or more successful, please reconsider.

Because the truth is this:

It’s hard to love yourself with a bully breathing down your neck.

It’s hard to love yourself when the one person who’s supposed love you unconditionally doesn’t.

It’s hard to become the person you’re supposed to be when you aren’t allowed to fall down and get back up.

If we want our children to become who they’re meant to be, let’s ease up. “Nobody’s perfect” can be two of the most empowering, healing words when said to oneself or to another human being.

Let’s stop the ridicule. Let’s stop the relentless pressure. Let’s stop the impossible pursuit of perfection.

Only love today, my friends. Only love today.

Because love is always a good place to start a new beginning.

love is a new beginning #handsfree
 

Annyong

Footballguy
My 2 year old loves to play with his 10 month old brother. He can sometimes get a little too aggressive so I had to tell him twice that he cannot roll on top of his little brother or he will get a time-out. Sure as ####, he does it again. He threw a little tantrum as i carried him over to the kitchen where his "time-out stool" was, But he sat there like a champ for a few minutes before making him apologize to his brother.

The look on his face as he sat on there all alone, with tears welling up in his eyes, killed me.

 
Last edited by a moderator:

TheIronSheik

SUPER ELITE UPPER TIER
My 2 year old loves to play with his 10 month old brother. He can sometimes get a little too aggressive so I had to tell him twice that he cannot roll on top of his little brother or he will get a time-out. Sure as ####, he does it again. He threw a little tantrum as i carried him over to the kitchen where his "time-out stool" was, But he sat there like a champ for a few minutes before making him apologize to his brother.

The look on his face as he sat on there all alone, with tears welling up in his eyes, killed me.
Kids are jerks and they will push the boundaries until pushed back. That's my feeling, anyway.

 

Clifford

Footballguy
I always use those time to help them understand why what they did was wrong, and get them to come to the conclusion:

Do you know why you are in time-out?

Do you want to hurt your brother?

Do you know that doing that could hurt your brother?

etc.

 

Ignoratio Elenchi

Footballguy
I've learned that you have to make the consequences not your fault, but theirs. If you _____, then ________ will happen.
While I agree with setting clear expectations, I'm not a big fan of the "If/then" structure, because it introduces the element of choice into the kid's brain.
With my almost 3-year-old son I've found it very effective to turn the if/then into a choice between behaving properly or getting the punishment, i.e. instead of saying, "If you A, then B," I say, "Would you like to not-A or B?"

For example, instead of saying, "If you keep throwing your toys, you're going to get a time-out," I very calmly say, "Would you like to stop throwing your toys, or have a time-out? It's your choice." He doesn't want to get a time-out, so he chooses to stop throwing his toys. It seems like a silly or subtle difference but if I was going to play amateur psychologist, I think it makes him feel more empowered to make the choice for himself, rather than just have me imposing the consequences on him or something. Whatever, it's been working.

Of course, a crucial part is that he knows that I will follow through with the time-out or whatever else the punishment is.

I have no idea how long it will continue to be effective, though. I'm sure what works on a 3 year old won't necessarily work on an 8 year old or a 13 year old.

 

Andy Dufresne

Footballguy
Serious kudos and hearty back slaps to you guys for even considering you can do better as a parent.

There are Five Love Languages books for both children and teens that might help.

 
Last edited by a moderator:

NCCommish

Footballguy
Well I am not a parent. But I do deal with your kids. Please be careful with their feelings. I am not saying don't punish or set boundaries please do those things they need that. But what you say can leave scars for years. Don't call them stupid even when you feel they are being stupid, they are being kids. Don't laugh at them when they say some kid thing as if they are stupid. Don't go after physical shortcomings when you are mad at them. Don't yell at them to shut up because you are tired of hearing their voice.

All these things will stay with them for years and all of them are so easy to do when we are mad or frustrated or having a bad day. I don't have kids. It's my biggest regret. Take it from me please don't blow what you have, it is invaluable and irreplaceable. Don't squander what you can never ever get back. I have seen it happen too many times and it is a damn shame.

 

GroveDiesel

Footballguy
bostonfred said:
Just read this on fb the other day, seemed like good timing.

http://www.handsfreemama.com/2013/12/10/the-bully-too-close-to-home/

During the two years of my overly distracted life, I communicated more to a screen than to the people in my family. My schedule was so tightly packed that I constantly found myself saying, We dont have time for that. And because there wasnt a minute to spare, that meant no time to relax, be silly, or marvel at interesting wonders along our path. I was so focused on my agenda that I lost sight of what really mattered.

Calling all the shots was a mean voice in my head. My internal drill sergeant was continually pushing me to make everything sound better, look better, and taste better. My body, my house, and my achievements were never good enough. Holding myself to such unattainable standards weighed heavily on my soul and my inner turmoil eventually spilled out at people I loved the most.

Sadly, there was one person in particular who bore the brunt of my discontent: my first-born daughter.

She could not make mess without me shaking my head in disappointment.

She could not forget her homework, her jacket, or her lunchbox without me making a big deal about it.

She could not spill,

stain,

break,

or misplace

without being made to feel like shed made the worst mistake in the world.

Although it pains me to write this, I remember sighing heavily in annoyance when she fell down and hurt herself because it threw me off my master schedule. My daughter was not allowed to be a child who learned by trying and yes, sometimes failing.

The truth hurts, but the truth heals and brings me closer to the person and parent I want to be.

Every time I came down hard on my daughter, I justified my behavior by telling myself I was doing it to help herhelp her become more responsible, capable, efficient, and prepare for the real world.

I told myself I was building her up.

But in reality, I was tearing her down.

I vividly remember the day my mother was visiting from out-of-town. The children were playing alone in the basement. My younger daughter began crying hysterically. I ran downstairs fearing she was seriously hurt.

The first question out of my mouth was directed at my older daughter. What did you do? I asked angrily.

My child didnt bother to explain that her little sister had slipped on the library book that was sitting on the bottom step. There really was no point. My beautiful child with humongous brown eyes that once held so much optimism looked defeated. Silent tears of a broken spirit slid down her face. My daughter knew it didnt matter what she said, shed still be wrong; it would still be her fault.

And there was my mother standing beside her, a silent witness to the whole ugly scene.

As my older daughter ran off to the sanctity of her bedroom, an unexpected question came out of my mouth. You think I am too hard on her, dont you? I snapped.

My mom, whod experienced her own difficult parenting moments and struggles, held no judgment in her eyes, only sadness. Her simple response of yes only confirmed what I knew in my heart.

I mustered up the courage to find the words that needed to be said. Apologizing didnt come easily for someone who strived to make everything look perfect all the time, but I knew what needed to be said.

I found my child crumpled up like a dejected rag doll on top of her bedher face puffy and red from crying.

Im sorry, I mumbled.

My daughter didnt move.

I sat down on the edge of her bed and began saying things Id never said to another human beingnot even myself. I feel mad inside a lot. I often speak badly about myself in my head. I bully myself. And when I bully myself, it makes me unhappy and then I treat others badlyespecially you. It is not right, and I am going to stop. I am not sure how, but I will stop. I am so very sorry, I vowed trying not to cry.

My daughter looked unsure as to what to do with this confession, this unusual offering from her mother who rarely admitted any wrongdoing. I didnt blame her for the skeptical look she gave me. I understood why she didnt say anything back, but somewhere in those eyes I saw hopehope that things could be different.

I desperately wanted things to be different too. It was time to stop being so hard on my child; it was time to stop being so hard on myself. I prayed I could stand up to the inner bully. I knew I needed an easy first step. I decided to use one simple word: STOP.

Within the hour, I had a chance to try it. The first critical thought that popped into my head arose as I was preparing to leave the house. I looked at my reflection and thought, You look fat. You cant go out looking like that.

Stop! I assertively thought to myself, shutting down any further criticisms. Then I quickly turned away from the mirror and recited these words: Only love today. Only love today.

I used the same strategy when interacting with my child a few minutes later. Before any harsh words came out of my mouth about the way she was sloppily packing her bag of things, I cut off my inner critic by saying, Stop! Only love today. Then I swallowed the hurtful words and relaxed my disapproving face.

Within mere days of using the stop technique, I noticed a change. With a more positive thought process, it was easier to let go of the need to control, dictate, and criticize. In response, my daughter began taking more chances and began revealing her true passions. She started movie making and website design on the computer. She made doll furniture and clothing to sell in the neighborhood. She began baking new recipes without any help. Nothing she did was perfect. Nor was it mess-free or mistake-free, but the moment I said something positive, I saw her blossom a little more. That is when I began to clearly see beyond the mistakes and messes to what was truly important.

I began noticing my childs inner beauty rather than looking for perfection on the outside.

I began paying more attention to the person she was rather than the successes she achieved.

I began letting her be who she was meant to be instead of some idealistic version I had in my head.

When I stopped being a bully to my child and myself opportunities for growth and connection opened up. Over time, significant progress was made. In a little less than two years on my journey to let go of perfection and distraction, I received the confirmation I never thought I would receive.

My daughter was outside before school tending to a garden she created smack dab in the middle of the yard. I watched from the kitchen window as she lovingly tended to her miniature plot. I was captivated by the utter joy on her face. She was clearly at peace.

N's garden #handsfreemama

Since my dad loves to garden and had taught my daughter a few things, I took a picture and sent my parents. Nothing could have prepared me for the gift I would receive in return.

My parents wrote: Thank for this precious picture of our beautiful granddaughter. Over the last two years, we have seen a tremendous change in her. We no longer see a scared look in her eyes; she is less fearful about you being upset or impatient with her. She is much happier and more relaxed. She is thriving and growing into a content, creative, and nurturing person. We know for a fact the changes we see in her coincide with the changes we have also seen in you.

My friends, I have the following message to offer anyone who wants to believe today can be different than yesterday:

If you think that criticizing, belittling, or critiquing yourself will make you smarter, fitter, or more valuable, please reconsider.

If you think badgering, bullying, or constantly correcting your child will make him or her more likable, more confident, or more successful, please reconsider.

Because the truth is this:

Its hard to love yourself with a bully breathing down your neck.

Its hard to love yourself when the one person whos supposed love you unconditionally doesnt.

Its hard to become the person youre supposed to be when you arent allowed to fall down and get back up.

If we want our children to become who theyre meant to be, lets ease up. Nobodys perfect can be two of the most empowering, healing words when said to oneself or to another human being.

Lets stop the ridicule. Lets stop the relentless pressure. Lets stop the impossible pursuit of perfection.

Only love today, my friends. Only love today.

Because love is always a good place to start a new beginning.

love is a new beginning #handsfree
This hit me too. I had just yelled at my daughter and put her in time out for messing with a gallon of milk and spilling the whole thing on the floor. It made me realize that I want to be her safe place and somewhere she knows that she'll receive love and support even when she makes a mistake. I'd rather her come to me when she's older and makes real mistakes because she knows I'll still love her and won't freak out rather than her be afraid of how I'll react.

My daughter is extremely rambunctious and not all that careful so she's constantly spilling and braking things. But rather than yell and discipline I've decided I'm going to calmly correct her and have her help clean up her messes. Yelling doesn't end up changing her behavior anyway, it just makes her afraid, sad and ashamed. She's a person so she'll make mistakes. My.job is to help her learn from her mistakes and love her through them.

So far results are mixed, but I'm doing better.

 

Annyong

Footballguy
NCCommish said:
Well I am not a parent. But I do deal with your kids. Please be careful with their feelings. I am not saying don't punish or set boundaries please do those things they need that. But what you say can leave scars for years. Don't call them stupid even when you feel they are being stupid, they are being kids. Don't laugh at them when they say some kid thing as if they are stupid. Don't go after physical shortcomings when you are mad at them. Don't yell at them to shut up because you are tired of hearing their voice.

All these things will stay with them for years and all of them are so easy to do when we are mad or frustrated or having a bad day. I don't have kids. It's my biggest regret. Take it from me please don't blow what you have, it is invaluable and irreplaceable. Don't squander what you can never ever get back. I have seen it happen too many times and it is a damn shame.
The problem is that they can be such jackasses sometimes.

 

Clifford

Footballguy
I tell my kid I love him at least once a day. To the point where many on this board would call me a #####. But when I do need to correct him, he knows that no matter what he does I love him. This helps me be firm without him thinking I am mad at him or don't like him. Kids think these things when they mess up.

I've also been successful for the most part in getting him to tell me the truth. It's another catch-22, but if you want your kids to tell you the truth, they have to know they can do so without you getting mad or getting them in trouble. For the most part, and he's only five so there isn't much to hide.

 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top