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Old 03-06-2014, 02:07 PM   #21
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MM, it sounds like you are beyond the "helpful advice from other parents" stage. Not trying to sound cruel, but you may need professional help from psychiatrist specializing in children.

I have to preface what I'm about to say with this: I grew up in a Christian home and went to Christian schools. We were always taught a very definite family hierarchy, that God was first, the couple (Mother & Father) second, and children third. This is in all things and does not change. If you believe children are the all-encompassing reason for being and deserve all of your attention all of the time, stop reading now. You won't like the rest of this post.

I have two grown kids, and they were born in the 80's, just about the time that personal electronic devices were coming out and everyone was starting to do the "full kid schedule"-thing. My kids were given TV time and video game time (one hour each a day per child). They were allowed to manage it as they saw fit, subject to approval. They could have two outside activities (volleyball, football, soccer, etc.) that did not interfere with IMPORTANT family events. Scouts, band practice and those things we saw as educational got priority over sports. But there was one area that we were completely different than other parents...we read, we went to art galleries, visited museums and attended classical concerts.

Two days a week were library days. The kids were expected to read as entertainment. They could read as much and as often as they wished and we discussed what they read. They did a book report every two weeks on any book they wished. And the museum visits and classical concerts were as a family, not a school field trip. We also went outside and hiked, biked and camped to appreciate the great outdoors. This bonded us as a family and made the family events more important than the individual pursuits of each person. My wife and I had date night, which we would schedule as needed, but it was never cancelled to do "kid things." We also had a family game night that was NON-video, either board games or card games where the family had to interact were the norm. This still left time for my wife and I to have our own hobbies and interests and the kids understood, just as they needed their time, we needed ours. At least one family camping trip a year that was deep enough in the woods for no power and no electronics or cell phones reset everyone and brought us even closer together.

We believed in corporal punishment, but almost never had to use it. Our kids had very clearly delineated boundaries and penalties for breaking them. We did not use time outs or other modern passive punishments. Respecting the rules and parental authority was expected at all times. This worked to raise happy, healthy, well-adjusted kids. I do not understand parents sacrificing everything in their lives to be slaves to their children, nor do I understand allowing electronic devices and online society to fully control their ideology. I, as a parent, thought I had a duty to raise my child, not just pay their bills and serve them until they turned 18. I realize I am in the minority on this and your mileage may vary, but it worked for me.

Edit: Yes, I have on my flame-retardant pantaloons, so fire away!

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Old 03-06-2014, 02:13 PM   #22
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Old 03-06-2014, 03:26 PM   #23
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MM, it sounds like you are beyond the "helpful advice from other parents" stage. Not trying to sound cruel, but you may need professional help from psychiatrist specializing in children.

I have to preface what I'm about to say with this: I grew up in a Christian home and went to Christian schools. We were always taught a very definite family hierarchy, that God was first, the couple (Mother & Father) second, and children third. This is in all things and does not change. If you believe children are the all-encompassing reason for being and deserve all of your attention all of the time, stop reading now. You won't like the rest of this post.

I have two grown kids, and they were born in the 80's, just about the time that personal electronic devices were coming out and everyone was starting to do the "full kid schedule"-thing. My kids were given TV time and video game time (one hour each a day per child). They were allowed to manage it as they saw fit, subject to approval. They could have two outside activities (volleyball, football, soccer, etc.) that did not interfere with IMPORTANT family events. Scouts, band practice and those things we saw as educational got priority over sports. But there was one area that we were completely different than other parents...we read, we went to art galleries, visited museums and attended classical concerts.

Two days a week were library days. The kids were expected to read as entertainment. They could read as much and as often as they wished and we discussed what they read. They did a book report every two weeks on any book they wished. And the museum visits and classical concerts were as a family, not a school field trip. We also went outside and hiked, biked and camped to appreciate the great outdoors. This bonded us as a family and made the family events more important than the individual pursuits of each person. My wife and I had date night, which we would schedule as needed, but it was never cancelled to do "kid things." We also had a family game night that was NON-video, either board games or card games where the family had to interact were the norm. This still left time for my wife and I to have our own hobbies and interests and the kids understood, just as they needed their time, we needed ours. At least one family camping trip a year that was deep enough in the woods for no power and no electronics or cell phones reset everyone and brought us even closer together.

We believed in corporal punishment, but almost never had to use it. Our kids had very clearly delineated boundaries and penalties for breaking them. We did not use time outs or other modern passive punishments. Respecting the rules and parental authority was expected at all times. This worked to raise happy, healthy, well-adjusted kids. I do not understand parents sacrificing everything in their lives to be slaves to their children, nor do I understand allowing electronic devices and online society to fully control their ideology. I, as a parent, thought I had a duty to raise my child, not just pay their bills and serve them until they turned 18. I realize I am in the minority on this and your mileage may vary, but it worked for me.

Edit: Yes, I have on my flame-retardant pantaloons, so fire away!
Hot damn, Greg. You were way up there on my list of people to like but you just moved up another couple notches.

I also took my kids to stage plays, movies, museums (yearly trip into Chicago to visit the Shedd Aquarium, Museum of Science and Industry, Field Museum, ]Art Museum). Just one museum each time so we could spend all day discovering that one museum. I was a very broke single parent but I did this for them. We also spent a lot of time fishing, flying kites, hiking, walking the dogs, catching frogs, snakes, turtles and crayfish, studying bugs in the grass, laying on our backs in the grass finding shapes in the clouds, cooking out on the grill, playing baseball, shooting hoops, badminton net in the yard, tether ball pole. Reading books aloud to each other, library story hour every Wednesday morning, arts and crafts project. My kids were in 4-H and we did projects together..........wood working, gardening, sewing, electronics. We did so much free entertaining it wasn't even funny.

My kids had consequences for their actions and I rarely had to physically punish them. There was no father in our house but when my youngest son would sometimes have anger issues, I let my oldest son deal with him. Worked every time. Fortunately, my oldest son seemed to be 'born an adult' and I never had trouble with him going to school, doing homework, mowing the lawn, etc. The other two kids, I had to work a little harder with them. My daughter was the toughest and all through her teen years we battled. I never gave up on her (though many times I wanted to) and we survived each other and her teen years. She is now a very responsible single Mom.

Once my kids became adults, I let them live their lives. I don't interfere or offer suggestions unless asked. I babysit whenever I can and I take my grandkids on outings. I encourage my children and support them in their choices. They are wonderful adults.

MM, I agree with TekGreg that you may need some outside help. I know you don't want to and don't trust doctors or therapists but it's only going to get worse as they get older. If you think they're a handful now, wait until their in there teens. By then, the battle is lost. After my Mom died and my divorce, I went to counseling to get my feet under me. I also took my kids into some sessions with me when warranted. Sometimes one just needs a different perspective.
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Old 03-06-2014, 09:51 PM   #24
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Well let me say this . When they are apart , they are for the most part very good .
Like this morning , I stopped at the old country store but had told them before we got there they were not going in for candy , both agreed .
Got there , both threw a fit to go in .
They go in and are just as nice and polite , saying sir and mam to everyone .
Get back in the truck
back to raising hell thenn great , then bad back and forth back and forth .
We do things with them , not TOO much during the week as its late and dark when we all get home , winter time anyway , but almost everymorning we go to hardees where we all get biscuits but he WILL NOT tolerate a butter one , he HAS to have a plain one and the hash browns HAVE to be a certain color .
Anyway I dont have a firm schedule so I try to spend some time with them everymorning beit driving slow , driving crazy to make them laugh or stopping by the park or watch the train go by .
In the evenings .... ehhh they MIGHT be good ....... until they get a bath , which they love but its like a light switch after they get out , they know how to lay down and cover up but they want YOU to lay them down and cover them up before going to bed .
Lately we have just been so burned out with them and everything else its just been like a whatever mentality .
If they raise hell about wanting or doing something that may or will hurt them and WILL not shut up about it I will '' supervised'' let them do it just to teach them a lesson .
Want to play with a lighter ? ok here , is it hot ? yea.... see I told you so
Go outside in the snow with no shoes ? go ahead
its like we are having to let them learn the hard way
oh you want to stay home ? ok , see you later '' walk out and close door'' then they come hauling acc outside crying

They are far from dumb , they just act like it , both can turn wrenches with me if I let them , both can tell you a piston from a cam shaft then turn around , wipe her butt then use the same tp to blow her nose
WHAT >>>>>> WHY!!!!!!!!
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Old 03-06-2014, 11:01 PM   #25
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Sounds like food allergies may very well be the issue here. I think I have mentioned it before to you. http://www.parentmap.com/article/kids-health-diet-behavior

I just Googled the above link and scanned it, but it gives you an idea of what I am saying. My nephew was found to be allergic to processed corn (or perhaps "sensitivity" is the more correct word) and behaved exactly as you describe your son. Eliminating that from his diet changed him into an absolute angel.

In particular the comment about him being scared for no reason tells me this is probably an allergy. Scared=anxiety for a young kid. He doesn't know the difference between the two so he will say he is "scared" even though there is nothing in his environment to be scared of.

The other thing that comes to mind is an issue that we had with my youngest son which is a vision problem. This is not something that can be seen by a parent (at least not until after you have a pretty deep understanding of what it is) but it is more inside the kids brain. The good thing is that it can be corrected with therapy- bad thing is that glasses will do nothing at all for it. Again, you need to see a specialist who is well educated in behavioral vision problems before you can find out if this is an issue. The good thing is that (at least with the doctor we saw for my son) the evaluation is very inexpensive and I have heard some times it is free. You can find a qualified doctor here http://pavevision.org/find-a-doctor/

The vision thing is not very widely known or accepted, but it absolutely changed my sons life once we understood it and treated the problem. Best part is that the treatment is fairly easy (though it can run into a couple of thousand dollars) and can be permanent. My son's doctor will do follow-up treatment for free if there is a re-occurrance of the problem.

On to some of the other things- if our kids didn't like what was set on the table for them to eat, they didn't have to eat it. We always tried to have things they either liked or we knew there was a very good chance that they would like it. We never forced them to eat anything but sometimes they would not eat. Their choice. They would not be allowed to eat some "treat" right after the meal though, they would have to eat something we had served for that meal. They always ate the same food we were eating from the time they started eating solid food- though there was a very short time when they were eating store-bough baby food in the jars because mom insisted. They preferred the "real food" over that stuff pretty quick though (I did sneak them as much as I could behind mom's back).

Behavior? We have never had any discipline issues to speak of beyond what all parents see, and we have never once spanked either of them, nor did we ever threaten them with it. Never had to. We had very strong boundaries and very strong discipline from the very beginning. Bad behavior was not tolerated. Do that from the start and you will never regret it. If you don't then you might regret that though. There is a point when poor discipline cannot be corrected ever. There is never a point when strong discipline is regrettable though. I daresay that there are many grey areas regarding spanking or other corporal punishment and there are frequently regrets or the line is crossed over into abuse. Personally I have no experience there though. One more thing on discipline is that you cannot as a good parent leave any of it up to the school. that is not their job. If you are doing your job well they should not have to do anything in that area whatsoever. Unfortunately this is not observed in all families so your kids will often fall victim to the poor disciplinary training of others. That is unfortunately the reality of it. When my kids were going to public school (before we homeschooled) there were a couple of times they "got in trouble" simply because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time, or at least once they stood up for a kid who was being bullied. In that case they were disciplined for not running to get a teacher instead on intervening- even though there were other kids running for the teacher while my sons put a stop to the behavior. There is no reason why kids should not be taught and encouraged to provide help in teams like that.

Totally agree on spending as much time as you can possibly afford with the kids! Could not agree more on that. You will never regret it.

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Old 03-07-2014, 12:57 AM   #26
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Sounds like food allergies may very well be the issue here. I think I have mentioned it before to you. http://www.parentmap.com/article/kids-health-diet-behavior

I just Googled the above link and scanned it, but it gives you an idea of what I am saying. My nephew was found to be allergic to processed corn (or perhaps "sensitivity" is the more correct word) and behaved exactly as you describe your son. Eliminating that from his diet changed him into an absolute angel.

In particular the comment about him being scared for no reason tells me this is probably an allergy. Scared=anxiety for a young kid. He doesn't know the difference between the two so he will say he is "scared" even though there is nothing in his environment to be scared of.
I've seen this, although not in my own children. With all the genetically engineered food being sold, human bodies react sometime violently to certain foods. Just changing to a raw food diet and growing your own food can help with children with allergies.


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On to some of the other things- if our kids didn't like what was set on the table for them to eat, they didn't have to eat it. We always tried to have things they either liked or we knew there was a very good chance that they would like it. We never forced them to eat anything but sometimes they would not eat. Their choice. They would not be allowed to eat some "treat" right after the meal though, they would have to eat something we had served for that meal. They always ate the same food we were eating from the time they started eating solid food- though there was a very short time when they were eating store-bough baby food in the jars because mom insisted. They preferred the "real food" over that stuff pretty quick though (I did sneak them as much as I could behind mom's back).
I had this same policy and was told by another parent that I was "cruel and abusive." I argued that that was not so. Food was provided, plenty of food, and the child had a choice; either eat or don't eat. But like everything in life, choices have consequences. Our kitchen was not a 24-hour diner. Once dishes were done and food put away. Dinner was over. If they didn't eat dinner, there was no dessert or snacking the rest of the evening. The human body (and Americans in particular) store weeks worth of food and missing one meal is not going to cause any damage, but it will establish boundaries and make a child realize the parent is in charge and is serious about the rules. Note, I did allow MINOR substitutions occasionally. If the child hated broccoli and that's what was being served. I'd allow them to have carrots or green beans as a replacement. This wasn't allowed every meal and 95% of the time they ate what was served, but it allowed for a little individualism. If we had cereal for breakfast, they could have their choice. It wasn't a dictatorship, but everything operated in a set framework that was reasonable. If it was a cereal morning, the child couldn't demand Eggs Benedict with Hollandaise sauce! But everyone seemed fine with this after one or two incidences of going to bed hungry. :P
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Old 03-07-2014, 02:22 AM   #27
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I've seen this, although not in my own children. With all the genetically engineered food being sold, human bodies react sometime violently to certain foods. Just changing to a raw food diet and growing your own food can help with children with allergies.

Yup. Though I think it was more remedied by making his diet all fresh food- no processed food at all (nothing that comes in a package). They also got lots of fresh vegetables from the gardens and once in awhile I would throw them some venison.

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I had this same policy and was told by another parent that I was "cruel and abusive." I argued that that was not so. Food was provided, plenty of food, and the child had a choice; either eat or don't eat. But like everything in life, choices have consequences. Our kitchen was not a 24-hour diner. Once dishes were done and food put away. Dinner was over. If they didn't eat dinner, there was no dessert or snacking the rest of the evening. The human body (and Americans in particular) store weeks worth of food and missing one meal is not going to cause any damage, but it will establish boundaries and make a child realize the parent is in charge and is serious about the rules. Note, I did allow MINOR substitutions occasionally. If the child hated broccoli and that's what was being served. I'd allow them to have carrots or green beans as a replacement. This wasn't allowed every meal and 95% of the time they ate what was served, but it allowed for a little individualism. If we had cereal for breakfast, they could have their choice. It wasn't a dictatorship, but everything operated in a set framework that was reasonable. If it was a cereal morning, the child couldn't demand Eggs Benedict with Hollandaise sauce! But everyone seemed fine with this after one or two incidences of going to bed hungry. :P
Pretty much what we did too. I remember one time when we met my family at a Mexican restaurant for my birthday dinner when my boys were 3 and 5 and my sister almost had a heart attack when they started wolfing down the tortilla chips scooped full of salsa. Then asked for the hotter stuff!. She has and probably still does cook these bland meals that are really uninteresting, and she would even cook different meals for her daughters when sis and her husband were having something "interesting". Blah.
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Old 03-07-2014, 03:25 AM   #28
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Hot damn, Greg. You were way up there on my list of people to like but you just moved up another couple notches.

I also took my kids to stage plays, movies, museums (yearly trip into Chicago to visit the Shedd Aquarium, Museum of Science and Industry, Field Museum, ]Art Museum). Just one museum each time so we could spend all day discovering that one museum. I was a very broke single parent but I did this for them. We also spent a lot of time fishing, flying kites, hiking, walking the dogs, catching frogs, snakes, turtles and crayfish, studying bugs in the grass, laying on our backs in the grass finding shapes in the clouds, cooking out on the grill, playing baseball, shooting hoops, badminton net in the yard, tether ball pole. Reading books aloud to each other, library story hour every Wednesday morning, arts and crafts project. My kids were in 4-H and we did projects together..........wood working, gardening, sewing, electronics. We did so much free entertaining it wasn't even funny.

My kids had consequences for their actions and I rarely had to physically punish them. There was no father in our house but when my youngest son would sometimes have anger issues, I let my oldest son deal with him. Worked every time. Fortunately, my oldest son seemed to be 'born an adult' and I never had trouble with him going to school, doing homework, mowing the lawn, etc. The other two kids, I had to work a little harder with them. My daughter was the toughest and all through her teen years we battled. I never gave up on her (though many times I wanted to) and we survived each other and her teen years. She is now a very responsible single Mom.

Once my kids became adults, I let them live their lives. I don't interfere or offer suggestions unless asked. I babysit whenever I can and I take my grandkids on outings. I encourage my children and support them in their choices. They are wonderful adults.

MM, I agree with TekGreg that you may need some outside help. I know you don't want to and don't trust doctors or therapists but it's only going to get worse as they get older. If you think they're a handful now, wait until their in there teens. By then, the battle is lost. After my Mom died and my divorce, I went to counseling to get my feet under me. I also took my kids into some sessions with me when warranted. Sometimes one just needs a different perspective.
Wow, we were practically raising the exact same kids! I even loved doing the science experiments that had the spewing volcano - wow, did they love that! Of course, I always used a little too many chemicals.
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Old 03-07-2014, 05:48 AM   #29
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Really? No one that read this thread wanted to tell me what an insensitive, cro-magnon child abuser I am? Geez, I'm not sure what to do. Every time this subject came up in parenting groups, I wound up running away avoiding torches and pitchforks. Is there no one that disagrees?

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Old 03-07-2014, 06:18 AM   #30
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Really? No one that read this thread wanted to tell me what an insensitive, cro-magnon child abuser I am? Geez, I'm not sure what to do. Every time this subject came up in parenting groups, I wound up running away avoiding torches and pitchforks. Is there no one that disagrees?
Outside of allowing video games (we had one Gameboy for a little while that I brought home from work, I found it in a used car. Boys had to share it or not play at all. Boys got tired of it real quick) and believing in corporal punishment you did pretty much the same as we did. We are not religious at all either. There is always something more fun to do outdoors. Our oldest son got his first smart phone when he turned 18. Younger son just got a cell phone and he rarely uses it. Its a flip-phone. They have never cared for any video games and only really use the computer to look up stuff for their Jeeps and trucks.
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