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SF Parents, how've your child-rearing theories held up?

dexterhaven

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This Christmas, as always, I was forced into close proximity with the demonic children of my relatives. I observed a lot of bad behavior and a lot of what I considered to be bad parenting in response to this behavior. I repeatedly found myself thinking, when I am a parent, I will do this or that thing differently. But as I thought this, I also realized that it was founded upon a lack of knowledge and experience: I'm in my mid-twenties and unmarried with no child of my own. So I was wondering: you who have children, did you do like me when you had no children? Did you see certain things that parents were doing and aim to do these things differently with your own children? And if so, how did these aims hold up once you actually had children? Did you realize they were naive and discard them? Or did they have some value after all?
 

TowleY

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Originally Posted by dexterhaven
This Christmas, as always, I was forced into close proximity with the demonic children of my relatives. I observed a lot of bad behavior and a lot of what I considered to be bad parenting in response to this behavior. I repeatedly found myself thinking, when I am a parent, I will do this or that thing differently. But as I thought this, I also realized that it was founded upon a lack of knowledge and experience: I'm in my mid-twenties and unmarried with no child of my own. So I was wondering: you who have children, did you do like me when you had no children? Did you see certain things that parents were doing and aim to do these things differently with your own children? And if so, how did these aims hold up once you actually had children? Did you realize they were naive and discard them? Or did they have some value after all?

Im not a parent, but how old are the kids. If there 12 they sholdnt be acting like that but 3-7 that might not know any better
 

eg1

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I didn't want kids, so I didn't pay much attention to other people's kids -- avoidance was my preference. Now that I am a parent (not my idea, but certainly my responsibility) I would say the keys are patience (so as not to add drama), repetition (lots and lots and lots of repetition) and persistence (they will try to wear you down). My kids are 6 and 3, so I am not in a position yet to say whether or not it is working out as planned.
 

Dakota rube

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Parenting is either the hardest job you'll ever encounter, or the easiest.

And you get to decide.
 

GQgeek

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The idea of kids scares me.
 

audiophilia

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Mine are not perfect, but they don't whine, ask for shit, and they are kind and they work hard.

Easy philosophy.

1. Read and teach at home in addition to school
2. Lots of love, lots of time
3. Say no sometimes, even if you don't want to
4. Fair discipline
5. Dinner around table
6. A common front

The job (and the kids) need you more as they get older.

It's the greatest thing in life.

Enjoy.
 

Mick

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+1 and keep your fingers crossed. Trouble with parenting is you don't know whether you did it right or wrong until it's too late. Trust your instincts, if you were brought up right chances are your kids will turn out OK.
 

Gong Tao

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My ideas about child rearing were not particularly rigid, so I haven't needed to adjust them too much, but here goes:

I didn't believe in hitting kids before. Now I think hitting some kids sometimes can be a good thing. (In my case, this meant a total of four or five smacks between the ages of three and four- at five she is more self-disciplined and doesn't need it anymore).

I used to think that when kids acted bad, it was because their parents weren't raising them correctly. Now I think that a lot of difficult kids were born that way, and will remain difficult in spite of their parents best efforts.

The way you relate to your kid is to a large degree determined by the kid's innate personality. A soft approach will work great with some, others need a firmer hand.

The strongest conclusion I have come to is that any overly dogmatic approach to child rearing is bullshit. There is no system that will work for every kid.

The frightening people are the ones that have strong ideas before having kids, and fail to adjust their ideas when reality fails to conform to their ideology.
 

grimslade

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Terribly.
 

thekunk07

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i am very loving and affectionate with my kids but we are pretty old school; none of this "goal boards" and new-age parenting bullshit. sometimes a good crack on the ass is the only common language between kids and parents. i am more of a push over than my wife.
 

randallr

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Kunk you arms of weapons of mass destruction, you better be careful.
 

thekunk07

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i don;t do it. i spanked my oldest once and he laughed his ass off. said i smacked like a girl. i am a big pussy. my wife is fucking scary when mad though.
 

randallr

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haha I remember being spanked, as I got older I just laughed. My mom used to bust out a wooden spoon, she wielding that thing like a blade.
 

mafoofan Jr.

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My dad is currently a retired army colonel. When I was growing up, we didn't see him a lot as children but the man was capable of exerting discipline even when far away. I didn't call him "Dad" until I finish college.

Looking back, I could learn much from him when it comes time to rear children of my own:

1. Never reinforce negative behaviors.
2. Say "no" or "yes" to certain behaviors but always be unambiguous about it. When I was a kid, I always ask twice, or even thrice, to do certain things when he already said "no" the first time. The man was as stubborn as he was resolute but now looking back that kept me out of a lot of trouble.
3. Reinforce good behaviors with non-physical awards (hugs, pad on the back, etc.)
4. Punish negative behaviors severely. I was never "grounded." I had felt the wrath of his palm or even the belt many times as a kid. He stopped doing that when I turned 7 or 8 but damn I didn't want to mess with him given my experience in the early years.
5. Occupy your children's time with self-improving activities. He signed me up for so many sports (soccer, track, swimming, lacrosse,etc.) and I was always enrolled in summer school even though I earned straight A's.
6. Remind your children daily (methods vary) that you do all this for their own good even though they do not see it now. Cliche but very true.
7. Most importantly, lead by example. He never made me do something that I have not seen him done. The man kept careful records of all that he accomplished, even his first grade report card.
 

dexterhaven

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Originally Posted by grimslade
Terribly.
If you're serious, I'd love an elaboration.

Originally Posted by thekunk07
i am very loving and affectionate with my kids but we are pretty old school; none of this "goal boards" and new-age parenting bullshit. sometimes a good crack on the ass is the only common language between kids and parents. i am more of a push over than my wife.
I guess the main thing I want to know is: did you, before you had children, decide you were going to raise them in a old school way? Or did you decide you were going to raise them in some other way, but once you actually had them, you realized that the old school approach was the best? Or did you think about child rearing strategies at all before having children?
 

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