We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I jokingly refer to my sons as The Mother’s Curse. Did your mother, exasperated or angry, ever stand over you and say, “You should have children like you. Then you’ll know how I feel.”Surely, my mother is rolling over in her grave laughing at me because they’re like me as I remember my childhood.
They get under my skin when they’re obstinate, selfish, nasty, use bad words, make excuses, talk back. And, I sometimes lose my temper.
Yeah, they are only 11 and 6, I know, and they’ve progressed and are supposed to know and act better and control themselves as they grow older and more experienced.
To become better it is necessary to correct and instruct them, and be willing to make it stick. When they continue to not listen, and even dig in to provoke me, I sometimes blow my stack. And they tremble then and cool it.
But, I wish, and if wishes were fishes we’d never go hungry, they would listen and learn more and I yell at them less (especially when I overreact).
I’ve read many books and tried to follow their guidance. Yet, I still have to yell at them. And, they keep pushing back, one of their more lovable characteristics that they don’t back down or off easily.
I'm sure you have seen parents hollering at their kids across the store, humiliating the kids->GET AWAY FROM THAT! LEAVE THAT ALONE! GET OVER HERE!
There is a better way. When I want to say something to my children I walk over, touch them lightly on the shoulder and speak quietly, very quietly to them.
Its intimate, it gives them very personal attention and they have to strain to hear what I say. Usually I explain to them what I want them to and why I want them to do it and often the bad things that might occur if they dont do it.
It has worked well for us; lots of people tell me I have well behaved kids.
Oh Bruce ... It sounds like they are just as stubborn and smart as you are. What did you expect? Little Lord Fauntleroy? If they were already perfect in every way, you wouldn't have anything to keep you busy, and that would be too bad. I think they are lucky to have you as a father. It's a challenge to both of you.
"It's a challenge to both of you."
THAT'S just what prompted this post, contemplating that today in synagogue while trying to figure out how to be a better father in the new year, and how to make it an easier task for the boys to be better.
I still have 'til Yom Kippur to come up with an answer.
Each year, somehow, a miracle?, a good answer comes to me just in time to that year's question, an answer that surprises me. I pray and cogitate and wrestle to that last minute, and it has worked in the past. With hope and struggle, may it be this year.
my mother apologized to me when my daughter became a teen.. she said she had wished for a daughter worse than me. she didnt realise how bad that could be. but then i thought. for heavens sake i wasnt THAT bad
A friend told me years ago that the child you butt heads with the most, is the most like you. I have only one child, for which I thank God (miracle baby)and the parts of him that are the most like me, that exasperated my mother, exasperate me.
I'm going on the theory that we are tempering them in the kiln of our love (and frustration). What doesn't break them, makes them stronger. But I do regret some of the things I said and did.
I spent way too many years yelling at daughter, now 20, and son, now 17. It is crystal clear to me now that the mistake I made was "too much yelling, not enough doing." A polite request, one reminder if necessary, and then action, not yelling. The most common action is to let them know that nothing they like to do is happening until they do X. Sometimes you have to stand over them to get it done but I try to avoid that because it's just a way for them to cause me to suffer along with them. Nuts to that! There is a lot more peace both inside my brain and in the house if I remember to disengage, not get sucked in, and just keep the boundaries in place. Wish I would have figured this out 10 years sooner.
what you do is patientley wait for the day you are a grandparent, when the grandchild is 4 or 5, volunteer to baby sit while your son or daughter and their spouse enjoy an evening out. Half an hour before they retrieve grand kids to go home and retire for the evening, proceed to fill said grandkids with Reese's and Dr. Pepper, lots of it.
I learned two invaluable lessons of parenthood - one each from my Mom and Dad.
From Mom, "Aggravation is not the same thing as trouble."
Look around you and see the real trouble some children, especially teens, cause their parents. Drugs are trouble. Crime is trouble. Pregnancy is trouble. As are other behaviors and results. If they do not leave you sobbing then they probably aren't causing you trouble. Recognize the difference between aggravation and trouble and your aggravations will diminish.
From Dad, "Provide your children with strong and positive values. Do that by example. Eventually they will live by those values."
When I was in my 20s my mother apologized for how bad things had gotten between us when I was 14. She was an 8th grade public school teacher. She said she dealt with 14-year-olds all day long at work, then came home to me, a 14-year-old. It wouldn't have made any sense to me at the time, but from my perspective as a 20-something I knew just what she meant. I was above-average snotty as a 14-year-old.
One trap my folks did avoid was letting something slide, and slide, and slide, and then blowing up. If it was important to them, they pretty much stuck to their guns from the beginning. The only blowups happened when I got away with something in secret and was later found out.