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Tags parenting , parenting issues

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Old 27th May 2020, 11:36 AM   #1
AlexPontik
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What more can you tell to your child in life?

Hi all,

what do you think? Both positive and negative feedback are welcome (but as always...keep it classy...)

General argument

what more can you tell to your child in life, than have fun and be careful?
What is my reasoning for saying this? Because if you tell your child to do something else (what else? anything else)
  1. at best your child is going to have fun and be careful, plus something else. But as it takes less time and effort to just have fun and be careful, it will be common sense for your child to move to just have fun and be careful, sooner or later.
  2. at worst your child is going to do something else, which may be or may not be what you asked your child to do. But your child in this case is not having fun and not being careful (we covered having fun and being careful, plus something else on bullet 1. )
however if you tell your child have fun and be careful (and nothing more), if the child is not careful, it will find this out as soon as possible. Why? Because before it finds this out, your child thought that it was having fun and being careful. Then, something happened, and your child is not having fun. So your child will try to be more careful (or else the child will continue not having fun)

Example Scenario:
you notice it is cold outside and your child is going to play with its friends

More than you should say: Have fun and be careful plus something else
what you tell your kid: Have fun and be careful, but take this jacket also and wear it, as it is cold. Your child disagrees.
What a selfish child does: the child takes but doesn't wear the jacket, and proceeds to have fun and be careful. But if the child is careful up to this point in its life, if it is cold for the child, then it will notice it (because the child is being careful) and will wear the jacket. Also, the child notices that your advice was valuable, and trusts you a bit more in the future.
What a bad child does: the child doesn't takes but doesn't wear the jacket, and proceeds to have fun and be careful. But if the child is a careful child up to this point in its life, if it is cold for the child, then it will notice it (because the child is being careful) and will wear the jacket. Still, the child doesn't notice any value in your advice in the future.
What a good child does: the child wears the jacket, and proceeds to have fun and be careful. But if the child is a careful child up to this point in its life, if it is warm for the child, then it will notice it (because the child is being careful), and will remove the jacket. Also, the child notices that your advice wasn't valuable, but it was loving. How much your child trusts your advice in the future, depends on how many times your advice wasn't valuable in the past, as a good child, wants also be fair with its mother.

Less than you should say: something else
what you tell your kid: Take this jacket also and wear it, as it is cold.Your child disagrees.
What a selfish child does: leaves without the jacket.
What a bad child does: takes the jacket, hides it near the house, and proceeds to go to have fun.
What a good child does: Takes the jacket and wears it. Regardless of whether it is warm or cold, the child keeps the jacket on. For now the child is afraid to make its own decisions, according to how the child feels. In the future, the child won't always have someone to advice it, and if it is afraid to make its own decisions now, it won't be able to built enough experience making decisions, observing the results, and correcting its behavior.
the right words: Have fun and be careful.
What a selfish child does: checks the weather and decides on whether it needs a jacket or not.
What a bad child does: goes out without checking the weather. If the weather is cold, the child will understand that the mistake was in its decision to not check the weather in the future.
What a good child does: checks the weather and decides on whether it needs a jacket or not. Gives you a kiss before it leaves.

What I am trying to argue is that in order for your child to build the ability to make decisions on difficult occasions, it needs first to make decisions on its own for simple occasions.
To build this skill (making decisions on difficult occasions), your child needs to accept responsibility of its own decisions, or else it cannot understand where it should correct its behavior.
In the above example, have fun and be careful sounds like and ideal situation, and this is what it is.
In practice for a child to learn a behavior, one needs start from "have fun and be careful, plus something else" (whatever this something else if for the occasion, e.g. wear the jacket, brush your teeth, make your bed etc.), with the aim to reach "have fun and be careful", where the child has an understanding that it is its responsibility to control its behavior.
As a parent, you will notice your kid changing its behavior, and then it is also your responsibility to not do "something else" but "have fun and be careful". The reason for doing this is that then the relationship between the parent and the child is working while both are "having fun and being careful", and this common understanding without extra words, builds trust between them.
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Old 27th May 2020, 01:34 PM   #2
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Sorry, but it will take some time to follow, because I read only about half of your questions. But for now, something I did read reminded me of something with my sons.

I was a single mom, and at 16 yrs, of course they wanted to drive. They did. And anyone who has raised a teenager knows of the torment of the parents. I started with, "OK, drive safe, be home on time, love you. Call me if you need me!" (Yeah right).

That grew tiresome and I could see their eyes rolling. So, I switched attitude. I mean really, you think they will be safer because I said that?!!!

Then one night I followed them to their cars as usual. This time I started shouting as I jumped up and down, "OK boys, remember, DRIVE FAST AND TAKE CHANCES!!!
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Old 27th May 2020, 01:41 PM   #3
The Atheist
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Originally Posted by AlexPontik View Post
what more can you tell to your child in life, than have fun and be careful?
We just leave it at "have fun", because careful isn't a word kids understand.

Show them what the risks are, set boundaries and let them go.
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Old 27th May 2020, 07:23 PM   #4
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What's wrong with "put your jacket on first"?

The shorter the instruction, the better the child's comprehension.
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Old 27th May 2020, 07:47 PM   #5
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With deer, aim just above the brisket behind the foreleg: heart shot; doesn't spoil much meat.

Elk or moose, aim square in the middle of the shoulder; breaks the spine if you're lucky, and ruins the front leg, so they can't run; 'nuff meat on them that you afford to waste some.

If you're shooting up or down at a steep angle, aim a bit low.



Any other eastern middle class questions you want answered?
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Old 27th May 2020, 09:01 PM   #6
bobdroege7
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Give it up, you can't tell your children a damn thing.

And use respectful personal pronouns, I may prefer it, that or them, but your child, probably not.

You can get the most if you start before they can talk back.

And welcome to the forum, it can be a rough place.
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Old 27th May 2020, 10:35 PM   #7
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If we'd let kids figure out everything out for themselves there would be no progress from generation to generation.
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Old 27th May 2020, 11:22 PM   #8
The Atheist
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Originally Posted by sackett View Post
Any other eastern middle class questions you want answered?
Wow, nice fella.

The guy's just joined the forum and it pretty likely that English is his second language.

It looks pretty damned good to me - how many languages are you fluent in? Nice of you to slip a little racist insinuation in there, though.

Originally Posted by bobdroege7 View Post
And use respectful personal pronouns, I may prefer it, that or them, but your child, probably not.
I imagine the kids won't be reading it & see what I said above. We all know what "it" means - give the guy a break!

Originally Posted by bobdroege7 View Post
And welcome to the forum, it can be a rough place.
Is it a rough place, or is it just that 1/3 of posters have to behave like dicks to a new poster?
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Old 27th May 2020, 11:27 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
Wow, nice fella.

The guy's just joined the forum and it pretty likely that English is his second language.

It looks pretty damned good to me - how many languages are you fluent in? Nice of you to slip a little racist insinuation in there, though.
I assumed sackett meant Eastern United States, referring to himself.
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Old 28th May 2020, 12:52 AM   #10
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Having kids is immoral, don’t do it!
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Old 28th May 2020, 05:33 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Cheetah View Post
Having kids is immoral, don’t do it!
And what would cheetahs eat then dear thing?
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Old 28th May 2020, 06:39 AM   #12
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Welcome.

I scanned through the OP and will read more carefully later.

My wife and I have seven children all grown up, left home, healthy and living well. We never told them much at all, but hoped they would follow our example and grow into independent, intelligent, caring and self sufficient adults. Mission accomplished. So far......
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Old 28th May 2020, 06:42 AM   #13
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I dunno. These days I figure 'Go forth and lie, cheat and steal' because that seems to be what works.
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Old 28th May 2020, 07:45 AM   #14
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Tell them not to sign up for multiple forums, post the same threads, and never come back to them.
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Old 28th May 2020, 09:53 AM   #15
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Stick to the basics.
Never play cards with a man named 'Doc'.
Never eat at a place called Mom's.
Never sleep with a woman whose troubles are worse than your own.
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Old 28th May 2020, 01:14 PM   #16
sackett
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Originally Posted by gypsyjackson View Post
I assumed sackett meant Eastern United States, referring to himself.
Quite right, and I regret my bad-tempered post.
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Old 28th May 2020, 08:27 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
Wow, nice fella.

The guy's just joined the forum and it pretty likely that English is his second language.

It looks pretty damned good to me - how many languages are you fluent in? Nice of you to slip a little racist insinuation in there, though.



I imagine the kids won't be reading it & see what I said above. We all know what "it" means - give the guy a break!



Is it a rough place, or is it just that 1/3 of posters have to behave like dicks to a new poster?
So you think it's ok to refer to your kids using the pronoun it.

I disagree.

The guy did ask for negative comments, I gave him one.
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Old 29th May 2020, 11:41 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by sackett View Post
With deer, aim just above the brisket behind the foreleg: heart shot; doesn't spoil much meat. but take this jacket also and wear it, as it is cold, and shivering with cold will spoil your aim

FTFY
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Old 29th May 2020, 12:20 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
Wow, nice fella.

The guy's just joined the forum and it pretty likely that English is his second language.

It looks pretty damned good to me - how many languages are you fluent in? Nice of you to slip a little racist insinuation in there, though.



I imagine the kids won't be reading it & see what I said above. We all know what "it" means - give the guy a break!



Is it a rough place, or is it just that 1/3 of posters have to behave like dicks to a new poster?
It's not as if he's ever been back to see it.
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Old 29th May 2020, 02:51 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by bobdroege7 View Post
So you think it's ok to refer to your kids using the pronoun it.

I disagree.

The guy did ask for negative comments, I gave him one.
Oh my god - are you pretending to be the ultimate pronoun arbiter?

I use "it" for kids all the time, and happily use it for my own. It's no sillier than individuals who insist on being called "they/them".

Pronouns don't make parents, a loving and caring home and family do.

Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
It's not as if he's ever been back to see it.
Not really the point.

When anyone new comes in and posts something even slightly out of the ordinary, the tendency is to jump all over them.

Very welcoming.
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Old 31st May 2020, 07:20 AM   #21
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Polonius' advice to Laertes always seemed to sum it up rather well, although the modern kids might need to be told that he didn't mean literal hoops of steel.
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Old 1st June 2020, 08:08 AM   #22
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let me add as example my experience.

I grew up in Greece, near to the coast, so in the summers, we went swimming almost daily.
The way I learned to swim without help (floaters of any kind), is my father took me to the sea, and said "swim and I am here if you need me".
And while I tried as an idiot to move my feet and arms, he gave me guidance when I asked for it.
After I learned to swim with practice, my parents started trusting me, so they would sleep in the shore while we where on the beach.
This would happen even though there were occasions when I drunk water (because I tried something further than I could do).

When you drink water, all words disappear, because nothing matters but what you do in the moment, in order not to drown.
This phrase to adults sounds scary, but to a little kid, it is only what seems to be happening.
And having grown from then, it still holds so. Words fails when you need to act, so "have fun, and be careful".

and if you think you are allowed to be immoral with this phrase...think again!
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Old 1st June 2020, 09:17 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by catsmate View Post
Stick to the basics.
Never play cards with a man named 'Doc'.
Never eat at a place called Mom's.
Never sleep with a woman whose troubles are worse than your own.
A perennially useful set of rules, to which I would add the groaning chorus members of my family got used to uttering in front of the TV, year after year: Never blackmail a murderer!
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Old 1st June 2020, 01:37 PM   #24
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Old 1st June 2020, 02:24 PM   #25
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Old 18th June 2020, 07:08 AM   #26
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I like the philosophy expressed by the OP.

I'm less of a fan of "be careful". When I was a kid that's one of the few things that my parents could say that I'd completely ignore. The risks I didn't take were simply the ones I was afraid to take. I may be wrong, but I think this is probably true of most kids, they are as careful as their own innate fears make them.

Making them aware of dangers that they may have overlooked might be useful though.

ETA: Here's a little anecdote from my childhood about "be careful". When I was six I wanted to go play outside. As I was running out the door my mother told me to put on shoes, but I refused. We argued for a bit, but I eventually promised to be careful, and she let me go out barefoot.
So, I walked down the path behind our house and turned left at the street. There I found a broken beer bottle. This looked like fun! I jumped over it. Great thrill! I jumped over it again. The thrills just kept coming with every leap. My younger sister showed up, and saw what I was doing and told me that I was crazy and to stop. I told her that it was fine, I was good at jumping. Then I landed on the broken glass. My sister started crying and ran home screaming. I hopped home with a nice trail of blood behind me. Happily while there was a lot of blood no serious harm accrued and my foot healed up fine. At no point did my promise to be careful even cross my mind. I didn't feel that I was blatantly breaking that promise. I felt that I was being careful.
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Old 22nd June 2020, 02:30 AM   #27
AlexPontik
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What more can you tell to your child in life?

Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
I like the philosophy expressed by the OP.

I'm less of a fan of "be careful". When I was a kid that's one of the few things that my parents could say that I'd completely ignore. The risks I didn't take were simply the ones I was afraid to take. I may be wrong, but I think this is probably true of most kids, they are as careful as their own innate fears make them.

Making them aware of dangers that they may have overlooked might be useful though.
This is what "be careful" means, that you take into account only what you are afraid, your parents cannot be careful for you.
Out of the things that you parents tell you, you will consider only the things that make sense. If your parents telling you things which don't make sense, well they don't make sense to you and you don't do them.
Making sense of things at any time happens with avoiding risks, which you are afraid to take at the time, and taking risks, which you are not afraid to take at the time. For the latter, when you take risks and fail, you learn to be afraid of doing exactly the same thing as you did.

Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post

ETA: Here's a little anecdote from my childhood about "be careful". When I was six I wanted to go play outside. As I was running out the door my mother told me to put on shoes, but I refused. We argued for a bit, but I eventually promised to be careful, and she let me go out barefoot.
So, I walked down the path behind our house and turned left at the street. There I found a broken beer bottle. This looked like fun! I jumped over it. Great thrill! I jumped over it again. The thrills just kept coming with every leap. My younger sister showed up, and saw what I was doing and told me that I was crazy and to stop. I told her that it was fine, I was good at jumping. Then I landed on the broken glass. My sister started crying and ran home screaming. I hopped home with a nice trail of blood behind me. Happily while there was a lot of blood no serious harm accrued and my foot healed up fine. At no point did my promise to be careful even cross my mind. I didn't feel that I was blatantly breaking that promise. I felt that I was being careful.
you were careful, apparently getting cut with broken glass doesn't bother you.
You didn't mention in your message, how your mother reacted and what happened in the future? Did you continue to jump on broken glass, if yes, do you still do it?
If you do, how many other people want to step on broken glass with you to have fun together?
If you don't, why did you stop, you said it was thrilling for you, why isn't it thrilling now?

And the reason why I am asking these questions, is that humans built common sense when they use their senses commonly, so that they don't harm others or themselves. And on the latter, finding out what harms you or not, you will need to try something first, unless you are afraid of the risk involved, in which case you avoid it.

Last edited by AlexPontik; 22nd June 2020 at 02:33 AM.
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Old 22nd June 2020, 03:11 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by AlexPontik View Post
you were careful, apparently getting cut with broken glass doesn't bother you.
I was lucky not to have any serious injury, but while I don't remember the pain I'm sure it bothered me at the time, just not as much as my sister and mother.
Quote:
You didn't mention in your message, how your mother reacted and what happened in the future?
My mother took the garden hose and a roll of paper towel and cleaned my wound. I remember her screaming when she first saw all the blood, but afterward she didn't get angry or anything.

Quote:
Did you continue to jump on broken glass, if yes, do you still do it?
No, I think I learned my lesson about jumping on broken glass that day. I just don't think my mother's advice to be careful had any effect either way.

Quote:
If you don't, why did you stop, you said it was thrilling for you, why isn't it thrilling now?
It wasn't the jumping on broken glass that was fun, even I didn't enjoy that part. It was the jumping over it that I enjoyed.
I still like thrilling things that have a little danger involved in them, but I'm probably a little smarter about what risks to take than I used to be.

Quote:
And the reason why I am asking these questions, is that humans built common sense when they use their senses commonly, so that they don't harm others or themselves. And on the latter, finding out what harms you or not, you will need to try something first, unless you are afraid of the risk involved, in which case you avoid it.
Absolutely, I agree.
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Old 1st July 2020, 03:55 PM   #29
AlexPontik
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post

It wasn't the jumping on broken glass that was fun, even I didn't enjoy that part. It was the jumping over it that I enjoyed.
I still like thrilling things that have a little danger involved in them, but I'm probably a little smarter about what risks to take than I used to be.
being smart about what risks one takes is different than being careful?
You sound to me like now you are having fun, and try to be careful, which during that instance when you were young you weren't, no?
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Old 1st July 2020, 04:14 PM   #30
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I think my kid is all of those things at one time or the other. Good kid might be afraid of punishment. Bad kid might be angry and frustrated. Selfish child has probably had stuff taken from the so makes sure that their needs are met first before anyone elses. All these kids are "good" in my book
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