bringing kids into this crazy world!!!

Discussion in 'Parenting' started by melonhead, Apr 2, 2007.

  1. melonhead

    melonhead Member

    hi, mamas and papas....
    i am a long-time forum lurker. my bf and i are planning on starting a family next year, and i love to come here and read what you all have to say, and store all your info in my head for the future.

    i was reading the thread started by freeinalaska, about her 15 year old dd and the 19 yr old boy she likes. i ultimately decided that they sound like a healthy, well-communicating family, and that it'll be all good, but.....still, that's gotta be scary shit! i'm at the point where i realize that the things i hated my parents for as a teenager, really WAS for my own good! (who knew!?!?!)
    we are very anxious and excited to have kiddies, but we often discuss the things that could be happening in the world when our kids are in school, and are teenagers, etc, and the things that will be the "norm" among their peers...for example:

    my friend has a 5th grader who attends a local PS here in NY where i live. a student in her class was recently suspended for bringing pot to school. (in 5th grade i don't think i really knew what pot was!!)

    another friend of mine finally gave in to her 9 year old son, who's been begging for a cell phone, because "all his friends have one" (and they really do!!)

    last month, a 17-year old in my community was shot to death by an x-friend whom he owed $$ to.

    my bf and i say how our kids are gonna hate us well, you know..we all "hated" our parents when they wouldn't let us have or do something...but these kids all have Tvs and video games in their rooms (i wasn't allowed, nor will my kids), they have their own computers, cell phones, etc. and i know this is just the tip of the iceberg.

    how do you tell your kid no, when everyone s/he knows is doing it? how do you tell them they can't hang out w/certain ppl, or get in certain teen's cars, without them rebelling even more? how do you maintain the trust? i know this is a LONG LONG way down the road for me, but it's something i think about.

    what kind of crazy unreasonable things have your kids asked for??

    how do you raise hippie kids in this world??? especially if you are forced to send them to public school? i would love some feedback.
    thank you.

    peace.
    LP
     
  2. freeinalaska

    freeinalaska Hip Forums Supporter HipForums Supporter

    Hi melonhead, you ask bunches of good questions none of which I have the one right answer for. My wife and I are the parents of four teenagers and two younger kids. It has been a long strange trip. One thing we've learned is to pick our battles, to enforce the really important things and let some things slide.

    Honesty and communications are so important. Our second son (17) gave us the hardest time. He was convinced we were ripping him off by not giving him what everyone else had. He made the wrong friends and us telling him he couldn't hang out with those people led him to just sneak and lie and eventually land himself in military school for screw ups.

    With our 15 and 16 y/o daughters we have tried to establish an honesty and trust rule. For example we will ask no questions and give no lectures if they find themselves in a situation, like a party with a few drinks in them or their driver, and need us to come and get them. It happened once with the 16 y/o.

    We've given in on the cellphones, but make the kids pay for their own chatting time. If they have a cellphone there is never an excuse to be out of touch.

    The trials go on and on. What kind of clothes they want to wear. How much make up they want to wear. In the end our girls are ending up kinda hippie and pretty down to earth, happy to be living on acreage in the sticks. Our oldest son is a fine upstanding firefighter/EMT/college student who votes Republican and will end up living as far from the country life he was brought up in as he can get.

    In the end I think any kid will think their parents a bit stupid at one time or another. And most of us will have that deja vu when we go "OMG, I sound just like my father!" I've really tried to help them understand that the things I say, or the things we don't allow them to do are really for their own good, that we care, and that we really do remember being their age.
     
  3. homeschoolmama

    homeschoolmama Senior Member

    I occasionally hear "But mama... so-and-so's mom lets them!" My answer every single time has been "Yes, but I'm not so-and-so's mama!" Every family is different, so every family's ideas of what is & isn't acceptable is going to be different as well.

    So far the one "unreasonable" request I've had to deal with is for excess television viewing. And I really can't fault them for asking. We have simple rules in our house, and the kids know them & why they are there. We have promised them that we won't make unreasonable rules, so long as they try their best to live up to the few expectations we do have of them. They also know that any rules they feel are unneeded or outdated may be discussed & their reasons will be taken into consideration. Short of rules like “you can’t beat your sister with toy swords” any rule is open to discussion. That seems to help a lot – them knowing WHY a rule is in place, and that if they feel it’s unjust it’s open to change.

    I think a lot of it has to do with respect. Certainly, a child needs to respect their parents. But a parent needs to respect their children as well. And not as future adults, but as the people they are NOW. I have a hard time with rules that are one way for kids, but another for parents. Sure, I’m an adult and that does come with certain allowances like being able to stay up a little later at night. But if I tell them that they can’t have a phone or television in their room because it will keep them awake at night or impede their time with the family then I only think its fair that I not have them in my room as well. So in most cases we abide by the same rules we set for our kids. That way, not only are we leading by example but we’re expecting no more of our kids than we expect of ourselves.

    Raising kids does seem scary sometimes. I worry now about how I'll deal with my headstrong daughter when she reaches her teens. But you learn to adapt & deal with the issues as they come up - same as anything else, really ;)
    love,
    mom
     
  4. RELAYER

    RELAYER mādhyamaka

    Life sucks then you die. The world has always been crazy. Like the shoes say, just do it. I dont understand why I hear parents say that having a kid is the hardest job in the world. Then again, my son is only 16 months old. But I am a single father who does nothing but work all day, and my free time is spent talking to a very special girl I've come to know or reading the Bhagavad Gita. When I am with my son at night, it is the most important and special time for me, and how anyone in that world would consider that "work" or job related is beyond my comprehension. Basically what I am getting at is, the people who have a hard time coming to terms with the mental, physical, and financial responsibility of raising a child probably should not have had sex in the first place :tongue:
     
  5. RELAYER

    RELAYER mādhyamaka

    BTW I realize I did not address your respectable questions, I havent been a father long enough to claim experience on such matters, I was simply speaking on the fear and irresponsibility of parents who make it seem as if it is much harder to raise a child than it actually is :)
     
  6. Dakota's Mom

    Dakota's Mom Senior Member

    Raising kids is hard work. You have to set boundaries for them, but you also have to know when you're crossing their own boundaries. You have teach and guide but not rule. How do you raise hippie kids?? By example. You can't teach your kids to appreciate the environment by littering and wasting food, energy, clothes, etc. You can't teach them to be peaceful by supporting war. You have to live the life you want your kids to live and then be willing to let them go out and make their own decisions. And acknowledge that they will make choices that you think are bad ones at times.

    No one, no where, no how, ever is forcing you to send them to public school. Many of us on here are not sending our kids to school. That's one of the ways we teach our son our values. He is not being indoctrinated for 7 hours a day by someone who does not hold the same truths we do.

    Follow your heart and you'll be a good parent.

    Kathi
     

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