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Vicky, February 16, 2003, 07:17
innocence vs. "normality"
I am struggling to find a balance betweeen wanting to protect my older daughter, who is 7, from some of the attitudes and trends that are considered part of normal life for most people (Such as Saturday morning kids'TV shows, the pop scene, idolising celebrities, over-sexualisation of young girls, and other such generally accepted issues).
I don't know what the kids' shows are like in the US but here in the UK they are full of all sorts of innuendo between the (teen) presenters and jokes that are very suggestive, plus of course the quite explicit music videos that come along with some of the music acts.
Right now I don't let her watch any of the weekend TV shows that are supposedly for children but whose content is much more geared towards teens, at least in my opinion.
I just feel it's wrong to be bombarding the kids with such "grown-up" subjects before they're even preteens and I would like my girls to have a childhood that extends a bit further than the age of 7.
But on the other hand I am not a prude and I don't want my daughter to be one of those naive, prim and totally clueless girls who "get into trouble" as soon as they have a minute away from Mummy and daddy.
So I am wondering how some of you have decided to handle this issue - Do you let them buy singles of the latest teen craze bands or dress in the fashions that are a bit too grown-up for this age, etc.
I do let my daughter watch "Top of the Pops" (A weekly TV program show-casing the week's Top 40 singles) if she happens to be interested which isn't very often and I like her to dress in trendy clothes but not in the clothes that look like a woman's outfit shrunk down to kids' size - I am aware that her being a Scorpio will complicate things no end once she decides she does want to get into these things, because it's in her personality that once her mind is made up there's no talking her out of it, and I've faced the prospect that I will probably have to back down and let her do things she wants to do (within reason) so that i don't get a back-lash of rebellion.
Maybe that's one reason why I want to postpone this "coming of age" and let her be a kid for a bit longer.
What do you parents think?
  (reply to this post)

re.gifCultivator, February 16, 2003, 17:54
Cultivating Values
I don't know if there are that many rights and wrongs besides obvious harmful influences and illegal activites that would put both of you at risk. If your kid is "coming of age" you still have the right and responsibility to guide them in the way you see that best fits your idea of adapting to the environment. I think in certain scenarios the parent gets to have the final word. Who cares if they put a fit, rebellion is not necessarily a bad thing. It is if you let rebellion get you and if you let them little rascals grow into your head. Kids love to push the line. Don't aways base it on things that others do or consider normal. That's just like the story of the boy and the donkey, (can't belive I still remember that!) In any case where the child has the ability to make a choice or where you can explain your reasons do so, let them know that one day they'll have the same choice and resposibility. It's not their prerogative in situations where you know allowing something is diametrically harmful to their social adaptation, future, and growth. Do some research and get the facts on the issue, but dont' just rely on your comunity's values. That'll drive you nuts. If your christian you have the right to teach your kids the values that you hold, if you're not you will need to adopt a basic frame of reference and value system based on your experience with the world. I've taken care of kids of all ages and deal with them on a weekly basis. For me as a kid there was nothing more anoying than to run into inconsistency, getting a soft attitude one day and a slap on the face the other for the exact same thing in a different setting and with a teacher or caregiver who waivered in temperament. My advice: figure it out first (Whatever the controversy might be) based on credible sources. Compare the pros and cons and come up with a ballanced decision. Some things are black and white others come in different values, appropriate timing, and subjective case by case coplexity that has no direct right or wrong answer as a whole.
(reply to this post)

re.gifVicky, February 17, 2003, 06:25
Somebody read it!!!
Well, I'll have to take it a day at a time I guess and do the best i can.
My daughter is not so into the type of things i mentioned anyway so maybe I am just over-analyzing things and worrying for nothing, or at least prematurely.

(reply to this post)

re.gifVicky, February 16, 2003, 10:37
Just realised i didn't finish the first paragraph of "Innocence Vs. "normality" properly - Kinda tired, I guess.
Anyway, I hope the rest of the article is clear enough...
(reply to this post)


Isislively, February 14, 2003, 12:06
Discipline and Chores
One of the biggest debates out there when it comes to raising kids is discipline. How much, when and how. What deserves disciplinary action? I've struggled with this alot as a parent. My oldest daughter, Taylor, who's six going on sixteen, drives me nuts with her constant questions and arguments. On the one hand, I want her to just do as I say cause I said it, because that would make life easier for me, but on the other, I want her to have a voice like I never did. But the line between voicing her opinions and whining and arguing for the sake of whining and arguing seems to be very thin for a child. As does the line between asking a question because she wants to know the answer and asking a question to hear herself talk. So my question is this: do you have any advice on teaching a child this difference? And what kinds of "punishments" or disciplinary actions work for you?

The other half of my topic is Chores. My ex husband and I disagree on this wholeheartedly. From the time Taylor was 3 he expected, just flat out-no questions asked expected, her to clean her room spotless everyday, pick up her toys constantly, help with the dishes and feed the dog. The two of them would have and still have major fights over whether or not she's "pulling her weight" around the house. I understand the need for children to learn responsibility by feeding the dog and picking up their toys when they're done playing, but I also want her to have a childhood! One where she plays with her friends, trashes her clothes having fun, gets goofy and giggly for no reason, and all in all doesn't feel pressured to "grow up". Now my 1 yr old is walking and already my ex tries to get her to clean up her messes. I tend to go to the other extreme and not mind that the toys are all over the living room, or that I can't see the floor of their bedrooms. So the question on this is, how old should a child be before they are expected to have chores to complete (beyond the "feed the dog")? Was it a good thing that we learned so much responsibility as children? And what chores are appropriate for a young child to be expected to complete?   (reply to this post)

re.gifClair, February 15, 2003, 07:19
response to disipline issues
Dear Isis,
Refreshing to hear some talk on this site about our children which is after all a very important subject for us of the second generation who have left TF. Even more important, it seems, to me than all the ranting and raving about who was treated the worse. I agree we all had a rough time but now we have a chance to shape our childrens lives and give them everything our parents failed to give us. Not just material goods but a chance in life, a voice to speak up and be heard and the right to be an individual, to have emotions and not be squelshed for showing them.
I myself have 4 children, one born while I was still in TF and 3 after I left. I am 26 yrs old.
I have struggled constantly with the disipline of my kids. Disipline was such a huge part of our lives and even though I am sure some of it was good and helped us be the people we are today, most of it was too harsh, unloving and in some case downright abuse. Around half of us missed out on our childhood, or at the very least our teenage years and we feel cheated. We don't want to see that happening to our children, but on the other hand we want well adjusted, happy kids who do what they are told and grow up to respect their mum's and Dad's, we don't want spolit brats who make our lives hell. So, it is a thin line to walk on and one that maybe we will never discover fully, maybe it will always be a learning process for us as parents. I started out on the road of being very liberal with my first 2 children, allowing them to do pretty much whatever I wasn't , cartoons, sweets and I didn't use corporal punishment or any harsh disipline methods for that matter. I was going to the extreme, as you do, in order to come back and find the balance. Now that I have 4 and they are all very close together, under 6, I feel that I have found a good balance. They are still foolish, and naughty and they don't always obey but I have tried to build up a good rapport with them where they are allowed to question me and they are allowed to show emotion such as anger or frustration but we talk things out and reason together and usually they end up obeying because they want to-which is of course the ideal. But when this doesn't work there are a hell of a lot of stratagies that do work with young kids and they don't involve spanking them senseless, flicking them on the mouth, knuckling them on the head or making them write out quotes from 'The girl who wouldn't'( as my mum made me do at the age of 5). One tip is to do a lot of reading, read everything you can get your hands on written by childcare experts, as there is a lot of good advice. You will find conflicting ideas if you read books by many different authors but eventually you will find what works for your own children, as children are all individuals with their own star sign and they all react differently to discipline. Some of the things I like best are time-out (for 1 min per year of the child's life, not for hours on end). It gives them and you a chance to cool off. Separating the children if arguing is a problem, distracting methods, and positive imput like rewards and encouragment for any good they do. I try to avoid the smack if I can, but if I have to give it I just do it, a short sharp wack on the bum with your hand (no fly swatters, brooms handles, belts, hairbrushes, slippers or the like) will wake them up and show them you mean it. Just one will do no need to be a big, long drawn out deal.
I have a 6 yr old girl too, who I also believe to be going on 16! She is smart and pretty and funny and knows it, and this can be more of a challange than the terrible two's. I try and give her a lot of imput as she is my eldest and I don't want her to just shut up and do what she is told as I believe that just squashes her spirit and will make her hate me. I try and answer her questions but it does get tiring and tedious sometimes then I just say 'Well, off you go that's enough for now'!
I don't pretend to know all the answers, I still despair over my little boy who acts like he eats a kilo of sugar a day, and my 2 yr old who never stops whining and my newborn who always has colic, never sleeps through the night and always wants to be carried. But I am strongly urged on by the fact that I want to be the best mum to them that I can and partly by memories of my own childhood I can see the mistakes and learn from them. Bitter-sweet.
It's funny but I have noticed that most people I come into contact with say what sweet, good kids I have. Only people still in TF like my parents or other family members I see say they are spolit brats or bad samples or out of it or whatever. So, that tells me something. We have to let our kids be kids and have a childhood, we have to allow them to be foolish, to jump on the bed, to make tents in the living room, to get filthy in the garden and then track mud through the house, to dial 999 from time to time and send the police to your house for no reason, to argue and fight for how else will they learn to work things out for them selves, to mix up the colours of the playdoh, to break your fav lippy and drop your perfume on the carpet. For these are things that children do! For after all they only little once.!!
On the subject of tidying up and responsibility, it is a sore thing for most of us as we had too much too soon. I get my 4 and 6 yr old to make their beds and fold their pj's and then to fold their clothes at night. That's pretty much it. Most of them time I put their toys away and well, I don't make them do dishes or clean bathrooms-way too much! But responsiblity of their own belongings is good. Even then don't expect perfection just the fact that they try and make the effort is enough. Well for what it's worth, I hope that helps. I am interested in getting in touch with you, if you want I can send you my e-mail. I want to talk about your ex and see if we have any mutal ground on other issues. It is all a life line, isn't it?
Take care!

(reply to this post)

re.gifIsislively, February 19, 2003, 18:24
Did I reply to this?
Sorry, I work graveyard so things tend to run together for me. Sleep deprivation, yanno. If I didn't reply, I'd love to chat sometime. I'm in the directory, fell free to email me. Ciao.
(reply to this post)

re.gifVicky, February 15, 2003, 18:12

Hey Clair,
Good to hear from you!!!
I agree with you that it is unnecessary to push too much responsibility on the children too early - I also end up cleaning up after them most days and feel that it's more realistic to just let them play and leave the toys out till the end of the day, because esp. my 4-year-old seems to play with things, set them out the way she wants and then wander off to something else but then come back sometimes a few hours later expecting to find her toys where she left them. It's as if she plays 4 or 5 games simultaneously and likes to go back and forth between different sets of toys, and I think that's fine.
It does help of course that we have a play-room which means I can usually keep the rest of the house pretty tidy.
I do sometimes ask her (on the days when I'm up for a bit more of the "tedious" stuff) to put things away when she's done and she can do very well with it if she is in a good mood, but generally I feel that at 4 she should not have to be constantly listening to a bunch of nagging and so on.
With my older girl, who is 7, I am a bit more firm in this area because she is perfectly capable of putting things away -and I don't want her to think of me as her "maid" and grow up expecting other people to clean up for her.
She also sometimes helps to clear and wipe the table after meals.
I have thought of giving her a little daily chore so that she can "grow into" a bit more responsibility over the next few years - I do think it's easier that they are accustomed to a bit of light work before they get into the pre-teen (and moody) years when everything is "UNFAIR", etc - But it would definitely be something that is within a 15-minute or so framework and not a long drawn-out "JJT"!
I thought that tidying her room is pretty reasonable because there usually isn't much to put away anyway.
On the subject of discipline I feel very strongly that you can't teach a child to respect others (adults AND children) if the children themselves are not truly respected as little people instead of just "kids". Think about how horrified most of us would be if someone spoke to us the way some people talk to their children!
I do have my bad days esp. in the week before my period when I tend to get PMS quite badly (I am going to do something about that because I think it is so unfair on the children that I am miserable one week out of every month, without exception...).
Thankfully I am still able to keep myself from hitting them or using violence but i have to try really hard not to get upset and yell at them for silly little things that usually don't bother me.
I have not given the girls more than two smacks on the bum at one time ever, and i don't feel there is any situation or behaviour that warrants more than that.
I don't take exception to a smack once in a while for things that are dangerous or hurtful to others but I do know that I don't usually manage to pull it off correctly - In other words I am usually depressed or angry about something else and end up taking my frustrations out on the girls.
I am glad that this happens very rarely, probably only a few times a year if that, and when it does I make sure to tell the girls right afterwards that I was wrong and I love them too much to want them to be so sad.
They know I love them more than anything and I work very hard to make our home a secure and peaceful place as much as possible and so they are quick to forgive my impatience.
I feel though that yelling at one's children is just as unacceptable as hitting them and I feel just as bad after I've lashed out verbally as i would if I had hit them, so i always make a point of apologising and kiss them, hug them, etc for as long as it takes them to be secure in my love again.
I agree that it's very helpful to read about these issues and I make a point of studying any and all books I can get my hands on to do with children and parenting. There are many important child-rearing principles (even simple things such as not forcing them to eat everything on their plates because it can lead to huge issues with food later in life and a very destructive relationship with food which can be extremely harmful) that are completely opposite to the way we were brought up and it's good to become aware of the ways in which our upbringing may have failed us.
I am fortunate in that I had a happy childhood and this makes it easier for me to feel confident in the way I go about my own parenting - I don't have to worry all the time about falling into destructive parenting habits that have been programmed into me from my youth - but of course we all want to do better and there are many areas in which I feel I fail my girls. I think unconditional love, respect for others and yourself and the notion that it's okay to express your emotions (even anger and other negative feelings) are the most important principles that I want to pass on to my kids.
I want them to know that they will always come first in my life and that whenever they need me to fight their corner I will definitely be there for them.
Love means love all the time and not just when you are "good" or a "nice girl".

(reply to this post)


Holon, December 9, 2001, 20:36
I wish I could have a white Christmas.
My husband and I spent all day shopping for the kids.And I just kept wishing there would be snow.

I love Florida but it will never truly feel like Christmas to me without snow.At this point I wish it would cool down just a little bit.Maybe just enough to wear pants and a long sleve shirt for god sakes.

I dont remember it ever being this hot still.It really sucks!

Anyhow,we did almost all of our shopping! Yahoo!There are some really great toys out there.We just went crazy! (and spent way to much moneyLOL)

This will be the twins first Christmas,I cant wait to see how they react to Santa at the mall.My other 2 kids were scared to death of him the first Christmas.LOL!

  (reply to this post)

re.gifmeg , December 14, 2001, 20:32
RE: I wish I could have a white Christmas.
don't feel bad we are having 75 80 degree weather up here and it should be frezzing by now all my bulbs are comming up tulips in december
(reply to this post)


faeriraven, October 9, 2001, 13:41
Playgroups and Friends.
Are any of you in England? I am in Texas right now but am moving to London hopefully in the beginning of next year and looking for other moms to join up with there that I know as I haven't been back there in @ 7 years. I'm 21 & have a 5 yr old boy.  (reply to this post)


Holon, August 26, 2001, 11:15
Curious,Does anyone else have twins?
If so, how old and what kind do you have? Mine are identical boy's.And they are almost 8 months old.  (reply to this post)

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