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Old Today, 07:56 AM
 
Location: Ft. Myers
16,019 posts, read 9,896,917 times
Reputation: 34979

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Quote:
Originally Posted by 20yrsinBranson View Post
Ok, I will say right off the bat that I am childfree. The only reference I have regarding child rearing are my own experiences as a child and the people I know who have kids.

What I'm having difficulty understanding us the amount of CONTROL small children exert over their parents' lives.

When I was a child, my parents lived their lives and I was an accessory to that life. My duties were to go to school, and learn, bit by bit, how to become an adult. No thought was EVER given to my personal preferences about anything dealing with the family. The singular exception being my birthday (after reaching about 10) when I got to decide what I wanted to do for my special day.

Other than that, what my parents wanted to do....we did. When my parents wanted to travel, we traveled. When they wanted to move...we moved. No thought was EVER given to what I wanted or even what I thought about it.

The friends I know who have children allow them to totally run their lives. Vacations are decided by what the children want to do. They are scheduled based upon the social obligations of the children. A very hard-working friend of mine spends his 1 day off EVERY week doing things that his 5 year old wants to do. Whats more aggravating is that the child does NOT appreciate anything and behaves like an insufferable spoiled brat.

I realize times have changed but my big question is Why are people willing to subjugate every aspect of their life for their children when it is not necessary?

I see examples of what you are describing all the time, and it hurts my head too. I raised two sons, who are now 48, and, while I was and still am their best friend, I was still "Dad". I gave them everything we possibly could, but they also learned limits and rules.


Mom and I made those rules, and we expected them to abide by them. When they didn't there were consequences......not the time out in the corner type, but a swat on the behind and a stern reprimand. (Oh, God, I can hear the child abuse screams now ! ) But both of them turned out to be honest, hard working, respectful, nice men, so we must have done something right.


My one son was joking one night a while back about a friend of his who was having a hard time convincing their daughter that they needed to move to a different town. My son said that my approach was "Get in the car, we're moving !"


These "parents" who think they are doing their kids a favor by letting them do whatever they want have no idea the mistakes they are making and how they are actually harming their children.
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Old Today, 08:22 AM
 
Location: SW Florida
9,290 posts, read 4,059,299 times
Reputation: 19306
Quote:
Originally Posted by 20yrsinBranson View Post

I realize times have changed but my big question is Why are people willing to subjugate every aspect of their life for their children when it is not necessary?

Guilt because they work and the child(ren) are left home alone or in daycare? That's just a guess as my "kids" are in their early 30's and we certainly didn't let them control our lives. Of course because of them we tried to pick good schools and would get input on vacations, etc. but in the end the parents should make the decisions.
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Old Today, 08:23 AM
 
Location: Florida
4,319 posts, read 3,143,056 times
Reputation: 8853
Quote:
Originally Posted by don1945 View Post
I see examples of what you are describing all the time, and it hurts my head too. I raised two sons, who are now 48, and, while I was and still am their best friend, I was still "Dad". I gave them everything we possibly could, but they also learned limits and rules.


Mom and I made those rules, and we expected them to abide by them. When they didn't there were consequences......not the time out in the corner type, but a swat on the behind and a stern reprimand. (Oh, God, I can hear the child abuse screams now ! ) But both of them turned out to be honest, hard working, respectful, nice men, so we must have done something right.


My one son was joking one night a while back about a friend of his who was having a hard time convincing their daughter that they needed to move to a different town. My son said that my approach was "Get in the car, we're moving !"


These "parents" who think they are doing their kids a favor by letting them do whatever they want have no idea the mistakes they are making and how they are actually harming their children.
I don't think that unchecked misbehavior is what the OP is about. I take my kids' preferences in mind when making weekend plans and when deciding on where to go on vacation, but that doesn't mean that they're undisciplined. I'm pretty sure the OP is talking about the whole "keeping kids' preferences in mind and spending family time doing what they want to do" situation and not the "kids are acting like hellions and nobody cares" situation.
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Old Today, 08:47 AM
 
Location: Ft. Myers
16,019 posts, read 9,896,917 times
Reputation: 34979
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnotherTouchOfWhimsy View Post
I don't think that unchecked misbehavior is what the OP is about. I take my kids' preferences in mind when making weekend plans and when deciding on where to go on vacation, but that doesn't mean that they're undisciplined. I'm pretty sure the OP is talking about the whole "keeping kids' preferences in mind and spending family time doing what they want to do" situation and not the "kids are acting like hellions and nobody cares" situation.

I understand. When my kids were younger, and at home, we were always a family of 4. We did everything together. We also let them participate in making decisions (especially as they got older) but the final decision always went to my wife and me.


What I interpret from the OP post is that some parents are so weak that they allow the children to make ALL of the decisions, and they think that is good parenting. It is not, because you end up with adults who think the world revolves around them and they are entitled. Kids may have some input into decisions, but the final call should always go to the parents.
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Old Today, 09:00 AM
 
Location: Florida
4,319 posts, read 3,143,056 times
Reputation: 8853
Quote:
Originally Posted by don1945 View Post
I understand. When my kids were younger, and at home, we were always a family of 4. We did everything together. We also let them participate in making decisions (especially as they got older) but the final decision always went to my wife and me.


What I interpret from the OP post is that some parents are so weak that they allow the children to make ALL of the decisions, and they think that is good parenting. It is not, because you end up with adults who think the world revolves around them and they are entitled. Kids may have some input into decisions, but the final call should always go to the parents.
Ah, we agree then. We made the final decisions, but many times, those decisions were based on what the kids want. It's different now that they're teenagers because they can elect to stay home or go off with their friends or whatever. Those little years, though, we mainly revolved our free time around them. We did decide to move across the country twice without consulting them, because we wouldn't ask a 5-year-old whether we should relocate for a better job opportunity. But if the question was "should we go to Disney World or spend the week looking at museums in Washington, D.C.," we looked at our small children and realized Disney World was going to be more enjoyable for all of us, so that's what we did. We did the D.C. trip when they were old enough to behave and appreciate it.
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Old Today, 09:14 AM
 
Location: Denver CO
19,257 posts, read 10,297,570 times
Reputation: 28207
Or some of us emulate our own parents, who did give us some say in the things we did as a family. For example, my parents would do some preliminary planning for vacations and come up with two or three options, and we'd discuss them as a family. And once we had picked the destination, we decided as a family what activities in that area we wanted to do.

I do the same with my son - I put some limits on the choices in the first place, but within those choices, he gets a say. My feeling is why shouldn't he, it's his vacation too.

as for scheduling things, I don't necessarily change plans around due to social obligations. But I do take my son's schedule into consideration when planning things, because if he's made a commitment to a team or to perform in a show or something like that where other people would be affected by his not being there, I think it's important for him to honor those commitments.

For something like a birthday party that he got invited to after I had already made plans with one of my friends? Yeah, in reality, I'd probably ask my friend if we could switch things around - because it's just a reality that something like a birthday party is a one time event on a specific date and time, whereas if I'm trying to get together with a friend, there are most likely multiple times we could do that. But of course specifics matter - if it's a friend from out of town that I hardly ever get to see vs. some random kid who invited everyone in the class but my kid isn't really friends with, then it's easy to say he can skip that party while I keep my other plans. Or I can make arrangements for him to go with someone else or something.

I can understand that an adult without kids would get upset if their friends with kids are constantly canceling or trying to reschedule plans and saying its because of the kids, but the reality is more likely that people who do that are just rude anyway, and using their kids as an excuse, and would be flakey and cancel plans with a different excuse if they didn't have kids.

Last edited by emm74; Today at 09:43 AM.. Reason: correcting typos
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Old Today, 09:17 AM
 
Location: here
24,541 posts, read 28,949,381 times
Reputation: 31282
Moderator cut: orphaned quoted post and response
Evenings are hectic and mostly filled with "have tos." It isn't always quality time, and it isn't usually fun.

I would much rather spend a day off taking my child to do something he wants to do, will enjoy, and will maybe learn from, than drag that child to what i want to do, then deal with the whining and complaining because the kid is being made to sit through something that's not age appropriate. As a working parent you want to spend weekends with your kid. If they were in day care or at school all week, why would you leave them with a sitter all day on your day off? In short, parents enjoy hanging out with their kids and watching them have fun. Occasionally it's nice to do something without them, but for the most part, I like doing activities and taking trips that we will all enjoy.

I'm wondering if you're bitter because your friend is prioritizing time with their kid and not you. Otherwise I can't imagine why you'd care.

Thinking back to my childhood, our vacations are fairly similar, camping and outdoor activities. I try to plan more fun activities around town with my kids because it's fun, and I want them to experience different things, but they are things we'll all enjoy.

ETA: My husband and I do the planning for pretty much everything. It doesn't do any good to ask a kid where they want to vacation when they aren't familiar with the choices. We decide based on what will be fun for everyone.

Last edited by Miss Blue; Today at 11:15 AM..
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Old Today, 09:34 AM
 
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
39,792 posts, read 38,330,753 times
Reputation: 75092
It's never a good idea to characterize entire generations based on a few limited observations.

There is a happy medium between the psychologically damaging experience you had growing up, OP, where your thoughts were not even considered, and the type of indulgence you described in your OP.

In my experience, people spoil their kids because it's easier in the short term than disciplining them, which has to take place daily from the beginning.
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Old Today, 09:44 AM
 
Location: SW Missouri
15,657 posts, read 29,432,745 times
Reputation: 21690
Quote:
Originally Posted by saibot View Post
The answer is in the OP itself and in this post:



A lot of people look back at the way they were raised and decide to do things differently with their own kids. For example, they remember how it felt to be a kid with no power, no say in anything, always having to do what someone else wants to do.



How did that feel? If you had kids, is that how you would treat them?

Some parents go to the opposite extreme and let the child choose everything. That's not a great idea. But I do think many parents are just trying to be sensitive to what their child would like AS WELL AS what they themselves want.
Making decisions based on knowlege and life experience is the privelege of being an adult. How does a 5 year old have any clue where he wants to go on a vacation? He sees something on TV and decides he wants to go.

I have an acquaintance who went to Florida per his child DEMAND and upon arriving at the beach the kid REFUSED to go near the water. When questioned as to why, he replied..."it's wet".

'Nuff said
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Old Today, 09:51 AM
 
Location: Ft. Myers
16,019 posts, read 9,896,917 times
Reputation: 34979
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnotherTouchOfWhimsy View Post
Ah, we agree then. We made the final decisions, but many times, those decisions were based on what the kids want. It's different now that they're teenagers because they can elect to stay home or go off with their friends or whatever. Those little years, though, we mainly revolved our free time around them. We did decide to move across the country twice without consulting them, because we wouldn't ask a 5-year-old whether we should relocate for a better job opportunity. But if the question was "should we go to Disney World or spend the week looking at museums in Washington, D.C.," we looked at our small children and realized Disney World was going to be more enjoyable for all of us, so that's what we did. We did the D.C. trip when they were old enough to behave and appreciate it.

We are absolutely on the same page. We treated our kids as adults from the time they were very young. If we went to a restaurant, they got to pick their own meals, and we always included them in family discussions and decisions. But MAJOR decisions, like moving are something we had to make as we understood the benefits and issues better than a child would.


The parents that I do not respect are the ones who are weak and let the kids rule the roost.....and the kids do not respect that either, if the truth were known.
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