U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Parenting
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 01-29-2019, 08:46 AM
 
3,593 posts, read 4,755,230 times
Reputation: 2348

Advertisements

We have 3 young ones....6.5, 6.5, and 3.5. (Girl Girl Boy)
They're well behaved kids; I try to talk to them as much as possible, and explain things to them....anything from why they should or shouldn't say xyz, to why we die, and everything in between. I believe in not BSing kids (to a logical limit lol), and answering questions as honestly as possible.

My question though to you fine parents, is if you think being friends with your kids is the way to go, or if being 'parent/authority figure' is better. Currently, i'm doing something in the middle. I try to tell them at least a few dozen times a day that i love them; i remind them often that i will always be there for them no matter what; that i will love them if they do good things as much as i'll love them if they make mistakes and be bad, and that nothing will change that.

One of my daughters seems to be more impressionable; i feel like she's being influenced by some not-so-polite kids at school; i again, explain to her (and the other two), that we don't talk like that for xyz reason; and that we 'always think.... to see if what others say and do is nice or not...and if it's not nice, we don't say or do those things'. They all seem to get it as i explain it...but of course, it takes repeating and repeating and repeating.....


i wanted to get your take on this; what approach have you decided to take and what's been the outcome for you?

ps. i'm a 37 year old dad.

Last edited by Thinking-man; 01-29-2019 at 09:37 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 01-29-2019, 09:30 AM
 
11,511 posts, read 3,100,354 times
Reputation: 9516
We were friends. All the children are productive and educated and VERY well adjusted members of society.

The "Authority Figure" comes automatically in some sense. They have (mostly) always respected us...and, yes, children and teens often have a real fear of displeasing mom and dad. That's probably healthy...it's "social norms" that have always kept society on the straight and narrow.

Once they got older any small fears turned to respect...because we try to be good people and they therefore model that.

I think how you BE, as a parent, has a lot more to do with your children than conscious acts. The approach you take shouldn't be decided based on a book or what people say or do, but rather on who you and other role models ARE.

Example...we lived in a upper middle class burb. I was shocked when some of our friends decided to raise their kids and lie to them about drugs (pot, in specific). We didn't partake at the time but had (heavily) in a few of our late teen years....and, we had friends who still did. Many of those friends also lied to their children.

While we didn't tell our children "war stories", when asked we at least hinted at the truth. And when confronted with them trying pot or whatever, we were not hypocritical.

I think being a hypocrite is perhaps one of the worst parental modes ever.

But, obviously, some of this needs to be tailored to the particular child. As you are seeing, each is born differently. We had one child who knew Right from Wrong by the time she was 2 or 3....and she was usually more "right" that the adults! I dare say she was often more right than my wife.....which is probably why she followed my advice more than Moms.

See who they are. They are flowers. Provide the proper fertilizer and sunlight for those particular types of flowers. Good Luck.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-29-2019, 09:32 AM
 
Location: Warren County and loving it!
5,151 posts, read 7,394,396 times
Reputation: 2673
I think you have the right idea. Somewhere in the middle is good. You want to be authoritative yet still very approachable for them to come to you with their concerns.

It’s a tightrope. Not everything is negotiable either. Too many choices aren’t good. A couple are ok.

Keep lines of communication open. Never think their problems are silly. They’re very real to them. Don’t expect others to do as you do as a parent.

Just asking for advice on this tells me you’re a good parent. Just go from here and always listen to your instinct.

Will you mess up along the way? Definitely. Admit it and move forward.

Best of luck to you.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-29-2019, 09:34 AM
 
3,593 posts, read 4,755,230 times
Reputation: 2348
Quote:
Originally Posted by craigiri View Post
We were friends. All the children are productive and educated and VERY well adjusted members of society.

The "Authority Figure" comes automatically in some sense. They have (mostly) always respected us...and, yes, children and teens often have a real fear of displeasing mom and dad. That's probably healthy...it's "social norms" that have always kept society on the straight and narrow.

Once they got older any small fears turned to respect...because we try to be good people and they therefore model that.

I think how you BE, as a parent, has a lot more to do with your children than conscious acts. The approach you take shouldn't be decided based on a book or what people say or do, but rather on who you and other role models ARE.

Example...we lived in a upper middle class burb. I was shocked when some of our friends decided to raise their kids and lie to them about drugs (pot, in specific). We didn't partake at the time but had (heavily) in a few of our late teen years....and, we had friends who still did. Many of those friends also lied to their children.

While we didn't tell our children "war stories", when asked we at least hinted at the truth. And when confronted with them trying pot or whatever, we were not hypocritical.

I think being a hypocrite is perhaps one of the worst parental modes ever.

But, obviously, some of this needs to be tailored to the particular child. As you are seeing, each is born differently. We had one child who knew Right from Wrong by the time she was 2 or 3....and she was usually more "right" that the adults! I dare say she was often more right than my wife.....which is probably why she followed my advice more than Moms.

See who they are. They are flowers. Provide the proper fertilizer and sunlight for those particular types of flowers. Good Luck.
Thank you. I really enjoyed reading your thoughtful reply.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerseyt719 View Post
I think you have the right idea. Somewhere in the middle is good. You want to be authoritative yet still very approachable for them to come to you with their concerns.

It’s a tightrope. Not everything is negotiable either. Too many choices aren’t good. A couple are ok.

Keep lines of communication open. Never think their problems are silly. They’re very real to them. Don’t expect others to do as you do as a parent.

Just asking for advice on this tells me you’re a good parent. Just go from here and always listen to your instinct.

Will you mess up along the way? Definitely. Admit it and move forward.

Best of luck to you.
Thank you. I appreciate the reply.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-29-2019, 03:29 PM
 
4,602 posts, read 1,881,030 times
Reputation: 14378
There should be no doubt about the love you have for your children. While I fully understand the idea behind it, I think adopting the 'friend' posture is a bit misguided. Friendship implies equality in terms of status and decision making. So if you glide along trying to be your child's friend and then suddenly have to assert yourself as the authority figure, it becomes very confusing for the child. Even disillusioning. Friends don't tell friends to clean up their rooms, do their homework, and take out the garbage. Go too far with the 'friend' role, and your life will become one of constant negotiation with the child. That isn't how the world works.

So to blithely talk about how you're your child's friend and then have to discipline the child, it really comes off as inauthentic. Kids have finely calibrated built-in BS detectors, and they'll see you pulling a switcheroo on them even if you don't see it yourself. What's more, kids don't begin life with a functioning awareness of their role in the family or the world. They tend to be pure id, continually seeking to feed their whims of the moment.

The better approach, then, is to be the loving and trusted teacher, firm when necessary but kind and loving at all times. Because your job isn't to be the child's buddy, but rather to help them grow and become self-sufficient. For there will come a time when that child loads up the car and goes off to live his or her life. That's when you can be your child's friend, and not one moment before.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-29-2019, 08:08 PM
 
11,511 posts, read 3,100,354 times
Reputation: 9516
BTW, families and individuals are very different when it comes to the "I love you" and hugging and other PDA matters. I'm not sure it matters much - that is, there are probably families who hug and say "I love you" vastly more than others...and yet may be more dysfunctional than other families who are more reserved.

I think after the initial bonding (very young ages) much of the relationships are really subconscious.

Besides, I happen to know a few people who say "I love you" too much...people run the gamut from that "better left unsaid" type of introvert to the "gotta get everything out" extrovert.

Both of us were probably considered relatively quiet parents. Now...as Grandparents my wife definitely gets involved a bit more. After all, we don't have better things to do anymore (like work)...
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-05-2019, 12:57 AM
 
Location: Southwest Washington State
20,242 posts, read 13,295,261 times
Reputation: 27176
I think I was a benevolent tyrant until the kids got older. Then I made an effort to talk with them whenever they would talk to me. I don't know if I was exactly a friend. I loosened up quite a bit as the kids got older. I was a disciplinarian for their young years. But as they got older, I did less of that and let them have their heads, so to speak.

I think the OP has the right idea. I imagine his kids are doing OK, and will continue to do so.

I didn't allow any coarse talk or profanity in my house either, OP.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-06-2019, 02:55 PM
 
Location: A Yankee in northeast TN
9,846 posts, read 13,740,886 times
Reputation: 21124
Quote:
Originally Posted by MinivanDriver View Post
There should be no doubt about the love you have for your children. While I fully understand the idea behind it, I think adopting the 'friend' posture is a bit misguided. Friendship implies equality in terms of status and decision making. So if you glide along trying to be your child's friend and then suddenly have to assert yourself as the authority figure, it becomes very confusing for the child. Even disillusioning. Friends don't tell friends to clean up their rooms, do their homework, and take out the garbage. Go too far with the 'friend' role, and your life will become one of constant negotiation with the child. That isn't how the world works.

So to blithely talk about how you're your child's friend and then have to discipline the child, it really comes off as inauthentic. Kids have finely calibrated built-in BS detectors, and they'll see you pulling a switcheroo on them even if you don't see it yourself. What's more, kids don't begin life with a functioning awareness of their role in the family or the world. They tend to be pure id, continually seeking to feed their whims of the moment.

The better approach, then, is to be the loving and trusted teacher, firm when necessary but kind and loving at all times. Because your job isn't to be the child's buddy, but rather to help them grow and become self-sufficient. For there will come a time when that child loads up the car and goes off to live his or her life. That's when you can be your child's friend, and not one moment before.
This is pretty much how I approached it, except for the last bit maybe. I don't think I actually waited for the kids to be gone before adding friendship as a part of our relationships. I think that started happening around their late teens and we switched from 'taking kids' places to going to things with them. Mine are in their late twenties now and we have good relationships, enjoy being with each other and doing things together.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-06-2019, 05:46 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
16,654 posts, read 16,555,760 times
Reputation: 39844
Quote:
Originally Posted by MinivanDriver View Post
There should be no doubt about the love you have for your children. While I fully understand the idea behind it, I think adopting the 'friend' posture is a bit misguided. Friendship implies equality in terms of status and decision making. So if you glide along trying to be your child's friend and then suddenly have to assert yourself as the authority figure, it becomes very confusing for the child. Even disillusioning. Friends don't tell friends to clean up their rooms, do their homework, and take out the garbage. Go too far with the 'friend' role, and your life will become one of constant negotiation with the child. That isn't how the world works.

So to blithely talk about how you're your child's friend and then have to discipline the child, it really comes off as inauthentic. Kids have finely calibrated built-in BS detectors, and they'll see you pulling a switcheroo on them even if you don't see it yourself. What's more, kids don't begin life with a functioning awareness of their role in the family or the world. They tend to be pure id, continually seeking to feed their whims of the moment.

The better approach, then, is to be the loving and trusted teacher, firm when necessary but kind and loving at all times. Because your job isn't to be the child's buddy, but rather to help them grow and become self-sufficient. For there will come a time when that child loads up the car and goes off to live his or her life. That's when you can be your child's friend, and not one moment before.
Well said.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-09-2019, 09:31 PM
 
17,711 posts, read 22,780,279 times
Reputation: 32688
overall sounds good.... a parents role is often defined or contingent on how the kid acts....

I was very fortunate had one son and he was a good kid- I never had to be a strict disciplinarian … but I also knew that parents are role models.. we are protectors, teachers, and also coaches...


I was the dad I never had....absolutely loved it...but I was also careful not to smother him...and I wanted him to have confidence in himself.... and....I wanted him to be able to handle some adversity without falling apart or crying.... (if things don't go his own way..or someone was picking on him putting him down...etc.

I was a loving father but again...gave him space to develop in his own skin.... he knew I was a safety net if needed.....

there were times as a teenager I had to give him some straight talk....but again he was a good kid didn't get in trouble...one of the best things I did looking back..was…. I always gave him choices and let him choose...but once he chose it he owned it....
also we set goals ...if he wanted a particular something... i'd give him 3 choices how to earn it... setting goals was one of the best teachers..... he felt good about the accomplishments of doing it himself.

I once read a quote - something like...as a parent you cant hold the wings of a little bird so they don't fall....because they may never fly on their own



my son is now in his mid 20's a pharmacist - we get along great - play golf and go fishing together...today he called and asked to go bowling...


hes a fine young man... but also very confident and comfortable in his own skin...




a family member smothered her two boys and they could barely function without her.... always needing validation....approval... looking to others to lead them.. very little confidence

Last edited by mainebrokerman; 02-09-2019 at 09:48 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply

Quick Reply
Message:


Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Parenting
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2019, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top