View Full Version : Interesting Parenting Question - Opinions?


Stevuke79
06-09-14, 01:26 PM
I had an interesting parenting situation yesterday, which actually comes up a lot with one of DD's friends. This friend is a year older (7), and like DD, an only child. I've noticed a distinct difference between the two children and as of yesterday, a definite difference in parenting approaches. I know that in general as a parent I am very lax and I don't expect mch ,.. and I wonder if this story makes me sound "over the top" in that regard. When these kids have a playdate at my house, they tend to get into trouble together. The other family are very good friends. We're very close with them. They're a bit more strict and I like that at my house they can let their proverbial hair down together.

Whenever some redirection is necessary my daughter basically says, "ok". And the other girl incessantly yammers on, "it's not my fault, .. well I thought.. she told me it was ok,.. she said she likes it... " And I respond, "Ok, that's nice,.. but like I said, this is what we're doing now." (and then she comes back telling me a few more times that it's not her fault and my response stays the same - we're not discussing fault.)
In my head I'm like: "You're trying to convince me that you're RIGHT??!! You are both 6 and 7 years old. By definition you're BOTH WRONG!! ALWAYS!! Do what I say, and know that neither of you is allowed to be right until you're 35! IS THAT UNDERSTOOD?!
(I don't actually say that.. but I'm just shocked at how this kid things.. and frankly kind of proud my kid doesn't think that way)Those last two sentences (not right until you're 35, is that understood?) is a joke,.. if it doesn't make sense,.. skip it, .. it's just my humor.

Anyway, my wife and I always discuss that this kid is ALWAYS rationalizing why she's in the right and she's not happy unless she's right,.. and we contrast that DD doesn't do that. And I wonder- I like that DD doesn't do it,.. but maybe she should? Does it mean I'm not tough enough on her? Does it mean I don't teach her to analyze a situation enough? And here's a story from yesterday,.. does this sound weird to anyone else?
DD's friend came over and begged and begged to play with the iPad... I said no. Go color. Go play in the sprinkler. DD's was super in to the sprinkler,.. while DD didn't ask for the ipad,.. DD LOVES THE iPAD, and would have loved to go along with it. (side point,.. I told her mom to pack a swim suit.. and when she got to the house she swore she couldn't find it. I'm pretty sure she just didn't want to go in the sprinkler.)

I put the iPad up high where I THOUGHT they couldn't reach it,.. They go to DD's room an hour later they're really quite, which usually means they're making a huge mess. I go to DD's room, .. no mess... no toys are out.. I ask DD, "where' the iPad?" She says "I don't know." I go back down stairs and see the iPad isn't where I left it. Now I'm furious and on the war path. I go back upstairs, and with what must have been my blood-red eyes I see the iPad hiding under DD's pillow. I yell. I show some anger and disapproval. DD says sorry. I'm happy. The other kid starts in with, "But I didn't.. " In my head I'm like, "oh don't you even!!!" But I just put my finger up for her to stop,.. (because seriously??!!! Who cares?!) I tell them to clean up the bedroom and find something else to do. Secretly wishing it was a bigger mess for me to punish them with cleaning.

And here's the part that I want to know if it's strange:
The mom comes to pick up the friend and I say, "something happened, not a big deal.. but it's something I would want to know, .. not even to bring it up with her,.. but if it ever happened in my own house,.. I would just want to know that it happened somewhere else." First words out of the mom's mouth: "That's really surprising. I'm sure my daughter would never start something like that. But I'm disappointed she would even go along with it, and I'm going to talk with her. I'm sure it wasn't her idea though." (basically verbatim quote) I was stunned - in the moment I didn't realize where this mom's head was at. I was just confused and I can't think of what to say, so I just say, "Ok. I'm sure of no such thing when it comes to my daughter. And I don't really care either." (she was taken aback by my last line.. that I don't care... and I wonder, "am I a bad parent for not caring?")

And then it hits me.. the mom was responding with excuses.. just like the excuses that drive me crazy with her daughter. But she's a wonderful mom, a teacher,.. and her kid is a wonderful kid. Really super wonderful despite this one idiosyncrasy of having an answer for everything. And later, just because I'm doubting myself as a parent I ask DD, "what happened with the iPad?"
She said, "my friend said let's take the iPad and I said OK." And then I'm think: well that was a pointless question. Do I believe her? I guess I do , but just because it makes sense. Do I know she's not lying? No, of course I don't. Do I care? Not really. Should I care? Here's my logic, Either way my message is two fold: 1. Don't do that again. (whether "that" is instigating or following) 2. Realize that I'm going to check up on you.. so either lie better. Or come clean sooner. Anyway, last night at bed time she lost a sticker on her sticker-allowance chart for it.. I asked her if she knew why she lost that sticker. She said she knew why but couldn't say it. I asked her if she could whisper it in my ear so I know she knows. She whisper's the shortest most pained syllable I ever heard: "Lie" Poor kid!!

Now here's another part of the story. This morning I ask DD if she thought I yelled too much yesterday. She was like, "when?" Oh good clearly not too much. :D. The mom had to swing by with her daughter to pick something up and the child had written the sweetest hand-written apology note on construction paper. (I didn't read it in front of her but when I see it again I'll make sure to compliment the heck out of her) But I'm also thinking, .. my daughter doesn't even remember the incident.

I don't know. Am I too lax? Which parent here can you best relate to?

Lunacie
06-09-14, 01:47 PM
I have a sneaking feeling I'm most like the friend's mom. But I wish I was more like you. And I'm actually more like you now than I was 10 years ago. :)

Stevuke79
06-09-14, 02:08 PM
Thanks Lunacie!

Is there something to be said for the fact that DD doesn't feel bad? Or doesn't really worry about being caught in a lie? Didn't feel she had to make amends the next day?

Or maybe she doesn't stick up for herself enough? She never makes excuses,.. which is good,.. but maybe she should have said, "it was her idea?" Don't get me wrong, .. I would hate that and it would irritate me,.. but is that how a child learns to stick up for herself?

Like maybe I'm just teaching my DD that there aren't any harsh consequences in life? Or that you never have to make amends?
(I'm also thinking about the fact that I might be casting myself in a better than deserved light. And perhaps .. not that I'm fishing for compliments,.. but maybe I'm only asking the questions that I know the answer to. Not that you guys can help me with that until I find the questions I should really be asking. Do I make sense?)

dvdnvwls
06-09-14, 02:43 PM
I'm not a parent.

I don't believe in creating artificial consequences as a way of teaching about real ones. Kids are not dumb; they understand the difference.

Not saying that artificial consequences are always wrong - surely they have their place in life - only saying that they aren't an effective teaching tool. To me, artificial consequences teach one thing, and one thing only: Don't get caught next time. So I regard them as an emergency stopgap.

Stevuke79
06-09-14, 02:45 PM
DVD, 100% right! Good point!! I wonder if anyone was shocked when I wrote there are two lessons:
1. Don't do it
2. Fess up sooner or don't get caught next time.

But to me, #2 is an inescapable message. And frankly it's a very real part of what we teach our children,.. and I consider that when I choose how to respond. These kids need to come with a manual. :giggle:

neewsmonth
06-09-14, 02:52 PM
It's such fun to be a parent! :lol:

What baffles me is which lie your daughter actually meant : "I don't know where iPad is" or "it was my friend's idea". Maybe you're too lax if you lost such a thrilling storyline ;)

Does your friend come from a religious family ? Or a non-english-speaking one ?
It might be a 'linguistic gene' rather than a parenting issue.

Stevuke79
06-09-14, 03:08 PM
It's such fun to be a parent! :lol:

What baffles me is which lie your daughter actually meant : "I don't know where iPad is" or "it was my friend's idea". Maybe you're too lax if you lost such a thrilling storyline ;)

I may be misunderstanding you. At the time her only lie was: I don't know where the iPad is. Actually, they both gave me that lie.

Later when she said, ".. she said 'let's get the iPad and I said ok'.. " she never explicitly said it was her friends idea or fault (ie. as you said: ""which lie .. it was my friend's idea""). I see what you mean that she implied it, but I don't think that was her intent. Not because I think she's an angel, but because I don't think it would occur to her. In her mind:
1. I never make an issue of "who's idea it was". She has no precedent to think that I care about that.
2. She had already received her "full punishment". She had nothing left to fear and I'm pretty certain in her mind the issue was closed so no further need to deflect blame.

I'm a little dense sometimes. Forgive me, I would like to understand what you meant by:
Maybe you're too lax if you lost such a thrilling storyline ;)[
I really am keen to find what I missed in the situation. Even if you were making a joke, I'd like to understand it.

Does your friend come from a religious family ? Or a non-english-speaking one ?
It might be a 'linguistic gene' rather than a parenting issue.

Pretty religious. But we all speak English as a first language for a few generations.

Timberline
06-09-14, 04:23 PM
Hi- my 10 YO DD was diagnosed with ADD-I 6 months ago, and this sounds like the sort of thing that might happen at my house.

I think you did fine and are doing fine with respect to disciplining your daughter, and if my child were at your house and this happened I would definitely want to know.

As for the excuses and arguing the other girl does- I have story about that.

The more I read and learn about humans, the more I think we are hard wired for SO MANY of our behaviors, with only a little nudging in either direction possible from rewards or punishments. Case in point: I HATE to argue. Hate it. I hate conflict, and was raised with the expectation that children do not argue with parents or authority figures. Imagine my surprise when my daughter turned out to be an arguer, an excuse maker! This is not behavior I modeled for her. This is not a strategy with which she has had success in diminishing punishments. She just does it, has done it since she was 4 YO or so, and a few weeks ago, she even said she likes arguing. I hope that this develops into a successful career as a lawyer for her, but God help me in the mean time!

I do have evidence & stories that my husband's family was full of arguers, so I feel that she inherited it.

I wouldn't worry that your daughter doesn't question you or argue; I would be inclined to believe that she just doesn't think that way. And I think if I asked my daughter if I yelled too much, she would also ask, "When?" She just doesn't dwell on that kind of thing, which I think is good.

You sound like a great dad!

Stevuke79
06-09-14, 05:11 PM
You sound like a great dad!Thanks for your kind words - and likewise. (Great mom ;))

It's funny - by nature I'm a huge arguer. I actually love logic and proper argumentation. I did however avoid conflict when I was younger and so does DD. I'm not sure at her age if I would have argued - I probably would have tried to make myself out to be an angel because that was what I felt I was supposed to do (definitely an idea I got from my parents). Which is actually why I teach my daughter as I do..

Imagine my surprise when my daughter turned out to be an arguer, an excuse maker! This is not behavior I modeled for her. This is not a strategy with which she has had success in diminishing punishments. She just does it, has done it since she was 4 YO or so, and a few weeks ago, she even said she likes arguing. I hope that this develops into a successful career as a lawyer for her, but God help me in the mean time!

That's definitely the behavior I was taught at home. As an adult I learned that arguing is almost always, if not ALWAYS, counter productive. If you think about it, there is never a reward for being "right". Being right isn't a "result". If you can get the same result while everyone else feels they were "right", you're reward is the same.(Dale Carnegie has a bit about that which I have learned to agree with.). Anyway, I've tried to teach her better than I knew as a kid, which is why I have tried (I think successfully) to teach her not to make excuses or focus on being "right". I always teach her: "what result do you want?"

I do have evidence & stories that my husband's family was full of arguers, so I feel that she inherited it.

I know you feel this stuff is hard wired. I'm curious though, I know you didn't model "arguing", but might your husband have?

I wouldn't worry that your daughter doesn't question you or argue; I would be inclined to believe that she just doesn't think that way. And I think if I asked my daughter if I yelled too much, she would also ask, "When?" She just doesn't dwell on that kind of thing, which I think is good.

Thanks. My heart tells me this is a good thing - but I wonder if I'm wrong because most parents do the opposite. (I think)

Greyhound1
06-09-14, 05:32 PM
Stevuke,
I totally relate much better to your style of parenting. Your DD sounds much more honest than her friend. You should be proud of how much better she behaves compared to her friend.

It sounds like the friends child is already for politics. She already knows the 3 golden rules.
1. Don't get caught
2. Deny, Deny, Deny
3. If 1 & 2 don't work ...Apologize :)

Ms. Mango
06-09-14, 06:11 PM
And here's the part that I want to know if it's strange:
The mom comes to pick up the friend and I say, "something happened, not a big deal.. but it's something I would want to know, .. not even to bring it up with her,.. but if it ever happened in my own house,.. I would just want to know that it happened somewhere else." First words out of the mom's mouth: "That's really surprising. I'm sure my daughter would never start something like that. But I'm disappointed she would even go along with it, and I'm going to talk with her. I'm sure it wasn't her idea though." (basically verbatim quote) I was stunned - in the moment I didn't realize where this mom's head was at. I was just confused and I can't think of what to say, so I just say, "Ok. I'm sure of no such thing when it comes to my daughter. And I don't really care either." (she was taken aback by my last line.. that I don't care... and I wonder, "am I a bad parent for not caring?")

And then it hits me.. the mom was responding with excuses.. just like the excuses that drive me crazy with her daughter. But she's a wonderful mom, a teacher,.. and her kid is a wonderful kid. Really super wonderful despite this one idiosyncrasy of having an answer for everything.

Well, it's a pattern of behavior the child sees at home. Don't take responsibility, don't ever say you're wrong or made a mistake.

That kind of attitude really bothers me. The mom's not a great person. She's just told you that her child is an angel and thinks yours is a sneaky, manipulative vants.

You did the right thing. If my DS did something at another kid's house I'd want to know about it. Not necessarily to assign blame (which you didn't do--but the mom sure thought you were doing because that's the way she sees the world) but to talk to my kid. And I would talk to my kid later, at home. Not to blame or punish, though, because who know what really happened. I also would like to get at the truth and I know if you threaten a kid with punishment you can't ever be sure if what you're hearing is the truth.

Unfortunately, you're going to see this with the parents of your child's friends. Everyone thinks their kid is a special snowflake and someone else's kid (probably yours) led him/her astray.

I know this is off topic from this thread, but you created another thread about bullying. I'm finding this notion of "not my kid" is one of the reasons why bullying continues. Ask any parent and they will tell you that bullying is bad, wrong, shouldn't happen. Thank goodness their kid doesn't do it. But they are--someone's kid is doing it. When confronted most parents will swear up and down that it's not their kid, their kid isn't capable of that kind of behavior. I've now caught a friend's daughter teasing my DS--ok, let's call it what is it; bullying--on more than one occasion; and encouraging her friends to join in. I haven't said anything to the mom because I know she'll deny, deny, deny--and it's pretty much destroyed our friendship.

moth2flame
06-09-14, 06:22 PM
My read on this is you could boil it down to two different personality types: in Meyers-Briggs terms, Perceiving vs. Judging (P/J). A J person is typically a black-and-white thinker, tends to assign value (right or wrong) to most things. On the other hand, a P person tends not to assign a value to things, preferring to see everything in shades of grey.

Your friend and her daughter both sound like J people: placing high value in being seen as "right" and "the good one" and so forth, wanting to argue *to win*. You and your daughter sound much more like P people - not terribly concerned with categorizing everything into right/wrong, much more interested in the nuance of experience, and arguing mostly to *understand* (your own views, the other's point of view, etc.)

Neither way of being is better than the other (though I say this as a P; the J's out there might disagree with me :D), but I notice there can be friction involved when parent and child are mismatched. Or really, any authority figure and subject. I think you just got a little taste of that with your friend and her daughter! Anyway, in my inexperienced opinion (I'm not a parent) it sounds like you are doing just fine - if anything, I would just be glad you ended up with a kid who meshes well with you, personality-wise. :)

Stevuke79
06-09-14, 06:55 PM
Well, it's a pattern of behavior the child sees at home. Don't take responsibility, don't ever say you're wrong or made a mistake.

I think you're right. Per my post above referencing Dale Carnegie, I think that most people feel that their are "points" for being right. It's like the most elusive secret that there is no prize for being right.

That kind of attitude really bothers me. The mom's not a great person. She's just told you that [#1]her child is an angel and thinks [#2]yours is a sneaky, manipulative vants.

So I agree that the mom said #1. She believes it whole heatedly and after speaking with my wife, it appears the mom has a great deal of her ego and personal self-worth dependent upon #1.

I don't think she at all said, or even meant, #2. If anything I think she was saying my child is an angel, and yours is a regular kid. (By the way, I agree with the latter half. DD is pretty much a regular kid.:D The first half of that assertion is where I disagree with her ;))

I really do believe the mom is a great person. To use the form of my statement up above: I'm not saying she's a bad parent (which could potentially be aside from being a great person), I'm saying she's a regular parent. (I actually believe she's an above average parent. I am an exceptional parent. :))

You did the right thing. If my DS did something at another kid's house I'd want to know about it. Not necessarily to assign blame (which you didn't do--but the mom sure thought you were doing because that's the way she sees the world) but to talk to my kid. And I would talk to my kid later, at home. Not to blame or punish, though, because who know what really happened. I also would like to get at the truth and I know if you threaten a kid with punishment you can't ever be sure if what you're hearing is the truth.

So true. And ultimately, "what actually happened" doesn't actually make a difference.

Unfortunately, you're going to see this with the parents of your child's friends. Everyone thinks their kid is a special snowflake and someone else's kid (probably yours) led him/her astray.

I definitely know most parents are like this. (one of my parents was also like this.) Funny, some of DD's friend's parents aren't like this. I guess we're lucky.

I know this is off topic from this thread, but you created another thread about bullying. I'm finding this notion of "not my kid" is one of the reasons why bullying continues. Ask any parent and they will tell you that bullying is bad, wrong, shouldn't happen. Thank goodness their kid doesn't do it. But they are--someone's kid is doing it. When confronted most parents will swear up and down that it's not their kid, their kid isn't capable of that kind of behavior. I've now caught a friend's daughter teasing my DS--ok, let's call it what is it; bullying--on more than one occasion; and encouraging her friends to join in. I haven't said anything to the mom because I know she'll deny, deny, deny--and it's pretty much destroyed our friendship.

I 100% agree.

And another thing - bullying happens because one kid feels he needs to be superior and let other kids know about it.

The message, "You need to be an angel,.. or a snow flake.." is not so different from the message: "you need to be superior". So I think that's yet another connection to bullying.
Side point: I wouldn't say this little girl bully's DD,.. but what I do see is something I believe to be a nugget or "seed" of bullying. Or perhaps it's in the "spirit of bullying". When DD says, "I did XYZ.. " the other girl does tend to say, "Oh, .. that's so easy, .. I actually do XYZ + ABC.." (Rare is the moment that I actually feel "ANGRY" at a small child.. but it happens at times like that. Not so proud of it..)

Overall, I do believe this friend is a good kid; I just think this is a bad (or misguided) habit of hers. I've addressed this tendency with her mom who says, ".. yeah, I've heard she does that.. she just really likes to encourage her friends to push themselves and be like her." And I think that may be part of it... I believe that there is some good intention behind everything a CHILD does. After all, they're children. But there is some white washing on the part of the mom.

But I think we're two extremes. I wonder if my extreme is also not the best.

Stevuke79
06-09-14, 07:01 PM
My read on this is you could boil it down to two different personality types: in Meyers-Briggs terms, Perceiving vs. Judging (P/J). A J person is typically a black-and-white thinker, tends to assign value (right or wrong) to most things. On the other hand, a P person tends not to assign a value to things, preferring to see everything in shades of grey.

Your friend and her daughter both sound like J people: placing high value in being seen as "right" and "the good one" and so forth, wanting to argue *to win*. You and your daughter sound much more like P people - not terribly concerned with categorizing everything into right/wrong, much more interested in the nuance of experience, and arguing mostly to *understand* (your own views, the other's point of view, etc.)

Excellent and perceptive post,.. and..

Neither way of being is better than the other (though I say this as a P; the J's out there might disagree with me :D),
That was really funny, :D.

..but I notice there can be friction involved when parent and child are mismatched. Or really, any authority figure and subject. I think you just got a little taste of that with your friend and her daughter! Anyway, in my inexperienced opinion (I'm not a parent) it sounds like you are doing just fine - if anything, I would just be glad you ended up with a kid who meshes well with you, personality-wise. :)

Thanks :) kind of you to say. I really appreciate it.

Stevuke79
06-09-14, 07:01 PM
Stevuke,
I totally relate much better to your style of parenting. Your DD sounds much more honest than her friend. You should be proud of how much better she behaves compared to her friend.

It sounds like the friends child is already for politics. She already knows the 3 golden rules.
1. Don't get caught
2. Deny, Deny, Deny
3. If 1 & 2 don't work ...Apologize :)


Thanks greyhound! That's interesting how you framed it.

Timberline
06-09-14, 08:04 PM
I know you feel this stuff is hard wired. I'm curious though, I know you didn't model "arguing", but might your husband have?


Hey Steve! No, my husband doesn't argue. He jokes with DD with some antagonizing. But it's teasing, to get a reaction from her, and he always lets her know he's joking at the end, if it isn't obvious from the beginning.

But you may be onto something. She does have some exposure to the "skill" of argument.

Stevuke79
06-09-14, 08:41 PM
I know you feel this stuff is hard wired. I'm curious though, I know you didn't model "arguing", but might your husband have?


Hey Steve! No, my husband doesn't argue. He jokes with DD with some antagonizing. But it's teasing, to get a reaction from her, and he always lets her know he's joking at the end, if it isn't obvious from the beginning.

But you may be onto something. She does have some exposure to the "skill" of argument.

I just realize, I read into your last post. You said this about your husbands side of the family, not him. Got it!

(Btw, .. I find they also pick up some of the CRAZIEST habits from friends.. for instance DD started saying, "uimmmmm seriously?? .." (or something like that.. I can't remember exactly right now,.. but I think that's it.) Not in like an obnoxious way,.. like an excited way. It's so cute!)

Ms. Mango
06-09-14, 09:03 PM
First words out of the mom's mouth: "That's really surprising. I'm sure my daughter would never start something like that. But I'm disappointed she would even go along with it, and I'm going to talk with her. I'm sure it wasn't her idea though." (basically verbatim quote)



Her DD would never start anything like that.
She's disappointed her DD went along with the person who did. (Who would that be?)
She's sure her DD didn't come up with the idea. (Then who did?)

You went out of your way to not be accusatory yet she had no problem throwing your DD under the bus. You know her, so if you don't think she really meant what she said the way she said it then I believe you. Unfortunately, her immediate reaction is to deny culpability (on her DD's behalf) by shifting blame away from her DD. In this case she had to point the finger at your DD to do so.

Why are you even questioning yourself? You don't really think this is behavior you want to model for your DD? Your daughter's behavior seems pretty typical and age appropriate. The other girl acts like either she or her parents put a lot of pressure on her; more than is healthy for a child that age. I don't know how much interaction you have with either the parent or child, but I guarantee you that, in large doses, you'll find their behavior difficult to bear. I've had friends like that--emphasis on had. It just becomes almost painful to have to deal with someone who always has to be "right", "perfect" and "blameless"; especially if they have to make you look bad in the process.

Maya Angelou said, "When people show you who they are, believe them." It's no reason to end a friendship (at this point, anyway), just something to be aware of.

You're right that you might be an exemplary parent.:)

Stevuke79
06-09-14, 09:15 PM
Her DD would never start anything like that.
She's disappointed her DD went along with the person who did. (Who would that be?)
She's sure her DD didn't come up with the idea. (Then who did?)

You went out of your way to not be accusatory yet she had no problem throwing your DD under the bus. You know her, so if you don't think she really meant what she said the way she said it then I believe you. Unfortunately, her immediate reaction is to deny culpability (on her DD's behalf) by shifting blame away from her DD. In this case she had to point the finger at your DD to do so.

Why are you even questioning yourself? You don't really think this is behavior you want to model for your DD? Your daughter's behavior seems pretty typical and age appropriate. The other girl acts like either she or her parents put a lot of pressure on her; more than is healthy for a child that age. I don't know how much interaction you have with either the parent or child, but I guarantee you that, in large doses, you'll find their behavior difficult to bear. I've had friends like that--emphasis on had. It just becomes almost painful to have to deal with someone who always has to be "right", "perfect" and "blameless"; especially if they have to make you look bad in the process.

Maya Angelou said, "When people show you who they are, believe them." It's no reason to end a friendship (at this point, anyway), just something to be aware of.

You're right that you might be an exemplary parent.:)

You are 100% right Ms. Mango. I'm just saying that I think she felt Adira was being normal. She views her daughter as being superior. (and she's not wrong. her daughter is exceptionally bright and talented.) But it's not like she things that her daughter is "average" and my daughter was being exceptionally naughty. It's just the other way around,.. both were acting average, but she expects more from her daughter.

And thank you for saying I'm an exemplary parent. It means a lot. I try. Really I do. :grouphug::grouphug:

Stevuke79
06-09-14, 09:27 PM
It just becomes almost painful to have to deal with someone who always has to be "right", "perfect" and "blameless"; especially if they have to make you look bad in the process.

I debated whether I should share this next bit. But the mom sent me an email sort of explaining her daughter's very sweet and thoughtful hand written apology note to me. And she basically said she didn't realize they were breaking any rules,.. but she felt that something wasn't right and sort of realized that my DD was being sneaky,.. she didn't realize they were actually breaking a rule but in retrospect she felt bad that she shouldn't have gone along with it and wanted to make amends with me.." (If this friend ever finds this website, I'm dead.)

Anyway, I mention it because it relates to what you said. Funny thing, it didn't bother me. OK, I'm pretty sure the mom isn't right, BUT I don't care. Honestly, if you ask me, the mom might be right. I mean, I highly doubt it. It's VERY unlikely. But sure, it's possible. and it changes nothing for me.

In other words even if I was 100% sure the mom was right, I would still be 100% comfortable with how my daughter behaved and how I handled it. In other words, even if another child is an angel it doesn't make me feel different about the behavior of mine.

You ask a good question.. and I kind of asked this of myself in the begining of the thread. You asked: Why are you questioning yourself?

And I just realized why. I KNOW that I am a very lax parent. 99% of the time, I'm sure that is what is best for my child. But 1% of the time (and this ISNT EVEN one of those times) I worry that sometimes I don't give her that little bit of negative reinforcement that a child ALSO needs. And this is just me and my inner little daemon.

namazu
06-09-14, 10:26 PM
Kind of following on what Ms. Mango said, I wonder if the "blameless" part is really key --

Maybe the other kid's internalized the idea (not that she can do no wrong, but) that it's shameful to have done something wrong -- or that you get punished for it if you did -- and thus rationalizing / shifting responsibility is a way she's learned to deal with guilt/shame.

Maybe she hasn't yet learned that it's OK not to be perfect at all times, and that while it is important not to do anything too wrong if you can help it, there is also value to admitting mistakes and learning from them and apologizing. And that being wrong about something or occasionally exercising poor judgment doesn't make you inherently a bad person.

This is something I hope I'll model for my own kids (and spouse, and others), both in my personal and professional life. I mean, yeah, it would be great to have a halo around my head and do no wrong ever, and know everything. (Actually, I'd be insufferable -- or perhaps more insufferable! :rolleyes:)

But I think it's important for me to acknowledge when I'm wrong, whether about some point of fact or some bit of judgment -- especially when it affects someone else. And hopefully my (still hypothetical) kids will pick up on that. A measure of humility (to a non-pathological extent) is a good thing, and the art of the apology is an important life skill.

phantasm
06-09-14, 10:41 PM
Stevuke,
I totally relate much better to your style of parenting. Your DD sounds much more honest than her friend. You should be proud of how much better she behaves compared to her friend.

It sounds like the friends child is already for politics. She already knows the 3 golden rules.
1. Don't get caught
2. Deny, Deny, Deny
3. If 1 & 2 don't work ...Apologize :)

I couldn't agree more with Greyhound. And my daughter is 1 month shy of being 7. I would have reacted the same way.

AND, my daughter just started questioning punishments and such. Not in a talk-back, or rude kid way, but she is trying to understand the nature of the problem. It is very healthy, and we didn't teach her that, she just started doing it. Your DD sounds just like mine. :) I completely relate to this story, all the way down to being 35 comment. :giggle:

Ms. Mango
06-09-14, 11:08 PM
It's ok to have expectations for your child, know that your child won't always meet them and communicate to your child that it's part of growing up to make mistakes. If you make a mistake you need to own it, without resorting to, "yeah, but she did it, too."

Smart and talented kids are still kids, and kids do dumb kid things. Her expecting that her kid be "better than that" is not a reasonable expectation.

It's benificent of her that she deigns to allow her daughter to frolic with the hoi polloi. You should feel honored, and your daughter shouldn't mind those tire tracks on her back.

sarahsweets
06-10-14, 04:33 AM
I dont thin you handled that badly at all. And the excuse making can actually set up for the entitlement that so many teens end up feeling as they get older-the idea that an an excuse is an acceptable reason for why something happened. An excuse might be a reason for why something happened but when it comes down to it, its doesnt matter. It only matters that something did happen not why it happened. You were not asking why they got the ipad, you were asking if they had it.

MADD As A Hatte
06-10-14, 06:06 AM
For all the thinking parents out there ... this ain't nothin' new ...

Research for decades shows there are Four Parenting Styles. Kendra Cherry explains them very succinctly here:

http://psychology.about.com/od/developmentalpsychology/a/parenting-style.htm

So, read the short article noted above, and work out which groovy parent camp you're in.

Authoritarian / Authoritative / Permissive / Uninvolved.

And here are my two rules of play dates:

1. It's my house. My rules. Tough.
2. I never invite kids back who can't get with Rule No. 1.

Simples!!

Fuzzy12
06-10-14, 06:08 AM
Again, zero parenting experience but I just wanted to respond to this little point below:


Thanks Lunacie!

Is there something to be said for the fact that DD doesn't feel bad? Or doesn't really worry about being caught in a lie? Didn't feel she had to make amends the next day?

I doubt, the other girl felt like she had to make amends. I could be wrong but I'm pretty sure that her mother asked her to write the apology note. Nothing wrong with that but I think, it's highly unlikely that she would have thought of it herself so I'm not surprised that DD didn't feel the need to make amends on the next day.

It seems to me like DD did realise that she did something that she shouldn't have done based on the conversation you had with her later and isn't that the only thing that matters? I think, it's good if kids don't grow up in an environment of fear where they do or don't do things just because they are scared of punishment but rather because they understand that what they did was wrong (or at least understand that you think it was wrong.)

Fuzzy12
06-10-14, 06:13 AM
Sorry, just read this post: I debated whether I should share this next bit. But the mom sent me an email sort of explaining her daughter's very sweet and thoughtful hand written apology note to me. And she basically said she didn't realize they were breaking any rules,.. but she felt that something wasn't right and sort of realized that my DD was being sneaky,.. she didn't realize they were actually breaking a rule but in retrospect she felt bad that she shouldn't have gone along with it and wanted to make amends with me.." (If this friend ever finds this website, I'm dead.)
.

DD's friend came over and begged and begged to play with the iPad... I said no.

DD's friend did realise they are breaking the rules. You had already told her not to play with the ipad.

This is complete conjecture but I think, the friend's mother is a bit worried about losing you as a family friend or maybe DD as her friend's friend, so she is making excuses, where excuses might not be necessary. Is it possible that DD's friend is picking up this behaviour?

You know, I think you are a great parent but the more I hear about DD, she sounds like quite an amazing little girl as well!!!!

Now here's another part of the story. This morning I ask DD if she thought I yelled too much yesterday. She was like, "when?" Oh good clearly not too much. :D. The mom had to swing by with her daughter to pick something up and the child had written the sweetest hand-written apology note on construction paper. (I didn't read it in front of her but when I see it again I'll make sure to compliment the heck out of her) But I'm also thinking, .. my daughter doesn't even remember the incident.

She doesn't remember you yelling (which isn't really the important bit of your message right?) but that doesn't mean that she doesn't remember the incident or that she won't remember not to sue the ipad next time when you say NO.

Stevuke79
06-10-14, 06:47 AM
Fuzzy, I think you're right that it comes from the mom. Both the note and the way of thinking. I don't think she's afraid of losing us as a friend or afraid her child will lose DD.. I think she was more worried that I might feel her child lied to me. Like I might think her child was capable of that. I talked it over with my wife last night, and she has very high standards for her child.

Madd- I will definitely read that article. On the one hand I'm kind of strict, and I express harsh disapproval when I think that's what I should do (when she really crosses the line like lying to me). The rules are the rules, and I take it as a given that DD will comply. DD also mostly takes it as a given. Our pediatrician once asked if I could do the visits where DD was getting a painful treatment. My wife asked why. The doctor said, "Because she knows not to phuq with daddy." (I'm not sure if I'm proud of that)

BUT in our house there are basically ZERO punishments other than the traditional 6-minute time outs. I'm strict and harsh but DD doesn't have any fear of punishment, which I think is good. We don't confiscate things, we rarely withhold dessert (we have dessert on weekends). We rarely cancel play dates because of bad behavior. We only beat her occasionally (KIDDING!!!)

BUT we are super strict about "positive consequences". What we do is, we don't buy her any toys other than her Birthday or Hanuka. We buy books that we want her to read (learning to read books). If she wants a book that we wouldn't buy for her, she has to spend her allowance or we take her to the library. I also restock her paints, crayons, paper, etc. And we give her an allowance tied to a sticker chart. Every evening there are 7 possible stickers (there used to be 5, then 6, now 7. Getting ready for school by yourself. Eating a healthy food like a vegetable. Cleaning up. Being cooperative. Speaking nicely. etc etc.. We add one with each birthday as we expect more and more when she was 4, brushing her teeth twice a day was on there) and each sticker has a dollar value and at the end of the week we tally her stickers and figure out how much allowance she gets that week.

It's seriously CRAZY EFFECTIVE. When I say, "well do you want to get the sticker today for 'cooperating'?" I usually get 100% immediate compliance. (I mean, without her stickers, the poor kid is a pauper with no toys.

Stevuke79
06-10-14, 06:59 AM
It seems to me like DD did realise that she did something that she shouldn't have done based on the conversation you had with her later and isn't that the only thing that matters?

Fuzzy, if I know anything about parenting (which is yet to be determined) you'd be an ACE!

I believe that's such an important concept. I feel that so many parents feel the need to "put the fear of God" into their kids. Even if their atheist .. I'm not making a religious point.. it's like what DVD said about false consequences. The consequence is that I disapprove. THAT'S the consequence. I feel I see that results in a healthy attitude for my daughter.

stef
06-10-14, 07:04 AM
Well I just skimmed through the thread - but look at all the things you are doing for her behavior ! (in your last post). That is NOT lax parenting. And keeping everything simple and avoiding blame and complicated consequences, is great.

I think you must just set a good example; if your daughter's friend was arguing, making excuses etc I think she's learning that somewhere ;)

(I am not trying to be unpleasant about your friend it's like her daughter is picking up this "survival behavior" from her mom...)

Stevuke79
06-10-14, 07:12 AM
DD's friend did realise they are breaking the rules. You had already told her not to play with the ipad.

Btw, I even feel bad that I felt I had to share all this.. I feel like I'm slandering. But THAT is the part that disturbs me. I really feel that whole thing was, in a way, sick. Really sick.

2 things are sick.

1. Just plain sick: She believes her child's BS and thinks she does no wrong. which means she's rewarding BS.

2. OMG EVEN WORSE SOOO SICK I CAN'T TAKE IT!! : She felt the need to tell me that her daughter didn't realize they did anything wrong. That was important to her.

No wonder this kid is a bullshyter! That's the standard! When we do wrong, we EXPLAIN IT! :doh::doh::doh::doh: NOOO!!!!

And this is the last bit I will share: at our last play date, her child basically dove for the iPad. And DD was like oh yeah, lemme show you this new app.. bla bla bla bla...

And the friend's mom said,
"Ya know, DD always has more fun when you guys do things together rather than play with the iPad."

I was a little taken a back. I paused and hesitated for a bit digesting what just happened. And then I said to DD, "give me the iPad, I don't want you playing with it at a play date." (Class, if you're watching, that's how it's done. We tell the truth.)

It didn't occur to me at the time, but the mom's message was loud and clear:
We make up bullshyt so that people think we are the people that mom and dad want people to think that we are.

And that's why this friend peppers me with excuses. She's doing what her mom has taught her that she should do. We make stuff up that makes us sound like the person that mommy thinks we should be. For instance, a child who is happier when they DON'T play with the iPad. My approach, I think, taught DD to tell the truth. We don't play with the iPad, not because it makes YOU happier, but because it makes DADDY happier :D (you're happiness doesn't matter till you're 35 ;)).. or at least Daddy feels that you shouldn't play with it now. That's the truth. I'm comfortable with that truth, and DD accepts it. I just realized this now, .. but I see stuff like that a lot. It's absolutely teaching a kid to lie to fit a mold.

Stevuke79
06-10-14, 07:21 AM
Another email,.. the friend told her mom that I got mad, and the I "back-peddled" said it was about DD, not about her. (supporting that she had done nothing wrong)

Interesting interpretation.

Actually what I said was, "Clean up this room.. " the friend started drifting away,.. and I said, "DD, when she's gone I don't care if she helps or not, you're going to have to clean this up or you can never have a play date again!!"

She actually also told her mom that it was funny that I said that, because it would be impossible to enforce. (no play date again). Ok, .. mom is out to lunch. She's a great friend. Average parent.

Stevuke79
06-10-14, 07:46 AM
I couldn't agree more with Greyhound. And my daughter is 1 month shy of being 7. I would have reacted the same way.

AND, my daughter just started questioning punishments and such. Not in a talk-back, or rude kid way, but she is trying to understand the nature of the problem. It is very healthy, and we didn't teach her that, she just started doing it. Your DD sounds just like mine. :) I completely relate to this story, all the way down to being 35 comment. :giggle:

LOL!! Awesome!!

neewsmonth
06-10-14, 02:53 PM
Maybe you're too lax if you lost such a thrilling storyline ;)
I really am keen to find what I missed in the situation. Even if you were making a joke, I'd like to understand it.

Perhaps because your narrative was so amusing, It made me imagine your daughter in one of those hollywood stories, where in the middle of a dramatic event the character moves back in time to retrospect the day when they were 8 yo and decided to become a criminal... :lol:

So when you say you're sure what lie your DD was thinking of -

...Not because I think she's an angel, but because I don't think it would occur to her. In her mind:
1. I never make an issue of "who's idea it was". She has no precedent to think that I care about that.
2. She had already received her "full punishment". She had nothing left to fear and I'm pretty certain in her mind the issue was closed so no further need to deflect blame.


- you perhaps missed the precious moment when your DD's moral system tried to become indepent of the stickers and all those adult silly penalties:) (ie. evolved from - Kohlberg pre-conventional phase (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kohlberg%27s_stages_of_moral_development#Stages)
Perhaps she knows that you don't care so much about the iPad, what's the difference where it is anyway? Wouldn't blaming an innocent friend for the wrong idea be a worse crime, something really worthy of being sorry for and your DD just found it out ?

Stevuke79
06-10-14, 08:06 PM
Perhaps because your narrative was so amusing, It made me imagine your daughter in one of those hollywood stories, where in the middle of a dramatic event the character moves back in time to retrospect the day when they were 8 yo and decided to become a criminal... :lol:

So when you say you're sure what lie your DD was thinking of -

I think you're trying to take a contrarian view, which I like and it probably means we'd be good friends if we met :). I really value that in a person, and all things being equal, I'll also take the contrarian stance. I'm not arguing or disagreeing with you here, I'm just clarifying what I said so that you can formulate a stance that is properly contrary. :) Because if I understood what you said, everything you wrote here could be consistent with my position in this thread. (I disagree with some things, but I don't think anything you said relates to the kind of actual dialogue I have with my daughter.

So when you say you're sure what lie your DD was thinking of -

Let me clarify - I don't think I have any idea what happened; I also didn't take an interest in finding out. The only reason I was able to identify a specific lie was because in that moment it was all she said and I was able to see it wasn't true. That other potential lie was something she said later: her friend suggested it and she went along,

and I don't really care if that's true or not - it's just part of my original story. I tried (perhaps not very well) to make that clear when I first referenced it; I said it was a pointless question because I had no way of knowing if she was being truthful. And hypothetically she could be either lying or truthful about both, so I should be able to simply assert that her first statement was a lie, while knowing nothing about the truthfulness of the second. My gut is that the second was true, but I could care less and deciding it either way effects nothing else.

So I might be missing something, but I don't think there is any room here for you to be cynical about my view of my daughter. She's had no "benefit of the doubt" anywhere here and I don't see how my view of her could be biased. On the contrary, I've allowed for her liability of every doubt in this story. (the opposite of "benefit of the doubt".)

- you perhaps missed the precious moment when your DD's moral system tried to become indepent of the stickers and all those adult silly penalties:) (ie. evolved from - Kohlberg pre-conventional phase (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kohlberg%27s_stages_of_moral_development#Stages)

All I gather from that is a criticism of my parenting specifically as it pertains to the values implied by my reward systems, all of which I welcome. I think you're saying that I might be reinforcing her in a way that is teaching her bad values - and I disagree but I don't think I have to debate that here because either of us may be right it would still be independent of what we are discussing here. I don't think we're discussing "values" or "ethics". We're discussing how we should expect and teach our child to communicate for any given ethics or values that we choose to instill.

To put it differently, let's say we put your issue on the table and in discussing it you were to convince me of a better value system and hence a better way to incentivize my daughter. Thank you for that. :) We would still have the exact same question that we have now in this thread - do I not engage my daughter in enough rational dialogue around the specifics of her misdeeds. And do I harm and disadvantage her in the face of the accusations of her peers?. (right? because that would be independent of any reward or punishment system we chose.)

Perhaps she knows that you don't care so much about the iPad, what's the difference where it is anyway? Wouldn't blaming an innocent friend for the wrong idea be a worse crime, something really worthy of being sorry for and your DD just found it out ?

I didn't feel she blamed her friend. I didn't blame her friend either. I could give a shyt about the friend - I only care about my friend (my friend, DD). I don't actually know who instigated and I don't think I need to; my message to her is the same regardless. I'm actually assuming for argument's sake that DD did instigate, but even so it didn't seem to me that she was blaming her friend, making an accusation of trying to absolve herself.

She said it quickly, softly, with guilt, and with no emphasis that would indicate she considered herself to be trying for my good opinion. It's possible I'm wrong, but I don't think I am, and it's not relevant enough to my thread for me to want to dissect that interaction. Meaning, even if she blamed her friend, then the only thing I did wrong was not addressing that infraction, which is again, aside from the point of this thread.

Stevuke79
06-10-14, 08:08 PM
You should feel honored, and your daughter shouldn't mind those tire tracks on her back.
That's exactly what I'm talking about. That's exactly the mistake I fear I'm making.

Parenting is an impossible job! I QUIT!!! See ya DD!!! Good luck replacing me with another sap willing to work for so little!! (free..)

Ms. Mango
06-10-14, 09:58 PM
You aren't allowed to quit. ;)

Stevuke79
06-10-14, 10:06 PM
Good thing .. :)

Stevuke79
06-10-14, 10:15 PM
Actually we can (http://www.foxnews.com/story/2008/11/13/parents-rush-to-abandon-teens-as-change-looms-for-nebraska-safe-haven-law/)...

(obviously I'm a fan of safe haven laws.. I'm just having a laugh about it)

Ms. Mango
06-10-14, 10:33 PM
"I'm sorry."

How hard is it to say those two little words? And only those two. Apparently, for some people it's a strain. Had either the mom or daughter said those words this whole thing would've been over shortly after it started. Instead, you've been treated to the sturm und drang of two drama queens offering up insincere, fake apologies. Every "apology" has come with an excuse and an attempt to fob off responsibility for what happened onto someone else.

And let's not forget that this has caused you to doubt your parenting abilities, too.

I don't see you being a lax parent. What you're doing seems to be reasonable and appropriate for a child your DD's age. Your DD's response was fine, too. She did something she wasn't supposed to, she got busted, you expressed that you were unhappy with her behavior, she understood what she did was wrong and felt bad about it. Then she got over it. How long is she supposed to feel bad about what she did? She made a mistake, but not a terribly big one.

If this is a one time thing it's not a big deal. The friendship goes on as before. If this is a pattern of behavior, though, you're going to have something to think about. Think about how this has caused you to think about yourself. Your DD probably doesn't understand what her friend was trying to do, but how will her friend's actions make her feel when she's older and more aware?

MADD As A Hatte
06-11-14, 03:53 AM
Actually we can [quit] ...



... and if we're half smart, and want to retain our sanity, actually we DO!

I used to "quit" every night, just as soon as they were both asleep. And I still do. Nothing so good as indulging in totally rubbish tv programmes and a glass of plonk. I think ER was my fave, when my two were little. Early Clooney. Mmmmm ...

neewsmonth
06-11-14, 01:54 PM
I think you're trying to take a contrarian view, which I like and it probably means we'd be good friends if we met :).


thanks, you are probably right (even though I've heard you don't let people play on your iPad ;) )


(I disagree with some things, but I don't think anything you said relates to the kind of actual dialogue I have with my daughter.

It remotely relates - I think I understood the dialogue and it inspired me to think out loud about what happens in a child's mind when he/she grows out of the 'sticker ethics', which might sound like criticism of your parenting :) I am not a parent, and not even 35 ;)


So I might be missing something, but I don't think there is any room here for you to be cynical about my view of my daughter.

Again, let me say I agree with your view -

1) friend wanted to play with the iPad
2) it somehow found its way into the room
3) DD lied
4) the lie was so obvious that you showed your anger
5) DD told a possible lie about who instigated
6) this time it was not obvious and it's against your parenting policy to investigate it
7) DD, when pressed, recognized her misdeed at point X

now, as the father, you took the best option X=3.

X=5 is where the cameras drive in:

in spite of 4, which means a possible sticker penalty, DD's mind sprouted a new idea: "Perhaps what I said about friend's role was not fair, which counts as a lie? a real lie, something baad, like the bad things adults do and I still can't ?" And that would be a great leap in her moral development, wouldn't it ?

OK, the movie is over. it was only a movie ;)



We would still have the exact same question that we have now in this thread - do I not engage my daughter in enough rational dialogue around the specifics of her misdeeds. And do I harm and disadvantage her in the face of the accusations of her peers?. (right? because that would be independent of any reward or punishment system we chose.)

I think she will engage you. I am sure she will :)

sarahsweets
06-14-14, 06:10 AM
One of the problems I have run into was that I have treated some of my older kids as mini-adudults like the should have,would have know better. This leads to anger and resentment. I try to let negative consequqences happen,. No ipad for a few days regardles of this B**t involved. It will at least make an iimpact on your daughter even if the holier than though parent involved doesnt think perfect 'sally sue' could ever do such s thing.