Thoughts on Parenting

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dwight92070
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Thoughts on Parenting

Post by dwight92070 » Mon Aug 15, 2022 2:39 pm

My wife and I have five kids, four are on their own, and our youngest, who is 27, is still at home, primarily because it is so expensive to live alone. He has a decent job, but it still would be tough without roommates, which he is not wanting. Anyway, this probably goes without saying, but we made tons of mistakes when we were raising our children, and as they say, hindsight is 20/20. I certainly do not mean by that, that I now know all the answers. I DON'T. But I can share some things. Two HUGE mistakes that we made were: 1. Getting angry at them A LOT and 2. Yelling at them A LOT. Maybe others here on the forum could share their insights.

Here is a common scene: I see toddlers throwing tantrums in the grocery store, and young mothers who look exhausted, frustrated, embarrassed, and not knowing what to do. Often they have one or two other kids with them as well. It seems clear to me (NOW, not so much back then, when we were going through similar things) that the "guilty" child should not be allowed to get away with that. He(she) MUST learn (in a loving way) that that behavior will not be tolerated or accepted. Our remedy back then? Take the kids to the car or some private place, spank the kid, and then try to resume your shopping. Spanking was our go-to solution. We spanked way too much. Sadly, the spanking was often done in anger. One pastor at our church even recommended spanking a baby in a crib to teach them to obey! We NEVER did that and I cringe to even think about it now. I believe now that spanking should be quite rare in raising kids, not totally absent, but that other means should be used to discipline our kids.

Now, today, if I was that young mom, I would tell the kids before even entering the store what is expected of them - that their mom is ONLY getting certain things, and if they LOUDLY complain about not getting something else, or if they fight with their siblings, or basically throw a tantrum, that I will leave the store and take them home as soon as possible. Then, after leaving I would tell (NOT YELL AT)the tantrum thrower that he will not be allowed to go to the store the next time, because he hasn't learned how to behave properly there. Then have your spouse, or your sister or your friend or your parents, etc. watch him while you go to the store yourself or with the other kids. The KEY here is that whoever is watching the tantrum thrower must make his stay as BORING (and maybe even unpleasant, but NOT mean) as possible, at least during the time that you are gone (this might be hard with loving grandparents), so that he will REALLY WISH that he could have gone to the store too. If he is having fun while you're at the store, then he'll never want to go to the store, and your purpose of teaching him has failed. On the other hand, the person watching him should NOT think that it is their duty to punish him, while his mom is at the store. His "punishment" is not going with mom, NOT any additional thing that the person watching him wants to do.

The bottom line is that he must learn that the only way he is going to the store with his mom is if he behaves. Otherwise, forget it. Their stubborn will MUST be challenged and CROSSED, but in a calm and loving way. Obviously, if the kid is screaming at the store because he got physically hurt, then there is NO punishment for being loud, just compassion and care.

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dizerner
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Re: Thoughts on Parenting

Post by dizerner » Tue Aug 16, 2022 10:44 pm

Sometimes we learn the hard way.

I appreciate you sharing, as I was treated harshly as a child.

I'm sure you've apologized to your children, and it's a comfort to know God works all things together for good and we can put our mistakes under the Blood.
~ Classical Arminian Christian Mystic ~

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Homer
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Re: Thoughts on Parenting

Post by Homer » Sun Aug 21, 2022 6:37 pm

Dwight wrote:
Our remedy back then? Take the kids to the car or some private place, spank the kid, and then try to resume your shopping. Spanking was our go-to solution. We spanked way too much. Sadly, the spanking was often done in anger. One pastor at our church even recommended spanking a baby in a crib to teach them to obey! We NEVER did that and I cringe to even think about it now. I believe now that spanking should be quite rare in raising kids, not totally absent, but that other means should be used to discipline our kids.
My parents were the old fashioned kind, born well over 100 years ago. If you were bad you got spanked, and if you were really bad you got whacked on the rear with a belt or "switch" from the peach tree. I deserved what I got and have no resentment whatever as I knew my parents loved me dearly. I was in awe as a young boy when my dad assured me he would die for me. And I feel the same way for our kids.

Looking back I have felt regret for a whipping I administered to our oldest son. I did what I had learned from my parents. Our boy was about seven years old at the time, and we had bought our first home about two blocks from a large irrigation canal. He could not swim and every summer it seemed one or more children would drown in the unfenced irrigation canals in the area. We had forbidden him to go more than about a block from home while playing with his friends. One day he was gone and when I went looking for him he was far enough away from home that he and his friends would have reached the canal had they gone that direction. When I brought him home I gave him a whack on the rear with my belt and informed him that next time he went that far from home he would get two whacks, and each additional time he would get one additional whack. I got to seven whacks when he finally stopped running off as far as he did. Fortunately he never went toward the canal and we never told him it was there.

I have regrets about this but I console myself; our boy is still with us.

This brings to mind something I believe is a mistake parents make and that is delayed punishment. When I grew up a neighbor friend got in trouble and his mom told him he would get a whipping when his dad got home. His dad was a long haul trucker so this would be punishment delayed for days. And what a homecoming the boy had to look forward to. Sadly when the boy became a man he became a member of the Hells Angels gang and murdered someone at a concert, and was then himself a victim of murder while in prison.

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darinhouston
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Re: Thoughts on Parenting

Post by darinhouston » Sun Aug 21, 2022 9:08 pm

I regret MANY things about my parenting - I can only claim God's grace and mercy and cling to hope that the balance was in His will and for my children's good.

Seeker
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Re: Thoughts on Parenting

Post by Seeker » Sun Aug 28, 2022 8:39 pm

Sad story about the trucker’s kid. I’ll just say it - being a long haul trucker is too much absence in a kids life and should be avoided at all costs. That consistent fatherly absence will wound a kid one way or another, and there’s no making up for it.

My biggest regret as a parent so far was failing to put love first in everything I did, including with unpleasant things like discipline. I always tried to do things “properly” or “by the book” but without love at the helm my performance as a dad was often poor which was frustrating because I couldn’t understand why.

Thanks to my wife and one or two other close friends (and a big assist from George MacDonald books) it has slowly sunk in how much the Heavenly Father truly loves me. And that single fact has benefited my kids (now ages 15, 13, and 12) a whole lot. Now knowing how to accept love, I can truly love others though I’m still far from perfect at that. If we don’t let God’s love in it’s probably impossible to love others like we should.

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dwight92070
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Re: Thoughts on Parenting

Post by dwight92070 » Fri Sep 16, 2022 10:09 am

Another mistake we made was long periods of "time out", usually in their bedroom. I could be wrong, but it seems that kids need a LOT of positives and FUN things with the family, as well as learning to do the hard work things, like chores. Then, when consequences for bad behavior are necessary, you can simply withhold the privilege of one fun or positive thing. But if the family life does not often consist of FUN and positive things, as well as training them to do hard work, then they have little to look forward to, except for times when they can get away from the family. How sad! "Time outs" can be like prison, if they're overdone. Withholding privileges, on the other hand, does not tell the kid, "We don't want you around. We don't want to even see you for a long time." Rather, it says, "We love you and want you around, but you must behave, in order to participate in family fun and positive things."

Here is a HUGE one! HUG your kids! EMBRACE them often. They NEED LOVING PHYSICAL contact with their mom and their dad. I can't think of many times at all when my mom or my dad hugged me. Consequently, I never felt loved much at all. Sadly, therefore, I very seldom hugged my kids. However, I do now, as they are all young adults.

Here is a very uncomfortable one, but it must be said. If you ever sexually molest your son or your daughter, you are a CRIMINAL, and the best thing you can do for your kids (and for your spouse and even yourself) is to leave the home. You may even turn yourself in to the law. Then you need to repent before God, and commit your life to Jesus, whether you EVER return to that home or not. You have crossed over to the mind of a PERVERT and must be totally cleansed and changed through the blood of Jesus. Can God forgive you? Yes, but you cannot EVER turn back to that filth! Will your kids ever forgive you? Will your spouse forgive you? Maybe they will, maybe they won't. Either way, you must be committed to Jesus, and committed to NEVER returning to that criminal act. "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." As followers of Jesus, we must be committed to purity in our thoughts, as well as our actions. This is ESPECIALLY important in our relationship with and our thoughts towards our children. Remember that Jesus said that whoever causes one of these little ones to stumble, it would be better for him (or her) to have a millstone put around their neck, and to be thrown into the sea. That's how AWFUL and SERIOUS that sin is. HOWEVER, I believe that the BLOOD OF JESUS CLEANSES FROM ALL SIN, INCLUDING MOLESTATION, MURDER, RAPE, INCEST, HOMOSEXUALITY, TRANSGENDERISM, THERE'S NO SIN THAT JESUS DID NOT PAY FOR!!!!! So go to HIM, be cleansed and forgiven, and then go and "sin no more".

In one sense, we should think of our children as "little adults". That is, they deserve the SAME RESPECT that we give other adults. Why? Because THEY ARE PEOPLE, THEY ARE HUMAN BEINGS. This seems to be the error, or shall we say, sin, of the disciples when they tried to stop parents from bringing their kids to Jesus. I look back and I see times when I disrespected my kids PUBLICLY, often times by embarrassing them, or showing my anger publicly towards them. We have a tendency to treat them as less deserving of respect than our adult friends or relatives, when actually they DESERVE EQUAL RESPECT as ANY OTHER HUMAN BEING. How often do we see adults interrupt a child who wants to say something? We understand that they don't have the same knowledge, experience, authority, or privileges that adults have, but that does not mean that we should not respect them. If we insult them, we should ask their forgiveness; if we accidentally bump into them, we should say that we are sorry. If they want to speak, we should not cut them off, as if what they want to say is unimportant. On the other hand, we should not put our children on a pedestal either. We go overboard, if we allow them to monopolize the conversation, or to manipulate us in some way.

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