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Messages By: jrbaker

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October 29, 2005, 11:52 am CDT

Why are parents afraid of interacting with their children?

Parents spoil their children every day by buying them the latest toy, gadget, or article of clothing.  It seems as though parents want to make sure their children are entertained every waking second of the day.  What has happened to talking with each other?  You see portable DVD players in cars now, or even worse, in the laps of young children being strolled around the mall.  Many parents seem like they don't enjoy their children's company, so they give them all this stuff in lieu of forming meaningful relationships.  This makes the children expect more and more material items, and they gain less and less social skills and appreciation.  This topic really gets to me, because the next generation is going to be so spoiled & have such inflated senses of entitlement that there will be no sense of achievement or gratitude.  When you get it all early, there is no way you can appreciate life.  I believe that working hard to accomplish goals and build a solid future generates good character.  If parents begin showering their children with so much from birth, they need to be prepared to pay for that standard of living until their children are 50 because the child will expect it & not be able to settle for anything less.  So many of my peers bought the huge house after getting married, along with brand new cars, and expensive wardrobes.  Underneath it all, their credit cards are maxed out & they are stressed and worried because they are living paycheck to paycheck, products of being spoiled as children by their parents.  When are parents going to realize that they can't buy their children's love & happiness?  There's nothing like snuggling up with my daughter to read her favorite book, or simply having a conversation about her day.  That's what family means to us!
 
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October 29, 2005, 11:59 am CDT

Possible idea for you

Quote From: greyghost

I can't wait to see what Dr. Phil has to say about this.  I have felt the entire range of emotions on this topic.  As a divorced mother of two I am not able to give my kids everything they want.  I feel guilty about that because they see a lot of their friends with all the latest "toys"  while I'm struggling just to save money to buy an x-box.  Those are expensive but thats just the x-box, the games my son wants cost about the same as a weeks worth of groceries for us.  Oh, my God he is only 7 and I am already feeling stress about his toys.  I hear this is only going to get worse.  Help!!!!!!
You could begin giving your child a small allowance each week, and encourage him to save it to buy or help you pay for what he really wants.  This way, he will learn that it takes time & patience to earn the toys he likes.  If he chooses to spend it before he reaches the amount of the toy he's had on his mind, then he can't get it.  Telling a child no is not punishment, it is necessary in successful parenting.  I grew up with a single mother & I knew that I wouldn't be able to have everything all my peers had.  I feel as though I appreciate life more today because of that.  Best wishes!
 
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October 29, 2005, 12:22 pm CDT

When to move to a big-girl bed

Quote From: nicoleao

       My daughter is 2 yrs. old and still sleeping in her crib. Friends have told me to keep her in it until she starts to climb out, then get a toddler bed for her. I don't want her to be 3 yrs. old and still in her crib. When is usually the best time/ age to transition her to a more "grown up" bed?
We moved our daughter to a queen-size bed when she was 2 1/2.  She just looked too big for her crib.  She never climbed out of it, so that advice may not apply to your daughter either.  I skipped the toddler bed and went straight to her last-for-a-while-bed since we already had it in our guest room.  She loves sleeping in her big bed now, and it was a completely smooth transition.  You just have to make the decision, and try it when you think the time is right.  Best wishes!
 
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October 29, 2005, 12:32 pm CDT

Quality time

Quote From: latisha

My son is 17 months old and seems to be very angry now that we are so busy and can't spend too much time with him.  My husband works two jobs and I am going to school full time and working part time...we still can't afford the daycare costs (even after DSHS assistance).  We have no family or friends that can or will watch him even though he is normally a very pleasant and well behaved child.  Recently he started banging his head on anything that can do damage to get attention when he is mad.  I try to stop and comfort him, or sometimes I just let him be and walk away.  I have tried so many different methods WHAT DO I DO?  We both can't just quit our jobs and I can't give up my only opportunity at school.  Please email me with ANY feedback!!! RasmussenRLS@yahoo.com

The ideal scenario would involve one of you giving up one of your commitments to spend more time with your son.  It sounds as though he is acting out because of an inconsistent schedule, and lack of security.  Children thrive when their lives are predictable and structured.  You'll want to make sure that the time you spend with him is not hurried, stressful, or distracted(such as TV all the time).  Since you do recognize that the problem is his needing of attention from mom & dad, maybe you & your husband could sit down and weigh the benefits vs. the harm being done as a result of your busy lives.  Daycare costs are expensive, and maybe if you were able to quit your part-time job you could make more time with your son work (If you're working just to afford daycare costs, then is it really necessary?).  Try to think of the long-term goals you have for your family:  In 10 years, your son won't remember the money you're making to stay afloat, but he will be able to look back and see that mom & dad spent time with him on a regular, consistent basis.  You'll be teaching him that he is important and loved by making time for him.  Best wishes, I know it's a hard situation! 

 
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October 30, 2005, 6:13 pm CST

So true!

Quote From: wyldcelt

Kids appreciate what you do with/for them more than what you give them if you teach them early. 

  

A story for you: (my brother calls me Cliff from Cheers...  ;-) 

  

I was making a Halloween costume for my son. My then 12 yr old nephew seemed to be hanging close by watching me while I was sewing it together. I finally asked him what was up and he replied "My mom (birth mother not my sister) has never made me a costume, she always just bought them." I laid my son's costume aside, asked him what he wanted to be and off we all went to the fabric store. The ladies at the store got involved when they saw a 12yr old boy looking through the pattern, lots of laughing and giggling, pretty much a flurry of mother hens! Took all the stuff home, Charlie helped cut the material, lay the pattern on the cloth and he would have run the sewing machine if I'd let him :-) Charlie was the best Beetlejuice you ever saw! 

  

It also turned out to be the last time Charlie got to go trick or treating, the following summer he was diagnosed with Juvenile onset diabetes. The Beetlejuice costume is still in the upstairs closet waiting for Charlie's son to grow tall enough to wear it. Charlie is now 26 yrs old, doing well and nearly every time the family gathers he asks me to pull it out for Blake to try on, trying to see if it fits him yet. 

  

Your kids remember the gift of your time and care much longer than the material things you give them.   

My daughter LOVES her princess costume I made for her this year!  It was much cheaper & way more attractive than a store-bought one.  And, we did it together!  Very cute picture! 

 
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October 30, 2005, 6:30 pm CST

Just an idea...

Quote From: jjsmom

Does anyone have advice about effective discipline for a child who has begun stealing? My 6 year old (extremely bright and 2 grades ahead in school) has become very sneaky and has twice (that I know about) stolen something - 1) a pack of gum from a store (which I made him bring back to the store manager and confess what he did) and 2) Money from his cousin's purse (which he used to purchase souveniers from a gift shop on a school field trip. My son has always been very clever, but now he is using this talent for evil instead of good, and my husband and I are EXTREMELY concerned about this new behavior. I have done all the things that I think I should, but he just isn't getting the message - He now has to do chores around the house and for his cousin to pay back the money, he's had to return the items to the gift shop, he has written 100 times "I will not take things that don't belong to me" - I have talked to him about all the consequences of being an untrustworthy person, and it just DOESN'T seem to be sinking in. In every other way he is a joy to have around - he is funny, musically talented, helpful around the house, kind to his friends and his older brother, compassionate, and has so many of the traits that any parent would hope for. How do we nip this problem now and make him understand how wrong this is? 

Thank you for any help. 

  

  

You could try making him take back the items and "paying" you for the theft with an item he values, such as a toy.  Does he have a TV in his room?  Take it away.  Also, and this may seem severe, disallow any activity that would put him in a position to steal.  Don't take him to stores, don't allow him to leave your side at family functions.  Explain to him that until he earns your trust and he has proven that he will not take anything that doesn't belong to him, you must monitor him.  It sounds as though he's trying to see what he can get away with.  I wouldn't make a huge scene out of it, but stay calm & consistent with the punishment, and stress how disappointed you are.  He needs to know that you & your husband will find out if he steals anything else.  Could it be possible that he's overheard his apparently older classmates talk about stealing things, and he wants to fit in with them?  He could be picking up bad behaviors from being with children who are older, and trying to fit in with them if he's younger than everyone else.
 
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October 30, 2005, 7:21 pm CST

Your discussions must be age-appropriate....

Quote From: ryantamy

I need some help with my 5 year old son. I am in the military. The town we moved to is all white and rather racist.  My son has already come home from kindergarten asking why God made black people and that their color skin hurts his eyes. I am horrified.  He only has one black boy in his class. His 2nd day care provider in Florida was black and her son Zoin was his best friend. I tried to talk to him about how he would feel if someone didn't like him because he has blue eyes. I pointed out that is nephew has brown eyes,  and so on. I have tried to find books that have multi racial kids in the stories. But I can't find any books on overcoming this, or kids stories. I am planning on getting a globe for him for Christmas so we can talk about cultures.  I will be moving him to the on base school for first grade which has a higher cultural mix. I try to watch shows like Medgar Evars, Mississippi Burning.  He saw some of  "A time to kill" and he wanted to know why the people were having fights in front of the courthouse. I am trying to approach it subtly.  Does anyone have any other ideas. We were planning on retiring here but now we are planning on moving back to Ohio because of the school.  Alexander is a surving twin. His brother Nicholas died from Air Force negligence, I know Alex did not survive to become a racial bigot.

I applaud your efforts to teach your son about differences in people, but a 5 year old cannot comprehend Mississippi Burning, and should not be viewing "A Time to Kill" due to the violence & subject matter  (it is a great movie for adults!).  I have taught 5 year olds for the past 6 years in Sunday School.  If you are churchgoers, the easiest explanation would be that God created all people, and He knew them before they were born.  We all look the same on the inside, but God knew the world would be a boring place if everyone looked alike on the outside, so He created each person to be beautiful & special in his or her own way, and He wanted Alex to have blue eyes and so on...  Please don't think that you should move because of this, you actually have a wonderful opportunity to teach your son about the differences in others that he will certainly face when he grow up.  Your public library will have loads of books about different children.  I encourage you to pick some out that show other races & cultures in a positive light.  This will help him to understand that just because he sees differences in others, those differences aren't bad.  Some good titles include, "The Snowy Day" by Ezra Jack Keats & "Amazing Grace" by Mary Hoffman.  If he likes Dora & Diego (TV Cartoons), you could gently explain that they are Latino, and maybe discuss the food they may eat.  (Many children love Mexican food!)  Best wishes! 

 

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