"My kid is Well adjusted" <---- If I hear/read it one more time......

Aleks - posted on 12/18/2011 ( 40 moms have responded )

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I am soooooo sick of reading on these forums a mother claiming that her kids are well adjusted.

It mostly occurs when a specific parenting style/parenting 'actions' are being discussed and someone, in defending their use of the "parenting actions/style" being discussed (eg. cio, spanking, time-outs, etc etc) says:

"well, I did blah blah blah (insert discussed topic here), and my kids are fine and are quite well adjusted". Or "I was blah blah blah (insert discussed topic here) and I turned out fine and am well adjusted". (finally enough posters that are not being defensive about their parenting style do not seem to brag about how well adjusted their kids are)



But lets first start with: What the fuck does "well adjusted" mean in the first place????

What, lack of psychopathic tendencies???? Not ADD or ADHD, or autistic, or the like? Last time I heard/read these are not conditions one has an influence over due to parenting styles.

Or am I missing something?



If there are supposedly that many well adjusted kids out there then why was it that the last time I looked around the people I know or have heard of, most of them are not that well adjusted? So, if adults are not that well adjusted, then how can kids be?



Or am I totally just misunderstanding what "well adjusted" means????



And the last thing is, I REALLY would like to say to these ppl braging how well adjusted their kids are: how would you know??? I would have thought that YOU ( as a mother/father) may be a bit biased to make that call. I would have thought that a third party, someone less biased would be much better at making a judgement call if someone is well or badly adjusted???



Or is it just me????

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Kristi - posted on 06/24/2012

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I don't think that only kids with severe abuse/neglect, mental illness, developmental delay are the only children that lack the ability to interact appropriately with others or are capable of effectively getting their needs met. Children who lack parental supervision and guidence and discipline very often do not have proper social skills. They are disrespectful, throw tantrums (quickier and more often), they lack self control, they don't understand consequences when they break the rules at school or day care and have other inappropriate behavior. Then I suggested people might use well adjusted as with an older teen or an adult who survived a traumatic childhood and are successful at maintaining healthy relationships, good grades/holding down a job, maybe "comes out on top" as opposed to "well adjusted." I wasn't saying my definition was the only one or the right one. It was my understanding that you were asking what other people's definition or ideas were about what "well adjusted" meant. It appeared that other moms were posting their understanding of it also. That's all I was I doing.

Jane - posted on 12/18/2011

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Well-adjusted generally means your kid doesn't set fires or kill small animals, actually gets decent grades in school, and is smart enough to know when to behave and when they can get away with something. While it may have something to do with parenting styles, it also has a lot to do with genetics and fetal development.

Charlie - posted on 12/18/2011

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Well adjusted - adapted or conformed to social expectations of ethics and values and void of psychological disorder this is a result of nature AND nurture.



Not sure why you would be pissed at someones kid being well adjusted.



Do you deem your children well adjusted to society as is age and developmentaly appropriate or do you wait to be told by others ? Most people I would think would take both outside opinion and their own judgment to make that call.



Simple questions like does your child know right from wrong?

do they posess empathy ?

do they understand and respect consequence ?

do they understand and accept differences between others ?

Are they aware of responsibilty and act accordingly.



My question is what traits is it that you see as maladjusted ?



You are right perception , personal values and morals differ so it is subjective on the other hand most humans have a moral and ethical code that largely governs their their behaviour, these values are often reguardless of where it was learned are generally the same.

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Kristi - posted on 06/24/2012

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Oh, I thought that might be it, but second guessed myself because it came across to me like some form of extreme torture so I didn't think that's what it was. If that is as controversial as the spanking debate I don't want anything to do with it.

Aleks - posted on 06/24/2012

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In this definition of well adjusted: "learned how to appropriately interact with others and how to take care of their own needs, age appropriate, of course"



I would have to say that appart from SEVERE NEGLECT (aka think here Romanian or Chinese orphaneges) or major CHILD ABUSE majority of children will be able to do this. Those that cannot, are most likely suffering from some kind of intellectual disability, mental illness or general developmental delay.

Neither of which have anything to do with one's parenting (dis)abilities*.



Again, my OP point stands.



ETA: oops (dis)abilities* should read (in)abilites... had a blond moment when writing it...lol

Aleks - posted on 06/24/2012

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CIO = Crying It Out... A sleep training technique very popular in some circles, and very disliked in some.

Kristi - posted on 06/24/2012

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What is CIO? I think well-adjusted means that a child or an adult has successfully (for the most part) learned how to appropriately interact with others and how to take care of their own needs, age appropriate, of course. For an example, a child (7-8 yo) who is "well adjusted," would be able to ask his mom what he wants for breakfast, dress him/herself, brush teeth, etc. (with some supervision and encouragement from mom). He/She would be able to go to school and follow the rules, be polite, play well with his/her peers. The same applies to other public outings such as a play date or a shopping trip or a family holiday gathering. A "well adjusted" 7-8 yo would be expected, IMO, to have bad days, where he/she just can't get it together or gets into an arguement with a sibling/friend or throws a fit because you're mean (every once in awhile). I would say that a parent should be able to gauge this behavior but I agree, it would carry more weight coming from a third party. I think most parents or on-lookers use it when talking about how a child is being/has been disciplined or when he/she has gone through something serious, like divorce or losing a parent when they were young, etc. Just my opinion. ; )

Stifler's - posted on 06/24/2012

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Yeah I have no idea either. I feel like my kids are okay though. I hate when people are like "I spank my kids... kids these days have no respect... they're not being punished anymore... why can't their parents just give them a tap on the bum that'd smarten them up" as if not being smacked is the cause of societys woes.

Minna - posted on 06/23/2012

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I confess that I used the damn phrase when I was defending CIO. On one hand you're right, a parent really can't make the call. On the other hand, if they seem to be basically happy and kind. it seems like they are adjusted to their circumstances at this time. That's all it means to me, I also realize that things change overnight . Basically you're right, well adjusted is in the eyes of the beholder. Minna

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 01/03/2012

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Christy I wish my kids were like yours! My 7 year old peed on the couch a few times when I was potty training her!

Christy - posted on 01/03/2012

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Both my kids are perfect. They NEVER cry, hit, argue, pee on themselves, make a mess, start fires, always share, eat only healthy foods, hate sweets, never draw on every surface of my house and furniture, etc etc etc so I must be doing everything right. LOL!!!!!!!!!!!! ;)

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 01/02/2012

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I'm not well adjusted and neither are my children. We have issues.

Aleks - posted on 12/19/2011

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Thanks ladies for clearing up a bit the definition of "well adjusted".
I think I am still going to be irked and annoyed when someone pulls that phrase when defending their parenting methods.
I refuse to say that my kids are well adjusted. Its not up to me to judge that. And frankly I think its a poor cop-out excuse to use to excuse ones methods - yeah, I can spank the shit out them, cio them till the puke, let em watch SAW and play HALO when they are kinder age, etc etc (yes over dramatic but there are parents out there like this dear ladies) but thats ok/it doesn't matter as my kids are well adjusted.
Am sure we have all heard something like the following:
* I spank my 1yo when s/he naughty. I did so with their siblings and they are "well adjusted"
* I CIO all my kids at 3mths and they are "well adjusted"
* I let my little kids hang around while I watch movies rated 15+ (cause they are not interested whats on the tv anyway) and they are well adjusted.
etc etc
Well geez... Are you performing some kind of sociolgically-psychological experiment of how much it does take until they stop being "well adjusted"...lol (saying it jokingly).

To be honest, its not just about spanking/cio etc. However, these are the more debated topics on COM, there are others too. I think that is why I am finding it annoying... I guess.

Kellie - posted on 12/19/2011

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I think surviving childhood when you've been abused and the like relatively unscathed and able to function in life, I.e. hold a job, relationships makes you well adjusted. Lets face it, what some of us go through...

But like Aleksandra, it shits me too when people pull the 'I hit and let my kids CIO until they puke' (ok ok slight overly dramatic), and they're well adjusted isn't a defense for those things.

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BUT.... the comment "my kids are well adjusted" is more used in defense when someone feels their methods are being attacked. I have used it myself when I felt my actions (or lack of) were under attack. And really, how many of us are truly well adjusted? We all have our "quirks" and coping mechanisms, yet we do manage to live within our communities and most of us get along with our lives quite happily despite what may have been done to us as young 'uns.

Charlie - posted on 12/19/2011

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"I don't think CIO, or spanking makes them that way. In fact I'm sure it's detrimental and I'm totally against it."

Exactly, This falls under nurture.
Now when speaking of the parents themselves you often hear " I was spanked and I am well adjusted"

Now personally I find that if a parent continues the pattern of behaviour that inflicts physical pain onto anyone, let alone a child, even under the guise of discipline then this is not well adjusted in a sense of equal treatment as a fellow human.

On a smaller level it has been such a social norm for so long that "adjusting" to be the spanker is almost socially ingrained and so construed as being an action that does not compromise ones integrity.

Ashley - posted on 12/19/2011

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I wouldn't claim that making my kids well adjusted starts with spanking or CIO. I would say despite the fact that they ahve been spanked (one) or has CIO (one) they are well adjusted... but that is no arguement from me. I say it only b/c I hated using CIO, but after nearly killing myself and my child driving after my endless nights of NO sleep I tried a new tactic. that would be my arguement, with baby 2 he was a great sleeper using other methods, and that is my arguement against it lol.

Katherine - posted on 12/19/2011

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Well adjusted hmmmm.........I think if they're reaching their milestones and being their own person they are well adjusted. I don't think CIO, or spanking makes them that way. In fact I'm sure it's detrimental and I'm totally against it. It does irk me when a parent says their child is oh so well adjusted and they spank, or let them CIO. That is really annoying! I've noticed a lot of these posts.

Ashley - posted on 12/19/2011

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I claim that my kids are well adjusted, not due to my spanking or not spanking them, using CIO or not using CIO... which by the way I used for one of my kids and not the other, each child is different. But that is not what this post was about. Ican't say I would ever use well adjusted as an argument to my parenting style but I won't say that it isn't true either.

Charlie - posted on 12/18/2011

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Ah You know what they say of people who comment on spelling ( autocorrected by my phone BTW) avoidance of the discussion at its best.



I don't recall you ever being so rude before Julianne.

Charlie - posted on 12/18/2011

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That's a lot of question marks and capitols, relax would you.
Simple question "did I say it was" could have been answered with a simple " sorry I was addressing (....)" no need for the snarky attitude.

Charlie - posted on 12/18/2011

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Did I say it was ?
Parenting is only part of how a person grows to become well adjusted it isnt the whole picture.

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Being free from a psychological disorder is hardly a justification for a parenting action/style.

Aleks - posted on 12/18/2011

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Hmmm... well thought out Julianne.



but see that is just the total problem with this whole concept of "well adjusted". Do they mean "well behaved"? And if so, then that is just silly anyway. No kid is ever well behaved all of the time.



And also, what I think is a well behaved kid, the person next to me will not and vice versa. It is quite a subjective topic.



Not to mention what I said above then stands. Parents are not able to make that judgement call if their kids are or are not well adjusted- too biased.



It just irks me when someone says it in a thread. I feel like responding: Why don't you come around and I will be a judge of that (well adjusted bit...lol)!

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I assume well adjusted means that they adjust their children to the way they see a "normal" child should behave. So by adjusting their child, they are actually suppressing their true personality.

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