Parenting Strategies

Emilene - posted on 05/09/2009 ( 2 moms have responded )

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I have 4 children (2 babies & 2 school age). My two daughters are ages 8 and 11. I do my best to keep to the rules of our house in the hopes that in a few years I will not be dealing 2 out-of-control teenagers. One rule in our home is that the girls are responsible for keeping up with the tiny bedroom that they share, since the only mess that is ever made in there is their clothes covering every inch of the floor instead of in the dressers or closet. It is a constant battle to get the girls to comply and do the one task they are assigned to. Most of the time they push the limits of my patience until they get themselves grounded, which is not easy to do. My problem is the neighbor across the street who's daughter is a playmate of my children. She often comes to my door to ask if my girls can please come out to play with her child & her tone & words relay to me that she thinks I'm some sort of tyrant who doesn't want to allow her children outside & that I am just plain mean. All of this coming from an alchoholic woman with only one child, I feel silly when it causes me to second guess myself & my decisions. I wonder, if I were to let them grow up with no consequences for bad behavior & no sense of responsibility, what kind of parent would I be then? And what kind of adults would my girls become? I'm unsure how to deal with this woman without ruining the friendship between my girls & that woman's child. If anyone has some advice, I'm all ears.

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Lisa - posted on 05/10/2009

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So do you mean she comes to the door and your girls are grounded? If that's the case I'd just explain that to her. If she disagrees then tough. The other alternative would be to suggest that if your girls' room is tidy then the neighbour's daughter can come to your house. My grandmother didn't like my uncle going out and about with his friends but she was happy to have them over at their house, then she could keep an eye on them all LOL

Anyway, stick to your guns, like Tamara said, you want to instill lessons now so you know you can trust them later.

Tamara - posted on 05/10/2009

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That's a hard one. I have 3 daughters; ages 8, 10, & 12. When my oldest was 9 I had her at the pediatrician for her checkup, and he said something that has stuck with me. Train her now how you want her to behave because once she hits 11 years old she will be the person she will be as a teenager. Now, that may not be the magic number, but it was pretty much true. She would not have been able to be molded at this point in her life. You still have time to intervene. IT IS NOT EASY! I am hard on my kids in the respect of who they hang out with, how they behave, and things that will shape what kind of adult they will be. We have the burden of making sure our kids don't become your neighbor across the street(burdens on society). And I have to reassure myself of that when I feel like an ass for being too strict. I have daily issues with getting them to cleanup their space. That battle will probably never be won by me. I am more concerned with their pending teen years, I have seen what happens when parents aren't stern enough, and I refuse to let that be me. You will not be popular for awhile, but trust me, it will be worth it.

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