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Monday, May 5, 2008

My child is thirteen and she has begun her independence by wanting individual privacy. She makes decision like parents should not be in her room or that she shouldn’t have to tell us where she is going. Adulthood independence does need to be gained, but as a parent I still feel I need to be a parent and balance her teenage impulses with the respect I as a parent deserves.
For example, I signed my daughter up for Summer Camp and she goes on a rampage. She says flat out that she is not going. She complains that no body ever ask her anything. That we should stop making decisions for her. As far as I see it; if I just leave this child alone she'll sit and watch television all day or spend all her time surfing the web. And I just cannot do that. She has freedom and abuses it. So I suggested sending her to Costa Rica for the Summer? She says no.

Last summer she stayed home and complained so I think she needs some time away. Friends say, I am overprotective and needs to backoff. But how can I? As parent’s our role includes protecting the child at any cost. Knowing where our child is going to be and who he or she going to be with is part of a parent’s protective role. A parent’s role is also to be a friend to his or her child. A friend trusts his or her friends and believes friends will do right by him or her. Discussing with your teenager why you want to know when and where he or she is going can help both you and your teenager realize what each other expects. Let your teenager know that you would like the information for safety reasons and to give you peace of mind.

True, as a teenager she does need to be able to establish her independence and privacy, but I know my child and the activities and friends she is involved with. The stuff she writes and the people she converse with on her IM tells me alot; so then I need to do something. I know right now that, she is crossing the established boundaries, because she is testing limits lately. Oftentimes, I try to reestablish the boundaries. Sometimes I succeed and sometimes I fail. But, I try. One of my friends, says, sometimes, letting teenagers commit the mistake before parents step in to be parent can help them learn that there are consequences for their wrong actions and decisions. However, it is also important that the child knows that parents trust him or her to do the right thing.

Well, I try to keep an open dialogue ; especially in these changing times and try to understand the needs of my child from her point of view. It's very difficult but it's helping make the right decisions in being a parent and a friend. Parenting is hard work. Children do not come with a manual.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Spoiled Child

Temper, tantrums, crying: There is nothing more distressing than hearing your child cry over something that he or she wants, but you have told your child that he or she can’t have it. I have experienced this type of behavior from my child several times. These days children are so smart; if you let your guard down they'll get away with just about anything. Children approach me while I am on the telephone because I am distracted. Many times it feels so easy to give in and allow them to have the item; so I can have peace and quiet. However, I discovered that when I give in to my child’s demands over time, my child was throwing tantrums when she did not get her own way and was turning into a spoiled child. I don't blame her for this because by giving in after I said no, led my child to learn that she can get anything she wants by pushing my buttons and I really had to rethink my actions.

The first step to ensuring that a child does not become “The Spoiled One” is to be consistent in what you tell him or her. Teach your child that when you say ‘no’ you mean ‘no’. Even if your child screams at the top of his or her lungs for hours on end, by not giving in you teach your child that there is no reward for the wrong behavior and you are not going to back down.

The second step to ensuring that your child does not become “The Spoiled One” is to not bribe your child into performing the right behavior. Your child may learn that unless he or she is given something, he or she does not have to behave. Rewarding your child for the correct behavior after he or she has done it of his or her own free will is all right.

The third step to ensuring that your child does not become “The Spoiled one” is to not give your child everything he or she wants even if you have the money for it. Teach your child to learn how to live without things and to respect what he or she has.

Learning how to be firm and consistent with your child can be difficult, but over time it will get easier.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Child Discipline

Children can be easily embarrassed in public especially if they are disciplined when their friends are present. I am guilty and have discipline my child in public. I just lost it.
What I learn though is that when a child behaves badly in public, disciplining him or her in public may make the situation worse. As a parent, I have learned the errors of my ways. Effective discipline works and learning to handle bad behavior properly has helped my child to create proper respect for me.

Yelling may bring unwanted attention to a child. This unwanted attention can lead a child to believe that you don’t care about him or her because you embarrass your child. Or your child can continue to perform the unwanted action to gain the attention. Very often, I see parents embarassing themselves as they embarass their children. When I take my child out. Even before we leave the house I explain the kind of behavior I expect and what will ensue should my words fall on deaf ears.

Creating a way to let a child know that the behavior is unacceptable quietly can get the attention of your child quicker. A facial look or a hand signal can offer the warning signal that your child may need to remind him or her to behave. The behavior can then be discussed in private and appropriate actions can be taken.

Children may also draw attention to themselves in public by throwing a temper tantrum, because they are not getting their way. Many people do not appreciate a screaming child, but as a parent, not giving in to the demands of your child will minimize public outbursts in the future. Taking your child directly to the car to remove him or her from the public place will allow your child to settle down and the appropriate discussions to take place before re-entering the public place.

Recognizing that a child is an individual who will do things wrong is important. However, it is also important to teach that child that he or she is respected and will not be embarassed in public. Or, that you expect respect by not being embarrassed in public by misbehaving.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Rebellous Teen

It's 6 p.m. the phone rings. My 12 year old teacher is on the line. Your child is not doing homework, disrupts the class, and is being disrespectful. please come down call the school and ask for me at ext 331. This is like the third time I get those types of call. I speak to my child to find out what's going on and the story goes like this. I was just sitting there and some kids were goofing around and the teacher says she's calling my parents. I am pissed; Getting a call from the principal’s office is one of the last calls I want to receive during the day. Finding out that my child has been misbehaving and now has to stay in detention is not the type of news I want to hear. To receive these phone calls on a frequent basis causes me to become over emotional and I feel like a failure and I want to ground that child for life. So, I speak to friends ask how their family relationships are as far as the children are concerned and they explain that they've been in a similar situations. They even advise me that before I see my child I should take a deep breath, count to ten and get ready to talk to my child about the problems going on. They say, I should have a cool head and never approach the child in anger.

Anger and embarrassment as a parent is the type of reaction I have when I continually get these types of phone calls. I don't know the reason why my child continues to get into trouble and what I can do to correct the situation.I speak with my child to find out what’s happening to cause this behavior. I ask whether she is getting along with other students? Is she being bullied by someone? Does she understand the work? Is she and the teacher getting along? All I get is no.The lectures on the value of an Education is not appealing. I mention that no one wants to be at the bottom; everyone wants to be at the top. The child is not listening.

I'm aware that many times situations arise when there is a conflict with another person. I don't know if she is bored in class or not getting the attention that she needs. I signed my child into detention so she will get her work done there as the teacher says. I come home and felt like detention was a bad idea. I'm at whits end because I just don't know what to do

I know that the teenage years are the most difficult; yet still this is no excuse for such behavior. What else should a parent do when teenagers exhibit such behavior. If I ram my fist down her throat, there will be an outburst and the proclamation will read "child abuse". How can a parent bring up a child to be productive in society if controls are taken away from the parents thereby limiting the authority of parents as to how they should implement discipline. Every child is different and the type of discipline administered does not work for all. What is a parent suppose to do when time outs and taking away of toys and privileges don't work? How can we win the battle as parents?

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