Anna Gregoline | April 14, 2005
What are the most important skills and/or values that children learn from their parents?

(I realize values is becoming a loaded word in our society, I'm just curious to hear from the parents in this forum. Getting married and thinking about the future does that to me!).

John E Gunter | April 14, 2005
Being a constructive member of society and learning to think on their own about things. Also, being able to form their own opinions about things and not just follow the herd as it were.

Also realize, that as a parent, if you have done your job correctly, the child might not turn out exactly as you expected, because they should be their own individual. Also, if you taught them correctly, and they don't follow your teachings, it's not your fault due to the fact that they are an individual and they should be responsible for the choices they make.

Only way I would feel I was a failure was if my child didn't seem to get the idea that they are responsible for their actions and have to be held accountable for what they do. Not completely sure with our grandson, but I think he's beginning to get the idea. He just thinks he can get away with things he's not supposed to do and not get caught.

Once I manage to drill it into him that he'll get caught, either by revealing it himself or by my figuring it out, from some bill for a phone call/television movie rental, etc, then I'll be really happy.

Beyond that, you do what you think is best at the time and realize that if they are an individual, then they might not turn out like you hoped.

John

Lori Lancaster | April 14, 2005
[hidden by request]

Jackie Mason | April 14, 2005
[hidden by request]

Amy Austin | April 15, 2005
Yeah, I recently told a good friend of mine that if I had kids I'd want them to be just like hers, but that seems to be a pretty big crapshoot to me. (Besides, I think she's much closer to canonization than I'll ever be!) Like I told her: somebody, somewhere is the unsuccessful parent of a serial killer... and she can't be feeling too good about herself! ;DDD

Scott Hardie | April 15, 2005
I'm with what John said at the beginning: Teaching the kid to think on her own or his own. If the kid wants something, the kid can explain to me why s/he should get it. The bigger the request, the better the argument needs to be.

This doesn't really apply to little kids; I mean more like late grade-school up. When I wanted something as a kid, I often had to talk my parents into it, and it aided my logical development. I can't imagine a gift I'd rather give to a child than a rational brain.

Then again, I often doubt the things I say I'd do for my kids, because everybody thinks things like that when they're young and childless, before the reality of parenthood sets in. Anybody who is a parent and knows the bullshittitude of my claims is free to roll their eyes and ignore me.

John E Gunter | April 15, 2005
Well, Scott, Aaron, Mike Cote and Patrick can all attest to the fun I have sometimes dealing with my grandson. My wife and I have tried to do a good job raising him, but his outer edges of his environment isn't helping. From some of his friends, to his mother, to the things he likes to do, mainly because of his mother, it is a constant struggle to make the child be a productive member of society.

I personally would never stop an adult from listening to Gangsta music, though I personally don't like it, due to most of the subject matter, but it is someone's expression, and I wouldn't squash that. But, I really prefer not letting my grandson listen to the worst of it. Some songs I'll let him listen to, but most I won't. I've also stopped him from using the n word when referring to his friends, at least around me.

His mother on the other hand, revels in the culture and allows him to wallow in it. I'm sure that this disregard for limiting exposure to these kinds of influences are causing him to have these likes and ideas. But I'm not feeling guilty for the bad habits he's developing, I'm trying to show him that heading down the Gangsta road is a 'dead' end, but I'm not sure he'll figure it out until he hits that 'dead' end.

But, he might get it after he gets past his time of teen angst.

But parenting is a hard job and the right way Jackie is the way you feel is correct at the time. There's no manual for raising kids, I know people say read this book or that book, but you can't generalize when applying those 'instructions' to an individual. Same way as you can't generalize when giving someone medication. Each one of us is different, biologically and mentally, so you have to figure out what's right for that person. To some extent you can generalize about how people will react to certain stimuli, but you have to then tweek the stimuli to that individual.

As far as predicting how the kids will turn out, if I could do that, I'd be a billionaire. You just have to do the best you can and be satisfied that's what you did. Pay attention to what society says is right and try to mold the child into a productive member of society. Otherwise, you get someone who doesn't fit in.

John

Michael Paul Cote | April 15, 2005
I started parenting when I was "late in life". As I got older (not necessarily grew up) having children scared me for some of the same reasons Jackie mentioned. Now that I have a child of my own and two step children, I wouldn't change it. It has opened a world of joy, fear, excitement and a wealth of emotions I can't begin to list. The things that I hope to impart to my young ones are a sense of cause and effect, both good and bad, the difference between right and wrong, the ability to stand on their own two feet, as well as the humility to be able to ask for help if needed. Also, to never be afraid to be different. I'll probably come up with more as I go, but these are the ones I can think of now.
As far as parenthood goes, I recommend it.
Mike

Anna Gregoline | April 15, 2005
I have never met anyone who has kids that tells people, "Don't have kids." Has anyone had that experience?

Kris Weberg | April 15, 2005
No, but I have met several people with kids who make me sure I don't want any.

Seriously, though, a person who has children and says that people in general shouldn't have kids would seem to be revealing a certain feeling in regards to their own children.

Scott Hardie | April 16, 2005
Not that there's anything wrong with that. We all acknowledge how difficult it is to raise kids, so I see only wisdom in advising "don't bother" to those incapable of handling parenthood well. I'm sure a few district attorneys wish they could go back in time and give that advice to the parents who took their kids to visit the Neverland Ranch.

John E Gunter | April 16, 2005
Now that I have had the 'pleasure' of children, I will tell certain people that they shouldn't have kids. That's not to mean that the children are to much of a pain to raise, though there are times when I wonder what my wife was thinking! ;-0

But, I've ran into people who I would warn not to have children because of the challenges and that individual's personality type! Actually, I can think of one right now who should have never had a kid! ;-)

John

Kris Weberg | April 18, 2005
Everyone seems to have ignored those two little words -- "in general" -- in my comment.

John E Gunter | April 18, 2005
I noticed the 'in general' that's why I made the comment about only telling certain people. People 'in general' would get the message that children are great to have, even with the problems that come along, the good times that you have raising a child far out weight any negative, 'in general'.

Get my point?

John

Kris Weberg | April 18, 2005
Well, yeah, because I think we're making the same one.


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