Author Topic: What Happened???  (Read 21261 times)

Offline RouxB

  • BetterMost Welcome Wagon & Contributor
  • BetterMost Moderator
  • BetterMost 1000+ Posts Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,469
  • ...a love that will never grow old
Re: What Happened???
« Reply #120 on: February 17, 2012, 10:06:12 pm »
As I recall, the dad begins the movie as the typical ambitious, workaholic dad. Then the wife abruptly leaves to "find herself." The dad is forced to take over and become a more engaged parent, resentfully and clumsily at first, but with increasing sensitivity and involvement and appreciation for the role. Eventually there's some sort of showdown where he has to choose between work and family. He chooses family. In the end, the wife returns and, I think, wants the kid back. The dad argues that he should retain custody and in the end he does.

In other words, it's basically the story of the struggle that most mothers with careers are familiar with in real life (whether the dad remains in the picture or not). But in this case, hey --- it's a dad deciding that his kid's important! Let's all celebrate! Wow, he's such a great father!!!!  ::) ::) ::)

He takes over the single parent role and eventually he and the kid fall into a great relationship. Wife  and wantsreturns and wants custody back. Right before they go to court he looses his job and knows he has no chance of getting custody with no job. He pounds the pavement Christmas eve and gets a job for which he is way over qualified. He looses the custody case and he and the kid are completely wreaked about it. The day he is to turn the kid back over to the mom she decides the kid is better off with him and lets him keep him.

They part as friends.




Heathen

Offline serious crayons

  • BetterMost Moderator
  • The BetterMost 10,000 Post Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 18,602
Re: What Happened???
« Reply #121 on: February 17, 2012, 10:24:51 pm »
Oh, that's right -- I'd forgotten about the Christmas Eve job hunt. When I was unemployed, I never bothered applying for jobs over the holidays because I know nobody would be thinking about hiring. I now realize it's because, subconsciously, I remember this scene.



Offline milomorris

  • BetterMost 5000+ Posts Club
  • *******
  • Posts: 6,427
  • No crybabies
Re: What Happened???
« Reply #122 on: February 18, 2012, 02:29:31 am »
If you answer no, then I was a parent.  For only two years, but I was.  My niece certainly thought I was because within a few weeks, SHE was calling me 'mom'.  

No. You were not a parent. You were an aunt. Aunts, uncles, cousins, in-laws, etc. can all take care of children, and contribute to their upbringing. That happens every day. It happened in my childhood. Yet none of those other family members were parents.
  The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

--Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Offline Kelda

  • BetterMost Supporter!
  • BetterMost Moderator
  • The BetterMost 10,000 Post Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 14,685
  • Zorbing....
    • Keldas Facebook Page!
Re: What Happened???
« Reply #123 on: February 18, 2012, 03:03:59 pm »
Del, my opinion is that just because you did the bulk of childcare, that still doesn't make you a parent.

If that was the case, you could say that the workers in a day care centre are parents to children that are in their care for the majority of each working day.

Whether your niece called you Mum, is irrelevant. You did not have overall responsibilty for her. You could not make medical decisions for her, or schooling or nursery care decisions for her. You weren't her legal guardian. And you didn't have to think long term about her future.

I'm not saying you weren't good at caring for her or fabulous at it for that matter. I'm not saying you weren't a doting aunt. But you weren't a parent.

Ah, so you're saying that people out there with 2 year olds are not parents?

That's what you're saying, right?

Two years I lived with my sister and did the bulk of the childcare mean nothing?

So two years doesn't count, right?

OK, tell that to all the people out there who have recently adopted, fostered or have two year old children.

HEY YOU OUT THERE, KELDA AND MILO SAY YOU'RE NOT "REAL" PARENTS.

True, right?

If your answer is yes, then I'll buy your statement and we can spread the word that REAL parents have a probationary period that they have to pass before being 'accepted' as a 'real' parent.  What is it, 3 years?  10?   35?  What do you suggest?

If you answer no, then I was a parent.  For only two years, but I was.  My niece certainly thought I was because within a few weeks, SHE was calling me 'mom'.  

And I guess what she thought is what really counts.

As for child care, who knows, maybe I was a natural and I just didn't get to practice much.  Some people are better at adapting than others.  My niece was hyperactive.  She wasn't by any means a nice, quiet child.  So she was difficult, comparatively speaking, yet I had no problems with her.

ETA:  I know you didn't mean it that way Kelda, but it is extremely offensive to suggest that there is some sort of probationary period before someone is considered a 'true' parent.  Like our definition of families has expanded greatly, so must our definition of parents.  It's not a sacred cow and there is no one real way to be a parent.
http://www.idbrass.com

Please use the following links when shopping online -It will help us raise money without costing you a penny.

http://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/idb

http://idb.easysearch.org.uk/

Offline serious crayons

  • BetterMost Moderator
  • The BetterMost 10,000 Post Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 18,602
Re: What Happened???
« Reply #124 on: February 18, 2012, 08:12:10 pm »
If that was the case, you could say that the workers in a day care centre are parents to children that are in their care for the majority of each working day.


Good point, Kelda. Even full-time nannies are rarely confused with parents.

But also, I'd like to emphasize that even an actual parent can only speak from the experience of that parent, with that child.

So while it's true that someone who hasn't been a parent really has no authority to say what all parents in general should or shouldn't do, even someone who has his or her own children does not hold that authority. It's the purest arrogance for anyone to claim to know how other people should live their lives.



Offline ifyoucantfixit

  • BetterMost 5000+ Posts Club
  • *******
  • Posts: 8,049
Re: What Happened???
« Reply #125 on: February 18, 2012, 10:56:51 pm »


  As a point of information.  My grandson and his son, live with my daughter, and my husband, and I.  We have four generations living in the same house.  (It works well for us.) for different reasons.  My grandsons, do not call me mom.  The greatgrandson, calls myself, and his grandmom, mom, or mom, mom.  That is because he has
not graduated to the ability to differentiate his names for us.  We always remind him who we really are.  He will get the hang of it eventually, I am sure.  All of us adults, are the ones that counsel, and tell the kids, when we think they are doing something wrong.  Even though, I am not a parent to them.  They respect me and listen, with no animosity.  That is because I have always been a component in their life.



     Beautiful mind

Offline RouxB

  • BetterMost Welcome Wagon & Contributor
  • BetterMost Moderator
  • BetterMost 1000+ Posts Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,469
  • ...a love that will never grow old
Re: What Happened???
« Reply #126 on: February 19, 2012, 12:59:22 am »
Good point, Kelda. Even full-time nannies are rarely confused with parents.

But also, I'd like to emphasize that even an actual parent can only speak from the experience of that parent, with that child.

So while it's true that someone who hasn't been a parent really has no authority to say what all parents in general should or shouldn't do, even someone who has his or her own children does not hold that authority. It's the purest arrogance for anyone to claim to know how other people should live their lives.


That's pretty absolute...

And I can, absolultely, say that I can come up with a few things that ALL parents shouldn't do in raising their children-I'm sure you can too.
Being able to look at a situation and see potential outcomes is not telling others how they should live their lives. I am not a parent and will never have the perpective of one. I can't fully appreciate on all the levels the difficulties of raising a child and would never claim to know them. But I know enough about child development and have enough common sense to have a valid opinion about what may not be an optimal  choice in a given situation.

Case in point-bedtimes. My brother and sister-in-law are very busy people. Very. Busy. People. My 9 year niece runs track and plays soccer and she is very good at both so ends up on too many teams they end up practicing at night. Plus they are heavily involved in the kids'school and homework is pretty intense. LSS, bedtimes and bedtime routine are difficult to maintain. I know that the things that they do are, in large part, an effort to provide opportunity for the kids-good parenting. But I also know that the kids don't get enough sleep and I see the outcome of that in their behavior. My 4 year nephew is a terror when he is tired and he is often tired. My niece has a hard time getting up in the morning wihich makes them late (and makes mom ugly and cranky) and makes it hard for her to concentrate in school-which impacts her grades which impacts moms behavior. I don't need to be a parent to see that some things need to change with their schedules as they are having a detrimental effect on the kids. I don't voice my opinion about this to anyone but my own parents but if I were, is that really arrogance??  One minute we are lamenting that the village is not there to raise the kids and in the next breath we are telling the village to butt out-or at least the childless members. You can't have it both ways. Being the parent that thinks s/he has nothing to learn from anyone other than another parent seems pretty arrogant to me.

People don't like to be criticized for their parenting. I does't matter where it's coming from-another parent or a childless person. I think this "you aren't a parent so you don't know" is just a lot of talk and badge.
 
That arrogance is not sitting on just one side of the fence.

Heathen

Offline serious crayons

  • BetterMost Moderator
  • The BetterMost 10,000 Post Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 18,602
Re: What Happened???
« Reply #127 on: February 19, 2012, 04:14:51 am »
One minute we are lamenting that the village is not there to raise the kids and in the next breath we are telling the village to butt out-or at least the childless members. You can't have it both ways. Being the parent that thinks s/he has nothing to learn from anyone other than another parent seems pretty arrogant to me.

Well, then I'm glad I didn't say that, and in fact said something pretty close to the opposite of that, in fact twice. I said it's not just a matter of not being a parent, it's a matter of not being that specific parent, having that specific kid, living in that specific community, etc. Other parents can be arrogant, too -- often more so. Thinking you know how somebody else should fix their problems is a stretch whether you are a parent or not. Or for that matter, whether the subject is parenting or not. Somebody else may think it's "just that easy" to see how I could lose 20 pounds or get a better job or keep a cleaner house or what have you. Oh yeah? Well, I'm not perfect but it's just possible that, not being me, you don't fully understand all the factors and that it's really not as "easy" as it appears from the outside.

God knows I don't have enough information to judge your brother and sister-in-law, and maybe they are total idiots and don't know the first thing about running a household, but from what you said it seems to me at least possible that they are intelligent, responsible people who have their reasons for making the choices they make, even if they have downsides and seem like the wrong choices to you. One rule I have made for myself since becoming a parent -- and only since becoming a parent; I didn't use to be this way -- is to withhold judgement of loving parents who appear to be doing the best they can. In the vast majority of cases, believe it or not, even outright parenting mistakes will not leave long-term scars.

Does that mean nobody has any business judging an abusive parent or a parent who leaves the four-year-old alone in the house while she's out dong meth? Of course not. We're talking about caring, responsible, if imperfect, people.

So yeah, it does particularly raise my hackles when someone who does not have kids looks around and declares that most of the people she sees who DO have kids are doing it wrong. Um, maybe you need to be in their shoes before you can really judge a whole population for screwing up something you haven't even tried.

(I can never resist a food analogy. If I am trying to lose 20 pounds, who am I going to pay more attention to, someone else who has successfully lost 20 pounds, or someone who has always been thin? I have heard thin people imply that it's "easy" to stay slim: you just exercise and don't eat too much. Wow, if only I'd known that earlier!)

And actually, this isn't at all inconsistent to my comments about the village, which it seems you might have taken too literally, though that was the distinction I was trying to make. Again, I wasn't complaining that the village doesn't live with its sister and help care for her 2-year-old, although that's a perfectly nice thing to do. Nor was I saying the village needs to step in and give parents more constructive criticism.

My whole point was that what I see happening is a village/culture laying the entire responsibility on parents to control everything children are exposed to, and then going blithely along supporting the very aspects of the village that makes parents' jobs more difficult than they used to be. (One of the people commenting here who seemed to understand this and agree, BTW, does not have kids.) But I'm not talking about people this thread, necessarily -- I'm talking about what I said that triggered this whole debate, the idea that our pop culture constantly tells kids that adults (and parents, and just about all grownup values) are idiotic, and that it's smart and cool to be a kid and call everything bullshit, not to mention take drugs and have irresponsible sex and be violent and blah blah blah ... and then when the kids do those things, who's to blame? Yeah, you guessed it. And the village does this for the perfectly cynical reason of making money. I don't idealize the 1950s, not by a long shot, but one thing they did do right back then, it seems to me, was to have a dominant pop culture that portrayed maturity and responsibility as having value.

But when I expressed that thought before, I was told condescendingly that "it's easy" -- just put the genie back in the bottle, get rid of your computer and TV, keep your kids from having any exposure to pop culture, lock them in a tower, that's all there is to it, what's  your problem, why are you so undisciplined? My answer to that is, yeah, tell me that when you have a houseful of kids.

Quote
People don't like to be criticized for their parenting. I does't matter where it's coming from-another parent or a childless person. I think this "you aren't a parent so you don't know" is just a lot of talk and badge.
 
That arrogance is not sitting on just one side of the fence.


I may very well be arrogant, but not, I would argue, for this particular thing. I don't care if you have no kids or four kids or you're the f'ing Duggars, if someone looks at my life based on what little I've said on this board and decides on that basis that I'm "undisciplined" and am screwing up as a parent and that it would be "easy" to fix everything, I'm not going to take them very seriously.

Yet what's interesting is that, with all my faults -- including being a journalist who surely must occasionally portray people in ways they don't like-- I almost never get criticized by people I barely know. Except when it comes to parenting stuff. That's where the village really does seem to take its stand. The village may not be particularly helpful, but one thing it does not hesitate to do is criticize parents.




Offline RouxB

  • BetterMost Welcome Wagon & Contributor
  • BetterMost Moderator
  • BetterMost 1000+ Posts Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,469
  • ...a love that will never grow old
Re: What Happened???
« Reply #128 on: February 19, 2012, 06:40:49 am »
Well, then I'm glad I didn't say that, and in fact said something pretty close to the opposite of that, in fact twice. I said it's not just a matter of not being a parent, it's a matter of not being that specific parent, having that specific kid, living in that specific community, etc. Other parents can be arrogant, too -- often more so. Thinking you know how somebody else should fix their problems is a stretch whether you are a parent or not. Or for that matter, whether the subject is parenting or not. Somebody else may think it's "just that easy" to see how I could lose 20 pounds or get a better job or keep a cleaner house or what have you. Oh yeah? Well, I'm not perfect but it's just possible that, not being me, you don't fully understand all the factors and that it's really not as "easy" as it appears from the outside.
Sometimes it doesn't matter if it is specific or general.  What if sometimes it isthat easy?? What if sometimes it takes someone from outside of the situation to see it clearly? If we were all able to clearly see our own paths there would be no need for therapists! I think we get so mired in our own goo sometimes that not only can't we see beyond that but we also get so defensive about it that we refuse to accept the very things that might be in our best interest. What if sometimes we are what is standing in our own way?

The point I am trying to make is that you don't know where your next inspiration or light bulb moment is going to come from so why close the door? Sure, peoples lives are complicated and we can't know all the factors that impact a behavior but that doesn't mean we can't have some insight into a path that might result in a different outcome. I might not understand the whys and wherefores or the factors that dictate your choices but that doesn't mean I can't see that changing the behaviors will get you a different outcome.  Using your example-if I want to lose 20lbs and you know I want to lose 20lbs and I lament the fact that I just can't seem to loose no matter what I do and we are having lunch and I have a salad with a cup of full fat salad dressing on it you are going to have some insight into why I can't loose weight. You may not know the thought process behind why I am making the choices that I am but you know the behavior is impacting the problem.

Quote
God knows I don't have enough information to judge your brother and sister-in-law, and maybe they are total idiots and don't know the first thing about running a household, but from what you said it seems to me at least possible that they are intelligent, responsible people who have their reasons for making the choices they make, even if they have downsides and seem like the wrong choices to you. One rule I have made for myself since becoming a parent -- and only since becoming a parent; I didn't use to be this way -- is to withhold judgement of loving parents who appear to be doing the best they can. In the vast majority of cases, believe it or not, even outright parenting mistakes will not leave long-term scars.

This illustrates the point I am trying to make. Many of the problems that they have with the kids are due to the kids' sleep deprivation. Using this example, kids need sufficient sleep in order for their brains to develop and function properly. That isn't my judgement, that's fact. So what in their lives can be more important than their kids' health and development? They would, of course, say nothing is. But when you break down the behavior into its component parts, that is not what you get. Parenthood is one big giant sacrifice and this is just one more. They have to make choices-difficult choices affect a different outcome. The lifestyle changes may not be easy but the reason for them are pretty simple and straight forward.
But they are in the thick of it and just trying to get through each demanding day and aren't necessarily looking beyond that.

They are loving parents and trying to do the best that they can and I am a loving aunt who sees how the choices they make impact their kids. So what I do is step in to help them whenever they need extra hands. I try to show them a different way by doing. How differently the kids behave when they get sufficient sleep. How having a bedtime routine makes it so much easier to get them to bed. How I can get them to do things without yelling at them. My sister-in-law then adopts some of those behaviors and things change. I don't tell her how she should be raising her kids but I do show her how a different approach might get her what she wants.

[quote(I can never resist a food analogy. If I am trying to lose 20 pounds, who am I going to pay more attention to, someone else who has successfully lost 20 pounds, or someone who has always been thin? I have heard many thin people imply that it's "easy" to stay slim: you just exercise and don't eat too much. Wow, if only I'd known that earlier!)
][/quote]

And I am going to pay more attention to the person who has a lifestyle and attitude towards food that I know will benefit me in the long run. I may be inspired by someone who has lost weight but I am going to try to follow the path of a person who has a lifestyle that is, and always has been, consistent with what I want. If the question is "how do you stay slim" the answer is easy. I'm certainly needing to lose those 20 lbs. and, for me, that would be easy if only I were willing to make the sacrifices I need to make to do it. There is nothing complicated about that and I am not going to make any excuses about it. If 20lbs is all that needs to be lost and it isn't happening that is due to a lack of commitment. You can make every excuse under the sun but the bottom line is those 20 lbs are there because you don't make the changes you need to make to get rid of them. I am a chub and I have been rocking slim so I can speak from both perspectives.

Quote
My whole point was that what I see happening is a village/culture laying the entire responsibility on parents to control everything children are exposed to, and then going blithely along supporting the very aspects of the village that makes parents' jobs more difficult than they used to be. (One of the people commenting here who seemed to understand this and agree, BTW, does not have kids.) But I'm not talking about people this thread, necessarily -- I'm talking about what I said that triggered this whole debate, the idea that our pop culture constantly tells kids that adults (and parents, and just about all grownup values) are idiotic, and that it's smart and cool to be a kid and call everything bullshit, not to mention take drugs and have irresponsible sex and be violent and blah blah blah ... and then when the kids do those things, who's to blame? Yeah, you guessed it. And the village does this for the perfectly cynical reason of making money. I don't idealize the 1950s, not by a long shot, but one thing they did do right back then, it seems to me, was to have a dominant pop culture that portrayed maturity and responsibility as having value.

But when I expressed that thought before, I was told condescendingly that "it's easy" -- just put the genie back in the bottle, get rid of your computer and TV, keep your kids from having any exposure to pop culture, lock them in a tower, that's all there is to it, what's  your problem, why are you so undisciplined? My answer to that is, yeah, tell me that when you have a houseful of kids.

I don't disagree with your basic premise. Much of the village is shite and can't be relied on to do much of anything good. But I disagree with the "its easy" interpretation. What I got out of that and what I agree with is that many kids today are so incredibly entitled and parents both create and facilitate that. Kids don't have to have all the crap that is available for them to have, or to keep all the crap that they do have when they don't follow the rules. I don't have kids but I know for damn sure that rewarding kids for bad behavior will continue the bad behavior and rewarding them for good behavior will result in continued good behavior. In the same way that one can't lay all the fault on the parents' doorstep, one also can't blame the outside influences when one refuses to do whatever it takes to keep ones kids on as good (I was gonna say straight but I'm not about that ;D) a path as possible. I talk to plenty of parents who complain about their kids but won't take a stand for fear the kid "won't like me" or other but but but.

Quote
I may very well be arrogant, but not, I would argue, for this particular thing. I don't care if you have no kids or four kids or you're the f'ing Duggars, if someone looks at my life based on what little I've said on this board and decides on that basis that I'm "undisciplined" and am screwing up as a parent and that it would be "easy" to fix everything, I'm not going to take them very seriously.

Nor should you, and that isn't about arrogance. And it isn't even about you. I don't know anything about kids or your struggles or much of anything about you really. I only know what you tell us. Maybe the feedback that we get/give is shit, maybe it's gold. You won't know unless you let it into your world of possibilities.

Heathen

Offline serious crayons

  • BetterMost Moderator
  • The BetterMost 10,000 Post Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 18,602
Re: What Happened???
« Reply #129 on: February 19, 2012, 01:33:16 pm »
If we were all able to clearly see our own paths there would be no need for therapists!

Therapists are people who go through years of special training. And they're people whose advice is explicitly requested. And who tend to reserve judgement until they've spent hours listening to various facets of the situation. And, as someone who has seen therapists for both myself and for my son, I can tell you that even then they often are not particularly helpful.

The most helpful child therapist I ever talked to, BTW, the one who most fully and clearly understood my son's situation, in the end did not have any "easy" advice. He didn't even think therapy would work, particularly. What he did suggest is that I learn to ignore other people's criticism because they often won't know what they're talking about, that I proceed by trial and error keeping in mind that what works one week might not work the next, and that it might be helpful to join a support group of parents who actually have experienced similar situations, to commiserate if nothing else.

Quote
The point I am trying to make is that you don't know where your next inspiration or light bulb moment is going to come from so why close the door? Sure, peoples lives are complicated and we can't know all the factors that impact a behavior but that doesn't mean we can't have some insight into a path that might result in a different outcome. I might not understand the whys and wherefores or the factors that dictate your choices but that doesn't mean I can't see that changing the behaviors will get you a different outcome.

I agree with this. It's possible that I can hear something helpful from you, or a magazine article or TV show, or an advertisement on the subway, or an overheard snippet of conversation -- something that I can put into practice in my own life and will make a difference. But it's difficult for an outsider to know for sure that piece of advice is workable and useful because, as you say, you may not understand all the factors that dictate my choices.

Quote
Using your example-if I want to lose 20lbs and you know I want to lose 20lbs and I lament the fact that I just can't seem to loose no matter what I do and we are having lunch and I have a salad with a cup of full fat salad dressing on it you are going to have some insight into why I can't loose weight. You may not know the thought process behind why I am making the choices that I am but you know the behavior is impacting the problem.

This may be straying a little OT, but it's a good illustration of why what appears to be an obvious and "simple" answer is not always so simple. There are numerous rational reasons why a person trying to lose 20 pounds would opt for full-fat dressing. Maybe she's following a low-carb diet, most of which caution against low-fat dressings because they contain added sugar. Maybe she can't abide low-fat salad dressing, and knows that if she gets it she won't enjoy her salad, so what's the point of eating out and getting a salad. Maybe she knows that the difference between low-fat and full-fat dressing is only about 75 calories (on WW, it's a couple of points), and has already factored that into her daily allowances. I myself pretty much always eat full-fat dressing, even when I'm dieting, because I hate low-fat dressing. (And no, that's not the reason I need to lose 20 pounds. I have managed to lose weight in the past while continuing to eat full-fat dressing -- maybe I'm more likely to succeed if I can enjoy my salads and am not trying to choke down food that I hate.) Heck, maybe your friend is just opting to go off her diet, for reasons you aren't privy to or couldn't fully understand because you don't occupy her body. In any case, your friend probably already knows damn well that full-fat dressing has more calories than low-fat, don't you think? That's not exactly arcane information in this culture.

Now, I'm not saying no information is ever helpful. As we know from the Eat This, Not That books and others, sometimes a food that appears to be healthy and low-calorie is surprisingly not, and vise versa. So if you've got special information to share, I'm all ears! But if you're going to solve my 20-pound problem on the basis of what salad dressing I choose during the one meal that you witness, maybe not.

Quote
This illustrates the point I am trying to make. Many of the problems that they have with the kids are due to the kids' sleep deprivation. Using this example, kids need sufficient sleep in order for their brains to develop and function properly. That isn't my judgement, that's fact. So what in their lives can be more important than their kids' health and development? They would, of course, say nothing is. But when you break down the behavior into its component parts, that is not what you get. Parenthood is one big giant sacrifice and this is just one more. They have to make choices-difficult choices affect a different outcome. The lifestyle changes may not be easy but the reason for them are pretty simple and straight forward.
But they are in the thick of it and just trying to get through each demanding day and aren't necessarily looking beyond that.

They are loving parents and trying to do the best that they can and I am a loving aunt who sees how the choices they make impact their kids. So what I do is step in to help them whenever they need extra hands. I try to show them a different way by doing. How differently the kids behave when they get sufficient sleep. How having a bedtime routine makes it so much easier to get them to bed. How I can get them to do things without yelling at them. My sister-in-law then adopts some of those behaviors and things change. I don't tell her how she should be raising her kids but I do show her how a different approach might get her what she wants.

Well, that's great then, a happy ending. I'm not really in a position to analyze their situation any further, although I WAS wondering why, if you felt you could make a helpful suggestion, you didn't just tactfully make it.

BTW, on the subject of relatives helping out, my kids were always much better behaved when staying with their grandparents. Amazingly, all they had to do was tell them to do something, and they'd do it! For a long time, my in-laws assumed it was because they were more effective at dealing with kids. Eventually they did realize that it wasn't that simple.

Quote
And I am going to pay more attention to the person who has a lifestyle and attitude towards food that I know will benefit me in the long run. I may be inspired by someone who has lost weight but I am going to try to follow the path of a person who has a lifestyle that is, and always has been, consistent with what I want.

In my experience, someone who has struggled for a long time with their weight usually knows more about food and exercise and what it takes to diet than someone who has always been thin. And among people who have always been thin, there are those who exercise and eat healthy, and there are those who wouldn't walk around the block and spend every night eating chips in front of the TV. Lifetime thinness often has more to do with genes than lifestyle. Even for thin people who DO all the right things, there is generally much less "sacrifice" involved -- those choices often just come more naturally. My ex-husband genuinely LOVES to exercise -- he doesn't have to force himself into the gym. I've known people who might have a plate of homemade cookies on the counter and not even think about them, whereas I would be constantly aware they are there and eventually devour six of them. The thin people are not consciously sacrificing, or exercising all their willpower, as I would have to -- cookies just aren't important to them. (BTW, if we both lived 500,000 years ago, or maybe even 500, I would likely be flourishing and the thin person who doesn't really love fattening foods would be dead.)

So no, if a thin person says to me, "Just don't eat the cookies! It's really that easy!" I'm not going to take it as seriously as someone who has lost 20 pounds and gives me advice based on having struggled with a similar situation and found a solution (make a kind of cookies you dislike, allow yourself one as a treat but write down the calories, or whatever -- not saying these are necessarily magic solutions, either, but they're more constructive).

Quote
If the question is "how do you stay slim" the answer is easy. I'm certainly needing to lose those 20 lbs. and, for me, that would be easy if only I were willing to make the sacrifices I need to make to do it. There is nothing complicated about that and I am not going to make any excuses about it. If 20lbs is all that needs to be lost and it isn't happening that is due to a lack of commitment. You can make every excuse under the sun but the bottom line is those 20 lbs are there because you don't make the changes you need to make to get rid of them. I am a chub and I have been rocking slim so I can speak from both perspectives.

I am a chub and have been rocking slim, too, and I see it as far more difficult than that. Losing weight involves sacrifices, yes, but sometimes those sacrifices are relatively easy and sometimes they aren't. Sometimes I can eat nothing but healthy stuff for a week or two with very little effort, maybe lose a few pounds, and think, "Wow, I could go on like this forever!" And then -- BAM. Suddenly, I can't. I can't fully explain the reasons, but I suspect they have to do with biological and/or psychological processes that are far more complicated than simple matters of discipline or willpower.

If the answer to weight loss were "easy," weight loss wouldn't be a $75 trillion (or whatever) industry of books and programs and foods and whatnot. And you wouldn't have scientists starting to admit outright (as they did in a NYT Magazine article a couple of weeks ago) that successful permanent weight loss is so rare that they're beginning to consider it not really possible, at least not for most of the population. Is it possible to lose weight? Sure, I've lost 20 pounds probably six or seven times in my adult life. And I do know a few people who've lost weight and kept it off for, say, 10 years or more. I myself have never made it more than about three.

Quote
I know for damn sure that rewarding kids for bad behavior will continue the bad behavior and rewarding them for good behavior will result in continued good behavior.

You would think so, wouldn't you? It certainly makes logical sense. Sadly, it's not always that simple. For example, I have two sons. One of them has probably spent more time confined to his room in a given week than the other has spent cumulatively in his entire life. Which do you think is the better behaved?

Quote
In the same way that one can't lay all the fault on the parents' doorstep, one also can't blame the outside influences when one refuses to do whatever it takes to keep ones kids on as good (I was gonna say straight but I'm not about that ;D) a path as possible. I talk to plenty of parents who complain about their kids but won't take a stand for fear the kid "won't like me" or other but but but.

I can think of buts, there are plenty of buts. I guess "the kid won't like me" would not be one I've heard much, myself, though.

Could some parents improve their parenting? Sure. My point here was not that every parent is already doing everything perfectly. My point is that their situations are often more complicated than they appear to a casual observer.,

Quote
Nor should you, and that isn't about arrogance. And it isn't even about you. I don't know anything about kids or your struggles or much of anything about you really. I only know what you tell us. Maybe the feedback that we get/give is shit, maybe it's gold. You won't know unless you let it into your world of possibilities.

Oh, I let it into my world of possibilities. All I'm saying is that you should understand that my world of possibilities also include a three-foot-tall stack of books, four or five therapists, advice from who knows how many teachers, endless hours reading papers and articles by prominent cutting-edge researchers, a handful of phone interviews with some of these same researchers and other child-development experts -- including one child psychologist who quoted me in his book -- a handful of articles I've written myself, and 17 years of thought. Parenting challenges have been not only a personal thing for me, but a good part of my professional career. I have written articles debunking much of the well-known research on parenting -- it's mostly seriously flawed, because it's based on studies of biologically related families, but that's not surprising because parenting advice itself has always been something of a snake-oil business, much like the weight-loss business.

So yeah, if you're going to say, "Here's some feedback for what it's worth, maybe it's shit, maybe it's gold," I'm fine with that. I'm not covering my ears and singing "Lalalalala." But if someone spends five minutes hearing my situation and thinks she can immediately provide an "easy" answer that will solve the entire problem based on what her parents did when she was a kid, I'm probably just going to find it annoying.

BTW, here's one interesting thing that many people don't know or remember. In The Feminine Mystique, Betty Friedan goes off on all the lax, overindulgent parenting she sees around her and how those parents are raising lazy, helpless kids. That book came out in 1963, and those kids would be us.


« Last Edit: February 19, 2012, 03:09:50 pm by serious crayons »