parents please

by Ellie 10 Replies latest jw friends

  • Ellie

    I have 2 children, a 3 year old and a baby.

    I spend all my time trying to make my 3 year old happy (I'm not so concerned about Georgia as shes only 6 months old), I pack her days with fun things to do and I hate to tell her off as I feel so guilty, I'm so scared of being a bad mum and ruining her childhood.

    Do any of you other parents feel like this at all?

  • Robdar

    I hate to tell her off as I feel so guilty, I'm so scared of being a bad mum and ruining her childhood.

    Um, in translating from English to American, does that mean that you hate to tell her no?

    If so, why? Children need to know that there will be times that they will not get their way. It's an important lesson in life. You will ruin her adulthood if you do not teach her that lesson. No need to feel guilty. And no need to worry either. I am sure that you are the best mother you know how to be.

  • bikerchic

    Ditto what Robdar said. Children also need to know someone is in charge and looking after them in their best interest it develops security in them.

    Also they need to be taught to play independently and to be able to entertain themselves as well as play with other children. I suspect you can start doing this now with your three year old by helping her interact with the 6 month old playing games, peek-a-boo is a good one and "helping" her little sister learn how to hold toys and later what to do with the toys. If you let your older toddler feel like she is in charge and teaching her younger sister she will take to it better and free you up time of your own to *yawn* do laundry or something, LOL.

    BTW this "helping" technique works well with small household chores and toddlers too. That way you are keeping her busy and getting things done around the house as well. Girls especially like to help and play house.

    Have fun Mommy, these days are trying but pass all too soon enjoy the moments!

  • LDH
    I spend all my time trying to make my 3 year old happy


    I sense a couple of problems.

    1. You spend all of your time with two small chilldren. You need some adult interaction during the day and that does not include watching Gordon on Brum!

    2. You believe that you have to do 'things' to make a 3 year old happy. Here are the 'things' a 3 year old needs to be happy:

    • security
    • food
    • shelter and clothing
    • surrounded by people who love him or her

    That's about it. Everything else is cake. Get off of the treadmill, sister. You can't beat it, and you can never 'catch up.' Be content to just BE.


  • Super_Becka

    Hi ellie,

    I'm not a parent, but I'm still young enough to remember being a child, and I'm also of the appropriate age to observe young children and how they are treated by their parents.

    You're being a great mother, I know you are, but I'm with robdar on the "teaching children the meaning of the word no" concept. If you don't teach your children that they can't always get their own way, then it's not gonna be pretty when they get older.

    I have a 11-year-old cousin who is very spoiled, as is her 14-year-old brother. Their parents have a lot of money and so they always get what they want. I babysat for these kids in the past, and I also spend a lot of time with them when I'm at home (I'm in university), so I know full-well what happens when a child never hears the word "no". If I tell the 11-year-old that she can't have something, like candy at 9am, she will yell, she will disobey me and try to get it herself, she will threaten to tell her parents, she will lie to me and if all else fails, she will cry like a baby. Why?? Because she's so used to getting what she wants that she can't handle it when someone says no. And if she does something wrong and warrants a scolding, she cries like a baby and screams that her parents hate her. This when she always gets what she wants. Sure, she's still young, but she behaves like a spoiled baby when she's almost in junior high. She treats other girls her age like garbage, she tells them that she's better than they are, she teases people who don't have as much money as she does, she's quite intolerable.

    I know you're having a great time being a mother and I know you're concerned about your children and their upbringing, just be sure not to spoil them too much and teach them the difference between right and wrong and teach them to appreciate what they have and to understand the meaning of "no". That's the best advice I can give you, and believe me, they'll thank you for it when they're older. My parents taught me to value the things I have and not to expect to always get what I want, and they taught me the meaning of the word "no", and I think I'm a better person for it today.

    Good luck!!

    -Becka :)

  • bebu

    You can inadvertently train a child that s/he can expect to be entertained by others. This won't help in the long run.

    In general, I'm suspicious of any activity that I do primarily out of guilt. The thing may be the right thing to do, of course, but it's best to get my motives right: that what I'm doing is the best for my kid and it makes me glad to do it.

    Shrug off the loads and layers of expectations from others, and relax a bit more. Being firm with parameters is fine; if a kid already knows you love him/her, they can accept the boundaries as best.

    And I think about the endless hours I "wasted" as a kid, just tooling about outside. No fancy toys; sometimes nobody else around. It really forced me to get creative, I'll tell ya.


  • limbogirl

    I definitely feel like this sometimes with my 3 year old son. I think it stems from two things: 1. his father and I are divorced and my son splits his time btwn us 50/50 so i have guilt about that and want his time with me to be fun and memorable (plus I work fulltime) 2. I find myself making up for my own childhood as a jw through him -- I love seeing him having fun and participating in pre-school activities, weekend playgroup etc. neither of these reasons are acceptable, though and I battle with myself constantly to do the right thing by him which the rational me knows is to provide discipline, set boundaries, encourage his independence, instill in him a generous spirit and ensure that he doesn't grow up to be bratty and spoiled. That means saying no sometimes and not doing everything for him or providing him constant entertainment. Plus, I'm motivated by the fact that a lot of JWs seem to think that only JW children are well disciplined and behaved. I'm out to prove to my mother that "worldly" parents, myself included, are more than capable of raising a bright, happy, well adjusted child without using fear and excessive force as a way to discipline. my two cents...sorry if I get long winded and run off on a tangent but this subject is near and dear to me!

  • Scully

    I can promise you, as the parent of teenagers, that if you think doing fun things with your children all the time is how best to raise them, that this will become increasingly challenging and expensive as yours get older.

    On some level, you must sense this is not appropriate, otherwise you wouldn't be asking the question.

    Children do need to learn about limits (and hearing the words "No" and "Not right now"). Your 3-year-old sounds like a great kid - it's such a fantastic age - but you need to be the mom, without guilt, and prepare him/her for what is going to happen when they start school. If your kids never hear "no" or "not right now" or have other limits set from you, what is going to happen when their teacher is the first person to try to establish order/limits, and your child is used to having their way all the time? Imagine having 20 children in kindergarten who are all used to having what they want when they want it?

  • mrsjones5

    Oompa Loompa doompadee doo

    I've got another puzzle for you

    Oompa Loompa doompadah dee

    If you are wise you will listen to me

    Pampered and spoiled like a Siamese cat?

    Blaming the kids is a lion of shame

    You know exactly who's to blame:

    The mother and the father!

    If you're not spoiled then you will go far

    You will live in happiness too

    Like the Oompa Loompa doompadee do

    I'm not saying that your darling 3 year old is a brat but not saying no, not setting boundries, and feeling guilty about being the parent is one of the best ways to produce a brat.

    Josie ~ mother of four little darlings

  • jgnat

    My sister parents by guilt. I think this is because she is still flamingly angry at mom for being a screwup for a parent. So where does that leave her? I am sure she is terrified that she's leaving a trail of disappointments in her children's memories too. It's not a pretty picture. Those young teenagers think the world owes them on a plate.

    I parented with the long view in mind, temporary pain for long-term gain. I wanted to grow up responsible, independent adults. I largely succeeded. Both are well able to live on their own, and they expect no handouts. Both are grateful young adults. Those same principles have now been handed down to my granddaughter, who is a delightful, cheerful, but also a very good little girl. She asks before she takes.

    Hopefully I can give you a few tips to put you at ease.

    • In your own mind at least, put to bed the mistakes your parents made. That doesn't mean you have to embrace them with open arms, but forgive them their failures. This will help you forgive yourself for little slip-ups.
    • Children have spotty memories. You can reinforce the good ones by having annual traditions. Reinforce also good holidays and fun times by memorializing them in a scrapbook, poster, or photo album. One in a while pull out those memory aids and have a talk with your children about the "good times". I guarantee these memorials will become part of family legend and help build your child's unique identity in the family. In years to come, they will repeat these events to family and friends, over and over.
    • Hey, for a three year old, most of her day should be fun. But it's about time to expand her social network to a play group or something like that. You too.
    • Very soon, you need to establish limits. From my years of experience with Sunday School preschoolers, I can say with confidence, children with clear limits are the happiest children. They don't WANT to be brats, the want the adults in their life to STOP THEM FROM BEING BAD. Give your child what they are begging for, limits. Here's a good article on it.

Share this