The Truth Behind The Blog

I always hear parents say they are screwing up their kids. I laugh and think, well that is job security for all the therapits out there. I share my parenting views on here as well as my frustrations and aggrevations. My goal will to be to look at parenting in my own unique way and share my experiences.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Oops I did it again

Yesterday my son said I was so mean.

I hear that a lot as we enter the pre-teens.

I am mean because I won't let him get pretzel bites, so mean I won't buy him a new video game, I am so mean because I yell at him in the morning to get ready.  (Mind you yelling only comes into play after he lays back down in his bed and goes back to sleep.) 

Truth is, to be a parent you have to be mean.  If we let our children run around doing whatever they want who would they become?

Truth is we need to find a balance and any parent will tell you how hard that is.  How hard it is to allow them to develop their own personality and still being a well structured child.  My son won't play sports, was really good at guitar but quit, could have a great voice but doesn't want to take voice lessons, could be a great actor but refuses to take classes, could be a model but doesn't want to be the center of attention but as soon as he isn't the center of attention he gets loud.

So as a parent I am telling him to tone things down or he looses his video games, please clean his room or else he looses his video games, please, wait, I AM THE PARENT!  As soon as you start the, if you don't do it you loose....  You become the briber....  How is that a strong relationship?

I am at the point now that I am rethinking of how to create a quieter home with an easier transition into responsibility.  So we tried charts and loss and gain and everything.  Now it comes down to, you are 11 this is what is expected of you.  You are 12 this is what is expected of you.

So do I spoil my son, oh yah and through that I send mixed messages at time.  I love him so much and he loves me, even if I am MEAN to him.  We are working towards a more responsible young man, and each day is a challenge.

I fear for him that he will develop depression like I did as a teen or become distant from me and sometimes I try to hard to be fun.  So in the end, how do you balance that?  Truth is, each child is different, very different and you need to find what works for them. 

Screwing up our kids, one day at a time.  Yes I have started saving for the therapy bill.

Oh and there is no shame in going to therapy to make a more cohesive family relationship. 

The biggest thing I can say to all parents, always admit when you are wrong to your children because in the end they will have an easier time to admit their faults.  "I am sorry I yelled at you for spilling your milk, I know it wasn't your fault.  I had asked you to stop playing with the cup and so I was feeling frustrated." 

Be honest, be loving and talk to your children.  Make sure they can tell you when they feel like there is something broken in the family.  You may not be able to change it but you give them the strength to express themselves and you get the chance to explain why you have that rule.  You never know you may be in a position of saying, "I don't know why that is a rule, we just did that in my household growing up."  Just remember as a parent, the most important thing you can do for your children is teach them to deal with their emotions, deal with loss and cope with the changes in life they have to face.  You get to teach them the things many of us were never taught to do, "deal with it." 

The perpetually mean mother

Friday, February 17, 2012

Where have I been?

I have been busy screwing up my children of course. 

So I get the Scientific American Mind Magazine because I am a psychology lover.  So imagine my delight when there is an article about children having Mental Health Disorders and that it isn't all us.  I will be talking about the March/April 2012 issue if you want to run out and buy it.

Funny thing that comes along with this issue is the fact that it talks about possible signs your child is "prone" to mental health disorders and events in their lives that can "trigger" them becoming active disorders.  The focus in the journal article is mostly focused on Schizophrenia. 

So the odd thing is, hmmm, part of the issue talks about the predisposition for some children to have disorders.  I mean for example if there is a history of depression in your family, maybe not even close, maybe aunts and uncles, etc.  The next thing they state is, "We've gone too far in the direction of blaming bio-chemistry and not taking responsibility for shaping our children's brains."  So it isn't all our faults right?  I mean really, we can't be responsible for biochemical reactions to the things we say, do or even feed them?  How far can we go blaming the parents?  It isn't like when we conceive our children we can tell if the have a predisposition for depression, schizophrenia or mania right.  Well we can if we know the family history on both sides of the family. 
So here, in this article it blames things like, giving birth in the winter (man a huge part of our population is destined to have mental health disorders), maternal malnutrition, chaotic household, or disease agents like having the flu.  I mean seriously, wouldn't that change things biochemically?  Can we take blame if we get the flu, is it our fault?  What if we like the idea of having a winter baby?  OH and parents, just so you know, if you have any mental health illness in the family, PLAN your babies or you are going to ruin them having them in the winter.  (Insert eye roll)

Truth is, there is no real proof of how children end up with the different ailments, these mental health breaks but the fact is there are some signs we can spot when they are young.  Things to look for are social deficits, trouble interacting with others, a strong belief in imaginary friends that cause fear or distrust, or children who are highly needy, I am talking beyond colic, I am talking if you put me down I am going to scream my head off and even a child who has very limited affect at all.

What is the point, if we see that the children have certain signs and symptoms can we protect them with a loving environment?  Not always, not always would be the answer.  I mean the article was great, but the truth is, it is super easy to end up doing more harm to our children than good, it isn't because we want to, but we are all born with a different sensitivity level and a different genetic make up.  We all process and react to situations in our lives differently.  That is why two or three children living in the same household will describe their growing experience very differently. 

If I was to take this article in a very literal sense I would tell you it is of the utmost importance to tell parents to take some time, watch your children from birth on very closely.  EVEN THEN, if you watch your children 24/7, you still might not see the signs.

FYI Suicide is the Silent Killer.  I am sad to report that many children that do kill themselves are children who never showed outward signs of illness.  They often don't even realize how sick they are inside and many times, it's chemical.  Remember the most important thing we can give our children, to help balance out their lives is LOVE and our TIME.

Be blessed and love your children today.