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Æthelthryth the Texan

When your young adults question your more major parenting choices......

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Well this is a first I am coping with. Dd isn't being mean or angry about it, but some conversations came up this week and now she's like "well, I sort of wish this had been a different way and you had done XYZ with me instead, of ABC, and now it's too late," and I'm not going to lie. Wow, it stings a bit. Trying not to be defensive. I know this is part of having a mature, growing up person living in our home. I just wasn't really expecting to hear this now. Or about these topics. 

Anyway, just processing. I know some of you deal with a lot worse than a side comment. I just didn't expect criticism on this particular topic. I feel like she is questioning just about everything about us at this point from our religion, to politics, to simple life choices, which I theoretically know is a normal part of maturity and finding out who she is. It doesn't make it any more fun though...... Please tell me this is normal part of being the parent that I am having some struggle processing through all of it in a calm, non-defensive manner.......I just don't remember being this much of a deep thinker at her age. Of course, I was engaged at her age, so that's crazy to think about too- I just don't think I was as reflective. I also didn't talk to my Mom about these type of things. If I was going to complain, I complained to a friend, LOL. 

Anyway, that's my Friday night! Just stewing and trying not to get sad about it. I keep saying to myself, "this too shall pass," in hopes I soon believe it. 

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The funny thing about wishing things were a different way or had been done differently is that one assumes there would have been a particular positive outcome. It’s impossible to know that since the thing didn’t happen or wasn’t done the “better” way. Who knows if it would have been better or worse? Just something to think about in terms of what she’s saying. She’s making some big assumptions about how it would have been if it had been the way she now says she wishes it was.

You can rest easy that you did the best you could at the time with the information you had and let her words go. You’re a good mom, it shows in your posts. It is a totally normal part of being a parent. I have one young adult child thank me all the time for how they were raised and one who tells me I did so many things wrong. Same mom, different kids. 

 

 

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3 minutes ago, scholastica said:

The funny thing about wishing things were a different way or had been done differently is that one assumes there would have been a particular positive outcome. It’s impossible to know that since the thing didn’t happen or wasn’t done the “better” way. Who knows if it would have been better or worse? Just something to think about in terms of what she’s saying. She’s making some big assumptions about how it would have been if it had been the way she now says she wishes it was.

You can rest easy that you did the best you could at the time with the information you had and let her words go. You’re a good mom, it shows in your posts. It is a totally normal part of being a parent. I have one young adult child thank me all the time for how they were raised and one who tells me I did so many things wrong. Same mom, different kids. 

 

 

Thank you. I gently tried to point out the bolded to her- I do think she gets that. She's just in a weird place. And what's funny, is she even mentioned her friends who have had parents that did XYZ really gripe and complain about how horrible it was- so that makes me even more lost to why she is thinking it would have been better had we gone those routes instead......I think the whole launching thing as an adult has got her in a funky place right now and I'm not sure how to help. One of the things she told me today is she wished I would have made her follow more structure and I'm thinking, "I almost lost my mind getting you to fall into what structure I could!!! Our relationship would have imploded had I been more heavy handed." Ack. But I know saying that won't really help right now. I think she's talking to talk. So I'm doing that here, LOL, so I don't get defensive and spark hurt feelings. Dh just rolled his eyes and went to do something with the other kids while she talked to me about it. He's very much in a WTH moment over it too, but I think he isn't taking it as personally. 

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Yep, I get this 100% these days.  DD is 14 and knows everything, and we are a weird family with which she has been saddled, and all of our decisions about family life or anything really are terrible, misguided, and concocted specifically to distress her.

Now, I acknowledge that there are things about us that are different; this is true with everyone to some degree, although of course she can't see it.  But when I look back to my own childhood, or especially DH's which was harder, I just can't take DD all that seriously.  

Her current top-level complaints, which may sound very valid to many of you but are really not up for debate like at all, are A. we won't let her have a cell phone and we don't own them ourselves, so she can't be on snapchat with all the other kids at school, B. we have lots of kids (she's the oldest and I think feels like we should have stopped with her so she could have All The Things and no little siblings to clean up after or chase out of her room), C. she does more chores than other kids her age (dishes every other night, sweeping the kitchen/dining room every other day, watching the baby on occasion).  

There are tears and recrimination about all of these things pretty much daily.  She resents us all the time, except when she's feeling 100% cheerful, and it's impossible to predict which mood will prevail at any given time. 

It is exhausting and I have to remind myself all the time that I am doing the right thing, her life isn't that hard if her serious complaints involve dishes and cellphones, and we have the right to both raise our kids the way we think best and make our own reproductive choices.  It is so hard not to take it personally.

She's never been a lighthearted person, and she is very smart and pretty serious and decently fair, so I think that once she gets past the teenage years of resentment and what if and I wish I were like everyone else, she'll realize that we love her and have acted in her best interest and might even agree with us about some things.

But right now it's hard.  OP, thanks for this thread as it makes me feel less like it is just me (she's our oldest so this is our first rodeo with teenagers).

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Yup, she is indeed questioning everything and it goes by the name of "teenager." Or close to teenage years. We are used to questions from the time they can talk but now they are questioning the big stuff. Perhaps you can ask her "What would you do with your children in this situation? Why do you think this would have resulted in a different outcome? And as scholastica said, of course there is no guarantee but finding that out is also known as "growing up" and she is not quite there yet. But it promises to be a fun journey. It tells us that you raised a confident young woman who thinks critically - even if you wish she was not critically thinking about your choices.  😁

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I am bracing myself to hear these types of things when my kids are older because every mom of launching adults seems to have some variation of this. Right now, complaints of this sort are met with, "Your dad and I are making the best decisions we can with the information we have. We make all decisions with your best interests in mind. Our decisions will probably look a lot different than the decisions your friends' parents are making. You have to make peace with that or you are going to make yourself miserable and likely affect the rest of the household.."

I probably told my mom some things that hurt after I left home or even once I started my own family. I knew It All back then and was going to make Better Choices. Now, I'm pretty sure I'm screwing up everyone all the time and they will all have some beef with me at some point about major life decisions. What can you do except do the best you can with the information and kids and resources that you have in front of you?

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I just launched our oldest to college and right before he left he was muttering all this garbage about not being socially prepared because he was homeschooled.  No mention of the fact we took him to tour high schools, he dual enrolled for 2 years, and was so busy with extracurriculars it was unusual if he wasn't out of the house for something every day of the week.  LOL.  I think it took him less than 72 hours at college to have the reality of that situation sink in.  If anything he's a little too mature and straight laced for an 18 year old.  I warned him he would be disappointed by the average maturity level of his fellow freshman.  Anyway - I definitely think it's the age. 

I think it's totally fair to say, yep, we aren't perfect.  We do the best we can with the time, tools, and knowledge we have at any one particular time and we can evolve when we learn something new.  I'm sorry you feel that way.  I don't think you have to entertain the same complaints ad nauseum.  Actually, if that were coming up over and over, I'd consider family counseling or possibly straight therapy for the kid.   

My parents made mistakes.  I absolutely suffered because my parents didn't recognize some things in me that would have best been dealt with as a child/teen.   They just labelled me their high maintenance annoying kid.  Instead of their kid that probably had anxiety and depression and would have benefitted from some skill building to deal with that.   Hindsight, they were products of their upbringing and I do have a reasonably decent relationship with my family.  So anyway, I don't always think as kids grow into adulthood they are always necessarily wrong either.  I don't now anyone who thinks their own upbringing and childhood was picture perfect.   My religion and political views shifted from my parents as I aged.  But theirs shifted later on too.  We're always learning and evolving.  

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9 minutes ago, Liz CA said:

Yup, she is indeed questioning everything and it goes by the name of "teenager." Or close to teenage years. We are used to questions from the time they can talk but now they are questioning the big stuff. Perhaps you can ask her "What would you do with your children in this situation? Why do you think this would have resulted in a different outcome? And as scholastica said, of course there is no guarantee but finding that out is also known as "growing up" and she is not quite there yet. But it promises to be a fun journey. It tells us that you raised a confident young woman who thinks critically - even if you wish she was not critically thinking about your choices.  😁

She said she knows being the guinea pig as the oldest is exactly that, which I do agree- it's all trial and error, but I'm not sure if it's gets easier with the other kids as they are all so totally different I feel like nothing carries over from one to the other past babyhood anyway (if then). I mentioned her having kids and she could see for herself how hard it is in the moment, and got (not in a mean way), "I am NEVER having kids- just pets!" Ds8 provided the comic relief, by looking at me with huge, serious eyes, and hissing "Mom! Tell her children are a blessing!!" That was when I did crack up- his timing was impeccable. Of course she just rolled her eyes, but I had to hug him on that one. She's all super chipper now, like she didn't just pop my parenting balloon so to speak, ha! I am trying to roll along like nothing. 

I guess I knew that it would happen at some point. I just didn't think it would sting quite so much. I feel like the points she drilled in on were the few things I thought I had done best at! Of course, that figures. 

Anyway, thanks all. I feel a lot better knowing it happens to y'all too, so at least I'm in good company. 🙂

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Is she in a moody phase? Seems to me the mood of the moment colors all memories and perceptions of the past.

Which could have little at all to do with how she thinks when not in such a mood.

But yeah, her thoughts on parenting are most appropriately applied to any children she may have herself some day. The saying "I was a perfect parent until I had kids" is a thing for a reason.

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50 minutes ago, moonflower said:

Yep, I get this 100% these days.  DD is 14 and knows everything, and we are a weird family with which she has been saddled, and all of our decisions about family life or anything really are terrible, misguided, and concocted specifically to distress her.

Now, I acknowledge that there are things about us that are different; this is true with everyone to some degree, although of course she can't see it.  But when I look back to my own childhood, or especially DH's which was harder, I just can't take DD all that seriously.  

Her current top-level complaints, which may sound very valid to many of you but are really not up for debate like at all, are A. we won't let her have a cell phone and we don't own them ourselves, so she can't be on snapchat with all the other kids at school, B. we have lots of kids (she's the oldest and I think feels like we should have stopped with her so she could have All The Things and no little siblings to clean up after or chase out of her room), C. she does more chores than other kids her age (dishes every other night, sweeping the kitchen/dining room every other day, watching the baby on occasion).  

There are tears and recrimination about all of these things pretty much daily.  She resents us all the time, except when she's feeling 100% cheerful, and it's impossible to predict which mood will prevail at any given time. 

It is exhausting and I have to remind myself all the time that I am doing the right thing, her life isn't that hard if her serious complaints involve dishes and cellphones, and we have the right to both raise our kids the way we think best and make our own reproductive choices.  It is so hard not to take it personally.

She's never been a lighthearted person, and she is very smart and pretty serious and decently fair, so I think that once she gets past the teenage years of resentment and what if and I wish I were like everyone else, she'll realize that we love her and have acted in her best interest and might even agree with us about some things.

But right now it's hard.  OP, thanks for this thread as it makes me feel less like it is just me (she's our oldest so this is our first rodeo with teenagers).

Wow, how did my daughter get to your house?

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For my teen, she was angry with me, like, she felt betrayed. For some reason, it was a surprise to her that other people/families do things differently (she's not that sheltered!) and we may not be the perfect font of all wisdom. She wants to be 'normal' and be having fun with her friends 24/7.

We also get the moody punishment if we dare to call out her unacceptable behaviour (ya know, reminding her to do her minimal chores or schoolwork or speak with something other than contempt). She's been okay the past few days and it's been lovely, but I'm kind of bracing myself that she's being lovely because she wants something and I hate having that shadow over how I feel about my girl.

I'm exhausted and even though I expected teen drama stuff, it's still something else to be stuck in it!

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My parents knew they made less than optimal choices with me. Even hindsight is 50/50. While I was an argumentative kid from when I could talk, I was also used to being “diplomatic” with “sensitive” people. I was also seldom home during high school age since my high school allows students to study until 11pm everyday before the school security locks up the library and study hall.

I have a whiner and a silent kid. I am more watchful of my silent kid “brooding” silently then I am of my whiner. My younger brother was the quiet people pleaser and my parents were lots more worried about him getting bullied and not saying. 

I was such a “difficult” kid it took a bevy of aunts, uncles, and cousins to raise me. My DS14 is similarly difficult but he doesn’t have the luxury of  so many caregivers. 

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Both of my children who are in their early 20s have been critical. 22 yo ds came full circle in the last year and has told us he thinks we were great parents and made great parenting decisions through his growing-up years. Our eldest is more upsetting to me (although I didn't like the unfair criticism--and it was unfair--when it came from ds) because she "remembers" a lot of things we said that we just didn't say (like we didn't kiss until we married and she shouldn't either--which was not the case and we never said it was). Neither of our other children think we said these things and recognize them as way out of character for us. She seems somewhat resentful, and I feel irritated, misrepresented, and yes, a little hurt.

On the upside, the youngest of our three (college sophomore) recognizes we're not perfect but appreciates the sacrifices and choices we made as parents. Same family, same upbringing, but different perceptions! Also, I do have good relationships with all three, so hang in there!

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5 minutes ago, maize said:

Is she in a moody phase? Seems to me the mood of the moment colors all memories and perceptions of the past.

Which could have little at all to do with how she thinks when not in such a mood.

But yeah, her thoughts on parenting are most appropriately applied to any children she may have herself some day. The saying "I was a perfect parent until I had kids" is a thing for a reason.

She seems like she's in a good mood/good place. Just a thinky place apparently. I know graduation is weighing heavily on her- the whole high school thing she's admitted went by insanely fast and she's going through some would've/could've/should've moments, which I think everyone does. Her PS school friends pretty much have their course charted. They had to declare a college major in 8th grade for all intents and purposes, and by her age there is no such thing as exploring career opportunities- it's like they are on this train that doesn't stop, toward a destination they picked at age 13/14. I think that has her feeling a little adrift. She told me today she asked her BFF, who is in PS and a medical distinguishment or whatever they call it- the med track- she asked her "so what if you get into this and decide you don't like it? How do you know this is what you want to do when you haven't really had a chance to try anything else?" And she said friend just stared at her with a blank look and didn't answer. I feel like dd intellectually knows that it's pretty rare that people end up choosing and sticking with a career at 16/17 with no course change, and it's absolutely ok not to know what you want to do with your life at her age- but I think being the *one* kid who doesn't have the next 20 years of her life charted compared to her PS friends is making her feel like more of an outsider maybe? She is having trouble articulating some of where this is coming from so I'm having to guess a little. She's my introvert, so she isn't often as chatty as she was today. 

 

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Yeah, that happened here too.  Eldest told me that she didn't remember anything we did during our 9 years of homeschooling.  

Me: Really? You don't remember raising silkworms from eggs, or building a pyramid out of little mud bricks that we made from the dirt and grass in the backyard, or the human body we built piece by piece as we studied the systems, or all the hours we spent reading aloud, or any of that?  

Her: No.  I don't remember anything from that time.

Me, to myself: Ouch. Well, that was 9 years wasted.  I could have been working all that time.  I'd be making six figures by now.  We'd be rich and I'd have a fulfilling career.

 

Fast forward a few years, and now she's having happy little memory flashes. "Remember when we made little bricks and built a pyramid with a little mummy inside?"  

Me: Yes.  I remember...

(sigh)

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This is a time when they need to separate from the parents - not physically but mentally. Step out and voice an independent opinion, try out a different viewpoint. I always believed the more we encourage independent thought (even though often they don't have all the pieces to make an informed judgment call) the more confident they will be in their own ability to think something through and reach a decision. The whole problem solving approach is part of this. She may also realize that her opinions are not being discounted and therefore feel comfortable in running a few scenarios by you. And then there is what Suzanne said...they cannot "remember anything good" probably because they want to find something to criticize, be different, etc. until they suddenly do remember all the fun they had. 

Exciting times of growing and exercising the thinking muscle, learning that it's okay to disagree because those people who are mature and "safe" people know they are not perfect and are not afraid to leave some room for a different view. 

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I'm already pretty sure this is coming with dd#2 and Dd#3. There will be accusations & recriminations.

I definitely get told by my girls that I should have stopped having children before "the boys" were born. 

I agree that the quiet ones are often the ones you have to watch more carefully...

Hugs! I, too, knew best before I had my own child. This parenting thing is a minefield of heartbreak sometimes.

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Yeah, perfectly normal.

When I did this, my mother reacted in the worst way, dramatics and acting like I'd outright accused her of being a bad parent blah blah blah. Well, no. She had a tough job, and she did her best, and the list of things I actually blame her for is very short - but yeah, I wish she'd done a few things differently. The end result is now she wants to know why we don't talk to her about big things and... well, that's her bed, she made it, she's lying in it.

So don't do that. Her criticisms aren't about you, and even if she disagrees with your choices she knows that they were made with the best of intentions. She'll make her own choices, and some will work out and some won't.

* This is usually true. If not, and you know it, you should apologize before it comes up.

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10 hours ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

Thank you. I gently tried to point out the bolded to her- I do think she gets that. She's just in a weird place. And what's funny, is she even mentioned her friends who have had parents that did XYZ really gripe and complain about how horrible it was- so that makes me even more lost to why she is thinking it would have been better had we gone those routes instead......I think the whole launching thing as an adult has got her in a funky place right now and I'm not sure how to help. One of the things she told me today is she wished I would have made her follow more structure and I'm thinking, "I almost lost my mind getting you to fall into what structure I could!!! Our relationship would have imploded had I been more heavy handed." Ack. But I know saying that won't really help right now. I think she's talking to talk. So I'm doing that here, LOL, so I don't get defensive and spark hurt feelings. Dh just rolled his eyes and went to do something with the other kids while she talked to me about it. He's very much in a WTH moment over it too, but I think he isn't taking it as personally. 

My dd absolutely believes her life would have been better with more structure (she has at 19 been diagnosed with adhd).  While she blamed me a little at first, after talking multiple times at length about what her childhood was like she was able to be more mature and understanding.  They have to be able to see their parent as just another fallible human being, not the supreme Parental Figure who knows everything, to be able to show empathy towards any mistakes along the way.  (and she can somewhat see that I have my OWN EF issues, making it pretty darn hard to create structure for someone else, let alone myself!)

Another for instance (sorry if this is tmi) my dd just found out she has a nasal polyp that basically has cut off her air in her left nostril, and she suspects it has been there for YEARS.  It has really affected her quality of life, and at first she blamed me and my distrust of doctors me for not getting it diagnosed. But I had to go through telling her all the times I DID bring her in and was always told it was allergies, was prescribed medicine, and then sent on our way.  She built the narrative (mom's fault!) and it wasn't completely accurate.  

 

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9 hours ago, LMD said:

Wow, how did my daughter get to your house?

 

Probably she ran away from home, like mine plans to do if we ask her to watch the baby one more time when she's in the middle of a book.

 

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It’s a normal part of being a parent.  💆‍♀️

 

11 hours ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

I feel like she is questioning just about everything about us at this point from our religion, to politics, to simple life choices, which I theoretically know is a normal part of maturity and finding out who she is. It doesn't make it any more fun though...... Please tell me this is normal part of being the parent

 

 

A little story about starting slightly toward other side—Ds asked my opinion about a clothing article Ds had gotten himself and I responded honestly that I didn’t think it made him look all that good.  So he decided to stop wearing it.  Or mostly stop wearing it.  

I was totally surprised/ shocked because I had accepted that my views were either meaningless to him or meaningful only insofar as he’d do the exact opposite.  

It’s small, but a possible step away from where everything I say or believe is wrong...

 

 

11 hours ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

I keep saying to myself, "this too shall pass," in hopes I soon believe it. 

 

Yup.  And then there may be a new difficult stage!   

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Sometimes I think - what would have happened if I had chose B instead of A? But that is a waste of time, IMO, so I don't indulge.

I told my young adult that we, her parents, made the best decisions we could with the information we had at the time. Not everything was 100% in her best interest because there are others in the family to consider. Some things (like moving) have to happen (loss of job, new job) and we all work to make the best of it. We did what we thought was right. If *anything* in her character is not to her liking, she is an adult now and she *can* *work* to change it. Adults, IMHO, do not blame their parents for the choices (assuming normal choices here, not like abuse, neglect, pervert, illegal, etc) they made while you were growing up (this assumes that parents tried to balance the best for all in the family), but they go on accepting there is no perfect upbringing/way/life and work to better themselves. Parents are not perfect. They are simply doing the best they can. Child will learn they are not perfect with 100% foresight soon too. Life will mess things up for you anyway. Good character is rolling with the changes and trying to make the best out of every situation vs. blaming 'whatever' that made that change or situation happen. 

Kids also don't see the entire picture. Kids say, "You isolated me". Parents say, "We protected you." Kid thinks they should have experienced *all* variety of life-upbringings (homeless, drug addicted parents, abandonment, parents in prison, etc) so they would have a fuller picture of every possible life situation (because you do want to experience all of them, right?) Child encounters friends who share their childhood stories (many who had these experiences) and hears what their childhoods were like and hears their complaints about said childhoods. Child comes to learn that maybe, just maybe, they had it easy. Most young adults, IME, don't have the life experience to realize what all is involved with choices. Memory is also *very* selective. 

Edited by Bambam
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One day my eldest was talking about the awful math curriculum I used for him, and how I should have found something better. I stopped him and said, "I used ____ and ____ and ____, and it was miserable. I finally stopped and just used math games for awhile because you were so difficult and resistant. When I found that math curriculum, it was a godsend. You were in 5th grade, and it was the first math curriculum we actually made it through! We didn't have _____ and ______ back then!" He looked thoughtful, said "Hmm" and left the conversation, lol. He has become somewhat less critical as his little ones have grown. He is the only one who has been critical to any degree, but he was also my "challenging in every way" student.

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I’m getting a little taste of that with my ds14, though so far I’ve been able to joke him out of it.  But I have to tread very carefully and it’s almost like being an actor getting the tone and words juuuust right.  

He was complaining to me about when he was little—maybe 6 or so—and we went wading in a creek.  The water was up to his thighs and he was scared and “you didn’t pick me up or anything!  I was scared and you didn’t help me!  Dad finally had to come and rescue me!”  

It’s hard to show tone here, but I said back in a light and non-accusatory way, “Yes...that sounds exactly like me.  Leaving 6 year olds stuck in the middle of rivers, terrified.  It couldn’t possibly have been that I was trying to encourage you and saying things like, ‘Buddy, you got this! You can do it!  You’ll be ok!’ There’s no way that I was trying to help you grow up and be a big boy.  And then, when we realized it was too much for you, it couldn’t possibly be that we picked the biggest and strongest of the two of us (Daddy) to pick you up so that that person wouldn’t slip and fall when they were holding you in the middle of the river.”  

And since the tone was just right, he laughed about it and the accusatory spell was broken.  

He also accused me of spanking him on his birthday, which just never happened.  I spanked him 3 times ever in his life and quickly realized it was not my parenting style to spank since I hated doing that. And it most certainly 100% was not on his birthday!  For that one I was simply, “There is NO WAY that happened the way you’re remembering!!!”  I told him, “If that happened the way you remember, then you were about 6 or 7 years old.” And then I told him of a kid we know now who is 6 or 7 years old.  I said, “If Branson told you, ‘My mom spanked me on my birthday’, and his mom said she didn’t, who would you believe?”  And my son was able to recognize that 6 or 7 year olds aren’t the most reliable narrators.  

But I’m waiting for the day when it’s like with the OP, and either one of them drop a big one on me, “You did THIS to me and it was just terrible to me!”  

The only way out of that, I think, might be to bring up a big decision in their life that they’re waffling about or don’t know what to do about, and then tell them, “When you make your decision on X, how will you know it’s the right one?  What if I come back in 5 years and tell you how wrong it was?”  Like, if they’re not sure what major to pick in college, or which college to go to, or whether to go or not.  These decisions are hard and you don’t always make the right one.  Period.  And sometimes it seems like the right one and it’s not until decades later that you find out it wasn’t.  And then I’d ask them to cut me a little slack because parenting is about facing those decisions every couple of months and it’s hard to get every.single.one of them right.

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I think that fact that our kids feel comfortable talking to us, and criticizing our parenting, are two sides of the same coin.

I never would've openly told my parents what they did wrong. I saved that for my friends and husband. But then again, I never told my parents anything about how I felt , and minimally about what I thought.

There's been a real cultural shift from our generation to our kids', it seems, wherein their generation feels more at liberty to discuss such things. I know a ton about my kids, even my adult-age kids, that my parents NEVER knew about me. I've talked with friends about this, and they've experienced the same thing. I suspect open access to information via the internet, and constant communication abilities via cell phones, has something to do with it. Also, "parenting" in our generation became a heavy thing where moms who had all the options open to them with regard to education and career, but chose to stay home and even educate their kids, felt that to justify such a choice, all their creative juices and abilities needed to be poured into their kids AT ALL TIMES. This is in contrast to the "benign neglect" that many of us felt growing up. Mom was there, Mom did stuff, but Mom didn't make parenting her one and only mission in life.

I know I'm not a perfect parent, but I've worked darn hard at it, and I seriously don't want to hear a 20-something criticize the choices I agonized over. So yeah, I'm touchy about it. 😋

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And then I told him of a kid we know now who is 6 or 7 years old.  I said, “If Branson told you, ‘My mom spanked me on my birthday’, and his mom said she didn’t, who would you believe?”  And my son was able to recognize that 6 or 7 year olds aren’t the most reliable narrators.  

 

While I am certain that your child is mistaken and you never spanked him on his birthday (!), I'll point out that in my life, if a 6 year old known to me said their mom spanked them and their mom denied it, I would not decide who to believe based on their ages. Sometimes kids exaggerate or tell stories or make mistakes. But other times, parents lie - especially about hot-button issues like spanking.

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1 hour ago, GinaPagnato said:

I think that fact that our kids feel comfortable talking to us, and criticizing our parenting, are two sides of the same coin.

I never would've openly told my parents what they did wrong. I saved that for my friends and husband. But then again, I never told my parents anything about how I felt , and minimally about what I thought.

There's been a real cultural shift from our generation to our kids', it seems, wherein their generation feels more at liberty to discuss such things. I know a ton about my kids, even my adult-age kids, that my parents NEVER knew about me. I've talked with friends about this, and they've experienced the same thing. I suspect open access to information via the internet, and constant communication abilities via cell phones, has something to do with it. Also, "parenting" in our generation became a heavy thing where moms who had all the options open to them with regard to education and career, but chose to stay home and even educate their kids, felt that to justify such a choice, all their creative juices and abilities needed to be poured into their kids AT ALL TIMES. This is in contrast to the "benign neglect" that many of us felt growing up. Mom was there, Mom did stuff, but Mom didn't make parenting her one and only mission in life.

I know I'm not a perfect parent, but I've worked darn hard at it, and I seriously don't want to hear a 20-something criticize the choices I agonized over. So yeah, I'm touchy about it. 😋

 

I’ve found this to be true as well.  

1 hour ago, Tanaqui said:

 

While I am certain that your child is mistaken and you never spanked him on his birthday (!), I'll point out that in my life, if a 6 year old known to me said their mom spanked them and their mom denied it, I would not decide who to believe based on their ages. Sometimes kids exaggerate or tell stories or make mistakes. But other times, parents lie - especially about hot-button issues like spanking.

Yeah, I figured someone would point that out and tell me that we shouldn’t always believe adults over kids and then would probably preach about how abusers try to make it so that no one believes the kid.  I was hoping people would understand that what I wrote about was when I was showing my own kid in this one situation that 6 year olds aren’t always the most accurate of people.  Especially since my son was getting indignant at me over something that absolutely 100% never, ever happened.  He was not spanked on his birthday and I wasn’t about to have some 14 year old kid festering and thinking his mother spanked him on his birthday when it was not true.  

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But what you told your son is that six year olds aren't believable and their parents are. And this is what you wrote about - telling your son that children are not to be believed.

You could have asked other people who were at his birthday to confirm that you didn't spank him. You could have pointed out that you only spanked him a very few times in his early childhood, and that even though human memory IS fallible you think you would've remembered doing it another time on his birthday. You could have apologized for spanking him at all, without getting into the birthday aspect. There were numerous ways to have resolved this, but you picked the one that involved saying "Six year olds cannot be trusted if they say their parents hurt them."

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I believe we actually go through three pregnancies with each child. In the first, the baby could safely be born earlier than the typical forty weeks, but I think we get those last four weeks to prepare us for childbirth - as in, we are so ready to not be huge anymore that we lose the fear of labor and delivery pain. 

You’re in the last “weeks” of the second pregnant period - when our kids are teens nearing graduation age. Again, it’s for us moms - we would be sad to send our babies off to college or out into the wild wide world if we didn’t honestly need a break from the mental gymnastics!

Third pregnant period is after they’ve been through college. There’s that time between earning the diploma and earning a solid paycheck that is tricky. A college graduate living at home raises the “know it all” tension to a whole new level, with the lovely addition of politics as a topic. Delivery comes when they are gainfully employed and, as my dh puts it, “off the payroll.”

The last part of each of these pregnant periods has been, for me, a time to double down in prayer and strive to be careful with my own words. IT IS VERY HARD😂

Wishing you patience as you walk this normal phase of parenting. Personally I think there does come a point at which you might say, hey, you’ve been wallowing in that for a week now. It doesn’t change the past and it doesn’t really make anyone want to hang around to listen to you on a repeat loop, so wrap it up. 

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13 hours ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

She seems like she's in a good mood/good place. Just a thinky place apparently. I know graduation is weighing heavily on her- the whole high school thing she's admitted went by insanely fast and she's going through some would've/could've/should've moments, which I think everyone does. Her PS school friends pretty much have their course charted. They had to declare a college major in 8th grade for all intents and purposes, and by her age there is no such thing as exploring career opportunities- it's like they are on this train that doesn't stop, toward a destination they picked at age 13/14. I think that has her feeling a little adrift. She told me today she asked her BFF, who is in PS and a medical distinguishment or whatever they call it- the med track- she asked her "so what if you get into this and decide you don't like it? How do you know this is what you want to do when you haven't really had a chance to try anything else?" And she said friend just stared at her with a blank look and didn't answer. I feel like dd intellectually knows that it's pretty rare that people end up choosing and sticking with a career at 16/17 with no course change, and it's absolutely ok not to know what you want to do with your life at her age- but I think being the *one* kid who doesn't have the next 20 years of her life charted compared to her PS friends is making her feel like more of an outsider maybe? She is having trouble articulating some of where this is coming from so I'm having to guess a little. She's my introvert, so she isn't often as chatty as she was today. 

 

 

I really hate this type of early career pigeonholing. It is the antithesis of a broad liberal arts education. I appreciate programs that allow for career training in the later high school years (old fashioned DE), but the current system.... The Giver, anyone?

ETA Tex your daughter might enjoy a visit to the career center of your local community college. Just a thought. 

Edited by Seasider too
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2 hours ago, Garga said:

The only way out of that, I think, might be to bring up a big decision in their life that they’re waffling about or don’t know what to do about, and then tell them, “When you make your decision on X, how will you know it’s the right one?  What if I come back in 5 years and tell you how wrong it was?”  Like, if they’re not sure what major to pick in college, or which college to go to, or whether to go or not.  These decisions are hard and you don’t always make the right one.  Period.  And sometimes it seems like the right one and it’s not until decades later that you find out it wasn’t.  And then I’d ask them to cut me a little slack because parenting is about facing those decisions every couple of months and it’s hard to get every.single.one of them right.

I am wondering if this isn't some of the root. She is a closet perfectionist. Like the type who is so perfectionistic she crumbles into inaction on some things if she doesn't think it's going to be EXACTLY perfect (hello, AP exams we had to walk away from). So this thought it dawning on her, at least from my side, where she's suddenly like "there isn't a right answer and there will always be an unknown," and it is freaking her out to an extent. Not like, that I am noticing anxiety or something. Yet. But like, the ground is shifting under her feet a bit where she is realizing (rightly) that you can plan all you want, and sometimes shit happens. I think on a positive, she is realizing this a lot younger than I did. I mean, I was like her PS friends. I had the plan. And I followed it, to the T, because I labored under the idea that if you did that, then you could not go wrong. If you did the education, and were good with money, and married, bought the house, etc. etc. etc. then you were the winner. It took me until my divorce before I probably realized that was NOT in fact how it worked out, and you could do all of the "right" things and life still suck. It brought a much needed dose of humility for me. So I think she is on the entrance of that realization, just the humility part hasn't joined up yet, if that makes sense, because she hasn't really had a major, public failure. Like a divorce or a firing or something. I mean, a bad grade in physics isn't quite the same, you know? 

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2 minutes ago, Seasider too said:

 

I really hate this type of early career pigeonholing. It is the antithesis of a broad liberal arts education. I appreciate programs that allow for career training in the later high school years (old fashioned DE), but the current system.... The Giver, anyone?

ETA Tex your daughter might enjoy a visit to the career center of your local community college. Just a thought. 

We have taken her- maybe we need to do it again. I feel like she's gone up a maturity peg or something overnight. I think she is pretty uninspired right now as far as what she wants to be when she grows up, which is scaring her, although we told her that's not unusual for a senior in high school!  But I don't think she believes us. I think what she sees with her friends and reads on Reddit and Twitter are mattering more than us these days. 

She has ruled out more than she has ruled in for degrees, which I think is a start, so she (for now) has chosen accounting because it seems to play to her strengths. I told her she can always change later, but that's a good general plan when you don't have something else, but you think you want to start a business at some point, and work for yourself or at least be contract and not a FTE, which is sort of her leanings from what she says. Better then, with those thoughts than psychology or something as a BS, without a plan or dream to pursue more school, iykwim. 

I think she just needs to get out into a bigger group of people her age- get more diversity--  like life experience diversity is what is lacking here. All of her IRL HS friends graduated a couple of years ago, and mostly went off to the military and she lost touch. Her PS friends are all the AP group, so are crazy driven and competitive and are really duking it out for scholarships at the parents urging. So where I see a bunch of kids withering under an incredible amount of anxiety and pressure- because I talk to their mothers and know about the counseling, the meds, and worse- she somehow has blocked that part out into "well at least they have a plan." There is a.....disconnect there? Maybe like having a friend who has a pile of material belongings on the verge of bankruptcy, but you only have the envy of the belongings? Her friends all say they wish they were homeschooled and some are being sent off to college eventhough they want to stay home. I just don't quite get why we were not wrong for doing that.......as far as the pressure. The point I am arriving at from all of y'all is I can't really win right now. I need to just head off with the book of Psalms. And Proverbs too. 

Idk. Your pregnancy comparison is extremely brilliant in regard to my feelings right now. I'm to the point of "fly little bird," with all of this. Dh is pretty ticked about it. One of the things she brought up was how she wishes we had made her be more active and not stopped exercising (like running long distance like she used to and doing martial arts.). I'm sorry but at some point, I think a person doing that is on their own and I cannot imagine her response if at 15 I had been like GET UP. GO RUN. NOW! No you cannot quit martial arts. I mean, sorry, but that was her choice and at the time she would have felt like a child had we made her. Plus how do you make a person do physical activity that requires effort? I guess I missed that part of the parenting manual......I mean, what am I going to do? Chase her with the car, LOL? At some point you can't really make teens do anything and her decision to drop out of dressage and running etc. is on her. But dh is like, great. I'll take her running this afternoon if that's what she wants. But I don't know that that is the answer. When she told me that yesterday, I was like "go run!!" She's more "oh well I'm out of shape now, it's too late...." that sort of thing that drives me more crazy. She's a size 0. I mean, it's not like she's overweight and it will physically be a burden on her joints or something. Go walk then. Start slow!!! Ugh. I just. Ugh. 

Anyway, I'm blathering, so I'll stop. She went out with friends to a movie and dh took the kids to visit his Mom so I am cleaning my house in peace. Better get back to it befroe the whirlwind returns, LOL. 

Thanks for listening and commiserating everyone. It does make me feel better. It's nice to be able to vent here, as I won't lie-  I feel like if I talked to my IRL friends they aren't at a stage of getting it. They'd either point the finger at homeschooling, and I feel like we are finally in a good place where I'm not under siege for that, so I don't particularly want to add that judgement to this right now, or their kids are all in elementary like my younger kids and they haven't even dealt with tweens yet, much less teens. They are very far removed from "moods" much less this type of angst. Or whatever this is. Maybe I'll make her watch the Breakfast Club and she can see that we too had these same sort of thoughts all the way back in 1985!! Gasp! And it wasn't novel or new then! 

 

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51 minutes ago, Tanaqui said:

But what you told your son is that six year olds aren't believable and their parents are. And this is what you wrote about - telling your son that children are not to be believed.

You could have asked other people who were at his birthday to confirm that you didn't spank him. You could have pointed out that you only spanked him a very few times in his early childhood, and that even though human memory IS fallible you think you would've remembered doing it another time on his birthday. You could have apologized for spanking him at all, without getting into the birthday aspect. There were numerous ways to have resolved this, but you picked the one that involved saying "Six year olds cannot be trusted if they say their parents hurt them."

OMG.  I did EVERY SINGLE one of those things you mentioned.  AND I also told him, "Hey, sometimes when you're 6, you remember things wrong.  Do you believe everything Branson says?"  And no, my son does not believe everything Branson says because he has caught Branson making things up and being a goofball six year old and showing off and doing all the things 6 year olds do.  "So, if Branson said his mom spanked him on his birthday and Brandi said she didn't, who would you believe?"  My son knows Brandi and Brandi just isn't a liar.  She just isn't.  

I did ask other people to confirm he wasn't spanked.  They agree that he wasn't.  I pointed out that I spanked him only 3 times in his life EVER.  I reminded him that birthdays are a HUGE deal to me and I make the day super special for everyone.  I apologized years ago when I decided spanking wasn't for us, and I apologized again when he brought it up that he thought I spanked him on his birthday and I explained that I was trying to do the right thing to raise my kids right, but I discovered that it was not the right thing.

And yes.  I told him that 6 year olds don't always remember things right and pointed out the 6 year old that he knows that absolutely remembers things wrong.  Because he's 6 and a goofball type of kid.  And it's true that 6 year olds do NOT remember things right or they misinterpret things.  So it wasn't a lie.

I am not globally teaching my kid that no 6 year old ever can be trusted and that only adults tell the truth.  Sheesh.  This was one small conversation and the part about the 6 year old was one small part of the conversation and absolutely was done to demonstrate the murky nature of all of our memories when we're 6 just to show him that sometimes our own memories get clouded.  

And you know what?  I was right.  My own kid's memory was wrong and Branson tells things that are provably wrong.  

Edited by Garga
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28 minutes ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

One of the things she brought up was how she wishes we had made her be more active and not stopped exercising (like running long distance like she used to and doing martial arts.). I'm sorry but at some point, I think a person doing that is on their own and I cannot imagine her response if at 15 I had been like GET UP. GO RUN. NOW! No you cannot quit martial arts. I mean, sorry, but that was her choice and at the time she would have felt like a child had we made her. Plus how do you make a person do physical activity that requires effort? I guess I missed that part of the parenting manual......I mean, what am I going to do? Chase her with the car, LOL? At some point you can't really make teens do anything and her decision to drop out of dressage and running etc. is on her. But dh is like, great. I'll take her running this afternoon if that's what she wants. But I don't know that that is the answer. When she told me that yesterday, I was like "go run!!" She's more "oh well I'm out of shape now, it's too late...." that sort of thing that drives me more crazy. She's a size 0. I mean, it's not like she's overweight and it will physically be a burden on her joints or something. Go walk then. Start slow!!! Ugh. I just. Ugh. 

 

So mine are all little so I've avoided jumping in but I'm taking notes for the future.  At least two of mine will be complainers for sure and I'm not the patient, go with the flow mom: I know I will get defensive and upset when it happens no matter how much I brace myself for it.

All that said... I totally did this with my mom over piano lessons.  For years I griped about how she let me quit.  She even paid for lessons again when I was in college to make up for it and I quit again because it was hard and I was once again undisciplined about practice; but, I was a snot and told her that "it was too late" and her fault.  Did the same thing about housekeeping and blamed her for my lack of basic skills.  Well, somewhere around child #4 I realized that it is incredibly hard to get children to do anything, that battles must be picked and sometimes (often times?) parents really do less than "their best" for one reason or another.  Fact is, she was exhausted, had Irish twins (one of whom had severe special needs) and was living in an unstable country to boot.  Making me help with dishes, let alone practice the piano was really way more effort than she could put in to parenting: she was trying to stay sane and keep us alive.  And it was also around that time that I realized what a PP pointed out up thread: adults don't blame their parents, they work to change things they dislike about themselves.  I'm a slow learner.

But, yeah, my poor mom.  She told me once long ago that I would get double of everything I gave to her as a teen and 20-something and I think she's right.  She wasn't saying it meanly, just observing one of my children's personality.

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2 hours ago, mms said:

So mine are all little so I've avoided jumping in but I'm taking notes for the future.  At least two of mine will be complainers for sure and I'm not the patient, go with the flow mom: I know I will get defensive and upset when it happens no matter how much I brace myself for it.

All that said... I totally did this with my mom over piano lessons.  For years I griped about how she let me quit.  She even paid for lessons again when I was in college to make up for it and I quit again because it was hard and I was once again undisciplined about practice; but, I was a snot and told her that "it was too late" and her fault.  Did the same thing about housekeeping and blamed her for my lack of basic skills.  Well, somewhere around child #4 I realized that it is incredibly hard to get children to do anything, that battles must be picked and sometimes (often times?) parents really do less than "their best" for one reason or another.  Fact is, she was exhausted, had Irish twins (one of whom had severe special needs) and was living in an unstable country to boot.  Making me help with dishes, let alone practice the piano was really way more effort than she could put in to parenting: she was trying to stay sane and keep us alive.  And it was also around that time that I realized what a PP pointed out up thread: adults don't blame their parents, they work to change things they dislike about themselves.  I'm a slow learner.

But, yeah, my poor mom.  She told me once long ago that I would get double of everything I gave to her as a teen and 20-something and I think she's right.  She wasn't saying it meanly, just observing one of my children's personality.

Thanks for posting. I too have Irish twins, and admittedly there were some battles I was just too tired to fight with her- guitar lessons being one of them too!

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I am the oldest of 4 and all of 4 of us did something similar to my mom at some point.

 

Her answer was always "well, when you have your own kids, you can do things however you want to"  lol

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Oh I like the pregnancy analogy! Thanks Seasider!

I think she's wanting freedom and independence but they are also scary. It's easy to blame mum rather than feel the hard feelings and DO something yourself. But definitely a champing at the bit, being frustrated that she still needs mum's help in the world (sucks that you need a lift/money/permission and therefore must be nice to me!)

I remember feeling the same way at 14, like I was ready for real life and darn all these adults and regulations in my way! Overall, I think that's a good thing, I want her to be independent and live her own life, she threatens to go and do <insert big thing far away> when she's 18 and I'm like, 'wonderful! I'll be your biggest cheerleader!' Then I get 🙄😠 in return 😄

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4 hours ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

I am wondering if this isn't some of the root. She is a closet perfectionist. Like the type who is so perfectionistic she crumbles into inaction on some things if she doesn't think it's going to be EXACTLY perfect (hello, AP exams we had to walk away from). So this thought it dawning on her, at least from my side, where she's suddenly like "there isn't a right answer and there will always be an unknown," and it is freaking her out to an extent. Not like, that I am noticing anxiety or something. Yet. But like, the ground is shifting under her feet a bit where she is realizing (rightly) that you can plan all you want, and sometimes shit happens. I think on a positive, she is realizing this a lot younger than I did. I mean, I was like her PS friends. I had the plan. And I followed it, to the T, because I labored under the idea that if you did that, then you could not go wrong. If you did the education, and were good with money, and married, bought the house, etc. etc. etc. then you were the winner. It took me until my divorce before I probably realized that was NOT in fact how it worked out, and you could do all of the "right" things and life still suck. It brought a much needed dose of humility for me. So I think she is on the entrance of that realization, just the humility part hasn't joined up yet, if that makes sense, because she hasn't really had a major, public failure. Like a divorce or a firing or something. I mean, a bad grade in physics isn't quite the same, you know? 

Yes, I believe you are right. My young adult who is the most likely to criticize past parenting decisions is also the closet perfectionist and has many times run aground on the idea that there is one absolutely optimal choice and nothing else is good. This is my child who feels I permitted “dorkiness” so that “coolness” was not automatically well-established upon entry to B&M school. 🙄 Therefore any teasing caused by dorkiness was my fault for not curbing all dorkiness before real school. Um, yeah, okay. Sorry I let you remain ignorant of why that smiley-face shirt was a hard no until a classmate clarified that opinion. 

Incidentally, I was well, well into adulthood before I really cottoned onto the fact that you can’t always choose perfectly and you can’t necessarily avert all bad outcomes. Proper Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance - yes, but also, sh!t happens. I was also pretty old before I fully grasped that it was possible for several options to be equally good. 

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A  potentially interesting book sort of related to this and suitable for a teen, IMO: 

The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui  (Doing best we can in circumstances over several generations is a substantial theme in the book)

and somewhere in the Gate Mage series by Orson Scott Card there’s a quote about making decisions that I recall liking—and may need to reread series to find it again and see if I still do.  

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14 hours ago, Quill said:

Yes, I believe you are right. My young adult who is the most likely to criticize past parenting decisions is also the closet perfectionist and has many times run aground on the idea that there is one absolutely optimal choice and nothing else is good. This is my child who feels I permitted “dorkiness” so that “coolness” was not automatically well-established upon entry to B&M school. 🙄 Therefore any teasing caused by dorkiness was my fault for not curbing all dorkiness before real school. Um, yeah, okay. Sorry I let you remain ignorant of why that smiley-face shirt was a hard no until a classmate clarified that opinion. 

Incidentally, I was well, well into adulthood before I really cottoned onto the fact that you can’t always choose perfectly and you can’t necessarily avert all bad outcomes. Proper Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance - yes, but also, sh!t happens. I was also pretty old before I fully grasped that it was possible for several options to be equally good. 

Me too.  And my son hasn’t learned it yet.  

I can’t even really read this entire thread because it is currently too painful.

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I've had to learn to just roll my eyes.   generally life will teach them some perspective.  sometimes not fast enough.

 

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Proper Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance

I'm hanging on to this to send to my poorly prepared Eagle candidates! The kid whose mom has been harassing me for months STILL hasn't sent me his book. Um, can't do a Board now!

Hang in there moms--I had a discussion with middle dd a few years back. "You know, I hated hsing." "Yes, dear. I did know that." "It was probably for the best. I wouldn't have learned anything otherwise." "Yes. I know that." 

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well, that's the idea, is that it doesn't always prevent poor performance - sometimes things just aren't perfect, or even all that good.  Your DD would probably have learned something at PS - sure, not as much esp. about the things she did learn, but it wouldn't have been the end of the world.  Homeschooling wasn't the end of the world either, obviously.  Not every decision every parent makes is the perfect one for every child at every time, and that is okay.

Heck, I start early: I have epidurals, when I can, with labor.

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18 hours ago, Quill said:

Incidentally, I was well, well into adulthood before I really cottoned onto the fact that you can’t always choose perfectly and you can’t necessarily avert all bad outcomes. Proper Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance - yes, but also, sh!t happens. I was also pretty old before I fully grasped that it was possible for several options to be equally good. 

This has got to be one of my least favorite phrases -- it was thrown at us when our first "surprise" pregnancy occurred and my husband asked his flight instructor for a weekend off to have a small honeymoon for our shotgun wedding.  It was said extremely sanctimoniously and his weekend off was denied.  It's been a great example for my husband over the years of what NOT to do for young Marines under his command, lol.  

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On 9/7/2019 at 12:02 AM, Liz CA said:

This is a time when they need to separate from the parents - not physically but mentally. Step out and voice an independent opinion, try out a different viewpoint. I always believed the more we encourage independent thought (even though often they don't have all the pieces to make an informed judgment call) the more confident they will be in their own ability to think something through and reach a decision. The whole problem solving approach is part of this. She may also realize that her opinions are not being discounted and therefore feel comfortable in running a few scenarios by you. And then there is what Suzanne said...they cannot "remember anything good" probably because they want to find something to criticize, be different, etc. until they suddenly do remember all the fun they had. 

Exciting times of growing and exercising the thinking muscle, learning that it's okay to disagree because those people who are mature and "safe" people know they are not perfect and are not afraid to leave some room for a different view. 

It is so funny but the two of my kids who went in different ways, both of them have come back a lot to our views. Because somehow, they decided at college, that we had differing views than we had.  Then, after college, out of that pressure, and seeing what some policies would actually do, they have come back around.  Like my son got crashed into a woman who has a long history of not following the law.  Boy, did his opinion change about law enforcement.  Now he is more upset that these people can keep disobeying the law and hurting others with zero consequences. 

My daughter got super upset when she found out how difficult it is in some states for the poor to defend themselves- be it old people who are robbed consistently or battered women escaping from stalker ex- boyfriends or barely making it shop owners of various kinds who keep getting robbed.  

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On 9/7/2019 at 2:04 PM, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

We have taken her- maybe we need to do it again. I feel like she's gone up a maturity peg or something overnight. I think she is pretty uninspired right now as far as what she wants to be when she grows up, which is scaring her, although we told her that's not unusual for a senior in high school!  But I don't think she believes us. I think what she sees with her friends and reads on Reddit and Twitter are mattering more than us these days. 

She has ruled out more than she has ruled in for degrees, which I think is a start, so she (for now) has chosen accounting because it seems to play to her strengths. I told her she can always change later, but that's a good general plan when you don't have something else, but you think you want to start a business at some point, and work for yourself or at least be contract and not a FTE, which is sort of her leanings from what she says. Better then, with those thoughts than psychology or something as a BS, without a plan or dream to pursue more school, iykwim. 

I think she just needs to get out into a bigger group of people her age- get more diversity--  like life experience diversity is what is lacking here. All of her IRL HS friends graduated a couple of years ago, and mostly went off to the military and she lost touch. Her PS friends are all the AP group, so are crazy driven and competitive and are really duking it out for scholarships at the parents urging. So where I see a bunch of kids withering under an incredible amount of anxiety and pressure- because I talk to their mothers and know about the counseling, the meds, and worse- she somehow has blocked that part out into "well at least they have a plan." There is a.....disconnect there? Maybe like having a friend who has a pile of material belongings on the verge of bankruptcy, but you only have the envy of the belongings? Her friends all say they wish they were homeschooled and some are being sent off to college eventhough they want to stay home. I just don't quite get why we were not wrong for doing that.......as far as the pressure. The point I am arriving at from all of y'all is I can't really win right now. I need to just head off with the book of Psalms. And Proverbs too. 

Idk. Your pregnancy comparison is extremely brilliant in regard to my feelings right now. I'm to the point of "fly little bird," with all of this. Dh is pretty ticked about it. One of the things she brought up was how she wishes we had made her be more active and not stopped exercising (like running long distance like she used to and doing martial arts.). I'm sorry but at some point, I think a person doing that is on their own and I cannot imagine her response if at 15 I had been like GET UP. GO RUN. NOW! No you cannot quit martial arts. I mean, sorry, but that was her choice and at the time she would have felt like a child had we made her. Plus how do you make a person do physical activity that requires effort? I guess I missed that part of the parenting manual......I mean, what am I going to do? Chase her with the car, LOL? At some point you can't really make teens do anything and her decision to drop out of dressage and running etc. is on her. But dh is like, great. I'll take her running this afternoon if that's what she wants. But I don't know that that is the answer. When she told me that yesterday, I was like "go run!!" She's more "oh well I'm out of shape now, it's too late...." that sort of thing that drives me more crazy. She's a size 0. I mean, it's not like she's overweight and it will physically be a burden on her joints or something. Go walk then. Start slow!!! Ugh. I just. Ugh. 

Anyway, I'm blathering, so I'll stop. She went out with friends to a movie and dh took the kids to visit his Mom so I am cleaning my house in peace. Better get back to it befroe the whirlwind returns, LOL. 

Thanks for listening and commiserating everyone. It does make me feel better. It's nice to be able to vent here, as I won't lie-  I feel like if I talked to my IRL friends they aren't at a stage of getting it. They'd either point the finger at homeschooling, and I feel like we are finally in a good place where I'm not under siege for that, so I don't particularly want to add that judgement to this right now, or their kids are all in elementary like my younger kids and they haven't even dealt with tweens yet, much less teens. They are very far removed from "moods" much less this type of angst. Or whatever this is. Maybe I'll make her watch the Breakfast Club and she can see that we too had these same sort of thoughts all the way back in 1985!! Gasp! And it wasn't novel or new then! 

 

Must be in the air. One of our grown (not yet self sufficient😩) just sat us down to share our parent fails. A lot of same exact scenario...choices they made that we didn't "force" them to do or undo. Because yes, I could sit on you, hold your hand/pencil and help you write each thing!😨  (or take each step in running, dance, etc) Are there fails in our parenting? Yes. Were they malicious?  No. Doing the best we could with what we had factoring in 7 people not including the aging parents, 3 moves in 3 years, the recession...life. I hope to live long enough to see each of my people realize that parenting is about so much more than each one of them.

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On 9/7/2019 at 11:04 AM, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

 

Idk. Your pregnancy comparison is extremely brilliant in regard to my feelings right now. I'm to the point of "fly little bird," with all of this. Dh is pretty ticked about it. One of the things she brought up was how she wishes we had made her be more active and not stopped exercising (like running long distance like she used to and doing martial arts.). I'm sorry but at some point, I think a person doing that is on their own and I cannot imagine her response if at 15 I had been like GET UP. GO RUN. NOW! No you cannot quit martial arts. I mean, sorry, but that was her choice and at the time she would have felt like a child had we made her. Plus how do you make a person do physical activity that requires effort? I guess I missed that part of the parenting manual......I mean, what am I going to do? Chase her with the car, LOL? At some point you can't really make teens do anything and her decision to drop out of dressage and running etc. is on her. But dh is like, great. I'll take her running this afternoon if that's what she wants. But I don't know that that is the answer. When she told me that yesterday, I was like "go run!!" She's more "oh well I'm out of shape now, it's too late...." that sort of thing that drives me more crazy. She's a size 0. I mean, it's not like she's overweight and it will physically be a burden on her joints or something. Go walk then. Start slow!!! Ugh. I just. Ugh. 

 

 

She has realized that past choices can have consequences in the present. She doesn't seem to like the consequences (not as fit / fast / good as I used to be) and realizes that it takes work to start up again. It appears to be easier to just look for someone to blame and you are handy. Just commiserate with a smile, encourage and then step onto the sidelines and smile again.  This is her "battle" and she will figure it out in good time. Don't let it drain you - and always remember what you have already been reminded of: Children are a Blessing!  🤣😄🙂

"I am sorry you are sad that you stopped running. You can start again any time."

"It's too late now. I wish you had insisted on my sticking with it."

"Oh, must be discouraging to feel this way. I hope you soon find the courage to start again." And now SMILE at her. 

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On 9/6/2019 at 10:23 PM, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

Thank you. I gently tried to point out the bolded to her- I do think she gets that. She's just in a weird place. And what's funny, is she even mentioned her friends who have had parents that did XYZ really gripe and complain about how horrible it was- so that makes me even more lost to why she is thinking it would have been better had we gone those routes instead......I think the whole launching thing as an adult has got her in a funky place right now and I'm not sure how to help. One of the things she told me today is she wished I would have made her follow more structure and I'm thinking, "I almost lost my mind getting you to fall into what structure I could!!! Our relationship would have imploded had I been more heavy handed." Ack. But I know saying that won't really help right now. I think she's talking to talk. So I'm doing that here, LOL, so I don't get defensive and spark hurt feelings. Dh just rolled his eyes and went to do something with the other kids while she talked to me about it. He's very much in a WTH moment over it too, but I think he isn't taking it as personally. 

I'm right there with ya with my dd!  Understand completely!  

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LOL, well not a young adult by any means but when my mil had the nerve to question me I told her she'd had her turn ruining kid lives.  Now it was mine.

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