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Æthelthryth the Texan

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

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I don’t get it. If they aren’t being mean spirited about it - then so what if they think we made mistakes? I *know* I have made mistakes. Sorry kids. Parents aren’t perfect ever and especially with the first pancakes. I don’t do many things the same with my younger ones as I did with the older ones.  I tell my older ones that there’s things I’d do different now but I guess I didn’t do too bad a job of things.  For the most part they seem to agree. 

I guess if my kid said I sucked as a mom that would for sure hurt. But when they have voiced suggestions on things I should consider with younger siblings, I respect that it might be worth considering and they mostly respect I wasn’t all wrong.

And yeah, time may change a lot of perspectives for all parties. 

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1 hour ago, Murphy101 said:

I don’t get it. If they aren’t being mean spirited about it - then so what if they think we made mistakes? I *know* I have made mistakes. Sorry kids. Parents aren’t perfect ever and especially with the first pancakes. I don’t do many things the same with my younger ones as I did with the older ones.  I tell my older ones that there’s things I’d do different now but I guess I didn’t do too bad a job of things.  For the most part they seem to agree. 

I guess if my kid said I sucked as a mom that would for sure hurt. But when they have voiced suggestions on things I should consider with younger siblings, I respect that it might be worth considering and they mostly respect I wasn’t all wrong.

And yeah, time may change a lot of perspectives for all parties. 

Yeah, I feel the same way, but it still has taken me aback when I have sometimes been told by my kid that something I put great effort, time and money into wasn’t, in their opinion, worthwhile. My older son does not think the private school we paid a billion dollars for was worth it; however, I think he is wrong. He never attended public school and therefore, has no idea what that may have been for him and he for damn sure wouldn’t have made the LAX team. So, yeah, I see how it is when a particular kid gets some idea that they know what would have been better. 

But - not speaking for the OP, but in my case - I don’t dwell on it. I say, “I’m sorry you think xyz was not the best choice, but we did, it was chosen and now that’s just the past.” In some cases, I have said, “Yeah...if I had a re-do, I don’t think I would choose that again.” In general, though, I try not to spend too much energy on yesterday’s decisions. 

Hell, I’m not certain I would even homeschool if I was getting a re-do on the past twenty years. 

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Well, apparently I am not the worst parent on earth after all. She stumbled across unschooling on a Reddit thread this weekend and went down a rabbit hole. I forget that though I've been immersed in homeschooling and all its intricacies all these years, my children have not. To them it's just school. They don't know or give two figs about the types of homeschooling......So she hadn't heard of unschooling at all, and apparently reading this Reddit sub, she's now horrified over all of it, and was telling me all about it and thanking me for not doing that to her. (I am guessing this is a HSAnon type of sub with the extreme unschoolers more like those homesteady people on that farm- The Noggats, or whatever their names are.) I think I'm looking pretty good at the moment, LOL, making her do all of that math and readin' and stuff, even if I let her quit dressage and running. We'll see how long this lasts........

Edited by Æthelthryth the Texan
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We must be on the same wavelength; I am also out of the doghouse as of yesterday, because I bought her a planner online that turned out to be "the most beautiful planner I've ever seen!"

It was like $10 on Amazon.  She didn't even think she wanted one but I remember how useful they were in high school and this school doesn't provide them.  

Anyway, so now I am cool and smart and farsighted and with it.  

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On 9/7/2019 at 1:33 PM, Seasider too said:

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😂

 

 

This is just so it.

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11 hours ago, Murphy101 said:

I don’t get it. If they aren’t being mean spirited about it - then so what if they think we made mistakes? I *know* I have made mistakes. Sorry kids. Parents aren’t perfect ever and especially with the first pancakes. I don’t do many things the same with my younger ones as I did with the older ones.  I tell my older ones that there’s things I’d do different now but I guess I didn’t do too bad a job of things.  For the most part they seem to agree. 

I guess if my kid said I sucked as a mom that would for sure hurt. But when they have voiced suggestions on things I should consider with younger siblings, I respect that it might be worth considering and they mostly respect I wasn’t all wrong.

And yeah, time may change a lot of perspectives for all parties. 

For my kid it’s the implying that “the reason I’m unhappy and struggling is because you did x, y, and z and if you’d done a,b, and c my life would be perfect.” And the expectation that I should’ve known that the xyz would lead to this outcome because it’s so clear...

my kid has blamed me because the clothes she wore at age 8 were in her current fashionable opinion “dorky.” Why did you let me wear that? “Because you liked it?” “Well, it looked terrible. You should’ve made me change.” 

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1 hour ago, fairfarmhand said:

For my kid it’s the implying that “the reason I’m unhappy and struggling is because you did x, y, and z and if you’d done a,b, and c my life would be perfect.” And the expectation that I should’ve known that the xyz would lead to this outcome because it’s so clear...

my kid has blamed me because the clothes she wore at age 8 were in her current fashionable opinion “dorky.” Why did you let me wear that? “Because you liked it?” “Well, it looked terrible. You should’ve made me change.” 

Yep. Because their younger self wouldn’t have seen it as an impingement of freedom at that time, but would have thanked us for our farsighted wisdom for shutting down the dorky clothes they were very proud of at the time and selected independently. 🙄

I’m going on record that I hope all of my kids have at least 5 kids that are all even stronger willed than they are. My Mom said my Grandmother once told her “I hope you have a child even more stubborn than you!” And after I was born my Grandma told her, “You outdid yourself!” So I have it on great authority these sort of Mom wishes work. 😂

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7 minutes ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

I’m going on record that I hope all of my kids have at least 5 kids that are all even stronger willed than they are. My Mom said my Grandmother once told her “I hope you have a child even more stubborn than you!” And after I was born my Grandma told her, “You outdid yourself!” So I have it on great authority these sort of Mom wishes work. 😂

My mom wished on all of us the same kind of monsters we were. I have always thought this rather mean of her. 

I see why she says it, but I hope I don't say this (outloud) to my kids. I hope, instead, that they have more patience, wisdom, and be more prescient than DH & I. 

I hope my kids will deal more successfully with their own kids than I have. If for no other reason than that will make it easier for me to keep my parenting opinions to myself.

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4 hours ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

I’m going on record that I hope all of my kids have at least 5 kids that are all even stronger willed than they are. My Mom said my Grandmother once told her “I hope you have a child even more stubborn than you!” And after I was born my Grandma told her, “You outdid yourself!” So I have it on great authority these sort of Mom wishes work. 😂


Hey now! I was the "good kid" and my parents never wished that on me... But I married DH who WAS a handful-and-a-half, and his mom DID wish that on him -- and I had to go along for the bumpy ride on that one with one of our DSs!  😫 I'm just sayin' -- be kind in advance to your potentially "good kid" future spouses of your DC! 😂 

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21 hours ago, Liz CA said:

...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...  It appears to be easier to just look for someone to blame and you are handy...


Oh goodness yes! This was one of our DSs. In reading your post I flashed back to a vacation when he was 17 or 18yo -- virtually an adult, and a lot taller/stronger than I am. We went to the beach and I pull out the bottle of sunscreen and announce to everyone "Here's sunscreen! With all that water reflecting the sun, we'll want to make sure to get a good layer on to avoid sunburn!" And everyone except the one DS lathers it on -- he decides he doesn't "need" it. He later falls asleep on a towel in direct sunlight, and burns to a hot red -- and promptly blames me: "Mom! Why didn't you *make* me put on sunscreen!" 🤨 Wait, what? I was supposed to wrestle you to the ground and force you to wear sunscreen??! 😂

Edited by Lori D.
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2 minutes ago, Lori D. said:


😁

Mysterious, no? 

I was telling a story about sunburns and realized it was soooo off topic that it didn't need to be on the thread, so I deleted the quote and changed it to nm.  But I guess it still sent you a notification that I'd quoted you.

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Just now, Garga said:

Mysterious, no? 

I was telling a story about sunburns and realized it was soooo off topic that it didn't need to be on the thread, so I deleted the quote and changed it to nm.  But I guess it still sent you a notification that I'd quoted you.


LOL! But mysterious fits in so well with your silhouette avatar, Garga!

(But thank you for the explanation -- I did wonder what I missed! 😂 ) hugs, Lori

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10 hours ago, fairfarmhand said:

For my kid it’s the implying that “the reason I’m unhappy and struggling is because you did x, y, and z and if you’d done a,b, and c my life would be perfect.” And the expectation that I should’ve known that the xyz would lead to this outcome because it’s so clear...

my kid has blamed me because the clothes she wore at age 8 were in her current fashionable opinion “dorky.” Why did you let me wear that? “Because you liked it?” “Well, it looked terrible. You should’ve made me change.” 

 

Honestly? I’d laugh out loud at such comments. I just can’t take that seriously.  The clothes she is wearing NOW are going to seem super dorky to her in 10 years. That’s just the way of fads and changing tastes for everyone of just about any age. I’d laugh and inform of that fact and move on.

An expectation that things have to be just so in order to be happy is a decision to never be happy. Things are never going to be as advertised. Her mom could be a fairy godmother and she’d be unhappy if that’s how she thinks happiness works. 

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9 hours ago, RootAnn said:

My mom wished on all of us the same kind of monsters we were. I have always thought this rather mean of her. 

I see why she says it, but I hope I don't say this (outloud) to my kids. I hope, instead, that they have more patience, wisdom, and be more prescient than DH & I. 

I hope my kids will deal more successfully with their own kids than I have. If for no other reason than that will make it easier for me to keep my parenting opinions to myself.

 

To be fair, I don’t think anyone making such wishes is doing it out of meanness, but rather out of a longing for the challenging child to one day understand the mother’s point of view. 

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12 minutes ago, Seasider too said:

To be fair, I don’t think anyone making such wishes is doing it out of meanness, but rather out of a longing for the challenging child to one day understand the mother’s point of view. 

Well, I don't think OP is doing it out of meanness. She's too sweet! But my mom? Absolutely out of meanness!! (My sister was the biggest pill & she has zero off-spring! I was "the good kid" (until 16 yrs old when I was finally allowed to date). She is equal opportunity wish-bad-kids-on-everyone.

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Yeah, I am not wanting them to have really bad kids. I'll have to babysit them and I'd prefer them to be angels, not demons, LOL. But I wouldn't mind if they put their parents through their paces now and then! 

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1 hour ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

Yeah, I am not wanting them to have really bad kids. I'll have to babysit them and I'd prefer them to be angels, not demons, LOL. But I wouldn't mind if they put their parents through their paces now and then! 

 

Yup, just enough to make them humble and keep them on their toes.

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8 hours ago, Lori D. said:


Hey now! I was the "good kid" and my parents never wished that on me... But I married DH who WAS a handful-and-a-half, and his mom DID wish that on him -- and I had to go along for the bumpy ride on that one with one of our DSs!  😫 I'm just sayin' -- be kind in advance to your potentially "good kid" future spouses of your DC! 😂 

I can often be heard apologizing to my sweet dh for that very reason. 😊

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The Orson Scott Card book I was trying to remember was the 3rd in the Mithermage, I think it is called, series.  The book is called Gatefather and the main parts I was thinking of are in chapter 3.  The section begins with a younger character looking to an older one for guidance/advice.  The older one says: 

”Everybody...has a whole bunch of if-onlys. If only he had left one minute earlier, he wouldn’t have stepped in front of that bus. If only a kid’s parents had married somebody else their genes  wouldn’t have combined to give him cystic fibrosis or sickle cell or whatever....”

and then goes on in the next pages to discussing how to make a decision about what to do (in this case regarding a fantasy fiction situation that could bring about the destruction of life on earth and another inhabited planet — or enslavement of everyone to a devil and his minions — ...)  

”...do the very best you can .”

“but I can’t know it’s the best if—“

”You don’t know it’s the best! There’s no ‘knowing’. There’s only doing. The best you can.”

 

It sounds a bit like Yoda talking to Luke Skywalker. 😉  But there’s more emphasis on what type of decision to make that has potential for a  good result  and less on the action aspect of try versus do.     And also an acknowledgment that any course of action including doing nothing may result in disaster. 

 

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I started having these conversations with LEGOManiac and PonyGirl years ago.  I sat them down and told them it wouldn't be long until they started feeling like DH and I had really messed up somehow...they laughed.

LEGOManiac wishes he had gone to high school full time.  I reminded him that when we arrived, we tried to get him signed up for certain classes (Physics and PreCalc specifically), but the school counselor said that those classes were reserved for Juniors and Seniors and not for freshmen.  Freshmen needed to take IP&C.  It wasn't until AFTER he (and PonyGirl) took the ACT that they became so accommodating.   I asked him if he thinks he would have enjoyed repeating the science and math courses in order to attend the high school more, and he flat out said "no." (he was at least honest with himself on that accord).  I've given the kids a lot of choices, and we've talked about potential outcomes for the various choices.  Thus far, I've been right much more often than I've been wrong -- so my credibility with the oldest two keeps going up (LOL).  I don't know if LEGOManiac will wind up homeschooling his kids.  He's dead set against it for now -- I just ended that most recent conversation with, well -- keep an open mind on the subject, you may wind up with a child just like you, which is how we wound up homeschooling in the first place.

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I haven't read all the responses, so I'm just doing a hit-and-run pipe-up.  

BTDT, and went through counseling and so on.  Through understanding that BOTH DS and we as his parents made goofy decisions, but based on what we knew or were capable of at the time, I wanted to write an apology to my son when he was about 20.  The counselor said DON'T.  Wait until he grows up (about age 25 for most young men) and then talk it through.  If you do it too soon he will receive the apology as a child would (not as an adult would), and it would increase his bitterness.  

So I waited.  And he rejected many things that we hold dear or think important.  Still does.  But when he complained about them, I just shrugged and said, "We did the best we could, and we know you will find a good life because you are well loved by very imperfect parents.  And I know you love me."

Well, when he was about 23.5, after he had moved out of the house and been on his own (haha, with some $$ from us) we ended up meandering into the conversation, and it was one of the most beautiful experiences of my life.  He said that he didn't remember all the yelling I did (one of my bitterest regrets) and that he probably deserved it as he was a little _____ (his words, and I managed to refrain from nodding).  He said there were two things he had a hard time forgiving me for--they were specific incidents, not the general milieu--and so I asked his forgiveness, and explained why I, an imperfect person, had done what I had done.  (Almost 100% of my mistakes have been based in fear...). After the first one, he said, "I forgive you--but the next one harder."  (I braced myself, trust me.)  We walked through that one, and he GOT IT.  And he practically YELLED, "MOM!  I forGIVE YOU!"  And then he broke into a big smile and started JIGGING (this is my totally not-excitable kid).  "MOM-This feels so GREAT!  I feel as light as a FEATHER!"

This was a real breakthrough for us, and we are in really good relationship now, even though it is not what I had imagined it would be when he was a little one.  But it also seems to have helped him turn a corner as he is really working on who HE is now, with help, and making some good progress.  He's still not where he should be, maturity-wise, but it is a LONG way forward and I am just so happy for the relationship to be flourishing.  

I wanted to write this out because it might bring hope to some who are in the weeds.  Trust me, ages 15-20 with this one were ... nothing but weeds.  :0(  Worst 6 years ever.

As for what to do, shrug your shoulders, admit imperfection, and tell the kid to make a good life for him/herself...and expect to make mistakes of his/her own along the way.   Just like you did.  :0)

 

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9 hours ago, Pen said:

It sounds a bit like Yoda talking to Luke Skywalker. 😉  But there’s more emphasis on what type of decision to make that has potential for a  good result  and less on the action aspect of try versus do.     And also an acknowledgment that any course of action including doing nothing may result in disaster. 

 

 

Later in book I just got to where it has a character bring up the Yoda quote—with reply along lines of , no, the exact opposite.  We can only keep trying to do our best.  The results aren’t in our control.

If I end up with a future dc still in a late elementary school to middle school read aloud stage, I’m planning to read this book to him or her. 😊

 

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6 hours ago, Patty Joanna said:

I haven't read all the responses, so I'm just doing a hit-and-run pipe-up.  

BTDT, and went through counseling and so on.  Through understanding that BOTH DS and we as his parents made goofy decisions, but based on what we knew or were capable of at the time, I wanted to write an apology to my son when he was about 20.  The counselor said DON'T.  Wait until he grows up (about age 25 for most young men) and then talk it through.  If you do it too soon he will receive the apology as a child would (not as an adult would), and it would increase his bitterness.  

So I waited.  And he rejected many things that we hold dear or think important.  Still does.  But when he complained about them, I just shrugged and said, "We did the best we could, and we know you will find a good life because you are well loved by very imperfect parents.  And I know you love me."

Well, when he was about 23.5, after he had moved out of the house and been on his own (haha, with some $$ from us) we ended up meandering into the conversation, and it was one of the most beautiful experiences of my life.  He said that he didn't remember all the yelling I did (one of my bitterest regrets) and that he probably deserved it as he was a little _____ (his words, and I managed to refrain from nodding).  He said there were two things he had a hard time forgiving me for--they were specific incidents, not the general milieu--and so I asked his forgiveness, and explained why I, an imperfect person, had done what I had done.  (Almost 100% of my mistakes have been based in fear...). After the first one, he said, "I forgive you--but the next one harder."  (I braced myself, trust me.)  We walked through that one, and he GOT IT.  And he practically YELLED, "MOM!  I forGIVE YOU!"  And then he broke into a big smile and started JIGGING (this is my totally not-excitable kid).  "MOM-This feels so GREAT!  I feel as light as a FEATHER!"

This was a real breakthrough for us, and we are in really good relationship now, even though it is not what I had imagined it would be when he was a little one.  But it also seems to have helped him turn a corner as he is really working on who HE is now, with help, and making some good progress.  He's still not where he should be, maturity-wise, but it is a LONG way forward and I am just so happy for the relationship to be flourishing.  

I wanted to write this out because it might bring hope to some who are in the weeds.  Trust me, ages 15-20 with this one were ... nothing but weeds.  :0(  Worst 6 years ever.

As for what to do, shrug your shoulders, admit imperfection, and tell the kid to make a good life for him/herself...and expect to make mistakes of his/her own along the way.   Just like you did.  :0)

 

This is an amazing story, thanks for sharing it!

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