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Show ALL Forums  > Single Parents  > Gotta admit, it is easier to parent alone than co-parent      Home login  
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 ohwhynot46
Joined: 6/28/2009
Msg: 101
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Gotta admit, it is easier to parent alone than co-parentPage 5 of 6    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
I'm no being hard on you, jackie, either, and I don't mean to sound harsh, but I do think you may have hit on what is, if not in this particular instance, a large part of the problem. It is not our job as parents to control our children, rather to teach them how to control & conduct themselves. Control is at the heart of rebellion, once they become teens. here is ALWAYS more behind closed doors, sometimes good, sometimes bad.
 happybunny8
Joined: 4/16/2010
Msg: 102
Gotta admit, it is easier to parent alone than co-parent
Posted: 8/20/2010 5:48:37 PM
I say that what you observe in today's society is actually caused a lot more because so FEW parents even TRY to listen to their kid's emotions


Hehe, yeah I listen to my brother and his daughter discussing something she did in this manner. It goes on and on and on with her always talking about her "hurt" feelings and not admitting to something she did despite the obvious facts. It's like a 60 minute conversation of both of them saying the same thing over and over and him just getting more frustrated. It almost reminded me of him allowing her a lawyer to state her case. Ridiculous.

His wife just let him go about it and shakes her head. My nephew on the other hand? You could use this approach with him and it would work.

Sorry, but sometimes you just give your child crap and/or a punishment (depends on age) and that is that. You do something unacceptable and explained why it is unacceptable and YOU still argue with me?! There has to be boundaries. I agree with trying to talk things out with children, but some children don't respond to that. Each child is different. Some respond to a serious talk; other belittle that; others need a firmer discipline. It is really hard to state that one way of raising and disciplining a child is the way for all.

I'm lucky in that I have seen both types of households. I was raised in a 2-parent household and rarely saw my parents fighting in a disrespectful way. I feel that they definitely made an effort to ensure that our home was a happy home.

I have a friend who's husband is extremely disrespectful to almost everyone. They have lost friends because of his behaviour and he still believes he is not in the wrong. His children do not spend any time with him and he generally only yells at them.

In that situation, the one-parent situation would be far superior. His children will grow up to not respect him, just like he did not respect his father.

I, however respect my parents today because of who they are and how they treat others.
 ConsciousSoul
Joined: 7/9/2008
Msg: 103
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Gotta admit, it is easier to parent alone than co-parent
Posted: 8/20/2010 11:12:35 PM

Hehe, yeah I listen to my brother and his daughter discussing something she did in this manner. It goes on and on and on with her always talking about her "hurt" feelings and not admitting to something she did despite the obvious facts. It's like a 60 minute conversation of both of them saying the same thing over and over and him just getting more frustrated. It almost reminded me of him allowing her a lawyer to state her case. Ridiculous.


Listening skills do not came "out of the box" to untrained parents. It's amongst the hardest skills to acquire and develop. Right from the start, "listening" isn't going to really happen while the listening person has an agenda on her mind and is trying to get her to "admin what she did" .. that's not listening, that's manipulating! Listening is when the person is truly open to understand. It's hard. It can't be done in any state of mine; and it can't be faked. Plus you need to know HOW to do it, so that you don't block the communication.

So I highly doubt that what I am advocating on these forum has anything to do with what your brother is trying to do with his daughter. I am even surprised these kind of conversation could even last 60 minutes: kids don't have that kind of attention span and getting them to actually talk about their emotions is quite a challenge even to do so for 10 minutes in a row.


You do something unacceptable and explained why it is unacceptable and YOU still argue with me?!

Sure does. Who says YOU should always be right? Can't you conceive a world in which the parent may make a mistake? Or, more importantly, a world in which the parent may be right, but the child still feels HE was right, too? He is a full person, he deserves to be heard, even when he is wrong. Because his FEELINGS are never wrong. And he needs to make sens of them.


There has to be boundaries.

Of course. But what does boundaries have to do with listening to your kid's emotions?


I agree with trying to talk things out with children, but some children don't respond to that.

EVERY single child responds to *communication*. Remember: communication with their parent is the life's line, a matter of life and death to a child. But communication takes many forms. Children who don't respond to a parent trying to "talk things out" usually happens to have weak attachment to the parent. To listen, they first need to be listened, touched, connected with. Don't look for what's wrong with the child. Look for the source in the parent's dynamic.


Each child is different.

Every child is also a human being who goes through the same cognitive development, the same life-span developmental stages, who will develop the same kind of coping mechanisms and the same kind of attachment patterns to the same kind of parenting practices and to the same kind of traumas.
Truly, there is a lot more common in every children than there are differences.
What doesn't really work well for a child will not work well for ANY child. What really works well for a child will work well for every child.

If it "works well" for a child and "does not work" for another, it actually means it's not working at all for any child; only, one child is managing and coping better that the other.
 happybunny8
Joined: 4/16/2010
Msg: 104
Gotta admit, it is easier to parent alone than co-parent
Posted: 8/21/2010 6:25:59 AM
Some good points here, but tell me - how much time have you really spent with children? Have you lived with children? Worked with children?

All the stats and research can mean nothing when faced with the real world.
 ConsciousSoul
Joined: 7/9/2008
Msg: 105
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Gotta admit, it is easier to parent alone than co-parent
Posted: 8/21/2010 7:35:43 AM

Some good points here, but tell me - how much time have you really spent with children?
A few years

Have you lived with children?
Yes

Worked with children?
Yes

More importantly, What I am advocating here in these forums comes from the work of people who spent their lifetime working with children and their parents, an d from studies and research that included thousands and thousands of parents and children in real world situations. That's how research work: it's not "theoretical", it's applied knowledge observed and deduced from real life situations.
 Amberlightrose
Joined: 1/29/2009
Msg: 106
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Gotta admit, it is easier to parent alone than co-parent
Posted: 8/23/2010 10:40:17 PM

Listening skills do not came "out of the box" to untrained parents. It's amongst the hardest skills to acquire and develop. Right from the start, "listening" isn't going to really happen while the listening person has an agenda on her mind and is trying to get her to "admin what she did" .. that's not listening, that's manipulating! Listening is when the person is truly open to understand. It's hard. It can't be done in any state of mine; and it can't be faked. Plus you need to know HOW to do it, so that you don't block the communication.


Have to agree with you there Csoul.

And I don't think that it just applies to adults 'listening' to children either!
I think many of us have felt frustration when trying to explain our feelings to someone significant in our lives and being told our feelings are simply irrational and we have 'no right' to feel that way!
In that kind of environment, especially if it's a frequent occurence, people simply give up trying to communicate at all.
What is the point if that person is never going to even TRY to understand?

It must be even more frustrating for children because they have the disadvantage of being smaller and weaker than us.
If adults can feel like they are not being listened to or understood, how much harder is it for a child?

I think we can never know how good we were as parents UNTIL our children have all grown up.
And as much as we try to be 'good' parents, it can be very confronting to be told by your adult children that there WERE times when you didn't listen or seem to be trying to understand.
There WERE times when your kids felt you didn't really care about them that much.
Which was never true, I always cared.
But if they felt that way; it was the way they felt at that moment. And if they FELT like that, then at that time I was BEHAVING in a manner which made them feel that way.

You hear all that stuff about needing to be 'trained' in all aspects of our employment, but with the most important thing; raising future generations we get little 'training' at all.
Many of us have no idea about child development and how children might think and react at a certain age.
And all the bad stuff from our own child-hood can travel with us. In moments of stress we can forget to be rational and resort to the type of parenting we ourselves had as children. Which in my case was not all that great!

I still have a 14 year old and I am learning all the time.
The thing is about life is that none of us are perfect and we shouldn't ever stop learning. We can always learn to do things a better way.

Not everyone feels that way which is sad, because they could be missing out on a more peaceful, happier life.
Let face it, even on our deathbed we are still learning.
We are learning the last thing we will ever learn.
How to die.
 big pacific
Joined: 7/2/2009
Msg: 107
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Gotta admit, it is easier to parent alone than co-parent
Posted: 8/24/2010 10:41:51 AM

The key is that children develop better in a two-parents healthy household than in a one-parent healthy household. When it becomes a traumatic environment, that's another story.


The problem is, the parents that i've seen get divorced will call a home unhealthy because they aren't happy, NOT because it's unhealthy for the kids. People remember watching mom and dad fight and use that emotion to justify selfish behaviour. They don't think of kids first anymore.


So, bigpacific - let me make sure I understand you. Are you saying that the parenting methods I am advocating, and to which you oppose so vehemently, are "selfish" and "lazy" parenting? Are you saying that learning to communicate in healthy way, problem solve together, understand your child's problem's root cause, and learn to listen to their deeper emotions and needs is "easy"?


No. I did in reading your original posts, as we have discussed it further i have changed my opinion. I do question the ability of parents to distinguish between the difference in your parenting program from letting their children run wild however. While you have years of training and experience and can hold true to training, I have fears that they will take the "listening" and forget to enforce boundaries, misinterpreting your message.....As i did.


Sure does. Who says YOU should always be right? Can't you conceive a world in which the parent may make a mistake? Or, more importantly, a world in which the parent may be right, but the child still feels HE was right, too? He is a full person, he deserves to be heard, even when he is wrong. Because his FEELINGS are never wrong. And he needs to make sens of them.


This is what i mean. Parents don't always have to be right, but they DO always have to be in control. I have concerns that parents will have the ability to distinguish between the two.

Still though, this question still lays unanswered: Children were better behaved in the 50's, with a traditional parenting model of authoritative rearing, children are now worse, and we have been moving AWAY from the traditional authoritative parent, how much is correlation and how much is causation?
 ConsciousSoul
Joined: 7/9/2008
Msg: 108
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Gotta admit, it is easier to parent alone than co-parent
Posted: 8/24/2010 3:02:58 PM

The problem is, the parents that I've seen get divorced will call a home unhealthy because they aren't happy, NOT because it's unhealthy for the kids. People remember watching mom and dad fight and use that emotion to justify selfish behaviour. They don't think of kids first anymore.

Yeah, I think this is unfortunately often true. Drawing the line between what's being unhappy for the parent and what's unhealthy for the child is difficult: it can be a very fine line. I think what makes this line so delicate to balance is that children communicate first and fare most through non-verbal. On a subconscious level, they get it really quickly when something is wrong in the family, no matter how hard parents who no longer love each other "try" to be happy for their child. So to draw that line is difficult: you can stay for your child even when you are unhappy, but how long? Until what point? How hard should you try to "make it work" for the children - and when is it the right time to let go? I wish I had the answers to these, but I think it's near impossible to determine.


I did in reading your original posts, as we have discussed it further i have changed my opinion.
Thank you for telling me, it's rare to see this on forums. *respect*


I do question the ability of parents to distinguish between the difference in your parenting program from letting their children run wild however. While you have years of training and experience and can hold true to training, I have fears that they will take the "listening" and forget to enforce boundaries, misinterpreting your message.....As i did.

Yes, this is VERY true. I have been educating, explaining, writing for two years on this very subject on this forum, and I have successfully helped many people who specifically asked for help. But I found it extremely difficult to convey how different what I am advocating is from the permissive approach to the other people - the readers who didin't ask for help. It's like a paradigm, perhaps even a cultural paradigm: they seem to automatically assume that if you don't win in a relationship, you have to lose. They seem to often be stuck between control and no-control, as if these were the only possible choices.

And you are perfectly right: you CANNOT afford to lose control and forget your boundaries, because that would also be detrimental to child's growth and development.


Still though, this question still lays unanswered: Children were better behaved in the 50's, with a traditional parenting model of authoritative rearing, children are now worse, and we have been moving AWAY from the traditional authoritative parent, how much is correlation and how much is causation?

If I may ask, I am curious to know: how do you determine that children are truly worst today? Or are we simply hearing more about it today, because of how connected we are through mass medias?
 ohwhynot46
Joined: 6/28/2009
Msg: 109
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Gotta admit, it is easier to parent alone than co-parent
Posted: 8/24/2010 6:14:08 PM
I am curious to know why you think it's a traditional model of authoritative rearing & not the "family time", community involvement & general environment that made children of yesteryear "better"? Personally, I see that many parents are less effective simply because they are less involved, more selfish, less willing to actively parent, period, not simple less authoritative.
 ConsciousSoul
Joined: 7/9/2008
Msg: 110
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Gotta admit, it is easier to parent alone than co-parent
Posted: 8/24/2010 7:51:49 PM
^^^^^^ authoritarian, ohwhynot :-) Authoritative is a different parenting style, and a much better one too.
Here is an article I posted on my parenting portal about parenting style:
http://parentastic.org/parenting/parenting-styles/
 big pacific
Joined: 7/2/2009
Msg: 111
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Gotta admit, it is easier to parent alone than co-parent
Posted: 8/25/2010 7:19:46 AM

I am curious to know why you think it's a traditional model of authoritative rearing & not the "family time", community involvement & general environment that made children of yesteryear "better"? Personally, I see that many parents are less effective simply because they are less involved, more selfish, less willing to actively parent, period, not simple less authoritative.


Mostly because "family time" didn't really exist in the era i'm speaking of. I just used the 50's as a general reference point. The "greatest generation" (people that survived the depression and ww2) were raised by factory workers in horrible conditions working 6 days a week. The parenting style then was FAR more authoritarian, often parents beating their children. I don't advocate that of course, but i'm not speaking of the june cleaver parenting, although that also was more authoritarian than nowadays. These children were given responsibility at a very early age, often working out of necessity, they had the HARDEST lifestyles and yet were some of the most well mannered children.

And soul, when i look at children being worse now, i look at the following COMPLETELY subjective measuring sticks.

Suicide rates
responsibility
maturity
divorce rates
youth criminality stats
drug use
gang violence
etc.
 ohwhynot46
Joined: 6/28/2009
Msg: 112
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Gotta admit, it is easier to parent alone than co-parent
Posted: 8/25/2010 8:11:06 PM

^^^^^^ authoritarian, ohwhynot :-) Authoritative is a different parenting style, and a much better one too.
Here is an article I posted on my parenting portal about parenting style:
http://parentastic.org/parenting/parenting-styles/


Thanks for the clarification, cs, but I was addressing bigpacific's post. While I agree that authoritative parents are more effective, I was trying to bring up the fact that there are extenuating factors that aid children in overcoming even poor parenting methods (like a sense of community, valuing family) ; it's not all about the method.
 ConsciousSoul
Joined: 7/9/2008
Msg: 113
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Gotta admit, it is easier to parent alone than co-parent
Posted: 8/25/2010 8:28:22 PM
^^^^ I was simply referring to Authoritarian rather than Authoritative because you were quoting bigpacific about the "traditional model of authoritative rearing", and I think that the traditional model that bigpacific was referring to was the authoritarian model.

But, this is very true - it's not only about the method, there are a LOT of new or changing factors that ties in to the community and the society as a whole. Thank you for mentioning this, ohwhynot46!
 readthedamnprofile
Joined: 5/5/2010
Msg: 114
Gotta admit, it is easier to parent alone than co-parent
Posted: 9/7/2010 7:34:09 AM
Children are very ego-centric you are right. That usually starts to wan as they grow older and their super egos become more developed. Right now your daughter is mainly ID (impulses and needs) with a bit of ego (fundamental personality characteristics) with very little sense of higher level thinking in terms of a conscience (superego). In order to help her along the path of developing a sense of how her behaviour affects other people and how she fits into the bigger picture of life while still getting her basic needs met her, you need to acknowledge and validate her needs, if they are actually valid, without allowing her to manipulate and control you.

This seems like a lot of drama to me over a child that was basically told no to something that was a want, not a need, and due entirely to her own bad choices in acting inappropriately towards her father to begin with. Dad should not have called you looking for assistance, he should have rode out the storm by telling her that while he undestood that she was upset about losing her day at the pool it was her own behaviour that caused the privilege to be revoked in the first place and if the reason she was acting this way was because she was tired then she should have taken a nap and when she woke up in a better mood they could have planned something fun then. Give her choices but, choices that have consequences based on which choice she makes.

By his calling you, he is letting his daughter know subconsciously that he cannot control her and you are reinforcing it by running to the rescue and by making her the center of attention by devoting so much time to what amounts to a childish hissy fit. If you keep this up your whole life will be tied up in dealing with your daughters temper tantrums and demands and while that might not seem like a big deal now wait until she is a teenager and she still thinks life should revolve around her because she never learned the difference.

By all means, comfort her when she is upset but, don't let little problems like this take up so much of your time or you are going to leave your daughter with the impression that her bad moods rule the roost and she will learn that quite honestly because, frankly, they do from what you are saying. Tell your husband that an emergency requiring your presence or intervention is NOT taking place when your daughter is being rude to him because he denied her something she wanted because she was acting up. If he cannot get a handle on dealing with a child's fit in the face of being told no, he is not going to be a very effective parent. And if you keep undermining him, albeit at his request, in his attempts to be an authority figure in your daughters life you better be prepared to deal with the consequences of that.
 Maillesmith
Joined: 7/13/2010
Msg: 115
Gotta admit, it is easier to parent alone than co-parent
Posted: 9/7/2010 8:26:55 AM
I'm no where near that stage yet in my parenting, my child is only 7 months old currently.
But from my experiences in that 7 months is that it is quite confusing to the child when you have difference between the parents when it comes to parenting style. My ex and I agreed to put my son on a schedule, but while I was away for the better part of the day, I had no control in it's implication. This created problems when it came to bedtime. My son had not learned how to put himself to sleep, because during the day, the only way his mother would put him to sleep would be to rock and cuddle him. Come midnight (because of his erratic sleeping pattern), when I try to put him down for the night the only way to settle him would be to pat his back until he slept.

On many occasions I would leave the room to let him fall asleep on his own, but within moments, she would pick him up because she couldn't stand to hear him cry. This created even more sleep confusion, and my child became unable to sleep with mom or dad putting him to sleep, which in turn caused more stress in our personal relationship.

We couldn't work together on this problem, because we each had differing reactions and solutions to the problem - I would go on the porch and have a smoke while he cried, she would sit on the couch and listen to him wail.

Sometimes it works out quite well with one being the nurturer, and one being the "enforcer", I view myself more the latter when co-parenting, but am now both at this point. Other times it creates a relationship where the child will constantly try to push the one that doesn't lay down the law as much.

How much time has the father spent with the child in entirety? Has he been able to create an effective bond with her that mirrors a healthy father/daughter relationship? Or has his contact been limited and now she doesn't quite accept him in the same way as a child might a parent?


Sorry, gotta cut it short. My boy woke up.
 Maillesmith
Joined: 7/13/2010
Msg: 116
Gotta admit, it is easier to parent alone than co-parent
Posted: 9/7/2010 1:10:18 PM
Its not the attention spoiling, but it was that inconsistent sleep patterns were having a negative affect on his sleep, his ability to fall asleep, and our lives.

I am not concerned with my son receiving too much attention. I spend his every waking moment with him, as I am his sole provider now. I never got to have much of it before, because of work, but now that I have it I love every moment. What caused the concern was our differing parenting styles and her inability to stick to what she planned and wanted - primarily because of her in ability to shut out the crying (I hate it too) caused confusion in the child.

As I stated, in the past week since I have solely set his sleep schedule and adhered to it, he now sleeps at the same time, every day. And first the first time in the 7 months of his life, he has slept through a night with only a single feeding. Seven nights in a row.
 Maillesmith
Joined: 7/13/2010
Msg: 117
Gotta admit, it is easier to parent alone than co-parent
Posted: 9/7/2010 1:11:07 PM
Whoops, I hadn't stated it, I intended on doing so, but he woke up from his nap and stopped me.
 ohwhynot46
Joined: 6/28/2009
Msg: 118
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Gotta admit, it is easier to parent alone than co-parent
Posted: 9/7/2010 7:39:19 PM
Forgive me, I fond it a bit scary that anyone would see them self as an "enforcer" where a 7 mo old baby is concerned! I never let my kids cry at that age. They are fine, two of them near adults now, thank you.

Forgive me if I overreact, but that was my gut reaction. I do admit that I am feeling uncomfortable with some of what you say. Do you have family around you?
 Maillesmith
Joined: 7/13/2010
Msg: 119
Gotta admit, it is easier to parent alone than co-parent
Posted: 9/7/2010 8:30:07 PM
Oh my god... Why do people not actually read and comprehend what I type?

I'm sorry if I implied that I am an "enforcer" of rules with a 7 month old, I understand how that may have been misconstrued. If my partner and I were together 5 years from now, my child would have the mindset "Dad loves me, but boy, I don't want to do something that I KNOW I'm not supposed to". His mother was fine with this arrangement, because she would have a hard time disciplining her child, or so she thinks. Let me rephrase the term "enforcer" to "I would be Dad, and I would lay down the laws." Can you fine anything that makes you uncomfortable in that?

I have about 18 cousins, almost all are at least 10 years younger than I. I have been a big part in raising most of these kids once I was old enough to be trusted with actually watching them and teaching them. I can handle a child quite well, (I'm learning now how to handle a baby) and it is learned that I am not to be crossed.

You ever been made to dig a hole? Your other option is to sit in the grass on your knees with you arms clasped in front of you while watching all your friends play, or you can go stand in a corner. But no matter what, you WILL listen to me.

Yes I have family around me, and they approve of how I'm raising my son. Check my post history before you start ripping up my "backwoods" family.

Why would you be concerned about my child being in my presence? Do you think by "enforcer" that I mean "abuse". Get your head out of your ass. And if you are telling me that you never let your child cry himself to sleep by feeding him his normal bottle, burping him, cuddling him and then laying him him in his crib and then walking out of the room after telling him you love him - I think you are full of shit, for lack of better way of saying it. Some babies do well cuddled to sleep, for others it creates an erratic sleeping pattern , I have been reading on the subject. And this has worked for me in less then a week. Can you not see how it would be confusing for the baby to picked up 2 minutes after he was put to bed?

It takes three/five minutes for him to fall asleep after I walk out of the room, if that. And when he wakes up, he's happy because he had a good sleep. Why the hell would you assume that I would just walk out for a smoke when my baby was crying for need? If my son falls, I make sure he's fine. If there's nothing wrong with him, I laugh at him. And he starts laughing back. If my son cries, I find out what he needs, unless he's just being cranky. And then he can follow me around the house all he wants yelling at me, it won't illicit any response other then me keeping a light-hearted conversation with him because I won't stop doing what needs to be done just to pick up a cranky baby.

And because of this same thing, it can be much easier to raise a child alone then will a partner. This past week since my separation and gaining of custody has been the best time I have ever spent with my son.
 kissmyasthma
Joined: 12/4/2009
Msg: 120
Gotta admit, it is easier to parent alone than co-parent
Posted: 9/8/2010 8:24:41 AM
OP, it is strange how you are being perceived here in this thread of yours.
Like many other threads you can see the difference in styles of parenting between men and women.
I think it a good thing you establish a line in the sand early with kids, it helps keep them safe and allows you to create a better environment of trust if they understand why you do it.
I hate to say it but have seen way too many parents get walked all over because they decided to be a "real" parent after it is too late.

As far as the ex thing, you're child is still so young give it time and don't stress the little things too much. Being in a childs life should be a happy thing for your ex and she should be thinking of what's best and not be so selfish about her feelings.
She may be just overly frustrated by the current situation and may have to make some tough decision soon, I know I did.
 ConsciousSoul
Joined: 7/9/2008
Msg: 121
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Gotta admit, it is easier to parent alone than co-parent
Posted: 9/8/2010 4:06:30 PM

Its not the attention spoiling, but it was that inconsistent sleep patterns were having a negative affect on his sleep, his ability to fall asleep, and our lives.
You are correct that you need to create a routine. Routines will make the child feel more secure. In addition, both being psychologically secure and being tired just at the right time will also help his body falling asleep and getting the proper rest.


On many occasions I would leave the room to let him fall asleep on his own, but within moments, she would pick him up because she couldn't stand to hear him cry.
Letting a child cry himself to sleep creates many long term problems, mailesmith. Remember that when children, and especially toddlers, cry before going to sleep, they are in fact calling for help because they are scared from letting go of their parent out of their sight. It is a problem that finds its root cause in separation anxiety - it's not a fancy or a desire to "manipulate" the parent to get more awake time or not to go to sleep. When a parent does not respond to an infant's cries:
- It teaches the child that his calls for help are useless
- It increase the level of insecurity, which in turn aggravates the distress
- It associates the bed with something negative, creating deeper problems for sleeping time later even when separation anxiety is less strong,
- It erodes the quality of the parent child relationship
- It develops avoident attachment patterns for the child, as he learns not to trust his caregivers and, later, it creates problems with socializing


It takes three/five minutes for him to fall asleep after I walk out of the room, if that.

This is because your son is learning that he cannot count on being reassured when he feels insecure. Although you may reach your goal of putting him to sleep, this causes many other issues on the long run.

Your son's mother may not be helping your son go to sleep when she fails to build a routine, but at least she is working on your son's separation anxiety. Problem is, when you ignore his cries when it's your turn, you destroy the work of securing the child that she has done.
To build a routine, you need to respond *systematically* to all of his cries each night you put him to bed by coming back and staying with him a few minutes. The mistake is to take him out of his bed and to cuddle, or to stay too long. But it's *critical* to come back EVERY SINGLE time he cries. Because you need to teach him that it's OKAY to be alone, because whenever he feels insecure, dad isn't far and he is safe. If you do this consistently, you and your son's mother, while keeping the very same routine (before the bed time) and the same hour and habits, You will see the improvement after a week or so. Eventually, within a few more weeks, I can guarantee that this will solve the issue.


Yes I have family around me, and they approve of how I'm raising my son.
I am not surprised. Parenting styles are very often simply reproduced from how we were our-self parented, and gets passed on from generation to generations.


I have been reading on the subject.
Could you perhaps provide the author? As a parenting instructor, I am always interested to see what references the parents used for a particular issue.


"Dad loves me, but boy, I don't want to do something that I KNOW I'm not supposed to"
Would you define this as fear?


It is learned that I am not to be crossed.
Or what would happen, then?


But no matter what, you WILL listen to me.
No matter what? At any cost?


You ever been made to dig a hole? Your other option is to sit in the grass on your knees with you arms clasped in front of you while watching all your friends play, or you can go stand in a corner.
How would you define the emotion your son would feel in that situation? Humiliation? Shame?


If my son falls, I make sure he's fine. If there's nothing wrong with him, I laugh at him.
An interesting choice of words. I would have said "I laugh with him, not at him" - the former being gentle and loving, and the latter provoking humiliation and shame?


If my son cries, I find out what he needs, unless he's just being cranky. (...) I won't stop doing what needs to be done just to pick up a cranky baby.
Could it be that your son is cranky because his needs aren't met?


Why the hell would you assume that I would just walk out for a smoke when my baby was crying for need?
Maybe because needs aren't only physiological needs, and kids also cry for other needs, such as psychological needs?


This past week since my separation and gaining of custody has been the best time I have ever spent with my son.
But was it the best time your son has ever spent with his parents?


"I would be Dad, and I would lay down the laws." Can you fine anything that makes you uncomfortable in that?
For one thing, I would think you are establishing a relationship, not a police control center. What kind of relationship do you WANT to develop and foster with your son?


her inability to stick to what she planned and wanted - primarily because of her in ability to shut out the crying (I hate it too) caused confusion in the child.
mailesmith, listen to your instinct. There is a good reason you hate it: cries is a communication mechanism that sends you a message. Don't ignore the message. Children don't cry to abuse your patience. They simply and naturally communicate their fears and insecurities that way. These won't go away simply because adults shut down their cries.
 Maillesmith
Joined: 7/13/2010
Msg: 122
Gotta admit, it is easier to parent alone than co-parent
Posted: 9/8/2010 5:35:16 PM
Here are two books that are readily available for me to give your the title and Author:

"Better Sleep for your Baby & Child" Dr. Shelly K. Weiss, MD FRCPC - The hospital for sick children

"Baby's First Year" by Robin McClure & Vince Iannelli, MD - A Knack Publishing.

Both of these books acknowledge the child's cries as seeking help, but also have confirmed my belief of confusion. They don't say to ignore the cries, but to endure them for a short time while your child learns to put himself to sleep. I don't let him cry for any substantial length of time, if he hasn't fallen asleep on his own quickly, I will respond to him and comfort him while he is still in his crib. But, regardless what you may say, being required to pat your child (quite literally, until he is in a deep sleep) to sleep every night and every time he is put down is not healthy for the child or the parent. You may not have experienced it, but I have personally spent 6 hours trying to get my child to sleep in a sitting, and trust me, he was tired.




mailesmith, listen to your instinct. There is a good reason you hate it: cries is a communication mechanism that sends you a message. Don't ignore the message. Children don't cry to abuse your patience. They simply and naturally communicate their fears and insecurities that way. These won't go away simply because adults shut down their cries.


It's true, I despise hearing him cry, and I do tend to his needs at all times. My son is teething quite badly right now, at 7 months he has 4 teeth through and another 6 cutting at this moment. But children and babies also cry because they learn that it can get them the attention they want, and the more you reinforce this belief, the more the rely on it (see above mentioned books)



But was it the best time your son has ever spent with his parents?


His mother is not around, so I can't speak on behalf of her but:

The past week is the happiest I've seen my son be EVER. He smiles and shrieks with glee when he sees me open my eyes in the morning. He hasn't cried once to inform me he's awake, but played in his crib, getting louder and louder until I woke up.



Would you define this as fear?


And truly, what is entirely wrong with this? I feared my grandfather, and I listened to him and respected what he said. He never harmed me, never once raised a hand or threatened me in my life. But I did fear him until a few years ago when I came into my own. Just because a child fears repercussion for doing an action that they know is wrong, doesn't mean that it's not right to foster this feeling. Why don't some people steal? Because they are afraid of the consequences. Same with children. If a child fears that you will do something that they don't like (whatever it may be) if they misbehave, they often have second thought of doing it.



I am not surprised. Parenting styles are very often simply reproduced from how we were our-self parented, and gets passed on from generation to generations.


Valid point, yet one half of my parental unit never knew me until I was 14 years old and other then being an ear to talk to they were not involved in my upbringing, so I'm not sure if it entirely applies to me in this case.



Maybe because needs aren't only physiological needs, and kids also cry for other needs, such as psychological needs?


I said I tend to his needs. In the past week, my son has learned that if he wants daddy to pick him up to raise his hands, not just to sit on the floor and cry at me. I cuddle my son every day, and I put him to sleep that way last night because his teeth were bothering him so much. I did it again about 30 minutes ago. I'm not a cold man, but I am one that believes that crying when something else can be done, is not needed. Yes, he is 7 months old and cannot communicate with me in many fashions, but with body language, mannerisms and now learning gestures (and sign language) he is realizing that he can accomplish what he wants faster by indicating to me that he wants to be picked up.



Could it be that your son is cranky because his needs aren't met?


I know why my baby is cranky today. He is cutting teeth. What can I do for him to take away the pain? Medication is only so effective and if used continuously it ceases to work as well. Ambasol or other benzocaine teething gels have been known to cause blood disorders if used to frequently, so I only use it for bedtime as the effects wear off within 15 minutes. He consistently uses his teething rings and blanket, chew washcloths and other objects, which will help him relieve the pain and also help the teeth cut through faster, making it a less arduous ordeal in the long run.

Because my baby is cranky, does this mean that I can't do what needs to be done in order to run my household and ensure I have the money in order to feed him next week? That is ridiculous, things have to be done on a day to day basis, or we won't have a house to live in, and he won't have food to eat.



How would you define the emotion your son would feel in that situation? Humiliation? Shame?


You are dead on the money. You want them to feel good about doing something wrong? What are you making your child feel if you make them realize that they hurt your feelings or you are disappointed in them? It's shame and remorse. This is a deterrent for doing the "wrong actions"



Or what would happen, then?

Then I have him/her do something else that they don't want them to do. You ever had to pick up dog doo in the yard? How about fill in the hole that you just dug and digging another? I have a nicely sized list of futile acts of labour or metal exercises that won't harm the child, but will make them think twice about disobeying me.



No matter what? At any cost?

Simply put, barring any physical or emotional abuse, YES. I am the parent, or caregiver, so it must be respected that what I say goes. You cannot allow a child to "feel out" the boundary lines of how far they can push mom or dad. You set rules for your child, and they are not negotiable.




An interesting choice of words. I would have said "I laugh with him, not at him" - the former being gentle and loving, and the latter provoking humiliation and shame?


You can't laugh with someone that isn't yet laughing. I first laugh at him, and when he starts laughing with me, we are laughing together. So be it, it may have been a poor choice of wording, but the point is still the same. I don't ridicule my son, but I'll laugh when he does something funny, or stupid. And thus far, he starts laughing almost immediately.



If you do this consistently, you and your son's mother, while keeping the very same routine (before the bed time) and the same hour and habits, You will see the improvement after a week or so. Eventually, within a few more weeks, I can guarantee that this will solve the issue.


In case you happened to have missed it, the child and I am not in the presence of the mother, she is 2800km away by her choice. I am a single father with custody of the child because I am a more mentally and financially stable individual. While in a relationship with the mother, I was unable to be a part of keeping to a daily schedule as I was fulfilling out of necessity as the mother refused to work, the typical assigned role of a father and worked on a continual basis. Since he was born 7 months ago, I have spent over 1900 hours away from my child in order to keep him and his mother housed, warm and fed. (I know that number because I'm now on Parental Leave, and have my ROE in front of me.)

I had no ability to ensure the plan that the mother and I had set for the child was being followed, and when I would return home from work I would follow the routine that was set from that point on. But with erratic sleep patterns and eating habits during the day, is it any surprise that his normal bedtime ranged between 7pm and 12 midnight?

I've already mentioned, I have seen a great amount of improvement in my sons sleeping habits in just a week using the methods that I have learned recently, also in his demeanor.



- It erodes the quality of the parent child relationship
- It develops avoident attachment patterns for the child, as he learns not to trust his caregivers and, later, it creates problems with socializing


As I said above... My son adores me. If I walk out of the house and come back 5 minutes later (I don't leave him alone, don't assume that) he is beside himself with joy. When he wakes up in the morning, he is laughter and smiles with me and we normally play in my bed for almost an hour before we start our day.

And as for socialization problems, I don't think this is having any negative impact as EVERYONE he sees gets a big smile. He is not a shy baby and doesn't hide his face from people he doesn't know. A big grin, a flap of his arms and peals of laughter erupt from him anytime anyone greets him.



But it's *critical* to come back EVERY SINGLE time he cries. Because you need to teach him that it's OKAY to be alone, because whenever he feels insecure, dad isn't far and he is safe


You must misunderstand me. If my boy wakes up and cries out for me, I am at his crib within seconds to tend to him. I've had to leave this message that I'm typing now 4 times because his teeth keep waking him up. He knows dad is close, he can hear me talking in the other room. But when that child starts crying before he leaves your arms while putting him to bed, what do you do then. I have a choice, either I let him put himself to sleep within minutes, or I try to carry a sleeping baby for 12 hours. (and he won't sleep that long if in arm)


I have read through a couple "attachment parenting" books, especially one by the Sears MDs (not the big box store) called "The Baby Book" Some advice is good, and it sounds much like what you are suggesting and stating. But they also conceded that it doesn't work for all children, just like co-sleeping with parents or siblings works for some but not for others. But they ALL say that letting your child cry himself to sleep is just plain wrong. That last point contradicts the last 4 books that I have read, so which one is correct?


I know I haven't touched base on every one of your points, but I do have other things to do at the moment. Thank you for your polite and concise reply, however. I will be attempting some points that you gave me, but I hope you don't mind if I disregard others as I have found already that they do not work with my child. For once, I enjoyed reading a response to my posts here on the forums, and I obviously look forward to your counter points.

As I have admitted, I am brand new to the world of babies; I'm learning day by day with my son in order to make his life, and mine, better. And almost advice I receive is given it's due consideration.

Cheers.
 ohwhynot46
Joined: 6/28/2009
Msg: 123
view profile
History
Gotta admit, it is easier to parent alone than co-parent
Posted: 9/8/2010 6:18:24 PM
I never called your family "backwoods", and frankly, I know very well that you are not alone in your approach. I simply state that it worries me, as a parent, and it does. It is the attitude that brings about the type of parenting you describe that makes me feel uneasy. A child doesn't "learn" that crying is how to get what they want/need, they cry in order to get their need met until they learn how another way to communicate that need.

While I would quite agree that the extinction of shame has had a detrimental effect on society, I don't feel that children need be shamed or humiliated in order to learn proper behavior. Physical punishment may serve a purpose in the military but it does little to foster a healthy parent/child relationship, if you ask me, and I don't see where ridicule plays any part at all in teaching a child. At the end of the day, I firmly believe that no matter what we read, or what methods we employ, children learn by modeling behavior; there are many parenting errors that can be overcome by a good heart, and by being surrounded by people who truly care about you, as imperfect as they (we) may be.

All in all you sound like a caring parent. We don't all have to agree, so long as we are all open to hearing. All the best to you & your son.
 Maillesmith
Joined: 7/13/2010
Msg: 124
Gotta admit, it is easier to parent alone than co-parent
Posted: 9/8/2010 7:26:49 PM
I was being pre-emptive when I used the term "backwoods", because like someone on else on the forums recently, I was making a generalization based on responses I've received lately My mistake.

I will disagree though, that I child will learn that they can get what they want by crying or otherwise acting undesirably if you reinforce that behavior. If you read my most recent post, save this one, you will also see that I feel shame and humiliation comes with all forms of punishment - even if you want your child to learn to do the right thing by letting them know they hurt you with their actions. A perfectly normal reaction to this, and being chastised in anyway where the one being punished knows they are in the wrong, is shame for their actions.

I don't physically punish my child, but I will slap his hand before he touches a hot stove when he gets to that age. Just like life, you have no true respect for something until it harms you, and I don't want my son scarred because he didn't believe me that the stove will hurt him.

You must have misunderstood me, because I don't ridicule my child. I laugh when he falls down, because quite often it is a funny thing to watch (discounting any chance of injury). I have carpeted floors, so there is little risk of blunt trauma, and more often then not, he fell over while not paying attention to his balance, but a toy that caught his attention. - This being said, I do not laugh at my child when he is trying to learn something, like when he falls over while he's trying to walk. (which by the way, he's doing on his own while holding onto things for support at seven months of age)

When I laugh at my baby crying at falling over, it is over the nature "That was pretty funny kid, now you aren't gonna do that again are you?". And as I stated, my child turns from crying to laughing in the matter of an instant. I don't want a kid that comes home blubbering when he skins his knee, but one that calmly rides his bike home (maybe with tears in his eyes) and tells me that I need to fix his knee for him. I learned from a young age to determine whether or not I'm injured and to what extent, if I bonked my head on a tree branch, I shook it off and kept climbing the tree. It my be a martial artist way of thinking, which it is, but it could also save my kid's life someday because he reacts to the situation, not to any pain it might have caused him.

Thanks for you understanding that we will all parent differently, because we will. And also the same thanks to your well wishes.


---Side note. I despise the military.
 Maillesmith
Joined: 7/13/2010
Msg: 125
Gotta admit, it is easier to parent alone than co-parent
Posted: 9/9/2010 5:24:56 PM

So why did you fear him? What would happen if you crossed him?


I feared him because he was a no-nonsense man. It might not have been logical, but I did, as do most of the children in my family. We love him dearly, but we also feared an respected him.

I have no clue what might have happened if I did cross him, as I never wanted to find out when I was a child. Fairly effective deterrent if you ask me.


however I don't believe he will not learn them if you respond to crying.


However at the same time he does need the extra cuddles etc. and less important stuff can be put on hold.


I also disagree with this at times. When my child drops his toy slightly out his immediate reach, but well within crawling distance and starts bawling about it, regardless of his communication methods, it's not called for. I will let him cry maybe saying "Well, go get it then" until he stops on his own and leans forward, crawls two steps and picks it back up to play with it.

I have been comforting my child while he has been teething. But this cannot be a constant thing as life continues and money does have to be made. And what am I reinforcing when everytime he wails because I sat him down on the floor, I pick him right back up? I believe I am teaching him that daddy will be at his beck and call and will drop everything just because cried because you didn't like what he did. What am I supposed to do then when I have to return to my 9-5 job next year, am I supposed to put that off because he bawls that I am walking out the door? Or if he gets hurt in sports and has a injury that last a few days/weeks... I am a single parent now, and my belief is that my child will have to learn to be self-sufficient to a point, just like I was, when daddy isn't around, because daddy can't always be around.
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