Friday, October 25, 2013

Why My Kids Are NOT the Center of My World

Wait, what did she say?  Yeah, you read that right. 
This blog post is a bit of a rant and it's a bit all over the place.  My kids are NOT the center of my world, and that's quite simply because they aren't the center of any world, anywhere.
 
If you're feeling adventurous today, feel free to read on.  I'll forewarn you though, this post contains subject matter about which I feel very strongly.  As are most emotionally heated issues - I suppose it's controversial.  But hey, I feel how I feel and that's not going to be changed.
 
The emotions that sparked this blog post were given a little bit of a supercharge last evening.  Hendrix was picking out what he wanted to take to school for Show & Tell.  He chose a little Imaginext action figure - one that he's had for about two years now.  With the action figure comes a little yellow object.  For the two years that he's had this toy, that yellow object has always been a drill to him.  He gathered the action figure, the mask that goes with him, and the yellow drill and proudly told me he'd chosen that for Show & Tell.  Then, you could see him thinking.  And he promptly changed his mind and said to me, "You know what, I better not take this.  My teacher will probably think it's a gun, and then I'll get in trouble," put the action figure back, and chose something else.
 
I often think about the world my boys will grow up in.  I often get angry when I think about it.  This particular situation just furthered those emotions for me.
 
In completely selfish terms, bringing my boys into this world was such a great decision - for me.  They bring me so much joy, they fill my heart, they make me happy.  But I often question whether or not it was the right decision for them.  My boys are typical little boys.  They love to play guns.  They love to play good guy versus bad guy.  They love to wrestle and be rowdy.  That's the nature of little boys, as it has been since the beginning of time.
 
How long will it be before their typical boy-ish behavior gets them suspended from school?  How long before they get suspended from daycare???  How long will it be before one of them gets upset with a friend, tells that friend to go away and leave them alone, and subsequently gets labeled as a bully?
 
The mentality of our society in 2013 is nauseating to me, friends. 
 
Many years ago, there was a time where young boys could run around with their toy guns, killing the bad guys.  You could take the toy guns away from the little boys, and they'd find something else around them - a stick, their fingers, etc -  and pretend it was a gun.  Today, those little boys - if caught doing that - are labeled as threats, and immediate action is taken to remove that threat from the group.
 
There was a time - not too long ago - when bullying was defined as slamming someone up against a locker and stealing their lunch money.  There was a time when kids got called names and got picked on, and they brushed it off and worked through it (ask me how I know this).  Now, if Sally calls Susie a bitch (please excuse my language if that offends you), Susie's whole world crumbles around her, she contemplates suicide, and this society encourages her to feel like her world truly has ended, and she should feel entitled to a world-wide pity party.  And Sally - phew!  She should be jailed!  She should be thrown in juvenile detention for acting like - gasp - a teenage girl acts.
 
Modern parenting and thinking makes me crazy.  The young generations of today (yes, I sound old.  I realize I'm only 29 years old.) are being taught that they shouldn't have to ever put up with anything doesn't make their hearts feel like rainbow colored unicorns are running around pooping skittles onto piles of marshmallows.
 
Modern parenting is creating a generation that's not going to be able to function in society.
 
  Your child, who you cater to every need, who you shelter from all things "evil."  How will this child react when he or she grows into adulthood?  "Debbie" graduates from high school and goes to college.  She writes her first paper and meets with her professor about that paper and the professor tells her that it's junk and it will get a failing grade.  How will Debbie cope with that if she's always been made to feel that no one should ever make her feel sad, or criticize anything she does?
 
"Donna" graduates from college and gets a job - you know, in the real world.  She has to work on a committee to come up with a marketing plan.  She shoots out an idea, and it gets immediately turned down.  What is she to do?  Go home and cry because no one liked her idea?  Quit her job because she can't handle rejection?
 
Modern parents, who drop everything all the time to sit and play with the child, who "needs attention," or drop what they're doing to help the child the second he or she gets frustrated?  How is Joey going to deal with the fact that there won't be anyone in his adult life who's willing to stop what they're doing, stop living their busy lives, to cater to his every whim?
 
How do you think Billy is going to cope in the real world, when his boss gives him a vague task to complete, and offers no helpful information as to how to complete this task?  Mr. Boss is certainly not going to hold Billy's hand and help him through the task.  Mr. Boss expects it to be completed by Monday.  How has Billy been prepared to use his critical thinking and problem solving skills to be able to complete that task?  He hasn't.
 
I certainly hope that the title of this blog post is starting to make sense.  Parents who make their children the center of their universe are not doing anyone any favors.  Obviously, as parents, we love our children more than anything.  But dropping everything to cater to their every need is only going to lead to a very rude awakening once they enter the real world.
 
I'm not telling anyone how to parent, and I'm far from perfect myself.  But when my kids can't find something, I refuse to help them until they've at least made a concerted effort to find it themselves.  This isn't being mean, it's teaching them to at least attempt to solve a problem themselves before just giving up and asking for help. 
 
When the TV gets turned off after the allotted time on the weekends, my kids are instructed to go play together in their room.  I love and miss them during the work week, but I am not just a mom, I'm also Matt's wife, I'm also Stephanie, and I also run our household.  There are things I have to get done, and my boys understand that.  My children - while Matt and I  both spend time playing with them - understand that the world doesn't begin and end with them.  This allows them to find ways to entertain themselves, it builds imagination, and it teaches them to get along with each other without constant intervention.
 
We follow the rules and don't take toy guns or weapons to daycare.  But I'll be darned if my boys aren't allowed to be little boys when they're at home.  They have several toy guns and it's constantly a good guy vs. bad guy battle in my house.  I feel like this teaches them to do the things they want to do, while respecting other's rules and regulations.  It also teaches them that there are differing opinions about things in this world and that's ok.  We can like and believe in the things we want, while respecting that others may not agree with us.
 
My children are all but ignored when they ask for something without using manners.  They understand that when someone addresses or speaks to them, they are to speak back.  When we go out to eat, we don't take 5 electronic devices to keep them "entertained" for the 15 minutes we have to wait for our food.  If Hendrix is "bored" (and I use that term loosely), then he can put on his jacket and go play outside.
 
Everyone parents differently, and I respect that. The current generation may be one that expects nothing less than everything from this world.  But I know of two gentlemen that are going to be able to accept failure and move on having learned something from it. 

I know of two gentleman who will be hurt emotionally, but who will be able to work through the hurt and carry on with life.  I will cushion the emotional fall as much as a mom can, but I will not completely prevent it from happening. They will not expect whoever hurt them to be punished.  Heck, I might even teach my children the power of forgiveness. 

These two gentlemen will understand the value of hard work, and know that hard work is required to get where one wants to be in life. 

They will, while understanding the need for caution, appreciate that not everyone out there is out to get them.  Not everyone is out to do evil things. 

These gentlemen will understand that there are about a gazillion people in this world.  While they are incredibly special to me and my family, they are not special to the world.  That probably sounds terrible, but people!  It's the harsh truth, and it needs embraced!

I know that I can't change the mindset of modern parents.  That's never been and never will be my goal.  I just want to make sure that I raise my sons to grow into respectable men who can thrive and succeed, due to having been prepared to do so.

My kids are not the center of my world because I love them enough not to allow them to be.

Have a great weekend, friends.
 
 

1,541 comments:

  1. Yes, Amen and Preach! I wrote a long comment in reply but Google deleted it. In short, I agree with everything you said and commend you for saying it. :)

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  2. Thank you, Tiara! I appreciate the support!

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    1. I just had my first baby 2 months ago and I just love your way of thinking....and my name is stephanie too, woo hoo!! :)

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    2. Great blog! Although I am only 22 and have no children yet I can only hope to be the kind of mother you sound to be when that day for me comes. I feel that many of the problems of todays generation come from being an over protective parent and spoiling them many problems of which you mentioned in your article. You are an inspiration thank you :)

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    3. Stephanie,

      I do have to agree with what you say about today's society. I get so pissed to hear or see that kids get suspended from school for making food look like guns or holding their fingers in a gun like manner. I grew up with kids talking crap to me, calling me names, picking on me, and pushing me around but I never
      thought suicide was a good way out. To me, there is no reason to commit suicide but like you said, the way today's society is everything is wrong and everyone should be nice. The only thing I have to disagree with, sorry, is that my 2 daughter's are the center of my world. But, I do let them know that my world is not a kind world and there will be a lot of bumps and bruises along the way in life. My oldest is in Taekwon Do mainly so she will have some sort of preparation for what she is in for as she gets older.

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    4. Love this post. Hate the notion that "Boys will be boys" and "Kids will be kids" my fiance' grew up that way and while he is a successful adult now he also thought his behavior was OK in college because he was a boy and "boys just act that way." My boys as they get older will not cuss and swear and carry on riots just because "boys will be boys.

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    5. But I have a feeling you're boys don't act that way either.

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    6. You've got my support! I'm so sick of this new fad of attachment parenting and all the ridiculousness that comes with it. If you must wear your baby at all times, so be it, but I can assure you that your child will not learn independence if they are literally stuck to you 24/7. They may also never learn to self soothe or as is mentioned in this blog, to solve their own problems, if we swoop them up and dote on them hand and foot... Anyone who disagrees likely has misinterpreted a few things... I doubt Stephanie means that she ignores her kids' needs when she says she doesn't cater to their every need... but children today have a serious misunderstanding of what a "need" is as opposed to a "want". Giving children everything they want is ignorant and while likely create a world of ignorant bliss for them. I fully intend to parent very similarly and to teach my child to be independent, to ask questions and explore, to get dirty, to work hard, and to have fun.

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  3. Wow, I love this. I am also the mother of two little boys (and a girl!) and agree with EVERYTHING you said. Oftentimes other "modern" parents think I'm too harsh because of how I view motherhood -- and because I don't try to save my children from everything. They are learning natural consequences. So glad to hear I'm not the only mom out there who is trying her best to prepare her kids to eventually leave the nest and fly.

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    1. This is my parenting philosophy, too. Our job as parents is to raise our kids into successful, productive, self-sufficient adults. There are so many skills and lessons they must learn, and if we rescue them, they can't learn. While I've never spanked my children, I'm somewhat "old school" when it comes to parenting. Kids do need a healthy dose of competition and disappointment and disagreement, in order to learn the skills and lessons that they can't get from any other situation. My kids are very important to me, and I love them enough to be encouraging, while letting them find their boundaries and while keeping them grounded instead of on a pedestal.

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  4. I am not a parent but have two ten year old sisters. One of them gets picked on all the time because she is bigger. I simply tell her well then those people are not your friends. I also tell her she needs to learn to be comfortable with herself and if she likes how she looks great if not then she is the only one who can do something about it. I try and explain to her that not everyone will like her but that is ok because not everyone likes me either. I try to teach her to be her own person and to be a good person. I have told her some kids just say mean things because they have nothing better to say but I have never let her go one crying about it and sob to me. I have told her to be who she is and that is what she is doing. She wants to play soccer and football in college, which I know is unlikely, but hey good for her then she wants to follow me and go to medical school. She has so many dream and I feel our youth of today does not have this. I am so happy she does and I wish more people could encourage children to be better and want more than to just worry about today...

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  5. Awesome! Love it! My thought too! I have a daughter who had a very rough start in life spending lot of time in the hospital! Because I have her do certain things or act respectful to other I get the "but she had such a hard start" Well she is 7 she doesn't remember that time. If only more parents would think like you!

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  6. I agree 100%. Im raising 3 boys exactly like you and I get get compliments all the time about their behavior. I have always said I see women women lose their identity after after having kids and I've been very aware to maintain mine mine and let my boys know I have a life too. They get it and they respect me. This type of parenting truly pays off but it does have its challenges when other kids are being raised as the center of the universe and get what they want all the time. I wish more parents realized how making their kids sekf centered only sets them up for failure. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. It's good to know I dont stand alone on this:)

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  7. There are a couple of books out there that have come out recently on the advantages children who have obstacles to overcome benefit from as adults. One is called The Gift of Adversity and the other is David and Goliath. Both expound on the fact that through hardship we learn not only to cope but to adapt and thrive. Loving and raising kind, considerate children is my job. I take my role as their mom as preparing them for living independently of me. I would do them no favors by shielding them from every hardship.

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  8. I appreciate all of your comments. Thanks for the support! Keep on raisin those kids right! :)

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  9. Love this! As a preschool teacher I cannot tell you how much I wish other parents raised their children this way! This is how it works in my classroom and all the children understand, but most importantly my daughter is not te center of my world and she's not quite a year old. I acknowledge her cry and tell her I'll be with her after I finish folding the stack of towels or whatever I'm doing. I have a life and obligations apart from her too :)

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  10. I agree with all of this, except for the part where a teenage girl is supposed to call another a bitch. Yes this happens. Yes its sad and we shouldn't coddle our kids, as you say, but I don't think this is the norm, and if my daughter called some other girl a bitch, I would ground her and tell her that she should be uplifting and supportive of others. I would not just say--well, she's being a teenager.

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    1. Amen to this comment! I know kids will be kids but I agree...if I found out my kid was being verbally abusive to another person I would definitely put a stop to it because that's our job as parents. If more parents disciplined their kids for inappropriate behavior this blog would be unnecessary

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    2. I agree with both of the statements above, but I think that her point in the blog is that it is the PARENT'S job to punish, not society. Parents should handle it on both ends, teach your children to not be verbally abusive, and teach your children to have thicker skin. What's actually happening in the real world is that girls who are being (albeit inappropriate) teenage girls are being labeled as bullies. It's not that it's right to call someone a name, there is just an over-reaction to a teachable moment. As a high school teacher, I see it all of the time. Teachable moments become persecutable moments.

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    3. Thanks for your comments, guys! I agree that it's not necessarily "ok" for kids to be mean or call names. However, that's the nature of kids, and I just don't think society or parents need to encourage these kids to feel entitled to pity and coddling.

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    4. I disagree. Words are words. And how other people think of you, is none of your business. Name calling isn't a good thing and is never encouraged in my house. However, it's going to happen. And, most likely, it's going to happen a lot. This is not necessarily "bullying". Called someone a bitch doesn't mean that you're ruining their life. Even if you were to mean it! It's a small minded and generally jealousy driven reaction to a situation, oh well. It's not worth all the hype that it's being given. We, as parents, have an obligation to work on improving OUR children and THEIR behavior. Which is exactly the point of the blog.

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    5. This was also the only "problem" I had with this post. Other than that I completely agree. I work in a children's hospital so I come into contact with all kinds families with differing parent styles. I've seen some 5 year olds handle painful or uncomfortable procedures better than kids twice their age. Mostly due to parents saying "Hey, this has to be done and it will be quick and you will be alright." versus those that coddle and cater. But the bullying thing has grown into a whole other monster than years past. Children are in school for a large amount of time and when that world is a living hell to them because they are being called fat, bitch, ugly, useless, fag, dike, and so on it can crush them. And social media magnifies the problem because it carries the torment into life outside of the classroom. For kids like this, they learn early that the world has cruel people in it, that they aren't special or important to others. Sometimes family love and support can only go but so far. Sadly, some of these children don't even have that. I feel as adults we have to be sensitive to this matter. Words hurt and children do need to learn how to cope and brush themselves off but some words cut like a knife to the soul which makes it harder to get over.

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    6. my 6 year old niece and 12 year old niece are being bullied at school at this very point in time by a 14 year old boy, he actually pushed my 6 year old niece to the ground yesterday, and when her 12 year old sister tried to stand up for her the boy called her a fat f'n liar and the teacher stood there and did absolutely nothing about it. yes i dont believe in coddling BUT as stated above bullying not not anywhere near how it use to be "back in the day" it is far worse now then it has ever been

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    7. Bullying is bullying is bullying…it hasn't really changed, except through electronics that allow bullying at home, where formally home would have been a respite from school.
      My dad was a bully growing up in the 60's in a small town. His high school football coach used to try to tell us (my siblings and I) stories about him, and my dad would hustle us out of the room and would say tell his grandkids, not us. My grandma (a 3rd grade teacher) said the happiest day of her life was when he started junior high because she wasn't embarrassed to go to the office anymore. And not that she was soft on him or that he wasn't punished at home or school--they still used corporeal punishment at his schools. He would jokingly tell us,"If you beat everyone up once, you don't have to fight anymore." Not that he encouraged us to beat anyone up. (He just has a random sense of humor, i.e., he also told us not to inject crunchy peanut butter into our veins, just creamy. And he quoted Shakespeare to us too all the time and make up the endings of the quotes to fit the current situation.) My cousin once had a professor who randomly was from the same small town, she asked if he knew any of her aunts or uncles--and he knew my dad because he walked 3 blocks out of the way to get home from school because if he passed by my dad's house, he beat him up. My cousin jokingly said she was never claiming being a relation to him ever again. My mom still complains that nobody would dance with her when she was dating my dad, even when he wasn't at the dance, because they were worried he'd beat them up later if he found out. Anyway, I totally love my dad and he is an amazing father and is very successful as a dean at a university. (Just so you know he didn't grow up and end up a total loser.) I just wrote this long reply to point out that bullying definitely could be horrible and violent "back in the day" too.

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    8. Okay, I was rethinking this reply, and I disagree with myself. Bullying HAS changed majorly because of email, texting, etc. HOWEVER, I think it's silly that parents let their kids have all that access. Our rule is no anything (except email) till they are out of junior high. Because junior high kids are the armpit of society, as my dad would say. In fact, I don't plan on letting my kids have cell phones till they're 16, driving, and have a job. And yeah, yeah, I know the whole safety argument and I don't buy it. I never had a cell phone, and I was just fine. And yes, I do have a 13 yr. old, and she did have an iPod that someone else gave her, until we found her texting on it--which she knew was not allowed. Then she lost the iPod and it's put away till she finishes junior high. And yes, there were tears and wailing, and she said we're the worst parents ever, etc, etc. But having been bullied myself in junior high and 9th grade, I just don't want my kids involved in that on either end (bully or bullied). And while I can't control everything, this is something that is simple.

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  11. Bravo! My husband and I are struggling with some of the things that my son is being punished for at school...he is having to learn that he has to be one way at school and then another at home, which is, I guess, the way we all have to be in the real world. Our son knows that if someone hits him at school, he is allowed (in our eyes) to defend himself, but, also knows, that he will have to pay the consequences at school (not at home) because they do suspend children for defending themselves at our school...both parties are disciplined sadly.

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    1. That is what is so sad about schools these days and part of the reason bullying has turned into what it has because kids aren't allowed to defend themselves. I have taught my son to defend himself because no one has a right to put their hands on him, but I know one-day he will end up p in trouble and I will fight the fine and probably pay for it in the long run, but I want my kids to learn that no one has the right to physically hurt them, just as they are not allowed to do the same.

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    4. Michelle - I hope and pray that you are NOT a high school teacher in my area!!! In your thinking, a bullied child should just allow themselves to become a human punching bag and do nothing to defend themselves for fear of getting into trouble with the school system (who almost always defends the bully) or with the police? Are you serious? Let me ask you this...if you are walking to your car one evening and someone attacks you, will you just stand there and take the beating, or will you do whatever it takes to defend yourself...up to and including "physical fighting"? According to your own words, if you decide to defend yourself and fight back, then you are just as much to blame as the attacker and should also be punished. Your response to Brandy Lynn, in my own opinion, shows you speaking out of both sides of your mouth. One the one hand, if the bullied child attempts to defend himself, he should receive the same punishment as the bully. However, you also think a child should learn to "deal with and solve their own problems", how can they do this if they fear retribution for simply standing up for themselves? I am in total agreement with Brandy Lynn, NO ONE has a right to lay their hands on someone, but if they do then that person has every right to defend themselves, period!!

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  12. As a parent and a teacher, THANK YOU! That was awesome! I couldn't have said it better myself!

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    1. I agree completely, Jenn! (I am a teacher, too.)

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  13. Thank you from the bottom of my heart! I have had these same thoughts and yet if I were to voice them, since I am not a mother currently (I am a mother of adults and a grandmother) I would be labeled an extremist or shrew because I am 58 and cannot possibly understand the problems of children today. But the children of today are expected to be homogenized and all the same. Where we be in 20 years when these children who have been the center of everyone's universe - parents, teachers, grandparents, aunts, uncles and all retailers - when faced with a day of NOT being the center of attention and NOT having their day planned for them and they have to make a decision.......

    The best parents are like yourself, they give their children what they need ( food clothing shelter and guidance ) some of what they want and expect them to have responsibility for the rest. This of course changes each year........

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    1. Ditto! Exactly what Melynda said, although I am 3 years younger and only have grandpuppies so far :)

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  14. I'm not a parent but as a teacher I would love to have your boys in class. Also... the book How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character by Paul Tough talks about some of these same issues- you should check it out!

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  15. As a parent of 2 boys, and as a 5th grade teacher, your blog made my night. I am struggling to do the same here in California, without guilt or too much criticism from others!

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  16. Amen, and thank you so much. I get the look from lots of parents around here when I try to help my kids not do it for them. I needed this read thank you.

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  17. "Hendrix"? Good lord you're an example of everything wrong with parents today. Indulgent, thoughtless and you seem to embrace a complete lack of critical thinking. Please don't have any more kids.

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    1. No worries, I don't plan to. Hey - you have a great day!

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    2. If thats the one thing you can say negatively about this post...what a compliment. I don't like the name Kyle...but am I going to criticize someone for naming their child that? Nope...and don't say that this mom lacks critical thinking. She doesn't. She just lacks one thing...your idea of what she should be or say.

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    3. Love the fact that with a screen name like "grevyturty" you're giving other people advice on breeding and naming. For real, dude? You keep on being a winner there, Sunshine...

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    4. You sir.. are a douch bag.. as an adult i would think you would have said some thing about her post and not be a adult bully and pick on a child name that im sure she came to love.. as i love the name as well.. stephanie i may not agree with every thing.. but i agree on most of it.. keep doing your thing girl.. as i will continue to do mine..

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  18. I was a single parent with an absentee ex. I raised my son the way you are raising yours. I'm here to tell you that he is the most sensible, caring man I know. He has a strong work ethic, doesn't expect anyone to just GIVE him anything. He is an amazing single dad (they are separated)! He doesn't let his daughter get away with the whining or the I can't do this or the where is my....
    What he does do is love her with all his heart and soul. His employer loves him, his co-workers love him. He is 30 now and most of his friends he has known for 15 years or better. I'm not saying all this because he is mine, I'm saying this is what people who meet him think of him and how his friends see him. He learned early in life that you can't always have everything you want and you can't always have your own way AND that it isn't always about YOU.
    These are the things I taught him, that he is now teaching his daughter.
    So...don't EVER let anyone tell you that you are lacking in parenting skills! You are doing just fine in that department. I totally enjoyed your blog. Thanks

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  19. It seems that you have mixed the modern parent and peaceful parent into the same ball of wax. It sounds to me like you are doing a fantastic job teaching your children to respect adults but are they learning to respect their peers as well? Adversity will come to them no matter what kind of parent you choose to be. They will build character. Someone else will insure that and it doesn't have to be you. We certainly do not see eye to eye on some of our core beliefs and yet I still believe in discipline and allowing the kids to figure things out without me. If they need a little guidance this time, so be it. Next time they won't. All right, now I will step down from MY soapbox. A girl could really fall hard from way up here.

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    1. I think it's a lot more likely that they're being taught respect, in general. No matter who they're with. Including respect for themselves. If more people had that, the world would be a much more beautiful place.

      She's not saying that she doesn't guide them. She's just saying that she's giving them a chance to find out if they really need the guidance or if they can figure it out on their own.

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  20. I was also instructed that I should be "resilient." You can't control life forever. Learn how to dust yourself up and get back up when you fall. Great message!

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  21. Wow this was a mouth full!!!!! I now understand what you mean. I understand your teaching and im right with you. I dont understand why many parents cushion their kids like nothing is never going to happen to them. We are raising our kids up to be adults. And just like we had to learn the harsh ways of this world and was prepared for it we must prepare our kids. I love this!!!

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  22. I don't have children yet. But every time I see a post like this and the gazillion comments in agreement, I am RELIEVED. I am relieved that there are so many of us who believe something has gone very wrong with modern parenting, and I'd like to think we can turn it around again!

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  23. Stephanie, I am the mother of twin boys who just turned 18! I found the best environment for them to grow as "boys" was an all boys summer camp in Vermont, Camp Wachusett. I also recommend an all boys school if you have the option, it also allows boys to be boys and not to conform to the "girl" standards that the coed public school system must enforce. We are a military family and my boys have grown up with real guns and learned gun safety at an early age. Both plan to go into the military after college and serve their country just as their father did! Good luck with your boys and have fun :)

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    1. I'm sorry, did you really just say "Girl standards"?

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    2. "Girl" standards? I joined AFROTC in college and I am-- God forbid-- a woman. I go shooting, rappelling, kayaking, and camping (yes, in a tent, no, not with a mattress) and love it. Why on Earth can't girls enjoy those things too? One of the most widely respected officers that I have ever met was a female Colonel of mine who retired a few years ago. When my class commissioned, just about everyone in the class asked that she please travel to our commissioning and swear them in.
      Please don't further the misogynistic "when you include girls, you make boys weak" belief. It's grossly inaccurate and completely disrespectful to both the girls in those coed programs/schools and the women who serve our country.

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    3. I don't think that tara meant that girls can't enjoy those things. But there is a lot of evidence pointing to the fact that our current North American school systems favour girls' learning styles over boys'. Girls' tend to be more introspective and are better at learning by watching and listening, and boys tend to be more physical and really learn from doing.

      That's not to say that some girls don't learn better from doing and some boys from watching, of course. But girls and boys do learn differently. Many children (regardless of sex) are mislabelled as disruptive, ADD, ADHD, etc. when really they just require a different learning environment than the typical "sit at your desk and raise your hand" kind of classroom. I can see how a boys only environment might be a good thing, as it puts boys' natures in perspective. Boys born after the 1980's are at an academic disadvantage in most public school systems. They are falling behind, and it is a very real problem. Please don't be so quick to judge a fellow parent!

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  24. I agree 110%. It's difficult to watch my son fail but he has to do so, in order to learn how to be a man, and a decent human being. He is not great (or even remotely good) at everything he tries, and we teach him this is OKAY. To succeed, he must understand that effort is required. To succeed, he must understand that communication and respect are key. Yes, it's a daily challenge, but in order to show him HOW to live and love, we must be his examples. Today's modern parents are afraid to be parents, so concerned with being a "friend"! So many Thank you for putting this into words and sharing; appreciated!!

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  25. I can't believe anyone could disagree with what you've said. It's true, the world sucks, and it's our job as parents to prepare our children for that. It doesn't mean we don't LOVE our babies, it means we want to give them a fighting chance at success and happiness. I HATE the fact that everyone gets accepted to sports at school. I remember kids getting rejected if they weren't good enough. This didn't mean they weren't good kids, it meant they had to try harder. I hate that people decided no child should be rejected, learning to accept rejection as a reason to try harder is healthy. I believe we SHOULD raise our children to try harder, not for anyone else, but for themselves. My daughter won a trophy at the fair last year, my son didn't. He was very upset about it. I didn't throw a fit and demand they give him a trophy, I told my son to try harder next year. Every time he sees my daughter's trophy he says "Mom, I'm going to win next year because I've been practicing." He runs, and when I'm working out he works out with me. He is five and he curls five pounds on each arm and the entire time he tells me "I'm going to be ready to catch that pig! He won't get away next time." I love it. I love that he didn't let it get him down, rather he let it inspire him to better himself. I encourage it. It's HEALTHY.
    I loved your response to the negative comment, it made me laugh. Don't let negativity get you down. You're doing what's right for your kids and they will thank you for it.

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    1. Oh my goodness, the thought of your son curling the dumbells made ME laugh. Glad we can reciprocate the humor! :)

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  26. Bravo Stephanie, Thanks for your efforts in raising responsible and independent boys and sharing so frankly.

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  27. Omg yes yes yes!!! I agree 110% and have been saying this for a long time!!!!!

    YOU GO GIRL!!!

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  28. Congrats to you!! You have such a great outlook. Your two little boys are going to grow up to be successful, smart, and happy adults! My husband and I raised our 4 children with this very outlook. They are all 4 healthy and happy adults raising their families in today's world. Children are never told no and everything is sunshine and rainbows. Every child makes every team and no one is ever picked last. But that is not reality. And I agree that the first time something doesn't go in this child's favor it will be the end of their world. Kudos to you!!

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  29. I love this! I agree. I am a new mom to a boy and I have had the same thought-I had great fulfillment bringing him into the world but he was thrust into it. I can only hope and pray it was God's that I know he has a purpose in this world, but it's definitely not what it used to be. I think this is great insight!

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  30. Great post. As a teacher, I see many of the problems you mention about "modern parenting" - the sense of entitlement, the hand-holding, the lack of parental willingness to allow their kids to do anything confrontational themselves (I rarely had a student talk or email me about a problem or question... always the parent), the lack of accountability given to the student. I even had a parent yell at me for taking approaches that prepared kids for the real world... since her daughter is "only in 9th grade." It made my heart so sad.

    Now I have my first child - he's 15 months old. And I'm able to raise him differently so he won't grow up to be that way. It's nice to actively make choices I know will benefit him in the long run. It feels good knowing I'm doing my best to raise my son to be resilient, kind and accountable.

    I respectfully disagree with you on one thing though. I don't know that it's necessarily the AMOUNT of time parents spent with their kids that causes them to grow up feeling like they're the center of the world. I honestly feel that it's the message parents deliver to them. I have known parents who stay home and spend all their time with their children, but the children are well-rounded and just darling. On the contrary, I know busy, career-driven parents who spend minimal time with their kids but raised them in a way that still makes them feel like they should get everything they want - with no struggles or hardships - simply because they can convert oxygen to carbon dioxide.

    It's the message parents send to their children; it's the attitude THEY have about life (children learn best from example) as well as the attitude they convey about how things "should" be and are.

    I'm currently taking a few years off from teaching so I can spend time raising my little one. Because I'm a stay-at-home mom, my child (& the bun in the oven) IS the center of my world right now. My "job" is to take care of my son all day long. Thus, I spend most of his waking hours tending to him. I come up with regular activities and projects (occupational hazard from being a teacher), and constantly expose him to fun and different situations and environments. It's been a blast spending so much time with him and trying to show him the world.

    However, just because I spend all day with him, it doesn't mean I spend all day giving him everything he wants and acting as a conduit for his every whim. It doesn't mean I allow the smallest wish or desire to immediately interrupt something else I might be doing. I pay a LOT of attention to him; but it's on my terms, not his. There are always exceptions, but such is life. I'm trying to teach him that yes, sometimes he gets his way... but other times, for no reason other than because I simply don't feel like letting him do X this time, he won't get his way. I'm teaching him that he can't always get what he wants, but I will still be there for him and love him nonetheless.

    I spend a LOT of time with my son. Maybe too much. But he's still pretty young and unable to be independent with a lot of things. And more importantly, I'm still raising him to understand that I love him, but he is his own person who needs to do things on his own, be accountable for his own behavior, and bounce back. And you know... so far so good. :)

    So that's my respectful disagreement. I don't think it's the amount of time spent with children or even the amount of attention given to them. I think it's the message that parents send during whatever amount of attention they do give their kids. When you do have 20 minutes to spend with them, are you overlooking every negative thing they do and doing everything they want? Parental attitude is a powerful thing - whether it comes once a day or every minute of the day.

    But otherwise, kudos on a great post. The hand-holding and negative-shielding in this generation of kids is really a scary thing.

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    1. I respect your respectable disagreement. Thanks for sharing! :)

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    2. Becca Kelly, I just LOVED your comment and I totally and wholeheartedly agree! Being a stay-at-home mom myself your comment really hit home for me. And Stephanie, I really appreciated your post. Thank you, thank you for writing it down and sharing it. I agree completely with your overall point as well.

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    3. I completely agree with Becca Kelly. I'm a SAHM and I homeschool my daughter. I spend all day with her, again on my terms. But as a working mom, you don't get to spend the same time/doing the same things. For example, daycare/school do most of the education part for you. For me, I spend a lot of my time with my daughter because not only am I her teacher, I'm also her mom. There is a fine balance there. :)

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  31. I am not a mother, and often times think I wonder if I ever want to be based on the world we live in today. This blog has changed my mind, you are so correct in everything you have said, and I couldn't agree more. It sounds like you are doing a wonderful job, and I commend you! Great post!!!!

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  32. Wow really awesome view of parenting! More parents should be like this!

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  33. Weeeell, I see your point and, to some degree, I agree. But to some degree, I disagree. I agree that we're not doing our children any favors when we coddle them. We SHOULD be teaching our children to exist in the "real world," but I feel like you don't really get it. There are REAL problems that are being put front in our faces because of the media - social media, tv, internet, etc that existed behind closed doors in years past. We need to tackle these problems in many different ways in order to change our world for the better. Problems are not solved by trying to re-create the "good ole days". Sometimes, problems were CAUSED by the "good ole days". In this changing, tumultuous world, I want to teach my children LOVE, respect, patience, courage, humbleness, etc. I think most/many parents want to do the same. The question is HOW best to teach this. Sometimes parents are ignorant because they're just not educated/don't know better. Sometimes parents know better, but they're just plain worn out. Sometimes they're well-intentioned, but ineffective because their child would benefit from a different strategy. On a different note, what is better, to ignore a child or to play with a child? Oh come on. I think what we really need to discuss is balance. I don't think either extreme is healthy. Do kids need "tough love" at times? YES! But the pendulum swings both ways. I see parents that are TOO tough on their kids and it breaks my heart. Parents should, above all, love their kids and do what's in the child's best interest. What does this look like? It depends on each child, on each circumstance, on each life stage. Parents need to be committed, self-sacrificing, EDUCATED on parenting issues. I feel that you have a lot of great points, but I truly wonder if you really mean everything you're saying here.

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    1. Thank you, I was looking for one post that put the breaks on just a little. There are some good points that were made but I think Stephanie really missed the mark on how real bullying does effect some kids. Not sure how old her kids are but unfortunately social media is a huge piece of it that she did not have to deal with as a kid. Getting non stop bombardment of random kids telling you to kill yourself on social sites is not something that is "kids being kids." If we ignore our kids concerns when they tell us something that a kid did that was not appropriate, then they learn that it's okay for them to do to others. I thought of your various examples of the "real world" that they would be growing up in and they all seemed a bit extreme. And then I thought, I want to teach my kids to create a different world. Not "deal with it, embrace the suck cause there's nothing you can do about it." I feel like her suggested approach is a fend for yourself kind of attitude and doesn't explore the idea of teaching tolerance and accepting others.
      I get the not wanting to coddle kids and let them horse around without society over reacting. But you totally missed the mark on what kids that deal with bullying really have to deal with. Why not read up on some real stories of bullying and get an idea of what you're suggesting is "girls being teenagers"? Or boys for that matter.

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    2. While I don't want to seem as though I'm speaking for Stephanie, I don't think she was saying that you shouldn't/couldn't teach your kids to create a different world. In fact, I think that's what parents should be teaching their children to strive for.

      That said, kids still have to live in this world while they're creating that different one. Not teaching them how to operate in the world in which they live, unpleasant as it may be, is like leaving them to the wolves.

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    3. You're right she didn't say "you shouldn't/couldn't teach your kids to create a different world." But I think her message about the world really is one that is more of "that's the way it is." When we have that attitude toward anything that we don't like it only perpetuates the problem. That's why so many American's don't vote, or couldn't tell you whose running their local government, or ask questions at their school board meetings, or even go to school board meetings, or adults ignore when they see bullying. The list is ongoing of how this attitude continues to make things so polar opposite rather than meeting in the middle.

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    4. You are missing the point here.....we do not have to teach our small children to deal with the adult problems of the world or expect our 6 year old to come up with a solution to fix our social and economic turmoil. We need only to give them the tools to make smart decisions and be good leaders when they leave our home. THIS is what Stephanie is doing!! And by the way...the reason most teachers stand by and let bullying happen without interjecting is because they now live in a world with overbearing helicopter parents who never see the wrong in their kids and threaten law suits at every turn or that purhaps the spoiled bully who has never been taught accountability by his/her parents will threaten to report that teacher......THIS is the world we live in. BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE!!!!!!!!

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  34. I didn't know parents like you existed anymore! Gives me hope for the future!

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  35. FULLY agree with everything you just said. I have 4 girls (and girls can be just as "rough and tumble" as boys can, maybe more so, my girls are proof of that, LOL!) and we're raising them the same way. They'll grow up to be self sufficient, independent young women who can take care of themselves without needing someone to hold their hands through everything!

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  36. You are taking a practical approach and realistic approach to raising your kids. They will appreciate it all their lives. Parents tend to over protect children to the point that they cannot function in the real world.

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  37. One other comment. When my wife and I were raising our 4 children we asked ourselves if we wanted to raise kids or raise adults. Adults need to know how to survive and most of the time on their own. 40 years later we have well adjusted sons and daughters that are doing the same things with their own families and have well adjusted families. We did not cut them many breaks and they learned survival. We love them and as a result our grand-kids are the center of our world. The fact that they choose marriage and having families is proof that it must have worked. Keep going with what you are doing and the rewards will come later with well adjusted realistic adults. Not that you will be spared from challenges. Life is full of adversity.

    Edmund Burke defined the role of adversity well when he said: “Difficulty is a severe instructor, set over us by [one] who knows us better than we know ourselves, and he loves us better too. … He that wrestles with us strengthens our nerves, and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper. This … conflict with difficulty [makes us acquainted] with our object, and compels us to consider it in all its relations. It will not suffer us to be superficial” (“Reflections on the Revolution in France,” in Edmund Burke, Harvard Classics, 50 vols. [1909], 24:299–300).

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  38. I just love you. Thank you for reassuring me that I am doing it right! :D At least, I hope I am lol. I hate coddling parents who protect their kids from their own shadows. I love mine to pieces. But they need to grow up knowing that there is a real world out there with real consequences and they will not always get what they want. And it certainly won't always be easy.

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  39. Thank you!!! Having just dealt with this, I understand what you mean and I wholeheartedly agree!! My daughter, who is 11 and has never been in trouble at school a day in her life (because I taught her manners and how to behave when not in my presence) was recently sent home on a partial suspension because her and a friend were discussing something on the bus and the conversation was taken out of context from the bus driver. I get so angry that her day is fully scheduled when she goes to her dad's, and I actually expect her to entertain herself. You've hit the nail on the head! I will definitely be sharing this post with my mommy friends.

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  40. AMEN!! I love this post!!! Every word of it!!! This world is a mess for the exact reasons you stated and its only getting worse!! Love this post!!!!

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  41. I am a 58 years old mother and grandmother and I applaud you for having the courage to say what I always thought. I grew up pretty much fending for myself, running outside, playing outside, going on bike rides outside - Did I mentioned outside? Because now it is inside, with video games, TV, computers and earphones; what's wrong with going outside? Keep it up and I will follow your blog.

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  42. Um. Wow. Can I just say that I HATE this all or nothing mentality. Why does placing my children at the forefront of my life make it that I'm ruining them for life? Why can't I cater to them without spoiling them? I am very proud to say that my boys are the center of my whole universe. That being said, they are very well aware of the fact that they are not the center of anyone else's world. They understand that no one, not their teachers, friends, or grandparents will cater to them like I do. But they also know without a doubt that their mother will be there for them no matter what. And that confidence is my main goal in life. Because this is an ugly world & they need to know that when life beats them down they can turn to someone who will always have their backs. What mother wouldn't want that? Why would you ever want you children to think that they have to face their problems alone? I have instilled good manners, hard work, empathy & service for others in my children all while placing them at the center of my world. They are not spoiled but they are well taken care of. Because I maintain balance. I believe in giving 90% of me to my children. Because I owe it to them. If I'm going to raise the kind of strong, resilient, good hearted, well-mannered, hard working, lovinig, smart, thoughtful, etc., etc., men I expect to raise then they need all I can give them. And really, I don't need "me" time because parenting & giving to my kids doesn't take away from me. It isn't some vacuum that leaves me void of myself. It is the best time of my day & I'd rather spend my me time chasing my boys at the park or snuggling up with them for a movie then doing anything else.

    As for the bullying issue, I totally agree. I've worked as a school counselor & some of the stuff I saw was just plain sad. Like a kindergartener being suspended for bringing a butter knife to school so he could spread the cream cheese on his bagel. I mean, really? Really?!

    PS-I also HATE the mentality that this is a terrible world & we should not have kids to protect them from life. So freaking stupid. If you don't want kids then don't have kids. The world has always been ugly, it will always be ugly. Now we face a lot of emotional & social problems but at least we aren't affected by famines & war & all the other physically terrible trials our ancestors faced & still had the courage to have & raise children-you know, or else we wouldn't be here.) It's our job as parents to build resilient children with good hearts who can brave this ugly world & hopefully leave a little good behind.

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    1. Took the word right from me well spoken thank you I did like her blog but you can prepare your kids just as well as she is and also be the one person that is always there and spoils them a lil and has there back no matter what

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  43. I love this post, I hate the "participation award" mentality that has come to plague younger generations who constantly expect a pat on the back for everything, or a hand to hold when things get a little rough. I will say the only thing I don't agree with is the whole bullying section. I know that kids are going to be kids and bully, regardless of their upbringing, but coming across that it's pointless for someone to want to kill themselves because they are bullied...seems pretty low. Getting knocked into a locker was what happened when we were younger. Now, bullying doesn't stop once you leave the parking lot. It follows your children home. If someone is being bullied in this day in age, not only is it happening at school, but it's on their computer and on their phones (which, in my opinion they shouldn't even be having to begin with, but that's a whole different story.) So when you are not only being harassed and bullied in not just one incident a day, but in several, by several people, who can have access to a line into your life 24/7, sometimes these children who are being hurt feel like leaving this earth is the only way to escape.

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    1. Courtney you bring up an excellent point! Thank-you .. I wasn't thinking along your lines as I am 56 and still a little old school with things but you are definitely correct. The bullying now goes on 24/7 in these kids lives.. How they can handle THAT is beyond me.. My bullying stopped when I left the school to go home .. sure it made me cry and kept me awake and I was scared to go back to school but had now choice.. at least that's what I thought.. and I did go back.. but to have that horrible bullying go "VIRAL" as the kids say now? I always hoped it stayed with the few kids who were doing it and not spread the ugliness all over the classroom to other kids or the school. You brought a whole new light to bullying and what our kids can endure and where is the cut-off line as to when us adults get involved. I loved the blog of Stephanies and her main message.. I raised and am raising a sweet daughter who has special needs, non verbal and high medical needs, and is vulnerable in all aspects of her life. But I am also a step-Nana and see the way some of the younger parents do things. Some things are not do to them being younger but old problems like alcoholism and drugs ..yes mary-jane IS a drug.. Beating the spouse swearing on front of the kids.. Oh! Johnny said this four letter word at school??? hmm should he be punished for hearing it all the time at home?? So he's punished at school and then goes home to hear it like an everyday word.. Who will punish the parents if they don't clue in ??? Where is it awful to teach your child manners? and Empathy and compassion ..or why is it being ignored? or just NOT done? The parent was taught when they were young I know I asked .. and why do they behave like little animals when they go out? I asked again and the parents was taught and well behaved when they went out? I can only speak for one of the parents. I believe in a lot of what Stephanie said.. Thank-you BOTH for bringing up these excellent views. Amen Ladies!!!

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    2. My youngest son also has chronic medical needs. I fully expect his peers to be cruel to him. I'll never just ignore his feelings and his hurt. But I won't teach him that his whole world needs to stop just because a few kids want to be mean. He's stronger than that, and I will teach him where to find that strength.

      Thanks for sharing!

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  44. Yup, we're pretty much on the same page here, except I have 1 boy and 1 girl.

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  45. New follower! I really love this article you have composed. It really sets a fresh perspective on parenting. I completely agree with your article and was raised this way by my parents. I am a Mom of a little girl who just turned a year old in September and although terrified to allow her to learn these things, I know it will help her in the future.
    I look forward to reading more on your blog Stephanie!

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  46. I love this post! Our last name is Stankey and our daughter is in kindergarten. She came home from school last week and told us that a girl in her class had been calling her "Stinky". Obviously, we knew that this is just the first stop on her lifelong journey of people poking fun at our admittedly funny name. So our first question was "how did you respond?" and then we discussed ways that she could respond constructively in the future. It wasn't until later, when my husband made a lighthearted post about the event on Facebook and he received a flurry of comments expressing deep pity, concern for her feelings, and offers from other parents to "come take care of those mean kids," that I reevaluated the way we handled the situation. I went back and asked her how she felt about, and she was pretty indifferent. All of these friends and family members had immediately skipped over whether or not she could handle the situation and assumed that she couldn't. However, as her parents, we knew that she was fully capable of dealing with it, and only wanted to make sure that she was doing as we would expect her to do - stand up for herself without belittling others.
    After reading this post, it's nice to know that we aren't the only parents out there who are more interested in preparing our kids to handle the challenges that come their way in life than in sheltering them for as long as possible.

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    1. That same thing would and did have happen years ago .. We also knew a family with the same last name..my 60 yr old girlfriend had the name Cartwright ..nice enough name but what did she get ?? Cartwright Cartwright can't F**t right (pass air) our children have not changed all that much from when we were kids and I'm late 50's but all we need are the tools from our parents to deal with it like you are doing. Bravo Mom and Dad !!! your daughter sounds lovely BTW :)

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    2. Julie - awesome to think about! These kids ARE strong enough to handle these things. We as parents just have to teach them where to find that strength inside themselves!

      GaryDena - I agree. Kids haven't changed much. Society has changed.

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  47. As a parent of 5 boys and now grandparent of 3, I would agree totally with what is in the blog.
    If I could add anything it would be for today's parents and their cell phones! Fortunately, I did not have the internet or cell phones, so I did not have these distractions.
    Your leisure cellphone calls, texts and facebook posts can wait until later in the day. Nothing is more important than the safety of your children, and sharing quality time with them when they are with you.
    I see parents at the park with their kids, but not with their kids. They are on their cell phones talking about sales at stores or dresses worn at weddings! (I hear it because they are loud.)
    Parents are driving into the school parking lots, either dropping off or picking up, with a cell phone braced between their shoulder and ear. They are not 100% focused on their driving with too many kids around to risk an accident. Your child may not be the center of your world, but your cellphone shouldn't either !!!

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  48. I understand what you're saying, I just disagree that this is a modern problem. My son's father is 30 years old and lives at home in his parents' basement. He goes to school, but he doesn't work, doesn't pay rent, doesn't pay for his food, or provide them any money towards his living expenses. They give him a credit card that they pay for to use for gas. They are in their sixties. So I just disagree that this is a modern problem, it has apparently been going on for generations.

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    2. Demetria Yes I sadly agree there will always be parents who don 't know what to do or feel quilty for some reason and coddle their kids old or young.. if he was an alcoholic they would call it ENABLING .. and this is what I believe it is with or without alcohol or drugs it is sad and this son will never have to be accountable to them for anything he choses to do .. sadly they are ruining him and helping him to stay that way.. just my opinion.. it was done in our family and my youngest sibling past 40 now still can't function on his own. Part of it was also drugs at an early age and a parent form the 30's not knowing anything about drugs and not wanting to see it. :(

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  49. I like to call it the Pussification of America. My hat is off to you Stephanie. Well said!!! This society has reared a bunch of pansy children that are going to be in for a rude awakening in the real world. It began with the removal of corporate punishment in schools and the absence of the Bible, even though they are allowed to recognize every other religion out there as long as it's not Christianity. Boys are wired to be WARRIORS. They want a damsel in distress to go save. They want to conquer the bad guy and like you said they will whether you take the toy gun away or not. They will find another weapon. It's what little boys do. I'm 45 years old with grown children and they were not the absolute center of our world. They know right from wrong and were prepared for life's dissappointments. They know that not everything is marshmellows and unicorns that we do fail and we learn from our failures to make us better human beings. My two toddler grand daughters will also be prepared for the real world. Even though those two munchkins are my life, they are not the center of my life or my daughters for that matter. They too have to use their imagination and work ( as much as a three year old will work ) for what they can't find and to solve their own problems. As parents and grandparents we will be there to pick up the pieces but they know they will be stronger when all is said and done. Bravo young lady on a job well done!!!

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    1. We probably shouldn't even get started on the whole "It's ok as long as it's not Christianity" thing! Haha.

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  50. I'm a teacher and a parent, and while I thought you made some very good points in this article, I really have to take issue with how you so casually dismissed bullying. You framed it as someone calling someone else a bad name, which of course everyone has done at some point in their life. That is not bullying. In order to be bullying, it should have the following three things: hurtful, purposeful and repeatedly. I think the third one is the most critical. You can hurt someone's feelings, perhaps even try to hurt their feelings, but it's not bullying if it only happens once. A child who is hurt over and over again, in cruel ways, every time they step foot in their school deserves our help. And the bully needs help as well before these behaviours carry over into their adult lives. It's not "just a phase." Children who bully are likely to grow into adults who bully... their spouse, their coworkers, or their own children... Other than that, interesting article. I actually agree with your comment about toy guns. I think that that is overreacted to far to often. I also agree with your overall message. Children need to be given opportunities to solve their own problems before we swoop in to rescue them. But please don't dismiss bullying, real bullying. It is far too serious a problem and not at all the way you described it.

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    1. Thank you for writing this. It was phrased much better than what I would have contributed. There's being unkind and then there's bullying. Both need to be dealt with and be corrected, but bullying crosses the line from "normal, though negative children's behavior" to "unacceptable" for us. Kids don't commit suicide because they were called a bitch once. They commit suicide because they were repeated tormented over a period of time, likely at home (through social media or just around-the-town things) and at school. Bullying is not "just teenaged girls being teenaged girls"-- it is destructive behavior that can easily carry over into adulthood. Just like you (the author) don't your children to become overly dependent, I don't want children to learn that cruelty and bullying are acceptable ways to treat people when you don't like them.

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    2. Agreed, Carrie. This issue is staring to rear its ugly head with my 13 year old. At the beginning of the year a group of kids were calling him "gay". He replied with, "Why yes, I am very happy." It bothered him, but he let it go.

      Now I am headed into the principal's office. This week he has been "ball tagged" twice and hit in the back of the head 3 or 4 times. One of his football teammates was slandering him by telling the whole team he smoked weed and drank. (We don't have a drop of alcohol in our home.) Even if a child doesn't have a phone, that doesn't mean the bullying doesn't go on social media sites for everyone to see. I've gotten calls from other parents telling me what is being said about my child online.
      My son has been reporting the bullies to multiple teachers this year and has been brushed off. I've taught my kids to handle their own problems. I need to have my child's back when his efforts aren’t working.

      Twenty years from now if the same bully would try these stunts they would face criminal and legal charges, loss of their job, etc. So why do we want to condone the behavior by saying, “They’re just kids?” This is the one aspect of parenting that is so important, especially now that kids are living out their lives in real-time on social media. Our kids don’t realize that once something is put out there, it never goes away. The name calling and abuse they put on public display could make the difference in getting in the college of their dreams or being passed over for a job.

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  51. I mostly agree with you. First, I feel strongly about maintaining my identity as a woman and wife first, and then as a mother second (when the time comes). As a Christian, the Bible backs me up there. My allegiances should come in the following order: God, Husband, Children.

    I go agree we are raising a whole race of kids who don't understand that the world doesn't revolve around them. That does, in some cases, result in serious consequences such as suicide and other awful things. The whole social media world has only exacerbated this. I don't understand this whole rage to take 50 million selfies. Who cares, you know? But if you told that to a kid, they'd probably self-destruct.

    I've jokingly always said that I will raise my future child (or children) as if they are in a Russian orphanage. But what I mean by that is there are rules and consequences, and most importantly, boundaries. If they can't conduct themselves in public in a polite manner (w/o 5 electronic devices), then they don't deserve to be out in public.

    However, I do disagree about the bullying thing. It is a major problem in our society. It disgusts me that there are such mean people out there, and that my kid(s) will eventually have to deal with them. Sure, being called a "bitch" once (or even twice for that matter) and then thinking about suicide is extreme. Where I do dissent is prolonged bullying/namecalling/stalking. It needs to stop. And unfortunately, it's the mentality of "suck it up" that is perpetuating it. I speak from experience myself; my life was miserable after being called "cow" for the three years of middle school. I was "mooed" at, etc. I wasn't even fat. I just had hips, which the other girls didn't. I don't remember contemplating suicide, but it was an awful existence that profoundly damaged my self-esteem for years to come. The school did very little to combat it. When we brought the district authorities into the mix, a couple of the boys were placed in detention once or twice. It helped a little but I still had endure the namecalling until I matriculated in high school. I know that this is not the case now. The word "bully" gets mentioned and there's a major overreaction. I just wish we could find a happy medium, but that doesn't mean that this isn't an issue that needs to be dealt with. I worry about my little brother (who's 10). He just started the 5th grade and the bullying is starting to escalate. Fortunately, he's very tall for his age, so he doesn't get picked on. But he's stood up for some kids in the past that haven't been so lucky. I'm super proud of him for that!

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  52. I dont have any kids, and I dont plan on having any. (Im also 29). But, I wish more parents were like you. Well said.

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  53. I could not agree more with this post!! And I am so happy someone else has put the thought out there!! I love my children and allow them the freedom to fail.. They are not perfect and niether am I. That is a fact that I have grown up with and it helps me to this day. I know when something goes wrong I have the ability to either fix it or deal with it on my own and that is one of the most important lessons we can give our children!
    As for the Bulling aspect, I agree with other comments that it is a problem in society, but guess what, It alway has been!! We as children were given the proper tools to deal with it without thinking our worlds were ending! I was strongly bullied in school but it did not ruin me, did not make me contemplate ending everything. I was given tools to know that this was not a nice person and I did not need to be effected. I was also given the tools to know not to do the same thing to others.
    "Modern Day Parenting" does not allow these lessons to be learned. The more we allow our kids to blame others for our parenting defects the worse it will be for them as adults. I for one want my children to be happy well adjusted adults!

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  54. Hear, hear, Stephanie! (I'm a Stephanie, too, and with two boys about the same age and a serious career as an artist). I couldn't agree more. I, too, am dazed and confused by the child-centric attitudes and methods that seem to permeate this age of "new parenting." The upshot? An awful lot of "spoiled" children -- there's an old fashioned word! I wonder how they are to build strength of character and self-reliance? If you haven't already discovered it, there's a great book called "The Blessings of a Skinned Knee" by Wendy Mogul (her amazing follow up for teens is "The Blessings of a B-"). Mogul is refreshingly practical and has a lot of good ideas for compassionate and guided parenting, as opposed to anxious over-parenting. Thanks for the post.

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  55. Read your blog when a friend shared it on FB. Outstanding. And given the climate of parenting at this time, very courageous of you to put into words! (I honestly can't believe you're *only* 29--I'm 43 and friends who can't grasp this concept!) I can only hope my three girls meet three boys who were raised by parents with an attitude like yours.

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  56. I don't even have kids and read this on a whim when a friend linked to it on facebook and still must say "Bravo".

    It's nice to know that there are still people who feel like this out there. I've been saying for years how sheltering people from the real world is just about the most sadistic form of surprise party there is. Teach them how the majority feels things SHOULD be then kick them out the door of life and yell "Surprise! It was all just wishful thinking!".

    Thank you for being sane and blogging about it. It's a welcome change of pace.

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  57. It wouldn't hurt to teach some virtues also....Humility,Kindness,Generosity,Patience,Purity,Moderation,Diligence.

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  58. thank you very much for this dose of perspective. Were that you (and I and others) not in the minority. I fear the future full of disfunctional people.

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  59. I have four kids, two teenagers and two toddlers. I agree totally with your post and appreciate it. That is how I am raising my kids. HOWEVER, I used to think the exact same thing as you when it came to bullying. Until it happened to my teenage daughter. When someone starts spreading rumours and lies about you in a small community and people believe them, it is terrible. Having no friends to eat with at lunch and being completely shunned from the group you used to hang out with is devastating for the teenager. Fortunately because of the way we raised her and the fact that she is a very strong mature girl. She is handling it as painful as it is. We love her and support her. But for someone that hasn't been raised like her I could see it going very badly. I finally understand what can push some teems to drastic measures. So people should not judge what you haven't experienced. That is what I have learned through this. There is not much else I can do. I wont go to the parents as they are just as bad, and that would just make the situation worse. You are correct in what you say in your post, just realize that bullying today is NOT what it was when I was young. You will learn that when your kids get into high school. Whether they experience it themselves or whether they are a part of it.

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    1. I grew up in a small town, the daughter of a pastor. Churches are hypocritical and straight up nasty. People from the congregation spread rumors about my sister and I to get at my father.

      In 8th grade, every single friend that I had decided one day to write me a letter calling me every name in the book. I ate lunch in the bathroom stall more than once.

      It hurts as a teenager. I'm not denying that at all.

      Kids have been mean and hurtful as long as humans have existed, in my opinion. It's the way society reacts to it today that upsets me.

      Thanks for your feedback!

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    2. I've read some of the very few responses that you have given to the bullying part of your original blog. And I am troubled by your response. You did not deserve what happened to you and nothing makes it okay for how you were treated.
      But I think your experience has tainted your view to the idea that this is part of growing up. If you had been raped as a child would you have said that humans are hurtful and we just have to prepare kids that they are going to get raped as a small child? I doubt it!! But for some reason it seems like you have decided that since you were bullied it's something that all kids are going to have to experience whether we want them to or not. Why not stop and look at how you were treated and rather than just focusing on the tough skin you want your kids to have you also look at how to identify what's not okay and look at teaching tolerance and acceptance.
      When you talk about "society today" I think you look at "society of yesterday" with some pretty rosy colored glasses. How do you think they handled these issues? They didn't so they have been growing and getting worse because "it's just kids being kids."

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  60. I love this!!! Thanks for writing it. This gentleman gave a great commencement speach called "You Are Not Special"...it highlights on a lot of the points that you wrote in your blog post. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_lfxYhtf8o4

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  61. Hi, I was just wondering if you ever considered homeschooling?

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    1. I've definitely thought about it! I honestly don't think I have the patience for it though. Just being real. :)

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    2. Also, I want my kids to interact with other kids regularly. That's how they develop social skills, and learn to work through emotional hurt, in my opinion.

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  62. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this! Thank you for reminding me that our family is not the only one who tries to teach our (SIX) kids to be prepared for REAL LIFE! We are a blended family and our outside bio parents are a constant struggle in maintaining this view with our kids, but you are right - making kids the center of a parent's world is a great disservice to the child. Kudos to you!

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  63. I agree with everything you have said here. I've seen too many young adults in the workplace who dissolve into tears when given constructive feedback. This spoiling is creating a very difficult future - for everyone! My 6 year old once told me he wanted to live with me forever. I told him that it was my job and role to help give him the tools to find his own job, buy his own house and have his own immediate family. He will never be the centre of my universe nor I, his. That would be unfair to both of us!

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  64. You neglected to mention that it IS a moms duty to stay home with their little ones in the 1st few critical years. DAYCARES not only brainwash children with the gov't garbage like gun control coming down the pipe but the child is NOT getting the love and attachment to the mother like they need. Studies have shown that if a baby is detached from the mother/ father at a young age (sent to daycare) then they are easier to control later on in life. We are lead to believe that the NEW WORLD ORDER AGENDA is a conspiracy but it is NOT. This agenda needs to be studied and learned by all because you are living it and your children are being brainwashed with it in the gov't schools.
    This all goes back to scripture and the tower of Babel. Research it all.... "common core" in the schools is nothing but communism and the parents are duped into thinking its something great. We are lied to galore and the lazy man laps it up. Sadly.

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    1. Ok, you've struck a nerve there. While I respect your opinion, I absolutely do not agree.

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    2. Some families can't afford to be one-income families, and it certainly doesn't mean they love their children any less, or want any less for them.

      Thanks for sharing, and have a good day!

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  65. I am a mom to FOUR girls as well as their provider, maid, chauffeur, confidant, and cheerleader. With that said, I completely and totally agree with your entire blog! I too preach a tougher skin and kinder mouth. Ask any one of my kids what my number one rule is and they will immediately tell you, "You don't have to like everyone, but you are to be mean, rude, or unkind to no one." My eldest two have taken to telling their friends to abide by the same rule in their presence because they have realized that there life is so much better for it. Not to say that I have perfect children who never lose their temper with their sisters or with me, but I do have kind, respectful, and downright drama free girls most of the time. Keep up with the good work with your boys. The world will be a better place for it!

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  66. You are an amazing lady to have such wisdom at your young age. I agree with your comments and only wish I was as wise while I raised my two sons. Sometimes I wonder if I grew up before or after they were raised! Yet somehow they turned out pretty well. What you created above is a sermon that every priest, minister, rabbi, preacher of all religions should use at least once every 6 months to enlighten their congregations. Thanks for sharing.

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  67. I love what you have wrote and that you speak the truth. I was one of those mothers who would drop everything every time my little boy would whimper. I lost who I was because I let my world revolve around him. I love my son dearly and it took my mother in law to wake me up. She told me one day how is he going to deal when he gets a paper cut if you run every time he whimpers? She told me that he will have to deal with so much more one day and that I wont always be able to help him or be able to fix whatever the problem may be. Its been a rough time for both of us but he is finally learning how to become independent and so am I. He now understands that just because he wants something doesn't mean I will be right there to follow his every command. He is learning how to work through problems he is having and enjoys showing us when he has done something on his own. He's so proud and I'm proud of him. I agree this is how we should be raising our children and not babying them. at least our boys will grow up knowing the value of hard work, not expecting things just handed to them, and feel proud of the men they will become. Also we love playing cops and robbers together when we get the chance. :)

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  68. I have raised several children at this point and continue to raise a few more and you are sooooo right on...I have told my daughters that are now mothers that all of the "electronic babysitters" that they have are HORRIBLE!!! I wish they would put them away. When they are at Grandma's house, we just do what we usually do and they play outside a lot and we make forts in the living room and ...bless you, you get it!

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  69. As a parent I 100% agree I thank you for your time and for putting it out there my son gets in school suspension for not having his lanyard around his neck! Even if it is in his HAND he will be punished. Horse play in the hall way also with a friend got him ISS. THIS world is terrible there is examples of it all over. I asked the lady behind the counter at subway to had me a cookie and she refused sighting her utensil can't touch my hand. IT IS SAD when did putting it on a napkin disapear from her thought process

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  70. Amen I remember when I was a kid I was teased and treated like crap in school but to me it made me a stronger person. I was your stereo typical boy with a wild imagination and I'm glad my mom encouraged it.

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  71. Perfectly put, I love this and will be sharing it. More parents need to think like you (and me!). Bravo!
    Barbara at Chase the Star

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  72. I read (and reread) Barbara Coloroso's Kids Are Worth It numerous times as I raised my two daughters and I think her philosophies are very close to your own. I agree that we need to prepare our children for the realities of life while still letting them know that they are loved and valued by those closest to them. Great article!

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  73. Great great post... couldn't agree more!!! New blog reader :)

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  74. I agree with your post, however your child can still be the center of your world. That is why you teach them the things you do, manners ect. If they weren't the center of it you wouldn't give a damn

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  75. Wow, what a great post! I was just talking about this with my mom and my friend. We have two active boys who love to wrestle and play guns. They go to Kindegarten next year and I just heard of a boy who got suspended for using his finger as a pretend gun while playing cops and robbers?? Are you kidding me?? Adam does that all the time! He is just being a normal boy and I can't believe I have to worry about him getting suspended for something like that!! I couldn't agree more with your post! Thank you for writing!!!

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  76. Oh my goodness! I found this from a link someone posted on my Facebook wall and I'm glad I did. I loved it. I totally agree with you. The way things are going with the world today are just crazy. I currently work in fast food and the amount of stupidity and laziness coming from the part-time/high schoolers sickens me. I work my ass off just trying to fix what they've been too incompetent to do correctly all the while trying to do my job to the best of my ability. I'm only slightly younger than you and have no children, but based on what is all going on in the public school system these days (in Canada anyway) makes me seriously consider home school more and more each day - if I ever have kids. I will soon have a career that will actually allow me to work from home so home schooling could work (after a while anyway since I would only need a few hours to work at a time). I know bullying is a big issue, and I know you didn't mean that you were talking of it lightly, but you made a great point that in *some* cases, things are taken just way too far. What a great post.

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  77. Dear Stephanie. You can raise my children when I have them. Thank you for reminding us that there is a difference between parenting and babying. :)

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  78. I very much agree that helicopter parenting is out of control right now. A very wise woman at church offered this advice to our parenting group: the point of parenting is to raise a being independent of yourself. I do think you oversimplify bullying though ... bullying with words is much more damaging that slamming someone against a locker. And in the age of instant (somewhat anonymous) communication, bullying is much worse than it ever was because kids can no longer get away from the bully ... in other words bullying doesn't end when kids get away from the bully physically. I suspect as your kids become older you may open her mind to that understanding. I also think you have very little understanding of suicidality and hope that none of your kids are ever seriously depressed.

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  79. Hi Stephanie! Looks like your blog is going viral ;) Congrats on writing this post, Although I don't have any kids, I feel the same way as you do (and I'm guessing I'd feel the same if I had any), but because I don't have any kids, I am somehow not allowed to say the things you've just said, because of the society we live in. haha
    Anyway, I've been saying that for years, these kids will eventually grow up and become horrible spoiled and cranky adults, who would want to have that as a spouse??
    Good job to you for having realized this sooner rather than later. Your kids are lucky to have you as a mom.
    ECP

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  80. Love it! exactly how my husband and I feel. thanks for writing this

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  81. I think people are taking this "center of the world" thing too literal. By you saying they are not the center of your world does not mean you love them any less. And the fact that there are very few negative posts says alot about today's lazy, overly sensitive parents. Lol. They are too lazy to read this blog - it takes too much time from their social media, or they childishly click the little "x" at the top right of their screen because they disagree . I do agree with you and feel that your kids are truly blessed. It makes me proud to know that the "old school" style of parenting still exists, while understanding the need for provisional adjustments for today's society and issues. Great job!

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  82. I LOVE this! I have been teaching public school for 9 years and am pregnant with my first child. You have hit the nail on the head for this generation! My staff is doing a book study you might be interested in...check out Generation iY by Tim Elmore. http://www.savetheirfuturenow.com/

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  83. That is the same way we raise our kids! Good for you for writing this!

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  84. Whilst I agree that children are not the center of our worlds, I wouldn't brush of 'modern parenting' completely while donning our rosy -retrospection glasses. It is important to recognize that their are many ill-effects of olden-authoritarian parenting styles compared to the more consultative kind that occurs today (Psyc student here!); and that things like depression, mental illness, bullying were swept under the rug but had real effects both then and now. Thus, I don't think we should have any 'hard-and-fast' rules when it comes to raising our children, each child is different and they need different kinds of parenting strategies to meet their potential. For example, some need more boundaries and others need more support.

    It is a matter of how you give that support and define your boundaries - it is about modelling reason and explaining why things are the way they are.
    Rest assured, plenty of other people will demonstrate that the world is a cruel unforgiving place and offer all the adversity you could wish for your child. But as a parent it is your job to equip them with the tools to deal with it by modeling, encouraging, supporting, discussing, reasoning, providing boundaries, teaching - life skills are not be learnt by simply saying "deal with it" they occur as stages of development and as a parent you are the life guide.

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  86. I do agree with most of this. Sadly we do live, in what seems like a more violent society. "Rape culture" is accepted and even encouraged...kids are taking real guns to school and killing people. That's the reason for the change for what is now unacceptable behavior/ play in school. I get it, I do. However again it's conflicting because I also don't agree with sugar coating everything for our children. I do believe there are exceptions..when you have a special needs child for example. Too many children pick on them and that is never acceptable. Nice touch by the way with the, "rainbow colored unicorns are running around pooping skittles onto piles of marshmallows."

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  87. Stephanie!!!! That was just awesome! I agree with everything stated above. Every single word. I'm 28 and have an 8yr old and twin 6 year olds and i'll tell you they do exactly what your boys do. And I let them. But they are also very independent and they don't rely on me or their father at all. Which is awesome. They know we are there if they need us.... but they have the skills to deal with most situations. Its awesome watching them do things and watching them figure out issues on their own. We do our best to guide them in the right direction and we are there if they need us for advice. I couldn't be more proud. I think a lot of mums need to take that step back. Cause I tell ya it will work wonders!!

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  88. Stephanie: I have 2 words for you: Thank You! You have just expressed the very words that are in my head and in my journals. Thank you, and again I say Thank You. I am writing a book, and much of the premise of this book deals with some of the difficult subjects that you have tackled. More than anything, it deals with the Generation Gap that I, as a 43-year-old woman living in 2013, am having such a very difficult time wrapping my brain around. I feel like everything my mother taught me, mostly by example but nevertheless everything I learned growing up, is information that is obsolete in this day and age, whether it be me in a marriage, me in the workforce, or me as a mother. If you would be interested in joining me in writing a book to address this Generation Gap, please let me know! Thanks for reading this, and have a great day.
    Amy Lynn Rutherford

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  89. Even though anti-bullying incentives and programs are popular right now, I don't think it actually prevents bullying. My step-daughter is a good example. It's just DARE repackaged. Dorky awkward kids are always going to be on the bottom of the pile. Just because there is supposedly some method of recourse available to them doesn't mean it they are going to be brave enough to use it. Just another dumb liberal policy with good intentions but very unrealistic. No matter what the government attempts to instill in the soft malleable psyche of our nation's children, people are going to continue to be people and that includes being crappy people some of the time. Our society has removed God from the moral compass of the country and, having realized how crappy people CAN be, want the government to be a replacement of God with all of its sub-par "programs." Oh yeah, a "no bullying" bracelet is really going to keep kids from being dicks to one another. Thank goodness the government isn't all powerful. Once kids get into the world where there isn't agenda and people fend for themselves they'll figure out how to be jerks to one another...no amount of brain washing in high school that is intended to prepare or protect them is going to change that. No need to worry about your boys experiencing any of that or not. But if you really want your boys to experience life? Send your family's TVs, computers, and cell phones to the bottom of a lake.

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    1. Heidi, I couldn't agree with you more. Thanks for the input!

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  90. Stephanie, I came to your blog from a link one of my friends shared on FB. So glad I did. I agree with the idea in your post. And I am so glad that there is someone out there thinking the same! We live in the real world in which we have to take responsibility of our emotions and career ( and more). We are ourselves and we define our own identities by our deeds. We are not what others say we are, and we are not what they say we are not. We have to live in a way where we have faith in ourselves and still respect others' faith in themselves. Hence hard work should be honored.

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  91. Stephanie...I commend you. You have taken the ways of living my era ( I am a baby boomer age 61) I was raised the way you are raising your children and I respect everyone of your concepts. I turned out okay after what I felt was a tough teenage life. I hated being stuck in those years because I felt my parents were too rigid. Today I thank them continuously for the way they raised me.
    Keep up the good work and I can only pray you have influence many to rethink their style of parenting and change even if it be a little bit. Many children today being raised have no manners and are downright disrespectful especially to their elders.

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  92. Bless you!!! I didn't need to read the entire thing to know that I'd met a person the same age as my children (28 and 32) who actually has some common sense and knows that you can't be friends with your children until they are adults (and even then it's difficult). Stay strong, pray daily, and keep on keepin' on!!

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  93. I love this. This is me 100% It is nice to see other parents who feel the same way!

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  94. I am an ancient 70 year old and have reared 3 wonderful grown children. We now have 5 beautiful g'children, 4 of whom are boys. You are wise beyond your years. Just keep on loving and caring for your children and pray a lot. God will bless your efforts. This is a great blog.

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  95. I agree with you about not making your kids the center of our universe as I've never done that and they are great teenagers today and know that Mom also has a life of her own outside of doing things for them and with them. That being said, I do not agree with your statement about bullying! Things are a lot different today due to the internet and social media sites. My oldest daughter was bullied relentlessly for most of her school life and it's more than mean girls saying things in the hallway at school or on the bus...they can say the meanest of things...like "no one would care if you died" or "go kill yourself" over Facebook or other sites and its out there for the all her peers to see and to chime in on. I'm sorry but NO ONE should have to put up with that abuse on a daily basis and If I'm a bad parent for stepping in and trying to get this stopped, then call me that! Once your kids grow up to teenage hood you may see what i mean but I sure hope you don't. Please do not speak about something you have NOT dealt with because it hurts when your teenager tells you "Mom, you are lucky that I'm a strong person or I would have killed myself by now". She has gone on to live in a large city to continue her post secondary education and she's so glad to be done with high school and I know that me "helping out and stepping in" sometimes helped her achieve her goal of being where she is today.

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  96. I really wanted to like this, because the title was spot on for me and I rarely have easy share rebuttals to people's "My children are the air I breathe" posts on Facebook, but you lost me at the bullying. Do you really think all those suicides in the news are because "Susie called her a bitch"? If you do please take the time to do your research. Some people are bullied horribly now, some were in the past, and they have been killing themselves for as long as that has been the case as well. We simply now have a news culture that talks about more than just local events or fluff pieces handed down by the dear leader government.

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  97. Stephanie,I think this is one of the best,if not the best piece I have read regarding raising children.All 4 of my girls are grown and have given me Grandchildren.They are raised like yours.Thanks.Mike

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  98. This is a great article and I wish more parents our age realized this!!!!

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  99. WOW! You truly "get it " when it comes to parenting. You are doing a great thing for your children and an equally great thing by explaining your common sense parenting approach to a generation of largely self focused twits who would wish away failure (when in real life failure is actually an option, and one better be prepared to deal with it)...I describe your post not as a rant, but rather a superb treatise...todays' generation of parents will do well to absorb and implement the methods and concepts you so artfully describe. Clearly you are wise way beyond your years and you are raising good citizens. I salute you. William C. Thurman, Attorney, Buckhannon, WV

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  100. Wow, I COMPLETELY agree with all that you've said. at one point as I read this I tohught to myslef about how the school is changing so much,, I don't know about where you are but they are changing it in the school system things like no Zero's on assignments... so docked marks for late... all the stuff we has as kids that made you get your shit done and do it right! lol I'm 28 yrs old BTW, I was right there with ya! Grew up in Saskatoon SK Canada.

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  101. Yikes. Teaching your kids they aren't special to the world seems brutal. I like to teach my boys they are special...in fact, I teach my son that he has "superpowers" to make people smile by showing love and kindness. I teach them that these little acts make a big difference. I teach them that God has a purpose for them.

    Parenting isn't so black and white. You need to understand child development to discipline and guide effectively. I agree you should not prevent problems or struggles, but you need to give children the tools to solve them.

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    1. Mandy - i didn't get the sense in the least that Stephanie's kids aren't made to feel special - She is right however, where your child is as special as life itself to you even with his beautiful smile others may not think he's special - right or wrong it is the truth - is your child prepared for the day when his smile does not work on someone - i believe that is Stephanie's point -
      when the world lets down your child (and it will!!!!) is he prepared to deal with it in a way that provides lessons learned and the ability positively keep moving forward??
      Stephanie - your boys are lucky to have a such a wise mom:)
      To all the beautiful children of the world - Godspeed

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    2. Thanks, Vic. You hit the nail on the head.

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  102. and I'd like to add I wish that I could type fast without all these mistakes... lol sorry for the sloppy comment."no docked marks for late assignments" is the only big fix that doesn't make sense lol

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  103. I loved reading your blog, and I agree with you. I especially liked this quote: "Parents who make their children the center of their universe are not doing anyone any favors. Obviously, as parents, we love our children more than anything. But dropping everything to cater to their every need is only going to lead to a very rude awakening once they enter the real world."

    Although my parents weren't perfect (and neither was I), they instilled this life lesson in me and my sisters. When they passed away and we were totally on our own in our early-mid 20s, we were able to cope with and handle what the real world threw at us. We weren't entitled by any means, and we knew that we had to earn what we wanted. I owe my mom and dad a huge thank you.

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  104. Excellent point of view! I have been trying to raise my wife's girls in this light for long term self-sufficiency, while still trying to be conscientious of them still being 11 and 12. It's a fine line, but an important one, and I think they will be well prepared for the cutthroat "real world" that I have experienced.

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  105. I work in a daycare and its obvious whose kids are spoiled and handed everything... we do not allow "weapons" in the center and when we see it we tell them that if its allowed at home go for it but not at daycare... my daughter is two and we are struggling right now with being attached to mom. I love her to pieces and want what's best for her. Reading this made me wonder how my parents did it because I struggle with rejection and criticism. I will be taking some of this into account to raise her right.
    Thank you for sharing :-)

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  107. Love this! I am always telling my kids to go play outside and find something to do if they are bored! They get limited TV time as well. I am also trying to teach them to try to do something on their own before they ask for help. I want them to be independent! :) Thanks for sharing!

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  108. Amen! I hate it when I hear kids say "I'm bored".

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  109. We have a similar parenting model...

    HOWEVER... even though many adults have successfully survived some bullying and name-calling, many adults actually haven't. Many have committed suicide before reaching adulthood, and many are dysfunctional now as a result. You can't say that "in the good old days, everyone turned out ok", because that's just not true. When someone calls someone else a "bitch", it's not just using that word that hurts, it's the attitude and disrespect that is behind it - towards other people. And many times, it's those children who grow up to be trouble-makers in communities because they have no respect for others.

    Also... have you ever been to or lived in a war-torn nation? I have. I grew up in central Africa amidst a genocide. And let me tell you: little boys there don't act like the "little boys" you describe - playing with pretend guns. Guns there are awful, nasty, horrible weapons for human torture and destruction. They are the reason for communities falling apart, wives becoming widows, and children becoming orphans.

    Let me just say this: everyone needs to respect other members of our communities. And our communities are becoming increasingly comprised of refugees from war-torn nations. Please consider this when you talk about, adn condone, the "harmless gun play" of little boys.

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  110. You know, when reading this, I was shocked-it really is controversial. Though I agree with you 100%. This world has, sadly, conditioned every child to give up or not even try if there's a risk of failure. And that is why kids don't finish school, or think that giving up on a relationship because you've argued one time is acceptable, for example. Its sickening.

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  111. Thank you for this blog. I agree with most of it. I have 2 teenage boys and a teenage daughter. I believe that a parent's job is to love, guide, and prepare their children to be successful adults, not to be their "friend". Successful in my eyes means that they are able to support themselves, have healthy relationships, and have learned ways to cope with any obstacles that pop up in life along the way. I also teach good manners, faith, respect, and hard work. My children know everyday that I love them with all my heart, but my job as a parent is not to make sure that they always like me. I feel that I would much rather my children experience natural consequences now and learn lessons from those consequences now while I am here to explain, teach, monitor them, etc. If I always protect them from being hurt, embarrassed, punished, etc. as a child, and they do not learn how to handle these situations, the consequences as an adult are much more severe and life changing. This has been especially difficult for me since I am divorced and my ex-husband does not agree with my parenting style. He recently told me that he hopes my children end up hating me and has called me a bully for taking my teen's keys and phone away as a consequence. I hope most other divorced parents do not have to deal with this attitude from their ex, but I want to point out that this can also be the type of attitude that a parent can get from a teenager. It never has been easy to see my children struggle, be upset, angry, or sad (at any age) but saving my children from these feelings would be selfish on my part.



























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  112. While I do agree with the overall content and point you are trying to convey, I too have a boy, 16, and he has not been raise to be the center of my world or the world in general, although he may think so at times. But that is just typical teenage thinking, that you one day will have the joys of experiencing!
    I was very shocked and saddened by the comment you made with regards to bullying and suicide, " if Sally calls Susie a bitch Susie's whole world will crumble around her, she contemplates suicide, and society encourages her to feel like her world has truly ended, and she is entitled to a world wide pity party" Bullying, and I am not just talkin about bein called a bitch, and suicide are very real serious issues that should NEVER be taken lightly! I believe that if a parent of one of these children that has been bullied or contemplated suicide or actually followed through with ending their life, read that statement they would not aggree and find it inappropriate, to say the least. It is an insensitive, judgemental, ignorant statement to make. I believe that if you or one of your boys had ever or ever does in the future face one of these real issues that you would never had made that statement. We are all entitled to our opinion and we have all walked in different shoes along different paths, but I hope that you will reevaluate this statement and take the time to educate yourself on these serious issues.

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  113. I am the mother of 3 well rounded, well mannered, and well behaved children. I am not saying my children are perfect, because they are not. But because of the way my husband and I have chosen to raise them, they will have respect for the world and others in it. I believe in letting them be kids as long as they can and will help when I can, but I want and need them to be self sufficient in life. They are all very independent and I wouldn't have it any other way! Thank you for writing this!!!

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  114. Way to go. I frequently tell my daughter "you can figure it out . . . or you try first and then I'll help." She usually gets it figured out without any help from me. I think that all of us, on occasion, are guilty of jumping in too quick mainly just because sometimes it is faster and easier than letting them do it themselves. I think problem comes in when it is an ALL THE TIME thing. I think that is the case with most of what you said here. Sounds like your boys will indeed grow up to be what you are striving for them to be.

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  115. It is refreshing to hear another mom say what I feel! Good job on getting your message out there and I truly hope that others will take it to heart and put into action!

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  116. The attitude that boys will be boys perpetuates the concept that there are no consequences to violence, especially when guns are allowed. I have a daughter and 2 sons. I did not permit physical fighting of any kind. My philosophy is that it can be worked out with words - a concept that would serve the world's nations. Guns are designed to kill. Morally, killing is negative. The taking of another's life.
    My children are 19, 17 and 14. They are respectful. They understand the power of a gun and the power of words. My children understand that words used negatively are as harmful as violence. My husband and I have raised 3 children who will make a positive impact on this world just because they are who they are.
    I agree that children benefit from figuring things out on their own. And that into everyone's life must come negative events. Children require guidance sometimes to help them through these events.
    Bottom line, there is no one correct way or incorrect way to raise children. Every parent does the best he and she can to raise his and her children. I wish you all the best.

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    1. And I stated that exact idea in the blog post: Everyone parents differently and I respect that.

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  117. Thank you for saying what too many parents are afraid to say! Love this post!

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  118. I hope you go viral (I came here via a facebook forward and couldn't agree more)! This is so, so true.

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  119. Well said! I will share this with everyone I know,God Bless you and your Family!

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  120. if you could see me now I'd be giving you a standing ovation - it's refreshing to hear this from a younger mother ( Im 45 with 2 boys , now 19 and 22 ) and I could not agree with you more - well said - lets hope that common sense will once again become the heart of parenting

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  121. Sigh.

    Shakes head.

    The young idealisitc mother.

    I was like you once....and I raised my 5 children into adulthood all of them are working, going to school, raising their own kids. All of them had moments of insecurity where they just needed some time to wallow and some sympathy. I gave it to them sometimes, and it didn't spoil them, the lesson always came back around to be learned and they eventually learned them.

    The thing that I have discovered though, is that we make mothering much harder than it really has to be. Whether we coddle or don't, sit on the floor and play with them or don't, read stories or don't, the most important thing that you can teach your kid, is the reassurance that you have their back, no matter what. For some, that means rushing to their aid and for others that means standing back and letting the chips fall where they may, but I would say, without a doubt, the a kid knowing they have your support as a mom, is the one most important single thing there is.

    And there are lots and lots of ways to go about that. You have chosen one way.....it works for you. Be careful in your blanket judgments of others, though. You haven't walked in their shoes and haven't had to adjust in a way where your philosophy will have to take a back seat....not yet.

    But, I guarantee, it's coming.

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  122. Hi,

    This is my first time to your blog and I must say that I will be returning. We could totally be friends! I completely agree with all of this. I also have two little boys 3 & 5 and they do all the same things. Wonderful writing and I look forward to reading more on your blog!

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  123. I couldn't agree more! I have two boys, ages six & four, and I do my best to raise them in the ways you've described! Good job, and THANK YOU for voicing your opinion! Maybe if more people hear it, it will force them to THINK about how they're raising their children!

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  124. Excellent read and I couldn't agree more. The sad thing is that our society in general is catering to the kind of people you are teaching your kids not to be. The workplace is not much different than daycare these days: many people can't wear cologne or have a pin-up calendar or tell off-colour jokes at work (or bring a toy gun). Your statement: "That's the nature of little boys, as it has been since the beginning of time." will get you lynched in the growing rape culture\feminist part of society. The problem with raising kids the way you (and I) are is that they might be the odd men out (too aggressive\rude\brave\intelligent) for the society they will enter as adults. Sadly.

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    1. T Williams, you're right, and it's so unfortunate.

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  125. FANTASTIC and REAL!!! Amen, Momma!!! I saw this on FB, read it, and could NOT agree more! I'm the mother of three girls - a fourth baby on the way - and I worry about some of the same things... And I do not cater to their every whim. I remind them that I'm a person, too, and that I also have needs. In our family, we take care of each other and try to take care of ourselves as well. Then we ALL help each other out! Mine are 8, 6, and 8 mos. When I need time with hubby, the older girls play with the baby for a while. When they need Mommy time, they ask and receive. We are trying to teach them to advocate for themselves, stand up for themselves, and DO for themselves. I LOVE reading something written by a like-minded person. I have a short and recent blog (anonymous as I could get it, so I think there is only one follower) and I write when I just can't bear something going on in my life or have words that just need a quiet place to die. Anyway, I wrote this http://cerebralsoulsearching.wordpress.com/2013/08/28/people-are-weak/ while feeling the same tone you felt, I think, when you wrote this piece.

    Thank you so much for sharing!!!

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  126. Unfortunately, I really don't think the problem in the world today is kids are receiving too much attention. The problem is the opposite they are not getting enough attention. It used to be moms were stay at home moms. That is not the case anymore. It used to be there were not many divorces. It use to be, not many kids were born out of committed relationships. The problem is not that kids are getting too much attention but not enough and coming from broken homes and not being raised by moms, but by daycare facilities or raising themselves. It is a sacrifice to stay at home with your children, but the best saying is "No other success can compensate for failure in the home." Look at Jesus he was the best example, his whole life was about sacrifice and helping others, putting others first not having "Jesus time" happiness comes most by serving others especially first and foremost God and your family. Not sacrificing your children for material "temporary happiness" things. I wish that was the problem, that would be much better then the opposite, real problem we have now! I am not judging, often times wisdom comes from mistakes, observation and by God and thru the Holy Ghost!

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  127. Your gentlemen are what I hope and pray that one day my girls will meet and marry :) Keep on doing and writing... the world needs more of this. Bless you and bless your boys.

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  128. Great post...I don't have kids, don't really want any. But this was a great read! Only thing incorrect was that Sally doesnt just call Susie a bitch. She calls her worthless, useless, loser whose own parents don't even want her. I used to get picked on when I was a kid (I'm 31), it's life. Kids get made fun of. Big deal. But kids TODAY...take it to a whole other level. Very sad.

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