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MOTM Dec 2012
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I feel like growing up, I had moderately strict parents, who passed down certain morals and traditions, but basically let me do what I wanted, as long as I didn't harm anyone. How strict were your parents? And do you think it made any difference in how you perceive parenting?

 

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My parents were/are pretty loose, after the age of ~12 I could do anything I wanted. Even then I didn't do anything illegal or highly dangerous, but neither of them did as kids, so maybe I saw them as role models and decided not to either.

One of the only things I firmly believe about parenting is that it's better to bring up kids to be who they want to be, not who you want them to be. Also, don't wrap them in cotton wool; let them make mistakes. That's how they learn. Teach them life skills too, because school doesn't bother with that. So many people leave home and don't have a clue how to function in the real world (guilty as charged).
 

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I LOVE THAT SHOW AHH :D THEY HAVE ONE FROM SINGAPORE~

Hahahas anyways! My parents used to be strict, and I didn't get why they had to beat me and scold me just cause I didn't study *rolls eyes* The only thing is, after that I became more independent and started to love studying so they left me alone. Now though they're not very strict and are quite lax...But it's so much easier for me to not care about the important things :S I've even asked her to be stricter again and she declined! D: But yeah that taught me that we might not always know what's good for us :D

I've met people who had crazy parents - Lots of classes they didn't even like, no going out with friends (3 per year at most, the rest are with family!) Most scary :S For that, I'm glad my parents allow me to decide if I want to take up this or that, so in whatever I do I actually have the interest. On the other hand I've had a friend whose parents were just do whatever you want! She's just 16 and she can basically go home at anytime she wants, so when we go out she doesn't really have a sense of time! And she can be quite spoiled. I mean, she spent like loads of money buying barbie dolls on ebay ._. Sigh!

In short, from all of these, I've constructed my model of the perfect parent! One who's going to take the time to understand her child, as in listen first - to every single thing she has to say - before you cut in with your own opinions. And it should be constructive criticism, not "oh you're my child so you better do everything I say!" If I ever become a parent I wanna be more friendly than strict so they'll know it's perfectly okay to talk to me whenever :D Though at the same time not so relaxed that they'll think it's okay to be disrespectful!

Back to the point, I've learnt that while we don't really see the effects of parenting unless we're looking for it, it's actually really important, because it's basically just guiding the child and subtly pushing them towards what should be their priorities, telling them what should be okay and what shouldn't be. Of course eventually they'll form their own opinions which is why we have rebellious kiddos and all but that's the point - It's forming what should be the base of their character while they're still young! I guess all parents have like their own way of parenting because it's what they think would be best for their child, even though we may not get the logic behind it sometimes! xD

Also, someone once told me, "They only get to be your parents once. There is no book of rules for them to follow." That's probably why! They don't have someone telling them "No, you shouldn't do this, your child will get upset" or "Yes! This is the right decision! Stop second-guessing yourself!" Nope, they only get their own experiences, their hearts, and their minds to help them be good parents!
 

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My parents are amazing. They obviously (used to) have ground rules, but generally when I started high school they let me do what I like (obviously nothing illegal). I don't have any desire to do something that would disappoint them anyway, or to give into peer pressure (drugs, smoking, drinking, etc). They raised me in a way that made me really close to them, which in turn made me more responsible in some cases because I didn't/don't want to do something I know they wouldn't like.
Which I think is a really good way to go about it; rather than breathing down your kid's shoulder every waking second and appearing more of an authority figure than a parent, you should have a close bond/relationship with them to the point they'll refuse to do something that'll disappoint you (unless it involves their own happiness), because you mean a lot to them as a parent.
Obviously it wouldn't work for everyone but it has for me.

But yeah, mine aren't all that strict; my Dad is moreso than my Mum but he lives the other side of the world (with my stepmum and 3 of my half-sisters) so obviously his household will have more established rules than what I usually have with my Mum, stepdad and 7 year old half-sister. Being 17 gives me some slack when I'm over there at least, considering they can't really expect me to stick to the same rules as an 11, 12 and 6 year old.
 

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My parents didn't set any rules for me because I made my own rules hahaha. Sounds crazy, but yeah, I was so so so shy and quiet that they never had to make any effort in keeping me under control. I was born under control -lol-. My hobbies growing up were staying in my room all day playing with toys & reading books & being quiet, I wasn't picky about food at all, I loved every vegetable they ever put on the table, I showered myself without anybody ordering me around, took care of my own hygiene, made my bed not because anybody told me to but because I got anxious if my room wasn't tidy so I did it for my own mental health... I loved studying and reading and doing homework so much that I got straight A without any effort. Seriously, I loooved doing my homework. So yeah, my parents never disciplined me because I was a very careful child.
The only thing that made my parents angry was the fact that I never wanted to leave the house and go places. They had to drag me by the hair to go to the park to play or to go shopping for school clothes in the fall. They had a rule for me of going out to the park every saturday morning, and I hated it so much, but once I dragged my ass to the park I would soon engage with the trees and ducks (never with other kids) and I'd feel super happy. But then I would forget how happy I was, and the next saturday at 8am I would be crying again because I didn't want to go outdoors. It was a cycle. I'm glad my parents forced me to go out because now I have fantastic memories about grass and trees and feeding ducks and eating ice-cream and enjoying the sun :)

As a teenager, I changed. I wanted to explore more, but I was afraid that because they had been so used to a peaceful life that they wouldn't let me do the things I wanted. So I started lying. Everyday I would tell 20 lies, no kidding, in order to do whatever I wanted. I lived a double life for 15 years. They still have no idea who I am because I just never tell them anything about my life. If they ask, I say "Great" and leave it at that. My father is a very pessimistic person, so whenever I've told him abotu a dream or a goal of mine, he's always tried to disuade me and tell me that it's impossible, that I can't do it. So I stopped telling him any of my dreams and goals, cause I don't want his pessimism to rub on me, and I just llive life. It's kind of sad that my parents have NO IDEA who I truly am. But I don't care pppffff
 

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Well...I was raised as a Jehovah's Witness. And if you know anything about the Witnesses, you can imagine what it was like for me. :crazy:
Just before I started high school, I decided I was out and that their religion wasn't a part of me at all anymore. I ended up "coming out" about it to my mom one night when we were having one of our many fights, which was the worst thing I could have really done about the situation. But I was 14 and angry and I had no idea how to handle the strong emotions I was having. I couldn't hang out with my friends outside of school, I couldn't have a boyfriend (though that didn't stop me from having one anyway lol), and I still had to go to the religious meetings with them and be bored to death while hearing things that pissed me off and had nothing to do with who I really was.
Things improved eventually, and now my parents and I get along quite swimmingly. However, I feel like at a certain point I started to raise myself. I rejected the whole foundation of the way that they raised me, and a lot of it just stopped applying to me from the moment I decided I was out on. I mean I still kept the typical be nice to other people stuff that every kid hears, and I made a lot of mistakes and messed a lot of things up for me. But in the end I had to develop my own rules for life and my own viewpoint on how my life should be. I think it has made my mind stronger though, and has forced me to consider some things more than my friends have.
I know what you mean about it being sad that your parents don't know who you truly are. I still retain many of the secretive behaviors I developed during high school. I also feel like if I told them the whole truth about how I felt about what they believe instead of being silent, they wouldn't be as likely to accept me. Some people just end up so different from their parents there has to be a wall in place in order to keep the peace, I guess. At least I get to live how I want and know what I think is what I REALLY think. And I get to celebrate my birthday!! :laughing:
 

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Hmm.. I was going to post on this, but after consideration, and a slight rush of slightly reasonable paranoia, I'll leave it at a..
If you would like a nice tale, feel free to PM me.
 
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One of the only things I firmly believe about parenting is that it's better to bring up kids to be who they want to be, not who you want them to be.
I couldn't have said it better myself. I work with children, and I see a lot of teachers who only care about teaching them what they're supposed to learn in the class, but I really think there's a whole lot more to it than that. I try to give the kids I work with a sense of perspective on the world, and a desire to succeed in whatever way they want to and become better people. I don't think there's any one right way for people to be, and I really like to let them make their own choices. I am much stricter with them than I would be with my own children though, partly because they need it and partly because it's my job. As f how I was raised, I am an only child who was raised by a single mother. My mom would usually get home from work around 6 or 7pm. Sometimes she had a second job and didn't get home until later. She took a fairly active role in my life when I was in elementary school. She was the head room mother and cub scout den leader and pack leader. She was ill much time I was in middle school and didn't do very much then or when I was in high school either. She was always very authoritarian, except that I could pretty much do whatever I wanted when she wasn't home. I would always stay at home though. When she was home she would make me do chores, which were more important to her than homework, but she also made me do my homework. She didn't really have any rules, I just had to do what she said and she would get very angry and yell and hit me (always slapping, she never spanked me) if I didn't. We would also do a lot of fun things like to restaurants or movies or stuff like that. She's an INFP too, so she is very emotional and very negative and puts me down a lot. It really got a lot worse in middle school because of her illness, I think it probably did some brain damage and left her worse than she was before.
 

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I would say my parents were fairly strict but were unable to create or maintain any organized system of discipline. They raised us based on the way working-class kids were raised in the 60s (ie. the way they were raised), since that was the only parenting experience they knew. They used a fair amount of corporal punishment, including hitting us with a belt if we did something really bad, which my mom's parents used to do. They used time outs and verbal discipline and stuff like that too, though.

My mom was the main orchestrator of the corporal punishment (and most of the running of the family tbh), and my dad only did it to go along with her I think. My dad on his own was fairly ineffectual as a parent and didn't really care or think long-term about what kind of people we were going to grow up to be. He just wanted to have to deal with issues as little as possible. This was kind of how he was raised too, he was alternately spoiled and developmentally neglected by my grandma.

Then in my teenage years my brother became out of control and started verbally and physically fighting my mom and dad. Since he was physically stronger than them and the judicial/social system was completely useless and would side with him just because he was "legally a kid" even though he was the instigator (he was around 15 at the time), there wasn't much my parents could do to stop him. He eventually grew out of it but thanks to his own shitty life decisions and his refusal to do what my mom told him to do, he is now a high school dropout, unemployed and still living with my dad, who he hates.

After my mom and dad got divorced when I was 12, my brother went to live with my dad since he hated my dad less than he hated my mom. My mom and I got along fairly well but she still physically fought with me on occasion during arguments up until a year ago. It was kind of ridiculous to be 19 years old and still get hit by my (at the time) 53 year old mom, but whatever, she claimed she was allowed to since she "paid the bills." I think that was more out of desire for retribution than actual discipline though, judging by my age at the time, which is why I found it ridiculous.

One thing that my parents did which I think really affected my life negatively is that they overprotected me just because I was a girl. When my brother was 10 years old they let him stay out riding bikes with his friends until sunset. I wasn't even allowed to go out of the house by myself until I was 14 1/2 years old, and even then I had to call my mom at work when I left and call her at work again when I came back. They claimed that it was because my brother had friends in the neighborhood and I didn't (I went to a gifted school outside my neighborhood so my friends all lived outside of walking distance), but then they never really tried to help me set up playdates with my friends either or enroll me in activities so I could make friends in my neighborhood. I probably had less than 10 playdates in my life not counting birthday parties and stuff that the entire class was invited to.

Another thing was that my parents never wanted us to help with chores, unlike most families. I remember when I was 8 years old or so, practically begging my mom to allow me to do chores around the house because I wanted to contribute something to the family, and she wouldn't let me because "you won't do it right and then I'll have to fix it." I asked her to teach me how to cook and she said she didn't want to because "you have long hair and it will catch on fire." Then years later my mom expected me to magically know how to cook and clean and got mad at me because I didn't know how to do those things properly. I understand that she was under a lot of time pressure, and that she probably felt like I was responsible enough since I did very well in school, but I feel like a little investment into teaching us how to do these things would have been a better payoff than just doing it all herself.

Anyway, I gradually started to convince my mom to give me more and more degrees of freedom in my teenage years, WAY later than most people my age. She finally let me pick out clothes at the store on my own when I was almost 14. I got my first cell phone when I was almost 15, and that was only because I had a summer job and she wanted me to call her when I got there. When I was 15 I was allowed to take public transportation home from school instead of the bus (which most people from my school had been doing since the age of 12), but only because I was on the track team and track practice ended later than when the bus came. When I was almost 17 I was finally allowed to go to a concert with a friend.

Finally by the time I was in college I pretty much could do whatever I wanted; I would stay out until 5 A.M., hang out with random people while telling her that I was staying with a friend, take weekend trips to my home city from my college without telling her, etc. One thing which my mom was always very lenient about was money. Even though our family didn't have much money she would always spend tons of money on toys for us when we were kids, she would always give me spending money whenever I asked as a teenager, and now she basically lets me spend whatever money I want on clothes or whatever, within reasonable bounds (I am unemployed and still use her credit card for groceries and online purchases).

So overall I think my mom was a good parent and her heart was in the right place (I don't have a very high opinion of my dad though due to his life decisions and that extends to his parenting), but she could have been less punitive in some aspects and could have given us more responsibility.
 

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My parents were VERY strict, to a fault. Especially my dad. My first 15 years I tiptoed around on eggshells, just trying to stay out of trouble. I remember getting beaten for getting my hair wet in the bathtub when I was 5. Or for going barefoot when it was 68 degrees, etc. By 16 the wall of fear collapsed & I rebelled so we fought until I finished school & left. At 18 I began learning how to make decisions on my own for the first time. Many years later as a grown married adult I STILL got told what to do or what not to do if I went to their house. I didn't go there often. I never had kids but if I did I would be nothing at all like my parents. I would rather teach than intimidate. Kids aren't prisoners.
 
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My parents are very chill, but I'm a pretty cautious & disciplined person, so there's not much need to be strict. I'm not given a curfew because most nights I want to be home & snuggle in my blankets, only sometimes am I out & about in the a.m. - very rarely for them to worry! I beat myself up enough when I make mistakes too... I know when I do something wrong! They're so much more likely to yell at each other than at me.

As for parenting -

Teach how to think, not what to think.
 
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