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Archive for the ‘Child-Rearing’ Category

Read the article here: Boyfriend’s Affadavit

Lila:     What is wrong with these people? First of all, this is an 18-year-old having a sexual relationship with a 12-year-old. She’s not even a teenager yet and the pervert is attracted to this girl. Sicko. And then the sicko’s mom?!!! Who kicks their children out so you can live with your new boyfriend? A registered sex offender no less. This is so tragic because now the 12-year-old is dead. But what is wrong with these people? Don’t they see how dysfunctional it is to behave this way.

Beatrice:     I read about this earlier. There are some secrets in her family?? Why did it take this long to get out, and I wonder if the mother of Kayleah came forward with all this while she was looking for her daughter? How can a 12-year-old have a boyfriend and he is 18?? Glad he is in jail!

L:     I know! That is so disgusting. This kid should have been questioned a long time ago. I know he has not been found guilty of killing her, but WTF? That is so messed up. The mother should be charged for neglect because she should have done something about the relationship when she found out last December.

B:     I think there is something way more to the story that isn’t being told. He isn’t even considered a suspect, which makes me wonder if someone in her home is?? If you had knowledge that your daughter was having relations at the age of 12, then you shouldn’t let her walk to a party by herself. I would be questioning everywhere she is going and doing!!!

It seems kids are growing up way too fast. When I was 12, I was awkward and still very much a girl wanting to play with my other girl friends. Sure I thought boys were cute, but I wasn’t thinking sex.
L:     When I was twelve, I would giggle when I saw people kissing. I think, just like when we were kids, these kids want to be like the people they see on TV. The difference is the people on TV are much more sexually active nowadays. Look at some of the shows. They are freely having sex in high school and it’s all okay. No, it’s not. A young kid is too emotionally immature to handle something like that. Who am I kidding? A lot of “adults” are too immature to handle sex.
B:     I wouldn’t blame it on TV, as Europe is very open sexually and have always been. They started having the same issues as US around the same times. One would argue that you expose kids to it, then it becomes no big deal and would steer children away from it. I wouldn’t argue that as I think sex is an adult matter and should be treated as such. I think our society has so many flaws that it is hard to say where and what it is that makes us this way. More access to all this technology doesn’t help, in fact I am fearful it will lead to our demise. More and more people having children out-of-wedlock, getting divorced, having overall a dysfunctional family, etc. All of this is more common than it once was.
L:     Then what is it? What is causing our children to be so promiscuous at such a young age? I want to protect my child. I want him to make intelligent decisions.
B:     I don’t know what is causing it. My guess is a lot of factors. It is up to us to raise our children differently. We have been keeping the TV off at nights, only watch it when they are asleep. Why do high school kids look older, more like college age? Why are teenage boys bigger than many adult males? These are all questions I have. I go to the gym and see girls and boys, who have their high school attire on, but they look much older than they are. Really sad!
L:     If you ask my mom, she would say, “it’s because of the milk and hamburgers.” Maybe she is on to something. But the hormones are just making the kids physically mature faster. There have even been studies showing this was true. But I think the things they see and allow to experience makes them want to emotionally mature faster. I mean there are day spas that cater to children. Why would a three-year old need a manicure and a pedicure? Keep this up and there is no doubt they would want to have sex earlier.
B:     All the processed foods and the fact we want to give kids everything we do as adults. Maybe?
L:     Wow…you summed it up in one sentence for me. Awesome. But because this happens, we entice the sexual predators more and more.

Beatrice:     So this past weekend we had our playdate with the nerd and her 3 children. We went to Tiny Town and it was fun, however she is one strange bird. The thing is that she saw Toolman at every soccer practice and because her son likes our son, she would talk to him. When it came time to asking us about setting up a playdate, she asked Toolman, while I was sitting right next to him. She only addressed the question to Toolman, of which he told her to get with Beatrice. Then she sends me the email, since that was the only way she can contact us, and asked about places and times to meet. However that morning she called the house and left a message for Toolman saying she was running late and if he thought they should bring coats. Kind of annoyed me. Toolman is not a stay at home dad. He is laid off for 7 weeks and she is treating him like the stay at home dad. It is bizarre to me that she keeps asking him to do stuff with the kids and not me, even after Toolman told her to ask Beatrice.

The other thing that has been annoying me lately is how Toolman acts with other children and he does not even know how it looks to others. He is trying to get E’claire out of her shell so that she will talk to other kids, but the way he does it makes me mad. I basically told him last night to knock it off, that she is who she is and she will figure it out in due time. Brody was a social being from day one and E’claire is more to her self or the bossy one. She has no interest as of now to engage with other kids. She is only 3 and will start figuring it out very soon. Brody was not the norm. I guess he is bugging me because he is more outgoing to total strangers than he is his own family and close friends.

Lila:     Okay, you might get mad at me for saying this, but here it goes….

To an outsider, they will see Toolman as the main caregiver because he is the one at all the functions. He may be temporarily laid-off, but people don’t see that. They figure that since he has nothing else going on, he must be in charge of all the family duties as well. We both know this is not the truth, but people just don’t know. Trust me, I know because people always assume Oliver is in charge of everything. It’s really hard to accept their reactions because you play such an integral part of the parenting.

And as hard as it is for you to accept the perception, it is much harder for Toolman to accept. Oliver and I have talked about this over and over, again. There is a stigma to being a “stay-at-home dad” or, in your case, being the only father at an all-mothers event. Here is a little piece of advice I want to share with you, while Toolman is temporarily being the “main caregiver,” you have to trust him to take care of the children in the best way he sees fit. If he feels that this is the way to get E’Claire to open up, you have to let him try. He is a parent, too, and you have to let him trust his instincts. If it doesn’t work, he will see it eventually and abandon the attempt. And if you think about making a suggestion, you have to be very careful about what you say so that you don’t sound like you are criticizing him.

There have been so many times when I have not agreed with what Oliver was doing, but I had to let it go and trust him to get it right. His intentions are good. It’s so hard to bite my tongue, but I have to let him try.

B:     Oh I hear what you are saying, however I am not the type to bite my tongue and he knows that . So I will tell him how it looks when he does what he does. As far as his reactions around other kids, I had to tell him what it looks like to parents. He has good intentions, which I made a point to tell him this however he should know what it looks like from a trusted source. Hopefully this stay at home gig will end soon.

L:     It’s really hard on a guy.

B:     No kidding. It is hard on a guy who does not choose it. He does not want this and doesn’t even try to embrace the time he does have.

L:     I think it is really different for men because they don’t initially define success as being a family man. I think it takes time for them to realize how important it is. For women who have to raise a family, they sleep better knowing their family is safe. For men with a family, they are at ease knowing they have provided for their family, therefore their job and careers are more important. Don’t you think? That’s why Toolman has a hard time embracing this time with the kids.

B:     I totally agree!

L:     For a lot of men, they realize the importance of family way too late and regret things. By that time, the kids are out of the house and then what? They can’t get that time back. It’s too bad really.

Watch the Jesse James interview here.

Lila:     Did you watch the Jesse James interview on Nightline? I could not stay up that late, but I watched it online. What a shmuck! I don’t feel bad for him at all. I cannot believe he did that to her when all she did was love him. He claimed that it was on his own accord and he was being self-destructive. Jerk.

Beatrice:     I did not watch it, but have seen clips of it and have seen commentary by media. The commentary I read and watched was that he had shopped his interview to Barbara Walters and Diane Sawyer, who both turned him down. Apparently it was rehearsed and calculated. Did it appear that way on the interview?

L:     It was hard to accept because Sandra Bullock has been nothing but awesome to him and his kids. He blamed a lot of his behavior to the mistreatment he received from his father. I can totally see how his father was a hard-a$$ to him. His father abused him physically and emotionally. I can see that happening. It was another piece evidence that showed corporal punishment does not work.

Would you, as a mother of two, ever spank your children?

B:     I am not totally against spanking, so I would not say that I would not do it and I have spanked my kids. Sometimes time out doesn’t work, nor does taking their toys away. My parents spanked me and my brother, and it got our attention. Is it something I would do automatically, no. But there are times it is effective. I think spanking is different from what Jesse James is saying his father did to him.

L:     I was spanked as well. But after a while, my brothers and I would rather have the spanking over any other punishments. This was because the physical pain was temporary and as a result I did not think it was very effective. My brother swore he would not repeat my parents’ method because he thinks it led to his anger management issues, like Jesse. My brother is very strict with his girls and they are good girls. Oliver and I have decided no spanking for now. We think violence begets more violence, but we’ll see.

B:     I think it is easy to say no spanking when you have an infant, as Toolman and I said the same thing, but we have done it and it is very affective. We have done it once on Brody and threatened E’claire with it, so it isn’t something we have done too often. I think it is a different issue if it is being done repeatedly. I remember being spanked two times in my life, and it was warranted and very effective. I do however think the discussion of whether to spank or not to isn’t really a discussion amongst most, but rather an argument. So I don’t typically join in on these topics, as I have seen it explode and I am not one who is going to judge another parent for what they deem appropriate when it comes to discipline. I don’t believe spanking is physical abuse.

L:     Like I said, we’ll see. We said a lot of things we weren’t going to do, but we do it.

I think with Jesse James, it was beyond just a spanking. And for my mother and grandmother ( not my dad) spanking was excessive. It was the way back then.

Beatrice:     Brody had a horrible-no good-very bad day at preschool today! I guess he was quite the bully, and then argued with the teacher after she told on him to daddy. He claimed this other boy started it by spitting on him. The teacher told Toolman that he has never acted this way in the two years she has had him, and that even after getting after him, he still acted out. Needless to say he is in trouble. I guess he was hugging kids, putting a headlock grip on the boys, and just pushing them to the edge. When Toolman said that he is going to have to tell his mommy, Brody started to cry. I wonder if it has to do with school almost being done for the year? Either way he is in big trouble.

Lila:     Oh boy. Maybe it is the end of the year. When I was a schoolteacher, the kids would act up more when they knew vacation was starting soon. It is also the spring. All of a sudden, the birds are chirping, the flowers are blossoming, and the bear awakens. This holds true with children as well.

What are you going to do?

B:     I am going to watch him to see if there are any changes. But for now, we are going to have a conversation and take away his favorite item until he proves himself at the next preschool day, which is Thursday. He was just given a new toy on Sunday and I may take that a way, not sure quite what item to take yet.

L:     Wow. I have not been there yet, but like I said before, bigger kids, bigger problems. I am sure it is just a small incident.

Thomas misbehaves from time to time with me, more so than with his dad. He likes to see how far he can get with me. I have put him in timeout and I think it works because when I scold him, he laughs. Boy, is it frustrating.

B:     I think it is funny that you mention a topic, “you” being anyone, and the very topic arises. It is like saying I haven’t been sick in years, and bam you get hit with the worst cold of the decade. I am anxious to get home and see what Brody has to say.

L:     Maybe we have ESP. Lol.

I wonder if he will try to kiss up to you. I know Thomas does that the moment he knows he did something wrong.

B:     He use to do that, but now he knows to get it over with. He definitely has a guilty conscience and can’t deal with it. Which I am glad that he is like this, as I know the little guy knows right from wrong.

L:     Then he’ll know not to behave like a bully again.

B:     The teacher made a point to say he was not bullying, but that is the only adjective I can use to describe what I think it was.

L:     Well I am sure he won’t misbehave, again.

B:     Not for a while I hope. 🙂

Beatrice:     Today is Kindergarten orientation for Brody. I met his teacher last week at his speech transition meeting, and I am very impressed and pleased. My neighbor told me to try to get into this lady’s class, although I am not the type to shuffle our kids around so that they are in the “best”, but this time I think we lucked out. Is it weird that I am excited for Brody to go to kindergarten? Most parents dread it and end up crying, but I am excited for him.

Lila:     I have no idea, but I think most parents have mixed feelings. When the time comes, I am probably going to feel sad that Thomas is all grown up and does not need me like he use to. On the flip side, I’ll be glad to see him move onto another stage. It will be interesting. Brody is a big boy now!!!

B:     Oh Brody still very much needs me and I still see him as my little guy, but I know how much he thrives with social settings, so I am thrilled to see him start this journey. E’claire starts preschool in August, and I am anxious to see her off to the social setting, since she doe not really crave it like Brody.

L:     You know they say bigger kids, bigger problems. You are going to have to deal with new problems like will they get an allowance and how much? What happens if they have issues with bullies? Worse, what if they are the bully? Yuck. How are you going to deal with that?

B:     We will deal with all that as it gets here. I do not dwell on the what ifs when it comes to my children because some of it may never happen and all it does is worry me when it is not necessary. I remember being so worried when I was pregnant with him, then he came out and I learned the worries only begin. I have learned to not worry about the unknown.

L:     That’s true. I just know kids are forced to deal with so much now. I remember being at a birthday party and two moms with daughters in kindergarten, were talking about they had body image issues already.

B:    There are so many kindergarten aged children in our neighborhood and they are all so very innocent still. I can not imagine any kindergartener talking about their bodies, so bizarre. I have seen where kids start to pick their groups of friends, at least Ann has stated this and said it is mainly the girls who do it.

L:     I have heard them talk and they understand a lot. I am not around a lot of them, but enough to overhear these conversations once or twice. I think it has to do if they have older sisters for the girls. They want so much to be like their older siblings and learn a lot from them.

B:     Could be their moms too, which was my first thought. My aunt has major body issues, and is bulimic / anorexic, and raised two daughters, who have a lot of self-esteem issues, feel they have to outdo everyone when it comes to fashion, hair, accessories. I think weight should not be discussed around your children, and comments about others weight is a huge no-no. Brody said to me the other day that Sam’s dad is really fat (soccer teammate), and you know he was right and it was rather shocking, however I laid into him for making such a comment and expressed to him that those comments are hurtful, etc. Kids are observant and speak truths, but it is our job to set them straight if it crosses the line.

L:     That’s what I am talking about. There are overweight people everywhere and they are observant enough to say something. You may say something to them, but that does not mean other parents are as active about telling them about what is right and wrong. Then they go to school and misbehave and the other kids copy. This happens all the time. They may be fine in the classroom and at home, but it is when they are free to think for themselves is when they get easily influenced, I think. I saw this happening a lot when I was a teacher.

B:     Well all of that will be addressed when the time comes. I am not going to even say what I would do, because who really knows how to handle it until it happens, if it happens. It is like what Renee said to me the other day about how she use to always say, “Oh I would never do that, or how horrible of a parent someone was” and how she has eaten all of her words. Made me laugh.

Something else I was just thinking about is Sarah, and how before we all had kids she said to Jason that Toolman and I would have redheaded freckily children, and they would have the brown hair blue-eyed pretties. Well, we know how off that turned out. She would also make comments about other people’s children and then say how her kids would never be that way. Her oldest is in the 2nd grade and was removed from the private school for poor behavior.

L:     You’re right. Who knows what will happen and how we will handle it. Oliver and I have admitted to being totally wrong about Terry. Now we understand why she does what she does. All I know is that I have to get my son to stop sucking his thumb and get potty train. Goals are so short-termed these days.

B:     I took E’claire to the library for storytime and saw around 5 kids sucking their thumbs. This group was for 3-5 year olds. Ann’s daughter who is 4 still sucks her thumb all the while rubbing her neck. I guess it can be tough to break that habit. That is one area we have no experience in. Ann said she has tried all sorts of things, even bribery and feels at a loss on what to do. I never knew Thomas sucked his thumb, what do you plan to do to get him to break the habit? He is still very young. Both my kids started the potty around 16 months, but I didn’t push it because they weren’t consistent. Brody was the easiest to convert out of diapers and I just spent the entire week at home with him only in underwear, and then he was done, but it was right after he turned 2. E’claire wasn’t as consistent and I wasn’t really ready for her to do it either. But she did the week after she turned 2. She wets the bed though.

L:      I am not too worried at this time. I alway tell myself what you told me, “it’s not he is going to walk down the aisle with a bottle in his mouth.” I just substitute “bottle” with other things. I think he still needs the comforting thumb for now, but after our Hawaii vacation, we’ll do something about it before he gets too attached. My girlfriend, Ali, had the same issue with her daughter. She sucked her thumb so hard that she blistered it. They put a bandage on it for a week and since she did not get the same satisfaction with it on, she stopped. We’ll try that.

Potty training is no rush. I am going to let find his own way. I think he is almost there though.

Having Coffee

2 Gabby Gals