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September 29, 2004



Okay I'm 16 and just wanted to say that my parents use the "Because I said so" excuse and if I don't understand why they won't let me do something, I do it anyway. You can say I'm in the rebellious stage but to be honest I don't go do it anyway because my parents said not to: I do it because I want to and don't see a reason why I shouldn't.


ok well my mum is really strict on me, she doesn't let me have a social life of any sort. I tell her about my plans a week or two in advance and she just says 'no' straight away without giving an explanation. Ok a 'no' once or twice is alright but all the time? I am 15, going on to 16 and have only been on a proper outing with my friends once.


ugh..i see that there is mainly parents writing in here..but it just gets me mad!! I am 14 years old and i have absolutly NO life! i know you're thinking "oh, its just another teenager aging on about their parents!" Well, I get grounded every day (for stupid reasons)!! i got grounded for a whole week for forgettin to put on my seatbelt! Also, for loosing my rings (gold), but the real thing is she had it all along!! Plus, she didn't even say sorry for anything! I just found the rings in her jewelry box 6 days later, and i called her up on the cellie and she said, "oh! i found those rings about 3 days ago!" and hung up on me!! i mean...What the heck??? So, u just get done yelling at me today for loosing them when u had them all along and didn't even tel me! another one was, she didn't let me go bowling with all my friends when they would pay for me and i'd have a ride to and from!!! I have plenty more, trust me! but even worse..i could go on for HOURS!!! UGH!!!!!


I usually try to tell my 4 yr old the truth when not getting a toy or a shirt. Or I tell him the infamous "let's ask Santa if he can send you one for Christmas"...which usually only works from July to December. With his birthday in June I tell him that we'll put it on the list of things to ask for around his birthday.

As for the tantrums, I too blow him off. My hubby loves to say "and ... how's that workin' out for you?" So I've picked that up in dealing with Thor. I ask him if he thinks that's working, because it's not. Other times I say, that's ok, you can go cry in your room...and when you finish you can come back out and explain why you are mad.

Then there are my favorites. We're out in public and Thor has a tantrum to get out of the cart at walmart or somewhere. "WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA" ... how to handle this? I say, "Thor, look at me" and I pinch my lips together and say "Zippit" I do that alot. Another is when he's in tantrum mode and I can pull the, "do you want to go back to the car? do you want everyone in the store to see mommy spank you?" Sometimes that works and sometimes not. I usually don't spank him in the store unless he's been horrid all day. Even then it doesn't hurt him...just stings his pride. :(


Oh,you're doing something wrong? That's good to know since I basically say the same things to Lillianna! Well I don't lie and say the clothes aren't in her size. I say, "ABSOLUTELY NOT! It's not Halloween!" and walk off in a huff.I can't dress my 7 year old like a tart! Am I supressing her independence? Who cares? I'm the mom, damn it!
I am going to print your post out and send it to my newly pregnant friend. I know she is going to read all these books and I just can't have her being misinformed.Your post was much more helpful than any book will be.


amen! mother-sister! we had extensive training in difficult children leading up to our adoption of a "hard to place" 16 year old. I also work with families where a kid has a mentla health condition. it is a rare moment when the textbook stuff works. when Dusten tells me he hates me, I reply "Good. That means I am doing my job." when he breaks something we have given him I ask "am I being punished right now? because it does not feel like it. oh - I am not replacing that item any time in the near future." you know what - that works. as the designated "mom" in the family it is refreshing to read that at least a few other out there have stumbled on the same strategy.


Sounds like you need to write a book yourself "Great Parenting Comebacks for the Previosly Pampered Child" :) Great post and I love your using apporach too!


I am currently in the malleable stage but beginning to see the light. The 'experts' often give advice on what NOT to do, but very much fall short on what to do. My latest parentsmith is John Gray and his Children Are From Heaven. His ideas make sense on paper, but in the heat of the moment his techniques often lack the necessary power. So glad to read your post!


I couldn't agree more. I am sick to death of being told to explain gently to my two year old why she should respect my choices. Now, I go with "you do what I say, because I am the Mummy. So there." I like the books, they give a good base, but common Mom-sense is often the better way to go!


Don't get me wrong - I'm an inveterate researcher, not to mention the fact that I'm also frequently wrong and/or could use some fresh insights from others.

So - the books have their place, to be sure. But they belong as part of a healthy mix - which includes other parents, the insights of prior generations, any professionals our kids come into contact with, and, most importantly, our own intuition.

After all, we are the true experts on our children.


With my first child, I, too, voraciously consumed so many parenting books that my husband would gently heckle me: "So, what do the books say we should do now?" After my second child was born, the books sat on the shelf, largely unread. I had a lot less time for reading, it's true, but I also grew more comfortable with my own parenting abilities. And I became a lot more skeptical about all the conflicting advice afloat in print and on the Internet. This is not to say that I've completely broken the habit -- on matters of health I still kick into high research gear!

Thanks so much for sharing this. I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels this way.


THANK YOU. I'm a new mother, and find that the books are just there to make parents feel as bad as possible all the time. Just in case you didn't doubt your ability to raise a child enough, there are dozens of experts who will happily tell you everything that you are doing wrong. I fear parenting books. Then, of course, I fear that I'll somehow harm my daughter by NOT reading them. Hmph. Maybe in twelve years I will be as comfortable as you are just saying no to the idiot experts. I hope so.

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