This has been/is/will continue to be a very stressful month for me, particularly with the Asperger/Anxiety issues. So, since this is my blog and I can rant if I want to, I'm going to let off some steam :) These aren't targeted at anyone in particular, they're just things that keep popping up with different folks at different times in different circumstances... I'm probably just really sensitive to it because of my own issues and the way I was brought up.
Raising children -- ok, I don't have kids, never wanted kids, and really can't understand why anyone would have or want them other than prophylactic failure or continuation of the species, so I realize that I really don't have room to comment on parenting. But, there are a few things that bother the living crap out of me and I just can't fathom. 1) If you have them, control them. Basically, consider teaching them and enforcing upon them the general order of a sentry -- quit your post only when properly relieved, conduct yourself in a proper manner at all times and alert the commanding officer when necessary. Seriously, kids need to learn to be quiet/respectful and do what they're told until given other instruction. And learn when it is and is not appropriate to interrupt. How hard is that?! 2) Limits -- have them and enforce them... really! Children should not be allowed to do whatever they want whenever they want no matter what the circumstances. They should learn early that their parents' and visitors' attention are not all for them... when guests are over and/or work is being done, children need to stay quiet and out of the way unless instructed otherwise or there is an emergency (see #1!!). 3) Having kids doesn't mean that one or both parents gets to opt out of doing work and running errands no matter how young the kids are (see #2!!). And neither parent should get stuck minding the kids all the time or expect outsiders to mind them either. If you aren't willing to take care of them, or can't tolerate being around them, then either don't have them or teach them damned manners!
Asking for help -- I realize that we're just a smidge more self-sufficient and counter-dependent than most folks and would probably risk loss of limb/property before deciding we need help, but some common sense should apply if you're going to ask other people to for help... 1) make sure you actually need it first, especially if the person you want helping has a life of their own. 2) If it's an emergency, it's ok to scramble someone else for assistance... but make sure it's a real emergency not just an overreaction. 3) If you have too many "emergencies" too frequently, consider this an indication that you're doing something wrong and have a serious lack of planning/action on your part. Remember -- lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine. 4) If you want non-critical assistance, let folks know at least a few days in advance so they can schedule it... at that point, you're on their schedule not the other way around. 5) If you want non-critical assistance, ASK for it... don't just hint at it and hope the other person offers. That's passive-aggressive crap... do that nonsense too often and people who are normally receptive and helpful WILL get pissed off at you. 6) Boils down to: Everyone pitches in for a real critical issue, no advance warning or politeness is expected; ordinary assistance requires planning, politeness and respect of others time. And whatever you do, don't act all weird and pissy if someone calls you on your shit or isn't available to help you... especially not if they've already told you better ways to do whatever it is you're doing. And if you keep screwing up communal stuff, expect people to get irate. If you won't listen and make others lives more difficult, how can expect others to keep helping?
/end rant due to panic attack
(Great. Now where did I put my Valium?!)
Your comments on children: I would say that there are such behaved children because there are such behaved adults. Our (you and I are about the same age) generation has such a lack of self discipline that it follows thru to the next generation through our children. We can't expect children to out behave thier parents. Speaking generally. Could it be the way we spoil the crap out of them? There is rarely a kid you meet who does not have a fancy video game system. Our kids (5 of them) don't have any electronic games or even television (we do watch netflix on the comp.) and it is amazing how many of thier friends can't believe they don't have a game. They actually play in the barn/build forts/go for bike rides/play card games etc. Anyways.. just a thought. I feel this way when we go to wal mart.. not sure why it atracts such people. lol.. John
True John, the Boomers had some funny parenting ideas which lead to some messed up X (virtually ignored 1st brood) & Y (typically spoiled 2nd brood) generation kids, which is turning around and making a lot of our kids totally uncontrolled hellions. I guess I "lucked out" having a drill sarge for a Dad, and maybe that's one reason I didn't turn out like so many of my X & Y gen peers. Sad :(
Whoa, Plickety Cat, I'm sorry you're having a stressful month. :(
Your dad was a drill Sargent ? Hmmmm..... my scoutmaster was a Marine Corp drill Sargent in his day job, so I think I know the type.
As for kids, we'll have to disagree on best child rearing habits. Let's just say I'm not big on drill sargents.
Before I became a parent, my attitude toward kids was ..... a lot like yours. Being a parent changed my life. Maybe someday you'll travel that path .... stuff happens !
Sounds like your neighbors have been taking advantage of your graciousness and hospitality ? Well, yeah, neighbors in the boonies depend on each other. And when they're not helping each other, they're generally fueding. At least, that's the way it is in my neck of the woods.
My nearest neighbor is a mile away. You wouldn't think we would get on each other's nerves ..... but we do. :-)
Anyway, thanks for the update, and take care.
Hey Dan - let's hope, for the sake of all mankind, that I never get to experience the joys of parenthood :) Not only is it physically impossible to have my own anymore, I realized when I was really young that I had neither the desire nor the aptitude nor the patience to raise my own litter of pygmy varmints LOL I agree that kids aren't little soldiers and shouldn't be raised completely militant, but a little discipline and order goes a long way!
It's not so much that our neighbors are taking advantage, cuz there are folks pulling this crap with our family and friends right now, too. It's just that I've been seeing that kind of attitude a lot more recently, even on the internet on blogs and forums. It's just weird for me and ticks me off because I'd never dream of being like that. Heck, one of our neighbors thought we were mad at them or that they'd done something wrong because we didn't just stop over any old time and make use of their shower!! Nope, we just don't believe in "dropping by" and taking advantage of others hospitality and generosity too frequently if we don't have to. Although, I guess we should do it a little more frequently so no one else gets the wrong impression LOL!
It's funny because in some ways we've adopted country manners, and in others we still have city manners... all to the end that we're even more respectful of others' time and property. We really are counter-dependent LOL. We've interacted more with our various neighbors way out in the boonies than we ever did back in town... which isn't exactly bad, but is a bit hard on me sometimes. Even if folks are abusing me, just dealing with folks regularly is had for me at times. I'm literally the type of person who can go months and months with absolutely no desire to speak to or see another person (hubby included -- poor guy!). The internet is about all the interaction I need most times (only when I want it and from a distance, just like I like it LOL!)even in the dead of winter when most folks get cabin fever and go stir crazy. I like the cat... she's quiet, low key, non-demanding, and sleeps a lot hehehe.
Oh, I had this big long comment and it disappeared before I could post it. Blah.
In short, I empathize with panic attacks - I'm sorry you're dealing with that today. Valium is your friend (I know first hand!).
As a parent, kids with poor behavior drive me nuts too and I love being a parent. Me and my friend P. are the strictest parents I know and both our kids are also the happiest kids I know. My daughter has been reminded from day 1 that although I adore her and think she's the best thing in the world, my life does not revolve around her - nor does the universe. It's hard for kids to developmentally understand that when they're really young but it's an important lesson - one that I see a lot of adults have never learned! So, I'm right there with you, discipline and consistent rules have just as important of a place in a family as love and adoration.
Also in my MIA post I was comparing parenting to training horses. It is very similar - a lot of repetition and a lot of patience because you rarely see direct results. And so many parents are so immature themselves they're too lazy to put the work into raising their kids and not getting instant gratification.
In short, I'm a mom and I agree that children need rules and it's really annoying when they are badly behaved - especially when the parents are just sitting there letting them be!
Oh! Oh! And if you can't take your kid to the grocery store then there is something wrong with your parenting! My daughter has gone grocery shopping with me since she was born and it's not a problem. It's called RULES. (this of course doesn't apply if a child has a serious disability).
I admit I scoff at parents who say "I need a babysitter to go buy groceries." Oh please!
I'm constantly amazed at parents who say they can't do something because the kids need watching, but then proceed to do other things that leave their child unwatched or unprotected. It's just wrong to use "protecting" your kids as an excuse not to do something or the reason that have to do something, but then turn around deny them truly necessary things so you don't have to spend the time or money on the them.
I've seen so many folks who hire a sitter to go to the store rather than teaching their kids manners, but then can't be bothered to get them proper winter clothes. What's up with that?!?! Make the kid behave so you can take them with you, then use the money you save on the sitter so your kid doesn't get frostbite!! It's all about priorities!!
Do you scoff openly at those with poorly behaved children...? and mock them deriding their parenting skills...? ;)
Sorry I couldn't resist.
Gungnir - I don't mock the children to their face of course - I mock their parents! I never said that *I* was brought up well :)
Ah, I sympathise with your feelings about children and I am a mother. I always told my daughter that my house was not a democracy and she always told me I was too strict with her. Until..... During her college freshman summer she worked at a daycare center. After a month she still hadn't made any comment to me about her new job and I wondered how she was getting on with it. She smiled when I asked her and replied, " Just fine. I don't take any crap from those kids." LOL
Honestly, I see more children who need prong collars that dogs. I have to simply walk away because I feel like slapping the little feral animals and screaming that their ignorant parents. I don't mesh well with this new generation of parental figures. Not at all.
Your living situation is almost the polar opposite of mine so I can't comment except to say people always seem to get too involved in neighbor's business, no matter where and how they live. My way around this has always been to provide rather outrageous answers to nosy questions. I'd rather they talk about me than to me. LOL
Love your blog and the history of your journey. Hope June is a better month for you.
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