Mamabates, you and cazillions of parents on this known land fall into that same trap, and find themselves, as Sally Kays says is in the "fixing" phase with an 11 & 13 y/o.
Children pick up on your guilty feelings and have a unique way of pushing the right buttons so Your behavior continues to not challenge them to do things you both know they Should be doing..... Sober Mom is absolutely correct.
Moms and Dads a like have confused love with over indulgence, permissiveness, coupled with a lack of responsibility and accountability, and when those "tactics" seemlingly don't please their child, instead of doing an about face, they march forward into a downward spiral that will be difficult to correct and will follow this child into adulthood.
"All behavior is learned, whether desirable or undesirable" This is a quote from James Dobson, founder of "Focus on the Family" and a portion of my article "When Did We Lose Control"
My personal belief is children have approximately 9 months to plot and strategize how they can get their way, and once they hit air (birth) it's on and popping. (That's kind of a joke....but not really)
I'm a nanny of a 6 y/o who's (36) a 2 y/o and a precious 3 week old. This little 3 week old is already so set in her ways and has everyone in the house fooled and wrapped around her finger.....except me. It has nothing to do with how cute she is, or how much I've already grown to love this little girl, but she's an infant. and needs guidance. Even at this tender age, she can be taught.
The 6 & 2 y/o have absolutely NO Respect for their mother and are desperately afraid of their Dad. These 2 have completely different styles of parenting, yet their raising children "in common" I listen with my mouth closed as I hear MOM, screaming at the top of her lungs attempting to get the kids to obey, counting to 5 and all these other nonsensical techniques that cause the girls to not only NOT respond, but actually laugh and chuckle. It's very hard to watch.
When these girls are in my care, all I have to do is LOOK at the 6 y/o twice after calmly explaining what it is I need her to do, and she MOVES The 2 y/o follows suit, reluctantly, but she wants to be like her big sister. I've never threatened these children, put my hands on them or even raised my voice, but they KNOW I am very serious, and will even, on occassion come over and say they're sorry.
During the plotting stage as I call it, children figure out who's the authority and will respond positively once you assert your Parental Rights to raise them and not vice versa.
MamaBates, you've pretty much answered your own question.
thanks quiteaparent - i agree with you totally and hope that i can continue on the path that i am - and just pray and hope that im doing the right things - my husband/their dad works evenings and i do think that i have done some things out of guilt that he is not around as much as he or they would like. i know that God has plans for them and its my responsibility to help them get there. thanks again
As I stated in a comment on your page, my "advice" is not usually met on a positive level. I've had many parents accuse me of meddling. I just want to thank you for your kind words.
Another example came to mind of how children learn at a very age to manipulate. I'm adding the full story on my blog, but to keep this short when Mom went to have the baby on the 29th of January I had the 6 and 2 y/o for 3 nights and 2 days.
The 2 y/o is one of the ones who brings you diapers and wipes when she has to potty and I've been working toward getting her potty trained, but mom breaks the flow.... ANYWAY, the 1st night Ms 2 y /o tries me to see if I'll give her a bottle. I told her no and she whined for about 2 minutes, I kept telling her No, she's a big girl and doesn't need a bottle.....THAT WAS THE END OF IT. The next night no mention of the bottle, same thing on the 3rd night.
Needless to say, the 2 y/o is back on the bottle at night and NOW with the new baby is insisting on having a bottle during the day. Mom is complying with her wishes.
My hands are obviously tied and I can't go against, or even mildly suggest that a consistent stand on "NO to the bottle" will work itself out. With a new baby in the house, we're obviously all going through a time of transition. It's just easier to give in than to stand firm, and trust me I understand it, but it still doesn't do anything to teach the child.