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Discussion in 'The OT' started by fluffybear, May 23, 2012.
just about everyone but this guy
Again, if you feel you are being fair in your punishments... then you have nothing to be concerned about. I think too often parents think like kids in these scenarios and try to apply their adult view to the thoughts of children.
The kids making these kinds of spreadsheets probably aren't putting nearly as much time into the analysis as you are. It could just as well have been a list of the most popular kids or prettiest girl or cutest boy or whatever... it's essentially something for the kids to do to occupy their mind and then share and talk about. No more no less.
I can almost guarantee you that if you ignored the whole thing... it would be done in a month or two and the kids wouldn't even think of it again. It will be one of those things that they might find as an adult and laugh about the notion of making a spreadsheet of "unfairness"...
FYI, I don't have kids myself... but I have a younger sister who is 18 years younger than me... so I do have experience with helping to raise kids... and I now have a niece and nephew so the cycle begins anew... and I remember my own childhood a bit... and these kinds of things are really nothing new.
What seems to be new, however, are adults paying attention and sometimes freaking out or calling attention to things more than are required. This is literally just kids' stuff that really doesn't mean as much as you think.
A kid who actually feels they are being unfairly punished (or worse outright abused) wouldn't feel comfortable enough to actually document such things... so you should actually feel good that you have a kid that feels comfortable enough to openly discuss/document these things. A kid that was quiet on the topic is actually where concern is probably due.
The most valuable thing that you can give, as a parent, is your time. Take an interest in your kids activities. We may think that a 9yo's interests is "trivial", but not to that 9yo eyes. It works both ways.
And, you know what may happen? "My dad and I went.... " and "My mom and I did...." will dominate the conversation. There are plenty of activities to do that are free or low-cost that you can do with your kid like Geocaching, bike riding, and swimming.
There may even be kids who can see that their being grounded for setting the cat on fire is "fair". Or that if clear boundaries are set, and transgressions are met with consequences each time, and they are inline with the severity, blah, blah, blah, that their parents are fair. May be too much to ask of ten year olds, but one day they'd see what fairness is.
Probably the worst thing is uneven dealing with siblings, or even the appearance of such.
Stewart, the title can make all the difference. Had this chart been called something like 'MY SUMMER', it would come across as one thing while the name 'UNFAIR PARENTS' comes across as something totally different.
You have been focusing on only part of this spreadsheet, punishment while there are two other areas 'Chores' and 'Activities'. A child should not be looking at their parent as being unfair just because they were told to take out the trash or because mom and dad did not take off work to take them to Wally World.
Please do not take what I am about the say the wrong way as I do not mean it that way. Raising siblings or outside family is nothing like raising your own children. Yes, you may have gone through the dirty diapers, firs steps, going off the school, etc. but in the end you treated that child very different. I'm pretty sure we could find a couple of people in this very forum who have gotten divorced because their partner believes they have 'overstepped' their bounds in something like disciplining a step-child.
This is a very tough one as everyone is different and should be treated as such. all you have to do is look at the news to see our penal system treats everyone as individuals.
2 kids kick the principal in the butt. Kid A has already been suspended for cheating and looking in the girls locker room & did it because he's a jerk. Kid B has never done anything wrong and did it to impress Girls A,B,& C. Should Kid A & B get the same numbers of suspension? Of course not! Everyone needs to be treated as individuals and punishments handed out as such.
Let me also add that one type of punishment may not work as well for one as it does for another. My daughter could really care less if I take her computer for a week while her brother on t he other hand will break down in tears while my daughter can not live without her friends.
You're trying to put yourself as an adult in the mind of a child, and I believe you are drawing conclusions that the child is not drawing. I can't stress that enough.
Also, kids have a right to opinions about how their parents treat them. Are you saying they don't? Are you saying kids shouldn't talk to other kids about how their parents treat them? You know, kids that are abused feel like they can't talk to other peers or other adults... I say again, if your kids feel comfortable enough to share with other kids their "unfairness" it is actually a sign of quite the opposite.
I would be more worried if I had a kid that was afraid to participate... afraid that I wouldn't approve... If I had a kid that felt comfortable to say to a friend that it was "unfair" that I didn't take them to a movie or "unfair" that I made them do a particular chore... frankly, I take that as a sign of having been successful in not only proper punishment BUT also instilling self-confidence in my kid.
I'm basically just finding a hard time finding anything negative about this spreadsheet. If you're doing your job as a parent, you should be seen as "unfair" sometimes... but your kid should feel safe about discussing that "unfairness" with others. I'm saying you should find this spreadsheet to be a positive thing, not the negative thing you seem to want to turn it into.