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to think we can't give today's children the childhood we had (nor expect the respect we showed our parents...?)

(61 Posts)
LieInsAreRarerThanTigers Thu 30-Jun-11 15:09:20

A thread the other day got me thinking how often I have said to dd "I have never spoken to my mother like that in my life and I'm 40-blah!" I think I am really similar in temperament to my mum and have brought my dc up in quite a similar way, yet neither dh nor I seem to get much respect at all from our dc.

Apart from the lottery of genetics, personalities, nature v nurture and all that, are the outside influences, peer pressure, technology, cable TV, Facebook, etc just too great? Are we fighting a losing battle when trying to give our dc a proper childhood and command respect and obedience from them?

Would be especially interested to hear views from people who have decided against having TV, internet (for dc!), video games etc.

GypsyMoth Thu 30-Jun-11 15:10:44

you sound like a journalist trying to get info out of us!!

are you??

Scheherezadea Thu 30-Jun-11 15:14:13

Quite right, I hope to God my child doesn't have to experience my childhood. I can't wait (am pg with my first) to give my child all the brilliant, fantastic life experiences I missed out on.

I have no respect for my father because he did not earn it, he is a horrible evil man. My DP on the other hand is wonderful, and will be an absolutely incredible father, my child is very lucky to have him.

Don't make such sweeping generalisations.

HughManatee Thu 30-Jun-11 15:14:14

Yes, we are fighting a losing battle, everything was so much better in the 50s/60s/70s hmm <Removed rose-tinted specs>

LieInsAreRarerThanTigers Thu 30-Jun-11 15:25:58

Oh no! I am not a journalist. Just thinking about how much negativity there is about teens especially nowadays (see teen threads if you are in any doubt!) I have a pre-teen and find myself thinking "How am I going to cope with another few years of this?"

Scheherezadea I am aware some people have had shitty childhoods and I was going to mention that in my OP but wanted to keep it shortish. I am not suggesting that everyone would want to replicate their childhood for their own dc, but neither does anyone want to be shouted at, sworn at, or ignored by their teens/pre-teens either.

I generally wanted to please my mum and dad, hated seeing them angry, etc. Is this just my personality or is it much rarer now? I used to watch Blue Peter, Jackanory and a few cartoons...that was about all there was on for children. I am sure dd started to get lippy around age 7 when she first watched Tracy Beaker...

lovemyskinnyjeans Thu 30-Jun-11 15:27:36

OUTSIDE influences, can be just that if you so choose and can be bothered to put in the effort to ensure that you, as opposed to they, shape your DC's childhoods.

Riveninside Thu 30-Jun-11 15:31:13

My teens are generally polite and lovely but they dont fear me like I did ny mum. I think thats better

LieInsAreRarerThanTigers Thu 30-Jun-11 15:34:14

skinny that's exactly what I am getting at, CAN you? They go to school (or you home ed...), do you ban all television or constantly vet what they are watching even on CBBC etc, ban all screen games etc then they are the odd one out amongst their peers, and one day they will be launched into the big old scary world. Can we shelter them, nurture them the way we want to and is it even fair to do that?

GypsyMoth Thu 30-Jun-11 15:35:48

i'm a lone parent of 5 dc,3 of whom are now teens. yes. i agree the respect we would show our parents isnt the same these days,but also,teens and parents do interact more imo now. we spend more time with them.

LieInsAreRarerThanTigers Thu 30-Jun-11 15:35:58

Hi Riven, yes I sometimes think that is healthier. But why aren't I as scary as my mum? I have practised the Deathstare and everything.

sims2fan Thu 30-Jun-11 15:45:57

I didn't fear my mum, but I did (still do) respect her. We had a very loving relationship, but one look from her made me stop certain behaviours. Of course I had my moments but in general I was very respectful to my parents.

I think the main cause of this was that she was very strict when I was little. Things that I see other parents not even noticing that their children do she did not tolerate. If I misbehaved when out I would have been taken straight home. She didn't think all other adults found me adorable - I was never allowed to interrupt someone who was talking, and if we visited someone I had to play quietly or just sit still and be quiet. She expected me to sit down and eat my dinner so I did - it always amazes me how many people think children are incapable of this. She put in a lot of groundwork of teaching me good behaviour when I was very little, so that I was used to her being the 'boss' and always respected her. I'm very glad I had the childhood I did and hope to give my children similar.

lovemyskinnyjeans Thu 30-Jun-11 15:51:31

My 10 yo has a DS, hardly uses it. She uses the PC a lot, plays on Moshi Monsters (no more than 30 mins per day) and does things like animations and creative projects (unlimited time). She's never watched Tracy B as it's shite but I let her watch most things she wants - she's not that interested in TV, tbh. We play a lot of board games and other games (hide & seek etc) and go out a lot. Also my husband paints and she likes to paint. I think we've always tried to offer more interesting alternatives, rather than prohibiting things. She's a delightful, polite young lady in the main (has hormonal moments but I can't complain). I think her childhood is way better than mine, for so many reasons but the main one is she knows she's loved and returns it in buckets.

lovemyskinnyjeans Thu 30-Jun-11 15:53:52

Ha ha sims2 fan my sister's boyfriend says I have that "look"!

Fennel Thu 30-Jun-11 15:55:19

My children's childhood is not that different from mine in terms of activities, freedom, tv watching etc.

One big difference is that I am not as strict as my father and don't hit my children, I think we have more respect for our children's feelings than my parents and many of their peers did.

I do expect good behaviour from my children though, mutual respect. I respect their wishes when I can, and I expect them to be polite etc to me.

I certainly don't want to be as scary as my father, or as oppressive. A lot of the more liberal parents I know are deliberately trying to avoid the sort of parenting they had.

lovemyskinnyjeans Thu 30-Jun-11 15:57:35

Lieins, meant to add my sister has this problem with DS1 because she never follows through on threatened punishments.

sims2fan Thu 30-Jun-11 16:01:05

Lovemyskinnyjeans - ha ha, my mum was a teacher so she had many children and many years to perfect the look!

One thing that I do, personally, think is a bad influence on today's kids is the Disney Channel. Any time I go to a certain friend's house her kids are glued to it for hours, so I have seen a few of the shows. The way the characters talk to their parents and their friends, usually accompanied by a laughter track, is awful. They are so sarcastic and cutting, so it's no wonder that kids in real life have 'attitude' when they speak to people as it is portrayed on TV as being normal.

LieInsAreRarerThanTigers Thu 30-Jun-11 16:06:17

'never watched Tracy B as it's shite' grin but did you decide that or did she? My dd absolutely loved it and I didn't think it was doing any harm to begin may be just a coincidence but it did seem to start the rot! (Didn't help that the character 'Mike' was played by a dad from her school at the time!)
sims2fan I am on the whole glad I had the childhood I had and am sad sometimes that it seems to be such a battle with my two getting them to do the things you describe. Although my mum could be scary I genuinely didn't want her to be upset or sad, not just angry, and I think I recognised that being trusted and earning her approval was to my advantage, i.e. I could have quite a bit of freedom. Why don't mine get that?

PlanetEarth Thu 30-Jun-11 16:10:47

Lieins, I do agree on the outside influences. Yes to the telly being a negative influence too - our kids stopped watching it for a while when they grew out of cbeebies and we weren't happy with the rubbish on cbbc.

Now they're a bit older they do watch cbbc, probably too much - yes I'm aware this is within my control as a parent, but that's my point - parents have to keep on top of all these things, telly, facebook, computer time, nintendos, even online pornography, in a way that our parents didn't have to deal with. And when I was young there weren't even videos, so once the kids programming was over you had to watch something else, or nothing. I'm thinking I need to cut down my daughter's telly watching mainly because she chooses to watch puerile rubbish, and doesn't learn anything from it. I certainly don't think you have to learn all the time, but there should be a limit to the amount of nonsense each day.

lovemyskinnyjeans Thu 30-Jun-11 16:15:25

She just never got into it, or Hannah Montana or any of that ilk, thankfully. I don't tend to prohibit as it tends to make things more appealing so I'm maybe just lucky. If I though she was watching a bit much T.V for example I'd suggest a game or do some baking or something creative, but I don't need to do that much as she generally prefers more creative pursuits and would happily entertain herself for ages with a bag of material scraps...Just realised how much of a hippy I sound, I'm really not!

LieInsAreRarerThanTigers Thu 30-Jun-11 16:16:14

Lovemyskinnyjeans I think I do follow through with punishments about 90% of the time...maybe when I lose my temper I threaten things which are unreasonably harsh and then backtrack on it later, but I have followed through on things often enough (like no internet for the next x days, no TV for the next x hours, making dd get the bus to her drama group as she had been so damn rude to me that morning...) for them to know they shouldn't risk it!

Yes, my mum is a teacher too...

Agree re: Disney Channel. Would definitely not have that and I do try to restrict it, but it is really hard when it is THERE - dh subscribes to these things without asking me, then he is not around as much as me to enforce restrictions. He is the one who complains the most about the likes of i-Carly when he is around.

<Notes - get rid of Disney Channel asap>

Oblomov Thu 30-Jun-11 16:23:50

I agree with OP. I think have changed, for the worst, and I do not think we can get back what we had. And that makes me very sad.

I had a similar upbringing to sims2. I loved my parents, didn't misbehave. I wasn't frightened. I wasn't smacked. I just behaved. And I loved my mum , and I still do and am close to her. In fact she's coming to see us tomorrow.

I never spoke to my mum the way that ds1 speaks to me. It would never have occured to me.
I HATE the way that children are bought up today. With a passion. There is no respect.

Dh and I played outside all day int he summer holidays. he was off riding his bike, and came home for tea. Those days are gone.
I was never in trouble at school. But if a teacher said something to my parents at parents evening, my parents totally believed the teacher. wouldn't question her. but would come home and ask me about it.
Nowadays, if a teacher says something, the paretns turn around and automatically retaliate, you can't touch my johnny. you're in the wrong. it would never have occured to my parents to question a teachers judgement in that way. not that all teachers were good. some parents did question their judgement, but just not in 'that' way.
same with a policeman. we showed him respect. now they laugh in their faces, yeah what you gonna do about it. Because they know that people don't get punished. And many youngsters probably wouldn't be that bothered about an asbo.

And no, I don't think I've got rose tinted specs. I do know that life is better in some ways now, than it was then. But I honestly think. there are some major things that have gone wrong.

bruffin Thu 30-Jun-11 16:31:08

"One thing that I do, personally, think is a bad influence on today's kids is the Disney Channel. Any time I go to a certain friend's house her kids are glued to it for hours, so I have seen a few of the shows. The way the characters talk to their parents and their friends, usually accompanied by a laughter track, is awful. They are so sarcastic and cutting, so it's no wonder that kids in real life have 'attitude' when they speak to people as it is portrayed on TV as being normal."

My Dcs always watched the disney channel more than any other channel and have grown up to be lovely polite teens without attitude. We have mocking banter between us but they know rudeness is not acceptable to us or anyone else.

northerngirl41 Thu 30-Jun-11 16:32:14

We don't have TV but we do have DVD player. Gives us some veto over what they see.... Although if bloody Thomas the Tank is played again it may well have to be lost for several years!!!

I think mainly the problem is that parents don't always know what their child is being exposed to, whereas in years gone by the BBC wouldn't be broadcasting anything remotely controversial and there was limited children's programming anyway so they'd get bored and go do something else. I do remember my mum banning ITV as we whined about the toys advertised on there constantly and she eventually had enough.

motherinferior Thu 30-Jun-11 16:32:48

I too am trying actively to avoid giving my children the childhood I had.

Incidentally, I am a journalist. Plenty of us are, you know. We walk among you, passing for normal....

Pompoko Thu 30-Jun-11 16:42:59

I dont think its got anything to do with telly. I enjoy horrers and have done sinse a teen, BUT I have never thought about copying them.

What has changed is parents. When i grew up, if an adult told you to stop, you stopped because without fail there would be trouble if you didnt ig, sent to bed early, taken home (including day trips), getting grounded and knowing there isnt a chance in hell youll get your freedom back before its over.

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