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Your Parenting Style?

Over the couple months this blog has been running, some comments have opened my eyes to different parenting styles. A few that come to mind:

Bernardo, April 12: I'm in charge in my house, Gasp! Little kids don't decide where they sleep or with whom. Since an adult makes the adult decisions in my house (what a shocking concept!), I don't spend a lot of time wondering what will happen... Is there any parent left in this country that has a spinal cord??????
joshtom, March 6: Children don't belong in their parents' bed, period. Put a lock on the door if you have to. The child can always knock if the house is on fire.
Anonymous, March 9: Stop feeding you kids junk. Stop buying fast food. Ditch the TVs and computers. Stop driving your kids everywhere in your ... SUVs.
Anonymous, March 8: How about telling the kid NO for once in his life? How about the kid acting properly because that is the expectation in your house?

These types of comments don't seem to account for the individuals that children are -- at least that's how I see them. My children, my friends' children, my siblings' children were all born with their own personalities. I teach my kids, discipline them, encourage them, get angry at them, hug them. But ultimately, they have their own likes and dislikes. Luckily, they are hard-wired as sweet, empathetic boys -- I encourage that in them and try to teach them to hold on to that part of themselves. They have their own ideas about how their world ought to work. Some are funny, some are cute, some make you wonder and some are recitations of things we've taught them.

So, who are these disciplinarians in the comments who appear to think that parents can control every action their children take, every thought in their minds, every bite of food they put in their mouths? Are they non-parents or simply parents with very different styles from mine?

I found two sites that define parents differently. The Talaris Research Institute focuses on emotional development, naming its styles The Dismissing Parent; The Disapproving Parent; The Laissez-Faire Parent and The Emotion-Coaching Parent.

Keepkidshealthy.com focuses more on discipline, offering up the authoritarian, permissive and authoritative styles of parenting.

What kind of parent are you? Take this quiz and share. It tells me I'm authoritative.

By Stacey Garfinkle |  April 13, 2007; 7:00 AM ET
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Comments


"Are they non-parents or simply parents with very different styles from mine?"

I'm guessing (and hoping) that it's the former.

To be honest, I had a hard time with that quiz. Appropriate discipline and parenting decisions need to take into account a number of factors, and it's difficult to choose among three stock answers when none of them really fit. I.e. is the hungry-at-bedtime daughter 4 or 14? Have the kids who are "in trouble" already been disciplined elsewhere? What kind of toy does my son want at the grocery store; how expensive is it and how much use do I predict he'll get out of it?

I suspect that I'm authoritative, though obviously that label looks a lot different from parent to parent. I tend to be very strict about issues that affect others (respect for people and property, behavior in public, general etiquette) and lax about those that don't (dessert before dinner, mismatched clothing, an occasional toy at the grocery store).

FWIW, I really like Anthony Wolf's books on discipline. They're a little on the strict side for some of the gentle-discipline crowd, but they've helped me run a tight ship without spanking or other harsh punishment.

Posted by: Socorro | April 13, 2007 7:27 AM | Report abuse

I'd have to agree on the quiz. Junk. It's so obvious which is the "right" answer and the others have no nuances. And it doesn't ask at all about "I try to and usually..., but sometimes I get mad and yell".
I sometimes refer to my daughters as "free-range" - we're a lot more permissive of some things than others. But under the surface, we're pretty aware and stricter that people might think.
One example: I always let them have a bedtime snack. I don't like the advice "you'll have to eat more at dinner". I think it's wrong to push food on someone who's not hungry - that way leads to eating disorders of one type or another. however, I don't let them fill up on snacks before dinner, or skip dinner for a "better" snack. Also,they go to bed four hours after dinner, so a small snack is reasonable. For special treats, we have warm honey milk at bedtime. MMMM, brings back memories of my mom at her most nuturing.

Posted by: inBoston | April 13, 2007 7:40 AM | Report abuse

inBoston is right!

The quiz lost all credibility with me when I saw that a word in the first question was misspelled!!!!!!

The choices are stupid!

Get mad & yell! What's up with that?
Is that some kind of dimwitted Neanderthal knee- jerk reaction to every kids' inappropriate behavior?

Do parents really do that?
Is it effective in the long run?

I can count on my fingers how many times I have yelled in anger at my kids. There were shocked & surprised to hear me yelling at 'em. It's not a regular part of my parenting style or my marriage, either.

Posted by: Tim | April 13, 2007 8:01 AM | Report abuse

I think those posters who say such things are probably non-parents or are just being inflammatory. Every parent I know sincerely tries to foster the emotional development of their children. Or they are parents of infants who believe their child will NEVER be like those other children because they are doing things the right way (man I love it when those infants then become toddlers and the parents are hit with reality).

By the way did anyone read the "emotion- coach parent" part of the parenting styles? This exchange got me:

Dad:"I remember when my sister did something bad to me. I was so mad, I wanted to get back at her for what she did. Do you wish you could get back at Carrie for what she did?"

Michael: "Yeah. I want to put her doll in the toilet."

Dad: "Let's think about what you can do. I don't think putting her doll in the toilet is the best way to go. We need a better solution. Can you think of something else to do?"

I understand what they are trying to do but what's this "get back" stuff. I try to teach my children appropriate ways that they can express their anger to those who have made them mad but I never try to teach them revenge.

Posted by: Centreville Mom | April 13, 2007 8:06 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Socorro. These answers don't offer enough choices in how these situations would be handled. FOr the R rated movie, I would watch the movie first and then decide if she should be allowed to watch it.

My 14 yo DD paid me a huge complement the other day when she told me that I was not like her friends mothers because I didn't yell at her except when I was REALLY mad! I think that generally defines my parenting style. You really have to pick your battles.

Posted by: MDMom | April 13, 2007 8:17 AM | Report abuse

If you take the words "get mad" off of the first option in most questions, that option actually seems reasonable to me.

Posted by: Curious non-parent | April 13, 2007 8:28 AM | Report abuse

I'm not yet a parent, but I took the quiz anyway. I agree with previous posters - it's obvious what the "right" answer is in each of the questions.

I, of course, choose all of those. LOL So I'm "authoritative." Interesting. ;-)

Posted by: dlm79 | April 13, 2007 8:32 AM | Report abuse

Ditto on the quiz - too easy to "cheat" and figure out the "right" answer. Some of the posts you chose to highlight, in particular the one about don't buy junk food, are reasonable. This has nothing to do with being controlling; you shouldn't eat that stuff yourself, much less deliberately bring it into your home to expose your kids to it.

Posted by: Olney | April 13, 2007 8:47 AM | Report abuse

Oooh, but read the emotional parenting style one. Interesting! I veer between "dismissive" and "disapproving", which is about right. Not a good thing, mind, and I'm working on it, but boy do pre-schooler mood swings make me grit my teeth!

Posted by: Olney | April 13, 2007 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Seems that many have said it before me but the quiz is stupid.

If the child won't pick up the toys, we try to persuade/turn it into a game. If the child continues to ignore/not pickup, we raise our voice. If the child still won't pick up, the child gets a time out. Afterward, if the child won't pick up, she looses privileges and the toys get taken away for a period of time.

The quiz was too simplistic.

Posted by: Father of 2 | April 13, 2007 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Hi Stacey - I am probably considered a "disciplinarian" by your definition. What I see very often in your blog is you justifying your parenting style and pointing out how it is better than that of others. What I'd like you to keep in mind is that you have very young children, and while you are being the best parent you can be, some of us that have already raised children may have some valuable advice for you. After all, who knows how your "sweet, empathetic little boys" will actually turn out!

Posted by: joan | April 13, 2007 9:19 AM | Report abuse

"How about the kid acting properly because that is the expectation in your house?" Ah, if wishing (or threats, or intimidation, etc) only made this so . . . . Wouldn't it be great if you could tell your 2 year old-- "Ok it's 7:30-- time to go upstairs and get ready for bed" and they actually did it! But for better or worse, normal kids aren't like that and they push back on us. Even though it would make my life much easier if my child were obedient, I imagine he would be also be less fun and as an adult he wouldn't have the "spark" that would make him a success.

On the quiz, I also scored as "authoritative". Yawn. I agree with all the criticism about the quiz already stated above.

Thanks Socorro for the referral to Anthony Wolf. I haven't read any discipline books since little guy was a baby so I need a refresher now. Last weekend we used time-outs after he hit me. Hope to nip that mis-behavior in the bud.

I tried spanking once and it just didn't work-- he actually laughed! Silent treatment and time outs seem better suited as disipline methods for his personality.

I never thought I'd spank. i don't regret it because: 1) it evidently didn't bother him at all and 2) I'll never wonder if maybe I could have done a better job at parenting if I had tried it.

Posted by: Jen | April 13, 2007 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Some of the posts I see on here are people telling other people how to raise their children. This is not appropriate. Each parent has the right to determine how their own children are raised, even if it includes fast food, co-sleeping or (gasp!) formula feeding.

That being said, my husband and I have different parenting styles. Based of actual reasearch (not this silly quiz) I am authoritative where he is permissive. It results in a lot of fights between us. But I am glad that my two year old daughter has someone she can "break the rules with" while I am away. I hope that my husband appreciates that she has someone who will tell her to go to bed at 8:00. Our son is still too young to realize there is a difference between us.

I am sure that as they enter into adolesence the fights between my husband and I will escalate, but I hope that with open communication and an obvious love of our children, things will work out.

Posted by: Virginia Mom | April 13, 2007 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Jen

"Wouldn't it be great if you could tell your 2 year old-- "Ok it's 7:30-- time to go upstairs and get ready for bed" and they actually did it!"

Yes, it is great. For the most part, my kids went to bed and did other routine stuff when they were told.

What do your kids do?

Posted by: Romeo | April 13, 2007 9:26 AM | Report abuse

The fact of the matter is, it's unlikely that many authoritarian-style parents are on here looking to commiserate about parenting styles and tips. My dad was an authoritarian parent -- he was raised in a culture where respect for elders, especially parents, was of the utmost importance. I recall plenty of instances where I got in trouble and he would, yep, "get mad and yell". It wasn't the best environment for me growing up, and I have had to deal with some resulting issues later in life, but we have a great relationship to this day and I think I turned out pretty well. My mom was permissive, which was in some ways more difficult because the boundaries simply weren't there and I didn't grow up with a basic sense of responsibility and accountability that would have been helpful later in life.

Posted by: Richmond | April 13, 2007 9:34 AM | Report abuse

The quiz is also geared toward parents of younger children. Mine are now 18, 16, 15 and 10. What used to work when they were in single digits no longer works; I'd say I'm less authoritarian on some topics and moreso on others.

(Re: MDMom's comment about the R-rated movie - I agree completely. The range of what qualifies as "R" varies widely. My 16 year old son, a fan of Mel Brooks, wanted to rent "Blazing Saddles", one of my all-time favorite movies. By today's standards, that's a really tame movie to be rated "R" - there's some mild language (he hears worse at his all-boys Catholic high school every day) and some innuendo, but no nudity, so I rented it for him. That would not have happened for other R rated movies he wanted to watch; e.g. "Wedding Crashers".)

Posted by: Army Brat | April 13, 2007 9:36 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Virginia Mom. Every one has their own way of parenting. I am Asian, and I believe that most American kids have too much leeway. I certainly believe that parents have the final say and kids should do what they are told to just because that they have to. Respect for elders should be taught from a very young age. I certainly was brought up that way and I share a very close relationship with my parents today(Yes, I was spanked, yelled at etc as a kid, also was loved and knew that!). Behaviour such has 'hitting' a parent is just unthinkable!

Posted by: View | April 13, 2007 9:44 AM | Report abuse

The quiz is rigged. Only an absolute psycho would answer all #1. However, I have to agree with the four comments you posted in the introduction. Children don't belong in their parents' bed, they shouldn't eat junk food, and parents today obviously have no spine. Why aren't they teaching their children discipline and personal responsibility? 'As the twig is bent, so grows the tree.'

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2007 9:49 AM | Report abuse

The quiz obviously has its flaws. It is geared to make you want to choose number 3 each time otherwise you feel bad. But clearly no one can be that way all the time. I would challenge any parent in the world to tell me that they have never given in to their child at some point in order to avoid a tantrum. Anyone who says they have not is either lieing or not living in our reality!!

As a parent of 2 boys myself, I am trying to raise them to learn to make decisions for themselves. Obviously my 2.5 year old does not always get it right. But I want to lay the groundwork now. I try to do it through encouragement and example and not by punishment and yelling. However, their are numerous parenting styles and everyone has to do what works for them, their family and the temprement of their child. But I do get the feeling that examples Stacey is asking about are from people just trying to get a reaction and with no kids themselves. Anyone with kids knows at some point your kid will be in your bed with you and that children don't never belong in there. Anyone who has ever had to get a sick toddler to fall asleep knows this!!

Posted by: HappyDad | April 13, 2007 10:00 AM | Report abuse

I have commented on this before and now have a question: is this children in the parents' bed new or was it just my family? I was never allowed in my parents' bed, not for sickness or nightmares or anything else. It doesn't seem like something that I would want to do as a parent, but I haven't had to deal with that yet. What are the benefits of letting the child sleep in the parents' bed? Are those that do this comfortable with an extra person in the bed or are they trying to pick between the lesser of two evils? I am asking out of curiousity, not an attempt to judge.

Posted by: curious nonmother | April 13, 2007 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Romeo-- my kid negotiates, pleads, etc. I just ignore it and tell him to "move along," but he can put on quite a show with crying, tears, "I hate you! you're not my friend!" (VERY common statement-- to which I always say "That's right, I'm your parent. Now move along, sweetie pie."), etc.

It really doesn't bother me as I'm sure it's just a phase he is going through. Besides-- there really isn't anything I can do about it. He's just "voicing his feelings" and I'm just "enforcing the rules" so it's really not that big of a deal. Very typical, I'm sure.

But I will be so happy when he has out-grown this. Evidently I was the same way when I was his age, and my parents said that I was really quite complacent by the time I was four or five.

the hitting thing only happened just this weekend-- it's not an ongoing problem. And as i said before, I think we've nipped it in the bud with the time-outs.

Posted by: Jen | April 13, 2007 10:22 AM | Report abuse

what a ridiculous quiz--why weren't there any answers that reflect the way an actual human might react and not two pathetic answers and one straight out of "How to Parent Better and Manipulate Your Child"

Posted by: anonymous | April 13, 2007 10:26 AM | Report abuse

(Had to come back over hear; the discussion of bratwurst on the "On Balance" blog is making me hungry and it's still a couple of hours until lunch.)

Jen: "I hate you! you're not my friend!" If I had a nickel for every time I heard that while they were growing up I could actually pay their college tuition.

The other one we heard all the time (they picked it up at a day care center) was: "You can't come to my party!"

Posted by: Army Brat | April 13, 2007 10:31 AM | Report abuse

In addition to children sleeping in the parents' bed, there are posters who bathe and shower with their own children. Now, how perverted is that? Is this a liberal, laissez-faire parenting method as well? My mother bathed us up to a certain age, then we bathed alone after that. None of that parents and kids in the tub together crap. GAG! What on earth is the purpose of that? Anybody? This topic is always ignored when it's brought up in these posts.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2007 10:31 AM | Report abuse

"In addition to children sleeping in the parents' bed, there are posters who bathe and shower with their own children. "

Other wacko stuff in vogue-

Parents limo their kids everywhere, raping the environment, and wonder why the kids are fat

Parents stand by and watch helplessly when their kids have "meltdowns"
Then the parents are in shock and tears when their kids wind up in handcuffs

The kids aren't taught common courtesy and make fools of the parents in public all of the time

The parents are teaching the kids to be conspicuous and mass consumers (just like in the novel BRAVE NEW WORLD)

The kids (and the parents) have WAY too much stuff and no respect for property

Posted by: Curly | April 13, 2007 10:48 AM | Report abuse

David Elkind has a book "The Hurried Child," published in the 1980's which describes different parenting styles. I can't remember all ot them, but I am a "milk and cookies parent." I want my children to have many of the same experiences I did. I want them to have time to make mud pies, create their own games, etc. They're not enrolled in sports, or excessively involved in outside activities (although excessive is a subjective term).

But back to the quiz. I don't think I would necessarily make a game out of cleaning up. Sometimes I might, but I'm trying to instill in my kids that you clean up because you messed up, not because it is fun. I certainly don't clean up because it is fun!

Posted by: single mother by choice | April 13, 2007 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Curly -- Way to GO!!!! My brother was in Corrections for years. They'd lock up spoiled, entitled, dysfunctional, squirrelly kids. When the parents came to bail them out BINGO!!! - the parents were spoiled, entitled, dysfunctinoal, squirrelly.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2007 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Thw quiz is awful. Also, a quiz taken by the parents doesn't tell you the true parenting style. I have a friend who does research in this area. When parents take a quiz their style almost always comes out as authoritative - the best parenting style (at least for white middle class kids). When kids take a quiz on their parents parenting style you get a wider variety in styles and probably a little more honest picture.

Posted by: dai | April 13, 2007 11:23 AM | Report abuse

My wife and have agreed that it is important include the girls in decisions. So regarding parenting styles, what we do is to have the girls select biweekly various parenting styles. Since the girls are young seven we do not use terms we use pictures.

Jack Nicholson: Crazy parent you don't want your friends to see. Walks around the house mumbling and ignores the girls
President Bush: The decider parent who lies about why to do homework or chores give the impression of care and really just spends time self-indulging and no one likes.
Paris Hilton: The parent who gives the outward appearance of perfect but is really only using the child as fashion accessory like a pair of shoes.
Rosie O'Donnell: A shrill screeching parent whose children are blunt instruments to advance self appointed issues
Paul McCartney: Geratic parent who falls asleep in front of the TV and drools.

At the end of our sessions the girls get to vote who they like and why. They vote if we are better parents then their friends. My wife and I score really well as parents and we post those scores on our front door. See parenting can be fun.

Posted by: NYC | April 13, 2007 11:32 AM | Report abuse

"What are the benefits of letting the child sleep in the parents' bed?"

1. I always liked it. Kids are very cuddly, better than teddy bears.

2. Nursing mothers find it very convenient. Reduces stress.

3. No bedtime battle!

If you are the affectionate type, it's very comforting, both for you and your child. If you are not the affectionate type, the family bed isn't for you.

Posted by: Father of 4 | April 13, 2007 11:35 AM | Report abuse

When my daughter was little, she got very scared by a bath toy (it squirted water and made noises) that someone had given her. She wouldn't get in the bathtub for over a week. A friend suggested I bath with her, but I didn't. Then the doctor suggested the same thing, so I tried it, and that got her back in the bath (though not with that toy).

Adoptive parents know that skin to skin contact is good for bonding. We don't suggest that you have to bathe with your child if you don't want to do so, but don't assume that your way is the only way and that to do otherwise is wrong for everybody.

Posted by: parents in the bath | April 13, 2007 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Father of 4 - Family Bed Advocate

I don't have bed time battles with my kids.

I prefer to cuddle in bed with my spouse.

Don't your kids have a lot of problems with their school work?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2007 11:45 AM | Report abuse

My son is 20 months and still sleeps with us. I like FO4's comments, and agree!

Our son is a very early and prolific talker. I don't think he's a genius or anything, but my personal feeling is that he's been able to advance in so many areas because IMPORTANT NEEDS ARE BEING MET, so he can focus his energies on other areas of development.

He doesn't have to waste his time crying and battling with us at night about bed and sleep. You think these tussles are wearying as a parent -- imagine as a child, sharing your need for comfort, etc., with your parent and having it ignored "for your own best interest". That wastes a lot of the child's energy, in my mind, that could be put towards other purposes (learning, talking, thinking, etc.)

Two other parents I know (and i know this is a small sample group, virtually worthless) with sons the same age as mine, "sleep train" their sons. Both are barely talking yet! Both are throwing a lot of tantrums and there are lots of nighttime battles about sleep.

Just my two cents.

Posted by: Rebecca | April 13, 2007 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Rebecca

"Our son is a very early and prolific talker. I don't think he's a genius "

You are right, odds are he's not a genius.

IQ is determined by DNA, nothing to do with the "Family Bed".

And yes, your sample group is worthless!!

Some people are as dumb as a tree stump and will fall for any newfangled theory!!

Posted by: Moe | April 13, 2007 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Stacey-

Those types of rude comments can best be explained by what is known as John Gabriel's "Greater Internet F-wad Theory".

You can see it for yourself at the minimally unsafe for work link here: http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2004/03/19

Hope This Helps. Have A Nice Day.

Posted by: Bob | April 13, 2007 12:05 PM | Report abuse

I'm just waiting for Shemp to give us an authoritative opinion.

Posted by: Lou Costello | April 13, 2007 12:06 PM | Report abuse

10:31, I have a response to the co-showering/bathing issue:

Some parents do it because it is easier and quicker to jump in the shower and take a shower yourself and help your child. My sister used to do this with her daughter. She was a single mother and always pressed for time. She found it easy to simply wake up in the mornings and get in the shower and have her daughter in the shower so she could help her wash her hair (it was long). Being a single mother she was always pressed for time so she found this to be easy and convenient for her. It was never about anything sexual, it was simply a timing issue. Had she had a son, she wouldn't have done that. I personally wouldn't want to bathe with my children, I enjoy taking showers by myself. This is just an example of why some people choose to co-bathe with their children.

Posted by: to 10:31 | April 13, 2007 12:18 PM | Report abuse

"Don't your kids have a lot of problems with their school work?"

Actually, I'm the one that has problems with the Fairfax County school system overloading my kids with stacks of homework. I personally feel that the emphasis on academics is literally sickening our kids. Don't get me wrong, for those kids that have aptitude for academics, it's great.

But for those kids who don't have the aptitude... they will certainly discover failure, over and over again.

About a year ago, I did mention on the Onbalance blog that my daughter had failed the VA Standards of Learning (SOL) in reading. This came to me as a big surprise since she brought home honor roll grades. The problem is: she is the teacher's dream student. Always does her work, polite, self motivating, (the teacher's pet type), and works hard, and does her homework because she wants to without being asked. Her work habits are great and the good grades showed on her report card.

However, when it came to testing... its like What??? She failed the test, barely, but failed in reading and history. How could this be. Well, her good work habits had masked the problem that she had difficulty with reading comprehension.

Another thing about her that I have difficulty understanding, she does extremely well with writing skills. How is it possible that someone could write better than they can read? Go figure.

Although I don't think that her sleeping with her parents as a baby has anything to do with her ability to read or write, just you wait... there will be a study that corrolates the family bed with higher academic achievements and people will be posting things like, "You mean you didn't let your baby sleep with you??? How could you be so selfish..."

Posted by: Father of 4 | April 13, 2007 12:25 PM | Report abuse

The key is flexibility. It is OK to let your kids eat junk food once in a while..otherwise they will crave it once they leave home. Obviously fast food and candy shouldn't be anything close to a staple. There might be situations with a smaller kid where you might let them into bed. If your kid has a good point, you might be willing to negotiate and if you know he's just arguing to argue, you might shut down negotiation. You might have a regular bedtime but let kids stay up longer if a beloved relative is visiting or you want to watch a movie together that is going to end after bedtime. There are some rules you stick to no matter what but not a whole lot.

Posted by: Angela | April 13, 2007 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Father of 4

Your attitude is conditioning your daughter that she is predestined for more failure. Giving up and blaming the school systemsis the weakling's way out (also the way a lot of prisoners think).

Intelligence is determined by DNA. If your daughter can get a driver's permit, she has the raw smarts for reading skills which can be brought up to par.

You might want to examine why you raised your daughter to be a passive person in such a dynamic society.

I won't ask about your other 3 kids....

You have to get off of your rear end and do something to help your kids to succedd in school. What have you done?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2007 12:37 PM | Report abuse

It really doesn't bother me as I'm sure it's just a phase he is going through. Besides-- there really isn't anything I can do about it. He's just "voicing his feelings" and I'm just "enforcing the rules" so it's really not that big of a deal. Very typical, I'm sure.>>
-What the hell?! Why are you making excuses for your son "voicing his feelings" towards you? This is an OBVIOUS sign of disrepsect towards you. Never in my years of growing up would I ever have said such a thing to my parents growing up, and trust me, I was NOT close to them though I did show them respect.
LOL. And you can think it's a "phase" that he's going through all you want. If you allow it to continue, it will not be a phase, rather he know he will be able to voice *any* opinion he holds about you and get away with it.

There IS something you can do about it. Do not allow him to say those things to you. Give a child an inch, and they'll take a yard.

Posted by: DCMom | April 13, 2007 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Jen, you come off as a very submissive parent.
Your kid laughed when you spanked him? There isn't really anything you can do about it when he cries and tell you "he hates you"?

LOL. Keep it up. In a few years, he'll be the one that runs things in the household. Actually, it sounds like he does.

Posted by: DCMom | April 13, 2007 1:24 PM | Report abuse

I just don't understand what is so perplexing about the 4 quoted statements. Why label them "disciplinarian" "non-parents"? I read them as very good general rules of thumb.

Every parent knows that it doesn't work like that all the time (and that when it doesn't there may have to a be a flexible approach to it, unlike any of the 'answers' in that goofy quiz). But you bet that in my house, my husband and I are in charge and there are rules and boundaries (as well as laughs and cuddles and all that good stuff). It's fine and appropriate to acknowledge a child's character traits and likes and dislikes, but kids still don't get to dictate their own bedtime, menu, behavior, rules, etc. That's what parents are for.

I just get the feeling that you're reading these statements and envisioning children lined up to Captain von Trapp's whistle in The Sound of Music (pre-Maria)...

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2007 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Curly

Great Theory you have...do you even have kids? If so I guess everything you don't agree with is "wacko". I can't believe parents are willing to "limo" their kids to activities. I don't know where you live but my kids aren't walking and biking around the streets of Metropolitan DC on their own. And I am pretty sure the parents who sometimes bathe with their kids aren't doing it with a 14 year old. What is wrong with a parent taking a shower with their 2 year old? Next you will probably tell me I should not kiss and hug my kids and tell them I love them because it will make them soft and then they won't survive in the real world. I think I will take my chances!

Posted by: HappyDad | April 13, 2007 2:02 PM | Report abuse

But I do get the feeling that examples Stacey is asking about are from people just trying to get a reaction and with no kids themselves. Anyone with kids knows at some point your kid will be in your bed with you and that children don't never belong in there. Anyone who has ever had to get a sick toddler to fall asleep knows this!!
-Wrong generalization, HappyDad! I have a 3 1/2 year old daughter and I *completely* agree with the 4 comments above. And when my daughter gets sick, she still sleeps in her own bed.

Posted by: DCMom | April 13, 2007 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Father of 4, do you or your wife read with your daughter? By this I mean, do you make her read something (or you read something to her) and have her interpret what she has read?

Posted by: MV | April 13, 2007 2:31 PM | Report abuse

DCMom

Are you telling me your 3 1/2 year old has never laid down in your bed with you to be comforted when they were upset or sick? My 2.5 year old son has never spent an entire night in our bed, sleeps through the night from 8pm-8-am virtually every day, and has been in a "big boy bed" since bfore he was 2. Yet there have been times when he has had a really bad cold and can't fall asleep on his own that laying down in bed with mom or dad for 15 minutes or so helps make a little one feel better and comforted so that they can make it the rest of the night on their own.

And the point I was making was that no one needs to apologize for having their kids sleep with them. If that is what works when they are little then who is anyone else to judge.

Posted by: HappyDad | April 13, 2007 2:31 PM | Report abuse

>
-That is NOT co-sleeping. Cosleeping is falling asleep at night and letting a child with the parent(s) until they wake up in the morning.
And I have my daughter fall go to sleep in her own toddler's bed even when she is sick or upset. I comfort her in her *own* bed, not her parents' bed.

Posted by: DCMom | April 13, 2007 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Who are the parents around here? If you want your kids to sleep in their own beds they will. If they have a bad dream comfort them back in their room and tuck them back in and say good night. They will go back to sleep. If they throw a fit do not give in. I never gave in once to any tantrum my daughter ever had. By the time she was in preschool they were almost nonexistant. I remember her last one when I asked if she had ever gotten her way acting like that and she replied no. Then I asked why she thought today would be any different and she said she didn't know. She stopped immediately and never had one again. Kids understand a lot and with clear expectations behave and thrive. She is 12 now and all I ever heard from teachers and other parents is how nice and well mannered she is. She didn't suffer not getting her way, she was taught to behave and does it.

Posted by: CaliforniaMom | April 13, 2007 2:56 PM | Report abuse

DC Mom-- you are a hoot! You kinda remind of my son when he tells me "I hate you! You're not my friend!" Both just looking for a reaction-- don't bite for him, not gonna bite for you.

Sorry you were never that close to your parents. I'm sure you will find away to nuture closeness with your children.

Posted by: Jen | April 13, 2007 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Not a parent, but surprised people think those comments were made by non-parents.

A) Plenty of parents suck and have crazy notions on how to parent kids
B) Parents disagree all the time on how to best raise kids- even two parents of one child will often disagree on how to handle issue

For me, I'm strict on structure, but could care less about specifics. Pick your battles and go for the long term growth. As long as I establish the ground rules- I'm the ultimate authority, the final word and it all needs to come through me.

Given that, I'm a benevolent dictator trying to raise humans to become mature stable adults with good judgement. I need their input, I need to teach them good communication, I need to teach them to be true to themselves.

Posted by: Liz D | April 13, 2007 3:18 PM | Report abuse

CaliforniaMom, you sound like an awsome parent. You should write a book!

Posted by: Father of 4 | April 13, 2007 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Jen, I can see you don't have any logical reply to your son's piss poor behavior other than for you to say "I'm a hoot." Keep on thinking that it's "cute" or it's a phase whenever your son cries and say "I hate you, mom." I gurantee it will not be cute ten years down the road from now when his vocalized opinions about you will only get much worse.

Very well said, CaliforniaMom. Those are my thoughts exactly.

Posted by: DCMom | April 13, 2007 4:23 PM | Report abuse

the parents i know who co-sleep do it because they enjoy it. i don't think it has anything to do with who runs the house.

to the person who was curious about co-sleeping. it's not really a new-fangled idea. in some cultures co-sleeping is accepted. in this country it's more a mixed bag.

Posted by: quark | April 13, 2007 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Re. nursing mothers preferring the family bed: personally, I don't. I am way too afraid I'll fall asleep while nursing DD and end up suffocating her. Sure it would be easier, more convenient, and more comfy than getting up with her to go sit on the sofa ... but there's also a much greater chance that I'll doze off, which puts her in much greater danger.

Posted by: StudentMom | April 13, 2007 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Quark, in some cultures co-sleeping is accepted because parents lack the resources to buy an additional bed for their children. Therefore, co-sleeping is an indicator of the purchasing power of the parents. This is the case in my country of origin where co-sleeping is an indicator of income.

Posted by: MV | April 13, 2007 5:54 PM | Report abuse

"These types of comments don't seem to account for the individuals that children are -- at least that's how I see them."

With the exception of the "put a lock on the door" comment, I don't see how any of the other initial comments denigrate the individuality of children. I have three children, all of whom have very different personalities. One is "happy go lucky," one is more quiet and introverted and one is very "type A." However, all three had the same bedtime as toddlers, had the same restrictions on junk food, and all were held to the same expectations concerning appropriate behavior. My method of discipline varied between the children due to their individual personalities, but not my expectations.

The premise of today's blog should really have been framed in terms of flexibility --do people with inflexible positions on certain rules make for better/worse or more/less effective parents.

I've seen families where the children make most of the daily decisions -- what to eat, when to do homework, when to go to bed, when to take a bath, when to go out --because their parents want to "respect" their childrens' free will and individuality. Unfortunately, this approach can not only create children with distorted views of the world but it also deprives the children of the opportunity to learn about decisionmaking from seeing their parents model good decisionmaking skills.

I'm on the same sheet of music with California Mom. We do our children no favors by letting them set the rules.

Posted by: MP | April 13, 2007 5:55 PM | Report abuse

That's an awful quiz. You can tell which is the "right" answer so easily -- why would anyone pick either of the other two? I was disappointed, because I suspect that I actually am an "authoritative" parent -- but I'll never know from that quiz. An authoritarian parent doesn't necessarily "get mad" before every move. That's not fair. And parents can be way too permissive without buckling under every time.

Posted by: beatrix | April 14, 2007 6:56 AM | Report abuse

Not a good quiz. What kind of well-constructed quiz has all the "right" answers be the same letter choice? Reminds me of those political poll questions my (Republican) congressman sends that say things like "Are you an irresponsible traitor who doesn't support the troops, or do you agree with President Bush's wise decisions?"

And did I try to take the "right" approach according to the quiz? Yes, but sometimes I got frustrated and yelled and sent them to their rooms. Sometimes I cheerfully wiped up spilled milk and sympathized with the child, and other times I said, "HOW MANY TIMES HAVE I TOLD YOU NOT TO SET YOUR GLASS ON THE EDGE OF THE TABLE?" No one's perfect.

I also agree with those above who said you may have read too much into those initial comments you quoted. Hard to tell from them whether the parent is authoritarian or authoritative. Some people just get frustrated by how many parents seem to be overindulgent.

Posted by: Oldmom | April 14, 2007 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Yeah. The quiz is lame. Authoritarian does not necessarily equal happy-touchy-feely-hippie parent either, which is how those answers sound to me. All the questions could have been summed up thusly:

Are you: A) A Nazi, B) A Wuss, or C) A good, responsible parent who believes in preserving your child's feelings while encouraging him to embrace his full potential of responsibility and you should be given a cookie!

I'm an authoritarian through and through, but one that does not base my actions on pixie-stix science.

Posted by: Kat | April 15, 2007 11:36 PM | Report abuse

The only time our daughter was in our bed was when she was nursing. I had to get up much earlier then my wife, so I would change the diaper and put her in with mom before leaving for work. Sick kid got a parents lap in the rocking chair, maybe a back rub to settle down in her own bed. With very young children consistency is important. Routine can be very comforting all by itself. Parents need to set rules, but they also need to prioritize, to choose which rules never bend and which are more elastic. As your child grows older and hopefully more responsible, you negotiate to reduce the number of hard and fast rules, and you always make the connection- `Now that you have shown us that you can keep a curfew and always call to let know where you`ll be, let`s talk about extending the curfew on the weekends.`

Posted by: Ol Dad | April 16, 2007 9:47 AM | Report abuse

The quiz was too simple and too vague.

I have twins who are 18 months old. We didn't do the family bed, but we put a double-bed mattress on the floor in their nursery. We cuddle there a lot. They both love to curl up with me, one on my stomach and the other in the curve of my arm and have me sing to them and pat them. However, they sleep in their cribs. Both sleep all night, 12 hours or more. They do not cry at bedtime or at night; in fact they are rather eager to be lifted into their cribs.

They don't know what junk food is because we've never given it to them. They love peas, corn, pasta, milk, etc. They are fantastically healthy. Zero ear infections and no high fevers.

The way I look at it, we are the parents and have the responsibility to make all the decisions about what kind of food to provide and basically provide structure for our kids.

That being said, I do not think that rules out being emotionally nurturing. As long as what they want is within the framework of our boundaries, I love indulging them as much as the next parent. There is nothing quite as wonderful as seeing them laugh and giggle.

They are still pretty young so I imagine our parenting style may become more complex as they grow. But I think the basic groundwork is laid. We are responsive and close to them emotionally, but we have laid a groundwork of strict boundaries. "No" means "no" around our house. Because "no" has never turned to "yes", it sort of simplified the "testing" phase. They figured out the "no" things and kind of stopped asking after they saw that they were always "no". And by the way, I've never yelled at them. "No" is a calm, unemotional, "no". I think it is really important for their safety, health and understanding of the world to have very understandable boundaries that never change. I don't think young children can understand why "just this one time, because you are sick", suddenly something that is normally not allowed is allowed.

Posted by: jan | April 16, 2007 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Talk about a biased quiz! Like the question about the kids who make a mess then want to go out and play. One answer is "Get mad and yell at them to pick up." My response would be: I tell them they aren't going outside until they pick up. I wouldn't get mad and yell, but they would have to pick up before they go out. None of this ridiculous "oh, we'll make a game of who can pick up the most first" business. (What on earth is wrong with today's parents? No wonder so many kids are spoiled brats who think the world revolves around them.)

I found I couldn't pick any of the answers. The "get mad and yell" ones were most likely what I'd pick, without the getting mad and/or yelling part. It's the way I was raised, and, to be honest, I'm not sure why everyone has such a hard time just making their kids behave. It's certainly got to be easier than the whole negotiating business that teaches the kid that they have a say in everything.

Posted by: nellie | April 16, 2007 3:36 PM | Report abuse

I'm an "authoritative" parent, but I have an advantage. My sons are now 45, 41 and 39, and we have had lots of discussions about what I did right and where they think I could have done better by doing something different.
The quiz is, in my opinion, not the point. What struck me was your comment, asking who are those parents who think "parents can control every action their children take, every thought in their minds, every bite of food they put in their mouths?" Your preceding blog was about your sons sharing a room and one of them occasionally waking the other up, resulting in both parents being wakened. The issue there is not whether the boys should share a room, but whether the son who wakes up should wake up the other son. And I think the son who wakes up should be taught, firmly, that just because he is wakeful doesn't mean that his brother, or the whole family, should be awake ... that his behavior is inconsiderate and selfish, and is not allowed.
I was a single parent for many years, and probably often more authoritarian than authoritative, though I tried to explain why I said "no", "you must", "you cannot", "you will" to my 3 sons. I had very firm and, compared with most of my friends and neighbors, very strict behavioral expectations. While I usually had what seemed to me to be a cogent explanation for a rule, sometimes the only explanation was "because I want it this way and because I said so". When they got into their teens they challenged, and sometimes we negotiated, sometimes I changed the rules upon second or third thought, and sometimes I didn't. But the bottom line was "I'm the parent, and I make the rules." I've always seen a parent's job as raising one's children to be able, as adults, to cope with the world around them and to understand why there are rules and how to live with them - and if you break a rule you should have thought about it, have a good reason, and be prepared to live with the consequences. As children, if they didn't do their chores they didn't go out to play until the chores were done; as teens, if they were out after my curfew they were grounded for a period of time - and so on.

I once had the interesting experience of hearing a teenage son say to his friends that he couldn't do whatever it was being discussed because "you know my mom", to which they agreed. When I asked him later what that was about, he said that they wanted to do something he didn't want to do because it was stupid, maybe a bit dangerous, and wrong, but he didn't want to look "chicken", so he blamed the mom. Which was just fine with me - that's part of what moms are for.

I can tell you that after each of them moved out and began living independently, each of them came back after some interval and expressed to me, more or less, that each of them was glad that I had had strict behavioral expectations and made sure, by discipline of one kind or another, that they lived up to my expectations - that they were aware of friends and colleagues who hadn't been raised with behavioral expectations, and those friends and colleagues were having a hard time coping with the adult world because they "didn't know how to behave". And, as adults, all three of my sons view me as a mom, as a friend, sometimes as a source of advice, and always as someone who will love and accept them at all times. I don't know what more a mom could ask.

I never tried to control what my sons thought - even when a son said "I hate you!" (which all kids say at one time or another). Sometimes we talked about what they thought or believed, and what I thought and believed, and explored the reasons behind the thinking, but I never told them they were wrong or bad for thinking or feeling what they did. I did try to control their actions, and, of course, as they got older I had less and less control - which is why I worked so hard on instilling behavioral expectations when they were young. And I never, never fought the food battle - that is a losing battle. If you don't eat what's on the table, that's OK, but understand that the next meal is X hours away and you don't get snacks in between - that's the extent to which I tried to control food. I only remember one of my sons having a tantrum, and he got very upset with me and stopped pretty quickly when I laughed at him - he was busily screaming and flailing away, and a suddenly stopped flailing because he had a toy car in one hand and was hitting himself with it, so he put the car down and went back to his tantrum. Who wouldn't laugh? I don't remember much whining, because my response was - if you whine the answer is always, always no. Did they get treats and snacks - yes, infrequently enough so that they were treats and not expected or common. Did we have fun - oh my, yes. One son's fond memory was when, after an all day summer rain with boys really tired of being confined to the house, I told them to put on shorts and take off their shoes and go out and play in the mud. And there were lots of other things that they and I remember with smiles. But believe me, they know how to behave properly. One example, even now they never, ever use "language" around me (I was always very strict about that), and even now, if one of them has a somewhat raunchy joke he thinks I'd enjoy, he tells it to his father (my ex) to tell to me, because the son would feel uncomfortable telling it to his mother. I can live with that quite happily.

One son has now made me a grandmother, and from what he says I expect he will raise my beautful granddaughter much the same way I raised him. As he is a very good person, as is his wife, I hope so.

Posted by: vklip | April 18, 2007 7:51 PM | Report abuse

This quiz was exceedingly limited in possible responses, as others have said - every question I would have answered as "other." But I don't follow a prescribed method for raising children - maybe that's why it didn't work for me. My general child-rearing philosophy is to follow the golden rule - to treat my daughter the way I would want to be treated in her situation. In this, I take into account her particular temperament and her state of development; I don't expect her to act like a little adult and I don't think that would be healthy.

Here are some of the ways this has played out in our family:
- co-sleeping. From the time she was born it was very apparent that she didn't sleep well by herself. She would sleep very fitfully, thrash around a lot while sleeping, wake herself up, and make fearful sounds in her sleep. We eventually moved her into our bed (at 7 months) and she has slept peacefully ever since. Makes sense, since this is how most young children have slept throughout history - we're wired for co-sleeping.
- bathing with her. When she was an infant, she found the presence of one of her parents in the tub very comforting and soothing. Bathing with her was a wonderful, nurturing experience for her and a joy for us as well.
- Being compassionate when she runs into the inevitable difficulties of growing up. When she has a tantrum (she's 2), we sympathize with her feelings, hug her, and provide the soothing presence that she needs to get control over herself. Whether or not we give her what she wants depends on the situation. If she's freaking out because she's really thirsty and wants a juice box and I was not paying attention to her requests, I give her the juice box and I apologize for not noticing her requests (If my husband isn't paying attention to me when I'm speaking to him, I would be upset too! Same type of situation) If she is freaking out because she wants to draw on grandma's couch, I let her know why we can't do this, and find her something more appropriate to draw on. Every situation is different.

As she grows, the challenges that we all encounter will differ, but I think that the general "golden rule" philosophy will serve us all well, help her to develop into a kind, empathic person, and help us all develop a loving, nurturing, trusting relationship that will allow us to better assist her when she's in situations that she can't handle on her own.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 19, 2007 4:06 PM | Report abuse

This quiz was exceedingly limited in possible responses, as others have said - every question I would have answered as "other." But I don't follow a prescribed method for raising children - maybe that's why it didn't work for me. My general child-rearing philosophy is to follow the golden rule - to treat my daughter the way I would want to be treated in her situation. In this, I take into account her particular temperament and her state of development; I don't expect her to act like a little adult and I don't think that would be healthy.

Here are some of the ways this has played out in our family:
- co-sleeping. From the time she was born it was very apparent that she didn't sleep well by herself. She would sleep very fitfully, thrash around a lot while sleeping, wake herself up, and make fearful sounds in her sleep. We eventually moved her into our bed (at 7 months) and she has slept peacefully ever since. Makes sense, since this is how most young children have slept throughout history - we're wired for co-sleeping.
- bathing with her. When she was an infant, she found the presence of one of her parents in the tub very comforting and soothing. Bathing with her was a wonderful, nurturing experience for her and a joy for us as well.
- Being compassionate when she runs into the inevitable difficulties of growing up. When she has a tantrum (she's 2), we sympathize with her feelings, hug her, and provide the soothing presence that she needs to get control over herself. Whether or not we give her what she wants depends on the situation. If she's freaking out because she's really thirsty and wants a juice box and I was not paying attention to her requests, I give her the juice box and I apologize for not noticing her requests (If my husband isn't paying attention to me when I'm speaking to him, I would be upset too! Same type of situation) If she is freaking out because she wants to draw on grandma's couch, I let her know why we can't do this, and find her something more appropriate to draw on. Every situation is different.

As she grows, the challenges that we all encounter will differ, but I think that the general "golden rule" philosophy will serve us all well, help her to develop into a kind, empathic person, and help us all develop a loving, nurturing, trusting relationship that will allow us to better assist her when she's in situations that she can't handle on her own.

Posted by: wm | April 19, 2007 4:11 PM | Report abuse

The tantrum thing, in particular, I have to admit I don't get. Maybe it's authoritarian, but the way I was raised and the way I raise my kids is that any tantrum results in an instant, unequivocal "no". There is no negotiation, there is no "considering your feelings" -- there is a tantrum, and then there is no way in hell. You have officially passed the line of no return, the button's been pushed, the topic and anything 15 miles around it is dead.

It's not about whether or not I've been neglectful in noticing a need in my child, it's a case where my child must absolutely learn that a freak-out tantrum will get them nowhere. So she has learned other, sane ways to get my attention and express herself, without the flailing and screeching. It's improved her ability to process thoughts and feelings, improved communication, and frankly made me proud of the way she then takes those lessons and uses them in non-parental exchanges.

Golden rule is very useful when dealing with a teenager or another adult. But applying it to a toddler puts a parent on uncertain footing from the start, and doesn't make much sense anyhow, given that the child has no idea what appropriate behaviour is anyhow. They're not going to have the correct context to interpret the permissiveness that results.

Posted by: Nina | April 19, 2007 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Nina, I think that I understand where you are coming from with the "she gets nothing if she throws a tantrum" position (to paraphrase). You are coming from a behavior modification standpoint - your goal is to stop the tantrums by not rewarding them. I can understand that, and actually considered taking that position myself at one point, before considering the issue from some different standpoints.

I'm looking at it from a different perspective. I don't see my daughter's tantrums (at least so far) as a reasoned attempt to get what what she wants, an attempt to manipulate me. When she has a tantrum (which isn't very often), I can see that she really has lost the ability to control herself. Normally, she attempts to have her needs and wishes met by communicating with me in other ways - through words or gestures. And normally her needs are met and her desires are addressed well in that way. Though she doesn't always get exactly what she asks for, usually we can find some way to address her underlying needs or desires.

Still, sometimes she is unsuccessful in her attempts to communicate, or I'm not paying enough attention to her, or she's tired and hungry, or she is utterly fixated on something that is unacceptable to me, and she ends up losing control. I can relate to this - sometimes when I'm tired, hungry, frustrated, or angry, I don't always act in the thoughtful, appropriate way that I later wish I had. For example, if I was tired and headachy and snapped at my husband because the t.v. was too loud, I would be most offended if his response was "well, you didn't ask nicely, so now I'm certainly not going to turn the tv down." This wouldn't help our relationship one bit, and wouldn't do anything to address my need for more peace and quiet. But I wouldn't expect my husband to jump to do my bidding each time I raise my voice, either - if he did, I would lose respect for him. What I would hope for is that he would address our conflict the same way that he would if I was being my usual cheerful self - show love and concern, ask what was going on with me, work to gether to find a way for both of our needs to be met, and perhaps also remind me that he doesn't like to be snapped at, if he thinks that I don't realise how my behavior is affecting him (perhaps later on, if it's obvious that I've lost it and am not at my most rational).

So I try to treat my daughter a similar way that I would like to be treated when I lose it (modified for our different maturity levels). I help her calm down through gentle holding and calm expressions of sympathy and understanding and once she has regained control, I address what she wants the same way that I would have if she had expressed herself in a calmer way. I also sometimes remind her that I can understand her better when she "uses her words" and isn't crying. I think that this helps her feel loved, safe, and understood and strengthens our relationship; also, as she has grown older, the tantrums have decreased in frequency, not increased due to a lack of punishment. She isn't being rewarded for the tantrum or learning that a tantrum is a good way to get what you want, since my response to her desires is the same as if she hadn't thrown a tantrum.

But if I was in the situation where I felt that she was making thoughtful attempts to manipulate me by kicking and screaming, I would need to address the situation differently - perhaps if discussions didn't work, I would come to the point that I would also have a "you don't get what you want if you throw a tantrum" policy. Fortunately, this situation hasn't arrived! I think that it is less likely to arrive if I treat her with empathy and understanding, strengthening our relationship.

I don't see the relationship between myself and my child as being uncertain. She knows I'm the mom - she could hardly help but know that - being a child is a very powerless position. I do see both of us as needing respect, understanding, accommodation, and kindness, though, despite our different ages: thus the "golden rule" rule of thumb. I think that my daughter will learn appropriate behavior through gentle, empathic, non-humiliating discussions as she grows and is better able to understand the reasons for such behavior. I also think that the absolute best way to teach good behavior is to model it oneself - children are natural mimics. I believe that if I treat her with kindness and empathy, she will learn to treat others the same way.

Posted by: wm | April 19, 2007 7:10 PM | Report abuse

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