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Subject: The unconscious messages we send our children rss

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Moshe Callen
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Most of us who have children try to pay attention to what we teach our children because we want them to adopt those values and ideas we as parents think are important. All this is well and good as far as it goes.

Equally important at least though are the attitudes and messages we send our children without consciously doing so. One of the areas where my attention has been brought to this issues is from articles I don't have handy friends have shared on-line about gender roles, racism, tolerance, etc.

One of the examples given was of a parent who accepted more aggressive behavior from a son than from a daughter. Another was of the parent who asked more questions when the friend the child wanted to visit was not white.

To me, thiis phenomenon seems a case in point that our children learn more from what we do than what we say.

How consistent do you think the messages your giving your children are with the values you're tryign to teach them?

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If you don't have chldren, please don't troll. (Don't troll if you have kids either.)
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Lets use a Titanic analogy. So what will you teach your son about a sinking ship. Will you teach him that the lifeboats are for women and children first? If so, does this conflict with the message of gender equality?
 
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MWChapel wrote:
Lets use a Titanic analogy. So what will you teach your son about a sinking ship. Will you teach him that the lifeboats are for women and children first? If so, does this conflict with the message of gender equality?

No, I won't. So what's your point?
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My daughter isn't old enough to have much of a conversation with yet, but I hope she's able to see consistency between what her mother and I try to teach her about our family values and how those values manifest themselves in our actions. I do think you're correct in thinking that there's an important link between the two concepts, though. I certainly noted things like my dad's tendency to swear loudly and creatively while working on projects around the house when I was evaluating (and ultimately rejecting) my parents' insistence that swearing was "bad."
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whac3 wrote:

No, I won't. So what's your point?


My point is, while your message is consistent, it's one I don't agree with.

Already your message has completely broke down with my philosophy.
 
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MWChapel wrote:
whac3 wrote:

No, I won't. So what's your point?


My point is, while your message is consistent, it's one I don't agree with.

Already your message has completely broke down with my philosophy.

That's not what the OP was asking. How consistent with your philosophy are the messages you send your kids?
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Unless you spend a very great amount of time telling your children to do as you say and not as you do, they're going to spend a very great amount of time absorbing the things that you do, and feeding them back to you trebled over time. If you spend a very great amount of time telling your children to do as you say and not as you do, they are going to get bored quite quickly, and tune you out to whatever extent is possible.

With respect to the OP, who the hell knows? Have I made snotty cracks in her presence that undermine the overall values I've tried to impart to her? Absolutely. Without snotty cracks, tasteless jokes, and various other coping mechanisms, I'd never have been able to cope with the stress of being a parent.
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whac3 wrote:
How consistent with your philosophy are the messages you send your kids?


I consider consistency less important than the quality of the message. We all want to improve upon what we do, to what our children do. I'm a flawed individual. But I don't understand why we need to be consistent in that because we do flawed things, we shouldn't expect our children to act according to our actions in every case.

You know how fundamentally impossible it is to teach by example? I'd think it'd be easier to teach by counter-example. I am far too old to change my colors to lead by perfect example.

Dear son, I'm a flawed person, and this is how it affects me. Don't let it affect you.

I guess I like the scare tactic best.

And BTW, if the "OP" doesn't want to discuss his content about his philosophy, then the OP should have left his ideas off the question.
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djgutierrez77 wrote:
My daughter isn't old enough to have much of a conversation with yet, but I hope she's able to see consistency between what her mother and I try to teach her about our family values and how those values manifest themselves in our actions. I do think you're correct in thinking that there's an important link between the two concepts, though. I certainly noted things like my dad's tendency to swear loudly and creatively while working on projects around the house when I was evaluating (and ultimately rejecting) my parents' insistence that swearing was "bad."

That's why I try to say that swearing is rude in most situations and it's a bad habit when you can't stop yourself from doing it. Yet at the same time, I always try not to cuss and will typically apologize when I do.
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whac3 wrote:
djgutierrez77 wrote:
My daughter isn't old enough to have much of a conversation with yet, but I hope she's able to see consistency between what her mother and I try to teach her about our family values and how those values manifest themselves in our actions. I do think you're correct in thinking that there's an important link between the two concepts, though. I certainly noted things like my dad's tendency to swear loudly and creatively while working on projects around the house when I was evaluating (and ultimately rejecting) my parents' insistence that swearing was "bad."

That's why I try to say that swearing is rude in most situations and it's a bad habit when you can't stop yourself from doing it. Yet at the same time, I always try not to cuss and will typically apologize when I do.


See, I'm going the other way. Swearing is fine, but in certain situations the relevant authority figures can and will punish you for doing so. Be smart enough to know when it's ok and when it's not. Grandpa will think it's funny when you say "shit!" when you stub your toe. Grandma will not.
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Well, I have kids but there are at least three or four people here who feel threatened every time I post and accuse me of trolling. Thankfully for them they don't actually know what trolling is or Monin would have suspended them for accusing me of trolling.

Now that we have that settled...

Discussions of gender "equality" are about the parents and their needs and wants, not the children. That stuff isn't important to kids unless they are already fucked up by their parents before they hit puberty. Nor are discussions about race or religion unless you live in a community divided somehow along racial or religious lines. Bringing subjects like that up and thinking you are going to somehow magically raise a gender-neutral, racially tolerant, lover of all religions plus atheists who gives willingly to trans-sexual PTSD groups while sporting a rainbow bumper sticker on their Smart Car alongside the little family cartoon stickers, well that's all about the parents projecting their own guilt and feelings of failure and inadequacy directly into the the as-yet unsophisticated brain pans of their innocent children.

Most of the contemporary parenting I see is almost universally more about helping parents feel good about their kids than it is about the kids. Don't believe me? It's true if you just keep asking yourself as you read article after article - "why aren't they talking about anything other than why the kid should be tolerant just like mommy and daddy try and be?"

My daughter's complaint was along the lines of -
"You let my brother get away with stuff I never got away with!"
"He has a later curfew than I did"

And on and on and on, whine, whine whine. Well frankly, she is a she and he is a he. He had height, weight and strength coupled with testosterone while she was petite and just a tad over 100 pounds. Women in every part of the world are traditionally the victims of males and their size and about a million years of evolution makes them so. The boy got treated like a boy and the girl like a girl and now that she has kids she completely recognizes why I was more strict with her than with him.

Gender equality my ass. The definition of that is treat women like men so long as you don't ask them to do what men can do because if you do ask them to do that shit most of them are gonna get killed or hurt or start crying and then they're gonna get lawyers, sue you, take your money and start a foundation dedicated to the sole purpose of treating women like men and suing everybody who doesn't and who does.

Race is only an issue if you make it one. We never once discussed it and both my kids somehow ended up with a broad spectrum of racial types in their social and work groups and even today it's never been worth discussing. People who feel a need to discuss racism with their white children are really better off getting professional help for themselves rather than fuck their kids up like they are fucked up.

I let my kids go to any church they wanted and they asked me once why we didn't have a church and I told them they were too damned expensive so a house would have to do. They smiled, sort of, and then went and tried out some churches and ended up just like me. With a house.

Now that I've rambled I need to yield the floor to all the parents who are smarter than me and can prove it just as soon as their kids grow up and demonstrate something other than the willingness to poop in diapers, smear pureed peas on the rug and clog the toilet with Lego pieces.
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MWChapel wrote:
whac3 wrote:
How consistent with your philosophy are the messages you send your kids?


I consider consistency less important than the quality of the message. We all want to improve upon what we do, to what our children do. I'm a flawed individual. But I don't understand why we need to be consistent in that because we do flawed things, we shouldn't expect our children to act according to our actions in every case.

You know how fundamentally impossible it is to teach by example? I'd think it'd be easier to teach by counter-example. I am far too old to change my colors to lead by perfect example.

Dear son, I'm a flawed person, and this is how it affects me. Don't let it affect you.

I guess I like the scare tactic best.

And BTW, if the "OP" doesn't want to discuss his content about his philosophy, then the OP should have left his ideas off the question.

I just asked you to also answer the OP's question.

As for my values, I don't espouse the code of chivalry. For one, it's a Christian code of conduct and I am not a Christian. As a husband and father, I have a responsibility to take care of my family; leaving the wife and child without someone to support them is not doing that. My responsibility is also to my family first before a stranger.
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Radically inconsistent in virtually every area. It is a marvel to me that they are able to infer any standards whatever from the absurdly noisy data we provide. I suspect this is why 1-2-3 Magic works as well as it does--the principle point is to make figuring this crap out easier.

But I'm working on it. Right now, my principle angle of attack is to try to treat them like people with whom I will have a retroactive contract to raise them. It's a lawyerly falsehood, a sort of metaphysical kludge intended to help me think about the appropriate uses of parental power. If I can actually refrain from abusing my power for my own convenience, I'll be shocked, but even a little movement in that direction will hopefully show respect for them.

EDIT: Nah, screw it, I'm not ruining Cranky's amusement by fixing things.
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Well I hope your principles include teaching them the meaning of principal!
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DWTripp wrote:
Well, I have kids but there are at least three or four people here who feel threatened every time I post and accuse me of trolling. Thankfully for them they don't actually know what trolling is or Monin would have suspended them for accusing me of trolling.

Now that we have that settled...

Discussions of gender "equality" are about the parents and their needs and wants, not the children. That stuff isn't important to kids unless they are already fucked up by their parents before they hit puberty. Nor are discussions about race or religion unless you live in a community divided somehow along racial or religious lines. Bringing subjects like that up and thinking you are going to somehow magically raise a gender-neutral, racially tolerant, lover of all religions plus atheists who gives willingly to trans-sexual PTSD groups while sporting a rainbow bumper sticker on their Smart Car alongside the little family cartoon stickers, well that's all about the parents projecting their own guilt and feelings of failure and inadequacy directly into the the as-yet unsophisticated brain pans of their innocent children.

Most of the contemporary parenting I see is almost universally more about helping parents feel good about their kids than it is about the kids. Don't believe me? It's true if you just keep asking yourself as you read article after article - "why aren't they talking about anything other than why the kid should be tolerant just like mommy and daddy try and be?"

My daughter's complaint was along the lines of -
"You let my brother get away with stuff I never got away with!"
"He has a later curfew than I did"

And on and on and on, whine, whine whine. Well frankly, she is a she and he is a he. He had height, weight and strength coupled with testosterone while she was petite and just a tad over 100 pounds. Women in every part of the world are traditionally the victims of males and their size and about a million years of evolution makes them so. The boy got treated like a boy and the girl like a girl and now that she has kids she completely recognizes why I was more strict with her than with him.

Gender equality my ass. The definition of that is treat women like men so long as you don't ask them to do what men can do because if you do ask them to do that shit most of them are gonna get killed or hurt or start crying and then they're gonna get lawyers, sue you, take your money and start a foundation dedicated to the sole purpose of treating women like men and suing everybody who doesn't and who does.

Race is only an issue if you make it one. We never once discussed it and both my kids somehow ended up with a broad spectrum of racial types in their social and work groups and even today it's never been worth discussing. People who feel a need to discuss racism with their white children are really better off getting professional help for themselves rather than fuck their kids up like they are fucked up.

I let my kids go to any church they wanted and they asked me once why we didn't have a church and I told them they were too damned expensive so a house would have to do. They smiled, sort of, and then went and tried out some churches and ended up just like me. With a house.

Now that I've rambled I need to yield the floor to all the parents who are smarter than me and can prove it just as soon as their kids grow up and demonstrate something other than the willingness to poop in diapers, smear pureed peas on the rug and clog the toilet with Lego pieces.

Wow, Tripp. Where did that come from. It's a nice rant but rarely has anything to do with the subject.

Where I think we disagree is simply you're talking about telling other people how they ought to be; I'm talking about what one expects of oneself. To me gender equality just means men and women should have the same opportunities and that I don't want my daughter thinking, "I can't do that; I'm just a girl."
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whac3 wrote:

Wow, Tripp. Where did that come from. It's a nice rant but rarely has anything to do with the subject.



At what point did you mistakenly assume that anything I post here in RSP pertains to the subject of the thread?

Besides which, almost all contemporary discussions of how to raise kids - and yours is included because it asks about what "messages" we send the little monsters - is really about how parents feel about raising kids. Ultimately, parenting comes down to how you, as a parent, learn to cope with the suffocating levels of guilt you build up for failing to raise them properly.
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DWTripp wrote:
whac3 wrote:

Wow, Tripp. Where did that come from. It's a nice rant but rarely has anything to do with the subject.



At what point did you mistakenly assume that anything I post here in RSP pertains to the subject of the thread?

Besides which, almost all contemporary discussions of how to raise kids - and yours is included because it asks about what "messages" we send the little monsters - is really about how parents feel about raising kids. Ultimately, parenting comes down to how you, as a parent, learn to cope with the suffocating levels of guilt you build up for failing to raise them properly.

BS

Guilt only enters if you're guilt obsessed. Otherwise it's a practical issue where you do your best to be consistent. That's it-- no guilt. You just do your best about something you think important.
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Probably a sidetrack to this thread, and maybe I'll start a new one about it, but I am curious about how people react to this past Sunday's NY Times magazine cover article:
"What's So Bad About a Boy Who Wants to Wear a Dress?"
 
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Golux13 wrote:
Probably a sidetrack to this thread, and maybe I'll start a new one about it, but I am curious about how people react to this past Sunday's NY Times magazine cover article:
"What's So Bad About a Boy Who Wants to Wear a Dress?"

Well, for one, men and women's bodies are built differently and so getting a dress to fit a man properly wouldn't be so easy I would imagine. devil
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whac3 wrote:
DWTripp wrote:
whac3 wrote:

Wow, Tripp. Where did that come from. It's a nice rant but rarely has anything to do with the subject.



At what point did you mistakenly assume that anything I post here in RSP pertains to the subject of the thread?

Besides which, almost all contemporary discussions of how to raise kids - and yours is included because it asks about what "messages" we send the little monsters - is really about how parents feel about raising kids. Ultimately, parenting comes down to how you, as a parent, learn to cope with the suffocating levels of guilt you build up for failing to raise them properly.

BS

Guilt only enters if you're guilt obsessed. Otherwise it's a practical issue where you do your best to be consistent. That's it-- no guilt. You just do your best about something you think important.


That's fine Moshe. Denial like yours is often one of the more effective coping strategies. Of course, your child is to young yet to make you suffer overly much. Give it time my friend.
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MWChapel wrote:
whac3 wrote:
How consistent with your philosophy are the messages you send your kids?


I consider consistency less important than the quality of the message. We all want to improve upon what we do, to what our children do. I'm a flawed individual. But I don't understand why we need to be consistent in that because we do flawed things, we shouldn't expect our children to act according to our actions in every case.

You know how fundamentally impossible it is to teach by example? I'd think it'd be easier to teach by counter-example. I am far too old to change my colors to lead by perfect example.

Dear son, I'm a flawed person, and this is how it affects me. Don't let it affect you.

I guess I like the scare tactic best.

And BTW, if the "OP" doesn't want to discuss his content about his philosophy, then the OP should have left his ideas off the question.


"The apple doesn't fall far from the tree" is a lame saying but unfortunately it also tends to have a ring of truth. Hoping your kids will know well enough not to inherit the flaws you exhibit is a nice thought but it often doesn't pan out in practice.
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whac3 wrote:
How consistent do you think the messages your giving your children are with the values you're tryign to teach them?

Well... I'm not real confident in anyone's ability (including my own) to tell when they're being inconsistent with what they think their values are.

An example: this summer the kids visited my wife's parents, and both of them came back with their fingernails painted. "Well, the next-door neighbor is a 15-year-old girl," said my wife; "what else were they supposed to do?" I was mad. "I can't believe you just said that! She could be into motorcycles, or rock climbing, or biology--" The idea that painting fingernails is what teenage girls do is the kind of mind poison I don't want either of my kids exposed to.

But, have I said stuff like that myself? I don't know; I'm the wrong person to ask.
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kuhrusty wrote:
whac3 wrote:
How consistent do you think the messages your giving your children are with the values you're tryign to teach them?

Well... I'm not real confident in anyone's ability (including my own) to tell when they're being inconsistent with what they think their values are.

An example: this summer the kids visited my wife's parents, and both of them came back with their fingernails painted. "Well, the next-door neighbor is a 15-year-old girl," said my wife; "what else were they supposed to do?" I was mad. "I can't believe you just said that! She could be into motorcycles, or rock climbing, or biology--" The idea that painting fingernails is what teenage girls do is the kind of mind poison I don't want either of my kids exposed to.

But, have I said stuff like that myself? I don't know; I'm the wrong person to ask.

All we can do is listen to yourselves and be as conscious as we can of what we do. Life goes on. That's why I'm laughing at Tripp's reaction. It just doesn't fit. Beating yourself up about what you should have done is silly; trying to actually do what you should do in future is not. Even then, one of the best lessons a child can get if it's done the right way is that the parents are only human too.
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I think the worse thing parents do is over react due to their own world view or bigotry. Kids are very quick at picking this up and adopting it. That kid wanting to wear a dress has been coming up for many years by the way and is often discussed to get people's approach on this sort of thing. My approach is simple. Kids are learning gender identity so let him. The end.
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kuhrusty wrote:
whac3 wrote:
How consistent do you think the messages your giving your children are with the values you're tryign to teach them?

Well... I'm not real confident in anyone's ability (including my own) to tell when they're being inconsistent with what they think their values are.

An example: this summer the kids visited my wife's parents, and both of them came back with their fingernails painted. "Well, the next-door neighbor is a 15-year-old girl," said my wife; "what else were they supposed to do?" I was mad. "I can't believe you just said that! She could be into motorcycles, or rock climbing, or biology--" The idea that painting fingernails is what teenage girls do is the kind of mind poison I don't want either of my kids exposed to.

But, have I said stuff like that myself? I don't know; I'm the wrong person to ask.


Good example. My 9 year old has three half sisters who he spent a good deal of time with until they each, in turn, became adults and fled to states where their mother doesn't live. He basically grew up getting his fingernails and toenails painted by the little biotches. They thought it was hilarious and my father (a crusty old WWII Marine) was apoplectic that the boy would become some sort of fag. I pretty much ignored it, bought some polish remover and when he'd come back from a visit we'd take the polish off. Never said a word to him about it. What's the point? How is a 4 or 5 or even 6 year old going to grasp the fine levels of nuance required in order to have some fear that he'll end up gay because of nail polish?

The sisters have all been gone for a couple years and when he comes back from a visit to his mom's he isn't polished any more. But one little girl did the nail polish thing to him at the Y-Kids day camp and as soon as he got home he was anxious to get the polish off.

I know why he let her do it though... she was cute and he probably figured he'd get a kiss out of the deal. Now I have to teach him that kissing girls when you're in 4th grade is considered a sexual predator crime and he could end up on a no-fly list if he doesn't suppress his maleness.
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