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Forums > Social Chat > How to bring up kids - and stop them playing with fire - and all the other bad things

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Charles
BRONZE Member since Jun 2001

Charles

Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
Location: Auckland

Total posts: 3989
Posted:Tennis told me in another thread in a very nice way to "spoil your kid rotten".

I am replying to it by saying...

I think I'm going to have to use all of my willpower not to spoil him...Unfortunately, I've had so much practice spoiling my wife, its even harder than you would think.

So now i have to spoil my wife AND not spoil my little boy. Hard task!

What also worries me is the amount of exposure I should let him have to fire arts? I know a lot about the way children react (never all) to things they think are 'cool' and the thought of him busting out my gear and lighting up to impress his friends sounds like a very real danger to me.

And all the other things i want to limit his exposure to, like net porn.

in my opnion, the best way to do this is acombination of restricted access and frank discussions so he knows his parents opnions of things and that some things, like movies and porn, are not real life and people get killed, hurt, diseases if they act like that.

Now I'm rambling a lot but hopefully you get my general gist?

What is your opinion on bringing up kids in todays world (Yaqub is now 10 weeks old)...


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frostypaw


Great balls of fire
Location: Tunbridge Wells, Kent

Total posts: 643
Posted:I reckon we're often TOO cautious with kids

They Should hurt themselves - it's how we learn not to. They should end up in dangerous situations and scared - it's how we find our limits and what's dangerous...

Would they really understand why not to play with fire until they have a stalled firepoi falling on their head?

I know I didn't understand why, for example, knives were bad until we saw a 'decent' accident and someone get sliced to the bone by mistake - not suggesting you get your kid to do the same but just saying that Really taught us

As long as movies etc is all kids learn from then they don't really get that

As to pron etc, guess you just have to try for an environment where they feel they can talk to you about anything. They'll find it/do it anyhows, question is will they trust you not to flip out when they want to talk about it with you....

Dunno if that makes sense, something i've thought about for a long time as we watch kids getting wrapped in more and more cotton wool to protect them from living


I can SEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

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RoDuS


member
Location: Australia qld

Total posts: 50
Posted:teach your kid what to do when something goes wrong trying to hide them from all the bad things in this world wont work (imho).

i knew a kid when i was about 13 that set him self on fire when playing with metho so lettin the learn from there mistakes is all good but they mite go to far and then it is already to late.

I have nfi what to do about porn i think the same thing applys as if you just try and hide your child from this it will only take one friend to blow all your efforts...

your kid will end up hating you at some stage... at least that is what he will try and make you think to hurt you into trying to get what he wants (to play with fire ect.)


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Kat
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Kat

Pooh-Bah
Location: London

Total posts: 2211
Posted:I don't think we give kids enough credit really. I put on a show for a little girl that I used to mind and other local neighbourhood kids and told them that you can't play with fire as it was dangerous and how I never do fire without somebody to watch and take care of me if something goes wrong - all the kids nodded sagely - yes, fire is dangerous and were happy to watch and go ooooh and had great fun playing with ribbon poi. With you demonstraing responsibility and respect towards fire that cannot fail to have an influence.

You have a long while before you have to deal with that problem yet though Charles I don't think we can shield kids from the world, but we can talk and be open and honest with them. Suffering is never nice, but I truly believe that I am a stronger person today because of what I had to deal with as a child. Its the namby pambied sheltered kids that can't hack it in the real world or at least get one hell of a land when they become older.

I'm sure you are going to be a tip-top Dad - your theory is sounds, now you just got to roll with it


Come faeries, take me out of this dull world, for I would ride with you upon the wind and dance upon the mountains like a flame.

- W B Yeats

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Charles
BRONZE Member since Jun 2001

Charles

Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
Location: Auckland

Total posts: 3989
Posted:So what you are both saying is that i should let him get into serious danger and hurt himself badly, but not TOO badly...

As a parent, that doesn't really help me at all

As for exposure to pron (nice typo) one kid won't blow all my efforts as I did say LIMIT his exposure. Violent movies and pron and stuff can seriously stuff up kids (and adults) minds if left unchecked, there needs to be not only moderation, but explanation as well, IMHO...

What I'm after more is parents who have tried things that work, so I can then know what is more LIKELY to work with my own little one.

And thank you Kat...I agree with the kids watching a little show or something, but I feel it may be different to a once-off when he sees me practicing all the time from an early age.

What also worries me (I'm allowed to worry, im a new parent!) is I don't want to overdo it, so he think that dad is going to die everytime he lights up the staff, but i don't want to hium to think it is a 100% safe either. Interesting world we live in.

And no, I'm not going to wrap him in cotton wool if i can help it, but somehow I'll need to put my protective urges in straightjacket or something first


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Magnus


member
Location: Bath, UK

Total posts: 279
Posted:My lil bro is the coolest 15yo I know. He spun fire for the first time at xmas

By the age of 11 he'd seen Terminator II, the uncut Robocop, all sorts of shit. He gets porn and penis enlargement spam in his inbox every day.

He was bullied a bit at his last school, but since moving to a new (Quaker) school has gotten over that, I think.

Recently my mum's friend ran this psychological test on him and he came out perfectly balanced.

The single greatest influence on children is their parents, IMO even peer pressure is an order of magnitude lower. Children will respond to the way their parents treat them, and will behave as they see their parents behaving.

I wouldn't worry about spoiling your son, just make sure he realises the cost of things.

The fire thing is a long way off, but if he grows up seeing you behave responsibly with it, and assuming he wants to spin fire, gets to do it often enough under supervision, I wouldn't worry.

Damn, I really want kids.


Magnus... pay it forward

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Kat
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Kat

Pooh-Bah
Location: London

Total posts: 2211
Posted:Charles - I think watching you from an early age - watching you behaving responsibly with fire on a daily basis is far safer than just kids watching a show. Your respect for fire is bound to have a huge influence. Some nice glo-poi will be just as impressive for showing off to friends and the promise of the two of you lighting up together some day will be a lovely goal to look forward to. Thats if Yaqub is interested - he might think his parents interest in fire stuff is really naff!

Come faeries, take me out of this dull world, for I would ride with you upon the wind and dance upon the mountains like a flame.

- W B Yeats

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frostypaw


Great balls of fire
Location: Tunbridge Wells, Kent

Total posts: 643
Posted:quote:Violent movies and pron and stuff can seriously stuff up kids (and adults) minds if left unchecked, there needs to be not only moderation, but explanation as well, IMHO...That's completely unproven - you're right about explaining it - but people aren't that easily influenced

think about how many billions of people have watched violent movies - they're not all doing a columbine... if yer screwy you'll be screwy whether you watch the flicks or not

Your idea of just limiting, not completely avoiding, things is the way forwards methinks - with danger too

YOU teach him to spin... and you'll be there to put him out if anything does happen. If you don't someone else will. It'll only take one scare to learn a lesson - whereas with a bunch of other kids the only lesson learnt might be "close call - but Oh So Cool"

i.e. don't try and stop them, they'll do it with or without you - just be there to catch them when they need it.


I can SEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

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RoDuS


member
Location: Australia qld

Total posts: 50
Posted:quote: I don't think we give kids enough credit really. Im 16 and i dont give myself that much credit
everyone f*cks up some time.


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Cassandra


Cassandra

Froggie ... Ribbit !!!
Location: Back in Paris... for now !

Total posts: 4224
Posted:hmmm interesting and hard one, uh ?

I would have to say i have done a few stupid things and am still Ok ....

you can always tell people what an orange tates like but they will only know what it truely is by tasting it themselves. that being said I do not thing one should put oneself into all the misery of the world to actually understand it either...
but the curiosity will be there.

so many things will play a role in it : what will be your child s personnality ? how will it develop ? what his surrounding will be like etc ...

and so maybe the sanest thing to do instead of focusing on details where you will always end up missing out big ones because you focus for example on not wanting him to get into drugs and nd up missing the point because his real issue will be different or whatever ... Maybe the key is respect and love and providing not isolating walls but a home that is warm and makes people feel supported loved nd safe and Free because the door is never locked...

I know that you ad Mumtaz will make mistakes cause everyone does but I sincerely think from what little I have seen of you two that you will provide the love and respect and communication... what more can one ask ?

I know this is not of much help probably but give yourself more credit and worry less if doable because I know that you are definitely one of the people I know whom i can say : wow their child is going to be happy and blossom peacefully and loved

shine on
cass

PS : one thing though ... forget the problems of drugs, violence, etc ... just make sure you keep him away from those damn coloured balloons, dude, they are highly addictive


"I want brown bread... no, that is diesel oil..."
"So I was raised in Europe, where History comes from ..."
"NON !!! La Plume de mon oncle n est pas Bingibangibungi !!!"

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:*Seriously wondering where all the people on the board who have kids have gone*

Hey there Charles....

Oh so many topics, and having an 8 year start on ya with this whole kid thing, there are things I learned about along the way. Some kids have a natural propensity to not do things. While some kids let their curiousity guide them, others are curious but cautious. Foster them both. For example, Noah, like me was always fascinated by fire, even from a young age but knew without my saying it wasn't to be touched (though I did say it lots). We used to make a thing out of candles especially. I would light them and he would always get to blow them out, and if ever I forgot and put one out for him, I would relight it so he could blow it out (which resulted in him continually blowing out the pilot on the stove when he was a toddler! ). Noah has been brought up with these arts and it has never been an issue with him. But we also have some rules that he respects. He can't play with anything of mine once it has been burned it, not even unlit. However, he has first go of it when it has a clean wick. He used to love this. Now he could care less about spinning at all. He can help me get the stuff from my tool box but never the fuels. Things like that. He has been there for the safety lessons, the costume making, the practice sessions watching me thwap myself in the head. He has seen the very uncool parts of what I do and doesn't want anything to do with it. In fact, since he was very young he has always said he wants to be a fire fighter. I find that fascinating. Exposure, and as much of it as possible, will breed a respect and familiarity so that the coolness wears off. And..treat the fuels and such like you would guns...up and away.
I whole heartedly agree with Kat in that we do not give children enough credit. Most have sensibility. Of course there is always that one or two who muss it up, but having performed for how many kids now Charles??? How many have walked away, found some stuff and lit up getting hurt because of exposure to you? And your child would be even more less likely to do so.

Now to pron! Control the exposure. We have subscriptions to men's mags that are not playboy showey but the girls are tastefully covered in sexy little ditties (Maxim and Stuff Mags I believe). Noah can look through these all he wants. We get Victoria's Secret and Fredericks Catalogues which are PG-13. He is also free to look at these. Love scenes in movies, depending on them, he has to cover his eyes for..but then he thinks kissing is yucky anyway. (And trust me, if any kid were to ever become a pervert, it is Noah...he has this natural Don Juan De Marco thing working for him...)

Violence. Studies are inconclusive about that. Childrens cartoons are far more violent than many adult movies, which, depending on the movie (we preview them) he is allowed to watch them. Hell, we took him to the theater to see the movie JackAss (Rated R for language, male nudity and stupidity) because I know he would never do stuff like that. Noah hates to be hurt and they show thee guys hurting. You just have to make sure they know it is not real. Start them on stuff like Star Wars and let them go from there. Noah idolizes Jackie Chan, for example, and while he tried some interesting stunts, I encouraged him to try but to do them safely. We took the cushions off the couch so he could do his kicks and such without too much harm. The end result was that Noah figured out how to do a punch front (gymnastic flip) all on his own, and then I helped clean up the edges. He draws guns, and armies fighting, people dieing. He plays GI Joe. But he also plays cards and draws aliens and family pictures, etc.
He plays shoot em up video games with PWB, they play against each other actually. He has toy guns and plays army with his friends. He also plays baseball, basketball and soccer.

People who say to not expose children to these things are the ones who seriously ask for rebellion and excess later. They stifle a child's creativity and expression until the child eventually bursts.

Noah has had psychoanalysis and is a well adjusted child. We have had our rebellions and testing going on, sure, but it is part of his growth process as well.

I am not the world's best parent by a long shot. I know I have made many mistakes but, I also know to admit that to Noah and apologize. I have even put myself in "time out" when I did something wrong. What is good for him is just as good for me. Double standards do exsist, there are movies I flat out refuse to let Noah watch that he wants to see (The Crow series for one). There is music I will not let him listen to uneditted. But, there are soooo many choices out there, it is important for him to have as many of those as he can so that he feels like he has some control in his world. I never had that.

What I have learned about the taboo's is that they are not bad. Overkill in the limited exposure can make them more curious. Be there as a parent, experiencing it all right along with him, explaining and answering so that tv and friends do not do it for you. Natural instinct can go a long way here to. I don't use baby talk either, ever. I put things into simplified terms and use analogies (for example, to explain stars I told him it is like car headlights, far away they are small, up close they are bigger. Same idea). If he does not know a word, he will ask me.
I treat him with respect and acknowledge him as a person with opinions, thoughts and ideas...and even give him the chance to follow through on some of them...but I have final say in everything. I am his Parent and Protector first, friend later.

I do have a word of warning however, careful on the spoiling of Mumtaz but not the child. This can actually make children quite resentful. I have seen it and it is sad. But it depends on what you mean by spoiling. Showing affection in front of him is awesome, especially when he gets included. But always bringing home flowers for Mumtaz and nothing for him might get taken hurtfully (Daddy loves Mommy more). It is a strange competitive thing, especially if he is a mama's boy (like Noah). Spoiling can be done in moderation, and let me tell you...family will do a great job of it...wait for the *really* noisey toys to appear!

Sorry for babbling. I am not an expert, far cry from it in anything, but I know you have such a great heart and such a passion for your family. I know you truly have nothing to worry about Charles, you are a great dad! (but telling a parent not to worry is like telling an elephant to go on a diet!..I know! )


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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