Friday, November 2, 2007

Back Talking, Butt Biting, Kid's With Horns

Are your kids perfect? Mine aren't. Seems like I'm the only "Christian" parent I know with less than perfect kids.

Sometimes I need to talk about how darn hard being a parent is. I want to lay it all out and say "this is where I could use some advice" or "how did you deal with this?, 'Cause we are having trouble". Only problem... No one else will fess up to having any problems.

Example 1: "My boys have been arguing more than normal lately." My friends reply "Sorry, can't help you, my boys don't argue.

Example 2: "My oldest daughter has started back talking, I need to curtail it." Friend's reply: "What? My children would NEVER balk talk me, they know better because we TRAINED them properly".

OUCH way to make me feel like I deserve the "Crappy Parent of the World" award.

Now, when these perfect kids come to my house, they argue and balk talk (must be in the air or something). So, I'm left with two possible conclusions. 1. I am the only parent in my church without perfect children, OR 2. They are all a bunch of liars.

Anyway, I need friends with kids who make mistakes (and admit it). Friends whose kid's fight, or bite butts, or froth at the mouth and grow horns when they don't get their way. (Don't ask about the butt comment... it's been a bad week.)

I need advice from people who have been there, or are in the thick of it! People who are not afraid to admit that their children have caused them to more than once to loose their temper (in a way that required an apology) or got so frustrated that they locked them self in their bedroom, curled up in the fetal position and ate fudgecicles. PLEASE don't tell me I'm the only one who does that.

Oh and if you have done something awful and irreversible, like let your kid watch Shrek, or owned a Harry Potter novel, or maybe even bought sugar cereal (gasp), even better! I get exhausted trying to maintain everyone elses standards on top of my own, so standards often slip... can anyone relate? Whether right or wrong. It would be nice not to be judged for my choices. I'm sure God's got that taken care of, thank you very much.

Also, if you yourself can confess to having a hard time maintaining "personal" perfection... I'll like you even more. Uh, hello, my name is Karlie and I stole ALL the Reese's Peanut butter Cups from my children's Halloween candy. I also only do laundry when we have no more underwear, and we've eaten fast food three times this week,"

So, if you are a imperfect mom, with imperfect children, let me know! You can share, or just "confess" without the details. I need to know you are out there!


Anonymous said...

LOL!!!!!! Sounds like me! Not only did I let my children watch Shrek we own 1 and 2 and are planning on getting the third one. Yes the fetal position is more of a locking the bedroom door with my HUGE cup of coffee and chocolates! Sugar coated cereal, guess that would explain the cavities my youngest have or maybe it's from all the fast food we have eaten this week not to mention the candy!
I spend most of the day screaming at my middle son just to sit down with a pencil to do his school...bionicles will not do his work for him! Then I have my little sassy one who thinks she can tell mom what to do...she is 3. My 12 going on 21 is in his own world and loves rolling his eyes when mom tells him to do something or corrects him in school cause after doesn't know anything!!
The oldest and middle FIGHT pretty much non-stop if I leave the room to go to the bathroom or answer the phone.
Yeah...there is no peace and quiet around here and getting along...forget it!!!
My solution is alot of prayer, ibuprofen and coffee!!!!
For the constant fighting with each other, they do have to sit and hold hands for 10 minutes!!!! This absolutely kills them, but it works for a couple days...........

Anonymous said...

hi. my name is silly me. i just ate an entire box of chocolate chex while watching pushing daisies. while i let my 6, 4, and 2 year olds watch ice age the meltdown to go to sleep to. while i held my almost 8 month old to get him to sleep instead of laying him down.

oh, i so know. SO know. and i blog about it fairly frequently. i'm all about being real.

it's good to "meet" you. and i'll be back often. i hope you start feeling better soon.

carrie said...

Let's see JUST this week alone, my oldest has read harry potter 7, my middle daughter has read harry potter 6 and my son skipped preschool two days in a row because he'd rather stay home with us. My middle child got her mouth washed out with soap for back talk and my oldest almost lost her next 3 birthdays for back butt biting but the baby (who's 5) DID drop the cat from the top bunk of the bunk beds...Oh and we love sugar...:)

Jamie said...

Yep, I can relate!!

We are a faithful Christian family and I am the first to admit that NONE of are perfect and NONE of us are afraid to admit that we are. Those parents that have "perfect" kids are... liars. No easier way to put it. We have been there, done that so feel free to ask away!

Emily said...

Hello, my name is Emily and I am the parent of naughty children.

there, I said it.

it happens and if one tells you that it doesn't....hahahah THEY're lyin'

yep, ly-in. :)

Man, this tough week thing is going around, huh?

Melissa Stover said...

hello! here i am!
hey, i buy the sugar cereal (and i eat it too!)
i've let my kids continue to eat their halloween candy while i laid on the couch and looked the other way.
as for the back talk and arguing, i have no answers. i'm looking for some myself.

Terri said...

Ah, yes, Karlie, I feel your pain, and frankly I have little tolerance for those self-righteous parents who say things like, "My kids know better than to..." I think they are lying. Or in denial.

At any rate, we've eaten fast food several times this week also. I currently have a Harry Potter book on my night stand that I checked out of the library with the intention of reading aloud to my kids. My kids have seen all three Shrek movies. I have two girls and they purposely try to irritate each other which leads to arguing. Someone is always tattling on the other one. My nine year old is self-centered and my five year old is whiny and most likely a little spoiled.

I also have had to apologize for losing my temper to my kids on several occasions. I feel a twinge of guilt for letting my children watch High School Musical or Hannah Montana because I have friends that "wouldn't approve."

When my kids were babies, we were in a church where scheduling was a big thing. I felt guilty for letting our baby sleep with us, but we loved it. I demand-fed both of my babies much to the chagrin of the other moms in our church.

The best advice I've heard on biblical parenting came from a book by John MacArthur called (I think) "Successful Christian Parenting." Dr. MacArthur says that there are really just three basic principles for parenting: 1) Teach your children the whole counsel of God's Word 2)Discipline them when they do wrong 3) Don't provoke them to anger. I sometimes think that some parents have successfully trained the outward behavior of their children, but then what are they teaching them? That to conform outwardly is all that matters.

All children are born sinners regardless of whether everyone admits it or not. Some kids do seem to be naturally more inclined to be compliant while others seem more inclined to be stubborn. Every kid is different and has to be disciplined differently.

But as far as what you let your kids watch, eat, or do that is between you, your husband and God. But yeah, I agree with you that back talking and arguing should be nipped. My nine year old has exhibited a tendency lately to push the limits as to what is an acceptable way to talk to adults,and I feel as if I'm always refereeing an argument. The way we handle these things is to lecture and eventually if we feel necessary spank, but I have friends who would say that I don't spank nearly enough. They spank on the first offense, but I wonder what this teaches their kids about grace?

I know I haven't helped solve your problem, but I had to let you know that this post totally resonated with me.

javamamma said...

Count me in the imperfect parent with imperfect children crowd. My kids develop attitudes and I don't deal with them 'properly'. My kids eat sugary cereal on a daily basis. We don't eat enough veggies. And I yell at my girls more than I'd ever want to admit. Most of the time, God busts up my pride and I seek forgiveness from them for it but sometimes the harsh words linger for too long. My list could go on but this is your blog and only my comment.

Chelle said...

I SO agree with this! The picture of Christian perfection makes me nauseated, and I'm sorry, but I think it must nauseate God too. There...I said it. :-)

I haven't blogged much this week...perhaps it's because I'm so frustrated with my daughter's crappy attitude and back talking that I'm afraid what might come out if I start. I've yelled at my children far more times than I care to remember. Or what about the fact that my son ended up in the emergency room for the third time in as many least he wasn't bike ramping this time. But he does have a badly sprained ankle and I've had to carry him around. He can't dress himself, or pee by himself and I'm totally exhausted and frustrated (so is he) and my husband doesn't get it and I want to strangle him!!! I'm not sure if my 3-yo has ever listened to one single thing I've ever asked him to do...unless of course it was because he wanted to. Did I tell you about the phase my 1-yo went through...where he could claw our faces and we couldn't get him to stop until one day he just decided to? He would laugh if we scolded him or smacked his hand...yes, we smacked his hand, not hard, but enough to sting a bit...and he laughed!!!!

Those are Rachelle's confessions. Oh...I forgot to mention that for the past two months we haven't attended church regularly because we haven't found a church home where we feel welcome and accepted yet. We also LOVE Harry Potter books around here. We trick or treated for the first time this year...and we had fun doing it! And though I can't say that I buy sugar cereals, I can say that we buy wine and beer on a regular basis. :-)

I hope you find a friend that you can be real with.

Chelle said...

PS ~ Pictures will be up later today...I promise!

PSS ~ Sorry for the insanely long comment. :-)

candi said...

I have been reading your blog for a while now. I have never commented before, but each day you either crack me up or remind me of the goodness of God. I am a mom of 4 boys and admittedly screw up EVERY day!!! I have a 4.5 year old who won't use the toilet, but have endured countless hours of advice from moms who have NEVER potty trained, but "this book" said "x" would work. I am cleaning up the feces with those books thank you very much!! I so often feel like I have so many standards to live up to, mine, my husbands, God's, and then every other mother I attempt to "fellowship" with. It has gotten to the point I won't take my kids too many places, not because they are evil (although sometimes...) but because I always feel so judged. As though their behavior on any given day is a direct result of my training of them or lack there of!! Thank you for such an honest post. I related so much I actually burst into tears and told my husband "I need to meet this mom" You have been saved to my list of friends!

Gayle @ thewestiecrew said...

How vehemently can I raise my hands and scream on the internet?!
I can check off ALL of the above and probably some that you have never even heard of.
I cannot stand parents that are "practically perfect in every way". Not that I don't require obedience out of my kids, or that I don't strive, for myself, a meek and quiet's just that we blow it. Regularly.
You know, those parents may actually have their worlds under control, but if it were GOD that did it, they would have the grace and mercy to come alongside you in your struggles rather than condemn. BLECH!
Come hang out with us, girl...butt-biting doesn't even make me flinch.

Anonymous said...

My name is Shari...I have four boys...I have to apologize on a weekly, ok sometimes daily basis. I strongly dislike things like "10 ways to have a successful homeschooling family". I walked around with a spoon in my back pocket all day yesterday because my boys where not being kind to each other(hitting, biting, speaking cruelly). I have eaten all the Babe Ruth candy bars from the boys candy bags. My 8 year old is a whiner even though in my prechildren years I swore that I would never have a child that whines. More often than not instead of locking myself away I yell that everyone has 2 minutes to get there shoes and coats get outside to play.

Several days a week the thought of quitting and sending them all to school goes through my head.

And then God tells me to start focusing on why I love my boys. I cry too much. I yell too much. I get frustrated too often. I say I am sorry often. I am forgiven much. I am loved much.

I praise my God because his mercies are new every morning for me.

ConservaChick said...

I am SO glad you decided to comment! I just read your last post and it was hysterical (all the rest of you should check it out... really it's that funny). Anyway, I can't leave a comment for some reason, so hopefully you read this!

Javamamma and Rachelle,
I like LONG comments, so always feel free to type away. Also Rachelle... your week sounds horrific! You WILL be in my prayers.

All of you,
WOW thanks for the wonderful responses of less than perfect moments! Each comment has made me smile (most made me laugh out loud). THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! You guys have made my day.

gail said...

well, really! my 9 yr old son doens't lie, or back talk ... but then, he doesn't talk at all! seriously tho, becuz my son is disabled i feel like the worst parent in the world cuz i do all those things: let him watch too much tv, coddle him, let him have candy and sugar instead of doing therapy with him every hour of the day.

there are people that tell me he's so inocent, but we have seen his little temper, his whine, his refusal to do what his parent just told him to do.

its hard to be real around perfect parents and their kids, but its worth it.

thanks for posting your very real feelings. we're out here too.


candi said...

Thanks for taking a minute to read about my chaos. I am not sure why some people can comment but others can't. Does anyone have any ideas on how to fix that??? It was fine until I added a new header and changed my layout.
ps I just screamed at my 4 year old for spilling milk at which point he began to cry. At that moment I was so caught up in my own irritation that I just told him to go to his room. After a few minutes, I realized how ridiculous I was being and had to go apologize. again.

Unknown said...

Do you mean I am not the only one? Someone else has kids that fight? My oldest isn't the only child that backtalks. Gee, and I thought all homeschoolers had perfect kids, except me.
Some days I have visions of me doing like autistic kids. Sitting with my hands over my ears, rocking back and forth, humming to myself.

Cindy-Still His Girl said...

I am the friend you are looking for! :)

My kids can be fabulous and wonderful and respectful and kind and generous.

AND they can be brats who are rude and selfish and disrespectful and annoying and I want to sell them to gypsies.

They haven't had fresh fruit in over a week and they take their clean clothes out of the dryer b/c I never get to folding them and they watch Hannah Montana and they don't know any Hebrew at all. ;)

Kate said...

My kids can be really bad, but I'm sure it's my husband's fault.

EEEEMommy said...

#2 They're all lying!!!

I could leave a long comment of my own listing my own imperfections, but it was enough for me to read through the other comments, so I'll just say, "Mega dittos from an imperfect mom!"

Thanks for standing with me over at my blog. Your "big girl pants" comment put a smile on my face in the midst of a not-so friendly debate.

And by the way, hot sauce works great for backtalking and biting. Just a couple of drops on the tongue, not nearly as messy as soap. Then after a minute or so, give them milk and a slice of bread to take the heat away. One time and any mention of hot sauce will cause them to change their tune. I always intend to have them memorize appropriate Bible verses too, but that doesn't always happen, because once again, I'm not perfect either.
I completely agree with the commenter about the good outward appearances but no real change of heart . We really don't want to raise little pharisees! (And I really don't mean to be one myself, even though it sometimes seems that way...):(

Anonymous said...

Wow! Look at all the comments from completely normal, Christian parents. Cool!
Hi, my name is Rhen (not really but online it is me) and my tribe of 6 are not perfect. Ooooh, that feels good to say. My son annoys the crap out of his sisters and the boy will be brutally strong because he is constantly having to do pushups or situps because of his smart mouth. His gymnastics coach loves me for that. LOL My oldest girl daughter #1) treats her sister (daughter #2) like crap and I am having a hard time getting her to stop. My almost 3 year old KNOWS how to use the potty but is too lazy to stop playing and go pee in the potty. I wash a lot of little panties and pants. Arrrgggghhhhh! I could go on and on but then it would be an even longer post. This is why I like looking at them while they sleep. They look so sweet and peaceful then.

Stacey said...

Karlie, how glad I am you wandered over to JameeForever--because then I got to read this fantastic post! It's an over-used phrase, but dangit, I'm gonna use it--I loved it! LOVED IT.

And by reading the replies here, looks as if you're in good company. I'm SURE I don't know what you're speaking of. Uh uhh, doesn't go down here...hang 18 year old didn't finish her assignment because she was texting in class all day and just dropped a grade, I need to holler..

I tell you Karlie, they're out there in droves. And I am lucky enough (oxymoron ahead) to go to a church where it's widely known we're all pretty broken, most of our kids are a bad influence on the Methodists (now THATS bad) and we love them almost as much as God loves us.

Sounds to me as if you're one very good momma bear; it's the mommas who don't see all who scare the bejeebies out of me. How many PB cups do you have? Wanna trade out for some Snickers? I just opened my desk drawer and counted....looks as if I'm down to 26. Let me know. ~Stacey

Anonymous said...

I do not even know you and you HAVE to be one of my favorite "bloggers"! I just joked about perfection in my blog today! Then I read yours- you make me laugh! I love your honesty, and let me tell you something..."perfection" does NOT exist on earth. It walked the earth and taught the desciples, and will return for us someday...the end!

Hello... My name is Lisa and I do NOT have NAUGHTY children I have NORMAL children! They hit, bite, whine, complain and eat way too much sugar. (just yesterday I gave my 11 month old a hershey bar because it made him quit whining for the first time all day!
Oh yeah, and I took all the kit-kats out of my kids' candy!
Keep your chin up...your a SuperMOM too!

Stacey said...

Oh dear I see a group forming here--we need a group!!! Not a self-help group either, I think we need a candy-exchange group. (hehe)

Gombojav Tribe said...

That's so funny that you would mention butt biting. One of our pastors came by today. While we were talking to her my three year old walked up and bit my husband in the rear. I have NO idea why!

EE said...

My kids are guilty of all that you mentioned, except maybe the butt biting...but, the day's not over;)
My kids are not perfect...I'd be worried if they were. This is the time for the kids to make mistakes...while the stakes are lower.
Those parents aren't being honest or real. I want "real" in my relationships! Hopefully, someday they will "get it". Until then, ignore them!
PS I ate all the Almond Joys out of my kids halloween buckets!

Fifi said...

You rock girl!!!!!!! Absolutely fantastic post!
Oh my.... so,so true! I have issues with the christian family who never argue, never have problems, have perfect kids,never say a negative word.... you get the drift!?!
I am soooooo wanting realness in peoples lives! You are a breath of fresh air!
Can I add you to my friends, I like you already!!!
Love Fee

Christin said...

Wow! Who in the world are you hangin with, girl?! They actually tell you "sorry can't help you?"

Well, don't worry...cozy up next to me and ALL of my friends. (though I'll make sure hide my peanut butter cups. *tease*)

Me and "my lady friends" seem to have the "in" on imperfection. Especially when speaking of children and parenting. well, okay...who am I kidding? I don't have wifedom down pat either. ;)

...still can't believe that the other moms told you that. *shaking my head*

Trina said...

Loved this post! I may have to post on something along these lines too!

Well I dont know who you hang out with but me and my friends are all fully flawed! hahaha I didnt know sugar cereal, shrek, harry potter novels, and taking candy out of halloween bags was wrong! hahaha SERIOUSLY! We call the candy nabbing our "daddy tax". Totally fair, and a penalty they must pay for requiring adult supervision for trick or treating..hahaha I have all sorts of logic for what I do!

Listen, I dont think that complaining about the hardships of child rearing makes you a bad mom or unusual. Anyone who thinks there kids are perfect all the time are wrong, or blind. Either way. My boys are pretty good for me, but we have battles daily. I dont tolerate back talking. Does it happen? Yes. What do I do about it? I talk to them about it consistently, if it continues we up the stakes. There are certain things I dont and cant tolerate in my house. Does it happen? Yes!! They are kids, so they are a constant work in progress. There is a reason they are in my care for 18 years, there is lots and lots of work to be done in raising them. Each one has a different set of problems for me to work on and it is exhausting sometimes, but I love it too. Just like you do. You definitely need to find friends that make you feel normal and share the struggles of parenting. I think a lot of why certain people aren't honest about their kids is because they feel like they will be judged, or that someone wont like their kids if they are honest about the struggle. Which is a shame. More good needs to be shared about our kids than bad, but no one is perfect, that's for sure!

ConservaChick said...

We call it a "tax" too. I think that falls into the "economics" catagory of homeschool, right?

Anonymous said...

When my girls (2 years apart) were little, I did not "allow" the picking and fighting that families experience, and now that they are 16 and 18 it has hit us with both barrels! The older one feels like always the peacemaker while the younger is thriving at being a materialistic "witch with a B" and we are starting to not like who she is becoming! Fortunately we have much faith and we know with God's grace and provided strength we will get through this!

CrossView said...

I'm late on this one but what a great post!
Sorry I can't help you, though. I'm perfect, my kids are perfect, and well.... never mind.
I'm hearing thunder so the lightning must be about to strike! =P