Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Are you a wimpy parent?

Okay, so we are hearing more about wimpy kids these days, but the country is also full of wimpy parents. The Dayton Daily News has a good article entitled, "Are you a wimpy parent? Check for these 7 signs." The article is written by psychologist Gregory Ramey, Ph.D who says:

I have evaluated numerous children whose only problems are that they live with loving and dedicated parents who are wimps. There is no psychological test yet to diagnose this disorder, but here is how you can assess yourself and perhaps avoid a visit to a therapist’s office.

Rule #7 is an important one:

7. Do you typically place your children’s needs above those of you and your spouse? Wimpy parents feel insecure in their relationships with their children. In this “kids first” type of family, personal and marital needs are of lower priority. The kids rule and infer an unrealistic sense of importance and power from the way they are treated.

I doubt Dr. Helen readers are wimpy parents but if you think you are or know someone who is, drop a comment below.


Blogger Cham said...

This post would stand in the way of those parent-commenters who routinely avow: "I will do anything to protect my children" or "My childrens' needs come first, before everything else." or "My children are the most important thing in the world.". And then they wonder why their kids are terrified to leave their homes after graduation. Wimpy parents are everywhere, but I see they are getting quieter as the years pass. If you are prepared to coddle your kids through their adulthood and into your children's retirement years then I don't see anything wrong with this other than these damaged kids are going to use up the world's natural resources and not put anything back. But, as long as they stay in your basement playing video games they probably won't do too much damage overall. Just as long as you and your useless kids stay out of my way......

6:49 AM, November 09, 2010  
Blogger Kim said...

Nope. We always made it plain to the kids that while their care and safety were important to us as parents, we were nevertheless the adults -- breadwinners, caregivers etc -- and as such, we got to call the shots, not they.

One of our most common responses to kids' whining was , "Ah, don't tell me; tell your therapist."

None have ever needed therapy.

8:38 AM, November 09, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know why parents make so much work for themselves trying to sort out every little problem for their kids - I notice it with other kids too who will approach me in the school playground to report what my kid did when I wasn't even there! "Not my jurisdiction" was my answer to that, sheesh!

I notice the list doesn't have anything about those parents who use that earnest tone every time they talk to their kids - maybe they only do it in public, who knows, but it's irritating to listen to. (Those who have seen it know what I'm talking about - it's like that forced niceness of the kindergarten teacher).

9:17 AM, November 09, 2010  
Blogger David Foster said...

"To minimize suffering and to maximize security were natural and proper ends of society and Caesar. But then they became the only ends, somehow, and the only basis of law — a perversion. Inevitably, then, in seeking only them, we found only their opposites: maximum suffering and minimum security."

--Walter Miller, A Canticle for Leibowitz

Or, as the Russian general Suvorov put it, "Easy training, hard combat. Hard training, easy combat."

9:23 AM, November 09, 2010  
Blogger TMink said...

I think what he is referring to is the discomfort that many parents have in filling an authoratative role in their children's life. They don't want to be the boss.

So they negotiate.

With a three year old.

A lot of my clinical work with kids is in getting the parents to accept and act upon their authority to give their kids rules and consequences. To be fair, many of the parents who have difficulty with this had overbearing or abusive parents themselves, and they are making the opposite mistake by becoming overly permissive in the way that their parents were overly authoritarian.

In general I think kids hear the first three sentences of a lecture at best. Anything beyond that becomes "waw waw waw" like Charlie Brown's teacher.


9:30 AM, November 09, 2010  
Blogger Topher said...

Not a parent, but as a football coach I try to make it clear to the (middle school aged) kids that the coaches are "the boss" and must be obeyed.

I also try to stay away from adjudicating every possible dispute...if a kid tells me somebody cut in front of him during a drill, I tell him "I don't care who cut whom. Just do the drill." Some things aren't worth the time.

"In general I think kids hear the first three sentences of a lecture at best. Anything beyond that becomes "waw waw waw" like Charlie Brown's teacher."

Definitely have noticed this among kids. Also the fact that, like dogs being trained, they will notice each and every time you lay out what they perceive as a threat and don't follow through.

A lot of people are not natural leaders and can't handle the job of being the one "in charge." Unfortunately a portion of those who can are sociopaths.

11:02 AM, November 09, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

replace children with women and you've got the second malfunctioning component.

11:16 AM, November 09, 2010  
Blogger Dr.Alistair said...

my wife wonders why her daughter is a maniac, yet allows her all manner of liberties and indulgences.

i am grateful that the girl doesn`t spend more time in our home now that she`s at school as she makes an unreasonable house-guest, hogging the computer with facebook open 8 hours a day, leaves dishes to pile up and drains the hot water twice a day, and expects us to vacate our home so that she and her drunk friends can "pre-drink".

that would be NO.

standing up to her demands and bully tactics almost cost me the relationship with my wife before we were married, as my wife defended her daughter as having a terrible time adjusting to the failure of her parent`s marraige.

my wife has been able to adjust and realise that her daughter is a bully and has little of no regard for her as a person and sees her as a wallet with legs mostly.

she still doesn`t admit that she had a hand in creating this monster and doesn`t need to on my behalf.

when the bullying phone calls start now she just doesn`t answer.

but, my wife doesn`t understand why her ex and his new wife won`t ever let the girl stay the night.

you have never really experienced anything in this life until you have seen a 19 girl in little bikini burp and fart in your kitchen when you are making dinner.

like i say, it almost cost me my relationship with my wife.

1:52 PM, November 09, 2010  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hi! We are students at Smith College in Massachusetts taking a Research Seminar. We invite you to take a survey assessing gender attitudes and behavior. The survey should take between 30-45 minutes to complete and is completely anonymous. To thank you for your participation, you will be entered into a raffle for a $50 gift card on Amazon.com. Thank you in advance for your participation!
Click here to take survey

7:45 PM, November 09, 2010  
Blogger Unknown said...

My sister-in-law, who is working on her doctorate in early childhood development, and her husband are the epitome of wimpy parents. Their son, age 4, has been coddled and given "options" since the day he was born. There is NO authoritative discipline in their household, and it bleeds over into other family members' lives when they are around (in that their son does not take "no" for an answer to anything).

I have used them as an example of what *NOT* to do in raising my own 18-month-old daughter. (As an example, my daughter learned to both use and obey "Stop" when she was a year old.)

8:26 PM, November 09, 2010  
Blogger TMink said...

For a laugh or two or three, go check out the Psych survey listed above. It has some really funny bias in it.


9:38 AM, November 10, 2010  
Blogger Cham said...

I really wished the survey had given us their definition of "feminist" first. I believe in equal pay for equal work, but not that all mothers should automatically become omnipotent bullies who get to push everyone else around.

11:28 AM, November 10, 2010  
Blogger globalman100 said...

LOL! Women make TERRIBLE parents. Pretty much ALL of them are 'whimps'. Women can't do discipline for a damn and the kids know it. When my brother was 17 and in the Australian football team (so a solid build and big 17 year old) my mum whipped his arse the length of our street with an electrical cord for defying her. He had to wear long pants for a week. It didn't hurt his legs nearly as much as it hurt his pride! THAT is how you parent a rebellious teen boy....as most are. Now your femnazis would call that 'child abuse' despite the 'child' was in the national football team!

One time we were in sweden and my boy played up. He was about 10. He'd NEVER played up like this before in front of me. So he got his three warnings and kept playing up. I put him over my knee and wacked his arse until he cried loudly. After he got over his spanking he finally confessed that he had been told that adults could not smack kids in sweden so he thought I could not spank him. I made it clear to him that I would spank him no matter WHAT his age if he deserved it. That was the ONLY spanking he ever got that he deserved. Why? He saw the spankings his older sister got for being willfully disobedient. He knew that if I promised a spanking it would come.

In my marriage my ex put her relationship with her children above her relationship with me. She finally conceded this had been a mistake which had injured the children. It also injured her relationship with me and her ability to remain married. In any case? Most women manipulate their children into being their own "old age support mechanism".

11:43 AM, November 10, 2010  
Blogger globalman100 said...

Dr. Alistair,
"you have never really experienced anything in this life until you have seen a 19 girl in little bikini burp and fart in your kitchen when you are making dinner."

That's nothing. In the UK it is now considered 'normal' for women to drop their pants and urinate in the street because, you know, men have always urinated in the street. Right? I've seen women 'squatting' in the beer garden of my local pub not 10 meters from the toilet because 'men have always peed in the bushes, right?

Where I live in Germany there was a night club on my way home. Since I leave the office at midnight and get dinner I go past the night club about 1am. Pretty much every friday/sat night teen girls are staggering around, dressed in practically nothing, often they are falling to the ground they are so drunk, or need to be held up by some boy/man. They are parralitic. Yet...if one of them gets raped it would a terrible tragedy and the men are animals and the women must be protected. How about don't be paralically drunk dressed in nothing in the street? Nope...that's a 'right' now.

I know a LOT of places I would not walk that drunk or disorientated for concern of being robbed or killed. But women are 'entitled' to 'safety' while men are not, apparently.

11:52 AM, November 10, 2010  
Blogger TMink said...

I remember a mom who was afraid of her 8 year old son. She was frightened of the dirty looks he gave her. She asked what she should do when he gave her a dirty look.

"How much do you weigh?"


"How much does he weigh?"


"Then you should sit on him."

I think she fired me because I would not consider putting the boy in the hospital for giving his mom mad looks.


2:57 PM, November 10, 2010  
Blogger globalman100 said...

my fav#1 told me the other day her now 18 year old son does 'not show me enough respect'. I asked her when did that start? She said when he was 7 or 8 she smacked him for doing something naughty and he laughed at her. When she asked why he said:
"It didn't hurt, and anyway, you are my mother, you are not going to hurt me."

Boys can not be hurt by their mother after about 6-8 years of age. I remember when my brother was about 7 he did something and my mum took down a big heavy wooden spoon from the wall she used to wack us with. She sat him over a chair and laid into him as hard as she could. He laughed at her and that only made her more angry. She was so angry she broke the spoon over his bum. She said the words we used to tremble at 'wait until your father gets home'. Well? When dad got home. My brother got wacked to within an inch of his life and sent to bed with no dinner. I, being 2 years younger, got the message loud and clear. I will NEVER be too big for my Dad to wack me.

The other thing about women is that they lose their temper all the freaking time. Especially at THAT time of the month that they deny even exists....yeah...sure...try telling THAT to a man who lived with a woman for 20 years. One of the reasons women were REQUIRED to be so weak was that they are so childlike in their 'thinking' that they lose their temper and hit kids a lot. If they were any stronger they would kill more than they already do. And women kill MANY times more children than men do.

It's actually really simple. If you want boys to grow up into law abiding citizen then the father is the best person to be in the home. This is why 70% of all men incarcerated in the US are from single mother homes. Rebellious teens like my brother need to be disciplined so they don't turn to crime as 'the easy way out'. He became a doctor instead! LOL!

3:23 PM, November 10, 2010  
Blogger madeleine said...

Took the survey just so I could screw with their results. If that's representative of the level of scholarship at Smith they should be ashamed. But they won't be.

3:31 PM, November 10, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember in college I took a humanities course that put me in the role of camp staff for a group of 6th graders. The guy running the program told us to be vigilant about the rules we made for the kids. "Never make a rule you can't enforce, because kids are BRILLIANT at spotting flaws in systems. Once they figure out you can't enforce your rules, they'll own you."

And, boy, was he right. Kids have nothing better to do with their time than to find new and creative ways to exploit the people who try to control them. A whimpy parent must be catnip to most kids.

10:51 PM, November 10, 2010  
Blogger BarryD said...

Between churches that want our money, political movements that demand our money, "communitarian" educators who really just want our money, etc. we get fed the line "you are selfish!" a lot in our lives. Seldom do we hear a rational message about what our boundaries really ought to be.

As a result, I think that many of us are unsure. All we've ever heard is that we shouldn't be "selfish", and we've heard it from those who wish to take from us, so the message has been deceitful.

When we have children, and we think that we are "selfish", we try to compensate. This is the result.

Maybe an Objectivist parenting guide would be in order...

12:46 PM, November 11, 2010  
Blogger Magson said...

I used to date a woman who herself I thought was quite strong, but when it came to her kids... complete DOORMAT, not just wimp. Her 6 year old son ruled her home.

I'd take care of her kids for her when she had to work Saturdays. They tried with me what they did with her. I never once even raised my voice to them, but it only took a few weeks before we got the rules and boundaries established.

After that, I could take them to a sit-down restaurant and get complimented by other diners at how well-behaved "my" kids were. But at home while she was there... complete hellions.

My own children are held up as models of how kids should be rather often too. The funny thing is, I don't even think it's hard to do -- you're the boss, and you outstubborn them. Do it a few times when they're testing the limits and they learn fast and then it's not a problem after that.

Consistency Consistency Consistency.

9:03 PM, November 11, 2010  
Blogger Dr.Alistair said...

my aforementioned step-daughter lived with us in the summer as her father locked her out (for obvious reasons) and she was reasonably well behaved most of the time and so i suggested that, as a going back to school gesture, we would let her have afew friends over to celebrate the end of summer.

my reverse psychology worked beautifully as the thrill of having a house party diminished in her eyes substantially because she was allowed to and so it took the rebeliousness out of the event.

i said to her mother that the girl didn`t post the event on facebook or send out a text alert...nothing.

and we were saved the next day clean-up and the dead children on the couches.

1:38 PM, November 12, 2010  
Blogger RR Ryan said...

The Smith survey is so retro, and anti-male, it's laughable. They must also believe that their target audience consists of slow readers. How could it possibly take 40 minutes to wade through this thing?

1:41 PM, November 12, 2010  
Blogger Sheep_dog said...

I've taken the lead that my parents used for me/my brothers. Oddly, my brothers realized, with their kids, how important disipline really is.

Being a dumb 16yr old, I once challanged my mom, and uttered a single word, and got cold-cocked for it. When I awoke, I had a new-found respect for her.

My children know the bounds, rules, and what is acceptable - and when they push the limits, the hammer falls.
Just got a complement on my son in the local market, when he kept bumping the cart into the checkout table. A quick cupped hand to the backside reinforced the warning that was ignored. It sounded far worse than its impact, but it got the point across...

As earlier posters said, you are the adult/parent - you are in charge, establish the rules and bounds, and the yielder of justice when they break them...

6:27 PM, November 14, 2010  
Blogger SGT Ted said...

that would be "wielder" I suppose.

7:26 PM, November 15, 2010  

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