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Old 04-04-2006, 04:56 PM   #41
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What is an OP?
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Old 04-04-2006, 05:19 PM   #42
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There is a man I know of, who ran a "last chance school" for the kids who had been kicked out of every other school. He had over a 90% rate in turning them around. He explained his success by this story.

When this man wa a boy, living on his father's farm, he was told to mend a particular part of a fence that seperated the cattle from a nasty bog that was filled with thisels, thorns, and noxious weeds. He asked his father why he needed to mend that part of the fence. After all, there was nothing that the cattle could possibly want, and could even get themselves mired in the bog and die. His father replied that any creature will try to expand its boundries, its experiences, even when the choice to do so could cause discomfort, even danger. And so, the fence needed mending to protect the cattle from their natural desire to explore new territory.

The schoolmaster applied that principle at his school. He gave each of the students equal boundaryies, in the form of rules. He showed each abundant fairness and love. He also taught by the manipulation fo priveledges, that there is a consequence to every choice. Make good choices, and the consequences benefit you. Make bad choices, and reap the rewards. He also expected performance, again using priveldges to get the kids to modify their behavior.

When a child behaves badly, no matter that he's two or twenty, its because he knows that there is a safety-net that will catch him when he falls. If a parent continually bails out this person, they will have no need to change. But when they find themselves at a loss for transportation, or without money or resources, they will usually turn themselves around, at least until they are comfortable again.

Some people, no matter how much you love them, and try to help them, seem to be incapable of straightening out their lives. Fortunately, those people are relatively few. Most, when placed in a sink or swim situation, will usually at least tread water.

Let him fall, all the way to the dirty ground, where grit and sharp stones will dig into his soul. He needs humility, to understand that no one owes him a life. He needs to be given opportunities to grow, and if he makes wrong choices, to suffer the consequences of those choices.

To be sure, love and the willingness to let him return must always be evident. But it must be love that teaches him to take hold of his own life.

Let him know that anyone can make excuses. But excuses don't pay bills, or get a person any sense of fullfilment, or joy. Only actions can do that.

And until he is forced to suffer the consequences of his poor decisions, he has no need to change.
Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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Old 04-04-2006, 05:20 PM   #43
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Texasgirl, I can really empathize with your pain right now. My kid seems to be determined to turn into a slacker no matter how much screaming we do.

It's so hard to let your babies fall and hurt themselves and stand by and just watch-but we are doing them no favor by always picking them up. For instance, what will they do when (inevitably) mommy and daddy will not be there to bail them out of the latest scrape? They never learn how to put the actual or emotional bandaids on themselves (or even know what/where they are).

You've received much better advice than I can think of to give so far, but know that I'm here for you too.
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Old 04-04-2006, 05:28 PM   #44
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Goodweed - wow! That was great! You're a good cook and parent!
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Old 04-04-2006, 05:30 PM   #45
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Old 04-04-2006, 05:38 PM   #46
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My parents did the best thing they could have ever done for me at 19 years old when I was refusing to grow up. I worked, partied, slept, ate, worked, partied, slept, ate. More partying than anything else.

What did they do? They kicked me out of their house. They changed the locks. I slept at friends' houses. I lost my jobs. I slept in Denny's, where I knew the staff, in a booth. I wandered the streets at night. I found a place to live, got a job, got a life, learned the hard way and now am married, have a degree and am relatively successful. I want for nothing and I thank my parents every day for telling me they had had enough and it was time for me to fall flat on my face. They weren't there financially for me, and really weren't there emotionally either. I had to learn to do it on my own. I'm independent now and don't require their approval or help. They like me better now and I like me better now.

I seem to remember a rant about your husband and your eldest fighting. When a child comes between married partners because of the child's actions (ESPECIALLY if they have been corrected before and refuse to toe the line), as harsh as it may sound, the child should take second place.

My father's words when in heated discussion were these: I chose your mother. I didn't choose you. I love you, and I will always love you, but if forced to choose between you and my wife, I will choose my wife every time. If you don't like that, the door is in the front of the house.

When things got bad and I showed I wasn't going to grow up, out I went. If I had been more responsible I could have stayed with them all through college, but I wasn't, so I was gone. I was an adult and had to learn the hard way to survive adult decisions. The world is harsh.
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Old 04-04-2006, 06:58 PM   #47
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at 19 years old when I was refusing to grow up. I worked, partied, slept, ate, worked, partied, slept, ate. More partying than anything else
That is my son, to a T!!
And you are right me and dh have had severe arguments over him. DH wants him to grow up and though, I do too, I don't want to let go either. Since he has been gone, there is no more tension in the house. No arguing except for little snips once in a while about money etc.. normal stuff. I know several people that have benefitted in life from tough love. I have also known people that didn't. It's up to the person to take the right path. I will always be here for my kids, no matter how old they get. Thanks phinz!!

velochic, let me tell just a little bit about me. I was 16 when I got pregnant, married the father and had my second at 18. I made my bed and I laid in it!!
My mother told me that these are my kids and I made a choice and I have to grow up and make my own decisions, BUT, she would always be there for me. I raised my kids. Other than when I had jobs, the ONLY times I had a babysitter, was when my oldest was small, my mom watched him for 3 hours and twice when they were about 6 and 7 when we went tubing on the Guadalupe for the weekend. THAT is the only times I did not have my kids at my side!! We agreed that when we did things, whether it was going on a picnic or driving to West Virginia, they went with us and they did. The only reason we didn't take them to the river, was for obvious reasons. Too dangerous. In school, I had to fight them tooth and nail to get them to do their homework to pass. And you know what? They did their homework and STILL failed, why? Because they didn't turn it in. That is how it's been for the 12 years they were in school. Thankfully, they did graduate, passing by the skin of their teeth. My oldest has pushed and pushed and pushed PAST his limits that were set for him to live in this house once he moved back in. HE got tired of the rules and moved out again. We told him THEN if he moved out, he had to grow up and deal with life and we would be here for him if he needed moral support, but, that was it. He must do it on his own!! BUT, I'M the one having the hard time with it!! I have always been accused of babying them, coddling them and not letting them do what "the other parent's let their kids do it" kind of things if I thought for one second that it would get them hurt. I'm still that way. I have no control once they leave here, but, I jump to say my piece about how I feel about what they plan to do.
My health is suffering from stress, so , you tell me, when is enough, enough? When I'm dead from stress????
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Old 04-04-2006, 07:28 PM   #48
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Tg... you've had enough. It's time to let him grow up and earn and learn his own way in the world. Keep loving him. Be there when he needs someone to talk or a hug but you've got to let him suffer enough that he wants to change.

I'm here if ya need a shoulder.

smiles, T
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Old 04-04-2006, 07:40 PM   #49
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I know it has to be hard to cut the apron strings, but he's shown that he has no regard for you, so your worrying doesn't affect him. All your worrying affects is you. Don't let someone else make you suffer, no matter how much you love them, *especially* if they don't give you enough consideration when it comes to *your* feelings.

I'm sure you've done your best. Be comfortable that your best is your best, and that when it comes down to it, we all have to make our own mistakes. The most you can do is give them the tools to survive. If they don't want to use those tools that's *their* problem.
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Old 04-04-2006, 08:07 PM   #50
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Wow! I missed a lot on dc today! Seems to me like you have recieved some great advice. I highly agree with phinz on this. You gotta let him fall, especially since your son has shown no appreciation for all you do for him, it's time to let him make some mistakes and clean himself up. It goes with the old saying of not knowing what you have until it's gone. If he wants to be an adult, treat him like one.
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