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  1. #21
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    Our children have fewer external responsibilities than we did but many more internal responsibilities. There is so much more to process. Grit looks different now. Maturity helps. But you do need to look at: perfectionism, anxiety, etc. I think if you have a kid who is going through major surgeries--that is grit. It's not like she gets a total pass on everything else. But that is taking all of her band width to get through.

    And you have to let.it.go. regarding your childhood/you and your kid. This is not your childhood. Your kid is not you. I say this as someone who has spent a loooong time in therapy recovering from my family crap. I worked very hard to make sure my kids had a different childhood. They don't have the grit I did. DS would not have survived my childhood. Thank God *I* am his mother. He will fulfill his potential. I didn't--It took everything I had to get out and do well. But how much more could there have been???? On the flip side, I have grit for miles. Maybe its a good thing my kids don't.....
    Mom to:
    DS '02
    DD '05
    Simon--the King Charles cutie
    RIP Andy, the furry first child, 1996-2012

    "The task of any religion is not to tell us who we are entitled to hate but to teach us who we are required to love."

  2. #22
    niccig is offline Clean Sweep forum moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by StantonHyde View Post
    Our children have fewer external responsibilities than we did but many more internal responsibilities. There is so much more to process. Grit looks different now. Maturity helps. But you do need to look at: perfectionism, anxiety, etc. I think if you have a kid who is going through major surgeries--that is grit. It's not like she gets a total pass on everything else. But that is taking all of her band width to get through.

    And you have to let.it.go. regarding your childhood/you and your kid. This is not your childhood. Your kid is not you. I say this as someone who has spent a loooong time in therapy recovering from my family crap. I worked very hard to make sure my kids had a different childhood. They don't have the grit I did. DS would not have survived my childhood. Thank God *I* am his mother. He will fulfill his potential. I didn't--It took everything I had to get out and do well. But how much more could there have been???? On the flip side, I have grit for miles. Maybe its a good thing my kids don't.....
    This resonated with me. I have grit, at great cost.



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  3. #23
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    I think 10 is just such an emotional age. So tears are part of it. But try not to get sucked into the drama. Walk away and let them figure it out.
    Margaret and
    (DS 2/06) and (DD 3/08)

  4. #24
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    I highly recommend this book, https://www.amazon.com/Me-Epidemic-S.../dp/0399184864.

    I am not implying your kids are entitled. The book is really about how much of modern parenting deprives kids of an opportunity to develop a sense of personal responsibility, often because we as parents are short on time, and it is easier to do things for kids or give in to their wants, than allow them to have a meltdown or dawdle through a task. It also gives pretty explicit advice on how to change our own behavior, which gives them an opportunity to grow.

    I also donít think it is unhealthy for you to want your child to develop grit, nor does it mean you had a bad childhood.

  5. #25
    ahisma is offline Diamond level (5000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by westwoodmom04 View Post

    I also don’t think it is unhealthy for you to want your child to develop grit, nor does it mean you had a bad childhood.
    I agree. I don't think my kids have an unhealthy childhood. Is it perfect? No - but it's far from bad. They have a loving family, a safe environment, a great school and have their needs met (in too much abundance, probably). I do think they've developed grit. Maybe it's from trying things that are hard. Maybe it's from many seasons of being on losing sports teams. Maybe it's from having to be personally responsible for things that I'm not willing to take on (packing lunches, managing their homework, etc). I have friends who are appalled that I don't check homework nightly - but they turn their work in easily 95% of the time and are A / B+ students. Would they learn more if I was managing it? I cannot imagine how.

    Personally, I feel that resiliency is one of the most important things they can learn. That doesn't mean that I need to make their lives artificially difficult or not be supportive, but it does mean that sometimes they can sort things out for themselves. There is so much growth in that.

  6. #26
    California is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    One note on development: Ten is not typically the "happy for others when good things happen to them" age. Many kids at ten still have trouble thinking abstractly of other people's view points. This will change in the next couple of years (and then you'll see a shift to concerns as their new awareness makes them start to imagine that everyone is either judging them or ignoring them!) As parents we can guide this development along with discussions, providing books with strong characters, and role modeling, but ultimately she may just need some more time. In the meantime, I agree, it can be hard to listen to.

    As far as grit, if she's had three surgeries has she gone through physical therapy/rehab three times? I'm wondering if there are some examples there of times when she had to overcome challenges that you can help become part of her story. I'd be looking for ways she's overcoming challenges already. Sometimes as parent or teacher, I feel like its my job to provide narration as kids overcome daily difficulties (such as a research project, or a new skill at a sport, or even a complicated math problem)- face a challenge, struggle with it, try again, overcome it, have that small moment of satisfaction, assess what worked, move on and try again. Also (and this is research based,) try sharing with her stories of how her grandparents, great grandparents, etc. overcame challenges. This will give her a sense of coming from a strong family.

    Side note: Ahisma, you and I sound similar in our parenting style. I also don't check homework, or make lunches. While it may look like we're doing less for them, in reality I find it takes consistent teaching of life skills, a ton of patience, observation, and adaption- just like other parenting methods.

  7. #27
    ged is offline Gold level (500+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by California View Post
    Side note: Ahisma, you and I sound similar in our parenting style. I also don't check homework, or make lunches. While it may look like we're doing less for them, in reality I find it takes consistent teaching of life skills, a ton of patience, observation, and adaption- just like other parenting methods.
    I agree. I really want to have my girls make their own lunches, but that requires more patience than I have atm! I am working towards it.

  8. #28
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    My kids have made their own lunches and done their own laundry for quite some time. Their lunches are the best quality and DS doesn't fold laundry like he has been taught--he just shoves it in his drawers. At some point, he will figure out he shouldn't wear wrinkled clothes. I don't check homework for DD--if she needs help, she asks for it. DS is another story--he has dyslexia. I go over all of his papers with him--his writing improves every year but he still can't capitalize things or spell where/were correctly. I will be getting him Grammatically or something like that for college. He may not seem to have grit but when I look at all of the work he put into learning to read and write and do math. oh.my.word. It was all he could do sometimes. So, yes my children are expected to do basic tasks and no, I don't do their homework for them. But I am not going to let a dyslexic kid fail to teach him a lesson that he won't learn by failing. And, no, my kids don't have the kind of grit I have. I grew up differently. It pains me to see them not have to feed livestock or build fences. Yes, they mow the lawn and shovel snow but its different than daily chores that I had. But I didn't have lockdown drills or AP classes. Grit takes time to build. I am not passing judgment until my kids are older. I lead them many places. Its up to them to learn and move forward. And their journey will be different than mine.
    Mom to:
    DS '02
    DD '05
    Simon--the King Charles cutie
    RIP Andy, the furry first child, 1996-2012

    "The task of any religion is not to tell us who we are entitled to hate but to teach us who we are required to love."

  9. #29
    California is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    StantonHyde, absolutely- we all have to meet our kids where they are at. It's much more intensive (IMO) with kids with special needs. Yet it's still a similar process of figuring out with each child where it's safe to let them struggle a bit. How much frustration they can handle? What accomodations and coaching do they need? And then encouraging them to recognize their own progress.

    And I'm not equating grit with learning how to make lunch or do laundry. Did I see my kids go through a process of frustration and accomplishment with those skills? Yes. But obviously there are a ton of areas where kids can experience this. OP, that's where it'd be helpful to see what is already going on in your DDs life that you might start reframing for her. Help her see how she's already overcoming challenges. School presentations, sports, acting, travel experiences, music, scouting, cooking, etc. are all opportunities. If she has anxiety, then identify goals that take that into account. IMO it's the accumulation of these experiences that can help kids gain courage and self-confidence.

    My kids show the most grit when they have a great deal of determination to reach their goals. That has not EVER been in the realm of housework :-)!!

  10. #30
    twowhat? is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    OP here...there's lots of good advice here and I will try some of these things. I don't coddle my kids...I do let them scream/cry/get out their frustration without rushing to try to "fix" it unless there's a time constraint (e.g. need to get out the door for an appointment - I'm not willing to be late and lose that time with the therapist/doctor/specialist/whoever we're seeing). I don't check their homework! I only check with them that they've remembered to do it (which you could argue I shouldn't even do that!). When they were babies I probably did do "too much" for them and I suppose it's possible that's contributing. Twins are hard, especially for a first time mom. Most days I'd do almost anything to get to naptime, and then to bedtime...I'm not saying it's an excuse but it was my reality that first year-and-a-half until they were both reliably sleeping through the night. If I had twins again (which will NEVER EVER HAPPEN) I would do SO MANY things differently. Oh well!

    I do also point out when they have overcome something. If DD1 struggled with crying/screaming her way through a piano piece, once she's good at it I will point out how far she came and that even though she was frustrated now look at how well she plays. And that does help. I probably don't do it nearly enough, or maybe I need to make an effort to point this out for even smaller/less significant things, or make an effort to be much more specific (e.g. remember how you couldn't play both hands for these 2 measures! Now you can play the whole piece and you even have it memorized!). DD2's surgeries are tough because when I try to remind her that she got through it, it devolves into her crying over how unfair it is that she had to do it to begin with and how unfair it is that no one else in the family has to deal with what she does and yadda yadda yadda...(and yes, I acknowledge every word she says, LOL!) Just today she cried for a good 45 minutes over having to do some stretches that the PT assigned...because it was so unfair that no one else in the family has to do them :/ And these are easy, painless stretches but that's not the point (to her)...the point is it's something she has to do that no one else does and that sucks. So I get where she's coming from...it's one thing to grit your way through something you want to do (a sport or dance or whatever) or your schoolwork (everyone else has to do it too) and it's harder to grit your way through something no one else has to or wants to do.

    I truly don't think I had any sort of traumatic childhood. I actually feel like I had a REALLY EASY childhood. Yeah, sure I have some baggage from my childhood but I'm happy and mostly well-adjusted. As far as I can tell

    I do think I need to force my kids to do more things, like making their own lunch.

    I do really agree that kids have fewer external responsibilities but more internal responsibilities. Emotional and social needs seem to be higher. I do also think anxiety plays into this and that's something we're in the process of addressing with DD2's therapist. And I do think there is probably a genetic component.

    And thanks for the reminder that 10 years old isn't emotionally developed enough to overcome selfishness!!! I need to remind myself of that. A lot!!! Especially since DD1 is already there - she is kind and sweet and has tons of empathy and goes out of her way to help someone...and of course that makes DD2 look like a terrible person. It's like with eating - DD2 is an extremely neat eater and it makes DD1 look like a total disaster when in reality DD1 is more typical. I OFTEN catch myself nit picking at one of them for things like this messy eating...I am trying hard not to! It is hard!
    Last edited by twowhat?; 6 Hours Ago at 12:15 AM.

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