O/T The Official Squareball Parenting Thread

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eric olthwaite
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O/T The Official Squareball Parenting Thread

Postby eric olthwaite » Tue Apr 14, 2009 12:49 pm

Now then. At the risk of encouraging gibbering sideshow freaks like Danny, it occurs to me that a fair number of our more mature members have been through, or are engaged in, the fabulous process of bringing replacements into our glorious cosmopolitan modern world, and I take the view that valuable experiences could be shared.

This is presented as an occasional thread in which to share the multitudinous challenges facing the twenty-first century parent.

The three Olthwaite juniors range from seven to fourteen. Mrs Olthwaite and I take the view that much is down to acheiving a balance between setting reasonable boundaries and allowing them a long enough leash to fuck up, make mistakes and to have to correct them, thereby (hopefully) learning something about personal responsibility.

Take the vexed subject of teenage drinking and drugs.

We know that our older daughter's peers drink and smoke weed a bit, just because we live in a small town with only one secondary school and word gets around. We know that there is little we can do, other than locking her in her room 24/7, to stop her getting involved if she wants to. On the positive side, we also know she's a bit of a wuss and her own inhibitions will restrict her more than we do, so we're inclined to believe her when she says she's generally not a part of it.

A friend of ours with a 15-year old daughter allowed her to drink in the house with her friends. Her view was that: a) she drank at that age, so it would be hypocritical to stop her, and b) if she is going to drink, she'd rather she did it at home than in some park. I think this is utter bollocks. The kid now assumes that her mother condones her drinking and is getting completely wankered on vodka on a regular basis, throwing up at home and having to be rescued when she's passed out on a bus somewhere and doesn't know where she is.

I was fucking incensed recently because (owing to the fact that the daft berk left her MSN account open on my laptop after she'd gone out) I found that when senior junior had stayed the weekend at her friend's house, her friend's parents had given them a few cans of lager for the evening. She owned up to it when asked, and I wasn't irate because she'd drank so much as because the other parent had thought it was OK to hand our kid booze without asking us.

So when did other 'ballers become aware that their kids were drinking, and what was their reaction?
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FarmersBoy
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Re: O/T The Official Squareball Parenting Thread

Postby FarmersBoy » Tue Apr 14, 2009 1:21 pm

We used to holiday extensivly in France with my two son's. My youngest one must have been around 10 and the eldest 13 when we started, over there it is quite the norm to see children drinking wine with a meal in fact it is encouraged. So as he saying goes when in France (Rome) I let them have wine and a few little bottles of Lager shandy. On returning home laden with then cheap duty frees I stocked the fridge and the Boys lnew that they could upon asking me or mum have a beer, to be kept in the confines of the house /garden and not for their various friends. I was of the opinion that better in my sight than up the school field behind the bushes with Special Brew and Vodka. my two lads never strayed or tried to bend our rules on drinking its differen tnow they're both int' Army . It was the same with girls as long as the girls were old enough we had no qualms about them going to the boy's room's and when older we had the same attitude they could bring them back and they could sleep together as I said better we know about it and it was in the open than then shagging outside and making it sordid.
I wouldn't worry about drink and fags mate its the drugs you need to make them steer clear of and as you got girls watch the shagging. A mate of mine was adamant that his 14 year old daughter was never going on the pill as she would end up a bike, what he didn't know was that she was already a bike. No matter how much my missus and I tried to convince him that if she was going to shag or not being on the pill would not make any difference to her it would just stop an unwanted child being born , unforynately it didn't and he did. Hope this helps a bit
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Re: O/T The Official Squareball Parenting Thread

Postby WHITETHROUGH » Tue Apr 14, 2009 6:42 pm

eric I have three kids...30, 27 and 14 and here is my experience for what it is worth.

For a kick off the kids are all very different. We didn’t let our oldest who is my daughter to drink at the table and looking back we were very strict.....this in hindsight was a mistake as we had the whole raft of problems of illicit drinking etc!

With that experience we were more tolerant with the next which was my oldest son. I suppose we were lucky as he didn’t seem that interested in drink at the age of around 14....though when we came back from a family holiday without him when he was 18 the fish pond was full of larger cans and there were some pretty dead and pissed off fish! :shock:

Our ‘baby’ who is my youngest son at 14 is allowed a can of cider 3-4 nights a week with a meal and we are pretty relaxed. As I said all the kids are different and were obviously brought up at different times in our life. We grew up and leaned as we went along.

My youngest is very lucky as he has hit the ‘gravy’ train as me and my wife have become more affluent as we have got older...subsequently our ‘baby’ has travelled all over the world and is quite sophisticated and we trust him, and he has not let us down.

So my own personal experience is if your kids are well rounded and they know you and your partner love them then show some faith in their own decision making. Kids who are given a bit of faith and trust are a lot more sophisticated today than we sometimes give them credit...my humble opinion.
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Re: O/T The Official Squareball Parenting Thread

Postby Maple Leeds » Tue Apr 14, 2009 7:23 pm

bit of a balance really. my folks let me have the odd glass of wine/cider with dinner when I was a kid and I learned to drink fairly responsibly (until uni with its subsidized prices). Even on the tear, I pretty much always drank within my limits - thing is I never touched the spirits really and my physical capacity for pints is about 8 after which I can't fucking move but I won't end up face down in a ditch. I think the alcopops are a disaster - too easy to drink. Generally I always found that girls seem to get in more bother - they're physically smaller and tend to drink cocktails rather than pints: bad combo.

I have a parenting dilemma. I have a little girl on the way next month. Her grandads a Toon fan and he's already sent her a toon shirt. Do I say thanks and then use said shirt as a dish rag? Or keep shirt and allow her to wear it when he visits? (he lives 3000 miles away so not very often). If she wears it, most people here will think she is an NHL referee...
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Re: O/T The Official Squareball Parenting Thread

Postby Wakefield White » Tue Apr 14, 2009 8:04 pm

Maple Leeds wrote:bit of a balance really. my folks let me have the odd glass of wine/cider with dinner when I was a kid and I learned to drink fairly responsibly (until uni with its subsidized prices). Even on the tear, I pretty much always drank within my limits - thing is I never touched the spirits really and my physical capacity for pints is about 8 after which I can't fucking move but I won't end up face down in a ditch. I think the alcopops are a disaster - too easy to drink. Generally I always found that girls seem to get in more bother - they're physically smaller and tend to drink cocktails rather than pints: bad combo.

I have a parenting dilemma. I have a little girl on the way next month. Her grandads a Toon fan and he's already sent her a toon shirt. Do I say thanks and then use said shirt as a dish rag? Or keep shirt and allow her to wear it when he visits? (he lives 3000 miles away so not very often). If she wears it, most people here will think she is an NHL referee...


Don't risk it, burn the fucking thing immediately... and whilst your at it have a word with Canadian immigration, make sure Grandad can't get in the country to try and poison her with his dogma!

Honestly :shock: there should be classes for people who are about to be parents for the first time! :mrgreen:
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Re: O/T The Official Squareball Parenting Thread

Postby Maple Leeds » Tue Apr 14, 2009 8:11 pm

cheers. will pick up some lighter fluid on the way home. :wink:
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Re: O/T The Official Squareball Parenting Thread

Postby Disco Dan » Tue Apr 14, 2009 9:56 pm

My girl's 7 months old. I have all this joy to come!

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Re: O/T The Official Squareball Parenting Thread

Postby Blackwhite » Tue Apr 14, 2009 10:11 pm

Eric,
not sure if the brief comment helps, but I always found that my loved ones criticising me for acting the cunt or letting them down worked to limit all the rest innately, without clipping my wings in any way.
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Re: O/T The Official Squareball Parenting Thread

Postby Ontolly » Tue Apr 14, 2009 10:16 pm

My 18 year old daughter is a management issue in relation to respect for my house rules. This is the source of no little conflict. As regards teaching her to drink, she has a lifetime of observing me and is aware that drinking too much can lead to incidents of varying degree. Her behaviour has tended to be conservative. This could be teenage rebellion but if there's one thing me and the works of Kenny Rogers have taught her it's that there are times to hold, fold, walk and run with no time for counting.

And you don't fuck with Tommy's wife.
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Re: O/T The Official Squareball Parenting Thread

Postby Ponte » Wed Apr 15, 2009 8:33 am

My daughter is 7 and my son is 5 so this stuff is still to come, but I soon realised that there is no textbook way of being a good parent. You have to do what you feel is right as every kid is different and you learn from your and other peoples mistakes. I would also take much more interest in hearing experiences from such as this thread rather that the health visitors / advisors etc as they dont conform to real life situations so I'll be keeping an eye on this for future advice!
Let the master class continue... :mrgreen:
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Re: O/T The Official Squareball Parenting Thread

Postby Phil LUFC » Wed Apr 15, 2009 9:56 am

My Daughter is almost 5 and my son is 1 so I can safely say neither have started drinking or smoking.

My parents attitude on drink was that I was entitled to try anything we had in the house so long as I asked 1st. My Dad's parents used to run a pub and this was their attitude with all 3 of their kids too. As a result of this policy, I never followed the crowd and spent my weekends drinking in the local park (although its fair to say there were other big reasons which curbed my social life). Now I barely drink, typically 1 pint on home match days and nothing else besides special occasions - I all but gave up drinking when the missus had to through pregnancy.

Of my grandparents 3 kids, 1 is tee total, 1 didn't drink much pre uni and the other happened to like everything she tried in the pub and is a fairly heavy drinker. So this policy has a 1 in 4 chance of going wrong :mrgreen:

No way that anyone should give your kids alcohol without your permission though - that said, you'd like to think your kid would have questioned it too!

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Re: O/T The Official Squareball Parenting Thread

Postby Disco Dan » Wed Apr 15, 2009 10:07 am

This does pose an interesting question, which can be seen as an extension of the above.

We are now reaching a point where a (not insignificant) number of people who will have gone out and used recreational drugs will become parents. Having gone out and pulled a few happy all-nighters myself in the past and had a bloody good time doing so, I'm not sure of how I'd deal with the prospect of my kid(s) dabbling with stuff themselves in the future.

I mean, I'm not gonna go down the ultra-liberal 'anything goes' path because that's not a reflection of my own views, but to say 'you can't do anything, do not touch it' would be hypocritical would it not?

And more to the point, do drugs and alcohol simply fall into the same bracket, with their status as legal/illegal being arbitrary to a degree?

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Re: O/T The Official Squareball Parenting Thread

Postby SimonB » Wed Apr 15, 2009 10:10 am

My parents let me drink from the age of 15 and I have been a regular pub goer ever since then. Certainly used to enjoy my lunchtime drinking sessions when I was at school :mrgreen:

I am of the opinion that they are going to drink anyway and at least you have the opportunity to monitor whats going on if you allow them to have the occasional drink at home. However I would never provide a drink to another families children without their permission, just not acceptable.
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Re: O/T The Official Squareball Parenting Thread

Postby wimpy » Wed Apr 15, 2009 10:36 am

My eldest a daughter of 14 stays at her Grans about once a month for a weekend. Her Gran always asks us if its ok for her to have a glass of wine with her meal, we have no problem at all with this. Its quite funny really because my daughter acts all grown up because of it but that glass will last her the entire evening so I am pretty sure she is not that keen anyway.
My son who is 12 had a sip of my JD and Coke and nearly spat it out, the only thing he drinks copious amounts of is water and Dr Pepper
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eric olthwaite
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Re: O/T The Official Squareball Parenting Thread

Postby eric olthwaite » Wed Apr 15, 2009 1:20 pm

FarmersBoy wrote: shagging outside and making it sordid.


Sordid? Sordid? I've had some quality shags al-fresco. I wouldn't go calling it sordid...
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eric olthwaite
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Re: O/T The Official Squareball Parenting Thread

Postby eric olthwaite » Wed Apr 15, 2009 1:39 pm

Disco Dan wrote:I mean, I'm not gonna go down the ultra-liberal 'anything goes' path because that's not a reflection of my own views, but to say 'you can't do anything, do not touch it' would be hypocritical would it not?


I don't think it is hypocritical. When I was getting pissed and stoned as a kid, the point was that my parents did not approve. This had two effects:

a) To impose some sort of limit on my behaviour, in the sense that I would not have had the balls to arrive home off my tits on acid (well, not often anyway 8) :wink: ).
b) To make me aware that what I was doing was not really socially acceptable.

I'm now a parent, so I see nothing wrong in following my parents' example, albeit perhaps updated to reflect the times we live in. My dad shot at the Japanese during the war, but I don't think he'd have said it was OK for me to do that because he did :lol: . But clearly, I'm not going to get into an apopletic rage if the kids break the rules; I'll just try and get it to a sensible discussion if I think the behaviour is unacceptable or dangerous. I think the key with teens is to get them to 'own' their behaviour - ie not to come out with bullshit about 'they were just following their mates' and to be fully aware of, and responsible for, the consequences of any actions they take. If you can get the idea of self-awareness across, you've more than half won the battle.

Disco Dan wrote: And more to the point, do drugs and alcohol simply fall into the same bracket, with their status as legal/illegal being arbitrary to a degree?


Think you can only really disregard the law and act on the basis of the kid's long term safety. I mentioned above about a friend's pissed daughter passing out on a bus and ending up miles from home. She could have been robbed, raped, anything. That's the key issue - not the alcohol.
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eric olthwaite
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Re: O/T The Official Squareball Parenting Thread

Postby eric olthwaite » Fri Apr 24, 2009 11:55 am

I suspect this is mostly a rhetorical question, but how do you persuade a teenage girl that there is no significant qualitative or functional difference between:

- A plain V-neck cardie made by starving / abused Indonesian children, which retails for £6 at Primark, and

- A plain V-neck cardie made by starving / abused Indonesian children, with a tiny little yellow badge on the left breast denoting to those who might give a shit that it is a product of the Lyle & Scott brand, which retails for £85?
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Re: O/T The Official Squareball Parenting Thread

Postby the flying pig » Fri Apr 24, 2009 12:53 pm

eric olthwaite wrote:I suspect this is mostly a rhetorical question, but how do you persuade a teenage girl that there is no significant qualitative or functional difference between:

- A plain V-neck cardie made by starving / abused Indonesian children, which retails for £6 at Primark, and

- A plain V-neck cardie made by starving / abused Indonesian children, with a tiny little yellow badge on the left breast denoting to those who might give a shit that it is a product of the Lyle & Scott brand, which retails for £85?


as i'm sure you've realised, anyone who had a reliable antidote to pester power would have long since made their first few millions by selling the book or DVD or whatever of their secret... and probably subsequently been gunned down by a shadowy figure in the employment of the advertising industry...

all i can really suggest re: expensive buys of this sort is that you, firstly, ration them very strictly and, secondly, link them somehow to concessions in other areas, such as specific exam grades, work around the house, that sort of thing.

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eric olthwaite
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Re: O/T The Official Squareball Parenting Thread

Postby eric olthwaite » Fri Apr 24, 2009 1:12 pm

the flying pig wrote:as i'm sure you've realised, anyone who had a reliable antidote to pester power would have long since made their first few millions by selling the book or DVD or whatever of their secret... and probably subsequently been gunned down by a shadowy figure in the employment of the advertising industry...

all i can really suggest re: expensive buys of this sort is that you, firstly, ration them very strictly and, secondly, link them somehow to concessions in other areas, such as specific exam grades, work around the house, that sort of thing.


My usual considered response to the pester power thing is along the lines of, "Fuck off" :D This was her own (birthday) money from various sources, so it's her call entirely. I have just been, fruitlessly, trying to get the two of them to accept the notion that 'value' in this context is something imposed by society at large, and they have the option of disregarding such notions should they choose not to be (metaphorically) arse-raped by the marketing pressure imposed upon teen culture. Thus far, deaf ears.

The eldest got some (more) ear piercings again a while back. Instead of going somewhere cheap and getting them done for a tenner, she paid £30 to go to the 'coolest' piercing emporium in Brighton. On that occasion I did lose me rag somewhat because it's not as if anyone could tell, after the event, where said ears were pierced - the differential 'value' lasting about ten minutes. Still, she willingly chose not to be able to go out for a month to the cinema or anything as a result. Each to their own, sadly.
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Phil LUFC
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Re: O/T The Official Squareball Parenting Thread

Postby Phil LUFC » Fri Apr 24, 2009 1:17 pm

I'm a decade away from such conundrums but all you can do is let them make their own mistakes, ensure that you never give in and hand out more cash so they can go out with their mates having blown their allowance on other stuff.

I'm kind of relying on 1 of my 2 kids being sensible with money so that the example to the other will be there to see.

But if an entire wardrobe from primark isn't worth 1 branded top from elsewhere then what can you do other make sure she knows she needs a well paid job to satisfy her tastes?


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