General chatter - I must have been the meanest mom on the block!

11-09-2007, 01:54 PM
The Jerk List thread has several people complaining about kids in restaurants and movies.

I have to say, I took my kids to nice restaurants from the time they were young. They had to act the same in all restaurants (Denny's on up to 2 or 3 star ones). They were not allowed to run around. They understood that they could be burned if a server was carrying a tray of hot food or drinks. They had to use their indoor voices. People at other tables should not have to hear them laughing too loudly or our conversation. They knew that not all restaurants would provide crayons and they had to sit and converse quietly when there were none. They were allowed to bring a book, not a toy with many pieces.

I also insisted on family dinner with everyone at the table. I didn't care if we weren't speaking to each other (older daughter a teen and getting into drugs), we were family and we ate together every single night. The only time 1 of them was allowed to eat from a tray in bed was when she'd received a serious back injury and sitting up was too painful.

They had a bed time. When my younger DD was a toddler, I'd let her stay up a bit longer so she would sleep later in the morning. That gave me time to get her sister off to school. As she became 4 & 5, she had to go to bed at 7. Boy is that hard when it's still light outside and other kids are playing. When they were in third grade, bedtime became 8. Then 9 as they got older.

Mandalinn's post in the Jerk List about young kids being at a 10PM movie makes me wonder about the mother. School nights were "at home" nights for us.

See, I must have been the meanest mom on the whole block!

11-09-2007, 01:57 PM
But...but...if you enforced rules, your kids wouldn't LIKE you! Horror of horrors. Didn't you know that having your teenager throw a fit and say "I hate you" when you enforce a rule is the ULTIMATELY WORST THING EVER THAT COULD HAPPEN??!?!?! (end sarcasm)

I'm just going to get heated if I keep going. Ugh.

11-09-2007, 02:05 PM
My Mum was the meanest mum on the street. TV didn't get switched on until at least an hour after we got home from school and longer than that if it was a fine day. We had a set bedtime and lights out time which were not negotiable during the week (but could be negotiated on Friday and Saturday). There were many many TV programmes that other kids watched but we weren't allowed to. We had to behave in public and eat like civilised human beings (a direct quote) or we wouldn't be going out ever again.

And yet, my sister and I have turned out really well, because of our mean Mum. Some of the other kids that we went to school with - not so well...

11-09-2007, 02:06 PM
yeah well my 14 year old was hating me now too, because I am enforcing long standing rules. We also have dinner together, and have actual RULES!!!! She is mad because she wants to be "grown up" and have adult privlidges but she isnt an adult nor responsible enough for some of them so she isnt allowed to do quite a bit of stuff that some of her friends do, and that is just tough.

11-09-2007, 02:15 PM
I hardly think you're mean, in fact if more mother's were as good as you, maybe kids today would be generally more polite and things.

I think a lack of decent parenting is to blame for most bad behaviour found in children. Also, I feel that some countries even facilitate young people having children way before they're ready to handle them. The UK, for instance, gives unwed mothers free housing and benefits to wazoo, so long as they leave the father's name off the birth certificate.

Good Parenting, a strong hand, boundaries and discipline are what children need to grow up into proper human beings.

wifey bullseye
11-09-2007, 02:19 PM
I just have to inject that I had a midnight curfew up until I got married (at age 26) because I was living in my parents' house. I couldn't have asked for better parents. I have several friends who raised their children to be polite, have manners, and know how to behave in public. I even take their children out, because I like hangin' out with them so much (geez, maybe I am ready to be a mom). But then I have other friends who I can't stand to be around at bedtime, because their 2 year old tells them what she'll do...

11-09-2007, 02:20 PM
I tell my boys (16 & 19) that as long as their father and I have all the responsibility, we get to make all the rules.

When they pay the bills and make all the appointments required to run their lives, THEY can make the rules.

I love it when my 19-year old says, "I bet you didn't have to be home at midnight at my age" because I get to remind him that at his age I was MARRIED with all the responsibility that comes along with it. When he's 22, I'll get to tell him that at his age I was putting diapers on his butt!

Trouble with ours sons is that they want to live like we live TODAY, they have no concept of what it's like to start out with nothing and build from there...

11-09-2007, 02:27 PM
mare~you and I must be twins! I did (and still do) all of these things with my kids.

I remember taking DD to the Chart House restaurant when she was about 15 months old. I got some stares, but what was best was when a gentleman came up to us as we were leaving to compliment us on her good behavior!

We STILL eat dinner as a family (almost) every night. There are the occasional nights when DD has some music rehearsal/performance so she is absent. They think it's weird if I don't set the table with placemats and all the normal dishes/napkins/utensils. Well, maybe I think it's weird, too!

Bedtime for them is often after my own now that they're older, but when they were young, it was always earlier than their friends' bedtimes. I think I'm raising some "morning people"--I rarely have a hard time getting them going in the morning.

11-09-2007, 02:42 PM
Allison, OMG I loved the Charter House restaurant when I lived in Cali.......

Yes I also get perterbed when parents LET the child tell them what they will and will not do.....grrrr and my HUBBY is guilty of it also and I just cringe and ask him "who is the parent and child here???" and usually that is enough for him to straighten out what is going on.

11-09-2007, 04:31 PM
I have always thought the kids whose parents set rules (well.. reasonable ones!) and enforced them really appreciate their parents when they get older. My parents set rules and as we got older I don't think we ever questioned them. But they were also a little lenient. A few times, when my curfew was 10pm, I'd be at a friend's house and call because I lost track of time. They didn't care, they were just glad I called to let them know I was OK and would be home soon. Eventually I would call asking if I could stay an extra hour or so. As long as I kept in touch with them, they were happy. But I really think I respected these rules because I was taught to follow the rules when I was much younger. And I grew up to have a great relationship with my parents. They're my best friends.

11-09-2007, 04:35 PM
You can't be the meanest mom. I have to share a story with you. When my son was in the 1st grade, all the mothers were invited to the classroom for a small Mother's Day story presentation and party. When we entered the classroom, posted on the front bulletin board were the kids' artwork interpretation of their moms. I walked past the artwork and took a seat. A bunch of the other moms were whispering to each other, "I hope that's not my son's/daughter's work!" and laughing nervously. When I glanced over again, I could clearly see which picture they were talking about--and I knew instantly that my son had drawn it. Let me just say that the class was predominately girls and a lot of the drawings were of women with pretty hair, long eyelashes and pretty smiles. This is what my son drew: (I don't know what to say about the 2 ice cream cones :lol: ). I will treasure this picture FOREVER!!! :rofl:

11-09-2007, 05:04 PM
I definately don't think you were a mean mom, that's how I was raised too and I find it sad when people take their kids to restaurants and they act like they have never been anywhere before.

We had the same type of rules though, (it was my brother and myself) if we ever fought or got into anything we were either sent to a time out in our rooms (this is if we fought which we didn't do often) or put in the corner. We were allowed to sit down after school for a bit to relax, but then it was homework time at the dinner table. We behaved whenever we went anywhere because my mom would tell us if we didn't we weren't allowed to go anywhere for a week, and that killed us. On saturday's we watched sunday morning cartoons and then had to turn of the tv the rest of the afternoon to clean our rooms and read or go outside. We didn't go out on school nights, unless it was a school function and we had bedtimes until we were about 17(by that point I was going to bed earlier and earlier anyways). We also ate dinner every night at the table until my brother and mom started working, then it was a little more hectic, but we still ate together, just not at the table. I never really had a curfew it was just a rule that I was to let them know where I was going to be and that I was safe at all times. No biggie. I feel in no way with all those rules that my parents were mean, I feel that they did a great job and I feel that you did too! :)

11-09-2007, 05:05 PM
OMG love the art

You know "keeping in touch" is my big thing, I wouldnt be near as tough if my daughter would just "get it" I need to know where she is...

11-10-2007, 01:07 AM
See, I must have been the meanest mom on the whole block!

OH no! Gotcha beat! I am the meanest, wickedest (is that even a word?) STEPMOM in the whole wide world;)
I have all those rules in place, among others, and because their father works so much doing road construction 8 months out of the year, I am pretty much enforcing those rules all by my lonesome! And have been since day 1 when they moved in with us. It's been an interesting few years to say the least:p Especially since they came from a home with practically no rules, no decent food, and were sadly neglected to the point of social services getting involved. You would think that the rules would be no big deal compared to what they had to put up with before, but the oldest still idolizes his mother and has been a big pain in the rump!
I'm terribly mean!:no:

11-10-2007, 02:40 AM
Oh, Jackie, I can relate. We got a foster son when he was 16. In fact, he and my younger daughter were best friends. We'd taken him hiking with us and a few other activities. We did not know how bad it was at his home. He told my DD that he was going to run away. We couldn't have that. We had her go and get him. Both these kids were in the Peer Councilling Group at their high school. They were working with kids that were in the situation he was in. He became aware right away of the house rules. I allowed him to break the first one. He never did it again. He stayed out past curfew. He never realized someone cared enough to put a curfew on him.

Another rule of mine was that homework had to be checked. My DD hated that rule. However when she saw his grades come all the way up from a 2 to a 3.9 in the first grading period after he moved in with us, she realized what we'd been doing for her all along.

However, with your situation (step mom) I can understand the frustration. One of my grandson's is still holding out hope that his dad will still want him in his life. His older brother has written "dad" off. I hope that someday my younger one will see that "dad" has a family for the convenience of saying I have one and that support is "if I feel like doing it".

Bless your heart because you have accepted the fact that when you get involved with someone with kids, it's a package deal. Headaches and all. You are to be commended.

11-10-2007, 08:37 AM
yes were the meanest mom...just as mean as my mom...who made us behave in resturants...who made us go to bed at UGHHH 9 (10 when we were teens), who made us OH NO SAY IT ISNT SO do chores...who made us earn our keep. Growing up...soemtimes i hated my mom for being so darn strict. But ya know what....the meanest moms in the world to growing kids turn up to be their best friends as they are older. Shes the best and i thank her every day for all shes done for me and taught me...thank you cb for being a mean mom....if you are anything like my are awesome!

11-10-2007, 12:20 PM
It wasn't my mom who made me behave at restaurants- it was my gestapo Yiayia! She relished the name :P She was my step grandmother and together with my grandfather made a very Gilmore Girls-ish life for me whenever I visited (we moved halfway across the country when I was 2 so that wasn't super often). Rather than have housemaids and cooks, they went to the Club every weeknight and really fancy restaurants on the weekends. I learned VERY fast. Could only go to the bathroom once, could only dredge the bottom of a glass with a straw once, had to say please and thank you. If you forgot, you'd end up in tears. :P She was a great woman though, even though I was terrified of her as young child!

In high school, I never really had a curfew because since I didn't have a car, my parents realized that I would be dependent on someone else to get home and so I couldn't be penalized for them. However, I always called me parents at every leg of the trip (oh I'm at Becca's house, now we're going to the mall. We're at the mall, now we're going to Parker's.. etc). Generally it was understood that I had to be home by 10ish on a school night and 1AM on Fridays during marching band because I would be with band kids at a chaperoned afterparty.

Boy was it a shock in the week before graduation where we didn't have school when I called my mom to ask to stay over at a friend's house they'd never met and they agreed! That never would have happened before. Now that I'm across the country for college, it took them some time to accept that I WILL go into Boston alone but they've finally come to grips with it. I still call almost every day to check in, or at least talk to my brother and have him tell my mom that I'm fine.

What's REALLY funny is that I don't drink and my parents are always telling me that it's ok, I don't have to lie to them. Then this shifted to "You're in college, drink!" When I explained my reason for not drinking to my parents, my mom cried. :P

11-10-2007, 03:31 PM
Bless your heart because you have accepted the fact that when you get involved with someone with kids, it's a package deal. Headaches and all. You are to be commended.

Thank you dearly for all that, you brought tears to my eyes! I really hope someday that oldest DSS sees that I did it because I love him and care about him:)
He really tried to pull some horrible stunts this past year, he failed 2 classes and did horrible in most the others, then he stole some items from school and has been on probation and back in therapy since January. I think he has finally figured out that he isn't going to be able to get away with all this. We are pretty sure that he is hoping that we'll just give up and he'll get to move back in with his mother and to be honest we considered it. But we just can't give up on him!
Now he is almost on the B honor roll, he's so close! And he just started wrestling and had been doing some volunteer work this past summer. We just had a meeting last week at the school for him and they can't believe this is the same kid! Crossing my fingers that the worst is over!

11-10-2007, 07:55 PM
I guess you can add me to the meanest mom list, lol. I too always had schedules and rules. Their bedtime was 7 p.m., lol. Only because they would fart around in their room for about an hour before actually falling to sleep. But I knew I could take my kids in public or to someones house and not have to worry about them being unruly. My kids were the ones who looked at others kids like what the heck is wrong with that kid? :lol: We took them to nice places, on trips, shopping, etc. I think today's moms, or some, not all, are a different breed for sure. There are waaaaay too many kids who run the streets, thru the stores screaming all the while the mothers are yaking away on their cells, ugh!

NOELLE...that is the cutest picture ever, lol! Wonder what was going thru his head when he colored that. I've got some pictures like that as well and you are right...they are to be treasured. So cute!

11-10-2007, 10:33 PM
You couldn't have been. My daughter's pet name for me was "mean mommy". Her friends all thought she had the coolest mom though. Guess everyone's tastes are different. ;)

I made her behave in all public places, not just restaurants. My parents would spoil her and allow her to act up when she was with them. She tried that on me one day at Shoney's and we ended up in the restroom. After she cried it out, we went back to the table and had a good dinner and conversation. She never pulled it on me again.

As for bedtime, heck, I was still in bed by 10:00 even when I was 15! Forget going to the movies that late. I don't think I stayed up later than that until I was 16.

11-11-2007, 06:06 AM
Well my mom was pretty strict too but I think I turned out pretty good. I will most likely have the exact same rules I had when I was growing up. The only difference is that my kids will have more privacy than what I had. Example: For the longest time I was not even allowed to shut the bathroom door or my bedroom door while using the bathroom or changing clothes and then it was I couldn't lock the door either while using the bathroom or changing clothes. Also if I was in the bathroom for more than 5 minutes my mother would come barging in to see if I was "playing around". At 16 years old I'm not going to be "goofing off" in the bathroom. Also if my kids want to have a diary and if they don't give me cause to be suspicious of their behavior then I'm not going to read it. I couldn't even have a diary or a journal since I wanted to be a writer at one point and once my mom found out I was journaling and writing my mother forced me to let her read it every single day so I stopped writing and just kept things in my head which was not good for me and I was a good kid too. I only got detention 3 times in my entire life and all those 3 times there was more to the situation than what the teacher knew and I was too afraid to tell them since I didn't want to be a "tattletale". I will be doing just a few variations on some of the rules I had. My mom now admits that she was too strict while I was growing up. I didn't go out very much either in HS because of all the rules my mom had and other kids knew it too so I didn't get invited either. I was only allowed to go to school functions and usually my parents were there.