Oreos


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Jun 11, 2000
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Just thought, George, re your cavities and high school - dental caries is a disease which afflicts adolescents usually, as I found out in my teens, which was grossly unfair as I'd never been allowed sweets or sugary drinks before ... a few sweets on Saturday and water with every meal.
But we didn't have fluoride, and there was hidden sugar in every processed food.
 

Jim Kalafus

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> It's only when they go to school they discover what's not to be eaten i.e. vegetables, liver, etc. Or what is to be eaten i.e. McDonalds, Sunny Delight etc. I don't know what one can do about this, short of declaring WW3, initiating rationing, and telling the children they'll starve if they don't eat up every scrap.

The best thing to do about it is quickly learn, and overutilise, the phrase "I'm sorry, but you can't have it." As the parent, one has complete control over the purse strings and, therefore, almost complete control over access to Doritos; McDonalds; Coca-Cola and the like. And, if your kid is a junk food devotee by the age of ten, it is no one's fault but your own. One can't micromanage what they eat in school, of course, or at friends' houses, but that is ~frankly~ offering lame excuse, because most of their meals are NOT taken in either context....yet time and again I hear parents offer that same whine. Whining about junk food should be done by the children, not the parents, and should be greeted with "I said, no" as often as possible.
 
May 27, 2007
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Monica,

I'm impressed, George, that you can still persuade a 2-year old to take a nap.

Lucked out I guess. I tell her to take a nap and she does. Of course usually with my schedule and working two jobs I take the nap right along with her and when she's with Grandma an Grandpa they take naps. I suppose she has it in her head that people take naps. Of course hers are only 15 minutes to half an hour.

Castor oil for swearing children? I must threaten my eldest with that - he's a chef and, like all of them, his language is spectacularly awful. He'd never get out of the bathroom ...

Nor would I make it out of the bathroom. I'm a short order cook so I hear your son on that Monica. There's a lot to swear about when you Cook for a living and everything has to be just so. It can be stressful. It let's him vent.

Just thought, George, re your cavities and high school - dental caries is a disease which afflicts adolescents usually, as I found out in my teens, which was grossly unfair as I'd never been allowed sweets or sugary drinks before ... a few sweets on Saturday and water with every meal.

grossly unfair... indeed. I had a candy bar once in a while or Rollo's but always brushed my teeth. Of course I grew up in the eighties in places where fluoride in the water might not have been readily available. I did manage to make it to my teens though. Of course in our family you either have really great teeth or really poor teeth.

Whining about junk food should be done by the children, not the parents, and should be greeted with "I said, no" as often as possible.

You just wait Jim. Your going to be really strict as a father or really easy. I don't think there will be a middle ground. Of course I could be wrong.
 
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The best thing to do about it is quickly learn, and over utilize, the phrase "I'm sorry, but you can't have it."

"But I want it!" later to self, "I'll use my allowance to get the Candy." Evil (I'm so clever} laughter.
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Jim Kalafus

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Totally dead facial expression with just a slight hint of upraised eyebrow. "You used your allowance to buy something of which you knew I did not approve, and which I had already told you you could not have? Time for some real world training. You are now on salary suspension~ which means no allowance for the next two weeks~ and, I'm afraid, no television, games, or computer for the next week. "No" means "no," and I expected that you would have better judgment than to do something like that. I'm disappointed and, to tell the truth, more than a little disgusted, by what you've done. Now, go clean the catbox."
 
Feb 4, 2007
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You know, it sounds really harsh when the above recommendation is put into writing, but as I reflect back upon my own upbringing, tactics like this WERE, in fact, used ~ and with great effect.

The important thing is for the kid to understand WHY s/he is being punished, and WHY what s/he did was wrong. Otherwise, the learning opportunity is lost, and hatred sets in......

How NOT to raise your kid:

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=1ZSeGsKTBAk

Funny perhaps momentarily, but also enough to make one's stomach churn.
 

Jim Kalafus

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>You know, it sounds really harsh when the above recommendation is put into writing, but as I reflect back upon my own upbringing, tactics like this WERE, in fact, used ~ and with great effect.

"Everything I Needed to Know About Child Rearing I Learned in Retail Management"

Chapter #1: "Scream All You Want. You Still Owe My Company Money-You Are, In Fact, In Arrears- And I Cannot Extend You Another Penny In Credit Until You Make A Payment." In which we learn that a child's tantrum is a lot like an adult's tantrum- sound and fury signifying nothing-and the important thing is not to let it rattle you or cause you to lose focus.

Chapter #2: "Because I Can't- That's Why!" In which we learn that some things are open to neither debate nor discussion:

"If I pay in cash, you'll give me a better deal and skip the tax. Right?"
"No."
"Why?"
"Because I can't."
"Every place else does it!"
"I can't."
"You'd rather lose the sale?"
"Sorry if it comes to that...but I can't do that."
"Give me the owner's number!"
"Sorry. I can't."

See...the manipulativeness of an adult idiot and a child trying to convince you to compromise your ideals are frighteningly similar. Thing is, you can TRAIN your kid in ways that you cannot train an adult.

Chapter #3 "Get To the Back of the Line, Dammit." In which we teach the important lesson that, contrary to popular belief, you are NOT #1 in every situation. Customers backed up from the counter to New Haven at the register. Person blithely walks past the line and demands immediate service. In retailing, as in parenting, there is only one answer:

"I'm sorry, but there is a line, and you'll have to wait your turn"
"I just need you to find one thing for me."
"We will get to you as quickly as possible, but there IS a line."
"I'm in a hurry!"

One must then end the discussion with a polite nod and a resumption of waiting on the customer with whom one was initially dealing.

Children must be trained REALLY early that one never barges in, interrupts a conversation for trivial matters, or puts one's self ahead of one's siblings in a manner parallel to that of the disgusting customer described above.

Chapter #4. "I Can't Believe I Did That!" In which we learn that respect is a two way street and that, on occasion, a parent SHOULD appropriately apologize to a child.

Customer wants to arrange credit. You refuse on the basis of a delinquent payment and then, in mid-discussion, note that the payment WAS made ~ and improperly credited by an underling. Leaving YOU looking like a complete moron. One immediately apologizes. One explains the situation without 'deflecting' (the customer does NOT want to hear "It wasn't my fault" under these circumstances) and hears out what the customer has to say without getting defensive. Generally this approach salvages a horrendous situation.

When one makes a mistake towards one's children, the same approach should be taken. Do not deflect; grovel; try to make a joke. Apologize straight forward, and be done with it

Next installment: "OH MY GOD WHAT'S THAT SMELL!" dealing with that once yearly moment when something stomach-churningly repulsive transpires...

(If you've worked retail, you get it....)
 
May 27, 2007
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"You used your allowance to buy something of which you knew I did not approve, and which I had already told you you could not have? Time for some real world training. You are now on salary suspension~ which means no allowance for the next two weeks~ and, I'm afraid, no television, games, or computer for the next week. "No" means "no," and I expected that you would have better judgment than to do something like that. I'm disappointed and, to tell the truth, more than a little disgusted, by what you've done. Now, go clean the catbox."

"But how did you find out, You weren't supposed to know. Whaa....
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. Daddy dosen't love me anymore!"

Yes, your right Jim. A lot of child rearing is like Retail Management some what.
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Hate cleaning the stupid kittybox.
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Jun 11, 2000
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Having worked in retail when young, and taught Services Marketing Management for years in University, I appreciate the above comments on bum customers. But feel impelled to add that quite a lot of bad behaviour in these situations is a result of badly-trained, ignorant,moronic or disdainful staff. Here in the UK, the home improvement chain B & Q is staffed almost entirely by the elderly and 16-18 year olds, management having learned that the 55+ retirees enjoy pottering around interacting with customers, and also have the generational distance to be able to keep the young ones in order. My 16-year old was 'adopted' by several ladies when he worked there on weekends, though I think he left under a cloud eventually ... something to do with trolley-races in the car park I think, with unfortunate results.

For all you theorists in child-rearing, in retrospect I have to say that disciplining anyone under 12 is comparatively easy. After all they are small, and can be picked up and heaved away from whatever it is. They have no income save what you arbitrarily dispense. They also still want to be with you quite a lot of the time, and value your attention very highly. Appalling behaviour in public places can be dealt with very effectively by embarrassing the child terminally, as practised by someone I knew who actually had the nerve to squat down in a supermarket and do chicken impressions - it never failed. He only ever did it once, and then just said "I feel a chicken coming on..." and the children instantly conformed. I never had the nerve myself. There's a wonderful Swedish TV advert, incidentally, where a despairing father watches his young son throw a stupendous tantrum in a supermarket to the intense disapproval of other shoppers - the advert is for condoms.

I don't recall much difficulty in disciplining the children when young. A look was often sufficient. As when James, aged 8, came home from 'playing in the field' with an earring sported in his left lobe. I just held my hand out and the offending item was obediently dropped into it. I then went down to the hairdresser who'd pierced his ear and threatened her with the police and a charge of assault on a minor.

The trouble comes with adolescence, and I'm afraid one simply cannot predict whether or not the nicest, most mature 13-year old will suddenly turn into the Appalling Hulk. I think, though, that if they are lovely at 11, they will also be lovely again at 20, give or take some inevitable lifestyle choices which you don't approve of but can no longer influence.

I don't like everything mine do and they still cost me a fortune, but they eat up and have good table manners; they are kind to the elderly, children and animals; will intervene when they see someone vulnerable being mistreated (aaaarrgh!), and they seem to like chatting to me.

It'd be nice, of course, if they were both on course to be world-famous surgeons, benefactors, politicians etc., though they don't seem to be, but there's time enough yet. But I just try to focus on the good aspects, of which there are enough to make me think I haven't done a totally duff job.
 

Jim Kalafus

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> But feel impelled to add that quite a lot of bad behaviour in these situations is a result of badly-trained, ignorant,moronic or disdainful staff.

Oh, don't get me started!

Chapter #11: " 'I Don't Know' And 'Let Me Find Out For You' Are Really The Same Answer.' "

I find, in retail situations at least, that most teenagers respond well to being treated as adults ~ and when I encounter a staff member such as the one Monica described, what I immediately think is 'poor management.'

One must treat one's teenage staff as one would treat one's teenage children, by establishing at once that the job is an environment of mutual respect; that there are certain minimum expectations of deportment that must be met, and that one has the basic intelligence needed to accomplish whatever one sets out to do. The phrase " 'I don't know' is not an answer, and if anyone asks a question you cannot answer, politely excuse yourself and come find me or another supervisor" should be part of the 'welcome to the job' speech ~ and the resulting questions during the period of acclimation should NOT be answered with sarcasm or exasperation, because no one comes in to a job knowing everything.

I know of several local businesses here in NY suburbia that manage the seemingly "impossible" task of having teenage staff on hand that are both pleasant and competent. I attribute that to good management. It is not difficult to instill pride-in-job to high school age people who, incidentally, DO make extremely loyal employees if you treat them well.

I actually find training teenagers less exasperating than I do training adults. Adults, in retail training, tend to get very defensive and/or attempt to demonstrate that they know more than you do....which, with me, tends to be a disastrous course.

Case in point- a teenage staff member who 'punches in' and THEN spends ten minutes in the bathroom getting ready for work is guilty, only, of never having been told~ politely~ "come in a little early so that you can be ready to work at the appointed time." A adult, in the same situation, knows perfectly well what the score is, and is testing you to see how far one can go under your management without being reprimanded. So, the response to the former is parental in tone, while the response to the latter has the warmth of a border security guard. And, guess who will pout and complain about you to co-workers afterwards? Hint: the one who ought to know better.

> There's a wonderful Swedish TV advert, incidentally, where a despairing father watches his young son throw a stupendous tantrum in a supermarket to the intense disapproval of other shoppers - the advert is for condoms.

I live by that ad. At a former job- as teenagers- we used to comment "And to think- some people wqnt to take away a woman's right to choose" during analogous situations....
 
May 27, 2007
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There's a wonderful Swedish TV advert, incidentally, where a despairing father watches his young son throw a stupendous tantrum in a supermarket to the intense disapproval of other shoppers - the advert is for condoms.

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I live by that ad...

As do I, but I still ended up a Pappy. And I blame Trojan and another Condom Company for that change in my lifestyle. So watch out!
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Monica, I wish mine was grown. But then I'd wish her small again so I could take her on the bus or to the store, to visit friends so people would go "awh!" where did she get that lovely blond hair. Or "What a little doll you have." But then there's the times where she gets up on the wrong side of the bed and I can't do a thing with her. She digresses, but so do we all. Except, I got to deal with it. But that's what being a parent is all about. If somebody else dealt with her in that mood or tried to discipline her I'd get upset. I don't like it when other people discipline your kid or lecture you how to raise you kid when they know nothing about you kid. Most parents hate that I'm told. I shouldn't have any complaints really .
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Jun 11, 2000
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If you're a parent, George, then you're just a parent, as was nearly everybody with no great stuff to worry about a while ago. And children just exploit you these days - because we let them. It's not right, but that's how it is. Guts -- that's what we need, I suppose. I don't think I've managed it, but I sure hope you do.

Your little girl won't mind her tough daddy.
 
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I don't think I've managed it, but I sure hope you do.

You did perfectly fine I'm sure. Especially compared to some parents. Probably better then I'm doing. I kind of lucked out. My daughter is pretty easy from what my siblings tell me. She's mostly happy go lucky.
 
Feb 4, 2007
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That was a great clip, Monica. Thing is, it rings quite true with some kids I've seen. Tell you what though, if it were my kid, I certainly would not have just stood there and watched like that father did.

Dunno about anyone else, but I actually enjoy watching other parents BE PARENTS in the sense that when their child(ren) act up, they actively discipline them (properly) right then and there instead of just rolling their eyes and looking around at the crowd for 'sympathy' before then taking NO action whatsoever. Thus, the kid(s) get away with whatever it was. I really hate seeing that.
 
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But what would you have done, Jason? We all know what we'd have liked to have done ... but we would probably have ended up in jail. Bob tells me the child is screaming in French, actually, and he's right.
"Je veux les bons-bons!!"
but I was always told it was Swedish, and others seem to think the same thing. Interesting. But whatever nationality he is, one does so empathise with the poor Dad.

And for those who want to know what might be in store for them, here's another great clip of a grown lad telling his mother he's decided he's an atheist ... and, boy, does she lose it. (Note that the poor Dad just stays silent.)

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=P8Aq00yJSxo
 
Feb 4, 2007
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Who me, Monica? *looks around*
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Well, this is all theoretical of course, but assuming that I had raised my child from infancy prior to this moment of tirade in the store, I think I can safely say that my kid would never have given such a public performance to start with. The child would already know by that point that this kind of behavior is unacceptable - especially by that age.

When I was quite young, I distinctly remember my mother imitating me during a tirade I was performing at home. I was so shocked and embarrassed I kept telling her to stop - which she did not do......

Finally, I started to cry -not for the reason for which I was a having a tantrum- but because I just wanted her to stop because she looked ridiculous and was scaring me. It was then that she explained "Well, that's what you look like." That was enough for me. I never did such a thing in public. Neither did any of my younger siblings. It was an effective method for us anyway. We didn't want mommy to imitate us.
 
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We didn't want mommy to imitate us.
My Dad's voice raised in
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anger
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was what did it for me. Scared all us kids silly. He had that Vietnam Vet temper thing going. You didn't go near him when he was having a bad dream and when he told you to do something you did it.
 

Jim Kalafus

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>The child would already know by that point that this kind of behavior is unacceptable

Bingo. Which is why, despite the quick-fix relief it gives, a parent should never give in to a tantrum during the years when the kid IS too young to know better. Because, the lesson VERY quickly learned is:

I Screamed.
Mommy and/or Daddy caved in.

So, I would hope that by the time little Squando, and his sisters Garusha and Goneril, were the age of that child in the commercial, I'd have trained them well enough so that they realised a tantrum simply was not an option.

If something like that DID happen, I'd try to separate the kid from the store ASAP.

From birth, it seemed, I heard the word "no!" to most requests made in stores. On the rare occasions that it was NOT a flat-out "no," my mother's reflexive response was "You may have one or the other but not both." My father was considerably more lenient in these cases. I think that the incessant "no" brainwashed me to the extent that by 1969 or so, I seldom asked. However, I WAS asked, a lot "Would you like that book?" or "Would you like me to buy that for you?" if I behaved myself and just window-shopped. Which drove the point home, very effectively, that if I kept quiet and 'browsed' I stood a far better chance of getting what I wanted than if I nagged.

Odd memory. Christmas 1968, and I am for some reason obsessed with fire hydrants. My uncle and my father comb every square inch of the NYC scrap world looking for one. Which they find. Mistakenly (they were new at the tricks of parenting and uncle-ing) I am given that gift first, and immediately latch on to it. Cannot be coaxed away to open any of the other, lesser, gifts.
 
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