ok... so a few weeks ago, my wife tells me that a boy in my daughter's kindergarten class kissed her.
Now, part of me knows this was an innocent 5-yr old kiss and didn't mean anything. But the DAD in me wants to flip out. why is my daughter being kissed by a boy at school (or a person of any gender)? What should I do? Should I speak to the boy - or his parents - or the school?
I guess where I'm going with this stems from my inherent fear of being a dad, and of screwing up. And of screwing her up. I have eight nieces and nephews, and all of them are smart, well behaved, good students. How do I make sure my daughter becomes a decent student? I am not saying she has to get into Oxford or MIT, but I want her to enjoy learning, to think school is awesome, and to be a good kid.
I really identify with Marlin (the dad), from "Finding Nemo". I want to do everything for her and protect her, but I also want her to be strong and independent.
How have you other parents dealt with these fears and insecurities? Or do you even have them?
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Being a father of a 11 year old daughter I can fully understand you. When my daughter was in kindergarten, I used to get suspicious even if any boy as much as looked at her For me she was and still is the most beautiful girl in the world. I suspect you feel the same about your daughter and that is where these emotions in us spring from.
What does your daughter feel about the kiss? Is she uncomfortable? Has she taken it in her stride? Is she somehow blaming herself for this? I would suggest you take her out for an ice cream or whatever she loves and try to get this information from her, without sounding as if you are highlighting the issue. One thing I have learnt over the years, trying to be a good dad, is t keep things low keyed.
Coming back to the boy. What kind of kid is he? Can his parents be termed good parents? At this age, kids ape what they see and experience at home. Rarely at this age, would you find a kid who is "bad" (there are always exceptions).
With the kind of world we live in, we have tried to imbibe certain qualities in our daughter.
It's ok to make mistakes. Just do not repeat the same mistake and more importantly learn from them
Parents are friends. You can discuss all kinds of things with them right upto "sensitive" topics like sex
When the whole world has abandoned you, your parents are always there for you.
I think it is absolutely normal for fathers to be over protective about their daughters and you are doing just fine. Just make sure your protection doesn't become a cocoon for your daughter, which would deprive her from facing and understanding the realities of life as she grows up. Make sure she knows, you are always there for here, and you will be just fine !
Just relax. It is perfectly natural to show affection. You would not want you daughter to be confused by things she is too little to understand. It's really sad that our society has evil 'oxygen thieves', but I doubt that the little boy in kindergarden has any uncontrollable hormones at his age.
I wouldn't think that the kiss didn't mean anything; it probably means that the boy likes her. At age 5 he may have seen enough of life (and TV) to know that a kiss is a sign of affection, but is too young to understand in which situations that's appropriate, and where it's not.
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I'm probably less concerned about the kiss than the broader issues of raising my kid right.
Another example... We had noticed an odd smell in our office trash can at home. we got rid of it, and bought a new one. a few days later, the smell was back.
it turns out my daughter decided that rather than drink her milk, she'd pour it into the trash can, and a few days later... the smell.
We figured all this out on her birthday (she just turned 6 Saturday). So now what? She knows that this was the wrong thing to do, but do you punish her right before her party? right after?
Do you wait a few days, not telling her you know, and punish her a week later?
I think my wife and I agreed that we'd mention it to her, let her know we know she's doing it and that it needs to stop, and told her if she did it again she'd be in real trouble (although what that trouble is we didn't say). We didn't even raise our voices.
I thought she was gonna cry she looked so upset. Make me feel like the Worst Dad Ever(tm).
How do you all deal with discipline issues (and yes, this is a rather minor thing)...
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You know, I don't think that there are correct answers to your questions. We all do the best we can, and unfortunately only find out much later if we managed to do a good job or not. The other 'handicap' in raising children, is that what 'procedures' one uses to handle a situation for one child, may not work when used on another. They are such unique indivuals.
I have to smile at the fact that she managed to get away with not drinking the milk on at least two occasions. I don't like milk either. Tell her, from me, that if you folks insist that she drinks milk, to pour it down the drain when you are not looking, and make sure to rinse the sink afterwards. Let her drink water instead of milk - less smelly when poured into the trash can. Just kidding!
I think that you and your wife are probably doing a marvellous job raising your kids. the mere fact that you care about what/how you are doing, already speaks volumes.
Some observations that guided me through:
- Kids do have that nasty little habit of pushing one to one's limits, don't let them.
- All children thrive on boundaries, and turn into monsters when the parents don't set those boundaries.
- Always make sure that you and your wife are on the same page, because kids know how to manipulate.
- Ensure that your child knows that you are approachable about anything, and that together you'll find a solution
- Ask their opinion about things - it's amazing what you'll learn!
I found his book worth to teach me how to raise my child.
I cant say my child is perfect one, but for sure that advices which I followed from his book Baby and Child Care worked for my child.
This book covers till teen age, but you may find some other book from his library that you want to get.
And I feel that raising a child is more about our comfort than child's.
I feel that let child try/do whatever he wants and stop him from which is harmful for him. (for me throwing milk is not harmful for her, milk can be easily replaced with something that she loves and would not throw)
I avoid to stop him for my own comfort (Requires lot of patience).
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There's really no point in punishing her for a first offense this minor. I think you did the right thing talking to her and letting her know your position on pouring milk in the trash can. Now she knows for sure (whether she knew before or not) and she knows the next time there will be punishment involved.
I remember an easter about 2 years ago. My youngest son was acting just horrible. Throwing fits, acting up, etc. When we got home from church that day it didn't stop and we were trying to get things ready for the kids to hunt their easter eggs. We'd had enough and told Christian he couldn't hunt eggs. The worst part of it? A few days later we were looking at pictures of our other two children running around the yard hunting for eggs. There was one picture and in the background we saw Christian, standing at the sliding glass doors, just watching, both hands on the glass.
We deleted the picture. It breaks my heart just thinking about it now. We felt so bad. But, it was the right thing to do. You can't let your own emotions take over when disciplining your children. Yes, it is sad when they cry and it is sad when everyone else around them gets to have fun and they don't. But that is kind of the point, right? Next time, hopefully, they remember what that was like and they make the right decisions.
I dont have experience in this, I am sure you did the right thing by letting her understand that you know what she did. This will surely make her not do it again.
I think every child does things which may annoy us initially, however when we look back in time and remember our own childhood, we may have been similar
I am not a father but what I have learnt and known from other people is that to make the child responsible and to convey a message to them that you have faith in them that they wont repeat the mistake.
on a lighter note, I think the kiss is ok, giving importance and trying to find the intensions behind it would only make them more curious about the issue.
I love kids and without them life would be BORING !!! and they are a big responsibility too !!! Nothing can beat the experience of seeing them grow to a wonderful adult.