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Old March 3rd, 2011, 12:59 PM
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Default Are we on "diagnosis" overload?

I posted on another thread in the HAL forum, about a post I'd read at another board (a DISNEY cruise board). The thread started innocently enough with a mom asking a question about whether or not it was acceptable to bring a DVD player into the MDR. ~ that is not the subject of this thread.

There were probably a 100 responses or more from mothers who had one or more chidlren with (ranging from mild to severe) autism to aspergers to ADD to ADHD to .... you name it. Everyone seemed to have a child with some cause that demanded special attention. On another dress code thread, there were some who posted about their kids with some kind of sensory perception disorder (i.e. they must wear shorts to the MDR). The moms of this camp basically feel it is their right ignore rules that would impact the ability of their child to function - to hell with the fact that it may impact everyone elses ability to enjoy their night.

I'm not questioning the validy of these disorders or diagnoses; but does it seem like everybody has some issue and needs for the world to adjust for them?

Perhaps I'm not being sensitive enough and God willing, I wont' have to walk a mile in their shoes.

The "everbody has an issue" was so prevalent on this thread (and the board in general) .... that I'm kind of wondering what type of cruising environment it will be when everyone has an excuse for not following the rules; because rules don't apply to people with special needs.

I guess their are two questions buried in the above:
1. "does one's right to make their holiday work for them supercede another's right to enjoy their holiday according to the rules"
2. does it seem to you like everybody today has a "diagnosis" of one sort or another?

thoughts?
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Old March 3rd, 2011, 01:16 PM
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Everyone I know over age 60 has some type of medical problem.
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Old March 3rd, 2011, 01:25 PM
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okay, but do they demand special treatment for it? Must wear trackpants to dinner on formal night because the dress pants restrict leg circulation? No, I'm guessing the patron over 60 would say, my "X" condition prevents me from wearing formal clothing; so i will just pass on the MDR that night. I'll dine in the MDR when I can dress confortably?

That would be my guess. I think the older generation has greater respect for social norms and does not (generally) put their needs first at the expense of others.

It just seems like every young kid today has a disesase/disorder/diagnosis that requires some kind of special handling? Maybe there is just a large propotion of families with these kids who sail Disney? At least from readign the disney boards, it seems like more of a case of to hell with everyone else, I have special needs, and my needs are more important than yours.
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Old March 3rd, 2011, 01:46 PM
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I'm almost afraid to look at that thread!! And people wonder why the world is going awry.
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Old March 3rd, 2011, 01:51 PM
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I have a nephew who is autistic - and a fairly severe form.

He is unlikely to cruise.

When he attends social functions , he dresses like everyone else.

Does that answer the question?

Annie
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Old March 3rd, 2011, 01:55 PM
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Everyone I know over age 60 has some type of medical problem.
Yes, but do we ask for exception? Most don't, they melt into society. Sometimes it's heartbreaking to watch the elderly, crippled, hunched person getting around. But, they are determined individuals despite their ailment.

That being said, it's irritating to get run over by a mobile scooter because it's their right. Some do indeed need devices, but many use them as convenience and expect us to clear the way for them.
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Old March 3rd, 2011, 02:03 PM
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Cruiseing has become like taking the Greyhound. Some people smell more than others, but you cant complain about it. You can always rent a limo.
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Old March 3rd, 2011, 02:54 PM
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I'm not sure I understand the previous analogy (about greyhound).

Annie, to be clear, I'm not trying to minimize your nephew's legitmate health issues.

Maybe I'm just puzzled by who soooooo many children have "something" coupled with the request for special treatment.



....I didn't want to make this about that "dvd" issue (in terms of whether it is right or wrong) but the perhaps the "context" of my post comes from mothers (the majority of them) who said, "my child has X disorder, therefore they cannot concentrate at dinner, and must watch a DVD and I don't have to make them wear headphones and too bad if it serves as a distraction to your kid at the next table. If your kid is distracted then that is your problem and you deal with it. My kid has special needs and we have a right to enjoy our holiday too even if it means babysitting our kid with a DVD in the MDR".

I suppose if just one parent felt like this, I would have seen it as an outlier, but there were close to 100 replies from moms who shared this sentiment. I was baffled both by their lack of social courtesy AND by the fact that there were so many posters on this one thread on one message board who all had kids with special needs.

Maybe I am just naive and should count my blessings.
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Old March 3rd, 2011, 03:01 PM
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1. "does one's right to make their holiday work for them supercede another's right to enjoy their holiday according to the rules"

I am all for accommodating anyone with special needs who suffers from a disability. No problem.
Now with that being said, I am fed up with people not parenting their kids, letting the children run their lives and household and making excuses to allow them to run amok. Children need to have clear cut boundaries and standards of behavior. The problem is that if the parents are unfamiliar with the practice of holding children accountable for their behavior and setting those boundaries, chaos and disorder is the result. I love cruising with my kids. They have been on 15 cruises and started cruising when they were 2 and 4, they are now 8 and 10.

Truthfully I have met some wonderful children and their parents on our cruises. However, I find adults are much more guilty of bad behavior than the kids. But I typically do not cruise during spring or summer break, which helps a lot. I homeschool my kids so we have a much more flexible schedule than most folks who travel with kids. BTW coloring sheets and crayons are fine with me, so is a babydoll and a couple of matchbox cars. I am pretty flexible. I almost always try to get a table for just our family, especially when the kids were younger, just to be considerate to folks who may appreciate an adult dining experience and to be honest, when we share a table they generally seat us with other families and there have been times where I didn't enjoy the company due to behavior that would not have been tolerated with our own kids. If someone is seated at another table and their kid has a video game or a DVD player (with head phones) I don't think it would affect me one way or another, I would likely MYOB. The shorts argument, I think is a juvenile subject to begin with. If there's a dress code, then obey it, or eat elsewhere.

2. does it seem to you like everybody today has a "diagnosis" of one sort or another?

Yes... it allows people to demand special treatment. Meanwhile, the Doctors and Pharmaceutical companies get richer.
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Old March 3rd, 2011, 03:17 PM
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I hope I didn't misunderstand about some child that HAD to wear shorts to the MDR for dinner because of some health issue? That I just can't quite understand at all....
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Old March 3rd, 2011, 03:30 PM
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Annie....

Believe ot or not here in the U.S. autism is now diagnosed in something like 1 in every 200 children. I know it seems unreal - because I barely even heard of it as a child.

I did an article about a family that has taken literally 40 Carnival cruises (all of their cruises) - and they have an autistic child (this was just part of the whole article) now about 17 y.o.. The child cannot tolerate the FunShip Freddy mascot. (I am sure many people here know who I am talking about).

Carnival actually works with this couple to send them a schedule of where Freddy will appear throughout the cruise before each one of their cruises so they can plan ahead.

So, I guess the answer is:

a. Yes, some kind of 'diagnosis' is very common these days

b. It is a societal situation, not just a cruise problem

c. It appears the cruise industry is already well aware of this particular diagnosis and has already taken steps to work with these people, which may be exactly why the discussion received a much bigger response than you logically would have expected.

I have met the boy myself, and I have to say it is actually pretty refreshing to see how far everyone went to make sure he could go on the cruises his family loves so much.
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Old March 3rd, 2011, 03:43 PM
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I hope I didn't misunderstand about some child that HAD to wear shorts to the MDR for dinner because of some health issue? That I just can't quite understand at all....
Donna, yes. Again, I'm not trying to undermine what may very will be a legitamate psychological disorder .... but there was one mother who said she will not abide by the dress code, and her son let her son wear shorts in the MDR because he has some kind of sensory perception disorder where he is very sensitive to fabric and can't wear long pants. My thought is if that he is soooo sensitive to fabric, don't the shorts irritate his skin? Or if there is a shorts material that he can tolerate, why can't you buy pants made of the same material? It just seems like finding the "cause' to suit the child and justify xxx.



Paul ~ wow ~ 1 in 200. I had no idea. That puts it into perspective a little. Kudos to that family for finding out what they need to, to make their holiday around an established schedule; and not asking for the schedule to be changed based on their needs. That to me is the difference.
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Old March 3rd, 2011, 03:58 PM
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I hope I didn't misunderstand about some child that HAD to wear shorts to the MDR for dinner because of some health issue? That I just can't quite understand at all....
Me neither. Cop out, likely the kid said he wouldn't dress up. Hope they live in hot climate, how can he go outdoors or go to school etc?
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Old March 3rd, 2011, 04:21 PM
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Paul

I think I misunderstood the thread.

My nephew will never cruise simply because he could not cope with so many people.

As it is we have to find a quiet corner of a restaurant and he always has 2 adults with him at all times.

Kudos to the cruise lines for accommodating the boy in your story and his family.

Annie
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Old March 3rd, 2011, 04:22 PM
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Just giving the mom the benefit of the doubt, it is well-known with autism that skin-sensitivity is a real and common symptom.

That doesn't mean I don't have my doubts about other "sufferers" of ailments - especially the undiagnosable ones. But you know what - this is just one area where there is nothing you can do.

It does seem like we used to live in a "heartier" world and people didn't complain nearly as much. But to say any given person is untruthful is pretty hard to do until you walk that mile.
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Old March 3rd, 2011, 07:58 PM
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I think part of what's happened is that since I was a child (a long time ago!) children with autism or similar thing's now live at home instead of being "put away" somewhere. They're able to take part, to their ability, in all of the family outings.

Paul, I agree that we used to live in a "heartier" world. It never would have occured to my mother to use bacterial wipes on everything in sight. We came home from school and played outside in the dirt and mud and "whatever". We didn't wash our hands every five minutes. IMO, our immune systems work better than the kids of today.

One of my pet peeves: There were NO picky eaters when I grew up. You ate what was put in front of you or you didn't eat (and if you didn't eat there was no dessert ). I would have never even thought about asking for a different meal!

QofO, it depends on the "rules". A child in shorts in the MDR doesn't bother me. A child with a DVD without earphones, yes, that does bother me. The Lido or Room Service would be better than the MDR, IMO. I don't know if there are more "diagnoses" than ever, it may be that we just see more of the children.
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Old March 4th, 2011, 07:33 AM
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"Queen", in answer to your main question, yes it is true as Paul says that Autism spectrum disorders are far too common these days, and as a teacher I see the difference in the past few years. 30 years ago I never had a child with this disorder, today, sometimes up to 2 children in a group of 20 is diagnosed with some form of the disorder. It is frightening how common it is, and kudos to the parents and families who must deal with sometimes very difficult problems day to day.

That being said, it does not excuse parents who would rather "self-diagnose" their child than to actually parent that child, and use some discipline.
As Beenie said, too many parents don't know how to say "no" to their kids.
I see it every day, kids who have no respect for not only their elders, but their peers as well, no manners, who are rude, obnoxious and inappropriate.
I am doing my level best in 3 hours a day to teach these kids some manners, and respect for others, but I am but a drop in the bucket.
Parents need to step up and BE a parent!

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Old March 4th, 2011, 08:29 AM
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This is a pretty wide-ranging subject. Two issues are apparent here. Yes, there are more diagnoses nowadays because the health care industry recognizes more diseases than years ago.
Also, parental discipline has some role here, as well, when children act out.
It's actually kind of funny when some oldsters state on message boards that they don't think children belong in the MDR. What planet are they from? The majority of children should not be blamed for the actions of a few.
We always ate dinner as a family, and I would resent someone telling me that it is inappropriate to take my kids to the MDR.
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Old March 4th, 2011, 08:53 AM
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Suse

I agree 100%.

I love the attitude of the Europeans to children in a restaurant - they are treated as royalty!

Maybe there should be a dining room solely for the grinches!

As I have said before, I would rather dine with children than a grinch any day.

Annie
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Old March 4th, 2011, 09:32 AM
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Rollerdonna,

AMEN!

Far too many parents these days are trying to be more of a "friend" to their children than fulfilling their duties as what they are, a parent!

I truly believe that much of this rapidly growing problem is a change in our culture brought on by many reasons, including the fear that parents are afraid they will be investigated for child abuse (and I'm not talking about beating their children although believe this or not, even spanking your child can be considered in growing areas of this country to constitute abuse). While the big time these day is simply "Time Out," while that may work well with some children our increasing misbehavior of children as they grow into young adulthood, it obviously is not working with the effectiveness the "experts" expected.

My heaven's sake, the parents of children of my generation would probably, in great numbers, today be convicted of abuse and sent to prison! Think back for those my age, were you mollycoddled as a child. My mouth was washed out with Fels-Naptha (a bar laundry soap that no longer exists) more than several times and we had a willow tree in our front yard the switches of which my rear end and those of my siblings became quite well acquainted. When we grew beyond the switch stage we then became familiar with something today that would definitely land your parents in jail but which was universally used back then and that was your father's leather belt applied to your hind end. When today's parents hear that it's OMG you were even BEATEN! Beaten my foot! And the most horrific effect we ever experienced was a red bottom for about an hour.

Of course probably only people my age believe with of course exceptions that the above is proper discipline however, looking at today's problems with youth and I happen to be one.

Todd
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Old March 4th, 2011, 10:01 AM
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That being said, it does not excuse parents who would rather "self-diagnose" their child than to actually parent that child, and use some discipline.
As Beenie said, too many parents don't know how to say "no" to their kids.
I see it every day, kids who have no respect for not only their elders, but their peers as well, no manners, who are rude, obnoxious and inappropriate.
I am doing my level best in 3 hours a day to teach these kids some manners, and respect for others, but I am but a drop in the bucket.
Parents need to step up and BE a parent!

donna
Rollerdonna - I guess that is where my frustration came from. I didnt' dare post this on that thread, which is why I came here to get the CM perspective. I really wish I could post a link to the thread ... so you could read some of the responses. Things like "It's a holiday, and you don't have to folllow rules on a holiday" implying that "so what if your child watches a dvd during dinner on a cruise .... it's not like you parent that way 365 days a year" or "its my holiday too, keeping my child busy allows me to enjoy my holiday". There was just about every possible excuse for justifying. I do to some extent subscribe to the theory of I'll parent my child and you parent yours. WHat I object to is when they way you parent your child (by breakign the rules) impacts my ability to parent my child.

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QofO, it depends on the "rules". A child in shorts in the MDR doesn't bother me. A child with a DVD without earphones, yes, that does bother me. The Lido or Room Service would be better than the MDR, IMO. I don't know if there are more "diagnoses" than ever, it may be that we just see more of the children.
Fern .... I can't honestly say what I would do in the shoes of these mothers (and we're talking about a range of mothers with a range of children with a range of varying disabilities.) ... but I'd like to think that if I had a child who could not function in an environment such as a MDR .... then I would find an alternate venue which worked to the comfort of my child. I would not impose on others so that my child could be comfortable to the detriment of other families. Now, I'm not saying that 1 child watching a DVD without headphones is going to impact the entire MDR. But if that child is watching that DVD at a volume which prevents neighbouring tables from carrying on conversation OR serves as a distraction to the other children.... Like I said in an earlier post, the overwhelming whack you in the face message that I took from reading that thread was the number of people who felt they had to the right to break rules as they saw fit regardless of how their rule-breaking impacted others.





Quote:
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My heaven's sake, the parents of children of my generation would probably, in great numbers, today be convicted of abuse and sent to prison! Think back for those my age, were you mollycoddled as a child. My mouth was washed out with Fels-Naptha (a bar laundry soap that no longer exists) more than several times and we had a willow tree in our front yard the switches of which my rear end and those of my siblings became quite well acquainted. When we grew beyond the switch stage we then became familiar with something today that would definitely land your parents in jail but which was universally used back then and that was your father's leather belt applied to your hind end. When today's parents hear that it's OMG you were even BEATEN! Beaten my foot! And the most horrific effect we ever experienced was a red bottom for about an hour.

Of course probably only people my age believe with of course exceptions that the above is proper discipline however, looking at today's problems with youth and I happen to be one.

Todd
Gotta love the change in direction of discussion ..... but I don't think you can draw the conclusion that you were disciplined with physical measures and you were not harmed, so it's okay to hit a child. I was never hit with a strap or switch ... but I was spanked by my parents, and I am not opposed to spanking. I think the difference is the motivation behind the action. When I child is spanked by a parent as a disciplinary measure its one thing. When a child is spanked out of anger as an outlet for a parent that's different thing, and then at the extreme is a chidl who is completely beaten to a pulp. If the laws prevent me from spanking my child give the authorities the ability to hold accountable a parent who beats their child until they are black and blue; then that is a good thing.


But that is not at the heart of this discussion. The children that I am speaking off would likely never be spanked, because their parents are too afraid to parent them. I don't think its an issue of the parents beign afraid to to discipline but because the parents just want to make excuses for their children and create this artificial environment where a child can just do whatever they want. I do recognize that there are special children with special needs (and maybe there are more of them than I recognize).
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Old March 4th, 2011, 10:33 AM
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Rollerdonna - I guess that is where my frustration came from. I didnt' dare post this on that thread, which is why I came here to get the CM perspective. I really wish I could post a link to the thread ... so you could read some of the responses. Things like "It's a holiday, and you don't have to folllow rules on a holiday" implying that "so what if your child watches a dvd during dinner on a cruise .... it's not like you parent that way 365 days a year" or "its my holiday too, keeping my child busy allows me to enjoy my holiday". There was just about every possible excuse for justifying. I do to some extent subscribe to the theory of I'll parent my child and you parent yours. WHat I object to is when they way you parent your child (by breakign the rules) impacts my ability to parent my child.

Oh dear, as I recall your children are still quite young. 3 and 5 right? What you are experiencing right now on the cruise boards is simply the tip of the iceberg. As your children get older and are exposed to the children of people who do parent like this 365 days a year, you will have the sensation that your head is going to explode. I cannot believe the parenting or lack thereof that is acceptable these days. I know a gal who lives nearby. The kids come down in the dead of winter, with no coats on. (I have trained them to a degree, if they come down here without coats on, I send them home to get one on) They have few manners and can be quite rude at times. They are home alone frequently ages 11,9 and 3. I think the 11 and 9 year old might be OK alone for short periods of time, but not with a 3 year old in their care. It's asking for trouble. They frequently want my kids to come over for sleepovers, but it's hard because my kids lives are so much more structured and one night at their house screws up our schedule for days, because the Mom lets them stay up til all hours of the night. My kids have a set bedtime of 9 o'clock. If they have overnight guests, I might let them stay up til 10. But the kids need sleep to function properly. I have seen this so frequently with many of the kids they know. The parents just let the kids do what ever they want, they stay up until the wee hours of the morning.
So it is indeed a conundrum. My kids need to have friends, they have to have social contact, but good grief it is really hard to find people whose values and lifestyle is remotely close to ours. Really I am at a point where I think all sleepovers need to be here at our house, just to limit the disruptions to our lives and schedules and any other issues. The point I have tried to drive home to my kids over and over again. Is that I love them enough to give them the boundaries their friend's parents won't give them and I don't care if their friends have no curfews, supervision or bedtimes. I love them far too much to throw them to the wolves of the world. It is my job to care for them and as long as they are under my roof and in my care, I intend to be the best parent I can be, even if it makes them upset at their lack of freedom, when compared to the free reign their friends have.
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Old March 4th, 2011, 11:27 AM
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Oh dear, as I recall your children are still quite young. 3 and 5 right? What you are experiencing right now on the cruise boards is simply the tip of the iceberg. As your children get older and are exposed to the children of people who do parent like this 365 days a year, you will have the sensation that your head is going to explode. I cannot believe the parenting or lack thereof that is acceptable these days. I know a gal who lives nearby. The kids come down in the dead of winter, with no coats on. (I have trained them to a degree, if they come down here without coats on, I send them home to get one on) They have few manners and can be quite rude at times. They are home alone frequently ages 11,9 and 3. I think the 11 and 9 year old might be OK alone for short periods of time, but not with a 3 year old in their care. It's asking for trouble. They frequently want my kids to come over for sleepovers, but it's hard because my kids lives are so much more structured and one night at their house screws up our schedule for days, because the Mom lets them stay up til all hours of the night. My kids have a set bedtime of 9 o'clock. If they have overnight guests, I might let them stay up til 10. But the kids need sleep to function properly. I have seen this so frequently with many of the kids they know. The parents just let the kids do what ever they want, they stay up until the wee hours of the morning.
So it is indeed a conundrum. My kids need to have friends, they have to have social contact, but good grief it is really hard to find people whose values and lifestyle is remotely close to ours. Really I am at a point where I think all sleepovers need to be here at our house, just to limit the disruptions to our lives and schedules and any other issues. The point I have tried to drive home to my kids over and over again. Is that I love them enough to give them the boundaries their friend's parents won't give them and I don't care if their friends have no curfews, supervision or bedtimes. I love them far too much to throw them to the wolves of the world. It is my job to care for them and as long as they are under my roof and in my care, I intend to be the best parent I can be, even if it makes them upset at their lack of freedom, when compared to the free reign their friends have.
oh dear Beenie Weenie, I think I love you, and if we lived closer, I think we would be friends. Yes, my kids are 3 and 5. Sometimes, I think I may be too hard as a parent or that my standards may be too high, but then I see that we have better children for it. I'm trying hard not to pick my chidren's friends, but I will, as long as I can. Although, you can't tell from the way I type on message boards, I'm a stickler for good speaking habits. My daughter has one friend that she plays with and although she really is a lovely girl, my daughter comes back after one play date having picked up so many lazy speaking habits that it takes days to wean the word "like" from vocabulary. It drives me batty to hear a five year old speak a sentence with "like" being used as every third word.
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Old March 4th, 2011, 11:40 AM
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Isn't the old adage still true, "children should be seen and not heard?" Isn't that better than "children should be obsene and heard?" :eek::eek::eek:
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Old March 4th, 2011, 11:50 AM
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I prefer children should be well-behaved and heard
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Old March 4th, 2011, 11:52 AM
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I am not a parent and so I am not around a lot of kids these days, but most kids I do meet are nice these days. I find many of them are extremely shy.

It just seems to me that parenting would be such an awesome responsibility these days - a full time job, which is hard to do when you also need to make a living.

When we walk our dog a lot of kids will come up to us (because she is just so cute) and most all of them ask nicely if they can pet her before they touch her.
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Old March 4th, 2011, 11:57 AM
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I don't think kids today are the problem, its the parents. The referenced thread from the other board, .... the behaviour I was appalled by was the behaviour of the parents.
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Old March 4th, 2011, 02:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Queen of Oakville View Post
I don't think kids today are the problem, its the parents. The referenced thread from the other board, .... the behaviour I was appalled by was the behaviour of the parents.
The parents are the problem, the way kids behave and act are the result of parenting. Kids are not born to act the way they do, they only know what they've been taught. If they rule the roost, it's because they don't know better, have gotten away with it and think that's how it's supposed to be.
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Old March 4th, 2011, 04:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anniegb View Post
I have a nephew who is autistic - and a fairly severe form.

He is unlikely to cruise.

When he attends social functions , he dresses like everyone else.

Does that answer the question?

Annie
My brother is severely autistic my parents won't take him on a plane; for his safety and the safety of others. My brother has cruised (Alaska) and he did eat in the MDR. My parents made sure he was correctly dressed and it he freaked out they would have left. So of these ADH etc is crap. Annie you are probably like me you can tell a truly autistic person the moment they walk in the room. No eye contact, repetitive behavior, loud sounds hurt the ears; they don't want to be touched. My brother knows 4 words that it, he is 44 years old and he will never be able to get married or live on his own. It irritates the heck out of me when a parent feeds there kid nothing but sugar and caffeine then when the child runs around like a howler monkey they say their kid is hyperactive. Bull crap I have seen truly hyperactive kids and baby your kid isn't even close. Maybe if you paid a little more attention to what you are feeding your kid the issue will go away. Annie you probably know what I'm talking about. As a sister of an autistic brother I went to many special camp functions and the Special Olympics. I can easily tell the difference between a special needs child and a child that the parents need to be treated special. Okay I feel better now.
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