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Nothing on that front from here; my only child is married but he and his wife are still “settling in” as a couple. We have a “grand dog,” and that’s about it. For now. They both say they plan to have kids, just not yet.
Interestingly, at work one of my coworkers went on maternity leave a while back, and her replacement - who has worked with us in the past - announced shortly before our regular worker returned that she too (the temp) was pregnant. I’m definitely NOT using that chair OR desk. It seems to be dangerous...
Location: Iowa, how long can this be? Does it really ruin the left column spacing?
Mar 16, 2018, 12:38 PM
Originally Posted by OreoCookie
Any last advice from you recent parents? We have about 6 weeks left until the due date …
[post-writing edit] I originally meant to post only the gif below, but then ended up vomiting the rest of this out. Read at your own peril.
For the first few months?
Use the 5 Ss. Get a swing, get a few Swaddle Sacks, get a sound machine, get a few different styles of pacifiers. Find a good babysitter (family member, neighbor, British nanny, etc.) and use them to get out and get away for a while. Go out for dinner or at least a beer a couple of times a month. Keep your sanity. Remind yourself and your partner that you're on the same team.
Breast feed if you can, but know that babies on formula sleep better/longer. Occasionally we "supercharge" with an ounce of formula after nursing right before bedtime.
After that, it gets more fun. Do a "water baby" class. Teach your baby sign language - it reduces frustration in babies that are ready to communicate but haven't developed speech yet - "more," "please," "food," "water," "milk," "all done," "night-night" are all extremely useful for helping a child tell you want they need. My one-year-old would tell me when he needed a nap. Like...what??? His speech appeared a little early, and all of his first words were words that he had first learned how to sign.
Get an "Okay to wake" clock for the baby's room and teach them that they need to wait for Bug to light up before they can cry/call/get out of bed.
Warning: This requires that you engage with your child. You may have to take occasional breaks in "adult" conversation to address your child's questions, concerns, or additions. You may have to cut a grocery trip, restaurant visit, or outing short. You may actually have to interact with your child. It's initially much easier to stuff a screen in front of her or his face and shut them up, but part of having a child is being continuously engaged in their development and growth and the investment pays off in spades.
Anecdotally, I know a couple of screen kids - the boy has been watching Ninja Turtles and the flavor of the month "this show exists to sell kids the related toys" kids shows since he could sit up and stare at a screen. Now by the age of 7 he's been kicked out of one preschool, diagnosed with ADHD, and his parents are at his school at least once a week to address behavioral issues. He's incredibly smart and athletic but if he feels disengaged for even a second, he acts up. The 4-year-old girl had extremely delayed speech development (no need to interact with those around you when there's a screen), is incapable of sharing, and even now she screeches like a pterodactyl until she gets a phone in front of her face so she can zonk out to the flashing lights and fast action of Paw Patrol.
Talk to your child, even as an infant. Especially as an infant. Don't use baby-talk, don't mispronounce words in a cute way. Babies pick up on language, speech patterns, and more from an early age. When riding in the car, talk to the baby about your day, what you did, and your plans for the evening. As you're changing diapers, explain to the child what you're doing. Make conversation a natural part of your time with your infant/toddler/child.
Teach your child that their body belongs to them, and never make them feel compelled to participate in physical touch that they don't want to. Make it clear to family, friends, and even (especially?) grandma and grandpa that your child will choose if he or she will give or receive a high five, a hug, a kiss, or anything at all. They do not owe physical affection to anyone, and they will not be guilted into giving anyone physical affection. Establishing boundaries early on will help your child have confidence when they begin dating and establishing relationships as an adult.
Just like training a dog, reward behavior you want to see repeated. A child that hits you is not cute or adorable just because it doesn't hurt. One day that child will be capable of hurting someone, and that sort of behavior should never be reinforced. Likewise, if a child whines, complains, or nags and gets his or her way, you've taught them that whining works. Next time they don't get what they want, the whining starts. If it worked once, they'll try it again, and they're willing to whine louder, harder, and for longer because they know it has worked in the past.
If I make a decision and my child whines about it, it's an immediate shutdown. He is not getting what he's whining about. I let him know this and suggest that he choose a good attitude instead. If he does manage to turn it around and choose a good attitude in light of disappointment, I'll offer some other reward to reinforce the attitude change.
Again, like training a dog, "No" and "Stop" are negative commands and aren't helpful. Instead, redirect. Redirect. Redirect. Redirect. A child has a limited emotional capacity that can easily be overwhelmed by their current state and desires. Telling a child "no" or telling them to stop does nothing to deescalate their emotional state. Instead, engage your child - help them identify their feelings (are you sad? mad? frustrated? do you need something?), and suggest an alternative activity - help them with some coloring, find a favorite toy, or (maybe at a restaurant or other public place with limited options), play a verbal game like "I Spy", think of words that rhyme, or practice counting or the alphabet. Redirect. Redirect. Redirect. Help your child to acknowledge their feelings, then focus on something other than how upset they feel in a positive and enjoyable way.
Manage expectations and prepare your child for change. If your child is having a blast at the park and all of a sudden they feel yanked away from the park because it's time to go, surely a tantrum will ensue. Give your child a five minute warning, then a two minute warning, then a one minute warning, then go. Give your time and stick to it. Suggest a final activity (one more time down the slide then we're going!) and stick to it. This allows your child to mentally prepare for the end. There still may be a tantrum, but hopefully it's less severe, and over time as you are consistent with setting expectations, your child will learn to manage his or her own emotions.
Teach your child empathy by helping them understand the impact of their words and actions. Be very careful about forcing apologies. Even at a very young age, kids recognize and can tell the difference between a spontaneous apology and one that is prompted. They recognize the spontaneous apology as more meaningful, though there is still value in a prompted apology.
2. As children reach elementary school age, spontaneous apologies have more impact, so parents should think twice about whether and how to prompt apologies. If your child's apology doesn't seem sincere, it will have less impact in mending broken relationships.
3. Offers to make restitution not only heal hurt feelings, they also make the repair broken relationships. Parents can be helpful in making suggestions of how children can make up for the damage or hurt they caused either intentionally or unintentionally.
DEMONSTRATE IT. Show, don't tell. Let your child see you apologize to your partner for being unkind. Apologize to your child when you were wrong about something. They learn best by seeing you model humility, repentance, and appropriate behavior.
Regarding discipline, the best thing we've ever done is to take a class based on 1-2-3 Magic. It's simple and effective. You have very simple rules, you have a very simple way to signal to your child that what they are doing is unacceptable, and your child knows exactly where the line is. First offense - whether it's being whiny, saying something unkind, doing something unkind, etc. - "That's One." If the child continues - "That's Two." If the child still continues - "That's Three" and it's a timeout (for more severe actions, like hitting, it's an instant timeout). The child is informed as to the reason for the timeout. The timeout lasts for as many minutes as the child is old (3 years old = 3 minutes timeout). Once the timeout period is over, don a positive attitude and go retrieve your child, give a hug, and invite them to rejoin you. Don't reference what the child did that got them into timeout - that makes your retrieval a negative experience and the child looks to the end of timeout with dread.
There's more to 1-2-3 Magic than that, but that's the framework and it encompasses everything I've said above - manage expectations, be consistent, stick to your word, reward behavior you want to see repeated. Saying "That's One" is enough to turn my five year old around almost instantly. I can think of only one time in the past several months that he has needed an actual timeout. Kids naturally push boundaries, and if they consistently receive the same response to negative actions, they learn to curb the negative actions. If their negative actions receive inconsistent reactions, they're willing to gamble with the negative actions because there's a chance they'll get what they want.
My wife is a voracious reader and learner so she has found and read some incredible books on parenting. I'm a process-minded engineer, always analyzing methods and processes, taking what my wife learns and testing changes for potential improvements in parenting efficiency and outcome, and this is where we've landed.
And to toot my own horn a bit - my kid is 5 years old and every single person that spends any amount of time around him can't help but gush about what an incredible kid he is. He's emotionally cognizant of those around him, he's extremely helpful, kind, and good-natured. His teachers at preschool can't believe what a good kid he is - he's bright, focused, attentive, inquisitive, and well-behaved. He looks for ways to be helpful. He's patient when he needs to wait to get what he wants. He's the first to apologize when he recognizes that he's been unkind. He recognizes when his mother or I are upset and offers empathy ("I'm sorry that you stubbed your toe"). We believe this is in no small part due to the environment we've established for him based on the above. Who knows though, this second one could be a real uncontrollable terror.
Last edited by Laminar; Mar 17, 2018 at 08:32 AM.
Laminar, you basically condensed about 6 years of child rearing experience - well done rearing, I must add - into a few paragraphs. Excellent!
By about 24 months, our son was sleeping consistently, happy to play, and generally fun to be around. Then he started to make his preferences known. Foods: we wound up with him subsisting on things like fish sticks and corn microwave dinners (at dinner) for a couple of months. But he responded well to rules like "you have to take a legitimate taste of everything on the plate" and "treats are treats, and they're rare."
But one thing we found useful was a consistent routine in EVERYTHING. Wake time was always the same +/- 15 minutes, followed by breakfast at a consistent time afterward. Lunch and dinner at set times as well. And the BIGGEST part was BEDTIME was set in stone - and we had all analog clocks, so he couldn't challenge us on what time it was until he learned to read an analog clock.
And no matter how much you read, study, listen to advice and otherwise prepare, it'll feel like you know nothing every now and then. Yep. You have to figure out your child for yourself while he/she is figuring him/herself out. And each child is unique, even twins, so you really do "know nothing" as you child/children is/are developing. Get used to it. It's what they will remember as your humanity.
Location: Iowa, how long can this be? Does it really ruin the left column spacing?
Mar 17, 2018, 08:31 AM
Originally Posted by ghporter
Foods: we wound up with him subsisting on things like fish sticks and corn microwave dinners (at dinner) for a couple of months. But he responded well to rules like "you have to take a legitimate taste of everything on the plate" and "treats are treats, and they're rare."
Yes! We have the same rule - we try everything. He doesn't always like it (but what 5 year old would appreciate the "caramelized sweet potato and kale wild rice with vinaigrette" we had last night?), but he always tries it, and if he doesn't like it, we have other healthy options available. Some days most of his supper is blueberries, strawberries, and carrots, but that seems like a good thing? Since he could start taking solid food we've always just shared with him what we make for us - he doesn't get a special meal and we wanted to expose him to a wide variety of foods. I mean, he would totally live on mac and cheese and burgers if he could, but at least he tries.
Thanks for this very cogent and structured post. Without being a parent (yet), I can seem many commonalities in our philosophies. (E. g. I never understood why some people speak to their babies as if the babies are idiots …)
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
Jawbone, rereading the thread I saw I missed a question about speech therapy. Well, better late than never... it really helped our daughter. For a while she spoke so formally/ununciated people thought she was British, but now it's settled down to normal speech. I almost miss her lisp, but that's just me coping with big kids. How is your smart guy adjusting?
Now at 10yo, our issue is orthodonture. None of her baby teeth wanted to fall out the normal way, so she's had 8 pulled to make room for the new teeth that were coming in (a la shark teeth). A spacer is holding room for her canines, and then it's braces. :/
Location: Iowa, how long can this be? Does it really ruin the left column spacing?
Dec 16, 2019, 04:26 PM
Here's a fun one.
The oldest turned seven last Saturday. For a few days leading up to his birthday he'd had a pretty good cough. On the morning of his birthday (and Minecraft-themed party), he woke up at 5 crying in pain from coughing so much.
I took him in to urgent care and he tested positive for strep and had scratchy lungs, possibly pneumonia. So the doc prescribed Augmentin to treat both and the party was postponed a day until he was no longer contagious.
We had the party on Sunday, all went well. But this week he's been especially argumentative and rude. I figured I'd have at least a few more years before he hated my guts and thought everything I did and said was stupid. We figured he was sick, tired, or had too much screen time, but it was reeeally bad.
It was like a switch flipped when he turned seven and he went from a sweet kid who loved to joke around and read together and play with his little sister to a cranky grump, convinced that everything I did was to his detriment, that I didn't understand anything he needed, and I was purposely making his life terrible. He was rude when we had guests over (his close friends) and so he lost his trip to Barnes and Noble for a birthday treat and a book ("I don't care about any of that stuff, it's dumb," says the kid who loves books and treats more than anything in the world).
So last night I was mentally trying to figure out the balance between giving him some grace and dropping the hammer, when I Googled side effects of Augmentin.
Under "rare and severe:"
agitation, confusion, unusual thoughts or behavior
Holy cow that nails it on the head - agitated, confused about what's been done or said, unusual thoughts and behavior - that's it to a tee.
So our last dose is today. I'm hoping he clears up in the next few days and this isn't what I have to deal with for at least a few more years.
I’m impressed he went 7 years without being given Augmentin at least once. Heck, back when our kids were toddlers, our pharmacist gave us the cool Augmentin fridge magnet the drug rep had given them. They figured we’d earned it
When I want your opinion,-
I'll read it in your entrails
Antibiotics like Augmentin not only kill the bugs themselves, they recruit the body’s immune system to “downshift” and work harder. That takes extra energy, and the metabolic energy for that comes from somewhere. Usually it’s diverted from frontal lobe functioning, which leads to all sorts of behavior and personality issues. Like argumentative behavior, for one. It’s a couple of levels beyond “I don’t feel good at all, so I don’t feel like being nice.”