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  # 2376058 16-Dec-2019 07:20
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One thing I don't like (I wouldn't quite say hate) about being a parent is there seems to be very little support for parents of children with special needs. There's no after-school care whatsoever, so we have to arrange this privately (which is very expensive - my other boy's school has this but his brother's school doesn't; if they did it would be a Godsend) and we get a sort of benefit for my son, the princely sum of $90 a fortnight. Yes, I know there are people out there where that kind of money would be great, but $45 a week doesn't stretch too far in this day and age.

 

Sorry if I sound like I'm whining here, just wish there was more support for those raising special needs kids.


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  # 2376147 16-Dec-2019 10:29
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An older (15yrs+) female friend on hearing I/we was going to have our first child said "Its goodbye lover, hello flatemate" which i though was interesting coming from a woman rather than man complaining about changes to bedroom arrangements!!


 
 
 
 


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  # 2376155 16-Dec-2019 10:48
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One thing I find fairly difficult about being a parent is the constant comparisons to others  - i.e. "Jimmy's dad has a way better car than us - how come we don't have an awesome car"..."Fred's mum and dad take him on holidays all the time" etc etc. 

 

 

 

 





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  # 2376160 16-Dec-2019 10:56
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Handsomedan:

 

One thing I find fairly difficult about being a parent is the constant comparisons to others  - i.e. "Jimmy's dad has a way better car than us - how come we don't have an awesome car"..."Fred's mum and dad take him on holidays all the time" etc etc. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was raised by a single parent and money was usually a serious problem. We never went hungry (though I am certain my mother did many times), and had the real basics, though a lot was donated.

 

My wife and I, fortunately, are in a better position with our kids, so we have all they NEED and can provide them with some wants.  Because (hopefully) they will never experience what I experienced, it's important to me, that they understand how fortunate they are, and remind them

 

that families often can't provide the extras and for them to be considerate around their friends.

 

The reality is you can't really "tell" kids about this.

 

 


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  # 2376162 16-Dec-2019 10:57
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nakedmolerat: None.

Enjoy everything about them.

4 and more to come.

The only regret I have was to start family later in life. I feel like early 20s is the best age to start family.


Totally agree. I have 4 and wish I had some more but the pregnancies have taken their toll on the wife.

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  # 2376164 16-Dec-2019 11:01
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timmmay:

The feeling of being subsumed and not being a person any more, merely being an attendant to my child.


I had a day off the other day, with no wife or child from 8am to 4pm. I no longer have any hobbies, interests, or recreation. I read my book, did some cleaning, and felt like I was missing something. All I do these days is work, clean, cook, and look after the toddler, other than my once every two month drinks with a couple of friends. There's no time for anything else.


I have a demanding three year old. He's a great wee guy, but I feel that there should be something else to life.



The solution is to have more kids, they have instant friends then, probably not what you wanted to hear.

It gets easier as they get older as you can develop common interests with your kids, e.g. baking, fishing, body boarding, a musical instrument

Time out is important I try and slip in a early morning surf or free dive with a mate when I can.

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  # 2376165 16-Dec-2019 11:03
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networkn: another thing my grandfather taught me was kids often don't respond to being told what to do. They have a resistance reflex like a dog for example. The key to this is offering a choice.

Example: do you want to walk to bed or do you want me to piggy back ride to bed.

Either way they are going to bed, but presenting it like that means it was their decision.

 

Took me a little while to get this! My wife even longer.

 

I think she only realised it, well similar, one time when our son was being stubborn about having a bath/shower. He went off stomping down the hall expressing his displeasure. My wife was about to go and pull him up on it and I just had to remind her "is he going to have a shower?" "well yes...but..." "isn't that what you wanted...so you got your way. You've won the argument, let him think he's winning by stomping down the hall".  Its not easy letting those things go - but its the "pick your battles" scenario.


 
 
 
 


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  # 2376167 16-Dec-2019 11:08
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Kiwifruta:

 


The solution is to have more kids, they have instant friends then, probably not what you wanted to hear.

It gets easier as they get older as you can develop common interests with your kids, e.g. baking, fishing, body boarding, a musical instrument

Time out is important I try and slip in a early morning surf or free dive with a mate when I can.

 

Getting that time out is somewhat difficult for many. If one parent has time out that puts additional work / pressure on the other, when you have a demanding kid. Having family around would make it much easier, but in modern life families often live in different cities / countries to be where the work is.


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  # 2376169 16-Dec-2019 11:08
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nzkc:

 

networkn: another thing my grandfather taught me was kids often don't respond to being told what to do. They have a resistance reflex like a dog for example. The key to this is offering a choice.

Example: do you want to walk to bed or do you want me to piggy back ride to bed.

Either way they are going to bed, but presenting it like that means it was their decision.

 

Took me a little while to get this! My wife even longer.

 

I think she only realised it, well similar, one time when our son was being stubborn about having a bath/shower. He went off stomping down the hall expressing his displeasure. My wife was about to go and pull him up on it and I just had to remind her "is he going to have a shower?" "well yes...but..." "isn't that what you wanted...so you got your way. You've won the argument, let him think he's winning by stomping down the hall".  Its not easy letting those things go - but its the "pick your battles" scenario.

 

 

If you told me 15 years ago I would be making the compromises on my core values to accommodate a <10 year old child, I'd have laughed in your face and told you, you didn't know me well.

 

It's long stuck in my mind not to discipline when angry, but it's very true. It can be very hard to walk away and even harder to accept a 7 year olds opposing view to my 40+ year old experienced view is still potentially quite valid.

 

The other thing that I am learning, is that sometimes it's a matter of "good enough" rather than perfect.

 

Bodily Fluids is a thing my wife and I discussed I wouldn't be dealing with (nappies were a compromise and I changed somewhere near my fair share). My wife has a stronger stomach than I, but there have been many times where vomit has ended up all over me, and at the time, my first thought was how to make them feel better because it was so much worse for them than me (though vomit is still my Kryptonite).


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  # 2376170 16-Dec-2019 11:16
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timmmay:

 

Kiwifruta:

 


The solution is to have more kids, they have instant friends then, probably not what you wanted to hear.

It gets easier as they get older as you can develop common interests with your kids, e.g. baking, fishing, body boarding, a musical instrument

Time out is important I try and slip in a early morning surf or free dive with a mate when I can.

 

Getting that time out is somewhat difficult for many. If one parent has time out that puts additional work / pressure on the other, when you have a demanding kid. Having family around would make it much easier, but in modern life families often live in different cities / countries to be where the work is.

 

 

It's easy to say from here, but sometimes I feel the same way (though I am incredibly fortunate my wife understands me well and is generally much more patient). All I can tell you is that it's very likely going to get better soon. We had some family help, but considerably less than what we thought for a variety of reasons.

 

For your own sanity, however, I strongly urge you to find a way to carve out some time. I don't know your situation, but I really feel for you.

 

Is it an option to have a reciprocal arrangement with a friend where they take your child for half a day one day or two a month and you do the same for them? Is your child in day care, is it an option to extend the hours by 1 hour a week, where you and your wife each have "you" time doing things you enjoy?

 

We also accepted that sometimes, our kids were going to get more than the recommended allocation of screen time, and I am not sorry about that for a second.

 

If there are particularly big time sucks (for us it was meal times which took 60-90 minutes 2-3 times a day), we concentrated on bringing this down. Took some doing (my kids aren't fussy, but they are both SLOOOOWWWWWWW eaters), but we set hard limits on 30 minutes for eating meals (involved removing plates at 30 minutes time and letting them go hungry till the next meal time).

 

 


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  # 2376174 16-Dec-2019 11:28
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networkn:

 

It's easy to say from here, but sometimes I feel the same way (though I am incredibly fortunate my wife understands me well and is generally much more patient). All I can tell you is that it's very likely going to get better soon. We had some family help, but considerably less than what we thought for a variety of reasons.

 

For your own sanity, however, I strongly urge you to find a way to carve out some time. I don't know your situation, but I really feel for you.

 

Is it an option to have a reciprocal arrangement with a friend where they take your child for half a day one day or two a month and you do the same for them? Is your child in day care, is it an option to extend the hours by 1 hour a week, where you and your wife each have "you" time doing things you enjoy?

 

We also accepted that sometimes, our kids were going to get more than the recommended allocation of screen time, and I am not sorry about that for a second.

 

If there are particularly big time sucks (for us it was meal times which took 60-90 minutes 2-3 times a day), we concentrated on bringing this down. Took some doing (my kids aren't fussy, but they are both SLOOOOWWWWWWW eaters), but we set hard limits on 30 minutes for eating meals (involved removing plates at 30 minutes time and letting them go hungry till the next meal time).

 

 

Our toddler goes to daycare, but isn't yet comfortable going off with friends without us. Maybe in the next year or so. We get a bit of a break over Christmas when he's in daycare, which is helpful.

 

A friend of ours has a boy with developmental delay, potentially due to having far too much screen time. We give our son a phone for maybe 30 minutes in the morning if he's being grumpy, but every day. He gets 30 minutes in the evening after dinner, before we get him ready for bed. Occasionally we watch a movie on a wet afternoon. We try to keep in engaged and busy, which is great for him but less great for us.

 

He's a great little guy, it's just you need a break and to feel human sometimes. I reserve some of my leave for days off by myself, but you need some regular things too, you can't develop a hobby or interest with 2 days a year. When I had a day off recently all I had to do was read my book and clean things.


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  # 2376178 16-Dec-2019 11:35
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Bedtimes - both my kids are generally great but bedtimes are frustrating. My 6 y/o needs someone in bed with him or else he'll just play. I'm pretty sure he'd go all night if we left him (he did an Athens to Chch flight recently with only a handful of hours sleep). My almost 9 y/o doesn't need anyone but wants someone and so there is tears. Both kids are a battle.

 

 

 

Also, both kids are great on their own, but put them together and it's constant fighting. Neither can stop needling the other and the almost 9 y/o handles it the worst. 


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  # 2376180 16-Dec-2019 11:40
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timmmay:

 

Our toddler goes to daycare, but isn't yet comfortable going off with friends without us. Maybe in the next year or so. We get a bit of a break over Christmas when he's in daycare, which is helpful.

 

A friend of ours has a boy with developmental delay, potentially due to having far too much screen time. We give our son a phone for maybe 30 minutes in the morning if he's being grumpy, but every day. He gets 30 minutes in the evening after dinner, before we get him ready for bed. Occasionally we watch a movie on a wet afternoon. We try to keep in engaged and busy, which is great for him but less great for us.

 

He's a great little guy, it's just you need a break and to feel human sometimes. I reserve some of my leave for days off by myself, but you need some regular things too, you can't develop a hobby or interest with 2 days a year. When I had a day off recently all I had to do was read my book and clean things.

 

 

It's excellent you are willing to communicate all of that, and are able to acknowledge it's hard sometimes. There is NO shame in that. All parents struggle (Whether they admit it or not).

 

One thing I'd say is that you don't need to feel you need to interact with your kid(s) every waking minute, learning to play on their own is a really super important development step. It does not diminish you as a parent (I promise).

 

Both our kids are talkers, and so to get some sanity time, we would set up a timer for 5 minutes (we have an amazon device) and told them we wanted them to play on their own until the timer went off, and then we would come and spend 1:1 time with them. They valued that, so they would try hard. Sometimes it didn't work, but we built that up to 10 minutes, then 15. My kids are 7 and 10, and my wife has a very different relationship with them to me. They are all over her every minute, whereas I pushed back and set times like above.

 

Recently, we had a family meeting and expressed that my wife would be having Non kid time where they were expected to play and no disturb her.

 

In my experience, kids are all different, but it's a matter of finding what they value and somewhat trading that for a particular change in behaviour.

 

We have progressed over time to the point where for sanity, my wife and I each try and have a few days away, no kids, no spouse and no interruptions unless it's life or death. That has been a revelation. Seemed impossible at the start, but has worked well (Though my daughter gets sick EVERY single time my wife goes on holiday, which is AWESOME.

 

When my wife got back from holidays the first time, our kids would eat breakfast on their own, make their beds and get dressed without help.


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  # 2376184 16-Dec-2019 11:43
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Yeah, he's getting better playing on his own, but not quite old enough yet at 3 to understand time playing by himself without us. Time away individually would be valuable, will have to bring that up some time.


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  # 2376185 16-Dec-2019 11:44
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One thing I don't love is that as the Dad, it's almost always me that gets to be the bad guy. I am the growly one, the one that makes the big changes in the household that upsets everyone in the short term, or lays down the law if things aren't running smoothly.

 

Example, my 7 year old always got out of bed 2-5 times to go to the toilet or some other thing. My wife and I can't wind down until they are down, and I suggested my wife talk to her which didn't work. I suggested being more firm, but that didn't work either (because firm is a relative term).

 

In the end I fixed it myself, by having a nice but firm conversation about what I expected at bed time and with 1 exception for a geniune case, it's been 3 weeks of no getting out of bed. My wife is amazed (I just shake my head) :)

 

 


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