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The NEVERENDING Raising Children Thread

dvdneal

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For those with more than one kid how long can yours go before they start sniping at each other? This long road trip has shown me the answer is about 6-7 hours. I'm actually kind of impressed. Anyone have good tactics to get them to stop when you can't just lock them in their own rooms? I've made it so far on threats and taking important things like electronics for a while. I need something genius like the square timer thing
 

Michele Zone

     
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For those with more than one kid how long can yours go before they start sniping at each other? This long road trip has shown me the answer is about 6-7 hours. I'm actually kind of impressed. Anyone have good tactics to get them to stop when you can't just lock them in their own rooms? I've made it so far on threats and taking important things like electronics for a while. I need something genius like the square timer thing
Keep them fed. Keep them hydrated. Keep them entertained.

On road trips, we regularly stopped at a fast food place with a playground for one of our stops or someplace else they could run around and stretch their legs. I typically ate while they played, then got food to go for them so they got maximum play time. That helped.

If they get car sick, do what you can to mitigate it.

When they do snipe, try to chalk it up to the stressful situation rather than blaming them for misbehaving. Insist we aren't doing this right now and try to get them to nap.

The goal should be to stop it, not to find who to blame, basically.
 

Maister

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For those with more than one kid how long can yours go before they start sniping at each other? This long road trip has shown me the answer is about 6-7 hours. I'm actually kind of impressed. Anyone have good tactics to get them to stop when you can't just lock them in their own rooms? I've made it so far on threats and taking important things like electronics for a while. I need something genius like the square timer thing
I recommend earbuds, some Iggy & the Stooges, and a highly engaged spouse seated next to you to deal with 'em.
 
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Know where all the Cracker Barrels are along the way. Great place to stop with kids though the food is +o:)v:
Travel at night when they are asleep
Separate iPads/Tablets for games, movies, books, etc.
Frequent stops
 

Big Owl

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For those with more than one kid how long can yours go before they start sniping at each other? This long road trip has shown me the answer is about 6-7 hours. I'm actually kind of impressed. Anyone have good tactics to get them to stop when you can't just lock them in their own rooms? I've made it so far on threats and taking important things like electronics for a while. I need something genius like the square timer thing
Nyquil or Benadryl shots for everyone except the driver.;)

I was hoping to offer up something good and typing the above would give me time to think of it. We would separate them to one in the front and one in the back if I was driving. That helped so did separate electronic devices and headphones. Incentives helped... my kids know the value of a dollar.
 
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My 5th grader rode his bike to school today (they had a bike, walk, roll to school event) and it hit me in all the feels... the eternal parenting struggle of wanting to bubble-wrap them to keep them safe but wanting to let them grow their independence... After I made sure he got to school safely I was cursing the evil triad of incomplete streets - consolidated schools that are surrounded by parking lots - negligent sleepy morning drivers. #plannermom
 

mendelman

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My 5th grader rode his bike to school today (they had a bike, walk, roll to school event) and it hit me in all the feels... the eternal parenting struggle of wanting to bubble-wrap them to keep them safe but wanting to let them grow their independence... After I made sure he got to school safely I was cursing the evil triad of incomplete streets - consolidated schools that are surrounded by parking lots - negligent sleepy morning drivers. #plannermom
I, on the other hand, think my boys should have been doing this for years (I have 3rd, 4th and 5th grade boys). Especially since our house is .9 miles from the school building, using neighborhood sidewalks and only crossing a narrow arterial with full lighted crossings.

My wife....is a bit more hesitant then me. :p
 
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NYC metro is tough. I totally understand. It costs a crap ton to have kids here and there is no freaking way I'd do it in NYC proper for reasons you have cited. Most of my NYC friends have left the city for the suburbs or NJ once they had the 2nd kid.

I live in Newark and commuted to Grand Central all last year-hated every minute of it even though the money was very good. When an opportunity with Hudson County came up I jumped on it, even though it pays a bit less I still net the same and I've regained an hour a day back. Childcare is more reasonable on this side of the Hudson. I drive myself to work because I have a parking spot but I could take public transit if needed.

We live far from any family as well. My in-laws are in the Dominican Republic and even if they were here they would not be able to help care for my daughter in any meaningful way. My parents are deceased. We did think about moving to MA as there is extended family there but we also came to the conclusion that it would not be beneficial to move based on a number of factors. We are lucky to have an excellent babysitter and backup sitter but they only watch her M-F. We don't have help otherwise. It does get easier as they get older.

I feel like I have the best of both worlds living where I do, my neighborhood is super walkable and two blocks from the train as well as access points to many major roadways. I own a car but I can still do everything without one and parking isn't a competition sport in my neighborhood. You only chauffeur your kids as much as you are willing to (my oldest now 25 spent most of her childhood in the real 'burbs and I refused).

As other's have cautioned, you need to be honest with yourselves about how much help you're realistically going to get from either set of parents and recognize that they will age and need care themselves which can be burdensome and limiting in its own way. This is real talk as a number of us here are or have been in this situation. Think about what your job opportunities would be, how much you'd earn, what the cost of living would be in a new location and how far your earnings would go, would you be able to adapt to the lifestyle in a different location, would you rent/buy, do you need a car or two cars, etc. It's not an easy calculus.
This is so helpful. I cant thank you enough.

Right now, it's money in, money out in our household. We are spending around $1,500 a month on child care wth one kid. We eek by with one full-time, mid-level government salary (mine) and one part-time freelancer salary (hers). I have NO IDEA how families who are paying market rate rents get by in this city.

I'm partial to Westchester, as parts of it are lovely, green, and really amenable to an outdoor lifestyle, but the cost of living there is just astronomical. My thinking is that if you're going to live outside of the five boroughs, you do it to get more space and an easier lifestyle. The thing is, a lot of the new multifamily new construction going up there has unit sizes not much bigger than the city, A house is totally out of our price range unless we go 50+ miles outside of the city and I refuse to join the ranks of the harried Grand Central zombie-commuter class. What we want is what you're describing - essentially, a car-lite, walkable lifestyle with reasonable commutes.

The SO is actually from Bergen County, and we have family there, but it's the same issue as Westchester - it's a beautiful, desirable area but cost-prohibitive unless you're in finance, insurance, real estate, advertising, and you have to deal with the even more nighmarish Penn Station commute unless you score a local gig like you did.

The MIL has a house in North Carolina that she will essentially give to us if we move down there, but the area that it's in (the Triad) doesn't seem to be much of a hot spot for planning work.
 

gtpeach

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Last night, I was laying in bed with the six-year-old and she heard my stomach making standard digesting noises. She asked if there was someone in there. I told her no, which led to her asking how babies got into mommy's tummies.

I thought for a second and said that a man had to put it in there (maybe no technically correct, but close enough to serve the purposes). She asked how he did that, and then thought for a second and said, "Oh, wait. I know, but I'm not allowed to talk about it. It's gross." So then I explained that it's something that's okay if it's with someone that you love a whole lot.

So basically I just had the sex talk with a 6 year old that already knew most of the details. There are a lot of scenarios I thought through with this whole foster parenting thing... having that conversation was not one of them!
 

Planit

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Last night, I was laying in bed with the six-year-old and she heard my stomach making standard digesting noises. She asked if there was someone in there. I told her no, which led to her asking how babies got into mommy's tummies.

I thought for a second and said that a man had to put it in there (maybe no technically correct, but close enough to serve the purposes). She asked how he did that, and then thought for a second and said, "Oh, wait. I know, but I'm not allowed to talk about it. It's gross." So then I explained that it's something that's okay if it's with someone that you love a whole lot.

So basically I just had the sex talk with a 6 year old that already knew most of the details. There are a lot of scenarios I thought through with this whole foster parenting thing... having that conversation was not one of them!
Search YouTube for Julia Sweeney's Sex Talk!
Just the facts.
 

Michele Zone

     
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So basically I just had the sex talk with a 6 year old that already knew most of the details. There are a lot of scenarios I thought through with this whole foster parenting thing... having that conversation was not one of them!
By age six, yeah, lots of kids know the gist of it.

I was four when I asked my mom if "you have to do something dirty to make a baby." Mom told me "no."

I was trying to ask did you have to have sex to have a baby, but I only knew two expressions for sex and I knew the other one was not a word I could say to my mom as it contains four letters and starts with F. She was trying to say "Sex isn't dirty."

Total communication fail. But I felt lied to and jerked around.

That experience strongly shaped some of my parenting policies. Among other things, my policy was they wouldn't get in trouble for asking anything or using any particular word to try to communicate with me. I also had policies about respecting their boundaries, even if they were not able to articulate why X mattered to them. It really made an impression on me that small children face significant communication barriers and it easily goes bad places if adults don't account for the fact that kids don't necessarily know the right words for the idea they have in mind.
 

kjel

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This is so helpful. I cant thank you enough.

Right now, it's money in, money out in our household. We are spending around $1,500 a month on child care wth one kid. We eek by with one full-time, mid-level government salary (mine) and one part-time freelancer salary (hers). I have NO IDEA how families who are paying market rate rents get by in this city.

I'm partial to Westchester, as parts of it are lovely, green, and really amenable to an outdoor lifestyle, but the cost of living there is just astronomical. My thinking is that if you're going to live outside of the five boroughs, you do it to get more space and an easier lifestyle. The thing is, a lot of the new multifamily new construction going up there has unit sizes not much bigger than the city, A house is totally out of our price range unless we go 50+ miles outside of the city and I refuse to join the ranks of the harried Grand Central zombie-commuter class. What we want is what you're describing - essentially, a car-lite, walkable lifestyle with reasonable commutes.

The SO is actually from Bergen County, and we have family there, but it's the same issue as Westchester - it's a beautiful, desirable area but cost-prohibitive unless you're in finance, insurance, real estate, advertising, and you have to deal with the even more nighmarish Penn Station commute unless you score a local gig like you did.

The MIL has a house in North Carolina that she will essentially give to us if we move down there, but the area that it's in (the Triad) doesn't seem to be much of a hot spot for planning work.
It's always the rub, you need substantial means to afford a walkable lifestyle with a reasonable commute. It's why I live in Newark, I am sure you are aware of the downsides-but for us there are enough pros keeping us there that it works for us.
 

Gedunker

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My son complained of a toothache shortly after a dentist visit, where the dentist reminded him that he really needed to have his wisdom teeth extracted. So, with that in mind, we go through the possibility that it might be a cavity and concluded that it is not because it isn't particularly sensitive, so it must be the wisdom teeth. We make appointments for a consultation and extraction, and I go bring him home from college (~45 min each way) for the consult and we're set for surgery. I go get him again and we knock out an appointment for a CPAP mask fitting and next day the wisdom tooth surgery. Teeth come out (he's hilarious post-op still groggy from the drugs they used to knock him out:D), and he's back to college late the next afternoon. All good.

And then I get a text 10-days later that he's in excruciating pain from the same toothache.

Back to schlep him home from college to see the dentist, with X-rays this time, and he has an abscessed tooth.:-c:-{:not: So, another trip to college, appointment with a specialist, and this past week an extraction and bone graft followed by an extended stay at my home (not medically necessary, but the college lost heat and power due to our ice storm and my house was warm and comfy, so why the hell not?). He got his flipper the same day as the surgery and a follow-up for the week after Thanksgiving, and then - I guess - around 3-4 months, cosmetic dentistry for the permanent replacement tooth.

I assumed the abscess was from a cavity deep between the effected teeth, but I was wrong. He apparently had some form of trauma, up to as many as 12 years ago, that killed the nerve and it just decided to become infected last month.

Needless to say, my Health Savings Account took serious hit this fall. Hopefully, his mother makes good on her promise to finally repay me for his and his sister' health care.:not:
 

dvdneal

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