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  • Showing only topics with the tag "parenting". Back to normal view
    1. Thermal paste and toddlers

      Last night my daughter's toddler bed fell apart and I had to fix it. Some screws had come loose so it was an easy fix. Brought my toolbox into their (her and her twin brother's) room around bed...

      Last night my daughter's toddler bed fell apart and I had to fix it. Some screws had come loose so it was an easy fix. Brought my toolbox into their (her and her twin brother's) room around bed time, fixed the bed, then began the usual bedtime routine. My wife and I left the room and that was that.

      Except I left my toolbox in there because I'm forgetful. And you'd think the pokey screwdrivers, gardening shears, and other dangerous tools in there would've been a problem, but nope. My kids weren't interested in that stuff. They pulled out my chalk line and unspooled it. Fortunately it had been heavily used in a project recently, so there wasn't much chalk in it. But they really seemed to like the small, mostly-empty tube of thermal paste I keep in there for computer projects.

      If anyone has used thermal paste, you know how incredibly messy it is. It's this thick, dark paste that gets everywhere if you're not careful. And it's the kind of thing where even just a little bit of it can make a big mess. It was all over the walls and all over them. Fortunately they were kind enough to put the cap back on the tube when they were done (bless them).

      We tried to use wipes, but to no avail. So the first thing we did this morning was give them a bath and used a wash cloth to clean it all off. I also did some quick googling to see if thermal paste was toxic (it isn't), but 90% of the answers online were jokes about it improving your body temperature and allowing you to overclock yourself. Fucking hilarious stuff, but maybe not so much when you're making sure your kids are alright. They should be fine though.

      Anyway, how're ya'lls days going so far?

      18 votes
    2. I can't stand how many adults actively campaign for the suffering of children

      The title says it all, really. Today there was a story about the Flordia Department of Education rejecting a record number of books for containing Critical Race Theory. But when I read the article...

      The title says it all, really.

      Today there was a story about the Flordia Department of Education rejecting a record number of books for containing Critical Race Theory. But when I read the article it said that it was rejecting these books for other things - for Common Core and for a thing called Social-Emotional Learning, or SEL.

      SEL is not a term I'm familiar with, so I looked it up. There's an organization that advocates for it called CASEL who has a more in-depth writeup, but to put things as simply as possible, it's the idea that lesson plans should include material to improve a person's social and emotional growth and is largely concerned with students' mental health. I couldn't understand why anyone would have a problem with this kind of thing; kids today are put through a lot of stressful situations and it looks like mental health for children has been an issue that has exploded over the past few years. So I found and read an article about why it's controversial and I'm practically in tears over here.

      Right now we are living in a world where children are tortured so much that they attempt to kill themselves and there are grown adults - legitimate parents of their own children - who are fighting against the people who are trying to help them. And all of the answers to why they are doing this are just absolutely insane to me. Some of them don't want their children to realize they were racist. Some of them don't want to ever discover the concept of sexuality or gender identity for fear that their child might not be straight cis baby factories. But overall, it seems like they oppose it because it threatens their control over their children, as if they were puppets to command.

      I already knew how fucked up they were when they were trying to pass that Don't Say Gay bill, but this is just absolutely next level insanity. I'm sure they don't realize that the concept of SEL exists largely because there are so many children in the world who have had to deal with parents who think and act like these people do.

      Utah Parents Unite, an activist group that says it’s fighting indoctrination and mask mandates in schools, urged its members to lobby against a bill to expand suicide prevention programs to elementary schools, where, the group said, “suicides are not happening.” (National data obtained by NBC News show that the number of children ages 6-12 who visited children’s hospitals for suicidal thoughts or self-harm has more than doubled since 2016.)

      ARGH!

      26 votes
    3. I'm stuck and could use some help, pretty please

      okay tildes here to tell suspended to leave their kid alone about discord on the school computer. that was easy advice to give! But how about a real challenge in what-should-i-do-about-the-boy?...

      okay tildes here to tell suspended to leave their kid alone about discord on the school computer. that was easy advice to give! But how about a real challenge in what-should-i-do-about-the-boy? hold onto your HATS bc I've got a TOUGHIE~!

      see I was tutoring this 13yo last year. He was super isolated and he still is. He deals with a range of insecurity and frustration. He leaps to conclusions and struggles with anger at the people around him, especially his mother. I used to spend time with him daily, but then I moved towns and now our contact is limited to chat and video call. We talk throughout the week but we always video call on wednesdays. His mother asked me if we could switch days, because she wants him to go to after school sessions with a math teacher who has noticed his grades falling. When I talked to him about the possibility of swapping so he could attend the afterschool, he told me that he didn't want go to sessions for dumb kids. I said I was flexible regardless so he can't use the time I reserve for him as an excuse not to go -- but I worry that his perception that the sessions are for dumb kids reflects a stigma that will prevent him from asking for help when he needs it.

      How do I push back on the idea that getting extra help with school could imply that he is somehow inexcusably deficient? I sense that most of his other teachers are setting the bar even lower for him than they did last year; his take-home assignments are uniformly inane, and he knows it. How would you communicate around why it is important to try and to practice trying when so much of what is expected of him is transparently pointless? My friendship with him has become important, I think, but I worry a lot that I have no chance to guide him toward a better life and this episode has been a keen example.

      5 votes
    4. In what good ways are you like your parents?

      It's kind of a cliché to say we don't wanna be like your parents, but some parents are awesome and we have good reason to be like them. In which ways being like your parent(s) made you a better...

      It's kind of a cliché to say we don't wanna be like your parents, but some parents are awesome and we have good reason to be like them. In which ways being like your parent(s) made you a better person?

      16 votes
    5. Adoption isn't happily ever after

      This will probably make some people uncomfortable and even angry, but it needs to be said. Adoption isn't happily ever after. The media loves to portray it that way, especially for foster kids....

      This will probably make some people uncomfortable and even angry, but it needs to be said.

      Adoption isn't happily ever after.

      The media loves to portray it that way, especially for foster kids. Everyone loves the fairly tale story about the poor abused kids that get rescued by the selfless hero foster parents who then adopt them and everything is all good after that. I mean, the kids now have loving parents and a stable home. That's all they need right?

      People love a happy ending. But fairy tales aren’t real and life isn’t that simple. Adoption is messy, and I don't mean the legal process, I mean the actual adoption itself. Adoptive parents aren't selfless heroes, they are regular flawed people just like everyone else, they just happened to choose to adopt.

      These kids have been through bad things that are beyond the imagination of most people who don't have experience with the kids themselves. I hear it all the time. People say "They just need a good loving home". Loving and stable homes are great, but they don't make those bad things go away. Even if the adoptive parents were perfect (which they definitely aren't) these kids will be dealing with their trauma for the rest of their lives.

      And for these kids trauma isn't simple like so many people assume it is. It isn't just bad dreams and sadness. It's rage. It’s frequent meltdowns over the smallest things. Sometimes it’s hurting pets, or even other kids. Sometimes it's trying to burn the house down. Other times it’s stealing from kids at school. Sometimes it’s grade schoolers finding ways to look at porn. Sometimes it’s trying to molest other kids. This doesn’t describe all kids from foster care. It’s not meant to scare you. It’s meant to show you that there’s more than what you see on the outside.

      For these kids meltdowns have a completely different meaning than for most other kids. A meltdown isn't crying and getting angry for 10 or 15 minutes. It can be hours. Hours of true screaming. Hours of punching doors and walls. Or punching us. Or hurting themselves. Total non-compliance. It's a total inability for them to calm down at all. Sometimes we have to physically restrain them for safety reasons. Usually, they have to physically exhaust themselves before they finally begin to come down.

      And it's not their fault.

      And we parents aren't perfect either. Sometimes we scream back at them. Sometimes we escalate the meltdown even more. Sometimes we restrain when it's not necessary. Sometimes we just layer on consequence after consequence, not because it's helping, but because we are mad and caught in a power struggle.

      We take them to doctor appointments. We adjust meds. We get to counseling every week. We literally pull them out of public school because they can't function there. We are usually exhausted. We are often hopeless. We fear they will never have a normal childhood. We fear that they won't have a good life as adults.

      We can never replace their birth parents. They will always miss them, no matter how bad the abuse was. They will mourn what could have been. They will mourn what should have been.

      They point that hurt and anger at their adoptive parents. They say they hate us. They say they will kill us.

      We aren't a fairy tale family. We aren't some success story about the power of love.

      We were the safest option in a bad situation.

      We will always love them as our kids. We will always strive to be there for them, to support them, to give them what they need to have whatever healing is possible.

      For them though this will never be as good as having birth parents that were safe and loving in the first place. This will never compare with what should have been.

      34 votes
    6. Looking for a new high chair. What would you recommend?

      The last time I posted on tildes, I got some really helpful suggestions on a mop for my floors. Now I'm looking for a new high chair for my daughter. She's nearly 6 months old, so we're about to...

      The last time I posted on tildes, I got some really helpful suggestions on a mop for my floors. Now I'm looking for a new high chair for my daughter. She's nearly 6 months old, so we're about to start her on solid foods but gave away our older son's high chair a while back when he started sitting in a regular chair (and because it was terrible).

      The main requirement is that it's easy to clean, but it also has to support a younger baby sitting in one for the first time. Our last high chair (Graco brand) almost seemed like it was designed to have as many difficult-to-reach crevices as possible where crumbs could get pulverized into.

      What do you think?

      6 votes
    7. Misguided things our parents did

      I'd like to hear your stories of things your parents did with good intentions that went wrong. This is mine. When I was very young – old enough that I can remember it, but young enough that I...

      I'd like to hear your stories of things your parents did with good intentions that went wrong. This is mine.

      When I was very young – old enough that I can remember it, but young enough that I wasn't going to school full time yet – my mother would volunteer at a local nursing home. I never met my maternal grandmother. I think she died a year or two before I was born. I have a vague memory of meeting my maternal grandfather, and there are photos of it, but he died when I was still quite young. Maybe 4 or 5. I don't believe either of my grandparents were in ill health before their deaths. But I think that their deaths affected my mother and she wanted to help other elderly people, so she started volunteering at the nursing home.

      I have 2 older brothers who by this time were in school most of the day, leaving my mother and me at home alone. I think she also got bored of doing housework and wanted to do something useful with her time. (I can't say I blame her!) I suspect she also thought that the residents of the nursing home would enjoy interacting with a child, even if it wasn't their own grandchild. So she took me with her. I think she wanted me to learn to value elderly people and to learn to value community service.

      Unfortunately, she failed miserably. What I learned was that old people are scary as fuck and I didn't want to be anywhere near them. You this was a nursing home. This was not an "old folks home" where they play canasta, have dances, and engage in elderly hanky panky. This was end-of-life care for people dying of cancer, and the now-preventable diseases like polio. The entire place reeked of vomit, and the old people were hard of hearing and weird. They were almost always in a bed or wheelchair, and usually in hospital gowns. There were often sounds of screaming from other rooms where some patient was in terrible pain from whatever ailment they suffered.

      The residents were all old and gray haired except for one. He was a young man. He had to be younger than my mother who would have been in her early 30s. He was probably 20-ish years old. His hair was not gray - it was dark black and close cut with electric clippers, though not quite a crew cut. He was always in a hospital gown and always in a wheelchair that had an IV pole on it (though I don't recall there ever being anything hanging from it). And while he looked normal, he had some sort of mental deficit where he could only grunt and moan. I would often see him loudly moaning and gesticulating as if trying to point at something to say, "give me that," or "take me over there."

      The one bright side to this place was that there was a woman in a red and white striped uniform who pushed around a cart full of every type of candy imaginable! I wanted so much to get a peanut butter cup or a chocolate bar from her, but no. Her candy was strictly off-limits to me. (I don't know whether it was cost or health that made my mother refuse to ever let me have a piece of candy.)

      I'm pretty sure my mother was trying to teach me the value of both old people and volunteering to help our community. But as a ~4 year old, it was too much. It instead taught me that getting old meant pain, suffering, and eventually death, and that old people are scary as fuck. I didn't want to get old or be around old people. (I eventually got over it and now am nearing being an old person myself. 😉)

      20 votes
    8. Why do you wanna be a parent?

      I really don’t have much to say, that’s 100% an honest question about something I truly fail to understand. I’m not opposed to having children if it seems right for some reason, but this is not a...

      I really don’t have much to say, that’s 100% an honest question about something I truly fail to understand. I’m not opposed to having children if it seems right for some reason, but this is not a dream or project of mine. When I ask people about it, I get vague answers or stuff I cannot relate to at all. And some people seem to want to get married and have children just because they think they’re supposed to.

      I’m really not in a position to judge, but I will probably politely ask further questions for my own education.

      If that’s a sensitive topic for you and you don’t wish to indulge my curiosity, maybe this post is not for you! Everything surrounding parenthood tends to generate gratuitous animosity, so please be patient with my earnest ignorance.

      17 votes