Parenting Catch-all

Thanks everyone for your experiences. We've got visits/tours lined up next week at a couple of preschools, one Montessori and one more regular pre-school to see what we like.

My son has a plethora of special needs and the Montessori approach seems to work really well for him. He is moving up from their early years (3-6) to Primary (6-9) in the middle of the year.

My wife is a family and children's counselor so I tend to defer to her when it comes to all the $10 words about why it is good, but he thrives in that environment when mainstream schooling may have seen him being left behind.

As to the cost, until he turned 5 we were paying $80AUD a day, basically the same as long day care anywhere else would have been and now we pay about $120AUD a week which is on par with other private schools.

Anyone have strong thoughts on Similac vs. Enfamil?

Did enfamil with our first baby with no problems. 2nd one we found wasn't as gassy with similac.

PoderOmega wrote:

Did enfamil with our first baby with no problems. 2nd one we found wasn't as gassy with similac.

Pretty much this. Try both. See which one works better.

Mixolyde wrote:

Anyone have strong thoughts on Similac vs. Enfamil?

Enfamil has better coupons.

In all seriousness, I just went with what baby liked most. For #1 it was Enfamil AR, and #2, it was Enfamil Gentlease. Once I figured out what formula they preferred, I started buying the Walmart or Target versions.

If Coscto is an option their Enfamil and Similac is cheaper or as cheap per oz without the coupons (Costco doesn't take non-Costco coupons as I understand it). Similac was actually a little cheaper at Costco than Enfamil. But if you find a generic brand that works from Target that's probably even cheaper but we never tried generics.

Thanks all for the thoughts!

We started off with Similac since that is what the hospital gave us (as a supplement to breastfeeding) but it never really seemed to agree with our daughter and she would be gassy and it also just smelled bad. We switched to Honest powder and it was much better for us. We bought the bundles online and I didn't think it was much more expensive. Looks like current prices are $1.30 per ounce of powder on the Honest bundle vs $1.28 per ounce for Similac sensitive at Target. I am sure if you shop around and have coupons or something then the Similac can be found cheaper.

PoderOmega wrote:

If Coscto is an option their Enfamil and Similac is cheaper or as cheap per oz without the coupons (Costco doesn't take non-Costco coupons as I understand it). Similac was actually a little cheaper at Costco than Enfamil. But if you find a generic brand that works from Target that's probably even cheaper but we never tried generics.

Thanks for the reminder - IIRC, I eventually used BJ’s generic brand for #2.

We're meeting with a child psychologist (psychiatrist?) soon to discuss my six year old daughter's anxieties. She's always been a big worrier, finding many movies/shows/stories with even minor amounts of conflict to be "too scary," has been increasingly saying she can't sleep because she's scared of vampires, etc. Based on some reading my wife and I had done recently, we came to the conclusion that her worries seemed age-appropriate, and that rather than trying to respond to the bedtime issues with some form of discipline ("if you call us up after bed time X nights in a week, then you lose Y privilege") we should accept this is a part of her emotional development and she's not being manipulative and we should just be patient with her. But at a recent checkup, my wife ran this all by her pediatrician, and she recommended we schedule a meeting with an expert to talk about whether she needs additional help.

Completely disconnected from that, yesterday our daughter's kindergarten teacher emailed my wife to let her know our daughter had seemed extremely worried all day long about forgetting to do her valentines, even though they weren't needed until the next day and we had already bought them. My wife spoke with the teacher this morning, filling her in on our thinking about her anxiety and asking if the valentines thing was a first or if there had been past examples. The teacher noted a few other similar events, including our daughter telling her that she couldn't sleep all night after they read a story about Martin Luther King Jr. because she was so upset that someone killed him. Sometimes things like that (which she hadn't mentioned to us, but feels consistent with other times when I felt like she was making outlandish excuses for not going to bed) make me wonder if the problem is more that she's prone to these dramatic presentations of her thoughts? The teacher said she had been so worried about the possibility that she would forget her valentines, but when I picked her up after school and gently inquired about that, she was just like "oh yeah, I thought maybe you might have forgotten to buy some, I'm glad you didn't," and that was it. But I guess it's just as possible that she downplays her anxiety after the fact than it is she over-sells it in the moment. I am constantly aware of my tendency to find a reason why actually everything is fine and nothing needs to be done, so I won't let those doubts prevent us from following up on this, but it does make me wonder.

Anyone have experience with this? Obviously I'm going to see the person our doctor recommends and listen to what s/he has to say, but I'd be interested to know if anyone has tips on raising a worrier.

Anxiety can certainly be the issue and it looks like you've got things lined up to explore down that path. I want to offer a possible alternative that can easily manifest in the type and severity of worry/deep emotional response you describe. IANAD and all that, so take a look and if it fits, you've got some additional resources, and if it doesn't, ignore it.

High Sensitivity (now known academically as Sensory Processing Sensitivity) is a innate genetic variation in about 15-20% of people that makes them more sensitive to subtleties, emotionally reactive, easily overstimulated, and process their thoughts and the world more deeply. Sleep troubles and "excessive" emotional response are normal for the highly sensitive as compared to the rest of the population. Dr. Elaine Aron pioneered the research into the trait and has written several books on the topic. Her website has adult and child focused questionnaires for identifying high sensitivity. These questionnaires were used in her peer-reviewed research and are the perfect place to start.

Dr. Aron also approaches the topic of anxiety disorder vs high sensitivity (Note: the term HSC in that link is the acronym for Highly Sensitive Child).

If this flood of information seems to fit, you can look into Dr. Aron's book The Highly Sensitive Child for more information.

I feel pretty strongly about this topic because I only discovered high sensitivity as an adult, about 2 years ago. I spent my childhood thinking something was wrong with me, that I was broken in some way, and visiting therapists to "fix" me. But it was my high sensitivity, not some disorder. Feel free to PM me if you've got questions.

Thanks, Antichulius--now that you mention it, I remember my wife had raised these concerns with her own therapist a while ago and she recommended The Highly Sensitive Child. I know my wife bought a copy, but I don't think either of us actually got around to reading it. Whoops. I'll definitely plan to read through that in advance of our appointment.

It's a really good read. The second half is broken into different ages and how to best help a Highly Sensitive Child at those different ages. So if HSC fits, you can kinda go to the right chapter and not worry so much right away about the other ages. Worth reading them all eventually, imo.

This is my favorite smart answer to a dumb question so far:

Me: We're having a baby soon and...
Other: Do you know what you're having?
Me: Yes, a baby. Try to keep up.

I also like "10 seconds ago just called and said we're having a baby."

sometimesdee wrote:
Mixolyde wrote:

Anyone have strong thoughts on Similac vs. Enfamil?

Enfamil has better coupons.

In all seriousness, I just went with what baby liked most. For #1 it was Enfamil AR, and #2, it was Enfamil Gentlease. Once I figured out what formula they preferred, I started buying the Walmart or Target versions.

Did the same, Figure out what the kid most agrees with and then we went generic if possible. And converted to milk a smidge on the early side like at 10 months if Doc said ok.

garion333 wrote:

What about cost of Montessori vs daycare?

I keep seeing "count of Montessori vs daycare?"

Antichulius wrote:

Smart words

I live in a house of empaths and we are all highly sensitive. Luckily for me my wife is an amazing counselor (part Bajoran I think) so we have managed to navigate the choppy waters of dealing effectively with our son. It's incredibly frustrating when other family members who just don't understand and make archaic suggestions on how to raise our children which I know from first hand experience did not help me one jot when they did it to me.

So my older daughter is about to turn 3 in a couple of months. I've noticed lately that she's starting to learn really simple "games" like I Spy and such. She's got all her colors and shapes down, can count to 20 (mostly) and recognizes a lot of letters. I'm probably still getting ahead of myself but I can't help thinking that it might be about time to introduce some really simple board games to her. Being a self-respecting board game nerd, I'd like to avoid Candyland if at all possible. I know that HABA is the hotness in kids' board games, and my local game store has a pretty good selection. Has anyone here tried HABA games with their little kids and have recommendations?

chixor7 wrote:

So my older daughter is about to turn 3 in a couple of months. I've noticed lately that she's starting to learn really simple "games" like I Spy and such. She's got all her colors and shapes down, can count to 20 (mostly) and recognizes a lot of letters. I'm probably still getting ahead of myself but I can't help thinking that it might be about time to introduce some really simple board games to her. Being a self-respecting board game nerd, I'd like to avoid Candyland if at all possible. I know that HABA is the hotness in kids' board games, and my local game store has a pretty good selection. Has anyone here tried HABA games with their little kids and have recommendations?

I have Monza, and I think it's great (my 5-year-old isn't as interested though). You only need to match colours and understand that legal spaces need to be touching each either.

Don't turn up your nose at Candyland either. It works great for young kids, and teaches them the fundamentals of playing games: that there are rules, what the rules are, and how to follow them; and, as they get a bit older, how to teach a game to others. Strategy, and strategic games, can come later.

I didn't want to post earlier for fear of jinxing it, but this past Monday our a-few-months-shy-of-three year old tried undies at pre-school for the first time. It's been a full week, she's still going strong, and there was only one accident wednesday morning. Praise be to fewer diapers, and to the support and patience of those teachers.

Also one trick they did there that i'd never heard before was to use pull-ups for naptime, but have the kids put their undies on over them. I don't know if that started for sanitary reasons or what, but i thought it was brilliant for helping ours to get in the mindset that she's wearing undies all the time now. We've started doing it at home for bedtime as well. I wish i'd heard about this sooner, i think it really would've helped.

Do kids ever grow old enough to give you a break when you are sick? Mine are 5 and 7 and so far the answer is no. I shouldn't be surprised because they never have in the past, but I've got a nasty flu right now and the wife is out of state so I'm all alone on a three day weekend and their reaction to me hacking, wheezing, coughing, and asking for them to take it easy, be calm, just give Daddy a frickin break today is this;

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/FAQDh0f.jpg)

So do kids ever get old enough to give you a break when you are sick?

Mine did a few months ago when I got sick. She's only 3 & 1/2. I put something on netflix, made sure she had some food, then slept on the couch.

Depends on the type of sick, my daughter (4yo) had the flu last month and just watched netflix and laid in her bed all day. She would ask us to turn it off so she could go back to sleep. This is, of course, counter to my son (almost 7yo) who cannot leave you alone.

lunchbox12682 wrote:

Depends on the type of sick, my daughter (4yo) had the flu last month and just watched netflix and laid in her bed all day. She would ask us to turn it off so she could go back to sleep. This is, of course, counter to my son (almost 7yo) who cannot leave you alone.

It's that I'm sick and they are well

Gravey wrote:

I have Monza, and I think it's great (my 5-year-old isn't as interested though). You only need to match colours and understand that legal spaces need to be touching each either.

Don't turn up your nose at Candyland either. It works great for young kids, and teaches them the fundamentals of playing games: that there are rules, what the rules are, and how to follow them; and, as they get a bit older, how to teach a game to others. Strategy, and strategic games, can come later.

Thanks, I will check that out!

Good points on Candyland. But it’s still the Comic Sans of boardgames imo

chixor7 wrote:
Gravey wrote:

I have Monza, and I think it's great (my 5-year-old isn't as interested though). You only need to match colours and understand that legal spaces need to be touching each either.

Don't turn up your nose at Candyland either. It works great for young kids, and teaches them the fundamentals of playing games: that there are rules, what the rules are, and how to follow them; and, as they get a bit older, how to teach a game to others. Strategy, and strategic games, can come later.

Thanks, I will check that out!

Good points on Candyland. But it’s still the Comic Sans of boardgames imo ;)

So it’s good for children and people with dyslexia?

jrralls wrote:

So do kids ever get old enough to give you a break when you are sick?

I suspect when they move out. I’ll let’s you know in 8-10 years.

They’re pretty good at 13. They might even do something nice for you like do the dishes.

Housework starts at an early age. Mine are 8 and 5; the eldest is now in the habit of taking his dish to the kitchen sink and the youngest is starting to follow his example. Small things but with positive reinforcement.

As for being left alone. Can't help there, mine are constantly seeking my attention (as the parent who looks after their mental development it's inevitable; they bug my wife probably half or less the intensity they clamour for my attention).