Parenting Catch-all

+1 to everything Leaping Gnome said.

We knew some people who never took sleep training seriously, and now they have a 12 year old and a 7 year old who sleep in their parents’ bed, all night, every night. Don’t be those people (unless you want to be those people).

Don’t let the apparent magnitude of the problem in the moment dissuade you – it really is a short amount of hardship to endure – most kids get it within the 3-4 nights LG says. It’s such small beans in the scope of years or parenting, even if it will feel like hell listening to your little one wail for what feels like hours on night 1. And do it over a weekend – start the change on a Friday, so you can be sleep-deprived over a weekend instead of during the work week.

A week later, you’ll be kicking yourself for not doing it sooner.

Thanks. I thought we were following some sleep training tips my wife had read about when we locked down the bedtime story routine and teeth brushing. Most nights she actually gets to sleep with a little half hour routine and that's good.

But I guess there's more to do.

Yes having the 'go to bed' routine is awesome, and try to do it at the same time every night. Now you just need to augment that with the actual sleep training part to get her to sleep in her bed and more importantly put herself back to sleep when she wakes up in the middle of the night.

My girl is 16 months, so only a little older. She was a horrendous sleeper for the first 11 months. Getting her to sleep could be an hour of struggle.

In August and September when she was 11 and 12 months we began taking her for a walk in a jogging stroller around 6:45pm. She would fall asleep during the walk and we would transfer her into the crib afterward. If she woke up, I would place her in her infant carseat and rock her on the footstool of the nursing chair in her room. Lots of crutches.

Come mid-October it was too cold and dark to walk at night, so we went straight to the infant car seat setup. I’d typically hand her a night time bottle, she’d drink it and I would rock her for 15-30 mins while she dozed off. After about a month she began to arch her back when I put her in the car seat. I took that as a sign she was ready to just go straight into the crib. I started giving her the big night time bottle around 6:30, she would drink between then and 7, then we would say goodnight and plop her in the crib. The first few nights she would cry for 5-15 minutes before falling asleep. Since then it’s been golden, say since mid-November. I put her in bed between 7 and 7:15 and she generally goes to sleep without a peep. She cries out once in a while and if it goes for more than ten seconds or so, I’ll go in and pop her pacifier back in, but that’s generally only once a night. There have been a few 2-3 day stretches where she’s regressed and been awake and hungry multiple times per night, but nothing too crazy.

Is your kiddo walking yet? I found there was a correlation between her learning to walk and her desire to be more in control of her sleeping habits.

So both our kids were up most of the night for the first two years. We tried every trick, trade, suggestion, and seance. Nothing worked. Finally we took away the bottle, shut them in their room and let them cry it out. Kids sleep like a rock. First one figured it out quick. Maybe a week or less but we tried it several times. Seems like almost 2 was just the magic time. 2nd one has stubborn fight in her and it took several weeks if not two months to sleep train her.

At some point you just need your sleep and some kids don't correspond to any advice out there. Do what works but it will take time.

My kid is very interested in Minecraft but not really capable of playing. Is there a good set of young kid friendly videos out there I can watch with him.

Searching is a little daunting as it may be the single most sought-after job on the internet.

My son loved PopularMMOs YT channel - a couple play various Minecraft mods(?)... I found them kinda grating in that “wow this is so ah-may-zing!” kind of way. But nothing objectionable.

Thanks I'll check them out. I'm anti-blippi type shows for my sanity, but I live with them if need be.

What I'd really like is a basic let's play without mods so he can get to learn what the game is and what can be done. Right now we just dig to bedrock and build to the limit repeatedly while occasionally checking on our animals. Not bad, but it might be nice for him to see other things we could do without me having to talk him into them.

Ok just got to post my parenting win - we had our son’s birthday party scheduled for this afternoon at Dave and Busters but due to a mixup it got started at 230 instead of 130. So the party bled into the Super Bowl and then my son wanted to spend the next couple hours taking advantage of his unlimited tickets. So I missed most of the game but my kid had an epic time.

To be clear, I have a great dad but he would never do that for me.

All right, I think this has been asked and covered before, but there may be new information or techniques out there now, so I want to ask fresh: "What are you guys doing to monitor / prevent / manage kid internet access?"

I've got a chromebook in the house (thanks Farley3k!) that we let the kids use for their homework and class assignments. In addition, we've signed up accounts for some kid friendly education-centric games (Prodigy and Reading Eggs). Unfortunately what's been happening is our older boys have gotten the word from their friends at school for some sites that have free web games, and our kids have been visiting those sites and playing games that we were not aware of and have not approved of.

So, what, if anything, are other parents out there using to manage web access for kids?

ThatGuy42 wrote:

All right, I think this has been asked and covered before, but there may be new information or techniques out there now, so I want to ask fresh: "What are you guys doing to monitor / prevent / manage kid internet access?"

I've got a chromebook in the house (thanks Farley3k!) that we let the kids use for their homework and class assignments. In addition, we've signed up accounts for some kid friendly education-centric games (Prodigy and Reading Eggs). Unfortunately what's been happening is our older boys have gotten the word from their friends at school for some sites that have free web games, and our kids have been visiting those sites and playing games that we were not aware of and have not approved of.

So, what, if anything, are other parents out there using to manage web access for kids?

I haven't yet, but probably should get on this, but plan to only allow white listed sites on my kids' accounts. If they want something new, they have to check with mom or me. Obviously it's more effort, but should work for a little while.

ThatGuy42 wrote:

So, what, if anything, are other parents out there using to manage web access for kids?

Nothing. Mine are 7 and 11 and both have smartphones with unlimited data, and they have a computer in their room. I trust them to be smart.

I often help my son with his homework. Unfortunately, he's in HS now and is taking higher level math than I took in school. He doesn't always need help so when he does, I'm usually behind by quite a bit. Essentially, I can't really help him any more. Often when he needs help it's for things due tomorrow. Does anyone have any suggestions for helping in this situation?

EvilHomer3k wrote:

I often help my son with his homework. Unfortunately, he's in HS now and is taking higher level math than I took in school. He doesn't always need help so when he does, I'm usually behind by quite a bit. Essentially, I can't really help him any more. Often when he needs help it's for things due tomorrow. Does anyone have any suggestions for helping in this situation?

Time management classes for him?
Otherwise, there are a lot of good tutorials online now.

When I get presented with those “I have no idea what you’re doing” math... I’ll back up to (at least) the start of the chapter (where it should be explaining the concepts)... sometimes I even go back 2+ chapters. If it’s a well-designed textbook, it should be building on concepts.

And, yeah... “poor planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part”

EvilHomer3k wrote:

I often help my son with his homework. Unfortunately, he's in HS now and is taking higher level math than I took in school. He doesn't always need help so when he does, I'm usually behind by quite a bit. Essentially, I can't really help him any more. Often when he needs help it's for things due tomorrow. Does anyone have any suggestions for helping in this situation?

I found the Khan Academy online materials were very helpful here. Both to redirect the child but also to give you a refresher if you are trying to keep up.

Our girls are 3 and 4,5y old now, and they're not very keen on giving complete answers on the 'how was your day' or 'what did you do today' questions.

But I started to ask them 'do you want to tell me something?' when tucking them in at night. It works perfectly: it's a perfect setting, they want to stay awake for a few minutes more, and they tell the cutest stories. The best are only vaguely related to reality.

@EvilHomer3k my daughter asks her friends for help with math, we stopped being able to help her around this same time. Also her school has older students available to tutor younger students with homework, maybe that's an option? If not school organized, you might be able to find someone in a higher grade or in university who is interested in earning a few bucks and tutoring. My daughter also does tutoring for younger students.

I'm hoping as my kid ages and the schoolwork becomes more difficult, I'll use it as a refresher for my own knowledge.

I'm sure when that time comes....I'll just not have the time or brain space.

Thanks all for the suggestions. Last semester he had his schedule arranged so that he had a study hall before math and that helped with this. I started out helping but eventually we were spending an hour or two at night a few nights a week with half of that me trying to learn what he was trying to do. We did do Khan a bit but there was one guy who seemed to do most of the videos and my son hated him. We were able to get things figured out but I'm not sure he understood it at an application level (I often didn't). I contacted his teacher because they don't have a book but they did give me the website they used. I'll check with his new teacher to see what they are using for a 'book'.

The big issue for me has been that since it's more infrequent now when he does need help I have a lot of catching up to do.

Has anyone ever used discord/reddit for anything like this? I saw some discord channels and a reddit sub that seemed to offer both paid and unpaid tutoring.

EvilHomer3k wrote:

Thanks all for the suggestions. Last semester he had his schedule arranged so that he had a study hall before math and that helped with this. I started out helping but eventually we were spending an hour or two at night a few nights a week with half of that me trying to learn what he was trying to do. We did do Khan a bit but there was one guy who seemed to do most of the videos and my son hated him. We were able to get things figured out but I'm not sure he understood it at an application level (I often didn't). I contacted his teacher because they don't have a book but they did give me the website they used. I'll check with his new teacher to see what they are using for a 'book'.

The big issue for me has been that since it's more infrequent now when he does need help I have a lot of catching up to do.

Has anyone ever used discord/reddit for anything like this? I saw some discord channels and a reddit sub that seemed to offer both paid and unpaid tutoring.

I'd say if you are paying get a live tutor. But online can be good for quick look ups depending on the topic.
Is there a particular area of math you guys struggled with?

dejanzie wrote:

Our girls are 3 and 4,5y old now, and they're not very keen on giving complete answers on the 'how was your day' or 'what did you do today' questions.

But I started to ask them 'do you want to tell me something?' when tucking them in at night. It works perfectly: it's a perfect setting, they want to stay awake for a few minutes more, and they tell the cutest stories. The best are only vaguely related to reality.

"How was your day" is a very broad question; my 10 and 12yo still tend to be monosyllabic on that one. However, more interesting questions result in more interesting answers. I like things like, "Who was the tallest person you saw today?" "What was the smelliest thing you did today?" "Where did you run the fastest?" Even if you don't get an answer to the actual question, you'll probably get an interesting answer.

For me it's the math part that I have trouble with. It isn't that I'm bad at math, I'm just bad at learning weeks of it in 30 minutes. He generally does pretty well (he's actually getting an A in math). The issues usually arise when he doesn't understand one problem so I have to try to help him see how it relates to the previous problems he's been doing. So the concept of the First problem is the same as the one he's having trouble with but the one he's having trouble with add something that isn't well explained or isn't very straight forward. Often times, the examples we find on Khan or Youtube explain the basic idea well enough but not the advanced form of that idea. So he's going along fine at the beginning but comes to a problem that doesn't quite follow that same pattern/formula.

My wife is back in college, and was taking remedial math classes last semester - like high school level math.

I'm an engineer, I could do all that basic math easily. BUT, I sucked at teaching her how to do it. Entirely different skill set.

Alcumus is a useful resource with videos.
Art of Problem Solving has serious math texts for self-learning and for homeschool.

I taught math at the community college for about 20 years part time and homeschooled my son until high school. Watching the alcumus videos with him, I’d sometimes pause and make a comment and then when I’d unpause, they’d make the same comment.
I strongly recommend them.

Does anyone have any recommendations for books, sites or other resources for dealing with a kids bully or similar bullying incidents as a parent? My kid had her first brush with being picked on today and it's really weighing on my mind. And although I mostly defused the situation, I'm sure I could have handled it better.

Fortunately she's still too young to understand or care about anything of what was going on, which is good I guess, but my heart aches for her. And given that she has a relatively noticeable deviation from the norm, I'm guessing it won't be the last.