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Thread: The Fretful Parent Thread

  1. #1
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    The Fretful Parent Thread

    My trouble in life is that I just don't have nearly enough things to fret about. I found a good way to alleviate that situation, though. Simply raise a baby and read one of those parenting books like 'What to Expect Baby's First Year' or 'Raising Healthy Children' or whichever one, it really doesn't matter, any of 'em will do, and turn to a page listing milestones for development at X age. Sure enough, I did and found out that upon turning 12 months a baby should be just beginning to grasp the principles behind differential calculus, this is around the age where he'll pick up a purple crayon and begin scrawling a treatise on the dialectic processes involved in neo-post-modernism on his little scribble book.

    Yes, those smarmy tomes are filled to the brim with reassuring advice like, "at 12 months your child will wish to express themselves and communicate with the outside world. Perhaps s/he may draft up some blueprints for a simple device, such as an air conditioner - don't be surprised if your little one creates a design using only non-metric parts! Just be patient with your toddler, keep plenty of erasers handy and remember when you were that age you might have done much the same yourself"

    Okay, maybe it didn't say exactly that, but that's how I felt when I read that a 12 month old should enjoy stacking blocks. If I set out blocks for my one year old he'll pick two up and hit them together like a caveman attempting to start a fire. If I start to stack them to demonstrate how they work he'll gleefully knock them down every time, but will never stack them. I got him one of those Fisher Price toys where you put the rings on the peg. He will never put the rings on the peg - just tears them off. Got him one of those boxes with the square, circular and triangle shaped holes you're supposed to fit the cube, ball or pyramid through - he'll only dump the objects out of the box and will never put them in. His favorite toy is a plastic club which he loves to hit people/things with . I'm begining to think I'm raising a visigoth intent only on destruction and incapable of any constructive acts. Should he look forward to a promising career as a sanitation enigneer, a neighborhood controlled substance distributor, or perhaps a job in the field of food service?
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Mtn Woman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister
    His favorite toy is a plastic club which he loves to hit people/things with .
    Perhaps he will find his vocation is that of a demolitions expert??
    Living and dreaming are two different things-but you can't do one without the other."
    -Malcolm Forbes

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Planit's avatar
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    Wee P did the same thing, wasn't interested in stacking the blocks, just knocking them down. At about 2.5 years she was lining up all her Little People across the floor. All in good time - just interact with him and he'll learn from you (now isn't that a scary thought?)
    "Whatever beer I'm drinking, is better than the one I'm not." DMLW
    "Budweiser sells a product they reflectively insist on calling beer." John Oliver

  4. #4
    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    Sounds like your boy is a lot like my son at one year old. My son is a perfectly healthy five year old boy now, and the smartest and best-looking kid ever.

    Sounds like your son is acting like a normal boy. He likes to smash things and doesn't listen to instructions. I would love to tell you it will get better, but it won't.

    Future career? Hard to tell at one. As I tell people, sometimes I am not sure if I am saving for college or bail money.
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

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  5. #5
    Cyburbian
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    I am convinced that one of my twins will be a destruction expert, while the other will be structural engineer to repair his brothers damage. El Destructo slammed the front door open over the weekend and put a ding in the wall. The engineer ran down stairs and grabbed a screwdriver and said "oh uh, broken house, daddy fix it"

    There is hope for el destructo, he loves coins, and can name the presidents on the penny and quarter (although he saw his great grandmother over the weekend and called her washington). Not bad for a two year old. I don't know what would be worse, a demo guy or an accountant.

  6. #6
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    I echo the others. Wes still loves to knock blocks over at 20 months old....no interest in stacking them.

    Don't worry....every kid develops differently, and most of them turn out fine.
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  7. #7
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    Burn those books - buy a copy of "The 3 Martini Playdate"

  8. #8
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    The "What to Expect" series, my wife and I have dubbed the "What to worry about" series because that is essentially the end result. I much prefer the Sears' series and another book, the title of which I forget, written by Penelope Leach. They are pretty reasonably written and tend to discussing developmental stages by describing the range of bahaviors you might expect, rather than:

    8 Months: baby can pick up small objects, iron the clothes, and tie their own shoes...

    Having a kid who is a little older now (almost 6) I realize how much of that early stuff is to be taken very loosely. I mean, in the big picture, learning a skill a month later than the "average" is not really grounds for developmental delay concerns. Early or late, it really doesn't mean that they are a genius or a dullard. My father-in-law did not even talk at all until about 3 years old. And then he spoke in complete sentences (and later became a lawyer - talk about verbal dexterity). You really have to go with your gut - if the kid seems fine and engaged and learning, don't fret.

    Our son continues to be the guy who insists on doing everything different from the status quo. This was true even as a baby and we wondered what kind of kids these books were writing about, cause it certainly wasn't ours. I even got a little cocky about it all and began to insist that it was all ridiculous and that no kid acts the way they said, blah, blah, blah. I thought I had it figured out....

    But then we had a girl (now 8 months) who apparently read the literature "in utero" and is spot-on for every benchmark of development we have read. Night and frickin' day.

    The fretting is, of course, also part of parenting, but I find the best advice on developmental stuff is still other parents, grandparents, etc. Talk to a few parents at a gathering and inevitably one of them will say "Oh yeah, Jimmy wore diapers until he was 7" or "Blocks? My 1.5 year old still won't stack blocks" or whatever.

    I do also think that often boys are less concerned with fine motor skill development than girls. My son was uninterested in block stacking for a long time also, but he was all about throwing sticks in the river. Meanwhile, his sister is obsessed with picking up objects smaller than a grain of rice. Go figure...
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  9. #9
    Cyburbian cch's avatar
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    My daughter has gone up and down, as far what what she is suppose to be able to do according to "what to expect". Now, at 22 mos. it is suppose to be advanced for her to identify 5 objects in a picture by pointing and naming, but she's been pointing and naming everything around her and in books for months. It really blows me away how many things she can name. At the same time, she's suppose to be able to jump, getting both her feet off the ground, but she has never even come close to attempting this. She was late at walking and climbing up stairs too. At a year she wasn't stacking blocks, but by about 15 mos. she was a pro at it. Every week she seems to learn a new skill and lose interest in another. It all evens out. As long as kids are having fun, and not regressing, then it is all good.

  10. #10
    All kidding aside, there are real things to consider as far as physical and developmental milestones are concerned. I would place a lot of faith in your pediatrician and her staff as to how your son is doing. BUT, I wouldn't worry too much about it right now, and for that matter until about 2nd/3rd grade unless there's something just truly serious -- and your son's teachers will let you know if they suspect anything. By third grade there's enough background to see whether there is anything going on physically (gross/fine motor skills, speech, balance, et cet) and developmentally (reading, writing and so on).

    Only when my son and his classmates were expected to act like miniature adults (in 3rd grade -- typical for most schools as I understand it) and lil 'dunker was having difficulties did we began to look deeper.

    I suspect that you and Mrs. Maister have a good dialogue with your ped as to Maister Jr's behaviors.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    My son was totally uninterested in the usual baby/toddler toys. He would drag a book over and climb on my lap to be read to. Or knock stuff over to see what would happen. Or help me clip coupons. I got him a fisher-price castle set when he was 3 and that was the first toy he really played with. He skipped all that stacking stuff and just started building with those big Legos. His pediatrician and teachers said he was fine, so I didn't worry.

  12. #12
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    No worries....he's fine. There is such a wide range of skill sets at any given age. I suppose the key thing is progression in ability. Some kids are faster than others at developing skills but as long as there isn't an obvious back sliding there's nothing to worry about. My daughter didn't really talk until she is three and now that she is 13 she won't be quiet unless she is asleep lol. Have fun, play with your son, expose him to all sorts of things, and he will be perfect in his own way....just like the rest of us
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  13. #13
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Hey don’t feel bad. I don’t think that Einstein ever learned to tie shoes, yet he understood quantum physics.

    I say be worried if the little one does not understand distributive properties of spatial analysis and how distance decay theory is become less of a factor in the age of globalization by the age of 5. Beyond that, just take heart that he is not throwing the blocks at the dog.
    Invest in the things today, that provide the returns tomorrow.

  14. #14
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    You are his father....so I recommend you tread lightly and do not allow him to carry a large stick.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

    Six seasons and a movie!

  15. #15
    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
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    My middle one, lil' girl Boiker, is being a royal pain for potty training. She'll be spot on for days, then off. Then she'll do #1 just fine.. but fail at #2.. 3.5 and still wearing pull-ups...sigh...
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

  16. #16
    Cyburbian Planner Groupie's avatar
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    Oh lord, this thread is right up my alley. I worry every day about my son's physical and verbal development. It's worse being a mother because when you take your kids on play dates, how on earth are you not supposed to compare your children with others?
    As NHP said, Wes doesn't stack blocks either. He either throws them across the room (has a great arm!) or lets them drop behind his back. He still doesn't point to what he wants or ask for that matter, but I think that's my issue because I always anticipate what he wants. With much hesitation, I took NHP and mother-in-laws advice and decided not to enter him into Early Intervention and wait until he's two to have him evaluated.
    Anyway, yes every child does develop differently and has their own personalities. I agree that you need to burn those books and discuss any concerns with your childs pediatrician. He sounds like he's perfect, so try not to worry.

  17. #17
    Off-topic:
    Quote Originally posted by boiker
    My middle one, lil' girl Boiker, is being a royal pain for potty training. She'll be spot on for days, then off. Then she'll do #1 just fine.. but fail at #2.. 3.5 and still wearing pull-ups...sigh...
    GET HER OUT OF PULL-UPS RIGHT NOW!!!!!!

    Seriously, my daughter had the same problems, at the same age, and our ped said we were crazy for 1) paying full pull-ups (much more expensive for you non-parent types out there) and 2) she was so comfortable in them that she didn't mind having accidents. We put her back in regular diapers and she was completely trained within two weeks.

  18. #18
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    remember - you don't train them to use the potty, they do it themselves -

    we learned this the hard way trying to train our first, then we let go and just put it all out there, the potty, the underwear, and one day she just did it - we will likely do the same for #3, though he's a boy so that might be something totally new

  19. #19
    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by luckless pedestrian
    remember - you don't train them to use the potty, they do it themselves -

    we learned this the hard way trying to train our first, then we let go and just put it all out there, the potty, the underwear, and one day she just did it - we will likely do the same for #3, though he's a boy so that might be something totally new
    I agree, our first was a breeze. We gave him the full opportunity to use it whenever he wanted. She, on the otherhand, enjoys the attention she gets (lil' princess). I try to make changes as uncomfortable as possible.

    I'm just confused.... and ready to just let her walk around in dirty pants all day.
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

  20. #20
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Gedunker
    Off-topic:


    GET HER OUT OF PULL-UPS RIGHT NOW!!!!!!

    Seriously, my daughter had the same problems, at the same age, and our ped said we were crazy for 1) paying full pull-ups (much more expensive for you non-parent types out there) and 2) she was so comfortable in them that she didn't mind having accidents. We put her back in regular diapers and she was completely trained within two weeks.
    Hmmm... my son was a bit over 3 when the teacher suggested I send him to school in underwear, with a spare pair, and explain it was time for him to use the potty all the time now (at least during the day). He had one minor accident the first day, then never another one. So it was successful on one level.

    On the other hand, he has been paranoid about using the bathroom at school ever since, holds it all day until he gets home. And he's now 13.

  21. #21
    Cyburbian cch's avatar
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    We need a thread all about potty training. If my daughter happens to be naked (i.e. after a bath) and in the bathroom she'll occassionally want to sit on the potty and then she'll go #1. But never, ever has she let me know when she has to go any other time during the day. And when she's obviously going #2 (the grunting, the wincing, the squating) I'll ask her if she's going and she says "no". All the signs my pediatrician told me to look for, to know if she's ready for potty training, are there; she doesn't like being messy, she puts things in their place, she's really interested in watching me go to the bathroom and she loves when I flush the toilet. What should I do next?

  22. #22
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by cch
    We need a thread all about potty training. If my daughter happens to be naked (i.e. after a bath) and in the bathroom she'll occassionally want to sit on the potty and then she'll go #1. But never, ever has she let me know when she has to go any other time during the day. And when she's obviously going #2 (the grunting, the wincing, the squating) I'll ask her if she's going and she says "no". All the signs my pediatrician told me to look for, to know if she's ready for potty training, are there; she doesn't like being messy, she puts things in their place, she's really interested in watching me go to the bathroom and she loves when I flush the toilet. What should I do next?
    Learn by example and doing together? Maybe when you're in the bathroom you can place the potty next to you and suggest she do the same?

    My son, post-potty training, was always around my Mom and me and kept sitting down. He saw other boys at school, but refused to listen to my explanations that that's what guys do. Finally, I got my nephew, who was about 11, to take him into Mom's guest bathroom and explain how boys do it. That worked. Conner really looked up to his cousin so he had some influence there.

  23. #23
    Cyburbian sisterceleste's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Zoning Goddess
    Learn by example and doing together? Maybe when you're in the bathroom you can place the potty next to you and suggest she do the same?

    My son, post-potty training, was always around my Mom and me and kept sitting down. He saw other boys at school, but refused to listen to my explanations that that's what guys do. Finally, I got my nephew, who was about 11, to take him into Mom's guest bathroom and explain how boys do it. That worked. Conner really looked up to his cousin so he had some influence there.
    It was the manly thing to do.
    You darn tootin', I like fig newtons!

  24. #24
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister
    Okay, maybe it didn't say exactly that, but that's how I felt when I read that a 12 month old should enjoy stacking blocks. If I set out blocks for my one year old he'll pick two up and hit them together like a caveman attempting to start a fire.
    [smart@ssed reply]
    Probably has some autism spectrum disorder. You should rush right out and get him dx-ed immediately so that you can promptly be brainwashed into believing he will never amount to anything.
    [/smart@ssed reply]

    Serious reply (or at least LESS smar@ssed ):
    One thing to keep in mind is that those books generally describe statistically "average" kids. If the book isn't giving you an age range for when kids start walking (etc) and, instead, gives you a single age as the age at which X milestone is passed, you can consider shredding it and using it in your compost heap out back.

  25. #25
    Cyburbian sisterceleste's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Zoning Goddess
    On the other hand, he has been paranoid about using the bathroom at school ever since, holds it all day until he gets home. And he's now 13.
    That's because the bathrooms in public schools are so gross. Also people have sex in them.
    You darn tootin', I like fig newtons!

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