#### spikepipsqueak

##### My Brane Hertz
Perhaps she, also, is feeling that everything is in flux at the moment. You are stressed and she will be feeling it, but I think you are wise to get professional help,

Something from 2nd year Psych that may help in the meantime.

Think of her as a bucket containing attention. You need to give her your attention until she indicates she doesn't need it any more. Her bucket will be full when she walks off to do something else (then you will feel successful, but deserted). The buckets of children who feel bereft of attention can be hard to fill, and hard to keep topped up.

Sometimes when you are playing a game or driving somewhere they can open up about what is worrying them. They often can't do that when asked. Sometimes they don't know what is worrying them.

I really feel for you.

#### Toni

##### Contributor
Seriously freaking out over my daughter's mental health. She had an incident today in school where she decided to punch a classmate in the face because she ran into line instead of walked. What bothered me was that she wasn't angry. This, in connection with a couple incidents within the past week we caught her being mean to our cat, that make three incidents of non-anger related violence. And she has noted on multiple occasions recently, a "voice" is commanding her to do these things. Now children will be children, and will say certain things and have decent sized imaginations, and I might be making too much of this, but I am fearing that she actually is suffering from a serious early onset mental illness, which connects too many dots. She is already in therapy, but we'll need to kick it up a few levels because either I need a doctor to tell me to calm the heck down, or to diagnose her with what I'm fearing and get her treatment. Luckily, have a professional psychiatrist in the extended family, though he works with adults, but it'll at least be a start before getting her to a local pro.

I really hope I'm making too much of this, but I really don't think anyone knows her better than I. For an empathetic child, she seems to lack remorse at times and revels in attention when she has done something wrong. (Oddly enough, she is the only female I can easily read. ) Between everything else from marriage to my dad to my daughter's behavior... there is little beneath my feet that seems steady.

That does sound as though you are wise to be concerned and to kick things up a notch or so and that you have some resources on which to draw. I’m really sorry that you have so much going on right now. Things do seem to pile on that way, don’t they? It’s as though the universe decides to be efficient since we are in worry/stress mode and simply cram as much as possible all at one time...it could be as simple as your daughter unconsciously reacting to the stress you all are feeling.

I hope that you get some answers and some support IRL.

#### Jimmy Higgins

##### Contributor
I was trying to figure out if there is a correlation to her actions and stress at home. And there is more than I'd like to admit, but the overlap isn't complete there.

I did look up that apparently 1 in 12 children hear voices, so apparently it isn't as uncommon as I initially thought. She says she doesn't hear anything else, which is encouraging.

The other good news is where she is receiving therapy, they do have programs for the harder to deal with mental illnesses. We talk with the in family professional tonight and then move on from there.

#### Rhea

##### Cyborg with a Tiara
Staff member
Seriously freaking out over my daughter's mental health. She had an incident today in school where she decided to punch a classmate in the face because she ran into line instead of walked. What bothered me was that she wasn't angry. This, in connection with a couple incidents within the past week we caught her being mean to our cat, that make three incidents of non-anger related violence. And she has noted on multiple occasions recently, a "voice" is commanding her to do these things. Now children will be children, and will say certain things and have decent sized imaginations, and I might be making too much of this, but I am fearing that she actually is suffering from a serious early onset mental illness, which connects too many dots. She is already in therapy, but we'll need to kick it up a few levels because either I need a doctor to tell me to calm the heck down, or to diagnose her with what I'm fearing and get her treatment. Luckily, have a professional psychiatrist in the extended family, though he works with adults, but it'll at least be a start before getting her to a local pro.

I really hope I'm making too much of this, but I really don't think anyone knows her better than I. For an empathetic child, she seems to lack remorse at times and revels in attention when she has done something wrong. (Oddly enough, she is the only female I can easily read. ) Between everything else from marriage to my dad to my daughter's behavior... there is little beneath my feet that seems steady.

Oh, no, Jimmy - that sounds very frightening. You are right to get some additional evaluation for her. If it is "nothing," then you will find out what's upsetting her subconsciously. If it is more serious, the earlier diagnosis the better. I so hope it is not anything severe and you are able to help her move forward. This sounds like a tough one. <3 <3 <3

#### southernhybrid

##### Contributor
I don't really have any advice, but I am sorry that you are dealing with both your dad's illness, and your daughter's behavior. Hopefully, a good counselor who understands symptoms of childhood mental illnesses will be able to help her.

And, of course, your daughter may not be suffering from a mental illness. She might just be going through a temporary stage and reacting to the stress that you are feeling in your life. I wouldn't jump to any conclusions. Kids can act out when they are feeling stressed. Maybe that's all that's going on with her, but I can understand your concern.

#### ruby sparks

##### Contributor
I was trying to figure out if there is a correlation to her actions and stress at home. And there is more than I'd like to admit, but the overlap isn't complete there.

I did look up that apparently 1 in 12 children hear voices, so apparently it isn't as uncommon as I initially thought. She says she doesn't hear anything else, which is encouraging.

The other good news is where she is receiving therapy, they do have programs for the harder to deal with mental illnesses. We talk with the in family professional tonight and then move on from there.

Hi Jimmy,

I've only just noticed the thread and am sorry to hear of what is going on for you and your family. Sympathies and empathies.

Just reading back a little I see that you mentioned an issue your daughter had with Alexa, and I was wondering if that was in any way related to what she is experiencing or describing about the voices?

#### rousseau

##### Contributor
Seriously freaking out over my daughter's mental health. She had an incident today in school where she decided to punch a classmate in the face because she ran into line instead of walked. What bothered me was that she wasn't angry. This, in connection with a couple incidents within the past week we caught her being mean to our cat, that make three incidents of non-anger related violence. And she has noted on multiple occasions recently, a "voice" is commanding her to do these things. Now children will be children, and will say certain things and have decent sized imaginations, and I might be making too much of this, but I am fearing that she actually is suffering from a serious early onset mental illness, which connects too many dots. She is already in therapy, but we'll need to kick it up a few levels because either I need a doctor to tell me to calm the heck down, or to diagnose her with what I'm fearing and get her treatment. Luckily, have a professional psychiatrist in the extended family, though he works with adults, but it'll at least be a start before getting her to a local pro.

I really hope I'm making too much of this, but I really don't think anyone knows her better than I. For an empathetic child, she seems to lack remorse at times and revels in attention when she has done something wrong. (Oddly enough, she is the only female I can easily read. ) Between everything else from marriage to my dad to my daughter's behavior... there is little beneath my feet that seems steady.

Sorry to hear. As others mentioned likely the right choice getting her checked out, but to me this behavior doesn't sound that alarming for someone of her age. Morality and empathy are mostly learned, some never learn it.

To me it sounds like you're over-estimating how much of a 6 ( 7?) year old's behavior is deliberate and planned, and not random experimentation toward socialization. I could be completely wrong so yea, get her checked out. Probably too early to panic, though.

#### Jimmy Higgins

##### Contributor
The adult psychiatrist in the extended family says not to worry, at least over the extreme potential options. Based on his advice, we'll likely shift where my daughter is going to somewhere else and make with a full diagnostic.

I still have serious concerns, but talk did help to quell the more exotic concerns (and yes, I was aware they were exotic).

I had written a note to the teacher regarding what had happened and our discussion with our daughter over it. The 'funny' thing was her teacher was almost defensive for our daughter, indicating that her behavior in class is actually great, it is just in transitions where she gets overly impulsive. Our (parents) concern is our daughter getting suspended because they do stuff like that these days with First Graders.

#### Toni

##### Contributor
The adult psychiatrist in the extended family says not to worry, at least over the extreme potential options. Based on his advice, we'll likely shift where my daughter is going to somewhere else and make with a full diagnostic.

I still have serious concerns, but talk did help to quell the more exotic concerns (and yes, I was aware they were exotic).

I had written a note to the teacher regarding what had happened and our discussion with our daughter over it. The 'funny' thing was her teacher was almost defensive for our daughter, indicating that her behavior in class is actually great, it is just in transitions where she gets overly impulsive. Our (parents) concern is our daughter getting suspended because they do stuff like that these days with First Graders.

Yeah, suspension over striking another student happens at every level, as a matter of course. Including preschools and kindergarten. Zero tolerance and all of that. This happened when our kids were in school, as well. The exceptions seemed to have been for kids who had IEPs for behavioral issues. They never got suspended. Being the kind of community it is, that was the right call as for those kids, home was no place for a kid. So, the kid would be in in school suspension instead. Or simply talked to.

#### crazyfingers

##### Supermagnon
Staff member
My daughter is 19. She should take drivers ed and get her drivers license. She had a "peer mentor" through Department of mental health who met her twice and said she would teach my daughter to drive and no need for drivers ed. Then she was reassigned.

Daughter does not want to take drivers ed. Wants to just get her license.

Our position, no drivers ed? Ok. We don't pay for insurance and she doesn't drive any of our cars and at some point we stop driving her around.

She thinks our position is not reasonable. Ok. That's her opinion.

So when do we refuse to drive her places? She has a bike.

ETA by the way, my 17 year old boy is willing to take drivers ed. He has been slow to come around but when my dad died in August we suddenly got handed to us a Subaru Impreza AWD. Model 2006 but less than 60k miles on it. Really a perfect ride for a teenager.

We had not been so keen on any kids driving my wife's Toyota Sienna van or my still new Subaru Outback.

#### Rhea

##### Cyborg with a Tiara
Staff member
My daughter is 19. She should take drivers ed and get her drivers license. She had a "peer mentor" through Department of mental health who met her twice and said she would teach my daughter to drive and no need for drivers ed. Then she was reassigned.

Daughter does not want to take drivers ed. Wants to just get her license.

Our position, no drivers ed? Ok. We don't pay for insurance and she doesn't drive any of our cars and at some point we stop driving her around.

She thinks our position is not reasonable. Ok. That's her opinion.

So when do we refuse to drive her places? She has a bike.

ETA by the way, my 17 year old boy is willing to take drivers ed. He has been slow to come around but when my dad died in August we suddenly got handed to us a Subaru Impreza AWD. Model 2006 but less than 60k miles on it. Really a perfect ride for a teenager.

We had not been so keen on any kids driving my wife's Toyota Sienna van or my still new Subaru Outback.

My first reaction is that I would probably start refusing non-critical rides. Especially those that could be done on bike.

“At 19, you have some choices. You can take driver ed and get a license to unlock parental insurance coverage and car supply; OR you can use your bike if you don’t like that option. OR you can save up money to buy your own car, your own insurance and get your license directly. As a good parent, I will not let you fall out into the world not knowing how to do this stuff, so I’m helping you level up by showing you the choices. The choice - is yours. I would be letting you down if I kept acting as chauffeur or enabler to a 19yo and let you on the road without understanding the safety aspects of driver ed. I will not be letting you down. Some kids aren’t given this advice and this help, and they have a really hard time as an adult. I wil not do that to you, I love you.”

#### Rhea

##### Cyborg with a Tiara
Staff member
One convo that we had about cars in our house... well, background:

Kid #1 was in no hurry to get his license and wanted rides. Through conversations like the above we convinced him what HE had to gain by being licensed. We insisted that he do the requisite driving hours with me (I’m a Novice Instructor for precision driving sports) and that he also attend the Tire Rack Teen Street Survival course. He was reluctant there, too. But I reminded him regularly, “by the way, YOU do not have a car. **I** have a car, that is why my rules apply. It doesn’t matter that we have ‘extra’ cars, they are still MY cars, not yours. And my rules apply - drivers must have full driver’s ed including Teen Street Survival.”

Kid#2 could not wait to get her license, and cheerfully did all the things to unlock “Licensed” level.

Both kids currently use my “extra” cars (grannie’s old car) with the following caveat: They are still my cars. Sp if you don’t help household, household is not available to you. We also have an agreement that you buy all your own gas, UNLESS, you are doing errands for me, then I buy the gas. So now they both frequently ask, “Mom, can I do any shopping for you?” And this suits all parties fine.

When Kid#1 first got his license, he was keen to drive his little sister anywhere she needed to go in order to have free gas for whenever he wanted to visit friends.
When Kid#2 first got her license, I found a cheap, $500 car for her (10yo and 200kmi) which she is slowly paying me for. When she pays it off, I’ll sign it over, but she still has to do errands if she wants insurance. And for both, “and remember, since you are in my car, I need to always know where it is and you are. This is not punishment, this is courtesy, and courtesy is part of being responsible enough to use my cars. So overall my approach was, “I am doing you a solid helping you learn how to not need me at all. And use of my car comes with being willing to learn that lesson.” #### crazyfingers ##### Supermagnon Staff member I agree. That's the direction we are going. Daughter is a bit of a stick in the mud. We've explained that but we keep having to remind her. It was very irresponsible off her temporary Peer Mentor to put the "no need for Driver's Ed" into hear head. We've explained that insurance costs more if she doesn't take driver's ed. We've also explained that without driver's ed she's not driving our cars. It's part of a larger picture. Right now she's finally making progress getting past some serious mental health disorders. So in many ways she's behind her peers in terms of stepping up to the responsibilities and privileges of being a legal adult. She is taking her senior high school year a second time to catch up on her academics to get into college and currently goes to a school out of town. So that means she has a special ed van. The school is about 45 minutes away in good traffic. The other day she asked if she can take "Spring track" which costs something like$300. I asked her what else she needs to find out. Blank stare. What else do your mother and I need to know? She gets a bit snippy claiming not to know. OK. Think about it a bit and bring it up again when you can think what else we need to know.

We haven't talked about it since then but I'm still waiting for her to realize, if she hasn't already, that we need to know when this takes place and how transportation will work. Will the school district transport her if it's outside of school hours? Or implicit in this request is she really expecting us to transport her 45 minutes each way every Saturday?

#### Toni

##### Contributor
I agree. That's the direction we are going. Daughter is a bit of a stick in the mud. We've explained that but we keep having to remind her. It was very irresponsible off her temporary Peer Mentor to put the "no need for Driver's Ed" into hear head. We've explained that insurance costs more if she doesn't take driver's ed. We've also explained that without driver's ed she's not driving our cars.

It's part of a larger picture. Right now she's finally making progress getting past some serious mental health disorders. So in many ways she's behind her peers in terms of stepping up to the responsibilities and privileges of being a legal adult. She is taking her senior high school year a second time to catch up on her academics to get into college and currently goes to a school out of town. So that means she has a special ed van. The school is about 45 minutes away in good traffic.

The other day she asked if she can take "Spring track" which costs something like $300. I asked her what else she needs to find out. Blank stare. What else do your mother and I need to know? She gets a bit snippy claiming not to know. OK. Think about it a bit and bring it up again when you can think what else we need to know. We haven't talked about it since then but I'm still waiting for her to realize, if she hasn't already, that we need to know when this takes place and how transportation will work. Will the school district transport her if it's outside of school hours? Or implicit in this request is she really expecting us to transport her 45 minutes each way every Saturday? Sure, it would be great if she knew all the details associated with spring track but the reality is that most kids that age are in some degree of fog when it comes to details and the division of responsibilities. I think you should try it again and make a list of things that need to be considered: transportation, meets, does she need to maintain a certain GPA, is she eligible age wise, does she need a physical and what is the deadline for that and so on. It's been a while since I had a kid in high school and I am not sure I remember all of the ins and outs of any participation in any extra curriculars. I raised 4 and believe me, I remember how hard it is to watch your kid just not quite 'get it' when mine did not have the same difficult history as your daughter does. Maybe she needs a little hand holding here. Adulthood is not really a clear bright line thing, as far as brains go. #### crazyfingers ##### Supermagnon Staff member Sure, it would be great if she knew all the details associated with spring track but the reality is that most kids that age are in some degree of fog when it comes to details and the division of responsibilities. I think you should try it again and make a list of things that need to be considered: Been all over this. This is not the first, it's the hundredth time. #### Toni ##### Contributor Sure, it would be great if she knew all the details associated with spring track but the reality is that most kids that age are in some degree of fog when it comes to details and the division of responsibilities. I think you should try it again and make a list of things that need to be considered: Been all over this. This is not the first, it's the hundredth time. I definitely understand reaching limits. Sometimes, we just have to let them figure things out the hard way.... #### rousseau ##### Contributor Does anyone have recommendations for or advice about breast-pumps? Partner and I were watching a youtube yesterday which recommended Haakaa Silicone Pumps, seems like they have pretty good reviews and are reasonably priced. But something about them seems too easy when there are exorbitantly priced pumps being sold at retailers. #### Toni ##### Contributor Does anyone have recommendations for or advice about breast-pumps? Partner and I were watching a youtube yesterday which recommended Haakaa Silicone Pumps, seems like they have pretty good reviews and are reasonably priced. But something about them seems too easy when there are exorbitantly priced pumps being sold at retailers. All my children are grown so it's been a minute but yikes. Or rather YIKES!!!!!!: That pump is all manual = a lot of work. Please do not get this and expect your wife to use it instead of breastfeeding or to gain milk to supplement breast feeding after she returns to work. It looks inefficient and not particularly effective, especially for a first time new mother. Please do not choose this. Just reading the comments, it seems as though it works best for use while breastfeeding from the other breast--after milk supply has been established. Here's this: https://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-breast-pumps/ Also I really, really, really think that your wife should ask her medical provider for recommendations and perhaps a phone number or two to talk to nursing mothers who use breast pumps. Please have your wife reach out to other young mothers who will give her some realistic, practical advice and tips and understanding. Ultimately, she must choose what is comfortable and practical for her to use. #### rousseau ##### Contributor Does anyone have recommendations for or advice about breast-pumps? Partner and I were watching a youtube yesterday which recommended Haakaa Silicone Pumps, seems like they have pretty good reviews and are reasonably priced. But something about them seems too easy when there are exorbitantly priced pumps being sold at retailers. All my children are grown so it's been a minute but yikes. Or rather YIKES!!!!!!: That pump is all manual = a lot of work. Please do not get this and expect your wife to use it instead of breastfeeding or to gain milk to supplement breast feeding after she returns to work. It looks inefficient and not particularly effective, especially for a first time new mother. Please do not choose this. Just reading the comments, it seems as though it works best for use while breastfeeding from the other breast--after milk supply has been established. Here's this: https://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-breast-pumps/ Also I really, really, really think that your wife should ask her medical provider for recommendations and perhaps a phone number or two to talk to nursing mothers who use breast pumps. Please have your wife reach out to other young mothers who will give her some realistic, practical advice and tips and understanding. Ultimately, she must choose what is comfortable and practical for her to use. Thanks. That was the impression I got, too. It was my partner who was watching the youtube more closely, and after a closer look, it looks like it's more of a travel item. I have no inclination for any product over another, but my partner tends to be permanently parked in cost-saving mode and I need to remind her we can have nice things . And in this case it sounds a good pump would pay dividends. Thanks for the advice about reaching out / medical provider too. That can be a conversation with her midwife and some of her friends. #### Jimmy Higgins ##### Contributor Does anyone have recommendations for or advice about breast-pumps? Partner and I were watching a youtube yesterday which recommended Haakaa Silicone Pumps, seems like they have pretty good reviews and are reasonably priced. But something about them seems too easy when there are exorbitantly priced pumps being sold at retailers. Don't have much experience with them, but they sound safer than implants. #### Toni ##### Contributor Does anyone have recommendations for or advice about breast-pumps? Partner and I were watching a youtube yesterday which recommended Haakaa Silicone Pumps, seems like they have pretty good reviews and are reasonably priced. But something about them seems too easy when there are exorbitantly priced pumps being sold at retailers. All my children are grown so it's been a minute but yikes. Or rather YIKES!!!!!!: That pump is all manual = a lot of work. Please do not get this and expect your wife to use it instead of breastfeeding or to gain milk to supplement breast feeding after she returns to work. It looks inefficient and not particularly effective, especially for a first time new mother. Please do not choose this. Just reading the comments, it seems as though it works best for use while breastfeeding from the other breast--after milk supply has been established. Here's this: https://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-breast-pumps/ Also I really, really, really think that your wife should ask her medical provider for recommendations and perhaps a phone number or two to talk to nursing mothers who use breast pumps. Please have your wife reach out to other young mothers who will give her some realistic, practical advice and tips and understanding. Ultimately, she must choose what is comfortable and practical for her to use. Thanks. That was the impression I got, too. It was my partner who was watching the youtube more closely, and after a closer look, it looks like it's more of a travel item. I have no inclination for any product over another, but my partner tends to be permanently parked in cost-saving mode and I need to remind her we can have nice things . And in this case it sounds a good pump would pay dividends. Thanks for the advice about reaching out / medical provider too. That can be a conversation with her midwife and some of her friends. Really, women do talk to each other a lot and midwives are often fantastic sources of information and/or referrals. There certainly are things that you can 'go cheap' on. But think of a breast pump as medical equipment--and it is--and that will change the mindset. In fact, it is possible that a breast pump might be covered under your NHS??? #### rousseau ##### Contributor Thanks. That was the impression I got, too. It was my partner who was watching the youtube more closely, and after a closer look, it looks like it's more of a travel item. I have no inclination for any product over another, but my partner tends to be permanently parked in cost-saving mode and I need to remind her we can have nice things . And in this case it sounds a good pump would pay dividends. Thanks for the advice about reaching out / medical provider too. That can be a conversation with her midwife and some of her friends. Really, women do talk to each other a lot and midwives are often fantastic sources of information and/or referrals. There certainly are things that you can 'go cheap' on. But think of a breast pump as medical equipment--and it is--and that will change the mindset. In fact, it is possible that a breast pump might be covered under your NHS??? That makes sense. Truthfully we hadn't looked into pumps too deeply yet, which are on our 'to research' list. And I've been finding it difficult to find websites that aren't just trying to sell you something, hence the question. Our only experience with them so far was a bit of sticker-shock when we saw the price at babies-r-us, but when you consider the time/energy savings, and health benefit to the baby it's really not that high. I mentioned something similar to partner about the stroller - she was worried about price, but when you look at how much easier a good one makes your life, for potentially two children, an extra few hundred dollars isn't a big deal. #### Sajara ##### Member I forget which one my wife ended up with as it's been about 4 years now since our daughter was in need. Definitely go with an automated one over a manual pump. Also, have your wife ask her OBGYN as many insurance companies will now cover the cost of a pump. #### Rhea ##### Cyborg with a Tiara Staff member I agree with going for the powered pump. I used a Medela Pump-in-style for home and travel. Loved it. Used it for a total of almost 3 years. At work, our employer provided a medical grade Medela with double cups. I also had a hand pump for emergencies like long car rides. The electric pumps are practically critical for a good long-term pumping relationship. AS is a support network. I’d be happy to answer questions. I joined a board called “breastfeeding.com” and got lots of help. That was 15 years ago now, but I pumped and worked for each kid for 15 months. Super healthy for them, super low cost for me, an it kept up the nursing making outings and travel so easy because I was still nursing - milk is pre-heated, always ready and stored in a non-breakable package that you cannot drop. You just stick a diaper in your back pocket and go. As for a stroller, I love-loved-loved my sling. So much easier than dealing with a stroller. Kid gets down when they wanna get down, and I sling them when they are tired. Doubles as a picnic cloth, a blanket, and a hands-free breastfeeding holder. Dad can wear it too, and it allows you to have skin-on-skin contact which sooths hem when they are fussy. I used mine until the kids were 5-ish. I made my own so i was not bulky or padded, just a sling. I did also use a front carrier pack, but morphed to the sling only by the time they were about 5 months. We almost never used a stroller. Ease of movement through my day was my motto. #### Jimmy Higgins ##### Contributor Well, the Child Psychiatrist smacked me a few times and told me to get a hold of myself. He had a "I seen this 1000 times before" demeanor so we are going with something a bit more less atypical, ADHD, which does run in my wife's family (my side of the family is just plain ole crazy). Doc was good at listening and asking questions. I did my research... and he is well regarded. So, my daughter will now be taking a Ritalin like product at a low dosage and we'll see how that works. I'm not big at all on drugs, but if it works, it works. #### Toni ##### Contributor Well, the Child Psychiatrist smacked me a few times and told me to get a hold of myself. He had a "I seen this 1000 times before" demeanor so we are going with something a bit more less atypical, ADHD, which does run in my wife's family (my side of the family is just plain ole crazy). Doc was good at listening and asking questions. I did my research... and he is well regarded. So, my daughter will now be taking a Ritalin like product at a low dosage and we'll see how that works. I'm not big at all on drugs, but if it works, it works. Hey, I hope that works out well for your daughter and for you. It is good that you have found someone who is so well regarded and who seems to be good at listening. You guys are all going through a LOT right now and I'm sure you're all feeling it, too. I hope this takes a small amount of the load off of your shoulders. And I hope your daughter feels better about things. #### southernhybrid ##### Contributor I hope it works out well too for you and your daughter, Jimmy. My son had ADD and I had to teach him to read myself because he was so easily distracted in school. Now as a 49 year old degreed computer programmer, I still get the impression that he's not always paying attention when I call him. Maybe that's not unusual for a mother and a grown son. But seriously, teaching him how to read was one of my greatest and proudest accomplishments as a parent. Sometimes children sho are easily distracted need a lot of one on one attention, that's hard to get in school. #### rousseau ##### Contributor I agree with going for the powered pump. I used a Medela Pump-in-style for home and travel. Loved it. Used it for a total of almost 3 years. At work, our employer provided a medical grade Medela with double cups. I also had a hand pump for emergencies like long car rides. The electric pumps are practically critical for a good long-term pumping relationship. AS is a support network. I’d be happy to answer questions. I joined a board called “breastfeeding.com” and got lots of help. That was 15 years ago now, but I pumped and worked for each kid for 15 months. Super healthy for them, super low cost for me, an it kept up the nursing making outings and travel so easy because I was still nursing - milk is pre-heated, always ready and stored in a non-breakable package that you cannot drop. You just stick a diaper in your back pocket and go. As for a stroller, I love-loved-loved my sling. So much easier than dealing with a stroller. Kid gets down when they wanna get down, and I sling them when they are tired. Doubles as a picnic cloth, a blanket, and a hands-free breastfeeding holder. Dad can wear it too, and it allows you to have skin-on-skin contact which sooths hem when they are fussy. I used mine until the kids were 5-ish. I made my own so i was not bulky or padded, just a sling. I did also use a front carrier pack, but morphed to the sling only by the time they were about 5 months. We almost never used a stroller. Ease of movement through my day was my motto. Thanks Rhea we went with this exact one. The reviews looked good, and at 300 CDN not that bad of a price. Partner was convinced that we didn't need a pump at all, and she may have been right, but I figured she's under-estimating how tired she's going to be, and how useful it might end up being as a tool. I also considered renting a pump for the first 30 days or so, but when you multiply that across two babies we might as well just get our own. And eventually we can sell it and get some of our money back. Either way I'm not too concerned about the cost vs the utility of it. Other than that, all's looking good. Partner is maintaining a healthy weight, and all of baby's indicators throughout the pregnancy have been positive. Things are starting to slow down a bit now as we have the nursery pretty much ready, and there are only a few minor things to get done before his arrival. Today I'm getting over a cold so spending it all resting and researching breast-feeding. In the coming weeks I'll be reviewing some of the hands-on skills I'll need, and at the end of this month we'll be filling our freezer with pre-made food. Then early April partner is free, and soon enough our baby will be here. I keep hearing jokes from some of the Facebook pages I follow about how new parents become less serious, and more relaxed as they go through more and more pregnancies. I'm thinking about that and trying to harness an 'already experienced parent' mindset. Realize that billions of people have been through this before, that our boy is going to be quite resilient, and that as long as we pay proper attention to him in the first couple months all will be fine. That way I can actually relax and enjoy, rather than constantly stressing. Last edited: #### Jimmy Higgins ##### Contributor Well, the Child Psychiatrist smacked me a few times and told me to get a hold of myself. He had a "I seen this 1000 times before" demeanor so we are going with something a bit more less atypical, ADHD, which does run in my wife's family (my side of the family is just plain ole crazy). Doc was good at listening and asking questions. I did my research... and he is well regarded. So, my daughter will now be taking a Ritalin like product at a low dosage and we'll see how that works. I'm not big at all on drugs, but if it works, it works. Hey, I hope that works out well for your daughter and for you. It is good that you have found someone who is so well regarded and who seems to be good at listening. You guys are all going through a LOT right now and I'm sure you're all feeling it, too. I hope this takes a small amount of the load off of your shoulders. And I hope your daughter feels better about things. Things have improved notably. Still having bumps, but with all going on, this has helped removed some expendable drama. #### Rhea ##### Cyborg with a Tiara Staff member Things have improved notably. Still having bumps, but with all going on, this has helped removed some expendable drama. Glad to hear you are seeing an improvement for her! #### rousseau ##### Contributor Does anyone have tips on how to hide food from your kids once they're old enough to raid your fridge and cupboards? I'm primarily concerned about high quality cheese, but am open to extending the conversation to other snacks. Just trying to get a head start on the important stuff.. #### Jimmy Higgins ##### Contributor Does anyone have tips on how to hide food from your kids once they're old enough to raid your fridge and cupboards? I'm primarily concerned about high quality cheese, but am open to extending the conversation to other snacks. Just trying to get a head start on the important stuff.. Funny, my daughter has almost never tried to sneak food. And never from the fridge. With children, generally, you go with The Moody Blues song, Higher and Higher. #### Toni ##### Contributor Does anyone have tips on how to hide food from your kids once they're old enough to raid your fridge and cupboards? I'm primarily concerned about high quality cheese, but am open to extending the conversation to other snacks. Just trying to get a head start on the important stuff.. Important stuff: Don't play games with food. Don't make something forbidden or mandatory or 'too good' for your kid. My kids sometimes sneaked cookies (from the jar left on the counter top) when they weren't supposed to have a cookie but really? Nothing was forbidden them. Nothing was 'too good' for them. If we were having something expensive that we didn't think they'd like, they were still offered it. Almost universally turned it down. One had a taste for brie but not the others. Two of our kids had real sweet tooths and the others absolutely did not. We'd discourage eating between meals or just before meals but frankly, we simply had the best food that we could afford at whatever point we were in our lives. Snacks were mostly fruit and carrot or celery sticks, crackers and cheese. Sometimes we made popcorn and everybody who wanted could share. Chips were a rarity. Except for rare occasions. all of our meals were made from scratch at home. Though they did get boxed cereal such as (regular) Cheerios or Chex. None of the sweetened crap. My husband convinced me that children NEEDED cookies when they got home from school so I baked regularly and found that, my childhood experiences with only occasional and only store bought cookies aside, he was right. For the most part, we didn't make any big deal (except for too many sweets for the kids who had real sweet tooths) about food. No one was forced to clean their plates or to eat food they didn't like. I had too many bad childhood memories for that, plus I read that it wasn't good for kids and I found this to be true. But when they left the table...they were done until the next meal. I baked cakes for birthdays and did some extra baking of holiday treats at Thanksgiving and Christmas and..that was it, except for some chocolate heart candies at Valentine's or bunnies at Easter. OTOH, my mother used to keep baking chocolate in the back of the highest shelf in the highest kitchen cupboard. I'm not sure why : she didn't actually bake except from a box. Anyway, I knew it was there because I went looking for something to eat that might be hidden and found it . This was how I discovered that just because something is labeled chocolate doesn't mean it tastes good. Also, I developed a taste for unsweetened chocolate. She never missed it because, well, she never baked. #### southernhybrid ##### Contributor My son was such a picky eater when he was a child, that I can't even imagine worrying about having to hide food from him. If you don't want a child to eat junk food, don't keep any in the house. Of course, I only had one child and raising him was extremely easy, so my advice may not be that helpful unless you too are planning on only having one child. I can't imagine a child liking expensive cheese, so maybe your concerns are unwarranted. Kids that do sneak food, usually sneak sweets or salty snacks. #### rousseau ##### Contributor Does anyone have tips on how to hide food from your kids once they're old enough to raid your fridge and cupboards? I'm primarily concerned about high quality cheese, but am open to extending the conversation to other snacks. Just trying to get a head start on the important stuff.. Funny, my daughter has almost never tried to sneak food. And never from the fridge. With children, generally, you go with The Moody Blues song, Higher and Higher. Thanks for the tip, I'll have to get Rhea's thoughts on reverse psychology and other psychological tactics during the teen years.. #### crazyfingers ##### Supermagnon Staff member My 19.5 year old daughter pretty much threw a tantrum today because I said "No" to her request to dig a pond big enough to swim in in the swamp in the back end of my property. #### Rhea ##### Cyborg with a Tiara Staff member Does anyone have tips on how to hide food from your kids once they're old enough to raid your fridge and cupboards? I'm primarily concerned about high quality cheese, but am open to extending the conversation to other snacks. Just trying to get a head start on the important stuff.. Ours was a multi-pronged approach: 1. The rules: (Did I mention I have a rule book in the kitchen titled "Mama's Manual of Domestic Law"? It's where we write down all the conversations so that we can point to it and say, "this lecture is not new. You forgot, but you have not suffered a rules change. Go look it up.") So the rule is: If you see a thing that is cooked, count how many people are in the house, count how many portions are in the pan, and you are only entitled to your own share. Anything else is mean. Don't do that. If a thing is raw ingredients, ask whether it's for a particular meal before taking it. If it's fruit or vegetables, have whatever you want. If it's within an hour of dinner, you may have fruit or vegetables if you're hungry. Otherwise, put a reasonable (not obscene) portion in a bowl and eat the portion. Don't eat out of the serving container. You'll take too much and also dribble on the food. Don't do that. 2. The psychology: For stuff that people eat too much of (like brownies) split it up before hand and put in labeled containers. "Daughter, Son, Pops, Mama." Now I've helped you discern your portion. 3. The Subterfuge: wrap it in tin-foil and label it "parsnips" 4. The Controlled Environment: Honestly, for years we didn't buy any of that stuff, at all. Literally the only choices they had were fruit, vegetables and yogurt. It was too exhausting to argue and try to make things last a non-obscene amount of time. We simply didn't have it in the house. No juice, no chips, no ice cream, no cookies. We'd get one small package, or do one baking event for a weekend dessert or snack, then no buy any more for months. If it's not there, you don't have to argue. They could raid and snack and eat all the growing body needed, it was just that their only choices where things I was fine with them bingeing on. When my son was a teen, he'd binge on meat, so I made cooked seasoned chicken to leave around, otherwise he'd eat a pound of prosciutto in one sitting and our wallets would hurt. #### Keith&Co. ##### Contributor Hey, just a thought? Anyone given any thought to their kid's lunchbox? If it's still in their backpack, might be worth a cleaning.... #### gmbteach ##### Mrs Frizzle Hey, just a thought? Anyone given any thought to their kid's lunchbox? If it's still in their backpack, might be worth a cleaning.... I was in a classroom recently that stank like a dead animal. I was taking the class as the teacher was on a planning day. Anyway, it was decided that due to numbers (10 + 10 next door) to combine classes (pre-social-distancing) and so we moved the class I had into next door. M, a particularly whiny kid, complained she couldn’t find her English book, so I said I would search for it. Sat down at her desk and the smell was overpowering! It was worse when I opened the next, so much so that I nearly vomited! She had a ziplock bag with a week old cucumber in it left over from brain break, in her desk! GROSS! And then I was in another classroom where I could see a tidy tray outside and I asked why and apparently a kid had put a half eaten tin of tuna in their desk and it ended up full of maggots! Your query about lunchboxes has reminded me, and hmm, I don’t think I want to go back tomorrow after a three day weekend! #### rousseau ##### Contributor Just going to throw this out there although some of you may be out of the game a bit - recommendations on toys and things to do for kids between the age of 0 - 2? We've got a nice little play mat for an infant, tons of books, and a few toys, but I'm wondering if there is anything unique anyone knows of that kids in that age range tend to really like. #### crazyfingers ##### Supermagnon Staff member Just going to throw this out there although some of you may be out of the game a bit - recommendations on toys and things to do for kids between the age of 0 - 2? We've got a nice little play mat for an infant, tons of books, and a few toys, but I'm wondering if there is anything unique anyone knows of that kids in that age range tend to really like. I don't remember when my youngest was that young. However I have passed by London, Ontario. #### Tharmas ##### Veteran Member When my grandson was 2 1/2 he went crazy for a plush toy we gave him. It was a horse, but he called it his unicorn and named her Katy. And I've spent the night in London Ont, but long before you were born Rousseau. #### crazyfingers ##### Supermagnon Staff member So yes I love my daughter. We adopted her at 3 and a half years old and foster care and her bio-mom truly messed her up. She was violent to us and her younger brothers and went to psychiatric hospitalization 19 times. She had always looked for drama. It was always all about her. She is now 20 years old and I don't think that she seeks drama anymore and she is non violent. She has excellent morals. She has been a freshman in college now for a bit over a month. But drama now seeks her out it seems. First some girls in her dorm were bullying her and went so far to physically assault her. There are witnesses and there will be a hearing where these girls may be kicked out of school. They might be charged with assault and battery. Of course for a week it was very traumatizing for her. Then she and a friend were off campus and witnesses an arson event where some college boys set fire to a city playground. My daughter recorded a video and gave it to the police and now she's a witness in an arson case. Then she was walking home from some off campus friend's place at around 10pm and was attacked by some guy who the police are looking for as this same guy has done it to other women about 20 times and is still at large. Now yesterday she got out of bed in the morning, hit hed head on the bed frame, fell to the floor and blacked out for a few minutes. They took her to the hospital and she had a CAT scan and the doctors say she has a mild concussion. They discharged her and she went back to the dorms with orders to take it easy. A couple of hours ago she txted she was feeling nausea and staff called the EMTs who have taken her back to the ER. Dr says no need for a second CAT scan. She's on an IV of some fluid to reduce the nausea. She just wants to do college. She is not looking for this shit but drama is now following her. I don't know how much of this she can fake. Or me. She calls me at least twice a day with some small or large issue. Yes I love her but she is 20 years old. She needs to be less dependent on us for her own future sake. And I have my elderly mom who I have to take care of as her only son. #### Toni ##### Contributor Just going to throw this out there although some of you may be out of the game a bit - recommendations on toys and things to do for kids between the age of 0 - 2? We've got a nice little play mat for an infant, tons of books, and a few toys, but I'm wondering if there is anything unique anyone knows of that kids in that age range tend to really like. HUGE age gap 0-2. Books. Board books right now but nothing wrong with not expensive soft cover simple editions of books. Hold them in your lap and read to them, even at Coen's age: now. Anything they can stack or build with: blocks of all sizes and shapes. Simple wood blocks are fine. So are empty oatmeal containers, empty boxes of every kind. Stuffed animals/toys. Textures, colors, cuddles. Wheels. Cars/trucks, whatever walking aid toy is around, etc. Big wheels when my kids were kids. One of them had a caterpillar riding toy that was very much beloved by the whole neighborhood. One of them had a very cheap, very oversized plastic dump truck that cost under$5 but was big enough to hold a little kid's rear and take him down a very small hill in the playground. He loved it, his friends loved it, my dad loved seeing him ride down that hill and said it was the best $4 he'd ever spent in his life. Mostly, kids like YOU as the toy. Yes, you. Play music and dance around the floor with them. Play dinosaur and be the dinosaur (or dragon or tiger or puppy or whatever). Kids love looking at bugs and flowers and rocks and blades of grass. Make cookies or bread or pizza dough or all of these and let your kid get his hands into the mess--and eat some of it. Kids like everything in the kitchen: wooden spoons on pots, pulling out the tuperware. One of mine looooooooved smelling all the herbs and spices. Things that float in the bath tub. Things that make sound. Bubbles! One of the best things that we ever got for our child (a gift as it was out of our price range) was a Duplo farm set for our son for his second birthday. I thought it was awfully expensive (around$35 at the time) but my dad bought it for him and I swear I would never have balked at the cost if I had known how much enjoyment it would give him--and how much it would occupy him so that I could...go to the bathroom. Read 2 pages. That sort of thing.

Please please please don't let people try to tell you what the 'right' toys are. Just make it stuff they can't swallow and choke on and can't put into electrical outlets. Also: no permanent markers until high school.

#### Jimmy Higgins

##### Contributor
Just going to throw this out there although some of you may be out of the game a bit - recommendations on toys and things to do for kids between the age of 0 - 2? We've got a nice little play mat for an infant, tons of books, and a few toys, but I'm wondering if there is anything unique anyone knows of that kids in that age range tend to really like.

Like Toni said, 0-2 might as well be 0-18.

For infants, blankies, small stuffed animals, and simple interactive things. also ponder how you plan to interact with them, ie props.

6-12 months never too early to start letters. Electronic toy that has letters on it and has multiple interactive elements. A chalkboard is great too.

#### rousseau

##### Contributor
Thanks for the tips. We're aware that it's a pretty wide age gap, just trying to think ahead a bit (2 seems to be a good upper limit to plan ahead for).

We have tons of books already and have been reading to him from the day he was born (occasionally I'll even read him some grown-up poetry, I figure it can't hurt). Also have a nice play-mat, jolly-jumper, exersaucer, some felt books, and a number of things for him to grab and play with (although he seems to like playing with his burp cloths the most). At 4.5 months he seems to be pretty satisfied with his haul so far.

We're trying to keep it simple and not overload him with stuff, so we keep toys in a few baskets, and will bring out the baskets one at a time and let him choose something.

#### Jimmy Higgins

##### Contributor
These a couple of things that my daughter absolutely loved.

For books, Sandra Boynton seems to be the board book go to. Mo Willems (Pigeon/Elephant & Piggie/among others) is our generation's Dr. Seuss. Doreen Cronin (Click Clack Moo) is pretty good, but she gets repetitive. She moved on to chapter books and those are better, but obviously that is down the road. Little Blue Truck, The Hat series by Klassen, Pout Pout Fish by Diesen. There is also a series where the publisher is throwing Willems' name with other people's books, like the Itchy Book, The Cookie Fiasco which are both classics.

Then there are the classics, Lyle Crocodile (Waber), Curious George (who seems a bit outside the customs of today, but harmless), George and Martha.

There are just so many good reads these days, both new and classic.

#### Jimmy Higgins

##### Contributor
My wife is at the school with my daughter playing at the playground after school and she hears a few kids talking about our daughter and say she is "a little weird". My wife is a bit unsettled by this (she seems oblivious to our daughter's pro's and con's). I'm like, "yeah, she is". She is several standard deviations from the mean! But she is sharp, very intelligent, but a bit slower on the maturity, a lot due to her brain just being way too much for her to control. The medication has helped a lot with her behavior in class. In the micromanagement days of color for every student every day regarding behavior, she went from rainbow, but weighing more heavily towards naughty last year to generally being good, at worst. I had forgotten her medicine on two consecutive days, and her color score showed it.

But yeah, she is definitely absorbed in her own interpretation of the world. Barking at squirrels (she loves the Paw Patrol, though really outgrowing the show, though not the toys, which is fine) and just doing weird things. I try to tell my daughter that we need to get within 5 standard deviations of normal. I don't try to reel her in too much, because I understand this is about how she sees things, so for me it is about curbing wildly eccentric behavior (please stop barking) and accepting the rest.

Finally getting her into speech therapy. This year obviously was off on things, and was hoping her speech would improve, but it really hasn't and she continues making the same mistakes. Some of it is apparently oral issues with the tongue, others are her attentiveness for being too quick (the quick thing was a problem I had... she seems to have inherited a lot from me). Hoping with the speech therapy, her communication will help with the "weirdness" thing because if her peers can't understand her, yeah, that'll make them feel uncomfortable.

#### rousseau

##### Contributor
I used to be a bit leery about the idea of giving kids meds, but on second thought - if we're mainly preparing them for the modern workforce, and many adults take medications that allow them to participate in that workforce, giving them to kids isn't that far afield.

The speech thing is something I'm keeping a close eye on in our son too. My wife had language issues growing up, while my verbal skills were on the other side of the spectrum. But we've also found that our son had some mild hearing loss due to fluid in his ears, so I'm keeping an eye on how that's affecting things. He'll be a year on the 21st and currently says mama - that seems roughly normal, so who knows.

Good luck with your daughter, I guess you can only really prepare her to be the best version of herself.

#### Jimmy Higgins

##### Contributor
There is medication and then there is drugging up kids. It is important to be leery of just one of those things. The child psychiatrist had that "I've seen this 1000 times look with her', and the medication definitely works. I wish she could be on it all the time, because she is crazy impulsive. Unmedicated, there usually isn't a yes or no, it is a do. On medication, she thinks about yes or no on an action. Without it, not nearly as much. It wears after a while (years).

Don't sweat the speech until 3 years old, of course, read to them a lot and have lots of educational stuff for them to play with, but language can come early or late. And just because they aren't talking doesn't mean they aren't learning.