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  #41  
Old 28.08.2011, 21:51
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Re: Lazy parents make happy families

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Also feeling much less guilty about whole weekend afternoons spent faffing about then realising it's 5 o'clock and we have bugger all to show for it. Can't even claim to have been creative or particularly mumsy during that time either.

If I still lived in the UK, social services would be onto me for being a terminally dull parent.
Sounds like my today, actually.... Didn't get out at all, really. I made bagels and a ginger cake, read a bit, took a nap and the kid just colored a bit and played in her room much of the day and, when asked if she'd like to go outside since it was such a nice day refused rather determinedly (much to my own dismay as I would have enjoyed a walk outside).

I have a really difficult time scheduling fun stuff on the weekend, too, as ever since we moved here I chucked the stroller and she is insufferable when tasked with walking for any length of time which makes for miserable outings so I've given up a bit, though will at least appeal to my masochistic side at least every other weekend and keep trying something fun only to be disappointed. But...I still feel a bit guilty that we're not out doing something more interesting on the weekends...even the zoo would be a nice change of pace, but it's impossible when she's already sitting on the ground, shrieking like she's being beaten and drawing glares, claiming that her legs hurt and she can't walk about 100m from the tram stop. Mind, this same child exhibits none of said pain on the way back....(and I did take her to the doc to have her legs examined, but I think her pediatrician is not a shrink. ).

I, too, am a terminally dull parent but it's all that much more difficult when being enabled by my kid and feeling a bit worried that she's going to blame me for the therapy later in life that I wasn't more fun.
  #42  
Old 28.08.2011, 23:41
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Re: Lazy parents make happy families

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Ah, my favorite Idle Parent theme...nice.
Positively reviewed by two of my favourite authors

I like the Idle Parent's working ideas of rejecting consumerism, being creative and being thrifty. I hope we can raise non-consumerist kids who enjoy what they have instead of constantly wanting something.

Our son has so much fun this weekend with a kid's party where they made pizza in a wood pizza oven followed by a sleepover with his best friend at ours. They were self-entertained together for ages and didn't ask once for TV or Wii (his friend has an older brother).

Being a chauffeur to our kids was something we were thinking about when we chose where to live. We live close to town and sacrifice size for a great location. Our garden is big enough for the kids (and already too much work for me) and our kids can make their own ways around when they are old enough.
  #43  
Old 29.08.2011, 09:34
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Re: Lazy parents make happy families

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I have a really difficult time scheduling fun stuff on the weekend, too, as ever since we moved here I chucked the stroller and she is insufferable when tasked with walking for any length of time which makes for miserable outings so I've given up a bit, though will at least appeal to my masochistic side at least every other weekend and keep trying something fun only to be disappointed.
Try her with one of those Like-A-Bike bicycles or a three-wheel scooter. I used to be banging my head against the nearest wall trying to drag my son along but once I put wheels under him he was a bit quicker (at least adult walking pace).
  #44  
Old 29.08.2011, 10:27
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Re: Lazy parents make happy families

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My take on it is that there are activities (or may be all of them?) that are much more easy to learn when you are young (from biking and up to the languages). Kids could have various inclinations for learning or not (depends on the parents, but also on the peers, etc.). It is not clear for me how to strike a right balance.
The only thing I've made non-negotiable is learning to swim. My son had absolutely no interest in swimming as a leisure activity, but grudgingly agreed at age 6 or 7 that most adults seem to be able to swim, so he must have to learn at some point and it may as well be now. He did one-to-one lessons in order to minimise the timeline for both of us, and was swimming within 4 or 5 lessons. He finished the course of 10 lessons able to swim a length of the adult-sized pool (our agreed target). I did ask if he'd now like to do group classes for fun and improvement, but nope. Now, aged 11, he can swim well enough to lark about with his mates at the pool without me having to hover and supervise. At some point, I imagine social pressure will make him want to develop better technique to impress girls.

I'm with you on bike riding too - this is mine and the kids' main form of transport - plus rollerskating/ice skating, as this is definitely easier to learn as a kid. Not as far to fall, for starters. In fact, mine both seem to fling themselves down on the ice for fun. He can ski a little too, well enough to slither down red runs in an enthusiastic but slightly ungainly fashion.

None of this has happened via scheduled classes, though. The skiing is from a couple of private lessons and then just practising, the rest is from trial and error. I agree that all these skills are useful to develop as a child, but we've managed to instil them without once committing to turning up every week on Tuesday from 4-5pm. He enjoys the activities - I think it's the commitment he has issues with. What if he simply doesn't feel like going one week? What if he gets a better offer? etc.

I can see he's going to be a nightmare for his girlfriends.
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  #45  
Old 26.09.2011, 00:04
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Re: Lazy parents make happy families

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The only thing I've made non-negotiable is learning to swim. My son had absolutely no interest in swimming as a leisure activity, but grudgingly agreed at age 6 or 7 that most adults seem to be able to swim, so he must have to learn at some point and it may as well be now. He did one-to-one lessons in order to minimise the timeline for both of us, and was swimming within 4 or 5 lessons. He finished the course of 10 lessons able to swim a length of the adult-sized pool (our agreed target). I did ask if he'd now like to do group classes for fun and improvement, but nope. Now, aged 11, he can swim well enough to lark about with his mates at the pool without me having to hover and supervise. At some point, I imagine social pressure will make him want to develop better technique to impress girls.
I agree that learning to swim is non-negotiable, but I found the beginners classes plain useless until my son could dive comfortably. We gave it more practice and started taking him twice a week. I finally bit the bullet and enrolled in swimming lessons since we are at the pool all afternoon one day a week anyways. My son is in level 1 again (but 1+ this time), but in 3 weeks with a small group they started crawl and he's now jumping off the diving board and swimming to the edge. 50m is a great goal - we are at about 15m now with some dog paddling for some air It helps that his little sister loves the water and can be longer in the water now that she's older. She has been swimming with floaties and going under water since about 1 1/2.
  #46  
Old 26.09.2011, 07:40
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Re: Lazy parents make happy families

I agree that allowing children the freedom to be creative and to be bored (if necessary) is very valuable for their development but I also think that the approach you take to scheduled activities should be tailored to the individual child and that that might change over time.

One thing that I've been pondering in relation to my nearly 9 year old son is that while I've quite liked the gently gently approach to education that happens in Switzerland, I have the feeling that he has never really been challenged at school. He seems to have adopted 'coasting' as his default mode which may make it tough for him later on when he needs to put in a bit more effort. For this reason, I've decided to try to prod him into doing some music lessons and to find him an organised sport that he'd like to try.

Sometimes I think that pushing children (without going to extremes) to commit to activities that are slightly out of their comfort zone can also be a good thing. I have quite a few friends who've told me that as adults they wish their parents had done more to encourage them to learn an instrument or to make doing a sport part of their lives.
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  #47  
Old 03.10.2011, 18:01
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Re: Lazy parents make happy families

I always feel great when I find half my morning gone from playing legos with my boys, or making baby puzzles with my 3 year old, or dressing barbies with my little girl. I don't do it often since i am a work-a-holic type of mom who always has to be busy, but the times I do, I tell myself I should do it more often.
I used to teach my kids at home, and that is something I miss, my kids are stolen from me and spend more time at school then at home...sob. And I can't say that at least they are getting a good education, 'cause I am a pretty darn good teacher.
All that to say, spend as much time with your children as possible, they'll be gone before you know it.
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  #48  
Old 03.10.2011, 18:07
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Re: Lazy parents make happy families

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My son is in level 1 again (but 1+ this time), but in 3 weeks with a small group they started crawl and he's now jumping off the diving board and swimming to the edge.
I am so proud of my boy today. The swimming teacher called and has put him up two more levels
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Old 03.10.2011, 18:34
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Re: Lazy parents make happy families

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I am so proud of my boy today. The swimming teacher called and has put him up two more levels
I swear, that's the happiest post around here today and for that, I thank you I understand the pride and joy that goes with such small successes. I hope someone is getting an ice cream tonight!
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Old 03.10.2011, 19:45
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Re: Lazy parents make happy families

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I swear, that's the happiest post around here today and for that, I thank you I understand the pride and joy that goes with such small successes. I hope someone is getting an ice cream tonight!
Thanks. Today his rucksack was full of nuts he collected with his Kindergarten, so dessert was walnuts
 

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