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The Raising Kids Thread
Old 01-05-2007, 02:50 PM   #1
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The Raising Kids Thread

We have a few parents with young kids in this crowd. How about a thread for collective insights? (So that others can easily avoid our fawning.)

We had a couple of big hits this xmas for the almost-4-year-old.

ToysRUs had Bucket of Buddies for $15. Nice open-ended construction kit, and the kid loves the theme (weird creatures).

Fry's has Hooked on Phonics for like $10 after $20 rebate, so we bought the Kindergarten version. She loves it, and it really does seem to work to improve her reading. I was surprised at how comprehensive and well-designed it was.
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Re: The Raising Kids Thread
Old 01-05-2007, 03:42 PM   #2
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Re: The Raising Kids Thread

My kids are a bit older. They didn't get what they really wanted -- and knew better than to ask for these things (my DD wants a horse and my son a PS3 and bearded lizards - or any reptile).

But, they loved what they got - snap circuits for DD (just under $50) and decorative lizards for the bedroom for the boy ($25). Seems they don't need much, everyone else, except grandparents, gave them bookstore gift cards...we use the library! Oh well.


Gifts aside, they are wonderful to have around, even if they are time and money suckers.

You know how time flies and you don't know where it went? Well, I've decided that kids are actually alien beings who suck that time into a parallel universe. So, time really does disappear!

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Re: The Raising Kids Thread
Old 01-05-2007, 05:08 PM   #3
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Re: The Raising Kids Thread

Dunno. Everything was a smash this year with my almost 2 year old. I mean, anything that could be used to smash other things was a smash. Hopefully she'll grow out of it...
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Re: The Raising Kids Thread
Old 01-05-2007, 05:41 PM   #4
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Yeah, I think at age 2, the ripping of paper and playing with empty boxes is the big thrill. You'll miss those days. I seem to recall that machine-enhanced locomotion will be the next thing on her plate. Tricycle, indoor roller skates, and Plasma Car.

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Originally Posted by Sandy
they loved what they got - snap circuits for DD
Oh, I sooo wanted to get snap circuits this year (mostly for myself). I was really tempted to get her the 750-project version with computer interface, but through amazing willpower, I resisted. I still have mindstorms and a digital microscope sitting in the closet just waiting for the right developmental stage to emerge....
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Re: The Raising Kids Thread
Old 01-05-2007, 06:58 PM   #5
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Re: The Raising Kids Thread

I remember how our kid used to get up for Christmas at 5 AM.

Now that she's 14, she finally put in an appearance at 9:30 AM-- looking a lot like Bill the Cat on a bad hair day.

An iPod. "The Wave" street surfing skateboard. A $100 check from Grandpa.

We didn't see her again until after sundown.

Best Christmas ever!
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Re: The Raising Kids Thread
Old 01-05-2007, 07:08 PM   #6
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Re: The Raising Kids Thread

Wab

that is one of the best part of having kids - you get to buy play with the toys; guilt free
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Re: The Raising Kids Thread
Old 01-08-2007, 10:18 AM   #7
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Re: The Raising Kids Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandy
Wab

that is one of the best part of having kids - you get to buy play with the toys; guilt free
Agree.............I already put together the reptiles from their plastic eggs, did a sticker mosaic race car, and am the undisputed Countdown champion of the house......

Our family plays games together twice a week or more.........I guess we're an oddity.............
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Re: The Raising Kids Thread
Old 01-08-2007, 10:47 AM   #8
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Re: The Raising Kids Thread

For those with older kids (my youngest is 17 and a senior in high school). He wanted for Christmas, lets see; a car, base guitar, a car, some CDs & DVDs, a car, more pieces for his drum set, a car, clothes and...

Enjoy your kids now, they grow up so fast. Of course we have some grandkids from my older son so we get to start over with the Kids/Babies/Toys R Us cycle.
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Re: The Raising Kids Thread
Old 01-17-2007, 03:16 PM   #9
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Re: The Raising Kids Thread

So, last week my kid comes home from preschool and tells me about the poem she learned for MLK day. We talk a bit about MLK, and eventually she asks "what does 'die' mean?"

OK. We have talked about this before, but we've never related it to humans before. She gets it, and asks "we won't die, right?"

I try to give it to her free of metaphysics, but she doesn't like the implications. At all.

Anybody have a graceful way of handling this? We'll be checking out a couple books from the library this week with preschooler-friendly stories about lifecycles....
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Re: The Raising Kids Thread
Old 01-17-2007, 04:00 PM   #10
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Re: The Raising Kids Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by wab
Anybody have a graceful way of handling this?
have you considered changing the subject to, oh, i don't know, ice cream perhaps?

i still remember myself as a little kid and how difficult it was to accept death. we had a bird who used to ride around on the dog. when the bird died my father asked me to join him and my brother to bury the shoebox casket but all i could do was stay home and cry.

on another brush with death, my turtle escaped its little plastic pond and went missing for a long time. i finally found it dried up in a closet. i must have been pretty upset because mom took my turtle "to the vet" and came back with it alive. she told me he put the turtle in a magic solution and it became healthy again. i didn't figure out until just a few years ago that she had replaced the thing.

i was 8 when my grandma died & i couldn't stop crying so they didn't take me to the funeral. i remember being embarrassed at the neighbors' because i was crying in front of them.

my little nephew did much better when my mom died. he's 10 and was determined to participate in mom's funeral. he went running over to the pile of dirt to grab the shovel to help bury his grandma. only he tripped on the way and almost fell in. i just started laughing. he looked at me through the top of his eyes and got this big ol' smile on. but of course it would have been even funnier yet pretty horrible had he fallen in.
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Re: The Raising Kids Thread
Old 01-17-2007, 04:10 PM   #11
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Re: The Raising Kids Thread

Sit her down and tell her "there are two things for certain in life. Death and taxes. Neither one are particularly good, so try to avoid them as much as possible." Then give her some ice cream.
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Re: The Raising Kids Thread
Old 01-17-2007, 04:15 PM   #12
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Re: The Raising Kids Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by justin
Sit her down and tell her "there are two things for certain in life. Death and taxes. Neither one are particularly good, so try to avoid them as much as possible." Then give her some ice cream.
"some icre cream", some colored pencils and a columnar pad.
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Re: The Raising Kids Thread
Old 01-17-2007, 04:49 PM   #13
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Re: The Raising Kids Thread

Yeah, imagine my thrill. We have three dogs and three cats, at ages where all six are likely to be dying somewhere between when gabe is 5 and 8.

And a 73 year old much loved grampa (aka "gunka!").

So i'll be having a lot of 'splaining to do and a lot of heartbroken boy.

Building on whats been already written, I'd build in a personal stake for her. Tell her that everyone is born, lives their life and then dies. And if nobody died there'd be 100 times as many people still around and they'd eat all the ice cream.
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Re: The Raising Kids Thread
Old 01-17-2007, 05:05 PM   #14
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Re: The Raising Kids Thread

If your kids like building forts the "Playfort by Cranium" -- yes, the marketing wonks at Cranium have got my 6 year old saying that -- is a relatively inexpensive and fun toy. See your local TRU.

Not going to comment on the death topic.

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Re: The Raising Kids Thread
Old 01-17-2007, 05:30 PM   #15
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Re: The Raising Kids Thread

How did this thread take such a downer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by justin
Dunno. Everything was a smash this year with my almost 2 year old. I mean, anything that could be used to smash other things was a smash. Hopefully she'll grow out of it...
I should have wrapped empty boxes. My daughter is two, and the opening was the best part:




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Re: The Raising Kids Thread
Old 01-17-2007, 06:52 PM   #16
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Re: The Raising Kids Thread

Yeah, I remember those years -- it made no difference what was in the box -- it was all about the wrapping paper, bows, tape -- toys were secondary. Coulda saved a lot of money in those days and probably reduced the national land fill levels a bit, too.
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Re: The Raising Kids Thread
Old 01-17-2007, 07:00 PM   #17
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Re: The Raising Kids Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandy


Gifts aside, they are wonderful to have around, even if they are time and money suckers.

You know how time flies and you don't know where it went? Well, I've decided that kids are actually alien beings who suck that time into a parallel universe. So, time really does disappear!
Sandy,
I know you've heard this and know this but I have started being really shocked at how fast these guys are growing up and how my 15 year old will be gone in just a couple years. Totally changed my focus from 'how can I get through this night/week/period of my life' to 'how can I stretch out these precious months before they're gone.' What took me by surprise is how around age 14 or so they become so independent that even though time isn't going any faster or slower, you see them a lot less and realize you've got very little time during which they'll listen to what you think, want to hang out with you or want to tell you anything. That was the kicker.

I wonder if that's why so many college kids come back home to live -- aside from the great deal on rent and reliable food supply, maybe parents want more time with the kids, too? Certainly it's changed from when we were growing up...
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Re: The Raising Kids Thread
Old 01-17-2007, 08:28 PM   #18
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Re: The Raising Kids Thread

Gabe enjoyed the opening until he got a CAR! and that had to be opened, then he noticed the process of bringing the gifts in from the tree to the sitting room and decided he wanted to be the chief gift bringer.

Everything went directly to my sister in law, however.
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Re: The Raising Kids Thread
Old 01-17-2007, 09:00 PM   #19
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Re: The Raising Kids Thread

Just had one of my better parenting moments---
helping my 11 year old on math homework -- percents, growth rates, interest and such-- we had a practical problem about earning 6% interest on $1100 over a period of 2 years, and I got to impart the mysterious secret of compound interest. "It'll put food on your table and Maseratis in your garage" (this kid needs the visceral muscle car approach), and its a secret that non-savers never seem to learn. Pound it into your head". Vintage stuff -- I think he'll actually remember it.

It did make me wonder, though, whether the secret of compounding which got us to financial independence is then given short shrift as we consume up to our SWR limit, generally right about the real expected return on a portfolio, giving ourselves no real power of compounding (unless markets outperform in the early years) over the period of our retirement. I guess its worth it, though. Especially if being ER means I'm home and able to spend time imparting life's little financial secrets during a lengthy homework session so the kid can harness the power of compound interest for himself and bail me out when I'm 105 8)
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Re: The Raising Kids Thread
Old 01-17-2007, 11:45 PM   #20
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Re: The Raising Kids Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by wab
So, last week my kid comes home from preschool and tells me about the poem she learned for MLK day. We talk a bit about MLK, and eventually she asks "what does 'die' mean?"

Anybody have a graceful way of handling this? We'll be checking out a couple books from the library this week with preschooler-friendly stories about lifecycles....
Hi Wab:

Our 4 year old goes to a waldorf school. They have a great origin story/myth that they tell the kids on each birthday celebration....it sounds kind of hokey but it has really been a great tool to us in dealing with the issue of death.

Basically it goes like this: that all kids were originally angels in the sky....one day, an angel peeps down to earth and sees a mama and a papa (change to suit your family situation if necessary) who are hoping so much for a child that she responds to their yearning and takes off her wings. She puts them carefully away, since she won't need them on earth. Then she goes tumbling, tumbling down the rainbow into the arms of the waiting parents. The implication of the wings is that, one day, the child will go back to reclaim her wings having spent her life here on earth.

Now our child often asks about people who have passed, "Did he (grandpa) go back up the rainbow?" or says things like "when I go back up the rainbow......" We have lots of mixed feelings about the Waldorf system but this story has been a true gift to us and our child. You might be able to find a version of it in a book about waldorf preschooling.

best
Winnie
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