Tag Archives: Parent

What I’m really thinking: the deaf parent

What’s going on? Am I missing out on something? Or should I say on something else: all the opportunities for small-talk that might make me feel more comfortable and confident in asking if your child wants to come to ours for tea, because our kids are friends. I am bamboozled. I feel the opening gambit has been lost.

My audiologist is great. He tries everything, but it’s about how the brain processes the reduced amount of sound I get, which is about half what anybody else might hear. Lip-reading goes only so far. I’d swap my arm for your hearing. Or my leg. It depends what day it is and how many times I’ve had to get someone else to answer my phone. Or how many times I’ve had to ask the woman in the supermarket to repeat herself, only to realise she’s asking if I have a loyalty card, as she has every other time I’ve been at her till. As a single dad, I’m in the shop a lot.

I think everybody else is friends, and even if I know this is untrue and ridiculous, it still bothers me. I can see fractures after a couple of years, anyway. People who have excised themselves from cliques, new ones brewing. I’m good at reading people’s faces, but I’d rather know what they were all going on about.

I worry I’m stopping my child from having the life yours have. I worry I won’t pick up on something he says, and he won’t repeat it because he’s embarrassed or tired. Could he miss out on a school trip because of me? Will he tell me about his work, because it takes so long? Maybe I’ll miss a clue that he’s being bullied, or not get the punchline to his jokes. It’s exhausting, because I’m deaf all the time. I even dream in mumbles.

Tell us what you’re really thinking at mind@theguardian.com

What I’m really thinking: the deaf parent

What’s going on? Am I missing out on something? Or should I say on something else: all the opportunities for small-talk that might make me feel more comfortable and confident in asking if your child wants to come to ours for tea, because our kids are friends. I am bamboozled. I feel the opening gambit has been lost.

My audiologist is great. He tries everything, but it’s about how the brain processes the reduced amount of sound I get, which is about half what anybody else might hear. Lip-reading goes only so far. I’d swap my arm for your hearing. Or my leg. It depends what day it is and how many times I’ve had to get someone else to answer my phone. Or how many times I’ve had to ask the woman in the supermarket to repeat herself, only to realise she’s asking if I have a loyalty card, as she has every other time I’ve been at her till. As a single dad, I’m in the shop a lot.

I think everybody else is friends, and even if I know this is untrue and ridiculous, it still bothers me. I can see fractures after a couple of years, anyway. People who have excised themselves from cliques, new ones brewing. I’m good at reading people’s faces, but I’d rather know what they were all going on about.

I worry I’m stopping my child from having the life yours have. I worry I won’t pick up on something he says, and he won’t repeat it because he’s embarrassed or tired. Could he miss out on a school trip because of me? Will he tell me about his work, because it takes so long? Maybe I’ll miss a clue that he’s being bullied, or not get the punchline to his jokes. It’s exhausting, because I’m deaf all the time. I even dream in mumbles.

Tell us what you’re really thinking at mind@theguardian.com

Childcare guru: little youngsters ought to not stay overnight with absent parent

overnight children

Penelope Leach believes little children shouldn’t be taken away overnight from the parent they are attached to. Photograph: Alamy

Quite small children whose mother and father separate ought to not stay overnight with the absent father or mom, according to childcare guru Penelope Leach in a book that is presently causing controversy ahead of publication later this week.

Leach says divorce, which is now the fate of nearly half of all marriages, is also typically about the interests of the mothers and fathers, with the kids regarded as property to be shared in between them. Her guide, Household Breakdown: assisting youngsters hang on to each their dad and mom, seems at divorce from the child’s point of see, she says.

But her assertion that young children below the age of four, normally residing with their mother, could suffer emotional and developmental harm if they sleepover at the residence of the absent mother or father, typically the father, has attracted powerful criticism from some psychologists who say there is insufficient proof to substantiate it.

In an interview with Tory MP and former children’s minister Tim Loughton on the internet site of her publisher, Unbound, Leach says: “You get situations where kids are paying a week in mum’s residence and a week in dad’s home and all kinds of horrible arrangements. I get in touch with them horrible because we do know that they are desperately wrong for kids, who require the safety of a spot known as property and who, when extremely little, shouldn’t be taken away overnight from what is normally the mom – the individual they are attached to.”

It is understood she relies on a examine published in Australia in 2010 by McIntosh, Smyth and Kelaher, which was the basis for a report by the Australian Association for Infant Psychological Health. It stated that “the shared overnight care of young children less than four years of age had a significantly adverse influence on the emotional and behavioural nicely-currently being of the youngster. Infants under two years who lived one particular or a lot more overnights a week with both parents had been significantly stressed.” Older youngsters underneath four exhibited better ranges of problem behaviour, the report stated.

But Adrienne Burgess, joint chief executive and head of study at the Fatherhood Institute in the Uk, stated the study’s findings are out of line with other study on the situation and the authors themselves declare their function has been misrepresented. A consensus statement from above 100 professionals, published in the US this 12 months, had taken concern with the Australian findings. “Policymakers and selection makers should recognize that depriving youthful children of overnights with their fathers could compromise the top quality of creating father-kid relationships,” explained the statement signed largely by members of the American Psychological Association.

“Penelope Leach appears to be unaware of the [Australian authors'] most current place, let alone the furore that has been going on in the academic globe,” she explained.

Leach’s see that infants and modest youngsters form just a single powerful attachment is out of date anyway, says Burgess. “Youngsters produce multiple attachments,” she said. “There will be some attachments exactly where they invest much more time with one particular carer than yet another, but all these attachments have an influence – constructive or adverse.”

Dr Tara Weeramanthri, consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist at the South London and Maudsley NHS foundation trust, explained that youngsters have a hierarchy of attachment figures, who incorporate grandparents and other carers as properly as dad and mom, rather than getting connected to just one particular person. “When sick or distressed, they want the man or woman at the leading of the tree as it were, so if mother was the principal carer, that would be mom,” she stated. Nevertheless, “I would not share the view that youthful youngsters should not devote the evening at the father’s residence , in which the couple have separated.

“It is clearly important that visits are managed and supported by both mothers and fathers rather than the youngster being caught up in a predicament exactly where there is acrimony. “Each and every mother or father has to work to help the child’s partnership with the other mother or father, by preparing and speaking to them about it and it is greatest if the check out are component of a routine rather than erratic and tiny youngsters could want to consider a favourite toy, this kind of as a teddy.”

Dr Nigel Sherriff, senior investigation fellow in the centre for well being analysis at Brighton University and a member of the British Psychological Society, stated the suggestion that overnight stays need to not be permitted “goes against the investigation proof which strongly suggests that constructive father engagement in the early many years prospects to higher social and educational outcomes”. He extra that the idea of a exclusive attachment to one man or woman – usually the mom – was “hugely outdated now”. The theory grew up in the 1950s, publish-war, when guys came back without having jobs and there have been attempts to persuade females that they should stay at home with the kids. “All the evidence [today] suggests it is about the good quality of the relationship to the care giver and not whether it is in a distinct area or with a diverse care giver,” he stated.

An A-Z for the new parent: Bryony Gordon’s manual to what you truly require

Indeed, it is almost pointless attempting to prepare by yourself for labour, a lot a lot more so striving to write a prepare. Your entire body will do what it damn well desires to, and you just have to go along with it, kicking and screaming if you completely should.

But here’s what I did obtain from my antenatal lessons: friends. For that cause, these antenatal classes have been invaluable. A is also for alcohol. You will need it.

B

Breast-feeding

It by no means occurred to me, just before I gave birth, that breast-feeding would be anything other than effortless.

Afterwards, as maternity nurses prodded at my boobs and attempted to squeeze colostrum out of my nipples (they ended up obtaining it out with a type of syringe thing), I wondered how it could be something other than extremely hard.

We spent a fortune on ‘lactation consultants’, a single of whom told me that, actually, I wasn’t going to deal with with breast-feeding. It was logistically also hard (I have giant boobs and had to hold my daughter almost behind my back, as if she were a rugby ball), and anyway I had hardly any milk.

I cried at this, but eventually I accepted it. We fed Edie formula, and she has thrived ever given that. We reasoned that it was far greater for our baby to be fed anything – one thing made by scientists to be optimally nutritious – rather than practically nothing at all.

The point of this is that breast is not often greatest. What is best is what functions for you, be it boob or bottle. And don’t let anyone inform you otherwise.

C

Colic

Colic is the thing that all mothers dread the most. It is the devil. It is, essentially, constant crying (from the child, not you) in the evening. No person understands what brings about it, other than the child, and the only way they can try out to talk that with you is by crying even much more.

It is a nightmare from which you come to feel you will by no means wake, partly since you haven’t had any sleep in the 1st location. Like almost every little thing with a little one, this as well will pass – only to be replaced by some other problem, such as weaning.

You will by no means know if feeding your small one particular upright with a specific bottle even though burping it and running up and down the stairs manufactured any big difference at all.

D

Dummies

When you are pregnant you will swear that you’ll never ever use a dummy. Dummies are for the weak-minded.

Then, on the fourth night residence, you will be so desperate for something – anything at all – to shut up your little bundle of joy that you will send your other half out in the middle of the evening to the nearest 24-hour pharmacy to buy a packet of dummies.


The baby will be quite satisfied with the dummy. But then it will fall out of the baby’s mouth, and the infant will no longer be content. Baby will wail and wail. You place the dummy back in. Little one pops the dummy back out. And so on and so on.

E

Countless visitors

When I initial received home from hospital, I imagined I would be fine with visitors. Turns out I was wrong. I cried at the tension that came with attending to the initial two groups of nicely-wishers, and then I stopped answering the door or the cellphone – for at least two weeks, until my other half went back to work, which is when you out of the blue genuinely require visitors.

And soon I realised that every person falls into 1 of two camps: the individuals who carry you meals, and the folks who consume your food. I’m nevertheless striving to forgive the latter.

F

Fathers

I had this problem at initial. It was that I had given up my entire body for our infant, and now I was supposed to give up my job too?!?! Meanwhile, the other half swanned off to operate each and every morning for a relaxing day in the office.

I count down the minutes and seconds until he returns, and cry when he is 16 minutes late. Then, when he will get home, he moans about how exhausted he is.

At which stage I give him two alternatives: a divorce (even though we’re not even married however), or carrying out the dream feed. It is that basic, genuinely.

G

Guidebooks

There are so several tomes on parenting that you could go cross-eyed studying them. We purchased them all, and have so far had time to go through about three pages of each.

Alternatively, I Google troubles on my cellphone whilst I am feeding. Then I ignore what I find on Google. It is just simpler that way.

H

Overall health guests

I met our overall health visitor after. She talked to me about postnatal depression and breast-feeding and contraception. (What have been we employing when we acquired pregnant? Erm, absolutely nothing, hence the infant.)

Then she left, and we’ve by no means been in touch again.

Nevertheless, she did tell me about the nearby children’s centre, which I go to weekly for free child massage classes and the company of other new mothers. It is the place I commence to really feel sane once more.

I’d advise going to yours as soon as attainable.

I

Immunisations

Really don’t be frightened of these – they will harm the infant in the short phrase but protect them in the lengthy term. Whooping cough and tuberculosis could seem Dickensian, but they are extremely genuine and very hazardous.


So get your child vaccinated. Okay, that’s the severe bit more than with.

J

Jaundice

This terrified me – with her orangey glow, my daughter looked like a cast member of The Only Way Is Essex. Yet again, really don’t be too concerned by it.

Edie was back to searching as pale as her mother inside of a week, and now we be concerned about the possibility of sunburn alternatively. There is usually one thing.

K

Kegels

If, like the great Romola Garai, you ended up with 23 stitches in your vagina soon after childbirth, then these are a really excellent thought.

As this is a family newspaper, I won’t go into particulars, but I’m certain one of the hundreds of guidebooks you have inevitably bought will help you. Get pleasure from!

L

Laundry

Pre-baby, you did two washes a week and they had been all colors. Submit-infant, you will do many white washes a day. (Why are Babygros in no way black?

Since everything would display up on them.) Your daily life gets to be one lengthy wash cycle. As we do not have a tumble-dryer, our flat is like a Chinese laundry.

I only want I’d invested in shares in Ecover.

M

Muslins

AKA little squares of cotton that mop up drool and sick and something else your tiny angel ought to care to deposit on to you.

We had eight when Edie was born – 11 weeks on we have 60 and counting. Repeat right after me: You. Can. In no way. Have. As well. A lot of. Muslins.

N

Netflix

This is the best £5 a month you will spend (after the muslins, that is). Given that offering birth, I have watched six seasons of Gossip Woman, all of Property of Cards, and I have just received into 24.

You will devote so a lot time on the sofa feeding your child that great tv is actually, genuinely vital.

O

Organic

I just knew I was going to be an earth mom.

I was going to wipe my baby’s bottom with cotton wool and water and by no means ever put Sudocrem on it. I was never going to give her child medication, such as Infacol and Gripe Water (essentials, by the way, for a colicky little one).

And then I gave birth, and things changed… Do not be afraid to embrace these things.

P

Prams

Purchasing a pram was 1 of the most traumatic experiences of my lifestyle. Will it be a Bugaboo or an iCandy or a Quinny?

In the finish we went for a Bugaboo, because everyone else in our component of town has one and we didn’t want to be shunned by other dad and mom.

For the cost, we could have bought a new car. It did not even come with a nanny to push it, or a notably helpful manual to place it with each other.

Our daughter won’t go down in it without having bursting into tears, either – this signifies I finish up placing her in the sling (see S), and filling the pram with alcohol and formula at the supermarket. It is basically the world’s most high-priced buying trolley.

Q

Top quality time

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH.

My boyfriend and I have attempted this, with my mom coming round to babysit.

We go out for dinner and half an hour later on we decide to return home, simply because we are tired and want to use granny night care as an excuse to catch up on sleep.

Even now, getting to be parents has modified our romantic relationship, and in a great way.

We have witnessed new, outstanding sides to 1 an additional. Even if our top quality time is just a cuddle as we fall into deep rest, it’s still a million instances more meaningful than it was before we had our daughter. Awww.

R

Royal Mail

The postman will turn into the particular person you see practically as a lot as your baby.

Every morning he will arrive with a sack of cards and parcels from friends and loved ones. Befriend him – he could be the only adult business you have all day.

S

Slings and swaddles

Purchase a sling (we received the Baby Bjorn Miracle). The infant will fall asleep in it and your hands will be free of charge to do laundry and sterilise bottles. You will also be capable to go to the loo – bonus! – with the infant calmly connected to you.

Swaddles are brilliant in the very first weeks. Swaddling a baby will make them think they are back in the womb, and they will sleep. Sadly, not everybody can swaddle – I leave it to my boyfriend.

If, like me, you can not do it, you can constantly zip them into a Woombie (offered from John Lewis), which my pal Chloe helpfully described as looking like ‘baby’s 1st straitjacket’. What ever. It operates.

T

Twins

I have only two phrases for you: Excellent. Luck.

U

Untidiness

It amazes me that I can devote the entire day doing laundry and sterilising bottles and picking up dirty muslins – and however the residence is nevertheless a complete tip. It’s like a bomb has gone off in a Mothercare factory.


Please employ a cleaner. It is not a luxury.

V

Vomit

I would have run a mile from sick pre-pregnancy, but now I embrace it.

I have to – it is in my hair, on my garments, all in excess of the sofa. It is amazing how minor fluids bother you when you are a mother.

1 day I realised I had a small bit of child poo on my thumb right after shifting Edie. And do you know what I did? I licked it off, simply because she was crying and there had been no wipes to hand.

This is how a lot you will love your little one.

W

White noise

One more mother informed me this was wonderful for colicky babies, as it reminds them of becoming in the womb. And it’s accurate – it is great.

Variety ‘baby colic white noise’ into YouTube and a whole world of movies opens up. Edie notably likes the twelve-hour-long video of a guy Hoovering.

The neighbours need to feel we are genuine clean freaks.

X

Xanadu

According to babynames.com, Xanadu implies ‘Mongolian city’. You can get in touch with your little one practically anything at all – Apple, Harper, Edie.

Also, remember that until you’ve registered your baby, you can adjust its title as many occasions as you like!

Y

Yoga

I attempted this for the duration of pregnancy in the hope of choosing up strategies to get by means of the birth. In the end, the only strategy I needed was the capability to suck on gasoline and air.

I have all these yoga DVDs to observe now that I’m no longer pregnant, but I have no time to exercising.

Which brings me to some thing essential: please do not fret about your fat. Nine months up, 9 months down. Remember to respect your body: it has just carried out the most outstanding issue.

Z

ZZZZZZZ…

Really don’t think it when folks say that you will get no sleep. You will – it will just be a bit distinct. I didn’t sleep at all when I was pregnant, but as quickly as I gave birth my slumber was deep and lovely.

Edie and I sleep at the very same time throughout the day. She may wake up at 5am, but following that we go back to sleep till 10am. Anyway, who wants sleep when you have acquired your lovely little one? Cheesy, but oh-so-correct.

A edition of this report was initial published in June 2013.

Professional man driver

One particular Certain Way To Inform If Your Aging Parent Shouldn’t Be Driving

Residing in a county with a massive aging population, I regularly see information reviews about accidents and tragedies involving elderly drivers.  In latest instances, older drivers have crashed into plate glass storefronts, hit pedestrians, driven into a physique of water and even disappeared altogether when evening driving.  Maybe household had advised them or asked them to cease without good results.

The struggle to get an aging mother or father to give up driving can be quite tough for family members, notably when the aging individual thinks he or she is perfectly fine.  Loss of independence is a very threatening factor for most people.  An aging mother or father who is determined to preserve driving, regardless of warning signs that it is time to give up the keys may not be ready to listen to family members members.  But, the elder may possibly be persuaded to get a driving evaluation by an goal particular person just to “prove I’m fine”.

The Burke Institute http://www.burke.org/outpatient/services/occupational-therapy in White Plains, N.Y.  delivers what seems to be to me like a model program for drivers who might be marginal.  It’s their Driver Evaluation System, carried out by licensed occupational therapists.

The plan is described on their site as  evaluating “vision, perception, attention, reaction time, memory, judgment, security awareness and cognition. Every single is completely assessed to determine if the patient can carry on to drive safely for themselves and those all around them.  The in-motor vehicle evaluation, performed by participating certified driving instructors, permits a third party professional to assess how all locations come with each other throughout the actual job of driving. This thorough testing allows experts to make a dependable recommendation based mostly on health care expertise.”older driver

I have extended been an advocate of making use of licensed occupational therapists to do the work of assessing the several abilities concerned in aging parents’ driving, rather than relying only on family’s opinions when there is a conflict with the elder.  This is the first system I’ve seen that is conducted in a rehabilitation facility by a group of expert occupational therapists.  It lends an air of credibility to the idea of assessment and could make it easier to get the elder there for evaluation. A doctor’s prescription is necessary.  That also will take the onus off the medical professional, who may possibly be reluctant to say that an aging patient need to end driving when the medical professional and patient have had a lengthy relationship and the medical doctor has never ever witnessed the elder’s driving.  There could be indicators of early dementia in the elder, but everybody, like the physician, is hesitant to say that the elder ought to end driving now.

As a retired individual damage lawyer who represented victims of car accidents, some brought on by these aging drivers who must have offered up the keys just before they hurt my clientele, I can only applaud the Burke Institute for its plan.  I would like to see packages like it all over the nation, making use of their method as a model.  Getting this type of testing is 1 sure way to inform if your aging parent need to give up the car keys for good.

The cost of the program is $ 268, like a one particular-hour evaluation (potential testing), with recommendations and a report that is sent to the driver or doctor requesting the evaluation.  With a report describing driving impairments in hand, it would be less complicated for any doctor to tell an aging client it’s time to quit driving.  If the elder gave permission to the family members to acquire the details, all concerned could strategy for substitute transportation arrangements to preserve the elder’s pursuits.  And the expense of this testing is far reduced than the value a dangerous driver hurting someone or even damaging a automobile.

From what I’ve observed with aging folks, nevertheless, the greatest challenge for families may not be finding an occupational therapist to do such an evaluation of driving potential. It will be receiving the elder to go for evaluation.  Perhaps individuals who need it most will protest the loudest and refuse to be tested. It may possibly be up to responsible family members members to use other signifies of persuasion.

Till up coming time,
Carolyn Rosenblatt
AgingParents.com