Step-Parenting

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I live with Jonah and his mum, Claire. Jo's four and a half now, me and Claire have been together since a couple of months before he turned 2. So I think as far as he's concerned, I've been around as long as he can remember. And we've all lived together for just over a year now. It's all going pretty great I think - for a while there was a weird issue where, when he woke during the night, he'd reject any help from me and just cry for mummy, but that's calmed down a lot now, and only happens rarely. Apart from that I think we're all good, and I'm really happy.

Anyone doing anything similar? It feels a little bit weird to read some of the other threads on this board (which I only reaslied existed today) because it seems like people here naturally refer back to earlier childhood when discussing current traits or behaviours, and it does make me wonder whether I'm missing out on some potential insight there.

JimD, Friday, 14 August 2009 11:42 (thirteen years ago) link

I dont know about insight Jim, I was the oldest of 6 kids myself and helped raise my youngest siblings, Ive got a 13 month old daughter, Abi and am loving being a Dad.

Abi has been in full time child care since she was 6 months old and I am aware that, all other things being equal, she would be better off at home during the first few years. The reality of life for us is that we both need to work so we do the best we can around our current situation.

Ive read a little on child development. From what I can gather the first year of life sets the stage for a persons predispositions and personality development.

While the nature vs nurture mix is unclear what parents do in the first year makes a difference. Its all about connection, interaction and attachment apparently, what the scientific lit calls "synchrony". Its small,simple stuff, not impressive in itself but so crucial-- lots of eye conatct, responding to each other: mock surprise, smiling, voacalising, playing, tickling, cuddling etc.

Some parents are "naturally" better than others at this interaction,ie they can keep it real,I actually think babies know when your hearts not in it, ie no real warmth or expression, or at the other end, if youre over the top controlling type. Anyway this is turning into a long post, glad to hear youre enjoying fatherhood, all the best.

Kiwi, Wednesday, 19 August 2009 01:30 (thirteen years ago) link

You make it sound as though childcare is a bad thing, Kiwi! :-) To be honest I am happy to send my children to daycare: it enables them to play with other kids. There's benefits to daycare. Then again we have the luxury to pick which days we want as we run our own (or rather, my parents') shop.

Also, this nuclear family is something new. Way back children were brought up by various family members. Look at those old postcards: the whole street was the family. Then again now we're moving more and more into the postmodern family. which brings a new set of problems but also benefits, I'm sure.

Jim, I don't think you have to attach too much importance to your kid preferring mummy. Heck, when Ophelia was younger, she suddenly decided daddy was her favourite. :-)

Nathalie (stevienixed), Friday, 21 August 2009 07:41 (thirteen years ago) link

Yep, what helped a lot was realising that "I WANT MUMMY!" doesn't actually mean "I want mummy", it just means "I'm upset!".

JimD, Saturday, 22 August 2009 10:03 (thirteen years ago) link

:-) It is painful though. You're (or rather I was) always a bit jealous, saddened that I wasn't top pick. But y'know, who cares, they love you and you love them. :-) It's not a contest. I think it's awesome you're doing this btw. :-) Will you and Claire have kids of your own?

Nathalie (stevienixed), Saturday, 22 August 2009 10:50 (thirteen years ago) link

Yep, planning to!

JimD, Saturday, 22 August 2009 16:06 (thirteen years ago) link

Hurrah! :-))))

Nathalie (stevienixed), Saturday, 22 August 2009 20:41 (thirteen years ago) link


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