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imagine.more

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  1. This is why I don't really do facebook. I have a fake account to keep track of local homeschool groups and events and a select few long distance friends. I lasted less than a year on facebook 3-4 years ago. Then I saw my neighbor, who was a decent neighbor and who we were always friendly with, sharing horribly anti-Catholic articles on her facebook account. I was so upset! I knew she was evangelical nondenom protestant so of course wouldn't agree with Catholic teachings, but these articles were hateful and largely inaccurate. I did not need to know that! I'd have been happy just knowing her as a friendly neighbor who kept her house and lawn nice and didn't have loud parties. So I think if this is a friend in real life that you realize has views totally opposed to yours, it's natural to distance yourself. If it's an acquaintance, I'd try not to let it bug you and unfollow them on facebook for sure.
  2. I read the article and found it interesting as well. The thing that has me thinking is that this can't *just* be a smartphone thing. We don't allow our kids to have phones until 16....there is zero need for a child to have a phone imo until they are driving places themselves. So my 15 year old doesn't have a phone. Also, she has disabilities so she doesn't really do the internet thing either. She plays 30 minutes of PBSkids.com games most days. She calls her birth family once a week on my phone. She has emailed with friends a few times, and most of her friends here don't have phones (15-16 is a typical age to get cell phones among our social group). But, I see the exact same trend of zero desire for independence. The kids don't talk about getting their license. They don't date until 16-18 (this I'm okay with, haha!). They have no idea what they want to do when they grow up/where they'll go to college. DD15 NEVER makes plans with her friends on her own, doesn't go anywhere alone (her choice, not ours), and has expressed no desire to get a job and cried when I told her by 16 she'd need one because of course we're not giving an allowance at 16+ years old. She thought it was a punishment! I had to explain that it was just common sense, why should we give an allowance when she can legally work?? DD15 spent her first 12 years in the usual American culture. Zero emphasis on independence. She was given a phone at 9, but then of course it stopped being useful when her birth mom didn't pay the bill. She was not even allowed to use a knife to cut her food at 10. She spent 90% of her time at home in their apartment with her birth mom. She went to public school where everything was super-structured and she was told what to do every minute of the day. She was not allowed to walk to friends' houses or explore hobbies on her own. Contrasting that with my younger birth kids, I don't see this trend in them at all though they fit into the same 1995-2012 (iGen) generation that DD15 does. Recently, my 9 year old wanted to sign up for the library reading club which gives prizes. I told him I was too busy to manage that right now but he was welcome to do it on his own. He went, signed up, gave the librarian my email and his library card, and started. He keeps track of the books he reads, shows his list to the librarian, and selects his own prize (a book or small toy, which he usually shares with his sisters). He also carries a wallet with a bit of cash from birthdays/allowance and his library card. He makes small purchases on his own at the store. He decided completely on his own to use his birthday money to take his dad and brother to go bowling. At home he has his own interests and hobbies. He has career interests that are realistic for the future. My 6.5 year old also has what I see to be a typical level of independence for his age. He makes plans with friends at co-op to get together to play (often without asking us parents first, so sometimes I have to reign him in, lol!). He has hobbies and interests. He will play in the woods alone happily for hours with no direction from me. He has been responsible with his library books lately so I'll be getting him his own wallet to manage his library card independently. He constantly has schemes to earn money (lemonade stand, etc.) because he recognizes there are things he wants beyond what we buy (which is all needs and a few wants at gift-giving occasions) and he needs to find ways to earn money to get them. I don't think the kid is physically capable of being bored, lol! So there must be something bigger about our culture that is causing this total lack of desire for freedom and independence. I think mostly it's the policies like someone mentioned above of not even allowing teens to do anything alone. Malls treat anyone under 18 like a child and dissuade them from hanging out without adult supervision. Parents won't let anyone under 18 babysit their precious toddler :001_rolleyes: and companies won't hire under 16. Neighborhoods are no longer set up with stay at home parents so kids aren't home...they're in daycare, then after school care, and then organized sports right up until dark or later. Impromptu play outside with friends is harder to come by. CPS is called for neglect if a 6 year old is seen riding his bike in the neighborhood, even though that was 100% normal and expected even 20 years ago. And parents just don't expect their kids to be independent anymore. But it's so pervasive that if you try to buck the trend you have an uphill battle. My 15 yo has no desire to drive because none of her friends are driving yet, so she doesn't feel that slight sting of being left out. Her friends are just as bad at making plans together as she is, so even when I push her to make plans (like this summer when i tried to get her to invite friends to a movie) it doesn't pan out because three 14-15 year old girls apparently can't just pick a day and go. We're actually factoring in proximity to other kids' houses when looking for our next home to buy. Right now we're a long drive from everyone, but I am willing to give up my hope of more land just to make sure my younger kids can grow up riding their bikes to friends' houses or playing basketball in the street. If that means living in town, then so be it. Because if I have to parent another uber-dependent/unconfident teen like DD I will lose my mind.
  3. My morning sickness lasted 7 weeks-20 weeks (boy) 4 weeks (the day I missed my period)-20 weeks (boy) 6 weeks-11 weeks (girl) 5 weeks-12 weeks (girl) 5 weeks-17 weeks (boy) ... clearly I'm allergic to boys :P But anyway, some pregnancies you really can have significantly less. I found generally if it started later it ended earlier.
  4. I'd say the same. Sometime before engagement/moving in but definitely no need for casual dates, especially as a teen.
  5. My oldest is turning 16 soon and is also getting her learner's permit so we want to get her a phone soon. Problem is, she's got learning disabilities and while high functioning on practical things, doesn't 'get' abstract things like the internet. Seriously, multiple instructions and she still can't figure out how to use facebook or instagram to keep track of friends. We've had to spend time teaching her how to email because she kept forwarding friends' emails back to them instead of replying, or treating it like texting and sending 3-4 word replies back and forth. So, I ideally need a phone that: - is not a smart phone - can text - has a good amount of minutes - has a simple interface, easy to navigate
  6. I totally agree. There is a clear disparity of wealth and opportunity and it is discouraging. The fact is my kids will work hard and it won't go quite as far as a kid's hard work when aided by extra opportunities. I think what helps me stay sane and keep a healthy perspective is to focus on progress, not perfection. So it's okay if my incredibly intelligent son cannot go to an Ivy league school like his equally smart aunt did. What we can afford is to give him the educational and emotional support to attend a well respected state or private school on a full scholarship so he graduates without debt. Like others have mentioned, emotional support and the wisdom of experience can be very valuable. So since that's a resource we can afford, that's what we make sure to provide. And we hope to ensure a slightly better education and lifestyle for our kids....and then it'll be even better for our grandkids, and so on. It's slow, and frustrating, and not a foolproof system, but it's what we have to work with. :)
  7. Hm, but the actual bible verse says that not wearing a covering over your hair is as if you were to shave off your hair, so the hair as a covering alone doesn't quite fit with the biblical context. " Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head, but every wife who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, since it is the same as if her head were shaven. For if a wife will not cover her head, then she should cut her hair short. But since it is disgraceful for a wife to cut off her hair or shave her head, let her cover her head" (1 Cor. 1:3-6)." OP, I usually wear a headcovering (mantilla or simple cloth wrap) to church. I'm Roman Catholic so it's a combination of biblical mandate, longstanding Catholic tradition (lowercase t, it's not required anymore), and personal devotion. It's not uncommon in the churches we typically attend. I view it like men removing hats when entering the church, a sign of polite reverence. I don't know any protestants personally who headcover but I know some groups do, I assume based on the biblical reference. Most Catholics and Protestants recognize that it's based on a custom of headcovering in general that no longer is present. As in, all Jewish women and most non-Jewish women back then covered their hair. It was a combo of modesty, marriage status, and practicality (nobody showered daily and the middle east is pretty dusty and sunny...covering protected hair from being dulled/lightened by the sun or getting dirty too quickly).
  8. I struggle to visualize things too. I can do it, but it's difficult and I definitely cannot visualize in 3D or manipulate an image in my head. I think in words like some others here. Written words mostly, like I can see the words. I used to think in print mostly, then cursive, now typeface mostly. Makes me an excellent speller :D But I really struggle to remember faces. Like if my own sister dyed her hair and gained weight or something I wonder if I'd recognize her in a group of strangers? I cope by remembering word-based descriptions, like hair color, nose shape, etc. and that gets me by. I've worked with my DD, who has poor visualization AND poor language with Lindamood's Visualizing and Verbalizing program. You can totally DIY it. One interesting aspect of that is the role of visualization in math! Some people see a number line, others see quantities of objects when you say a number, and people with poor math abilities see nothing or very vague images. I see a number line with varying sizes and colors. My husband sees quantities of things, like buckets filled to a certain point. Our 9 year old can do both, which probably explains why he is better than either of us in math :P
  9. Yes, it is getting to be normal unfortunately. I just interviewed four times for the job I got. With so many interviews I thought for sure I wasn't going to get it. I was frankly very surprised when they offered me the job because in the past I've never interviewed more than once before being offered a job if they liked me. My husband interviewed 2-3 times on average during his year of job-hunting. I wouldn't give up hope despite the lengthy process. It is very frustrating though and can make it hard to plan.
  10. You're right, I was thinking they'd need to practice their memory work daily and recite on Fridays. We could do a practice recitation on 'off' days from the co-op group. The read-alouds are picture books, definitely not ongoing, lol! My kids are 9, 6, 4, and 2. The read-aloud will be geared towards the younger ones, a seasonal or liturgical picture book. We do for-fun read-alouds in the evening before bed but those are just whatever novel the kids want. Any books for school the two older boys read themselves.
  11. Looking ahead to next year I'd like to do a 4-day a week schedule...sort of. I have all of these classical education 'extras' that I really consider essential but don't make it into our daily routine when the rubber hits the road. My brain gets all fuzzy when I try to keep track of too many subjects at one time. So, has anyone else grouped all of these into one day? I was thinking something like a Circle Time/Poetry Tea Time hybrid extended for a few hours on Fridays when we wouldn't do any of our usual subjects. For example: Monday-Thursday: Math English Literature History Religion Friday: ​Read-Aloud (seasonally themed, geared towards my younger 3) Poetry Selection Hymn Study Memory Work (a group of us are planning to get together every other Friday as a recitation club + park day) Art Science My thought is we'd do the read-aloud through memory work in the morning (starting late-ish because that's how we roll) and then have lunch/go to the recitation club and in the afternoon (preferably during nap time) do art and science. This way the messy subjects happen just once a week and at the end of the day. Fridays are often pizza days so household-wise I'd be less stressed about cleaning up the kitchen from art projects since I wouldn't need to really cook. Has anyone done a schedule like this? How did it work? Any name ideas for the Friday subjects (so I can figure out where to put it all in my planner)?
  12. No judgement here at all, just complete sympathy! I like others' ideas of paying the kids who do chores (maybe not even with money, but with privileges like computer time, TV time, later bedtime, etc). That could really reduce their understandable frustration and let you feel like things are more fair. Plus it's a pretty natural consequence for your DS. He may not notice it or may not connect it to his behavior as logically as would be ideal, but at the very least it helps the other kids feel things are more fair. And yes, I'd totally leave him home with a sitter. We leave DD15 home alone now that she's mature enough if she's in a bad mood. I just tell her flat out "I'm going to run some errands, you can hang out here because frankly I need a break from your sullen glares and back talking". And I leave, with the other kids. I usually unplug (and take with me) the computer cord before I go just to be sure she's not goofing off on the internet while I'm gone. I usually come back feeling MUCH better and it gives me a chance to give 1-on-1 attention to the better behaved kids who demand less of my time but obviously still need it. I don't know if a preteen with autism would clue in this much to it, but DD sometimes feels remorseful and will do the dishes so when I come back the dishes are done AND she usually watches her attitude better for a few days. Again, I wouldn't 'count' on that, but just the time out doing something fun without the kid who is not enjoying it there is so helpful for mental health. If he's too young to stay home alone maybe make finding a summer sitter a priority. Just once or twice a month even for several hours so you can take the other kids to do some planned fun. I have a friend here whose autistic son hates field trips, events, etc. He's not badly behaved necessarily but just is miserable and obviously makes it known ;) Anyway, she just has him stay home. No big deal. He's happier at home reading or playing on the computer and others can go enjoy the outing. I think sometimes as parents we can get that fear of missing out on behalf of our kids. But, if they don't enjoy it and don't want to go, then they're not missing out on anything in their minds. So no need to feel guilty at all. ((hugs)) it's hard to parent preteens, and preteens with special needs are especially tough.
  13. Sounds like attachment disorder or fetal alcohol syndrome to me. We've dealt with similiar behaviors while fostering. The lies that are a) pointless b) obvious are what I call 'crazy lies' because they just don't even make sense. And they're not uncommon. Parenting DD often feels like talking to an Alzheimer's patient here too. She did NOT understand time when she came to us. Like 4 days and 4 months were the same to her in stories she'd tell and she couldn't approximate "oh, dinner is at 5:30 so it's in about 2 hours." A few things that I've found helpful: 1) time - we've had no stealing issues in a long time! I really think this is just something some foster kids can outgrow. 2) making a life book telling EVERYTHING I know about her in simple scrapbook form so she has a clearer timeline of her own personal history. Before this she often mixed up people/events and had no clue when things happened in relation to one another. This was partly poor memory, partly that birth parents will lie to the kids a lot to cover their own bad choices. I think this is beneficial for current events too. I keep meaning to catch up on our family's yearly scrapbooks partly to help DD though she's got a much firmer grasp of time and chronology now. And definitely check with a professional to get an fasd/attachment disorder assessment. Can't hurt to see a neuropsych too because there could be legitimate memory delays going on. Anxiety is almost a given for foster kids but maybe a diagnosis would get her extra support to learn better ways of coping.
  14. Thanks so much, this really helps! Money is a bit tight this month so I bought a pair of used Keens on ebay just now! And I'm definitely going to prioritize buying from those few brands recommended from now on. My kids are perfectly spaced with boy/boy then girl/girl so if I can start getting shoes that last through 2 kids it would really help simplify things.
  15. My son needs shoes (again!!) because his current pair wore straight through. Any suggestions for truly sturdy shoe brands that have lasted your kids a long time or through multiple school-age kids?
  16. My 22 month old girl climbs up her brothers' bunk ladder. We had to remove a rung to keep her from climbing up all the time, lol! So you might be able to use the ladder types after all. Either way be sure you check any bunk bed in person. We ordered one online and it was terribly flimsy.
  17. We have a cat who is like a dream animal for kids with sensory issues. A friend of my son's has diagnosed SPD with sensory-seeking and she loved this cat. This cat loves rough petting! Like he just leans right into it. And he's a sturdy 12 lb muscly cat too so he can take it. So I do think there are certain animals that would work great for active, sensory-seeking kids. We're planning to get oldest DD a sturdy, trainable dog for similar reasons...to give her a healthy outlet for her sensory seeking, force her to get outside for walks, and as added security when she moves out someday since she's hearing impaired and VERY naive. Cats and dogs are the sturdiest animals. Cats can be tough for kids to 'read'. My 1 year old does not get that my cat flicking her tail means she's angry, she thinks it's a game the cat is playing with her. Dogs are easier to read but require more care. Guinea pigs or rabbits are good small pets. We've had guinea pigs over the years and even at 3/4 the kids can do everything with them but clean the cage.
  18. Your best bet might be to make sure your husband is 100% in the know about what you want and have him stand up for you to them. Hospitals won't exactly listen to him but he can step in and say "wait, listen to my wife! She said no pitocin." He can eye your iv like a hawk because they will sneak stuff in there. They snuck pitocin in without my consent after my first was born (because they didn't want to wait 5 minutes for the dang placenta to come on its own). I found out after when I was billed for it. As for induction, maybe try bargaining. Like, "I will happily consent to an induction if my pre-e flares and my blood pressure goes above X/Y number." I have never heard of internal monitoring for any but the most extreme cases. I was induced (sort of) with number 4 and it was the usual external belt. So maybe you won't even have to fight that? For the cord clamping your husband could 'remind' them as soon as baby is out "remember, she asked for the cord not to be cut right away." Since obviously you'll be occupied :)
  19. Amen! Yes, when external stress is manageable DH and I get along great. But our marriage has been full of big external stressors, some by choice (grad school, lots of kids, converting and changing careers) and others not (unemployment, low salaries, moving for jobs, toxic family on my side, kid with special needs, unusually difficult pregnancies for me, etc). So we've had patches of arguing but still like each other most of the time. I hope someday things settle down and stabilize so we can just enjoy being together more and have fun. My inlaws never argue. Like seriously never. I think this is due to a combination of things: they're very compatible, grew up in the exact same town/culture, they've always earned plenty aside from a year of unemployment so even though they have lots of debt it doesn't bother them, they had two healthy intelligent children 6-years apart with nary a whiff of morning sickness even, and they just naturally, biologically are even-keeled. That German midwesterner work ethic/health/lack of unneccesary emotion. They're just unflappable mostly. They're totally baffled by the concept of depression even. Like, that's impractical, why would you do that?
  20. I had been hoping for some resource room classes but they only have regular ed and the enclosed sped class. We're planning to start her on the diploma track as the first goal since in VA there's no benefit to the certificate of completion over that. It'll be a challenge, but we'll see if she can do it. She's very adept at physical stuff so her locker shouldn't be a problem as long as she keeps the combination written down just in case all year because her memory is spotty. I'll have to ask about a buddy for the first couple weeks. That could be helpful!
  21. No school choice here, it's very take-it-or-leave-it. This school does have an excellent graduation rate though (like 95%!). There is a technical school that offers things like culinary classes for juniors and seniors so we're planning to take advantage of that when she's old enough. They only do summer school to retake failed classes so there is unfortunately zero flexibility there. That had been my first thought as well. Most people think Ana is perfectly normal when they first meet her. Basically you have to see her for a full 24 hour period to start getting hints of something being off. Or try to talk to her at more than a superficial level. It's interesting all our family members who stay for a few days with us leave saying, "wow, I didn't really see what you were worried about before, she seemed so normal, but now I do!" Even her school teachers took months to realize how little she understood of class because she's sweet and smiles a lot and can look attentive. So it's not surprising the counselor and everyone is somewhat overestimating her at the outset. So we're trying to prepare her for some basic facts of high school. Especially what's different from 6th grade which was her last time in PS. So far we've covered: Bells- nobody will walk her to her class, the students will go by themselves to different classes Lockers- she needs to write down her combination so she doesn't forget Teachers- she will have a new teacher every semester (this school has only semester-long classes for every subject, like a big block schedule) Lunch- she needs to find her own seat--sit with someone else who looks like a freshman and seems nice, do not sit with juniors/seniors (she thought you sat with your teacher and class) and do not bother the teachers monitoring (she will go 'mommy hunting' for nice female teachers and latch on) Dances- no, teachers don't assign you someone to go with...a boy asks a girl who he already knows/likes. (She seriously thought the teachers assigned you a date to prom! And she's seen plenty of movies about high school) Anything else you guys can think of that average kids just pick up but she might not?
  22. Hi everyone! So we've finally reached high school age with Ana (15) and we've decided to enroll her in public school for 9th, mostly because at home she refuses to do her schoolwork without tantrums and glares and I'm too tired to fight to make her care about her education anymore. We're fully recognizing that she will learn almost nothing in public school but I figure if she refuses to learn at home I might as well have more free time :P lol! So, for those who have enrolled their kids with special needs (especially mild/borderline intellectual disability) I'd love to hear how it went and get some tips! I'm worried about academics of course but also socially. They're putting her in all general ed classes as her adaptive skills are higher than the ID class students. I'm very concerned about her low vocabulary and naivete making her a target for bad 'friends'. But then again, maybe she could find another less intelligent girl who is sweet and fun like her? I'd so love for her to have close friends...she struggles to keep up with kids her age beyond superficial conversation. And academically...I'm not sure the school truly 'gets' how low her vocabulary is. We've discussed, they have her scores, and they are doing the right things in the practical sense: I just get this vague sense they think she's more capable than she is. On the other hand, I have no idea what the range of abilities/achievement truly is for high schoolers. I only attended Honors classes except PE and one English course that was 'college prep' and which seemed abysmally low to me as a student. But that was so long ago I can't judge if it would have been too hard for my daughter. Also, schools nowadays have gotten rid of the tracks so all you have are regular classes and honors/AP. No vocational track and special ed classes are used very sparingly. Not sure how that all affects the quality of the general classes. Anyway, I need reassurance and tips! Ana was furious that we registered her but seems to be warming up to the idea. I'm still nervous though!
  23. I agree that what you're planning (a tech free summer kind of) is a healthy, normal level of boredom that can lead to creativity. They have a whole house, the pool, siblings, books, art supplies, I assume bikes/places to walk/ride outside... not to mention the couple structured activities. Basically you're offering them the exact same summer (but better!) that most of us 70/80's kids had. Heck, I had zero activities and I remember having loads of fun in the summers as a teen. Yes some days were boring but not fatally so ;-)
  24. Yes, you're right about that for sure. It requires idealistic people not focused on money to enter those civil service jobs. (Firefighters too, their low pay is just criminal!) Having been a teacher married to a clergyman... I actively encourage my kids to seek out more financially stable careers. I just can't bear to see them struggle like we have and do. Right now the boys are leaning towards scientist/Catholic priest, and pharmacist. I support those. I worry at the cost of seminary but I hear Catholic seminary is structured differently from Protestant seminaries, which are entirely paid for like normal grad school by students except for 4 years straight of studies rather than two. And I'm going to insist he make sure he's debt free if/when he enters seminary. Thank God the kid's insanely smart so he should be capable of going to undergrad on a full scholarship. DH and I knew our careers early on, so we take our kids seriously when they express a desire for a career. And I will not let them delude themselves into thinking they can realistically grow up to be an artist or writer or something as their main career. We encourage hobbies and side jobs, but they'll need to have a main job to pay for food and housing as well. I just can't watch my kids in poverty and we'll likely never have the means to help because of our own poor career choices.
  25. This is actually a list of most looked-up words for each state. So I bet in GA it's two people standing around, one insisting Grey is correct, the other that it's Gray, and looking it up to see who's right. Wisconsin's being ... Wisconsin is baffling on so many levels!
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