I am currently involved with a single mother and she has a 5 year old girl who I am very fond of, and it looks like we will be getting married down the road. Not being a parent and no parenting experience what so ever, I have come across some things that need to be clarified for me.
Behavior...The daughter seems to have episodes several times a day (tantrums if you will) I would say three maybe four. Now is this normal for a 5 year old? Everything I have read says that this should be in decline at this age and not be occuring this frequently. I know when I was growing up this type of behavior would not be tolerated ( had a great childhood dont look to far into that)
Food... I can actually say I have only seen her eat three things. Hot dogs, french fries and pizza. The mother does not seem to make an effort to give any other type of food. Definately not a vegetable in site? Are chldren of this age that picky?
Clothing and toys... She is 5 years old and litterally has two rooms full of toys etc, and so many clothes that she can not keep them just in her closet or room?
Play/activity... It would appear that she is never allowed to stary more than five feet away from an adult. It looks like she is totally not allowed to be a kid? The other day we were at the park and she was running around twirling being a kid and her mom had yelled an told her to stay close. She could not have been ore than 20 ft away from us, no danger around. I said it was ok she was just being a kid I was told I just do not understand because I did not have oe of my own, and that if she wsnt close she could get hurt. Growing up, being a kid falling down scrapping knees etc.. was all part of it?
Help guys? I dont know if these are serious problems or I am over reacting
I will post more questions after this... I have quite a few more
Let's see... as a single mother myself I think you need to be careful how you approach this. You probably need to discuss your parenting differences before you get married, but DON'T tell her she's wrong!! Like you said, you've never raised children and as an outsider to the situation you may not understand all the details.
5 year olds DO throw tantrums, but they're old enough to know that there's a consequence for them as well. I'm not sure what her policy is for discipline but you need to respect it (as long as there is one). Personally I would recommend time-outs, however whatever you choose as a couple needs to be consistent.
The food I see as a serious problem... perhaps offer to prepare a meal for the family that's "kid-friendly" but healthy as well. I know most kids LOVE helping create a meal and they'll eat pretty much anything if they helped make it. Also, making the food interactive will help... getting a 5 year old to eat an apple is nearly impossible, but slice it up and add some peanut butter to dip the slices in and they'll have no problem with it. Be creative!
Clothing and toys... sorry but that might be one you have to give in on... don't buy her NEW toys unless she cuts down on the ones she has, but as a single mom I'd probably find it offensive if someone told me I was spoiling my daughter... I work HARD to provide her with things and I find joy in doing so.
Play/activity... once again I think you should give in on this one... she's 5, not 12 and in this time period leaving your child outside alone is SCARY! I would NEVER leave my daughter alone to play outside. Getting scraped knees and some bruises is one thing, but WAY too many child abductions happen at parks in broad daylight.
Hopefully this helps you somewhat... not sure if you got all the answers you wanted but that's my opinion on the situation. Once again though I'd like to recommend talking to her about parenting styles BEFORE getting married!
I think your instincts are great about raising kids. Because of that, you are seeing the places where maybe her childrearing and yours are going to clash. I tend to agree with you, and I have a child.
She sounds like she has not been putting out the consequences, or working to give her kid a healthy diet and a liking for lots of kinds of foods, or cutting back on the overload of stuff, and she sounds just a tiny bit paranoid about her daughter's play, though on that one I'd give her a pass because maybe she has already experienced that this particular girl can disappear at the drop of a hat.
These could all be because she (the mom) is overloaded herself, and it is definitely easier not to sweat a lot of discipline, work on the food [it does take tons more time to do it right], tell one's needy daughter she can't have something new every day, and all.
The problem you two will have is that you see this, and she either doesn't see what she is doing as a problem, or is unwilling or unable to change how she does it. Again, when someone is overwhelmed (and taking care of a small child is extremely disheartening at times and very exhausting, believe me) they will take the shortcuts at various times.
You two run the risk of having fights that involve her telling you that you don't really know how it is because you aren't raising a kid, and you telling her things that sound to her like moronic oversimplifications offered by a clueless man. If you are really serious about marriage, talk about this one in advance, and do it with a counselor.
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