Author Topic: what was the biggest waste of time energy raising a kid  (Read 1992 times)

letsdoit

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what was the biggest waste of time energy raising a kid
« on: June 25, 2018, 12:00:57 PM »
what was the biggest waste of time energy raising a kid and what gave you the most bang for your buck ?

TheWifeHalf

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Re: what was the biggest waste of time energy raising a kid
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2018, 12:22:49 PM »
When they all moved to their rooms, 1 girl separate and 2 boys together, I told them to make their beds but if they didn't, leave their door closed so I didn't have to see it.
The girl's was always closed, the boys, open.

The biggest bang was buying the boys, who requested them, golf clubs. We live on an acre, with a 300' field behind us, that they used for hours. When they were older they were responsible to take to the golf course, 2 miles away, with a time they'd get picked up (we paid the course fee.)


Laura33

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Re: what was the biggest waste of time energy raising a kid
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2018, 12:56:09 PM »
Thinking that I had to do everything "right" or my kid would be fucked, and spending far too much mental energy trying to figure out what "right" is.  Kids are made of rubber, both physically and emotionally; love them and make them feel safe, give them space to explore and play, let them take the 1-2' fall but not the 5' one, and the vast majority of them will be fine.

OTOH, the biggest bang for my buck was hanging on tenaciously to the one thing that was a real outlier and refusing to let go until I knew what the problem was and how to manage it (ADHD).

And of course the wisdom comes in knowing the difference.  Which almost no one gets right the first time.  ;-)  So don't waste time beating yourself up when you discover you wasted too much time on the wrong thing and not enough on the right one.
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RFAAOATB

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Re: what was the biggest waste of time energy raising a kid
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2018, 08:05:16 PM »
Cloth diapers were a big waste of time.  Too much labor for a two income household and we went back to disposables quick.  We tried the reusable containers for baby food pouches and that also did not get much use.  At our income level in the low 100s, we have more money than time and will just eat the cost of single use pouches and disposable diapers.

Baby Carriers were the most useful baby gimmick we got.

asauer

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Re: what was the biggest waste of time energy raising a kid
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2018, 09:02:05 AM »
Biggest waste of $ and energy was @structured” activities.  Figuring out who would take to which activity, figuring out how to feed ids before said activities all for them to spend a total of 1-2 hours per week on an activity (not enough time to develop real skill).  Ugh.  The worst.  So we do swim team in the summer and that’s all.  Kids go everyday and get an amazing work out and get to hangout with neighborhood friends.

All other activities are DIY.

Best bang for buck: roller blades and bikes.  Hands down.

formerlydivorcedmom

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Re: what was the biggest waste of time energy raising a kid
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2018, 09:05:04 AM »
Pick your battles.

Your 18-month-old daughter wants to wear a pink ballerina tutu and orange rain boots to the grocery store?...that doesn't hurt anything.  Maybe your 9-year-old son (like mine) chooses to wear shorts and tank tops in the winter and pants and long-sleeved shirts in the summer.  Make sure he has a jacket in the winter and lots of water in the summer and he'll be fine.

Maybe your kid (like mine) pretty much only survives on peanut butter.  It's easier to buy peanut butter in bulk than convince the kid to eat other stuff.

Maybe you have to watch the latest Pixar movie 24 times in a single month.  It won't kill you.

If it isn't going to harm them or someone else, just let it go.  They will probably grow out of the worst of it.

And for the biggest bang for the buck...Listen.  Once they can communicate, it's worth your while to find out WHY they are upset or being stubborn or being a complete pain in the neck.  Sometimes their reasons will make absolutely no sense to you, but to your child, that reason is not only logical but IMPORTANT.   My children are tweens now, but we have established that if they can explain to me WHY something is very important to them to do/not do/have/whatever, then I will listen (without telling them that their thought process is stupid/illogical/etc) and, if nothing else, try to find a compromise.  This goes back to "pick your battles".

Examples -
My then-3-year-old insisted on carrying a Mickey Mouse doll everywhere - to the store, to day care, to church.  Why?  Because Mickey would be scared all by himself.  So, over my mother's strenuous objections, Mickey Mouse helped my son escort me down the aisle at my second wedding.  My son beamed all the way down, and the pictures still make me smile.

My 12-year-old was upset when she found out I was going to order school supplies online because I hate dealing with the crowds to dig out the exact color folder on the list.  She told me that the online supplies are cheap quality and she spends too much time trying to fix them.  We decided I would give her the money I would have spent, she'll provide a bit of her own, and I will drop her and her best friend off at the store to be completely in charge of the school supply shopping.

It's a win-win.  Tantrums averted, so Mom is happy.  Children feel heard and validated, so they are happy.  Children are learning the art of negotiation and compromise.

Also, buy earplugs in bulk.  We keep some in the car for when they are too loud in the backseat.  Easier than trying to make them shut up.
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jooniFLORisploo

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Re: what was the biggest waste of time energy raising a kid
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2018, 09:12:39 AM »
1. School
2. Unschool
"...the nose wants what the nose wants..." madgeylou

letsdoit

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Re: what was the biggest waste of time energy raising a kid
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2018, 09:23:52 AM »
1. School
2. Unschool

deep. 
school is a damned waste of time.  in 40 minutes we could teach them a day's worth of material.
did you pull your kids out of school or did you 'unschool' them at night and weekends.  ?

jooniFLORisploo

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Re: what was the biggest waste of time energy raising a kid
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2018, 09:34:00 AM »
Pulled out. What a gong show school was. He's allowed by me to go back if he wants; he firmly doesn't want. His latest evaluation came in, with wonderful stuff. This is so much nicer, easier, lovelier, faster, more efficient...
"...the nose wants what the nose wants..." madgeylou

mxt0133

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Re: what was the biggest waste of time energy raising a kid
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2018, 10:38:16 AM »
Great advice from @formerlydivorcedmom

I will also add that all the structured activities that you think they need, if the kids aren't excited about it as you are, are for you and not for the kids and you shouldn't waste your time and energy getting your kids to do it.  My son asked to do baseball camp, so we signed him up.  A week before camp we agreed to go out and practice a little, he has done baseball before and I thought it would be good to brush up a bit.  I was looking forward to playing catch with him and when the time came to go he just wanted to stay home.  I asked why and he said he didn't want to play baseball and when I said that he needs to put in some effort and interest because baseball camp is not free, he just said meh.  So we canceled baseball camp and saved ourselves the time and money of having to bring him there for a whole week.

Another example was swimming, for my second child he was just not into it, we tried three separate time to get him to do it but he would scream bloody murder every time.  Until he was about 3 years old and he asked to take lessons and picked it up in a few months.  We saved a ton on lessons compared to my oldest because we started him just after he turned one.

We also homeschool and follow more of the unschooling approach to education.  What we have found is if it becomes too stressful when doing something, we take lots of breaks and try different ways to learn, i.e. visual, physical, and eventually they take the lead on how they want to learn something.  We also try not to get to hung up on where each child should be in terms of skills like math, reading, or spelling based on their age but more on their level of maturity and actual ability.

letsdoit

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Re: what was the biggest waste of time energy raising a kid
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2018, 01:08:40 PM »
i dream of homeschooling.  we're ina  very HCOL area, dont know if i could make it work with $. 
but we work sometiems in a HS in a very well respected district , and it is such a joke.  dont turn in work for the first 8 weeks of the quarter?  no prob, just come by your teachers' for a couple of days at lunch and fill out all that missing work and we'll pull your grade from a E to a B

so what is the point of that?  does anything in world work like that ?

Hula Hoop

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Re: what was the biggest waste of time energy raising a kid
« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2018, 02:31:15 PM »
Cloth diapers were a big waste of time.  Too much labor for a two income household and we went back to disposables quick.  We tried the reusable containers for baby food pouches and that also did not get much use.  At our income level in the low 100s, we have more money than time and will just eat the cost of single use pouches and disposable diapers.

Baby Carriers were the most useful baby gimmick we got.

We definitely don't earn what you earn but we both work FT and loved cloth diapers and home made baby food.  It really was not that much more of an effort and the mustachian and envirronmenal rewards were huge.

Things that had great bang for the buck:

-lego - younger kid spends hours playing with hers.  Most of them are my old lego from when I was a kid but with some new lego mxied in.
-magnatiles - expensive but worth it
-Micro scooters - we don't own a car but the kids are happy to walk long distances so long as they can bring their scooters
-ear tubes.  Kid #2 is in her third pair off these.  Before tubes she had a 40% hearing deficit.  Being able to hear is worth everything she's gone through.

EmFrugal

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Re: what was the biggest waste of time energy raising a kid
« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2018, 01:45:36 PM »
So far with kids 7, 4, and 2 most structured activities have been a huge waste except for the cheap summer camps through the community center and VBS's. Mine love those and hate all of the sports and dance classes. I finally learned it wasn't worth spending money on lessons and classes until they beg me multiple times. Otherwise I'm fighting them to get there and they barely participate.

Biggest bang for the buck, which requires no spending, is "quiet time." A mandatory 2 hours in the afternoon of unstructured free play. My older two get their stuffed animals together and recreate their day through imaginary play. They also play school, write books, build lego creations, etc while the youngest naps. It gives me time to work or get chores done. And their little brains can run wild with creative freedom.

nessness

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Re: what was the biggest waste of time energy raising a kid
« Reply #13 on: June 29, 2018, 09:14:13 PM »
Mine are still little, but so far...

Biggest waste of energy: fretting too much about milestones. If you're really concerned about something, discuss it with your pediatrician, but don't waste time excessively comparing your kid to others or to what the internet says they should be doing. There's a huge range of normal, and kids develop at their own pace.

Biggest bang for your buck: Teaching them to play independently. There is definitely some initial work upfront, but it is so worth it.

Teachstache

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Re: what was the biggest waste of time energy raising a kid
« Reply #14 on: June 30, 2018, 04:16:41 AM »
1. School
2. Unschool

deep. 
school is a damned waste of time.  in 40 minutes we could teach them a day's worth of material.
did you pull your kids out of school or did you 'unschool' them at night and weekends.  ?

Thinking that I needed to be stay at home parent material. My 3 year old son loves being around his preschool & childcare friends. Biggest bang for the buck that I found was enrolling him in public school preschool & pairing it with a small home based daycare for the days when I work. These 2 things have helped our Autistic son learn social skills in a way that we couldn't teach him at home.

CindyBS

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Re: what was the biggest waste of time energy raising a kid
« Reply #15 on: June 30, 2018, 11:47:44 AM »
Biggest bang for the buck:  Especially toddlers/preschoolers - giving them choices on stuff you don't care about. 

Which sweater to wear - red or blue?
which fruit for lunch - apple or banana?
Which color plate for breakfast?

Give them control on stuff you don't really care about cuts down a lot on the battles for stuff you do care about like whether or not to sit in a car seat. 

I have teens and that theme has carried through the years well.

Dee18

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Re: what was the biggest waste of time energy raising a kid
« Reply #16 on: June 30, 2018, 12:03:46 PM »
Worst waste of energy.....buying a house when I had a fabulous rental situation.  Somehow I thought I should own a house once I was a parent and had plenty of money to buy one.

Biggest bang for the buck:
Teaching them how to do things when they want to learn them...such as sweeping the floor at age 2 or 3.  If you wait until they will really be good at it, they are no longer interested.  And I mean every household maintenance thing: using washing machine, washing and waxing a car, cooking, pulling weeds, painting a wall (do the second coat when they are asleep or out of the house).  Doing things together is a great way to fall into conversations as they get older.

letsdoit

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Re: what was the biggest waste of time energy raising a kid
« Reply #17 on: July 02, 2018, 07:19:45 AM »
1. School
2. Unschool

deep. 
school is a damned waste of time.  in 40 minutes we could teach them a day's worth of material.
did you pull your kids out of school or did you 'unschool' them at night and weekends.  ?

Thinking that I needed to be stay at home parent material. My 3 year old son loves being around his preschool & childcare friends. Biggest bang for the buck that I found was enrolling him in public school preschool & pairing it with a small home based daycare for the days when I work. These 2 things have helped our Autistic son learn social skills in a way that we couldn't teach him at home.

so, you had a P/T pre-school and part time daycare and you unschooled them yourself as well?

formerlydivorcedmom

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Re: what was the biggest waste of time energy raising a kid
« Reply #18 on: July 02, 2018, 02:03:48 PM »
Biggest bang for the buck:
Teaching them how to do things when they want to learn them...such as sweeping the floor at age 2 or 3.  If you wait until they will really be good at it, they are no longer interested.  And I mean every household maintenance thing: using washing machine, washing and waxing a car, cooking, pulling weeds, painting a wall (do the second coat when they are asleep or out of the house).  Doing things together is a great way to fall into conversations as they get older.

Yes yes yes!  I bought my 2-year-old son a play vacuum cleaner.  He LOVED that toy, and for years he would follow me around and clean up behind me (because I told him his vacuum worked better than mine so he had to help pick up what mine forgot).  They all started dusting at about 2, and they helped put their dishes away as soon as they were old enough to walk (their plastic dishes were stored on the bottom cabinet). 

Weed pulling, though - my oldest, at 18 months old, was "helping" me to plant flowers.  I realized 15 minutes into it that she was digging holes, all right - she dug up every single flower I had already planted and put them back in the tray. 
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clairebonk

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Re: what was the biggest waste of time energy raising a kid
« Reply #19 on: July 02, 2018, 03:41:46 PM »
We spent zero dollars on swimming lessons. Instead, we spent the money on family pool time. My 5 year old taught himself to swim in a supportive parental environment and jumps off the diving board.

Prairie Stash

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Re: what was the biggest waste of time energy raising a kid
« Reply #20 on: July 03, 2018, 04:32:34 PM »
Cloth diapers were a big waste of time.  Too much labor for a two income household and we went back to disposables quick.  We tried the reusable containers for baby food pouches and that also did not get much use.  At our income level in the low 100s, we have more money than time and will just eat the cost of single use pouches and disposable diapers.

Baby Carriers were the most useful baby gimmick we got.

We definitely don't earn what you earn but we both work FT and loved cloth diapers and home made baby food.  It really was not that much more of an effort and the mustachian and envirronmenal rewards were huge.

Not worth it to me, cloth diapers. As I care very much about the environment, its compelling to destroy some of the myths. If you truly care about the environment, you would encourage others to pick the solution that works best for their reqion. Using cloth and coal power is extremely bad for the environment, using cloth and solar is entirely different.
http://www.appropedia.org/Cloth_versus_disposable_diapers

Cloth vs. disposable is heavily studied and used as an example of perception vs. reality with regards to the environment. Its one of the most fascinating examples, we can all relate to it and its enlightening to see how complicated even the simplest decision can be. What works in your part of the world may not be the right choice for me, there isn't a single answer.

From the link:
"Disposable diapers create less atmospheric emissions, waste water effluents, and solid waste (feces processing) than reusable diapers.

Reusable diapers use less raw material for production and create less post consumer waste than disposables.

These statements do not necessarily present a clear solution to the question, "Which diaper type is better for the environment?". Assessing which resource is more valuable, or more sensitive to impact is difficult but suggested for further analysis."

Hula Hoop

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Re: what was the biggest waste of time energy raising a kid
« Reply #21 on: July 04, 2018, 02:57:56 AM »
I don't own a dryer.  Here in Italy, most people don't.  So we just dry stuff on an indoor clothes line or on the roof of our apartment building - easy peasy. 

IMO cloth diapering was better environmentally maybe because we don't use electricity for drying - also a lot more mustachian as we used Indian prefolds and second hand diapers that were handmedowns from a colleague. 


soccerluvof4

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Re: what was the biggest waste of time energy raising a kid
« Reply #22 on: July 08, 2018, 03:30:58 PM »
Biggest waste of time/energy etc.. was buying bigger house and more toys because of having 4 kids. Kids remember experiences not material things and material things just make them feel entitled. Best bang for the buck was spending time with my kids just doing things period!
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