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19

From the sounds of it you have kind of set her up to not see "family meetings" in a positive light. First, it sounds like family meetings aren't a common occurrence at you house. In your daughters mind this might translate into thoughts of "Ok, something serious is coming." Serious means something she will have to deal with, usually because it will be ...


18

The problem isn't "family", it's "meeting". Meetings without an announced agenda are generally a Bad Thing in business, and not much better in a family. And anything called a "meeting" is an immediate turn-off. Heck, I don't know what you think a "family meeting" is, so I would be nervous about attending!


17

If you don't have family meetings very often, my guess is the previous two were announcing the divorce and the remarriage, even if they weren't called a family meeting. Aside from that, it's probably mostly a result of her not enjoying the anticipation, which is much more fun for the person in the know than it is for others. Next time, it's probably better ...


15

First of all, my advice is that you should avoid television and computers for now. He's too young to really benefit from it, and these things can train him to become even more impatient and shorten his attention span. I think this related question has several useful answers for you: How can I keep a 14 month old busy at some activity for longer than 3 ...


12

First off, what you're describing is common even for families with similar attitudes. Young children have a tough time dealing with changes, and having to sleep in an unusual bed or sleeping arrangement is hard. Your baby will probably have trouble even if the two kids were perfectly normal: it's the change in habits that does it. I certainly would expect ...


8

This is one of those things that if you get creative about, you can almost always find a way for them to help. For example, my 3yo wanted to help move a heavy couch a few weeks back. Of course, having him actually stand near the couch itself was dangerous, so I told him that he could stand behind me, put his hand on my back, and help push me as I walked ...


8

Cycling is a sport the whole family can do together. It grows with the family too. Initially, younger ones can be attached to an adult bike in a seat or with a bike pup. Later they become independent. Soccer is another sport everyone can play with minimal equipment.


8

Keep in mind, your nieces' routines are being disrupted as well, and their behavior isn't quite normal in this situation either. We were in similar situations when our children were younger. What happened with us was no one was very happy with the situation, but no one wanted to admit they didn't want to fill every possible waking moment with family ...


7

From about age 4 and up, my top recommendation is martial arts study. In addition to being a great work-out, it teaches a useful skill and instills confidence, a sense of responsibility, and many other great traits. From birth up, swimming is another great, active way to spend time together. There's something to do in the pool at any age, and it's a great ...


7

I have a 5 year old boy and a 2 year old daughter. Finding something they can play together can be challenging, especially because my 2 year old doesn't have a lot of the fine motor control required for many of the things that my 5 year old takes for granted. Its also important to note, that developmentally a 2 year old will not necessarily play with others. ...


6

I know I'm repeating myself here, but LEGO is such an awesome toy. For ages under 5, there's LEGO Duplo which are basically just bigger blocks that can't be swallowed. I'm building stuff with my nearly-2-year-old and it's still fun although I'm 37! Just stacking and creating all kinds of silly constructions. My son will mostly tear them apart but also ...


6

Our son started really getting into certain types of building toys around that age, wooden trains/tracks, duplos, and megablocks. Megablocks are easier to put together than duplos if you child is not dexterous enough for duplos yet. Spend as much time as you can doing physical (for him) things too, take walks together, or take a soft ball outside and show ...


5

It sounds like the other parents are disregarding your interests and concerns in favor of their own preferred style and interests. Your examples of their statements are anything but respectful or considerate. I could accept that for an afternoon visit, but I'd not be happy with that arrangement during a multi-day family get-together. It's not about your ...


5

Maybe I can approach the question in a broader sense. In suburban America we have built a community that does not meet our needs. To get anywhere we have to drive. For children, schools are out of walking distance, friends from school can be further than that, and parents don't trust children to bicycle on neighborhood roads. We spend so much time driving ...


5

Your comment "define us with the word family" may be one of valid reasons. If she doesn't fully define you with the word 'family', then even the symbolic act of explicitly structuring and naming various things as 'family something' is confrontational - it can easily be emotionally felt as pushing her to openly accept the definition you want (contradicting ...


5

If I were in her shoes, I would probably be wondering why do we have to have a "meeting"?! In fact, I find it hard to reconcile the two words together: "family" and "meeting". I am not commenting on your particular family, just expanding on the concept of the "family meeting". Families are supposed to have some cohesion and togetherness by default in ...


4

Bocce or bowls, similar sports whose popularity depend on where you live, are pretty intuitive even for children. This may not be a good idea if you're trying to use this to replace your scheduled exercise routine, though!


4

As well as the other good suggestions already made, I would like to add one: don't have too many different toys out at all the same time. If a toddler catches sight of something out of the corner of their eye, it will be "ooh, shiny" and they'll be off to that and forget what they were just doing! If you want to persist with the same toy for a bit longer, ...


3

I would consider why you are organizing play dates. If your children are in school, they have play/social time. Depending on their age, this is less once they are in secondary schools. I think it is important to consider the desired outcome from each interaction. I personally would argue that family time is more important than play dates. I think dinner as a ...


3

I found, by experience, that the best family time is the daily meal time. Set a time that suites everyone's schedule. Stretch the meal to include dessert. Open non-controversial discussions. Give chance to everyone to talk about their day. You want everyone to look forward to it. In short, make it a quality family time. In addition to the fixed daily time, ...


3

Chopping vegetables for dinner. My 8 and 9 year olds can do this. My 4 year old helps out with this for softer vegetables. She can use a butter knife, so there's no danger of her getting cut. It doesn't look as nice as when I do it, but still tastes fine. Just about any part of cooking they can do, with supervision depending on age and maturity. Added ...


3

I think this is also one of those things that depends on the child. My son LOVES to help out whenever we do things, cooking, shoveling snow, raking the yard and so on. Some cooking tasks he is great with, such as mixing and measuring, but I wouldn't have him do certain other things. I'll let him try something that I think he is ready for, such as raking ...


3

I don't know how complete their database is, but this iPhone app provides a database of public locations with comments: New Medela iPhone App Helps Breastfeeding Moms With the Breastfeeding-Friendly Places feature, on-the-go moms can quickly locate a clean, comfortable place to breastfeed or breastpump. Driven by GPS navigation and Google Maps, the ...


3

I'm keeping an eye on this one, I have a 6 year old and 1.5 year old and I have a hard time doing anything with them where I am involved. Together they play pretty well, so long as I keep the older one in check, but with me it's pretty much the following: playing ball (tossing a ball like baseball or football with really soft ones for the younger) ...


3

Jogging with a jogging stroller is appropriate from about 6 months on up. Our 9 month old loves to just get out of the house and see the sites go by, and his stroller has a see-through plastic "bubble" that can roll out if it's going to be chilly with the wind on him, since he's not actually working as hard as mom or dad.


3

I am a Taekwondo assistant instructor and have taught families who take classes together. I love it when parents take classes with their children because they can help their children to practice at home, they can help keep their kids in line in class, and because martial arts promote greater respect within the family. It's easier to teach that respect to a ...


2

Sailing fits the bill, once your children are all water confident. There are a range of boats available to allow a large family like yours to divide into many different "teams", with each person always having something to do without just being a passenger. Matt


2

Some kids are more into toys at this age than others; my 1 year old daughter can spend hours just playing in a pile of toys, but my son at that age would bore quickly. He was more into physical activities (still is). Also, at 15 months some kids may not have developed the skills for "pretend" and "assembly" that a lot of toys require to get the most fun ...


2

My 10 year old was that way when she was a toddler. She wouldn't play with any toy for longer than 5 to 10 minutes. While it was quite frustrating at the time, it all makes sense now. She has turned out to be an extroverted go-getter who is involved in myriad school activities and also doing great with her academics. It was just her personality. Hang in ...


2

Lives are generally divided into: parents' time: together, with kids, with friends, alone, and at work kids' time: together (with siblings), with parents, with friends, alone, and at school The trick is to find natural intersections. Schedule lessons at the same time as their friends. This way, the kids get to do stuff together and as a bonus, if you ...



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