Family Friday: Primaloft Hybrid Jacket

I noticed yesterday that Lands’ End has some killer sales on boys coats, such as this Primaloft Hybrid Jacket (now $21-$25 down from $79), so I bought two sizes for my kiddos. These aren’t terribly warm — their temperature rating is 25-45 degrees — but they look like cute little sporty jackets, and I love my own lightweight Primaloft jacket. In general I love Lands’ End for kids coats because of the warmth ratings — at one point I realized I really had no idea how warm my 2 year old was in that jacket I bought on sale and I felt guilty; with LE at least I feel like I have some general idea of how warm it’s supposed to be. Where are your favorite places for kids’ coats, readers? Pictured: Primaloft Hybrid Jacket

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  1. Kat, could we please get the option back to “Collapse/Expand all threaded comments” on mobile?

  2. I’m a big fan of Columbia outerwear for kids. The prices are right, especially if you hit sales, and the quality is usually excellent. My own Columbia gear has held up for years, and we can pass the kids’ stuff down to cousins. I’ve also liked Lands End and am thinking about getting the girls’ version of this jacket for my daughter.

    Also, for anyone who wants to support D!ck’s Sporting Goods right now, check out their kids’ winter gear. I bought next year’s winter coats for 50% off.

    • My biggest outerwear regret is the snowsuit I bought my 3-year-old from Carter’s, in an effort to save money. It’s not water resistant at ALL and she gets soaked after 5 minutes playing in the snow. It was a good reminder that good shoes and outerwear are usually worth the money.

    • AwayEmily says:

      We got a Columbia hand me down this year and it’s been fantastic.

      Anyone have good tips on where to get outerwear on sale right now? I didn’t find anything that was the right size at Dicks. Other places I’m not thinking of?

    • We like Columbia for kids’ outerwear, too. Good quality for a reasonable price. I often pick it up on a big discount from Sierra Trading Post, Campmor or Moosejaw.

    • Anonynous says:

      I’ve been buying Polarn O Pyret (it’s Swedish) on ebay lately. Really high quality. Made for kids to play in. The foot straps on all the rain/snow pants can be replaced (hallelujah!). Also they have kids’ wool socks (tick and thin!). I think their spring outerwear (rain gear) is on sale right now.

      The sizing seems to run tall though. (Which, not surprising for Swedes.) But I’m buying a lot of rain type gear that can be layered for winter.

  3. Dropping the third nap says:

    How do you handle the phase where LO is not quite ready to drop the third nap, but the timing of Life makes it difficult to achieve?

    LO is 7mos; naps 9:30-11 and 12:30-3 (approx.), according to daycare. He goes to bed at 7, but the 3-7 stretch is just too much for him. I pick him up around 5, which means third nap can’t really happen at 4:30 or 5 when it should ideally. I’ve tried:
    1) putting him in the stroller immediately when we get home to try and get a nap that way (takes him a long time to fall asleep)
    2) letting him nurse right away and nap on me (successful, but kills any evening productivity for me)
    3) Putting him to bed earlier (he’s still a mess from 5-6:15 and often refuses dinner because he’s so tired)

    He’s a good sleeper otherwise so I’m not inclined to actually put him in his crib at 5:15 or 5:30, lest he sleep for too long and screw up bedtime, especially since given the stroller experience he takes a long time to calm down and nap at which point… its practically bedtime.

    I could also shift to picking him up later, and asking daycare to put him down at 4:30 after snack?

    On the weekends he sleeps later in the morning or takes a third nap so we never have issues. Do I just power through? Let him nap on me for a bit in the evenings (this has been the least stressful of all the scenarios)?

    • Anon in NYC says:

      I would ask daycare to try to put him down for a short third nap, but accept that he may not take it / you may just need to power through. Or, as an alternative, ask if daycare can shift his naps back a bit so that he wakes up from his second nap a little later. And maybe put him to bed 15-30 minutes early during that transition. Also, I would try really hard to follow the same schedule at home. Whenever my daughter dropped naps at daycare it was such a challenge because she wanted/willingly took more naps at home. But it made the weekdays that much harder. So we finally sucked it up and matched up her schedule as much as possible. It does work out in the end!

      • This is the tough love I needed to hear. It’s so easy to let him sleep on the weekends, but you’re right – it’s making weekdays harder.

        • +1. It kills our weekend to follow the daycare schedule (who wants to have lunch at 11:30? the 12:30-2:30 nap is inconvenient, the 4:45 snack feels close to dinner etc.) but it works sooo much better than not.

    • Sabba says:

      If you can forgo the evening productivity time, letting him take a short nap on you is probably the least stressful option for everyone. This is such a short phase, even though it likely feels like a million years. Can you get some earphones and listen to a podcast or audiobook so that you feel like you are getting more out of that time? I wanted to shoot daggers at anyone that said this when mine was an infant (because she slept nowhere else but in someone’s arms for her first 5 months), but it is true that you likely will one day miss it when he no longer naps on you. Second best is working with the daycare to get the nap in there, but that sounds like a scheduling hassle that might not work out well.

      • +1 I would drop other evening things and let this nap happen on you for a while. It will probably be such a short time.

      • +2 to nap on you. It probably won’t be long. Not sure if he would nap in a carrier? Mine would doze while I puttered around and seemed soothed by being close to me.

    • I’m surprised to see they put baby down for second nap after he’s only been awake an hour and a half. I would ask them to space those naps more. At 7 months I would think baby could be awake for 3 hours at a time. So, 9:30-11, then 2-4:30.

      Around that time my kids started transitioning to two later naps, usually at 10 and 2. Often the morning naps lasts until 12:30 and the afternoon nap will be from 3-5. Those days are the best in terms of timing for us.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yeah, I’d see if you can spread the two naps out a bit too.

      • Agreed, it’s kind of a weird schedule but it’s what works for them. I think because the other kids nap starting at 9:30, but don’t nap as long? So they’re ready to go back down at 12:30. I’m not 100% sure, but I know they have a system that works for them so I try not to complain too much. The kids are never all going to be synched up, so someone’s nap schedule would always be ‘off’ and since mine is the youngest and gets in the latest, I think that’s why he’s the most ‘off’

    • Do you babywear? My 5.5 month old is home all day with various family members but does a morning nap from 10-11:30ish and an afternoon nap from 2:30-3:30ish. If the afternoon nap ends after 4PM we’re usually OK, but that’s a rarity. Most nights he needs about a half hour nap to power through until 7:30/8PM. I wear him on me sometime between 5:30 – 6:30PM before starting the bath and bedtime routine for him and his brother. It works well and doesn’t kill productivity.

      • I could try babywearing! I don’t know why I didn’t think of that. I just like to get everything unloaded from the day (pump parts, dirty tupperwares, empty bottles, clothes that got pooped on…etc) so the house isn’t a total disaster. I’m not looking to carry out major chores or actually do much cooking (DH usually cooks anyway).

  4. I saw the post a couple days ago on bilingual schools. Can anyone help me think through the pros/cons of enrolling your kid in a brand new immersion program?

    Our public school is starting a program this year and my youngest son would be eligible for it since he’s starting kindergarten this year. I’m intrigued but my husband is very hesitant, especially because our oldest doesn’t have the opportunity (and won’t get any language classes at all until middle school) and he doesn’t like the inherent unfairness of that.

    What would you do here? It’s a brand new program, so we don’t know the curriculum or the teachers, nor do we know how they are defining success. The school district has surprisingly little information to share, and even current teachers are in the dark about what this program will involve. All the research says being bilingual is a huge advantage to kids, but is that universal? Or does the program and staff matter?

    • It seems like you’re dealing with separate issues: 1) is being bilingual a benefit? (Yes) and 2) is the immersion at your school going to be good? (Unclear).
      I’d meet with school and teachers to see how I feel. I’d think you can risk one year if you’re comfortable supplementing at home but only you can know if that’s feasible or even something you’re comfortable with.
      As for the inherent unfairness, I’m not sure I would base any decision on that alone. If you had money in your budget for karate or art classes with younger kid that you didn’t have with older one, would you not do it just because it’s unfair?

    • Anon in NYC says:

      On the inherent unfairness point… sometimes that just happens. New things/programs come out after first children were born. I personally wouldn’t withhold access to something that I thought was really great just because my older child couldn’t have it (and I say that as an oldest child). If you really feel like it’s unfair to your oldest but you still want to enroll your youngest, you can always pay to have additional language instruction for your oldest. I don’t think that this is a situation where you’re hurting your oldest child in favor of your youngest.

      As for the benefit of immersion programs – I think early exposure to a second language is good generally, but I agree with AIMS that you should try to do a little more research and talk to the principal and see how they plan to structure the program and define success. Presumably they’ll bring in new staff as well, so it makes sense that the current teachers wouldn’t know much about it. And, I imagine this is always something that you can withdraw from if you or your kid is unhappy.

    • I would go for it, but I’m very pro-bilingual programs and the ones in our public school system are very well regarded if not long established. As for the inherent unfairness, I just want to give you my experience as the oldest. My brother and I played the same sport (he is much more talented than I am though so that’s a factor that probably wouldn’t come into play with language, FWIW). My family didn’t have the money for me to do an off-season training program, but they did have the money for my brother to do it a few years later. This assisted him in securing a college scholarship, which allowed my parents to help me with my private college tuition. Did I need to go to private college? No but it was really good for me and the scholarship/sports program was really good for my bro. So there are a lot of factors that might seem unfair right now that could possibly give your kids different but equally good advantages later.

    • Anonymous says:

      I am in Canada where it is very, very common now to have kids in french immersion starting from around kindergarten (we have two options for publicly funded french immersion schools within walking distance). We are still a year off from making that decision but for what it’s worth, I don’t see the harm in placing the child in immersion to start, and if they are doing well, pull them out. Assuming the school has both immersion and non-immersion streams, pulling them out probably wouldn’t even require them to switch schools.
      I say this as someone who is bilingual, but not french, and really regret my parents not putting me in french immersion. Because while it may not be all that relevant for the job I have now, I don’t think there are many people who regret knowing another language (assuming your grades aren’t hurt by it)

      • Anonymous says:

        edit- if they AREN’T doing well, pull them out.

        • I am in DC and people here seem obsessed with bilingual and immersion education. I am not sure I understand it, please help. Many schools here do one day in English and the Next day in Spanish and the material is not repeated, so if you don’t understand the Spanish day…what happens? Also, at some schools math and science are taught in Spanish, but the exams are in English. Has anyone with an older child been through this type of education? Does the kid need to relearn science concepts in English? I wouldn’t be able to help with homework at home. I understand and support the idea of getting kids to learn another language, especially at a young age, but what does it look like when they are older? Is the goal to train this generation of kids to be fluent enough to be able to conduct their jobs in another language?

          • Anonymous says:

            They don’t need to relearn it in English, they just learned it when they learned it in Spanish. I understand the goal to be language proficieny although language learning would have to be carried through university years.

            We speak two languages at home and our child is in immerison for a third language. This is pretty common in urban areas of Canada where French immersion is popular and many kids have a parent that has a first language other than English. Learning multiple languages is good for your brain and pretty common in academia or international business. I’m assuming DC has a fairly big diplomatic community which would be familiar with multiple language learning being very common in other countries. DH learned 4 languages in junior high/high school (Europe) and that was the standard circulum for the university prep stream he was in at a public school.

          • Bilingual education seems common everywhere except the US, in my experience. I absolutely would have loved to learn enough to conduct my job in that language. Everyone that I work with abroad has done that and more – they know English, the language of their home country, and additionally either the language of a neighboring country or another similar language (like knowing German and Swiss German for example).

            I also had colleagues in undergrad who studied abroad and learned engineering concepts in a foreign language. They said it was totally fine even though they weren’t 100% fluent because math and science are the same in any language (the same Greek letters are used to represent a concept, the same notation for mathematical operations, etc). I feel like it would be harder for non-technical concepts to learn in another language because nuance becomes more important!

          • avocado says:

            I don’t get it either. I think total immersion is fantastic for preschool, and once the kids are actually fluent in the second language you could teach other academic subjects in it. Art, PE, etc. would also probably be fine in a second language even if the kids weren’t fluent. But I took enough French in high school that I could read literature and write essays in French, and there is still no way on earth I could have learned calculus or chemistry in French. I am trying to imagine my sixth-grader trying to understand algebra lectures with her rudimentary French and I just can’t. She can’t even understand half of what the teacher says in French class where all they are trying to learn is the language itself. Then there is the issue of homework. How on earth can the parents help with homework if they can’t even read the assignment or the notes?

          • Anonymous says:

            I have never heard of it being done in Canada like how you say it is being done in DC: English one day, Spanish the next. In the school districts in and around the Toronto suburbs, it is my understanding that kids in French immersion do everything in French, except the subject of English. In the school district I grew up in, this meant that all math, science etc was in french until Grade 10. In our area, math and science are just one subject until grade 11, when they split into things like a separate calculus class, and a separate biology/physics/chemistry class. As of grade 11 these things are all taught in English, on the assumption that most students will be doing these subjects in English in university. I know that some peers of mine did express some confusion at having to switch languages for these subjects at this point.

            In terms of what the “goal” is – I don’t think there necesarily has to be a “goal” in terms of a career. Maybe there is a bit of a cultural influence on learning languages – English was not my first language, nor is it my daughter’s, even though both of us were born in Canada. She attends a daycare in which the language is 100% our mother tongue. Our language will be 99% “useless” for her from a career perspective- but I just can’t see the harm of a kid knowing more than one language. Obviously this is made much easier by the fact that we live in Toronto which is incredibly diverse and has these opportunities locally available.

    • The district is presenting this program as a “commitment” from K-5th. I know we could pull him out if it doesn’t work after a year, even with a commitment, but we worry that means we’ve just put him behind a year academically, and aren’t sure what resources we’d have to assess. (We don’t speak the other language, so we’ll have to rely on new teachers in a new program to tell us if he’s on track or not.)

      Good advice that it won’t necessarily harm the oldest to lose this advantage. I like the idea of additional tutoring to get him some language knowledge as well – maybe we could find someone who could also be a resource for the youngest as he gets older and we can’t help as much.

      Thanks for the input, all!

      • But what is he going to learn in kindergarten that you can’t teach him at home? I think everything I learned in the first few years of school was pretty easy to catch up on, but maybe that’s not always the case?

  5. Edna Mazur says:

    Anyone have any great ideas for super chapped baby cheeks and chin? We’ve been using Aquaphor lotion per our pediatrician’s recommendation several times a day on our 8 month old and just this last weekend his little chin got so dry it cracked and bled. Part of the problem is that he is now old enough to rub his face constantly.

    We’ve also tried the creamy Eucerine cream and straight Vaseline and they worked about the same as the Aquaphor. Anyone have any ideas we can try?

    • Clementine says:

      At our local co-op we get a balm that is made with Calendula in an olive oil base. The calendula really clears up chapped baby face ASAP (yes our pediatrician knows and is totally supportive). This works better than just a barrier method for us like aquaphor/vasoline.

      My other suggestions are: Earth mama angel baby n!pple butter (also has some calendula), straight lanolin (also in the nursing section), and coconut oil. All are fine if ingested a bit by baby.

      The key for us is to put on some type of a balm/barrier on his skin before we go out in the winter air.

    • We battle similar skin issues and have had the most success alternating between Aquaphor and Eurcerine. We put it on at every. single. diaper change.

    • Anon in NYC says:

      I don’t think Aquaphor by itself would really help. It’s not really adding moisture to the area so much as serving as a barrier. Have you tried layering a lotion and then aquaphor on top? Or an oil (coconut oil, other facial oil) + then aquaphor.

      • I am dealing with this on a newborn now and def helps to follow aquaphor with lotion. We use Aveeno sensitive baby lotion. Our doctor also said olive oil can be good.

    • Anonymous says:

      We’ve had good luck with Babyganics Lip and Face Balm on chapped cheeks (at the recommendation of our pediatrician). It clears up any chapped or redness quite quickly, though it sounds like our kids never got quite as bad as yours.

    • Poor lil dude!!!

      I use Aquaphor and also Lanisoh. I also always make sure to put a hefty amount on right before bed because that is the time he is least likely to rub it off. I feel like it soaks in overnight kinda. I put the humidifier on full blast all night, too.

    • Mustela Hydra Stick! It is super moisturizing.

  6. My son just turned 4. On our way to preschool this morning we were listing to NPR, as we usually do. This morning he asked, “Why did that man shoot all those kids?” and, “Is a man with a gun going to come into my school?”

    I very much ascribe to the philosophy of, we tell our kids the truth (in an age appropriate way) even on hard stuff. But I really wasn’t prepared on these particular questions. I tried to mutter something reassuring about how he’s safe in his school and his teachers will help keep him safe, and then we talked about how grownups are trying to decide on some new rules about guns to help keep all kids safe.

    But I almost felt like I was lying to him – I have no idea whether the adults are actually going to do anything. History tells me they’re not going to do sh*t.

    How have you all responded to these kinds of questions from you little ones, in an honest and age appropriate way? I cried all the way to work after I dropped him off, because I feel so helpless and hopeless on this particular issue.

    • Anonymous says:

      Interested in responses.

      I never have the radio on when I’m in the car with the kids for this reason. I also don’t have the evening news on at home. Makes me sad because my interest in current events/international affairs definitely stems from watching the news as a family after supper starting when I was around 6 years old. Sometimes the channel was changed when something wasn’t appropriate but there wasn’t the daily barrage of school shootings in the same way.

    • Artemis says:

      You certainly did the best you could in the circumstances, it’s so hard! Your answer seems about right for the situation–what you told him really is the truth for right now. I too believe in telling my kids the truth in an age-appropriate manner. But now that your son is 4, and has asked these types of questions, you might want to consider not listening to NPR in the car anymore.

      I subscribe to the notion that children should not be kept ignorant, but they should be kept innocent as long as possible. If my kids find out or hear about something and want to talk about it, I’m going to talk about it with them honestly. But I’m not going to actively give them the opportunity to find out about horrible things, if that makes sense. When they were babies or young toddlers I could watch or listen to whatever I wanted to around them because they didn’t understand. Now they do, so I changed the environment.

      So, if my kids hear about the shooting from elsewhere, we will absolutely talk about it. But I don’t turn on the news on the TV at home while they are awake and I don’t listen to news in the car–only music or age-appropriate radio programs about science, history, etc.

      I don’t know if anyone will agree with me on this, and it is certainly not at all a criticism of you listening to NPR in the car! Just my perspective. Also, we are religious, so we talk lots about evil. Sometimes the best explanation for something bad is that evil exists in the world and we have to do our best to bring good into the world and fight evil with good. If you’re not religious, that still might help if you acknowledge good v. evil without the spiritual component, but simply a facet of human nature.

      The questions get harder the older they get. And sometimes frustrating. And I cry sometimes too. And then again, it’s kind of amazing to develop the relationship with your kids where you can talk about these things.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Is baby wear an option or a swing? A quick nurse and nap when you get home might work if you are baby wearing so you can start supper while baby sleeps or you might be able to transfer baby to the swing.

  8. I bought a used Patagonia sweater down jacket for my 19 month old because he can wear it in the car seat (according to Car Seat Lady, who I trust pretty much!). It has been awesome, because it has been so cold here this winter that I really was not loving the “put a coat on backwards” or “cover with a blanket” or even “wear a hat” option because he instantly cast all of those off his body. As a side bonus, he is bizarrely in love with this coat so he also very enthusiastically helps to put it on in the mornings. We like it so much I’m planning to buy another next year, even if I have to pay full price.

    I found this one on eBay and it has a chew mark on the collar and some holes repaired with glue, but it’s working fine for our purposes!

    • We use Patagonia as well, for the car seat safety factor and we love supporting a business that is so in line with our values. We’ve become one of those annoying Patagonia everything families, and it all started with buying the car seat safe coats (which are great quality. Fit wise, they almost always last for two seasons per kid, and then can be passed down for another two seasons with the next kid).

      We also love the snow suit for my 2yo because it keeps him warm, isn’t bulky, and is pretty darn cute.

    • Maddie Ross says:

      This. We love the Patagonia coats. And they run huge, so they last. And can be resold for nearly what you pay.

    • Anonynous says:

      You should know that Patagonia has a repair program. There’s a form you print off their website and mail it in with the clothes and they charge a very nominal amount to fix whatever the problem is.

      I think I paid $5 and shipping to repair some torn shorts.

      I just bought my daughter a Patagonia coat from ebay that should fit her next winter too (why does she have growth spurts at the END of the seasons?!?) and this summer I’ll send it in to get a couple little tears fixed.

  9. NewMomAnon says:

    On the question of coats and kids; kiddo just switched to a high back booster. Does the “no coats in car seats” rule apply to boosters? I did a quick google and didn’t find anything I trust….

    • Anonymous says:

      It does. I like the Patagonia jacket another poster mentioned or the Gap primaloft one. It’s cold here so I do that in the car and put an extra waterproof top layer in her bookbag with her snowpants if they play outside at lunchtime.

  10. CPA Lady says:

    Sort of related to TK’s comment above about talking about the reality of the world with kids…. I was thinking the other day about how being an adult is such a surprising mixed bag. Working, having responsibilities, finances, having to plan for the long and short term. But also getting a lot of autonomy. So much joy, so much fun, so many cool experiences. So much grief and loss and secret pain. My parents were very authoritarian and didn’t believe in being your kid’s friend, so for me adulthood was a huge mystery and I felt totally on my own when it came time to live my own life. I think of the things my mom went through when I was a kid– the death of her mother, some scary health issues, etc. And she never talked to me about any of it, she just went on with her day like everything was totally normal.

    Did your parents talk to you about what it’s like to be an adult? Are you talking to your kids about it? A friend of mine had a miscarriage last week. I was dropping off some cookies for her this morning and my daughter asked why I was bringing her cookies. And I said “she’s really sad about something and hasn’t been feeling well”… I mean obviously I’m not going to go into the details of someone else’s miscarriage with a child too young to have a filter. But… how does one navigate this stuff? I don’t want to dump on my kid or use her as a therapist, but I want her to have some understanding of how the world works. Thoughts?

    • NewMomAnon says:

      My parents were not very in touch with their own feelings, and accordingly never talked about them in productive ways. I want kiddo to have much higher emotional IQ than I had as a kid; we frequently talk about things that we do to “be a good friend” to someone who is hurting or sad, or how you can tell if someone is sad. And if I’m sad or angry or hurt, I tell her but always with the explanation that I’m taking care of myself by doing X, Y, or Z and I’d like her to help by [entertaining herself for a little while, picking up her room so I don’t have to, keeping her voice down, etc]. I also make it very clear that she isn’t the cause of my negative emotions; I explain my feelings, what i think is causing them, what I am doing, and what I would like from the rest of the world.

    • Boston Legal Eagle says:

      I distinctly remember one moment when I was either in middle school or high school and talking to my parents about jobs. I said something like, you should just follow your passion and have a great job that you love. And they kind of just rolled their eyes about the whole “passion” thing. I think that was when I got my first taste of the realities of adult life.

      In general though, my parents didn’t really talk to me about the troubles of the world and I didn’t get a lot of emotional support from them. I was a pretty sensitive kid though, I’m sure other kids wouldn’t have needed as much. I would like to be more open with my son and future kid(s) but I also want to preserve some of the innocence of childhood. There are so many things in life that are just unfair and unexplainable, and I don’t want to turn my kid into a cynic while he’s still young. I think just making yourself available to listen to your kids’ feelings will go a long way.

    • Great question. I struggle with this with my 6 yo too. For example, on one hand, if I’m sad or upset about something and feel like crying, I don’t want to censor myself because I want her to see that that’s normal/healthy and let her learn how to feel and show empathy towards others. But on the other hand, because of my narcissistic mother, I don’t want DD to feel like she has to emotionally support me and be strong for me like my mom always made me feel. In addition to my Nmom, my dad died when I was young. But from what I recall, neither of them explained what it was like to be an adult, and I wish they had. I am very honest with DD. I tell her that marriage is hard, parenting is hard, and it’s hard to be a working mom. But not necessarily in a negative way. Marriage is hard because Dad and I don’t always agree on everything and we may argue sometimes, but we try to work it out because we love each other and made a commitment to each other. Parenting is hard! I’ve never done it before and don’t know what I’m doing so I’m bound to make mistakes along the way. But I love you and want you to know that everything I do, I do because I think it’s the best thing for you at the time. I would never do anything to intentionally hurt you. Being a working mom is hard! It’s hard to find time for you and Dad and my friends and myself, but I do it because I love my job, I worked hard to get where I am, and earning extra money for our family allows us to do things like take fun trips and buy new clothes/toys.

      IIRC, your child is younger than mine. So I think you’re doing a good job of explaining the world in an age appropriate way. We are kind to friends who are feeling sad. And that shows that life and people are not always good and happy but not in a way that will scare or overwhelm your child.

      • Katala says:

        My mom also has a personality disorder and I was responsible for much more emotional support than any child (or, really, any one human) should be. I want to teach my kids good adulting skills, but that feels like advanced parenting that I am no where near capable of. I’m just really trying to identify the unhealthy patterns I got from my parents and undo those. If I actually felt like I learned to adult myself, maybe I would be more confident in being able to teach them!

        I appreciate these answers, some of these concrete skills/conversations are things I feel like I can work in as my kids get a little older.

    • I think giving your child skills (both coping and life skills) is much more beneficial than paying for stuff. Other than my dad teaching me to balance a checkbook in high school, I don’t feel like my parents did much to teach me to be an adult. My mom was a huge enabler, both emotionally and financially. I had a great upbringing, and they absolutely did it from a place of love, but it’s pretty lucky my sister and I both turned out as functioning, independent (mostly independent, in my sister’s case) adults. They paid for everything we wanted through college (gas, clothes, and new cars in high school, and apartments, living expenses and private school tuition once we got to college), actually discouraged us from getting jobs in high school, gave us no guidance on choosing a major or career that actually provided a viable career option (luckily I was able to parlay my worthless political science degree into a career as an attorney), never taught us to cook or anything about nutrition (I learned all of this on my own in my twenties), and never taught us about living expenses or how to budget (again, taught myself this on my own as and adult). I am extremely grateful for the opportunities they gave me, but would have traded some of the financial support for real life guidance on how to do some of these things myself.

    • Anon for this says:

      I am the child and grandchild of abuse survivors. And I can’t remember a time (or age) when I didn’t know that people had hurt people I loved. I’m sure I didn’t know this things when I was a toddler, and my dad often referred to his childhood as “the craziness” rather than get into the specifics. But they always told me things about their lives. Somehow there was a tone that they used, that this is a grown-up thing and this is important. The way, maybe, people speak about God in church? Like I don’t expect you to understand it, but here is the truth.

      My parents were also educators and often had a good idea of what we could handle (not always — my dad kept showing me movies that scared me. Labyrinth is TERRIFYING when you’re three). But it wasn’t like one day we had a conversation that revealed all. It was more like, when we were little my dad told us about how when he was in the army he had to paint rocks, or had to do this or that absurd thing, so when we were old enough and he told us about the scary bad things (and some of his Army experiences in Vietnam I’ve only ever heard from my mom) it wasn’t some shock that he was in the Army or Vietnam or what his job was or anything.

      My parents were definitely “skill oriented” (Guess who was the only roommate who knew how to kill a cockroach, fix a circuit breaker, turn off the water to a flooding toilet) than a lot of parents apparently are. I remember going to class my freshman year of college and telling my friends how happy I was to have done my taxes early (1040EZ even!) and none of them had even thought about having to do that. But I grew up in a rural area and so I knew kids who knew how to ride horses and weld and doing roofing and wire a house and sew and stuff, so I always felt really incompetent. Until I met kids from the suburbs (who did teach me how to order takeout on the phone and how to carry house keys all the time).

  11. My parents did not, which is largely why I’ve tried to take a different approach with little TK. I had a rough go of it as a kid (you name it – divorce, mental / physical disabilities in parents, alcoholism, death of a sibling) and no one ever talked to me about ANY of it. I think it was well-intentioned and they were just trying to protect me … but I was a smart, intuitive kid so I kind of knew what was going on and just did my best to make sense of it without any parental guidance. I blamed some of it on myself. I just didn’t ask on other things, because it made Mom cry. As I got older, I looked elsewhere for guidance and some less than ideal sources filled in some of the knowledge gaps that would have been better filled by a caring parent.

    I guess at the end of the day I want my kid to know he can trust me to always tell him the truth, and for him to know I’m a source of honest and reliable information. If he’s looking for an answer and I don’t give it to him, it opens the door for him to find that answer somewhere else. So I err on the side of answering every question, no matter how hard (or however inarticulately.)

    • My parents did that and there were a lot of ‘I just don’t know’ answers. It usually followed with ‘some people think X, some people think Y. Probably it’s a combination…’
      Anyway, I really appreciated it and I think it helped us to have an open dialogue and a good relationship as I got older.

  12. Marilla says:

    Not sure if this reply will thread properly on mobile, but for chapped baby/toddler cheeks we switched to a super creamy Aveeno moisturizer that seems to have done the trick. Aquaphor wasn’t cutting it anymore with the chapped cheeks from playing outside in the winter so I picked up the Aveeno cream and one by Honest Company to try out, and the Aveeno is the winner. I think it’s actually labeled as for eczema relief.

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