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Old 12-23-2004, 04:03 PM   #1 (permalink)
Location: Canada
"Natural" good/bad parents?

Do you think some people just inherently make good or bad parents?

Asking this because, personnaly, I feel very, VERY uncomfortable just being around babies and young kids, let alone hold, feed, change or entertain them...
It's not that I can't tolerate younger children like some people I know, I'm just, I don't know, sure I'll be doing something wrong, or won't know what the heck to do.

I also have a VERY hard time understanding the babblings of kids that other adults (not limited to the parents) seem to understand perfectly. Likewise, I also have a hard time being understood by kids.

Factoring all this, I'm thinking I'm not sewn to be a good father at all. I've had a bunch of people tell me I'm uncomfortable because it's not my kids, and that it's very different when you're the father, but I'm not so sure...

Your thoughts?
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Old 12-23-2004, 04:36 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Location: 13th century Europe
I think it has more to do with experience than anything else. If you've never been around them much, it's hard to know how to act.

Personally, I come from a big family and my mother ran a daycare from our home when I was growing up, so I basically spent the first 20 years of my life being around children. I know how to take care of them and behave with them. It's a non-issue for me.

My friend, on the other hand, is an only child who never really has had experience with kids. It's obvious he's uncomfortable around them and they around him. I think kids can sense it somehow.

So there you go, my thoughts on that.
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Old 12-23-2004, 04:57 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Location: Lebell's arms
I personally think that some people are just naturally better able to relate to kids. (Just like some people are better at relating to sick, elderly, disabled, etc.) However, we all have the ability to learn. If/when the time comes that you or your so wants children, take parenting classes, hang out with people with children, volunteer at a school, be creative! Don't be afraid, kids are people just like me and you. And, don't feel like you have to have children; being childless is a fine choice too!
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Old 12-23-2004, 05:37 PM   #4 (permalink)
it's jam
splck's Avatar
Location: Lowerainland BC
I used to have the same feelings towards kids as you, but now that I have them, I've done a comlete 180 change.
I find the best way to talk to little ones is get down to their level (on your knees boy!) and just start talking to them. Ask them what they're doing, give them a smile and you'll soon be someone they want to play with or talk to. As far as babies go, start by looking them in the eyes, giving a smile and make funny faces. They'll either freak out or start cooing and smiling...both are good lol.
Your asking this question and talking about it tells me that you'll do fine with kids.
nice line eh?
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Old 12-23-2004, 06:13 PM   #5 (permalink)
I would be the uncomfortable friend that Coppertop is referring to. So yeah, I'm an only child, don't have much interaction with kids, and my interactions with kids have been...interesting.

The thing is, I've thought quite a bit about the type of parent that I want to be and how I want to behave. So I have the theory down on how I want to interact with them, I just don't know how that works in reality. Definitely, a lack of confidence is something that the kids pick up on, much like dogs smell fear.

Do some people have an innate ability with kids? Possibly, but as with other things, I think that that innate ability is merely a starting point. Some people have more innate ability, some less, but we all need to work at improving ourselves.
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Old 12-23-2004, 07:24 PM   #6 (permalink)
Location: Pensacola, Florida
I am a dad and granddad, I think that being a good parent is learned. You just have to want to learn. It isn't hard, but it takes alot of practice. No one I ever met was comfortable starting out, but it is amazing how fast it can become the most important thing in your life. There is much sacrifice, but the rewards are huge.
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Old 12-23-2004, 08:02 PM   #7 (permalink)
f6twister's Avatar
It is definitely a combination of practice and personal feeling. I was always a little uncomfortable with children but I always thought I would be fine with a little practice. Now that I have been a dad for over 9 months. I'm no longer uncomfortable.

On the other hand, my wife's friend and her husband tried for a year and a half to have kids. She is a labor and delivery nurse used to dealing with newborns and she babysat for the 4-5 nieces and nephews in various ages until she got pregnant. She always seemed like she was comfortable with her nieces & nephews but I got to see the parent version a few weeks ago. The family came over for dinner including their two month old son. In the six hours they were over, they only changed their baby once and fed him twice. They only held him while he was being fed. Otherwise, he was put in his car seat to sleep. He has a horrible diaper rash which is probably a result of sitting in his own stuff for hours at a time. They don't want anything to do with him and just complain about how much he cries. Not the same people I saw watching the other kids and then I realized why. They could always give the kids back in a day or two, they never had to be the parents.
A little rudeness and disrespect can elevate a meaningless interaction to a battle of wills and add drama to an otherwise dull day. Calvin
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Old 12-25-2004, 11:56 AM   #8 (permalink)
...is a comical chap
Grasshopper Green's Avatar
Location: Where morons reign supreme
Before I had my son, I never had experience with kids. I didn't know how to diaper, feed them, hold them, anything. I was every uncomfortable around other people's kids, especially young ones.

My son is now three years old and I love being a mom. It's something I had to learn, just like anything else you have to learn in life. No one starts out being a perfect parent, even people who love kids or have nurturing personalities or whatever. If you ever decide to have kids, I'm sure you'll do just fine.
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Old 12-26-2004, 02:02 PM   #9 (permalink)
Location: Canada
Thanks for the input, all
Definitely stuff to think over, there.
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Old 12-27-2004, 10:20 AM   #10 (permalink)
Location: Atl
I'm also an only child who hates being around kids. That said, while I never held my neice when she was an infant, now that she is 5 I love being around her. I still can't understand some of the stuff she says, but I'm not around her enough.

It's just a matter of being familure with the situation.

Of course some things her parents don't understand either, so I don't feel that bad.
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Old 01-03-2005, 07:17 PM   #11 (permalink)
Mine is an evil laugh
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Location: Sydney, Australia
I wonder whether anyone is 100% comfortable at the beginning. They seem so fragile when you first pick them up - but watch the midwives in hospital throw them around and you quickly realise they aren't as breakable as they seem.

I think having support from another/others will increase your comfort level. Both my wife and I have times where we just don't want to change/feed/settle - but it rarely happens that we are both feeling this way.

Think about it - you get more training to learn to drive a car - children are heaps more complex
who hid my keyboard's PANIC button?
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Old 01-04-2005, 01:40 AM   #12 (permalink)
You know, I always cringe when I see parents play games like "airplane" with their kid.
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Old 01-14-2005, 10:20 AM   #13 (permalink)
sashime76's Avatar
Location: Hoosier State
Sounds like you are just too scare to become a father or finding excuses not to have kids. If you already know your flaws, shouldn't you be able to at least try to adjust? Personally I think unless you have reached parenthood you haven't grown up. Being a parent isn't difficult, being a good parent is challenging.
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Old 01-14-2005, 10:26 AM   #14 (permalink)
Getting it.
Charlatan's Avatar
Super Moderator
Location: Lion City
I, generally speaking, don't like kids all that much either.

That said, I love hanging out with my own.

It is a world of difference.
"My hands are on fire. Hands are on fire. Ain't got no more time for all you charlatans and liars."
- Old Man Luedecke
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Old 01-27-2005, 03:50 PM   #15 (permalink)
coldhands's Avatar
Location: The next town over
Here is where I stand on this...

There are some people in the world for whom it can be said would make ideal parents, therefore it is logical that there are some for whom it is not a good match.

That being said, I think that all it takes is a commitment to the child to be a good parent. I have a 3 month old and sure I am scared to make mistakes. His whole future rides on how my wife and I raise him. I dont; want this kid to grow up thinking I got rotten parents that suck. I can live with it though because I willingly made the choice to have a child, I accept the reponsibility, so it is alright. I know that intime he will see that to, and so there is no reason to dwell on that.

If you want a test, call up your folks and thanks them for having you. Let them know that they did good, th best that they knew how, and that you turned out alright. It doesn't matter if you see them every day, or have no spoken to them in years, they will be humbeled. I did this a few years ago with my Mom and our relationship changed immediately, from good to great.

On having a baby....

Man, I know it is cliche, but when they first dropped him in my arms, all I felt was love. He just looked up at me and my heart melted. I really belive that parenting/raising kids is really one of those rare and special areas in life where an abundance of love can make up for most every shortcoming....

...now that I said that, I gotta go...there's a diaper to be changed!
"All it takes to make a difference is the courage to stop proving 'I was right' in being unable to make a difference, to stop assigning cause for my inability to the circumstances outside myself, to be willing to have been that way, and to see that the fear of being a failure is a lot less important that the unique opportunity I have to make a difference."

-Werner Erhard
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Old 02-02-2005, 12:35 PM   #16 (permalink)
Location: Seattle
I wasn't an only child, but was basically raised as one. As an adult I hated being around kids. I now have a 14-yr-old daughter. She pushes my buttons big time, but I would never go back and do it differently. I think anyone who cares to can become a good parent. It's selfishness that gets in the way. Having a kid means saying goodbye to #1. If you don't, then everyone suffers.
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Old 02-20-2005, 07:09 AM   #17 (permalink)
DJ Happy's Avatar
What Charlatan said.

Being comfortable or not around other people's kids is one thing, but everything changes when the kid's your own.

I don't really like kids that much, but I love spending time with my daughter. I have such a great time with her and I love her to bits. I had her on my own the other day while my wife went to the beauty salon and I just didn't want the day to end.

So relax - if and when the time comes, I'm sure you'll be fine.
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good or bad, natural, parents

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