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Nephews put me off having children


Hoagy

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This kind of follows from my previous thread:

 

So my brother and his family are here now. I avoid them as much as possible but still have to make occasional appearances 'for the sake of the family'. I can't keep away the whole time.

 

Nephew Minor (age six) is as annoying as ever. I've just listened to about 30 verses of the Peanut Song sung at full volume until I got a headache. I came very close to losing my temper and telling him to Shut The F**k Up!!!! Nephew Major (12) is now at the age when he can sit quietly and read a book and I get on okay with him now, but he was hardly any better behaved when he was that age. I overheard a conversation between my mother and sister-in-law yesterday when they were discussing Nephew Minor. The words "compulsive liar" and "devious" were used.

 

The worst thing is, they actually put me off the idea of having children of my own one day. Sometimes I think it might be nice to be a father. Someone to love, care for and teach cricket to. But after a few hours in the company of an obnoxious six-year-old I'm ready to call the hospital and arrange my appointment for a vasectomy. I don't think I could ever have the patience to tolerate that for a whole day, never mind the next twenty years. I have the highest respect and admiration for anyone who can. Of course, a lot depends on the future Mrs Hoagy and I know things change but maybe I'm just one of those people not meant to have children. Maybe it would be better for all concerned if I don't.

 

Other people tell me how happy they are to be surrounded by children and grandchildren, especially at this time of year. That is something I struggle to understand. The concept of being happy around children is like being . Don't get my wrong - I have a niece (cousin's step daughter actually) who is brilliant but I only see her very rarely. So it's not all children that I have a problem with. I just feel that, if there is to be any chance of me becoming a parent, it will depend on having no contact with my nephews for a few years. I need that breathing space to build up my confidence and faith that, if my time ever comes, it will be different.

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You have to remember that your own kids will be molded and shaped by you from the moment they are born, so will more likely fall in the range of what you see as acceptable behavior. For example, if 30 verses of the Peanut Song annoys you, then from a young age you discourage that kind of behavior and tell them to stop and find other activities that kid's enjoy that don't involve singing songs ad nauseum. My home was quite the 'scholarly' type home where our family focused on learning and exploring rather than letting the kids run wild and like little savages so things other kids did never occurred to us because our parents raised us in a different way and didn't tolerate 'obnoxious kids' around them.

 

So you do have some control of that, BUT kid's can be challenging and take your time and effort to raise. Kids are not for everybody, and you can find a woman who feels that same, as not all women want children either or perhaps you could date a woman with older children past the stages of wanting to do things like sing the peanut song a million times over.

 

I love kids myself, but do NOT love all children and frankly think a lot of people are not really suited to be parents and let their children run wild rather than really raise them and teach them manners and how to behave well. They just throw TV and DVDs and toys and video games at the kids and try to ignore them the rest of the time, and hence the kids do behave like hooligans because they are not taught what is appropriate behavior and what is not.

 

So nothing says you have to have kids if you don't enjoy them. But also keep in mind that if they are your own children, you get to makes the rules about what is acceptable behavior and what is not and can moderate those things that really irritate you. But definitely do NOT have kids until you are sure you want to sign up for the role of parenting.

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Kids can be annoying. If you have kids you will have re-listen to the same song, re-read the same book, and re-watch the same show hundreds of times. You will get head aches all the time.

 

My niece is a sweet, smart, 3.5 year old. She is going through a phase where when two adults are talking she starts yelling, telling us to stop talking. I get very annoyed about this and honest think my sister should do more to stop it. But, its her kid, its up to her how to handle this bad behavior.

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I think it is different with your own children. For example in any 3.5 year old I wouldn't find it so bad if she/he yelled while two adults were talking - at that age there's a lot of self-centeredness but that behavior wouldn't be cause for time out depending on how loud the yelling was and the context. What I would do as a parent is remind the child each time that that's not appropriate and that if she needs attention she has to speak in a low voice and wait for someone to stop talking. But at 3.5 that's a bit on the young side to convey that.

It also depends on how long you expect the child to tolerate being ignored - an entire meal at a restaurant - too long - a 5 minute or less conversation - fine, she should wait quietly. There are so many variables. And that's my point - as the parent you know your child, you know the battles to pick, the lessons to teach, the expectations and standards. And yes you will have to read the same story over and over again when they are young (excellent for reading development), sing the same song at times, etc. It can be tedious but on balance you have to really want to be a parent and take the good with the bad. I'm sure your job is tedious at times too.

 

I also think you shouldn't be so quick to blame the parents - sure parents have a lot of influence but there are children with special needs where the needs aren't that obvious - parents are such an easy target that it's good I think to remember that some of this is just the child's temperament.

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I agree that it is different for your own children. For me personally, I am a big believer in learning. I think if and when you are really considering children you should consider taking a "child development/parenting" class.

 

You don't HAVE to have kids but don't let your nephew's behavior make that decision for you. They are different from your kids and your feelings would be different.

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I find kids between the ages of 3-6 hard work. They do require a lot of attention and it is nice to be able to hand them back. Give me a baby or a kid over 6 to look after and I am happier lol. They are much easier to mind.

 

Its different though when you have your own kids I would imagine. My uncle never had much time for children. He never made an effort with us when we were small but he has a daughter now and he is amazing with her.

 

Most the kids I know are fine though. In general they are well behaved. My cousin was a nightmare when she was younger but she was spoilt and it was her parents fault

 

when I worked in a fashion store, I can honestly say some parents need to go and get some parenting classes. It was ridiculous how they let them run wild, up and down steps, playing in the changing rooms, putting sticky hands on a freaking dress worth 250 pound and nearly breaking the security system by sitting on it or swinging off it. And the parents expected me to deal with it and babysit. The amount of times I told a child to sit down and do NOT touch anything but I loved the look of horror on the mothers face when I said "can you please control your child, this is not a playground"

 

ridiculous!

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I'm not very fond of kids overall - mainly because of many bad experiences with OPKs (other peoples kids). However, I adore my own two, though they're grown now. I have a deep affection for my stepsons. And while I have to bring them up short sometimes - mostly they're well behaved kids, because it's been taught to them and expected.

 

Kids are very malleable when they're young - and if they're left with electronic babysitters, allowed to mimic rude cartoons, and not given a decent amount of actual conversation with the family - it SHOWS. But I wouldn't rule out having kids because of bad experiences with other folk's kids. They will learn what you teach them - and it's amazing how you can have patience for your own kids where you never felt remotely interested in someone else's.

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Honest question: have you had enough time and bonding with those kids to really love them? Sounds like you only see them here and there; plus there are issues between you and the parents. SO those kinds of avoidance type feelings can easily start transferring to the kids. It's pretty human.

 

I happen to really like kids; most of the time, and most kids. But it's a whole other level when it is children who I've spent real time with getting to know, bond with, and love. The little annoying things become easier to tolerate (though they can still be annoying at times).

 

Somewhat like adult relationships, when you invest more, you appreciate them more too. I bet you feel a certain bond with the little girl you mentioned, and so you can relate to this on some level. Can you picture spending a day with her and enjoying that time with her? If you can - then my bets would be on this being about the individual relationships at play, and not about your general feelings and ability to enjoy kids overall.

 

Even if you did decide to ultimately not have children of your own, it would be a shame in my eyes to let this particular set of circumstances keep you from enjoying relationships with children.

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