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Any Noe Valley/Glen Park 1St-3rd Graders Looking to Play with a Fun 2Nd Gr. Boy?

We've been in the city now a little over a year, moved from the East Bay suburbs with a big yard, a court full of kids & a mom's group with constant playdates. My son misses seeing kids (he's an only) regularly at or around home. There are A LOT of babies in this area, but we have yet to meet any kids around his age- maybe because he attends 2nd grade in Pacifica. But, we'd still love to play & make friends.

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Sounds like she might be doing it so that the child can't spend the night with you and dad.

I have heard that if a child doesn't leanr to soothe themselves while they are young that it will be a difficult thing to do later.

I don't have any advice,but an opinion.something seems to be wrong with this,maybe morally wrong.but i don't know the circumstances of why it is being done.i agree with you!

Personally I can understand breastfeeding up until they are a year, maybe even a little older for nutritional reasons, but I've never understood the older child either.

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Sounds like there's alot going on here .First a divorce to adjust to and a 'new' person called 'mom'. It is sad that the nine year old is being branded for his adjustment. I would not attribute all these things to long term breast feeding.

Your step children are being mothered in a way that is different from what is considered 'normal' in this society - but in other societies this would not be considered so very different. If you do a little research you'll discover that - read some La Leche materials. I nursed all my kids till they were 3 - 31/2. My grandmother from this country nursed her son till 4 years and tells stories of others who went longer. I interviewed the women in my Ex husbands village in the middle East. For the women raising children BEFORE formula or 'maturna" as they call it - long term nursing was the norm not the exception. And from my own research of other cultures that is / was also pervasive around the world proir to formula.

Personally I feel we are backward here in how 'unattached' we are to our children.It was one of the things the native people here thought was very disconcerting about the european settlers- how harshly the children were treated and if you read up you'll see qoutes of europeans talking about how 'spoiled' they thought the native children here were. because the europeans hit their kids and that was not a usual practice in this country pre-colonization.

Why is there such an expectation of these kids sudden embrace of something that is so hard for them ? It may realistically take years. This mother is mothering in her way - she birthed these children and is raising them as she sees fit - they are her children. Live and let live - You obviously come from very different perspetives - trying to control her relationship with her kids is going to make everyone's life miserable. What is your purpose here? - build a relationship with these kids by respecting them and their mother. It will be slow - it would be slow ANYWAY. Bravo for them that they have a mother who cares about them so deeply. Open your own mind - work on what you have to offer them- instead of judging where they come from. It will unleash the creativity needed to relate to them.


3 moms found this helpful

Hi Suzannah ~
Wow, this sounds like a tough situation for you all. Kudos to you for seeking help with this ~ your stepkids are lucky to have you for a stepmom. Children react differently when their parents divorce, then remarry. Have you spoken with the mom regarding this? I hope she understands what is going on and is helpful.

Since I am a supporter of child-led weaning, I have a couple of suggestions ~ how about a "lovey" to help him cope with being away from mom? This can be a shirt from mom, that smells like her or a special blanket that they use to snuggle together that he can take with him. Also, how about just bringing him closer to you and your husband when it's bed time at your home ~ a little nest on the floor close by you both might make him feel better. It might just be separation anxiety that's causing these outbursts.

Breastfeeding beyond infancy does provide more than nutrition in the long run ~ I believe it would help the younger son deal with what's happening around him. The older son might be acting the way he is because of the emotions that come when parents separate ~ he should probably try some counseling.

I hope you find support and ideas that work for you ~ wishing you and your family a peaceful resolution!

3 moms found this helpful

You are concerned for the wellbeing of this child, which is a good start. Now, I believe that the most important thing to do NEXT in this case is to keep the needs and perspective of this child front and center. Blended families are tough on everyone at times, but the little ones feel it most keenly. This is a time for all of the adults in the situation to put aside their frustrations,viewpoints/opinions, insecurities, etc... and do what is best for the kid.

Breastfeeding (feeding, whatever method really, in my opinion) is not only for nourishment of the body, but is also a nourishment of the emotional wellbeing of a child. It is really common for people to breastfeed well beyond one year, and actually it has been found to FOSTER connected independent children in general, rather than insecure, inappropriately "needy" individuals, as is a equally as common misconception. The decision when to stop is between the mother and the child, and needs to be respected. You may feel that the continuation of the feeding is at the mother's insistence, but just by the fact that this child is still asking to suck, indicates that it is mutual. It is true I believe that sometimes people can get so tied up in whatever parenting styles, sometimes verging on dogmas, that they follow, that they don't pay attention to the cues of the child that THEY are ready to transition, but as long as the child is still asking, again indicates that they still want and need it.

Now, as a step-parent faced with an agitated child, and wanting them to become comfortable in your family structure, I can empathize how challenging this can be. Especially if you have some unresolved feelings, and/or disappointments, acknowledged or unacknowledged, about your own breastfeeding relationship(s) with your kids. But I would caution to not let your particularly shaped feelings/ideas about the subject be imposed on this vulnerable child. His wanting to breastfeed is NOT a rejection of you, it is simply his need to be comforted and attached to an entity that will make him feel safe and cared for. Think of it as a buoy in a storm. This is NOT suprising in a time that is very insecure, such as divorce and blending of families, different houses and rituals, etc...

YOU can work out other rituals in your home that can foster this relationship and security, such as a special book you read together, or song, etc... This is not about being fed, this is about being loved and kept secure!

It may not be easy, but the health of the child will bless your family for many years to come, if you can rise above what is indeed a very difficult situation, and your personal investment in it.

Hope this helps!

2 moms found this helpful

There is nothing weird or unhealthy about breastfeeding at this age. The World Health Organization lists the average age for weaning between 2 and 6 years old and this is not uncommon in most of the world. In the United States the breast has been turned into a sexual object instead of what it was made for, nourishing the physical and emotional health of our children. In fact, there is more evidence to support that weaning a child before he or she is ready can be detrimental than extended breastfeeding. Children who are breastfed, even through this age, are actually more independent and can even have a higher IQ. However, since the mother cannot be with the child at all times, it is alright to provide an alternative to this comfort, perhaps with a special toy/blanket, or a special bedtime routine when he is at your house. But the decision to wean should only be between the mother and the child. There is some great information regarding this on mothering.com.

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I agree it's no longer warranted and the mother is most likely doing it for her own needs/insecurities after age 2.5 -3 yrs. The children do not need the nutrition. She may be trying to keep herself as the "most important person/parent" to her children now that the she is divorced. She probably is not letting her children develop their age appropriate independance because of her own emotional needs/issues. It would be your husbands place to address this, and not yours. You should express your thoughts to him, but he needs to address his ex wife and find out why she does it and if a solution can be worked out. She will not be any less of a mother just because she weaned them from breastfeeding.

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Some children need the extra bonding which affords breastfeeding. It is a very personal decision between a mother and her child and only they together can find that place where it's time to stop. My daughter is three years old and she just recently quit, because I was done, not her. She also seems to have some sensory processing issues, which sometimes goes with the insecure child who will not wean. Good luck, and try to keep an open mind about it although I know it can be odd to some:}
Shauna R

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Although I can only imagine how you must feel -- him needing his mommy like that, when dad has part custody -- he really does need his mom, and she must be a wonderful mom to nurse so long.
Longterm breastfeeding is good for children, not bad, and it doesn't make them needy. The oldest is probably just a needy child for other reasons. Divorce is really hard on children. Just because it has become the "norm" in our society, it doesn't mean that anything about it is "normal" for children. It still means a "broken" home, no matter how young they were when it happened.
So don't condemn this mother too much, and realize that it is indeed healthy, both physiologically and psychologically, to nurse a child until they wean themselves.
I'm sorry you only got to breastfeed for four months. Milk does not technically "dry up" -- the more a baby nurses the more milk you make, especially if you drink enough liquids and eat healthy food! This is a common misconception that even doctors go along with.
Try to stick it out -- he actually will outgrow his need to nurse and give it up on his own. He will be a better adjusted child. Just love him and don't push, and he will eventually feel just as secure at your house as at mom's. Good luck!

A little about me: I'm a mom of grown children, and a child development specialist/college instructor.

2 moms found this helpful

Kudos to your stepson's mother! It is actually entirely normal for children to breastfeed up to ages four or five, and this is the standard throughout most of the world. What's not really normal for a three year old is to be separated from his mother for overnight visits elsewhere, so naturally he will react to that.

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