Little Details

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Entries by tag: ~childrearing

[ANON POST] Telling a kid that Dad is dating their Godmother (UK, 1980s)
Searched: "how to introduce a new partner" + "the child already knows"; "how to tell a child you're dating" + "their godparent"/"a friend"/"someone known"/"someone they know"

Setting: UK, early 1980s.

I've read a load of stuff on introducing children to a new partner which has been very useful, but everything that comes up only talks about introducing a stranger. I can't find anything that advises how to handle discussing new relationships with children when the new partner is someone the child already knows, in this case the child's godmother.

Background details: Mum and Dad of Eve divorced shortly after their daughter's birth because Dad found out Mum was cheating. (Paternity of Eve was unknown until post-birth tests.) Mum remarried when Eve was 2yrs old, to the person she cheated on Dad with, and had two other children when Eve is 3 and then 7. Dad has never had a serious relationship since the divorce, and very few casual ones that he's never mentioned to Eve (though the idea of Dad having a girlfriend isn't completely foreign because Dad's sister has been trying to convince Dad to get one for years). Pre-story, custody is jointly split--school term time with Mum, holidays and every other weekend with Dad. However, Dad is a live-in teacher at a boarding school that Eve starts attending at the beginning of the story, and (as already discussed when they decided Eve would attend the school) this changes the custody arrangement so that she will now spend school holidays with Mum.

The Story: Eve is 11. Dad (32) is dating Eve's godmother Lucy, someone he's been friends with since late teens. Eve has always had a close relationship with her godmother; how is this likely to affect how she handles learning about the relationship? I understand a common fear is "I won't have so much time with Dad"; is this likely to be exacerbated/reduced at all given the circumstances? Could Eve be afraid Lucy will stop being the cool godparent and react negatively, not wanting the dynamics between them to change?

All the sites recommend not introducing a new partner until you're sure it's a close, longterm deal, but how might this change when Eve already knows the partner in question? Dad still has major trust issues from Mum's affair, and is a naturally distrustful person anyway, so it's going to take a long time (1yr+) before he stops constantly worrying that the relationship is going to fail. Should they wait to tell Eve until it reaches that point, or tell her after a few months (when Lucy is sure it's going to work, and Dad's hopeful but still wary)?

Another thing sites advise is, after having told the child, introduce the new partner on a short outing. Obviously Eve doesn't need introducing to Lucy as such, but after Dad's told her about the relationship should Eve then have a visit/trip out with her godmother where they might discuss the relationship away from Dad, or should her next interaction be with Dad+Lucy together?

Life for orphans in religious orders and architecture of monasteries and churches in the 330s
Searches: ward of the church mid 4th century, fostering orphans mid 4th century clergy, treatment of orphans 4th century christianity, orphans in the church during the mid 4th century, life in the church during the reign of constantine the great, monasteries and convents in church grounds mid 4th century, general attitudes to feral children in the mid 4th century

Setting: The city of Myra in Lycia in about 333 AD, during the reign of Constantine the Great

I'm working on a historical fantasy based on folklore about Knecht Ruprecht, a character said to accompany St. Nicholas on his December rounds in some parts of Germany. One of these legends (that I'm basing my story on) is that Ruprecht was a feral child adopted by the saint who continues to follow him around, punishing bad children while St. Nicholas rewards the good ones. I made a post about it here  a few days ago.   For quite a while I've been trying to find out information on what life would have been like as a child raised in the church (not necessarily with the goal of becoming a priest or nun eventually) in the 4th century. I've been able to find a few references to orphanotrophia in the 4th century which were run by religious orders and the role of the clergy in running these orphanages. Often the children became monks or nuns.

However I can't find anything that would help me answer these questions (which are mixed and probably really simple or confusing, and if they are I apologise)

1. Was it possible for a church official to take home an orphaned infant
found in the woods on the outskirts of his city and raise him himself
with help from a wet nurse if one was needed?

2. Am I right in assuming that priests in the 4th century lived at or very near the church itself so that Ruprecht would spend his childhood literally within church walls?

3. Were monasteries and convents ever located in church grounds during the 4th century?

4. What would the daily routine of a child being raised by a religious order be like? (One other character is a girl raised in one of the orphanotrophia)

5. What would the general attitude to feral children have been in the mid 4th century?

Thanks in advance for any help and sorry again if the questions are confusing!

Resources for 19th century Scandinavian (Norwegian) thieves' cant and baby farming in Norway
Setting: A slum in Reykjavik, Iceland, in a paralell world with 19th century technology sometime in the far-future.

Searches: 19th century Norwegian thieves' cant, scandinavian thieves' cant, thieves' slang 19th century scandinavia, baby farming norway, angelmaker norway, angelmaker sweden, paid wet nursing in 19th century norway, hilda nilsson, baby farming in norway,

This is two separate questions in one. I'm drafting a project based loosely on Oliver Twist but set in Iceland in a paralell world where trolls, dwarves and elves exist alongside magic, the Greenland Norse colony survived, Iceland has an indigenous troll population, is much larger, and never lost its independence and Reykjavik looks like Dickensian London. One of my protagonists, Bjarki (see here but idea has changed slightly since then) who's basically the Artful Dodger grows up in a thieves' den run by a dwarven fence called Thróinn who's basically a Fagin and a troll-woman called Gunna who takes in babies for money.

But even though it's fantasy I want to have some slightly realistic details about what life was like in Scandinavian slums (in particular in Norway and Sweden) for the very poor. In particular I want to know if there are any good resources for the Norwegian and Swedish equivalent of London thieves' cant that I could use as a model for the thieves' cant in my story, although going by how many immigrants this fantasy Iceland has and the extreme poverty in this Reykjavik there would probably be a bit of British influence on the slang people use.

Also does anyone have good information on baby farming in Scandinavia? I can basically only find a few scattered references to Swedish "angelmakers" like Hilda Nilsson and there isn't that much information about her in English. I did find this Swedish site though.

Thanks in advance, hope my question's clear.

Psychological effects of changing a two-year-old's name?
Anwen and Gwen
Setting: UK 1977
Seaarched: "Child name change," "minor name change," "toddler name change," "psychology toddler name change," "psychology minor name change," "psychological effects of changing a child's name," "psychological effects of changing a toddler's name," etc.

I have a couple going into hiding with their two-year-old daughter. The entire family has to change their first and last names, including the daughter, and I'm worried about how this is going to work. The legal part of this is a non-issue, since the government sent the family into hiding in the first place, but the psychological part I'm kind of lost on. How much difficulty would you expect a two-year-old to have adjusting to a new name? Is it likely to cause identity issues for the child? How long should it take for her to start answering to the new name and introducing herself by her new name? What could her parents do to make the transition to her new name easier and faster for her?

Childcare and Agriculture in the Late Roman Republic

I have two able-bodied (one a former gladiator) male characters operating a small farm. If it’s just the two of them working, how many acres (or iugera, if that’s an easier measurement) can they manage by themselves? They’re not particularly well off, but they can afford a goat and possibly some chickens. I’m also not sure whether they would be able to grow more than one type of crop, which would be preferred; they’re located in southern, mainland Italy.

For this question, I’ve googled: farming in ancient Rome, small farms in ancient Rome, agriculture in Italy, farming in Italy

Also, I know there’s very little information on childcare in the Roman Republic, but anything you can give me would be spectacular, especially the kind of food, toys, or clothing they would have for newborns and infants, and the general attitude among the working class towards how much attention a child needs.

For this one I’ve tried: babies in ancient rome, babies in ancient Greece, ancient alternatives to breastfeeding, ancient baby food

How common is the Jamaican Blackheart Man legend?
Searched for: Blackheart man legend, blakkhawt jamaica, commonality of blackheart man legend jamaica and similar terms

Setting: Baracoa, Cuba in the near-future

My protagonist Che's foster father is half Black Cuban and half Jamaican. At one point the legend of the ''blakkhawt/Blackheart Man" comes up. This is basically a story meant to scare children against going off with strangers or else the Blackheart Man will get them by cutting out their hearts. In Che's case, it's meant to scare him against going off alone near the bay, where there are government smugglers. It seems from what I've found out that Jamaican and Barbadian immigrants who came to Cuba managed to maintain quite a bit of their culture.  Is the legend common in Jamaica as a whole, or more common in some regional areas? (If this could help, the foster father's mother came from a rural village in the West, in St. Catherine Parish). Nearly all my Google Results were references to the Wailers' song, which doesn't really help. I'd particularly like answers from Jamaicans.

Child Registration in Japan
gem beasts <3
Setting: Japan, 2011
Search Terms: Child registration (Japan), childbirth (Japan), single parents child registration

My main character (Japanese, male) has taken in a three-months-old baby who comes from a different dimension and isn't human (but can pass for human). The child's birth parents are dead, and no one was willing to take care of the baby, so he and his partner (who also isn't human, and can't pass for human either) decided to take her in and raise her as their child. 

I'm assuming that he should try to register the child at some point. My problem is, how would he explain her presence? The existence of non-humans isn't common knowledge, so he can't reveal that. However, saying that he just adopted her without going through the legal process would raise all kinds of questions as well. My angle is to have him claim that she's the result of a one-night-stand and that the mother didn't want to raise the child, but since there is no birth mother actually involved, he has no proof for that. 

If all else fails, I can have friends of the main character forge the required legal documents, but if at all possible, I would like to find a legal way.

Thanks in advance!

ETA: The most obvious way in which the non-humanness of the child manifests is that she isn't visible or tangible outside her native dimension. Both MC and his partner have the power to keep her visible/tangible in other worlds, but if she's taken away from them, however briefly, it will look like she just disappeared, so I really want to avoid that scenario.

Right on time for the Zombie Apocalypse...
tw: cannibalism, murder, diseaseCollapse )

Less triggering #3: I'm aware that after a certain age breast milk needs to be supplemented with solid foods, but in dire need could you make a nutritional [enough to stave off starvation for a little while longer, anyway] meal out of breast milk for a three- to four-year-old child? The woman in question is actually in the third-trimester of her first pregnancy, and the child is unrelated, so I don't imagine she'll be producing anywhere near the ideal amount of milk, but I need a better idea of what exactly would or wouldn't be accomplished with this.

EDIT: Thank you, everyone!

Garifuna culture and images of Tegucigalpa skyline 1940s

Setting: Dieselpunk Tegucigalpa, 1940s-50s 

First in another series of entries for one story (The Lady's Got Potential). Hope someone here's Honduran or has stayed in Honduras or familiar with Garifuna culture and can answer these!
OK, so my 14-year-old protagonist is of mixed Garifuna and mestizo ancestry and works as a servant for an actress who's getting into politics. He's got a Spanish first name, but is also called Che- his Garifuna name. Basically, how plausible is it for a person to have two names, a Spanish one and a Garifuna one, during the 1940s?  Also, can anyone here answer these questions? (They might apply to later in the story)

a) Wikipedia says that a Garifuna boy is considered to be spiritually attached to his father, and that fathers are culturally expected to care for their newborn sons, giving up their duties of helping to support the family for a period of time. What happens if a father dies? 

b) Does the concept of an obeah man/woman exist in Garifuna culture? 

c) I haven't been able to find images of the Tegucigalpa skyline in the 1940s-50s through Google Images. Does anyone know of any English-language books on Honduras with pictures from the period?

Emotional Abuse and Child Services?
Howling Moon
In my story, Zeke, a modern-day 21-year-old guy from Ontario (Canada), seeks psychiatric help for depression. During the sessions it was discovered that he also suffers from anxiety disorders and that his father is emotionally and verbally abusive toward his mother and his younger siblings. The father also becomes physically aggressive during those outbursts, but he never hit the kids or his wife. The psychiatrist reports the abuse to child services, who then makes Zeke's father undergo psychiatric help himself. During this entire time Zeke's father is not separated from his wife or his kids.

Is this a believable scenario? I know a psychiatrist is required to report suspected domestic abuse, but does emotional and verbal abuse count as domestic abuse? Also, is it possible for child services to keep a family together, including the abusive member?

I know each country and even different States have different laws regarding child services and psychiatric responsiblities. I tried searching "ontario psychiatrist report abuse" and "psychiatrist obligation report abuse". The results I got were either advice for physical abuse or reserach papers. Ontario Children's Aid Society gives info on signs of emotional abuse but no info on what warrants the removal of children from a home.

I hope I made my questions clear. Your assistance is much appreciated. Thanks!

Traditionally-raised Aleut/Yupik girl, attitudes to elders/traditions etc

Googled; how a traditionally-raised Aleut girl would speak to elders
Yup'ik traditional childrearing methods, Aleut childrearing methods discipline
what is considered rude in Aleut culture, rudeness in Aleut culture
Setting; Unalaska Island, roughly contemporary, but in a slightly alternate world

This is a question about the same idea that led to the first question I asked about Aleut/Unangan culture and naming. Thanks for all those posters who replied to that question! The protagonist of this story (BTW, only in its rough stages, and loosely inspired by and taking its title from Billy Joel's song "The Downeaster Alexa"), Alexa, is a 13-year-old Unangan girl whose mother is Yup'ik. Her father is Unangan. As I am a Chinese Australian, living in Sydney with a very Westernised outlook and a family who only observes the traditional celebrations of Chinese New Year and the Moon Festival, who hopes to visit/stay in the Aleutian Islands (as well as other places) one day and learn enough about other cultures to relate to them on a cultural level, I've been stuck on this story for a while (it's one I've tried to write a few times and had a few ideas about, but never really succeeded- I get heaps of ideas all the time).

This one is first-person in diary format-my favourite narration style. Anyway, the question is; Alexa and her siblings are traditionally raised. Her family lives on Unalaska Island, outside the actual city of Unalaska. Her father is a fisherman and a fur trapper. From some research I've discovered that since Yup'ik descent is patrilineal, she would be identifying herself as Unangan (I guess) among other people from her culture, and Aleut to outsiders. The question is; if (say) she or her siblings yelled at/were rude to their parents and refused to do something, what would be the consequences? And also, how likely is it that she would know a few words of Unangan and/or know Yup'ik, (and Russian) well enough to speak in it? What would her attitudes be to doing something she considered boring, or her cultural traditions? Would her family also follow some Yup'ik traditions? I was thinking she might have a traditional Yup'ik name that might be used on some occasions.


Pre-Civil War US West, plus Historic breast milk substitute?
Place: United States, mostly in the West - exact location is flexible

Time: This would be post the Fugitive Slave Act, pre-Civil War. 1855, maybe?

Part Two: I want one my characters to be a white man who has fathered a child with a slave that he doesn't own. He's too poor to buy the slave or the baby (and the owner doesn't want to sell), so he helps the slave escape with the baby. He makes it to one of the free western states/territories, although the adult slave is either killed or recaptured on the way. I want the original owner to send slave hunters after the baby, creating the adventure of the story.

I've researched the basic history of slavery, fugitive slaves, etc., but I'm wondering - it seems like the popular direction for slaves to run was North, rather than West. I haven't really found a reason for this - can anyone help with that? Also, are there any flaws with my general idea, would you say?

Part Two: Now that the mother is gone, the father needs to find a way to feed the baby. I want this to be a serious challenge for him, so:

- at what age would it no longer be a big deal for a baby to be weaned? I know that six months is a rough milepost for starting kids on solids, but if it was necessary, could a kid be started on solids earlier than that? How much earlier?

- assuming that it WAS too early for solids, what would the baby do if you tried to feed solid foods (I'm thinking corn meal or bread soaked in loads of water until it's a thin paste, maybe?)? Just spit it out, or swallow it and get sick, or...? What about if no bread/cereals were available? At what age would a baby be able to handle chewed-up and spat out jerky? How about fresh (cooked) game? If the baby is too young for solids, is it completely ridiculous to try feeding it the blood of a freshly-killed animal? I mean, gross, I know, but ...liquid. Maybe they could boil the blood, first?

Obviously the dad will seek out a wet nurse/milk animal as soon as possible, but the plan is for the baby and father to be completely isolated in a mountain cabin (snowed in) for about a week.

Terms searched: breast milk substitutes, historic baby food, pap, etc.

Gifts a young boy would give his mother
2 cats 1 cup
Setting: A fictional world (World of Warcraft's Azeroth), but it really could be any rural/forest area. Stereotypical medieval, with a smattering of higher tech stuff tossed in.

Character is a teenager, though is emotionally disabled (sort of, it's a long story but basically he stopped maturing mentally/emotionally at 5-6-ish years old). He spends much of his time alone in a city or the forest (has access to trees, a lake, open grassy areas, usual wildlife). He has next to no money.

The character is a worgen (WoW's werewolf race), so he can catch rabbits and bugs and such to keep from starving, and keep himself from being eaten by other things. A couple has semi-adopted him, and the woman is just starting to click as 'mother' in his mind.

What would a boy 5-6 years old with no money and unlikely to steal give as a gift? I've thought of things like pretty rocks, flowers, feathers, but it seems like kids often come up with better gifts? I rarely interact with children so I'm totally lost on this, but I seem to recall stories and LJ posts about special (or horrible!) gifts little boys have given. (Or are they special just because they came from the child?)

Searched Google with:
"what do little kids give as gifts", "gifts kids give", "my son gave me". Unfortunately most of the results for the first two were things to give to kids. The final search gave me things that were unrelated ("a reason to live") or too high tech (computers, etc).
"found in my son's pocket" and "my son brought home" weren't helpful either (though a surprising number of sons bring home a white|black woman!).
I also checked the comm's tags.

Common illnesses in babies - non life-threatening
I'm writing a fic where two adults are forced to assume parental responsibility for a three month old child for one to two weeks. The adults are law enforcement professionals and want to do everything to keep the baby happy and healthy but neither is a parent or has knowledge of how to care for infants short of a well thumbed copy of "Parenting For Dummies".

What sort of everyday common illnesses could a child develop that would worry somebody that doesn't know how to deal with them? I don't need anything serious, just something that would freak out the carers.

I have Googled using search terms like "baby illnesses", "non-serious baby illnesses" and "common baby illnesses", but what I think would be more helpful is some first hand experiences from parents who got freaked out over something that ultimately turned out to be something minor.

Thank you in advance if you can help!

Illinois adoption process/parenting of a deaf child
wicked poster (default)
Set in Chicago, five-to-ten years in the future, Characters A and B are a same sex couple looking to adopt. Their relationship is stable, and more than five years old, at the least, and the child that they're looking to adopt is mostly deaf.

My problem is, I am basically clueless about adoption - I've Googled 'American adoption process', and then the more specific 'Illinois adoption process', and there are some great websites out there, particularly the State Department website (though that is intercountry adoption, and they're going to be adopting an American child). The Family Resource Centre website was also helpful, but it seems mostly geared towards helping parents find a birth mother, or placing a child for adoption, and to be honest, I'm such a novice, I would really appreciate it if someone could take the time to walk me through it.

The child they're looking to adopt is, in my mind, a four to five year old girl, apparently bright and very engaging, but mostly deaf. (Again, in my mind, she was going to be adopted by another couple, but the adoption fell through when they/the state realised the girl was deaf - is this plausible?) I had a look through the 'adoption' tag here, and came across a great entry here to which someone replied that a deaf child would ideally be placed with foster parents who knew how to cope with his/her deafness; what would my characters have to do to even be considered?

I've googled: American adoption process, Illinois adoption process, adoption agencies, adoption cost, same-sex adoption, adoption of disabled children, parenting deaf children, support systems for the deaf, sign language, and 'acquisition of sign language'. I'd just really appreciate any further information; anecdotal or purely factual are both fantastic.

Cut for a long list of questions; sorry, and thank you in advance!Collapse )

I'm sorry if I come across as a bit of a tool; I'm just very ignorant about this, and too wedded to the idea to give it up unless it's totally unfeasible. (And it's my first time posting here, so I hope I haven't grossly offended anyone/made any mistakes!)

Youth organisations in modern dictatorships
Present day, alternative universe. I have a youth organization constructed and controlled by a dictatorship, and I would like the details to be as close to reality as possible, so I hope someone here can help.

The youth organization's meetings are compulsory to attend for anyone up to 25 years old. My MC is 17 and in the second to last group, for youth aged 16 - 20 years. She will not be allowed anywhere near the younger members of the youth organisation since she is a newly reformed criminal.

* Were there any tests to the youth member's obedience to the government? Would they be likely to find out that she is not as brainwashed as the rest if she tries to hide it? She won't do anything stupid like speak up against anything she is taught, but is there trap she might fall into if she's not careful?

* Who would most likely lead the group for teenagers that old? Older members of the youth group or someone employed by the government?

* I would assume that most activities of youth groups are similar with that of normal youth groups as the scouts, but what interests me are the differences. Which activities would they have to teach the children obedience to the state, instil the proper moral values into them, teach them to know their place in society and to tell on their neighbours and parents, should they break the law?

* How would a member of the group be punished, should he or she break the rules or norms of the group? I am thinking something too serious for just social shunning to be punishment enough, yet not something against the law.

Searches done:
Googled "Youth group dictatorship", "youth groups" + Belarus/North Korea, Socialist Youth League, Belarusian Republican Youth Union, Komsomol, the different youth groups + punishment. I have also read up about the Hitler Youth, but haven't found anything they did to brainwash their members but some leaflets with views that supported their cause and songs. Tips to books/articles/documentaries about the daily life in a youth organization controlled by a dictatorship would be VERY welcome :)

ETA: I am aware of the fact that Hitler Jugend and most other youth groups simply don't fit the bill the way I need it to, which is why I am looking into details on the areas in which they do fit my needs, as well as on dictatorships that have lasted over a generation (eg. Belarus and North Korea). Sorry if I wasn't clear in my post, but what I am looking for is:
* how propaganda would be spread in these organisations
* what punishments there would be for not conforming (whether they were sanctioned by the leader of the group or not), and
* how the youth groups for the teenagers are constructed, what they do that differ from every other social group for teenagers.

Widower father.
I'm looking to find information on widower dads (my character has two young daughters.)
I'm aware of a few blogs- which are superb. But i'm looking for more points of view. I want to read about as many widowed fathers as possible to deepen my understanding of what they are going through. I'm stuggling to come up with info and google just wont help me out.

EDIT(more info):
The story is set in england, present day. The girls are 5 and 7. Their mother died somewhat unexpectedly. I really want to know how the father would explain the situation straight after the mum's death, and then a few months down the line, to his girls.

I'm not exactly an expert on trying to explain loss too children either... so help on that would be great.

Also, how would he help to keep her memory alive, approach mother's day etc.


How to transport an American baby in the eighties
keep calm and ride the kick /
Did baby snugglies exist in America in the early 1980s? I'm talking about the strap-on-your-back baby carriers, the ones that are sort of a cross between a tiny parachute harness and a backpack into which you put the baby. If not, then if you're an American woman who's walking a fair distance with a baby (about ten miles) but needs to keep her hands free and arms not tired - how would you do that? Assuming a stroller is not an option.

I googled a lot of combinations of "1980s" + "baby carrier" and/or "baby snuggly", but all I've got is Baby Bjorn and a lot of contemporary guides on baby-wearing.

ETA: Thank you all! Definitely found the answer I was looking for.

Reasons a four month old might be sick.
flower hand
Time- Now

place- California

A four month old with an adjusted age do to preterm birth of about two months. A normally calm baby has been overly fussy, won't keep down formula so far (might add more symptoms depending on the answers I get here)

I searched all sorts of variations of four and two month infants (sick, not eating, not keeping formula down) and so on and all I seemed to get was Yahoo answer pages with scared parents and iffy information. So anything would be greatly appreciated.

Early sixties norms bastard children/hippie movement in the UK
Okay, I have two questions.

1. If people suspected that a woman who was married had a child with someone else, because of the child's appearance (ex. dark auburn hair and brown eyes from a blond-haired blue-eyed set of parents) how would the child and the mother be treated in about 1959 to about 1967? I'm having trouble figuring out how to google it and am not coming up with anything.

2. The hippie movement in the UK. Wiki says that they had "peace convoys" and went to musical festivals at Stonehenge, but doesn't give much more information, when did the movement really come to the UK? Would the term "hippie" still be used, or is "New age traveller" more appropriate? Wiki seems to say that these were more popular in the 1980s, and if they had a permanent home and didn't travel constantly, would it still be a proper term?

I learned that the peace symbol came from the UK and was embraced by the US, but was it widely used to mean peace in the UK or just nuclear disarmament?