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What age do your DCs most 'need' you?

(15 Posts)
bryony77 Tue 09-Nov-10 13:56:50

kids of all ages need us for different reasons, but if you were lucky enough to be able (and want) to take a couple of years off work, what do you think is the optimum time to spend more time with your DCs - excluding the first year?

To make it a bit more specific, do you think DCs aged 4-6 and 1-3 or aged 6-8 and 3-5 would benefit more?

hairytriangle Tue 09-Nov-10 15:21:44

Gosh what a very difficult question. I guess the only way to find an answer would be for you to research what development happens at what ages and work out at which you want to spend more time helping your children to develop!

Good luck!

Ormirian Tue 09-Nov-10 15:22:53

Well my DD is 11 now and she seems to need me (as opposed to DH or granny or anyone else) more than at any time in her life. Bit late to take time off now.

LoopyLoops Tue 09-Nov-10 15:24:23

Do it now. It's never going to be perfect.

bryony77 Tue 09-Nov-10 16:01:50

Yes, maybe I'm over-thinking it and if the opportunity is there, I should take it as you never know what's round the corner....

SGertie Tue 09-Nov-10 16:06:36

I remember reading an article which said pre teens/teens needed their mums home and recommended the ability for mums to take some of their maternity leave then! Yeah, right!!

purplearmadillo Tue 09-Nov-10 16:07:20

Although this is almost impossible to answer, my view would be that they need you more once they have started school. School hours are shorter than nursery and I have felt that DD needs more support now in terms of reading, homework etc. So in terms of the ages you suggest, I would say 6-8 and 3-5 (assuming this would be from when your oldest starts in year 1 and would cover when your youngest starts school. However, I tend to think that Omirian might be right and that they might just need you more and more as time goes on.

bogwobbit Tue 09-Nov-10 16:09:20

I find that mine need me more at secondary school than earlier. Not that I have any prospect of taking time off, sadly

violethill Tue 09-Nov-10 17:22:27

I agree that it's almost impossible to answer, and would depend on so many variables anyway, such as personality, rate of development....

I actually think probably the best way to approach parenting is to not see it in black and white terms, ie either your children 'needing' you so having to be there 24/7, or 'not needing' you, so that you hardly need to be there at all. It's more a case of recognising that our children will probably always need us, just that the needs change over time, and also that being a supportive parent is about so much more than actually physically being in the same room as them or attending to the physical needs of eating, dressing etc

If I were going to (hypothetically) take two years off work, then it would probably be when they're around 4-6 years

frogetyfrog Tue 09-Nov-10 17:25:11

secondary school - thats when I needed my parents most. Its when I intend to make sure I am home to let them in after school.

Difficult question.

whoknowswhatthefutureholds Tue 09-Nov-10 17:33:00

I think as they get older they can express they need you more, in reality i think the smaller they are the more important it is.

Bonsoir Tue 09-Nov-10 18:07:12

Before they start full-time school, and when they start secondary school. But, as others say, it depends on many, many things.

Menagerie Wed 17-Nov-10 18:29:10

What Bonsoir says. Mine are still young but lots of l=people I know say they need you more in their teens than when they're small. But they also stay up later, so I guess as long as we make time for them when we get home, they should be fine.

iwastooearlytobeayummymummy Thu 18-Nov-10 22:37:18

IME the transition from junior to senior school is the hardest and they need parental input most.

Until that age so long as the person looking after them is 'fun and warm' and there are other children to play with the tend to just get on with it.

But in year 7 and beyond all the foundations shift: friendship groupings rearrange themselves, homework demands increase ,longer and more stressful school days and then add in puberty!

And they are growing rapidly, and just like toddlers they get tired and are often tearful and under the weather.

Deep joy wink

Oldjolyon Fri 19-Nov-10 11:23:52

I've only got younger children (3 and 6), so my experiences are limited, but I don't think they stop needing you when they start school. The needs are just as great, just different. When they start school its great if you can be there to help them there and then if they have a problem, talk to the teachers, even just to host playdates etc.

For that reason, I decided no age was the best age, and so I went part time (I work mornings), so that I'm there, most of the time for both my DDs.

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