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Old 05-10-2009, 09:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am a single mother of a 6 3/4 year old boy. My child attends an army elementary school, first grade.

For mother's day the children wrote cards. He wrote that he loves me because I: cook for him, give him massages, take baths with him, and kiss him when he goes to bed. He has his own room, beautiful, but chooses to continue to co-sleep with me (has since birth). I give him a massage, each morning when he wakes, to ease him into his day...paying special attention to hte pressure points in his ears and massaging his little fingers to get them ready to write in school. I take the occasional bath or shower with him...probably 2-3x a month...due to convenience mostly. We live in Europe and do go to German pools, spas, where he goes into ladies locker rooms with me...as do all the children with their parents, and nudity is common and natural. I have tried to rear him very naturally. HIs first grade teacher (45 years old) is having a fit that I massage him daily and that we have had baths/showers together. She is American and has lived in Europe for several years.

Any advice? Opinions?
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Old 05-11-2009, 04:27 AM
 
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I don't really have any advice, but I don't see anything weird about your behaviour. I am German and this all seems normal to me. not sure if it is a cultural issue?

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Old 05-11-2009, 10:17 AM
 
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What do you mean she is having fits? Is she telling you it is not right for you to be doing that? It is very nice what you are doing for your child.
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Old 05-11-2009, 02:26 PM
 
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I remember when I was in college I wrote in an application that some of my best conversations occurred in bed with my parents. The professor that was proofing it for me suggested I leave that part out so as not to freak out the reader.

It had never occurred to me that me talking with my parents while curled up in bed with them would be a reason for anyone to freak out!

It is clearly cultural, and I think I might explain that to the teacher and tell her that Europeans, and most other cultures, have much different ideas about family nudity than the U.S. and that she has absolutely no reason for concern. And leave it at that. I am certain that if she were to bring it up with anyone (who would she bring it up with, besides you? The school director?) they would have to agree with you that there is nothing unnatural about what you do for your son.

BTW, you sound like such a loving mother!

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Old 05-11-2009, 02:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I agree! I am trying to rear him in a very natural, loving manner. My parents are deceased. He has had little contact with the bio dad (two years no contact now) and we are our own little family. He is very independent and I feel this is due to attachment parenting. We live in a little german village and we are very well accepted. I am fluent in German and his is coming along.

He attends school on the military base and yes..she would go to the principal with this and that woman is about 65 years old and not in the least open minded or progressive. Things are very strange on a military base and people are not crunchy at all. THe school nurse tells me...each and every time she sees me....that I am wrong for selectively vaxing my child and that I am being harmful. The have told me that will turn him fearful....he interacts with Germans and Americans...rides his bike all over our villages, visits others homes, and feels totally comfortable traveling all over europe. I am sure they would have a conniption fit if they knew that he stopped nursing last summer when he turned 6!!!

I just do not know how to handle all these old fashioned ideas and judgements!
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Old 07-22-2009, 01:26 AM
 
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Are you in the Army? Is that how your son is able to go to an American school?

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Old 08-16-2009, 04:18 PM
 
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LailaCA,

I know this post is a few months old but just FYI, New Parent Support in the Ramstein area TEACHES infant and child massage classes. I remember you live in another area, but if you bring that up to the teacher/school nurse... that it is actually endorsed by the military, I'm sure that would give you some weight on your side of the argument... since the "normal people" teach parents to do massage too. *sigh*

I think that teacher is just an old fuddy duddy period and it has nothing to do with being American or European.

And by the way, what a wonderful Mother's Day card that your son wrote for you! How nice to know that HE appreciates all those things!

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Old 09-12-2009, 03:31 AM
 
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My opinion is that she is repressed and you sound like a wonderful mom.

If he's comfortable with it, that's fine. Massages within the family are wonderful for people of any age or relationship.

She needs to get a grip.

It's not that the stay-at-home-parent gets to stay home with the kids. The kids get to stay home with a parent. Lucky Mom to DD1 (4 y) and DD2 (18 mo), Wife to Mercenary Dad
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Old 10-19-2009, 08:38 PM
 
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I think as long as your son wants to be massaged, it's a wonderful thing to do!

I remember when I was a child I often asked my mom or brother for a massage or "Kraulern", as we called it, which is a kind of tender scratching of the back. "Kraulern" and massages are perfectly normal things in my family and running around naked in the house while getting ready in the mornings as well. Yes, we are Germans, as you guessed! I agree that it is a cultural thing.

For example, I have worked as a homebirth midwife in both Germany and the UK and have realized some significant differences: While German women usually throw off most or all of their clothes including their underwear pretty early on in the birth, English women like to remain covered up longer. Sometimes they even keep on their bra when going into the birthing pool. It's just cultural differences and habits, isn't it? It's not like one thing is the right thing to do and the other is not.

Although I must say that personally I feel good about being able to be naked without feeling shame. It makes life (and love) easier and I'm grateful to my parents to have brought me up in this way.

Regarding co-sleeping: I often got bad remarks as well about my son sharing my bed for a long time. I used to reply that by the time he becomes a teenager he certainly wouldn't want to be in my bed any longer. And guess what - I was right! Now my baby daughter shares my bed and will be allowed to co-sleep and breast-feed as long as she likes. I think it sets children up for a life of emotional security.
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