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whats its really like raising kids in italy?

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1 whats its really like raising kids in italy? on 16th March 2010, 6:42 pm

hey guys, i saw a similar ad on expats but i would love to bring it up here.. whats its really like raising kids in italy, the benefits and the hurdles? Im so curious! since i live here and may consider breeding one day haha... I used to nanny here and it kinda frightened me at the time that kids stay up so late or ( at least in the families i worked for ) stayed hom from school so often... and how not to have them in ur house until 30... please tell me the tricks and the trades haha.. Very Happy

View user profile http://ggnitaly84.blogspot.com/
hi,

wel i find it very hard here.

am from amsterdam and everything you can do walking.
the bus and tram there got special spots for the pushchair.

and you got so many nice playground for the kids.
sidewalks.

here you need to travel by car ore bus.
the bus really s.cks as i cant even bring the pushchair because there is no space and they want you to close it.

mine daughter go's to bed ad 20.00
i think thats a great time to go to sleep.we eat dutch time thats around 18.00-19.00

and lots of subways here dont have a elevatore.
its not really a child friendly country in those things.

thats how i feel it to raise a child here

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becca thanks for the fast reply! amsterdam is a great place, gorgeous and it does look more "child-friendly". I always wondered how people do with kids and transport ( unless you have a car and have permission to drive in the center ) ... when i was a nanny it was so hard taking the stroller on the bus! sometimes people would help but how can you hold a baby and close a stroller ( pushchair) on a crowded bus!

View user profile http://ggnitaly84.blogspot.com/
thats why i dont bring it any more on mine own.as serena is more than 16kili.

mine backis broken because i have to pick her up alway's if travel.

and idont drive so there you go.

even something simpelas finding a swimming pool close by is hard.

i miss those things a lot as i know wat todo in amsterdam.
things are so close by.

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We have actually started trying for a baby now and im a bit worried about giving birth here(when eventually we get pregnant which might take ages!!) , how was everyone elses experiences regarding this? albino

Also reading about the points system for schooling etc scared me a bit lol

But like Georgette i would like to know everyones experience about raising kids here and how you cope!

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hi claire,

i was really scared when i got pregnant.
it alway's was mine dream to be a mum.
but when found out i freeked out.

as wat now.
and i dident speak almost any italian ore understoud it.

i had a really good genologico(sorry have no idea how to wright it)

but gave birth it a not really nice hospital.

i was really scared giving birth as i was afraid i woudent understand them.but i did it all natural.

nature does his work.
its importend you got a good dokter.
make sure wat you want and dont want.
and a good hospital.

then everything will be just fine.

and dont worry some people get pregnant in one time.
some one year.

good luck

hugs

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Hmmmm I don't know about giving birth here but culturally I think we're very different from the Italians.... I dread those questions: 'What are you having for dinner?' and 'When do the kids go to bed?' Cos the Italians look at me in shock-horror when I explain that we don't eat dinner at night as DH and the kids all have mensa at school/ work and I don't think they should have two dinners every day. Therefore we have a light tea: maybe a panino, maybe soup. Something light not a three course meal. They also cannot believe that we 'get enough time with the kids' if we put them to bed at 8pm. I think it's cruel keeping them up to see Dad, eat dinner at stupid oclock and then they go to bed when you go to bed.... fastest route to a nervous breakdown or divorce if you ask me!! Shocked No wonder the Birth rate is down in Italy... when do people get the time to actually make babies??!! or have a conversation?? Also what about the kids themselves?? I cannot believe that going to bed at 10.30-11pm and getting up at even 7.30 at the latest that they are getting enough sleep. My 6 year old takes herself to bed at 8.30 if I don't take her before that and is asleep by 8.31 Laughing

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I have 2, 3 and 8 year old boys. I live in a run-down area with no services. (they keep building the houses though!)I don't drive, I live on the 1st floor with no elevator. Like Becca my back is done-in. I have no garden and there is no park that I can use without getting into a car.I haven't been able to get on the bus coz the double buggy doesn't fit. It is not funny.

I am happy because I try to be a positive person and look at all the good things in my life (and I have many things to be grateful for). But If I compare myself to just about anyone I know, in any country, I feel like crying!!

Well my advice is don't have more than 2 kids and be prepared to be shocked. If something is fundamentally important to you (like seatbelts) hold your ground, otherwise, for a lot of other things, be prepared for some major compromises. Eg. If my kids are home I do not leave the house, not even to throw the rubbish, but I know women who habitually leave their kids at home when they are sick from school and go to the other side of Rome to work. I try not to be judgmental, but somethings I just can not approve of and will not do. Crying or Very sad

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lizzie - I really admire your positive attitude. I know how much it can suck being on the periferia of Rome and not driving. Sad

Clare - congrats on trying! Since you're in Rome I'd recommend the hospital where I gave birth, San Camillo. OK it wasn't perfect but pretty good for an Italian hospital. They have these really nice brand new birthing rooms with en suite showers, midwife led birth (ie the doctor is only called if there's a problem), they allow you to labour in any position and use a birthing ball etc. (in fact the midwives encourage it), epidurals on demand and a good NICU. Only downside is that after the birth you share a room and the post birth rooms are a bit run down. But you can't have everything and it's only for a couple of days. Oh and they allow you to room in with the baby or send him/her to the nido which I appreciated. Anyway I had a good experience there and I was also in the same hospital for open heart surgery last year and had great doctors and surgeons in cardiology too. Very Happy

Anyway as becca says things aren't really set up for kids here. Just unorganized I guess like everything else. On a positive note - daycare is really cheap here, even private daycare, compared to australia or the US at least and scuola materna (from age 3 onwards) is more or less free. Also the lunches they get at school are really good - none of the pies with sauce and a mars bar crap we used to get in Australia (things may have changed though).

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10 Re: whats its really like raising kids in italy? on 19th March 2010, 11:12 am

I went to two different hospitals, the 2nd one was run by the first that I went to which was bigger and I thought should have been better.
However for the first birth, it was a nightmare. The care was horrible and the staff were rude and insulting. Not to mention that the place was dirty and broken down (windows did not close all the way and when you have a baby who sleeps under the window -in the winter-, that is a BIG problem).
For the next birth, it was like heaven. everyone was super nice and supportive, all was clean and they actually cared about you and the baby. Still no epidural but that ended up being a minor thing, even tho i had a 4.450kilo baby girl Shocked .

One thing that I find hard tho that nobody has mentioned yet is that everyone tells you what you are doing wrong and what you should be doing. I don't know how many times I was critisized for giving my 2 year old son a pacifier. I was also told many many many times that I was trying to kill my son because I would let him take his shirt off sometimes if the weather was ok. Also dont get me started on going barefoot... even if the baby is not walking or crawling yet, it should always have shoes on - or so I am told Rolling Eyes

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11 Re: whats its really like raising kids in italy? on 19th March 2010, 11:26 am

I guess they just think some things are different here when raising children, its almost like you grandmother telling you how to do it like how it was done in her day back when they didnt have car's lol

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all so informative! I have always been a bit frightened of the whole " this way is better " and your "doing it wrong" whem I will have kids.. If basically my cleaning is always wrong I can only imagine when i have kids.. also concerning discipline ( time-out , saw that thread on expats ). when i tried to incorporate that when I was nannying , it wa salways considered "cruel" and the kid would instead be sent in front of the TV eating chocolate b/c the mom yelled at her... weirdness! I guess you just have to nod your head and amile when You get all those "helpful" advice lol... Rolling Eyes

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My first birth was in the UK, second in rome (in Grassi) and then I decided come hell or high water my 3rd would be in the UK, which it was, and I was at home within 12 hours having a nice cup of tea with the family. So I guess that says enough without going into the sad details!

Good to have a tip about hospitals in Rome eh Claire? I have also heard good things about Fate Bene Fratelli. So you may have a nice choice and you can go and have a look yourself too!

I have a neighbour who would always tell me my kids feet were cold in 40degree heat. At one point I was going crazy with all the unsolicited 'advice' I was getting. In the end I just said 'ci penso io' (I'll take care of it) but sometimes I would loose my temper. One time I was going down the street and one of the kids was on a tricycle and it really wasn't working out. A mother coming the other way told me it was dangerous (which I could see for myself, and I was struggling with tricycle, double buggy and 2 kids), I practically bit her head off and she said 'god i was only saying...' I felt so bad afterwards, coz she was right, and only being 'Italian' but it was the straw that broke the camel's back.

Now I remember the worst story was when I got my 2.5 yr old Matteo locked in the car, with the keys in the ignition. It was summer, so really hot and i was in the super market carpark and I couldnt get the car open (long story and quite ingenious way of getting yourself locked out of the car), and he was strapped in his car seat in the back. I was going crazy, he was crying, and this stupid Italian Nonna came over and started shouting him instructions, and I was furious, matteo didn't speak italian and there was this crazy woman shouting at him and he was trapped in the car, and i kept telling her to go away, but she wouldnt listen. in the end I screamed at her, and giuli was so embaressed, and she was saying she was only a normal person trying to help, and i was telling she was an interfering old cow who should go away and mind her own business..at least that's what i meant, but god know what i actually said. People were stopping in the street to watch the drama. After a certain point I remembered the back windows were manual and matteo rolled the window down and we drove off...didn't go back to that gs for quite a while!!!!!!!! lol!

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i gave birth in san fillipo neri.never again.

its not a good hospital.
if there is going to be a next one it wil be in gemelli.

and wat about the so called good advise they give you here about food,sleeping and everything els about your child.
dont listen.
i did it the dutch way the way i know it and feel good with.

i do like that the people here talk to you when you go out when you got a baby.and they always are friendly to them.

in holland serena was waving to people and nobody even looked ad her ore respond.she was like huh??????


but i dont like they ask you do you breastfeed???????
SORRY?????

and i dont like that they always need to tought your child with there hand and you dont know wat they did with those hands!!!!!!!

one more thing i hate here is that the school kids dont stand-up for you when you are holding you'r child in you'r arms.

normaly the ones standing upfor me are the one from other country's ore the old folks.

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15 Re: whats its really like raising kids in italy? on 20th March 2010, 10:15 am

i agree with becca on a lot of things. one of my babies had constant conjunctivitus coz people kept touchig his hands and then he would put his fingers in his eyes. in the end i had to be very firm about it...they like stroking cheeks too. if u HAVE to touch, touch the feet! Evil or Very Mad

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Hmmmm I must admit that I hate the interfering!! I think most people round this way can tell by my frosty attitude that I do not appreciate their advice and I generally don't get much of it now. It still gets me that it's okay to have free-range kids bouncing around in the car and yet the same kids are not allowed to run around in case they sweat??!! I wonder if it's an ancient Anglo-Saxon thing because the teachers at the school reallllly annoy me too with their stoopid 'rules' for parents and telling me what to do... or maybe I'm just personally a rebel and don't like being told what to do in the first place!! Suspect

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I can't stand it when anyone tells me what to do - including my own mum. So it especially gets up my nose when people I don't even know do it! I actually like the Italian attitude to kids. As Becca said - they all wave and smile at my toddler here which is really nice. The only thing I worry about is that she might get a bit spoilt as she has blonde hair and blue eyes. pale

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piccolina wrote:I can't stand it when anyone tells me what to do - including my own mum. So it especially gets up my nose when people I don't even know do it! I actually like the Italian attitude to kids. As Becca said - they all wave and smile at my toddler here which is really nice. The only thing I worry about is that she might get a bit spoilt as she has blonde hair and blue eyes. pale

My daughter is blonde and blue-eyed and when we first moved here she was just 4 and tiny and we literally stopped traffic and she did get loads of attention. She still does at 6 but people around here seem used to her now. My kids are always fed in the local shops and back in the UK they often comment that they get ignored more than they do when we're in Italy. They quite like not being the norm here. However, what annoys me sometimes is that my daughter will ask for things in shops, then have a little tantrum when I say no which then seems to make people intervene and either give her the thing she wants for nothing (it feels like begging to me!!) or try and persuade me that she is so lovely that I should buy her whatever it is that she wants. She used this approach at the Asilo too when she was there as she knew instinctively that my Italian wasn't up to arguing and that I would probably just agree with what they said and they always agreed to what she wanted. I even, one day went all the way back to the car to get the doll SHE had forgotten because the teacher told me to, even though I'd told my daughter outside the school door that I wasn't going back to the car as I was desperate for a wee and I needed to go home asap!!

A few choice words with her in private seem to have largely cured this problem and now my Italian is better I can tell people my reasons for telling her no in the first place. In some ways I am scared of giving my kids everything they ask for as I don't think they'll ever stop and we already have a house full of their clutter that they wanted at one time or another but are now bored with. Also it really doesn't teach them about working for the things you want or really thinking about all the things you want in life and how much you want them and this is important to me. So many kids I know here are little spoiled brats and there is not much so unattractive as an eleven year old having a tantrum to get something their mum can't really afford. Honestly, most kids in my son's class have better mobile phones than I have and televisions in their bedrooms etc. That is not going to be my kids even though we could afford it if we wanted to. I just wonder what the kids here are going to learn from that.

I know things are not perfect in the UK either by any means but there do seem to be more teenagers in the UK who have weekend or evening jobs... you just don't really see that here. It is fully expected that your parents will fund you through however many years you fancy being at University. I suppose it does stem from a cultural thing that the family helps all it's members and will share good fortune gained by one member throughout the whole family but it does seem to breed greedy, grabby people in some quarters.

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mine daughter is blond and has very blue eyes.azuri.
in the bigging she got lots of atation,but now she is almost 3 and its much less.

thank god.

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20 Re: whats its really like raising kids in italy? on 21st March 2010, 10:05 am

To be honest - we plan to leave Itlay before our daughter gets to the summer job age. The not working part time during high school thing is one of the things which bothers me most about raising kids here. As you say - it spoils a lot of kids but also the kids don't learn how to work. It just seems stupid to me to see 27 year olds with their first jobs who don't even know how to use a photocopier.

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21 Re: whats its really like raising kids in italy? on 21st March 2010, 10:26 am

...and 27 isn't even that old.I have a friend who started his first job in his 30s and I just couldn't beleive it. I started working literally the day I turned 16. I remember working from 8-6pm on a saurday for £10 a day at a green grocers and boy was it physical work lugging around all that fruit and veg. It was good for me though, I had to do all the calculations in my head...no electronic cash registers! I later moved on to work at the co op, then at the first Mcdonalds in our city (must have been in 1989)and then a whole list of jobs, paying my way through university and then getting a full time job as soon as I finished. If I worked I always had to pay board at home. I don't get these parents who let their 40yr old live with the rent free! Rolling Eyes

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22 Re: whats its really like raising kids in italy? on 21st March 2010, 10:34 am

That is one of the things that I like about my husband.. He got a job when he was still in school. It was a weekend job at a grocery store. I guess at least he and I think the same way in most things which is great. The real problem will be trying to raise our kids the same way.

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lol from what i have seen as well, not only do alot of "kids" late twenties and early 30's live at home , not pay board, or cook meals and do their own laundry, pay bills, they get an allowance or "paghetta" as well...my bf's family feels sorry for me that my parents dont give me money anymore... at 25! Rolling Eyes i told them that i want my parents to enjoy their life and not worry about paying/taking care of me... but they really didnt understand that because for them it was just so normal to give grown kids money...

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I remember back when I first moved here I taught English and one of the questions in the textbook was 'what was your first job?" I answered first - in a muffin bakery when I was 16 (before that I did babysitting though) and then asked the student what his/her first job was. 20-30 something year old students just looked at me blankly and said "but I've never had a job - I haven't graduated from my masters yet!" Major culture shock for me! Shocked No way is my daughter going to grow up that way. pale

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25 Re: whats its really like raising kids in italy? on 21st March 2010, 10:03 pm

piccolina wrote:I remember back when I first moved here I taught English and one of the questions in the textbook was 'what was your first job?" I answered first - in a muffin bakery when I was 16 (before that I did babysitting though) and then asked the student what his/her first job was. 20-30 something year old students just looked at me blankly and said "but I've never had a job - I haven't graduated from my masters yet!" Major culture shock for me! Shocked No way is my daughter going to grow up that way. pale

and another funny thing is that they are the one's driving around in cars with the latest mobile, ipod etc..When I was a student it was bike or walking. I rarely got the bus because I would rather spend what little money i had on something else (like the launderette!)... but they were fun times and there was a certain satisfaction in being of independant means. Maybe this is why we English speakers leave home earlier...because it isn't such a big change...we just have to organise ourselves, we are already used to paying our way, cleaning up after ourselves, doing our own laundry and being answerable for our own actions, moving out is just a small step! Very Happy

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