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Mad Poster
Original Poster
#1 Old 15th Mar 2019 at 1:28 AM
Default Alternative Parenting Strategies
The inspiration for this thread came from one of Florentzina's threads, which I always find fascinating, even though her playstyle is very different to mine.

With the exception of Pascal's and Vidcund's babies in Strangetown (they're called Titus and Andromeda ), all the babies born in my game to date have been born to married couples. After the birth, one has gone on working, and the other has stayed at home to look after the new arrival(s). There are single parent families in my game, but they are made in CAS, and the household invariably includes teens, who are just as capable of looking after themselves (and any younger siblings) as any adult. I make my single parents in CAS because I really don't want to play through a messy divorce, and I just cannot bring myself to kill Sims -- even for story purposes. Apart from Sims being widowed or divorced/separated, a Sim can of course become a single parent if a pregnancy results from a casual romantic relationship -- just the sort of relationship that my Romance Sims love!

From what his mother has told him, I understand that Andrew himself is the result of such a relationship -- Gloria's night of passion with a Scottish sailor whose ship was lying at anchor in the Downtown Creek. Of course, as I'm sure you've all heard before, Gloria is an excellent mother -- the best in the world according to Andrew. And I have to agree that Andrew, articulate and intelligent, really is a credit to her; the absence of a father in his life really hasn't held him back. But in some ways in the game, Gloria has had it easy. I'm sure Andrew must once have been a baby, and then a toddler, and then a child attending primary (or elementary) school. But I never saw it. Because I created him as a teen in CAS. So I just don't know how Gloria coped when he was younger, and couldn't be left unattended.

So, I'm thinking of building or finding a house, and moving a small group of women unto it. They'll be mainly Romance, but maybe one will be Pleasure. And they'll all be looking for woohoo -- without commitment. And at least some of them will have children. Now children in my game must be brought up in a loving home. (A codicil was added to my Sims' Constitution, saying that "Every child has the right to be loved".) So my idea is that they'll look after the children communally with some staying at home to look after the children while others go out to work to bring in money to buy things. It sounds ok to me in theory and I'd like to see how works out in practice.

Of course in theory such a commune could include men as well. But I think I'd like to make this first one all female, so that none of the children's fathers will be living there. Otherwise it might end up a bit too like an ordinary "nuclear" family. The fathers will (I hope) still be alive, and living elsewhere in the greater neighbourhood, so the children may have contact with them.

I know the "proper" Maxis answer would be to hire a nanny, but I fear my Sims have read too many horror stories about nannies on MTS to trust their offspring to an NPC nanny's tender care.

I'd like to hear what you all think of the idea. And I'm sure some other forum members must also have some less conventional "families" that they'd like to describe.

All Sims are beautiful -- even the ugly ones.
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#2 Old 15th Mar 2019 at 1:58 AM
That should work, the ones who stay home could tend the vegetable garden, sew, paint. Or you could have them all stay home and the children could be homeschooled. I do think though that all children benefit from a father figure, this is why they have big brother programs, for that male influence. In rl a girl learns how a man should treat her by being well treated by their father or other male role model and boys learn how to be men and also how to treat women by that same role model. This is why with dysfunctional families with bad role models kids grow up and often perpetuate the cycle of violence- bad role models in the formative years. So while Gloria was a single mother I would not rule out that she had a male friend or maybe a brother or a grandfather who was a role model to Andrew. I know you can't use the 'watch kids' mod as that needs AL coding but maybe one of Gloria's male relatives could move in or you could have a community lot where the kids can spend time with their dads. Can you use the visitor controller? You could set it up just for the kids and their dads as a fun hang out. Just some thoughts, it's a game so you set it up however you like.

"I dream of a better tomorrow, where chickens can cross the road and not be questioned about their motives." - Unknown
~Call me Jo~
Mad Poster
#3 Old 15th Mar 2019 at 2:53 AM
I do that a lot. One thing in MY "codicil" is that a child meets and is friends with is father. That means the mother must make friends with him, even if she doesn't care about him, or even dislikes him. I love seeing a toddler asking for attention from the daddy he just met, even if I have to make the mother "influence" the dad to do so. Even mean/crazy Vidcund or Beaker never refuse their children. And just as often, the father was just a townie I picked to be the baby-daddy.

Lab Assistant
#4 Old 15th Mar 2019 at 2:54 AM
Originally Posted by joandsarah77
This is why with dysfunctional families with bad role models kids grow up and often perpetuate the cycle of violence- bad role models in the formative years.

Jo quit making me put 2 and 2 together like this, I can't
Mad Poster
#5 Old 15th Mar 2019 at 4:37 AM
The fathers should be able to model male roles if allowed to visit regularly. In Depression Riverblossom, Faith and Herbert Goodie are fostering the son of one of Faith's old piano students, who got In Trouble as a teen and decided she couldn't handle Bill when he became a toddler, so dropped him off with their black Labrador, Shuck, for Faith and Herbert to raise. Since I did this by having her move in with Bill and Shuck and then turned her into a townie, she keeps walking by, and Faith would run out to meet her. Bill rolls wants for her when she's on the lot and they're surprisingly close for a mother who's little more than a child herself and the son she doesn't live with.

Possibly, with playable fathers, you might like to let the kids have overnight visits, moved in and out with the teleporter.

This sort of family works well for me. You might even want a larger family mod so as to get a really lively, chaotic household! Since you play with aging off for long periods, you needn't trouble yourself with directing children and toddlers to skill or interact. You can just track their needs so that the nearest big person can make sure they get enough food and sleep, and leave them to decide for themselves which toys they like, which other children they want to interact with, and what skills they get. You might as well get all the toddler skills taken care of, as having kids who can take themselves to the potty, walk around on their own, and talk to their creche mates and caretakers makes life easier and more interesting, and you may need to direct them to get to know their dads. Once they're children, you'll have to get them taught to study and direct them to keep up with homework, and of course take them on outings sometimes. But otherwise you can let them run wild and see who they grow up to be.

You will get to know these sims very well indeed, and may be surprised at which women are the most inclined to look after the others' children as well as their own. It's a shame your laptop can't handle Pets, as toddlers with cats and dogs are very happy toddlers, and children who are responsible for toddlers and animals learn important nurturing skills.

Look into mods like "children get bottles" that allow more interactions between children and little ones. In large families of any configuration, the children raise each other to a large extent, and the vanilla coding doesn't recognize this as well as it might.

Another possibility would be to have a retired old woman (or old man, if you decide you want a male role model in residence; you can always make him gay to forestall any romantic relationships arising with his tenants) rent rooms to single mothers and act as child minder during the day while they go out to work. There's a great deal to be said for having all the age stages involved in raising children!

Ugly is in the heart of the beholder.
(My simblr isSim Media Res . Widespot,Widespot RFD: The Subhood, and Land Grant University are all available here. In case you care.)
Forum Resident
#6 Old 15th Mar 2019 at 4:47 AM
I think it's a good way of doing things. There's likely always to be somebody who's happy to stay home, or if you have several adults they might even be able to all have jobs, if their hours and days off allow for somebody always to be home with the kids.

My PlantSims have a non-nuclear family structure, living in "Gardens" of loosely related individuals. The matriarch will produce a new PlantBaby as soon as the previous one grows up, so PlantBabies generally grow up in their mother's household, surrounded by brothers, uncles and cousins - the males move between Gardens according to where they're most needed - and occasionally an older sister who has not yet established a Garden of her own. The toddlers spend most of their time playing with toys or bopping along to music, but the adults will check on them between their own tasks, snuggle them and take care of any needs, so PlantBabies are raised by the whole community and never allowed to become unhappy. When a female moves out to become a matriarch with a Garden of her own, she may be accompanied by members of her mother's Garden or joined by whoever the older matriarchs think would be most useful to her - Daisy's daughter, Willow, has just moved out to establish a Garden and was accompanied by her Uncle Basil, who had been living with Rose.
Mad Poster
#7 Old 15th Mar 2019 at 9:12 AM
I am going to be exceptionally unimaginative here.

Nannies are actually very good with babies and kids - it is other things they are not so good with. Babies will be fed, put into beds, etc. - in my game, the nanny even helped to potty train the young Newsons.

While she may make food for the children, the game prevents her to serve it - so just make sure there are leftovers in the fridge for them to get out.

In a bigger household, a nanny will only be there while the sim who hired her is at work - no matter whose child needs looking after. That means that you can pick the one with the shortest/most regular hours and have her hire the nanny. She will turn up until there is no baby/child to look after (but not for teens).

You need to hire her before the parent goes back to work - or she will be late/turn up the next day. Best thing is to hire her right after the birth.

Adding or creating an extra sim to take care of the kids means that you will have to look after that Sim's needs as well, or he/she will often go into aspiration failure.

I rely on nannies in my game; my families don't often have maids and gardeners, but they usually get a nanny, even if it is only for a shift once in a while. Even a stay-at-home parent needs a break and a night out once in a while.

Some of my Sims have been lifelong friends with their nanny and once in a while I allow them to invite her to a party or a wedding At least one nanny in my game has helped to raise 3 generations of Gavigan kids.

And if she turns out to be a big problem - just fire her.
Mad Poster
#8 Old 15th Mar 2019 at 10:51 AM
Do be careful with the number of children though. Too many will result in a lot of stress, because the parents won't have time to do anything fun.
Mad Poster
#9 Old 15th Mar 2019 at 5:27 PM
Here's the deal with the nannies.

The game generates three of them: The Good Nanny, the Adequate Nanny, and the Bad Nanny. Due to the way the randomizer works, different people tend to get one of these nannies more often than others and their ideas of how nannies behave tend to be based on that. JustPetro, clearly, gets the Good Nanny more often than a lot of us do.

JustPetro also utilizes the nanny wisely and moderates her expectations. A lot of people tend to overwork the nanny or expect too much of them. A Good Nanny left alone with twin toddlers and two babies for eight hours is going to have as big a breakdown as a Bad Nanny - or as a lone playable in the same situation. She's an elderly woman, not a superhero! The Good Nanny will sometimes potty train, an Adequate Nanny changes a lot of diapers but will sometimes empty the potty, and the Bad Nanny will ignore a screaming toddler in order to watch TV or get out an endless string of bottles for a baby who's already full and just wants to sleep. Also, they are there to take care of the children, not to fix the exploding sink!

Like all uncontrolled sims, the nannies are limited by the randomizer, and may possibly be subject to the training mechanism. (I have no way to know whether NPCs are set up to use the SWAF in the same way playables are.) They get stuck in loops, go into motive failure, and react to advertising much like other sims. Since the changing table is broken and the code for recognizing a baby's needs is inadequate for playables, you have to expect a certain number of frustrating experiences with nannies in that regard. A nanny is also no more able to move a teddy bear or a baby out from in front of the refrigerator or the foot of the stairs without direction than any other sim. If you intend to rely on nannies heavily, you need to understand all this and plan your house around their limitations. You as player should also be prepared to intervene occasionally - to force an error on a nanny stuck in a loop, to use move_objects to move an obstacle, to direct a toddler or child to take action either directly or by using Influence on the nanny or a passing walkby.

Andrew can't use Get Leftovers, because that's a Seasons feature; but he can make sure the kids have a toy oven. I don't remember in what EP "call to meal" became a feature, but I've had success with using it on those frustratingly inaccessible nanny-made meals (hasn't somebody modded that? Somebody should mod that.) in order to get a visiting teen or adult to serve it so the kids can have some.

And of course if your primary use of the nanny is as a babysitter while the adults get a break for a date or an outing, none of this matters because the nanny is only there long enough for the date to take place. Even the Bad Nanny is good enough for that!

Ugly is in the heart of the beholder.
(My simblr isSim Media Res . Widespot,Widespot RFD: The Subhood, and Land Grant University are all available here. In case you care.)
#10 Old 15th Mar 2019 at 6:48 PM
Also Pescado hacked the nanny coding, and this effects nannies on initialization.
A lot of us who have good nannies have that hack.

I recollect that originally nannies did in fact serve the meals they made, I think that was broken with an EP. The main purpose of nannies, however, is to keep the social worker away. Even if she does a lousy job of caring for the kids, the social worker won't come get them (unless your child is flunking).

Pics from my game: Sunbee's Simblr Sunbee's Livejournal
"English is a marvelous edged weapon if you know how to wield it." C.J. Cherryh
Mad Poster
#11 Old 15th Mar 2019 at 7:12 PM Last edited by Justpetro : 15th Mar 2019 at 8:22 PM.
Peni, I do get the bad nanny - she is still gold to me when it comes to the bigger picture

Edit : I remembered that I have, at times, just let a parent serve gelatin - before leftovers - it lasts long enough for the kids to eat it the next day.
#12 Old 15th Mar 2019 at 8:25 PM
Originally Posted by Peni Griffin
Here's the deal with the nannies.

The game generates three of them: The Good Nanny, the Adequate Nanny, and the Bad Nanny. Due to the way the randomizer works, different people tend to get one of these nannies more often than others and their ideas of how nannies behave tend to be based on that.

That's pretty interesting! I've had fairly good luck with nannies. They're usually decent at caring for the kids, seeing to their needs and interacting with them, and even occasionally cleaning if they have nothing else to do. They more often get fired for deciding to annoy their adult employers than because they're bad with the kids! As you say, it's necessary to understand their limitations but they can be worked around. I don't use Pescado's nanny mod, though I do have quite a cocktail of logic tweaking mods so some of them might be making my nannies more efficient/tolerable.

I usually don't have my nannies tend to babies unless I absolutely must. My parents will use their parental leave to stay home until the kid ages up to toddlerhood. With a toddler, I can mostly direct them as needed to play or sleep (or potty once trained). About the only thing I need to consistently watch is to turn the fridge around once the nanny has fetched a bowl of food from it for a toddler in a high chair. If I don't, she'll turn around and fetch a bottle after a second or two delay. The programmers apparently didn't give her enough time to wait and process whether the child was eating. Though this can be handy if she's tending to twins, because the other one currently not in the chair can just have the bottle.

I did notice the issue with the nanny cooking but not serving food and being frustrated because the child she was minding couldn't serve it themselves. But that's changed at some point, as now my nannies seem to be able to serve the meals they cook. I didn't get any fixes for that specifically, though I suspect Cyjon's Smarter Food Serving may have done so. The downside is that occasionally the nanny might try to eat a serving, if it hasn't been claimed.

All that said, not all of my sims use nannies (or butlers). I've had a mix of family types who mind their children in different ways. Sometimes a parent is a stay at home one, sometimes the parents switch off who stays home (usually just whoever has that day or time off normally), sometimes it's down to older siblings or relatives or housemates. I've even had fosters and children's homes. About the only thing I haven't tried yet is a daycare center set-up.
#13 Old 15th Mar 2019 at 8:37 PM Last edited by Sunrader : 16th Mar 2019 at 1:09 PM.
I use a cocktail of mods to make Sims better parents and raise them around people who have good relationships with them. That might be the parents or not, sometimes extended family, sometimes a "village" in an apartment complex, sometimes a nanny. Everyone is a good parent with the mods to help. The Ottomai (Samantha, Doug (Peter, in my game, is Doug), David, and Sharla) are currently cooperating to raise their five infants (none of the infants have both parents in the house) that I'm finally letting age into toddlers after many real life months. Bruce Rauscher has 7 teens living with him, some are his, some are the kids of his former lovers who ended up there. Tommy Ottomas is one of them. My women tend to be very free-spirited, and for some reason, I very rarely actually have sims marry, but I don't have ACR and use nojealousyatall, so everyone's pretty happy with everyone. Polyamory is the norm. I had a female commune I built before apartment life. Worked great.
Field Researcher
#14 Old 16th Mar 2019 at 5:29 AM
I recently started a commune in my hood. Mine has men and women, and they live off the land, so it's a little different because they don't have off-world jobs, but most of it still applies.

-Plan chores so they're not all running around trying to do everything. In mine, I have one sim who cooks and cleans, another who watches the babies and toddlers, then the other adults do the work. And of course, flexibility for all, so someone else can jump in as needed. The more adults, the easier it is.

-In my polyamorous commune, everyone just pitches in to help raise the children and develops a relationship with them, not just their parents. It's anything but a nuclear family. And the kids all grow up together like siblings, even if there's no relation. If their biological father doesn't want to be as involved as another person, who cares? Kids just need love and support. I think it's cute when one of the men without kids helps a toddler learn to walk.

-Since you're going for the all-female route- try not to have everyone pregnant at once. You might think it'll be cute. It's less cute when all the adults are too tired and hungry to function.
Mad Poster
#15 Old 16th Mar 2019 at 11:06 AM
There is a mod that makes sims take leftovers out of the fridge instead of serving a meal and it works on nannies. Mine is just called leftover-hack2, which isn't helpful, sorry.
Top Secret Researcher
#16 Old 16th Mar 2019 at 5:40 PM
The get leftover mod I have is a very old one by Dizzy. I got the Collection of Dizzy's mods from SIm Asylum (a few years ago). If you have that collection or can get it the mod is in the anthology2 zip and is called (I believe this one's it) have-a-leftover1c-serve.package
Undead Molten Llama
#17 Old 16th Mar 2019 at 6:18 PM
I did a completely awful "Amazon" scenario once. It was a small female-only neighborhood. They'd reproduce by once-in-a-while capturing males from "outside." (Meaning, I'd make a few adult males in CAS, the number determined by a random number generator, which would "decide" how successful the hunt was.) The captives were kept on one "holding pen" lot, and the adult members of the clan would *ahem* visit. (Via the Sim Blender, at the time, by teleporting then temporarily adding them to the household. Now, I'd do it with the transport mirror, which is easier because it's one step, but I didn't know about that object when I did this.) There'd be a ton of woohoo for a while and once there were enough pregnancies to sustain the population...then the males were killed. (So, they had brief, exhausting, but kinda fun existences. ) But we won't mention what happened to all the boy babies that resulted. *cough*

So, yeah, completely awful (for males, but believe me I've done awful things to females in other scenarios, so I'm equal-opportunity awful) but fun to play. But my point is that the girl-children were all raised communally. No one (except the game, of course) knew or cared who their father was because they were all dead, and all the girls were equal members of the clan. Heck, everyone in the clan had the same surname, even, and every member of each creche was given sibling flags with all the others in the same creche, regardless of who their genetic parents were. As babies/toddlers, the youngest generation were all kept on a creche lot, and there were certain of the women who were more maternal than others, so they cared for them all. That was their only job in the community. Other women were assigned other necessary tasks, like growing crops and tending livestock or making stuff or whatever. Then, once the latest brood were child-age, they were distributed amongst the other lots in the neighborhood to do whatever job fate (AKA the random number generator) assigned them. (There was no school, as this was a sort of primitive -- though not "historical" -- society, so learning and skilling wasn't important, beyond learning whatever function in society a particular individual would serve.) When there was a die-off, then more males would be "captured," and the cycle would start again.

As for nannies...I don't use them often. I prefer playable nannies. They're playable Sims that I give the custom NPC Child Care career. (And if there isn't a Sim with that job in the neighborhood yet, then there are no childcare services available in that neighborhood, so parents have to make other arrangements.) But when there is a "nanny" and I'm not playing their lot, they get transport-mirror'ed to other households when they're needed and then paid and transported back to their own household when they're done for the day. (And when they are being played, then they just go to work as usual, since they have a job.) But when they are working in someone else's household, they're fully-playable Sims that I can command to do whatever needs to be done, and I don't have to deal with the game's nanny AI or screwing around modding nannies and all that. The only thing I might have to deal with is giving them days back in their life, if they're working on someone else's lot when 6PM rolls around, since they become members of that household when they're working. But that's easily done with an Insimenator object.

I'm mostly found on (and mostly upload to) Tumblr these days because, alas, there are only 24 hours in a day.
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#18 Old 16th Mar 2019 at 10:01 PM
Another very simple solution is to put your adult in a career level with fewer working days. (Natural Science has the fewest at the top, just one, but do you have that? It's a Uni career, you'd need a grad.) Then you get your adult pregnant when she has several days off to stay home while the baby is a child and toddler, plus the maternity leave.
Or, possibly, since you play with aging off, use a hack to add vacation days.
Or have the parent save enough money to quit and stay home while the child is little. Which is probably what Gloria did, if you think about it: didn't she start at a level one job when Andrew was a teen? She probably had enough savings (and maybe some welfare or life insurance or something) to quit when he was born and start working again when he reached high school.

Pics from my game: Sunbee's Simblr Sunbee's Livejournal
"English is a marvelous edged weapon if you know how to wield it." C.J. Cherryh
Field Researcher
#19 Old 17th Mar 2019 at 5:59 AM
I have a sim in the intelligence career who hasn't had to go to work in 3 weeks- with pay. I planned her pregnancy around her work days. She was pregnant during her work days, then had 4 days off, then used her maternity leave days for the 3 working days, then was off another 4 days and got pregnant again the day before she was to return to work and it all started over. She's now at home with the second baby, and probably won't have to go back to work until he's started school.
Mad Poster
Original Poster
#20 Old 18th Mar 2019 at 12:07 AM
Thanks for all your comments and suggestions. I'll try to post a proper reply to them all soon, but I'm afraid that tonight I am too tired and have too much to do. But I can tell you that a commune of sorts has started. Steffi Hentze and Freya Hall have moved into a house (built by Jones & Moltke) in Monopolis and are now on the lookout for attractive men to woohoo with. Here they are at the Strand Shops in Monopolis, where they both found jobs in the fashion trade:
I don't know what Freya's sour face is for: I think she may have been itchy and had to scratch herself.

All Sims are beautiful -- even the ugly ones.
My Simblr ~~ My LJ
Sims' lives matter!
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