Tagged as: parenting

Top 10 Books for Parent-Child Book Clubs with Tweens and Teens

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As the author of a book about mother-daughter book clubs, and as a parent who often read books with my daughter at home, I cannot speak highly enough about the transformative power of literature. My favorite part of sharing books with my daughter is having a discussion that begins with some aspect of the plot or the characters, and then watching it shift seamlessly to a discussion about something similar that is going on in her own life. Whether during our book club meetings or in private historically these were conversations that might otherwise have never arisen. In those magical moments, the awkwardness and resistance that often prevent kids from talking directly to their parents about things that really matter just melted away thanks to the distance a “fictional” story presented. Read more…

How to Diminish Darwinian Pecking Orders by Modeling Social Inclusion for Kids

 

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Do you remember being a little kid in your early years of school, sitting on the floor in a circle with your legs crossed? Maybe your teacher was reading a story or maybe you were singing a song and shaking maracas and tambourines. Sometimes a child would arrive late — late to school in the morning, or perhaps just returning from the nurse’s office or the bathroom. For some reason that child was not there when the circle formed, and as that child approaches — let’s call her Katie — the teacher says something.

“Ok everyone, scooch back a bit to make room in the circle for Katie.” Read more…

 

Let’s Skip The Post-Holiday Fat Talk

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‘Tis the season to bash our bodies in front of our daughters, talking obsessively about how many pounds we’ve gained over the holidays and the urgent need to shed them.

Weight loss is a common New Year’s resolution, and one that receives much public discussion. Here’s an idea: Let’s not do that. If we decide to diet and ramp up our exercise regime, we can just do it, but not talk about it around the house. Read more…

I’m a Mom Who Drinks, Swears and does Heroin. You Got a Problem with That?

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I gotta tell you ladies something for the good of your own souls, so listen up. There is no reason for you to worry about your parenting skills because if yerz truly can DO THIS MOTHERFUCKIN THING, so can you. There’s a bottle of wine with your name on it waiting for you at the end of the day. YOU’VE GOT THIS. Read more…

“Is My Child Gifted?” Sending Up a Flare from Lake Wobegon

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It’s been one of those weeks. I write to you with half a soul. The other half shriveled up and died while I was meeting with yet another client who could not stop talking about how gifted her child is. We once lived in a time when such conversations were in poor taste. These are not those times. The voice inside my head was screaming please, for the love of God, shut up. Her boasting was getting in the way of discussing other critical issues, like her child’s report card that included multiple comments regarding backtalk to teachers and bullying other kids. Read more…

Why We Should Talk to Our Kids About Class and Privilege

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I remember the very first, rather generic conversation I had with my daughter when she was in elementary school about how her life compared with the lives of other children on this planet. I drew a triangle for her and said, “The tippy-top point is where the richest and most fortunate people in the world are. There are very few of them. At the bottom of the pyramid is where the poorest people who struggle the most are, and there are a lot of them. Where do you think you are?” She pointed to the middle of the triangle. Ack! Where had I gone wrong? Read more…

New Collection Aims To Disrupt Gendered Fashions With Bold Suit Options For Girls

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There are lots of startups these days offering alternative clothing for children, but none that seek to bring to mainstream consumers the cool suit designs grabbing the media spotlight and making headlines today because they are being worn by female celebrities who are pushing the envelope. They push it because they can—because they have fame and money and influence, and because they are the ultimate trendsetters in our society. SUIT HER, a brand-new unique line of fun and diverse suits for girls aged 5 to 12, will kick open the door on gendered fashions and let in some fresh air so that girls who need bold options for expressing themselves can have them without paying celebrity prices or shopping in the boy’s department. Read more…

Going Offline: 10 Fabulous Books to Read With Your Kids This Summer

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In today’s world of ubiquitous personal and mobile screens, family time is becoming harder and harder to come by, and is often framed or fractured by children’s (and parents’) prioritization of digital socializing over the in-person relationships right there inside the home. Family book clubs are educational and are a great way to encourage reading, enhance parent-child bonding and provide enjoyable experiences for everyone offline. They can also serve as a very helpful tool for parents because sharing children’s and YA literature allows parents a side door into tricky conversations with their children about some of the challenging issues they face while growing up, such as cyberbullying or navigating early romantic relationships. Read more…

Why We Must Raise Children Who Care About the Welfare of Animals

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This image has haunted me for over a week now, since I first saw it in my Facebook newsfeed. I simply cannot get it out of my mind, and that’s arguably a good thing. Normally I scroll quickly past such disturbing photos. There seem to be more than enough of them on social media, documenting animal abuse in every imaginable form in every country on Earth. You could place them side-by-side along a 24,000-mile invisible thread that encircles the globe at the equator. Read more…

Here’s What It Would Look Like If We Treated Our Sons Like Our Daughters, From Birth Through College

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Come with me. Let’s open the door to a parallel universe. You unlock this door with a key of imagination, just like on The Twilight Zone.

Here in this parallel world, the rules are different because gender roles are flipped.

Loving parents and teachers accept this strange culture as if it’s not so bad, or perhaps even good. As if the reverse of this culture could exist only in the minds of fiction writers or lunatics.

As we travel together, let’s observe the childhood of one baby boy, born into this alternate reality, as seen through the eyes of his mother. Read more…

 

The Value of Boredom

Lori, age 10

When I was a child, my parents often ignored me. It’s not that they were unkind to me. It’s that they had full lives of their own and didn’t like playing Candy Land. They believed that you should open the door and say to children, Go out and play. They understood the value of boredom. My two younger brothers and I sincerely enjoyed each other’s company, and that’s a good thing, because we had a lot of it. Read more…

How Highly Gendered Toys Present an Exclusively Heterosexual Worldview to Children

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Today’s children are more likely to see two men or two women holding hands, more likely to have a friend or relative who is openly gay and more likely to have a schoolmate who has two moms or two dads. But when girls and boys walk into a toy store in 2015, they see a significantly more gendered, heteronormative arrangement and selection of toys than I did as a girl forty years ago! Toys, grouped by gender, are prescriptive of gender roles. It is not only a problem of limiting the ways to be a girl or a boy, as I have written about extensively. It is also a problem of promoting an exclusively heterosexual worldview. Read more…

The tyranny of the anecdote: Irrational fear of false rape accusations based on one-off stories trumpeted by media

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If you are the mother of a son and are worried that your son will be falsely accused of rape, your time would be much better spent worrying that your son will be fairly accused of rape, because the odds are far greater that he will actually be a rapist than be falsely identified as one. The low incidence of false rape claims is extremely similar to the low incidence of false reporting of all other crimes, such as mugging claims or identity theft claims, and we do not hear anyone thrashing and screaming about all the people unjustly ensnared by other people who lie about thievery, and the need to roll back the penalties for such crimes due to all the false reporting. No. Only the crime of rape is widely subjected to the tyranny of the anecdote. Read more…

An Educational Consultant’s View on Admissions & Learning Disabilities

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JS: Why do families seek out educational consultants?

LD: Every child deserves the most ideal academic and social environment in which to develop, learn and grow into adulthood. Finding the right school for a child is one of life’s most important decisions emotionally and financially. Families need help in navigating their many educational opportunities, a process that can be fun and rewarding, but for some families also challenging, overwhelming, frustrating, and stressful.

In most cases it is also quite time consuming, so having a consultant to guide parents (and students) and help them stay organized and punctual within the admissions process can make everything go more smoothly and relieve anxiety. Family harmony during multiple school applications is a common positive outcome of hiring an educational consultant! Parents seek an educational consultant for a number of other important reasons, as well. Read more…

If Our Sons Were Treated Like Our Daughters

WYSK

Come with me. Let’s open the door to a parallel universe. You unlock this door with a key of imagination, just like on The Twilight Zone. Here in this parallel world, the rules are different because gender roles are flipped. Loving parents and teachers accept this strange culture as if it’s not so bad, or perhaps even good. As if the reverse of this culture could exist only in the minds of fiction writers or lunatics.

As we travel together, let’s observe the childhood of one baby boy, born into this alternate reality, as seen through the eyes of his mother. Read more…

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