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Rarely is the question asked: is our kids competing?

"We sort our kids. We rate them. We chart them, and we measure their progress against the rest of the country and pray that they come out on the high end of the curve. And frankly, it's all horseshit. Every last bit of it. The competition industry is crushing us all." Drew Magary, at Deadspin, unloads on the idea that "these kids today" are little ninnies made soft by participation trophies and unscored soccer games. [more inside]
posted by escabeche on Jul 16, 2014 - 49 comments

What we talk about when we talk about sex (with kids)

What if we admitted to children that sex is primarily about pleasure?
I realized why my son was confused. He was thinking “accidentally getting pregnant” was like accidentally burning yourself because you didn’t realize the stove was on. “Sweetie,” I explained, “most of the time that people have sex, they’re not having it to have a baby. They’re having it because it feels good. So you can get accidentally pregnant if you’re having sex for pleasure and you don’t use effective birth control.”
The consequences of talking honestly with children about sex, by Alice Dreger. [more inside]
posted by medusa on Jun 2, 2014 - 107 comments

You know, for kids!

Not everyone agrees on the best methods for raising kids. That becomes apparent when you examine the results from the 2010-2014 World Values Survey — 82,000 adults across 54 countries were surveyed to gain a better understanding of what they consider most important when raising a child, whether or not they were parents themselves. PBS NewsHour has an interactive quiz you can take to show which country has values closest to yours as well as a widget to compare the values of any two countries. You can see all the data in this google docs spreadsheet.
posted by Room 641-A on May 16, 2014 - 91 comments

Locking up your treasures

The Overprotected Kid
A preoccupation with safety has stripped childhood of independence, risk-taking, and discovery—without making it safer. A new kind of playground points to a better solution.
posted by Joe in Australia on Mar 20, 2014 - 176 comments

Noise for kids

My favorite new tumblr: Experimental Music On Children's TV.
posted by naju on Feb 23, 2014 - 22 comments

One Weird Old Trick to Undermine the Patriarchy

"Bilbo, it turns out, makes a terrific heroine. She’s tough, resourceful, humble, funny, and uses her wits to make off with a spectacular piece of jewelry. Perhaps most importantly, she never makes an issue of her gender—and neither does anyone else."
posted by Jacqueline on Dec 29, 2013 - 90 comments

“People don’t go nowhere in Brooklyn”

The number of homeless New Yorkers in shelters has risen by more than 69 percent since 2002, when Mayor Bloomberg took office. Each night as many as 60,000 people -- including more than 22,000 children, the highest number since the Great Depression, -- experience homelessness in NYC, and during the course of each year, more than 111,000 different homeless New Yorkers, including more than 40,000 children, will sleep in the city's municipal shelter system. Meet Dasani, one of the city's 'invisible children.' [more inside]
posted by zarq on Dec 9, 2013 - 112 comments

You have to realize: you're a little speck. NO ONE CARES WHAT YOU THINK.

Kids react to gay marriage.
posted by Rory Marinich on Nov 4, 2013 - 51 comments

Potty narrative, by three-year-old

Apple. Poutine. Cheesestring. Pickle chips. Peanut butter and raisins….
posted by mudpuppie on Oct 14, 2013 - 33 comments

Nailed it.

Highschool kids cover Tool's "Forty Six & 2" (SLYT) [more inside]
posted by Kadin2048 on Sep 25, 2013 - 47 comments

Sage parenting advice on YouTube

Dad gets his adorable daughter to stop fake-crying
posted by desjardins on Aug 24, 2013 - 55 comments

The Monster of Colors Doesn't Have a Mouth

"One day I dreamed that my parents, my brothers and I went to visit three islands and I jumped into the water without protection," she wrote in her diary. "I felt like I could be in the water and not drown. I was curious and I swam into the deep water and then I saw my skeleton with my name written on it." Roger Omar collects children's dreams, and asks artists to illustrate them. [more inside]
posted by taz on Jun 9, 2013 - 18 comments

"We are not toys. We are not going down without a fight."

Third-grader Asean Johnson schools Rahm Emmanuel on the mayor's plan for Chicago's public schools. (YT) [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A on May 25, 2013 - 37 comments

Kids As Role Models

Kids photographed as famous role models - White women and African-Americans.
posted by divabat on May 12, 2013 - 34 comments

Without fear or favor, kids say the darnedest things

First, Art Linkletter chatted with the honest little scamps, then Bill Cosby talked with kids these days. They probably won't get a TV or radio show, but parents on Reddit shared the creepy things their kids have said or done.
posted by filthy light thief on Apr 30, 2013 - 57 comments

Let's go, Maa-at, let's go!

This is awesome, and may indeed restore at least a little faith in humanity...
posted by SLC Mom on Apr 24, 2013 - 12 comments

The Day Care Dilemma

"Trusting your child with someone else is one of the hardest things that a parent has to do — and in the United States, it’s harder still, because American day care is a mess. About 8.2 million kids—about 40 percent of children under five — spend at least part of their week in the care of somebody other than a parent. Most of them are in centers, although a sizable minority attend home day cares.... In other countries, such services are subsidized and well-regulated. In the United States, despite the fact that work and family life has changed profoundly in recent decades, we lack anything resembling an actual child care system. Excellent day cares are available, of course, if you have the money to pay for them and the luck to secure a spot. But the overall quality is wildly uneven and barely monitored, and at the lower end, it’s Dickensian."
posted by zarq on Apr 15, 2013 - 139 comments

Gambling For Kids: A How To Guide

Gambling For Kids: A How To Guide - a discussion of claw games, Panini sticker books, and in-app purchases in free-to-play games for kids.
posted by Artw on Sep 16, 2012 - 22 comments

College Bound

Over the past few weeks, I, along with ten of my closest friends, have taken turns saying our goodbyes to our college bound kids. For some of us, this was a virgin voyage; for others, it was the beginning of an empty nest. [more inside]
posted by Foci for Analysis on Aug 21, 2012 - 44 comments

The story is about a very very hairy eagle who hangs out with fancy ladies.

"This is about a girl that goes mining. I don’t know why, but she looks like she would go mining, mining for gold. " Judging a Book by its Cover: A 6-Year-Old Guesses What Classic Novels are All About.
posted by Navelgazer on Jul 19, 2012 - 89 comments

I think I no how to make people or animals alive.

In June of 1973, spurred on by the recent discovery of a dying bird in his garden, 9-year-old Anthony Hollander wrote to the presenters of Blue Peter — the BBC's much-loved children's television show — and asked for assistance in his quest to "make people or animals alive."
posted by T.D. Strange on Jul 1, 2012 - 21 comments

It happens three times in every life. Or twice. Or once.

Two Little Girls Describe The Worst Haircut Ever (SLAudio)
posted by gauche on Jun 27, 2012 - 30 comments

From Days of Long Ago...

"From days of long ago... from uncharted regions of the universe, comes a legend: the legend of Voltron, Defender of the Universe!" [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 2, 2012 - 30 comments

“Digitize Her!”

Earth, 2147. The legacy of the Metal Wars, where man fought machines—and machines won. Bio-Dreads — monstrous creations that hunt down human survivors... and digitize them!
In 1987, before he created Babylon 5, J. Michael Straczynski was a writer for Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future, a live-action sci-fi show for kids. 24 episodes were produced. Straczynski wrote or co-wrote 14 of them, including multi-episode plot arcs. A line of interactive toys brought the battle into kids’ living rooms, and Captain Power was also one of the very first shows on television to feature computer animation in every episode. But in an attempt to appeal to both children and the adults who watched with them, the campy show included some concepts and scenes critics deemed too violent for children and lasted only a single season in syndication. The full run of the show has now been uploaded to Youtube. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 1, 2012 - 28 comments

Critical thinking for kids

A series of short animations explaining critical thinking. Created for children and pretty good for adults too.
posted by latkes on Mar 11, 2012 - 27 comments

Battle hymn of the frog mother

Last year it was Amy Chua, Tiger Mother (previously on mefi). This year, Paula Druckerman has written Bringing Up Bebe: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting, inspired by a trip to a coastal town when her daughter had temper tantrums and French parents didn't. French kids eat the same food as their parents, and aren't constantly snacking. And "when French friends visited [...] the grownups had coffee and the children played happily by themselves." It's about patience -- let the kids cry it out a bit, let them learn how to play alone instead of hovering. And perhaps obsess a little less -- the French don't even obsessively buy books about how to parent. Wall Street Journal article, and video interview by WSJ's Gary Rosen.
posted by madcaptenor on Feb 4, 2012 - 128 comments

Present Tense!

First recorded 50 years ago, Peter Paul and Mary's Puff the Magic Dragon has a rather sad ending: Puff 'sadly slips into his cave' while little Jackie Paper grows up and puts his childhood behind him. But in 2007, Peter Yarrow published a book, Puff, the Magic Dragon, in which the classic song remains the same, but whose illustrations give us a new glimpse into Puff's future. Here is Mr. Yarrow, performing the song with his daughter Bethany at Woodstock's Bearsville Theatre, in '07. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jan 27, 2012 - 49 comments

For the sad old earth wants plenty of mirth. And ballsiness.

"One jar contained chilli powder, the other turmeric. But in the dark, the girl from Odisha couldn't see which jar had the chilli powder. So she mixed both the powders, carried it to the bedroom and threw it into the eyes of five thieves brutally beating up his [sic] parents." The (Indian) Daily Mail write about the 24 child winners of the National Bravery Awards.
posted by Diablevert on Jan 18, 2012 - 32 comments

"Oh my gosh"

Flour Children (SLYT) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Nov 22, 2011 - 80 comments

God puts all the pictures on the internet, even the bad ones, as he loves all of us, even the bad people

Something Awful Forums has an active thread where adults draw kids conceptions, mostly about animals. Some of them are cute, others are gloriously bizarre. Also in the same vein: Axe Cop [Previously].
posted by mccarty.tim on Oct 14, 2011 - 18 comments

"Each day we do another one — at least one."

Patients at Seattle Children’s Hospital are finding messages written to them in huge letters when they look outside their windows. The Ironworkers Local 86 crew assembling the frame of the hospital's new seven-story expansion building next door have been spray-painting greetings to them on the steel beams. "The new building’s skeleton is alive" with more than 50 names: "greetings to Kitty, Colby, Kyle and Istvan. To Violet, Seth, Josh and Austin. To Rachel, Adam, Gillie-Jane and Christofer." Photo Gallery. Local television news segment. (Via)
posted by zarq on Oct 8, 2011 - 27 comments

Tales for Little Rebels

Was your favorite childhood book written by a radical lefty? Scholars reveal the socialist history of 20th century American children's literature. Discover the myriad connections between midcentury American socialism and Crockett Johnson (Harold and the Purple Crayon), Syd Hoff (Danny and the Dinosaur), and the authors of many of the Little Golden Books and I Can Read Books.
posted by Miko on Sep 20, 2011 - 55 comments

Baby swimming

Sure a baby has a swimming reflex but that doesn't mean watching them swim isn't absolutely terrifying.
posted by Foci for Analysis on Aug 27, 2011 - 63 comments

iPadGate

Marissa is an adorable toddler with a rare and terrible medical problem: West Syndrome, a.k.a. infantile spasms. Her father Mike has been active in the online Special Needs community, chronicling her story for years now at his blog Marissa's Bunny. Last year, his readers raised almost $30,000 through a ChipIn fundraiser to offset the costs of Marissa's neurosurgery. As a sort of 'thank you', and with the help of matching funds from his employers, Mike offered to give away and/or raffle 40 iPads to the special needs kids of his blogger friends, to be used as assistive technology devices for many of their non-verbal kids. This follows on the heels of several other iPad raffles he's held in the past year.

Guess what happened next. The Special Needs Parenting blog community is on the case: Ellen Seidman (and her commenters), Rob Rummel-Hudson, Sarah and Joyce Hely, Shannon Des Roches Rosa and others are putting together the pieces right now.
(previously on MetaFilter: the unravelings of Kaycee Nicole, JT LeRoy, Kodee Kennings, Alexa DiCarlo, and Amina Arraf)
posted by Asparagirl on Jul 18, 2011 - 183 comments

"If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate." - Henry J. Tillman

Kids who spot bullshit, and the adults who get upset about it.
posted by Fizz on Jun 4, 2011 - 144 comments

Golden Age

Zap! Pow! Comics are for kids!
posted by Artw on Jun 1, 2011 - 12 comments

I'm 4 years old. AMAA.

Q: what is best in life? A: Eating cake. I mean spending time with my family.
A gosh darn cute Reddit AMAA featuring a 4-year-old.
posted by Foci for Analysis on Mar 5, 2011 - 41 comments

"... GPA 1.22 … honk if I need (an) education."

When her son refused to do his school work, his mom had him stand out on a busy street corner with a sandwich board trumpeting his 1.22 GPA. [more inside]
posted by reenum on Feb 18, 2011 - 128 comments

Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior

"A lot of people wonder how Chinese parents raise such stereotypically successful kids. They wonder what these parents do to produce so many math whizzes and music prodigies, what it's like inside the family, and whether they could do it too. Well, I can tell them, because I've done it." [more inside]
posted by typewriter on Jan 9, 2011 - 407 comments

Down the stairs and to the right.

25 years of Christmas Dad tapes his kids reacting to Christmas for twenty-five years and edits it together into a single video. (via)
posted by The Whelk on Dec 26, 2010 - 59 comments

No more jumpers for goalposts

But street football doesn't really exist any more, Cooper admits. "Many children have never played outside. And in some cases their parents haven't either." He cites a 2009 survey by the charity Living Streets which found that only half of five- to 10-year-olds had ever played in their street, whereas nine of out 10 of their grandparents had. How the increasing professionalisation of soccer at all levels in the UK has led to the death of park and street footie for ordinary kids.
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Dec 19, 2010 - 24 comments

Rrrraaaaaaarrw!

Aaron's World - a kids podcast about dinosaurs, by a kid.
posted by Artw on Dec 10, 2010 - 3 comments

Beyond the scary Christmas list

The cost of raising a child from cradle to 18 has risen to $222,000. Chiefly among the reasons is parents' desire to "cultivate" their children.
posted by reenum on Dec 6, 2010 - 122 comments

Any excuse to have something weird as my profile picture is a good excuse.

Have you noticed the cartoon characters overtaking Facebook? Well, you're not alone because the national media sure has. This new Facebook meme is supposedly all about raising awareness for child abuse. But is this meme really accomplishing anything? Maybe not. And for good measure, some links for those who would REALLY like to help.
posted by SkylitDrawl on Dec 5, 2010 - 201 comments

Teen Mathletes Do Battle at Algorithm Olympics

In today's example of kids smarter than you and I, Wired follows the exploits of two teens competing at the International Olympiad in Informatics.
posted by reenum on Dec 2, 2010 - 14 comments

Keeping up with the Joneses

The Bateses of Tennessee are just behind the Duggars of Arkansas. Not even close to the 18th century Vassilyevs though.
posted by vidur on Nov 9, 2010 - 68 comments

What Do I Do With Those Damn Anime Kids?

Cartoonist and former high school teacher Sean Michael Robinson (flickr) on what to do with those darn anime kids.
posted by Artw on Oct 14, 2010 - 20 comments

Things that are hard about not moving to Bolivia

I am thirty three years old and have not once seriously considered moving to Bolivia. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Oct 12, 2010 - 144 comments

"Do you feel good about yourself?"

Smarties Australia paired 8 kids up with 8 artists to create art based on each Smarties colour. Here's orange video art, a song about moonwalking under the deep blue sea, the spoken word saga of a disco karaoke'ing duck, an upside-down red pop art world, The Pink Moon, photos of the purple Filecian dancers, a green tree sculpture, and the dance of insects burrowing through brown earth.
posted by divabat on Aug 29, 2010 - 28 comments

The kids are alright .. in the freezer

A D.C. couple wants children, but not now, and are worried about infertility creeping up on them as they get deeper into their thirties. They came up with a novel solution -- donating frozen embryos to their future selves. The procedure is not uncommon for couples with fertility problems; will it become a popular insurance option for young couples who just aren't ready for kids? They might want to think about what to do if they have more embryos than they want. Or what happens if they get divorced.
posted by escabeche on Jul 6, 2010 - 45 comments

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