What Should A 4-Year-Old Know? "She should know how to laugh, act silly, be goofy and use her imagination. She should know that it is always OK to paint the sky orange and give cats six legs. He should know his own interests and be encouraged to follow them. If he couldn't care less about learning his numbers, his parents should realize he'll learn them accidentally soon enough and let him immerse himself instead in rocket ships, drawing, dinosaurs or playing in the mud." (ht sonika on FB for this)
"My dog bit my child" A thoughtful post from blogger Lola the Pitty with excellent tips on how to monitor play and help kids to successfully interact with family pets. [more inside]
A woman wonders how she will teach her daughter about sex in an essay titled How I Learned About Sex.
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.
The Bateses of Tennessee are just behind the Duggars of Arkansas. Not even close to the 18th century Vassilyevs though.
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.
"Yes, I have four children. Four children with whom I spend a good part of every day: bathing them, combing their hair, sitting with them while they do their homework, holding them while they weep their tragic tears. But I'm not in love with any of them. I am in love with my husband."
Generations of Hope is a non-profit set up to bring kids out of foster care and into extended families with grandparents. The community of Hope Meadows was repurposed from housing on a closed Air Force base in Illinois. (The NYT article erroneously refers to the community by the non-profit's name. No matter. The story is still inspirational.) [more inside]
"All families in OECD countries today are aware that childhood is being reshaped by forces whose mainspring is not necessarily the best interests of the child."
How does your country measure up as a place to raise kids? It turns out that growing up in the UK is a bleaker experience than in any other wealthy country. UNICEF studied all the wealthiest nations (full report PDF here), and the US and UK came in at the bottom on almost all indicators (material wellbeing, health and safety, education, family and peer relationships, behaviours and risks, and the subjective feelings of kids and teens themselves ). Doing best for kids were the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark and Finland. It turns out that GDP and material wealth alone does not ensure healthier or happier or more well-educated kids--the Czech Republic scored very well despite being one of the poorest nations surveyed.