AV Club has recently completed a series of articles on kids shows that parents won't hate: The Pre-K Years, K-1st Grade, 2nd-3rd Grade and, finally, 8 kids shows to avoid at all costs.
In December, the Meitiv family, advocates of "free-range" parenting, were investigated for allowing their children to walk home from a park in Silver Spring, MD (previously). Yesterday, they again allowed their children to play in a nearby park. When the 6- and 10-year-old kids didn't arrive home at 6 pm as planned, their parents went looking for them. Two hours later, they received a call from Child Protective Services, who taken custody of the children after "a concerned resident" notified the police. Additional reporting and commentary from Washington Post columnist Petula Dvorak.
It was a one-mile walk home from a Silver Spring park on Georgia Avenue on a Saturday afternoon. But what the parents saw as a moment of independence for their 10-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter, they say authorities viewed much differently. [more inside]
Having parents who go the extra mile to show their support can make a big difference. German Ad Doesn't Need Words To Speak Volumes About Supporting Your Kids (Huffington Post) and original ad on Youtube, Sag es mit deinem Projekt (Hornbach). [more inside]
Joanna Goddard has been interviewing American women raising their children in other countries, to hear how motherhood around the world compared and contrasted with motherhood in America. She's talked to parents in Norway, Japan, Congo, Northern Ireland, Mexico, Abu Dhabi, India, England, China, Germany, Australia, Turkey, and Chile. [more inside]
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)
A PSA by St John Ambulance illustrates the cost of overprotective parenting. [SLYT]
"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]
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]
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.
"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."
The Finnish welfare state gives every parent a box for their child. While so many politicians gnash their teeth and "think of the children", while cutting benefits or ignoring the massive number of kids dying from firearms, the Finns give every expectant parent a box. The box contains everything a parent needs to get started, including the box to sleep in (with a little mattress), and has been credited by public health officials with massively reducing infant mortality.
"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."
I don’t like the feeling of disappointing my kids. But I refuse to give into this holiday overkill. I’m overwhelmed enough as it is. Today I gave all of my kids a bath. We read with each of them for the recommended 20 minutes. We reviewed our Math Facts. We practiced guitar. We sat together at the table and ate a meal that was NOT procured at a drive-thru. We played outside. Most days, I’m struggling to achieve all these things. I can’t have these haphazard, once-monthly overblown holidays take over my life.One mom talks about "bringing the holidays down a notch," 'cause ain't nobody got time for that.
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]
"Look mom. I can tell from the way you haven’t looked me in the eye since fetching me from my crib well before dawn that you’re upset about last night. Waking up every 45 minutes to 1.5 hours isn’t easy for me either. In my defense, my blanket really did keep coming off, I was thirsty, and…I can’t remember the other reasons, but I’m sure they were equally valid." The Honest Toddler is blogging about his experiences as a child, from helping mommy get potty trained to his view of one-year-olds to organizing the 34th Annual Toddler Unification Conference. His "The Truth About Car Sleep" is particularly brilliant. He also dispenses his wisdom via twitter.
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.
A woman wonders how she will teach her daughter about sex in an essay titled How I Learned About Sex.
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]
"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]
The Bateses of Tennessee are just behind the Duggars of Arkansas. Not even close to the 18th century Vassilyevs though.
Deep Grief: Creating Meaning From Mourning (Article from NPR.) How some parents have channeled their grief over the loss of their children into memorial efforts that provide for others. [more inside]
“She’s just so pretty. She’s just so...blond.’ A friend said, ‘I heard that Jaycee Dugard story and I thought of your daughter.’ And they say, ‘I’d never do that with my kid: I wouldn’t trust my kid with the street.’”
Thinking about becoming a parent? You might find the US Consumer Product Safety Commission's list of recalled items fun! It looks like there's just under a zillion things out there that might harm your new tot. And that doesn't include ... y'know ... toys.
In 1977, Nolan Bushnell allowed Gene Landrum to bring Chuck E. Cheese [yt] to life as a family-friendly access point to Atari games. This, perhaps, explains the pizza. [more inside]
Kids at school in nappies. Another report claims the average age of toilet-training is now 3 or 4, compared to the former norm of 18 months. Teachers don't want to change diapers; parents say they don't have time to toilet-train. Is our future a continuum of diapers to Depends?
Just fill the catapult with one or more cupids, pull the trigger, and aim at the person of your dreams!
Just fill the catapult with one or more cupids, pull the trigger, and aim at the person of your dreams! This "love gun" alarms me, but maybe I overreact as a parent about my kid's exposure to violence. Is this just a harmless novelty, or a disturbing example of how desensitized we are to guns? At least it's for kids over 3.
Teens, sex, and power of parents How did you "discover" sex? from mom? school? Or the pals down the block?
Pennsylvania School cut father's opportunity to lunch with his son after he has been there every day for four years. Due to his work schedule this is the only time he has to spend with his son.