Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Dream Deferred

Today is the fiftieth anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom -- as it was technically called -- and Martin Luther King, Jr.'s riveting "I Have a Dream" speech. I wasn't alive in 1963, but I still got chills when I heard the recording of King's voice on NPR this morning.

I have been thinking about race today, however, for a smaller, more personal reason.


Monday, August 26, 2013

Fun's Cousin

You know Fun's cousin, right? He's related to Fun. But he isn't quite, you know, Fun himself.

That's how we felt about last week's "vacation" in the country. We rented the same little three-bedroom ranch overlooking the same lake as last year. Almost the same week, even. But it was different this time.

Fun's cousin is just not as carefree as Fun.


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

I Would Rather He Break His Arm

Welcome back to the Parenting Blog Carnival: Around the World in Six Weeks, in which we ask: What can we learn from parents around the world and how they raise their children?

I'm joining Jessica, Sarah, Stephanie, Lauren and Carisa in writing about our reactions to Christine Gross-Loh's new book, Parenting Without Borders.

Since July 1, we've addressed co-sleeping, food, self-esteem and academic pressure. This week we discuss: How do we raise independent kids and foster their self-control?


Helicopter Mom

The Urban Dictionary defines a "Helicopter Mom" as:
A hovering & controlling, but well-meaning, parent who gets way too involved in her child's life to the point of doing things that are completely inappropriate, such as personally attending all of little Sweetiepie's extracurricular activities, writing medium-sized Sweetiepie's school application essays, and submitting full-grown Sweetiepie's job applications.
I am not sure any of us would want such a moniker. But how many of us secretly -- or not-so-secretly -- believe that our children need us to guide their every interaction? That is the topic of Chapter 5, "Hoverparenting: How Can We Foster Self-Control?"

There was a lot to digest in this and the accompanying chapter on unstructured play (of which I am also a huge fan). Ultimately, I decided to focus on two aspects: how we view our children's behavior and how much risk-taking is appropriate.


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Ten Tried and True Ways to Make Your Moo Cow Lose Her Mind

Henry's first blog post came in January, when he contributed "7 Fun Games to Play With Milk" at the tender age of 13 months. Weaning babies everywhere wrote in to thank him for his suggestions. Now that he is a big boy of 20 months, he is sharing his tried and true toddler shenanigans.




Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Fast Forward Twenty Years

"You want to get pregnant at that weight?" my physician asked with a raised eyebrow.

"Well, I was thinking about it," I responded somewhat sheepishly.

"No. You need to lose weight. Exercise every day," she said. "Every. Day," she added for emphasis.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

How Often Do You Eat Dinner Together?

Today I am at Today's Mama with a post about the link between family dinners and low rates of substance abuse among teens.

I’ve written elsewhere about the importance of the family dinner in teaching children good eating habits. The other day I came across a September 2012 white paper entitled “Family Dinners VIII“ by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (CASAColumbia). CASAColumbia has been writing a version of this paper for a decade. Over time, they have consistently found “a relationship between children having frequent dinners with their parents and a decreased risk of their using drugs, drinking or smoking.”

Click here to read the entire article. 

How often do you eat dinner with your family? Does it help you understand your kids better?


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

How Should We Educate Our Children?

Welcome back to the Parenting Blog Carnival: Around the World in Six Weeks. In this Carnival, we ask: What can we learn from parents around the world and how they raise their children?

I'm joining Jessica, Sarah, Stephanie and Lauren in writing about our reactions to Christine Gross-Loh's new book, Parenting Without Borders.

So far, we've looked at co-sleepingfood and self-esteem. This week we tackle the question: 
Do kids have too much academic pressure? Or not enough?