My father died a few hours back in India. I am trying to fly there tomorrow afternoon (after I get back to Dallas in the morning to pick up passport etc.). I have been away a lot this past year on work (4 days a week on most week days; also been away the past 7 days on a large, crazy program going live on 4 days time). And now I am taking off to India for ... not sure how long (probably 2-3 weeks). My son and I are very close. He is fond of his grandfather. We came back from a 2 week trip back home 2 months back. So he has fairly recent memories. I would like to be truthful to him and explain why I am going away for a substantial time. But I am slightly worried about him starting to brood about me when I am away if I do (he is only 5). What is a good way to approach this? Is it wiser to lie? Thank you.
Do other people see this as normal, or am I clueless because I've never had children? [more inside]
My second grader might have juvenile glaucoma. Our insurance is changing at the beginning of the year. How fast do we need to proceed? [more inside]
This is what I remember: A boy (and his dog?) wants to go outside, and he asks his mother for permission. She says "okay, but don't cross any streets in this fog!" [more inside]
How concerned should I be about the involvement of my nephew (12 yrs) and niece (10 yrs) in Scientology? [more inside]
I'm looking for a quote from Lincoln that essentially says, "If you want to see the leaders of the next generation, look to the children's schoolyard." Does anybody know that quote exactly and it's source?
We just decided to drive from SF to Seattle via Portland for about a week. What are some fun family things to do? Places to eat? Places to stay? Snowflake details inside. [more inside]
My 4-year-old daughter has suddenly become incredibly over-attached to her mother - Why? [more inside]
Our two year old loves songs and poems and has learned a bunch of them - but she recites them all as spoken poems, even when other people are singing them with her. My other kids are adopted and sang, and my husband points out that I cannot remember lyrics except as poems, so it appears to be an inherited trait. I can remember teaching myself to sing Baa Baa Black Sheep as a kid with great effort. Melodies and tunes don't connect to lyrics at all in my memory - hum a few bars and I will stare at you blankly. Both of us enjoy music - it's specifically lyrics that just don't compute. What is this particular quirk called? We're not worried at all, but my husband would like to know more about it because he'd like to have her enjoy singing too.
My five year old is just starting to read, and loves looking through the Captain underpants books for their illustrations. I'd like to get him some books (or comic books) that have few or no words, or which he could at least follow without knowing the words. He's really into story, and I think it would entertain him, and also (for the ones with words) encourage him to read. His interests are the stereotypical boys ones -- sports, superheroes, etc, Suggestions?
My nine year old just read "Number the Stars" by Lois Lowry. It is her first introduction to really high quality historical fiction. She is excited to read more books that teach her about history, but are also fun to read because they are fiction. Do you have any ideas about historical fiction books that are excellent quality like "Number the Stars" but that are age appropriate for my nine year old? Thank you.
I'm looking for blogs, books, articles or other materials written from the perspective of foster children or former foster children in the United States. I'm especially interested in those who aged out of foster care or who were adopted as older children/teens. [more inside]
Recently seeing a lot of disappointment from parents/ grown children regarding their parents/ grown children. Both sides disillusioned with the difference between who they want/ need the other to be/do and who they actually are/ do. What has kept you close to your parents/ children? [more inside]
My husband and I are expecting our first child, a girl, due in 2 months and are having a serious naming dilemma. We are both worried about the possibility of our chosen name leading to teasing. [more inside]
Musicians, how did your parents' attitudes affect your musical development? [more inside]
So I log onto facebook for the first time in weeks today and see my brother has posted this image and my mother has "liked" it. Nothing that was done to us as kids would qualify as spanking (punched in the side of the head very often, welts on skin, bruises, dad threatening my sister with a kitchen knife, holding us off the ground by our necks, locking us in the bathroom and hitting us for half an hour for eating the wrong yoghurt from the fridge, knocked over if we ever spoke back to them etc). My brother was actually very rarely hit and it stopped altogether when mum threatened to divorce dad after he hit my brother badly one time. (No such luck for us girls though). I'm SO ANGRY right now and want to react but don't know how it would improve anything. I feel like I'm being goaded but am trapped in how I handle this, with it being a public forum all my friends can see. Please Mefi help me stay calm and do this right (even if that means doing nothing). [more inside]
Children's book filter: Am thinking it was Sleeping Beauty, though it may have been Rapunzel or some other fairy tale with a wicked queen and a princess. [more inside]
Never had children of my own - how do I handle meeting a new partner's child for the first time? [more inside]
I have a niece and two nephews. As the one among my siblings who's into comic book culture, my brothers have started asking me for input and recommendations for the kids, and I'm finding myself having some trouble. A lot of superhero comics may or may not be age appropriate and I also worry about some of the weird sexist subtext in a lot of stuff. I am asking this partially for input in picking Christmas gifts, but also in order to be a better family resource. [more inside]
I would love any tips or tricks with memorization that you could share. My son, who is nine years old, is a sweet, smart little kid who just can't seem to memorize. He does, indeed, seem to have a poor memory, and often appears to forget trips we go on, or movies we have seen, etcetera. I always attributed this to the dreaminess of a gifted child. But now that he is in fourth grade, he is struggling to learn. Multiplication facts, State Capitals, you name it -- he just can't seem to get the hang of it. We have tried flash cards, songs, writing things down repeatedly, simple mnemonics. I'm out of ideas, especially since memorization was always super simple for me, and the key to whatever academic success I had as a kid. His standardized test scores are super high, and I do think he is trying. I'm not a tiger mom by any means, I just hate to see him so frustrated. What memorization tools am I overlooking?
My one year old niece loves books that "do things" - especially ones with flaps to lift. Her favorite thing to do when she wakes up is to play quietly with her books for about 20 minutes, and I'd love to encourage that. I would like to get her some books for Christmas. I've purchased Fuzzy Bee and Squishy Turtle for children before, and they were well-received, but the children were younger (in the 6 month range). Are Fuzzy Bee and Squishy Turtle too young for her? Can you recommend any other books that she might like? Her parents are open to anything, as she doesn't have many books and they'd like her to have more, but they're first time parents and not sure what she'd like either.
I was an angry kid at one point in my life. My best friend had moved away and I was unpopular. I became a bit of a bully. There are three people in particular that I treated particularly bad. I want to apologize to them, but does it just serve to only make myself feel better? Has anyone here been bullied and received an apology later in life? And how did it make you feel? I was also bullied. My bully tried to add me as a friend on Facebook multiple times, and I always declined it. I wonder sometimes if maybe he was trying to apologize.
I'm spending the holidays with my sister and her family and need gift suggestions for her son and daughter, ages 8 and 6 respectively. Bonus for gifts about animals! [more inside]
Three-year-old relative coming to stay with us for four days over Christmas. We need to toddler-proof our place. [more inside]
What should we say to our daughter about appropriate play and touch after learning she was playing doctor with one of her little friends the other day? [more inside]
I would like to hear from either parents who had children much later than they planned, and also from people whose parents were older than "normal". What were the main obstacles? What do you wish you had known in advance if you were the parent? What would you have advised your parent if you were the child? And what were the positives on each side? Complications to follow. [more inside]
I'm in my mid-20's, leaning towards not having kids, but recognize that I could change my mind. I just started dating a wonderful man who has scheduled a vasectomy for next month. Is it asking too much to ask him to reconsider? [more inside]
So I've been reading Harry Potter to the kiddo (7) at nighttime for a while and she's loving it. I'm enjoying it too to the point where I don't really want spoilers on anything. However as things get darker I have some concerns about the stories ahead... [more inside]
What can I do as a parent to help my child build persistence, self-discipline, high standards, and work ethic? [more inside]
I need a durable (durable!) children's table and chairs for a new community center (human services multi-service center). [more inside]
A very close and dear friend of mine passed away a few days ago at a very young age and left behind a wife and 2 very young children ages 3 and 1. I would like to set up an investment fund for his children in his memory which people can donate to and will accrue interest until they are ready for college. To increase the chances people will donate I want it to be possible to use paypal or google wallet. I know nothing about finance or laws or any of the things that I imagine come with setting this up. Can anyone advise? Thanks in advance
Help me and my kids plan a fun, low-hassle weekend in New York watching Missus_A run the marathon! [more inside]
I am a relative to a youngster (aged 6). I want to inspire them. Feed their imagination, help them to discover the endless possibilities that exist in all corners of the world. My question is how best to do this? [more inside]
I'm stuck in the town where I just finished university, because I'm engaged to Jake, who has a child here, Finn. Jake had Finn with Kaitlyn when she was 16 and he was 18. Finn is now 4. I could move anywhere I want and make a living. I'm happy with Jake, but I'm unhappy with life as a whole, depressed, have low self-esteem. Jake has only limited contact rights to his son and a whole lot of trouble with Kaitlyn, who hates me. We live together and I am the sole-earner in this household, in the awful UK economy. I haven't left the house all year, I've just been working yet I'm still in debt and I want to get away. On the other hand I love Jake, we have so much in common and we never even argue, even though the year that we've been together life has been very difficult. We really love and respect each other. I have great hope in him, I'm excited to meet his son and I think we could make a life together. Except it would all take years. And I'm at the end of my tether and want to leave now. [more inside]
Help! My new job involves making sure that little kids are entertained. [more inside]
Inspired by an earlier question, are there any books for young children that show families of mixed race?
I'd like to convey as much wisdom/advice as possible to my kids before they become feral teenagers drenched in Axe and scorn. Please share the best lists/essays/articles you've ever seen on the theme of "Teaching Your Kids About ______". [more inside]
I was given this book in the early 80s. It was a large, hard covered book with beautiful illustrations. It was about a girl who visits her grandmother. While there she sees another girl outside. She takes a pram out and goes for a walk with this other little girl. [more inside]
Next week, my 10 year old daughter and I will be in Rome for 3 days; what should we see? [more inside]
I'd like to give a few books as baby shower presents, while avoiding the books that are really well-known. Please share your under the radar gems! [more inside]
What are some good resources for helping a parent to support a young child, while that parent is getting divorced? [more inside]
My partner and I have been thinking about aging recently, as various relatives reach the phase of their lives where they're moving into nursing homes and retirement facilities. Our examples are mostly of people with children, but as most of our friends reach middle age without children, we were wondering: in the US, where we don't have ingrained cultural obligations or socialist structure, how do people go through older age without kids to take care of them? If you're in that group, what are your plans for your old age? [more inside]
My 4 year old son has recently upped his anxiety related behaviors, and I'm not sure whether this is a common occurrence for this age, or whether we need to start changing things to help him out. [more inside]
I need to choose excerpts from different types of songs for children to paint to. They need to be different in tone, tempo and mood. It doesn't matter what genre they are from, but instrumental is probably best. The idea is that the children will have a paper divided into parts and as each song excerpt plays they can paint with colors and strokes that reflect the mood of the piece. [more inside]
My son will turn five next year at the end of August. Our plan is that he'd start elementary school next year as well. The question of whether we should wait a year or not for him to start has come up. I'm looking for advice on how to answer that question. [more inside]
I had a group playdate yesterday--2 female 5yos (one being my daughter) and 2 male 5yos. All good friends. My daughter's friend (the girl) was building a house with the legos, while the other three were assembling lego figures. After a while I realized that the two boys would ONLY assemble male figures. Any figure with a flower shirt, or with longer-than-boy-cut hair, they wouldn't even touch it. They were especially on the lookout for any figures that could hold weapons. This made me thing about the well-known fact that most boys won't play with girls toys or have female heros (e.g. wonder woman / princess merida) while girls are happy to admire batman, superman, and play with guns or other toys that could be considered as being for boys. The other day, I offered my 3yo son a choice of t-shirts, including a gray shirt with 3 disney princesses on it, which he previously loved to wear. This time, he told me that if he wore that shirt, kids would laugh at him. I have no idea where he got that from. I guess some kid laughed at him at the playground while I wasn't looking, or maybe at preschool. What can I do? I hate the idea that my son and my daughter's male friends think that girls, and girl things, are not worth their respect or affinity. Any idea for how to change their attitude on this without being obnoxious or didactic?
Dating someone for 8 months, knew he had a 16 year old (he's 35) from a previous marriage. Just found out he has a 5 year old from a different woman. He didn't come out and tell me about second child, and that is what is making me feel indifferent. Should I be okay with this? [more inside]
I've been racking my brain trying to remember a book I liked when I was a kid. As I recall it was a small chapter book, with a reading level somewhere in the 2nd - 3rd grade range. It was about a group of forest animals, and I think most or all of them were nocturnal. The main one was a flying squirrel. [more inside]
I'm looking for board books that do not just portray white children. Books appropriate for ages 1-4 would be fine, but I'm buying for a 2-year-old so a bit on the simpler side is better. Thank you!
Please recommend your favorite stores for books for kids in Chicago. I am interested in finding used books, quirky books, and progressive books. Not necessarily all three and not necessarily in that order. Toddler Xalf is almost 1.5 years old, but I'm happy to buy books that will be over his head for the next few of years. Any part of Chicago is fine. Suburbs too, especially those to the north.