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.
Do children care about old, out-of-date picture books? Should I weed these books? [more inside]
I need recommendations on articles and books on kindergarten/elementary school education and how it affects someone's later success. My friend is worried that her son's kindergarten program isn't high quality enough. I'm of the opinion that home life is more important at this age, but maybe I'm wrong! Where should I start reading? [more inside]
Do you know any albums or artists that heavily feature very young voices done in a serious matter? Something like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dok4wJ4pqo0 [more inside]
Summary: I still love my children's father. We had a lot of problems in the four years we were together, but the last year or so I truly thought everything was getting better and we were happy. Then he suddenly broke up with me. And last night, he pocket-dialed me from a new girlfriend's house where I got to hear all the gushy giggly happy voices that used to be mine, as well as some x-rated stuff I am now trying to burn out of my memory. How am I supposed to cope with this? The only way I've ever gotten over an ex is to go no-contact, and rid my home/environment/live of everything that could possibly remind me of them; but, we have two small children together. I am going to have to look at his face three times a week for the next eighteen years, let alone the daily reminder of the children themselves, and I don't know how I'm going to cope. I'm in a horrible mental place right now and have no resources. Please help me. [more inside]
As a kid growing up in the 80s I often played with a 'speak and spell' kind of toy whose idiosyncratic (British?) digitized voice is burned into my head to this day, decades later. Help me figure out who made the toy and what its name was. [more inside]
I'm looking for advice for helping my 5 year old (new kindergartener) daughter deal with what looks like nascent perfectionist tendencies. [more inside]
My son is almost 10, and I'm trying to help him develop a love of reading. His requests were mysteries, fictional, and if they could feature anthropomorphic bugs, all the better. In my searching, I did come across Bug Muldoon, which he has devoured. I'd love to find more books that he might enjoy. He said that bugs weren't necessary, but he did very much enjoy them. He recently read all the Encyclopedia Brown novels, and I'm not sure where to go next for him. Are there other authors or series I should be looking at?
Parents: I'm wondering how your kids learned things like empathy, honesty, compassion, etc. I know that setting a good example is probably the #1 thing to do, and I plan to, but did you use other ways, like reading (fiction) kids' books with them that demonstrate these things? Am I overthinking this? I want to raise a kid with a conscience...
Suggestions for a children's reading light with a timer? [more inside]
I'm an uncle to three great kids, who are 12, 9 and 4. I love talking to them and listening to what they have to say about whatever they want to talk about. Our conversations end up being pretty fun and freewheeling, but sometimes I wonder if I should be putting more effort into what we talk about. Am I over-thinking this? More inside. [more inside]
Please suggest some icebreaker games I can play with 5-7 yo kids. Restrictions: Groups of 4-5 kids, games must be quick (less than 5 minutes) and require little or no materials. [more inside]
My younger brother is a foreign-born child of two naturalized US citizens. He has no picture ID except his school ID, and has had trouble obtaining a state-issued picture ID. He is turning 18 soon, which will make it much more difficult for him to fly, get a job, and so on. Is this something an immigration lawyer can help with, or is there another kind of professional that I can engage here? [more inside]
Recommend me poems about children and parenthood that have the opposite sentiment of Philip Larkin's This Be The Verse. [more inside]
Please recommend fiction and nonfiction novels which depict folklore and mythology created by children who are free of adult supervision and authority. [more inside]
My husband would like to improve his (very limited) French comprehension by watching cartoons or other children's shows in French with our four-year-old daughter. We have access to Netflix streaming, Amazon prime, Roku, a DVD player etc., and are willing to spend a little $ for something charming that will appeal to adults and children both. [more inside]
How can I help my son to not feel embarrassed socially for having the healthy (and admittedly a little weird) lunches that I give him for school? [more inside]
Our local bookstore has a great children's play/reading area. In that area, there is a (child-sized) chair and table set. The chairs look like this. The table is a similar pattern. They seem to be made of some kind of high-density foam - they are sturdy and moderately heavy for their size, but have some "give" to them; they are not wood or plastic. I can't see any markings on the chairs or the table and no one at the store knew where they were from. Any ideas of where I can find these?
My parents were absent for much of my childhood, and I have been estranged from my family for years. I've been fully independent since my late teens, but I still learn best by example and rote memorization, and I did not really have anyone to learn from. I've built what I think is a good life, but I am still lacking a lot of practical information. What sort of resources are available for people in this position to figure out what they've missed and get themselves unstuck? Is there a book, checklist, or set of guidelines that I could use? Something like Advanced Adulthood for Dummies? [more inside]
I did something colossally stupid this evening: Put up some pasta on the stove and then fell promptly asleep for a little while on the couch. Woke up to a terrible smell of natural gas. Found the water in the pot had spilled over and doused the flame of the burner it was cooking on. With the gas on high. It was probably like that for about 10 minutes or so. And now, four hours later, the house still has a strong-ish odor. Here is my question: does the smell indicate that gas is still present in the house, and if so, should I be concerned for the health and safety of my small children, who are sleeping a hallway away from the kitchen? [more inside]
My baby is getting to the age where taking care of him is a bit more complicated than just making sure he's fed and slept. I'm looking for your parenting hacks and habits -- things you've learned that make raising kids (toddler age and older) just work a little better. [more inside]
I occasionally hang out with a smart 11-year-old girl, am a friend of the family. She's ahead of her peers in reading and math, starts 6th grade in the fall, but is not especially challenged by her public school. A few years ago in a different school district, they offered to skip her a grade (this option was not chosen). [more inside]
An older family member has died. We'll be traveling to attend the viewing and funeral, which will be heavily religious. My 7-year-old daughter didn't know this family member, but has reacted very negatively to the idea of death in the past (long stretches spent sobbing in my arms). We are agnostic, with one of us leaning heavily towards atheism. I could use suggestions on how to talk with my little girl about these things. [more inside]
I am, for the first time, in a relationship as a single father. So far it's going quite well, which brings up a variety of questions about what might happen in the future. One day I would like to be married again, which would put whoever I marry in the position of being my daughter's step-mother. How would I get from here to there? [more inside]
I'm a very deliberate, risk-averse individual when it comes to big decisions. I make pro/con lists and spend days researching topics only to be stifled with indecision when I think the future is unpredictable. I see people who make the same decision easily, but when I question them about it, it's clear they haven't even thought about any of the factors I did. They seem to be blissfully ignorant over the possible ramifications of their decisions, and in some ways I am jealous that they can go through life so easily. Does this feeling have a name, and how can I get over it? [more inside]
Looking for anecdotes from anyone who has been in a similar situation. [more inside]
I’m looking for books (fiction and non-fiction) about children dealing with narcissistic parents. The kind of parents I want to read about will present a perfect front to the outside world, but in private will emotionally abuse their children to serve their own needs. These parents are attention seekers, self-pitying, deny that hurtful incidents occurred (gaslighting), play family members off against each other, are infantile and manipulative, are obsessed by others having a positive view of them, undermine their children’s autonomy, disregarding their privacy and personal space (give their possessions away, denigrate them in public, eat food off their plates) – but ALWAYS claim that the abuse is for the child’s own good and are usually seen by other adults as very good parents. The abused offspring I want to read about – both children and adults – become compulsive caretakers, are frequently confused by their parent’s behaviour, learn not to trust their own feelings and experience overwhelming feelings of inadequacy. For a long time they may be duped into believing the myth that their parent is loving and that they (the child) are the cause of their own unhappiness. If possible I would like books that focus entirely on emotional abuse rather than it being part of a broader spectrum of abuse. Thank you!
How disturbed should we be by our 5-year-old's sexual behavior toward her father? [more inside]
My ten year old wants to spend most of her summer days on the couch streaming TV over our roku. It is a zillion degrees outside with 200% humidity, so I sort of understand the couch potato impulse. How can I direct her so that her couch potato time doesn't spud her brain? [more inside]
I know there are some variations on the question of having kids on MeFi, but I have something a little bit different. I am leaning towards not having kids, which my husband says he'd be ok with, but his actions tell me that he really wants them. How can we have a real conversation about this so that we have no regrets? [more inside]
My friend is getting a divorce, and doesn't know how to talk to her two young daughters (3 and 4) about it. Are there any books that have helped others in a similar situation? [more inside]
Hi, I would love any recommendations people in the Boston area might have for rental brokers for an apartment in the Boston area, specifically nearish to Tufts. Someone who has successfully worked with a family with a small child would be ideal. General apartment hunting tips are also welcome. More details inside... [more inside]
The book I'm looking for is one I remember reading in my childhood. It had a boy as a protagonist. It was similar to The Wizard of Oz in that the boy was travelling with friends through a magical realm to free it from some kind of oppressive rule. And when the boy arrived to the happy ending (which I think took place in the royal palace) it was revealed that actually he's not a boy - he's a girl. A princess, to be exact. And a rightful ruler of the realm. Which came as quite a shock to him/her. I must have been less than 10 years old when I read it, which places the book in the 1970s. Did I imagine it or does it really exist? (it is possible that I mixed it up with The Wizard of Oz, although I think I've read it later).
My 10 and 8 year old daughters adored The Nr. 1 Ladies Detective Agency (the TV series). What other made-for-adults movies or TV could we watch together? [more inside]
Looking for fun and possibly educational Android (not IOS) apps for kids ages 3 to 7. I just bought my almost 7-year-old an Android tablet and gave my 3-year-old my old Android phone, but I don't have any apps for them besides Angry Birds and Cut the Rope. There were some tips in this previous question, but it's already a little dated. Unfortunately, it seems that a lot of apps are only for the iPhone/iPad platform. My whole family is about to leave on a long overseas trip, so I need some great apps to occupy their time. Thanks for the ideas!
My 6 year old son got a hearing aid yesterday.....I've educated myself about his hearing loss and his device....I want to shorten the learning curve and get advice about living with a hearing loss.... [more inside]
When did childhood immunizations become so controversial? I don't recall their being any issues with immunization because the science clearly shows it is helpful to mankind. So I wonder what the issue is. I thought of this while reading a news story about it just now.
I end up in these situations where I need to buy a gift for a kid in the extended family, but the idea of just buying regular toys always seems lame. I like being a creative gift-giver. Can you give me some ideas for unique gifts for kids that would go over well? [more inside]
I noticed that I may treat kids like how my parents treat them. How do I de-program myself from thinking like them? [more inside]
Reading the Star Wars 1970s trilogy to my young kids, should I spoil it? (There is a spoiler inside if you haven't see The Empire Strikes Back.) [more inside]
A teacher seeks advice. [more inside]
How can I spend more time around children? I basically have zero interaction with any children, ever, and it's sort of getting me down. [more inside]
Asking for a non MeFi friend. His daughter is a single parent to a 3 year old girl, his only grandchild. There is no contact with the father for Reasons. Friend is separated himself. His granddaughter adores him and he loves to babysit her when he can (they live in another city about an hour away), about once a week for a day. He also Skypes her during the week. For the last while she has been referring to him as “Daddy”. Apparently she was being teased at nursery for not having a Dad (at 3!) and she told them that she did have a Daddy, and he was called Granddad. Her Mum thought this was hilarious. Today I was visiting with both of them and she wrote his name (just scribbles) and said “That’s your name.” He said “Granddad?” and she said, “No. Daddy”. Does this matter in any way? [more inside]
What are some good games to play on a long train ride with a small child (age 4)? The ipad makes him motion-sick. He gets frustrated with drawing or dot-to-dot because of the bumpy movement of the train. We have audiobooks but they won't cover the whole ride.
A friend of mine refuses to address his anxiety issues. I don't want to lose him as a friend, but also don't know how much more I can take. Please help. [more inside]
So my best friend has ovarian cancer. And we're in our "out of the frying pan, into the fire" moment because she's stage 4 and shit's already going poorly. How do I tell my kid? [more inside]