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]
My 1.5 year old niece starts crying whenever she sees me and it breaks my heart. This has been happening since she was 7 months old and I can't understand what I've done to cause it. It's upsetting me enough to make me ask about it here. [more inside]
I'd like the mailbox to have something fun for my six-year-old son from time to time without breaking the bank, or putting him into a toy-acquisition frenzy. Any suggestions?
I'm looking for an iPad app (Kindle or other ebooks are fine too if they can do this as I can get my hands on one for this) which is lots of big busy pictures with little words in them where you can press the picture and hear the word said - basically a speaking version of the Usbourne's First 1,000 words. All I can find after several hours searching are flashcards or spelling-type games or dictionaries where the words are arranged A-Z. I keep thinking this must exist as the iPad would be perfect for this, but I'm just not turning up anything!
My precocious but angry 2.75-year-old and I just got fired from our home daycare situation. I feel like I need Super Nanny. What now? How do I get him to stop being so rude? [more inside]
My kid is late to school more often than I would like, because somehow the morning is never scheduled adequately. I'm not sure how much time is fair to budget her for things - obviously how much time it would take me to do them is too little, but how much time she would like to take to do them is too much. If I have a fair and reasonable morning schedule/wake up time, it might be easier to get her to stick to it and get her out the door. Other morning suggestions welcome. [more inside]
I'm a dad and my oldest - now a pre-teen, who this year started at high school - is always tired and hates exercise. She was very active when she was younger but pressures of long school hours and homework have squeezed all that out of the calendar. Plus of course she's the age when children's bodies dramatically change size and shape and that's perfectly normal. Given all that, what's the best way I can help her to stay as fit and healthy as possible? What has helped for your kids? [more inside]
My son, Alex, age 5, started primary school (in the UK) in January. His 'best friend', Tom (also 5), is bullying him. How can we help Alex break free from Tom, and make new friends? [more inside]
My boyfriend and I haven't been together for a very long time, but it has already started to feel very serious and I see the potential for a longterm future together. We are both extremely close with our families and I know that family life and children are a huge priority for both of us. We're on the same page there. However... By extraordinary coincidence we both suffer from the same rare, semi-inheritable disease. [more inside]
What are some great gifts I could bring from the US (northeast) to kids in Germany who range in age from 3 to 8 years old? What cool kid stuff is available in the US that might be novel for kids in Germany these days?
After 2 years of marriage my wife (age 33) still doesn't want to have children while I (age 35) desperately want ones. Before marriage we have discussed it and she said that she would like to wait "for about a year" before trying for a baby. I agreed. Now she is saying that she isn't ready yet, and won't be ready for another 2 years. I thought that we have an agreement, but I was mistaken. Is it at all possible that she will change her mind, or postponing children for more years is just a stalling tactic on her behalf? [more inside]
Some time after my second niece was born, I started sticking a couple of bucks a month into a savings account I set up for each girl. I've been plugging along for years, and now they are 9 and 12, and I have about $600 for each of them. I'd like to figure out a better way to save/invest the money than what I've been doing so far. [more inside]
We have received services from the school district and we are about to lose our teachers due to our daughter aging out of the program. We'd like to give nice and appropriate gifts to the teachers who have helped our daughter for the last two and a half years. [more inside]
Mini McGee is suddenly very interested in heroes (especially when they do some rescuing). I'd like to get some more children's books about heroes for him (and his brother), especially if they are a little off-beat. [more inside]
Can you help me find a <30 second poem about dreams that is appropriate for first graders? [more inside]