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My son is panicking about learning to swim. Help?

My kids are going to a day camp for the first time this summer. They're scheduled to swim twice a day, but my son has been refusing to go into the pool and panicking when the counselors try to encourage him into the water. How can we convince him the pool is fun, safe and comfortable? [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jul 11, 2014 - 43 answers

Move to another apartment in the same neighborhood to escape landlord?

I need to decide by tomorrow whether to move out of my apartment (in September). Dislike the landlord, who lives above me, but the place is nice and my daughter was born there. My old landlord, who I like a lot, has a place for rent. Details below: [more inside]
posted by betsbillabong on Jul 9, 2014 - 17 answers

Ready for career change. Nanny to ......

With 13+ years experience working in the field of child care, I am ready for a career change. Most recently (the last 5 years), I have been working as a nanny in a major American city. Previously, I've been a camp counselor, Au-Pair, and tutor, etc. I'm looking to parler this skill set into something outside of 'household help'. [more inside]
posted by kmeryl on Jun 29, 2014 - 6 answers

Child reading books in the summer

Hi, My 10 year old girl loves to read. When she gets started, she loves it, but it's the "getting her started" that I have a problem with. [more inside]
posted by lynnie-the-pooh on Jun 27, 2014 - 33 answers

Was having a second child a career killer?

For you full-time working mothers, was having a second child a career killer like my googling suggests? Are there other potentially negative ramifications of having a second that I'm not considering? Feel free to ignore the special snowflake details inside; I tend to ramble. [more inside]
posted by kei02003 on Jun 25, 2014 - 23 answers

Worried mom of 10-year-old son with inferiority complex

10-year-old that struggles with many things who, for a few years now, has, when feeling sad/depressed, talked about how no one likes him, he's not good at anything, has no special qualities, isn't smart... etc. Looking for ways to help him. [more inside]
posted by youdontmakefriendswithsalad on Jun 15, 2014 - 51 answers

Saturday morning child care while at Pepperdine conference

I have a conference at Pepperdine University near Malibu CA and am bringing my kids and another adult. There is a Saturday excursion that my youngest, 6, is too young to participate. We're flying in from the East Coast, how do I find a fun, responsible college kid for that morning? [more inside]
posted by childofTethys on Jun 9, 2014 - 8 answers

Help me choose a mattress

We need to buy a single mattress for our infant daughter's bed. I have no idea what is reasonable in terms of price or what we should look for. Please help. [more inside]
posted by jojobobo on May 31, 2014 - 6 answers

Books for tweens set in New York City

Some friends are coming to visit NYC and I'd like to get their kids some fiction set in the city. [more inside]
posted by The Elusive Architeuthis on May 24, 2014 - 19 answers

How can a child make their parent feel bad about their parenting?

Friends told me the reason I'm emotionally unstable is probably mainly because of how I grew up and I needed to reconcile with my dad. [more inside]
posted by pelu on May 21, 2014 - 54 answers

Can I let my 2 year-old sleep in the back during a 10 hour long drive?

My wife and I want to go on a trip to Luxembourg. Its a 10 hour drive, and we want to do it during nighttime. However we have a 2,5 year old and we're wondering if we can let her sleep in the back in the car-seat for the entire ride? Will we do permanent damage to her body if we let her sleep in the carseat? Usually we just take a break if we go on long rides, and we've never considered her sleeping during a really long ride.
posted by madcow20 on May 15, 2014 - 16 answers

Stop biting behavior in an SPD/ASD kid?

Our young (<6) child has sensory processing issues, and is lashing out physically when she is overwhelmed. We don't want to pull her from a generally beneficial school, and she's already in occupational therapy, what else can we do to stop the aggressive behavior? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on May 13, 2014 - 11 answers

Is your child's allowance dependent on chores?

Hi, My ten year old daughter wants to start getting an allowance this summer when school is out. My husband and I thought about it and we thought 10 dollars a week would be good. But we are trying to decide the pros and cons of attaching the allowance to chores. [more inside]
posted by lynnie-the-pooh on May 5, 2014 - 44 answers

Calm, quiet, constructive activities for kids age 6-9?

A friend's child is chronically ill. He watches a lot of television, and he and his mom have agreed that it's not the best use of time. What are some things he can do instead? [more inside]
posted by pseudostrabismus on Apr 30, 2014 - 28 answers

What details could be worked out before having a child with a friend?

I am considering having a child with a friend to whom I am not married. We would be living separately, but would have joint legal and physical custody. What might be some details that we should work out ahead of time? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Apr 23, 2014 - 29 answers

Resources for ADHD in children

So... I am 99% positive that my three-and-a-half year old daughter has an ADHD diagnoses in her future. She is the poster child for literally every symptom on the "10 early signs" list, and family members/care providers/random aquaintences have all asked "do you think...?" So while of course I will eventually do the appropriate screenings etc - what I'm looking for here are anecdotes, experiences, research and strategies for a parent of a child with ADHD (or, you know, who exhibits all the behaviors and issues of one who does). [more inside]
posted by celtalitha on Apr 9, 2014 - 29 answers

Help me inform my teaching with books on childhood brain development

What books/resources on childhood brain development will best inform my work as a teacher and curriculum writer for young learners? (explanation after the jump) [more inside]
posted by chickenandwine on Apr 2, 2014 - 5 answers

How does deleading work when you're already in the apartment?

We live in an apartment in Massachusetts and are expecting a baby four months in the future. We think the apartment may not be deleaded. I know that a landlord is legally obligated to delead an apartment that a child will live in, and I assume that covers the case in which a child appears after the lease has started. If that's the case, how does deleading work when tenants are already living in the apartment, and is it logistically feasible for us to go through that process? [more inside]
posted by ignignokt on Mar 30, 2014 - 12 answers

Should we seek additional help?

My 8 year old is showing some odd behavior - is this a phase, personality, or something that needs professional attention? [more inside]
posted by H. Roark on Mar 28, 2014 - 24 answers

How to teach an old baby new tricks

Our 11 month old kid loves to be helpful and tries to copy whatever we do. Unfortunately, he's about a year or two or three away from having the physical ability to do so. So what simple things can we teach him that would be sort of helpful in doing everyday things, or at least wouldn't break stuff or actively hinder us? [more inside]
posted by gakiko on Mar 13, 2014 - 23 answers

4 year old, Shared custody, Heartache

Our daughter frequently wants to go back to her moms house when we have her. How can we help/cope? Background and details inside. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Mar 5, 2014 - 63 answers

How to address a touchy-feely friend?

We have a close family friend who seems to have a problem keeping his hands to himself around my 8-year-old. We've spoken to him about it generally, but he doesn't seem to understand what we consider to be inappropriate. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Feb 24, 2014 - 31 answers

Creative ways to share love in the ICU

My friends just had the worst week of their lives and they are now separated from their 3yo son by a hospital and over a thousand miles. What are some ways he can show them love while they're apart? [more inside]
posted by ovenmitt on Feb 16, 2014 - 13 answers

Can fluorosis vanish in a week?

Can fluorosis vanish in a week? I thought once you have it, it does not go away unless a dentist treats you for it. [more inside]
posted by lynnie-the-pooh on Feb 4, 2014 - 8 answers

Please stop the trantrum train, I'd like to get off.

Hello wits's end, I'm looking at you: what in the everloving hell am I going to do with my 3.75 son? We are on Day 12 of him being out of school due to Christmas holidays and I have about had it. I have been riding the trantrum train for several days now and I am out of ideas for how to proceed. [more inside]
posted by tafetta, darling! on Jan 1, 2014 - 38 answers

Can children detect on some level when love is not genuine?

Can children detect on some level when love is not genuine? An example would be when a parent is affectionate to spite their own parents as if to say "This is what you were supposed to do with me," rather than doing so out of a genuine feeling towards the child. Acting the part without the emotion and connection to back it. Can this be perceived by the child and perhaps effect their emotional development? If so, to what degree could this hinder them in the long term?
posted by mrflibble on Jan 1, 2014 - 22 answers

I need help with my son's iep

At the parent-teacher conference Dec 5th the teacher told me my autistic/ADHD/OCD/GAD child is so aggressive the staff fears their safety and want to use restrainsts, and they want to bring it up in the next iep. This is the first I've heard of any aggression. [more inside]
posted by FunkyHelix on Dec 26, 2013 - 14 answers

What book is similar to "Number the Stars" for my 9 year old?

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.
posted by lynnie-the-pooh on Dec 15, 2013 - 42 answers

Coolest sound toys for young children?

My 1-year old niece was entranced by my bluetooth speaker last time I visited. What are some cool sound toys for kids? [more inside]
posted by wemayfreeze on Dec 13, 2013 - 13 answers

What to put in a picture frame for a kid?

I bought a picture frame for my 7 year old, now I don't know what to put in it. Would a kid like a photo or art or something else best? [more inside]
posted by Margalo Epps on Dec 13, 2013 - 14 answers

Strong-willed Child Will Not Go To School

At out wits' end - we have a very smart, very angry, very sad, strong-willed 6 year old who has decided that he is going to sleep until Christmas and that he is not going to school ever. Flurries of special snowflake details inside. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Dec 5, 2013 - 94 answers

New relationship - advice on meeting her child for the first time?

Never had children of my own - how do I handle meeting a new partner's child for the first time? [more inside]
posted by de void on Dec 3, 2013 - 15 answers

How does a white girl learn to do black girl hair?

My husband and I are foster parents and we just got a placement. She is 20 months old and in addition to being silly and snuggly and clever she is also a girly girl and black. How do I learn to style her hair? [more inside]
posted by Saminal on Nov 19, 2013 - 35 answers

What's a good gift for a parent and child on the go?

Over the next year, my friend will be doing a lot of air travel with her one-year-old child in tow. What are some useful products that will make the whole airport/airplane process easier for both of them?
posted by Rora on Nov 17, 2013 - 9 answers

Kid having visual hallucinations at night?

So, our five year old climbed into bed last night because she was seeing things: butterflies, then puff balls, then crickets everywhere. She said that she knew they weren't real, but she was sufficiently freaked out that she was afraid to put her feet on the bed, and got very upset. Turning on the light helped them go away, and so she eventually fell asleep with the light on. She seemed awake the whole time this was happening. Is this something to be concerned about? Should I take her to a doctor?
posted by anonymous on Oct 16, 2013 - 24 answers

Resources to help parents to support children during a divorce

What are some good resources for helping a parent to support a young child, while that parent is getting divorced? [more inside]
posted by life moves pretty fast on Oct 8, 2013 - 2 answers

How to help young child with anxiety/fear of fire

Precocious 6 y.o. daughter has suddenly developed an intense fear of fire. If the stove is on, she is sobbing or screaming or fretting. Same thing with the (outside) grill and my neighbor's fire pit. Logic, reason, discussion are all fruitless; as long as there is visible fire, she's terrified. How to help her cope? [more inside]
posted by disconnect on Oct 7, 2013 - 21 answers

A fainting child

Why did my 5-year-old faint during class, and how worried should I be? [more inside]
posted by mittens on Sep 25, 2013 - 21 answers

Perfectionist kid?

I'm looking for advice for helping my 5 year old (new kindergartener) daughter deal with what looks like nascent perfectionist tendencies. [more inside]
posted by gaspode on Sep 10, 2013 - 35 answers

What sports or activities are best learnt at an early age?

My son will be turning two soon. We'd like to take advantage of his spongelike brain to expose him to as many different opportunities to learn new things as possible. I've seen early footage of Justin Bieber and Tiger Woods showing proficiency at this young age already in their respective fields, it seems like there is an advantage to seeing if your child shows talent even at that stage. I have no desire to be a pushy stage mother but if our kid does show interest and ability at something it would be nice to encourage it. So what activities, (violin, guitar, tennis etc) should you be learning very early on to have any chance of really excelling at? And which ones are ok to pick up later? It would be a little sad to find out at 12 that he showed talent at say, gymnastics but started too late to make anything of it.
posted by Jubey on Sep 9, 2013 - 31 answers

Getting-to-know-you Games

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]
posted by gnutron on Sep 4, 2013 - 11 answers

Baby Maybe?

Considering starting a family but what happens when baby comes? Do I stay home and he works? Does he stay home and I work? Snowflake details inside, basically help me evaluate my options. [more inside]
posted by quietta on Aug 18, 2013 - 29 answers

I need help explaining death and religion to my child.

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]
posted by moira on Aug 2, 2013 - 27 answers

Staying sane while facing an insane thing

I am in therapy trying to deal with childhood sexual abuse. I am having a hard time keeping my adult life together and not feeling insane. How do I learn to calm down and keep going instead of wanting to cry every day? [more inside]
posted by kanata on Jul 28, 2013 - 28 answers

What, if any, contact should my children have with their absent mother?

My ex-wife suddenly vanished over 2 years ago to her native Asian country, leaving behind a son (then 1, now 3) and daughter (then 6, now 8). Contact was intermittent (sometimes once a week and sometimes every three months). I asked her to commit to a regularly scheduled call and she refused to do so. I also found the phone calls to be borderline abusive to my daughter (the daughter would ask, "Mommy when are you coming back," and the mother would reply, "When are you going to come see me?" which caused the daughter to feel responsible for her absence - or the Skype video chats where the daughter would have the camera on but the mother refused to do so). I have since cut off contact with the mother in order to protect my daughter, though wonder if it is the correct decision. [more inside]
posted by b_thinky on Jul 24, 2013 - 45 answers

Italian Greyhound puppy and 8yo boy - what next?

My son just got an Italian Greyhound puppy for his 8th birthday. This is his first pet other than a couple of goldfish, and neither my partner nor I have had a puppy since we were young children ourselves. Please help us do our best not to muck things up in the first few weeks. [more inside]
posted by puffmoike on Jul 16, 2013 - 26 answers

How do I teach my children to swim? Help me be a better swimming teacher

I have two little boys ages 5 and 3. The five-year old won't put his face in the water, so it is hard to teach him to swim correctly. The younger one is just starting to go in the water, so I would like to do what I can to make him comfortable. What advice can you give me to help teach my children to swim? How can I help my older one get over his dislike of water in the face? [more inside]
posted by carpographer on Jul 16, 2013 - 27 answers

Separating Twins into Different Classes at School?

My (boy / girl) twins will be entering kindergarten this September. We've been asked if we want them placed into separate classes, or left together in the same class. Need to give them our answer by Monday and frankly, I'm at a loss and have no idea what I should do. If you are a parent of school-age or older twins, can you please share what you did and why? If you yourself are a twin, how did your parents handle it? How did it work out? Other knowledgeable anecdotes and advice welcome. Links to any online resources I can read on the topic would also be appreciated.
posted by zarq on Jun 22, 2013 - 28 answers

When did childhood immunizations become so controversial?

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.
posted by usermac on Jun 20, 2013 - 28 answers

Should I ask a woman if a child is mine?

Short story: I was visiting family in a nearby city when I noticed a young boy who looked alarmingly like my daughter and me. After seeing him with his mother, I recognized her as someone I had briefly been intimate with, but when I made eye contact, her reaction made me feel uncomfortable. Knowing she has not reached out, should I respect her privacy? [more inside]
posted by Bathtub Bobsled on Jun 11, 2013 - 80 answers

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