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.
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]