Hi all, I am looking for resources for figuring out the best pre-schools and schools on the East Coast (public and private both are fair game). Is there a national database ranking the schools? I am particularly interested in the Boston/Cambridge area, but am curious for my own personal reasons about schools in NYC as well as Chicago, and maybe the East Coast in general. My kid is 7 months old and definitely not ready to go to school just yet. But as I am originally not from this country, I'd like to familiarize myself with the system fully before I have to enroll her in school. In my humble opinion, schooling is very important - if it wasn't for a good school, I won't have the necessary life skills myself (irrespective of the professional and grad training), so I am hoping to be aware of the US school landscape before my little one starts going to preschool. Many thanks for your kind help. Have a nice day!
My daughter's on the other side of the ocean for a little while, but we keep up with daily video chats. We talk, goof around, make faces, play with puppets, but I sometimes wish I had more ideas to keep her entertained. Can you think of any other fun things we could do? [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]
I'm embarking on a 20 hour drive with a 4 1/2 year old and an almost-2 year old. Hit me with your best travel games/activities/snacks. Specific requirements inside. Bonus challenge: Terrible books on tape. [more inside]
I'm a single dad and my son will be entering the sixth grade in Ohio this year. What's cool for kids his age (11-12) through and up to 8th grade (13-14)? Looking for suggestions, anecdotes, first-hand experience on fads, trends, clothes, talk, etc.
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]
I'm looking for a short book or series of books for my 7.5 year old son describing the history of the search to explain planetary motion. [more inside]
So finally, I decided to take the bold step and move on to a bigger and brighter future (Hopefully, anyway!). I decided to divorce, on the grounds that I deserve better. [more inside]
My child is 7 and when he was younger, had no trouble smiling (or looking serious) for pictures. But now he gives a horrible grimace...thing. He's been at camp all summer and they take pictures of the kids and post them on Flickr. Paging through it is painful. Cute kid, cute kid...oh hey, my kid with a frightening stretched-face chimp-grimace and slitted eyes. Every fucking picture. It looks like a sneer. [more inside]
I'm looking for kids' books for my 10 year old that were written at least 50 years ago. She's an excellent reader, but enjoys kid themes. We've discovered that older books use more complex language and sophisticated writing style, but simultaneously have sweeter, more gentle content. As a bonus, there seem to be forgotten gems that are under the radar of our excellent local children's librarians who have given us a million great suggestions over the years but sometimes run low on ideas for my widely-read kid. [more inside]
We've built a small secret room in our house for our children to discover. One of the features in the room is a bookshelf where we're putting secret room themed books. [more inside]
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]
My "glamorous" job just got worse and I have a baby now. Good time to quit? [more inside]
I'm looking for 100% cotton summer nightgowns for Go Banana jr., which is proving to be much more difficult than expected as everything appears to be polyester (so they don't burst into flame, apparently). I found exactly what I want through Boden, but alas they are entirely sold out in her size. Where can I buy these? It would be ideal to buy them in person in the Toronto area, but on-line is also fine. I'm looking for size 7-8.
So I'm dating this single mom with a 6 month old. It's been going well but all our dates end with her rushing to take care of her baby - as a mom should. But she clearly needs a rest and I'm trying to figure out if I can take her on a vacation anywhere. Is there somewhere in the Northern California/Nevada area that is some kind of resort with stuff to do AND offers babysitting for a six month old as part of the package? Is there a name for resorts or vacations or recreation options like this? As a single guy with no kids I have no idea what the options are here. So please...educate me.
Please help me find little kid-friendly sites on the Upper West Side that are near the American Museum of Natural History. Preferably free or cheap, preferably air-conditioned, and preferably not the Children's Museum. [more inside]
I'm trying to think of Things that Our Moms (or possibly Public Service Announcements) taught us while growing up, things that most of us learned are the 'right' way to behave, and that have ended up as commonly-held edicts for those of us who grew up in North America. Stuff like 'chew with your mouth closed' or 'it's rude to stare' or 'look both ways before crossing the street' or 'don't take candy from strangers'. [more inside]
What did you do to set up an iPad mini for your tween child? [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]
My four and a half year-old son has expressed an interest in blues music. Can you help me find enough great blues songs to fill a mixtape for him that are: a) electric; b) kinda rockin'; and c) not overly lyrically troublesome for a preschool-aged tyke? [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]
For the first time in my life (at age 32) I'm starting to feel somewhat out of touch with young people and youth culture. How do I address this? [more inside]
Is it generally acceptable for a childless man to coach youth sports? [more inside]
Boston MetroWest parent filter: I need an affordable full-time preschool in Needham, MA or between Needham and North Waltham. And by "affordable" I mean < $1000/month. My son will be 3 in October. [more inside]
I have a ten-year-old boy staying with me for the next month in a Maryland suburb of DC. I would love to hear any and all suggestions for activities in the DC area (especially if anyone knows about any kind of baseball day camp or one day programs, anything baseball related). We have been having fun exploring the area but new ideas would be awesome. Thank you.
What are some best practices for teaching children how to ride bicycles on the road? [more inside]
I'm thinking about letting my almost 5 year old stay up to see some fireworks on Thursday. What's a good place to see them that doesn't involve being stuck in traffic or having to camp out all day? [more inside]
I believe that my autistic/mentally ill son is using our family computer when he should not be (i.e., while everyone in the house is asleep). I need facts about whether or not he's doing it and what he's doing while online. I'm primarily looking for screenshots/keylogs with timestamps. I'm hoping to get recommendations and anecdotes from people who've used software like this. The machine in question is running Windows 7. I am not interested in a discussion of the ethics of it. Thank you.
I'm compiling a list of simple, abstract rules that three-year olds are likely to know, along the lines of "green means go" or "a smile means they're happy". I need some more rules/patterns/abstract properties that kids this age in the US usually know about. [more inside]
My son has an iPod touch and pretty much everyone in our family has iPhones and iPads. I would like to find a way that my son can text chat with only a small approved list of people. [more inside]
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.
My daughter is 10 and in the midst of puberty. She has noticeable armpit hair. She's also fairly naive/unaware of standard social stuff - not clued in to what's "cool" etc. She also gets teased about being weird pretty regularly. She's also going to sleepaway camp for the first time this summer, and will be wearing a bathing suit a lot... [more inside]
Please help me come up with a - clever name- for a local parents with kids meet-up group. We're goths, we don't have special snowflakes, we have coal dust... [more inside]
suggestions for a trip for four adults, four kids (two ~1, two ~5). About a week in Feb-April 2014. [more inside]
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]
Is there a good spot to find wooden-bottomed clogs in children's sizes at a physical location in NYC? Or a place with a wide range of adult sizes which might fit a tiny human (in the size 34-35 range)? I'm hoping to find somewhere to try things on in person, rather than roll the dice online. Thanks.
I want to let my kids (first graders) start solving crossword puzzles. They can read and write, but I want to make it more fun for them. In my search, I found this. I think it's pretty good, but I want a whole bunch more. Is there anything good, not too expensive, on Amazon etc?
So some friends of mine, who have a two-year-old, are coming to visit me this weekend in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. I don't have kids, but I know there are a lot of kids in the neighborhood, so I know there has to be some kid-friendly dining options. I only moved in to the neighborhood about a month ago, so I have not had time to explore. Ideally I'd like to find a bunch of kid-friendly restaurants in the neighborhood and send the kid's mom a list of them so that she can pick one out. Any recommendations?
My toddler loves a certain type of Muppet clip. Can you find me other examples? [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]
Academic sabbatical +/- having a baby: how does that work? What is the most "logical" time frame for either of these to occur? Is this a bad idea altogether? [more inside]
I am a newly single mother. I live in a small town that is fairly safe, but you never know. I do not want a gun in my house since it raises the chances of a gun-related accident with children. [more inside]
Are you an adult in a two-parent, dual-income family? Do you have kids of school age? Could you give me an idea of how much "adult" time you have in a normal week? I don't mean just sex, anything that's not kid-dominated would count: date night, beers, whatever. Pop culture makes having kids out to be all-consuming from just about conception until college but I don't have any real-world frame of reference for it so I'm trying to calibrate myself.
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]
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?
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]
Seeking suggestions for non-perishable foodstuffs to feed a toddler while flying cross country. [more inside]
My children's adored grandmother is a smoker. She doesn't smoke in front of the kids but does take several smoke breaks a day, and while our two year old is oblivious, our four year old is probably close to figuring out what's up. Growing up, I had no relatives who smoked, and my parents pushed the "boy, smokers sure think they look cool, don't they look stupid though?" angle which worked fine on me. Obviously that isn't going to work in this case. How do you talk with young children about smoking as a Bad Thing when relatives smoke?