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Is this normal? Toddler day care edition

Mini-me is starting day care at a place that takes the toddlers to a local park every day. I'm cool with this (wearing him out FTW!) but they apparently have the class walk there — about six blocks through a dense urban area. I was a little surprised by this practice for such little kids (18-36 months). Husband is really concerned about the whole thing and I'm not sure what to think. Is this actually a totally reasonable thing for toddlers to do in a group care environment? [more inside]
posted by annekate on Jul 28, 2014 - 42 answers

Help me get my kid a phone

Parents, what do you wish you knew when you got your kid their first phone? I need practical advice, but I'm also interested in the less tangible parent/child relations-type advice, too. [more inside]
posted by BlahLaLa on Jul 23, 2014 - 23 answers

Introverted three year old and family get togethers

My introverted three year old refuses to engage at family gatherings. But how do I teach her to be polite? And what exactly is going on in her head? [more inside]
posted by Omnomnom on Jul 6, 2014 - 40 answers

True Love & Sexuality - Middle School version

Asking for a friend - her 12 year old son is "in love" with a 12 year old girl. Hormones are active and kids are definitely interested in doing more than just holding hands. My friend is struggling to figure out reasonable rules on dating behavior, especially since in her culture, children this young simple don't date and yet here in sunny California the rules seem to be different. Complications inside. [more inside]
posted by metahawk on Jun 22, 2014 - 36 answers

What books or resources would you use to teach a kindergartner chess?

My question is twofold:
  1. What books, websites, or other resources do you recommend?
  2. Any tips for teaching a very young player?
He already knows all the basic moves and rules. [more inside]
posted by axoplasm on May 28, 2014 - 15 answers

How do I get to know my parents as people?

After seeing and reading about the death of parents, one of the biggest regrets seems to be not knowing them better. I have a cordial but distance relationship from my parents and while I don't ever see us being BFFs, I would like to know them better as people and their life. How do I do this, considering I live 6 states away? [more inside]
posted by lpcxa0 on Mar 26, 2014 - 21 answers

Young toddler bedtime: doin' it wrong?

Bedtime has always been a production with our now 13 month old, and unfortunately I don't know many parents of similarly-aged kids to calibrate against. Does this routine seem normal/okay to you for this age? Snowflake details inside. [more inside]
posted by annekate on Mar 16, 2014 - 28 answers

Is it rude to bring a baby to a bed & breakfast?

Wifey and I are headed to Hawaii for our first vacation post-pregnancy. We've loved staying at B&B's in the past, but don't want our hosts or other guests to cringe when we show up with our 6-month-old daughter. Be honest: have we outgrown this mode of lodging?? [more inside]
posted by atreyu on Feb 15, 2014 - 13 answers

Media recommendations for a gender-nonconforming 3-year-old boy

I’m looking some age-appropriate media that will show my bright, sensitive 3 year old son (who seems to be more interested in all things femme every day) that his interests are okay. He has lots of female family members and friends who demonstrate to him that there are a million different ways of being a woman or a girl. But neither his dad nor I is feminine in the slightest, and most of the men in his life are uniformly masculine. I’d love it if he could see positive representations of boys and men in books and TV who have a wider variety of gender expressions. [more inside]
posted by libraritarian on Jan 27, 2014 - 32 answers

How can I help my friend come out to play with baby around?

I've only seen my best friend outside of his house twice this year. He and his wife have a 15-month-old baby boy, and they ignore, decline or don't make it to every social engagement because the baby might cry, or the baby is sleeping. They've all but stopped communicating with me. Help me understand why this is so hard for them, and if there is there any advice I can use or pass on that can help? [more inside]
posted by cogat on Dec 27, 2013 - 55 answers

Feminist basics for dads?

I'd like to get some recommendations on the basics of feminism, especially as it might relate to things a dad can do to help his daughters prepare for and deal with sexism in society and also do his part in understanding the world and making it a better place for women (and by extension all people). [more inside]
posted by Reverend John on Dec 21, 2013 - 34 answers

I don't know how she does it! .....no really, please tell me...

As I mentioned in this question, I'm a single mom of an 8 month old. My question in a nutshell is, how in the hell do working single parents do it? [more inside]
posted by argyle dreams on Dec 17, 2013 - 23 answers

Mama I do it! Mama you do it!

I have a 2 year old (26 months to be very precise). We have entered the phase of "I do it!", which is okay in and of itself, but a pattern is starting to appear. He wants to, say, put on his coat himself. Great! Usually one of 2 things happens: he puts it on himself (about 10% of the time), or as soon as I hand him the coat he insists that I do it. So I start to do it, but I get a tearful "MAMA I DO IT!" He creates an impasse where I can't help him but he refuses to do what he says he wants to do. [more inside]
posted by DrGirlfriend on Dec 13, 2013 - 29 answers

Not disciplining 7-y.o. boy for publicly battering younger girl - WTF?

While at a small family gathering in our friends' home, my coworker's 7-year-old son suddenly grabbed a 4-year-old girl, raised her up into the air over his head, and body-slammed her onto the living room floor -- in full and complete view of 8 parents, including both of his own. His parents never did or said anything to him about it that night, and we're all horrified. How do we get to a place of acceptance when folks make vastly different parenting choices than our own, and our kids see it? Details ... [more inside]
posted by hush on Nov 15, 2013 - 55 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

Fun things to do with a 4-year-old over Skype

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]
posted by muckster on Aug 21, 2013 - 9 answers

Can't fix the past; can I mend the present?

I have just found out that my ex and the father of my child did something twenty-odd years ago that has had permanent ramifications for both our child and his daughter with his former wife (the daughter is 9 years older than our son). I was unaware of this until Sunday, when I visited the former wife (who lives in another city) and we had a long and intense conversation under the shadow of the terminal diagnosis she received earlier this year. What do I do now? [more inside]
posted by jokeefe on Aug 20, 2013 - 23 answers

Natural Gas Smell

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]
posted by zarq on Aug 15, 2013 - 13 answers

Career vs. SAHM

Seeking wisdom from the experienced: pros and cons of working full time vs. raising kids full time ? [more inside]
posted by oink on Jun 29, 2013 - 42 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

Are There Research/Data-Driven Parenting Books (that are readable)?

We are expecting (twins) and we are devouring parenting books. We're not overly beholden to these books - we trust our own instincts. But it seems like a lot of these books are anecdotal, or old-fashioned. We'd love to find a book that is modern, research/data-driven, and at least a little enjoyable to read. The kind of book that someone who enjoys Lifehacker, RadioLab, BoingBoing, etc. would respond to. Any suggestions?
posted by Anonymousness on May 14, 2013 - 13 answers

How do I help my tween not hurt herself accidentally on purpose?

My tween daughter recently had a minor but serious accident that required a visit to the emergency room and a few days on narcotic painkillers. During this time she missed school, skipped homework and other normal activities, and basically got a lot of attention and concern from relatives and friends, and of course me, her mother. Now, having recovered, she's articulated that she misses all that special attention and has explicitly said that she wants to get hurt again. [more inside]
posted by marionett gjorda av strumpor on Apr 30, 2013 - 19 answers

Advice on how to deal with abusive ex and his girlfriend

The 16 yo daughter of a lady I am good friends with was contacted after an argument by the fiance of her ex-husband regarding how to deal with a borderline abusive situation at home. The discussion evidently even went to far as to see if the daughter could advise her whether to go to a hotel or home to sleep with him. My friend feels this very inappropriate. Is it a big deal? She is very upset and is contemplating a measured response and future plan to stop this from happening ever again. She would like to do so without alienating her daughter (who seems to enjoy the attention) or poisoning the future relationship with her daughters dad and soon to be stepmom. Her and I both agree that she is probably on track to become another abused spouse and ought to leave the relationship - but right now that will not happen. I know the mefi crowd is sensitive, smart, and probably a good place to get some input, any thoughts?
posted by sfts2 on Apr 1, 2013 - 11 answers

What we have here is a failure to communicate.

Our teenage son's voice is so low and hoarse that none of us can hear it. [more inside]
posted by dean winchester on Mar 11, 2013 - 20 answers

How do I help my four-year-old learn to not be an asshole?

My wife and I are wrestling mightily with parenting our four-year-old daughter, who is an asshole. I use the word "asshole" because we are taken aback by how mean and insulting and nasty she can be. I know we are supposed to love her unconditionally but we are struggling to deal with who she is rather than how she acts... Help! [more inside]
posted by mindsound on Mar 1, 2013 - 51 answers

What to do with my last month on maternity leave?

I don't want to miss out on things in my last month of being home with my daughter before going back to work. Is there anything you wish you did before starting work full time? Anything that you wish you didn't do? [more inside]
posted by derivation on Feb 2, 2013 - 10 answers

Adam and who now?

How do atheist or otherwise non-religious parents teach their kids about the Abrahamic mythology? [more inside]
posted by looli on Jan 24, 2013 - 44 answers

Are all the other dads wearing cups?

I feel like I’m getting hit in the gentlemen’s region by my baby/toddler more often than is probably normal. Also a lot harder than I would have expected. I have some questions… [more inside]
posted by French Fry on Nov 29, 2012 - 17 answers

What fun things should we do before having kids?

AdviceFilter: What life experiences (or fun things) should my partner and I make time for, before having a baby? [more inside]
posted by amoeba on Sep 19, 2012 - 19 answers

Torn between shielding my daughter and needing her help

How can I encourage my adult daughter from my first marriage to voice her opinions in my current divorce proceedings (of my second marriage) without it feeling like I'm dragging her into battle? [more inside]
posted by punocchio on Aug 22, 2012 - 22 answers

Will Hamachi get my kid in deep sushi?

My twelve-year old is asking me to install Hamachi so that he can play Terraria over the Internet. Should I do it? What are the risks? [more inside]
posted by cross_impact on Aug 18, 2012 - 10 answers

What to do about my mother in law and her parenting?

My Mother-in-law is sending her children to my house as punishment and it makes me very uncomfortable and I need help figuring out how to get her to stop. [more inside]
posted by julie_of_the_jungle on Aug 15, 2012 - 43 answers

I need a time machine

A little more than a month ago, I started a full-time telecommuting job that I thought was my dream job. When I took it, I was working part-time (and had been since my son was born two years ago). This is my first full-time job since becoming a mom. I now think I made a big mistake. [more inside]
posted by trillian on Aug 14, 2012 - 21 answers

Do I have to choose between my son, or, my dad & stepmom?

My father and stepmother have rejected my son, after I placed him in an Open Adoption following his birth earlier this year. How do I deal with important family events where both parties would be welcome and invited? Snowflake details within. [more inside]
posted by erasorhed on Aug 6, 2012 - 21 answers

Calvin-Hobbes Architectural Design, LLC

Help me build the best modular indoor blanket fort EVER. [more inside]
posted by Doleful Creature on Jul 21, 2012 - 15 answers

How to handle a child's degenerative and fatal diagnosis

Tomorrow I find out if my two-year-old son has Duchenne's Muscular Dystrophy. There's no "good" form of MD, but this is definitely the "bad" (and most common) version. Most children with this diagnosis are wheelchair-bound by age 12, and the average life expectancy is 25. There is no treatment and no cure. How do I, as a father, deal with this? [more inside]
posted by math on Jul 10, 2012 - 31 answers

Help for parents of an adult with Asperger's.

Need help finding resources for parents of adult children with Asperger's. [more inside]
posted by sonika on Jul 6, 2012 - 7 answers

Am I right in giving "Dress Up" a dressing-down?

My wife wants our daughter to have a makeover party for her 8th birthday. Manicures, pedicures, hair-styling and all that. Am I being overly-sensitive in thinking it's a bad idea? [more inside]
posted by ColdChef on Jun 13, 2012 - 97 answers

Help me help an eleven-year-old find her own normal.

She's not into what she thinks girls her age are "supposed" to be into. How do we show her that what she likes is what's normal, and maybe encourage her to reach out to find the other kids that like that stuff too? Is that what we should be doing? [more inside]
posted by kostia on Jun 11, 2012 - 97 answers

Help a shy four year old who is missing out.

How to help my four-year-old better cope with his extreme shyness, so he doesn't keep missing out on things he wants to do? [more inside]
posted by Ausamor on Jun 2, 2012 - 14 answers

On Becoming An Epic Uncle

My brother and his wife are having a baby! How do I become a good best epic uncle? What are some nice or useful things your siblings have done for your children? What are you own favorite memories involving your uncle? [more inside]
posted by Foci for Analysis on May 29, 2012 - 23 answers

Do kids do better with individual chores or group chores?

Parenting filter: I have two kids, 11 and 9. I'm a divorced dad trying to figure out a plan for their accountability for their chores when they're with me. The biggest stumbling block seems to be division of labor. On the one hand, assigning individual chores (Daughter, you wash the dishes. Son, you dry and put away) and rewarding for completion seems simple enough. But I want to teach them teamwork, negotiation, time management (who does what part first) and shared responsibility. So sometimes I say "Clean the kitchen, you figure out who does what". The latter seems better for a shared reward like a trip to the movies. Does anyone favor one approach over the other, and why? BTW they're coming from a household where their mom and I differed on how to handle chores, so they're a little used to coasting.
posted by punocchio on May 17, 2012 - 22 answers

Help me properly buckle up the little kids

I spoiled my kids, now how to reverse it? Specifics about car seat [more inside]
posted by akomom on May 11, 2012 - 32 answers

To work full time or not...

I currently work 20 hrs./week at a local nonprofit in field "XYZ." My husband works full time (8-6, usually), and we have a 2-year-old son who goes to my parents' house while I'm at work (3 days a week). However, yesterday I was contacted about a full-time job that's very appealing, and I don't know whether to pursue it. [more inside]
posted by trillian on Apr 20, 2012 - 21 answers

My best guess is that the Very Hungry Caterpillar is really terrifying.

Toddler nightmares: what helped you calm the shrieking beast? [more inside]
posted by sonika on Apr 9, 2012 - 35 answers

I need to mine your knowledge about minecraft

My kid wants to play Minecraft. I am not a gamer. Please help me answer questions regarding system requirements, appropriateness and how to get him started when I really don't want to get involved at all! [more inside]
posted by BlahLaLa on Mar 15, 2012 - 30 answers

Minecraft project ideas with a very young child

Please suggest some Minecraft projects I could do with my 5 year old daughter. [more inside]
posted by snarfois on Mar 9, 2012 - 13 answers

How to talk to your kids about online porn?

Have you discovered your child has seen online pornography? What did you do about it? [more inside]
posted by amoeba on Mar 5, 2012 - 25 answers

Taming a wild child

Help me tame our 7 year old daughter before she makes all of the boys in her second grade class cry. [more inside]
posted by mosk on Feb 8, 2012 - 36 answers

Should I date my baby daddy?

Should I date my son's father, when we never really did way back when we were busy procreatin'? [more inside]
posted by youandiandaflame on Dec 28, 2011 - 21 answers

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