My first child is turning 6 months soon and I've been home with him since he was born. It's finally starting to settle in that this is my job now. Other stay-at-home parents: what do you do all day, and how do you stave off the boredom, loneliness, and exhaustion that come with the territory? Some snowflake details inside. [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]
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]
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]
OK, similar questions have been asked here but I'm looking for a very specific answer. My insurance covers two kinds of Medela breast pumps (which friends tell me are the best): The Pump In Style Advanced (at a cost to me of $89), and the Freestyle ($159). It also covers the Medela Advanced Personal Double Breast Pump, about which I know nothing including the cost to me. I've read mixed things about the two pumps: That the Freestyle is great, or that people have experienced reduced flow after using it; and that the Pump in Style is great, but that it's very inconvenient. If you're among the lucky ladies who've had personal experience with these pumps, can you tell me what you think? This is our first kid and I think I'd really benefit from your advice. Thanks!
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]
We'd like to at least consider cloth diapering twins, mainly for environmental reasons (which, by the way, Is it totally settled that cloth diapering is greener? We live in SoCal so water is more of an issue than in most areas). Has anyone tried it, either with singletons and multiples, and would you recommend it for twins? If so, any specifics on brands/methods/tips would be great.
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 want to read more about alternative family structures in queer communities, particularly trans* communities, particularly communities of and for queer transpeople of color. What can you recommend? [more inside]
Seeking wisdom from the experienced: pros and cons of working full time vs. raising kids full time ? [more inside]
Does an OSX app exist which will limit the use of a single application? Nothing in the parental controls seems to be able to limit time spent in a given application. [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]
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 noticed that I may treat kids like how my parents treat them. How do I de-program myself from thinking like them? [more inside]
My 14 month old son cries and screams every waking moment he's with me. This has gone on for months, and it's killing me. Please help me understand what's going on and how I can make it stop. [more inside]
I would like suggestions regarding an age- and behavior-appropriate punishment for my 14-year old son. [more inside]
I need help teaching my 4 year old how to not interrupt and how to be silent when necessary. [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.
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]
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]
What should I remember to do when preparing for a life event that will take all my time and energy? [more inside]
My kids (currently 6 and 9) have become voracious readers. We have a large and varied collection of excellent fiction for them, but the non-fiction collection is more haphazard. They love learning new facts as they read (the type of thing that makes them look up from the book and say, "Did you know...?"). I want to make sure that the collection of books gives them a good introduction to fields where I myself may not have enough knowledge to judge the quality/accuracy of the book. So what's the kid's book in your field that makes you say, "If only every kid got to read this book, people would understand [topic] better."? [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]
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?
I have a 2 and half year old toddler (and another munchkin on the way.) He's getting to the point where he's starting to ask questions about my parents and my wife's parents and we're not quite sure how to tackle the topic. [more inside]
My 15-yo daughter has been dating a guy for about a year, has recently become sexually active with him, and we're moving toward getting her on hormonal birth control. The fact that she even came to me to talk about this is a minor miracle. How can I encourage a sex-positive attitude? What boundaries and limits, if any, should I establish? [more inside]
We switched to a new daycare center a little less than a year ago and for at least the past six months, my daughter has been having a hard time. [more inside]
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]
My spouse and I want to be foster parents in New York City. The whole system is exasperatingly decentralized, but we've gone to two orientations, filled out reams upon reams of paperwork, gotten physicals, put down 28 years of address history on our SCR forms. Now we need to take a MAPP training. The catch is that the agency nearest us holds the training Monday and Thursday nights. I work Thursday nights, so that is out. I've been calling agencies trying to find an open MAPP class, to no avail so far. So I'm wondering if the MeFi hive mind has any insights on finding an open MAPP class in NYC. [more inside]
My four-year-old son’s birthday is in late November. In our state, that means we can choose whether he starts (all-day) kindergarten this coming fall, when he’s 4-going-on-5, or next year, when he’ll be 5-going-on-6. I’m pretty paralyzed over this decision. I’m looking for insights, especially those with some sort of data behind them, to help. [more inside]
If your kindergarten-aged child chewed on their shirt sleeves or collar, how did you get them to stop?
I'm a first time mom. My son has some special needs that are causing me a considerable amount of stress. We are working with specialists to address his needs and we have a ton of support in that arena - it will be a long process but will likely eventually be corrected. My concern is more about me. [more inside]
My preschooler is getting just old enough to have a proper social life (playdates, birthday parties, etc.). I've got some specific questions about the parental etiquette expectations surrounding these kiddie get-togethers. [more inside]
My kids (a boy and a girl) are now five years old, and my wife or I read to them every night before bed. I'd like to start reading larger books to them which we can stretch out throughout a week or more, by reading them a chapter a night. Please help me put together a great reading list of age-appropriate books that will capture their imaginations and inspire happy dreams. [more inside]
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?
I let my four-year-old niece get the best of me in a lot of our play. How can I teach her when she needs to listen? [more inside]
I don't think I want kids and that scares me. [more inside]
My wonderful 4-year old son wants lots of girly things. I want nothing more than to support him and help him grow into the person he wants to be. My only question is, is there anything that a loving, responsible, progressive parent should do to protect him from hurt, possible bullying etc. [more inside]
Our teenage son's voice is so low and hoarse that none of us can hear it. [more inside]
Tell me about your daily schedules, parenting logistics, etc., with a newborn plus a toddler or older child. [more inside]
Toddler possessiveness is so commonplace I feel a little ridiculous for needing help with it. But I have no idea how to act as a parent on the playground, when my almost-2-year-old refuses to let anyone play with what she is playing. [more inside]
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]
I have a beautiful, curious, 8 month old daughter. I love her, but I don't know how to play with her. Help! [more inside]
How can I (should I?) thank parents for doing a fantastic job? [more inside]
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]
What things should I be concerned about when it comes to our 11 year old having a 3DS? [more inside]
How do atheist or otherwise non-religious parents teach their kids about the Abrahamic mythology? [more inside]
I am currently 21 weeks pregnant and my wife is not getting the attention, congratulations or support I get from others. How can I help others see her as a parent now and when the baby comes? [more inside]