PULL-UP DIAPERS: WHEN TO MAKE THE SWITCH




Should We All Be Raising Gender-Neutral Kids?

After the birth of my daughter, FaceTime conversations with my mother or my mother-in-law usually consist of a lot of cooing. “How’s my little princess doing today?” one of them will ask my five-month-old. “She looks like such a beautiful doll today,” the other will say. After ending a recent call, my husband came up to me and asked if we could please tell the grandmothers to stop referring to our daughter as a princess or a doll. “All dolls and princesses have to do is sit and look pretty,” he said. “Is that the kind of message you want her to grow up with?”

A New Study Explains the Right Way (and the Wrong Way) to Praise Your Kid

Praise has become something of a loaded subject with regard to kids, one tangled up in debates over self-esteem, academic pressure, and how to raise people who know how to work for what they want. There’s a Goldilocks effect at play: You don’t want to go overboard, but neither do you want to be too unenthused. And a study in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science showed how important it is for parents to get it just right.

Work-Life Balance: It's Possible

Good work-life balance - what does it really look like?

Its contours are vague, definitions different.

"What constitutes a healthy work-life balance will vary substantially between individuals and families. Some people may be able to tolerate more demanding working conditions than others," says Dr Jonathan Ramsay, a lecturer at the Human Resource Management Programme at SIM University.



He offers a working definition.

"For most parents with office jobs - especially those with young children - a work-life balance would involve being able to spend the majority of their evenings and weekends with their children," he says.

Brain Development in the Pre-K and K Years

During pre-school and Kindergarten, the brain grows steadily, increasing from seventy percent to ninety percent of its eventual adult weight. In addition to gains in size, the brain undergoes considerable reshaping and refining. Among these modifications are profound changes in the frontal lobes-areas of the brain devoted to regulating thought and action. The frontal lobes govern the inhibition of impulse, orderly memory, and the integration of information- capacities that facilitate reasoning and problem solving. All these skills improve considerably in kindergarten children.

What All Moms of Boys Need to Know

I am a Boy Mom.

I remember thinking during the gender ultrasound of my second baby that it was certainly a girl (after all, I always dreamed of having one of both genders), and then the technician said, “It’s a boy!”.

Strangely enough, my first thought was “I get to be the Mom of 2 BOYS!!” I was so excited. I love my oldest son, and was so excited to have another boy to love.

As much as I love little boys, there are some things that are unique to raising them.

Yes, there is penis talk, fart jokes, and dirt but there’s so much more about boys that every expecting Boy Mom needs to know.

Teaching Young Children About Bias, Diversity, and Social Justice

We've somehow decided that little kids can't understand these complex topics, or we want to delay exposing them to injustices as long as possible (even though not all children have the luxury of being shielded from injustice).

However, young children have a keen awareness of and passion for fairness. They demand right over wrong, just over unjust. And they notice differences without apology or discomfort.

Racial identity and attitudes begin to develop in children at a young age. Two- and three-year-olds become aware of the differences between boys and girls, may begin noticing obvious physical disabilities, become curious about skin color and hair color/texture, and may also be aware of ethnic identity.

5 Elementary Strategies

1. Use children's literature: There's a wealth of children's books (check out here: http://www.adl.org/education-outreach/books-matter/#.VwQW3_krLcs) that can be read aloud and independently to approach the topic of bias, diversity, and social justice.

2. Use the news media: Find topics and news stories that bring forth these themes and discuss them in the classroom -- like the nine-year-old boy who was banned from bringing his My Little Pony backpack to school because it was the source of bullying.

3. Teach anti-bias lessons: Social and emotional skill development lessons are the foundation, and then teachers can move to lessons on identity, differences, bias, and how bias and bullying can be addressed individually and institutionally.

4. Give familiar examples.
Take advantage of children's interest in books, TV shows, toys, and video games, and use them as opportunities to explore diversity, bias, and social justice.

5. Explore solutions: Re-think the concept of "helping others" to include discussions about the inequities that contribute to the problem and consider actions that can address it. For example, while it's useful to provide food to homeless people, we want to deepen the conversation to convey a social justice perspective and a wider lens with children. Therefore, discuss the stigma and stereotypes of homeless people, learn about unfair housing policies, and reflect on solutions that will reverse the problem in a lasting way and encourage students to take action.

Play and Learn: 4 Ways to Deal with A Curious Toddler in the House

It never fails: You take just a two-minute bathroom break, and by the time you’re done your toddler has emptied his toy box across the living-room floor, ripped your magazines to shreds, and somehow gotten into the crisper drawer of the fridge. “Toddlers learn by exploring their environment with all five senses,” says Alexis Clyde, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist at Children’s Medical Center Dallas. Kids this age are particularly fascinated by how an object works and what happens when they bend, drop, or throw it. While your child’s inquiries are normal, it’s no fun having your house constantly look like a wreck. We’ll help you contain the chaos by controlling his behavior without suppressing his inquisitiveness.

Four Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Ignore or Punish Toddler Tantrums

Popular parenting wisdom advises dealing with toddler tantrums in one of two ways. Ignore the ‘attention seeking behaviour’ and reward the toddler when they are good, or discipline the toddler by punishing them through exclusion. The naughty step and time out are commonplace in millions of homes around the world. Do they really work though? Child psychology and neuroscience says otherwise. Here are four reasons why you may want to reconsider your response the next time your toddler has a tantrum.

How To Make Your Wife Happy In 5 Minutes A Day

1. When you get home, ask, “What can I do to help?” Then for at least five minutes, actually do what she says. A lot of people ask this question and then do half of the job. So, the job is set the table, and they take out some plates. Or the job is diaper the baby, and they leave the wipes and the cream open and an empty bag of diapers laying around. Only five minutes is necessary for many household related tasks, or five minutes could make a good dent. At the very least, for five minutes your wife will see you fully engaged in a task, and not sitting doing nothing (which women hate), and that will magically make her happy and less stressed out.

2. Tell your wife what she does that you appreciate. For five whole minutes, tell her what she does that makes you happy and feel appreciative and grateful. Five minutes is a long time to talk, and you’ll see that this can make a real positive impact on your wife’s feelings. She may look at you with a smile like she did when you were dating. Or a more tired version of it at least.

3. Send your wife an email about how much you love her. No logistics, no plans, just a love letter. Women love this stuff. Most of them. If you try it and it doesn’t have any happiness impact, then next time try the next one...

4. Go on Amazon or Etsy and take five minutes to buy your wife a little surprise present. This doesn’t take very long.

5. When you want to have sex, look into your wife’s eyes and tell her how much you want her and how sexy she is. Use SPECIFICS. Do this for five minutes. This is longer than most men take, by a power of 1 million. Because, let’s face it, the usual is, “You’re so hot,” or no words at all, and then onto the kissing, if not the main event. Five minutes of saying how much you desire your wife and WHY is five minutes more than she may have heard in a while.

THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A KID LEAVES TRADITIONAL EDUCATION

Logan Laplante is a 13 year-old boy who was taken out of the education system to be home schooled instead. As a result, he was given the opportunity to receive an education tailored to his interests and his unique style of learning – something traditional education is not always able to offer. In a pretty remarkable show of wisdom, particularly for someone so young, Logan has said that when he grows up he wants to be happy and healthy. At a TEDx talk in 2013, he discussed how hacking his education is helping him achieve that goal.

How our toddlers showed us that they’d reached key milestones.

One of the most fascinating things of parenting is watching your children learn and develop. From the moment they are placed in your arms their little minds are absorbing knowledge and information from the world around them. They’re always watching, always listening (even when you wish they weren’t!) and all the time, their minds are expanding. There’s no ‘off’ switch when it comes to toddler’s learning. From the minute they wake in the (very) early morning their brains are little sponges; soaking up whatever their environment has to offer.

Navigating Your Identity as a Parent and an Educator

Tips for Parent-Educators: These are the top things I wish someone had said to me as I offered my first born to his first school.

1. Be a parent, first and foremost. That's what your kid needs most from you.
2. Proactively build a relationship with your child's teacher at the beginning of the year. Don't wait until there's a problem to sit down with them.
3. If a teacher doesn't ask about your child's strengths and interests, share those.
4. Also share anything you think the teacher should know about your kid that would help them be effective, such as that your kid is an introvert and won't often participate in whole-class discussions. (Again, hopefully they ask this question, but if not, share it.)
5. If your child complains about being bored, class being too hard, not being treated well by peers or adults, listen to your child. Don't hope it'll get better. Go to school and talk to people. Observe classes.
6. Don't be afraid of talking to the principal. Don't be afraid of making requests. You can do this kindly and thoughtfully, but your job, again, is to advocate for your kid.