One of the hardest, most humbling things about being a parent is those moments when your child communicates with you using strategies that you've used with him or that he's seen you use with someone else--and you shouldn't have. We all have times when we do something to try to get another person to do … Continue reading Cooperation, Communication, and Consequences
Happy Earth Day! Before I get to my main topic, I've got some special offers to tell you about... First, instead of buying anything, check out the beautiful photographs in the Capture Conservation photo contest sponsored by the Student Conservation Association! UPDATE: The sale on PlanetBox stainless steel lunchboxes has ended, but check out our … Continue reading Some Plants Are For Eating
We thought Becky Bailey's book Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline was a mixed bag that contained a few good techniques; this is one of them. Bailey talks about it in a more long-winded way, but I boiled it down to this formula, which I've found easy to remember and therefore to actually use in … Continue reading The X, Y, Z Method of Child Discipline
When I was born, my mother quit her paying job so she could be home with me. When my kids were born, I took 12 weeks off and then returned to my job. It's my father, not my mother, who has been my role model for balancing parenthood with employment.
Welcome to the February 2015 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Do It Yourself This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants are teaching us how to make something useful or try something new. *** By the time my first … Continue reading How to Get Kids to Behave in Church
Ah, December, the month when the days are getting shorter and shortest as we try to pack in shopping, parties, preparations for hospitality or travel, and tranquil spiritual contemplation along with all our usual activities! It makes a kid who persistently wants attention all the more annoying. The December my son Nicholas turned two, I … Continue reading The Nutcracker: music for the imagination
It's back-to-school season! If your child brings a lunch to school, now is the time to think about how to pack that lunch. If you bring your lunch to work, this is a great time of year to rethink what you're packing, too. Choosing the right lunch-packing habits can make a big difference in how … Continue reading 5 Tips for Green Lunch Packing
Our nine-year-old Nicholas has been interested in home decorating since he was about four years old. I often get frustrated with his desire to set up things that are merely decorative, have no useful purpose, and just get in my way! I am even more irritated when he wants to buy things just for decorating. … Continue reading Centerpiece
Welcome to the June 2014 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Kids and Animals This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have shared stories and wisdom about kids and animals. *** When my cousin Samantha was three years old … Continue reading Vegetarianism and Animal Rights: Explaining to Children
We aren't sports fans in our family. Exercise is good, but we're not much interested in playing sports and even less interested in watching sports. But we live in Pittsburgh, a city with three professional sports teams that are a major focus of the local culture. We can't help noticing when one of the teams … Continue reading Saving Money on Sports Fan Gear
I'm an easily chilled sort of person. I like to feel warm and cozy, and being cold upsets me. In any given weather conditions, I'm usually wearing at least as many garments as the average person, often more. My son Nicholas seems to feel warm most of the time. He's often quite calm and comfortable … Continue reading My kid doesn’t have to wear a coat.
He never believed in the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy, either. There are three important reasons why Daniel and I decided, before Nicholas was born, that we were not going to pretend that any of these characters were real. The first is that we didn't like the idea of lying to our child. We … Continue reading Why my kid never believed in Santa Claus
A while back, another mother asked my advice: Tonight my five year old asked me, "Where did the first people come from?" "Well," I replied, "Different people believe different things. Scientists think that humans evolved from gorillas." "What is evolved?" "That’s when things change from one thing to another, like a caterpillar to a butterfly. … Continue reading Answering a child’s questions on human origins
This is a controversial and confusing question. Some people go on and on about how parenthood melted their selfish hearts and made them realize the importance of devoting themselves fully to making their children's lives perfectly wonderful and completely safe. Other people go on and on about how children are hedonistic little leeches whose spirits … Continue reading Should Your Family Be Child-centered?
Want to decorate your home for a party? You could buy a bunch of bright-colored paper streamers or rubber balloons that you inflate with air. These things are inexpensive, but they're typically made in China by exploited workers in polluting factories and then shipped halfway around the world to you, wasting a bunch of fossil … Continue reading FREE Earth-friendly Party Decorations!
Huh, why am I still talking about Easter on May fifteenth? Everybody knows Easter was way back in March this year! Well, yes, Easter Sunday, the commemoration of the day when Jesus rose from the dead, was on March 31, but Easter actually is a season that lasts seven weeks in the Episcopal Church and … Continue reading Easter: Is it just a believing?
If you have any opinions at all about the appropriate methods of disciplining children, and if you are ever anywhere near any families with different opinions, someday you will find yourself in this situation: Your child sees another parent respond to a child's behavior in a way that your child recognizes as different, which may … Continue reading What to Do When Your Child Witnesses Bad Discipline
I am an Episcopalian, raising my son Nicholas (now eight years old) as an Episcopalian, but I was raised Unitarian myself, so I've had to figure out a lot of this Christian parenting stuff as we go along. I've talked with some other parents in the same boat, as well as some who don't belong … Continue reading How I told my child the Easter story
I was an avid viewer of "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" when I was a little girl, and I renewed my appreciation of the show in my late twenties when I read that Mister Rogers was about to retire and programmed my VCR to record his final three episodes. I enjoyed them several times before my son … Continue reading “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” Review
Children younger than 2 years old should not watch any television at all. The experts have been saying this for more than a decade, yet a lot of the parents I know think this is such an absurd idea that nobody could possibly comply with it. We did. Almost. We occasionally took Nicholas to restaurants … Continue reading Babies and Television