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
Babies and Television
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
3 Good Children’s Books
Today's 3 Books on Thursday theme is children's books, and I am going to limit this list to just 3! Of course, there are many other picture books Nicholas and I enjoyed together when he was 18 months-5 years old, before he started insisting on chapter books for bedtime stories as well as on-the-bus entertainment, … Continue reading 3 Good Children’s Books
A Doorstop from Reused Materials, Delivered By Airplane!
Today is the organizing tips edition of Works-for-Me Wednesday, but I have no new organizing tips to impart. Check out my articles on Organizing Girl Scout Troop Information and Things Not To Do: Home Organizing Edition. Meanwhile, here's an idea for a homemade gift kids can use to surprise their faraway relatives! In early December, … Continue reading A Doorstop from Reused Materials, Delivered By Airplane!
Earth-friendly Nosebleed Care
My six-year-old son, who is slowly learning to be more independent during the night, recently told me in the morning that he had had a nosebleed in the middle of the night. I changed his pillowcase--our linen closet is in the master bedroom, so he couldn't have done that without waking us--but he had taken … Continue reading Earth-friendly Nosebleed Care
Explaining Addiction to a Young Child
You might think that addiction is a topic that wouldn't come up until children are in late elementary school, going through whatever passes for drug education in their school. You might be right. Then again, your child might ask questions at a much earlier age after noticing that someone you know or a television character … Continue reading Explaining Addiction to a Young Child
Words my three-year-old made up
Nicholas is six-and-a-half now, but I just found a post I made to a discussion board three years ago, answering the question, "Has your child invented any words?" I'm glad to see it again because I had forgotten 3 out of 5 of these! Pretendstructions. When Nicholas gets tired of his parents knowing all the … Continue reading Words my three-year-old made up
Traffic Safety for Little Kids
We live on a quiet street, but just around the block is the main street of our neighborhood, which has lots of traffic, parallel parking along both sides, and lots of intersections where right turns on red are allowed. Only some of the intersections have traffic lights and walk signals. There are lots of useful … Continue reading Traffic Safety for Little Kids
Sleep Strategies for Babies, Children, and Parents
Our son is six-and-a-half years old now, and while we've sometimes had trouble with his sleeping habits, in general we feel that the plans we made before he was born, influenced in part by the amazing books The Continuum Concept and The Family Bed, have worked out pretty well. Disclaimer: We have only one child. … Continue reading Sleep Strategies for Babies, Children, and Parents
How do you explain death to a young child?
My response to this question won't work for everyone, but I think most parents can adapt it to explain the beliefs they want to convey to their child. You also can learn from my experience and avoid leaving out a crucial fact about death, as I did! Nicholas first asked about death a few weeks … Continue reading How do you explain death to a young child?
Why my child is not allowed to watch Teletubbies
Attention, readers: The tone of this article is exaggerated for humor value. Although it does describe a potentially serious side-effect of watching a program that I personally find unbearably irritating, not every detail is intended literally. If you feel angry after reading it, please take a deep breath and step away from the screen. Comments … Continue reading Why my child is not allowed to watch Teletubbies
Mama, what happened on September 11?
If you haven't heard this question from your child yet, you're likely to hear it any day now. As the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks approaches, I'm seeing and hearing more commemoration than in the past eight years. My son asked about September 11 two years ago when the newspaper vending box showed a … Continue reading Mama, what happened on September 11?
3 Fun New Games for All Ages!
Well, maybe not all ages, but children as young as 3 can play Seven Dragons. This card game with beautiful art includes modified rules for preschoolers. It's not just for kids, though; it's a great game for parties because it's easy to learn and involves some strategy without being stressfully competitive. Seven Dragons debuted at … Continue reading 3 Fun New Games for All Ages!
A Nonviolent Strategy for Action Heroes
One day, when our son Nicholas was two-and-a-half years old, Daniel and I were talking about how we would do the Star Wars prequels better (a frequent topic of discussion) and I envisioned a scene in which someone is climbing a high, steep cliff by climbing the ivy growing on it, but as dusk falls … Continue reading A Nonviolent Strategy for Action Heroes
3-year-old shows consideration in a crisis
Here is a story I posted on a discussion board when Nicholas, now 6 years old, was 3. I still find it an encouraging reminder that in many ways he's a really good person. My 3-year-old has been demanding and rude and self-centered lately, and both parents and teachers have been struggling to get along … Continue reading 3-year-old shows consideration in a crisis
Religious Education with Ramona Quimby
I'm an Episcopalian now, but my parents joined a Unitarian Universalist church when I was seven years old, so I was raised in that denomination. There were many things about it that weren't compatible with my spirituality, but I did learn at least one valuable lesson there: Some secular books contain wisdom and moral dilemmas … Continue reading Religious Education with Ramona Quimby
I’ll Keep That in Mind.
Once kids learn to talk and learn that their parents are capable of acquiring new possessions using this magical stuff called money, they generally begin clamoring to own everything they see that is even remotely appealing. Every trip to the store becomes a constant barrage of, "Mama! Can we have peaches? . . . I … Continue reading I’ll Keep That in Mind.
When life gives you wet socks, make a matching game!
But then Daniel passed me a large paper bag full of yard-sale stuff, and as I took hold of the top edge, the bottom fell out, dumping twenty-seven pairs of wet, dirty, smelly socks onto our kitchen floor. Well, there were enough of them (plus a few other damp garments we found) to make a full washing-machine load. Hot cycle. Oxi-Clean. It was when I was hanging the now clean and fresh-smelling socks on the drying rack that I had a brilliant idea.
How to Make Christmas Morning Last Longer
My family has a tradition for opening our Christmas gifts that makes the fun last longer, reduces chaos, increases our appreciation of each gift, helps us remember to thank gift-givers who are present, improves our ability to make an accurate list of who got what from whom (as a reference for thanking givers who aren't present), calms down that "Gimme gimme! What's next?" feeling, and helps us share each other's joy. It works wonders, and it's really simple!
Practical Stocking Stuffers
In my family, Christmas stockings are not just for children! Everybody has a stocking, and we play Santa to each other by stuffing the stockings with little treats when nobody's looking. It's no fair to peek into your stocking before Christmas morning--when we open stocking gifts first thing, before breakfast or even coffee! For the … Continue reading Practical Stocking Stuffers