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
Should Your Family Be Child-centered?
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?
Saying “No!” to Toddlers
Today I received email responding to my recent article on child discipline and asking me to take a look at this article: 10 Alternatives to Saying No to Your Child. That's some good advice! I'm glad to see it on a site that helps people find jobs as au pairs (childcare providers who live with … Continue reading Saying “No!” to Toddlers
Things Not To Do: Toddler Toothbrushing Edition
Our son Nicholas is seven years old now and sometimes puts up a fuss about brushing his teeth, but he's nowhere near as resistant as he was when he was a toddler, and the lesson I learned then still seems to apply. Soon after his teeth emerged and we started brushing them, the novelty wore … Continue reading Things Not To Do: Toddler Toothbrushing Edition
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
Change diapers in bathrooms.
When our child was wearing diapers, Daniel and I found it very easy to stick to this simple rule that teaches the child good habits for the future, simplifies clean-up of your hands and anything else that's soiled, is more courteous to the people around you, minimizes the spread of germs, and is respectful of … Continue reading Change diapers in bathrooms.
Don’t Save Room for Dessert!
One habit I am very grateful my parents taught me is this: When you finish your dinner, stop eating. If you get hungry again before bedtime, you may have dessert. In my childhood home, "dessert" was often canned fruit in syrup, homemade yogurt with jam, tapioca pudding, fruit crisp, a bagel, or something else that … Continue reading Don’t Save Room for Dessert!
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
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
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
Important Word to Teach a Toddler
When our son Nicholas was just beginning to talk and simultaneously expanding his interests in climbing on things and stacking things in tall piles, his father Daniel taught him an important word. This word summed up a major reason to be cautious about climbing that thing or stacking that way, in one word instead of … Continue reading Important Word to Teach a Toddler
7 Continuum Concept Experiences
For years now, I've been meaning to write something about how The Continuum Concept by Jean Liedloff relates to our parenting style and a lot of my life experiences. It's a big idea, and I have a lot of scattered notes stashed in a draft post, but so far I haven't even gotten around to … Continue reading 7 Continuum Concept Experiences
Mama, you happy?
My two-year-old repeatedly asked if I was happy. What did he mean, really, and how should I respond?
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!
How to Do Everything!
This article is linked to the greatest tips edition of Works-for-Me Wednesday, where the hostess explains how to get a human on the phone when you call customer service, and more than 178 people have linked to their own helpful tips on how to do all sorts of things. Here are my own greatest tips: … Continue reading How to Do Everything!
Thinking Out Loud
I talk to my kid a lot. He's five-and-a-half years old now and has some interesting things to say, but long before he was capable of conversation I talked to him quite a bit. It wasn't really a conscious strategy, just that I like having a companion sharing my experiences. In my own childhood, I … Continue reading Thinking Out Loud
These two games have been enjoyed by little children in my family for at least three generations. They worked for me when I was little, they've been favorites of my four-year-old son since he was about nine months old, and I look forward to trying them on his younger cousins this Thanksgiving! These are the … Continue reading Knee-bouncing Games
Toilet Training Tips
Start with nights. Let him go naked some of the time so it would be easy for him to observe his functions. Nylon pull-on diaper covers worn over underwear make great training pants! Use a sticker chart.
Semi-disposable sippy cups
You might be surprised to see EnviroBecca touting the virtues of anything disposable. After all, I'm all about cloth diapers and hankies and reusable menstrual gear and real dishes even at picnics and just generally reusing everything! Notice I said semi-disposable. The sippy cups we prefer are lightweight polypropylene similar to those Gladware and Ziploc containers … Continue reading Semi-disposable sippy cups