4 Reasons I Don’t Make My Kid to Perform

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My cousins and I were laughing about a photo of us when we were kids: our parents had us act out the nativity scene for Christmas, complete with costumes and a baby doll wrapped in a blanket. And while I'm sure I didn't mind playing the part of a shepherd, I hesitate to think that we actually enjoyed the show as much as our parents—in that photo, all but one of us looked miserable. It didn't stop there; for another Christmas, our parents dressed us up in over-sized, gift-wrapped boxes, and probably made us sing a jingle or two. And well into middle school, many of us were still singing at … [Read more...]

Weekend links and dancing to James Brown

My toddler isn't really one to dance. He has friends who, just by hearing some music, will move their hips and shoulders while clapping their hands. My toddler—not so much. He'll sometimes do his Flashdance "What a Feeling" foot shuffle and wave his arms when he sees people dancing to the Wii, but in general, he doesn't really move to the beat. All that changed a few weekends ago when my husband, toddler and I attended an art show... with a DJ. We were sitting on one of the couches when the DJ played a James Brown song. Well, apparently my toddler digs himself some funk because he sprung … [Read more...]

4 Ways to Keep a Toddler from Hitting

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A few weeks ago, my toddler was hanging out at his grandma's house when he started getting frustrated. He got so cranky that he started banging on the table. Immediately I told him, "You seem upset, but I won't let you hit the table. Here—hit the pillow instead." He obliged and started pounding on the pillow, but to no avail—he was still clearly upset and not calming down. My husband eventually picked him up and said, "We're going home." My toddler doesn't normally hurt himself or other belongings, but when he resorts to doing just that, I had been telling him to hit a pillow, the couch or … [Read more...]

When is Parenting Hard?

Ask the readers: When is parenting hard-toddler bed

My two-year-old has been relatively easy for the past several months. We haven't had any major tantrums or patience-testing phases. He's been sleeping through the night like clockwork. And he has been so patient and compliant even when I would never expect a toddler to be (such as sitting calmly in an over-crowded Costco while waiting in the longest-ever line... sigh). In short—dare I say—we're in an "easy phase" of parenting! Throughout my short tenure as a mom, these "easy" periods seem to come and go. Just when I'm thinking, "I'm getting the hang of this!" my toddler comes up with … [Read more...]

Are Mommy Groups or Play Dates a Good Way to Make Friends?

On mommy groups and play dates

My toddler doesn't get to interact with too many kids his age. Sure, he has cousins and even a few play mates, but we don't see them often. On one hand, I'm perfectly fine with this—I tend to think that children actually benefit from adult-oriented interactions than peer-oriented ones. But I also understand the important skills he'll learn by mixing with other kids his age. When my toddler was about eight months old, I signed up for a local mommy group. The group was active, but most of the kids were either too old or too young for my eight-month-old to play with. And with the exception of … [Read more...]

“It’s Okay”: Why You Shouldn’t Dismiss the Emotions of a Child

"It's okay": Why you shouldn't dismiss your child's fears

"Let's go to the beach!" I suggested to my toddler on a recent day off. The weather had finally started warming up, if even just to sit on the sand and hear the waves slapping back and forth. I packed up our blanket and toys, slathered on some sunscreen and headed out. But once I set my toddler down on the sand on his bare feet, he cried, "Want to carry up!" Apparently he didn't want to stand on the sand.  So off I go carrying my 30-plus pound toddler and a heavy, oversized tote bag across sandy beach. Once I picked a spot though, I had no choice but to put him down so that I could spread … [Read more...]

Weekend links and celebrating Earth Day

Weekend links and honoring earth day-carrot seedlings

For someone who lives in a city (in an apartment, at that) and who has yet to go camping for fear of the bathroom "amenities," I still consider myself a nature enthusiast. I love being outdoors, whether to hike, lie on the beach or even visit our local park. So it's only fitting that I want my toddler to hold the same fondness for nature. The heart of everything environmental lies in the appreciation for our natural surroundings. Being outdoors and immersed in nature has been on our agenda since our little guy was born. But since we don't live on acres of outdoors, we find other ways to … [Read more...]

My love/hate relationship with Susie Tallman and children’s songs

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Several months ago, my toddler and I stopped by the library and sat in the children's area. Another mom was already there, playing with her little girl when suddenly I heard the mom sing under her breath, "Old King Cole was a merry old soul, and a merry old soul was heeee..." Old King Cole is a popular children's song, but this woman sang it in the same eerily slow and scary tune as the one that had been playing in my head. I wanted to grab her by the shoulders and say, "Susie Tallman is in your head, too!" According to my iTunes, we have 7.7 hours of children's songs we've somehow amassed. … [Read more...]