Developing Infant Language Skills + Selfies, Sexting, and Growing Up

Nicola Lathey, coauthor of Small Talk.
Topic: How to develop your child’s language skills from birth to age four.

Issues: Why the babbling stage is so important; How to encourage your baby’s first words; Communication techniques to calm your toddler’s tantrums; the truth about pacifiers, baby signing, and the impact of TV on language development; language acquisition in bi-lingual homes; causes for concern and where to turn for help.

Janell Burley Hoffman, author of iRules.
Topic: What every tech-healthy family needs to know about selfies, sexting, gaming, and growing up.
Issues:
Having the tech talk (for big kids and little ones); learning to use the tech your child is engaged in; passwords, peers, and how to avoid being a creeper; sleep, kids, and devices; maintaining manners and rules away from home; how to create your own iRules contract.

For Dads, Every Day is Father’s Day

Mr. Dad Seal of ApprovalOkay, so this year’s Father’s Day has come and gone. But, really and truly, isn’t every day father’s day? Well, it should be! So if you’re looking for a just-because gift for dad, check out the most recent winners of the Mr. Dad Seal of Approval.

Today’s involved dads are always searching for ways to spend quality time with their children–doing things that they’ll enjoy doing as much as the kids will. The Mr. Dad Seal of Approval honors toys, games, and apps that do exactly that.

How does a company earn the Mr. Dad Seal of Approval? Details are at mrdad.com/seal. But to sum it up, if it’s got that, “Hey-Dad-can-we-do-that-again?!” factor, chances are it’s a winner. If you or someone you know is interested in submitting a product, give it a shot–there’s no fee to apply.

Click here for the complete list of 2014 Father’s Day winners.

Sorry, Mila, But We Are Pregnant

Dear Mr. Dad: As someone who writes a lot about fatherhood, you probably saw Mila Kunis’ funny public service announcement where she says that a man saying “we are pregnant” is a no-no. As a father-to-be, I enjoyed the sketch, but I think that Mila forgot that men do play a role throughout. My wife and I have been arguing (lightheartedly) about this and I need someone to back me up.

A: Oh, yea, I saw it. And not to worry—I’ve got your back. Mila and her husband Ashton Kutcher (OMG, and I really writing celebrity gossip?) seem like a lovely couple, and I’m sure they both have a good sense of humor. But kidding or not, her comments got a huge amount of coverage around the country (and the world).
[Read more...]

Getting Your Kids to Cooperate without Losing Your Cool

Rona Renner, RN., author of Is that Me Yelling?
Topic:
Getting your kids to cooperate without losing your cool.
Issues: becoming aware of yourself; understanding everyday triggers; adapting your parenting style to your child’s temperament; dealing with the yeller in your family; dealing with difficult situations, disorders, and differences.

Is That Me Yelling? + The Sense and Nonsene of Alternative Medicine

Rona Renner, RN., author of Is that Me Yelling?
Topic:
Getting your kids to cooperate without losing your cool.
Issues: becoming aware of yourself; understanding everyday triggers; adapting your parenting style to your child’s temperament; dealing with the yeller in your family; dealing with difficult situations, disorders, and differences.


Paul Offit, author of Do You Believe in Magic?
Topic:
The sense and nonsense of alternative medicine.
Issues: What is “alternative medicine”?; megavitamins actually increase the risk of some cancers and heart disease (something well known to scientists but not to the general public); celebrity spokespeople (Like Jenny McCarthy and her anti-vaccine campaign) who have no medical background and are doing more damage than good; alternative medicine treatments that actually work.

When it Comes to Making Career Choices, Let Your Child Do the Driving

Dear Mr. Dad: My daughter just turned 15, and I want to start preparing her for the future. Specifically, I want to make sure that she’s on the right career path, whether than means going to college, trade school, or something else after she graduates high school. She’s only got a few years left, and I’m a little concerned that she doesn’t seem to have much direction. How do I steer her toward the right career choice?

A: As parents, we all want our kids to succeed in everything they do, from getting good grades to finding the right life partner to landing the perfect job. But parenthood is an ongoing lesson in the difference between control and influence. When our kids are young, we’re pretty much in control and we’ve got a huge amount of influence. As they get older, they take on more and more control over their own lives. We have influence, but a little less every day. And by the time they’re around your daughter’s age, we have almost no control at all, and whatever influence we still have is much more powerful if we wait until we’re asked to help rather than offering unsolicited advice (which a lot of teens and young adults will see as an attempt to control them anyway).
[Read more...]