How Toddlers Thrive


Tovah Klein, author of How Toddlers Thrive.
Topic: What parents can do for kids ages 2-5 to plant the seeds of lifelong success.
Issues: Who are toddlers? why they do the things they do; teaching self-regulation; why they pull you close, then push you away; the importance of learning to think like a toddler; solutions for common toddler issues like tantrums, toilet training; sleep; sharing, and playing.

Connecting with Kids through Play

Dear Mr. Dad: I’m the father of two kids, five and six. I love them fiercely, and I think we have a good relationship, but I worry that I’m a bad dad. One things I hate about myself is that I can’t seem to connect with the kids during play and I actually have a hard time making myself play with them. That doesn’t seem like something a good parent would have a problem with. What’s wrong with me?

A: Ok, first off, there’s nothing wrong with you—the fact that you’re worried about this aspect of your personality says you’re not a bad parent at all. Many of us were raised to believe that good parents play with their kids (and they do). However, the reverse—that parents who don’t get down and dirty with the little ones are bad parents—is simply not true. Chances are excellent that you’re struggling with playtime not because you hate your children (again, the fact that you’re worried about it takes that option off the table), but because spontaneous or casual play simply may not be part of your personality.
[Read more...]

Unleashing the Power of Children’s Play

[amazon asin=0465025994&template=thumbnail&chan=default]Peter Gray, author of Free to Learn
Topic: Unleashing kids’ instinct to play
Issues: How play makes kids happier, more self-reliant, and better students for life; play’s crucial role in children’s intellectual, social, and emotional development; how play has changed in today’s tech-filled world.

The Importance of Play + Wisdom from the Workplace + The Parents We Mean to Be

[amazon asin=0465025994&template=thumbnail&chan=default]Guest 1: Peter Gray, author of Free to Learn
Topic: Unleashing kids’ instinct to play
Issues: How play makes kids happier, more self-reliant, and better students for life; play’s crucial role in children’s intellectual, social, and emotional development; how play has changed in today’s tech-filled world.

[amazon asin=0470381310&template=thumbnail1]Guest 2: Jamie Woolf, author of Mom-in-Chief
Topic:
How wisdom from the workplace can save your family from chaos.
Issues: When to step in and when to step back; why working with your spouse is crucial to team happiness; how to maximize learning opportunities that come from mistakes; how to feel less like a maid and more like a skilled leader.

[amazon asin=0547248032&template=thumbnail1]Guest 3: Richard Weissbourd, author of The Parents We Mean to Be
Topic:
How well-intentioned adults undermine children’s moral and emotional development.
Issues: The difference between morality and religion; what a child’s behavior on the sports field says about his or her character; how organizing our children’s lives around achievement is harming them; how to regain our influence as moral mentors.

Need help getting the kids outside?

So Zoe and I rode our bikes to a movie theater last weekend to see “The Lorax.” When we came out, my bike had been stolen. Aside from being extremely inconvenient, that suddenly made it harder for me to get Zoe to spend time doing physical stuff outside.

According to the National Wildlife Federation, there are a lot of other obstacles that keep kids inside: [Read more...]

Does it matter whether you’re smiling while you change that diaper?

Great article by Tara Parker-Pope in the NY Times Magazine this week. It talks about whether women like childcare more than men. The answer, according to the researchers is, Yes.

But here’s my question: What the hell difference does it make whether you enjoy it or not?

Guys are doing more and more around the house—more than double what they were doing in 1985. The stats show that women are still spending twice as much time with the kids than men are. But those studies are notoriously flawed. They don’t take into account that men spend an average of 7 hours/week more than women commuting to and from work. They don’t count playing with the kids at “spending time” with them, and they usually don’t count the many other tasks men do in the general service of the family: plumbing, lawn mowing, dish washing, etc.
That said, the Times article raises some interesting points. Some excerpts:
“Researchers from the University of Virginia recently asked 181 academics with young children how much pleasure they experienced from various child-care tasks.”
“On 16 out of 25 child-care tasks — like changing diapers, taking a child to the doctor or getting up in the middle of a night to attend to a child — women reported statistically significant higher levels of enjoyment than men. The only parenting issue that gave women less pleasure than it gave men was having to manage who does what for the child. Over all, women’s scores were 10 percent higher than men’s.”
The whole article is here.
In addition, you can take the quiz yourself here.