Young children notice difference. As they try to make sense of their world, they pay attention to regularity and irregularity, what is familiar and what is not. And there is no judgment involved, just recognition of difference. Truth be told, most people notice difference. It’s no big deal, or it shouldn’t be, anyway. Problems arise when difference is viewed as unacceptable. I know many adults who could use a lesson in tolerating difference. Last week on the bike path at the beach, a … [Read more...] about Look At That Lady’s Nose!
On my son Lucas’ second birthday, he wanted to wear barrettes in his hair just like his sister Jessie wore. I am reminded of this episode daily as I read the headlines about the trial of Brandon McInerney, the teen who shot Larry King, the boy who wore a dress and heels to school. (As an aside, the defense claims that the shooting resulted from Larry having made passes at Brandon, the shooter, not from his cross dressing. We will never really know what went on. But the trial, per se, is not … [Read more...] about Little Boys and Nail Polish
It’s hard enough to raise your own child—teaching him the rules of the road, guiding him as he learns how to “play nicely”—but what happens when a child who is not yours is in need of some pointed guidance (a swift kick in the pants, perhaps!)? You’re having a playdate, and the guest grabs a toy (your child’s favorite Thomas car) out of your child’s hands. The grabber’s mom observes without reaction. You’re at the park, and a girl you don’t know throws sand at your child. The sand … [Read more...] about Should You Discipline Someone Else’s Child?
Every year my friend Freida gives me a surprising gift. Far out pop-up books, foodstuffs from the Homeboy Industries-Homegirl Catering and Kitchen, DVD’s of documentaries I might have missed. But this year’s is the best: Of Thee I Sing: A letter to my daughters by Barack Obama. I have been hearing about this book since its release, but shame on me for not reading it until now. It is my loss. Don’t let it be yours. Of Thee I Sing, a beautifully, joyfully illustrated book, will drop you … [Read more...] about The Gift That Keeps On Giving
One of the signs (sometimes laced with a bit of sadness) that your child is growing up is when the inevitable question comes, Is Santa real? While it seems so simple, it is one that puts many a parent into a tail spin. What should I say? Should I tell him the truth? Should I lie? Won’t he be so disappointed? What if he accuses me of having lied to him when he finds out the truth? Let me put your mind at ease. You have not been lying to your child if you have allowed Santa Claus to be part … [Read more...] about “Is Santa Real, Mommy?”