Articles by Kellen Kaiser

Friday, June 28th, 2013

8 Reasons to Talk to Your Kids about Homosexuality

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8 Reasons to Talk to Your Kids about Homosexuality
Growing up with lesbian parents, I wished my classmates' parents had talked to them about homosexuality. Here are eight reasons why it's important you talk to your kids about homosexuality. It's all part of the mission of raising globally-minded children!   1.  Eventually, inevitably, they will meet someone who is gay.   They may have already. With more and more gay people having kids there could be gay parents in your preschool or playgroup. When that fateful meeting occurs, it might be nice for your kids to have some context.  Read more »

What Sucks about Being a Nanny

When friends hear the nanny position that has served as my main gig for the past year and a half is ending, the most common question I’m asked is, "But won’t you miss him?"   Him.  Read more »

I’m Your Nanny, Do You Really Trust Me?

The first week of my new job coincided with the heavily media-covered murder of two children by their nanny in the Upper East Side of New York City.  Read more »

The Only Things Your Baby Needs

Jail is an interesting place to observe parenting in practice.  Read more »

Why the Car is Bad for Your Kids

I’m a strange candidate to argue for a car-free approach to childrearing. As a resident of Los Angeles, I practically live in my car. And If I’m being completely honest, I can’t even ride a bike. But unlike those critiquing cars for environmental reasons or even social (the argument has been made that cars are essentially tools of isolation), my concerns are child centered.  Read more »

Exploring Masturbation in Children and Other Taboos

When I told some people that I wanted to write about childhood sexuality, they were understandably wary. I wouldn’t touch that with a ten-foot pole, was the way one friend worded it. They were only partially reassured when I promised that I wouldn’t be advocating having sex with children, only acknowledging the inherent sexuality children have from birth.  Read more »

Toddler Food Wars

Lately the families I work for are dealing with issues around food. In one household, I am told that the toddler has decided not to eat her dinner one evening and so as a consequence I am not to give her any food if she asks. They hand me a full sippy-cup of milk that the toddler has disdained and mention that is her only option. I felt uncomfortable denying food but also knew she was generally well fed and that if she didn’t eat anything that night, it would in no way compromise her nutritionally.  Read more »

The Globalization of Childcare: The Consequences of Trading Love for Work

Here in Los Angeles, there’s a listserv that features ads from people looking for nannies and from nannies looking for work. There’s the occasional reminder posted about the rules: a place where posts are restricted to ads. Another clarifies that conversation should be shifted to an alternative forum. The rule was broken recently when a virtual riot broke out in response to a potential employer’s offer.  Read more »

When the Latina Nannies Found Out I Spoke Spanish

I had tried to hold out on the older Latina nannies in the park knowing I spoke Spanish. As long as we spoke in English our relationship was kept shallow, limited by their vocabulary. They would ask about my day and coo over my infant but that was about it. I knew that once they knew about me, I would never again be alone for better or for worse. While I occasionally listened into their conversations in order to entertain myself while the baby dug in the sandbox, I also appreciated the lack of forced socialization.  Read more »

Warning: Babies Blinded by Eating Sand (and so I let them)

While reading Lenore Skenazy’s book Free-Range Kids, I couldn’t help but think that while dubbing her “America’s Worst Mom” was an overstatement, I wouldn’t put a nine-year-old on the subway alone either. That’s what she did. She handed her son a subway card, a map, a few bucks change and bon voyage. I am too over-protective for that, maybe because having gone to college in New York City, I know how gross and scary the subway can be.  Read more »

What Makes Breastfeeding so Darn Controversial?

I’ve done a lot in my day to support the breastfeeding cause: calling moms at work to schedule feedings, carefully titrating breastmilk into bottles from plastic bags without spilling a drop, feeding with a spoon when a bottle was refused. I’ve even ignored what was probably a sign of postpartum depression: a woman clad almost exclusively in an open, pink terry cloth bathrobe, in the interest of encouraging breastfeeding.  Read more »

Why Americans Value Independent and Competitive Kids

What does Ann Coulter share in common with the average American anarchist? If you guessed parenting goals, you would be right. Hard to believe? Well, I’ve been rereading my favorite parenting book, Our Babies, Ourselves: How Biology and Culture Shape the Way We Parent by Meredith Small, which looks at how parenting has evolved around the world. Every time I dive back into its pages something new catches my eye.  Read more »

International Baby Naming Laws–Are They a Good Thing?

In my last column I looked into a friend’s wacky baby-naming. As it turns out, the degree of freedom we enjoy here in the States with regards to baby names is not shared internationally. Naming laws abound worldwide: France, Poland and New Zealand are just a few countries that have laws on the books. In Germany, the first name must indicate the baby’s sex--I’m not sure what they’d do with a name like mine, and who decides on which side a name like “Jamie” falls.  Read more »

You Named Your Kid What?

A friend just named her child with a celebrity-style moniker. Think an obscure shade of blue and a Greek god for a middle name, just to make sure he cant fall back on that one: Azure Poseidon. These days, the desire to name your child in a way that stands out is not for the rich and famous alone. Watch out Apple, Moses and Audioscience—the mainstream is following right behind you!   I have an unusual name myself, so I have an opinion on the subject.  Read more »

Nanny Wanted: Must Be Both Idiot and Expert

On a parenting message board, I compete with people named Luz Hernandez, Diana Carrillo and Alma de la Cruz. In Los Angeles, Latin nannies are ubiquitous. As I recall in New York, it is West Indian women raising the upper class. All over the world, women trade parenting. In Hong Kong, babies are raised by Indonesians, in Australia they’re Filipinos.  Read more »

Is Nanny a Fancy Word for Domestic Servant?

I’ve been looking for work lately. As a nanny this means a variety of things. Posting advertisements on parenting message boards, interviewing at Nanny agencies, filling out myriad online applications and getting recertified in any lapsed certifications (CPR, TB whatever). I consider it a practice session in Zen-like humility; a test of dignity under duress.  Read more »

The Performance of Parenting or Why I Hate my Job

Nannying can be terribly boring. This is because the infants I care for (most of whom are under a year old) are busy entertaining themselves. They are working on physics equations in their head (don't believe me? Read The Scientist in the Crib) and testing objects' densities with their mouths. Their laboratory is a mat on the floor of their homes in general.  Read more »

Why Gay Parents are Superior to Hetero Parents

I was raised by a fabulous set of lesbians in the San Francisco Bay Area in the early eighties. There were a lot less kids of gay parents then, even in San Francisco, and although it may have been an unusual childhood, it was a very happy one. Now that I am of an age to be having kids, I am reflective about the parenting practices that made my parents such successful caregivers.  Read more »

Maybe Amy Chua is Not so Bad

Having thought further about what intentional parenting entails, I sought counsel from my mother, Nina, about her parenting practices. She summed them up, patly, as "values based parenting." I was instantly appreciative of her co-opting of the term "values," as the right wing has cashed in on it for way too long.   "In parenting we transfer daily messages to our children about what is important," she told me.  Read more »

Intentional vs. Default Parenting

Everyone in my family had saved up in anticipation of my arrival. Nonetheless, when I was under one year old, they needed part-time childcare for me while my mother Nina went back to work as a nurse. My mom had heard of another nurse who had recently taken leave and might be willing to watch me. Enter Simone. My mother is a lesbian and Simone, a born-again Christian.  Read more »

Parenting Against Society

Okay, having spent 800 words convincing you that I don't wander into people's homes to judge their parenting, now I can start playing Solomon—cut that baby in half! Let the judgment begin. For the record, often I don't feel like I have a philosophy until someone else's parenting is counter to it. Sometimes it surprises even me the things that I disapprove of but I have racked up a list of questionable behavior over the years.  Read more »

The Eight Essential Hanukkah Books

Having taught Sunday school briefly, I understand the challenge of bringing holidays into an understandable form for children. On top of that, there is definitely a smaller selection for Chanukah than what's offered for Christmas. We may be Chosen but we can't be choosy. I can't imagine what the folks who celebrate Diwali have to choose from. I was concerned there might not even be enough Chanukah books up to snuff since we can't even agree on the spelling.  Read more »

Parenting: A Horse of Many Colors

As a nanny, I get to watch parenting. Being in people's homes and caring for their children is necessarily intimate. Up close everyone's eccentricities are magnified, so I get a good view. Each job and new family brings a different set of expectations and assumptions about what ideal parenting should be. I also came into the field with my own set of ideas based on how I was raised.  Read more »
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Are Parents Too Overprotective in the West and Too Lax in the East?

Would you pick up a stranger's child or is that invasive?

Does Religion Matter? Juggling Two Faiths in One Family

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Amazing Portraits of Biracial Kids

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Dear White Officer, Please Don't Shoot

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Does your shelf have these kid favorites?

I was Diagnosed with Cancer at Age 37 while Abroad with Kids

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Win almost $300 in prizes from awesome globally-inspired children's products.

5 Smoothies Your Kids Will Love

Healthy smoothies for summer your kids will like.

3 Beautiful Children’s Books That Take Place in the Himalayas

Beautiful children's stories from Nepal to Tibet

Why African Toddlers Don't Have Tantrums

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How I Made My Forgotten Native Language My Child’s Strongest

I started off by speaking dodgy Cantonese. No word for remote control? No problem! ‘Pressy thingy.’

Help Us Giveaway a Soccer Ball to Kids in Ethiopia!

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Tanabata Festival: July 7

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Homemade Art Books for Ramadan

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A Children's Book for Global Citizens: Everyone Prays

A celebration of faith around the world through simple text and rich illustrations.

Do I Hold My Son Back to Get into the Immersion Program?

What would you do? Your child won a place in the lottery, only problem is it's the wrong year!

After Her Husband’s Tragic Death, She Embraced a Religion and Culture Not Her Own

This Japanese mom embraced Judaism to give her son a piece of his father

Easy Weeknight Moroccan Chicken

Since when is Moroccan cooking a quick weeknight meal? Since now!

The History of Juneteenth: June 19

Can you name three foods synonymous with celebrating Juneteenth?

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No one asks to be born with a brain wired this way. It could have been your child too.

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Educate young minds with these books

How African Societies Protect the Innocence and Magic of Childhood

Imagine if an understanding of the innocence of childhood is so deeply embedded into society, it is not even a topic of conversation

Real Intercultural Family in Thailand: French, English and Spanish

Meet this French-American-Mexican couple who are raising kids in Asia after a bicontinental romance that spanned London and New York City.

I Oppose War But Taught My Kids to Remember Our Veterans

Memorial Day is not meant to honor the politicians who send young kids often to the wrong wars but the people who participate in them.

How This Single Working Mom Raised a Trilingual Kid

Without a lot of resources or time, Maria has succeeded in raising trilingual kids.

A Muslim Children’s Book for Preschool-Age Kids

It’s hard to imagine how a children’s picture book about colors could be the center of controversy but this one was.

Is Motherhood More Bitter Than Sweet?

Quite certainly the cocktail hour was invented in relation to the witching hour.

Is It Ok to Leave a Sleeping Baby Home Alone?

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Why Diversity in Children's Books Matters

Reading, curating and subverting children's books to expand the definition of normal

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You're probably already doing all of these, right?

Eco-Friendly Children's Books for Earth Day

Perfect for the younger set!

What Confused Me Most about Brits

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Do WASP Westerners Deserve Visibility in a Foreign Culture?

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Managing a Picky Eater with International Travel

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A Year of Multicultural Picture Books for the Global Child

A fantastic reading list that includes a multicultural children's book for each month of the year.

Making Sense of the Berlin Wall as a Multicultural Family

How we see history has everything to do with the context in which we were taught.
Hello Crystal and the people who have posted! I am working on a documentary television project and seeking American families who have moved to other countries to homestead and live off-grid. Do y...
From How I Moved to Thailand with my Family on Less than $1000
Great! How it should be. And, thank God, mostly how I did it. More than 1,5 year of breastfeeding my son whenever he wantef to. A very fairhair Dutch boy who was just easy. I think the Lotusbirth th...
From Why African Babies Don’t Cry
I so relate to this article. We allowed our children to breastfeed as long as and whenever they wanted. If the baby cried, i went through the routine of finding out what was wrong and fixing it. The...
From Why African Babies Don’t Cry
Thanks, that's definitely helpful. Waiting anxiously for Arabic resources. Many thanks, Are...
From Language Resource Library for Raising Bilingual Kids
Thank you, Alma Flor Ada! It's exciting to hear from you! We'd love to read your new book - I will email you the postal address. And thank you for being appreciative of our effort, yes, we truly ho...
From 9 Children’s Books for Hispanic Heritage Month
Thanks for this wonderful website and for having recommend my book I LOVE SATURDAYS Y DOMINGOS. If you send me an email with your postal mailing address I would like to share with you my most recen...
From 9 Children’s Books for Hispanic Heritage Month
I thought I would throw out another viewpoint...I have three children. My older two NEVER cried. Seriously, I never heard a peep out of them and they were both bottle fed. My youngest was breastf...
From Why African Babies Don’t Cry
I smiled as I read this article. I grew up in Romania, and moved here when I was 18. I had my first child at 29 and my second 5 years later. Somehow, maybe because of my upbringing, or maybe because...
From Why African Babies Don’t Cry
[…] In Culture Parent: Thank you for children in Britain and Kenya. Choosing not to insist on thank yous with the experience of two different cultures. […...
From Do manners really matter? Why I hate making my daughter say please and thank you
[…] Breastfeeding Around the World (2012, March 5). In In Culture Parent. Retrieved September 13, 2014, from http://www.incultureparent.com/2012/03/breastfeeding-around-the-world/#slide0 [...
From Breastfeeding Around the World
Takino Park is 'outside Tokyo'?" Really? I guess so. It is only about 1,000 miles away (a little over 1,500km) from Tokyo. It is kind of like saying New York is "just outside of Miami", or Lon...
From Top 10 Most Imaginative Playgrounds Around the World
Thanks for this great explanation of O-higan. Much appreciate...
From Happy O-Higan!
america aint the whole west. When i am at the local small shops the shopkeepers always interact with my toddler daughter.and i have heard youre so cute i am going to take you with me and similar thi...
From Are Parents Too Overprotective in the West and Too Lax in the East?
Hi Karen! Lovely photo shoot!! My daughter's got curls (inherited from her daddy's side, interestingly enough!) and this gets many comment...
From Amazing Portraits of Biracial Kids
[…] to InCultureParent, Enkutatash, meaning “gift of jewels” in Amharic, originally derives from the story of the […...
From Enkutatash (Ethiopian New Year): September 11
The other day while my daughter and 16 year old moderately autistic son were in Subway, a lady notice how my son was talking and moved away from him to the back of the line. Had I been there, I woul...
From Why You Shouldn’t Judge: My Son is Not a Monster. He’s Autistic.
All the kids are really lovely! Are some of them brothers and sisters? It is actually amazing how the gene responsible for the shape of eyes is stron...
From Amazing Portraits of Biracial Kids
Hola Anabella gracias por compartir tu experiencia. Yo tengo mellizas de 20 meses y estoy en una disyuntiva porque no se si debo considerar que tienen un retraso de lenguaje y llevarlas a intervenci...
From Si­, Yes: Raising Bilingual Twins
[…] incultureparent.com […...
From Children’s Book Review: A Party in Ramadan
[…] incultureparent.com […...
From 6 Favorite Children’s Books about Ramadan
[…] incultureparent.com […...
From 6 Favorite Children’s Books about Ramadan
[…] incultureparent.com […...
From A Muslim Children’s Book for Preschool-Age Kids
[…] incultureparent.com […...
From 6 Favorite Children’s Books about Ramadan
This is so encouraging. I feel inspired to work a little harder to speak to my children in Chinese. I wish we lived close by so we could join your playgrou...
From How I Made My Forgotten Native Language My Child’s Strongest
I am in complete shock by most of these comments. Spanking is nothing but a fancy word for beating and no child is ever "asking for it". In progressive countries such as Sweden and Denmark, it is il...
From Are French Kids Better Behaved Because They are Spanked?
Wonderful! This is very reassuring to me, as a non-native Mandarin speaker trying to speak to my one-year-old (almost) only in Mandarin. It has been a great learning experienc...
From How I Made My Forgotten Native Language My Child’s Strongest
[…] incultureparent.com […...
From A Muslim Children’s Book for Preschool-Age Kids
I'm glad you found us, Farhana! My son loves HHRFDJ! Thank you for your comment, Shamim. You can email me at meeraTsriram@gmail.com if you'd like to connect offline regarding promoting good boo...
From Travel to Mumbai, India with 5 Children’s Books
[…] Arabic to them from birth, they did not actually speak much Arabic beyond a few sporadic words. They understood him perfectly but they always responded in English. In order to safeguard Ar...
From How Bilingualism Can Fail in Multilingual Families
I think they let them run while while young because of how oppressed they will be when grown up. They must think of it as some sort of compensation as what is to com...
From Cross-Cultural Differences in Discipline in Japan
Hi Meera, I was so excited to find your site. I am passionate about promoting India-centric books for children and select and review the best of Indian books. Perhaps you would like to share the inf...
From Travel to Mumbai, India with 5 Children’s Books
Acostumbro cada tarde buscar articulos para pasar un buen rato leyendo y de esta forma he localizado vuestro articulo. La verdad me ha gustado el articulo y pienso volver para seguir pasando buenos...
From Help Us Giveaway a Soccer Ball to Kids in Ethiopia!
Annika, your insight in your children's personality obviously not only benefits the bilingual aspects of their lives. Single language families will find your thoughts also quite helpful. I wish we h...
From 8 Tips for Encouraging Bilingualism in Different Personality Types
Thank you for this great article. I wish I'd had it earlier. I felt pressure to move our child out of our room and did so when he was 6 months. I thought it crazy that the youngest most vulnerable p...
From The West’s Strange Relationship to Babies and Sleep
Also consider that Kenyan mums are likely to have had a warm attached relationship with their own mum with breastfeeding, carrying etc so they are not having their own childhood hurts regularly pres...
From How African Moms Can Teach You To Be a Better Parent
[…] InCultureParent | Ramadan Craft says: July 9, 2013 at 9:08 pm […...
From Ramadan Star and Moon Craft
[…] to make people think breastfeeding (a) in public and (b) for a longer period of time, is abnormal. In India 95% of newborns are breastfed, and 77% of that number are reportedly still breas...
From Breastfeeding Around the World
[…] 7 Diverse Children’s Cartoons (where the main character isn’t the standard white one) is from In Culture Parent. […...
From 7 Diverse Children’s Cartoons (where the main character isn’t the standard white one)
[…] incultureparent.com […...
From 6 Favorite Children’s Books about Ramadan
[…] incultureparent.com […...
From 6 Favorite Children’s Books about Ramadan