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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Why I Travel 13 Hours Alone with My Kids Every Chance I Get

Travelling with children, while definitely more of a mission, contradicts the old saying that “life is about the journey, not the destination.”

A Diverse Book for Preschoolers in Celebration of Multicultural Children's Book Day

A book that honestly and simply celebrates the every day diversity that children experience.

Why My African Feminist Mother Gave Me the Identity of My Father's Tribe

She gave me an identity so different from her own.

2 Children’s Books about Jamaica

Explore Jamaica with your child.

Costa Rica with Kids: Two Weeks of Family Travel

Two weeks of Pura Vida in a country with so much to offer families.

Should I Worry about My Child's Accent in Her Foreign Language?

See why Dr. Gupta takes offense to this question and where children learn accents from

How to raise trilingual kids when exposure to Dad's language is limited

My kids only get 1-2 hours of the minority language per day-help!

What Cultural Norms Around Bare Feet Taught This Mother in Guatemala

Her baby's bare feet ended up being a lesson on poverty and privilege.

Why We Need to Read Multicultural Children's Books

Children need to see the world around them reflected in books.

How My Two Year Old is Teaching Me Thai

I am just another "farang" or stranger until my son starts speaking fluent Thai

10 Things You Should Know Before Adopting a Child

What you may want to consider before sending in that adoption application.

10 Best Children's Books for Gifts

Our Editors favorite multicultural books for this holiday season.

Will Three Languages Confuse a Young Child?

My wife thinks three languages will confuse our child. Is she right?

11 African-American Children’s Books for Christmas and Kwanzaa

Try a few of these from this fantastic selection of African-American holiday books

What I Can Do as a White Mom After Darren Wilson’s Acquittal

How do I explain to my kids the racism that does not come in the form of explicit laws and overt, blatant prejudice?

10 Multicultural Children’s Books that Make Adults Cry

We dare you to read these without a tear

Why This Mom Banned the Word ‘Weird’ From Her Kids' Vocabulary

One approach to explaining diversity to kids.

French versus Italian Parenting in One Multicultural Family

How one mom in an intercultural marriage sees the differences between Italian and French parenting

The Cultural Battleground of Sleepovers

Should they be allowed because it's "normal?" Think again.

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

What's the best way to transmit the values we care about to our kids?

Amazing Portraits of Biracial Kids

Smarter, larger, better, healthier and more beautiful? A project that debunks stereotypes.

Dear White Officer, Please Don't Shoot

At what age does my darling black son begin to look like a threat to the world?

A Book that Celebrates Cross-Cultural Friendship

A great pick for back to school season

My Daughter’s 10 Favorite Multicultural Books

Does your shelf have these kid favorites?

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

Illness in a foreign country can be scary but it taught this mom a different meaning of family.

Huge Giveaway for Eid: Tea Collection, Little Passports, Little Pim, Dolls, Books, Music & More

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

The secret of why African babies don't meltdown like Western ones.

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!

Let's donate a ball to kids who need it in Ethiopia. Here's how you can help!

Tanabata Festival: July 7

A beautiful Japanese summer festival

Homemade Art Books for Ramadan

A simple homemade gift for kids

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
Nice list! I'm not sure if you were focusing only on current cartoons, but The Proud Family on Disney was a great show featuring an African American family and friends, t...
From 7 Diverse Children’s Cartoons (where the main character isn’t the standard white one)
[…] yet different, their cultural practices and customs are. I also had to check out their list 10 Multicultural Children’s Books that Make Adults Cry. Not that I like to cry all that much,...
From 10 Multicultural Children’s Books that Make Adults Cry
[…] I love books with strong female characters! And along that note, I also noticed My Friend Mei Jing, a book that celebrates cross-cultural friendship. Told from the perspective of Monifa, w...
From A Book that Celebrates Cross-Cultural Friendship
[…] InCultureParent has a multitude of book reviews for parents raising little global citizens. Most of them feature multicultural characters, and a few really caught my eye. The Sofia Martine...
From The Sofia Martinez Series: Chapter Books for Early Readers
[…] http://www.incultureparent.com/2011/08/mothers-to-be-pregnancy-around-the-world/#slide1 […...
From Mothers-To-Be: Pregnancy Around the World
great article. I am still going with my 3 and a half year old - but just at night and when he awakens in the morning. I do however, limit who I tell this to as it is not the norm here in New Zeala...
From Breastfeeding in the Land of Genghis Khan
As a southern Italian woman I can say that your ideas in this piece are a little antiquated and overgeneralised. Perhaps this is still the case for men living in the 1950's and also for many migrant...
From French versus Italian Parenting in One Multicultural Family
I did this with my children, ironically because I was too young to know what else to d...
From Why African Babies Don’t Cry
I noticed that some mothers wrote, "I fed my child constantly and he/she still cried a lot!" Well, bottle feeding and breastfeeding are completely different. Did you "breastfeed" your child constant...
From Why African Babies Don’t Cry
[…] also found this report depicting how children who do not speak the same language can still interact with each other. Once […...
From How Children Play Who Don’t Speak the Same Language
This article came right on time for me. It's amazing. We are a yoga mother Sun (14months) duo who will be relocating to Thailand in a little under 2 months. Not that I had any doubt in the world....
From How I Moved to Thailand with my Family on Less than $1000
I would like to point out the fact that as I stated once before being brought up in the UK than moving over to France and me and my brother being disciplined the french way that is having to wear lo...
From Are French Kids Better Behaved Because They are Spanked?
Great article! I think there is also a big difference between the public parenting and at-home parenting in Japan. Foreign observers might be quick to make conclusions about parenting style, witho...
From Cross-Cultural Parenting in Japan: Differences in Affection
@lemoncake: That was mean. Maybe instead of asking others to grow a thick skin, you could take responsibility for not deliberately hurting the...
From Overheard on the Beijing Subway When People Don’t Think I Speak Mandarin
I wish I could eat a vegetarian diet, but each time I've tried it's been immediately clear that I don't do well on it. I can't even safely skip meat for a whole day without feeling lightheaded, exha...
From Speak Up for the Animals, Mama! A Vegetarian in Africa
I think if I were being taught the customs of courtesy in a new culture (which is pretty much what all kids are doing when they learn manners), I wouldn't want to be left completely on my own to fig...
From I Was Wrong. Manners Do Matter.
they look either Scandinavian, Italian or eastern European.. isn't it weird how mixed white people look either more white or just completely whi...
From Amazing Portraits of Biracial Kids
I love the idea of Jose at storytime with the girls. That is great. You will be a great Grandma sodemay!Summer,I haven't read piggies , but I've seen it, so I will get that one next time. Love the ...
From Buddhism and Parenting Attachment
that even if daycare gets to see the actaul firsts (and sometimes they did, which would crush me, but they always were careful to document everything for us) that we'd still get to see the firsts on...
From What to Expect From Daycare in a Non-Native Language
comment #4:Indeed!We have numerous etiicnhties whose masses are steeped in the music, art, and ethos that is native to them. But, how quickly the disturbed cry that's so Euro-centric' goes up when ...
From Cheerleading, Katy Perry and My Six-Year-Old
This was a great post. Black History shouldn't be ONLY cetearbled monthly, but daily. We've made so many contributions to society and do on a consistent basis so I believe that we should be recogni...
From 8 Children’s Books for Black History Month
Assalamualaikum, thank you very much for this inspirational writin...
From An Islamic Perspective on Child-Rearing and Discipline
[…] How to Talk about Race in a Kindergarten Classroom […...
From How I Talk to My Kindergarten Classroom About Race
I fully understand what you are saying here. I am also raising multilingual children and I had been faced with all those comments that you mention here. People can be very hurtful sometimes for no...
From 10 Things Not to Say to Parents of Multilingual Children
Bonjour madame Berreby, I'm a northern Italian woman married to a northern Italian men (both with 100% northern Italian ancestry). There is a huge difference between northern and southern Italy, w...
From French versus Italian Parenting in One Multicultural Family
[…] http://www.incultureparent.com/2013/07/6-favorite-childrens-books-about-ramadan/ […...
From 6 Favorite Children’s Books about Ramadan
[…] which reflect the diversity of our world, so I am glad that Stephanie from has put together this list of cartoons where the main character is not your standard white […...
From 7 Diverse Children’s Cartoons (where the main character isn’t the standard white one)
[…] Soyal (or Soyalangwul) is a major winter solstice celebration and feast observed by the Native American Hopi and Zuni people of the Southwest. It starts on the shortest day of the year in...
From Hopi Winter Solstice (Soyal): December 22
[…] It Keeps Babies Happy! – I remember reading the article Why African Babies Don’t Cry , written by a native African new mom who was currently living in the UK. She was comparing...
From Why African Babies Don’t Cry
This is a sad incident to read about and very unfortunate considering that you were at a new job, but unfortunately these things happen and the only thing a nanny can do is to prove herself through ...
From I’m Your Nanny, Do You Really Trust Me?
[…] On peut expliquer que c’est important pour nous de leur donner cet avantage fantastique de maîtriser plusieurs langues couramment. On peut aussi les rassurer que notre enfant n&rsqu...
From Do Bilingual Children Know Fewer Words Than Monolinguals?
[…] Via incultureparent.com […...
From Kids Playing Around the World
Interesting post. I am a Canadian born of Cuban and Jamaican parents and I have never had this problem. In Canada, specifically Toronto, we hold on to our roots so much that it is odd to hear anyone...
From Why People Tell Me I’m Not Really Jamaican
Love this article much, and completely envious! What a good start for you and your baby. I breast fed my son till 4 & half, my daughter currently 22months and still going strong but the social a...
From Breastfeeding in the Land of Genghis Khan
Hi Chelsea, I did a Dip Ed at the University of Papua New Guinea and taught school in Papua New Guinea in 1970s. I was shocked how few children went to primary school and even less students to sec...
From Bilum Craft: Learning about Papua New Guinea
[…] InCulture Parent, an online magazine about global parenting, has posted an excerpt from Dina’s book and has also featured it in their New This Month category. Additionally, Adoptio...
From Finding Aster
This article is great and gives me hope that I can somehow get my marriage back on track after almost four years of living with my MIL. My mother in law is great and if I didn't have to live with he...
From How I Reclaimed My House from My Mother-in-Law
I'm half French, half Italian, raised in Australia - my husband, has Scottish and Maori bloodlines and was raised in Canada - We find that we tend to default to the Italian and Maori parenting style...
From French versus Italian Parenting in One Multicultural Family
I guess this is a common problem. I am American. She is from Europe. We had our (first) kid 11 months ago (I've been happier than I ever imagined at being a father. Let's see, what could ruin tha...
From How I Reclaimed My House from My Mother-in-Law
[…] Dunque ecco 10 valide proposte su come “uscire dal tracciato” e perché dovrebbero esserci più libri che puntano sulla  multiculturalità. […...
From Ten Reasons Parents Should Read Multicultural Books to Kids