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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Dear White Officer, Please Don't Shoot

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Hi! This is a question for Brooke: Did you find a place to live with your daughter in thailand? I am a single Mom of a 2 year old son and am living currently in Canada, but am researching for a new ...
From How I Moved to Thailand with my Family on Less than $1000
That "Wasted" is being used in two different contexts. When you mother in law says that the diapers are wasted, she's afraid that the gifted items wouldn't be used up properly by the time the baby g...
From Thanks to Chinese Potty-Training We’re Done With Diapers at 19 Months
I am shocked by how much I love being a nanny! I never expected to love this job or look forward to going to work each Monday morning. Yes, it is hard work - hard physical work as well as tapping ...
From What Sucks about Being a Nanny
[…] What is Home for My Adopted Son? by Julie Corby for InCultureParent […...
From What is Home for My Adopted Son?
.lol, as a child of a Chinese father and white Canadian mother I find your blogs funny, yet familiar. I married a Chinese Canadian woman (yes, I'm a guy) and I can appreciate the wonderful blessin...
From How I Reclaimed My House from My Mother-in-Law
Beautifully written! I'm in a multi-cultural marriage (I'm American, husband is Italian) but I'm also from a multicultural family. In my marriage I've often worried about how I will deal with things...
From Raising a Hijab-Wearing Daughter in a World that Doesn’t Understand
I'm American and my husband is from the south of Italy. My personal experience is exactly like your personal experience. From what I've seen, many children are absolutely terrified of their fathers ...
From French versus Italian Parenting in One Multicultural Family
Thank you! Ok you will be anonymou...
From Autism and Multilingualism: A Parent’s Perspective
I read the article and yes it is interesting and I identify with Julia, my parent did the exact same thing in speaking their mother tongue with us, I was a trilingual child and now I just finished l...
From Raising Trilingual Children? An Interview Not to Miss!
Hi, of course you can share my story, but no photos please. I enjoy the anonymity. You can get in touch with me if you need a chat or any more information. All the bes...
From Autism and Multilingualism: A Parent’s Perspective
Although the article has bitter and somewhat aggressive tone, I understand Turkish expressions like "I'll eat you" may come across as literal and odd to someone who isn't touch feely. It's affection...
From Don’t Spank My Baby! Cross-Cultural Differences in Love and Affection
Oh my gosh... thank you SO much for these!! My daughter (4) has recently begun to speak negative comments about her skin color and it's devastating me! I am going to work VERY hard at fighting again...
From My Daughter’s 10 Favorite Multicultural Books
Hi Debbie- I somehow missed your comment before! So sorry about that. Are you still looking for info about Nicaragua? We did not take malaria pills and having taken them previously in my life for tr...
From 6 Days in Nicaragua with Kids
Hi Joshua! We got around between cities using shared minivan shuttles- you can rent them with a driver and they weren't too expensive. We crossed the border to Costa Rica in a bus. And we got around...
From 6 Days in Nicaragua with Kids
Hi there, Thanks for the post. We are a traveling family with an 8 and 11 year old. Also heavily vaccinated due to our time in Africa :). My question is, did you rent a car or get around with publ...
From 6 Days in Nicaragua with Kids
This is so true. " Italians or Latinos, where you are who your parents are. I’ve never heard my Puerto Rican friends’ authenticity questioned even if they weren’t born in Puerto Rico. My Ital...
From Why People Tell Me I’m Not Really Jamaican
[…] Den här texten korsade min väg i går. […...
From Why African Babies Don’t Cry
[…] InCultureParent | 10 Healthy Kid Snacks From Around the World – Leave us a comment! 2 Comments. Sonya | Wednesday, 05 September 2012 at 8:09 pm. Check these out!! Healthy Food Recipes Fo...
From 10 Healthy Kid Snacks From Around the World
It seems more like you are comparing old-school parenting views with the more modern approaches already being practiced in many places around the world. I know that education, age, financial stabili...
From French versus Italian Parenting in One Multicultural Family
@astarte Thank you so much for sharing your story. It is beautiful all the languages you are raising your son with. May I share your story (without your name) on our Facebook page? I would love more...
From Autism and Multilingualism: A Parent’s Perspective
hello Lana, am interested in your story.... am fascinated too . But I want to know...are u cancer free now...
From I was Diagnosed with Cancer at Age 37 while Abroad with Kids
I appreciate you putting these longings into words. I moved from a multi-cultural community and great diversity of friends in Atlanta to a mostly white region with little diversity. I love my neighb...
From A Different World: No Longer Brown in White America
My son is 4 years' old and he's autistic. I grew up in a bilingual environment (Greek and Polish) and enjoyed switching languages, mixing them up, creating new words and adapting to suit the occasio...
From Autism and Multilingualism: A Parent’s Perspective
[…] really our stuffーat least not yetーbut a friend of mine linked to an interesting article “10 Things Not to Say to Parents of Multilingual Children“… and perhaps I liv...
From 10 Things Not to Say to Parents of Multilingual Children
This is all about paternal grandmother. What are the duties of maternal grann...
From How My Chinese Mother-in-Law Replaced my Husband
[…] niet huilen, en wat zij ziet in Engeland, waar huilen zo normaal wordt gevonden in het artikel Why african babies don’t cry. In haar artikel geeft ze aan hoe in Kenia de norm is da...
From Why African Babies Don’t Cry
I live in America. Here the majority of my multi lingual experience has been with Spanish. My father was a prestigious chef and the majority of his coworkers were of Mexican decent. I jokingly refer...
From 10 Things Not to Say to Parents of Multilingual Children
As a mommy soldier I had a lot of different experiences. I too co slept with my 2 boys. I sleep trained my first at 6 months, but before that he was in my bed or 10% of the time in the bassinet next...
From The West’s Strange Relationship to Babies and Sleep
I loved reading your story since it's similar in our household in terms of the amount of languages (Our languages are German, Braz. Portuguese, French and English). We are always treated a bit like ...
From Real Intercultural Family in Thailand: Portuguese, Cantonese, Thai and Japanese
This young man is 50X more likely to be shot by another African American. You are focused on the wrong problem and diverting attention from the real tragedy. Young men with no fathers and no family....
From Dear White Officer, Please Don’t Shoot
[…] InCultureParent | 10 Healthy Kid Snacks From Around the World – Kids Around the World; Crafts; Recipes; Blogs; Monday, June 20th, 2011 10 Healthy Kid Snacks From Around the World By Step...
From 10 Healthy Kid Snacks From Around the World
Oh man, sleepovers are so fun! I too didn’t realize this could ever be an issue, I mean why not? It isn’t like you let your precious child sleep at a friend’s house when they are toddlers (pen...
From The Cultural Battleground of Sleepovers
We used to live in France. As I'm bilingual (French - English), I figured that it would be best that I talk English to my kids aged 7, 5 and 2. So, I spoke English with them ever since their birth, ...
From Why Your Bilingual Child Objects When You Switch Languages
Hi Barbara, I don't know anyone homesteading or planning to homestead at the moment, but I will keep my feelers out and keep you updated. I can put you in touch with other families from the farm...
From How I Moved to Thailand with my Family on Less than $1000
This is a great list! I can't believe I was only following 2 of those boards. Thanks for sharin...
From 8 Awesome Pinterest Boards for Bilingual Kids
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