Articles by Kellen Kaiser

Friday, June 28th, 2013

8 Reasons to Talk to Your Kids about Homosexuality

By

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 »
Get weekly updates right in your inbox so you don't miss out!



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

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?

Why You Shouldn't Judge: My Son is Not a Monster. He's Autistic.

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

6 Children’s Books to Celebrate Juneteenth

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.
Boxes for Katje, also a Reading Rainbow book http://vimeo.com/6493760 Based on true event...
From 10 Multicultural Children’s Books that Make Adults Cry
[…] InCulture Parent: InCulture Parent is not only about raising bilingual kids, it’s about so much more: Culture, tradition and language, raising bilingual/multilingual and multicultural ki...
From 6 Out-of-the-Box Ideas to Raise a Bilingual Child on a Budget
[…] Finally, here are two relevant articles on the importance of reading multicultural children’s literature and why reading multicultural books to your child matters. […...
From Why We Need to Read Multicultural Children’s Books
[…] here are two relevant articles on the importance of reading multicultural children’s literature and why reading multicultural books to your child […...
From Ten Reasons Parents Should Read Multicultural Books to Kids
[…] choice to raise our children in a  bilingual household.  We did not choose this path to reap the educational benefits (added bonus!), but, instead for personal […...
From 7 Benefits of Raising Bilingual Kids
J C Niala, Thank you so much for this article. I am glad to see that you thought to write this. You hit the nail right on the head by drawing attention to the fact that African babies do not cry o...
From Why African Babies Don’t Cry
I really appreciate the articles to fully nutritional to me. May you let articles of this nature come or be posted directly to my e-mail please! Josph...
From African Parenting: The Sane Way to Raise Children
[…] and cartoon series featuring Muslim superheroes More suggestions for diverse cartoons can be found here. Please feel free to add some articles and resources you have found helpful in the...
From 7 Diverse Children’s Cartoons (where the main character isn’t the standard white one)
[…] a conversation with kids about race 5 ways to teach your kids about race and cultural diversity A guide by age for talking to kids about race Lessons from the playground in diversity R...
From How to Talk to Kids About Race: What’s Appropriate for Ages 3-8
I think that it has of course a influance, if kids know that they get spanked if they are not obedient. It is simply the fear of getting painfull beatings which leads to a better behaviour. I am ev...
From Are French Kids Better Behaved Because They are Spanked?
I want to choke-slam my MIL. I just had my first born son about 5 weeks ago. I own my house and I had it before I married my wife. Since we came home from the hospital, my MIL has been in my house e...
From How I Reclaimed My House from My Mother-in-Law
Your article was the first of any I have read that I could relate to. My son, 11, is the same and traveling with him is just a disaster. Once we traveled to Bora Bora with a suitcase full of food ...
From Managing a Picky Eater with International Travel
[…] other places. To see just how differently breastfeeding can be regarded in different cultures, read this post about breastfeeding in the land of Genghis Khan. We believe it highlights tha...
From Breastfeeding in the Land of Genghis Khan
As a white momma of two Latino teenagers adopted at birth all I can say is SPOT ON! These really hit home for me. I especially like the "Prepare" suggestions at the end of the articl...
From 10 Things You Should Know Before Adopting a Child
I think that the most important lessons we can teach our children is to celebrate our differences but…..do not dwell on them. Maybe we could teach America to do the same. We are all on this earth...
From 10 Things You Should Know Before Adopting a Child
Hey People. My body my rights huh. Don't see anyone saying that when they poke your child with immunizations! Maybe they wanted the right to refuse that as well. I love how when it suits peoples ide...
From Circumcision Wars
Hi Stephanie, Great article! Would you consider relinking your top book away from amazon and instead directly to the publishers' website? Amazon no longer fulfills it and the publisher is small and ...
From 10 Best Children’s Books for Gifts
After 5 years having a Beijing mother inlaw in our home and life,I am finished will walk away even 2 children one of which she stole from the beginning. The family unit China like different regions...
From How I Reclaimed My House from My Mother-in-Law
[…] Read more of my guest post here at Inculture Parent […...
From I was Diagnosed with Cancer at Age 37 while Abroad with Kids
[…] Photo Credit: incultureparents.com […...
From How to Raise Strong and Confident Asian Pacific American Daughters
[…] Western sleep weirdness. […...
From The West’s Strange Relationship to Babies and Sleep
I come from Mumbai, India. My son speaks gujarati (language) at home because that is our mother tongue. He speaks Hindi in our aparment building because that is a common language in Mumbai. He...
From Will Three Languages Confuse a Young Child?
One of the first big books i read ...
From Favorite Swedish Stories: Emil in the Soup Tureen
[…] and other recommendations are further developed here and here: Giselle from Kid Yoga Stories and Tips for starting a family yoga practice.  And her favorite pose? Restin...
From 10 Tips for Starting a Family Yoga Practice
[…] Fall is almost behind us but here’s a beautiful presentation of fall traditions around the world! […...
From Fall Traditions and Celebrations Around the World
Great and in depth list! I have another suggestion for German. It's Learn German with Play! Phrase Guide and Puppet Kit. It's made by www.fluentfamily.com and they also have several phrase guides ta...
From Language Resource Library for Raising Bilingual Kids
[…] nothing to look forward to. More resources for Three Kings Day: Craft a kid’s crown Read a children’s books about Three Kings Day Make the traditional bread: rosca de […...
From Hurray for Three Kings Day: Book Review
[…] be a long, cold month with nothing to look forward to. More resources for Three Kings Day: Craft a kid’s crown Read a children’s books about Three Kings Day Make the tradition...
From Three Kings Craft: Make a Crown
I think you should also talk to your kids about the danger of a monopoly of violence. While racism is a problem, what got Darren wilson off was his legal impunity from being a police officer. Had a ...
From What I Can Do as a White Mom After Darren Wilson’s Acquittal
[…] thinking Thanksgiving and Fall harvest, why not fill them with pumpkin?! And a wonderful Moroccan stuffing recipe from Stephanie of In-Culture […...
From Moroccan Inspired Stuffing Recipe
[…] How to Talk to Kids About Race: What’s Appropriate for Ages 3-8 by Madeleine Rogin (published in InCultureParent) […...
From How to Talk to Kids About Race: What’s Appropriate for Ages 3-8
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!