Articles by Kellen Kaiser

Friday, June 28th, 2013

8 Reasons to Talk to Your Kids about Homosexuality


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 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

Easy Weeknight Moroccan Chicken

Since when is Moroccan cooking a quick weeknight meal? Since now!
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
look full european to ...
From Amazing Portraits of Biracial Kids
I remember the days and years of being orlewhvemed and feeling that I wasnt doing enough! After 20 years of homeschooling now, it is good to be reminded that parents often feel this way! We are so b...
From Awesome Summer Activity: Explorer Journal
These books are fantastic! You will love reindag them yourself or with your little ones. The stories, illustrations, and Armenian isms fit together perfectly. An enjoyable and creative way to keep ...
From Eco-Friendly Children’s Books for Earth Day
[…] J. Claire K. Niala, una donna di origine africana, ma che vive nel Regno Unito si è posta questa domanda e pensa di aver capito il segreto del silenzio di questi teneri frugoletti. [̷...
From Why African Babies Don’t Cry
Well, my 5 year old son was RAPED by a Japanese man who conned me into thinking that he was my friend. He took him into the staircase of a hotel when he went to the convenience store for 30 minutes...
From Don’t Touch My Child! Lessons from Asia
[…] […...
From Fall Traditions and Celebrations Around the World
I do enjoy every piece of your wor...
From No Kids Allowed: How Kenyan Weddings are Changing
[…] cuáles se te facilitará la tarea depracticar yoga en familia. ¿Sueles practicar las diferentes asanas de yoga con tu pareja y tus hijos? ¿Te resulta divertido? No dejes de contarnos cu...
From 10 Tips for Starting a Family Yoga Practice
[…] Jeg bliver mere og mere vild med den ifavnske tilgang til barnet og ville ønske jeg var blevet præsenteret for den da jeg ventede mine første tvillinger for 9 år siden. Jeg er nu medle...
From Why African Toddlers Don’t Have Tantrums
[…] 1. Why African Toddlers Don’t Have Tantrums // such an interesting perspective on breastfeeding, that I find myself agreeing with. 2. Dad makes his son fly in adorable photo series...
From Why African Toddlers Don’t Have Tantrums
Thanks for this article. I learned a lot and saw many similarities with my own life. I co-sleep and have been breastfeeding my baby until he is 2 years old. He is a happy, smiling baby. We've only r...
From Why African Babies Don’t Cry
[…] 3. Socially compatible Since parents always end up settling for a bride or groom with similar upbringing, lifestyle, values, cultural and socio-economic backgrounds, it removes the chances...
From Arranged Marriage 101
[…] ben die daar zo over denkt, werd mij laatst op Facebook weer bevestigt. Daar kwam ik het bericht ‘Waarom Afrikaanse kinderen niet huilen’  (Engels) […...
From Why African Babies Don’t Cry
[…] potty.  I guess I remember always hearing (especially when I went through a time reading about Elimination Communication and early potty training when the Girl was small) that children f...
From Thanks to Chinese Potty-Training We’re Done With Diapers at 19 Months
I took a class called Psychology from an African Perspective and it talked about the African perspective on time. I love it. We are exactly where we are supposed to be and at the right time. I would...
From Why African Time is Best for Children
I luv your blog and look forward to reading more. I have an African child and want to raise him in his Father's culture. It is definitely NOT as easy as I thought it would b...
From 10 Tips on Living with Chronic Illness
Sorry * none at a...
From Why African Babies Don’t Cry
I know this is a very old article but I had to chime in. Mom's mental health matters also. It matters ALOT! I could never keep up with a schedule like this woman did. To each their own. I tried to B...
From Why African Babies Don’t Cry
This was a lovely write-up. I stopped when my kid was one. Breast milk had become an evening snack by 9 months and then, he just forgot. Two days in a row he went off to play with his cousins, and t...
From Breastfeeding in the Land of Genghis Khan
[…] This is a link to one of my favourite articles on breastfeeding, and here is my favourite breastfeeding photo of Kaylee and I. […...
From Breastfeeding in the Land of Genghis Khan
[…] How I Talk to my Classroom about Race by Madeleine Rogin […...
From How I Talk to My Kindergarten Classroom About Race
[…] By JC Niala in […...
From Why African Babies Don’t Cry
Beautiful awareness and well written, thanks for this article, it is bringing me validation and insights into my new career as a Conscious Parenting teacher. I am a teacher for the Self Awareness In...
From The Secrets of Raising an Enlightened Child — Part II
[…] place mat to the kids places. They can make their own before the big meal like this adorable onehere on or create one for play like the felt plates found [&...
From Passover Craft: Seder Placemat
I loved reading this article and found it extremely interesting. I am new mother and am breast feeding my daughter who is almost 6 months old in the U.S. I know from personal experenice that I get a...
From Breastfeeding Around the World
I disagree. My eldest was born 2004 and we breastfed everywhere! As did the subsequent children. I'm thrilled to see more and more moms doing so. I always wanted someone to say something to me o...
From Breastfeeding in the Land of Genghis Khan
I had the same comments (she/he's such a "good baby"!) from putting them all to breast. Babies whose needs are met before they need to cry about it are naturally "good babies". Only very rarely di...
From Why African Babies Don’t Cry
[…] I digress slightly but she has also written another very interesting article’ Why African Toddlers Don’t Have Tantrums’. […...
From Why African Toddlers Don’t Have Tantrums
[…] and cardboard, complete with plastic bag streamers! If you’d like to make your own dragon mask, here are the instructions (scroll down to the bottom for the masks). Although the masks o...
From 5 Crafts for the Chinese New Year
[…] linkje naar  een blogpost van JC Niala waar het gaat om het verschil tussen Westerse en Afrikaanse […...
From Why African Babies Don’t Cry
Map nerd here, i really dislike that all these maps use projections that make greenland hug...
From 10 Best World Maps for Your Children’s Room
[…] you to do as much as they can for you. There is very little that cannot wait.    Breastfeeding in the Land of Genghis Han When I breastfed in the park, grandmothers would...
From Breastfeeding in the Land of Genghis Khan
[…] Why African Babies Don’t Cry In the UK, it was understood that babies cry. In Kenya, it was quite the opposite. The understanding is that babies don’t cry. If they do—somethi...
From Why African Babies Don’t Cry