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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[…] 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
[…] incultureparent.com […...
From 6 Favorite Children’s Books about Ramadan
[…] incultureparent.com […...
From A Muslim Children’s Book for Preschool-Age Kids
We live in Central Florida, and as much as we would love to be outside, it is too hot and rainy! BOO! We are having fun going to the mountains in Tennessee, doing science experiments at home, and go...
From Huge Giveaway for Eid: Tea Collection, Little Passports, Little Pim, Dolls, Books, Music & More
We live in Chicago, IL, and have been going to the local zoos, aquarium and museums this July while we await the arrival of our secon...
From Huge Giveaway for Eid: Tea Collection, Little Passports, Little Pim, Dolls, Books, Music & More
I live in Pennsylvania (about 45 minutes outside of Philadelphia). This July we have watched my son and his travel baseball team play a lot of baseball. We have had zoo and aquarium outings and get ...
From Huge Giveaway for Eid: Tea Collection, Little Passports, Little Pim, Dolls, Books, Music & More
Reno, NV with an almost-three-year-old. We're going to museums and playing outside a lot! We went to a fire arts festival last weekend, too, which was a lot of fu...
From Huge Giveaway for Eid: Tea Collection, Little Passports, Little Pim, Dolls, Books, Music & More
London, England with three ages 4 and under! What an adventur...
From Huge Giveaway for Eid: Tea Collection, Little Passports, Little Pim, Dolls, Books, Music & More
Tewksbury, MA. We took a road trip to see friends in Chicago and family in Ohi...
From Huge Giveaway for Eid: Tea Collection, Little Passports, Little Pim, Dolls, Books, Music & More
Hi! We're in Chicago, IL! My family has been hitting the road on the weekends to explore the midwest. We love our summertime road trip...
From Huge Giveaway for Eid: Tea Collection, Little Passports, Little Pim, Dolls, Books, Music & More
https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=815822701791927&id=100000926130257&_r...
From Huge Giveaway for Eid: Tea Collection, Little Passports, Little Pim, Dolls, Books, Music & More
I am in Ohio. Our fun thing is we are moving to Gatlinburg any day now....
From Huge Giveaway for Eid: Tea Collection, Little Passports, Little Pim, Dolls, Books, Music & More
family of Poles curently living in Cambridge, uk (after Luxembourg and stockholm). lots of weekend roadtrips as we have just moved in few months a...
From Huge Giveaway for Eid: Tea Collection, Little Passports, Little Pim, Dolls, Books, Music & More
We are from Puerto Rico, living in maryland, this weekend we played a lot with trio block outside, enjoying the beautiful weathe...
From Huge Giveaway for Eid: Tea Collection, Little Passports, Little Pim, Dolls, Books, Music & More
We are from Westborough, Massachusetts and we just got home from Ethiopian Heritage and Culture Camp in Virginia as our youngest is adopted from Ethiopia! We had a fabulous time there learning and c...
From Huge Giveaway for Eid: Tea Collection, Little Passports, Little Pim, Dolls, Books, Music & More
We live in the NW of the US (Seattle) and we have been moving and selling our house this summer. Looking forward to finding a new home so we can start enjoying this amazing weather we are havin...
From Huge Giveaway for Eid: Tea Collection, Little Passports, Little Pim, Dolls, Books, Music & More
Also just shared on my Facebook business page, Barefoot in Bosto...
From Huge Giveaway for Eid: Tea Collection, Little Passports, Little Pim, Dolls, Books, Music & More
My seven-year-old daughter and I live in Boston Massachusetts, she is enjoying art camp this Jul...
From Huge Giveaway for Eid: Tea Collection, Little Passports, Little Pim, Dolls, Books, Music & More
I tweeted - https://twitter.com/DuckyBunny/status/4937428406822707...
From Huge Giveaway for Eid: Tea Collection, Little Passports, Little Pim, Dolls, Books, Music & More
We're in the Boston area. We're reading lots of books this July since I broke my foo...
From Huge Giveaway for Eid: Tea Collection, Little Passports, Little Pim, Dolls, Books, Music & More
I'm a full time student for the summer schedule so my mom is out visiting here in Indianapolis! We are visiting all of the sites like the zoo, state parks and anything that has to do with trains si...
From Huge Giveaway for Eid: Tea Collection, Little Passports, Little Pim, Dolls, Books, Music & More
Salaam alaikum! I am an RPCV married to my husband who I met during my service in Morocco. We live in Taza, Morocco. Its been a different Ramadan this year as I am pregnant with our first baby th...
From Huge Giveaway for Eid: Tea Collection, Little Passports, Little Pim, Dolls, Books, Music & More
Tweeted the contest as well. Here is the link https://mobile.twitter.com/adrienneis/status/4935193887381954...
From Huge Giveaway for Eid: Tea Collection, Little Passports, Little Pim, Dolls, Books, Music & More
We are in Florida enjoying morning and evening walks and bike rides, with indoor family time during the hot afternoons. I also really enjoy our occasional trips to the beach, park, or play cente...
From Huge Giveaway for Eid: Tea Collection, Little Passports, Little Pim, Dolls, Books, Music & More
It's so hot here in Florida this summer (as usual) and I've got a 4 month old and a 2.5 year old. To beat the heat and tropical storms we've been opting for a lot of indoor fun. Loads of puzzles, im...
From Huge Giveaway for Eid: Tea Collection, Little Passports, Little Pim, Dolls, Books, Music & More
I shared on Twitter too! https://twitter.com/sjmrivas/status/4935113086048747...
From Huge Giveaway for Eid: Tea Collection, Little Passports, Little Pim, Dolls, Books, Music & More
I shared on Facebook! https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=635037239923&id=1802000...
From Huge Giveaway for Eid: Tea Collection, Little Passports, Little Pim, Dolls, Books, Music & More
I'm in Hampton Roads, VA! We've been spending lots of time at the pool and the library! I finally found a library with a Children's Spanish section! ...
From Huge Giveaway for Eid: Tea Collection, Little Passports, Little Pim, Dolls, Books, Music & More
Located in Portland Oregon! Hmm...hopefully we'll get to go camping!...
From Huge Giveaway for Eid: Tea Collection, Little Passports, Little Pim, Dolls, Books, Music & More