Posts Tagged parenting

Sunday, March 1st, 2015

What Cultural Norms Around Bare Feet Taught This Mother in Guatemala

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What Cultural Norms Around Bare Feet Taught This Mother in Guatemala
Before my daughter was walking, I rarely put shoes or socks on her tiny feet. We live in Guatemala, where the temperature never drops below 60 nor rises above 80. I used to throw her in the stroller or plop her in the swings, barefoot. When we did errands around town, her bare feet would hang out on either side of the ergo. As a new mom, trying to get a small person and myself ready most mornings, baby shoes and socks were a nuisance more than anything else.       Until one day when a Guatemalan woman with dark hair and kind eyes and a baby tightly wrapped around her back, stopped me in the central square with a look of shock, “Anda descalza!”   “She’s barefoot?” It was more of a question, than a statement, as she gently held out my daughter’s foot for me to see, that yes in fact my daughter did not have socks or shoes on.  Read more »

10 Things You Should Know Before Adopting a Child

What is it like to be the parent of an adoptive child? For us, a transracial family, formed through international adoption, this is what has been like for us, five years in.  Read more »

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

It all started with the guy at the garden store. His face was splotched with purple burns—not badly, but enough for my kids to notice and be scared, making loud comments in the store.  Read more »

French versus Italian Parenting in One Multicultural Family

My husband comes from the south of Italy and I am French.  Read more »

Does Religion Matter? Juggling Two Faiths in One Family

We are religious in the sense that my husband, Marvin, and I believe in a higher entity--God/Allah--that connects all of us. But we struggle as parents to maintain a spiritually connected family and follow rituals that do not contradict the values we care about. Underpinning religion is a set of values that organizes your life. Values can be derived from a formal religion but not necessarily.  Read more »

After Her Husband’s Tragic Death, She Embraced a Religion and Culture Not Her Own

Yuki is a Japanese-born single mom. She has managed to raise her nine-year-old son Abi alone, after overcoming the sudden tragic death of her Jewish-American husband in San Francisco when Abi was just a baby. She is also a writer, surfer, foodie and someone who has created a space for her little family to thrive in.   Abi and Yuki live in San Francisco nine months of the year, visit her family in Japan for about two months and spend about a month on the East coast visiting her American in-laws.  Read more »

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

Since the day that our neighborhood pool opened Keagan has been there all day everyday. He goes up before they open to help the lifeguards set up, he swims and plays pool with other kids his age and chats it up with the staff. He only seems to come home for food. I've never seen him so happy and self sufficient and I was marveling just the other night about how "normal" he seems.  Read more »

Is Motherhood More Bitter Than Sweet?

Motherhood is more difficult than I thought it would be, a lot more difficult. The witching hour is no joke, and is why, I am certain, cocktail hour was invented.   “Please sit down or I’ll have to take your food away. Hold your milk in a normal way. Eat over your plate. That is not a napkin. Don’t eat your sister’s salad.  We don’t spit in this family!” 99% of the time, dinner with my five-year old son Melese is completely exhausting.  Read more »

Is It Ok to Leave a Sleeping Baby Home Alone?

My daughter loves to sing. I’m not surprised. As the daughter of two musicians, she has had music around her since conception. Lately, my mother-in-law (MIL) has been teaching her Chinese children’s songs and it’s so lovely to hear her little voice singing the words. One of these songs is called “Good Little Rabbit 小兔子乖乖” and she’s taken to singing it every time anyone comes through the apartment door.  Read more »

Making Sense of the Berlin Wall as a Multicultural Family

Spending a year in Berlin means that my kids are treated to all sorts of new experiences. We live in an apartment, not a house. We don’t have a car, nor do we need one. The playgrounds have zip lines, sand pulleys, and slides so tall that our seven- and eight-year-olds sometimes decide to back down the ladder. The toys are mostly the same except that the Star Wars trading cards are all in German.  Read more »

Why Raise Global Citizens? An Interview with Homa Sabet Tavangar, Author of Growing Up Global

I have long been a fan of Growing Up Global: Raising Children to Be At Home in the World, the bible (or Torah, Koran or Baghavad Gita in the true global spirit) for raising global citizens who will become the next generation of leaders, thinkers, doers and dreamers. The book is a call to action to raise children to be at home in the world, as it is packed with abundant resources and practical ideas for both parents and teachers.  Read more »

The Great Ear Piercing Debate in Our Multicultural Home

By Jan's wife Souad. Piercing the ears of our daughters is a debate I have been having with my husband since our eldest was born, over eight years ago.   I never suspected ear-piercing to be such a controversial subject. Well, suffice to browse a couple of UK forums to witness tempers flaring and name-calling as soon as the question is asked: "At what age is it appropriate for a girl to get her ears pierced?"   I asked my English friends.  Read more »

Thankfulness, Insecurity and Adoption: A Messy Lesson

My daughter Meazi’s second grade class visits an assisted living facility every month. For the November trip they planned a “Make a Thanksgiving Turkey” craft for the seniors living at the facility. I signed up to be a volunteer parent. The night before I spoke to Meazi about how happy I was to be going with her and how lucky I felt that I was going to get to spend some time with her during the school day.  Read more »

The Challenge of Making Holidays Special Far from Home: Navaratri in the U.S.

Golu is an element of Navaratri unique to certain communities in South India, although the festival of Nava-ratri (nine-nights) is celebrated with great grandeur in many parts. During Navaratri, Hindus evoke the blessings of the Goddesses of health, wealth and prosperity, and the celebration culminates in Dusshera (the tenth day) that is auspicious for new beginnings.  Read more »

How Do You Quiet a Child’s Mind and Prevent Depression?

My dad’s father killed himself when my dad was a child. My dad has fought with depression all his life. Depression has run on my dad’s side of the family for generations, particularly with the men. I usually forget about this until my son asks me questions like, “Why is it that I cannot switch my mind off? I want to stop my mind from thinking.  Read more »

Are French Kids Better Behaved Because They are Spanked?

There are a number of us in the States who seem to be falling over in toddler-styled apoplectic fits over the positive press French parenting has been receiving of late. One of the most common complaints I saw emerging from the comment discussions is the French propensity for la fessée or spanking.   I think it is best we clear the air and address this head on.  Read more »

The Election of President Obama and Whether My Asian American Kids Could Really Be President

My parents always emphasized that although I was ethnically Chinese, my citizenship was American because I was born in America, “You can even be president someday—unlike us—because you are a natural-born citizen.”   In school, we learned the three requirements to become president of the United States were to be a natural-born citizen, at least thirty-five years old, and have resided in the United States for the past fourteen years.  Read more »

Cooking 101: First Family Recipes

We all have our secret pepper sauce.   Ok, maybe not. I’m half French but when it comes to food, I am probably weighing in at closer to 3/4 French. Unlike my Trinidadian friend, I don’t have a secret family pepper sauce, but I do have my family’s vinaigrette!   I’ll never forget, standing on my tippy-toes, chin resting on the white tile counter, while my mother measured out the ingredients into the deep bottom green Pyrex salad bowl, explaining to me the critical ratio of red wine vinegar to vegetable oil  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 »

Lessons I do not want to teach my children–about Dharun Ravi, Trayvon Martin, Shaima Alawadi

After Indian American Rutgers student Dharun Ravi was convicted of bias intimidation, I sent the very long New Yorker article about the case to my teenagers so that they can understand what kind of digital footprint they leave whenever they do anything online, and to remind them that regardless of what they might actually be doing, they need to be aware that sometimes those actions may be perceived quite differently by others, including people who do not understand technology and culture, including people with power.  Read more »

The Secrets of Raising an Enlightened Child — Part II

In the last segment in this series, I introduced how to raise an enlightened child, beginning with some basic Buddhist approaches to parenting. In this article, I will focus specifically on the period of development (Skandha) between infancy and about eight to nine years of age. Before I begin, I would like to reiterate the Buddhist intention in raising a child (in addition to basic nutrition and health of course!).  Read more »

Buddhism and Parenting Attachment

At the core of Buddhist practice is the notion that we can release ourselves from the three mental poisons--anger, attachment and ignorance. Each of these has a multitude of practices within the myriad forms of Buddhism, aimed at reducing their harmful effects. With the problem of attachment, we have to learn to let go. Never has the concept of attachment and the idea of letting go come more sharply into focus than when thinking about our children.  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 »

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 »
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Hi Kim! I am so glad that this article was useful for you and made you feel validated as a parent. It's not often in this judgmental world of parenting we get that, right?! That's the main reason...
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