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#parenting

Kodable Teaches Kids To Code Before They Learn To Read »

Any parent that teaches their kidnergartner skills in anticipation of the job market 15 years from now should be cracked over the head with a Sit N’ Spin. Interesting idea for an app though.

During interviews with middle-class Boston parents in the 1980s, she and her colleagues kept hearing about the importance of “special time” or “quality time”: One-on-one time that stimulated the child and that revolved around his interests. Nearly every American parent mentioned it, she says. “It was this essential thing that all parents seemed to think they should do—and maybe they weren’t doing enough of it.”

This seems obviously reasonable. I would likely say “special time” with ironic quotation marks, but I still feel pretty much the same way those parents did. How else would a halfway-decent parent feel? But when Harkness talked to other halfway-decent parents in other cultures, even other seemingly very similar Western cultures, they were oblivious to this nagging feeling.

Parental ethnotheories and how parents in America differ from parents everywhere else.

Question for Mom/Dad Bloggers: If you search for "Reasons My Son Is Crying," the suddenly viral Daddy Tumblr, a lot of aggregation articles outperform the site itself. Most of them link prominently to the site within their 1-2 grafs of their post, with the exception of Buzzfeed, which buries the link at the bottom of a 10-image skyscraper post.
If approached, would you give these site rights to use the images? 

Question for Mom/Dad Bloggers: If you search for "Reasons My Son Is Crying," the suddenly viral Daddy Tumblr, a lot of aggregation articles outperform the site itself. Most of them link prominently to the site within their 1-2 grafs of their post, with the exception of Buzzfeed, which buries the link at the bottom of a 10-image skyscraper post.

If approached, would you give these site rights to use the images? 

Beasts of the Southern Wild and the Black Death Giant with at Least Three Faces. The Oscar-nominated “Beasts” is a movie you could show to an audience of almost any age, and the similarity between it and other recent young adult fiction got me thinking of the big hulking deathbeasts that loom over each of them.

Beasts, the graphic novel I Kill Giants, and the scarily-illustrated young adult novel A Monster Calls have similar stories (spoilers):

  • There is a child whose home is near some force of nature that’s central to the story’s imagery.
  • This child has already lost one parent, and is living with an imperfect guardian.
  • He/she is influenced by stories of archaic people fighting to survive.
  • The child senses that a a monster we’ll call a “Black Death Giant”—they’re always enormous, black, and an explicit death metaphor—is en route to raise hell. In Giants it’s a titan that’s coming; in Monster it’s a howling shadow demon; in “Beasts” it’s prehistoric boars.
  • The combination of the BDG’s is size and darkness make its features hard to make out: It’s too big to fit in the frame, and its body barely reflects light.
  • The BDG gets closer as a parent approaches death.
  • The child vandalizes his/her home, which accelerates his/her alienation from their imperfect guardian.
  • The BDG arrives in an orgy of destruction, which happen in reality or may be just in the child’s head.
  • When the BDG comes face to face with the child, it becomes clear that it doesn’t want to terrorize the kid. Instead, the BDG and the child converse as equals, and that interaction allows the child to overcome their terror at the idea of their parents’ death.
  • The parent dies.
  • The child survives and begins to heal.

No one who knows me should be surprised I loved “Beasts of the Southern Wild:” it celebrates Louisiana culture, it’s a tribute to the bond between father and daughter, and it has funny scenes with drunk people.

But if you liked it yourself, consider checking out these other two.

“I dreamt that my fishes were flying.”

– Bug, the morning after her second Christmas goldfish died.

Dear Other Parents At The Park:

Please do not lift my daughters to the top of the ladder, especially after you’ve just heard me tell them I wasn’t going to do it for them and encourage them to try it themselves.

I am not sitting here, 15 whole feet away from my kids, because I am too lazy to get up. I am sitting here because I didn’t bring them to the park so they could learn how to manipulate others into doing the hard work for them. I brought them here so they could learn to do it themselves.

Kate Bassford Baker, “Please Don’t Help My Kids.”

Everytime my dad calls, Brooklyn breaks out all over the place

  • My Dad on the phone: What's new?
  • My Wife: Get this. Jelly just started walking!
  • My Dad: What? That's so-
  • My Wife: Oh my god. Someone's ringing the bell, which freaks Jelly out, and the smoke alarm just went off. I have to go. I'm sorry. Everyone is screaming. [Click.]
  • ....a day later:
  • My Dad on the phone: Hey!
  • Me: Hey, how are you!
  • Dad: I hear you have a number of girls moving around.
  • Me: What? (Unworldly shrieking coming the kids' room) Sorry dad I have to go. [Click.] (I walk into my room to find our teething baby breakdancing in pain.)
  • ....30 minutes later:
  • Me on the phone: Hey, Dad. Sorry. Every time you call we hang up on you.
  • Dad: (Laughing) That's fine. Lots going on.
  • Me: Yeah. (Outside our first floor window, twenty feet and a brick wall from where I'm standing, a drunk driver hits a parked car at full speed, ripping the back of the parked car off its axle.) Oh wow.
  • Dad: So two girls walking, huh? (Outside a crowd swarms around the drunk driver, who has gotten out and begun stumbling around.)
  • Me: Um, sorry. Outside my window.
  • Dad: What?
  • Me: I promise I'm not going to hang up but.
  • Dad: What?
  • Me: Outside my window. (The drunk gets back in her and tries to drive away, even though there is a crowd of humanity around her.) Oh wow. (Crowd seizes the wheel, convinces her to stop gassing it.)
  • Dad: What?

Entering my sixth year in the lullaby game, I’m fairly certain I’ve sang “I Will” more times than Paul McCartney has.