Tagged With parenting

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Parenting, I am learning, is like being the belayer to a roped rock climber — you have to know when to hold on tight and when to give some slack. (No, I’m not a rock climber myself, but I once took an intro class using a Groupon.)

You want to make sure your kids are safe and not making bonehead decisions, but you can’t follow them around throughout their lives, whispering, “Eh, you sure about that move there, buddy?” For them to reach new heights, sometimes you have to let go.

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Much has been written about the importance of the family meal. There's something about setting aside time every day, away from the distractions of work to-dos and house chores and Instagram notifications, to connect over food with your clan. Kids who grow up with the ritual will be fundamentally different from those who don't — science backs this up.

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Getting kids to brush their teeth eagerly is a heroic task — goodness, why should they have to do it again if they just did it yesterday? I’m all for a good hack that’ll make children more invested in their oral hygiene, and this one from Agnes Hsu of Hello, Wonderful comes though.

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The paradox of parenting is that you can perform all the functions and still feel like an imposter. Changing diapers, playing peekaboo, giving piggyback rides — it can all seem like play acting. Then comes the moment when you become a real dad. One day, you'll be hanging out with your kid, open your mouth and produce a Dad Voice. Like a patronus, it will gallop across the air and freeze its target in his tiny toddler tracks.

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"Uptown got its hustlers, the Bowery got its bums. Forty-second Street got big Jim Walker, he a pool-shootin' son of a gun". Jim Croce sang those words in 1972, six years before I was born. They've been burned into my memory for so long that I can't remember when I first heard them.

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Parents who share a Netflix account with their families know the distinct pain. After putting your kids to bed, you sit down to watch a sexy new drama (or for me, The Great British Bake Off), and up pops on your TV screen: “Because you watched Lalaloopsy: A Sew Magical Tale, here’s Luna Petunia, My Little Pony and Strawberry Shortcake!” Your shows! What happened to all your shows?!

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On the parenting podcast What Fresh Hell: Laughing in the Face of Motherhood, co-host Amy Wilson told a childhood story about how she loved to poop in a nappy “until a pretty ripe old age”. She knew she shouldn’t do it, and her mum and dad knew she knew, but their efforts to get her to stop weren’t working. And so they finally took her to see a doctor.

Shared from The Conversation

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It’s only a little over halfway through the year and already 37 Australian women have been killed by violence.

On average, at least one Australian woman is killed by a current or former partner a week, and about one in six women have experienced sexual or physical violence since the age of 15.

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I have a massive stack of parenting books on my desk. Some of them tell me I'm doing an awesome job raising my kid (those books, I dog-ear and pet lovingly). Others tell me I'm screwing everything up, from bed time to screen time. I devour them all, for my job, but also because there's part of me that keeps looking for that thing to cling to.

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Becoming a parent of any kind requires planning, preparation, and a whole lot of flexibility along the way. But when that child comes to you with a past you have few details about, trauma you didn’t inflict, and zero socks or underwear, it turns your world on its side.

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I didn’t buy a smartwatch because I thought it might make parenting easier — I bought it because it was cute and shiny and I like new toys. (I owned a Casio calculator watch long before they were popular. Oh, wait: They were never popular.)

It’s been fun to fiddle with — I can change the watch face and check the weather and I no longer have to get off the couch just to look up the date. What’s surprised me the most, though, are the ways in which this little device is helping me be more present and less stressed with my kids. Here’s how it can be used for good. (Note: I have an Apple Watch, but these features are available on most smartwatches.)

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Kids watch movies before they’ve fully learned what’s real and what’s fiction. (One Lifehacker writer used to think that when people died in movies, the actor died in real life.) So sometimes you might need to explain to them how scary scenes were just pretend, and everyone is OK. When those scary scenes involve animals, you can get help from the American Humane Association.

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There's an episode of Everybody Loves Raymond where Ray remembers an effective parenting method he learned from his dad: AIS. Arse In Seat. He'd say, "We're leaving. 9 o'clock, AIS!" and whoever's arse was not in their seat at the designated time would be left behind. The kicker? Ray tries it on Debra, his wife. Moral: Don't try it on your wife. (Also, yeah, I used to watch a lot of Everybody Loves Raymond - don't hate.)