Archive for the ‘Parenting’ Category

Member Musings: Parenting Without Punishment


Giving up the notion that we can get what we want from our kids by use of force is key to understanding how to parent without punishment. We may think that we’re getting what we want in the moment, but what is happening to the relationship? What are we really teaching our kids?

Connecting to your Baby Before Birth

If you’re pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant, it’s intriguing to explore ideas of how much you can actually get to know your baby before it’s born. There are many ways you can attempt to  ‘tune in’ and make contact, and strengthen the bond with your baby. Plus, it’s fun! Whether you have actively tried […]

Promote Truth-Telling:  5 Tips to Discourage Early Childhood Lying

Honesty and truth telling are character traits learned in the home. It is a family value that parents strive to instill in their children. It could seem daunting, but not if you consider where it starts — with you. Young children tell “stories” — fibs or lies from time to time. That is a natural […]

You Can Be the Parent You Want to Be


Parents today struggle to be present with their kids as the 24-hour connectedness to technology and work often pull attention away from the present moment. Children feel this distractedness and act in ways to pull attention back to the present moment, to them, to meet developmental needs. Children haven’t changed much over the ages: their […]

Taking on the Myth of the Spoiled Child

A new book questions claims that today’s kids are more spoiled and narcissistic than previous generations. It seems as if everyone has something negative to say about the younger generation. Critics call today’s kids narcissistic and spoiled, blaming parents for being too permissive and overprotective.

Breastfeeding & Pumping


If you’re breastfeeding a new baby, chances are at some point you’ll need to have someone else feed your baby. If you’re like millions of other moms, you may be wondering about how to pump and store milk, whether you’re going back to work or would like to be able to be away from the […]

Childcare in the Forums, plus 6 Tips to Get it Right!


Over the summer, a post about finding childcare providers through PAMP forums became a red-hot item. One mom’s experience led to disappointing results with two candidates canceling agreed-upon trials, and another saying she would not do light duty chores

Member Musings: Things To Do – Burn off Steam at Filoli


As a stay at home mom, I am always looking for ways to entertain and exhaust my two-year old while bringing along my newborn. I recently rediscovered a great option nearby – Filoli.

My toddler was able to walk all over and I didn’t have to worry about cars or bikes. The baby split his time between the BOB and the Bjorn and there were shady benches to sit and feed him. We had lunch in the cafe — they have a kids grilled cheese that comes with oranges and animal crackers.

My son fell asleep on the way home and I was actually able to move him from the car to his bed without a problem, which is a small miracle for us.  The outing was a success and I plan to go back before they close for the season in late October.

Is My Child Meeting Developmental Milestones?

Flickr photo

One quarter of the questions and concerns that parents discuss with their pediatrician are related to child development and behavior. As parents, we want to provide our children with opportunities to optimize development and create an environment in which our children can thrive.

Book Review: Overwhelmed

In her best-selling book, Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time, Brigid Schulte offers an illuminating analysis of the trends, myths, policies and historical circumstances that have resulted in overwhelmed modern mothers while providing a hopeful vignette-based prescription for what they can do to enjoy life and motherhood again.

Competition vs. Creativity

Flickr photo

We civilized folk seem to be addicted to competition — obsessed with who is the best and the worst, who has the most and the least, who are the winners and the losers. In our culture we habitually frame most everything in terms of conflict and competition. “Do you love dancing? … You should enter […]

Breast Pump Buying Guide

Flickr photo

If you’re expecting a baby, or about to return to work after maternity leave, you probably have breast pumps on the brain. The type of pump you rent or buy will depend on your personal needs, such as how often you’ll be pumping and whether you’ll need to carry your pump to and from work […]

Member Musings: Let’s All Put Our Heads Down. Please.


So today at work, I was sitting at my desk, just sort of staring and not doing anything productive. You know, because I am dragging-tired. Like you are, most days, when you’re parenting a toddler who is going through yet another phase of waking up. Every. Damn. Night.

And as I was idly trying to decide between paying for an over-priced, carb-laden snack from our corporate auto-snack kiosk thingy or perusing the goings-on of family, friends, and random people on Facebook,  a faint recollection burbled to the top of my mind.

Remember those days in elementary school when your teacher had had it with the class and made everyone put their heads down on their desks? Well, 1) it occurs to me that s/he did this because s/he was dog-tired and had been dealing with a whole CLASSROOM of unruly children and 2) I almost wept at the joyous prospect that someone might not just ask but MAKE me put my head down on my desk.

Wouldn’t it be great if someone turned off the glaring fluorescent lights and said “OK, everyone. Heads down for ten minutes.” I would totally do it. I might anyway.

Member Musings: Three Things I Know


When I became a new parent I received a lot of advice. This was, of course, my own fault. I sought out every blog post, book, parent-friend that I could in search of answers to all my parenting questions. I suspect many of the moms in PAMP are quite like me in that respect. I also suspect that, like me, they realize that there is a LOT of conflicting advice out there: You should let your baby cry it out. No, you should never let your baby cry it out if you want a securely attached infant! You should start solids at six months. No, you should not! So what are we to do? Most diplomatic websites and books come to some nice conclusion around the lines of: “You should do whatever you think is right for you & your baby. Everybody is different, every baby is different and there’s no one right way to be a parent.” This is a nice sentiment that I largely agree with, but really, some things must matter. Some ways of parenting must be better than others, right?

I’d like to point out three things that, as far as I can see from the literature, seem to be best practices for parenting (a baby). Since I’m not writing a research paper (what I did in a previous life) I’m not going to site references. Not only does the research seem to support these three practices, but these also ring true to me. Of course, whenever you come down so firmly on an issue there will always be people who disagree. And surely, there are good parents and good children who do not follow this advice but here are the three things that I think are true for any family or infant.

One: No TV or screens of any kind before age 2
This includes educational programming. After age two the jury is out though I suspect even then minimal screen time is best. But there is ample evidence that children under the age of two do worse when exposed to TV (or computers, iPads, iPhones, etc.). In Silicon Valley this is a big deal. I know that we have tons of screens all around our house, but I make sure that they are off when our daughter is around them. I also try to turn off the screens so that *I* am not distracted from engaging fully with her.

Two: Do not use corporal punishment. EVER.
Spanking is lazy parenting and aggression begets agression. Don’t hit your kids and particularly don’t hit your babies. They don’t understand. I recently read an article that 1/3 of children under the age of 1 are spanked regularly. That makes me pretty sad. There are better, more effective ways to discipline, and one of these is positive reinforcement. I’m sure this particular item is controversial, but I am actually shocked that as a society we condone corporal punishment. We would never sit by idly while a husband hit his wife. Why do we accept that parents can hit their children?

Three: Talk to your baby a lot.
Children exposed to more language at a young age perform better on many outcome variables. The more language that our babies hear, the better they will do at school and with friends. Talk and read to your kid to expand their world.

So there you have it: Two things not to do and one thing you should do. That’s all I can see for sure, but of course, there are a lot of other things I’m trying to do as a parent. Overall I want my daughter to know that her father and I love her very much. I also want her to sleep. I haven’t found a surefire way to let her know that she’s loved or to get her to sleep in all my resources, but I’ll let you know if I find one!

Paternity Leave: Play Ball

Photo by Rebecca Alison

Dear Mike Francesca, Boomer Esiason, and Craig Carton, I have no idea who you are. Really, I don’t. Sorry. I had to look up how to spell your names for this article. But I heard what you said about New York Mets player Daniel Murphy [missing two games for paternity leave]