How to Raise a Happy Kid

I don’t have the magical solution, and to be honest, I don’t think anyone does. There are certain things that can help – sure: access to safe, outdoorsy areas, good friends, a stable home life, etc… But beyond the basic necessities, I feel like it all comes down to the individual kid and family. That being said, this infographic has been making the rounds:

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(You may need to zoom in to read it all!)

So what say you? I did happen to find the following pretty interesting:

 A mom’s satisfaction with her life is more important to a young child’s social and emotional skills than her education, income or job status. 

Survey: Maternity/Paternity Leave & Birth Options

Jenna Nichols, who was profiled here for TIWAFLL, is embarking on some crucial research. Please take a moment to read her letter below and take her survey. Your input will not only inform Jenna’s research, but will hopefully lead to more discussion about policy surrounding maternity & paternity leave, and perhaps, one day – policy reform!

Hi Friends,

I am working on a paper about how workplace maternity/paternity leave practices dictate birth choices and result in adverse affects for mama, baby and breastfeeding. I have put together a little survey to collect some data. It would be amazing if you could fill it out and pass it on to anyone who know who may have experienced any issues regarding this topic.
I am currently a BA/MA student of Anthropology/Public Anthropology at American University and I hope that from this paper/research that I am able to put together a presentation for upcoming conferences and panels regarding birth rights, workers rights and human rights. Additionally, I hope that by beginning this research we can engage in conversations about how to build strong community alliances between workers rights movements, labor unions, birth workers and families about how to protect the rights of pregnant women in the workplace.
Please feel free to share to as many as possible.
Warmly,
Jenna Nichols

Quick Hit: Halloween

A few weeks ago EZ decided he wanted to be Superman for Halloween.

“…but I want my cape to be pink and purple.”

Okay, no problem. While I knew my own sewing skills weren’t up to the task, I had a feeling that either etsy or my mom would be able to help us out.

Then, only a few days after his announcement he changed his mind.

“I want to be Superman, but with a red cape.”

Again, not a problem, and a good thing that I hadn’t actually done much of anything in the way of procuring a pink and purple cape. 3 cheers for lazy parenting!

Then, this past week he decided that he wants to be Superman as a pirate. He’ll wear a Superman outfit, but also have a hook hand, eyepatch and possibly a pirate’s hat as well.

It’s still another whole month until Halloween. I have to figure that EZ will end up changing his mind another 15 times between now and then. Who knows, perhaps he actually will want to be Superman dressed as a pirate, or maybe he’ll want to be something else that he decides upon at the last minute, resulting in either the cheesiest of homemade costumes or a mad dash to whatever store has anything left in the Halloween aisle.

Thankfully, our dress up bin is pretty varied, and if worse comes to worse, I think a pink headband of mine and an old baby blanket might even suffice.

As for me? I had a vision of all three of us going as characters from the game Candy Land, but nobody else seemed into it, so mostly likely it will be light up bunny ears…again.

Anyone else definitely maybe sort not at all know what they (or the kids) are going to be for Halloween this year? Hit me with your costumespiration!

Quick Hit: Peter & Jane

My folks have been renovating their house, which in turn means lots of boxes and bags of stuff end up at my house because, “we don’t want in anymore – get rid of it! we thought you’d like it.”

And for the most part, I do! They’ve given us a bunch of great cookbooks and a ton of books that either my brother or I used to read all the time. However, in the latest batch of books I found this gem:

A reading primer from 1964 that I had never seen before.

My love for all things nostalgic kicked in and I immediately started flipping through it, leaving the pile of Curious George and Magic School Bus books to be sorted through later.

It’s not that I’m surprised, really. I kind of assumed Peter and Jane were going to hit those stereotypical gender roles over our heads something fierce, but I held out a little hope that maybe…just maybe, Jane would toss on a pair of overalls and Peter would pick out a stuffed puppy.

Thankfully, only five minutes after I had flipped through Play With Us, EZ ran up to me and insisted we read from the stack of Eric Carle books that had also shown up in this particular box from my mom.

Bugs in my kids literature? Sure. That, I can get behind.

Quick Hit: Transgender Child

Katie, a reader of this blog, sent me a link to a video clip about a 7 year old transgender child almost week ago, and I’ve sat on it, trying to figure out the best way to approach it.

In the end, I think it’s best if I just share it and allow you all to take from it what you will. I will say that (in my own family) while EZ loves pink, painted nails & dressing up like a princess, he is also very adamant that he is a boy and is both comfortable and confident about that point.

For me, having a son who just happens to dig traditionally feminine things and dealing with a transgender child are two wholly different sides of a similar coin. I’m not trying to compare or contrast, just simply passing along this video (that – for me – is bittersweet)… eager to hear your thoughts.