cartoon germs
HealthParenting Styles

Yummy or Yuck? Part 2: Let them eat dirt (or not?)

With discussions about increased allergies and hyper-sterile environments (in the (over)developed world at least), there is a body of parenting lore that supports the idea of building your child’s immune system by exposing them to germs through outside play, engagement with animals etc. Now presumably this idea isn’t completely crazy. …


Yummy or yuck? Part 1: The 5 second rule

Yesterday, Fynn dropped her teething biscuit on the shopping centre floor. I glibly picked it up, blew on it and said “5 second rule” before handing it back to her to munch on some more. My friend commented “she’s building a nice strong immune system” and we went on with …

How ToParenting Styles

Parenting for Kindness and Compassion

Recently our local newspaper reran a Washington Post article entitle “Five ways to raise kids to be kind”. The article reports on research led by Richard Weissbourd, a Harvard psychologist with the graduate school of education, which shows that more parents are concerned with their kids’ academic achievement than their …

iPad time
Media & TechnologyParenting Styles

Screen Time for Kids

Screen time for kids; the overwhelming message to parents is don’t do it, don’t over-do it and if you have to do it, supervise it. But proper analyses of whether it makes a difference what you are watching or playing are rare, which is why I was so pleased to …

Surname Tag Cloud

The Embedded Patriarchy of Surnames

It kind of goes without saying that in the many cultures around the world norms around surnames are deeply patriarchal. In so far as I identify with a culture I guess we are “Western” where wives traditionally abandon their own surnames in favour of their husbands, and children automatically take …

Praying angel
Parenting StylesReligion

Religious Instruction 101: In which we introduce the invisible superhero who controls everything

We are Atheists. My entire family is Atheist (as far as I know) and I was never raised to go to church, or pray or anything like that. Mou’s Dad is a non-practicing Catholic (whatever that means), and his mum was a follower of Sant Mat. And our daughter goes …

Apple Jack
Media & Technology

My Critical Thinking Little Pony

Ah. So nice to be able to let Rose veg out in front of the television and know that at least she is getting some positive critical thinking messaging at the same time. Before this year, I had never watched My Little Pony but had always heard through the skeptic …

porridge brain

Where is my mind?

I used to be quite clever (maybe not modest, but kind of smart). I had a great memory. My deductive abilities were just dandy. I liked my brain and relied on it. In many ways my intellect defined me but somewhere in the last five years that has failed to …

various fancy nancy titles
Ages 2-5Ages 6-9Family Field Trips

Books for independent, curious little girls

Our family reads a lot. Every night for the past five and a half years, Rose has had at least one, (sometimes five!) bedtime stories. There have been stories about bears, fairies, adventurers, dreams, zebras and pirates. And lots and lots of little girls: little girls doing ballet; little girls …

Parenting Styles

Choosing a Guardian for our Kids

We haven’t appointed legal guardians for our children. I’ve thought and thought and thought about it and I know that it I really important, but we still haven’t done it. Because, at the end of the day, how do you choose who you feel is going to be the best person/people to …