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Why Are Kids So Competitive?

We sat at the community pool by our house, playing with some new friends. All of the kids ranged in ages from three to seven. One six year old said to a five year old, “I can swim without floaties. Can you?” His words dripped with the invitation to compare skills. The five year old, being a competitive person himself, …

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Your Kid “Still” Does That?

Still. “You’re still breastfeeding?” “You still cosleep?” “He’s still not potty-trained?” “She still wakes up at night?” “You mean your child still acts in a way that is completely age-appropriate, natural, and normal?” Oh. Wait. You might have heard it, you might have even said it. I know I’ve heard it. When someone uses the word still in relation to …

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How Do Children Learn Empathy?

At the playground today, I was sitting on the sidewalk, looking down at my phone for a moment, as my kids ran back and forth, flower bush to slide. On one pass, my 6 year old slowed down and called out, “Are you alright, mom?” I looked up. “Yeah! I was just reading something on my phone.” “Oh, ok! It …

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Looking for a Reason to Breastfeed?

August 1st through 7th is World Breastfeeding Week. Put on by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action, this will be the 25th annual celebration that encourages, advocates, and educates the world about the importance of breastfeeding. Though most people associate breastfeeding with improved health outcomes for babies, few understand how far-reaching nursing has the potential to be. In fact, the impact on …

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8 questions people ALWAYS ask unschoolers & homeschoolers

If you’ve been a homeschooling or unschooling parent for a while, you are probably already familiar with people commenting on and questioning your choices, or trying to single-handedly determine your child’s level of knowledge on the spot.  Next time you find yourself in the line of fire, try one of these responses.   1. What about socialization? That’s funny. When …

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I don’t play with my kids. Here’s why.

“Mama, will you play on the train with me?” my daughter asked, lining up the dining chairs to form a line of seats. “Sure! Where’s my seat on the train?” I responded, thinking we were about to engage in some good, old-fashioned pretend play together. This is what childhood is supposed to be all about, right? “You can sit riiiight …

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Dear Attachment Parent: Can I Get Pregnant While Breastfeeding?

Dear Attachment Parent: My first baby is still breastfeeding around the clock. We would like to have another child, but I don’t want to wean! Can I get pregnant while breastfeeding? Yes, you can absolutely get pregnant while breastfeeding. Most of us have her the tale of a couple who thought breastfeeding equals contraception and who now have two children …

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The Loneliness of Modern Parenthood

There is something I hear far too often. A quiet, frustrated cacophony of the mothers and fathers I see going about their days with their children. Often alone. Struggling. Holding too much stuff and too many hands. Spending too much time just getting from Point A to Point B. Eager for conversation at the playground with other parents, wanting to …

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Eight ways to respond to unwanted parenting advice

Having a child and taking them out into the world can sometimes feel like an invitation to have others comment on your parenting decisions. With parenting, as with any endeavor, it’s important to be open to new ideas, to listen, and reflect. At the same time, we all know that a lot of the advice offered out there isn’t coming …

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Free-Grazing Kids: A Way To Do Food

What is free-grazing, you ask? It means that you don’t have any artificial restrictions on food in your house. Examples of restrictions include a set schedule of eating times, or only allowing certain foods at certain times. Or only allowing X to be eaten after Y was eaten first. We mostly follow a free-grazing lifestyle because I have an extremely picky and …