03 July 2014 @ 09:10 pm
Your four year old is "graduating" from preschool. Your fourteen year old is graduating from junior high. Understandably, "graduation fever" is running high in your house.

This preschool graduation ceremony is a relatively recently adopted tradition by said preschool. It is such a recent development, in fact, that it was not in effect when your nine year old attended the same preschool. Your nine year old is finishing up fourth grade, and obviously this is not a milestone grade to be finishing, so there is no graduation ceremony for her this year.

In the lead up to the ceremonies your nine year old spends her time kvetching about how her older sister gets to have a graduation, and her younger sister gets to have a graduation, but she gets nothing. And during her younger sister's cutesy preschool ceremony, she complains bitterly, loudly and at length, about the fact that her younger sister's "graduating class" is getting this ceremony when her own class was not.

How do you deal with your nine year old? Do you

a) Reason with her. Remind her that her sisters are both in milestone years (preschool --> kindergarten; junior high --> senior high), and that there will be years when she herself will be in one of those transition years and her sisters will not - and tell her to stop whining?

b) Discipline her. Mete out some consequence when you return home from the preschool ceremony because she was making a scene and behaving poorly in public - no matter how she feels about what's going on, it's incredibly inappropriate for her to ruin her sister's day with her own poor mood?

c) Pander to her. Organize a little "graduating the fourth grade" party for her and surprise her with it when you get home from the preschool ceremony, thereby rewarding her week worth of complaining and whining and ensuring she learns nothing about fair play, taking turns, and the fact that she cannot and will not always be the center of attention?

Brought to you by a re-run of a late-eighties/early-nineties sitcom which I am watching with gritted teeth because I want to shake the nine year old!!

(edited to include a missing apostrophe!)
17 June 2014 @ 09:10 am
I pretty much agree with Prudence. LW needs to mind her own business.

Q. Adoptive baby: I am the parent of two wonderful children, one of whom has Down syndrome. My sister-in-law (my husband’s sister) and her husband have started the adoption process. My MIL casually mentioned the adoption agency they were going through, so I went online and checked their profile. I noticed on the agency website that they are only interested in typical children. This was heartbreaking to me. There are a lot of children who have developmental delays that could use a stable and loving home. Their deliberate decision to not even consider a child with developmental delays was a slap in my face. Prior to this incident, they have been nothing but caring and generous toward both my children, but now I wonder if they are just faking it with my Down syndrome child. I sent my SIL a link to an adoption agency that helps place children with developmental delays, and she just responded that they were happy with the agency they selected. Should I have another conversation with her about this issue? I will see everybody in a few weeks for the Fourth of July and I’m not sure if I can hold back my opinion on this.

A: What in the world do you mean when you say that you went online and read their adoption application with the agency? If this agency is not keeping such sensitive information totally private, they should be out of business. But if what happened is that you finagled a way to get their private information, shame, shame, shame on you. No one else’s reproductive choices have anything to do with your family. Because this couple is not seeking out a child with special needs, it in no way reflects on the love they have for your child. You’ve already crossed a line, so start back-tracking immediately and practice keeping your mouth zipped about their adoptive plans. I hope there’s a support group for parents of Down children who can help you work through this (and if they start stirring you up—run!). If not, and you find this is ruining your relationship with a loving couple in your life, seek some short-term help to deal with your own issues.
12 June 2014 @ 11:15 am
I am certainly not qualified to be making any psychiatric diagnoses, but i believe that a close family member is suffering from paranoid delusions. She buys into all of the conspiracy theory stuff. She uses the term "Illuminati" non-ironically. She is convinced that a surveillance drone was following her. She has decided to home school because the Common Core is going to ruin her child. She lives in a state that does not use common core, but heard that it will be implemented at her child's school next year. No evidence to support this claim is posted anywhere that I can find, and when I called the school district, the two people I spoke to had never heard anything about it. She took down her facebook page people because people were stalking her. She's waiting to get whooping cough test results back for her 6 month old, who has only had one round of selective vaccines because vaccines are bad and he has been coughing to the point of projectile vomiting for a couple of days now. When I ask about where she learned this information, she says vaguely "I've been doing some really interesting research" and declines to give further details. there is a strong family history of various mental illnesses. when it's suggested that she visit a psychiatrist or therapist, she gets very defensive.

So anyway... if this was your close family member with young children, and you thought that the children were suffering because of the suspected mental illness, but you didn't have a reason to believe that the children were in immediate danger (no neglect or abuse), would you mind your own business or would you take some action? if you chose to take action, what action would you take?

i'm really trying not to be able-ist here, but i'm probably failing miserably. I take medication for anxiety myself and i believe that both my life and my parenting have improved greatly because of it.
07 June 2014 @ 04:13 pm

Donor breast milk: eww or awesome?

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

The day I left my son in the car: I made a split-second decision to run into the store. I had no idea it would consume the next years of my life

The article is way too long to paste here, but it basically boils down to this: The mother of a 4-year-old boy faces the crisis of broken headphones. Since they only have a couple hours to go before the plane ride home, she decides to make a quick run to the store to buy another pair so her kid can watch a movie on the plane. Kid doesn't want to stay behind with grandma, he wants to ride to the store (so he can play on the iPad longer) and insists he'll actually go in when they get there. Mom lets him come, then he refuses to go into the store. She gives in and lets the kid stay locked in the car while she goes in and buys the headphones she thinks will be her savior. She comes back, gets in the car, and drives away thinking everything is cool.

Well, turns out someone filmed her leaving the kid in the car, coming back, and driving away, and then turned the video over to police. What follows is a lengthy ordeal (and article!) dealing with the juvenile court system and paying her penance, all while astonished that she's facing a criminal charge in the first place. She proceeds to tell her story to everyone around her, seeking all the validation she can that she did nothing wrong. Not everyone around her agrees.

The comments are going crazy. Would you be:

A. The mom, thinking that leaving her kid in the car for "a few minutes" is perfectly fine.

B. The person filming the incident and calling the cops.

C. One of the friends saying that what she did wasn't cool, but that they didn't think she should be charged with a crime for it.

D. One of those in the comment section thinking she has bigger problems than the car thing if she's giving in to her small child over fear of tantrums.
01 May 2014 @ 09:11 pm
BK goes to his kindergarten class today and witnesses A laughing at Z; BK does not know why. Z tells the teacher's assistant what happened and as a lesson/punishment, the TA directs the entire class to laugh at A. The class complies.

How do you feel about this response? If the teacher was not present when this happened, would you tell her what was reported to you? Assuming you are friendly with A's mother, would you let her know what BK reported to you? Does it matter if A is considered a troublemaker in class?

Bonus: BK tells you that s/he did not laugh at A because s/he disagreed with the TA's punishment. How do you respond to this? Would you encourage BK to continue defying instructions to which s/he morally objected, at the risk of him/her getting into trouble? Assume BK was not called out by the TA for choosing not to participate on this occasion.
29 April 2014 @ 03:25 pm
You're currently 100% supporting your [hypothetical?] college-age son in his post-secondary education, because this is the scenario I created, and that's how it is. So, room, board, tuition, books, etc. are all paid for by you.

Said son gets somebody pregnant. He says that his responsibility ended when he told the woman that he'd pay for her abortion but she decided she wanted to have the baby.

Is it wrong to say that you will be withdrawing financial support if he doesn't take more responsibility? Let's define that responsibility as a minimum of getting a part time job so that he can at least help to financially support his child.

What about if you made it less about punishing your son, and more about diverting what you were spending on him so that your future grandchild has her or his needs met?
18 April 2014 @ 11:16 pm
You (Or your child, if you'd prefer) are in a college class that includes a lab component. For about 4 hours a week, there is much hands on time, a lot of moving around the room and performing procedures, experiments, what have you. There is also a little bit of lecture and some models, diagrams, etc., around the room.

How would you feel if one of your classmates used their phone to record almost the entirety of the session? This includes lectures, but it also includes their interaction with the resources around the room, their own procedure, and general classroom ongoing, including any questions you ask or procedures you perform.

Are you comfortable with this? Does it matter if permission was sought first?
18 April 2014 @ 10:24 am
You have 2 children between the ages of 5 and 10. You wake up one morning to find both of them crying. The first child is crying because the second child has been singing "Let It Go" at the top of their lungs over and over again. The second child is crying because the first child said they had a horrible singing voice (which is true, btw).

Here's the debate question: is it appropriate to drink wine for breakfast in front of your kids?

Also, do you lie to child #2 about their singing voice? Do you punish #1 for being mean? Do you ban singing? What do you do?
16 April 2014 @ 01:00 pm
Your child's phone is broken in the process of making a Vine. She or he thought it would be funny to get into the face of a complete stranger, who knocked the phone out of their hand.

Do you replace your child's phone? Have them earn the money to replace it? Sue the person who knocked the phone from your kid's hand? Other?