How to talk to your kids about sexWhen I was in my early 20s, I used to babysit for my neighbor's two daughters. One evening as my boyfriend and I stood talking to their parents, 4-year-old Emily joined in with a conversation stopper.
6. Your 3-year-old wants to know if he can have a baby too. You:
A: Laugh at him.
B: Assure him that if he really wants to when he grows up, he can.
C: Tell him no, only mommies can have babies.
Answer: C. It might seem like an adorably cute statement to you, but to a 3-year-old it's no joke. He won't understand why he can't have babies too unless you tell him why.
"This isn't a sex question at all, it's a reproduction question," says Meg Zweiback, associate clinical professor at the University of California, San Francisco School of Nursing. "He wants to know where newborns come from. You can tell him they come from mommies and that he can be a daddy and help make a baby when he's grown-up."
If your little boy feels cheated, that's a cue to sit him down and tell him all the ways a father helps take care of an infant.
7. Your 4-year-old recently discovered he can make his penis get bigger, and he wants to show his new trick to Grandma. You:
A. Acknowledge the wonder of his anatomy -- and explain that he should keep his new trick to himself.
B. Ask Grandma to visit when he's sound asleep.
C. Tell your spouse to deal with it.
Answer: A. It is a neat trick, so don't squelch his innocent enthusiasm by shaming him or getting angry.
"What needs to be said to both boys and girls is 'I know that's fun and feels good, but it's private and should be done in your room by yourself. It isn't okay to share that with others,'" says Sylvia Hacker, associate professor emerita at the Schools of Nursing and Public Health at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
Any self-respecting 4-year-old will then promptly ask, "Why not?" You can tell him it's not polite to do it around other people, or invoke collective behavior ("The rule is you don't touch your penis in front of others"). After all, part of the discussion about sex is teaching young children about what's socially appropriate -- ideally, without conferring any sense of shame along with it.
News, stories, tips and laughs for moms & dads
When it comes to holiday giving, it's the thought that counts, which is why homemade gifts from kids are so treasured by their mothers. Children might not have money to spend on an expensive piece of jewelry or designer handbag, but they do have the time to DIY something special for their number one fan. If you're in charge of helping the little ones think of presents, check out the above list of homemade gifts for mom. From a custom vase to Instagram coasters to Warhol-inspired wall art, we have something for every taste and skill level.
At our household, we have a large, diverse collection of toys. While I’m not as uptight as my husband on what enters our kids’ toy chest, my husband must approve all toy acquisitions mostly because of aesthetics (appearance is important). In our search for functional and stylish toys, the sustainable ones often have the best design, and appeal to the visual and tactile senses or improve fine motor skills such as dexterity and hand coordination. Here are a few of our family favorites that intrigue and hold our little ones’ attention—and look good, too.
Worried that a violent video game might sneak its way into your shopping cart during the holidays? Before you make it to the register, make sure you're armed with all the information you need regarding your child's games. Just because your well-meaning thirteen-year-old promises you that the game he's about to buy with the gift card from Uncle Mike is totally chill, doesn't mean it's good for kids. Do your research ahead of time to avoid any game store drama. And have a chat with your offspring before the big day; let them know that you're going to have to green light their choices before they get their hearts set on any particular item. At the end of the day, you're just being a good parent. Some of the games on the market now may look OK at first glance, but are actually quite objectionable. Trust us: We've done our homework and we're here to give you the ultimate low-down. Check out this slideshow for all the games to steer clear of this season. Don't say we didn't warn you.
Two sociologists have found that parents who have daughters are more inclined to support the GOP and turn a cold shoulder to Democrats.
The experts at Nameberry.com predict what will be big in baby-naming next year
Famed event-planner David Stark shared tips for making chic holiday decorations using items you already have around the house. Take a look!
Sociologist Karen Z. Kramer found that over the past decade more than 550,000 men were stay-at-home fathers, which is about 3.5 percent of the married with kids population.
Ben Miller celebrates his wife's birthday and the anniversary of the day their premature son Ward Miles came home for good with a video documenting his first year.
Adopting an animal is a major commitment. Yet all too often people put more effort into researching what kind of car to get than the type of pet that would best fit their lifestyle.
’Tis the season to send out holiday greeting cards to all your friends and family. But, as our friends at Awkward Family Pet Photos know, not all holiday snapshots are the same. Some are just plain kooky — especially when pets are included. So with good tidings and great cheer, here are 10 wacky holiday animal portraits that are sure to make you laugh out loud and get you in the holiday spirit. And possibly make you think twice about dressing up the family cat this year.
King of the jungle? Nah, it's just a labradoodle!