Friday, December 17, 2010

Link dump: Parenting edition

This is several weeks of interesting links, in the short window of free time before my office party begins... enjoy!
  • Parents are trending away from picture books for children, rushing their preschoolers and kindergarteners into "chapter books" and other more text-reliant forms. This is a loss for booksellers and the world of talented illustrators, but also for children, who continue to benefit richly from the interpretive power of images as they learn to read and understand the world, well into their elementary school years. Plus, there are some favorites it would be tragic to stop revisiting...

  • Gordon of Real Live Preacher shares some insights into the need of couples to keep track of one another's needs, especially when the stresses of child-rearing are at their worst. Important advice.

  • Catherine of Her Bad Mother shares the Bad Mother Manifesto, a wonderful reflection of the doubts and convictions that guide anybody trying to parent in a thoughtful way. I especially like this part:
    I reject entirely the idea that there can be any community consensus about what – beyond the provision of love and care – constitutes a good mother. I reject entirely the idea that we can or should judge each other as mothers, beyond the obvious and most basic standards of care, and even then, I reject entirely the idea that any one of us is so perfect that she could throw the first stone without hesitation.
    Amen. We all have aspirations, and we all sometimes just have to Get Through the Day. Nobody's perfect.

  • Cory Doctorow gives a glimpse into his family life and offers suggestions on how to use the computer/Internet with children in ways that facilitation exploration and play, rather than becoming the mesmerizing Root of Evil that so many fear. It feels about right.

  • Here's an argument for raising your kids in the city rather than moving to the typical house in the suburbs, for a mix of reasons from the environmental to the feeling of community (yes, really!).

  • Bullying has gotten a lot of coverage recently, from schoolyard heckling to college suicides. The really amazing news is that preventing the crushing effects of being bullied takes only the tiniest intervention -- just one adult who believes and stands behind the bullied student. This could be you, saving a life!

  • Finally, in a wonderful counter to the frenzied concern of many parents with stuffing their young children full of letters and numbers, this essay: What Should a 4-Year-Old Know? Just as important are the tips to parents about what doesn't matter at all.
May all your hearths be warm, and all your holiday prospects cheery.

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