Education, Parenting

Childhood Enemies

Focusing on an “enemy” keeps kids trapped in conflict. A young girl I worked with was preoccupied with everything that another girl in her class did. She strongly disliked this girl, and the feeling was mutual. Every day the two girls watched each other closely and complained to friends, teachers, and parents about everything the other girl did wrong. They fretted about…

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How to Get Your Children to Do Chores
Education, Parenting

How to Get Your Children to Do Chores

Children should do chores. Period. Besides the practical benefits of helping their parents, the reality is that children have psychological-developmental needs related to doing chores. It’s healthy for kids to contribute at home. Being a part of the ongoing work of running a household helps children develop an awareness of the needs of others, while at the same time contributing…

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I Got Kicked Out of My ‘Mommy and Me’ Class
Education, Motherhood

I Got Kicked Out of My ‘Mommy and Me’ Class

Photo: Jessica Raimondi/EyeEm/Getty Images When I was three months pregnant with my second child, I moved from New York City to Los Angeles. I had a three-year-old daughter and was preparing for “siblings,” and everywhere I went in my new community, I heard moms parroting the wisdom of a mysterious child-wrangling guru named Marla. They would say, “Marla says to…

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Our Difficult Daughter
Education, Parenting

Our Difficult Daughter

I couldn’t accomplish the simple things that came easily to others: marriage, motherhood The first person to learn that I was pregnant was my partially deaf, doddering 80-year-old father. I would imagine that, after learning she is pregnant, a woman first announces the good news to her partner or her mother. But I had neither. A year and a half…

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