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Bored - Nothing to Do!

  By Sheryl Paul Everest and I have been reading a wonderful book we picked up at the library called, “Bored – Nothing to Do!” by Peter Spier. It’s a picture book about two adolescent brothers who, after being ordered by their mother to “Go do something! I was never bored at your age!” decide to build an airplane using materials that require them to completely dismantle their house. Everest, the consummate mess-maker and destruction artist, thinks the book is hysterically funny and laughs at every page. But I wonder if he’s also responding to the book’s subtext:... read more

Sibling Roughhousing: The Benefits of the Wrestling Ring

                      Growing up in a family of three sisters, there have been many things about raising boys that I have adjusted to along the way. The "VROOM! VROOM!!!" that erupted spontaneously from my one-year-old as his chunky toddler hands drove the toy car around the coffee table. The innate need to jump on and off the couch day after day, despite constant reminders of safety. The obsession with Star Wars and Batman. The physical response to happiness, excitement, frustration, anger...or need for connection. Some of these traits can be seen in little... read more

Why Cultural Gender Role Messages Matter

                I remember when I was pregnant with my oldest.  We were decorating her room and hanging curtains.  We ended up returning a set of curtains because I thought they looked too “princessy.”  I didn’t want her room to be a castle.  I didn’t want her to be a princess.  I wanted her to be a kind, sweet, generous, compassionate, intelligent, determined, spunky child.  I didn’t want her to think the world has been handed to her.  I didn’t want her throwing temper tantrums for the latest frilly toys.  I wanted a daughter.  Not a princess.   Well, it’s... read more

Birthday 9: Walking the Labyrinth

  Every year, either the day before or the day of my son's birthday, he walks the labyrinth just west of the library in downtown Boulder. It's a ritual we began several years ago as a way to commemorate his passage from one year to the next. In a culture sadly devoid of rituals, we've attempted to create some of our own so that our sons can anchor themselves in time through the concrete marking of milestones. And as most rituals focus on a death and rebirth process, we intentionally help our kids focus on what they want to let go of and what they're hoping to grow... read more

Would You Let Your 9-Year-Old Shave Her Legs?

  By Suzanne Leigh     My 9-year-old daughter was examining her legs. “Why do I have this?” she said, pointing to the fine hair that was starting to sprout around her shins.   “Oh, that’s normal. All girls start to get that, especially as they get closer to their teens,” I said.   “Will it go away when I’m a grown up?”   “Actually no, the hair can get thicker as you get older. Adult women have hair on their legs and their underarms,” I explained, wondering whether mentioning the pubic area would be TMI at that particular moment.   Marissa looked... read more

The Price We Pay to Stay "Connected"

  As a child born in the mid 70’s, my generation has witnessed a pretty radical lifestyle shift due to technological advances. It is a transformation that will no doubt continue to insert itself further and further into our lives with the development of each new “must have” gadget. It begs the question – are these things really “must have” items?   I grew up with a hand-me-down walkman, and my first one speaker boom box with a shoulder strap (which I thought was the greatest thing ever!) wasn’t bestowed upon me until the 5th grade. My parents didn’t get... read more

First steps: a stay at home mother faces letting go

  While we were living in England last year, my husband Jake got a black eye playing rugby and I photographed the progression of his bruise during the week that followed. So, when our daughter Maren fell off her scooter and got her first shiner - in the very same spot as her dad's! - we all thought it'd be fitting to take photos of her bruise as it changed. But what began as a silly set of photographs, ended up revealing much more.                                                                                                                         ... read more

Sexy Little Girls

The sexualization of young girls seems to be a disturbing trend in this country, and it leaves me deeply concerned about the types of things that will be marketed to my daughter as she gets older. Sadly, I didn't even have to wait that long to discover inappropriate girls clothing, while searching for my daughter's first bathing suit. I was shocked that a leopard print string bikini was being sold for girls ages ONE through five. When I was a kid, my one piece suits had rainbows and hearts on them. Not that those suits don't still exist, but I found my brow... read more

Why This Mom Can't Bear Back-to-School Season

  By Suzanne Leigh   “Back-to-School Specials!!!” scream the store placards. They are a reminder that now might be the time to get a discounted backpack for my younger daughter, but more potently they nudge me back to my default: the bereaved mom aching for the child that will always be dead. My elder daughter had loved school and if we had dodged that brain tumor bullet, she would now be eager for eighth grade. At her school, students aren’t allowed to use the “h” word, but I think I am: I hate school. Not because of the curriculum, the students or the... read more

Transitional Mom: Becoming a Mother of Two

By Sarah Scott   When my son was born five months ago, I expected to be a seasoned, confident mother. I had been mothering his sister for four years, after all, so I thought I had this parenting thing down. And, in some ways, I did feel more sure of myself. I skipped over many of the blunders and anxieties that I experienced as a first time mom. But, in one very important way, I was a new parent. I was learning to be a mother of two.                      In the first weeks, this learning curve was steep and intense. On the good days, I felt like I was clawing my... read more

Mothering › Child Articles