Scripts and scraps from my real-life parenting sitcom.
Instead of Judging Our Fellow Parents, How About Offering Empathy & Respect?

This article gets a lot of things right.

When you notice parents whose rules are different than yours (e.g., they allow their child to walk to school by herself—or not, they allow their 10-year-old to have a cell phone—or not, they allow their kids to eat candy—or not)….

Instead of deciding that they are clearly unfit, reckless, foolish parents and listing the many brilliant reasons that your way is clearly the better way….

How about this? Ask yourself, “Is there evidence that this child is grossly neglected or abused?” If the answer is “no” (it will almost always be “no”), indulge in a moment of wonder at the diversity of ways that good parents raise children, then bring your focus back where it belongs—on your own family.

Imagine that.

Aside: sorry for posting so many links lately…

Oh, Lego Friends…

I agree there is a problem here.  I just don’t think the problem is Lego. The problem is society, and the toy marketing industry.

Go ahead and complain about Lego. Should they should be better than this? Sure. But that is tremendously unlikely to happen in a profit-driven world that features major opportunities like this. I’ve worked in marketing. This is a huge opportunity for Lego.

To be honest, my kids are immune to the Lego Friends advertising because they don’t watch television.  Occasionally they watch PBS when in the care of their grandparents, but there are no toy advertisements on that channel.  So perhaps my outrage is less than it would be if I saw those ads frequently.

Maybe the solution is to stop letting your kids watch television, which is far more responsible for negative gender stereotypes than the toy industry.  After that, give your kids the toys that you think they should play with, and then play with them in the way you think they should play.  And whenever your kids repeat or mimic stereotypes from the world around them, take the time to discuss why the stereotypes are wrong. This is hard work, frankly, but it’s the only proactive option I see before us.

(Reblogged from sparkamovement. Video transcript available here.)

(Source: lipsredasroses)

[Scene: Luke, age 6, is looking over my shoulder while I'm working]
Luke: [pointing] "How do you say that word?"
Me: "Gender."
Luke: "What does that mean?"
Me: "It's one way of describing what kind of person you are. Your gender is 'boy'. So is mine. But your sister and Mom are 'girl'."
Luke: "Like when they say 'mankind'. Or they could say 'girlkind'. But then maybe they should say 'boykind' instead."
Me: "Or just 'people'."
Luke: "Yeah. But not including the dog. His gender is just 'boy.'"