5 Quick & Easy Ways to Boost Your Child's Self-Esteem

We all want confident children, but research indicates that effusive parental praise can backfire. In one study, 80% of kids describe their parents' compliments as "not really true," "overblown" or "completely full of shit." Does this mean we're doomed to raise a generation of children who doubt themselves? Not if we stop praising them unnecessarily. Instead, parents should give their children truly daunting challenges that actually do warrant a flood of praise. For example:

1. Teach your child to do the Heimlich maneuver. Then, pretend that you're choking on a chicken bone. When your child "saves" you, thank him profusely, through tears. Be sure to tell everyone in the [...]


The 40-Year-Old Reversion

Once a month I get together with half a dozen moms from Park Slope and Carroll Gardens. We call ourselves Hookers, Sluts and Drug Addicts. They dubbed me a Hooker because I wear tight clothes and smile a lot. Sally, a stay-at-home mom of boys, is a Slut, because she’s always touching her body. The Drug Addict is a therapist who can drink a bottle of Cabernet in one sitting. (All names and some details have been changed so I don’t lose more friends than I already have.) Some work and some don’t. The working ones complain about their jobs and the non-working ones complain about their husbands. We go [...]


The Internet: Awesome? Or Evil?

"Recently, I found out my 13-year-old son had been visiting glove fetish Web sites with pornographic glove pictures." Is it great that the Internet gives us glove fetish websites for our children? Or is it a bad thing? I do not know. Neither does the advice columnist to whom this (rather overparenting) parent turned, but that's par for the course-she comes down awfully hard on the side of "no one will ever love this person with a glove fetish"! This seems really unfair, given that Fits Like A Glove, the gay glove fetish group, just had a super-fun outing to Six Flags!


Is It Acceptable To Have Children?

Choire: Hello, I have some questions, at this time of "holidays" and "family" and "everyone in Brooklyn having a second and sometimes even third child, also often having two at the same time, because IVF" (I almost typed IDF, because of the news!) and I guess my main question is: how do people talk themselves into having children when the world, at least as we know it, is going to likely end during the lifetime of these children?

Ken: So you're considering having a child. Congratulations! Brooklyn is certainly a wonderful environment for children.

Choire: It is true that once every five years I think "HA, I SHOULD GET A [...]


Local Paper Has to Tell Today's Parents to Brush Their Kids' Teeth

"I had a lot on my mind, and brushing his teeth was an extra thing I didn’t think about at night." —How are you going to write little Carthage and Chanterelle's college essays for them if you can't even bring yourself to brush their teeth?


How Much Does the Modern Father Suck?

Lizzie Skurnick reads the Foer and the Chabon alike in search of understanding what's gotten so hideously annoying about modern dads. "Foer's unhinged screed against the dangers of the modern meat-industrial complex takes 'me too' fathering to a new level…. There is nothing wrong with falling into wonderment at one's own child. (It is contraindicated over the long term.) There's also nothing wrong with being against the wholesale ripping of beaks off innocent chickens to keep Tyson Foods in business, an image Foer returns to frequently. Who, after all, is for a food system that, among other things, routinely releases a geyser of fecal matter into the air to [...]


How Hard Can You Helicopter Parent?

You can all stop writing your kids' college essays and letting them live at home till 26 now and telling your friends that they're doing great, because someone finally took gold in "making excuses for your kid."

Police said a 14-year-old stole a car on Sunday then led officers on a chase that ended in a crash on a Parkway East ramp…. "My son was wrong for taking that vehicle but someone jumped out of their car and a 14-year-old seen the opportunity to take the car. He didn't break the car to steal it. They left the keys in the car. I think as an adult we [...]


Tweet Them Well and Let Them Lead the Way

My smart brother-in-law says you must reserve your children's Twitter handle before they can chew their food. Anyone else doing this?

— Jason Hirschhorn (@JasonHirschhorn) January 23, 2012

That's the briefly temporary co-CEO of MySpace, Jason Hirschhorn, explaining The Way We Parent Now.


Baby Monitor Punished for Being too Awesome

So this guy Wes Denkov is filing a class action lawsuit against this baby monitor company because the microphone was so sensitive it could pick up conversations from rooms outside of the nursery and cross streams and grab footage from the monitor NEXT DOOR. I get the whole, "I don't want other people tuning in on my baby's channel like he's some kiddie pool of husky puppies," but let's face it, a solo non-famous baby, sans a unicorn horn shaped like the virgin Mary crying blood tears or a tiny charming mermaid tail, is not that spesh, right? No offense DAD but you're the one who was too lazy [...]