Small Children

Not learning to read

Children will learn only when they’re ready

Not learning to read

His last couple weeks in preschool, Kubla showed an avid interest in reading. He would spell out the letters on signs, license plates, anything. I declared this would be the summer he learned to read.

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Clear the plate of someone you love

End dinner with an act of love, not with a chore

Clear-the-plate-of-someone-you-love

“Don’t forget to clear your plate.” Is that really how families want to end dinner? With a chore? That word, chore—makes me think of Cinderella not being able to go to the ball. What do

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Just squirmy enough

How a baby taught me to be a more creative, happier father

Just-squirmy-enough

I was changing Kubla’s diaper. He was about 9 months old, extra squirmy and entirely unhelpful. I get frustrated. I try to get him to lie still, which makes him squirm even more. Later, as

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Pick up your popsicle stick

Is your goal to just not make things worse? Or to make things better?

pick-up-your-popsicle-stick

It finally stopped raining. The sun warmed the playground. Someone brought popsicles. The kids finish their popsicles. They stir the muddy puddles with the naked sticks, making whirlpools. Their curiosity wanes. They throw the sticks

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Do it together

Why watch your child play when you could play together?

Do-it-together

When Kubla and I go to the park to play, we both go to the park to play. I don’t just tag along to keep him safe. I play with him and his friends (tag

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Let’s look for Mom

Get them moving and acting on their fears, instead of feeling controlled by them

Let’s-look-for-Mom

As a toddler Kubla was very attached to Liping. He couldn’t bear to be away from her. Kubla and I are playing with blocks. I hear the dreaded question,“Where’s Mom?” “She’s doing some errands. She’ll

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Family Dance Time!

Nip your little couch potato in the bud

Family-Dance-Time

Kubla had been watching TV for too long. “Kubla, will you play with me?” “I want to watch TV.” “Don’t you want to play with toys?” “No, I just want to watch something.” His show

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Baby Tag

Find a way to include the little ones in big kid games

Baby-Tag

When Kubla learned to crawl, he would want to join the games of his older cousins. But it’s hard to play soccer with a baby on the field. We needed to find a new game.

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