Kids are natural creators—keep them that way
When Kubla was 4, he loved watching YouTube videos. And his favorite type of video was Toy Reviews—grown men explaining what was so great about their classic toy collections. I don’t understand the appeal. I
Children will learn only when they’re ready
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.
End dinner with an act of love, not with a chore
“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
How a baby taught me to be a more creative, happier father
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
Is your goal to just not make things worse? Or to make things better?
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
Why tell them something they love is wrong?
Kubla pops another marshmallow into his mouth. It’s his third. “Kubla, stop. That’s disgusting.” His face falls a little. “But can I tell you a secret? When I was your age, I thought marshmallows were
Why watch your child play when you could play 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
How we taught our 4 year old to use a saw
We return from our walk, mortified to see my mother-in-law letting Kubla play with her saw. I snatch it from his hands and count all his fingers. A four year old can’t play with a
Get them moving and acting on their fears, instead of feeling controlled by them
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
Nip your little couch potato in the bud
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