child-rearing

So yesterday I was buying underwear

And this little kid, maybe about 7 or 8, wandered over and hung around shyly for a bit, glancing at me every now and then. I smiled once, then pretended not to notice them watching me.

Eventually the kid asked “Are you a boy or a girl? Cause you look kinda like a boy but you’re in the girl part of the store.”

I smiled and said “I’m nonbinary! That means I’m not a girl or a boy. Anyone can wear this kind of underwear if they want.” And they looked really confused and said “You’re not a girl or a boy?” and I shook my head and smiled and they got REALLY excited

And said “So you’re a UNICORN?!”

And I looked around quickly and then leaned in and gave them a conspiratorial look, and said “Let’s just say I’m magical and not everyone believes I exist.” And the kid’s eyes got SO WIDE and they grinned and said in a stage whisper, "I promise not to tell anyone you’re a unicorn” in this really solemn voice.

And then the kid started to run away, and stopped and looked back and said “Wait, ANYONE can wear those?”

And I said “yeah, if they want to, because whether you’re a boy or a girl or a unicorn or something else doesn’t mean you have to dress a certain way.” and they said “So it’s okay for me to like dresses?” and I was like “Yeah! You can like whatever you like!” and they smiled really big and ran off

And that interaction made my whole day better and I hope that child has a good and non-heteronormative life

Why Ashton Kutcher is So Worked Up About Public Bathrooms

“As a new dad, I recently learned an unfortunate reality about changing diapers while out in public with a child,” Kutcher wrote. “Almost all public changing tables are in women’s bathrooms, which makes it nearly impossible to find a table that’s accessible to dads. As crazy as it sounds, many stores don’t give dads the option to change their babies’ diapers. It’s 2015, families are diverse, and it is an injustice to assume it’s only a woman’s job to handle changing diapers. This assumption is gender stereotyping and companies should be supporting all parents that shop at their stores equally – no matter their gender.”

5

“Throughout her life, she behaved as if she had never heard anyone suggest that a woman couldn’t do entirely as she pleased.”—Francine Prose

Motherhood. The Israeli-born photographer Elinor Carucci is no stranger to laying it on the line. In her latest monograph,”Mother”, Carucci takes us on an open journey into being a Mom. As with her other projects, “Mother,” is an affecting chapter of self-revelation. The images will please and upset, but there’s no getting around a search for the truth. 

Parenting, for men and women alike, is a transformative experience. For a photographer like Carucci, balancing the worlds of teaching, shooting commercial work, and staying true to one’s artistic aspirations, motherhood became her muse and her connection to all other mothers. Moms and Dads who view her work will feel it most.

Elinor Carucci’s show opens tomorrow night at Edwynn Houk here in New York, and will be up until the 3rd of May. Carucci will be in attendance and signing books. Looks like it’ll be a “Mother” of a show. —Lane Nevares

vira4n6 asked:

Good evening Father, I have a question concerning what counts as attending mass. last Sunday my son, who is 1, became disruptive during the homily so I took him out to the lobby area in our church to try to settle him down. I was unable to do so and we ended up staying in the lobby for the rest of the service. Another member of the parish told me that because I had left, I had essentially missed mass and if my husband and I couldn't control our child we should attend mass separatel

Hello,

If attending Mass separately works for both of you, it may be a good idea. Many couples do that. 

However, being in the vestibule or lobby of the Church does not constitute missing Mass. You are still in the church building proper, and there is no law which says you have to be in the first pew in order to be “really attending.” LOL.

The Church expects Catholics to obey and fulfill the Precepts of the Church, according to their ability. If you are not able to be in the main part of the church building, then you are simply not able to be there. End of discussion. As for people who criticize you for not controlling your child, they are speaking from their situation. They cannot tell you how to solve your situation. Each parent is different and each child is different.

When I was a kid, and we yelled or cried out of line, we were taken out of church, where our fathers immediately spanked us. Yes, of course we behaved perfect and didn’t make any noise after that–we were literally butthurt and frightened of our dads and the spankings. 

I tell people, “Guess what? It’s not the good old days anymore, of parenting. Not every parent wants to slap their kids around, some kids are too small to be slapped on the butt anyway, and a lot of parents just choose not to parent that way anymore. Cut people some slack and don’t lecture parents on what your favorite methods of child rearing are.” Sheesh. 

God bless and take care, Fr. Angel

Social Status Is Genetic, It Seems

Clark’s work on social mobility – or perhaps social immobility – suggests that social status – or ‘social competence’ – is genetic. This runs against some notion of fairness that theoretically abides in the core of our society’s conventional wisdom, and also bucks the premises of child rearing. If tutoring your children or sending them to the 'right’ schools doesn’t really move the needle on their eventual success, perhaps people would stop worrying about it. Instead, we may have to go back to the older notion of marrying the people whose ancestors have been successful in order that your someday children will get ahead in their lives.

Gregory Clark, Your Ancestors, Your Fate

Culture is a nebulous category and it can’t explain the constant regression of family status — from the top and the bottom. High-status social groups in America are astonishingly diverse. There are representatives from nearly every major religious and ethnic group in the world — except for the group that led to the argument for culture as the foundation of social success: white European Protestants. Muslims are low-status in much of India and Europe, but Iranian Muslims are among the most elite of all groups in America.

Family resources and social networks are not irrelevant. Evidence has been found that programs from early childhood education to socioeconomic and racial classroom integration can yield lasting benefits for poor children. But the potential of such programs to alter the overall rate of social mobility in any major way is low. The societies that invest the most in helping disadvantaged children, like the Nordic countries, have produced absolute, commendable benefits for these children, but they have not changed their relative social position.

The notion of genetic transmission of “social competence” — some mysterious mix of drive and ability — may unsettle us. But studies of adoption, in some ways the most dramatic of social interventions, support this view. A number of studies of adopted children in the United States and Nordic countries show convincingly that their life chances are more strongly predicted from their biological parents than their adoptive families. [emphasis mine] In America, for example, the I.Q. of adopted children correlates with their adoptive parents’ when they are young, but the correlation is close to zero by adulthood. There is a low correlation between the incomes and educational attainment of adopted children and those of their adoptive parents.

These studies, along with studies of correlations across various types of siblings (identical twins, fraternal twins, half siblings) suggest that genetics is the main carrier of social status.

So, we can put aside pluck and even luck in our discussion of human destiny. Well, with the exception of the luck involved in who your great grand parents were.

To my Son on Father’s Day: Declarations to Dismantle Patriarchy

For those that know me, know I hate “holidays” like Father’s Day; I don’t acknowledge Hallmark’s persuasions nor do I need a day to recognize important people in my life (every day is Father’s Day). But recently, I overheard a grown man I once respected, in his own good-conscious, call his 8-month son a “lady killer.” This really bothered me—perhaps because I once admired this man and because his commentary represents everything wrong with a misogynistic society that we fuel, particularly for the next generation of young boys & men of color: the future.

Some know that I’m a recent Father and this is my first Father’s Day with my son. A day such as Father’s Day isn’t about me; as a Dad, the moment I had my son, my life became about him. I’m 31 and I vehemently feel that my generation will be the generation to create the concrete social, political, and economic change we all believe in. If I don’t believe this, what am I, as an educator/activist/mobilizer, working for? How long can we post the Ghandi quote and believe the rhetoric, “We must be the change we wish to see” before we actively take charge in making that change? This entry is about raising the next generation to be that change; actively raising a human being to become a better person for a better world. Because we know there are several things that can and should be changed in today’s society. And I believe that we must help our sons destroy a complacent society comfortable with patriarchy, misogyny, and violence against women.

As men of color, we know that our father’s worked hard so their sons & daughters would have better lives than themselves and previous generations. My Grandfather was a migrant worker and had a 3rd grade education level. My Father graduated from high school and did some college. So it’s only natural that my father put me in a position to achieve more. What will I do for my son?

As a Father, I’m raising my son to dream big and actually be aggressive enough to obtain those dreams; so that he can accomplish what his heart desires. I know that if I can give my son the proper tools, support, and basic framework early in his life, he can go on to achieve great things—none of which, however, will be “killing ladies.” Look, whether this comment I became so disturbed by was said in jest, there’s truth to the way we joke. Words and the narratives we push have power. I would NEVER, let me repeat… NEVER, call my infant son a “lady killer” under any circumstances. Not only do I frown upon the misogynist language and culture we’ve created in terminology like “lady killer” (i.e., “wife-beater” to refer to an a-shirt), I think there’s some real questions we need to ask ourselves as a human race when we’re prescribing these sorts of attributes to baby boys. I mean, is this all that a young boy is to become: a gigolo? A lady’s man? A womanizer? Better yet, someone who objectifies women and subsequently abuses women? It’s not a far stretch when you’re imposing labels that come with consequential behavior to young malleable children. Any parent that has taken an active part in raising their child knows that you can speak behavior into existence with your children, which is why we shouldn’t joke like this. Furthermore, I don’t believe Fathers who promote this agenda would be comfortable with labeling their daughters the equivalency and that’s sexist.  

Let’s put it this way, if you want your infant son to grow up to be some sort of playboy, then that’s fine. It’s your business. But know that one household’s decision effects the whole village. Moreover, please don’t try to live these sorts of backwards experiences through your innocent son. Shouldn’t we be planning for our sons to achieve higher career aspirations? Real life goals. And I say “we,” because your son is my son. We are all each other’s brother’s keepers and the next generation of children are our sons. It’s 2015. Your son can’t even talk or poop in a toilet yet and you want him to be a tomcat? What happens when he doesn’t live up to these expectations? Will you be disappointed in him? Discipline, shame, and disown him? We’ve seen it before. If any young boy out there is in need of mentoring and someone to look up to, send him my way; the responsibility of mentorship and helping others is part of being a real man. All I’m trying to say is our priorities are mixed up. It’s no wonder society as a whole is in the shape it’s in. We must all take proactive steps to change society for the better and it starts with our own.

And while I’m far from perfect, I dreamed of one day having my own son. I would gently teach him, first and foremost, a sense of respect for ALL people regardless of real & perceived differences in race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, etc. I want to help my son nurture his talents, find his own wit/charisma… to help him look within himself to deal with the pain/anguish/ugliness in the world and to become resilient in a world full of chaos. I want to help teach my son how to find his way and remain discipline in a fragmented world; focused. I’d want him to know that he has the power to drop the world on its head. And with whatever he decided to do or become, he’d know that I have his back.

I know that raising a person is not easy and I’ve made so many mistakes in my life that I care to forget, but I truly understand what it means now when parents say they want their children to be better than they were. Our sons are coming up in a society where they will have the power to break a cycle of mistreatment. One of my biggest fears is having my son look up at me and ask, years down the road, how come I never did anything to change the world’s problems? I don’t think I could live with myself knowing that I let this beautiful boy down.

If I don’t grow and mature as a man, then I am nothing. If I can’t ingrain in my son the better tomorrow that so many are working for, then I have failed. And if I can’t actively inspire my own flesh & blood to do more and be better, then I’m not fit to be this child’s Father.

To my son, to the future: please never buy me anything for Father’s Day. I already have the best gift in the world… You.

DENOUEMENT

On this Father’s Day, let’s recognize the importance of actively raising our children the right way. I know many men of color who grew up “fatherless,” but are now doing a wonderful job of nurturing their children; fostering and cultivating a healthy living environment for their kids. I also know many of men who are raising other men’s children as if they were their own (biologically). We live in a different world then we did 30 years ago; we have new issues and problems that our children are facing. It’s not easy to parent these days. But know that there are other men to help you in this position; no man is an island and we truly are our Brother’s keepers. Perhaps there are ways we can assist each other, through a network and brotherhood, to become better parents. To all Father’s today, I salute you. For the future.

Raising Helpless, Emotionally Fragile Children

Ilse Pauw, Shutterstock, photo originally in Health24

Scenarios:

My daughter is freaking out. She can’t open the bathroom door because her hands are wet.

My daughter can’t find her favorite toy anywhere.

My daughter wants a glass of water to be served to her during her cartoon.

My daughter is extremely sad because her father can’t play with her right now, but he can after dinner. 

How do we respond as parents to situations like this?  We probably:

Open the door for her, volunteer to help her find her toy, go get her a glass of water, and find consoling words to try and help her feel better.

All of these responses seem compassionate and human, right? But are we teaching children to be helpless? Are we cushioning their

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anonymous asked:

There's a blog about being child-free and I've heard many black woman condemn it; thoughts? I think it's important for women to have an outlet to express their frustration at being seen as only their wombs, but this doesn't seem to extend to WOC. Are WOC more chastised for wanting to have children than white women are for not wanting to? That's seems the be the consensus, and of course white feminists hardly ever see that side. Is there any way to go about this properly?

interesting question. I’m going to answer this 3 ways

I think what we need to do is first realize that this is a very classed issue [as in, to actually have the funds, resources and freedom determine if and when you will have kids is not a privilege that extends to everyone and all communities]

1] There is a long running critique on the type of feminist theory that demonizes pregnancy & child-rearing. There is one thing to want a safe-space for women who do not desire to have kids. But its another to make it seem as though having children is something HORRIFIC that needs to be avoided at all costs. Not wanting to have kids is fine, but positioning that as the new ideal for ALL women simply does not work. [i’ve also never seen this blog, but i’ve seen critiques - so if anyone has links…]

Specifically there is a critique on the historical way feminists respond to the “woman as body”, mind/body dichotomy. Historically, woman are essentialized to their JUST body [they are child-rearers, weak, restricted by the physical and irrational] & man is seen as mind [rational, strong, able bodied because they are unrestricted by passion and bodily limitations.] Some feminists respond to this dichotomy by rejecting all things associated with the body. HOWEVER, the critique is that instead of buying into the “mind/body” separation and advocating that women reject the body because the body is bad, just reconstruct the distinction. Or do away with the distinction entirely. So what if the female body might be able to rear a child? The womb exists but its not all that exists. Trying to devalue the womb or pretend that it doesn’t exist isn’t necessarily female empowerment, its just buying into the ideology that the womb deserves to be devalued, that having kids is a “lower” bodily function that no one should want.

I don’t know if that directly answers your question, because i’m talking more about feminist theory and not necessarily how race/class intersects - so personal story time.

2] I was in class once reading about women who want big families vs women who don’t want families and instead want to focus on their career. The majority of the class was like “the women who want families don’t exist in real life.” This is a college classroom in upstate NY. Since i’m from Texas, and a lot of my friends who graduated HS with me in 2008 either already have kids or plan on having kids soon… I found it odd that it seemed so despicable and implausible that people STILL desired to have kids. Its almost like they were looked down upon - and even pitied in some cases. [who would choose that life? Why would someone willingly want to do that? what a sad life, she doesn’t know what is out there for her. those women are just ignorant & brainwashed.]

3] Lastly, this could even be related to the whole feminine mystique complex. Where women grow tired of being placed into the “cult of true womanhood,” tired of being seen as the perfect trophy housewives with no real obligations but being a mother and wife. Obviously this trope is a problematic one, but outside of the trope is still a bubble of privilege. Not all women even fit this idealized “housewife” trope for various raced/classed reasons. So yes, its a problem, but its a problem that exists in a particular social context.

But yeah, those are all my thoughts on this - thanks for the question! If my answer is convoluted in anyway just ask me to expand on any points.