3 ways to build vocabulary and reading comprehension

How to work on vocabulary with a 5-year-old? 1. Read a ton together. Books use a larger variety of words than we tend to use in conversation. As you’re reading, occasionally ask whether he understands. “What does the word ___ mean?” “Why did she just do that?” “What do you think might happen next?” “Remember that […]



How to begin untangling ourselves from our own triggers

There’s one single thing, I believe, that makes parenting a 3- or 4-year-old so incredibly tough. We are forced to come face to face with our own triggers stemming from our own childhoods. Suddenly we realize we don’t need to fix ourselves—we need to heal ourselves. Age 3 is the peak of defiance, as our kids’ drive for autonomy meets […]



Baby TV: Pros and cons of screen time

Q: What do you think are some of the biggest pros and cons of media usage for kids? A: There aren’t any pros to media for kids younger than 2. That doesn’t mean you’re ruining your baby’s brain if she watches an inning of baseball on TV with you. It’s just that babies have so […]



How do parents deceive their children?

This intriguing question came up on Quora. Here’s what popped into my head: We try, every day, to override our children’s body awareness, opinions, and feelings with our own. “You’re full? No, you didn’t eat much. Just take one more bite.” “You don’t want to wear that.” “Oh, you’re not hurt.” “Quit that crying.” “It’s not […]



Being a dad gets a little bit easier

It’s starting to be OK to be a dad. My husband noticed this during the NBA playoffs. The NBA ran a public-service ad where players talk up being parents, too. “I want to be a great player,” says Gordon Hayward of the Utah Jazz, “but I want to be an even better father.” “I lean in at home so […]



Punishment works … just not the way you want

When PBS NewsHour ran a column headlined “Why you should never use time-outs on your kids,” parents had furious reactions. Part of the reason is confusion over the terms punishment and discipline. The words are often used interchangeably. But there is a difference, and we owe it to our children to know it. Punishment is to make kids suffer to […]



You’re a good mom

You handled that. You knew what your kid needed. You listened. You showed love. You worked so hard. You made it work. You’re a good mom. You don’t hear it often. You don’t hear it enough. Usually you have to say it to yourself. Say it.



NEVER use time-outs?

“Why you should never use time-outs on your kids” was the recent PBS News Hour headline. The story argued that certain time-outs are punishments, punishments are harmful to kids, and parents should use alternatives. That sparked some exasperated comments: “Punishments teach our kids that there are consequences for their actions.” “Since all punishments are bad, […]



Pregnant? One thing you shouldn’t tell your boss

You’re sitting at work, thinking about all the work left to do, how much your team relies on you. You’re sure your boss is going to be disappointed, beneath that layer of congratulations. You work up the nerve to have the conversation. In the middle of breaking the news that you’re pregnant, it’s tempting to blurt out your devotion: “I’ll be back at work as […]



Zero to Five sold out! The new version is even better

Good news! Zero to Five sold out. All 30,000 copies have been flung out into the world. I’ve really loved hearing back about where they’ve landed and what good they’ve done. Great news: The second printing of Zero to Five just rolled off the presses! And it’s even better. (Read on for a discount–this week only.) As you may or may not know, my daughter […]



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