WBEZ | parenting http://www.wbez.org/tags/parenting Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Is your 4-year-old a liar? Here's the bright side. http://www.wbez.org/news/your-4-year-old-liar-heres-bright-side-113586 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/pinocchio.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="res453915304"><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="Pinocchio." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/11/02/istock_000046167734_small-9bf9156361e4ab59fce9707445b0349d9f2291a4-s800-c85.jpg" style="height: 465px; width: 620px;" title="Pinocchio. (Piermichele Malucchi/iStockphoto)" /></div><div><div>Most parents bewail the inevitable occurrence of lying in their kids, but the emergence of deception in childhood may actually signal the development of something pretty wonderful: an ability to understand other people&#39;s beliefs as distinct from one&#39;s own.</div></div></div><p>This ability is part of what psychologists call &quot;<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_of_mind">theory of mind</a>,&quot; and a new&nbsp;<a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0956797615604628">paper</a>&nbsp;finds that improving children&#39;s theory of mind abilities can turn honest 3-year-olds into strategic liars. That might not sound like a positive outcome, but it tells us something important about how theory of mind affects social behavior.</p><p>Before getting into the details, consider what a typical 3-year-old child does &mdash; and doesn&#39;t &mdash; already understand about other people&#39;s minds. By 18 months, children typically know that other people can have preferences that depart from their own. For example, in a&nbsp;<a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0012-1649.33.1.12">study</a>&nbsp;by Betty Repacholi and Alison Gopnik, young children saw an adult express a preference for broccoli over goldfish crackers. When the adult then asked for some of the food, 18-month-olds &mdash; but not 14-month-olds &mdash; handed over the broccoli, even though the child&#39;s own preference was presumably for the crackers. You can see a short demonstration of the experimental procedure here:</p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/GkYQg0l5bMY?rel=0" width="420"></iframe></p><p>It isn&#39;t until age 4 or 5, though, that most children can pass the &quot;false belief task,&quot; which is taken to reflect an understanding that other people&#39;s&nbsp;beliefs&nbsp;can depart from their own. In a&nbsp;<a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0010-0277(83)90004-5">classic</a>&nbsp;version of this task, developed by Heinz Winner and Josef Perner, most 3-year-old children fail to appreciate that a character will expect an object to be where she last saw it, not where the child knows it to actually be. You can see a variant on a false belief task here:</p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/RibbgbQ6wbk?rel=0" width="420"></iframe></p><p>Understanding that other people&#39;s beliefs can depart from one&#39;s own is a prerequisite for a host of sophisticated judgments and behaviors &mdash; not only moral judgments, as demonstrated at the end of the video above, but also for&nbsp;deception. Consider the task illustrated below, in which a child must deceive &quot;Mean Monkey&quot; to get the stickers he actually wants (watch minutes 7:12 to 10:04):</p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/LAfk4M0nC3M?rel=0" width="420"></iframe></p><p>The strategic element here is transparent to adults: The child need only lie to Mean Monkey about the sticker he really wants, and Mean Monkey will choose the wrong sticker, leaving the child his first choice. Yet time after time, younger children fail to lie. This doesn&#39;t stem from an overwhelming desire to be good, but &mdash; at least in part &mdash; from a failure to appreciate that another&#39;s beliefs can diverge from reality and from one&#39;s own.</p><p>At least, that&#39;s what researchers had assumed. But it&#39;s hard to demonstrate a causal link between theory of mind and a behavior like telling lies &mdash; both emerge spontaneously in development and both are influenced by a variety of factors. Finding that one ability typically precedes the other, or that the abilities are correlated across children, is suggestive but ultimately falls short of demonstrating a causal connection.</p><p>That&#39;s where new research by Xiao Pan Ding and colleagues comes in. In a new&nbsp;<a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0956797615604628">paper</a>published in the journal&nbsp;Psychological Science, the researchers report a study in which 3-year-old children were randomly assigned to one of two groups: a theory-of-mind training condition or a control group. In the theory-of-mind training condition, children participated in six sessions involving different theory of mind tasks, including versions of the false belief task described above. In the control group, children also participated in six sessions of training on developmentally appropriate tasks, but they weren&#39;t related to theory of mind.</p><p>By the end of the training, the children who received theory-of-mind training significantly outperformed their peers in the control condition on tasks that assessed theory of mind, like the false belief task above. They were also significantly more likely to lie.</p><p>To assess children&#39;s ability and propensity to lie, the children in the experiment completed a variant on the Mean Monkey task demonstrated above. They first played a simple game with the experimenter: The experimenter hid a candy in one of two cups and the child had to guess which cup contained the candy. If the child guessed correctly, the child could keep the candy. If the child guessed incorrectly, the experimenter could keep the candy. Having learned these basic rules, the child and the experimenter switched roles: The child now hid the candy and the experimenter had to choose a cup. If the experimenter chose correctly, the experimenter could keep the candy. If the experimenter guessed incorrectly, the child could keep the candy.</p><p>The experimenter dutifully closed her eyes while the child hid the candy but before choosing a cup, she asked the child: &quot;Where did you hide the candy?&quot;</p><p>To get the candy for himself, the child had only to lie &mdash; to mislead the experimenter into choosing the wrong cup. But on day one of the experiment, before undergoing any training, that&#39;s not what children did. Every 3-year-old who participated in the study instead told the experimenter the truth and the experimenter went on to select the cup with the candy, much to the child&#39;s dismay. Each child played the game with the experiments&nbsp;nine more times&nbsp;that day and, each time, the 3-year-old told the truth about where the candy was hidden, no matter that each time, the experimenter went on to select that cup. The 3-year-olds were unable or unwilling to strategically lie.</p><p>But two weeks later, after completing the theory-of-mind training or the control training, children had an opportunity to face off once again against the experimenter in the hiding game. And this time, the children who had completed the theory-of-mind training lied more than half the time. On average, they lied in about 6 of the 10 rounds of the game, whereas those in the control group lied in fewer than 2 of the 10 rounds. The theory-of-mind training paid off &mdash; not only on theory-of-mind tasks but also in strategic deception.</p><p>Turning children into liars may not seem like a laudable achievement, but it tells us something important about the relationship between theory of mind abilities and deception. Specifically, the design of the experiment supports a claim that goes beyond correlation: that a basic theory of mind is a prerequisite to verbal deception. Moreover, the findings support the broader idea that our understanding of our own and other people&#39;s minds has a causal impact on our social (or antisocial, as the case may be) behavior.</p><p>Of course, you&#39;re not so likely to cheer when you first find yourself the target of a lie, especially from your own child. Developing the&nbsp;ability&nbsp;to deceive is one thing; understanding whether and when it&#39;s appropriate is another &mdash; and that&#39;s likely to take quite a bit more than six sessions of training to work out.</p><p>&mdash;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/13.7/2015/11/02/453730157/is-your-4-year-old-a-liar-heres-the-bright-side?ft=nprml&amp;f=453730157" target="_blank"><em> via NPR</em></a></p></p> Mon, 02 Nov 2015 10:27:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/your-4-year-old-liar-heres-bright-side-113586 Young couple prepares for the birth of their first child http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/young-couple-prepares-birth-their-first-child-110958 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/StoryCorps 141017 Meg and Bobby Hart.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Megan and Bobby Hart met after college, while preparing to do the Peace Corps in Burkina Faso.</p><p>Three years ago, they got married. And now they&rsquo;re on the cusp of yet another adventure.</p><p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;re gonna have a baby,&rdquo; Bobby says, in this week&rsquo;s StoryCorps. &ldquo;Very soon,&rdquo; Meg says. &ldquo;Tomorrow I will be 37-weeks pregnant, so that is considered full-term. The baby could come any time now.&rdquo;</p><p>As if that weren&rsquo;t enough excitement, they bought their first home a month ago, and Bobby is spending all his time getting it ready.</p><p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m hoping that the child doesn&rsquo;t come for maybe another four weeks,&rdquo; Bobby says, &ldquo;to allow us to really do all the work that needs to be done on the house&hellip;I mean I love this person who&rsquo;s coming into the world but I don&rsquo;t want them to come just yet. I want a solid four more weeks if I can get it. Three would be acceptable. Please no sooner than two.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;What makes you think we are ready to be parents?&rdquo; he asks.</p><p>&ldquo;I don&rsquo;t know if we&rsquo;re ready,&rdquo; Megan says.</p><p>&ldquo;I think we are ready enough because there&rsquo;s a lot of love in our house so I think there&rsquo;s plenty of room for a new person to come into it and be loved and supported. And I think we&rsquo;ve also traveled, we&rsquo;ve gone to school. We&rsquo;ve kind of settled down and I think we&rsquo;re ready to bring somebody else into our lives now.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;re not woefully underprepared,&rdquo; Bobby says, &ldquo;but how do you know if you&rsquo;re really ready for this new experience that you&rsquo;ve never had? I&rsquo;ve never even really babysat. So this is really something that it&rsquo;s tough to say that I&rsquo;m absolutely prepared for.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;What are you most looking forward to with this child coming into our lives?&rdquo; Meg wants to know.</p><p>&ldquo;Oh, gosh! This is the person I get to hopefully teach the lessons that I think are really important. And maybe expand and move those things. I&rsquo;m excited to be able to have a relationship similar to the one that my father and mother have with me. All those sorts of cultural things you take from your parents. I&rsquo;m looking to be on the other side of that equation. And share those with a son or daughter. What about you?&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m looking forward to that relationship,&rdquo; Meg says. &ldquo;You know I love you very much. But the way that our parents love us, I&rsquo;m excited to experience that love for somebody that is uncontrollable and overwhelming. I already feel it a little bit but I can&rsquo;t wait to meet the person.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;We hope we do a good job,&rdquo; Bobby adds.</p><p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m confident we can do it,&rdquo; Meg says.</p><p>&ldquo;I am too.&rdquo;</p></p> Fri, 17 Oct 2014 11:38:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/young-couple-prepares-birth-their-first-child-110958 Do kids belong out late in adult restaurants? http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/do-kids-belong-out-late-adult-restaurants-110053 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/kideatingflickreyeliam.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A man and a wife and their kid walk into a restaurant bar. The host looks at them and says &lsquo;we&rsquo;re not seating couples with children at this time.&rsquo; So the sad family packs up and finds some place else to eat.</p><p>This was the decidedly unfunny scenario faced by two Chicago area parents recently when they tried to eat at one of their favorite restaurants. They asked that we leave out their names because they&rsquo;d like dine there again--when they find a babysitter, of course.</p><p>Many thought that&rsquo;s what the parents of the, now notorious, <a href="http://www.google.com/url?q=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.huffingtonpost.com%2F2014%2F01%2F14%2Falinea-baby-controversy_n_4597643.html&amp;sa=D&amp;sntz=1&amp;usg=AFQjCNHaDxp6rRcCH8vlSewdC4R_RD01ig">Alinea baby</a> should have done earlier this year, when their child&rsquo;s dining room crying was heard around the world---thanks to a perplexed tweet by chef Grant Achatz on the matter.</p><p>Still, for many parents, including former New York Times restaurant critic Ruth Reichl, the issue is not so cut and dried.</p><p>&ldquo;I think it depends on the kid,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;If you are a parent who goes out with your child and your kid starts fussing, you take the child out. That&rsquo;s all there is to it. It&#39;s that easy. But I would be deeply offended if I took my child to a restaurant and I was told no you can&rsquo;t come in.&rdquo;</p><p>Chicago&rsquo;s Hopleaf Bar owner Michael Roper has enforced a no-kids rule at his establishment for nearly a decade. He believes the city needs places where grown-ups can enjoy grown-up drinks--for example, his wide selection of craft beers that happen to pair beautifully with his menu of sausages, seafood and smoked meat.<br />.<br />&ldquo;We are a bar. We call ourselves the Hopleaf Bar,&rdquo; Roper recently said on WBEZ. &ldquo;There are places that are bar-like but they are more like restaurants. It&rsquo;s not as if there&rsquo;s no place else to go with your kid. There are a lot of places and many of those places the kids actually prefer.&rdquo;</p><p>But does he ever get grief from customers over the rule?</p><p>&ldquo;We get some pushback but it&rsquo;s surprising,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;We actually get mostly support, even from parents with children. They like to have a place to go. Sometimes people need to have an adult space.&rdquo;<br /><br />Mei-Ling Hopgood is a Chicago area mom who raised her oldest child in Buenos Aires. In her book &ldquo;How Eskimos Keep Their Babies Warm&rdquo; Hopgood details her initial shock at what seemed like crazy hours for kids to be in restaurants in Argentina.&nbsp;<br /><br />&ldquo;It would be 11 or 12 o&rsquo;clock and they&rsquo;d be running around the pizzeria or the grill,&rdquo; she recently said on WBEZ&rsquo;s Worldview. &ldquo;It was an extension of the cultures from which they came--Spain and Italy where people just eat later and the idea that you would not eat dinner with your child is really unthinkable in many ways.&rdquo;</p><p>Those kinds of careening children may be exactly what some restaurants are trying to avoid with the no-kid rules says a former server Cindy who called into WBEZ&rsquo;s Worldview saying, &ldquo;They would run circles around my legs when I would have hot trays of food.&rdquo;</p><p>Dining veteran Reichl says that she can see both sides of the issue and that there may be a simple solution.&nbsp;<br /><br />&ldquo;In an ideal world, restaurants would have an area for children and all the people would bring their children and the children would go off and there would be someone to watch them and the kids would have a great time together,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;Because, really, a five-year-old doesn&rsquo;t want to listen to your boring conversation.&rdquo;</p><p>So Chuck E Cheese meets Alinea? Who knows? It just might work.&nbsp;</p><p><em>Monica Eng is a WBEZ producer and co-host of the Chewing The Fat podcast. Follow her at<a href="https://twitter.com/monicaeng"> @monicaeng</a> or write to her at meng@wbez.org</em></p></p> Mon, 21 Apr 2014 15:35:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/do-kids-belong-out-late-adult-restaurants-110053 The Blair Koenig interview: Editor of STFU, Parents http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-04/blair-koenig-interview-editor-stfu-parents-106500 <p><div><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Blair1.jpeg" style="height: 400px; width: 300px; float: right;" title="(Karyn Spencer)" />Today&#39;s interviewee&#39;s site is up there on my daily reads, except for the days when the site involves poop or placentas (I read my blogs during lunch.) <a href="http://www.stfuparentsblog.com/">STFU, Parents</a> has skewered the strange world of parental social media overshares and given me lots of laughs, silent commiseration and a bit of a guide on how not to behave online. Blair Koenig&#39;s published the <a href="http://www.us.penguingroup.com/nf/Book/BookDisplay/0,,9780399159763,00.html?strSrchSql=stfu+parents/STFU,_Parents_Blair_Koenig#">STFU Parents book this week with Penguin</a> and I can&#39;t wait to check it out. When she&#39;s not running the blog or promoting the new book, she&#39;s also got a blog at <a href="http://www.mommyish.com/author/4df7bbc507dfe/">Mommyish</a>. Disclaimer: Blair and I are (Internet) friends my child has appeared on the site...as a <a href="http://www.stfuparentsblog.com/post/36408768244/thanksgiving-12-moms-gold-star-edition-this">Mom&#39;s Gold Star</a>.</div></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>What made you decide to come out as a &ldquo;real person&rdquo;? Wasn&rsquo;t it feasible for you to publish the book anonymously?</strong></div><div>I had written the site for three and a half years when I &quot;came out,&quot; and I was more than ready. It&#39;s weird to write something every day and not feel like you&#39;re fully representing yourself. I&#39;ve never had much interest in sharing details about my personal life on the blog or on social media, but I was forming friendships with readers and other bloggers as a result of the blog, and I wanted to be more transparent.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>I do think it would&#39;ve been feasible for me to write and publish <a href="http://www.amazon.com/STFU-Parents-Jaw-Dropping-Self-Indulgent-Rage-Inducing/dp/0399159762/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1349286156&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=stfu+parents">the book</a> anonymously, but I&#39;m guessing that it would&#39;ve been hard to <em>promote</em>&nbsp;the book anonymously. If I went on <em>Good Morning America</em> with a bag over my head, my mother would be so ashamed.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>What, if any, were the legal issues of publishing social media updates from real people? Did you need to get permission from the &ldquo;subjects&rdquo; and or the brand of media?&nbsp;</strong></div><div>I did not get formal permission from anyone who is featured in the book. However, we didn&#39;t use any <a href="http://www.stfuparentsblog.com/post/2935973718/click-to-enlarge-poop-skating-please-take-a">pictures</a>, because that would require permission, and aside from that, I think it&#39;d be odd to have a picture of some stranger&#39;s kid&#39;s poop in the book. That doesn&#39;t sit right with me. Plus, who wants to thumb through a &quot;funny&quot; book at the store and then open it to the poop page? That&#39;s an eye assault. Pictures like that don&#39;t need such permanence, in my opinion.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>I did change a few minor details in the submissions in the book, and all of the names have been changed, too. I tried to do the names justice by choosing a comparable name. If a toddler&#39;s name was &quot;Jazzlyn&quot; in the submission, I might&#39;ve changed it to &quot;Maddisyn&quot; or &quot;Jaymee&quot; for the book.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>How often do you receive submissions from people that don&rsquo;t qualify as STFU worthy events? What are some examples?</strong></div><div>I&#39;d say at least 70% qualify as &quot;STFU-worthy,&quot; though I might not take all of those. Like if it&#39;s a mommyjacking submission, and the mommyjacking comment is good, but the comments leading up to it are all disjointed or equally&nbsp;crazy/rude, that won&#39;t make the cut. Or if it&#39;s the millionth nude kid sitting on a potty with his penis <a href="http://www.stfuparentsblog.com/post/40699053519/questionable-parenting-nakedness-edition">flashing</a> the world, I might pass on that.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Some people submit stuff that&#39;s pretty mild, but they&#39;re submitting because their friends post hourly kid updates and it&#39;s driving them nuts. So, individually the submissions aren&#39;t worthy of the blog, but I&#39;m assuming that the <em>person </em>might be worthy. Those updates will just say something like, &quot;So proud of Mykynna, she loved her first day at school!&quot;, or &quot;My son is a smiley, stinky boy!&quot; Sometimes those submitters are even just emailing to vent, and not because they expect the submissions to get posted.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>What are some of your favorite &ldquo;yoonique&rdquo; kid names?</strong></div><div>I&#39;m impressed with <a href="http://www.stfuparentsblog.com/post/42335580459/yoonique-baby-names">names</a> like Espn (pronounced &quot;Aspen&quot;) or Abcde (pronounced &quot;Ab-sid-ee&quot;), because they&#39;re so unnatural to sound out, and only an idiot would give their child those names.&nbsp;I also have a fondness for the names Vagena Tamphen Pohtaytar and Vadgesty Foxi Maiden, because that&#39;s what <a href="http://www.stfuparentsblog.com/post/229983649/halloween-09-i-recognize-the-editing-only-adds" target="_blank">this woman</a> supposedly named her twin daughters, and those names are unforgettable.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>I get a little tired of names like &quot;Danger&quot; or &quot;Rocket&quot; or &quot;Zombie.&quot; Yawn. I&#39;m also over names like Brayden and Camden. Enough already.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>What are some of your actual favorite kids&#39; names (If you had a kid tomorrow, what names would you choose?)</strong></div><div>Hmm, I&#39;m not sure what I would name my own kids. My name was pretty uncommon growing up, and my boyfriend&#39;s name was extremely common, and we both like our names, so I don&#39;t think being &quot;yoonique&quot; is really as important as having a name that fits your personality. The problem is, every time one of us suggests a name just for fun, the other is like, &quot;Ugh, that was my 8th grade chemistry teacher&#39;s name,&quot; or, &quot;That&#39;s the name of my first roommate who stole all my jewelry.&quot; So we don&#39;t tend to discuss baby names much.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>Every now and then you post some &ldquo;mama drama&rdquo; that makes me start seriously pitying the child in question (like mothers calling out negligent fathers, for instance.) How often do you receive submissions that border on truly unfortunate circumstances, as opposed to annoying or funny, and have you ever felt compelled to follow up or notify the authorities?</strong></div><div>Once I asked a person to consider alerting someone about a picture of a kid with radiator marks on his&nbsp;back. The caption said that the child had climbed up and fallen asleep on the radiator because it was warm, and then he woke up with the marks on his back, but um, why wasn&#39;t the kid being watched? I was relieved that it wasn&#39;t a picture of physical abuse, but it was definitely an example of bad parenting. Even posting the pictures on Facebook showed what a giant moron the person is. That submission bummed me out.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>What do you do when you receive a comment or email that starts sounding threatening or violent?</strong></div><div>I&#39;ve thankfully received very few of those, and usually I ignore them. I did get a couple of emails&nbsp;that freaked me out and were written&nbsp;by the same person, but I told that person that I&#39;d report the next one. I try to use judgment without overreacting, but weird or hateful emails are a downside to blogging, especially if they include someone&#39;s fantasy about you getting killed in front of them.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>You say online that you do hope to have kids someday. What have you picked up, either ironically or practically, in terms of what you do/don&rsquo;t hope to do as a parent someday, beyond, of course, not posting photos of poop?</strong></div><div>Not posting pictures of poop is a great start.&nbsp;Generally, I still think teaching kids basic skills is important. Whenever I read an article that says it&#39;s normal for 9-year-olds to not be able to tie their own shoes, I feel like we set evolution back. Also, I&#39;ve never understand the hatred some parents have for strangers who don&#39;t pay attention to their children. Not everyone feels like waving back at your baby. Who cares? The last thing I want to teach my kid is that he or she is the center of the universe.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Some other fun facts I&#39;ve learned about parenting in recent years that I hope to employ:</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>- Just because you <em>can</em> bring along your kid&#39;s training potty to <a href="http://www.stfuparentsblog.com/post/461730411/as-of-today-spring-is-finally-officially-here">the beach</a>, or an outdoor concert, doesn&#39;t mean that you should.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>- Being well-versed in a particular area of parenting can be friend-repelling. Don&#39;t be a <a href="http://www.stfuparentsblog.com/tagged/Sanctimommy">sanctimommy</a> and lecture people on breastfeeding, car seats, diaper landfills, stroller recalls, etc.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>- Baby contests (cutest baby, best baby dressed as a ladybug, etc.) are almost always fixed.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>- <a href="http://www.stfuparentsblog.com/tagged/MommyJacking">Mommyjacking</a> is a bad habit, but people can reform.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>Who are some of your favorite real life parents?</strong></div><div>Well, my own of course. :) My friend Andy inspires me because she and her husband have two small kids and run their own businesses, but she&#39;s always taking on new projects or training to run the Marathon or something. And my best friend in Atlanta has two kids under 3, and the older son is so smart and patient. He&#39;s like a little helper. She and her husband seem to have taught him the fun in doing things rather than having things done for him.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>What writing have you been doing and do you intend to do outside the realm of STFU Parents?&nbsp;</strong></div><div>It&#39;s been a while since I contributed to another site under my real name instead of STFU, Parents. I&#39;d like to write a book of humor essays, and I&#39;ve been working on the outline for that. I also think about collaborating with other writers, either for TV or maybe on a screenplay, because I&#39;ve never done that before. It seems like that could be interesting.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>What tips do you have for bloggers on how to walk it off when the comments get too hateful?&nbsp;</strong></div><div>I think the easiest way to avoid hateful comments is to not read the comments at all, but I also think it&#39;s important to engage with readers and listen to criticism. I&#39;ve gotten defensive in the comments before, and it backfires on me every time. It&#39;s better to accept that some people will always disagree with you and try not to take stuff too personally. Also, physically walking it off helps. Taking a 10 minute walk will put things in perspective. It&#39;s not life or death. It&#39;s <a href="http://www.mattcutts.com/images/duty_calls.png">the Internet</a>.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>How does it feel to be the 343rd person interviewed for Zulkey.com?</strong></div><div>It feels like 343 high-fives exploding in outer space. Thanks, Claire!</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><em>Follow Claire Zulkey on Twitter&nbsp; <a href="https://twitter.com/Zulkey">@Zulkey.</a> Want to read other Zulkey.com interviews? Go <a href="http://www.zulkey.com/interviews.php">here</a>. </em></div></p> Fri, 05 Apr 2013 08:35:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-04/blair-koenig-interview-editor-stfu-parents-106500 If you are reading this piece instead of spending time with your child, you are a child abuser http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-03/if-you-are-reading-piece-instead-spending-time-your-child-you-are-child <p><p dir="ltr" id="internal-source-marker_0.25029155819347426"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/how-do-we-win-a-mommy-war-475x475.jpg" title="Meagan Francis/thehappiestmom.com" /><br />I had a Twitter friend, a pretty normal lady, who had a baby a few years ago, but then I think having the baby must have given her brain disease. Of course I won&rsquo;t fault a new mother for shifting to discussing baby things more, because it&rsquo;s unrealistic to expect a mom to totally avoid talking about her child, but she got angry, too, at the other moms who didn&rsquo;t do things the way she did. Messages I got from her included things like: Mothers who give their children processed foods are child abusers. Mothers who let their children cry too long are child abusers. Mothers who feed their babies formula are child abusers. Don&rsquo;t even get her started on women who feed their children formula and let them cry too long.</p><p dir="ltr">It was hard for me to let this roll off my back (I was formula-fed, so was she saying then that my mother was a child abuser, and, follow-up question, would this woman like to meet me outside?), but I bit my tongue, because what did I know. But if I could ask her one thing, it would have been, &quot;If your child is so fulfilling and you&rsquo;re such an expert, why are you on Twitter so much? Shouldn&rsquo;t you be off staring at your child as he sleeps or making him some food or knitting him some reusable diapers or planning his agenda for the day?&quot; This lady was giving herself away. Despite her self-righteousness and know-it-all-ness, she was also bored and lonely and could probably use a pal.</p><p dir="ltr">All moms could use a pal, so why do so many of us feed into the mommy wars thing? I avoided reading <a href="http://nymag.com/news/features/retro-wife-2013-3/">the New York magazine story</a> about the stay-at-home feminist moms because I had been warned that it would be infuriating. It helps that I really don&rsquo;t have a choice when it comes to working or not, but sure, every now and then I suspect that the baby thinks of me as just this interloper woman he sees briefly twice a day and then on the weekends but that his main squeeze is Diana, our daycare lady. So I didn&rsquo;t need to read an article about smug stay at home moms who really do have it all (despite that not being a thing that exists) and pity those who don&rsquo;t (and probably think that moms who works are child abusers.)</p><p dir="ltr">Finally, I read the article this weekend, and what I read was a piece that was reaching. Really what it was was an article about some women who choose to stay at home because they weighed the pros versus cons and felt more in favor of staying at home instead of working, but, because they are normal human beings, weren&rsquo;t totally sure this is what they want to do for forever. This was surrounded by a lot of quotes and stats from studies about how more women are doing one thing and feminist theory these days says another and women are good at this and dads are good at that. It was an article about some women doing one thing that was being gussied up as a trend.</p><p dir="ltr">Like my friend on Twitter, I think the Internet can be a blessing and a curse for new moms. A woman who isn&rsquo;t 100% sure of her choices can reach out and find like-minded folks online (or the opposite), but sometimes a sense of community turns into backlash. It turns women who don&rsquo;t want to be ogled or criticized for breastfeeding into women who claim those who don&rsquo;t feed their children the way they do are selfish. It turns women who feel ambivalent about going back to work into those who say stay at home moms are mindless cows.</p><p dir="ltr">Here&#39;s what I think: in the end, it really doesn&rsquo;t matter what you do as long as you aren&rsquo;t selling your baby to a child pornographer or strapping your baby to you before you leap out of a 13-story building (sadly, these are both real things that have happened this month.) We need to look at the big picture. I mean big. Pull out farther. Farther. Farther. Farther than that, even. There you go.</p><p dir="ltr">I feel a little bit sad that I even felt compelled to write a post that&rsquo;s along the lines of &ldquo;Can&rsquo;t we all just get along?&rdquo; but if women can get a little bit smarter about spotting the attempts in the media to get us to start attacking each other with &ldquo;reaching&rdquo; pieces, maybe if we can sense when the Internet stops being a release and starts becoming a trap, maybe that will help us look at the big picture instead of fighting each other over the details.</p><p><br /><em>@Zulkey</em></p></p> Mon, 25 Mar 2013 09:21:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-03/if-you-are-reading-piece-instead-spending-time-your-child-you-are-child List: Best responses to Steve Gadlin's Facebook request for suggestions for what to put under his daughter's pillow to replace her lost tooth http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-02/list-best-responses-steve-gadlins-facebook-request-suggestions-what-put <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/3342881972_982e1281e3.jpg" style="height: 236px; width: 280px; float: left;" title="Flickr/luccawithcheese" /><em>My friend Steve Gadlin asked on Facebook recently, &quot;What should I put under my daughter&#39;s pillow to replace her baby tooth? Funny answers only.&quot; Here are the best of the responses:</em></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><span>Ants</span></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><p>Someone else&#39;s tooth<br /><br />An itemized invoice<br /><br />A dinosaur tooth<br /><br />A dead parrot<br /><br />Broccoli<br /><br />A skull with all of its teeth missing except the one she placed under the pillow<br /><br />More teeth<br /><br />A letter that reads: Dear Izzie, Thank you for ripping me away from my family, whom I loved dearly. Ask your daddy what revenge means. Sleep tight. Love, Tooth #1<br /><br />Two pounds of raw beef<br /><br />A note from an evil alchemical scientist telling her he is now a little bit closer to creating a homunculus<br /><br />The Spanish inquisition! (no one expects that!)<br /><br />Some rad decals<br /><br />Super glue<br /><br />Pull out your own teeth and a note that says &quot;we are all in this together&quot;<br /><br />A doughnut<br /><br />Mexican pesos<br /><br />A picture of the girl who&#39;s covered with hair and a note that says &quot;it could be worse.&quot;<br /><br />Unobtainium<br /><br />I never got money, I only got multi-page letters from the toothfairy that detailed her hard living ways in a handwriting identical to my father&#39;s. Not a joke.</p><p><em>You can find the original post <a href="https://www.facebook.com/stevegadlin/posts/10152498690350231">here</a>. </em></p><p><em>Follow me on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/Zulkey">@Zulkey</a></em>.</p></p> Tue, 19 Feb 2013 08:28:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2013-02/list-best-responses-steve-gadlins-facebook-request-suggestions-what-put Screaming baby syndrome is highly contagious http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2012-09/screaming-baby-syndrome-highly-contagious-102518 <p><p><span id="internal-source-marker_0.4379162789753476">Today I confessed to my husband that I yelled at the baby. </span></p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/5400775250_0441de33ca.jpg" style="height: 375px; width: 300px; float: right; " title="Oh, shut up already. (Flickr/Chris. P)" /><span>I&rsquo;m sure the baby couldn&rsquo;t hear me, as he was much louder than I was, but what they say about the sound of a baby crying being calculated to a certain pitch that drives you insane is true. I don&rsquo;t typically yell as a way of expressing frustration but it had been a rough couple of days. Our kid&rsquo;s not even </span>that bad in terms of crying; most of the time we can figure out what it&rsquo;s about and, blessedly, most of that time can do something about it.</p><p>But our kid hasn&#39;t yet figured out how to modulate his requests. Everything is an emergency &mdash;&nbsp;dire and desperate &mdash; and everything merits a scream at full volume. Somehow this one-month-old doesn&rsquo;t understand when I tell him, &ldquo;I will feed you shortly! I just need to finish making your bottle!&rdquo; He goes from sweet and sleepy to full-blown tantrum, which is hard to handle all day and all night. You wouldn&rsquo;t go to a restaurant and scream &ldquo;I&rsquo;M HUNGRY I&rsquo;M HUNGRY I&rsquo;M HUNGRY I&rsquo;M HUNGRY NOW NOW NOW WAAAH!!!&rdquo; even as you saw your food approaching the table, now would you? Also, this kid hates being naked almost more than he hates sitting in his own filth. You wouldn&rsquo;t go &ldquo;I&rsquo;M COLD OW OW OW OW OW I HATE THIIIIIIS!!!!&rdquo; while you were using the restroom, would you? I sincerely hope not.<br /><br />Fortunately, my husband didn&rsquo;t judge me when I told him that I did not react maturely to the baby&rsquo;s fifth fit of the day. In fact, he told me that he was worried he had woken me up the other night as he gave our baby a piece of his mind as well.<br /><br />I know how I sound as I confess that my husband and I tell the baby to shut up. (We&rsquo;ve also called the baby an a-hole and a sh*t, and we frequently mock him. Steve does a good impression of the way the baby furiously shakes his head back and forth before eating his own hand.) It makes us sound like <strike>abusive mean insane</strike> parents.</p><p>Unless you have a newborn that only makes tiny dainty noises when he/she is in discomfort (in which case, please keep it to yourself), the language barrier between new parents and kids &mdash;&nbsp;paired with the lack of sleep &mdash;&nbsp;can quickly make you nuts. There you were just a few months ago, lovingly folding baby clothes and looking forward to welcoming this new life into your world. Then your tiny new alien rewards you by throwing fits as you try to keep it alive &mdash; and attempt to engage its brain, nurture it and bond with it &mdash; while also trying to take showers, see friends, write blogs posts and whatnot.<br /><br />I love the baby (see: <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2012-09/cries-moms-not-babys-102160">this earlier post</a>) but I won&#39;t mind when he&rsquo;s learned to express himself differently &mdash; or at very least has learned to smile at more than just his dreams.</p><p>In the meantime, just like at work, talking smack about &ldquo;the boss&rdquo; can really help you feel sane. I&rsquo;ll be the first to say that our baby looks like Jackie Mason, that he has a terrible attitude sometimes, that he&rsquo;s a fart marchine, that he&rsquo;s a disgusting eater. We even have something of a &ldquo;slam book&rdquo; about the baby: We are still keeping track of how much he eats, sleeps and poops, and the records we use have a comments section. Comments left behind have included notes like &ldquo;Worst baby ever!!&rdquo; or &ldquo;Baby 4 sale&rdquo; and &ldquo;Evil baby from nightmares.&rdquo;<br /><br />But we can say these things, because he&rsquo;s ours, and because for the time being, he can&rsquo;t understand what we&rsquo;re saying. Because he&rsquo;s yelling so loud.<br /><br /><em>Postscript: Of course, after I wrote this the baby proceeded to have a nice, quiet night and is being a complete angel this morning. I think that this is how they get you&nbsp;</em><em>&mdash; they&nbsp;</em><em>break you down.</em></p></p> Thu, 20 Sep 2012 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2012-09/screaming-baby-syndrome-highly-contagious-102518 Out of the Shadows: Mental health experts discuss getting help for mentally ill youth http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-10-28/out-shadows-mental-health-experts-discuss-getting-help-mentally-ill-yout <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//segment/photo/2011-October/2011-10-28/out of the darkness walk flickr.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>For the past few weeks, <a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/out-shadows"><em>Out of the Shadows</em></a> explored the numerous obstacles that surround mental illness. In the series' last conversation, <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> explored what could be done to break down those barriers. Three experts spoke about the medical, legal and very personal issues involved in treating mentally ill children.</p><p>Lawyer <a href="http://www.law.uchicago.edu/faculty/heyrman" target="_blank">Mark Heyrman</a>, who specializes in the rights of the mentally disabled, <a href="http://www.iit.edu/psych/people/profiles/terrence_koller.shtml" target="_blank">Dr. Terry Koller</a>, a licensed child psychologist and the executive director of the Illinois Psychological Association and <a href="http://www.afsp.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=home.viewpage&amp;page_id=6A71D16C-915E-6926-704E5A9C15C3D6AF" target="_blank">Stanley Lewy</a>, who founded the Midwest Chapter of the <a href="http://www.afsp.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=home.viewPage&amp;page_id=1" target="_blank">American Foundation for Suicide Prevention</a> and the <a href="http://www.spassoc.org/" target="_blank">Suicide Prevention Association</a> after losing his son, all weighed in.</p></p> Fri, 28 Oct 2011 16:15:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-10-28/out-shadows-mental-health-experts-discuss-getting-help-mentally-ill-yout Muhammad Ali and Nikki Giovanni’s Parenting 101 http://www.wbez.org/story/muhammad-ali-and-nikki-giovanni%E2%80%99s-parenting-101-86161 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//story/photo/2011-May/2011-05-06/5348915155_2cca609662_b.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>You might not think a feminist poet and a boastful boxer would have much in common. But when the poet is Nikki Giovanni and the boxer is Muhammad Ali, you would be wrong. And what I mean by that is that I was wrong when I made the same assumption, and I when I was surprised that the two had been close friends.</p><p>But then, it all made perfect sense. They share a kinship through radical politics, black pride, and a fractured moment in U.S. history. When Giovanni spoke at Chicago Public Library last weekend, she alluded to their shared politics by describing how disgusted she was when Ali was stripped of his title and banned from boxing after refusing to serve in Vietnam. “How could you be mad at a man who refused to go to war to kill someone?” she opined. “What kind of sense does that make?”</p><p>During her talk Giovanni also shared another story about violence, this time on a smaller scale. It was a strange and funny moment of parenting that seemed worthy of sharing as Mother’s Day approaches.</p><p>In the audio excerpt above, Giovanni describes how she let her young son work some things out for himself after a personal challenge from “The Greatest.”</p><p><em><a href="series/dynamic-range">Dynamic Range</a> showcases hidden gems unearthed from ChicagoAmplified’s vast archive of public events and appears on weekends. Nikki Giovanni spoke at <a href="http://www.chipublib.org/">Chicago Public Library</a> in April. Click <a href="story/nikki-giovanni-85974">here</a> to hear the event in its entirety, and click <a href="http://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/wbez/id364380278" target="_blank">here</a> to subscribe to the DynamicRange podcast.</em></p></p> Fri, 06 May 2011 15:51:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/muhammad-ali-and-nikki-giovanni%E2%80%99s-parenting-101-86161 A comedic take on parenthood’s tough questions http://www.wbez.org/story/azhar-usman/comedic-take-parenthood%E2%80%99s-tough-questions <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//usman 1.png" alt="" /><p><p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.azhar.com/">Azhar Usman</a> jokes that he looks like &ldquo;that guy from LOST. Not the Indian one, the fat one!&rdquo; The Chicago comedian uses humor to poke fun at racial stereotypes, referencing his own life as the child of Muslim immigrants growing up in the then mostly Jewish community of Skokie, Illinois.</p> <div>In March, Usman did an extended set in front of an intimate audience at Chicago&rsquo;s <a target="_self" href="http://thinkartsalon.com/">Th!nk Art Salon</a> as part of their ongoing War &amp; Peace exhibit.&nbsp; He performs regularly alongside a Rabbi/comedian in a show they&rsquo;ve dubbed the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.bobalper.com/oddcouple.html">Laugh in Peace Tour</a>.</div><div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Usman&rsquo;s set took a surprisingly deep and personal turn when he shared a story about learning to parent four young sons who were inquisitive beyond their age. It's a variation on &ldquo;kids say the darndest things,&rdquo; only in this version, Usman&rsquo;s son asks him to explain why God lets there be bad people in the world. Out of the mouths of babes.</div><div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Check out the audio excerpt posted above to hear how Usman handles questions he&rsquo;s not ready to tackle. His approach will surprise you (and make you laugh).</div><div>&nbsp;</div> <div><em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/dynamic-range">Dynamic Range</a> showcases hidden gems unearthed from Chicago Amplified's vast archive of public events and appears on weekends. </em><a target="_blank" href="http://www.chicagopublicradio.org/Content.aspx?audioID=40723&amp;gsatype=amplified"><em>Click here</em></a><em> to hear Usman&rsquo;s entire set at Th!nk Art Salon, presented by <a href="http://www.prairie.org/programs/public-square">The Public Square</a> (a program of the </em><a href="http://www.prairie.org/"><em>The Illinois Humanities Council</em></a><em>) and recorded by </em><a target="_blank" href="http://www.chicagopublicradio.org/Program_AMP.aspx"><em>Chicago Amplified</em></a><em>. Click </em><a target="_blank" href="http://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/wbez/id364380278"><em>here</em></a><em> to subscribe to the Dynamic Range podcast. </em></div></p> Fri, 17 Dec 2010 17:39:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/azhar-usman/comedic-take-parenthood%E2%80%99s-tough-questions