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ParentMap, August 2011 Issue

July 2011 ParentMap Issue

"Mommy, where do babies come from?"

And so begins the dreaded conversation that you'll never be quite prepared for. That one topic that makes your heart skip a beat as your young child looks up at you in wonder, waiting for your honest reply. This month, we're talking about sex -- and more importantly, how you can find the right words when your preschooler asks you where her baby brother came from. (We'll give you one hint: it's not about the stork anymore.)

Got some major preschooler 'tude happening at home? Learn how to handle -- and cope -- with your stubborn tot.

And if you haven't yet, be sure to take in the last of the summer sun at Seward Park's newly remodeled playground! Parents and kids alike are giving this renovated outdoor play space in A+ in fun and we've got the full review.

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Read the entire issue online, or scroll down for links and cool online-only content.

Ages & Stages:

Out & About: Seward Park's newly renovated playground

Feature: Talking to young kids about sex

NEW! Mind + Body: Health and wellness news for women


Click here for this month's special "online only" content.

About this issue

In our family
A great and beautiful benefit of having child No. 3 a mere 15 and 10 years respectively after her elder sibs is that Maya gets to join in on way more adventurous and luxurious travel with us. Ah, the daily ease that goes with having elder, experienced parents. We delight in getting to do things we wish we would have done with No. 1 and No. 2. In addition to travel, you can count sex education in that category.

Maya and I recently attended one of the locally renowned puberty classes called Great Conversations (read more in “Talking to kids about sex”). Masterfully executed, the class was perfectly balanced, delivering science, anatomy, social and emotional coaching, and thank goodness, humor. Imagine the instructor walk­ing around with a sanitary pad casually stuck to her chest. Julie Metzger, Great Conversations inventor, brilliantly reminds us to liberally use the phrase “in our family” to frame our family’s values around complex issues.

I can tell you that growing up in a large and loud Midwest family, “in our family” meant we were mute around many issues of importance including reproduction, puberty and sex. Stumbling over the sex talk with my two eldest would have been exponentially better than what we delivered: silence.

When we attend for a second time, Maya and I will hear Great Conversations’ lifelong lessons differently. Of course, we’ll have less shock and laughter when the erect penis (yes, I said it) is unveiled, but we’ll have fun watching the newcomers’ reactions.

Lifelong lessons also await you in “Why are you so stubborn?” in helping us to assist our preschoolers to see ways out of a tough mood or tantrum. It was news for me to read about “counterwill,” which parent educator Cindy Leavitt of the Neufeld Institute describes as the first main reason for stubbornness. Counterwill is an instinctive, automatic resistance to any sense of being forced. Familiar — at any age?

This means you — the adult –must use your elevated brain and do a better job attaching to your little momentary monster with more love and presence.

It’s possible I needed this knowledge more than my big kids needed the sex talk.

It’s hard to realize that August means back-to-school. I don’t want to let go of summer one second before the night before classes start. So read “Back-to-school organizing” (p. 34) and tell me if you get your kids on an early-to-bed, early-to-rise routine two weeks out. Might be easier said than done!


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