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ParentMap, November 2011 Issue

November 2011 ParentMap Issue

This month, it's all about playing favorites -- the factors that cause parents to treat their kids differently, and most importantly, how parents can nurture their children's individual personalities and temperaments.

And speaking of debated inequalities, what's up with these lingering stereotypes for girls when it comes to math and science? We've got the scoop on how parents can encourage their girls to do well -- and how these subjects aren't just for boys!

If you're looking to get creative with your little ones this holiday season, consider making a gingerbread house. There's plenty of building involved, and yet a whole lot of bonding time.

This year's education gift guide is also packed with tons of fun picks for educational toys, books and games that'll keep your tot's brain movin', all in the name of fun!

Here's to wishing your family a happy Thanksgiving!

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

Ages & Stages:
0-2 Helping your child overcome separation anxiety
3-5 Handling your take-charge child
6-10 Sibling rivalry during playdates
11-18 Teen coed sleepovers

Out & About: Making gingerbread houses with kids

Getting School Ready: Math, science and girls

Feature: Do we treat our kids differently?

Our 2011 education gift guide is here!

This month's Postings
Giving Together
Green Bites

About this issue

The Cinderella diaries

In our family, my older brother held the stereotypic princely role that seemed to be unchallenged in the early 60’s. As the freckle-faced, identical redheaded twin daughter team, we identified closely with Cinderella. Our princes came decades later.

Perhaps it was the dreaded chore list dependably left on Saturdays that made us feel like the not-so-special siblings. Maybe it was the school holidays, when we were told which twin cleaned which bathroom, or maybe it was the fact that we (not he) earned our school ski trips through babysitting and weekend labor.

Our own kids, with their different needs, temperaments, and birth order will no doubt feel inequities. Maria Bellos Fisher, author of “Do we treat our kids differently?” and a self proclaimed “unfair” mother, offers a great framework to think about this: “A parent’s temperament is the lens through which he or she sees the child.”

Equality and fairness around raising my two sibs and me did not appear to be an issue of concern for our parents. Perhaps our parents followed the “their chores are sexist but equal” approach. We just never saw the full equation.

Though my twin sister and I are still in wonder at our parents’ child-rearing philosophy, we do not question their best intentions and endless love. Faulty as our childhood lenses may be, we sisters agree: We’re better off for not being on the receiving end of pampering and overindulgence.

My more introverted eldest would likely have been better served had I not swung so far away from the boot camp parenting I’d experienced. Because I remembered doing those excessive chores, I reacted by going light when it came to her to-do list. My extroverted youngest seems to benefit from the swing back to a lovingly (but clearly) delivered “no.”

My breath was taken away in Douglas Grey’s “Gingerbread bonding” by capturing my own moment in time: Our 10-year-old is the last of three kids still at home. Grey’s attempt to slow down the inevitable “all-too-rapid growing up” made us instant kindred spirits reflecting how it “breaks your heart a little more every second she gets closer to leaving.” We will be baking, I will be weeping! For the baking-challenged, check out the gingerbread workshops.


P. S. Brilliance collides on Tuesday, Nov. 29 at 7 p.m. at Town Hall when Mary Gordon, founder and creator of Roots of Empathy and Dr. Stuart Shanker, distinguished research professor at York University in Toronto give a FREE presentation. Don’t miss it! To register go to

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