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Cross-posted at MotherTalkers.

Good morning fellow moms, dads and caregivers!

I am back with your weekly parenting news update. Here are some topics we recently discussed at MotherTalkers:

I can't believe I am saying this at 32, but I am getting old, people. The other day I took Ari to one of those traveling carnivals and realized I could not ride a single thing without getting sick. What's up with that?

We discussed a Washington Post story on what to do in the event a divorced couple disagrees on the health care of their children. For example, what should the mother do if dad is not onboard with junior taking psychiatric medication? You can view that discussion here.

Our Dana over at the lesbian mom site, Mombian, covered a study showing that many prospective adoptive couples don't care about the gender of their children but gay men were most likely to have a preference and heterosexual men were least likely to have one. Whether you adopted or had biological children, did you have a preference?

Here is another off-the-wall science story linking divorce to whether or not the person smiled in childhood photos. Of course, many of us -- moi included -- checked out our childhood photos to see if there was any truth to it. Weird, huh?

One of our adoptive moms, "brave," had an excellent story on a Malawian court's rejection of Madonna's application. Brave wrote about why organizations like Save the Children who are opposed to the adoption are wrong.

iVillage had a long discussion on whether it was okay for strangers to reprimand your children. I am very torn on this. Unfortunately, because I had my son at 26 and looked like a teenager, I was prime bait for scolders. While I will accept help from strangers who recognize I am having a tough time with the kids, what I don't appreciate are personal digs at my parenting. For example, I have had strangers tell me my kid is straying too far and will be kidnapped. This only made me defensive and say, "Mind your own business." OTOH, if I am at the checkout lane at the supermarket and my kids are running around while I am trying to pay, a little hand rather than a scold would be nice. Have you or your children been reprimanded by strangers? What was your reaction?

How are you this morning?

Originally posted to Elisa on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 07:58 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  great questions!! (5+ / 0-)

    I can do a merry-go-round, but that's about it.... Not sure at which age I noticed the change.

    Dr. Aaron Roland is a family physician in Burlingame, CA.

    by doctoraaron on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 08:03:07 AM PDT

    •  Phew! I don't have to blame my age! (3+ / 0-)

      I'm getting plenty old, but I've NEVER been able to ride a merry-go-round or even a see-saw.  

      By the way, exactly when did see-saws disappear from playgrounds? A friend of ours built one for his kids because he couldn't buy one anywhere. All the neighbor moms referred to his yard as the "backyard of death". LOL!

      "We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals; we know now that it is bad economics" FDR

      by theKgirls on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 08:31:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  If there is an unattended child (8+ / 0-)

    behaving badly in a public place, I think it is perfectly permissable for other adults to step in.  This happened to me just the other day.  I was at the play area in the mall with my 2yo. and a maybe 8 year old boy (no parent anywhere) ran up and practically pushed my son off of the top of the slide in his haste to cut in front of him.  I actually took hold of his arm and told him that he needed to wait his turn.  He shrugged me of and did not wait his turn anyway, but I feel that it is important adults do not turn a blind eye to that sort of behaviour.

    "Intelligent minds believe only in lost causes, realizing that all others are merely effects." -e.e. cummings

    by Super Grover on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 08:23:55 AM PDT

  •  Smiling and Suri Cruise (5+ / 0-)

    If children other than my own were in my house, I expected them to abide by the same rules and behavior I expected from my children.  A few enforced rules:

    Eating and snacking are done at the table,
    Rough housing gets a 'take it outdoors,'
    No jumping on the furniture or beds.

    These same rules apply now to my grandchildren, but how they behave in their own homes is none of my business.  Yet I cannot contain myself when I see children running with a pencil/knife/sharp stick in their hands regardless of whose child it is.  

    Often, when I see pictures of celebrities children, they are very sober (think Suri Cruise.) But then her mother is rarely smiling either.

  •  I'm an adoptive parent and we did choose the sex (5+ / 0-)

    of our kids. I am much more likely to call and visit my parents than either of my brothers; my husbands family is all boys and they completed drifted away from each other.  I know it's a stereotype, but it's a stereotype that was true for both of us: girls stay closer even when they have families of their own.  So if we were only going to have one child, we decided we'd like a girl.  

    When we adopted a second child, we were completely open to either sex -- but liked the idea of another girl, once again thinking that sisters would be closer than a brother and sister...  Since we were 40 when we adopted, we really wanted the kids to have each other once we were old/dead.  Pathetic, isn't it?  

    We assumed as kids, each sex has their advantages and disadvantages, so our decision was much more about the way long-term. Oddly, we thought that if someone stated a preference, it would be for a boy -- but we were totally wrong. The wait for a girl in Russia was well over a year while the wait for a boy was under five months.  When I talked to the director of the agency about this, she said that EVERYONE who stated a preference for a girl did so for exactly the reason we stated.  

    And, by the way, we most certainly would have been happy to adopt a boy as our one and only child. I know that we wouldn't be able to choose if the child was born to us -- but let me tell you that the adoption process is one of the most painful, aggravating, horrible, delightfully fulfilling experiences anyone should have to endure so we decided that if it offered even one remote advantage of choosing the sex, we earned it.

    "We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals; we know now that it is bad economics" FDR

    by theKgirls on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 08:47:43 AM PDT

  •  I've had my share of comments (6+ / 0-)

    I was always scolded by people, familiar and strangers, on "overreacting" about my son's immunity issues.  We were told that RSV would kill him in infancy if he contracted it.  He did catch RSV at age 3 and survived, although he had to be hospitalized.

    I caught one woman trying to feed my son pasta with meat sauce when he was just over a year old and still on breast milk and limited solids to avoid developing major allergies that run in our family.

    I was complimented once.  We were in a grocery store and I was letting soberboy walk beside the cart.  He wandered off and I told him that he had to stay next to the cart or he had to ride inside.  He wandered away a 2nd time and I told him it was his last warning.  On the 3rd time I picked him up and put him in the seat of the cart.  2 aisles over a woman stopped me to say, "I wanted to let you know that you're a very good parent.  So many parents make threats and then never follow through on them.  You're doing a good job."

    Other times it hasn't been the comments as much as the looks.  My son would sometimes have meltdowns from overstimulation, his Asperger's makes him really susceptible.  Picking him up and carrying him out of malls, restaurants and other public places I could see all of the faces looking at me with disgust.  Sometimes people just have no idea what is going on in a particular family.

    I always try to compliment both kids and parents when I see them in church.  There is so much shame attached to bringing kids to church if they don't act like perfect cherubs.  A few years back some elderly people complained to our pastor about noisy kids in church.  He put a letter in the bulletin saying he wanted the kids in church no matter how they behaved.  That made the parents more comfortable and sent a strong message to everyone about what kind of a church we have.

    Thanks for this diary.

    We...remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism.--MLK

    by sobermom on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 09:22:33 AM PDT

    •  it happens to us too- (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bronte17, Fabian

      Picking him up and carrying him out of malls, restaurants and other public places I could see all of the faces looking at me with disgust.

      i'm usually saying something to the girls like "please can we leave w/ dignity?"

    •  Times have changed. (3+ / 0-)

      My kids' bus drivers ask if it is okay for them to have treats and sometimes ask which kind of treats I prefer.  (Preschool & grade school.)  I'm grateful.

      Don't be too embarrassed by your kids' behavior.  I went through some real rough spots with my young'uns in a local coffee shop.  My youngest developed a habit of trying to get behind the counter - definitely NOT a child safe area.  On one visit he made multiple forays and I didn't snag him in time and the staff had to escort him back out.  It couldn't have been as awful as I thought it was because a few months later, I stopped by solo and they asked where the kids were.

      I have removed my children bodily.  I find the fireman's carry is very effective.  If you child doesn't struggle too much, you can do it with one hand.  It doesn't hurt them.  I sometimes use it to reinforce the idea that when mommy says it is time to go, we leave - voluntarily or otherwise.

      Proud member of the Cult of Issues and Substance!

      by Fabian on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 09:49:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  stranger reprimands (4+ / 0-)

    I don't mind them if they're quality reprimands - but I'd mind them if they were shrill or overbearing. ;-)

    Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

    by elfling on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 09:29:57 AM PDT

  •  DH and DD were reading kos' train diary (4+ / 0-)

    yesterday together. My daughter is totally fired up about HSR. She didn't really appreciate politics until the California HSR initiative, and hearing that Obama was for trains and McCain was against trains was key there as well.

    This morning she was telling me how important it is to build high speed trains that can carry cars, so that people can go a long way on the train and then drive to where they need to go. And she says that we need trains that go to the airports, so you can ride the high speed train to the airport and then take the plane and then you can go to wherever you need to go.

    Also, she wants a high speed train that goes to Florida, so we can go to Disney World. I think, though, that she'll settle for one that goes to Anaheim. ;-)

    I told her that her job is to convince everyone else that this is a good idea and an important use of public funds.

    Oh, and that she can be an engineer to build them. :-)

    Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

    by elfling on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 09:45:32 AM PDT

  •  Week of the Young Child (4+ / 0-)

    April 19-25

    The Week of the Young Child is an annual celebration sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the world's largest early childhood education association, with nearly 100,000 members and a network of over 300 local, state, and regional Affiliates.

    The purpose of the Week of the Young Child is to focus public attention on the needs of young children and their families and to recognize the early childhood programs and services that meet those needs.

    NAEYC first established the Week of the Young Child in 1971, recognizing that the early childhood years (birth through age 8) lay the foundation for children's success in school and later life.

    The Week of the Young Child is a time to plan how we--as citizens of a community, of a state, and of a nation--will better meet the needs of all young children and their families.

  •  ...about international adoptions (3+ / 0-)

    perhaps not always  the happy happy stories we have been led to believe

    In fact, Brandeis University, Foreign Policy Magazine, and The Washington Post  have been taking a closer look at international adoptions and SHOCKEROONI!   have found CORRUPTION!!

    From the Foreign Policy article:

    Foreign adoption seems like the perfect solution to a heartbreaking imbalance: Poor countries have babies in need of homes, and rich countries have homes in need of babies. Unfortunately, those little orphaned bundles of joy may not be orphans at all.

    From the Washington Post article:

    Who wants to buy a baby? Certainly not most people who try to adopt internationally. And yet too often that's how their dollars and euros are being used.

    The idea that the developing world has millions of healthy infants and toddlers in need of new homes is a myth. In poor countries as in rich ones, healthy babies are rarely abandoned or relinquished -- except in China, with its one-child policy. The vast majority of children who need adoption are older, sick, disabled or traumatized. But most Westerners waiting in line are looking for healthy infants or toddlers to take home.

    The manufacture of adoptable (but not really)  children has been outsourced.  I am very very very glad the big guys have finally taken notice, since
    NO ONE is entitled to another family's child. This is doubly, triply, quadruply true when the family has arranged for temporary care for the child with no intention whatsoever to break ties wth that child... and return to the orphanage only to find the child has been fraudulently "adopted" without consent or knowledge of that child's family.  Certainly there is a very hot place in hell reserved for people who engage in such activity.

    Perhaps we should stop patting ourselves on the back about what heroes we are for taking foreign children into our homes and open our eyes a bit.  
    If anyone is ineterested, perhaps you could hit

    Ethics's website.

    •  I agree but (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bronte17, thankgodforairamerica

      I think sometimes each party tries to make broad policy that covers all adoptions based on a handful of egregious cases.

      Babies should not be stolen from their families to give to richer families. We all agree.

      But, I also would stipulate that it is bad for everyone, for the host country, for the child, and for the world, for kids to grow up in orphanages.

      The prohibitions on adoptions meant to cover the cases you talk about also end up covering the cases where the child is documented to have no family, or where the child is sick and in need of special care. We have to find the flexibility and wisdom to prevent corruption and babyselling, while also finding homes for the children who truly need them.

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 10:15:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  orphans are being manufactured (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        thankgodforairamerica

        in vast numbers, and westerners are eating up the myth of adoptable orphans with a spoon.  westerners are supporting this with their dollars and euros.  these children are not legally available for adoption.  they are not orphans, but commodities to be consumed by westerners with money who covet children.

        from the foreign policy magazine article.  added emphasis mine:

        Where do these babies come from? As international adoptions have flourished, so has evidence that babies in many countries are being systematically bought, coerced, and stolen away from their birth families. Nearly half the 40 countries listed by the U.S. State Department as the top sources for international adoption over the past 15 years—places such as Belarus, Brazil, Ethiopia, Honduras, Peru, and Romania—have at least temporarily halted adoptions or been prevented from sending children to the United States because of serious concerns about corruption and kidnapping. And yet when a country is closed due to corruption, many adoption agencies simply transfer their clients’ hopes to the next "hot" country.

        you wrote:

        But, I also would stipulate that it is bad for everyone, for the host country, for the child, and for the world, for kids to grow up in orphanages.

        not at all surprised that you would stipulate it.  indeed, it is central to the rationalization for taking such babies away from their legal families.

        yet it smacks of colonialism and the white man's burden.

        who are we to judge what is best for complete strangers living on the other side of the globe?

        •  I agree, corruption is terrible (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          thankgodforairamerica

          it is used to grant and deny adoptions, because there aren't enough people in the right positions doing what is right for the kids.

          I'm not talking about any specific country or any race. Setting up situations where kids grow up in orphanages is really unfortunate, including right here in these United States.

          That those things happen are terrible and heartbreaking is true and they must be stopped. But if we stop all adoption for 20 years for every circumstance while people try to figure something out, that has a cost to the children as well.

          The corruption needs to be addressed, firmly and completely, not just because of adoption but because corruption is part of the dysfunction in those governments that keeps those countries from getting ahead.

          Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

          by elfling on Sat Apr 18, 2009 at 05:55:14 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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