Browsing CategoryParenting

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She’s here. She’s perfect. Tallulah Grace Gilbert, born September 20th, 2016, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. “Hello babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. On the outside, babies, you’ve got a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies-“God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.” – Kurt Vonnegut If there’s one thing having children teaches you, it’s this: gratitude for when things go well. Nothing quite hammers home the lesson that we have so little control over our own fate than child-birth. We arrived…

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I know it’s not surprising, since I just wrote a book about it, but I think everyone should raise their kids with two languages. It helps kids academically, it makes them more conscious of other cultures and improves social skills, it increases empathy and when they are all old and wrinkly it protects their brain from dementia for years. Some people say it’s like doing crosswords. No. It’s like getting a bionic crossword puzzle brain boost. It’s massive. And at their tender age it’s easier to learn without studying. Plus and here’s the best part that every one of these articles brushes…

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You know unschooling is hot when New York Times is writing about. The aesthetic is tempting. Raise creative-free-thinking children by letting them navigate their education directly, pursuing knowledge in areas that interest them. I just don’t think it’s going to work for Cole (he’s six). And I don’t really believe that unlimited free play is beneficial past seven. Maybe I lean more towards the Swedish model… free play up to seven, then regular school with lots of play and outdoor time. “But you travel Christine! You’re a natural unschooler!” – I know, but still no. I will put out the huge caveat…

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Ultrasound! Baby Gender! Well, this makes it feel real. I saw the baby floating around in there, kicking like mad, which always amazes me because I can feel it but never to the extent of what gets revealed during the ultrasound. This little one was having a party in there. Before the ultrasound we had a big talk with the kids about how we’d all be very happy even if it’s not a boy (Cole) or not a girl (Stella). We practiced saying it. Stella was like, “I am okay if it’s a boy. But it’s not a boy, it’s…

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Sometimes it feels like even the worst moments are there simply to guide you to your best ones… I have never told this story because as it was happening, I didn’t understand the significance. As many of you already know, I spent several years traveling with my family to learn Mandarin, Arabic and Spanish to put to the test the much talked about “Bilingual Advantage”. I wrote a book about it, and in a week it will come out with Penguin Random House. But I’ve never shared precisely why I started on this journey. Who just decides to learn all these languages?…

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The CDC recommends that pregnant women stay out of Zika-infected areas. Completely. But what if you live there? Then what? Should you move away? How big is the risk? Is it just “don’t take unnecessary travel there?” or “RUN FOR YOUR LIFE?” or most likely, “We’re not sure, but better safe than sorry.” How big of a deal is Zika if you’re pregnant? As I enter my second trimester, situated in Oaxaca, Mexico, where yes, there have been cases of Zika, I am in this weird state of not knowing exactly how much risk I’m taking on. To date, I’ve…

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Two weeks ago, I pregnancy-rage-quit my child’s Montessori school. Then, conveniently, we had two weeks of spring break, which we spent in Puerto Escondido. This week, it’s back to school, or as it’s now known in my house: Oh right, we have to figure out what to do with the kids. Why did I pull my kids out of the school? I don’t know, the teacher just made me furious. I don’t think I can entirely pin down why it bothered me so much. Here’s what I believe: I’m a pretty great parent, I have pretty great kids and we’re…

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We’re spending two weeks or so on the coast of Puerto Escondido while the kids have Spring Break (which is so weird, they are 3 and 6 – how do they get Spring Break already?). We were just here last month but it’s my favorite beach town in Mexico… I think it has avoided the pitfalls of other places like Tulum or Puerto Vallarta just by the fact it’s so cumbersome to get here, so you end up with a natural buffer against some of the not-so-great aspects of other popular beach towns. Plus it’s super gorgeous. This is what my life…

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The following is an essay by my friend Kayt Sukel. I really needed to read this today. We’re constantly weighing the risks as parents, whether that’s traveling with little ones, letting them figure things out on their own, or even as simple as deciding if a school is the right fit. Kayt is a brilliant writer and her new book The Art of Risk is one of my favorite reads of 2016. The orthopedic surgeon used his pen to highlight the damage to my son’s ankle on the X-ray. There was no need, really—you couldn’t miss the breaks. Chet’s delicate bones, snapped…