Category Archives: Kids

Raising Daughters

The other day PigTail Pals asked on facebook what our daughters did that day sparking the idea of what influences our daughters.  I spent some time thinking about my own daughter age just barely 6.  Before I get into that PigTail Pals sells t-shirt that depict girls doing jobs like Astronaut, Pilot, Scientist, Paleontologist and more.  On the website where she talks about forming the company there is this statement that really sums it all up.

The art and messages on my empowering shirts show girls that they can dream in any color. They can dream to be adventurous, to be a hero. The shirts tell girls that being smart, daring and adventurous is being girly. My company will show girls how to respect themselves, their community, and their environment. Our girls deserve to know their actions can change the world in a meaningful, lasting way.

I started thinking about the negative influences in her life and I didn’t come up with that many mainly because as parents we simply don’t have them in the house not through planning but just through who we are.  I’ve never seen my wife pick up a fashion magazine so they just are not around to look at.  A lot of the TV we watch is recorded so we can skip the ads but still there are negatives. Just about any form of advertising paints an unrealistic picture.  There is just no way to avoid advertising so I think our kids need to be educated on advertising.

My son(8) one time snuck down to our basement after lights out and after  my wife and I were in bed and watched an all-night classic cartoon station.  At one point they showed an infomercial on a juicer.  The next morning we just had to have a juicer.  He probably would have gotten away with staying up all night if it hadn’t been for the juicer but those only air in the middle of the night.  Skipping over the punishment part we had a long talk about marketing.  Examining questions like ‘Why do you want it?’  ‘Did you what it before you saw the ad?’.  I have had similar talks with my daughter in the toy store.

Why do you want that toy?

Because its pretty.

Why is it pretty?

Because it has lots of colors. (her favorite color is rainbow)

How will you play with her?

We can go on adventures.

The more I thought about the negative influences and saw my role as to point out to her what those influence were and discussing them I started thinking about the positive role models she has.  The first is mom who is a computer programmer and very smart.  My daughter now want to make her own website and mommy is helping her do that.  Then there is me who is also a computer programmer and  a ‘stay at home dad’ (sahd).  She loves to help me cook particularly if it one of her favorites like cookies or tortellini with cheese sauce.  Her older brother who she looks up to and plays with all the time.  She wants to read like him so she worked very hard this year learning to read.  She routinely plays Harry Potter with him and is always Hermione and she has the list of spells because she came to me and had me look them up and then she carefully copied them out.  She is currently reading the first Harry Potter although very slowly and with lots of help.  I think characters like Hermione are good role models as well.  We as a family watch Mythbusters so there is Kari Byron as some one who is a very smart, and talented women.  Myself, son(8) and daughter also do Tae Kwon Do.  I see that as very positive for her in that we have a number of women instructors who range in age from teens to early twenties.  They are all extremely confident, capable women.  These classes really teach self respect, self-esteem, leadership and lots more.

When she grows up she wants to be: (current list)  mommy, super hero and snake scientist.  The mommy because she wants a baby.  The super hero because her brother whats to be one and they are going to be partners. The snake scientist is because after holding one at a science center she wants an Anaconda for a pet.  We told her that she had to be a snake scientist and study them to own one.  That is actually partially true in that they are a restricted animal where we live.  We explained to her what she needed to know to become a snake scientist.

As I was writing this I was think about a video I saw years ago that shows a fashion model from start to the billboard.  She doesn’t look anything like the ad.

I would love to see advertisers stop targeting our kids with increasingly sexualized marketing campaigns but in the mean time I believe that its is all about the positive role models in their lives and teaching them to be media savvy.

Rice Krispie Squares with Daughter

Rice Krispie Squares

I made Rice Krispie Squares last night with my daughter who is almost six.  This is always a fun time of bonding with my daughter.  She loves to stir the marshmallows as they melt.  She reads the instructions, tells me how much to put in and helps to measure.  The ability to have this time with my kids is what I love about being a SAHD.  The other day my daughter was cooking at kindergarten with a mom helper that knows I am a SAHD.  The mom asked if she cooked with daddy, to which my daughter responded “Yes, I help him make cheese sauce for tortellini.”.  Thank you DD.

Rice Krispie Squares

  • 250g bag of mini marshmallows
  • 1/4 c margarine
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 6 cups Rice Krispies

First butter a 13×9 inch pan and a rubber spatula.  This make spreading everything out easy since it sets up so quickly.  Melt the Margarine over low heat in a large pot.  Add the marshmallows and stir until melted.  Remove from the heat and add the vanilla and Rice Crispies.  Stir until all is coated. Put in the pan a spread out with the buttered rubber spatula.  Allow to cool.

This batch lasted a grand total of 19 hours and baby dudes loved them.  Sticky baby!

Laundry – Out of Control

Laundry Pile

You know your househusband may be losing it when you find the couch buried in clean clothes waiting to be folded.

More Jokes

This last two weeks have been busy in the evenings which meant the laundry got washed as usual but not folded.  You see I had been folding the laundry until my 5 year old informs me that mommy should be doing the laundry.  I asked why while I contemplated trying to explain mommy works so daddy does the housework and all the role reversals in that.  Her reasoning was much more direct.  “When mommy does the laundry I can find my clothes.”   Apparently my sorting is some what random, some of her stuff was ending up in her brothers and mommies drawers and vice versa.  The solution was that we all do it.  I have a very direct approach to fixing problems. You tell me there is a problem you get to help fix it.

Now the procedure is that on a night that we need to fold laundry we pick a show off the PVR and everyone first pulls out blankets, towels and sheets and those get folded and put away.  The PVR allowing us to pause the show while we putt everything away.  Then every one starts pulling out their own stuff folding it and arranging it into their own pile however they see fit.  My son tends to get one large pile while my daughter sorts everything down to warm socks and not warm socks.  My toddler just giggles, knocks over piles and randomly grabs clothes to disappear who knows where.  The funniest part to me is everyone repeatedly holds up something for my wife and goes “Who’s is this?”  Usually she know but sometimes she has to examine it closely first.

This pile which was probably a dozen loads took us an hour to fold and put away.  It normally doesn’t get this bad and 2-3 loads from the day go very quickly.  Next challenge to teach the kids to do their own laundry…  That might be a little ambitious but worth a try.  They are getting good at the other chores and showing the responsibility need but probably another 6 month before I’ll try teaching them.