It's Square to be a Hipster Parent

I've been trying to stay out of the whole hipster parent smorgasblog, hoping it will just go away, but since David Brooks brought it up in his NYTimes editorial today - and my kids are asleep - I guess I'm going to enter the fray.

Needless to say there has been a lot written on this subject already, some of it smart, some of it entertaining, none of it really getting to the heart of the matter. From Neal Pollack's Alternadad, articles in TIME and New York Magazine to today's New York Times editorial, all of it seems to focus on whether it is OK to raise your kids like little mini-me hipsters or not.

So far I haven't heard anyone say anything about what is the true issue at hand - Hey, alterna-parents, you're not cool. And, yes, since I'm a native New Yorker I do feel qualified to judge you on this - that's why you're raising your kids here too.

Shopping for Schools in NYC

An article in the New York Times discusses the school choice process parents face for their children in NYC. In a city where education is such an important issue for families, parents and kids are stressing out over it earlier and earlier. The article questions whether educational choices give more options or whether "school shopping" just makes it harder for families.

Mommy Poppins was interviewed for the article and I will share excerpts of the interview with you. I hope it provides some useful information on the school process and the education choices for kids in NYC. Here's Mommy Poppins' experience:

GO TO SLEEP!

("Mom." "MOM." [walk over, open door.] what. "Do x-rays give you skin cancer?" no "I thought they were bad for you." well kind of, the old kind, but let's not talk about it now, go to sleep. "How are they bad for you?" i don't know. "No really, tell me, how are they bad for you." no really, I don't know. "If you don't tell me I"ll just lie here imagining how they might be bad for you." and so on....)

Don't Tell Your Kids They're Smart

Telling kids that they are smart will make them dumb. That's the gist of New York Magazine's cover story, Praise is Dangerous. It's actually a pretty interesting topic for parents on several different levels.

1) There's the modern parenting culture of making our kids into "praise junkies" by just praising them constantly to try to inflate their self-esteem.

2) There's the issue that what parents are really trying to do when we do this is to stroke our own egos.

Road Rage

Whoever said, "the journey is the reward" has never traveled through holiday traffic with a car full of kids alternately puking and whining about how bored they are.

If you're planning on traveling with kids anywhere for President's Weekend or Mid-Winter Break, I suggest preparing for a family trip as if you are going into battle. And you should always head out for war well-armed - and no chintzy government-issue armor here, I'm talking about the good stuff - like what cops get.

That's where momsminivan.com comes in. It's a homespun site written by Laurel Smith, self-made traveling-in-the-car-with-kids guru. The site has games and activities for babies, toddlers and kids. There are games you can print out, including travel bingo sheets. The site is so chock-full of kid travel ideas you might actually make it to Aunt Sadie's without hearing a single, "I'm bored!" But if just seeing that someone is so organized it makes you sick, there's even a list of car sickness prevention tips - she really does have it all covered.

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