Tuesday, April 28, 2015

I’m Cautiously Optimistic About DC Super Hero Girls

Last week DC Entertainment and Warner Brothers announced that this fall they would be releasing "DC Super Hero Girls.” Per the press release, the program “centers on the female Super Heroes and Super-Villains of the DC Comics universe during their formative years—prior to discovering their full super power potential.” So, super hero girls in high school. This stirs up some reservations for me, but for the most part I am really excited. I’ll write more on my reservations later, but first here’s why I am excited.

I grew up a Marvel Kid. The X-Men cartoon on Saturday Mornings was my entrance into comic books. Before that my only exposure to comics were the Archie Comics my mom would buy me while checking out at the grocery store. Soon after finding the cartoon, I was riding my bike to my local comic shop every weekend and combing through back issues of Wolverine and Uncanny X-men for hours. I literally slept under a blanket of comics. As a parent, I still love comics. I don’t read nearly as much as I used to, but I still love the super hero universes I grew up with. I want my kids to get to experience comics too.

Continue reading at Lifetime Moms

Sunday, April 26, 2015

It Was Raining Outside, So We Built a Terrarium

Hi everyone! Stevie here. It's been kind of a gloomy weekend out. I shouldn't complain, Utah could definitely use the rain, but that's hard to explain to a four-year-old that just wants to go outside to work on her garden. Luckily, I just learned a fun new activity at my monthly "wine and something else club" with my lady friends this week. Terrariums! (It's a fun word to yell). Try it. TERRARIUMS! OK, maybe more fun to yell with wine, but this is the kid-friendly version. Still fun. Less wine.

So yeah, yesterday Duchess was bummed that we couldn't go outside and play because it was raining, so we decided to make our own outside, inside. Our own little world in a jar. The best part is, when done right, these can be self-sustaining eco-systems. You water it, the water condensates, then rains again. Science! TERRARIUMS!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

We Don’t Hit

This week Huffington Post ran an older post of mine about a fit that Duchess threw in the parking lot of her daycare. For the most part it was well received. The post was actually a year old when they ran it, and it was incredibly interesting to read the comments, most which fairly assumed the fit was recent. From my experience the first time I ran the post about the fit, I knew that some commenters would remark that I should have immediately spanked my daughter. What was new this time around was the extent to which they suggested it. Some even suggested that I should have spanked her so hard that she “couldn't walk for a week,” which I am fairly sure is illegal in every state.

A lot of folks told me that by not immediately hitting my daughter I was sending her down a bad path in life. One even said she would end up exactly like alt-rock singer, Courtney Love. Now leaving aside the fact that Love is a pretty talented and successful woman in spite of her struggles with addiction, I really don’t think that not hitting my child is going to set them on the path of becoming a drug-addicted musician. Now if I bought her an electric guitar and some heroin, that could be trouble.

But like I said. the post was a year old, and I was afforded the unique perspective of reading the comments while knowing this: my daughter hasn't hit her mom or I or anyone else (that I am aware of) since that incident. Sure, she had some struggles before that. I documented them well, which, if we are being honest, is much more likely to lead her down the path of female garage-rock-band lead singer than any ass-beatings I have failed to provide.

Here’s the thing. I've said this before and I will say it again. And again. And again… just like I do with my toddlers. We don’t hit.

Sure, we want to at times. And sure, it is probably effective. If I had taken my daughter and hit her hard enough to scare the daylights out of her the first time she slapped me or her mom, perhaps that would have immediately curbed that behavior and the daycare fit would have been prevented. But what folks don’t seem to understand, perhaps because I haven’t explained it well enough, is that curbing the behavior has always been a secondary or even tertiary goal to Stevie and I. Helping our children become emotionally healthy, teaching them to understand their emotions and be able to cope with them, those have always been our primary goals. We believe… we hope... that good behavior will come from teaching our kids empathy, not out of the fear of consequences for bad behavior.

It doesn’t always work right away, but seeing how my daughter behaves now and how she behaved then, makes me think that perhaps we are on the right track. Because now, when Captain whacks Duchess upside the head, you know what? She doesn't hit back. She looks at him and says. “We don’t hit, Captain.” Then he whacks her again and laughs. OK fine, It’s a slow process, but it is a process we believe in. It is what is right for our family.

Of course, as always, I could be totally wrong. We’re just winging this shit and pretending to know the answers. Maybe I’ll hold off buying her those toddler guitar lessons for now.

Thanks again for reading. I truly appreciate all of your feedback, even when you tell me I’m wrong. And if you spank your kids I don’t think you are horrible or that I am a better parent than you. We’re all finding our own way. Spanking is just not for us. Please come say hello on Facebook and Twitter!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Girls Who Sing

I play a lot of music in the car with my kids. Duchess and I sing as loud as we can and Captain joins in with random words here and there. It is quite cute, or it is ridiculous looking depending on your perspective. Regardless, we love music, which is why I was so surprised when Duchess pointed out an obvious blind spot in my music catalogue the other day.

"Dad, do you have any girls singing songs?"

"Sure! I have... uhm."

I started skipping through our current mix. Jack Johnson. Xavier Rudd. Third Eye Blind. Dave Mathews Band... hold on. How did Dave Mathews Band get on there? Nevermind. Ben Folds. Glen Hansard.

I kept hitting forward and not a single female artist came up. Honestly, I was embarrassed. I love plenty of female recording artists, but I guess when I am making a music mix I am inadvertently sexist. I needed to fix this ASAP. As soon as I got home I hopped over to the Ask Your Dad Facebook Page and asked my internet friends to make some suggestions.

Ok, quick question. While listening to music with Duchess the other day, she asked me "Dad, do you have any girl...
Posted by Ask Your Dad Blog on Wednesday, April 8, 2015

And holy moly! What a response it got. I got hundreds of comments with hundreds and hundreds of suggestions. I have enough amazing suggestions to make a thousand playlists for Duchess. In fact, my good buddy Jeff Bogle who writes Out With the Kids actually took the time to make me a playlist. Jeff reviews Kindie Music on his blog and even has a monthly podcast! You should really check out his page and please tell him I say hello!

Here is the playlist Jeff built for Duchess. It was really such a sweet thing for him to do. Give it a listen with your kids. All the songs are all kid-friendly and adult approved!

Who would you suggest we add? Leave your suggestion in the comments, or on the Facebook post above, or just yell it really really loud!

P.S. Since we're talking about female singers, I just have to share a video of my favorite female singer in the whole world. This is a little old, but it will never get old to me!

Duchess: Daddy, can we show them the snowman song now?
Posted by Ask Your Dad Blog on Tuesday, March 11, 2014

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