Sunday, January 30, 2011

Powerless To Resist The Princesses

Journalist Peggy Orenstein's latest book, CINDERELLA ATE MY DAUGHTER, was prompted by her own daughter Daisy's infatuation with everything Princess, brought on almost immediately upon Daisy's beginning preschool. According to Orenstein, who is interviewed in this Sunday's Los Angeles Times, after a week of preschool, Daisy "had as if by osmosis learned all the names and gown colors of the Disney princesses, and that is all she could talk about."  By age three or four, Daisy's peers had already been reached by the Disney Princess marketing machine, which ten years ago began marketing Princesses together who'd never been marketed apart from their individual movies.

Just yesterday, Late Blooming Mom's daughter attended a play date at which one of the main activities was dressing up as, you guessed it, Disney Princesses.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Dear Tiger Mom: I Don't Need Parenting Advice From The Wall Street Journal

Unless you've been in a media blackout -- which is something that can actually happen to moms who are too busy cooking, cleaning, feeding, bathing, and clothing their kids while trying not to neglect their husbands, and maybe working full-time too -- you probably know all about the Tiger Mom.  But in case you don't, here's a quick refresher:  Amy Chua is a Yale law professor whose parenting memoir, The Battle Hymn Of The Tiger Mother, was recently excerpted in the Wall Street Journal.  It's caused a bit of a dust-up over parenting methods, at least in the print and online media, with subsequent articles about the book appearing in The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times, and it was even mocked satirically in the Huffington Post. 

The controversy it's generated seems to focus mostly on Chua's strict parenting of her tween-age girls, e.g., she didn't allow them playdates or sleepovers, they couldn't participate in school plays, they had to get straight As.  In one instance, her elder daughter was forced to perfect a challenging piano piece while her mom threatened to take her dollhouse to the Salvation Army, and then Chua deprived the girl of dinner and even bathroom breaks.

Monday, January 10, 2011

A Three-Week Winter Break? Really, LAUSD?

We have -- just barely -- survived the three-week winter break that is mandatory in the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Dear LAUSD school board, what are you thinking?   A three-week winter break?  REALLY?

My friends with kids in other school districts gasp in amazement.  Not one of them can believe it when they hear about it.

Taking kids out of their routine and plunging them into the hands of their exhausted working parents, NOT ONE OF WHOM HAS THREE WEEKS OFF over Christmas, is friggin' nuts.

Here's what happened around here.  Late Blooming Mom and Dad enrolled our kids in winter break camp, which while not outrageously expensive, is still an added strain on the family budget.  Winter camp was held the week before Christmas at a school that's not far, but still isn't our home school, necessitating our kindergarteners getting used to a new campus ("Where's the bathroom, mommy?").  Luckily, our workplaces were closed Christmas Eve day and New Year's Eve day, so we didn't have to pay for childcare on those days.  But there was no camp the week between Christmas and New Year's.  What, exactly, are working parents supposed to do?