Suicide Instructions Embedded Into Kids’ YouTube Video

Beth Mole writes Ars Technica:

Four minutes and forty-five seconds into a video, the cartoon cut away to a clip of a man, who many readers have pointed out resembles Internet personality Joji (formerly Filthy Frank). He walks onto the screen and simulates cutting his wrist. “Remember, kids, sideways for attention, longways for results,” he says and then walks off screen. The video then quickly flips back to the cartoon.

We must keep our eyes on what our kids watch or simply take the iPad away and play outside.

Nội và Ngoại

Thằng con thắc mắc tại sao grandma chữ Việt lại có bà nội và bà ngoại? Tại chữ Việt mình phong phú thay vì phải nói mẹ của mẹ (mother’s mother) thì gọi là bà ngoại hoặc mẹ của ba (father’s mother) thì gọi là bà nội. Như thế dễ phân biệt.

Nó hỏi tiếp, vậy nội và ngoại nghĩa là gì? Từ nhỏ đến bây giờ tôi không để ý nhưng cũng trả lời theo dự đoán của mình. Nội là bên trong (inside) còn ngoại là bên ngoài (outside). Truyền thống của mình thường thì mẹ phải về ở nhà chồng làm dâu. Các cháu ở chung với mẹ của ba nên gọi là bà nội. Còn mẹ của mẹ ở riêng nên gọi là bà ngoại. Tôi cũng chả biết giả thích như thế có đúng không.

Nó lại hỏi tiếp, vậy mẹ của mẹ đang ở chung với chúng ta thì phải gọi là bà nội chứ? Ừ ha, cũng có lý. Thôi thì gọi grandma đi cho chắc ăn.

Authoritative vs. Authoritarian Parent

Pamela Druckerman writes in The New York Times:

In the “Hidden Tribes” survey published last year by the nonprofit group More in Common, respondents who valued self-reliance in children more than obedience, and creativity over good behavior — staples of both authoritative and permissive parents — were more likely to have voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016. Those with more authoritarian views on parenting were more likely to have voted for Donald Trump.

An authoritarian parent voted for an authoritarian president? That makes perfect sense.

Embracing Boredom

Pamela Paul opines in The New York Times:

Of course, it’s not really the boredom itself that’s important; it’s what we do with it. When you reach your breaking point, boredom teaches you to respond constructively, to make something happen for yourself. But unless we are faced with a steady diet of stultifying boredom, we never learn how.

When Đạo and Đán weren’t allowed to watch TV or play on iPads, they complained that they were bored. My response has been, “Bored is good. Find something you like to do.” They would go and build their imaginative world in Lego, do some sketching, and read a book. It’s good to be bored.

Ms. Paul goes on:

But surely teaching children to endure boredom rather than ratcheting up the entertainment will prepare them for a more realistic future, one that doesn’t raise false expectations of what work or life itself actually entails. One day, even in a job they otherwise love, our kids may have to spend an entire day answering Friday’s leftover email. They may have to check spreadsheets. Or assist robots at a vast internet-ready warehouse.

I was bored when I was a kid, but I didn’t appreciate it. Now I wish I have all the time in the world to be bored again.

My Second Child’s Behavioral Issue

Đán still drives everyone nuts. He snatches toys from Xuân. Despite the little fellow screaming, he wouldn’t give it back until I intervened. He plays rough with Đạo and chases him with a toy fishing rod. Even though he wouldn’t hit him with it, he scares the crap out of the older brother. He ignores his mom’s and grandma’s words, which outraged them. What irritates me the most is the classless things come out of his mouth, like “you eat diarrhea.”

A couple of days ago, Đán and Đạo were arguing. Đạo got mad and told him that his friend’s mom does not want Đán to come over for playdates anymore because Đán is “inappropriate.” I could see the sadness on Đán’s face because he loves hanging with Đạo and his friend. Last week when I came to pick them up at the friend’s house, his mom invited me for coffee. We talked and I asked her how they were behaving and she told me they were great. She even told me that because her son is the only child he loves to play with Đán and Đạo like brothers. Then again kids do not know how to lie. Even though I know how Đán could be really annoying, I felt bad for him. I took him to Popeyes for his favorite popcorn shrimp. He was happy again.

I don’t know what to do with his behavior other than constantly reminding him. Sometimes I feel so frustrated and irritated, I just give him the silent treatment until I could calm myself down. Maybe he’s the second child and just wanted attention. He has changed so much in the past two years. He was so caring and charming. I just hope this stage will pass soon.

How to Get Preschoolers to Share

Malia Wollan shares some tips on teaching kids to share:

For better or worse, children are watching you for cues on how to behave among human groups. Let them see you be bighearted. Find ways to embody generosity. Donating money is great, but with very young children, it doesn’t really count as teachable, imitable behavior unless you’re collecting it in a jar and carrying it with your child down to the homeless shelter.


Đán’s Reading Progress

Last night Đán reached page 100 in Let’s Read. He is finally getting the hang of sounding out the letters and recognizing the words. He reads a bit faster and he feels more confidence. I took the book with us on our vacation and he read five to six pages each day with me.

In retrospect, I was a bit too hard on him. I was anxious, frustrated, and impatience. I thought he had a problem with reading based on what I had experienced with Đạo. I expected too much from him. I thought we were not going revisit Let’s Read because he seemed to hate it, but it still turns out to be a great book for learning to read.

I don’t remember how far Đạo had read, but we stopped because he could read on his own. Đán is not a bookworm; therefore, I will continue to read with him until he can read on his own.

I am very happy with the progress he has made. I should have been more patience with him. I feel guilty and proud at the same time.

My Boys

On Friday, January 4, 2019, Vương laughed out loud for the first time. He was so cute. I am so glad and bless to see that is happy and healthy. He put on a smile every time we talked to him. All of his older brothers love him. Đán always wanted to hold his baby brother.

It is so nice to have four kids even though things could get chaotic at times. Too much energy. Too much screaming. Too much playing. Đán gives us headache the most. He has changed so much. He constantly does things that irritate everyone. I am hoping this stage will pass soon. Because when he is not misbehaved, he is such a lovely kid.

Đạo has his issues too, but he listens better. He is helping out whenever I ask him too. For the most part, he is doing great.

Xuân is going through his terrible-three phrase a bit early. The other day, I asked him to move from the edge of the bed to center of the bed, he replied to me, “Daddy, you don’t tell me what to do.” He uses his words eloquently for a a two-year-old. He already argues with his older brothers using words they said to him. He drives them nuts.

Xuân clings on too much a lot these days. He holds me and gives me kisses all the time. Every time he makes me mad, he would ask, “Are you happy?” Of course, I am very happy inside, but I just don’t want him to know. I love this charming kid.

Reading with Xuân

Dad: Congratulations! Today is your…
Xuân: day.
Dad: You’re off to Great Places! You’re off and…
Xuân: away!
Dad: You have brains in your…
Xuân: shoes.

I’ve always learned something new every time I read with my kids.

Fostering Empathy

Jane E. Brody provides some good tips on “How to Foster Empathy in Children:”

Equally important is for parents to demonstrate empathy with their own children by acknowledging their concerns and feelings and recognizing their need for security. For example, she said, “When a child is fearful of a dog, instead of saying ‘Don’t be afraid, he won’t bite you,’ say ‘Are you scared of the dog? What scares you?’ This validates the child’s fears rather than negating them.”

At the same time, Dr. Riess said, parents should not overreact by being intolerant of “a single second of unhappiness in their child’s life” lest such misguided empathy deprive the child of developing the grit, perseverance and resilience that is essential to a successful life.

Parents can talk to their children about other people’s feelings. If a child breaks another child’s toy, Dr. Riess suggests that instead of saying “‘Why did you do that? That was bad,’ say ‘Sara is sad because you broke her toy. What can we do to make up for that?’ which leaves the door open for an apology.”

Also helpful is to “validate your child’s difficult emotions instead of being judgmental,” she said. “If the child says ‘I hate Tommy,’ rather than say it’s wrong to hate, ask what makes the child feel that way. Explore what’s behind the feelings, the back story.”

For very young children, stuffed animals or puppets can be used to help them act out different stories, Dr. Riess suggested.