Understanding Your Child’s (and Your) Emotions

July 17th, 2014

Understanding Your Child’s (and Your) Emotions

A study guide, glowing review, and slight criticism of Liberated Parents, Liberated Children

This book, “Liberated Parents, Liberated Children” is fantastic and influenced me greatly–as a mom, wife, and person. If I could describe it in one phrase, it is “emotional health”–of your child and you. This is an overview of the highlights, meant to act as a powerful study aid to the book.

The issue I take, mentioned below, is that the authors say they are opposed to a “rational” model of parenting. I attempt to show in this article that empathy and reason *are* compatible. By rejecting “reason,” I argue, there is a certain rigidity to the philosophy presented that doesn’t allow it to be fluidly adopted by its students.

***If you find value in this article, please share!***

Helicopter versus ‘Junkyard’ Parents

July 13th, 2014

Helicopter versus ‘Junkyard’ Parents

“The philosophy underlying junkyard parenting is one of extreme pragmatism. A pragmatic does “what works,” without any idea of why something works. An example, for illustrative purposes, may be someone who tries to get to a destination, not by consulting a map and plotting a route, but by just getting in a car and going, getting lost over and over again, until they finally reach their destination. This “bump around in the environment” philosophy is what the junkyard parent relies on as a teaching tool—no teaching, no coaching, no explaining, just letting a child loose on the world, and letting physical pain be their guide.”

An Open Letter to Lenore Skenazy

May 10th, 2014

I am appreciative of the Free Range Kids blog but I have long suspected that those in the “let kids go out and play in a junk yard camp” are opposed to cognitive development. Here is my Open Letter to Lenore Skenazy

The example you give of how a completely hands off approach to early child development is effective is learning how to speak. “But unleashed from lesson plans, kids are on fire to learn. Need proof? They all learn how to speak! No classes required!” Having recently watched my toddler go through a language explosion, I would argue that not only can stimuli, specifically books, accelerate their language development; it is also very possible for unnecessary speech delays to occur if parents don’t give the proper stimuli to their children.

The Montessori Method: Intellectual Gymnastics

May 10th, 2014

My main article on the research I did about the Montessori Method. It is part of a 3-part series but I am only publishing the first part for now. This research helped me immensely in guiding my son’s learning starting at just 18 months, especially for language comprehension development. My son took an intense interest in picture board books at 18 months. Before I read about the Montessori Method in detail, I, like a lot of people I think, had difficulty keeping his interest. Using the 3 stages of learning presented by Montessori helped me immensely to keep his interest. This method uses no tricks, no complexity, no gregarious story telling–just a simple understanding of how children best learn, and I’ve used it successfully with many children other than my own son. I describe further in this article how the Montessori Method is like “intellectual gymnastics” where difficult skills are broken up into component skills and are practiced in a fun and enjoyable way. I hope you find value in this article, and if you do, please share!

The Montessori Method: Intellectual Gymnastics

The Cognitive Development of an Infant

May 3rd, 2014

The Cognitive Development of an Infant

This body of work (nearly a thesis) follows something I have long wanted to study–the cognitive development of a newborn child. It follows it through the first 2 years. It follows the book Wonder Weeks, which argues children go through 10 “leaps” in cognitive development, each of which is preceded by a growth period where the child is very fussy. I draw from several other books too in order to cross reference their work. I give many examples with pictures of my own son. The first leap starts with the leap of objectivity, at 5 weeks, when the child first recognizes there is an external world to them. It ends at 18 months (the start of the last leap) with the leap of system building.

This truly was a labor of love! The information in this body of work helped me greatly as a parent. I hope you find value in it and if you do, please share!

Can’t you just see his brain working! :-)

A short, straightforward open letter to the Egyptian people on this 4th of July.

July 4th, 2013

A short, straightforward open letter to the Egyptian people on this 4th of July.

Congratulations, Egyptians, on ousting a Dictatorial Leader. Now Set up a Free Government. A Republic, not a Democracy

“If a country is to have freedom, they have to want it. Why? Because freedom isn’t free. Most free countries started after a revolution, kicking tyrants out, and then afterwards put into place a strong, stable government, grounded in a deep knowledge of what rights are, that preserved freedom. This is a tall order, especially for a place like Egypt. If there is to be freedom of speech, any time someone speaks out against Islam—say by drawing a cartoon of Mohammed—the government needs to protect this person’s rights. It requires strong men, with guns, who are on the good and moral side to fight any bad men. If no such men exist, freedom will not prevail.”

Read More

Totalitarianism in Plain Sight

December 23rd, 2012

Politicians won’t let a good tragedy go to waste:

Totalitarianism in Plain Sight

This is how our modern government works: cause trouble, create a tragedy, then blame private individuals. Government created a housing bubble, which burst around 2007, and promptly blamed greedy bankers. Government ordered the military to stand down in Benghazi and an ambassador was killed, and they blamed a private film on Islam. Now, after denying schools the ability to secure themselves and mass shootings continue to occur, they blame gun ownership. It is tyranny in plain sight, which they are using to further their totalitarian policies.

Skip jar food!

November 22nd, 2012

I have become very enthusiastic about “Baby Led Weaning” where jar food is skipped altogether!

Skip Jar Food!

Let your baby eat whole, solid foods by him or herself from the beginning to encourage a taste for a wide variety of foods, a healthy relationship with food, and independence.

On Demand Side Economics Free until Monday

November 10th, 2012

Because economic literacy is so vitally needed, I am again sharing On Demand Side Economics for free until Monday. Please share with family, friends; post on email lists, blogs, facebook!

“The average person works and accumulates savings over 40 years in order to retire. From the time they start to the time they finish, assuming only
2% inflation per year, prices will have risen by 221% (1.02^40). Assuming 3% inflation per year, prices will have risen 326%. So, if you make $50,000 when starting your career, you will have to save over $150,000 to maintain a similar lifestyle for one year only by the time you retire. Literally, we will all need to become millionaires.”

On Demand Side Economics

Why is life SO EXPENSIVE [cont'd]

August 17th, 2012

I am trying to answer the question: “Why is life so expensive?” Figure 12 has an interesting chart. It is the fixed costs of a family comparing 1970 to 2004. Mortgage costs have increased by 166%. Car maintenance by 150%. Taxes? 220 PERCENT! Or, in numbers, per year: Mortgage increased by $4,000; car by $3,000; taxes by $12,000! And daycare, generally unneeded in 1970, adds another $12,000. Numbers already adjusted for inflation.


IMO, these are the reasons for why life is more expensive now: Inflation has gutted wealth and wages, there are more taxes for an average family, and housing and college prices have skyrocketed. I blame monetary policy for the latter. From 1970 – 2010, wages grew by about 25% while fixed costs (mortgage, car, health, childcare, and taxes) grew by 235%. It’s simple: IT’S THE GOVERNMENT, STUPID.