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Mom films her 10-month-old helping with chores to show parents that babies 'are capable'

"It’s so important for their development and they enjoy it!”

Representative image from Canva

Having kids help in chores can really help them out later in life, according to experts.

It’s part of a parent’s job to help kids enjoy being kids while they can. At the same time, it’s extremely beneficial to teach them certain “adult” tasks while they’re still young. This can help them see everything from cleaning to budgeting as a fun, life-affirming activity, rather than a mandatory chore. Which research shows can, in turn, set them up for way more happiness and success once they do reach adulthood.

And that’s why mom and child development expert Sophie Zee is hosting a video of her ten-month-old helping with household chores like laundry and loading the dishwasher. It’s her way of reminding other parents just how capable their young children are.

In the video’s text overlay on her Zee wrote: “POV: you're 10-months-old but your mom is trained in child development, so you already know about basic chores and associate them with playtime and fun, and you enjoy helping out and doing them.”

As we see her toddler’s little hands splashing water in a strainer and pressing buttons on the washing machine, it’s clear that he is just a supervised participant of each chore, getting a visceral experience of it all. At one point he even gets a little creative with a certain task—using a fork to open the dishwasher’s soap dispenser. Problem-solving skills: unlocked!

“Let your baby & kids watch/help with your daily chores. Even if it takes a bit longer or is a bit messier. It’s so important for their development and they enjoy it!” Zee's video caption read.

@schoolpsych.mom Let your baby & kids watch/help with your daily chores. Even if it takes a bit longer or is a bit messier. It’s so important for their development and they enjoy it! #momsoftiktok #parentingtips #babylife #newmomtips #toddlermom ♬ Feel Good - Tundra Beats

Down in the comments, several other parents noted having the same positive experience with their old young kids.

One mom wrote, “My 9 month old loves watching/helping me clean especially when I load/unload the dishwasher! I love making the daily tasks around the house more fun for the two of us.”

Another wrote, “I did this with my 6 adult kiddies. They were helping from the time they were just a few weeks old.”

Others simply gave kudos to Zee for setting her child up for success.

“ECD teacher here too. Best to train them from young 🥰 love it,” one view wrote.

In an interview with Newsweek, Zee explained that she filmed her son doing chores to highlight "their intrinsic motivation to engage and feel part of the family unit,” which may go otherwise underutilized.

"Parents may not realize that children learn extensively by observing and imitating adults. They naturally want to mimic our actions, presenting a perfect opportunity to expose them to life's responsibilities, including self-care and household tasks," she said.

"Sometimes my 10-month-old son engages in various daily tasks and chores around our home. I made that video to demonstrate how even young children, like babies, are capable of participating in everyday activities.”

Still, she noted that forcing kids to participate is “counterproductive,” and suggested that parents instead gently invite them to “join in, observe, and gradually participate.” She also reiterated that while having them join in might make things a little messier at first, the long term effects are well worth it.

"This approach is more beneficial than expecting children to play independently or watch television while parents rush through tasks. Ultimately, embracing this inclusive approach benefits the entire family, offering immediate rewards and long-term positive habits for children's development."

For more helpful child development content, including tips on how to get young ones to participate in chores, follow Zee on TikTok.


Dads are ridiculous. But perhaps, in the world today, there is no dad quite so ridiculous as Rob Lopez:


Photo via Rob Lopez/YouTube.


On a morning not too long ago, Lopez apparently had the following thought: "I'm going to dress up as Darth Vader and wake up my 2-year-old."

Photo via Rob Lopez/YouTube.



Clearly, the correct follow-up thought is, "No. That's silly. Why would I ever wake up a 2-year-old. Like, on purpose."

But not for Rob Lopez. Oh, no.

After suiting up...

GIFs via Rob Lopez/YouTube, unless otherwise noted.

...and receiving the mission critical sign-off from his wife.

He grabbed his lightsaber and gave it a go. The results ... pretty much speak for themselves (fast-forward to 1:05 for the main event).

There are a couple of things about Lopez's son's reaction that we should talk about.

(First, this child is objectively the hardest core human on the face of planet Earth right now.)

He grabs the lightsaber he keeps next to his bed (just in case) and it's game on, Dark Lord of the Sith. Game. On.

Think about how you would feel, as an adult person, in complete control of your faculties, with a firm grasp on the difference between fiction and reality, being aggressively prodded awake by a six-foot-tall man in a full-body Darth Vader mech-suit complete with voice modulator and terrifyingly heavy breathing.

Think about how loud you would scream and the volume of pee you would pee into your pants.

Meanwhile, this toddler — who is probably no more than three feet tall, groggy and vulnerable, with no cognitive ability to discern this is not the real Darth Vader — didn't even think twice about taking him on.

GIF from "Return of the Jedi."

Perhaps the most impressive part? At a mere 2 years of age, he's already learned, perhaps, the single greatest lesson of "Star Wars."

You don't defeat the dark side with mad lightsaber skills (although they are fun to show off).

You defeat it with compassion.

...which, in this kid's case, involves casually grabbing a book and asking Darth Vader to read him a story.

Empathy for Siths — with an assist from curiosity and literacy: That's a lesson we could all use.


This article originally appeared on 05.06.16

Canva

Unique baby names are definitely trendy. But it can backfire.

There’s a fine line between a unique name and one that sets kids up for a lifetime of ridicule.

On the one hand, maybe it shouldn’t matter what other people think, and parents should pick a name that suits their preferences, consequences be damned. On the other hand, their kid might not appreciate that kind of bravery after enduring years of bullying during childhood, followed constant confusion at Starbucks and truly unenviable work emails once they’re adults.

And this chapter of parenting can be a little stressful—even more stressful if neither partner can agree on a name they both like.


This was the case for a husband who absolutely hated a name his wife so eagerly wished to give their unborn son. But rather than follow the popular “one no, two yeses” rule of baby-naming, where both parents must agree on the name chosen for a child, the wife instead went full steam ahead with her idea.

According to the husband’s account on Reddit, here’s what happened:

“Me (25m) and my wife (23f) are having our first child together. She is currently 9 months pregnant and could give birth anytime in the next couple of weeks. The only major fight we have had throughout her pregnancy happened a couple days ago, and it was about what we were going to name our kid.”

AITA for refusing to let my wife name our kid something stupid?
byu/Public-Praline-3691 inAmItheAsshole

“It all started when we found out the gender of the baby,” he continued. “After we found out we were having a boy we sat down together and made a list. Almost all of the names she suggested were normal, until the one that caused me to write this post. She suggested we name our son Mune.”

Mune. Like…dune an “m?” Or like “mun?” “Moon?” “Money?” “Mew-nay?” So many questions.

“She told me the name was from this movie she watched when she was younger and that it always stuck with her,” the husband explained, saying that when he told her it felt a “little out there” and was worried their son might get made fun of.

After a little back and forth, the couple agreed to take the name Mune off the list. Or so the dad-to-be thought.

“Later on in her pregnancy her mom decided to throw a baby shower as it was her first grandchild. It was fine for the most part until we started to open the gifts. Most of them were normal baby things like diapers and bottles, until we got to her mom’s gift. My wife opened the gift bag and pulled out a blue handmade blanket. It seemed normal enough at first until my wife unfolded it and low and behold there was the name Mune written on the blanket,” he wrote.

The man had tried to keep cool until after the party was over. However, when he confronted his wife about it, all hell seemed to break loose.

“She got defensive and told me that it was a good name and that I was overreacting about it,” he concluded. “I brought up the earlier points and told her it was a stupid name for a kid and if she wanted to name something Mune so bad she could use the name for a dog. She got upset and called her mom to come get her. After she left she called me and told me she wouldn’t be coming back for a while. Everyone I’ve talked to about this has said I’m not the asshole, but now that my wife has been gone and I've been thinking about it I feel like I could have handled the situation better.”

Yikes.

parenting, baby names, unique baby names

Parenting is nothing is full of compromises

Canva

While the husband might have regretted his actions, public opinion overwhelmingly sided with him.

One mom wrote, “Naming a baby is a 2 yes or 1 no situation. You do not name a child something your partner does not agree with. You find a compromise. This is the start of many necessary compromises in life and it is a total AH move to unilaterally decide on a child's name despite your partner's misgivings…She is absolutely not mature enough for motherhood if she can not find a reasonable compromise on this.”

Another added “this is a child, not a goldfish. There are consequences and repercussions to choosing a name that is very unusual to begin with.... To go behind the other parent's back and tell a grandparent what the name is going to be, that is unacceptable.”

Others noted how the wife and her mom “pulled a power play,” which “in itself is an a**hole move.” In addition, many pointed out that running away from the conflict (leaving to go to mom’s house) might have not been the best way to handle the situation.

“Leaving so she doesn’t have to face the argument is actually a form of abuse if it happens a lot,” one person commented. “She may just have baby brain and be overreacting due to hormones, but that is red flag behavior of it can’t be dismissed for reasons beyond her control.

baby names, parenting

What's ina name? A lot, apparently.

Canva

And if there’s any doubt as to just how damaging weird name can be, take it from this person:

“My name has prevented me from doing anything that would have my name called out in a crowd of people. Never tried sports. Military was a no go. I don't even want to apply for higher positions at work because I don't want to have meetings in closed rooms where people might call my name.

“…Being forced to grow up with a weird name discouraged me from a lot of things and I began resenting my parents for thinking they were being creative. I had to live with it through grade school and high school. The ridicule didn't end until the damage was already done.”

Raising a kid together is full of making compromises, prioritizing healthy communication, and honoring commitments, none of which are easy 100 percent of the time. But if couples can’t learn how to navigate these issues, then disagreeing on names is the least of their problems. We can all agree that parenting as true partners means men often need to step up their games. But it takes two for parenting to truly flourish and that includes respect your partner and making choices that are good for the entire family. Together.


This article originally appeared on 10.19.23

Family

Dads being protective of their daughters isn't always a bad thing. Here's why.

Threats and violence are never OK, but I reserve my right to be skeptical and, well, even kind of a jerk.

There's this one little boy in my daughter's day care class. I like to joke that I don't trust him.

He's every dad's worst nightmare. Tall (you know, for an infant), dark, and handsome. He's the oldest boy in class, and he can walk already. That makes him hot shit, and he knows it.


One day an email popped up in my inbox — all the parents get photos of their kids throughout the day: a blurry crawling pic here, a funny naptime shot there — but this one showed my daughter and this little Lothario holding hands. Holding hands!

The jokes were almost too easy. "Time for me and him to have a little talk," and "He better keep those hands to himself!"

As a progressive dad, I'm on board with the whole "Newsflash, it's 2016! Women are making their own decisions about their own bodies. And polishing your shotgun on the front porch when her prom date pulls up is, um, problematic" thing.

That's why it's so easy to make those kinds of jokes. In fact, the "overprotective dad" has been subject to a lot of ridicule lately.

But there I was looking at that photo, and for the first time, I felt "it" — a little twinge of terror. That desire to shelter and protect my daughter and not let anyone with remotely suspect intentions near her ever, ever, ever.

Which left me wondering: Does being a progressive dad mean I'm not allowed to be protective of my daughter anymore?

That I have to somehow pretend she won't face unique dangers and challenges that boys her age probably never will? That I have to treat her exactly the same way I would if she were my son, instead?

I don't think it does.

First, let me just say: When it comes to rape culture, our main goal should be, you know, fixing it. Not sheltering women.

We need to teach men to understand and respect consent. We need to stop objectifying and reducing women to their sexuality. And as men, we need to set a better example for the next generation.

I'm going to do my damnedest to work toward those goals.

But I'm also reserving the right to play the role of protective dad. Here's why:

1. It's not always about ownership.

I get where this concern comes from, I really do. In a world of purity balls and "virginity certificates," the dad-daughter relationship has definitely crossed the line from protective to creepy way too many times in our culture.

But personally, I can't relate to that notion at all right now. I'm still wiping poop off of my daughter's butt multiple times a day. Ownership over her sexuality isn't exactly at the top of my mind.

Wanting to protect doesn't have to be about control. It doesn't have to be about sex. For me, it's just about trying to make sure my daughter is safe, healthy, and happy.

And it turns out, there are plenty of good reasons for us to be as protective as we are.

2. Because the world is more dangerous for women than it is for men. That's a fact.

This is just the sad, awful truth.

About 1 in 5 women, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will experience rape or attempted rape in their lifetime, and 1 in 20 will face other kinds of sexual violence.

According to RAINN, almost half of those women will be under 18 when it happens.

And finally, 4 out of 5 assaults are committed by someone the victim knows.

When I see stats like these, I realize there's a pretty good chance that someone in my daughter's life will try to hurt her one day, probably while she's still living in our home. I'll probably have met this person. I'll probably have shook their hand.

That thought absolutely terrifies me.

Artist Mike Dawson has a simple approach when it comes to this stuff: "I don't make the rules. You don't make the rules. She makes the rules. Her body, her rules."

I love the sound of that. But a lot of men and boys out there aren't playing by the rules. And they're getting away with it.

That makes me mad. It makes me afraid. I feel like I have to do something about it.

The biggest part of that is raising her to be strong, to make good decisions, to be a good judge of character, and most importantly, to know that it's not her fault if someone crosses the line.

But it might also mean giving a firm handshake and a sideways glance to her dates. It might mean carrying a gruff standoffishness or a thick veil of skepticism.

OK, so I'm not going to be "polishing my shotgun" when her prom date shows up. But being kind of a jerk until that person earns my trust?Totally possible.

3. It's coming from a place of love.

Ultimately, what I'm saying is that us dads — all parents, really — are just out here doing our best.

Raising kids is hard. Good lord, is it ever hard. My wife and I are not sleeping well. We're usually covered in spit up, poop, pee, or all three. And we haven't even entered the wonderful world of bullies, behavior issues, puberty, and whatever else lies ahead.

Right now, it's really hard to think about the long term. Right now, we just want to do what we can to keep her safe.

Sometimes we'll probably do too much. Other times we might not do enough. But we've got to try.

I know there's a right and wrong way to be protective.

Not trusting or allowing our daughter to make her own decisions would be wrong. But not letting her walk home by herself at night, while it might feel unfair, might just be the kind of exception that makes a difference.

Threatening another person, even a smarmy teenage boy, with bodily harm, is never OK. But showing them that I'm involved in my daughter's life, actively concerned about her well-being, and making it clear that I'm not going to put up with her being mistreated? Absolutely.

I'm not saying I know exactly where that line is, but I'm going to try to figure it out.

In the meantime, I guess I can handle occasionally being hated by my daughter when she thinks I'm being an overbearing pain in the ass. But if anything ever happened to her because I trusted the world around her too much?

I'd never forgive myself.

Oh, and as for that boy in day care?

We're going to have to have a few words. You know, as soon as he learns to talk.


This article was written by Evan Handler and originally appeared on 01.05.16