What Fresh Hell: Laughing in the Face of Motherhood

a podcast with Margaret Ables and Amy Wilson

Month: July 2017

Episode 21: How Old Is Old Enough?

Every parent has a “how old is old enough to” question about her kids that keeps her biting her fingernails. And as soon as one of those questions is resolved, a new one crops up. This seems to us a parenting challenge that gets harder, not easier, as our kids get older.

So we asked our listeners: what’s the “how old is old enough to…” question you’re currently struggling with at your house? 

In this episode we discuss (and attempt to decide for the rest of eternity) how old is old enough to:

  • walk to school
  • go home alone from school
  • babysit younger siblings
  • ride bikes around neighborhood
  • get a phone (here we both advise what our friend Ann calls the “StarTac 3000 approach”)
  • go on a date

and more.

Our listener Donna says the answer to all of these questions is probably 12, what she views as the “golden age of responsibility.” But she then adds the caveat that her kids are 6 and 7, so that’s a bit hypothetical on her part. Donna, we’re here to tell you: all 12-year-olds are not created equal.

And our Country Mouse and City Mouse lifestyles dictate different answers to these questions, as well. Margaret’s kids walk home from school alone before they’ve lost all their baby teeth; Amy’s kids have to go through puberty first. 

In the end, of course the answer to any of these questions is “it depends,” and there are no right answers for all kids– only *your* kid. But in this episode, we lay out the factors that should and shouldn’t be part of your calculations (what definitely needs to be left out: what judgy moms will think of you).

Some reading on the topic:

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Episode 20: Vacationing with Kids- What to Pack?

 

Rule one of vacationing with kids: don’t vacation with kids.

Oh, your tickets are already purchased? Then you’d better stock up on Ziploc bags. (Take it from a mother who’s needed a few.)

We asked our listeners on our Facebook page for their packing essentials and got dozens of responses. In this episode we dig through them all– and also discuss what might be better off left behind.

Here’s links to a few resources we discuss in the episode:

SeatGuru, for checking your in-flight entertainment options before you get to the airport (although Rule Two of Vacationing with Kids is: Always Have a Backup).

WorkFlowy, for easy packing-list-making. Do it once, keep it forever.

Amazon Video and Netflix apps, both of which offer downloadable content (h/t to The Mom Hour: don’t start downloading fifteen minutes before you leave for the airport!)

Don’t head off for your summer vacation until you listen! Did we forget anything? Let us know in the comments!

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