all entries with the category

Babysitters & nannies

Mom wonders about son's gender identity

Posted by Barbara F. Meltz October 10, 2012 06:00 AM

I read your article about boys who have strong preference playing with girls, but my question goes further, my 6yo is also interested in playing only with girls and quiet play, this less concerns me, what bothers me is that he always says he wants to be a girl and wished he had a magic wand to change his body parts to a girl, this has been since he was very little and hasn't changed, he also says he wished he could put lipstick and eyeshadow, he never tried to dress up as a girl and he does like some boys things, not many though. Should I be concerned that he might be a transgender? or could this be just a phase?

From: Worried Mom, West Hartford, CT


Need help with picky eaters? The French get it right

Posted by Barbara F. Meltz September 25, 2012 06:00 AM

[Ed note: the answer addresses these two similar questions]

1. In case you do any follow-up from your article in 2009, Her 4-year-old won't eat, I would want to know if having an alternative in the refrigerator defeats the whole purpose. I can't imagine my son trying something new if he knows something he likes or somewhat likes is available instead. He's stubborn to the nth degree. If he's hungry at meal time he'll make up for it at another meal or snack. If it's at night, he'll wait until breakfast. Even though he won't be happy. Nothing I read seems to work. :-(
Also, can't the child just fill up on the one food s/he likes? Or do you give a limited amount of the one food? That's what I see my son do at times.

From: Terri, Chicago.

2. My daughter is 6 months old. We've been feeding her stage one foods since she was 4 months, when she showed all the signs of being interested in food. But she seems to have regressed in the past week, pushing her food out with her tongue and generally being stubborn about eating. Is this typical behavior, and will she go back to loving to eat soon?

From: Patricia, Framingham, MA


Is this potty-training question a red flag about the caregiver?

Posted by Barbara F. Meltz September 20, 2012 06:00 AM

In response to your question and answer about "potty trained at daycare but not at home"... My little guy seems to be the same way. He will be 3 in two weeks and my sitter says he has been willing and able to use the big potty and wear underwear at her house. With my husband and I, however, the talk of underwear and the potty brings tears and seemed tress[ful] so we haven't pushed it and have really backed off. My sitter doesn't really seem to agree with this- she now also wants to stop since she claims I am confusing him. I had originality thought she could keep it up at her house and told her so as long as there were no tears and stress since my husband and I aren't comfortable with that. What do you think? Lay off at daycare as well and hope that training at home will come? Or keep it up at daycare and maybe this will help it happen at home too? Thanks so much for your help!!!

From: Catherine, Troy, MI


About the author

Barbara F. Meltz is a freelance writer, parenting consultant, and author of "Put Yourself in Their Shoes: Understanding How Your Children See the World." She won several awards for her weekly "Child Caring" column in the Globe, including the 2008 American Psychological Association Print Excellence award. Barbara is available as a speaker for parent groups.

Submit a question for Barbara's Mailbag

Ask Barbara a question

Barbara answers questions on a wide range of topics, including autism, breastfeeding, bullying, discipline, divorce, kindergarten, potty training, sleep, tantrums, and much, much more.

Send your questions to her at:
meltzbarbara (at)
Please include your name and hometown.

Child in Mind

All parenting discussions

High needs/fussy baby

memes98 writes "My 10.5 month old DS has been fussy ever since he was born, but I am getting very frustrated because I thought he would be much better by now...has anyone else been through this?"

More community voices

Child in Mind

Corner Kicks

Dirty Old Boston

Mortal Matters

On Deck

TEDx Beacon Street

RSS feed

click here to subscribe to
Child Caring