Gin & Colic

Cathy Arnst

I'm going to advocate for a competitor here. While visiting Yahoo Health, I discovered it carries a number of interesting blogs, including the superb Gin & Colic. It's a funny and wise parenting blog by Christine Mellor, author of a book which I haven't read but want to for the title alone, The Three Martini Playdate (reminds me of a book on child-rearing a friend and I once thought of, titled "More Wine, Less Whine." Problem is, our entire philosophy was summed up in the title).

Here's how Yahoo describes Christie's blog:

Go chill the glasses, it's grown-up time. Christie Mellor, author of The Three-Martini Playdate, takes the preciousness out of parenting and reminds us that as parents, our job is to raise people we will actually want to hang-out with.

Exactly what I've been saying: We're not raising children, we're raising future adults. Adults we would like to hang out with is even better. Check out some of Christie's entries, which are built around the theme that we should take more responsibility for our children--say no more often, set limits, buy less. Here's a taste of what she writes about, an entry called Playing Fair on letting your child lose:

When you play checkers with your child, or a basketball game of "Horse," you must keep yourself from "throwing" every game under the misguided belief that your child will somehow be damaged by losing. By all means, let a child under the age of five win occasionally, in order to keep him interested enough to want to play more. However, if your child has grown considerably older, and you are still trotting out your tired old act, feigning disappointment and surprise every time your child "beats" you at a game, then you have rounded the bend of parental lunacy. Certainly your child must be rather surprised that he has never lost a single game to you. He also must think you are a pathetic opponent; presumably he has started playing real games with real boys and girls, and he can't recall you ever winning one game in all the years you have played together. He beats you at checkers, he beats you at chess, he wallops you at basketball and wiffleball. You are a big fat loser.

While you're at the Yahoo Health site, check out some of its other blogs. There's some excellent tips on child raising in The Pediatrician Is In, by Dr.Robert Needlman, a professor of pediatrics at Case Western Reserve in Cleveland, and Eat Rich, Stay Fit , full of nutritional advice from Cheryl Koch, a dietitian at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center.