Meghan Moravcik Walbert
megwalbert
Meghan is Lifehacker's Parenting Editor. She is a former newspaper journalist and author of the Foster Parent Diary Series for the New York Times.
1/24/20
3:27 PM
2

Just at the toddler phase? Heck, I feel the same way about those hand dryers NOW. 

and 1 more
1/24/20
3:19 PM
2

My wife and I did baby sign language with our two sons. When people here this, they always express worries about it affecting their verbalization. My two sons cannot STOP talking. It just helps them communicate sooner. No one thinks pointing would affect verbalizing. Baby sign language is like targetted pointing for a Read more

1/24/20
2:28 PM
1

There are pros all over that will offer sign classes for you. We had a good friend start a signing class for this purpose. A very great cause that’ll pay dividends :).

1/24/20
10:43 AM
3

We did it when our 3 year old was 6-7 months and it didn’t affect his ability to speak. I think it helps. I saw a documentary somewhere on how kids can learn/understand sign language when they’re toddlers and then recall conversations when they are able to speak. Especially if one of the parents is deaf and signs Read more

1/24/20
10:40 AM
2

I was skeptical at first, but both my Mom and our babysitter taught our 3 year old the signs for “no”, “more”, and “eat” when he was around 6 or 7 months. It made our lives so much easier because that kid can eat! Even now he sometimes will instinctually sign for “more” and say it out loud when he wants more to eat.

1/24/20
10:28 AM
1

I fully agree with this. We taught our (now 5 year old) twins “please,” “more,” and “thank you,” among others when they were babies. It helps before they’re able to verbalize, as you said, but it also starts the habit of being polite early.

1/23/20
4:39 PM
1

Just did this at work, and got a nice picture of an eagle over my co-worker’s head. Yay fun!

1/23/20
2:48 PM
3

I remember when I (as a single mom) realized I could delegate to the kid... and it’s good for her growth too! I’m pretty sure there are at least 10 Lifehacker articles about it. ;) I cannot tell you the joy I felt when I told my preteen that it was her job to not just take out the trash, but to notice when the trash Read more

1/23/20
12:44 PM
6

That works until the first time you forget your moms birthday, or she doesn’t get a card or at least a call. You will back pedal on this so fast at that point.

1/23/20
7:24 AM
3

I am the distant Aunt who lives 3 states away. I like getting something when a gift arrives. Doesn’t have to be a paper note, just a text or quick video chat. Read more

1/22/20
8:14 PM
2

My sister sends me videos of my nephew enjoying his presents, which I enjoy a lot better, because I get to actually see him happy rather than knowing that he was miserable being made to write a note.

1/22/20
6:58 PM
6

I definitely make sure my son writes and mails (no texts!) thank you notes for EVERY present, including from peer-group parties. He’s 12 and still doesn’t really love doing it, but he doesn’t resist either.

Does anyone else that we know do this? I don’t think so. Norms are changing and I’m okay with that, but I think Read more

1/22/20
6:57 PM
4

If you give a gift and expect anything back, you should not have given the gift. My family enforced the thank you note for EVERYTHING rule with me and now as an adult - I refuse. An in-person thank you, a phone call, or even a text is more than sufficient in my book. I once had an aunt tell me that my voicemail Read more

1/22/20
6:09 PM
4

Mixed bag for us. A photo or video saying thanks from her friends or to her friends (we always say no gifts for her birthday party which most people follow) I think is fine. Thank you notes (with help from Mom) or she draws a picture to older relatives or grands or for big gifts. Read more

1/22/20
5:26 PM
6

I’ve never bothered with them. I’ve only even gotten them a few times in my life, and thought those people were weird for doing so.
Read more

1/15/20
6:29 PM
3

It’s weird reading this as a guy who is 42 and has social anxiety ever since starting school. I was born hearing impaired and I’m no where near deaf but high pitch voices such as kids and female teachers are very difficult to understand even with hearing aids(esp in the 80's and early 90's). I’m also smarter than Read more

1/15/20
1:29 PM
3

Our eleven year old sixth grader got a phone this year...well, what she really got was a my husband’s old cellular Apple watch, tied to my old iPhone when we both upgraded. She has only the watch, and I keep the phone. We can communicate this way, but the apps and messages on the phone are completely accessible to me Read more

1/15/20
10:53 AM
7

As a parent of a child who’s almost 10, and one I would put on the higher end of being incredibly responsible for about 95% of the time for his age, we are going to get him a flip phone for his independence. Several reasons: Read more