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You're in the home stretch. Dinner is done. Toys have been tidied. PJs are on. You have storybooks in hand, and there is just one more thing to do. "Time to brush your teeth," you tell your 5-year-old, who looks at you and yells, "NO!" then runs in the opposite direction.

You wonder why you are surprised since this happens most nights. You could pull them out from under the bed where you know they are hiding, and bring them kicking and screaming to the bathroom (reminding them how they need to brush their teeth to avoid cavities). You could give in and tell them their teeth have to be done tomorrow (and face the same argument all over again then.) You could offer a barter. An extra book and a song in return for compliance. However, you know they will string out negotiations and your frustration will hit new levels.

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But bribes, rewards and forcing a child do not work long-term.

When children resist doing things that need to be done, our options can feel limited. And none of the above strategies prove useful for long. Forcing a child to do something feels harsh and diminishes trust. Giving in shows a child that when they go off-track, you cave in, and puts them in a position of too much authority for their young years. And bartering and rewards have been shown to reduce children's intrinsic motivation; in addition, they continue the struggle between you.

When a child refuses to do what you ask, there are hidden reasons. Our kids don't deliberately say no just to push our buttons. When they do say no, it's because their feelings and emotions have overwhelmed their ability to think and cooperate. Saying "No!" is a signal that your attention on the subject is needed. The options above are temporary solutions based on wielding power over an already anxious child, or on giving up forging a healthy solution that pleases both of you.

Here's an approach that fosters trust, partnership and co-regulation. It involves discovering a supportive way to work with your child to dissolve the feelings driving their resistance, until they're happy to be part of the solution.

With some forward planning, your child will soon feel able to do more of the things you ask. You can think of it as the Seven C's For Holding An Expectation.

  1. Continuing process: When setting limits, adopt a long-term view
  2. Choose: Decide which request you want to work on
  3. Cultivate: Lay the groundwork with both yourself and your child
  4. Communicate/consent: Set the expectations limit when things are calm
  5. Confidence: Hold the expectation
  6. Calm: Calm and helpful responses to use when your child says no
  7. Care: Respond with listening and care when your child says no

1. Continuing process: Adopt a long-term view

We often think of limit-setting as something that has to happen quickly, when we ask and without delay. And we seek quick fixes when we don't get immediate obedience. In this fresh approach, it's important to see limit-setting as an ongoing project. We will be working not on the resistance itself, but the cause of the resistance. This requires a longer-term view, but will bring lasting transformation.

2. Choose: Decide which request you want to work on

If your child resists waking up, eating breakfast, going to school, picking up their belongings and going to sleep, it can be hard to know where to start. And it's tempting to want to work on everything at once, but don't! Pick one issue, and focus there.

Decide which limit is most important to you, and why, then find a good time to approach the subject when things are calm (and before you need it done).

3. Cultivate: Lay the groundwork

Approach the resistance from both sides.

Groundwork with your child: When we are getting along well with someone else, we are more trusting and able to answer to their requests, and so before holding an expectation you want to make sure you are feeling in touch, open, and close to your child. There are a few good ways to build this closeness.

Sharing time doing the things your child chooses, laughing often, and playing together are all helpful ways to build that connection. Using Hand in Hand Parenting's Playlistening and Special Time tools naturally builds opportunities to interact in a way that fosters closeness each day.

Special Time: An invitation to play in which you give your child a specific amount of time to choose what they want to play, and how you will be involved, is a brilliant tool to use often. It helps your child feel the warmth of your attention. Once you have identified a pattern of resistance around a task, you can boost connection further by offering five or 10 minutes of Special Time before you hold an expectation for them to do something. If your child's resistance to a task is linked to needing more of your attention, you may even see their resistance totally disappear after some intensive Special Time.

You can also try using Playlistening around tasks and expectations in these ways:

  • Reverse roles and become the one who doesn't want to do things. Make it exaggerated and playful, but only continue if you find it makes your child laugh.
  • Create a routine of a playful and physical play with lots of laughter. For example, while I was building toward addressing my son's frequent resistance, we played more roughhousing games, usually before we began our bedtime routine.

Playlistening helps you target resistance indirectly, using laughter and play, and can be a powerful way to shift your child's shouts of "No" to "Yes."

Groundwork for yourself : Setting limits is as much about us as it is our kids. Although a child's refusal might appear to be their issue, it can trigger a rush of feelings for us too. It helps to start holding an expectation or a limit after getting grounded and comfortable about it ourselves.

For instance, when my son suddenly resisted going to preschool for a few consecutive mornings, I started doing my own groundwork. I checked to see if I still thought that the preschool was right for him, and thought once again about whether he was ready for it. Yes was my answer to both, so I continued holding the expectation that he would go.

I checked in with my best thinking using a Listening Partnership, which is a way to address what's going on in your head, check biases from your own upbringing, and experience the kind of emotional support that you'd like to offer your child. There are many places to find a parent who might like to do a free exchange of listening time with you, including this group, and the process is simple.

Having the space to clear out how you feel about limits in general, and to offload the feelings you have about the particular expectation you want to hold for your child, will help you get comfortable with setting the limit. Listening Partnerships give you a place to feel heard and held.

Here are some ideas to experiment with in your listening time when you are working on holding an expectation.

A Listening Partner role models holding expectation for you

A good place to begin with this is by sharing where you have difficulties meeting expectations in your own life. Taxes? Folding clothes? Being on time?

Ask your listening partner to hold the expectation that you are working on: "It's time to do your expense sheet now." Their role is to help you find the exact feelings that underlie your resistance. It's not to make you do the thing you resist!

Then you can say all the things you want to say, without any censorship:

"I don't want to!"

"You do it for me!"

"I'll do it later!'

Your listening partner can just listen with a full attention or if it is helpful, they can offer a phrase (You can set this up before your listening time begins.) Try, "It's time to do it now," or "Expense sheet!" or "I am sure you can do it… and right now show me how hard it is."

You will notice feelings bubbling up–you might feel embarrassed, guilty, insulted…the possible reactions are countless! If you feel safe enough, you will release the tension you feel in laughter, a tantrum, a light sweat, or in crying about how overwhelmed or exhausted you feel.

Once you have processed those feelings, go a bit deeper. Have them ask, "Tell me the first time you did not like doing things you are supposed to."

There's nothing like putting yourself in another's shoes to build empathy, and this time, you get to see the world from your child's point of view. You also get to experience the kind of limit setting that involves meeting expectations with a listener's support. You'll have a loving reminder of the expectation and permission to process feelings in the presence of caring person.

This makes it a whole lot easier to offer similar permission to your child.

Offload your feelings about your child's behaviors in your Listening Partnership

You can also ask your listening partner to role-play your resistant child, and then let loose with all the reactions you have inside. This gives you a chance to start processing them.

If setting limits this way feels hard, that's okay.

Many of us may have a hard time imagining what calmly and warmly holding an expectation looks like because it is such a departure from the way we were raised. It's natural to feel difficulty trying to do something we haven't experienced. Your listening partner can model what you may have a hard time imagining, by role-playing setting a loving limit with you, or around the tasks your child resists.

4. Communicate/consent: Set the expectations limit when things are calm

And so, with groundwork laid, you can begin work on your child's refusal. Begin by setting the limit when things are calm, and you feel well resourced. Announcing the expectation may sound like, "We will go to your school after Special Time and breakfast, at 8 am."

When we announce the limit ahead of time it gives a useful window.

If your child says "Sure!" and they can agree at least then, you might talk about ways that make it easier. "I noticed it was hard for us to get ready, what can I do for you so you can enjoy your preschool tomorrow?"

If they get upset about the very thought of the expectation, they are ready to work on the tension they carry.

You can choose to help them there and then. A first step might be a playful intervention. With a child that resists the idea of going to their preschool, you could playfully say, "I don't want to either! Let's stay here and snuggle forever and ever. No bathroom break, no lunch break, just snuggle and snuggle and snuggle," and give them a snuggle.

Watch how they respond. If your child responds to your playful approach with a smile or laughter, keep going. This loosens up the stuck feelings and sheds a little light on them, so when you hold the expectation next time it might not feel so stark.

When your child's feelings are really stuck, they may get agitated or upset at the mention of your expectation, or in response to your Playlistening. In that case, switch to Staylistening, where you stay close and listen quietly and with caring while your child rails and cries about the expectation.

5. Confidence: Hold the expectation that the request will happen

Now comes what you have no doubt been waiting for. Setting and holding a limit. The process is essentially the same whichever limit you want to hold.

  1. Move in close and set the limit, warmly and firmly, using eye contact.
  2. Listen to your child's feelings
  3. Re-state the limit, calmly.

Here are a few examples:

Holding an expectation around taking a bath: You did the groundwork. You are quite certain that you want a bath to happen and you are clear on your reasons why. You both agree your child will take a daily bath, but when you tell your child that it's time, they protest. You listen for a minute. Then you come close, hold their hands, make eye contact and point to the direction of the bath. "Time for a bath," you say. Then you listen to their upset, making sure they don't distract themselves with another activity. "Nope, no coloring now. Bath time."

Holding an expectation around brushing teeth: If your child has agreed to a morning and evening brushing, you can show the toothbrush and say, "Ready? Time to brush." If they flail, sit quietly with them, with the toothbrush and toothpaste. When the crying or tantrum slows down, bring the child's attention back to the expectation, "Time to brush your teeth." If your child gets upset or cries because of your expectation, you know that they are shedding the feelings that cause them to react. It's a sign that there's something good taking place. Tension releases. Your caring pours in. It takes time, but you'll get results!

6. Calm: Responses to use when your child says 'no'

When the expectation is held with kindness, your child's job is to show you fully how they feel inside. All you need to do is to give your child your time and your presence. These are some steps to consider when your child cannot meet the expectation after they have initially agreed, and when they have begun to cry or get angry.

1. Listen with your eyes as much as your ears and try to offer your whole presence.

2. Make sure everyone stays safe. If your child attacks the toilet tissue and tears it up, for instance, you can regard this as a safe way for them to express their feelings, but picking up a chair with the intent to throw it needs to be stopped. Tell them immediately, "No, I can't let you do that. Not safe." Stop them quickly but calmly, with your body.

3. Check internally if you have the time and patience to keep Staylistening. If you do, use Step 4, if not, skip to Step 5.

4. As your child's outrage calms, gently remind them of your expectation. This is not to win their immediate compliance, but is an invitation to them to keep sharing how they feel about it. Your gentle reminder guides your child's mind to refocus on the feelings that cause their resistance.

The image I use in my mind during this process is of the child digging a tunnel through a sand dune. Their job is to keep digging (shedding their feelings) until they get through the tunnel and out into the light. For them to get to the other side, my job is to hold the flashlight, showing them, "This way! You can make it to the other side." Your child does the work while you support them and show them the way.

Each time they work on these feelings they make it farther through the dune. They may regain their talent for cooperation within one Staylistening session, or it may take a few different times of shedding feelings while you hold the expectation. All work shedding feelings is good work. If the dune always stays undug, your child will continually try to avoid it, and their resistance to the task will remain. They will take a very very long time to reach "the light."

5. If you find yourself out of time and patience, stop your Staylistening. Rest assured that you have helped your child begin breaking down the resistance they feel to the task and that you will return to that work the next time you hold the expectation on the limit.

6. Whenever your child works on their resistance, watch to see how they express their feelings physically. Yawning, crying, laughing, sweating, moving their body around and even saying mean things are signs that they are digging deeper through the sand dune. Once their tunnel is in place, their resistance disappears. When you hold the expectation in the future, they'll move freely through the open tunnel to fill your request.

7. Remind yourself that this way of setting limits is not about compliance. You did not fail or do something wrong if your child's crying doesn't immediately give way to compliance, although that may happen sometimes. How long it takes for your child to dissolve his emotional reaction to your expectation depends on the depth of feelings or fears they have about what you want them to do. In my case, I had to work on the same issue with my son for days, even weeks, and once or twice, when his fears were deeply held, for months. Always, after a ground-shaking show of feelings, things shifted.

For example, when it was time to leave the house for the preschool as we had agreed, my son would not put on his socks, or he would drag his feet all the way. These signs showed me that we need to pause the "going-to-preschool" protocol so I could pivot, move in, and connect by offering eye contact and my full attention.

I laid some more groundwork by starting our morning routine 20 minutes or so earlier. Not having to rush helped me to stay calm and patient. When I said, "It's time to put on your socks," I held the socks. This is often the moment I started hearing voices in my head, saying things like, "We agreed to do this yesterday, and if you don't we will be late!" or "Son, if you don't put these on, you won't get your…" These are often things we heard growing up, or we hear others say. But these are not helpful motivators, so I held back. I sat down and held the sock in my hand and stayed there while my child cried and protested. He squirmed but I stayed with him, holding his little body in my arms.

He would say, "No! I don't want to!" and I would say, "I know you don't. You can put on a sock. Let's do it—here I come!"

I didn't force the socks on, but suggesting it and gauging my son's reactions guided me to what he needed.

Holding an expectation when others are listening

When there are other adults involved, it can get tricky. This kind of waiting for a child to work through their feelings with a few words here and there from the parent can be highly frustrating for grown-ups. If their idea of an outcome means fulfilling the expectation—in my case this would have looked like getting out the door without fuss and skipping off to preschool—my "long-term view" approach did not appear to be "working."

My mother would watch me and get upset. Luckily, we were on the same page about sending him to the preschool, and so I would say, "Thanks for your concern, but I can handle it. He's working very hard to get to a space where he can enjoy his school. I have seen him work through some hard things before. It will be okay."

When will a no become yes?

We worked on him not wanting to go to preschool for several mornings, often arriving late, with an impatient brother tagging along glumly. And then one morning his father Staylistened to our son's vigorous crying and struggles. My son got sweaty and cried hard with lots of wild movements. Then he fell asleep.

We decided that it was so late for preschool, and he wouldn't go. But when he work up, he opened his eyes and he said, "I am ready." From that day on, he went to preschool everyday with little resistance. A couple of years later, he experienced a similar fear response about starting Kindergarten, and I listened to his feelings in very much the same way. He refused and refused to go, but after a long and deep cry and struggle with me listening to him one morning, he was able to start going to school happily and willingly.

I still don't know what he was afraid of or he was working on emotionally, but I know that after he worked hard on his emotions, he has been able to function extremely well in a school setting.

What to do if the problem behavior is persistent

When the problem behavior is persistent, it can be a good strategy to take a break and come back to the issue later, if you possibly can. For example, if getting to school in the morning is challenging, try fixing your schedule so that you can take a wellness day with your child and spend a connecting day together without going to school.

7. Care: Responding with care when your child still says no

Use your time to play, have fun and lay a little extra groundwork. To find out what might be underneath their behaviors, consider:

Your Child: When does your child does want to go to school? Is it about missing you? Is there something that your child doesn't like at school? Are there health or learning concerns that have not been addressed? Did something change in your child's life recently?

How about you? What comes up for you when they don't want to go? Is it hard kissing you baby goodbye or seeing her grow up? Did you like going to school, or do you have less-than-sunny remembrances? How did the adults in your life respond when you did not want to do things?

Once you have reconsidered and reconnected, you'll be ready to start the process once again. Your child can go back to digging through their sand dune—and sooner or later, you'll both scamper through that tunnel and into less resistance and more fun.

Keiko Sato-Perry is a Hand in Hand Parenting Instructor based in Redwood City, USA. Originally posted on Hand in Hand Parenting.

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Things We're Loving

It was s historical moment for the word and a scary moment for a woman who had just become a mother for the first time.

When the Duchess of Cambridge made stepped out of the Lindo Wing at St. Mary's Hospital on July 22, 2013, with her new baby in her arms she was happy—but understandably scared, too.

Kate Middleton recently appeared on Giovanna Fletcher's Happy Mum, Happy Baby podcast and when Fletcher asked her about her postpartum debut Kate said she was understandably freaked out when she stepped out with her newborn.

"Yeah, slightly terrifying, slightly terrifying, I'm not going to lie," Kate said.

During the podcast the Duchess opened up about her pregnancy and birth experiences, explaining how much hypnobirthing helped her and that she didn't know whether she was delivering prince or princess until Prince George was born as she'd opted to be surprised.

She was surprised and thrilled when she met her son, and looking forward to post-pregnancy life after spending her pregnancy quite ill with hyperemesis gravidarum (a seriously debilitating form of extreme morning sickness). She was so happy, but it was also (very understandably) an overwhelming experience. In addition to all the pressure new moms feel, Kate had an army of photographers waiting outside the hospital for her.

"Everything goes in a bit of a blur. I think, yeah I did stay in hospital overnight, I remember it was one of the hottest days and night with huge thunderstorms so I didn't get a huge amount of sleep, but George did, which was really great," she explained. "I was keen to get home because, for me, being in hospital, I had all the memories of being in hospital because of being sick [with acute morning sickness] so it wasn't a place I wanted to hang around in. So, I was really desperate to get home and get back to normality."

Kate wanted to get home, but she also really did want to share her baby boy with the public who had been so supportive of her young family, she explains.

"Everyone had been so supportive and both William and I were really conscious that this was something that everyone was excited about and you know we're hugely grateful for the support that the public had shown us, and actually for us to be able to share that joy and appreciation with the public, I felt was really important," she shared, adding that "Equally it was coupled with a newborn baby, and inexperienced parents, and the uncertainty of what that held, so there were all sorts of mixed emotions."

"All sorts of mixed emotions."

The now-iconic images of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge exiting the hospital with their firstborn have gone down in history, but so has Kate's bravery that day.

There's been a lot written about whether those pictures put pressure on other moms who might not feel ready for heels and blowouts right after giving birth, but one thing critics of the photocall often miss is the positive impact it had on other young women.

Yes, Kate looked beautiful, but she also looked like a woman whose body had just given birth—and the iconic images of her in that polka-dot dress taught a generation of women that the female body isn't an elastic band and that recovering from birth takes time.

"I, myself remember being really surprised when Kate Middleton came out of the hospital holding Prince George," Tina, now a mom herself and a model of postpartum realness in Mothercare's "Body Proud Mums campaign" explained last year.

Tina recalls how Kate's postpartum appearance showed her a reality society hadn't: "She had the baby bump, and I remember being surprised that your belly doesn't just go down after giving birth. I also thought how stupid I was to have ever thought it would. I guess pre-children you just have unrealistic expectations."

Tina wasn't stupid, she just hadn't been shown the truth.

So thank you, Kate, for stepping out of that hospital in 2013, despite being terrified, and showing the world your beautiful baby and your bump.



News

Despite the encouraging growth of free or subsidized preschools in some American cities, the fact remains that preschool and daycare cost about as much as rent in many areas.

But there's some good news, which is that parents who pay for preschool or daycare while they're at work may qualify for a credit that can help you save money on taxes this year. Here's what all parents should know before filing their returns.

Is preschool tuition tax-deductible?

The sum of your child's entire preschool tuition is not tax deductible, but you may be able to get something better than a deduction: a credit called the Child and Dependent Care Credit, worth up to $1,050 for one child and up to $2,100 for two or more kids.

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How do I know if I'm eligible for the Child Dependent Care Tax Credit?

There are a few criteria to be eligible for the Child and Dependent Care Credit:

  • If you have someone take care of your child so you can work or look for work
  • Your child is under the age of 13 at the end of the tax year (no age limit if they are disabled)
  • You must be able to claim your child as a dependent
  • Your filing status must be single, head of household, qualifying widow or widower with a qualifying child, or married filing jointly.

Does preschool tuition count as dependent care?

Yes, it does count if you are paying someone to take care of your child so you can work or look for work. Day camps, such as summer camps and sports camps, count as well, but overnight camps don't.

How much could I potentially get back on taxes for preschool tuition?

If you are able to claim the Child and Dependent Care Credit, you may be able to claim up to $1,050 for one child and up to $2,100 for two or more children.

The great thing about credits is they are a dollar for dollar reduction of your taxes. So if you owe taxes of $1,050 and have one child, you may qualify for a credit of up to $1,050 and wipe out the taxes you owe.

The credit is based on a sliding scale: Depending on your income, your credit is 20%-35% of your childcare expenses up to $3,000 (or $1,050), and 20%-35% of childcare expenses up to $6,000 (or $2,100) for two or more kids.

The bottom line: While this tax credit is unlikely to completely cover your child's preschool tuition for the year, don't miss out on this tax credit if you're paying for preschool or daycare for your child so that you can work. And remember to check your eligibility for other tax credits and deductions for families, including the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Credit.
Work + Money

Celestial baby names are flying high right now, and the brightest star of them all? Well, it's actually Luna, the name of the Roman goddess of the moon, and the Latin word for "moon."

At #23 in the US in 2019, Luna's rise has been, well, astronomical ever since it re-entered the Top 1000 in 2003, for the first time in almost a century. That was the year that Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was first published, featuring the kooky but courageous Luna Lovegood.

The once-unique baby name has since been picked up by stylish celebrity parents such as Penelope Cruz, Uma Thurman and John Legend, and now ranks in the Top 100 in at least 18 other countries, including Australia, Chile, Denmark, France, Italy, Norway and Slovenia.

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But if Luna's meteoric rise to the top of the baby name popularity charts puts you off, here are 100 more magical, moon-inspired baby names to consider.

Baby names that mean moon

Girls' names that mean "moon" include a multitude of attractive Turkish names containing the element ay, meaning (you guessed it!) "moon." These range from rising international star Ayla to popular picks like Miray, Belinay and Aysima, which are all in the current Turkish Top 50 for girls.

Boy names that mean "moon" include dozens of dynamic Japanese names like Michika, Reito and Tsukio, which can all be formed from different kanji combinations to give various moon-related meanings.

Moon-inspired girl names

  1. Aruna: This pretty Japanese name, which can mean "moon love" (depending on the kanji characters used), is a perfect underused alternative to popular A-sandwich choices like Aria and Aurora.
  2. Esmeray: A beautiful Turkish name with the evocative meaning of "dark moon", which might appeal to lovers of rapid riser Esme.
  3. Lusine: Also spelled Lucine or Lusineh, this sophisticated Armenian choice could make for an unexpected route to Lucy or Lou.
  4. Mahina: A moon goddess in Hawaiian mythology, whose attractive name literally means "moon" in the Hawaiian language.
  5. Sasithorn: This poetic word for the moon is also used as a name in its native Thailand, pronounced "sah-see-TAWN". Sweet short form Sasi also means "moon".

And here are a few more of our favorite lunar names for girls from around the globe:

  1. Adzumi
  2. Aysel
  3. Channary
  4. Hala
  5. Indu
  6. Livana
  7. Lua
  8. Mahrukh
  9. Miray
  10. Neoma
  11. Orana
  12. Quilla
  13. Runa
  14. Saran
  15. Sihana
  16. Tsuki
  17. Vinterny
  18. Volana
  19. Zira
  20. Zulay

Moon-inspired boy names

  1. Ainar: This strong-sounding Kazakh name is actually unisex, meaning "male moon", "fire moon" or "pomegranate moon" (what a great image!).
  2. Isildur: A literary lunar name from J.R.R. Tolkien's legendarium, in which it belongs to a heroic king.
  3. Jerah: A rare Biblical boys' name with a contemporary sound, which could make for a great underused alternative to the likes of Noah and Jeremiah.
  4. Mani: Properly spelled Máni, this energetic mini name belongs to the personification of the moon in Norse mythology.
  5. Vikesh: A strong and striking Hindu name which is fairly common in India, but virtually unknown elsewhere.

And here's a selection of other great moon names for boys from around the globe:

  1. Asaki
  2. Aydemir
  3. Badar
  4. Chanchai
  5. Dal
  6. Ehaan
  7. Hilal
  8. Iyar
  9. Kamer
  10. Koray
  11. Luan
  12. Mahan
  13. Maziar
  14. Naito
  15. Nantu
  16. Qamar
  17. Rakesh
  18. Rua
  19. Zoro
  20. Zunair

Galactic moon names

We recently reported on the rise of planetary baby names, as well as of mythological names relating to the heavens, like Apollo and Zephyr: Greek gods of the sun and the west wind, respectively.

But how about the names of other moons? There are some stellar options out there, mostly drawn from myth, legend and literature—right on trend, but rarely used.

Galactic moon-inspired girl names

  1. Amalthea: A moon of Jupiter, named for the goat (or goat-keeper) who raised the infant Zeus. It would make a lovely longer form for the fashionable mini-name Thea.
  2. Calypso: A fun-filled name with a lively rhythm and musical links to the West Indies. Callie and Cleo could make for great nicknames.
  3. Leda: The name of the beautiful mother of Helen of Troy in Greek mythology is surprisingly underused, despite its simple, international appeal: it was given to just 17 baby girls in 2018.
  4. Thebe: Far rarer than Phoebe, but with the same light and simple sound, Thebe is another moon of Jupiter.
  5. Skathi: This tiny moon of Saturn is named for Skaði, the Norse goddess of winter and archery.

And here are a few more appealing faraway moon names for girls:

  1. Anthe
  2. Belinda
  3. Bianca
  4. Carme
  5. Cressida
  6. Despina
  7. Elara
  8. Galatea
  9. Helene
  10. Io
  11. Larissa
  12. Mab
  13. Miranda
  14. Ophelia
  15. Pandora
  16. Perdita
  17. Rhea
  18. Rosalind
  19. Thalassa
  20. Titania

Galactic moon-inspired boy names

  1. Ariel: This handsome Hebrew name may have become far more popular for girls in the US, thanks to a certain Little Mermaid, but it's a truly unisex choice in Israel: #4 for boys and #23 for girls in the last year on record (2016).
  2. Fenrir: The name of a monstrous wolf in Norse mythology, and of an evil werewolf in the Harry Potter books—but if Wolf itself can catch on…
  3. Hyperion: One of the Titans in Greek mythology, Hyperion lends his majestic name to another of Saturn's moons.
  4. Narvi: Also spelled Narfi, this quirky Norse mythology name belongs to the father of Nótt, the personification of the night.
  5. Umbriel: A moon of Uranus, named (along with Ariel and Belinda) for a character from Alexander Pope's The Rape of the Lock. The name was probably inspired by Latin umbra "shadow."

And here are more magical moon names for boys from myth and legend:

  1. Aegir
  2. Atlas
  3. Caliban
  4. Ferdinand
  5. Francisco
  6. Janus
  7. Loge
  8. Neso
  9. Nix
  10. Oberon
  11. Pan
  12. Prospero
  13. Proteus
  14. Puck
  15. Sao
  16. Stephano
  17. Surtur
  18. Titan
  19. Trinculo
  20. Ymir

This post by Emma Waterhouse was first published on Nameberry

Learn + Play

My son is terrified that he might win his school's reading contest. If he does, he'll be invited, with the other winners, to attend a special lunch at a local Chinese food restaurant. My son loves books. He hates Chinese food. In fact, he hates pretty much any food that isn't chicken fingers, french fries, ketchup, bagels and cream cheese, or cereal. Occasionally he'll eat a jam sandwich but only if the jam isn't homemade. He'll eat apples, but only Red Delicious. And carrots. Raw.

I know what you're thinking. I let our child dictate the menu for the entire household based on his sugary and basic likes. Except I don't. I just have a very picky eater.

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His fussiness over food has been something I've struggled with. I devoured articles on picky eaters and followed their advice to the letter. Did you know that if you present picky eaters with a certain food an average of 17 times they will finally try it because it seems "familiar"? Except he didn't.

I tried sneaking "good" food into what he would eat. Bran muffins harbored shredded zucchini. Pizza sauce hid pureed carrots. Chocolate cake was made moist with pumpkin. I felt like a cheater. And still, it didn't work. This kid has olfactory skills that would shame drug-sniffing dogs – assuming the drugs smelled like broccoli.

I model good eating. A plate loaded with organic veggies aside whole-wheat pasta, for example. Homemade bread teeming with hemp seed. Even my "bad" food is good—biodynamic wine and homemade tortilla chips.

Nope. He had none of it.

I felt inferior to friends whose toddlers nibbled shrimp or requested sushi with an adorable lisp. I envied their breezy sophistication. Their worldly and open-minded kids. I feared a life that precluded ever taking my son to a restaurant that didn't offer a kids' menu. I imagined the future people who would never date him, joking with their friends about his love of "nuggets." I imagined the jobs he wouldn't get because the executives, over lunch, would conclude he couldn't think outside the box, given that his food was served in one.

But most of all, I worried about what my son's narrow appetite said about me.

I was pedestrian. Parochial. Predictable. Picky.

It's with that realization that I was able to abandon my mission to convince, cajole, bribe, trick or otherwise coerce my child into eating food he refuses.

I ate pizza for the first time on my 19th birthday. Tried lasagna in my second year of college. And finally indulged in spaghetti and meatballs when, at 23, I was poor, studying in France and ordered the cheapest—and most recognizable—thing on the menu. I was 25 before I tried any type of ethnic food. Twenty-eight before I ate lobster. I still don't eat ketchup. Or mayonnaise. Or mustard. I'm not just anti-condiment. I also won't touch fish with their eyes intact. Liver. Tongue. The list goes on and on.

My own childhood menu consisted of bologna sandwiches (white bread, thank you very much). Saltines. Boiled potatoes. I ate hamburgers, plain. Chicken (white meat only) with no skin or sauce, broiled. Iceberg lettuce and carrots. Occasionally I would eat an apple. My brother refuses to accept I've ever been a child since I didn't eat peanut butter, "the official food of childhood," he points out.

What changed? Well, I grew up. Moved away from home. Spent time in another country renowned for its food. On my own, I began to experiment. To try, just a nibble. With no one taking inventory of what went into my mouth, I felt freer to explore and draw my own conclusions.

I'm beginning to believe my son will follow a similar path. Just the other day he tried red pepper. "Yuck," he said.

Will he someday meet me for sushi? I doubt it.

But I don't like sushi anyway.

Life
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