Although the two chat-event-related meta questions (1) (2) have not yet received very many answers, the chat room itself has been chock full of topic suggestions recently. It's a gold mine! I think we should save all those great suggestions as meta answers here.

Let's hear your suggestions for chat event topics. One topic per answer, please!

The votes would decide what the next topic should be: we'll just pick the topics in descending order of their votes. Popular topics can be re-run at intervals.

We can "tick off" the topics as we cover them, and then also edit the suggestions to include links to the chat transcript, include a summary, and additional links.

14 Answers 14



  • How do we help our children cope with a bully?
  • How do we tell if our child is being victimized by a bully?
  • How do we tell if our child may be bullying other children?
  • When is it appropriate to speak with another child's parents about bullying behavior? How can you make sure such a discussion is more likely to be productive?
  • What do you do if your child's school isn't handling a bullying situation to your satisfaction?
  • How should we teach our children to react when they see other children being bullied?


  • When should we start letting our children watch it?
  • How much is too much?
  • How do we know if we start relying on TV to keep our children occupied too much? Is this even a problem if we do?
  • How do we determine what is good programming?
  • How do we deal with shows that our children really want to watch, but that we aren't sure we want our child watching?

Dealing with food allergies

  • How to educate others about your child's allergy?
  • Tips for families on the go
  • How do allergies work?
  • How long do food allergies last?
  • Is it a good idea to "test" for allergies?
  • At what ages are foods appropriate?

Kids and computers

Computers, computer games, and the Internet in particular -- these can be difficult areas for parents to handle. On the one hand, you can't totally prohibit computers, because they have become an essential part of our modern world and sometimes required for school etc. On the other hand, dangers are lurking, but that's the case in so many places anyway. So parents need to strike a balance. Let's discuss the factors considerations that are in play here.

  • At what developmental stage (age?) should computers be introduced?
    Should "mobile devices" (iPad etc.) be treated the same?
  • How do we encourage "proper" computer use?
  • What is "proper"?
    -- Gaming can be educational and social. It can also be the opposite. Are shooting games dangerous?
    -- Social networking can be beneficial, but it also holds dangers. How can we handle peer pressure?
  • How do we teach to recognize and avoid "improper" use?
  • Do we allow individual computers (in the kid's room) or do we have a "public" family workstation?
  • Should kids have their own laptop? Some schools offer or even require it. What if we disagree?

Similar to Torben's suggestion on computers:

Kids and Mobile Devices

Cell phones, smart phones, tablet PCs, and mobile game devices have become ubiquitous in our society. How do we, as parents, handle the benefits, risks, and peer pressure associated with these technological conveniences?


Role of non-parental caregivers

Many of our children are not cared for 100% by a mother and father. There are babysitters, relatives, teachers, friends, other parents who are available and fill the roles to varying degrees.

  • How important is uniformity in caring for the child? Does age of the child matter?
  • How to handle punishment, teaching, rewards, schedule?
  • How to handle differences in opinion or style?
  • Are parental expectations important? How do we express them?

Volunteering with Kids

  • What opportunities are available?
  • How to make it attractive to reluctant kids?
  • What types of activities should I avoid (based on child's age or environment)?

Financial Education

  • How can I teach my child to be a smart consumer?
  • How can I teach my child to save for things she desires?
  • How can I make finances interesting?
  • How much transparency about household financial matters is appropriate?
  • Should I give my child an allowance? In what form? At what age should it start?

Bedtime routines

  • How do I establish a routine?
  • How do I handle disruptions (illness, travel)?
  • What sorts of things make a good routine?
  • What are the benefits of having an established routine?

Getting away from the kids

  • What are the benefits for parent's having social interaction away from their children?
  • How are children affected?
  • What are some tips to get away?
  • How to avoid feeling guilty?
  • How much "me-time" is appropriate?


  • Is it worth it?
  • What can my child gain from it?
  • What should I be concerned about?
  • What do I need to know when selecting a provider?
  • How do I handle disputes (with providers, other parents, other children)?
  • Is age an important factor in determining child readiness? What about milestones (talking, potty training)?
  • What options are available?

School-age Education Options

  1. Public School
  2. Private School
  3. Home School

  • What factors should I consider?


  • Is it worth it?
  • What can my child gain from it?
  • What should I be concerned about?
  • What do I need to know when selecting a school?
  • How do I handle disputes (with teachers, other parents, other children)?
  • Is age an important factor in determining child readiness? What about milestones (talking, potty training)?
  • What options are available?

Spoiled by grandparents

Some families struggle with relatives that are too well-meaning - most often it's the grandparents.

  • How do we tell the grandparents (i.e., our parents) that they're spoiling our children?
  • How do we handle relatives who try to push agendas that are different from ours?
    (E.g. brand-name clothing, expensive toys, large amounts of presents)
  • How can be keep the peace and good relations with relatives who push different values or a higher standard of living? (E.g. frugality as a lifestyle works well for us, but the grandparents don't understand or respect our choices)

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