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How to Talk to Teenagers so They’ll Listen

The teenage years are a dreaded time for many parents, as teens begin to rebel and dismiss their parents’ good counsel, reaching out for approval from their peers instead. But there are things that you as a parent can do to strengthen the quality of your relationship with your teen, and thus make him or her more receptive to your advice and instruction.

Perhaps the most fundamental step to getting your teenage son or daughter to trust you and listen to you is to be loving and kind to your child. If you strive to have a harmonious and respectful relationship with your child, fewer conflicts will arise. That does not mean not disciplining your child, because correcting a child when they do wrong (in a compassionate, thoughtful manner) is every bit as important as giving them your love, your attention, and providing for them.

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Important Steps to Prevent Sports-Related Injuries

The following is a break-down of what parents need to know, to help their children remain free from sports-related injuries.

Education

Doctors treat around one million sports-related injuries in American school-age children every year. For parents, it is important to learn basic ways to avoid injury when their children practice sports, whether it’s at school or around the neighborhood.

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The Hygiene Hypothesis — Is a Little Dirt Good for Your Child?

You may have heard the term human microbiome or microbiota, which refers to the thousands of species of microscopic organisms that inhabit the bodies of both healthy and diseased humans. These beneficial or “friendly” bacteria and fungi play vital roles in keeping us healthy and helping with normal processes such as digestion of the foods that we eat. Friendly flora can be found on our skins, in the skin’s deeper layers, our mouths, parts of our eyes, and our gastrointestinal tract.

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Child Brain Development

Astounding Facts About the Amazing Human Brain!

  • The brain is one of the first organs to develop in a human embryo, and it continues to change and mature for a person’s entire life!
  • All 100 billion nerve cells present in an adult’s brain have been made by the time a fetus is six months old!
  • A newborn’s brain weighs 25 percent of its adult weight at birth. By two years of age, a toddler’s brain has reached 75 percent of its adult weight!
  • Sixty percent of the human genome (a person’s genetic makeup) — or 60 thousand genes — is dedicated to brain development!

While the brain’s different parts develop on different timelines for different individuals, the stages of development are the same for all of us. Below are some developmental milestones of the human brain, beginning with its formation in utero.

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The Advantages of Homeschooling

Once upon a time in the United States, all children were taught either at home, or through apprenticeships, where they learned a trade with which they would later earn a livelihood. But in the mid 1800’s, public schools began proliferating throughout the country, and most children subsequently started attending public schools.

In recent decades, however, more and more American parents have begun looking to homeschooling again as an option for educating their children. In 2012, three percent of all school-age children — about 1.5 million — were being homeschooled in the U.S. The top three professions for the fathers in these households were: accountant/engineer (17.3%), professor/doctor/lawyer (16.9%), and small-business owner (10.7%).

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If Your Child’s Pediatrician Asks Whether You Smoke Cigarettes, He Is Not Being Nosy!

Compared to years past, today’s pediatricians are more apt to ask parents about their smoking habits. And while some parents might take offense to that, your child’s doctor is only trying to help keep your youngster healthy.

In our modern day, American society has largely accepted that cigarette smoke poses some of the very same dangers to those who are around a smoker as it does to the person who smokes.

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Are Hand Sanitizers Dangerous?

Many of us heard the sad story recently about the Klamath Falls, OR 12-year-old girl who received second- and third-degree burns to one-fifth of her body while inside a hospital, after static charge sparks ignited the hand sanitizer she had just used to clean her hands and a bedside table. The sanitizer then burned olive oil that was on the girl’s scalp and T-shirt, making the flames burn more fiercely.

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Survival Tips for the Toddler Years

If you are a new parent, most of what you have heard about the year or two immediately following infancy is probably negative. You hear about the terrible twos, temper tantrums, disobedient children who get into everything, and the like. But while there are certainly some gigantic challenges to raising a toddler, this period becomes a lot easier if you More »

Keep Your Marriage Strong After Having Kids

Many healthy, loving couples are not fully prepared for the challenges of having children. These challenges are difficult to foresee, and. almost no couple is immune to them. Even couples who have never been through a serious argument before having children can be tested by all the new tensions and pressures that come with bringing a new family member into the world.

While there are many problems that can arise in a marriage after children are in the picture, the most common issue is More »

How Can I Help My Shy Toddler?

Your child has her own unique personality. She may be shyer than some or more outgoing. The way you respond to her basic temperament greatly affects and influences her. Sensitive and encouraging parents can help a shy child and abusive parents can make an outgoing, lively child feel withdrawn and disconnected. To help a shy child you can:

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Getting your teen to talk about his or her feelings

Many 21st-century parents are very conscious of the importance of keeping the lines of communication open with their teens. This often comes at the expense of old-fashioned discipline and parent-child hierarchy, but for many parents the trade-off is worth it. In exchange for that old-fashioned stuff, you get a strong emotional connection with your child that is almost like a friendship, and you are rarely kept in the dark about important things.

Still, even in this day of unprecedented openness between parents and children, some More »

Help! My Toddler Is Swearing!

You may be stunned to hear your little angel say a swear word! Many parents experience these shocks at some point so do not fret! This often happens as children begin to explore language. It happens because they have heard someone else say it in frustration and they want to express the same emotion or they do it because they know it achieves a reaction and therefore think that it is funny.

The best action to take straight away is to More »

Sibling Rivalry: What’s Normal, and When to Get Involved

Sibling relationships can be among the most complex in the world. With our siblings we share a special familiarity, plus lots of shared experiences that give rise to a unique understanding. With siblings, there are few secrets and very little mystery. Your siblings see you at your best and your worst, and they have known you when you are at your most vulnerable. In short, there is nothing simple about sibling relationships.

The special bond siblings share is fantastic in many ways. Unlike More »

My Teenager Has Acne, How Can I Help?

Acne can inflict the young and the old but is most common during our teenage years. The acne that teenagers suffer from is called acne vulgaris and is triggered by puberty’s reproductive hormones surging through their bodies. These raging hormones make the sebaceous glands enlarge and increase the production of sebum. The pores produce a kind of protein called keratin. The increased sebum and production of keratin, dead skin cells and bacteria block the hair follicles which stops the sebum being able to get through the skin pores. Acne is when the skin erupts because it is infected and inflamed by the bacteria and sebum clogged hair follicles.

At a time in your child’s life when he is already often angry and confused, angry skin can really get him down. The diet your teenager sticks to can greatly affect his skin’s health. This is where you can More »

Children’s Growing Pains: What Can Parents Do?

That kids experience growing pains is no myth. At times of growth (and kids do grow at uneven rates), to feel actual pain in the bones, muscles, and joints is quite common. Its prevalence is difficult to measure, but it is believed that as many as half of all children experience growing pains regularly. As grownups, we may not remember just how uncomfortable these pains can be, but they are significant enough to disrupt sleep, make it hard to focus in school, and cause irritability.

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Sibling Rivalry: What Can Parents Do?

Sibling rivalry can take many forms over the years. When the second child is first born, it can take the form of acting out, regression, and fussiness on the part of the older child. And as the kids grow up, it can turn into arguing, physical fighting, and deep feelings of jealousy and resentment. Most sibling rivalry is more of an annoyance than a serious problem, but it can become emotionally taxing to parents who had hoped their children would get along and love each other.

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Amber Alerts – What to Do in Case Your Child Goes Missing

It is one of every parent’s worse nightmares. You take your eye off your child for a minute only to find her gone when you turn around. Or one day he does not get home from school at the normal time. Or she goes outside to play and does not come back in. Scenarios like these are fortunately uncommon, and when they do happen there is usually a good explanation, and it is usually pretty easy to find the temporarily missing child. But what about those very rare cases where the child is not easily found?

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How to Raise a Musical Child

When it comes to educating children, a lot of focus is placed on practical skills like reading and math, which are undoubtedly important. But we should raise our children to be well-rounded individuals, and this involves teaching them forms of creative self-expression. While different kids have different talents-some are good at drawing, some can dance well, and some are most talented in non-artistic areas-music should be integral to every child’s life. And even if your child does not develop into a musical prodigy, it is a good idea to have cultivate familiarity with the art form.

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Developing Your Child’s Handwriting Skills

By Lisa Pecos

With the rise of computers and electronic gadgets as tools for all types of school-related activities, kids spend far less time writing by hand than they used to. As a result, many people fear that the ancient art of handwriting is bound to become a thing of the past. While this is true to some extent-writing by hand is certainly less important than it used to be-it is still important to have good handwriting for the times when it is called for.

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Tips for Helping Your Child with Homework

By Lisa Pecos

All parents want to see their children succeed in school, and studies have shown that kids whose parents are more involved in their educations are more likely to do well. Thus, helping your child with his or her homework should be a no-brainer, but it is not always so simple. In the early years, things are relatively easy because young kids have very little homework and what homework they have is simple. But as children get older, the homework becomes more time-consuming, and they eventually cover subjects with which we, as parents, may not be confident. Confronted with calculus, for instance, most parents cannot be blamed for being a little intimidated.

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Should Kids Get Their Own Cell Phones?

By Marc Courtiol

Although it may sometimes be hard to imagine life without cellphones, most grownups can recall a time when we were not all in constant touch with one another, and when every household shared a single stationary phone. And because most of today’s parents grew up in that world, many have a somewhat traditionalist attitude when it comes to whether to give their own kids cellphones. Many feel there is no reason a child needs a cellphone, while some take a more modest approach, allowing that it may be a good idea to provide their kids cellphones at, say, 14 or 15, when the social life picks up.

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Welcoming a Second Child: How to Handle the Change

By Lisa Pecos

Having a first child is one of the most difficult things you will ever have to do. From the middle stages of pregnancy until those blessed later months of the first year when the baby gets less fussy and more predictable, you are put through a series of challenges that test every fiber of your being. So it is a wonder that anyone would make a conscious choice to complicate things further by bringing a second child into the picture. Yet people do it all the time. And yes, many aspects of having a baby are easier the second time around, but in many ways you will feel just as challenged and bewildered as you did the first time.

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Helping Your Teen Learn to Drive Safely

By Jamell Andrews

Because driving is such a routine thing for so many adults, we tend to forget what a serious act it is to get behind the wheel. A car is a massive, potentially dangerous piece of machinery, and operating one comes with a world of adult responsibilities. So it is hard for many parents to imagine that their 15-year-olds will soon be driving unsupervised. Sure, there are drivers’ training classes and learner’s permits, but your child is still your baby, and no amount of preparation can fully prepare you for the day he or she drives off without you.

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How to Get a Child Off the Couch and Active

By Jamell Andrews

Getting kids away from their TVs, computers, and gadgets is one of the greatest challenges today’s parents face, and it is not getting any easier. Many parents understandably want their kids to be up to date with all the modern technology, but for every gadget and game our children gain, something is lost. Today’s kids are losing interest in the simple enjoyment of outdoor activities and sports. If we do not push back against this trend, we may be raising a generation of overweight and unhealthy grownups.

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Leaving Your Child Home Alone

By Lisa Pecos

In the early years of a child’s life, parents are forced to do whatever they have to do to make sure the child is supervised at all times. But once the child reaches a certain age, the issue starts to become fuzzier. Most well-behaved kids reach a point-generally in their preteens or thereabouts-where they are responsible and self-guided enough to look after themselves for a few hours. Yet considering whether to leave a child home alone raises all sorts of issues, and many parents are reluctant to face up to these issues until a little later. In the end, it is up to each family to decide on their own, but in any case there are some important factors to keep in mind.

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Kids and Homework: What Can Parents Do?

By Jamell Williams

When sending our kids to school, we expect the majority of their education to take place during the six or so hours per day when they are actually in the classroom. But for parents, it is important to realize that education needs to be reinforced in the home. This means not only helping kids with their studies, but also imposing homework times and engaging them in conversation about the things they are learning at school. It is easy to fall into a pattern of over reliance on our children’s teachers—but we must remember that teachers have dozens of kids to worry about. Our kids need us to make their education deeper and more personalized.

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The Negative Effects of the Media on Teens

By Lisa Pecos

Today’s kids plug into media at an earlier age than their predecessors, and the amount of media they consume is staggering compared to the habits of past generations. According to a recent study by the Kaiser Family Foundation, the average child between the age of eight and 18 consumes media for seven hours and 38 minutes every day-and the real rate for teens is much higher. As parents, there is good reason to be disturbed by these figures. Granted, certain types of media have benefits, but the negative effects of media overconsumption are considerable. The good news is there are things responsible parents can do to moderate these effects.

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Hosting a Princess Tea Party

By Chris Molnar

Oh the princess tea party — it’s practically a rite of passage for little girls everywhere. At some point your daughter will embrace this phase and celebrate it for all the dainty beauty that it is. This makes for the perfect theme of a party and your little princess can truly celebrate.

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What to Do About a Shy Child

By Jamell Andrews

Most children experience some degree of shyness in certain social situations. For example, some young kids are naturally afraid of grownup strangers, and some are shy around kids of the opposite sex. For others, the problem can be more general; they may seem to lag behind their peers in social development, and this may cause them to have trouble making friends, which in turn causes them to fall further behind. If your child falls into this category, there are steps you can take to help her outgrow her shyness.

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Setting and Enforcing Kids’ Bedtime

By Jamell Andrews

For parents, getting kids to go to bed at certain times is one of those ongoing struggles that over the years can reach epic proportions. Kids have a powerful, seemingly inborn desire to guide their own sleeping patterns, and for parents there is just no easy way to subvert this force. Granted, some kids are more obedient than others and are perfectly content to head to bed when asked, but these are the exceptions. For most parents, it becomes an issue early in the child’s life, and you continuously have to work with your child to make the household sleep situation consistently positive.

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Spread Your Wings and Fly…

In the early evening I would sit outside under the tree near our house and watch the birds. One day I saw a Blue Jay come and chase the other birds away if they got to close. I noticed that every time she did that, 2 little Blue Jays would fly up and eat the seeds in the feeder that was hanging in the tree. Then I noticed that she would hop from branch to branch and the little birds would follow her. This went on for a few weeks. She would look down from the branch where she was perched to check on them.

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It’s OK to be Different

Our son Michael was potty trained at nine months and spoke in sentences at 12 months old. At age two, he would listen to Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite over and over. When a friend gave my husband and I tickets to see the Nutcracker one holiday season, I cringed! Mike did stand up comedy at the age of three, and we thought it was necessary to put him into Pre-School to learn to read and write his own first name.

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10 Tasks New Parents Should Master

Even if you have read all the books and been to all the classes, you cannot know exactly what it is like to be a parent until it actually happens. Every new parent encounters surprises and unexpected challenges. And while most of these challenges are easily overcome, they are quite serious given the fact that you now have a young human being’s life, comfort, and happiness in your hands. There is no reason to panic, though. Most new parents hit their stride within a couple of weeks, and the everyday tasks become second nature. But if you are preparing for the arrival of your first, here are ten tasks to be familiar with.

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How to Encourage Kids to Love Reading

With the rise of television, video games, and now the internet and digital devices, many are worried that the old habit of sitting down and reading a good book is on its way out with the coming generation. But while the act of reading is certainly undergoing change, reading is still a fundamental component of education, and it is as fun as it ever was. For 21st-century parents, fostering the reading habit comes with some unique challenges, but there are a few things you can do to ensure that your kids grow up loving to read books.

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A Parents’ Guide to Childhood Stress

We like to think that a child’s world is all lightness and fun, but there are dark sides to the childhood experience. Especially in this age of increased expectations, rigorous study, and intense competition for educational opportunities, kids are increasingly dealing with stress in addition to all the traditional sources of bad feelings in children. Stress is no longer just a grownup problem. Kids face many of the same pressure that adults do, and they also have pressures of their own. If you think your child might be suffering from too much stress, here is what you need to know.

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8 Tips for Teaching Your Kids Good Manners

After a generations-long decline in the emphasis on manners when raising children, many 21st-century parents are rediscovering the importance of instilling values of politeness and decorum in their kids. Children who have good manners are better behaved in general, but they also tend to go far in the world because they know how to ingratiate themselves to others in all types of social situations. And ultimately, manners are not just arbitrary rules imposed for no good reason. They help create an ordered society of mutually respectful individuals. So even if you find that manners are not what they used to be, parents can still make a positive difference one child at a time.

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Are You a Helicopter Parent?

Over the past several years, the phrase “helicopter parenting” has emerged in the media as a term for parenting styles that involve excessive intervention, attention, and guidance on the part of parents toward their children. The term is metaphorical; the parent is a helicopter constantly hovering over the child. It is often used pejoratively, and it tends to bring to mind images of parents completely sanitizing their children’s worlds, going to the hospital for every bruise or scratch, and acting in an excessively entitled manner on behalf of their kids.

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What to Do With a Child Who Whines

Pre-verbal children use crying to get what they need. After learning to talk, many children have trouble breaking this habit. In fact, some develop a rather complex system of sounds and gestures that sometimes includes crying, sometimes pouting, sometimes tantrums, and sometimes a loud, whiny voice. For parents, as much as we love our children, these behaviors can be infuriating, not to mention embarrassing when they happen in public.

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What to Do if Your Child Stutters

Stutters or Stuttering, also known as stammering, is a speech disorder most commonly affecting children between the ages of 2 and 5, though it appears in people of all ages. There are many forms of stuttering, which itself is only one of a variety of similar speech disorders. It usually involves the involuntary repetition of syllables, the prolonging of words, or mid-word interruptions. The speech difficulties are often accompanied by additional tics such as rapid blinking, lip tremors, and muscular tension in the face, jaw, or upper body. The problems often worsen when the stutterer is excited or under stress.

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Should I Vaccinate My Children

Childhood vaccines are used to protect children from a range of serious illnesses such as polio, measles, diphtheria, tetanus, and meningitis. Practically everyone in the medical community unequivocally advocates vaccination for young children, but the issue has become complicated in recent years. For new parents, it is difficult to ignore the recent controversies generated by those who are opposed to vaccinations. A few high-profile celebrities, along with a growing grassroots movement, have made their vaccine refusal a big issue in the media, and this has many new parents wondering what they should do.

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How To Keep The Internet Safe For Your Kids And Home

By Liz Krause

When it comes to the internet, gone are the days when parents know more than the kids – or so it seems. The fact of the matter is, although a child may know how to use the internet faster and quicker, it is the parents’ responsibility to protect them from the dark side of the web.

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Encouraging Your Toddlers Caring Side

You probably find that little toddlers can be very kind and sweet but this is not always the case. How do you encourage their sympathetic side?

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How Safe Are Sunscreens Ingredients?

When people go to the store to buy sunscreen, they assume that the products they purchase are safe and effective. Whether you purchase sunscreen for trips to the beach, lounging poolside, or for everyday protection against the sun’s rays, you probably expect to be able to rely on your sunscreen to protect you from sun damage.

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Building Confidence in Children

Are you helping or hindering your child’s self-esteem and feeling of confidence? Say your child tries to carry their bowl of food and a beaker of juice across the room, then trips and spills everything. Do you say ‘I told you not to do that! Now see what you have done!’ It is tempting but it would be much more helpful to say something like ‘Oh dear, you tried, but it didn’t work. Don’t worry. Next time you can try carrying things one by one’. This way your child is not made to feel worse than he already does for failing at trying to do something. Also, it is important to bear in mind that it is not only what your child directly hears you saying but what he also overhears you telling other people like, ‘he’s so clumsy!’ or ‘he never learns’. This can leave the child feeling that this is the absolute unchangeable truth.

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7 Common Mistakes First-Time Parents Make

Parenting is one of the hardest jobs you will ever have, and no stage is more difficult than the first few months with your first child. It is easy to be led astray by misguided assumptions and poorly thought-out plans, and it is practically impossible to completely avoid making any mistakes. Parenting is after all a learning process, but you can avoid some of the most common mistakes simply by being aware of them in advance. Here are seven of the most common issues that arise for first-time parents.

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The 6 Most Important Parent-Child Talks

No one said parenting was going to be easy. As children grow up, countless issues can arise, and as parents it is our job to try to guide our children through these times to the best of our abilities. An essential part of this job is to talk to our children about serious issues that kids face. These talks are not always easy, and they can be downright uncomfortable for both parent and child. However, they are crucial for a child’s development, and they are also useful for establishing the lines of communication.

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Helping Kids deal with Anger

Anger is something that kids learn. From too much violence on television, to video games, the internet, and music, violent images and words surround us all. While adults can listen to or view these things without having them directly impact the way they behave or treat others, children are an entirely different matter.

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The Importance of Teaching Kids About Money

These days, too many people do not learn about money and finance until it is far too late. Americans now hold more debt than ever before, and this is at least in part due to the fact that many of us have had no financial education. Sadly, this has led to millions of cases in which individuals do not begin to get serious about their finances until they are in their 30s or 40s and already thousands of dollars in the hole.

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Can an Herbal Remedy Stop the Sniffles?

In my household, winter time usually means one thing–runny noses. My children’s noses are like a faucet that never turns off–and if it does, it just starts running again a few days later. I don’t think much of this until I get a bad cold. Like right now–I’ve been perpetually sick for the last two weeks–and I’m miserable. So my poor kids, who have been dealing with this since the day winter hit, they really must be miserable. What’s a mom to do? (Especially since cough and cold medicines are not advised for children under 2, according to the FDA.)

The Canadian company Afexa Life Sciences wants to change this and give moms an option, herbal remedy. More »

Understanding Kids with Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia is a condition that is often associated with diabetes. It is characterized by low blood sugar (glucose) levels. Hypoglycemia itself is not a disease, but an indicator of some other health problem. It is a very dangerous condition for kids simply because our brains need a steady supply of glucose in order to function properly.

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Avoiding Sibling Rivalry: How to Prepare Your Child for a New Arrival

By Jamell Andrews

All kids are different, and not every first child responds poorly to the arrival of a second one. In fact, some young children do not show any signs of sibling rivalry at all, instead welcoming new additions to the family with open arms. While some children are temperamentally predisposed to welcoming younger siblings, parents need to be prepared for problems to arise, and there are certain things you can do beforehand to make sure your firstborn adjusts well.

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A Parent’s Guide to Cyberbullying

By Lisa Pecos

There have always been bullies, but the internet has given mean kids a whole new platform to bully others, and this new platform comes with some serious concerns that parents need to be aware of. Many people tend to think that being on the receiving end of occasional bullying is a normal part of childhood, and that it might even build character. But as recent events have shown, cyberbullying is a serious matter and needs to be treated as such.

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Dyslexia in Children

By Jamell Andrews

Dyslexia is an impairment of the brain that causes difficulty with translating written images into language. It is one of the most misunderstood learning disabilities in the United States, and it is also the most common one. It is believed that dyslexia affects approximately 15% of the United States population, though everyone who is affected by this disorder is not properly diagnosed.

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How to Beat the Childhood Obesity Epidemic

By Marc Courtiol

According to the latest figures from the Centers for Disease Control, nearly 20 percent of American children between the ages of 6 and 11 are now obese, and 18 percent of young people between ages 12 and 19 meet the criteria for obesity. These numbers are startling enough on their own, and they do not even take into account the children who are officially overweight but not obese. All in all, one third of American children are bigger than they should be.

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7 Ways to Improve Your Child’s School Performance

By Lisa Pecos

School is where kids acquire the bulk of their learning, but it is hard to have success at school without a solid foundation of education in the home, starting at a very early age and continuing through the teen years. Most parents are aware of the things they can do to prepare their young children for the school years, but too many parents neglect to continue their early efforts, assuming that the teachers will take care of the rest. If you want your child to have the best chances of success later in life, it is important to continue your educational efforts. Here are just a few ways that you can help.

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Toxic Materials and Toys: What to Watch For

As if we need one more thing to worry about these days, the LA Times recently published an article on watching out for toxic toy materials. Although regulations on toxic materials in toys do exist, there are  many harmful substances that aren’t regulated at all. You probably remember when Mattel made headlines in 2007 for having to recall millions of toys because they contained lead paint–both the toy industry and parents where in a huge uproar about exposing their children to harmful chemicals. As a result, changes were made, regulations were put in place, but a ton still needs to be done.

The article reports, “One of the main problems is that children, particularly those younger than 3, often put toys in their mouths or otherwise use toys in ways that they were not intended. But even older children can be at risk due to behaviors such as sucking on a necklace. Experts agree that until a comprehensive U.S. policy is in place to identify and disclose all toxic ingredients, consumers should (A) not panic and (B) do some research before joining the throngs of holiday shoppers.”

The LA Times put together a list of what to watch for. It’s long, which gives you one more reason to start your holiday shopping now–it’s going to require some homework if you you want to keep your mini-me’s out of harm’s way. More »

Our Nations Most Powerful Educators; The Parents

By Tiffany Chappelle

‘Oh, I wish I had the time!’ are the words most often uttered from other parents when I mention I read to my two sons, ages six and eight every single night for a minimum of thirty minutes. I am torn between insult by this comment, which suggests that I am not as busy as they are, and pity they and their children are being denied such an amazing experience. I see this time as essential not only for reconnecting with my boys after a day apart, as a chance to snuggle and be affectionate, or to create a magical, bonding moment that will be treasured for a lifetime, but also as a chance to practice our listening, comprehension, and vocabulary skills. No, I don’t have a degree in education, and I am not striving for one. But the day a person becomes a parent they are given the honor and responsibility of being the primary and most influential educators in their child’s life. A mother or father is the first educators a child encounters, the ones that know their children best, and the ones who should have the highest interest in their children’s success in school. It’s a tragedy that we as parents in this country are not living up to this important role in our children’s lives.

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Avoiding Sugary Cereals

When I was little, every Sunday, my mom used to drive my brother and I to my grandmother’s house, where she would take us to church. After church, we always stopped by the local grocery store and somehow, someway, my brother and I would finagle our way into each getting a box of cereal. And this wouldn’t be any ordinary cereal, it was SUGARY cereal. Oh the joy! My grandmother would then drive us back to her house, where we would jump out of the car, and run inside, wanting to show my mom what we got. Now, sugar wasn’t really allowed in our neck of the woods, so my mother would give a big sigh, and make a compromise that we could eat it, as long as we mixed it with a non-sugary cereal (such as Cheerios). This lasted until my grandmother got too old to drive, which meant my mom would drop off us off at church, and the whole grocery store part would be skipped. And by that age, I was More »

Signs Your Child May Have ADHD

By Jamell Andrews

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is believed to affect about 4 million kids in the U.S. and millions more throughout the world. Over the last several years, ADHD has often been seen a trendy diagnosis, with many people dismissing it as a mere personality trait rather than a problem that warrants treatment. But while there are actually some benefits to mild ADHD, any parent of a severely ADHD child knows that this condition can be quite detrimental, especially when it comes to school. Kids with ADHD often have trouble focusing in class, and they tend to act up in ways that may earn them reputations as problem students.

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Parenting Through Play

by Ben Johnson

Anyone who has spent any amount of time around children know that all kids love to play. My three year old daughter will spend hours with a stuffed animal in one hand and a toy dinosaur in the other. I don’t always understand what each one is saying, but based on the excitement in her voice, they are having a very stimulating conversation. The only thing she seems to enjoy more is when I pick up a toy and join in with her.

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Dining Out With Children: Should It Ever Be Okay?

By Lisa Pecos

When it comes to dining with children, too many parents fall into the trap of thinking that the rest of the world should happily accommodate their children without complaint. Because we love our children so much, it is easy to forget that other people may not be as charmed by them. This is especially true in grownup restaurants, where diners expect to be able to have a quiet, relaxed meal without someone else’s loud kids running around and disrupting one’s meal.

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Getting Kids to Eat Healthy Foods

By Lisa Pecos

According to the USDA, kids between the ages of 9 and 13 require at least six servings of fruits and vegetables per day, with each serving being either a half cup of fresh, frozen, or canned vegetables or a medium-sized fruit. Kids between 4 and 8 need about five servings per day, while teenagers need the recommended amount for adults-seven or eight servings per day.

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Safest Booster Seats Revealed

By Jamell Andrews

As parents, one of our most important jobs is to make sure that our children stay safe at all times. Even if you consider yourself to be an exceptionally safe driver, accidents can happen to anyone. To be prepared for this event, security experts recommend that parents use booster seats for school-aged children who are still too small for automobile safety straps.

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Study: Parents at Risk of Postnatal Depression

By Jamell Andrews

A study just released by the Medical Research Council in the U.K. reveals that postnatal depression (also known as postpartum depression), which has been well documented among women, also affects a substantial percentage of new fathers. Looking at a group of 86,957 families, the study found that 39% of mothers experience at last one episode of depression within the first 12 years of being a parent, while 21% of men experience an episode. These findings raise new questions about the emotional effects of parenting and highlight the importance of mental health treatment for young parents of both sexes.

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Signs of Depression in Children and Teens

By Marc Courtiol

While childhood depression can be triggered by events such as changing schools, divorce, moving, or a death in the family, there is a genetic component to depressive mood disorders, and some children are more predisposed to these feelings than others. In past generations childhood depression was often dismissed as normal growing pains, but now that we know more about the causes, symptoms and long-term effects of depression, early detection and treatment of depression have become important concerns.

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Your Family and Understanding Meningitis

Meningitis is an infection that results from inflammation around the brain and spinal cord coverings (or membranes). It occurs most often in children (including teenagers) and young adults, though it can pose a risk to some older adults who have weakened immune systems.

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Children and Illness: The Main Reasons that Kids Miss School

By Cyndra Neal

Many parents can probably relate to having a child who seems to be sick all the time. Often times, parents find themselves wondering why their kids get sick so often. They may even feel like their kids are sick more often than other people’s children. The reality, however, is that most kids get sick several times a year, particularly when they are younger.

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Understanding your Child’s Temperament

By Jameel Andrews

When children have personalities that are drastically different from their parents or siblings, it frequently causes a bit of frustration for everyone else, particularly the parents. If you find yourself becoming frustrated because you do not understand the temperament of your child, there are some steps you can take that will help your household to run smoother and experience more calm.

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Teaching Kids about Money

By Marc Courtiol

While many parents often mention the fact that they wish they had learned more at an early age about how to handle money, many of them are surprisingly hesitant to discuss such matters with their own children. This seems a bit odd, since so many of us wish that our children had a better grasp of the reality that money does not grow on trees; nor is it available in an endless supply for the majority of us.

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Helping Children Deal with Divorce

By Jamell Andrews

Divorce is a stressful event for everyone involved. Just because parents are the two individuals who are directly going through the process, it does not mean that the children involved are immune from the negative effects. For the most part, the various reactions that children have to news of divorce will depend upon their ages, temperament, and the specific circumstances that surround the divorce.

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Understanding Puberty

By Marc Courtiol

There are various stages of puberty that most of us are painfully familiar with. Even though the majority of us understand what happens to girls and boys as they hit puberty, many of us do not completely understand the science behind the changes that occur during that time.

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KidPort Educational Service

We really like the internet learning resource developed by Bryan Knysh. Kidport is an educational service that helps kids hone their fundamental learning skills in math, language and science by self-reflection on the learning process itself. The course is composed of multiple learning modules that include cognitive, curriculum and experience based components. More »

Risk, Adventure, and Your Child – LifeJackets

By Brendan Madden

A rogue gust capsized the small sailboat, sending the Farley-McSorley family tumbling into the waters of Lake Fairlee. As their lifejackets bobbed them back to the surface, 10-year-old Madison took charge.

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The Art of Sharing – Shared Custody

My Experiences with Shared Custody

Our breakup started and ended quickly. That said I had probably missed all the signals a failing relationship yields the whole year and half we were together. In that time we had shared an apartment, friends and our son. In hindsight we were naive to think a relationship with so little chance to grow before Austin came along would succeed. We did our best to accommodate the changes a child brings. We picked out the best daycare, bought all the necessities and read the books people suggested. Austin became the best thing in our lives. Soon it had become clear he was the only topic we could discuss without argument, the only reason we were still together.

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Simple Steps to Building Character in Children

By Jamell Andrews

In an effort to teach children how to be responsible, respectful, and honest throughout their lives, schools throughout the United States have implemented structured character education classes. For the most part, parents are extremely supportive of these types of programs because they want their children to learn how to respect others, how to have integrity, and how to exhibit self-control.

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That, I understand! Parenting

By Ambyr Hunt

So, their are times when I am up late enough to watch the old episodes of Seinfeld. I just love Seinfeld and the raw truth that is “uncovered” during each show. The presentation of each life lesson is so hysterical that their are times when I have to pause the t.v. and catch my breath! Seriously, I don’t know if I think it’s funny because I have lived out some of the drama presented or if it’s just that I am up late and slap happy! Either way, I just can’t make it through a show without wiping tears of laughter off my face! More often than not, I am laughing alone in bed with a very annoyed sleeping husband. To me, it’s worth every frustrated grunt that comes from his side of the bed!

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What Luck, A Duck!

By Ambyr Hunt

I used to read the kids this book called “What Luck, A Duck!” when they were younger. Basically, It’s a book about this boy who is painting in his garage and he’s really just not very good. Luckily for him this duck comes along and steps in his paint and low and behold, he now holds in his hands a masterpiece. It’s not really a very good book but I liked it just because it rhymed and I’m a sucker for rhyming books. Tonight however we had a not so lucky encounter with a duck, but it is so freakin’ hysterical that if I didn’t share it, I’d be letting all of you down.

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Bus Missed – Transportation to School

By Ambyr Hunt

First of all let me tell you, I am so grateful or my seven children and their sometimes idiotic behaviour. Yes, their behaviour coupled with mine makes this blog possible on a weekly, sometimes daily, basis.

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Easing the Pain of Family Springtime Allergies

By Jamell Andrews

For many of us, springtime brings a lot more than warm weather and extended hours of daylight. It also brings chaotic allergies because of pollen, dry air, and gusting winds that blow everything around even more than usual.

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What to do if your Child is being Bullied

By Anna Rekal

Bullying can come in a variety of different forms, and it can start as early as preschool. Children may be picked on or teased, or they may be forced into certain behaviors or activities in order to avoid being beaten up or have their lunch money stolen.

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5 Parenting Tips for Communicating with Children & Teens

There is nothing that adequately prepares us for the most important job there is—parenting. Children and teens do not come with an owner’s manual, and most of our training is on the job. With our own parents as our most prominent role models, we tend to repeat what we have learned about parenting from them. We do our best, learn as we go, and make our own mistakes along the way; but we don’t have to leave our parenting to chance. We can become more effective parents. We can parent with more confidence instead of frustration. Parenting can be enjoyable and rewarding instead of stressful.

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Soothing a Fussy Baby

If you are the parent of an infant, it is pretty much inevitable that you will have to deal with a fussy baby at least from time to time. For many parents, dealing with a fussy baby is a regular occurrence that quickly leads to frustration, loss of energy, and a lack of sleep.

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Raising Happy Children

By Jamell Andrews

Raising happy children does not have anything to do with the material possessions that you give to them. Regardless of how many toys kids have or how much you try to shield them from the harsher aspects of life, the ability of children to be happy as they grow up is largely based on internal factors.

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Do Kids NEED Cell Phones?

By Cyndra Neal

This is a question that many parents find themselves wondering about, often when their children are as young as eight or nine years old. Kids are asking for technological gadgets at increasingly early ages, claiming that they need things like cell phones, video games, iPods, and laptop computers.

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Understanding and Fighting Childhood Obesity

Over the past 30 years, childhood obesity has been steadily on the rise among children aged 6 to 19. In children between the ages of 2 and 5, about 14% of them are now classified as being overweight. Approximately 20% of kids aged 6 to 11 are overweight and 19% of kids between the ages of 12 and 19 are overweight. All of these figures are up significantly from statistics that were obtained in the early 1970s, with all of them more than doubling in a relatively short amount of time.

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Your Teenager Could Have Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, is a form of depression that affects teenagers at the same time every year. For the majority of the United States population, the most common time of year for the onset of SAD is fall or early winter. Though some teenagers are affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder in the spring or summer, it is not nearly as common during these seasons.

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Ways to Make your Baby Smarter

By Jamell Andrews

When it comes to infant development, most experts agree that the first few years of your child’s life are the most important in terms of stimulating their learning. If you are looking for some fun, creative ways to get your baby started with learning, these ideas may help you to get the process going.

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Are You Aware of Eating Disorders in Adolescence

By Wendy Wood

Do you suspect that your child has an eating disorder? By watching your child’s eating habits you will soon find out if he or she, in fact, has an eating disorder. Here are is a list of tips, tricks and methods for learning more about your child’s eating habits in hopes that we can help your with your situation or to keep if from happening all together.

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Parents, Teenagers and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

By Jamell Andrews

Chronic fatigue syndrome, or CFS, is a very difficult disorder to diagnose in adults and teenagers. The primary symptom associated with chronic fatigue syndrome is extreme fatigue, which does not improve even with extended periods of rest. Though Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is one that is now widely accepted by researchers and doctors as being a legitimate illness, the exact cause of it is still unknown.

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Guess How Children Learn

Children thrive in nurturing environments, so it is important that they be introduced to learning opportunities at a very young age. In fact, the earlier you start introducing your kids to different learning tools, the better off they will be in the long run.

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The Complementary Parenting Styles of Mom and Dad

By Jamell Andrews

It is believed that children develop into who they (ultimately) are based on the confidence their parents have as parents. In other words, if mom and dad are not comfortable being parents, or if they do not exude very much self-confidence in this role, their children are likely to pick up on these feelings. This can contribute to the overall sense of insecurity or lack of self-esteem that children may feel as they grow older.

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Stepping Into a New Role: Balancing Love as a Stepmother

By Jessica Lawson

With divorce rates in America at an all-time high, it is practically inevitable that our children will be affected by broken marriages either directly or through friends. Difficulties, both emotional and physical (due to moving back and forth between residences), can threaten a child’s sense of home and blur the roles of parents.

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Jane Eyre – How to Raise a Kid with Good Self-Esteem

By David Bain

Jesse Jackson once said, “Your children need your presence more than your presents”. When stated it seems obvious that a child’s early years can determine the rest of their life. What seems so obvious, however, is often ignored. Parents often forget that offering support and companionship is as important as a good home and material possessions. It is important for parents to understand that a child’s self-esteem is determined, in large part, by how they are raised. Creating self-esteem is one of the most important aspects of parenting.

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Old and New Natural Ways to Prevent Colds

By Marc Courtiol

If you are a parent to a baby or toddler, you are undoubtedly used to your little one having several colds each year. In fact, it may even seem like as soon as your child has finally gotten over a cold, another one mysteriously appears not far behind. While your first instinct might be to reach for the nearest over the counter cold remedy for children, many doctors are now advising against it.

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Getting your Kids to Eat Healthy Foods

By Jamell Andrews

Parents often have meal time battles with their children. The kids decide that they do not like what you are serving them, or they just decide that they would rather have something else. Whatever the reason, one of the worst things you can do as a parent is give in to your kids’ demands and fix something else for them to eat.

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Parents! Rid your Home of Harmful Allergens

For those of us who suffer from allergies, sometimes getting through the day can be a daunting task. Symptoms ranging from itchy, watery eyes to a constantly runny nose contribute to making our lives miserable when our bodies are assaulted by allergens that they simply cannot deal with.

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Understanding Adult ADHD and Children ADHD

The first thing to understand about Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is that it is a neurobiological condition. After depression, ADHD is the second most common mental health disorder in adults, affecting about 5% of the United States population.

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Soy and Health Issues in Children

Many people have turned to soy alternatives in the belief that these foods and beverages are healthier for their children. However, consistent research over the past several years has indicated that soy products may ultimately cause more harm than good.

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How to Find the Right Preschool

Finding the right preschool for your child can be a challenge. With a variety of different options to choose from, parents can easily become overwhelmed when trying to decide which type of program would be the most suitable for their child.

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Preparing for Your Child Becoming a Teenager

As adolescents, children are attempting to acquire the skills they will need in order to achieve independence as adults. This is the time that they become their own person and create their own group of friends, and this period of transition is typically quite difficult. While some children seem to breeze through their teenage years without a care or problem in the world, the majority of them struggle daily with a variety of different issues.

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