Category: Thinking : Parent

We can’t believe the reason a kids’ softball umpire asked a deaf 10-year-old player to remove her hearing devices.

Parents of kids with special needs are used to having to fight for their kids’ rights. It’s part of the parenting territory. But when my friend told me what happened to her deaf child at her softball tournament this week, I was shocked. Lexi, her daughter, is 100% deaf. She has bilateral cochlear implants, which give her the ability to hear. Coupled with the implants,  a lot of hard work has given Lexi the ability to speak normally. In fact, when she wears her hair so that you can’t see her devices, you’d never even know she was deaf....

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In memory of the 11 year old who died at summer camp from meningitis this week

“Were your kids vaccinated for meningitis?” my father asked as I picked up the phone tonight. He’s always asking me questions like this after seeing something or other in the news or on Facebook. He’s a good Grandpa that way. “Sure,” I said with some relief. “Our doctor strongly recommended it before camp. Turns out a lot of sleepaway camps require it if you go more than a few days. So both of my girls got them done. Why do you ask?” “Your stepmother is paying a condolence call to a friend,” he said. It was not at all what...

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What does being American mean to you? We love these artists’ answers.

In honor of the Fourth of July (happy 241, America!)  I’m grateful to our friends at Tattly Tattoos who put together this lovely photographic series, in which they asked all different makers, creators, and entrepreneurs to describe what it means to them to be American. While yes, it’s a promotion for Tattly tattoos, it’s just so interesting to read so many different answers to the question. The artists touch on topics from opportunity, to diversity, compassion, pride in your heritage, hard work, and the continued quest for equality. Related: The patriotic t-shirt that reminds us what makes America wonderful Robert Moy of...

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Bandages to heal kids’ emotional boo-boos: Helicopter-y or helpful? | Thinking: Parent

This post is written by guest contributor Anna Caudill, Executive Director of PALS (Post Adoptive Learning Services) and adoptive mom of two. Recently, Dutch bandage company Hanasplast created a limited time box of Hearts bandages designed to “heal emotional wounds.” Now before I became a parent, I’m pretty sure I would have laughed at the idea. In fact, some parents are probably laughing at the idea now. You’re upset? Here’s a popsicle. Moving on… My friend Kate, an associate editor at Cool Mom Picks, told me that her first reaction was to roll her eyes, thinking of the bandages as...

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Think you’re ready to become a theater parent? Ask yourself these 11 questions first.

This post is written in partnership with Warner Bros. Pictures When our partner, THE HOUSE (Will Ferrell! Amy Poehler! Can you wait until June 30?) asked me if I had any stories to share about the lengths we parents sometimes go to help support our kids dreams, just like the parents do in the new movie — well, yes. Yes I do. Because my daughter’s dream is to be an actress. And oh man, am I in trouble. Thalia performing “Trailer Trash” from Cowgirls with perfect pitch, which she definitely did not inherit from me | At top: Sage and...

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Speaking up is hard to do: The N-word, the culture of complicity, and why we have to say, that’s not okay.

This weekend, Senator Ben Sasse issued a response to address the (rightful) outrage around his Friday night appearance with Bill Maher. He stated that he should have spoken up when Maher unacceptably used the N-word. He tweeted that “just cringing last night wasn’t good enough.” (Whether or not he looked to be cringing is up for debate, but I’ll take his word for it that he was cringing on the inside.) Only a few weeks before, Billy Bush finally broke his silence about the infamous Access Hollywood tape on which the president bragged about sexually assaulting women. Bush told The Hollywood Reporter,  “if a moment like that rose...

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America’s top misspelled words by state. Can Mississippi spell Mississippi?

Being a data nerd (as Spawned podcast listeners well know), every so often I find myself down the rabbit hole of Google Trends, a super interesting — if somewhat frightening — look at just what the world is searching for day to day. And with this being National Spelling Bee week (whoo!) Google provided this dandy — if somewhat frightening — list ofAmerica’s top misspelled words by state. Did I mention I’m also a word nerd? Now at first glance I think okay, I get Georgia’s top search; it’s hard to know if it’s grey or gray. (Answer: both are acceptable, though gray is...

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You won’t believe that an 11 year old wrote this Memorial Day poem

When a dear friend of mine published this poem for Memorial Day, I gasped when I realized it was written by her 11-year-old son (and nephew of our own associate editor Christina) who I’ve known since he was a baby. Lucas has always been a sweet, remarkable kid — and yes, I’m biased — but I think you’ll agree his writing is extraordinary, so I’m thrilled I have permission to republish it here. This poem would be an exquisite tribute to our fallen troops from any poet of any age, but the fact that Lucas wrote this in a competition for his sixth grade ELA teachers…well, wow....

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After Manchester: Essential safety tips to discuss with your kids about crowds and separation

The second I saw those big pink balloons in early images flooding media from the Manchester Arena last night, without knowing a single other thing about the story, I thought, Oh my God…whatever happened, there are children there. It was a rough night for me, as I’m sure it was for all of you, and for parents around the world. It’s hard enough for us to process our own feelings as parents and as caring human beings when we hear about a terrorist attack, especially one that’s impacted so many children and families — let alone knowing we’re also going...

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The danger of fidget spinners: Miniature death traps! Or…not.

THE DANGER OF FIDGET SPINNERS is appearing all over our newsfeeds and splashing across subject lines flooding our inboxes. Hm, why are we not shocked? It was inevitable that the number of articles about the fidget spinner craze (hey, our kids are fans too), would be followed by an equal number of fidget spinner backlash articles. It started with all the reasons the toys could be distracting in classrooms (wait, a toy can be distracting?) and now we’ve moved onto full-on imminent danger. In case you’re starting to panic about the danger of fidget spinners,  I’ve put together what I think are some common sense suggestions as to how...

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8 tips to compliment your kids in ways that are meaningful and empowering

As parents, we’re our kids’ biggest fans, right? That’s why a lot of us tend to compliment them. A lot. Whether it’s the first time they learn to ride a bike, the masterpiece they created in art class, a stellar report card, or even that time they remembered to clean up their toys without being told, we want to praise them like we should, as the song goes. But it turns out, those positive words and our best intentions can have some unintended consequences. And I know, that seems like such a backward way of thinking. Related: Should every kid get a trophy?...

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Thoughtful ways to celebrate Mother’s Day when you really miss your mom.

My mother passed away exactly one year before my first child — her first grandchild — was born. While I miss her every day, it’s Mother’s Day that always seems to swoop in with a special kind of sucker punch. Each year, I take a deep breath and steel myself for all the gifts, cards, brunches. All the photos and Facebook posts. But, it’s not easy. It probably won’t ever be easy. Because, Mother’s Day celebrations without Mom are downright challenging. But, over the years, I’ve come up with some thoughtful ways to spend Mother’s Day without Mom, and through it all, have come...

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The best and worst states for working moms: A whole lot of surprises | Thinking: Parent

Reading the results of today’s WalletHub study on the best and worst states for working moms, well let’s just say that this working mom’s eyes are wide open: 70% of moms with children under 18 are employed, so this is info that really impacts our country as a whole. There’s some great news in the study…and then some states that make me want to storm the governors’ offices and state legislatures, and go all Gloria Steinem on them. The WalletHub methodology is pretty fascinating, at least for a data nerd like me. (And for these purposes, let’s just establish that “working mom” means...

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Lunch-shaming stories from children who can’t afford school lunch will disgust you.

Yes, lunch shaming is a thing, as I just learned from this New York Times article from Bettina Elias Siegel that is so disturbing, I had to stop physically shaking after reading it before I could come here and write this. Evidently in a number of states, children in need are being publically humiliated and emotionally abused — by administrators — if they can’t afford to pay for school lunch or are behind on payments. One Alabama third-grader came home with an “I Need Lunch Money” stamp on his arm, with a happy face on it to presumably soften the blow. How kind of the...

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Mom Up to let your representatives know Equal Pay Day needs to be every day.

Yesterday was Equal Pay Day which feels kind of empowering while it’s happening — and then honestly a little depressing the day after it’s over. Like, who’s still fighting for us? You may already be aware that the gender pay disparity disproportionately impacts working mothers. While white mothers make an average of 71 cents for every dollar white males make, African-American and Hispanic mothers make even less than their male counterparts. Honestly, it’s shameful.   Which is why we are loving a brand new campaign Mom Up America. Launched by The Mom Project, a digital platform that helps connect working women –particularly mothers — with excellent, often flexible work opportunities,...

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30+ fantastic open-ended questions to ask your kids, so you don’t get a yes or no answer.

If you’re not getting much more than a “yeah,” “nope,” or “fine” when you ask about your kid’s day at school, it might be time for some new conversations starters. (Trust us, we’re right there with you.) So we set out to collect dozens of smart, easy, open-ended questions to ask your kids, so you don’t just get a yes or no answer. We’ve thrown these out around our own dinner tables, and have been surprised by how much these 30+ questions really got our kids talking. So, here’s to engaging dinner conversations…with the whole family. Top photo by Jon Flobrant via Unsplash   Open-ended questions about feelings We...

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40 pregnant women in one prison forced to give birth in shackles and leg irons. Horrifying.

A new lawsuit, as reported by the Associated Press, alleges that more than 40 women have been forced to give birth in shackles in the Milwaukee County Jail over just the past six years. And the details are just horrifying. The plaintiff of this civil class action case was admitted for a 7-month sentence while pregnant. She was forced to endure all of her prepartum care in shackles, then give birth to her newborn baby while wearing a restraint called a belly chain, keeping her wrists tied to her waist, while her legs were attached with irons. Even as her own doctors and OBs demanded the...

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When words aren’t enough: A goodbye to Amy Krouse Rosenthal

It’s always a strange and complex feeling to feel the loss of someone you’ve never actually met, but that’s just what I feel right now, learning of today’s passing of author and mom of three, Amy Krouse Rosenthal. This is one woman who definitely left us way too soon. F*ck cancer is right. While a lot of you may have learned her name recently, as the author of the unforgettable You May Want to Marry My Husband Modern Love column in the NY Times, we’ve known her for years as a remarkable children’s author who has filled our kids’ bookshelves with the kinds of titles you...

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Why America needs this comic book about menstruation…written for boys.

One thing Indonesian boys are doing that I wish more American boys were doing: They’re now learning all about girls’ periods, thanks to a comic book about menstruation created by UNICEF. I think it’s simply brilliant. Ever since Judy Blume gave girls the gift of Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret back in 1970, there have been so many books, resources and tools throughout my life to help educate about menstruation and the changing female body — right down to free downloadable period guides, and several shame-free period starter subscription kits that are growing in popularity. But when you think about it, if we don’t start including boys...

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A sweet 7 year old stripped of his bowling medal for the craziest reason. What is going on?

While I am not a fan of the “everyone gets a medal” school of thinking, I do believe in earned accolades. So I was startled to read a story about 7-year-old Canadian student Grayson Powell, a little bowling wunderkind who actually earned a trophy at a Canadian Youth Bowl tournament the old fashioned way — by kicking some pre-adolescent bowling booty in the lanes three times in a row. It wasn’t until the medals ceremony that he was stripped of his win. For a wardrobe violation. And no, he wasn’t wearing an OLD BOWLERS NEVER DIE [blah blah blah] BALLS t-shirt;...

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The one scene in Hidden Figures that every parent should be talking about | Thinking: Parent

Hi, nice to meet you. I’m one of the many parents who tries desperately to squeeze in a few last-minute Oscar nominated movie screenings just before the actual ceremony each year so I have at least a moderate shot at the family Oscar pool. You too? At the very top of my list was Hidden Figures, which I waited to see until my own girls could join me. Yay for February break! And while there are so many moments that will stay with me for a long time, there’s one scene in particular that doesn’t seem to get a lot of analysis, but to me, perfectly embodied why the story of...

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Meet the cool dogs of Cool Mom Picks and the stories of what they’ve done for our families.

Update: This post was originally created on behalf of a brand that regretfully no longer aligns with our core values, and that we have removed from the content here. But we love the stories that our writers have shared, here and we hope you enjoy them too.   If you’ve ever had a dog in your life, you know they can be like your other child. They’ve taught us love, they’ve taught us responsibility, they’ve taught us that we may never need to sweep up around the dining table again. (Ha.) Clearly having a special dog in the house brings a special kind...

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Onward.

Kristen and I have never run this as a partisan or a political site, but that’s not to say that our values aren’t pretty clearly reflected on these pages. Our long-time readers know we are, and have always been, about inclusivity. Positivity. Diversity. Honoring our differences and seeking out what unites us. Providing support for all kinds of loving families, and seeking out more opportunities for all kinds of kids. None of that changed today. We’re still here. You’re still here, the hundreds of thousands of you who share these ideals. We started this site ten years ago in part to lift up those who need lifting up, whether...

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My 9/11 birthday

Adapted from a post originally published on Mom-101.com   Hello. Today is my birthday. Which means your knee-jerk response is probably something like, oh, happy birthday, Liz! But as I’ve come to learn, a few seconds later, a certain realization will strike and you’ll add: Oh wait, today? Oh. Ohhhhhhhh….wow. Wow. Okay. Wow. I’ve had 15 years to get used to it and I’m still not used to it. I don’t know if I ever will be. When you have a 9/11 birthday, especially in New York City, there is no chance of escaping discussion about The Day and what...

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The silver lining of the Mylan EpiPen price hike news, from a mom of a child with food allergies

When we first discovered my oldest daughter was allergic to peanuts and could have an anaphylactic reaction, our allergist told us that keeping EpiPens with her at all times could mean the difference between life and death. Think about that as a parent. Death. Of your child. You can bet that since that day, she has never gone anywhere without her EpiPens. And since that day, we have had a huge additional annual expense that definitely puts a a strain on our budget. But, that’s what you do to keep your kids safe. So you can imagine that we’ve been all ears when it comes...

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Why I stopped making my daughter clean her room | Thinking : Parent

I am a neat person. Well, as neat as a mom of four kids can be. I wasn’t always considered neat. In fact, my college roommate might read this and laugh hysterically because there was a point in time that you couldn’t even see my bed because of the piles of crap. And the sink full of dishes? Record breaking. [Top image: Eye Just Shoot on Etsy] But now there are no piles of crap. Mostly. The dishes are done before I go to bed. (Yay kids, A.K.A. free labor.) And the amount of wiping, and sweeping I do is nearly worthy of...

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Important links we’re reading on a somber week. Because #blacklivesmatter.

Each Friday we offer up web coolness, a collection of our favorite links, videos and articles we’re liking around the web that week. But this week, in light of the horrific murders of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile that are weighing so heavily on our hearts right now, we wanted to share some links specifically around the subject of these tragedies. You’ll find an array of diverse voices and points-of-view that have resonated with us, personally, in various ways. You may not relate to all of them. That’s okay. We think it’s important to hear lots of perspectives. If you are hurting so much you can’t...

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10 simple ways to be a great friend to a new mom (who could probably really use one right now)

The other night, I went to a birthday dinner with four of my nearest and dearest mom friends. We’ve been a mom squad ever since our now 8-year-olds were in an infant playgroup together. Truthfully, back then, I found being a new mom totally isolating. I didn’t have my own mom friends prior to giving birth and my playgroup crew became my go-to besties for advice, sanity checks, humor, and good company. But it wasn’t until I had a serious bout of postpartum depression after my second child was born, that I really thought about how truly important it is to...

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Chrissy Teigen proves celebrities are moms! Just like us!

Oh bless you, Chrissy Teigen. Because for every perfectly retouched celebrity baby photo all over Instagram, every “look how hot I am in a bikini 6 seconds after giving birth” celebrity selfie, every quote from a sanctimonious lucky-gene-club winner about how pregnant women who gain weight and “let themselves go” should be flogged with their own illegal crib bumpers…we have Chrissy Teigen. Yes, she does look beautiful. And so does her baby. But we love her best for her humor. After announcing the birth of Luna Simone Stephens to Chrissy and husband John Legend on April 17, check out some of...

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New study: Married people have an advantage when it comes to cancer survival

This week, a new study was published in the journal Cancer, indicating that married people have a “marked survival advantage” when it comes to cancer. And this here single mom sat up and took note. (If, admittedly, a little defensively at first.) As reported by HealthDayNews on the nih.gov site, researchers from the non-profit Cancer Prevention Institute of California looked at more than 800,000 adults in California diagnosed with invasive cancer over 10 years and the results indicated: -Married men had a 27% higher cancer survival rate than single men -Married women had a 19% higher cancer survival rate than single women. Wow. This also...

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