Tag: parenting

Is my child gifted? Helpful advice and online resources from an educational expert.

I still remember when my son’s then first-grade teacher asked if they could test him for the gifted program in our school district. I looked at her and asked, “Are you sure?” I just thought my sweet, curious boy asked a lot of questions. Like, a whooooole lot. But gifted? Even after he was identified as qualifying for our program, navigating next steps was extremely challenging. I had to understand my rights with the GIEP (Gifted Individualized Education Plan); find him educational support outside of school; and then figure out how it would impact his siblings and whether they should be tested too....

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If toilets could talk: 9 funny things every parent wishes our homes could say to our kids.

We’re happy to be working with our sponsor Brother to bring you this post If we had a nickel for every time we told our kids to put away their shoes or pick up their toys, well, we’d be writing this from our yacht in the south of France while Jeeves served us lunch. Sorry to disappoint you but none of us are writing this from our yacht in the south of France. Yet.  But, what if our actual furniture, appliances, and garbage bins could talk? Or at least, leave notes for our kids, to give us a little break from the...

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Web coolness: A tribute to Carrie Fisher (sniff), an upcoming March for Moms, and research that may explain lots of marital tensions

  You have to watch this video tribute to Carrie Fisher from the Star Wars Celebration. RIP, General. April the Giraffe gives birth, internet gets happy. And snarky. Guess which major paper now is the first to have women covering every sports beat? Congrats to Malala Yousafzai, the UN’s youngest ever Messenger of Peace. Lovely post about a new way to look at giving birth. A new favorite Etsy shop supporting empowered women! A great way to celebrate Mother’s Day: The March for Moms in DC, to help advocate for maternal health issues around the world. A statistical analysis from fivethirtyeight about the frightening impact...

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A law to force parents to RSVP to kids’ parties: We’re in!

Who among us hasn’t sat around thinking, if I ran the world… Well, our newest partner, STARZ, asked me to do just that, and took me, oh, about a minute to decide what I would do if I assumed the throne. Don’t miss a fun giveaway below! Now of course I’d want to devote billions of dollars or pounds or yen or rupees toward ensuring my citizens were safe, healthy and prosperous. That should go without saying. But my very first act: Legislating timely RSVPs for children’s parties. (What? I’m a queen! I can totally make that a law. And if you’re a parent I know you support...

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How to get free admission during National Park Week

If this gorgeous spring weather has you itching to get outside with your family, we’ve got the perfect excuse to head out to one of our national parks this weekend: it’s free! This year, the National Park Service turns 100 years old, and to celebrate, during National Park Week (April 16-24), admission at all national parks will be free. As in, totally free. For everyone. Whoo!   Related: 22 National Parks and Sites you can visit without hiking boots. Maybe even without a plane ticket. Of course, we’ve been motivated do whatever we can to support to the awesome National Parks program lately, as...

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Thinking about adopting? Here’s how to get started, from a parent who’s been through the journey.

If your family has been thinking about adopting, I’m here as a BTDT mom to help. This year, my family grew by one more child when my husband and I adopted our daughter, a spunky 2-year-old from South Korea. It feels like we’re experts on adoption at this point, having waited a full three years to get her home, but it doesn’t feel that long ago that we were totally clueless about where to start. I’m not going to lie, the process is long and bumpy. And it can be exhausting, both emotionally and physically. But without hesitation I’d highly recommend it to anyone who feels...

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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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A penny for your thoughts? This new card game helps kids process those hard emotions.

When I look back at some of my biggest parenting fails, most of them have occurred when I haven’t taken the time to consider my kids’ emotions or help them process their worry, anger, fear, or whatever else it is they are experiencing right in that very moment. That’s why I’m loving the beautiful new card game illustrated by Jaime Letourneau, A Penny For Your Thoughts, created to help kids talk about emotions. I spent some time this week playing this game with my most passionate — read: unpredictable — child at bedtime, and I saw an almost immediate positive impact in his (or her,...

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Move over Kim: 10 awesome celebrity parents on Instagram who aren’t afraid to get real

Not all of us moms are so genetically blessed as to fit into our skinny jeans two weeks postpartum — let alone thick-skinned enough to “love ourselves as we are” all the time. #NOnomakeupselfie #sorrynotsorry So bless those awesome celebrity moms — and dads! — who are willing to show us the truth about parenting, so that we can all feel a little better about our bad days, our toddler tantrums, and yeah, our cellulite. Top photo: Kelly Clarkson on Instagram   Would you believe I'm 160 pounds and 5'3"? By 'regular standards' that makes me obese. I know I'm not at...

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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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The one word that made me a better parent. Hint: It’s from Bob’s Burgers.

My kids are 8 and 10 now, and I tend to think of them as tiny adults. They can mostly keep themselves alive without any assistance from me. But they’re still careless when it comes to noise, mess, and responsibility. In other words, they still act like, well, kids. Which means that I get pretty annoyed with them. Easily and often. The kids left a mess in the kitchen. The kids didn’t feed the cats. The kids piled Transformer parts and clean clothes in their dirty laundry baskets. At the end of a long day, it’s easy to lose my cool when the kids...

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One quick laundry tip that will save you loads (ha!) of time

With six people living in my house, there are days when I feel like all I do is laundry. And that the baskets of dirty clothes just keep piling up. (Stop the insanity!) But there is one quick laundry tip has changed my life in a good way: My family quit using laundry baskets. Instead of tossing their dirty clothes in the baskets in their room, then spending a day lugging them up and down the stairs, sorting, and washing them, my kids now put their clothes straight in the washing machine when they change after their showers each night. After a...

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3 simple ways to find more one-on-one time with your kids, no babysitter required.

As a single mom of four kids, you can probably imagine how tough it is to give my kids individual time, at least without hiring a babysitter and spending even more money on dinner or a movie. Turns out, you don’t have to spend money — or even need a second adult in the house — to give your kids the one-on-one time they love and need, where they’re getting your absolute, undivided attention. In addition to Stacie’s terrific post on how she turned after-school snack time with her kids into meaningful together time, check out my own 3 simple ways I’ve learned to...

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Are you paying your babysitter enough? 9 surprising stats about childcare.

One of the questions parents are always asking each other is, “how much should I be spending on my babysitter or nanny?” The answer is so tough. The last thing I want to do is underpay someone with the important job of taking care of my kids, but I know that rates depends on the experience of the sitter, whether it’s a part-time high school student or an experience, trained full-time nanny, and of course, where we live. Related: 21 inspired ideas when you’ve only got a two-hour date night So I talked to the folks at UrbanSitter who recently conducted a national...

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Web coolness: Beyoncé lips, fab scarves, sex during pregnancy (or not), and the Moonlight acceptance speech we all missed,

Here are some links we’ve been reading around the web this week. Hope you like them too.   If you can’t have lips like Beyoncé, how about Beyoncé lips? Follow Jazmina Dial for mindblowing makeup art and tutorials! (Her galaxy lip art video on YouTube is insane.) Sweet ideas for keepsake gifts for adoptive parents. The household hack we’ve been waiting for our whole lives! When voicemail transcription gets your kid’s name…very very wrong. Hilarious video guide to sex during pregnancy. Or lack thereof. The viral mom-shaming post…that turned out to be a fraud. Interesting take on the Oscars Best Picture fiasco:...

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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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An unexpected way to turn snack time into together time — even with older kids.

My kids are wiped when they get home from school. They always seem to need a snack to recharge and a bit of time to zone out before gearing up for the rest of their day, whether it be for basketball practice, homework, or just running around for some free play time. But because they are school-aged, that zone out time quickly turns into screen time. And you know what screen time for them means for me, right? (Hint: It involves screen time.) Suddenly, I found that in those first moments after school, we were all snacking and staring...

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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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Web coolness: 2017 Oscar party help, postcards for politics, the world’s creepiest invention ever.

Here are some links we’ve liked reading around the web this week. Hope you like them too.   Lots of 2017 Oscar Party ideas including the requisite free printable ballot for the 2017 nominees from Studio DIY (above). 11 more fun Oscar party ideas, from printables to decor and snack ideas to the world’s coolest celeb paper dolls. Mmm…Oscar party food ideas. A list of all the Oscars presenters this year. Where to stream all the 2017 Oscar Best Picture Nominees since you know. We’re parents and we’ve seen nothing. Praise for the diversity of Oscar nominees this year from...

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Web Coolness: Dads playing with dolls, Frog & Toad revelations, Adele and Beyonce, a big tech warning.

Here are some links we’ve liked reading around the web this week. Hope you like them too. Hot off the big intro of their new Wonder Woman action figure, kudos to the Dads who Play Barbie campaign…but wow. Who knew that it would be so groundbreaking to see dads playing with their daughters? On the latest episode of Spawned, Dr. Harvey Karp saves the day with answers to parents’ top questions about sleep! A mom arrested for homeschooling her kids? Doubleyou. Tee. Eff.  Should you stop charging your phone with public ports? Yikes! GoFundMe is launching 500 campaigns to send athletes to...

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