Posts tagged Parenting

What’s Hot: Mean, by Taylor Swift (or, Tales of our First Girl Sleepover)

My daughter, Katy, had her first sleepover party recently.  She’s 9 now, and I promised when she was done with third grade she could have one.  I was a little nervous.  Although we’ve had countless boy sleepovers, this was our first GIRL sleepover.

Boy sleepovers are rowdy, wild, and full of videogames.  What would girls want to do?

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Bedsharing with your children – experts say “no harm, no benefit”

CNN today had an interesting article on bedsharing with your toddler. Basically, the experts say while it’s not advisable for infants under 12 months old to bedshare, or co-sleep, there is no harm for kids older than 1 year. What’s important is that parents and kids are getting safe and sufficient sleep:

“If a family is going to bed-share, both parents must agree to it,”  explains Brett Kuhn, associate professor of pediatrics and psychology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha.  “Make sure it’s planned and intentional and that you do it from the beginning of the night to the end of the night.  You’re not going to play musical beds when the child fusses.”

Bringing a child into your bed to stop repeated episodes of crying may not only interrupt parental sleep but  interfere in the child’s ability to soothe himself to sleep.

I agree it’s important that kids need to know how to fall asleep on their own – without you there.  But I disagree with the “whole night” requirement above.

Every family is different, and what works for some, doesn’t work for others.

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Letters to Santa…

Every year for Christmas I have the kids make a short list to mail to Santa.  The rules are simple:  you can have up to 10 things on the list, and you have to put a “star” by the top 3 things you really want.  They understand they may not get anything on the list, but it makes them think about what they really want, and I have a clue what to get them.

What’s interesting about their letters to Santa is there are no Zhu Zhu Pets, Squinkies, LaLaLoopsie dolls, Monster High dolls, or any other “hot” toy – other than the Nerf Stampede.

The lesson to be learned here is, maybe it’s not so important to know – or care – about the “hot” toy lists.  Maybe it’s more important to have a dialogue with your child, and talk about their hopes and dreams for the holidays.  Then balance that with your budget and what you feel comfortable giving.

As my daughter reminded me yesterday, “Mommy, Christmas is really about Jesus’ birthday”.  And my son piped in, “And it’s about being together with people you care about”.  So they know.  And I feel good about that.  But, I also do want a few presents for them to unwrap and play with.  Because they are kids, and Christmas is still a magical time for them.  And a magical time for me, because they are still young and we are all at home together.  Now, what to do with the $77 of Squinkies I bought…

What did your kids ask for?  Were you surprised?

Photo:  Scott Feldstein

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16 things you should always have in your car if you have kids



When traveling with kids, expect the unexpected.  A bloody knee in the mall parking lot.  A desperate plea to pee 30 miles from any rest area.  An impromptu picnic because the doctor’s appointment ran late, and the kids need to eat.  Now.

I always keep the van prepped and ready to go.  That way, we’re always ready for an adventure.  It makes it easier for me, too, as there’s no packing or prep when we have to go anywhere.  My list of things I keep stashed in my van:

  1. Kleenex
  2. Wipes
  3. Paper towels
  4. Full first aid kit with bandaids and a cold pack
  5. Water bottles – for emergency drinking or cleaning of wounds
  6. Umbrella
  7. Blanket – good for impromptu picnics, or snuggling if cold
  8. Small MagnaDoodle
  9. Extra jackets for each kid – we stash both a windbreaker and a fleece for each kid, and a windbreaker for each grownup
  10. Snacks: granola bars (non melty – not chocolate coated); almonds; fruit chews
  11. Potty gear: extra diapers/pull-ups (diaper cream, changing pad); pee jar (for small boys) – Peter Pan peanut butter works well (make sure it’s leak proof)
  12. Picnic pack – plates, spoons, cups, tablecloth (we use a twin sheet – can also use as an extra blanket)
  13. Pen
  14. Lipgloss
  15. Purell
  16. Plastic grocery bags to use as trash bags

Everything is stored in a specific place, so it’s out of sight, but accessible.  We use a low, flat, open cardboard box (from buying a case of Snapple) stashed under the middle seat for the wipes, Kleenex, and paper towels.  First aid kit is tucked in compartment under front passenger seat.  In the back of the van:  jackets packed in a large fabric bag that zips shut; blankets; umbrella; 24 pack of water bottles; a small bag for snacks, picnic gear, and diapers/pee jar.  MagnaDoodle goes in a seat pocket.  Pen and lipgloss go in a front dash compartment, and Purell goes in a front cupholder – so it’s easy for me to grab and pass around to the kids.   Also, my van is not a trash can – we do a quick clean out every time we go anywhere, as a rule.

What do you stash in your car to make your life easier?

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