Jolie Kerr is a cleaning expert, advice columnist, and author of the New York Times bestselling book, My Boyfriend Barfed In My Handbag ... And Other Things You Can't Ask Martha. Her flagship column, "Ask a Clean Person", debuted in 2011. Here on Lifehacker, we've launched a new iteration of it, focusing on parenting and all the messes it brings.
Tagged With children
If there's a person who knows a thing or two about falling, it's Jessie Graff. But for the American Ninja Warrior phenom, the important part is getting back up. Through a new video series called Stunt Sitter, Graff teaches self-described "helicopter" parents how to let kids take risks and even - gasp - fail. We asked Graff what mums and dads can do to raise children who are resilient, confident and tough, both physically and mentally.
Coin cell or "button" batteries are small, shiny, and feel tingly on the tongue. If you're a toddler, that puts them into the category of "belongs in my mouth". But a swallowed button battery can begin burning a hole through a kid's oesophagus in hours, causing pain, severe injury, and sometimes complications leading to death.
Kids and electronics usually don't mix. I have more than one broken headphone jack and a missing iPod thanks to my siblings. With my family visiting this week, my younger sister will be looking for something controller-shaped to play with and promptly demolish. So I'm prepping my living room's game controllers for the reckoning with some Sugru, the silicone and rubber adhesive putty that lets you customise basically everything you own.
Sue Matthews' world was shaken when daughter Taylor was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 11. For the next five years, the family of five would be caught in a whirlwind of treatment plans, surgeries, biopsy results and medical terms they couldn't pronounce. Yet while so much was uncertain, Matthews discovered that their day-to-day experience was still in their control.
It happens to every parent eventually. One moment, your child is asking innocent questions about the Wiggles. The next, they want to know where babies come from. I call it the 'awkward question time-bomb' - it comes without warning and poor preparation can be catastrophic. Here are some firsthand tips from a survivor to help you get prepared.
My five-year-old daughter Maggie seems to have two volume levels outside of our home: "off" and Fran Drescher at a loud bar. It took a while for her to become comfortable talking to people at all, so I've been letting it go when she suddenly has something important to say and starts speaking in ALL CAPS. But at a recent parent meeting at her preschool, the director began introducing everyone to each other. When she got to me, she announced, "This is Michelle, mum to Maggie. I know you have all heard Maggie." Oy. Maybe we do need to work on volume control.
My father-in-law was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease nearly 10 years ago. His tremor is noticeable and my daughter has known there is something that makes her Papa's hands shake. For years, my wife and I chose to leave it at that because no other symptoms have been apparent to her, and she has not asked.
In the game of adulting, a herd accompanies you past the milestones. When you're young, everyone you know is graduating university, landing a first job, getting married, having kids. As you approach middle age, the milestones become less celebratory. Everyone you know is loosening their belt, losing their hair. And then comes the most disorienting loss of all: Their parents.
If your home has ever been hit by a nit infestation, you know how difficult it can be to get rid of the little blighters. No matter how thoroughly you treat and comb your kids' hair, the cycle of eradication and rediscovery never seems to end. Fortunately, it's not difficult to banish them for good by following a strict procedure. We asked Aussie head lice expert, Nadine Ismiel-Nash, to share her tips.
You have problems, I have advice. This advice isn't sugar-coated - in fact, it's sugar-free, and may even be a little bitter. Welcome to Tough Love.
It's an annual tradition for parents all across the country. The Christmas holidays start to wind down. They get a letter from school about their student's enrolment. They start seeing hints of "back to school" at the store. The kids are dressed in clothes that are almost too small and worn from a summer of play. It's time to start thinking about going back to school.