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.
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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.
It's a long weekend, you guys! That means family visits, winter hikes and traffic headaches. Now, in my family we generally we decide to pack up right after Friday breakfast, but because we have two small kids and are fairly disorganised, we inevitably end up leaving at pretty much the worst possible time for long-weekend travel: After lunch on Friday.
Every parent has offered incentives: "If you're patient while I get the tyres rotated, we'll get ice cream afterwards." Or, "if you play nicely with your cousin, you can use the iPad before dinner." Teachers certainly have used behaviour rewards for time out of mind - but offering incentives for behaviour isn't necessarily the best way to build character and increase motivation.
Back in March, the Toys R Us American arm went into liquidation and started to shutter stores. The future for Australian Toys 'R' Us stores looked grim and today, Toys R Us has gone into voluntary administration. If you're holding any sort of gift cards for Toys 'R' Us or Babies 'R' Us, or have pending orders or lay-bys - here's what you need to know.
You might see teaching your kid how to ride a bike as a rite of passage, a sacred experience that culminates with the grand moment of you wiping tears as Little Adele or Brady pedals into youthful freedom. That's great. But you also might look at the task with dread -- all you can envision is an aching back for you, tears for your kid and misery all around. For the latter group, there is no shame in signing your kid up for bike riding lessons.
When preparing a meal for a toddler, you cannot be bogged down by the inefficiency of the knife, a tool that requires you to use two hands to carve food into safe, manageable bites. No. There is a better life out there, and you can unlock it by opening your kitchen drawer and grabbing a pizza cutter.
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.