Tagged With kids

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I’ve always been a huge book nerd, so my dreams of parenting definitely included my kids being as book-obsessed as I am. I love the experience of the real world melting away as I lose myself in a story, and I want my kids to know that feeling too. But when my son Lucas reached age 8, about the same age I was when I began my love affair with books, he didn’t show much interest.

I’d read to him since birth, and though he enjoyed some picture books and non-fiction, I couldn’t get him to dive into an honest-to-goodness chapter book, no matter how much I promised him he’d love it. I didn’t want to keep pestering him about it because that would only make him more determined to dig in his heels. I needed to get creative.

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The first time my daughter vomited, I yelled in terror and then she cried. She was two and had caught a stomach bug from her daycare. I felt like a terrible mum and said, “Oh, I’m sorry, baby — it’s OK, it’s OK, it’s OK, it’s OK.” But it was not OK. She threw up again. I yelped again. She cried again. I was not winning this moment.

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The hardest parenting lesson I had to learn was to stop telling my kids what to do. It was much easier for me to bark out orders than to let them figure things out on their own. Doing so took time and patience, neither of which I had in abundant supply when my daughter and son were younger.

And the net result of that were two kids who relied heavily on me to tell them what they needed to do, when they needed to do it, and where they needed to be. They had become expert direction followers.

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The main thing that’s keeping me from allowing my eight-year-old son to join all his friends on popular online multiplayer games isn’t a fear that he’s going to give personal information away to creeps. It’s that I don’t want him exposed to the hate speech that is so prevalent online.

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If you’re looking for simple science experiments and creative projects to do with your kid, you can’t go wrong with anything from Sergei Urban, aka TheDadLab. The experimenting father started posting clips of the activities he’d do with his two young sons, and parents kept wanting more. Now his videos — which include how-tos on hatching your own dinosaur ice eggs, making a lava lamp and assembling an air cannon — have nearly 60 million views. Urban’s new book, The Dad Lab: 50 Awesome Science Projects for Parents and Kids, comes out today, and he’s sharing one of his most popular experiments with us: Bubble snakes. Here’s how to make them with your kids.

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It’s almost time for your child’s big thing — soccer portrait day, the annual school flute concert, his debut as a ring bearer at your cousin’s wedding — and his outfit is looking pristine. Oh yes, he’s ready for this. And then you remember: Shit, the kid’s gotta eat. 

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Visualisation can be a powerful mental exercise that helps you define what you want, perceive it and believe that you can make it happen. There are stories of it working on a grand scale (ever heard about how Jim Carrey wrote himself a $10 million acting check before he became famous?), but you can also use the technique to help your kids envision their dreams and goals.

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When Amazon launched its kid’s version of the Echo Dot smart speaker, we hoped it would be a technological blessing, rather than a curse. But as further proof that private information is no longer sacred, a complaint filed yesterday with the US Federal Trade Commission alleges that the devices are unlawfully storing kids’ data — even after parents attempt to delete it.

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If you take a lot of family road trips, there will be times when you and your brood must consume food in the car. And all of those times, you can expect a disaster. Take away food is the worst. The paper bags are usually dripping with grease, the cups have faulty lids and nothing is arranged in proper eating order. Rogue chips will inevitably get stuck in the backseat crevices, and it’s just a matter of time before you hear the words, “Rowan spilled his milkshake everywhere!”

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One Saturday morning, my 6-year-old daughter was making a birthday card for a friend. She was sitting at a small table, and on the floor next to her were about ten crumpled sheets of paper. She kept writing the letter “H” for “Happy Birthday,” then deciding she didn’t like how it looked. She was getting frustrated, and I wanted her to stop using up all the paper.

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My 6-year-old and I have been enjoying a children’s book series called “You Read to Me, I’ll Read to You.” These books are formatted for two people to take turns reading different parts, like a script. We sit side-by-side, playing different characters and doing all the silly voices (I’m expecting a nod from the Academy for my role as the Big Bad Wolf). It’s been fun, and it got me thinking that eventually, we should start reading real scripts.

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There are a lot of reasons to give children pocket money. Letting children earn and manage small amounts of finance teaches them about budgeting, spending, saving, and giving.

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When I was a kid, I performed in various community musicals. As a painfully shy child, I somehow felt comfortable on the stage. The costumes, the pre-show jitters, the post-show satisfaction — I loved it all. That is, until my dad would pop in a VHS tape of my performances the moment we had guests in our home.

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When we were foster parents to a nine-year-old boy a couple of years ago, my husband and I implemented a family motto. It was one that was suggested to a group of us during a foster parenting training session, a mantra that is often used when parenting kids with trauma: “No hurts, stick together, have fun.”