Tagged With kids

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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.

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Whether you're trying to coerce an energetic toddler into the bath or a less-than-energetic preteen into taking their (much-needed) daily shower, you may be facing what feels like an uphill battle to get your kids clean.

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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.

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Kids and parents know the routine. Heck, it's even ingrained in Daniel Tiger's "Morning Song", a catchy tune that my husband and I used to sing to help my five-year-old get ready for her day: "Clothes on. Eat breakfast. Brush teeth. Put on shoes. And off to school!"

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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.

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It's time to put the little one to bed. What do you do? Put on an audiobook, read them a bedtime story with fun pictures, or turn on some cartoons? A new study suggests the old standby of an illustrated bedtime story is best for developing your children's brain.

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There are some who receive the title of "Fun Aunt/Uncle " with every child they hang out with. And there are others who feel awkward around little kids ("Um, what is she thinking and why is she looking at me like that?"). I am here to help the latter group.

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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.

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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.

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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.