Tagged With parenting

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Before you have kids, the beach is easy. You amble down with nothing but a towel and a bottle of water; maybe you bring an umbrella and stick it in the sand with the ease of Zeus tossing a thunderbolt. Sun protection is a big hat and a dab of sunscreen. But once you procreate? Hannibal crossed the Alps with less effort and gear than it takes to get kids to the shore.

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If you have kids who love LEGO, you've probably shouted in pain after stepping on LEGO bricks. Those things get everywhere. Here's a DIY solution from The Handyman's Daughter. Using an IKEA Lack side table, a Trofast bin and some baseplates, you can create a play table with a drawer to keep the pieces contained.

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When I was a teenager smartphones weren't a thing, and neither was sexting. You aren't exactly going to take some tasteful nudes with a film camera and drop the roll off at your local pharmacy to get developed so you can pass them to your significant other between classes.

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By now, we know how important it is to instill a sense of gratitude in our children - according to the book Making Grateful Kids: The Science of Building Character, those who practice thankfulness get better grades, have a lower risk of depression, and are more engaged in their hobbies and communities. And we're trying. Around the parenting sphere, there are countless posts about teaching kids to write thank-you letters, start gratitude journals, toss their daily joys into the gratitude jar, and list their blessings at the dinner table. All are completely worthwhile rituals. It seems like parents are becoming really intentional about cultivating gratitude in their homes - or at least about writing about it on the internet. As a mum, I sure would like to become more disciplined in this area. Who wouldn't?

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It was confirmed last year, after much internet confusion, that Scar and Mufasa of The Lion King are indeed brothers. I am glad that's settled. Now the only remaining head-scratcher is: Why the heck does Scar have a British accent when no other lion around has one? Was he educated at some British lion boarding school? Watch a whole lot of Brit feline flicks? Most likely, the reason is this: Filmmakers often use foreign accents and non-standard dialects to voice "bad" characters.

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While going over the illness section of the handbook at my daughter's preschool orientation, the director told parents, "If we made every kid with a runny nose stay home, we'd have no children here." Kids get sick a lot and not every sniffle requires you to take a day off from work to nurse them back to health. But it can be tough to gauge whether your kid is too sick to go to school, and it often comes down to a judgment call.

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There are a lot of numbers you have to keep in mind when you're raising a kid: Their height and weight. How many millilitres of milk they're drinking, at first, and then how many fruits and veggies they're eating, how much outdoor play they're getting, and of course, how many minutes a day they spend glued to a device.

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There was a time when my coffee table was my most prized piece of furniture. Before the days of "shelfies", it served as the focal place of my living room, a curated display of my 20-something aspirations. On top of the rectangular sheet of glass perched on legs made of industrial copper pipes sat a couple sleek books -- Design*Sponge at Home to showcase my modern aesthetic and Edible Selby because I loved the idea of going on culinary adventures around the world -- along with an assortment of issues of The New Yorker that I'd tell myself I would sit down and read very soon.

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When you're a parent, naptime is the second most-looked-forward-to moment of the day. It's the hour (or two, or three, if you're lucky) that you get to eat lunch, check email, do a chore or two, and maybe even rest yourself. That's what makes the phrase "dropped nap" so horrifying: It means that a day that began at 7 (or 6, or 5, if you're unlucky) now yawns open, like a gaping maw of death, to bedtime. There's no opportunity for respite: Just you and a toddler, covered in homemade slime, squabbling about whether it's Tuesday.

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We've all seen the gut-wrenching headline: "Child dies after overheating in car." And it's likely, as parents ourselves or not, we've all had some negative reaction to this type of news and wondered how could a caregiver of any sort forget that a child was still buckled into the back of the car and just leave them there?

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There's a lot for kids to fight about - parents tend to respond to these childhood quarrels with exasperation, jumping into referee mode and forcing kids to share or apologise or take a breather on opposite sides of the room. We want peace, and we want it now ... please?

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It seems as though nearly every week a new study is published that contradicts the last one about how much screen time kids should - and shouldn't - be allowed. But assuming you've decided to take the plunge and buy your child a phone, tablet or computer, the hard choices aren't over - in fact, they have just started. Now, you'll have to figure out just how much digital privacy to allow them.