Did your child give you a Valentine?We stood in the grocery store last night, my son and I and 400 other people crammed into the Valentine aisle. Balloons on helium feet floated between us and he was distracted by all the chocolate roses stuck in between sections of cards. He didn't have a Valentine for me yet and with my parents out of town, there was no one to take him to the store or encourage him to glue and glitter up a storm for the holiday.
So he asked me to help him. I covered my eyes as I passed one after another of the "Sons for Mothers" cards, strangely situated on the top tier far from his reach.
"Don't look! Are you looking? Promise not to look!" He was nervous the surprise would be ruined while he carefully read each sentiment and then when we checked out at cashier and then while he wrote his message carefully this morning.
I saw only that it was completely pink and that there were bunnies on it. But it didn't matter at all what the words or pictures were. When I opened it, only moments after he'd
Blog Posts by Jessica Ashley, Senior Editor
- Jessica Ashley, Senior Editor | Parenting – Tue, Feb 14, 2012 5:39 PM EST
Did your child give you a Valentine?We stood in the grocery store last night, my son and I and 400 other people crammed into the Valentine aisle. Balloons on helium feet floated between us and he was distracted by all the chocolate roses stuck in between sections of cards. He didn't have a Valentine for me yet and with my parents out of town, there was no one to take him to the store or encourage him to glue and glitter up a storm for the holiday.Read More »from Parents! Show Us the Valentines Your Kids Gave to You
- Jessica Ashley, Senior Editor | Parenting – Mon, Feb 13, 2012 12:44 AM EST
Whitney Houston, dead at the age of 48, with daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown.Bobbi Kristina Brown, the 18-year-old daughter of Whitney Houston, was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center just a day after news broke of her mother's death at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, father Bobby Brown confirmed in a statement. Bobbi Kristina was released later in the day.Read More »from Bobbi Kristina Brown Hospitalized Briefly After Whitney Houston's Death
Cause for hospitalization has not yet been confirmed. ABC reports that she was suffering from stress and anxiety, while TMZ cites a source that says she was "awake and alert" but also "hysterical, exhausted and inconsolable."
Hours after Houston died, Bobbi Kristina reportedly shouted at police officers outside the hotel room where her mother was found dead. Officers say no one was permitted to see the body, including Bobbi Kristina and Houston's cousin Dionne Warwick, TMZ reports.
Bobbi Kristina's father, R&B icon Bobby Brown, left a reunion tour with New Edition and returned to Los Angeles.
"Just say a prayer for my daughter, say a prayer for her mother, and if you find the time please say a prayer for me
- Jessica Ashley, Senior Editor | Parenting – Thu, Feb 9, 2012 6:19 PM EST
How much do you spend to send kids to camp?It's February and whether you're shoveling snow or labeling Valentine's treats for the classroom, it's that awkward time in winter when parents have to focus on summer camp registration.Read More »from It's Already that Time: How Much Will You Pay for Summer Camp?
Of course, there are park district camps and activities at smaller organizations that may hand out registration forms later in the spring. But many summer camps for kids require parents to line up, sign up, or even put down a hefty deposit four or more months in advance. That means summer schedules and parent wallets are already tied up.
While it seems crazy to commit to sessions and weeks and even specializations of camps so far out, it's even crazier to consider what camp for kids costs. Last year, I did a massive obsessive-mama investigation of 92 day camps in my city. Park camps that last most of the day and include field trips and sports instruction rang in at less than $50 a week. However, they can fill up online within minutes. Private-organizations offer amazing specialty camps - drama,
- Jessica Ashley, Senior Editor | Parenting – Mon, Feb 6, 2012 1:11 PM EST
Willow Smith via WhoSay and TwitterWhen 11-year-old Willow Smith, the tween singer better known simply for being the daughter of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, tweeted a photo of herself with a bald head last week, the buzz was about what a big departure the new 'do is following her 2010 hit "Whip My Hair." ("Hit" may be generous, but the song certainly set the youngest Smith apart from her Karate Kid-brother.)Read More »from Bald Willow Smith: What Would You Do If Your Daughter Shaved Her Head?
Willow Smith has posted plenty of photos of herself on WhoSay, including one shot in a Nikki Minaj pink wig, another with a sleek bob and Flashdance get-up, one more with messy hair and a hoodie hiding half of her face. These pictures are typical tween and teen stuff -- every grown woman I know has an archive of those photos taken an arm's length from decades ago when we dyed our hair with henna and wore clumpy electric blue mascara and cut our own bangs with nail scissors on late, bored nights.
The hair-rebel in me is much older with highlights that are professionally highlighted, not frantically painted
Bed-wetting may not be caused by the bladder.When bed-wetting gets to that point, the one where parents seek out medical advice and specialists and children are past the age when nearly every kid in their class wakes up to soaked sheets, it can become and emotional and even expensive family issue to address.Read More »from Bed-wetting's Real Cause Might Be...Poop?
But researchers have just found the remedy might be simpler than we thought. A study published in the journal Urology tracked children aged 5 to 15 in need of treatment for nighttime bed-wetting. Traditional treatments can range from restricting liquids to prescribing medications to surgery. And the culprit of the bedwetting behavior has often been seen as the bladder.
These new findings, however, point a little further back. Dr. Steve J. Hodges, lead author and assistant professor at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C. asserts that constipation could be the real problem for many bed-wetting kids.
Of those children examined, all 30 had (and let's get on our serious faces for technical talk here) had
- Jessica Ashley, Senior Editor | Parenting – Tue, Jan 31, 2012 3:35 PM EST
Katherine HeiglYou only need to watch a minute or two of "Dance Moms" on Lifetime to see that the show isn't at all about talented little girls in pursuit of big dreams. It's actually a show about a bullying, screaming coach and a group of mothers who fight back against her but keep enrolling their kids in the bootcamp-style dance program.Read More »from Katherine Heigl Lashes Out at "Dance Moms": Why Do Good Parents Still Watch This Show?
The volume on those shrieking adults has turned down slightly this week. And now it's Katherine Heigl who is getting all waggy-fingered.
Blogging out her frustrations, the mother of 3-year old Naleigh wrote that dance coach Abby Lee Miller diminishes the girls' self esteem and that the routines unnecessarily sexualize the young dancers.
"I watched with open-mouthed amazement as girls as young as seven were encouraged to dress provocatively and shimmy around a stage doing a dance performance that could just as easily been a burlesque routine," she posted yesterday.
Heigl says that a "significant part" of mothering her daughter is to both protect her and build
- Jessica Ashley, Senior Editor | Parenting – Tue, Jan 24, 2012 4:55 PM EST
Breastfeeding comedian Ahna TesslerComedian Ahna Tessler is a new mother to twins. She's also breastfeeding them. While this might not be a stand-out act for many moms, it became one when Tessler performed a skit while she was nursing the babies. Last week, the New York-based comedian filmed "Leah Got a Job" while breastfeeding twins Madalyn and Elliott on the website Funny or Die. Only hours later, the video was taken down and her account suspended.Read More »from New Mother's Breastfeeding Video Removed from Funny or Die
Tessler's video is short and packed full of adult language, and she assumed it was flagged because of the curse words. A site administrator from Funny or Die informed Tessler that her video was removed because it was "obscene." Tessler told the New York Times she responded, saying she "had no idea you couldn't swear" in videos for the humor site.
Their explanation? "It was the breast-feeding video, not swearing."
Tessler argues that she didn't intend to break the rules. In fact, she asks, "Where are the rules to begin with?"
A spokesman for Funny or Die said that
- Jessica Ashley, Senior Editor | Healthy Living – Fri, Jan 13, 2012 3:00 PM EST
How good do you feel about baring your body?We can't flip more than a few pages of a magazines or scroll down through our Facebook news feed without seeing a story totally focused on how a celebrity feels about her body. Chances are, that A-lister's body is a miniscule size and any imperfections you might have seen have been craftily airbrushed out. Should she have cellulite or some other jiggly bit on her body and should she dare acknowledge that normalcy out loud, she's touted as radical or a feminist or heroic. The only way to beat that is to be a plus-sized star who says she's beautiful and loves her curves. Now that's real rebellion on our many screens.Read More »from How Sexy Do You Feel in Your Skin? Women's Body Image Secrets Revealed
While we're covered when it comes to how stars feel about their bodies, we never seem to hear enough about how real women -- the ones without access to stylists and in-home trainers or who wear three pairs of Spanx under their $200,000 gowns down the red carpet -- feel about the the skin they're in. And aren't these the women we should be getting our inspiration from and
Read More »from Worst Valentine's Day Gifts
Is it 1993? No? Then nobody should give heart boxers for VDay.A donut, a card that still reeked of the gas station where it was purchased, a box half-filled with Jolly Ranchers -- these are real gifts given to real people as an expression of real love. You might find that hilarious, depressing or even all too familiar. We consider it a warning of how a lovely little romance can go terribly wrong in one awkward moment wrapped up in pink ribbon.
Read more: The gifts Kate Middleton gets? Pretty amazing, put yours to shame.
We asked Shine readers to share the most awful Valentine's Day gifts they'd gotten and their responses made that single rose from a seventh-grade boyfriend or a home-cooked, slightly burned casserole cliches look like 4-carat canary diamonds. Want to tell your significant other you think they're mehhhh? These gifts will do exactly that.
Diet pills as a Valentine's Day gift? So not safe, so not sexy.
Give your love diet pills for Valentine's Day and you will be backpedaling seconds after the present is unwrapped. And from what our readers tell us, no assurances that you chose the pills
- Jessica Ashley, Senior Editor | Parenting – Tue, Jan 3, 2012 4:18 PM EST
stress while they are growing up that one researcher says could stay with them into adulthood.No matter how big the toothless smiles, how many toys are packed into the playroom, how perfect the family holiday photo seems, many children experience some kind of Read More »from Does Childhood Stress Stay with You for Your Whole Life?
Related: Can kids "catch" your stress?
"If a child has a pervasive sense of adversity in his or her childhood for whatever reason, the brain responds to that kind of hardship by becoming more sensitized to stress," Dr. Rajita Sinha, director of the Yale Stress Center, recently explained to CNN.
The brain becomes hard-wired to react more strongly, she says, making that person more likely to have a greater reaction to stress than people who do not have a similar history.
What childhood stress is so big that is burrows into the brains for decades? Research points to pain, illness, and injury as major stressors for kids. But a child's stress level can increase to "severe" during family conflicts such as divorce, abuse, witnessing