Photo Credit: Getty ImagesShine user J needs some advice. Ready to share your tips?
J's 11-year-old daughter is an avid (and quick!) reader, and she's particularly fond of the popular young adult series, Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer. But here's the thing: her daughter is plowing through these books.
J's looking for book recommendations for her daughter. The theme? Innocent first loves.
My pick, of course, is Fifteen by Beverly Cleary. Many of you shared your favorites when we talked about our favorite teen romance novels.
Help a Shine mama out. Share even more of your book recommendations so J can continue to foster her daughter's love of reading. Just remember that your book recommendations need to be age appropriate.
Blog Posts by Charlene Prince Birkeland, Shine staff
- Charlene Prince Birkeland, Shine staff | Parenting – Wed, Oct 22, 2008 9:14 PM EDT
Photo Credit: Getty ImagesShine user J needs some advice. Ready to share your tips?Read More »from Help a Shine mama out: Do you have book recommendations for a tween girl?
Photo Credit: Getty ImagesMy list of blog reads is extensive and I'm lucky if I can make it through half of that list every day. After attending the BlogHer Reach Out Tour in Boston and Washington, D.C., last week, I found myself subscribing to several blogs that were new to me. Since I've met the women behind these blogs, I enjoy reading their posts even more.
One of the things I talked about during my presentation at BlogHer was how to develop your blog readership by sharing your list of reads with others (also known as "link love"). So in the spirit of walking the talk, here are four parenting/mom blogs you should definitely check out:
- Monkey Business: Mom of two, Linda, has some fun stories to tell because her kids are just shy of 16 months apart (she calls this "baby bunching). She's a busy gal who manages to draw you in with her short, sweet and helpful posts.
- Green Lite Bites: Roni is the proprietor of this blog and the moment she mentioned "toddler" and "cooking," I knew I'd be hooked.
Photo Credit: www.picky-palate.comMy kids are giddy about Halloween this year. For the first time, my youngest kid is old enough to really understand the fun of dressing up, picking and carving pumpkins, and Halloween treats. And my oldest son is more than willing to share in the fun.Read More »from Itty bitty bites: Mummy dogs and creepy dirt cake
We spend Halloween night at an annual party with a few other families. So in the days leading up to October 31, I'll be pulling together a few spooky meals for my boys.
At the top of my list are Mummy Dogs, which I found over at the Picky Palate. But instead of using Pillsbury Breadstick dough to mummify the hot dogs, I'll probably use homemade pizza dough to make it feel slightly healthier. I'll serve it with carrots and eyeballs (otherwise known as black olives).
Photo Credit: justjennrecipes.comAnd for dessert, I love this creepy Dirt Cake by JustJenn (she's the gal who made those awesome Curious George cupcakes). No kid could resist chocolate cake and frosting topped with gummy worms.
What's on your list of Halloween-inspired kid eats? Do you have a special
- Charlene Prince Birkeland, Shine staff | Parenting – Thu, Oct 16, 2008 11:03 PM EDT
Photo Credit: Getty ImagesI loved Jessica's post about how much we're spending on Halloween costumes this year, and reading what Shine users are doing for their kids this Halloween. I'm a big fan of DIY costumes, and was slightly sad when my oldest son told me he wanted to be Darth Vader. He'd been talking this up for weeks. But in a surprising turn of events (heh), now he wants to be a skeleton. And he's super excited about making his costume this weekend. (So am I!)Read More »from DIY Halloween costumes your kids can use again (and again)
The main reason I dig DIY costumes is that they are usually comprised of things your kids can reuse, either to play dress up or by removing the embellishments so the costume becomes regular clothes. I also like it when I can use everyday items from around the house. The added bonus? DIY costumes can be done on the cheap and with minimal effort.
With reusable DIY Halloween costumes, you can't go wrong with a few basics: fleece clothes and capes/cloaks. Fleece sweatshirts and pants can be used as the foundation for just about any costume. You just
- Charlene Prince Birkeland, Shine staff | Parenting – Wed, Oct 15, 2008 8:39 PM EDT
Photo Credit: Arnaldo Magnani/Getty ImagesOur fascination with Angelina Jolie continues. In her interview with W magazine, the mom of seven kids said she's already purchased knives for her oldest son, Maddox. He's seven.Read More »from A cut above: Angelina Jolie buys knives for her son
Jolie admits her early love for knives, noting that her mom took her to buy daggers when Jolie was in her tweens. And, she also mentions that the knives purchased for Maddox have dull blades, "and that the purchases are accompanied by discussions about violence."
What ever happened to just giving your kid a fake light saber so he could pretend he was reenacting Star Wars?
Photo Credit: Getty ImagesPresidential election discussions are heating up, even amongst preschoolers.
Talking about politics with your kids can seem like a daunting experience. Where do you even start? A few week's ago CityMama posted three tips to help talk to your kids about the presidential election. I think one of the most important points of her post is that your conversations and explanations are age appropriate.
With that in mind, we have some additional, easy-peasy tips to help you speak with your kids about politics and the upcoming election:
- Keep it simple. In keeping with the age-appropriateness theme, don't get too technical unless your kids are ready for it. Just like discussions about babies and sex, only answer the questions they are asking. Stay simple. If you are trying to explain the voting process to young children, illustrate voting at home: Have your kids vote on what you will watch during family movie night, or what they want for dessert. When we explain the role of the President
- Charlene Prince Birkeland, Shine staff | Parenting – Fri, Oct 10, 2008 7:02 PM EDT
Photo Credit: Getty ImagesAs I ponder those things I'm not looking forward to as my kids get older, handing over my car keys is high on the list. I was a safe teen driver in my sassy, light blue '66 Ford Mustang. But only because it was six-cylinder engine. When I drove my parent's classic, cherry-red 'stang -- the one with the eight-cylinder engine -- I liked to speed around. The thought of my two sons driving a car around? In my mom's words, "Aye, Dios mio." I now understand why she waited up for me when I'd be out at night.Read More »from Parenting Poll: Would you control your kid's driving speed if technology allowed it?
Earlier this week, Ford announced that its MyKey system will be available in select car models in 2010. MyKey will allow parents to limit "the maximum radio volume in the car, sound speed warning chimes, and sound extra warning chimes if drivers do not wear safety belts." The maximum speed limit the car can hit is 80 miles per hour. As a mom, I'd be happy if they took it down to 65. I'm just sayin'.
Cleary, I'm all for the MyKey system and I hope other car manufacturers follow Ford's
At some point in your parenting life, your kids are going to ask for a pet. As you try to talk them down from wanting a dog or cat, you might offer options like a pet rat. Or a hamster. Maybe even a lizard. But according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), you'll need to come up with better options. In the October issue of Pediatrics, the AAP says parents should avoid getting their kids "non-traditional" pets. Check out the slide show for details on the nine exotic pets that are dangerous to young children. You'll notice the common theme of disease, and specifically salmonella, as a top risk for many of these pets.
And if your kids happen to be around any of these critters, or really any pet, make sure they know to:
- Not kiss them.
- Not put their hands in their mouth after handling a pet.
- Wash their hands with soap and hot water after handling a pet.
- Never bring a wild animal home.
I have to admit that I was surprised to see many of the animals mentionedRead More »from 9 pets that parents shouldn't get their kids
- Not kiss them.
- Charlene Prince Birkeland, Shine staff | Parenting – Mon, Oct 6, 2008 9:21 PM EDT
Photo Credit: Getty ImagesI've been spending some time on the radio over the past few weeks talking about schoolyard bullies. Most kids are a month into the new school year and while it seems like a short period of time, it's long enough for children to experience bullying.Read More »from Bullying Prevention Awareness Week: 5 tips to help your kids deal with bullies
This week, October 5-11, is National Bullying Prevention Awareness Week. In effort to increase awareness of the prevalence and impact of bullying on all children, Yahoo! Kids has partnered with PACER Center to promote National Bullying Awareness Week. The stats on bullying are astounding. Did you know that more than 160,000 kids stay home from school each day because of bullying? And 3.2 million children are victims of bullying every year. It's not a girl thing or a boy thing. It's not just physical. It can be verbal and emotional, which can be just as painful and damaging as a punch. And it can start as early as preschool.
There's no slick trick that can stop your child from being bullied. It's a process, and sometimes requires many
- Charlene Prince Birkeland, Shine staff | Parenting – Mon, Oct 6, 2008 7:30 AM EDT
Photo Credit: Getty ImagesIn kindergarten, I was a huge fan of the television show, "Happy Days." For Halloween, I wanted to be Pinky Tuscadero, the gal who melted Fonzie's heart. Of course, no costumes existed for Pinky and even if one did, my parents wouldn't have let me wear it. (I think they got worried when I mastered the finger-snapping thing she used to do...and they still tease me about it.)Read More »from Would you let your son dress up as a female-inspired character on Halloween?
So I chose the next best "Happy Days" costume: The Fonz. It came in a box exactly like this one. The mask was plastic and made me sweat the instant I put it on. The jumpsuit was a light vinyl and barely fit me. But I wore it proudly because I loved Fonzie. (And do you guys remember those boxed costumes? How heinous where they?!)
I'm remembering all of this because I just read a post by Jodi Nelson Call over at the blog Pistols and Popcorn. For Halloween, her four-year-old son wants to dress up as Raven, the female character from the animated show "Teen Titans." And she's all for it. I admire her openness about