Don't let your kids drag their feet about doing household chores. Instead, inspire them to make the dull routines enjoyable and entertaining.
By Christine Carter
The best way to inspire kids is to work with their natural, intrinsic drive to be productive -- even creative -- contributors to the household. Kids will feel like they are a part of something larger than themselves. "Here's why household chores are good for kids," writes Dan Pink, author of Drive. "Chores show kids that families are built on mutual obligations and that family members need to help each other." Here are five ways to activate your kid's natural drive to get chores and other boring tasks done.
Download Chore Charts
Make It Playtime
Turn "kitchen time" into a dance party. Appoint one child to be a chef and another to be a DJ. The chef chooses what she would like to help make for dinner, such as a simple salad or mashed potatoes. The DJ chooses what appropriate dance tunes he'd like to include on a playlist.
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Don't let your kids drag their feet about doing household chores. Instead, inspire them to make the dull routines enjoyable and entertaining.Read More »from 5 Ways to Motivate Kids to Do Their Chores
No need to break the bank on kids Halloween costumes this year. These reader-submitted costume ideas are sure to inspire you to craft your own! (Make sure to click on the costume name for a picture of the easy-to-make outfit.)Read More »from Homemade Halloween Costumes for Kids
By Janna Oberdorf
Why we love it: Because every little boy wants to be a knight in shining armor!
Do it yourself: Drape your son in some blue fabric to make this Musketeer costume. (Be sure to cut a hole big enough for his head to pop through.) Add a Zorro-style hat and a white feather, and make sure you pick up a plastic sword so he's ready for battle.
Why we love it: Because it's the perfect first Halloween costume for a baby that hasn't learned to walk yet (and is a pro at sitting and looking mischievous).
Do it yourself: Dress your baby in a simple black one-piece and cut two holes out of black fabric to make the mask. Fill a white pillowcase with cotton or old newspaper and draw on a big money sign to steal this awesome Halloween
Dealing with the terrible twos? They may not be so horrible after all -- find out why this is a magical age for memories and self-discovery.Read More »from 10 Reasons to Love the Terrible Twos
By Lauren Warner
At a recent dinner party, moms shared stories of their little cherubs suddenly turning into terrible, hard-headed toddlers. Snuggles and smiles had been traded for tantrums and time-outs. Baths had become battles and dinnertime a danger zone. They swapped war stories ("Well, if you think that's bad...") and said they couldn't wait for this stage to pass. I nodded and agreed, but I couldn't help feeling a tug at my heartstrings. As much as the terrible twos come with their own set of challenges, they're also a time of great milestones and imagination. Even in the hard moments, I am completely smitten with my blossoming little creature and his strong spirit. Even in his despondent "no's," he is finding a voice all his own. So I celebrate the reasons to love this pivotal age, knowing that one day I will look back and wish it hadn't
Much of yesterday's baby wisdom has been proven untrue today. We checked in with Parents advisor Ari Brown, M.D., author of Baby 411, to get the scoop on why these old-school parenting facts have become fiction.Read More »from 14 Most Outdated Pieces of Baby Advice
By Amanda First
Myth: Infants need to be bathed every day.
The truth: Babies don't get stinky from sweat the way adults do, so they only need a bath every two or three days (except following a major diaper explosion!). If it's part of your wind-down routine, a daily bath is perfectly okay too--just moisturize afterwards.
Myth: Babies sleep best in a room that's silent and dark.
The truth: While some children really are light sleepers, most do fine with background noise and a little light. Plus, if your little one gets used to some activity around him when he's sleeping, he'll be more willing to snooze in a variety of situations.
Myth: When infants are running a high temperature, rub them down with alcohol to lower their fever.
The truth: Rubbing your baby with alcohol won't
Parents magazine is turning 85! To celebrate, we're making wishes that will benefit children and families everywhere. Would you help make our wishes come true? Please advocate for one or more of our causes, and add a wish or two of your own. The best present for our 85th year: to have all these hopes and dreams for families come true by the time Parents turns 100!Read More »from What's your wish for our kids' future?
By Karen Cicero
Our Wish: Babies stay in mama's belly for 40 weeks -- or at least 39! More than 12 percent of them make an early entrance now.
Help Make It Come True: Sign up for the March of Dimes Prematurity Registry
Our Wish: A safe playground is within walking distance of every child's home.
Help Make It Come True: See if KaBoom! is building or modernizing a playground near you with the help of volunteers.
Our Wish: Schools would make changes to the cafeteria to reduce the risk of obesity: out with soda, in with salad bars.
Help Make It Come True: Find out how get a salad-bar grant for your kid's school from Michelle
My plan was to end my kids' whining, hitting, and tantrums in seven days. But first I had to change my own actions.Read More »from The One-Week Fix for Bad Behavior
By Jacqueline Burt
"Why does Julian have to be so annoying?" Usually, when my 9-year-old daughter, Charlotte, poses this question about her 4-year-old brother, my response is, "Don't call your brother annoying." But one rainy day, after spending hours listening to Julian's whining, I asked myself: "Why do kids have to be so annoying?"
Nothing drives me crazier than my son's high-pitched complaints, except Charlotte's tendency to pinch or smack her brother. Sometimes I wonder if my stress level is higher because I'm a single mom. Still, the married mothers I know say every child has a behavior that's like fingernails on a chalkboard. But we may be as much to blame as our kids. "If you focus on what a child is doing wrong, he'll naturally resist, which leads to arguments and worse conduct," explains Bernard Percy, a parenting consultant in Los Angeles.
Percy is right: My
Design a space that works well for schoolwork and keeps your kid on track all year.Read More »from How to Create a Homework Headquarters
By Taryn Mohrman
Create a Homework HQ
A special study space can make homework more fun and help motivate your child to get it done! Choose a space in your house that's least likely to distract your child, and use our tips to create a simple, organized, and kid-friendly homework HQ.
Teach your child to manage homework and project deadlines by hanging a personalized calendar above his desk. (calendar, $40; erincondren.com)
Make room on the desktop for the basics, which should include an adjustable lamp -- and get rid of everything else! A neat work area will help him be more efficient. Create an "in box" and "out-box" so important permission slips and notes aren't lost. Tidy up desktop dust-collectors in jars. (Lighten-Up Task Lamp, $39; pbteen.com/dorm)
Choose a Simple Setup
A desk and chair that are clean in design will grow with your child. Add a throw pillow or a cushion
As the 10th anniversary of 9/11 approaches, parents will be wrestling with a number of questions about the best ways to discuss this landmark event with their children. Here are some suggestions to consider.Read More »from Discussing 9/11 With Kids: The 10th Anniversary
By Richard Rende
Start The Conversation: It's a good idea to open up the lines of communication sooner rather than later. It can be as simple as saying "You might be hearing about 9/11 on TV or at school (or on the computer). Let me know if you want to talk about it, okay?" There is no need to do more than that - the only goal here is to let a child know that they can (and should) come to you if they have questions or just want to talk. Some parents may want to wait for their kids to come to them. But as a rule of thumb, it's best to take the lead on any sensitive topic, simply to let a kid know that it's okay to talk about it. This is certainly true for kids older than 6 years of age, and given the coverage 9/11 will receive, you may want to think about starting the conversation
There are some situations that seem to set off your little one more than others. Don't avoid them -- instead, learn how to avoid a meltdown or defuse it before it gets out of hand.Read More »from The Top Toddler Tantrum Spots
By Linda DiProperzio
The Car Seat
No matter how hard your child fights you, this is one area where just you can't cave, for both legal and safety reasons. The good news is that most of the time the child is already strapped in when the tantrum starts, says Marni Axelrad, Ph.D., a child psychologist at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston, TX. "If the tantrum doesn't involve aggression toward others, the best approach is to ignore it. Turn your music up, sing yourself a little song, and concentrate on the road." If you can't concentrate, pull over, but keep ignoring until the tantrum stops. The moment it does, find something to say about the positive behavior being displayed ("Look at you sitting in your car seat so nicely!"). You can also play some simple games with him in the car, such as "I Spy," so that
Parents.com blogger and mom, Jill Cordes, shares why she chose to take antidepressants while pregnant with her first child and why she's continuing taking them during her second pregnancy.Read More »from Taking Antidepressants When Pregnant
By Jill Cordes
I take antidepressants.
I will continue to take them through my pregnancy.
I took them while pregnant with Fia.
I can't believe what you just revealed. Hurry. Duck and run for cover!!
No. I'm not going to. It's time to get this conversation on the table.
You sure? You will be nailed to the cross on this one. Judged and deemed unfit for motherhood.
I don't believe that. I think women are terrified of talking about this. I think many will feel relief that I'm admitting my own dirty little secret. They may carry the same secret. And it's okay.
Do what you will but don't say I didn't warn you…..
Alright, it's out there. And I'm not shying away from it. It is my truth.
In my post about my dying mother, I mentioned her bipolar disorder. I breathe a