Say goodbye to summer and get your kids ready to go back to school with a few playful ways to ease the first-day jitters.
By Amanda Kingloff
Dressing to Impress
Let the kids make their own T-shirts to wear to school. Dip a pencil eraser or a carrot cut into a square into fabric paint and stamp to make cool mosaic patterns.
Make a countdown calendar for the week before the first day. Hang up a clipboard with seven numbered pages and have your child remove one per day.
Prepare a special A-B-C breakfast schedule for the first week of school. On Monday, serve apple oatmeal; on Tuesday, banana pancakes; on Wednesday, cinnamon muffins; and so on.
Encourage your student to keep a scrapbook updated throughout the year with notes, photos, and artwork. Download a cool customizable scrapbook cover.
Blog Posts by Parents.com
Say goodbye to summer and get your kids ready to go back to school with a few playful ways to ease the first-day jitters.Read More »from Get Your Child Excited for School!
I swore I wouldn't be this way, but now that I have a child there's no end to the things that freak me out.Read More »from Confession: I'm a Neurotic Mom
By Jancee Dunn
Before I had a baby, I had breezily assumed I'd be an easygoing parent. I became pregnant for the first time at 42 and figured that my advanced age, as well as two decades of closely observing my friends and family raise their children, would make me the sort of restrained, wise mother I had always admired. In my house, visitors would not be required to don a hazmat suit to avoid spreading germs to the baby. Instead, I would smile fondly as she rolled around on the floor and calmly remark that a little dirt builds up her immune system.
Then I actually gave birth. My daughter, Sylvie, has been the joy of my life. However, I now find that I am wracked with fears, some reasonable (ear infections), some loony (a marauding squirrel is going to attack the baby as we sit on our terrace! Violent news footage on television will imprint on her brain and send her straight
Parents.com blogger and new dad, Nick Shell, shares just one of the many fears he has about raising his son.Read More »from The Fear of Messing This Thing Up
By Nick Shell
As a dad, I have fears. Something I have learned in life is that when I say my fears out loud (or "type them out loud"), I can get a better handle on them, putting them into their proper perspective. It's my way of controlling my fears instead of them controlling me.
I've written before on The Dadabase about my fear of not being able to financially provide for my family, as well as my fear of being responsible for my son being seriously injured or killed. But today, instead of focusing on a financial or physical issue, my featured fear is a psychological one: It's my fear that I will somehow "mess up" my son.
I get it. No parent is perfect or has this whole parenting thing all figured out, so I shouldn't be so hard on myself. I know; part of what helps us mature and have realistic expectations in life is when we are forced to be strong. And of course, any parent
Now that you have a newborn, you may have to censor some of your behavior.Read More »from R-Rated Moments: Not in Front of the Baby!
By Amanda Clothier
R-Rated Event: You thought your roommate was sound asleep when you and your partner decided to heat it up under the covers. Just as things start to get hot and heavy, you hear an epic cry. Busted! And it's not by your college roomie -- it's by your own baby. Don't worry, you don't have to sign your infant up for therapy. "Seeing or hearing sex at an early age is unlikely to have any lasting effects, but any loud noises or vigorous movements may seem scary to young children," says Jennifer Shu, M.D., Parents advisor and coauthor of Heading Home With Your Newborn: From Birth to Reality.
Make it G-Rated: Some couples find it difficult to get comfortable with the idea of having sex with a baby in earshot, even if she's not sharing your bedroom. But don't give up too easily. When the baby is asleep, get creative about finding absolute privacy. You'll solve two problems at once:
- Parents.com | Back To School – Tue, Jul 19, 2011 3:54 PM EDT
The first day of class is just around the corner, and your child's getting excited -- and nervous. Our timeline will make sure she gets off to a great start.Read More »from Countdown to School: A Timeline for Getting Ready for the Big Day
By Jeannette Moninger
1 Month Before
Visit the grounds. Ideally, you and your child had a chance to tour his future school last spring. Now is another good time to visit. "Being familiar with the school is the key to a successful first day," says Allana Elovson, Ph.D., author of The Kindergarten Survival Handbook. Walk around inside the building, if you're allowed. Peer at the classrooms, check out the bathrooms, and have him try out the playground. Also, make sure to show your child where you'll pick him up at the end of the day.
Have a little class. To help her son, Nathan, get used to the idea of school and homework, Julie Baron, of Arlington Heights, Illinois, held mock classes in the summer. "We'd take turns being the teacher and student," Baron says. At the end of each week, Nathan received a reward, such as getting to pick
Now that you're pregnant, your health is doubly important -- you're taking care of two now. Keep safety rules straight, find ways to de-stress, choose the right foods to eat, learn safe workouts, and more with our favorite apps for a healthy pregnancy.Read More »from 16 Must-Have Apps for a Healthy Pregnancy
By Corinne Garcia
Foods to Avoid When Pregnant
Not the most creative name, but a pretty handy guide to exactly that: foods you may want to avoid. If you're craving a California roll or blue cheese, you can check the app to see whether it falls on the unsafe lists of cheeses, sauces, deli meats, and other edibles you must skip until your baby arrives. In addition, this app gives you guidelines for foods that need to be cooked to proper temperatures and/or pasteurized for prenatal consumption. Foods are broken down into categories (meat and eggs, cheese and dairy, vegetables, etc.) and sub-categories that make it easy to do a quick search on your phone while you're at the grocery store or at a restaurant. Get the app!
- Parents.com | Parenting – Tue, Jul 12, 2011 9:38 PM EDT
Taking her son to the playground was supposed to be a fun outing, but when Berit Thorkelson spotted two young children playing unsupervised, she was faced with a tough decision.Read More »from Kids abandoned in the park: What would you have done?
By Berit Thorkelson
We happen to live in a city with lots of parks. Nice parks. We have options, and that's good. We never lack in the twisty-slide department.
The closest one is our default park. It's four blocks away, and we hit it up at least a few days a week. Sometimes, we're the only ones there, so we have our choice of swings and slides. Other times, it crawls with kids and parents. On those days, Clint usually follows Roy around while I monitor access to Nico, who is a total celebrity around kids, probably because she's small and friendly. As long as I'm by her side, she's cool with her sudden popularity, absorbing gentle pats and dispensing the odd squeal-inciting lick.
The other night when we showed up, there was just one other parent and three kids, all on the swingset. As usual, Nico grabbed the
By Ellen Seidman, To the Max
I think that there's an image problem with special needs. OK, I'm not talking an Anthony Weiner sort of problem. I'm talking about the words.
"Special needs" just doesn't sound cool, although out of all the terms, I tend to use it a lot because it's the most recognized term. "Differently-abled" is cooler but harder to explain and I don't always want to explain. "Disabled" emphasizes negativity, and "handicapped" just seems outdated to me.
I know, I know: Why are labels necessary? Sometimes, they just are. I don't always want to say "Max has cerebral palsy"-vague terminology comes in handy for forms, special accommodations at places, nosy people.
I've had many lively discussions with other parents, and all of us seem to agree there should be a better term. I recently met a mom who describes her child as "freaky-perfect." That one didn't work for me, as I think "freak" has some bad associations. A lot of people in the autism communityRead More »from What should we call a child with special needs?
Thanks to social media and growing awareness, milk banks are on the rise. Now, they need more donations to keep up with demand.
By Kate Silver
Melissa Viers nursed her third baby, Josiah, just as she'd done with his two older siblings. When Josiah was six months old, Melissa found a lump in her breast. Cancer. Her doctor told her she needed to start chemotherapy treatments. She would also have to stop nursing her baby.
Melissa, 27, who lives in Creston, Iowa, was devastated. "Obviously, I was very upset that I had cancer, but the biggest thing was having to stop nursing," she says. "I never wanted my kids to have formula if I could help it."
Through her job as a breastfeeding peer counselor with WIC, a federally funded program that encourages nutrition for women, infants, and children, Melissa had learned about human milk banks. There, donated breast milk is screened, pasteurized, and prescribed for mothers and babies in need. With a prescription from her doctor forRead More »from Would you donate breastmilk to a milk bank?
A lot has changed with the past generation when it comes to the sleep environment for babies. The once-standard drop-side crib is now banned. The idea of what should -- or should not -- be in a crib is still in flux. Follow this guide to safe sleep for babies to make sure you create the safest possible environment.
By Mitch Lipka
The rules and perceptions about crib safety have shifted in the past few years, and with that shift have come new requirements for how cribs must be made. Millions of older cribs remain in people's homes -- cribs that are no longer considered safe. Drop-side cribs, particularly those that are more than a couple of years old, are particularly worrisome because the hardware has a tendency to fail and create gaps that can trap or suffocate a baby.
Avoid using hand-me-down cribs that have not be subject to the latest safety standards, which are intended to give some assurance the crib will remain sturdy for years. And resist the temptation to giveRead More »from Safe-Sleep Guide for Baby