By Kristin Kemp
The word vagina comes up a lot in our house. My kids, ages 5 and 6, learned it as soon as they could speak. I try to be a liberated mom--unlike my own mother who still can't bring herself to say vagina out loud. In all the years I've written about sex for women's magazines, experts have advised me over and over to teach my children proper terms for their body parts.
At the very least, young girls need to know how to keep their vaginas clean and how to protect them from danger. If a horrible person ever touches my kids in their private parts, they are armed with the words and the self-confidence to speak up. Hopefully, as they grow, they will feel comfortable talking sex with me because I've tried to normalize the subject and take away taboos.
RELATED: What You Need to Talk to Kids About Sex
Naomi Wolf's new book Vagina shares my mission. She told me, "Parents should read the book so they can understand the latest discoveries about female sexual
Blog Posts by Parents.com
- Parents.com | Parenting – Fri, Sep 21, 2012 4:12 PM EDT
By Elisa Zied, MS, RD, CDN
Move over juice--rice and rice products are now garnering considerable attention for being a source of arsenic, thanks to a recent Consumer Reports article. Following a report they published last January about concerning levels of arsenic in both apple and grape juices, the popular magazine now reveals surprising findings about rice and its many forms in 60 products commonly found in grocery stores.
Turns out there's arsenic--and sometimes, "worrisome amounts," according to the report--in a range of rice products, including organic rice baby cereal, rice breakfast cereal, brown rice, and rice milk.
The report itself--and no doubt the media frenzy surrounding it--has led many of us to scratch our heads, and wonder if we unknowingly exposed our families to a potentially dangerous chemical. You may have even thrown out all the rice and rice products in your cupboard. But are we overreacting?
RELATED: What's Your Food Safety IQ?
Moms and dads from our Facebook community share the parenting routine or habit they feel most proud of when it comes to effectively raising happy, responsible kids.
By Katie Thomas for Parents Magazine
- Parents.com | Parenting – Mon, Sep 10, 2012 12:42 PM EDT
By Sarah Mahoney
Politicians and pundits may call 2012 the year of the woman, but it's really the year of the mom. Mothers aren't settling for catchy bumper stickers or vague promises in this presidential election. How do we know? With the help of an all-star moderator, Soledad O'Brien, anchor of CNN's Starting Point with Soledad O'Brien, Parents recently hosted a luncheon roundtable with 21 moms from across the political spectrum. We admit we were a little nervous when we saw a Barack Obama supporter sitting between a Mitt Romney backer and a Ron Paul fan, a social conservative next to a gay mom, and an environmentalist hoping the government will do more across from a pregnant mom of four who wants it to do less.
RELATED: Moms Sound Off on Economic Issues
We heard dramatically different opinions about solutions, but there was a remarkable consensus about the problems facing families right now. Together, the women helped us hammer out a bipartisan mandate for the candidate who wins
- Parents.com | Helping Kids Succeed – Fri, Sep 7, 2012 11:10 AM EDT
By Karen Cicero
Suppose you had to grade your child's elementary school. Would you give it a B? In an exclusive survey with the market-research firm Quester, Parents found that while most moms are generally happy with their kid's education, one third have concerns about the pace of the curriculum and a quarter don't think it encourages creativity and independent thinking. How can you take your student to the next level?
RELATED: Moms Discuss Education Reform
To find out, Parents asked state departments of education, charter-school associations, teacher groups, and our Facebook fans to nominate innovative public elementary schools. More than 500 suggestions poured in, and from them, we picked ten to feature. Each trailblazer took a different approach to excellence, but all have buzz-worthy ideas that could make your kid's school everything you've longed for it to be. Take notes!
1. BROAD ACRES ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
Location: Silver Spring, Maryland
By Sally Kuzemchak, R.D.
Jacqueline Laurita, 42, mom of three and star of the reality show The Real Housewives of New Jersey, recently revealed her 3-year-old son, Nicholas, was diagnosed with autism. Since the diagnosis, Laurita has sought treatment for her son, which includes therapy and following a dairy-free, gluten-free diet that some experts believe will reduce behavioral issues associated with autism. Learn more about the special "autism diet" that Laurita is advocating.
RELATED: The ABCs of Autism
1. It's a strict elimination diet (with no "cheat days").
The GFCF diet removes two proteins: casein, which is found in all milk and dairy products, and gluten, which is contained in wheat, barley, rye, and some brands of oats [that may have been cross-contaminated with gluten]. The obvious culprits, like milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, most breads, cereals, and pasta, should be avoided. But thousands of processed foods contain ingredients made from gluten or casein,
By Kathleen M. Reilly
The summer before my son Patrick started kindergarten, I was obsessed with teaching him how to print his name and count into the hundreds. Looking back, I should have spent as much time getting him ready for new friendships as I did for new words. Even though he was a well-liked preschooler, kindergarten was a social shock.
RELATED: Guide to Navigating School-Age Friendships
"Moms play matchmaker or nurture new friendships through playdates when their kids are in preschool," says Geoffrey Putt, Psy.D., a pediatric psychologist at Akron Children's Hospital, in Ohio. "But in kindergarten, it's up to your child to find his own pals." Help your child master the grade-school social scene by practicing these five skills.
1. Scenario: Your Daughter Forces Herself on a Team
Summer Scenario: Your daughter spots a group of kids playing a team sport at the park. She runs over and grabs the ball.
Buddy Builder: Talk about a smart strategy for participating. "The key is
- Parents.com | Parenting – Wed, Aug 15, 2012 5:46 PM EDT
By Lisa Quinones-Fontanez
I remember the first time I started questioning if Norrin had autism. We had just come back from our first visit with the developmental pediatrician and I immediately called my mother.
"What if it's autism?" I asked.
RELATED: The ABCs of Autism
"Norrin's not like that," my mother said.
And when I asked my husband, Joseph, if he thought Norrin could be autistic, Joseph said that Norrin was "just fine."
Even I was doubtful because while Norrin wasn't talking, I told myself that it couldn't be autism because he was smart and affectionate.
Before I became an "expert" the only frame of reference I had about autism was the 1988 movie Rain Man. (And I don't think I've seen the movie in its entirety since I was fifteen.) We all had our own myths and misconceptions about autism. And when Norrin was diagnosed we had no choice but to separate autism myth from autism reality.
In the last four years of Norrin's diagnosis here are just a few autism myths and
- Parents.com | Parenting – Mon, Aug 13, 2012 9:47 AM EDT
Year after year, polls like this recent one by Gallup show that "churchgoers" not only experience more positive emotions but also less negative emotions than people who do not regularly attend church, synagogue, or mosque.
By Nick Shell
So maybe you're not like me; having been intrigued since kindergarten on how we all got here and what happens to us after we die.
This is for the agnostics who are curious about taking their kids to church, as well as, for those who haven't had much exposure to church but are curious enough to consider checking it out.
RELATED: How To Help Your Kids Understand Religion
Therefore, I am attempting to explain why going to church is a good idea for you and your kids, not from a religious perspective, but from more of a scientific one.
1. Friends. For you as well as your kids. Most of my friends and my wife's friends are somehow traced back to our church. In fact, we met each other through a mutual friend that I met through a
Turn your smartphone or tablet into command central with everything you need to plan, prep, and navigate your kid's year. The best part? These great apps for Apple and Android devices are all free!
By Kourtney Eidam
1. Digital Tutor
Need a refresher course in math, English, and other subjects? School A to Z helps you answer your student's homework head-scratchers and gives project suggestions on a variety of topics.
Download the app from iTunes
2. Nifty Note Taker
Evernote offers quick ways to manage your growing to-do list: Record a voice note on the go for your partner or type up some tasks for your kids. Everyone has access to the notes on any of your family's devices.
Download the app from iTunes
Download the app from Google Play
3. Easy Reader
Cut down on storytime expenses and trips to the library with OverDrive Media Console. The app lets you "borrow" e-books from a selection of public and school libraries.
Download the app from iTunes