I consider myself fairly vigilant when it comes to monitoring June's media exposure. She watches the occasional Sesame Street, Caillou or Letter Factory DVDs but a story in The Atlantic yesterday about the sexing up of even Candy Land - Candy Land! - is a reminder that parents have to be careful about what sort of toys our kids plays with too. The classic child's board game is just the latest in a long list of examples of kids' toys in which the characters have become more sexualized, longer, leaner and sassier over time. At first glance, this may seem banal - so what if the 2013 version of Candy Land's Queen Frostine is a few pounds lighter than the 80s version? Well, it does matter-a lot, and there is ample research to back it up. Constant exposure to unrealistic beauty standards and hyper sexualized imagery is directly linked to low body satisfaction and diminished self esteem, according to body image expert Thomas F. Cash in his book Body Image: A Handbook of Science, Practice andRead More »from Gone to Pieces: 6 Newly Sexualized Kids' Toys from the '80s
- Babble.com | Parenting – Mon, Apr 29, 2013 1:02 PM EDT
Happy Mother's Day to the BEST mother in the world! Mom, you made me the person that I am today. Mother you have given me everything and I can never repay you. These sentiments are echoed repeatedly in card after card year after year.
Now, let me suggest a different Mother's Day scenario. Perhaps your relationship with your mom has been less than stellar and you just can't find the right card.
You can't bring yourself to purchase one of the many beautiful and standard cards because the sentiment in the card does not accurately reflect the nature of your relationship with your mother.
However, what if you saw one of the following five cards?
1. Mom, you ignored me for years but I hope the day is happy anyway.
2. Happy Mother's Day to a mom who favored my older sister.
3. Let's celebrate today mom. Let's face it we never spend time together on any other day.
4. Happy Mother's Day mom.Read More »from When Mother's Day is Confusing
© Courtesy of Niki Taylor, March of DimesBy Leonora Desar
When she was 21, Niki Taylor became the first supermodel to grace six magazine covers in just one month. Now, at 38, Taylor is a mom of four to identical twins Jake and Hunter, 18; Ciel, 4; and Rex, 17 months. She's also a philanthropist, and on April 27th she kicked off the March of Dimes' annual March for Babies in Miami. We caught up with the superstar mom to chat about motherhood, modeling and her proudest parenting moment.
How did you get involved with the March of Dimes?What's best parenting advice that you've ever received?
Their mission is to improve the health of all babies, and I'm a mom of four healthy children. It's my responsibility now as a mom to help out in any way that I can.
I think it's a process -- there really is no book or guide. As soon as that baby is born all the books and everything kind of go out the window. Do you have any tips from your own experience with your kids? I think the biggest one is that I just love them. I'm always Read More »from Niki Taylor, Supermom
By Leonora Desar
Dawn Brahos, a 38-year old mom of three, says that she was mortified on a recent flight when a female American Airlines flight attendant forbade her from using a breast pump.
Brahos says that the attendant called her a liar when the Indiana mom explained that she had been allowed to use her Medelabreast pump on two American Airlines flights the week before.
"I started it off being quiet and discreet, but the flight attendant wasn't discreet at all," Brahos told the Daily News. "She came back three times to my seat and was really loud about it. She was like, 'You absolutely cannot pump."
"She was just dismissing any possibility of me resolving my situation," she added. "She got angry with me and then wasn't willing to give me her name."
Brahos, who typically breast-feeds her 1-year old son Adrien, was on a rare trip alone with her husband. She says that she was dependent on the pump to maintainRead More »from Breast-Pumping Mom Humiliated on Flight
- Babble.com | Parenting – Mon, Apr 29, 2013 10:05 AM EDT
boy doing homework
My kids want to move to France. They don't have any interest in French culture or French food, but they do like French President Francois Hollande's recent proposal to ban homework. While controversial, Hollande's position is not new. Waldorf Schools, for example, run on a no-homework concept. Even some of the schools in my school district have succumbed to parental pressure and eliminated homework for younger grades after parents argued that doing homework prevents their kids from participating in extra-curricular activities. It saddens me that education seems to be taking a backseat to sports, dance, and other activities. Many of my neighbors spend countless hours shuttling their kids to practices, games, and performances and then complain that they never have any time to rest. I'm not saying that we need to eliminate extra-curricular activities. My kids participate in sports, music, and scouts. These activities enrich their lives and teach them lessons that they may not learn inRead More »from New Study Reveals Why Banning Homework for Kids is a Big Mistake
By Christine Gross-Loh, Cheapism.com
Does raising kids always have to be so hard on the wallet? Not necessarily, as I learned after moving to Japan with my husband and young children. Here's a smorgasbord of 10 frugal parenting insights from Japan and other cultures. Although they can help us save a few pennies, their greatest value lies in what they teach us (and our kids) about being content with less.
1. Get out those handkerchiefs. I hadn't seen anyone use a handkerchief since I was a little girl. I didn't even know they still existed. But in Japan, everyone carries one -- from preschoolers to old men and women. Hankies are used to wipe hands after washing, to mop off a sweaty brow or clean a smudge of dirt. Little children learn early on how important this is: They're required to bring a hankie to preschool, and elementary school teachers sometimes hold "handkerchief checks" to make sure the habit is ingrained. If a family of four in the U.S. uses two boxes of tissues aRead More »from 10 Tips on Parenting Without Consumerism
- Parenting.com | Parenting – Fri, Apr 26, 2013 4:46 PM EDT
By Kimberly Horner for Parenting.com
It's said that a picture says a thousand words, but last weekend, children of Boston painted a banner representing just one: Peace.
In memory of Martin Richard, the eight-year-old killed in the Boston bombings, children gathered outside his home last weekend to paint a 100-foot-long banner, reports NBC.
The "Painting for Peace" banner was inspired by a viral photo of Richard holding an art project with the message: "No more hurting people. Peace." The banner now hangs above Interstate 93 in Boston thanks to the help of nearly 50 volunteers.
Richard was the youngest of three fatalities and his younger sister Jane, 7, was among the 260 injured in the attack. Richard's sister lost a leg due to the attack and his mother was also seriously injured.Read More »from Painting Away the Tears: Boston Children Remember Martin Richard
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- Babble.com | Parenting – Fri, Apr 26, 2013 4:30 PM EDT
Ironically, I had just had a conversation with my cable guy joking about how TV will overcome any recession. With total seriousness, he responded: "I know people that will not eat to pay for more channels." I tried not to laugh.Related: 8 outdoor activities that are more fun than video games
Then I stumbled across this statistic: "According to the A.C. Nielsen Co., the average American watches more than four hours of TV each day. In a 65-year life, that person will have spent 9 years glued to the tube."
"No way!" I found myself saying out loud, impressed and mortified by the staggering number. I'd never been a TV addict (although I sure watched a lot during those early breastfeeding months), but I was afraid to actually add up the time I spent watching unnecessary shows. Was it really just an hour or two a day as IRead More »from My Family Gave Up TV for an Entire Year... And We’re Doing it Again
- Disney Baby | Parenting – Fri, Apr 26, 2013 4:15 PM EDT
The decision to cloth diaper our 3rd child, after using disposables with our previous 2 children, was one that came about somewhat out of the blue. A friend of ours, when hearing we were pregnant, offered to pass down all of her cloth diapering supplies to us once our baby was born. I remember picking them up from her house and feeling overwhelmed at just the thought of figuring this all out and learning something brand new, from scratch. I also remember very vividly, thinking that just because I was taking her supplies, didn't mean I would actually go through with it. There was a part of me that didn't really believe I would in fact, end up cloth diapering. But after Hayden was born, and the transition from 2-3 children slowly set in, I decided I wanted to give it a real solid chance, and so I made a silent promise to myself that when he turned 3 months old, I would give it a go. We've now been cloth diapering for almost 5 months and it has turned out to be one of the smartest andRead More »from Crash Course! 10 Things I've Learned About Cloth Diapering
- Common Sense Media | Parenting – Fri, Apr 26, 2013 4:10 PM EDT
Teach kids to be discerning during breaking news.By Sierra Filucci, Common Sense Media editor
When big news breaks, it's easy to get caught up in following the news online. But while the Internet -- from major news sites to Twitter -- can be a valuable place to find useful information, it can also be the source of misinformation. Helping kids and teens understand the news and how to separate fact from fiction is an important job for parents and educators.
Here's some advice parents can offer kids and teens who consume the news:
1. Remember, breaking news is often wrong. In the rush to cover stories, reporters make mistakes, officials don't always have correct information, and tidbits that sound plausible often get passed around before anyone can check for accuracy. One Texas TV station reported through closed captioning that Zooey Deschanel was one of the accused Boston Marathon bombers!
2. Use social media wisely. Some say Twitter is a great source of news in the first few minutes of a tragedy, but after that itRead More »from 6 Ways to Teach Kids Media Smarts During Breaking News
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