Blog Posts by ParentsConnect

  • I Tried to be a Tiger Mom...and Failed

    By Brenna Jennings

    For months now I've been hearing about Amy Chua's "Tiger Mother" book and have decided to introduce some of her strict disciplinary methods in our household. I hoped to build my daughter Anna's confidence by methodically crushing her self-esteem as Ms. Chua suggests, and create a preschool prodigy of my very own. Here's a calendar of my progress.

    Day 1: Today Anna learned to scratch out the letter "A" at day care. It was upside down and resembled more of a "U" with a line across it. I held the paper to her nose, angrily tore it to shreds, and told her I'd seen slugs craft neater A's in slimy trails across my driveway. I planned next to have her sit and practice writing A's non-stop until she'd perfected them and/or her hand cramped into a painful claw, but once I mentioned the slug she freaked out and insisted I carry her around until bedtime.

    More from ParentsConnect: Mom Confession: I Have a Favorite Child

    Day 2: This morning Anna asked to watch PBS Kids. I told

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  • 5 Bad Reasons to Become a Parent

    From Brenna Jennings

    You're innocently running your Sunday errands when you spot them: the desperate, frazzled parents with a unruly, screaming kids who couldn't look more miserable to be in each other's company. You watch them and wonder, why the hell did they decide to have kids in the first place? Maybe it was one of these bad reasons:

    Constant Companionship It's not that you won't have constant companionship. For nine months you have no choice, then for the following five years you'll be craving privacy and personal space like a Kardashian craves attention. You'll find yourself pretending to have Hanta virus just for some alone time in the bathroom with your smart phone and a magazine.

    More from ParentsConnect: Mom Confession: I Have a Favorite Child

    Personal Assistant I spend at least 20 minutes just getting my three-year-old to follow the simplest direction. I have yet to succeed at having her pick up the 400 toys and shoes she scatters around the house like a human micro-burst.

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  • Top 10 Most Inappropriate Kids Books

    By Leanne Shirtliffe

    If your children delight in frisbeeing their books around the living room, leaving you stuck picking up the entire works of Dr. Seuss and Sandra Boynton, here's a guaranteed way to spice up that chore.

    Once your kids are asleep, convince your spouse to help you clean up. Then take a book and add the phrase "if you know what I mean" to the end of the title. So if you happen to grab Maurice Sendak's classic picture book, it becomes Where the Wild Things Are, if you know what I mean.

    These six seemingly innocuous words were originally made popular by Drew Carey's old improv show, Whose Line Is It Anyway? But they haven't been added to children's literature. Until now.

    Here are 10 titles of kids' books rendered inappropriate by the addition of "if you know what I mean."

    1. There's a Wocket in My Pocket, if you know what I mean
    2. Hop on Pop, if you know what I mean
    3. Oh, the Places You'll Go, if you know what I mean
    4. The Very Hungry Caterpillar, if you know

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  • How NOT to Discipline Your Kid

    No matter how many times you tell your toddler not to paint on the walls or climb on the couch, he doesn't seem to listen. Sound familiar? If yes, you've got a discipline problem on your hands. We're not saying it's your fault, but it's possible that you're making some mistakes when it comes to discipline.

    Here are some of the most common discipline mistakes parents make:

    - Losing your cool: Kids can drive parents crazy. It's only natural to get a little bent out of shape sometimes. You're not a saint, after all! But keep in mind that kids tend to respond better when you talk to them calmly rather than yelling.

    - Letting the kids set the rules: It's fine to give your kid choices, but don't treat him like a grown-up and give him the (false) impression that he has as much say in setting rules as you do!

    More from ParentsConnect: I Suck at Discipline

    - Constantly saying "no": Let's face it. If you say "no" to everything, your kid is going to get pretty crabby. So instead, try to come

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  • Help! My Car Seat Hates Me.

    by Kristin Wilson Keppler & Julianna W. Miner

    I have not one but 3 children who are legally required to be boosted or 5-point harnessed whenever they ride in my delightfully pungent mini-van. You'd think my car seats and I would have a beautiful relationship. But even though I love my baby's very expensive, swanky and safe car seat, I can't shake the feeling that it doesn't reciprocate. In fact, I'm fairly certain my car seat hates my guts.

    WELL FINE, car seat. Be that way. I'll give you three reasons why you suck:

    First, I think you're stupid and hard to install. You were supposed to be the best and yet every time I use your so-called "superior latch system technology" that only thing that latches are my broken, mangled fingers and occasionally my boob. I mean, seriously? Were you designed in a piercing studio in Orange County? Why don't you go latch yourself?

    More from ParentsConnect: New Car Seat Rules: And What They Mean for You

    B. You're also a jackhole for being nearly

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  • Mom Confession: My Kid Swears Like a Sailor

    By Brenna Jennings

    It's a funny thing, how your kid will ignore just about everything you ask of her all day long, pretend she has no idea that what you just said fifty-four times was, "Please stop shoving Play-Doh in your underpants," and blatantly disregard your requests to kindly replace the entire contents of the silverware drawer before someone ends up impaled on a dinner fork.

    And yet at the peak of your exasperation, after all the requisite deep-breathing, pulse-monitoring, when you find that your pocket of coping mechanisms has a gaping hole in it and the best thing you can pull out of there is some lint and an expletive, well, you know exactly what that kid's going to hear.

    I spent a mortified week listening to my toddler perfecting her emphasis, pronunciation, and usage of the phrase, "Oh, DAMMIT," wondering if non-reaction was the best tactic or if a gentle, "That's not a nice word" should have been my strategy.

    More from ParentsConnect: Mom Confession: I Have a Favorite

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  • Mom Confession: TV is My Nanny

    By Brenna Jennings

    So I let my kid watch TV (okay, a lot of TV). What's the big deal?

    Last week my daughter Anna and I met a mom and her three kids at the playground. Not long into our conversation, the other mom mentioned that her kids don't watch television (note that people who don't own or watch television seem to always want to let you know almost immediately, like you might be carrying the No-TV Parenting Medal in your diaper bag.) I nodded my best non-judgmental nod and we continued talking, but in my head I was picturing a TV-less existence. It sent chills down my spine; DJ Lance Rock is my only reprieve some days.

    More from ParentsConnect: Mom Confession: I Have a Favorite Child

    What I want to know is this: when do no-TV parents have sneaky afternoon sex? Or wash the dishes? How are they shaking their toddlers off their pant cuffs long enough to make a pot of coffee or take a shower, alone?

    While I'm admittedly lacking in the parenting creativity department-lumpy homemade

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  • Things We Wish Our Husband Would Say

    Healthy relationships are based in reality, but sometimes it doesn't hurt to fantasize, right?

    We love our partners-we really do- but we can't help fantasizing that one day they'll read our minds and magically just "get it" when it comes to what we need.

    Forget the whipped cream, George Clooney and fireman's uniform. Our true fantasies? They're of our loving (but sometimes clueless) husbands and boyfriends uttering the following sensitive sentences. ...

    • Let's talk about our relationship, honey.
    • "Would you like a long back massage, honey? And don't try to give me one in return or turn this into a seduction! Tonight's all about getting that kink out of your shoulder and the tension out of your back."
    • "Why don't you find something to watch on TV, put your feet up and I'll call you when dinner's ready. I'm trying this new recipe for salmon and it's almost done!"
    • "I'm going to stop by the dry cleaner tomorrow-is there anything of yours or the kids' that you'd like me to
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  • Would you name your baby after booze? 10 alcohol-inspired names

    The local bar is a great place for new parents to go for when trying to think of a name for their innocent baby-to-be! If you can ignore the judgmental stares, you'll find rows and rows of hard liquor and beer just brimming with perfect and unique names for your sweet little one. Check out the boozy baby names below and take a shot!

    Margarita This little senorita may be sweet in the morning, sour in the afternoon and a combination of both at bedtime. Just be sure to keep an extra close eye on your nina, as this one likes to play on the rocks!

    Jack & Daniel Be forewarned: These two rough-and-tumble twins should NOT be paired with a glass of Coke or they'll never go to sleep!

    Hennessy This trendy name has a edgy sound to it that will undoubtedly fit your little spitfire of a daughter. Nobody messes with Hennessey!

    More from ParentsConnect: Beach Baby Names

    Seagram Recall the wine coolers of your youth every time you glimpse your gorgeous babe. Recall those wine cooler-induced hangover

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  • I'm Not Attracted to My Husband

    When you first met, you couldn't keep your hands off your husband. You were college sweethearts and you were inseparable. Now 20 years have passed and you've got 3 kids...You are still crazy in love, but you no longer find your hubby quite so attractive.

    Sure, you promised to love him in sickness and health, but you didn't say anything about back hair in your vows! Now you're wondering how to tell him you're not physically attracted to him without hurting his feelings.

    Here is some relationship advice:

    Make sure physical appearance is the real issue. People are not often upset for the reasons they think they are. For example, if you are over 40, the real issue about a mate's appearance may be an anxiety about getting older and losing some of your own youthful appearance. Or, if you may have other relationship problems that can affect how you view your partner physically.

    More from ParentsConnect: Mom Confession: Being a Stay-at-Home Mom is Easy!

    Assess if changes can be realistically

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