Blog Posts by ParentsConnect

  • You Stole My Baby Name ...for Your Dog!

    This mama's ticked that her "best friend" snagged her fave baby name for her slobbery pooch!

    Dear BFF,

    WTH???? You stole my baby's name and gave it to your DOG? You knew I wanted to name my son Henry. You've always known that I wanted to name my son Henry. I've had that name reserved for years. When we found out the sex I told you again that we were planning on using that name, and a month before I give birth you announce that your "baby's" name is Henry?? (BTW, I can't stand when people call their animals their "babies".)

    Talk to us on Facebook!

    And then to add insult to injury you have the nerve to inform me that you won't be upset if I still use it? You're giving me permission? Gee, thanks. Like I want my son to share his name with your overweight, drooling, pooping-on-the-street pug! Like I want to be over at your house, call my son, and have your mangy mutt come running. So thank you, but no, I'll find a new name. But you should know that this is not something I'm going to

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  • Top Toys for $10 or Less

    It can be a struggle to find affordable toys that aren't, well, lame. And since we always need stocking stuffers (and toys for household bribery!), here are some terrific toys you can get for 10 bucks or less:

    Rory's Story Cubes

    Just roll these nine picture dice and tell a story about what you see-a great way to expand kids' creativity (even for non-readers!), storytelling and sequencing skills. Hint: We keep it in the glove box so we're never stuck waiting for a table with nothing to do. Got an iPhone? You can even download an app version of this cool game.

    Toy Story 3 Character Flashlights

    Kids love flashlights. Kids love Toy Story 3 characters. Why not shine a light on both their loves? When they squeeze Rex's tail, his mouth opens and he lights the way into the darkest blanket fort or play tunnel. Also effective for curfew-busting reading time and stuffed-animal tonsil exams.

    Check out our ultimate
    Gift Guide.

    Gund Hide and Seek Reversible Dinosaurs

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  • Best Baby Names from Harry Potter

    From ParentsConnect and ParentsConnect's Baby Names WorldWizard alert! Part I of the hot new final Harry Potter film has us drooling over both the gorgeous, all-grown-up actors from the series and J.K. Rowling's amazingly creative character names. So grab your wire-rimmed glasses and take a gander a

  • Teach My Kid? That's What School is For!

    by newmolly2010 for ParentsConnect

    I teach my kids lots of things, like how to properly plant a flower and make French toast and say thank you (I'm really proud of that one!) and a million other life-skills. I teach my kids the things all parents do, but rarely (OK, never) do I sit down with them and go over the ABCs or 123s like other moms might.

    This might make me sound like a really bad mother, but I don't feel like one. I teach my kids morals and life-lessons all day and you know what? I think that makes me a GREAT mom. I don't think I need to sit down a drill my kids on academics when they're toddlers.

    All too soon they'll be spending their entire days in school, so what do they really need to know before then? I have mom friends who spend their days drilling numbers and letters into their kid's brains. Free time? It's spent doing flashcards and workbooks. Um, no thank you. I'd much rather be rolling around in leaves or splashing in the sprinkler with my kids than

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  • 8 Crafts & Activities That'll Keep the Kids Busy on Thanksgiving

    If on Thanksgiving Day you're in charge of serving dinner for 18, stuffing a turkey, baking the pies, setting the table and cleaning the house, the last thing you want to worry about is occupying the kids! These fabulously fun and festive Thanksgiving Day crafts and activities will keep the kids busy and out of your hair.

    Make Homemade Place Cards
    Got a kid who's super-proud of her writing skills? Put her to work making place cards for the Thanksgiving table and let her choose where everybody sits. Tell them that they'll get extra dessert for designing extra-fancy (and extra time-consuming) place cards featuring multicolored turkeys, Pilgrims and American Indians.

    Make Thanksgiving Centerpieces
    Forget a stuffy and expensive floral arrangement: Let the kids make kooky-cute centerpieces. Grab some odd-shaped gourds when you're picking up your Thanksgiving produce or pinecones from the yard, glue, and whatever crafty scraps you can find-googly eyes, pom-poms, feathers,

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  • Dreading Thankgiving Dinner with These Relatives?

    There are some relatives around that Thanksgiving table that you just can't wait to see! The adoring grandparent that greets your child at the door with a huge bag full of Gymboree purchases. The hot brother in law who swears you get prettier every year. Your sweet Nana who makes a stuffing to die for.

    Then there are other relatives you're very thankful for…thankful that you only see ONCE a year, that is! When dealing with these annoying and colorful members of your extended family, you don't know whether to laugh or cry. We say laugh! Here are our favorite freaky and fabulously infuriating family members. Maybe you have some of these weird apples in your family tree too!

    More Thanksgiving tips and fun from Parents Connect

    Share YOUR Thanksgiving horror stories in the ParentsConnect Community!

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  • Hottest High Tech Toys for the Holidays

    Searching for the year's hottest holiday toys for your tech-savvy kids? We've got 'em! For toddlers to big kids, these high-tech toys are holiday hits.

    V-Tech Reader

    VTech's new V.Reader is sort of a cross between a handheld video-game system and an electronic book. It is ready to go right out of the box. (Well, just add batteries.) With a nice balance of storytelling and interactivity and awesome animation and sounds, kids will have fun and learn something, too.

    $60 at Amazon

    DSi XL

    We love the touch-screen controls, folding design and cool midnight blue color of the new Nintendo DSi so much we're already plotting to borrow this from our kid. Its extra large widescreen (93% bigger!) and the fact that it plays music downloads, snaps photos and gives users access to 850 games makes us long for bedtime (so we can get our hands on it!).

    $169.99 at Target

    Barbie Video Girl Doll

    With a real, working video camera in her necklace, this

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  • 5 Tips for Flying With Kids

    Gearing up to fly with your kids this Thanksgiving? You can reminisce about the days of flying pre-children, when liftoff meant pulling out the headphones and a gossip magazine and totally tuning out. Or you can stop kidding yourself and just figure out how the heck you (and the other 212 people on your flight) will survive these four hours in the air.

    Here, our top tips for flying with kids:

    More from travel tips from Parents Connect

    1. Go Digital

    This is when the magic of the iPod (or Droid or iTouch ... whatever your weapon of choice) comes to life. Before any flight, load up your device with as many songs, movies, TV shows and games as it can handle. You may not believe in digital babysitting, but talk to us after a six-hour flight without any of these babies ... just saying.

    2. Don't Check the Car Seat

    If you're flying with a lap child (under age 2) who doesn't have his own seat, it's worth it to lug your car seat all the way to the gate and check it there.

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  • Preteen Sex: Talking to Your Preteen About It

    It's important to remember that teaching about sex will not encourage your child to have sex at an early age.

    No matter how hard you try to protect them, kids are barraged with sexuality and sexual messages. No matter how careful you are about what your preteen is exposed to, your son or daughter may see a TV show or hear a song on the radio, or see two people on the bus that sparks questions about sex. So, how do you talk to them about it? Try these tips:

    Question the question. If your preteen asks a specific question related to sex, first ask why he is asking that question. That gives you an idea where he is coming from and will guide you to answer that specific question.

    Be precise. Use scientifically correct names for body parts and give clear, straightforward explanations (this probably isn't a good time to flaunt your knowledge of slang.) Look your child straight in the eye when you talk to her.

    Spot teachable moments. You can bring up sexuality when there is a

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  • Please teach your kids some manners!

    Thanks to Anonymous ParentsConnect member.

    I am in shock! I hosted two of my daughter's friends at our house all weekend-and when they left, they didn't say a thing.

    I don't expect 13-year-old girls to treat me and my husband to a meal or even pay their own way when we take them to the movies or out for dinner, but I do expect a simple "thank you" and maybe some small acknowledgment of the fact that I took them out bowling, to the movies and to dinner. But no. These girls just got in the car without a word to me.

    My daughter thanked me three or four times during the course of the weekend for letting her friends stay with us, so I feel fairly confident that if she were in a similar situation, she would at least have the sense to thank her hostess. Am I wrong to expect the same from other kids?

    Obviously, I didn't invite them over so I could be showered with praise, but I did put a lot of effort into making sure they had fun and were comfortable. Some might say the kids are shy or

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