Blog Posts by Parentables

  • The Thing that Drives Me Crazy About Kids and Technology

    The downside of technology.The downside of technology.A lot of parents tend to have a love-hate relationship with technology. Yes, it can make our lives easier and more organized, it allows us to keep better track of our children, and for many of us it allows us to work at home instead of tied to an office. But there are downsides too such as always being connected, fighting with the kids to get outside and away from the computer, and your boss always being able to find you. We have to worry about how much "screen time" the kids are getting and who they're interacting with. However, none of those things are what bother me the most about technology. What bothers me the most is the instant gratification of it all.

    Read More: Is Technology Controlling Your Family?

    When we allow our children to watch television or play a game, they expect to be able to get exactly what they want immediately because technology now permits it. Whether it's their favorite movie on Netflix, a show on DVR or Apple TV, a game on your iPhone, or their

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  • The Phrase that Always Gets My Kids Moving when I Need Them To

    Kids on the move.Kids on the move.We've all been there. Yes, every parent knows that point in the standoff with your child where it's either going to turn into a major meltdown or you're going to sit there for another 20 minutes waiting for the coat or shoes to be put on, the teeth to be brushed, or insert whatever it is that your child takes forever to accomplish. At this point, there is one simple phrase that I've found puts a huge smile on my kids' faces and gets them moving quickly. That phrase is "How fast can you ____?"


    Read More: Kids Need Time "Off" from Their Best Behavior

    This phrase has perhaps become the most important phrase in my parenting repertoire only behind "I love you." When I just want to scream in frustration, instead I now say, "How fast can you ____?" While it works magically in helping everyone in the house get ready in the morning and into the car, it also works wonders in changing my kids' moods when they're in a funk. Just last week I was at the park with my five-year-old who was

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  • The Reason for the Duggar Family's Baby-Naming Tradition

    The Duggar family.The Duggar family.We're often asked why all of our kids' names begin with the letter J. There's no quick answer, but it started with our first child. Emotionally, we loved the Bible name Joshua. So we named our first child Josh after him. At the time we thought if we ever had another boy somewhere down the road, it would be fun to name him Caleb because Joshua and Caleb hung out together in the Bible, and they were great guys.

    Later, after Josh was born, I went back on the pill, and then I ended up getting pregnant while I was on it, and I ended up having a miscarriage. Not too long after that we became pregnant with twins (John-David and Jana) and we were so excited, and we loved the Bible name of John. My grandmother's name was Ana, and we put the J on the front, because we wanted to show honor, and we thought that Ana was a great person in the scriptures as well. She was a prophet that recognized Jesus when he was an infant brought into the synagogue.

    When we had our fourth child, Jill, we

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  • Coming to Terms with the Passage of Time

    Kids growing up.Kids growing up.My kids will grow up.

    Try as I might, I cannot keep time from coming for them.

    Their tender baby roundness continues to fall away as the chiseled faces and bodies of lengthening children emerge. Their silliness has given way to real humor...catchy, clever, wise. Their daytime is less about cuddling and direction, and more about freedom and independence. My daughter has begun to request privacy and would prefer to read her own story at bedtime. My son patiently explains the relationship between water and steam as I sit wondering: Who is this intelligent being?

    Read More: 50 Awesome Things About Babies

    For my part I try to navigate the bipolar relationship between my joy and terror as I venture into a different phase of the motherhood. I'm so happy to see them here, safe, happy, well adjusted, loving, and kind, and yet I simultaneously want to freeze these moments -- I am terrified of the day I'll long to bury my lips in a sweet-smelling neck as they stand waiting with

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  • 5 Ways to Keep Winter Break from Getting Boring

    Have a productive winter break.Have a productive winter break."Mom! I'm bored!" Oh, I wish I had a dollar every time my kids uttered those words. I don't hear it so much anymore since they're teenagers, intent on lying low. And that's how they think they're going to spend the next five days of winter break. I hate to be the one to break it to them but they won't be sleeping until noon everyday or waiting until 3 p.m. to change out of their jammies. Nope. We've got work to do. Here are the five things we have planned (well, I have planned for them).

    Read More: 99 Ways to Use This Winter to Have a Blast, Comfort Yourself, or Take Control of Your Life

    1. Spring Cleaning. I know it's still technically winter but since it's been a mild one, it feels like spring is right around the corner. That and I'm sick of looking at the scuffmarks all over the baseboards. So one of the projects we will undertake this week is a deep cleaning of every room in the house. Remember, if your kids have never done this before you'll have to show them how to do

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  • Michelle Duggar on the Importance of Grieving After a Loss

    After a lossAfter a loss
    It helps my heart to talk about my miscarriage of Jubilee. I know it's difficult sometimes for people to really know what to say, and I know I felt that way at times in the past when I realized that someone had lost a baby that they were carrying and I wasn't sure how to best console them. But I think being able to acknowledge that there was a little one -- a precious life -- helps. It definitely helps me when someone will say that they're sorry to hear about our little Jubilee.

    It does my heart good in that regard because we miss her, and I feel like she was such a joyful part of our lives for 18 weeks, and we were so looking forward to meeting her. And then all the sudden for us to realize that all of those dreams were not going to come true, it just really made us realize how precious and valuable life is and how short it is.

    These last couple of months have just been very precious in the fact that I have been able to grieve over the loss of all those dreams that I was

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  • Sexist Super Bowl Commercials Are Bad for Business and for Our Kids

    Sexist Super Bowl commercialsSexist Super Bowl commercialsAs I watched the Super Bowl last night, I was struck by two things:

    1) I didn't see as many advertisements this year that were blatantly sexist and degrading to women.

    2) It's pathetic that there remain corporations run by people who have such a dearth of critical thinking skills that they think they need to resort to a transparent "sex sells" mentality to hawk a product.

    Sex Doesn't Sell, in All Actuality

    GoDaddy, Fiat and Teleflora were the most blatant offenders. Teleflora's commercial, which implied women are whores who will put out when given gifts, is a highly foolish way to alienate the female customer base. I guarantee you that the next time I buy flowers for my mother, I will make it a point to put my business in different hands.

    Likewise, GoDaddy - the next time I need to reserve a domain name, I'll stick with my current provider rather than seeking the services of a company that demonstrates such an obvious lack of professional acumen.

    Not that I'm

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  • 19 Kids, 19 Schedules: How the Duggars Stay Organized


    A chore chart keeps things organized.A chore chart keeps things organized. Even though we're able to spend a lot of time with one another in our family, we still have to keep tabs on who's doing what, who needs to be where and what's on our to-do and shopping lists. We still use a hard copy calendar, but we've come to rely on technology more and more.

    We use the Cozi iPhone app -- it's great, and it's free. It's accessible to our whole family, and if any of our older children have something coming up they can punch it into the Cozi calendar themselves and we all know what's going on.

    It helps us keep organized calendar-wise, as well as our to-do and shopping lists. If Jim Bob and I are talking about something on the family to-do list we can just add it in. Jim Bob may say, "OK we'll put that on John's to-do list." And if our older girls are out shopping then they always know that they can pull up the shopping list and see what we need from Sam's or Wal-Mart or wherever they happen to be.

    Read More from Michelle: The Musical Chairs of Family

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  • Kids in Carpools Often Aren't Using Proper Safety Restraints

    Booster seat safetyBooster seat safetyA new study released by the American Academy of Pediatrics in its February issue found that while 76 percent of parents with children ages 4 to 8 use proper child safety seats when their kids are in the family car, when it comes to carpooling that number drops by quite a bit. In fact, of the 64 percent of parents in the study that said they carpool and have children who require booster seats 79 percent of them always request that other parents use a booster seat for their child, but only 55 percent of them said that they always have their child use a booster seat when they have friends without one in their own car. So what are the laws and why are so many people breaking them?

    Read More:
    Is Your Child's Booster Seat a Disaster Waiting to Happen?

    Every state's laws vary on child safety seat usage, but the fines can be fairly hefty and may even include a court date if you get caught not following them. There are only two states that don't require booster seat usage for children

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  • Parents Can Be Cyberbullies Too

    When parents become cyberbullies.When parents become cyberbullies.From starting cyberbullying prevention early to raising awareness about online safety, we've covered many aspects of keeping kids safe and happy in an increasingly wired world. But cyberbullying isn't just the preserve of kids. In fact, a couple of shocking news stories illustrate that parents can even cyberbully their own children.

    Read More:
    Cyberbullying Prevention Starts Earlier Than You Think

    A Mom Humiliates Her Child Online

    Over at the Washington Post, advice columnist Marguerite Kelley responds to a reader who flew off the handle when she saw her nephew humiliated online by his own mother:

    I recently opened Facebook and found that my sister had posted a picture of my nephew, her son, who was crying and holding a sign that said, "I lied to my family." [...] I didn't react well and asked my sister to take the picture down immediately, but I'm still afraid that the punishment may have harmed him indirectly, which would make it even worse.

    Much like the

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