Blog Posts by Parentables

  • What You Need to Know when Buying a New Dishwasher

    Image: thisreidwrites/Creative CommonsThis past weekend I got a lesson in buying appliances as we were picking out a new refrigerator, range, and dishwasher. Working in the world of design, I consider myself pretty savvy when it comes to the latest and greatest looks in home appliances, but much to my chagrin, I realized that I didn't know all that much about the latest and greatest functions of various models. They've made a lot of progress in the eight years since I last bought appliances for my previous home. But not only was I unsure of all the appliance features, I discovered that in going to three different stores I got very different information about what I should be looking for with each different unit, making me really glad I had dragged my family to so many stores after all. But so that you don't have to do the same with your family, I thought I'd offer a breakdown of the key features to look for when purchasing new appliances, starting with the dishwasher.

    Read More: 5 Foolproof Tricks for Sale Shopping

    In

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  • Sarah FernandezThe Social Security Administration has compiled all of the names of new babies born in 2012 and released the list of the most popular baby names in America. It turns out that parents' favorite names have not changed much since last year, and none of the top predicted names for 2012 even made the list. For the second year in a row Jacob tops the list of most common boys' name and Sophia is the most common girls' name in the country. Here are the top ten names for boys and girls.

    Read More: Find Out if Your Kid has One of America's Most Hated Baby Names

    Top Boys' Names

    1. Jacob
    2. Mason
    3. Ethan
    4. Noah
    5. William
    6. Liam
    7. Jayden
    8. Michael
    9. Alexander
    10. Aiden

    Read More: 20 Wacky Celebrity Baby Names

    Top Girls' Names

    1. Sophia
    2. Emma
    3. Isabella
    4. Olivia
    5. Ava
    6. Emily
    7. Abigail
    8. Mia
    9. Madison
    10. Elizabeth

    While the rankings of the names have shifted a

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  • Sucking on Your Baby's Pacifier May Actually Provide Health Benefits

    Image: WarmSleepy/Creative CommonsIf your baby loves his pacifier, then you know how awful it is when it hits the ground in a public place where you've got nowhere to clean it. But when the baby is crying for it and you've got nowhere to turn, desperate times call for desperate measures. It becomes time to bite the bullet and clean the dirt off by popping it in your own mouth and cleaning it with your own saliva. While it all sounds disgusting (it's amazing what parents will do for their babies), it turns out that in doing this you may actually be giving your child much more than just the chance to soothe themselves again.

    Read More: Why Amish Kids Have Fewer Allergies

    In a study published in the online journal Pediatrics, a team of Swedish doctors followed more than 180 infants and their pacifier habits as well as their development of allergies several months later. The doctors collected and analyzed the saliva of the infants at four months old. The infants' pacifier use and cleaning methods were recorded at six

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  • Michelle Duggar on Taking a Break

    Image courtesy DCL

    Last week, I wrote about our daily schedule for school days. I also wanted to share how we take our breaks from school on weekends and vacations.

    Read More: A Day in the Life of Michelle Duggar and Her Kids

    Saturday

    Saturday is our family day. It's just a day of rest. We don't have to do jurisdictions; we don't do chores. The trash fills up in the trashcan. We may or may not empty them and nobody really has to do anything. It's a great day. Everybody loves Saturday!

    Sometimes we'll sleep in and hang around the house. Other times, we might go for a picnic, a walk, or a bike ride. It just depends on what that Saturday is like. We typically try not to schedule things on our Saturdays and keep those as a family day, but of course you'll have weddings and other things that come up on the weekends.

    Read More: Michelle Duggar's Spring Cleaning Secrets

    Sunday

    Sunday seems to be a busier day. It's the day we go to church so we're up early getting everybody

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  • 3 Ways to Bully-Proof Your Child

    Photo: Laura St. John/Courtesy Renee Glick PhotographyToday my second-grade son told me that there was a boy in his class that bothers every single child in the class -- except for him. "Every single kid?" I said, "...but you?" Maybe that's an eight-year-old exaggeration, but it still was enlightening to me. So I continued our conversation, dug a little deeper, and reflected on how and why my child may be more bully-proof than some of the twenty-something kids in his classroom.

    Read More: 14 Ways to Help Your Child Defend Herself Against Bullying

    He must be doing something right, but as parents, we can take a little credit here and there along the way -- right?

    1. Get Them to Open Up to You
    Curious minds (that's me) want to know what truly goes on behind the closed doors of school. Don't just stop at, "How was school today?" or you'll probably get the typical, boring old, "Good." Instead, probe like a detective: "Was everyone nice to each other in class today... and at recess?" This opens up the door, and you get the lowdown of who did

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  • The Trick that Helped Relieve My Daughter's Stage Fright

    Image: Sarah FernandezShy is not a word that I would use to describe my four-year-old daughter. "Look at me! Look what I can do!" is what is typically coming out of her mouth. So when it was observation day at her ballet class a few months ago I couldn't figure out why she froze. She started out participating and then suddenly she wouldn't move other than to hold the teacher's hand and hide behind her leg while gazing at the floor.

    Read More: Adult-Onset Social Anxiety: Making Friends as a Grown-Up

    Afterwards I discovered that she didn't want anybody except for me and the mothers of her good friends, who are also in the class, watching her. She had stage fright and didn't want all those other parents watching her too. I totally get it as I don't like speaking in front of large crowds either (ironic since my audience is the Internet!), but I wanted her to feel confident and be able to perform the ballet moves that she's been working so hard all year to learn.

    Read More: 5 Tips to Ease Your Child's Social

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  • Michelle Duggar's Advice for First-Time Moms

    Photo credit: DCLQuestion from a "19 Kids and Counting" fan: What was your biggest challenge when you became a mother with your first few babies?

    With Josh, the first baby, I was just delighted. I just loved being a mom. I was so excited and I really enjoyed it. We were very busy even then because we had a car business at our home -- we sold cars from out of our house. So I was parenting my first baby, and learning to be a momma with car sales going on in my living room!

    Read More: Michelle Duggar on Having 19 Kids and Zero Expectations

    But I loved it, I really did, and I think as the next children came, it was twins for us, we realized that I needed some sleep. It wasn't as easy the second time around. (I guess it was really the second and third time all at once!) I realized that when those babies went down for a nap, I better take a nap, too, if I could. My housework didn't seem so important at that time in my life. My sleep was more valuable than a perfect kitchen with clean dishes

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  • Want Well-Behaved Kids? 3 Techniques that Work

    Photo: Laura St. John / Courtesy Renee Glick PhotographyA few weeks ago, I shared some personal experiences about how to raise a confident child by avoiding common labels: When I grew up, there was no athletic one, smart one, shy one, or "what a handful" one.

    Born into a label-free environment, my parents leveled the playing field for us, and we turned into our own beings without any of their predetermined thoughts. Wherever I went, they'd tell people that my sisters and I were such good girls. We overheard it. We believed it. And it worked.

    Read More: Want to Raise a Confident Child? Then Avoid These Common Labels

    The Flip Side: Setting Expectations
    There's a whole other side to this story. On the flip side, before we went anywhere, my mom would tell my sisters and I how our teachers, neighbors, and friends all thought we were so well-behaved. She would tell us stories (or probably even make up stories) about how they thought we were polite, hard-working, good listeners, friendly and nice. Then she'd clearly tell us how she expected us

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  • The Duggar Family's Musical Background

    Photo Credit: DCLQuestion from a "19 Kids and Counting" fan: Your family is so musical! Do all of the kids learn how to play a musical instrument?

    Jim Bob and I are sadly not musically skilled at all so wanted our children to learn how to play and read music. Luckily for us, there was a precious widow who went to church with us and offered to teach our children for half price. We jumped at the offer and Josh started taking piano lessons with Nana when he was 5 years old. We call her Nana because we just love her so much, and she still teaches our kids piano now. She comes over every Monday and teaches our younger ones along with Jinger, who is getting ready to do her senior recitals.

    Read More: The Duggars' Instant Stress Buster: Music

    We learned that by teaching them the piano first, they get a really strong base in music. Then they can pick up another instrument very easily and transfer that knowledge by reading music. We started out with Nana teaching each one at about the age of 5; they

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  • Want to Cut Back or Stop Drinking Alcohol? 5 Questions to Ask Yourself

    Photo by Kyle May / Creative CommonsBack in December of 2012, I decided to take a one-year break from drinking wine. I love(d) wine: how it tastes, how it soothes, and how it brings people together. But I also didn't always like how it made me feel physically, even from drinking small amounts. I also didn't like that I'd made it a near-daily habit, and that I found it difficult to give up.

    My decision to take a year-long break stems from my desire to rewire my relationship to alcohol and to have it take a backseat in my life. This is something that I already feel I've been successful with -- wine who? I enjoy talking about my former struggle because I know there are so many others out there who have a conflicting relationship to alcohol, but are discouraged from addressing their issues because of the confusing myths surrounding the "impossibility" of solving drinking problems on one's own.

    Read More: 5 Amazing Lessons I Learned by Giving up Alcohol for One Month

    If you are thinking about cutting back or stopping

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