Blog Posts by Parentables

  • Why I Wish My Daughter Would Watch TV

    This post was written by Sarah Fernandez. Photo Credit: Heleen Sitter/Getty Images

    When my son was born, I was determined to keep him away from the television for as long as possible. I made it until he was almost two years old before we introduced Curious George and Sesame Street, and he officially became a television watcher. And while there have been times when he watched way too much of it, at five years old now we have found a nice balance of about an hour a day. But my daughter who is two and a half will not watch television, and I never thought I'd say this, but it drives me nuts!

    The thing about television is that it has its benefits. As most parents who have television watchers know, it can be easy to let your child watch lots of television because they become all consumed in it and you know that they are going to sit safely in that chair with their eyes aimed at the wall while you finish up that last bit of work, make a phone call, or get dinner made. I'm not

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  • Do You Have a Favorite Child?

    This post was written by Sarah Fernandez. Photo Credit: Cultura/Axel Bernstroff/Getty Images

    Is the age old statement from parents that they don't have a favorite child really a giant lie? The cover story of Time magazine this week claims that all parents have a favorite child because we are hard-wired to do so, and author Jeffrey Kluger who has just come out with a book The Sibling Effect: What the Bonds Among Brothers and Sisters Reveal About Us, says that we shouldn't fight science and should accept this as the way it is. But who is most likely to be the favorite child? What are the implications of having a favorite child? And what if I don't think I have one?

    Who is the Favorite and Why?

    Kluger claims that first born children are most likely to be the favorites because parents invest the most time and energy into them and they tend to be taller and stronger. However, mothers often offer the youngest the most compassion according to Kluger. Kluger suggests that

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  • Should You Be Worried About BPA in Your Kids' Canned Food?

    This post was written by Christine Lepisto. Photo: iStockphoto

    The Breast Cancer Fund has just released a study showing that BPA is found in canned foods marketed specifically to kids. The study examined 6 products designed to excite your little ones at mealtime. What did they find? Disney Princess Cool Shapes and Toy Story Fun Shapes have more than just imaginative pasta and chicken broth. These two Campbell's soup products tested with the highest levels of BPA. Surprisingly, Elmo Noodlemania from Earth's Best Organic came in third highest, ahead of Annie's Homegrown Cheesy Ravioli and Chef Boyardee Whole Grain Pasts, Mini ABC's & 123's with Meatballs. Campbell's Spaghettios with Meatballs scored the lowest BPA levels.

    OK, pause for outrage. Take a deep breath. Now, let's look a little more closely.

    More from Parentables: How to Get Away from BPA

    BPA, short for bisphenol-A, is used in the epoxy-resin liners that separate canned foods from the metal cans, helping

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  • 5 Fun, Educational, and Free Day Trips for Frugal Families

    This post was written by Alexandra Martinez. Photo: Will Martinez

    So, you're tight on cash (aren't we all) but you still want to get the kids out of the house? No problem: A fun and educational day out doesn't have to mean spending a month's worth of fun money on tickets to the aquarium, the zoo, or that traveling Sesame Street show.

    As a homeschooling mom, I am always looking for cheap and simple ways for my kids to learn new things and be engaged in our community -- but any parent, homeschooler or not, can use these ideas to teach their kids about local businesses, safety, and more. Bonus: You might just learn a thing or two yourself.

    1. The Fire Station

    Cool uniforms, flashing lights, and a truck that's five times the size of your kid -- it all adds up to one great day. Kids will learn about fire safety and prevention, the role firefighters play in the community, and they may even get to sit in the big red truck during the tour.

    Most local fire departments

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  • Has Your Child's Identity Been Stolen?

    This post was written by Julie Douglas. Photo credit Double Vision/

    I've written about the future of children's privacy in the digital age, one in which Google CEO Eric Schmidt predicts that when this decade's crop of kids turn 18 they'll automatically be granted a name change so as to disassociate themselves from the bread trail of transgressions they've left on social media sites for all the world to see. But recently my savvy sister-in-law alerted me to a present-day danger concerning our children's identity.

    Turns out that child identity theft is on the rise. According to a study conducted by ID Analytics, 500,000 children under the age of 18 have had their identities stolen by a parent. And that's just on the familial identity theft front, one in which a family member gains access to a child's Social Security number and opens lines of credit to purchase homes and automobiles. Outside of familial identity theft there are several other ways your tyke's

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  • How I Got My Kid to Talk About His School Day

    This post was written by Sarah Fernandez. Photo Credit: Blend Images/Ariel Skelley/Getty Images

    Last week I was complaining because in a mere five days of kindergarten my son had gone from telling me he didn't remember what he'd done all day to asking me to please just stop asking him about his day. I, of course, have not stopped asking him, and each afternoon he rolls his eyes at me and tells me that he went to recess, had lunch, and then got in line to take the bus home. While that's something, it's not exactly what I was looking for. But last night we tried something different than our normal routine but incredibly simple, and much to my surprise and without much prodding, he started spilling stories going all the way back--a whole two weeks--to the first day of school.

    What was that simple thing? We merely sat down as a family and ate dinner together at the dining room table. I've read all the stories about how important it is to eat dinner as a family, and

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  • Michelle Duggar: It's Never Too Early to Teach Your Kids About Character

    This post was written by Michelle Duggar. Photo of Jordyn Grace Duggar/Photo credit: DCI.

    In our book, "A Love that Multiplies," we discuss the importance of character qualities that we try to cultivate in our kids and in ourselves. I really thought about which character qualities were the most important to introduce to the children when they were very little.

    And I really felt like that the Lord showed me the number one character quality -- the first one that I felt that each of them needed to develop in their life --was attentiveness, being sensitive to those around them so that I could have the right response.

    It's important that when I call their names I get their eyes and have their attention, because if I don't get their eyes I don't have their heart. And the reason that I felt like that was so important, especially when you've got toddlers, is that they can act like they don't hear you.

    You may think that they don't understand what you're saying, but in

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  • Should a Toddler Learn About Fiscal Responsibility?

    This post was written by Julie Douglas. Photo credit: The Agency Collection/Getty Images

    Lately, when something in our household breaks or we run out of an item, the first thing our daughter says is, "We should get another one from Target." She believes the big box retailer to be the font from which all things spring, including, perhaps, even human life. When asked where she gets such cute toes, her pat response is, yep, Target.

    No offense, Target, but I'm beginning to worry. We visit you often for all the obvious conveniences you provide, but I now realize that you're inadvertently coloring my kid's perception of world, and my silence on the matter is contributing to the sense that we live in a disposable world full of stuff, stuff, stuff -- as easy to have as picking an apple off of a tree (if such a pastoral pastime exists anymore).

    When is it the right time to start teaching your child about money and responsibility? I'm guessing when she begins to understand that

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  • The 5 Things I Miss the Most from My Pre-Children Days

    This post was written by Sarah Fernandez. Photo Credit: Drew Fernandez

    Yesterday I looked at my alarm clock and thought how nice it would be to actually need it. Then I got to thinking about the other things I once had or enjoyed prior to having children five years ago and here's what I came up with as the things I long to have once again.

    1. My Alarm Clock

    I'm not a morning person so it never occurred to me that I would ever miss my alarm clock, but I do. That's because I don't need it anymore due to the fact that I have two small children who make sure that I am up well before I actually need to be to get us out the door in time for school and work in the morning. I can't wait until I need that alarm clock again.

    2. Money

    It's not as though we ever had a lot of cash to spare, but there's nothing like paying a couple hundred plus dollars a week in daycare costs to realize just how good you had it. We are finally feeling some reprieve now that we've got one

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  • Will Chaz Bono Throw Your Kid Into an Identity Crisis?

    This post was written by Ryan Johnson. Photo: Noel Vasquez/Contributor/Getty Images Entertainment.

    When the most recent cast of Dancing With the Stars was announced on August 29, there were the usual characters: reality stars (Kristin Cavallari and Rob Kardashian), athletes (Ron Artest and Hope Solo), and celebrities hoping for some kind of comeback (David Arquette, Chynna Phillips, and Ricki Lake). Pretty standard fare compared with seasons past.

    But this fall, the dancing reality competition added one contestant to its lineup who is causing a bit of controversy: Chaz Bono, the only child of Cher and the late Sonny Bono. The drama stems from the fact that Chaz is transgender and -- gasp! -- will be dancing with a woman.

    Although Chaz was born a female (Chastity), he has gone through gender reassignment surgery and is living his life as a man. Even the courts recognize the gender change with a judge granting Chaz's petition for a gender and name change in May 2010.

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