Blog Posts by Parentables

  • Is My Child a Hoarder?

    This post was written by Sarah Fernandez. Photo Credit: Tim Hall/Getty Images

    Lately I've been starting to get concerned that my son might have the tendencies of a hoarder, and I've been worried that it might go too far. We've all seen the shows where people can't walk through their living rooms because there are boxes stacked to the ceiling and there are mice in the kitchen because the dishes haven't been done in years. I wonder at what point these people developed their obsessive compulsiveness and if I really need to worry about my son or if he just attaches himself to weird objects every once in a while.

    Hoarding Tendencies

    The latest item he just had to keep was a large box from a multi-pack of snacks I bought at BJ's. When he asked me where the box was and I told him in the recycling bin because they were all gone, and he marched outside and pulled it out of the bin, along with a few of his sister's scribbles that he didn't think should be in there either. He

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  • Should You Trick the Kids Into Eating More Veggies?

    This post was written by Jeff Kart. Photo: Eugene Peretz

    Breakfast, lunch, dinner. These are three times of the day that are unpredictable. As in, what do the kids want to eat? Do they like peanut butter today or not? Is chicken OK, or do they not like chicken anymore? How about corn, do they like corn? Oh, OK, but only if I de-kernel the cob. A new study says you can increase your kids' vegetable intake if you hide veggies in their food. Really? But what if you get caught? Don't we tell our kids enough fibs? And will this even work?

    First, a little on the study. Then, a little story about my family.

    Penn State researchers tested the hiding technique on 39 preschool kids, ages 3-6. The children were fed meals with pureed vegetables added to their "favorite foods," and ended up consuming twice as many vegetables and 11 percent fewer calories over the course of a day.

    Pureed, in case you're not familiar, is what happens when you take a perfectly good vegetable and

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  • 5 Foolproof Tricks for Sale Shopping

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    This post was written by Susan Wagner. Photo: Ann Taylor

    July is almost over, and even though the temperature is still hovering at something that feels very much like the surface of the sun in most places, fall stock is rolling into the mall. While the idea of shopping for sweaters and wool-blend pants may make you itchy, keep this in mind: fall arrivals mean huge sales on summer clothes (because all those cute sundresses have to go!). And with who knows how many more weeks of heat wave in front of us, this is a terrific time to stock up on cool weather pieces.

    But don't just run off to the mall and start buying willy nilly. If you shop smart at summer sales, you can get more and spend less -- and not wind up with Buyer's Remorse. Here are five strategies for making your money go further this summer.

    1. Make a list.

    Approach the sale rack the same way you would the full price rack -- with a plan. Before you hit the mall, take a hard look at what's already in your

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  • The Tao of Toddlers

    This post was written by Julie Douglas. Photo: Le Club Symphonie Ian Nolan/Getty Images.

    The other night I was giving my 2-and-a-half-year-old daughter a bath. I had gone through the rote motions of adding bubbles to the water, gathering her tub toys together and then immersing her in the foamy water to scrub her Georgia clay-stained feet clean.

    Fragments of my to-do list were floating through my mind as my little water baby splashed a green toy boat, making funny little noises and prattling on about how she was a mermaid. I was on autopilot, fretting about how time was slipping through the cracks of the evening, wondering how I was going to get everything I needed to get done and grab a decent chunk of sleep in the process.

    That's when my daughter caught my eye, beamed a beatific smile and rippled her boat through the water, saying, "Even my toy boat captain hits rough seas in my perfect little pond." My husband came in the bathroom to take over, and I asked our

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  • Finally, I Have a Reason to Boycott American Girl Stores

    This post was written by Katie Morton. Photo: Fuzzy Gerdes/Creative Commons

    Even before I knew what American Girl was, I had a feeling of distrust and suspicion around the brand. All I'd heard was that the dolls and accessories are criminally expensive, and that little girls (and sometimes adult women) are obsessed with them.

    I heard myself say, "I want to keep Alex away from that stuff."

    My mother-in-law seemed puzzled by my apparent misgivings about the dolls. I couldn't really tell you why I felt a visceral circumspect attitude. Maybe because I'm assuming that anything that expensive that develops a fanatical following must be propelled by marketing genius rather than quality. Not a fact by any means. Just a knee-jerk reaction.

    Then I read that a breastfeeding mom was supposedly ousted from the Fifth Avenue New York store. From Shawna Cohen of Mommyish:

    The woman's husband, David, tweeted about the incident: "Wife kicked out of NYC #AmericanGirl store

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  • This post was written by Andy Hinds.

    Men have it pretty easy when it comes to family obligations, right? We're just expected to show up and be the lovable doofus who does Mom's bidding when ordered to; but when left to our own devices will let the laundry pile up to the rafters and feed the kids Top Ramen every night.

    In the latest issue of Time Magazine, Ruth Davis Konigsberg tracks the reality and mythology surrounding the inequity of labor division in families, citing historical trends and sentiments, and examining some of the newest data from the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics. And her surprising conclusion is that the combined amount of paid and unpaid work men do is now almost the same as the amount women do. In other words, the amount of time the average American woman spends at her job outside the home plus the amount of time she spends doing unpaid labor at home is almost exactly the same amount of time the average man spends in these arenas.

    This data is

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  • Can Calling Your Child "Good" Be a Bad Thing?

    This post was written by Katie Morton. Photo: UNIFORM natural/ Creative Commons

    In her article called 7 Things Not to Say to a Mom of Twins, Gayle Weiswasser writes that labeling her children by using seemingly harmless statements like, "That one seems to be the shy/outgoing/funny/louder/friendlier one," isn't helpful.

    Weiswasser writes:

    There is a lot of shifting and changing and evolving that goes on every day, and pushing twins into roles really doesn't do anyone any good.

    This doesn't just apply to twins, but all children. As Weiswasser wisely points out, over the course of a child's development, she or he will change and grow dramatically.

    Positive Labels Can Be Harmful

    Kids will practice different skills at different times of their lives, and boxing kids into categories can actually be harmful. To quote the book Superbaby by Dr. Jenn Berman:

    Judgments about a child's character often become self-fulfilling prophecies. Children,

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  • The Truth About Lying: I'm a Liar and My Kid is, Too

    This post was written by Sarah Fernandez. Photo Credit: Girogio Manjo/Getty Images

    Lately my five-year-old son has been starting to lie. A lot. The candid honesty that I once wished he'd filter has turned to flat out lies and trickery throughout the day. Most of the time it's not anything too serious, but I still don't like it. A typical conversation goes something like:

    Him: "Mom, Carolina called me stupid!"

    Me: "Carolina doesn't even know how to say that word."

    Him: "She did. She really, really did."

    Me: "Teddy, it's not possible."

    Him: "Yes it is. She really did."

    This morning he claimed she bit him on the arm. They were both sitting right next to me in bed and her mouth was not anywhere near his arm. It drives me nuts that he can look me straight in the eye and flat out tell me something that didn't really happen. But then again, how can I get mad at him when I spend so much of my day telling him lies?

    Parentables: Why Your Child's First Lie is

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  • Would You Let Your Kids Eat Bugs? Angelina Jolie Does.

    This post was written by Ryan Johnson. Image Credit: Mark Marsland/WireImage/Getty Images

    Let's face it: Every child has eaten a bug at some point in his or her young life. Whether it was because of a dare from a friend or an accident after one flew in the kid's mouth, it happens. In fact adults do it, too. According to Smarter Sleeping 101, the average adult will swallow around 12 creepy crawlers per year while they snooze. Sorry to put that visual in your head, but my point is that it's not a huge deal. Gross, but so what?

    Countries around the world actually consider some bugs a delicacy. In Hanoi, Vietnam, you can expect to find fried scorpions on the menu, while in Japan, diners prefer the tastings of wasp crackers. And in Cambodia, as in many other parts of the world, you can munch on fried crickets. Which is where Angelina Jolie's kids discovered the tasty(?) treat.

    Jolie explains in a video for Louis Vuitton that she first gave the crickets to her kids so they

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  • 8 Small Space Organizing Tips Straight from Our Family's RV

    Post and photo by Britt Reints.

    My very first apartment was a one-bedroom, one-bathroom place that I shared with two other recent high school graduates. It was a sprawling country estate compared to what I'm living in now. Today, I live in a zero-bedroom, one-bathroom, 24 foot travel trailer with two adults and two children. There is considerably less beer in our fridge, but more books on our shelves - or rather there would be more books on our shelves if we had shelves. How do four people eat, sleep, work, and live in less than 200 square feet of living space? We make use of every square inch.

    1. Get rid of stuff.

    Before you start thinking about where to put stuff away, it's a good idea to get rid of anything you don't need. We had three garage sales before moving into our RV and after 6 weeks on the road we found we had another carload of things we could donate to a local Goodwill. If you don't use it, don't keep it.

    2. Maximize your closet space.

    We actually did not

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