Blog Posts by Parentables

  • Rite of Passage: A Berry Up the Nose

    This post was written by Julie Douglas. Photo: Mimi Haddon/Getty Images.

    Recently my 2-and-a-half-year-old daughter went berry picking, which sounds like a delightful Sunday morning diversion. Except that we weren't on a family trip to connect with nature; my husband and I were with our daughter in the backyard staring at the rotting soffits on our house debating whether to replace or paint them when we noticed our little one was wearing a shocked look on her face. Which was followed by reddening cheeks and shrieks.

    She had plucked a wooden-like berry from the stem of a heavenly bamboo plant and stuck it up her right nostril.

    Two flashlight inquiries and five sinus sprays later, we determined that the berry was not to be dislodged so easily. Did I mention it was Sunday? Our options weren't great -- an urgent care center 45 minutes away or a children's emergency care center 10 minutes away. We chose the latter.

    But before doing so, we made a last-ditch effort of

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  • Teeth Are For Food, Not Friends: Trying to Stop Biting Behavior

    Post and photo by Sarah Fernandez.

    It's a sentence that no parent wants to hear when they walk in to pick up their child at daycare. "Does xxxx bite at home?" Uh, oh. That's what I heard when I went to pick up my daughter one day last week. Truthfully, she hadn't been biting at all, and so I told her teacher no. I think she has bitten her brother once many months ago, but she is not generally a "biter" or so I thought. She struck a second time with her fangs this week, and it seems to be the same victim each time. Still I thought it was maybe just a fluke thing. Then she tried to bite me. Twice. In one day. So what's a parent to do when their child bites?

    The good news (if there is any) is that you are not alone. According to WebMD, most children under age three bite at least once, so when that other mother snarls at you or looks absolutely horrified that you're raising such an animal, don't worry, some day she will be in the exact same position. Children bite for

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  • 5 Ways to Lower Your Standards -- and Become a Better Parent in the Process

    Post and photo by Andy Hinds.

    I have a cycling buddy who has a child a little older than our 2-year old twin girls. Once, on a bike ride, when both of our wives were pregnant, my friend started talking about how he wasn't going to make big sacrifices in his lifestyle just because he was about to become a dad. I got a little swept up in the moment, and started Amen-ing his every point.

    "Our parents didn't give up everything to cater to us! We had to adapt to their lifestyles!" he said.

    "Yeah!" I replied.

    "And I'm not gonna sell my Porsche or give up cycling or any of my other hobbies just because there's a rugrat in the house!"

    "Damn right!" I said. "Me neither. I mean...I don't...have a Porsche or anything...but...yeah! All the rest of what you said!"

    "That kid is gonna learn to adjust to my schedule ; not the other way around."

    "Right on, brother!" We fistbumped one another awkwardly, almost getting entangled in each other's handlebars and crashing.

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  • The Ultimate Push Present: Diamonds or Fat Camp?

    This post was written by Ryan Johnson. Image Credit: Anthony-Masterson/Botanica/Getty Images

    When I was pregnant, I jokingly asked my husband what his thoughts were regarding my push present. He gave me a blank stare and then said, "What would you like it to be?" Hmmm, interesting question.

    I didn't really expect a push present, and after my hubby came clean and admitted he had no idea what I was talking about, we had a good laugh. He was giving me exactly what I wanted: a baby and a totally renovated and redone master bathroom. (Note: Redoing a master bathroom (or any big project) while you're pregnant and/or a new mother is a bad, bad idea. Trust me!)

    Don't get me wrong: I fully support the idea of a push present. If it's the right push present. I'm not even considering diamonds or sapphires, here. How about a nice charm bracelet to signify the beginning of a new life as parents? Or a massage when she's feeling up to it? But if you insist on spending big bucks on a

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  • Get Your Shopping Fix without Buying More Clothes (Or Hats, Or Shoes, Or Bags)

    Post and photo by Britt Reints.

    I love to shop. I love the thrill of the hunt, the sense of accomplishment that comes from scoring a great buy, and the good old fashion adrenaline high that comes from acquiring a new possession. Shopping feels good. Unfortunately, there comes a time in a shopping maven's life when she realizes that she has enough clothes, shoes, hats, and handbags - more than enough, even.

    Whether it's a family decision to reduce spending or a simple desire to declutter your closet, you may find yourself needing to curtail your shopping habit. But what about those good feelings? Here's a few tips for getting your shopping fix without buying another pair of pumps.

    Finish decorating your home.

    This is not the best tactic if you need to quickly curb your overall spending, but it is a good way to divert your spending into something more practical. Note, however, that I said finish decorating and not "remodel that bedroom you just painted last year." The

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  • 20 (Unreasonable?) Fears That Come with Parenting

    This post was written by Marla Garfield. Photo: wburris/Creative Commons


    Here is a list of things I've become terrified of since giving birth last year.

    1. Sitting my son on the roof of my car, forgetting he's there, and then driving away. (Note: I do not have a car.)

    2. Taking a header down the subway stairs while carrying my son in his stroller.

    3. Letting go of the stroller on the subway platform and suddenly there is a brisk wind and the stroller rolls out of my reach and onto the tracks.

    4. Having to go to the circus. ("That should be number one," says my husband.)

    5. Being the fat mom in my son's circle of friends.

    6. That my cats will claw out the side of my son's face and we will have to get rid of the cats.

    7. That my son will become allergic to the cats and we will have to give him a lifetime of potentially toxic shots because there's no way in hell I'm getting rid of the cats.

    8. That having one child means I've committed to having

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  • 6 Tips for Successful Stepparenting

    Post and photo by John Cave Osborne.

    I went from carefree bachelor to father of four in just 13 months thanks to marrying a single mom then quickly conceiving triplets. What's more, my wife is currently pregnant with child number five! During my metamorphosis, I've found that taking on so many roles in such a relatively short period of time has been quite trying. But none of my roles have been more trying than that of stepdad. Yet none have been more rewarding, either.

    And though I by no means profess to be an expert in the ways of stepparenting (or parenting for that matter), I attribute whatever success I've had to a handful of axioms I try to keep in mind as I parenting my oldest child.


    1. Seek Respect, Not Affinity

    I was lucky in that I came on the scene when my stepdaughter was just three years old, a far less challenging stage than, say, adolescence. Still, regardless of the age of the stepchild, a common mistake I often see stepparents make is trying to become

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  • Does Technology Really Make You a Better Parent?

    This post was written by Marla Garfield. Photo: Johan Larsson/Creative Commons

    Yesterday afternoon, my 16-month-old son, Stefan, took my cellphone out of my hands, put it in his mouth, took it out of his mouth, and snapped it in half. It was an old red flip phone that I lovingly called the Commodore 64 Abacus. I don't think it required too much effort for him to transform it from shiny red plastic into a yogurt-covered carcass. The camera on it was so low-quality that anything I photographed looked like its identity was being protected. Friends, my kid, park benches, all of it blurred and distorted.

    Luckily, at that very moment I was talking to my husband, who just happened to be standing in a T-Mobile store, asking me if I was ready to get a smartphone.

    "Yes," I said to the two pieces of splintered Samsung lying in state on my kitchen table. "Yes, I believe it's time."

    We're late to the smartphone game, but we just couldn't spend the money before. We still

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  • Does a 2-Year-Old Child Need Kindergarten Prep Classes?

    This post was written by Ryan Johnson. Image Credit: iStockphoto/Thinkstock

    When I was in Kindergarten, it was broken up into half days. For the first part of the school year, I went to Kindergarten in the mornings. For the second half, I went in the afternoons. There was no such thing as Pre-K.

    Now, not only is there Pre-K, but there are classes you can enroll your child in to get him or her prepared for Pre-K. The New York Times has profiled an educational tutoring program called Kumon that's gaining in popularity, and you can enroll your child in it as young as 2 years old.

    It's designed to introduce reading, writing, and basic math to children so that they're better prepared to enter Kindergarten when the time comes. But I wonder: Does that mean that children in Kindergarten will be learning what we did in third grade? By the time they reach middle school, will they have moved on to calculus and molecular biology? What will be left to learn in college?

    I

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  • Michelle Duggar: 19 Kids, 19 Different Personalities

    This post was written by Michelle Duggar. Photo: Jackson Duggar, age 7, credit DSC.

    As the mom of 19 kids I get asked a lot if the kids' personalities began to come out early on, and my answer is always, oh boy, yes! I really think kids become really very expressive as early as nine months, but I think probably around 14 months or so you notice a lot of personality coming out even more. I think when they're tiny, though, you can kind of see their personalities -- they're just kind of not as out there yet.

    I can tell my mellow ones, and then I can see my really energetic, busy ones. And you can really tell it from the very beginning. But I think they're able to express it so much more when they get more verbal and when they're able to do more things motor-skills-wise. Some may not be as verbal, but they may be able to do more physical things.

    And some of them are earlier bloomers -- Jana [Ed. note: now 21 years old] walked at 9 months, whereas some of the others

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