Blog Posts by Parentables

  • Getting to the Root of Behavior Problems

    Photo by Sarah FernandezLike many three-year-olds, my daughter is sassy. She has her own style and her own opinions. And just in case you were curious, whatever it is that needs to be done, she can do it herself. From getting dressed to making her lunch to climbing the monkey bars, she thinks she can do it all. And while I want her to be confident and believe that the sky is the limit, I know that what appears to be confidence is actually stubbornness, and there is a difference between knowing how to do something and just not doing what you are asked. Lately we've really been butting heads, and finally I found out why.

    Read More: How Neurofeedback Therapy Helped My Son Learn Self-Control

    During a timeout the other day after a fierce display of a bad attitude, I was talking to my daughter and told her that I had really had enough of her behavior and it needed to change. That's when she laid it all out (like a teenager as she was sprawled across her bed giving me a pouty lip). She didn't realize what she was

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  • 5 Inspiring Lessons I Learned by Taking a Break from Drinking

    Photo credit: Kyle May / Creative CommonsLast year, I frequently complained about feeling chubby and tired. This was understandable. My responsibilities range from caring fulltime for my 2-year-old, working as a freelance writer, and running my own business. I often looked forward to my nightly glass (or two) of wine to calm my nerves and help rid my head of all the details before going to sleep. Life was exceedingly…normal.

    But I didn't want normal. I wanted phenomenal. I wanted more restful sleep. I wanted to get into great physical shape. I wanted to stop numbing out and to start living big. I wanted more energy so that when the day was over, I still had the drive to throw myself headlong into growing my fledgling business. And so a decision was made: to stop drinking wine for a whole year.

    My year without alcohol is going slowly, but probably not for the reasons you'd expect. It's because I'm in my second youth; I'm accomplishing so much, and the changes I'm undergoing are so radical that time has slowed

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  • How Michelle Duggar Keeps Her Kids Happy While Traveling

    Photo credit: DCLTravel question from a "19 Kids and Counting" fan: How do you keep all of your children entertained and happy on a long plane trip?

    One of our favorite travel activities is reading. We always have our reading book bag with all of our favorites in it. The kids usually team up as reading buddies. My readers that are still learning team up with an older child to practice: Johannah, who's 7 years old, teams up with Jennifer, who's a bit younger and still learning her phonics; and Jordan loves to read out loud to the little ones.

    Read More: Ask Michelle: How the Duggars Pack for a Trip

    In addition to the buddy reading, the younger ones get coloring books with crayons and blank paper so that they can make pictures, cards, notes, and things like that. They have their backpacks packed with those kinds of activities to keep their little hands and heads busy.

    Read More: Filling 19 Hungry Bellies on a Road Trip

    The older ones also have card games in their packs. We don't

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  • Bringing Home Baby as a Single Mama

    Photo: Amanda FreemanI am a lover, but not a hugger. Growing up, my brother, Mike, was the touch-feely sibling who draped his small body over my mother's legs watching television and twirled her hair around his fingers. Though I loved and held on tight to my mom, I also valued my personal space. I rolled my eyes at relatives who rumpled my clothes to embrace me or leaned to close to chat.

    Read More: Is it Ever Ok to Comment on Other People's Baby Bumps?

    My high school and college friends would joke about my stiff hugs hello, and boyfriends complained about my aversion to affection, until we were behind closed (bolted) doors. Instead, I expressed myself through conversation and by writing notes, leaving small gifts and sending books and cards.

    Read More: The Economy of Single Parenthood

    All of this changed when I became a single mother. Maia was colicky, meaning she screamed whenever I wasn't holding her and sometimes when I was. Her favorite resting position was across my chest, a clump

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  • Ask Michelle: How the Duggars Pack for a Trip

    Photo: Michelle shares her tips for organizing outfits for 19 (that's 133 pairs of socks!) -- and bringing home a whole lot of dirty laundry.Travel question from a "19 Kids and Counting" fan: What's it like to pack for such a large family?

    Packing begins quite a bit earlier for us so that we can get all of the details down. We start weeks in advance. Usually, we try to make sure that we've got enough socks and underclothes for everybody for seven days. It doesn't sound like a big deal, but when you have to have seven pairs of socks for everyone, you multiply that. At home, we wash every day because we just have enough for a few days. Three of my boys are in the same size right now, so that means I've got to have 21 pairs of the same size sock to make it through a trip. For starters, we had to get more socks and undershirts to make sure that everybody had enough of the basics.

    And then it's time to start packing! The kids will go down and pick out the clothes that everyone needs for our trip. Sometimes, we'll find out that someone's leggings have holes in them, and someone else's shoes have a big hole in them. We

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  • If You Want Your Children to Be Healthy, Don’t Talk to Them About Weight

    Image: Mark Wilson/Getty ImagesMichelle Obama made headlines this week when during a Google+ Hangout for her Let's Move campaign she said, "I have two young daughters. We never talk about weight." It seems shocking that she would never discuss weight with her children when as the First Lady she has made her platform the importance of getting kids moving and reducing childhood obesity rates. But the first lady is right. If we want to raise kids who are healthy and don't have a weight problem, then we need to stop talking about weight.

    Read More: Teaching My Kids Healthy Eating Habits (Even Though Mine Always Sucked)

    You don't have to look far to find places where our culture emphasizes a person's size over their health. Glance at any fashion magazine, movie or television show and you'll see the thinnest of the thin glorified. But it is virtually impossible to look like that for most people, and being skinny doesn't mean being healthy. On the flip side, there are those who are over eating and as a result they are

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  • Want to Raise a Confident Child? Then Avoid These Common Labels

    Photo Courtesy: Flickr / Lars PlougmannIf you want to empower your kids to become a powerful, confident beings, then be careful with how you label them now. Without realizing it, most of us naturally label each child differently -- the smart one, the athletic one, the shy one -- and negative labels stick just as easily as the positive ones. Before I had my own kids, I taught hundreds of children and was always shocked to see how blatantly parents labeled their kids. I figured I would never do that.

    Read More: 3 Ways to Foster Creative Thinkers

    Boy, how the tables have turned! Now that I have 3 very different children of my own, I know first-hand how hard it is not to label my kids, and I bite my tongue daily to stop myself from comparing each of them to one another, which inadvertently points out weak traits. So personally, I turn to the same effective strategy that my parents used on my sisters and me:

    Back in the 70's, my parents decided it would be fun to have 3 girls within 3 years. Needless to say, we got plenty of

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  • The 40 Items that Should Be on Your Baby Registry

    Image: Buy Buy BabyExpectant parents often agonize over what items they really need for their new baby. Parentables writer Stephanie Vuolo has even narrowed it down to The Only 5 Things You Really Need for a Newborn. But when it comes time to put together a baby registry, even the minimalist will likely have at least a few dozen items on their list.

    Read More: The Only 5 Things You Really Need for a Newborn

    I'm at the point where I'm starting to give away my baby items, but after two kids and a stint managing a baby store, I've had many friends ask me for advice when expecting their first baby, and I'm happy to oblige. However, yesterday I got to actually put my recommendations into action when a good friend who is expecting her first baby and has an overly full plate of other critical things going on in her life asked me if I could just take care of her registry for her. Never one to shy away from helping people with anything having to do with style or design, and knowing my friend's style

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  • How the Duggar Family Got Hooked on Homeschooling


    Photo Credit: DCLQuestion from a "19 Kids and Counting" fan: Why did you choose homeschooling for your kids and how did you get started with it?

    We first heard about homeschooling when Josh, our oldest, was about eight months old.

    I went to public school all my life, and graduated from public school. Jim Bob went to public school for six years and then transferred over to a Christian school. Homeschooling was new for both of us.

    Read More: Teaching Your Toddler to Communicate with Sign Language

    We knew some families that had older children that were homeschooled. We were so impressed with their families. First off, their children seemed so mature and well-rounded. They were very intelligent, really smart. But besides the academics, they had such a family unity. There was just such a closeness between the parents and the children - a real, genuine love and respect for one another. Jim Bob and I thought, "That's what we want. That is the fruit we want to see in our children and that oneness in our

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  • Should You Disclose Your Own Drug Use to Your Children?

    Image: George Doyle/ThinkstockWhen we were growing up, there weren't too many parents admitting the drug use of their past (or present) to their children. It was the era of "just say no," but considering how many of our parents were youths in the free spirited 60s and club crazed 70s, chances are that many of them had dabbled in a little bit of this or that. Fast forward to the 21st century and after growing up with parents who many of us felt weren't being honest, a lot of parents now think honesty is the best policy when discussing drug use with their children. Admitting to drug use might just make your children think that you really know what you're talking about, and teaching them the dangers of drugs might just deter them from using drugs if you have a bad experience to share with them, or so it's been thought. But Science Daily reports on new research that suggests that parents who discuss their drug use with their children are more likely to have children who aren't anti-substance abuse.

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