Blog Posts by Yahoo! Contributor Network

  • Top 5 Teachable Moments in Sports

    Youth sports will help build your child's character.

    During a recent soccer season, my daughter's team went to the regional finals. The final game of this big event went into overtime, and still tied in overtime, it then went to penalty kicks. The drama of the game had attracted many more spectators than most youth soccer games would have, and this only added to the intensity of such a close finals game. My 10-year-old daughter had the opportunity to take the final penalty kick of the game. During this pressure-filled moment, as a parent, I didn't envy her. My own experiences with team sports as a child, as well as with performing in front of a crowd, were limited. I never really experienced so much pressure to perform well on my shoulders, and it crossed my mind that this was too much pressure for my little girl to experience herself.

    Yet she rose to the occasion. I saw her take a deep breath, focus on the goal and shoot. The ball went high and to the left while the goalie dove to the right. While she won the game for her team,

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  • Homemade Red, White and Blue Decorations

    Easy red, white and blue decorations. This summer, there will be plenty of occasions to show off your USA pride. Besides the traditional patriotic holidays from Memorial Day to Flag Day and July 4th, there's one extra special reason to display the red, white and blue. With the London Olympic Games only a short time away, there's no better excuse to get crafting and show your team spirit.

    Here are four ideas for homemade red, white and blue decorations to get your home in tip-top patriotic shape, whether you're throwing a holiday barbecue or cheering on the home team:

    1. Red, white and blue paper tube banner

    This banner is a perfect way to recycle those empty paper towel and toilet paper tubes. For a bright, colorful look, use acrylics to paint each tube red, white and blue. Or - for a more homemade, primitive look - cut fabrics in varying shades and patterns of red, white and blue, then use craft glue to cover each tube with fabric. Add sparkle to your blue tubes with white or silver sequins. String all your tubes in a

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  • 10 Ways to Help Your Kids Succeed

    I want my three daughters to succeed in everything from schoolwork to after school activities. I hope they'll find something they love and that they can excel at. I want them to be happy and well-adjusted.

    In short, I want it all for them. How can I help them on the road to success?

    1. Teach them to lose gracefully.

    Kids who always win aren't going to be ready for the real world. Teach your child how to deal with disappointment. Let them see you try and fail while maintaining your composure.

    2. Encourage perseverance.

    Children need to learn to get back up after they fall. When you fall down, get back up and try again. Successful individuals are persistent people.

    3. Be a constant presence.

    Be there when your child needs help with their homework, a ride to soccer practice, or someone to talk to. The key to raising successful kids isn't an expensive present - it's your presence.

    4. Cheer loudly.

    Be your son or daughter's biggest cheerleader in whatever

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  • Tips for Encouraging Your Kid to Play Sports

    It's not that surprising when kids don't want to get out and participate in organized sports. With television, video games, Internet, cellphones, and friends, why would any child really want to leave the house? However, encouraging your child to play sports can help your child become more physically and emotionally healthy. Whether you are a parent that played sports as a child or you've never touched a ball in your life, these tips will help you encourage your child to try a sport and hopefully get hooked.

    Have a Rule
    Both of my children play sports and from talking to other parents I have discovered that I was not the only parent that introduced "the rule". Each year I have my children pick at least one new activity to try and they have to finish it. If they don't like it at the end, they can skip doing it the next year, but they have to try something. If you put this rule into effect in your house, you may find that the first sport your child picks, they love and they are hooked

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  • My Proudest Moment as a Mom

    I thought my oldest daughter would never learn to ride a bike without training wheels. Her younger sisters were tackling hills and getting adventurous on their own bicycles. My firstborn had started to talk about bike riding in absolutes, "I can't ride a bike," she'd tell people matter-of-factly.

    I was worried. Would she learn that you should quit when something doesn't come naturally? Would she start to be embarrassed among her friends if she never learned to ride? Was there really a chance that she just didn't have enough coordination to bike ride? Surely not. She could throw a lacrosse ball, do a handstand, flip on the trampoline, and kick a soccer ball. She wasn't athletically-challenged, that much was clear. Why did this basic skill seem to elude her?

    I was also extremely frustrated as a parent. She shunned my attempts to help her. She got irritated every single time I offered the smallest bit of advice. She didn't want, or think she needed, her mom. As frustrated as I

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  • Beautiful, Glowing Summer Skin in 10 Steps

    Legendary diva and designer Coco Chanel knew a thing or two about fashion - she started the tanning craze! Chanel shocked society when she walked off her yacht (post-Mediterranean vacation) sporting bronzed skin. Since her daring debut, women and men around the world consider a tan to be a sign of health and vitality. Today, the skin science shows that tanning, indoors or outdoors, can take a toll on your health but most everyone wants beautiful summer skin. The best, healthiest results come when bronze-seekers go for the glow at the cellular level and don't rely on sunburns.

    1. Start by limiting your sun exposure. Be sun aware! You want to get your glow the healthy way. Replace those under-performing skin care products with ones that contain sunscreen (30 SPF and above is best). When heading outdoors, protect the skin with oversized sunglasses and stay covered.

    2. Balance the booze with water. Sipping a few cocktails poolside is a summer tradition you don't want to abandon but

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  • Helping Your Kids Achieve in School and After-School Sports

    Parenting student athletes requires quite a balancing act. The older the student, the more complicated and essential it becomes to find the right balance between maintaining good grades and being a responsible, proficient athlete. As the mom of a tween and a teen who rotate between gymnastics, baseball, karate and ski racing, I've learned a few tricks that help sports play a beneficial role in a child's development of time management, sportsmanship, improving concentration and focus, being dedicated and responsible, and making friends.

    Sports help kids learn time management.

    When your child is involved in before or after school sports practices, when do they find time to study? School sponsored sports require students to maintain GPAs, and private coaches want their athletes available for long hours on a daily basis. Student athletes must learn to balance their free time and maximize their study time. When my daughter entered 7th grade she was an elite level gymnast, going directly

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  • How to Make a Red, White and Blue Cake

    If you're hosting a cookout or watch party for the London 2012 Olympic Games, don't forget about dessert! Show your support for the USA teams competing in this year's Olympic Games by making a red, white and blue cake. A flag-inspired cake can be a great way to show your patriotism and is sure to be a welcome addition to any dessert table. You can even make the cake ahead of time so you don't have to worry about dessert as you take care of other party preparations.

    Follow these simple steps to make a show-stopping red, white and blue cake for your Olympic Games festivities:

    #1: Decide what type of cake you want to make. You have a few options when it comes to making a red, white and blue cake for the event. You can use a vanilla cake mix and food coloring to make a layered cake of different colors, or opt for a white sheet cake that's covered with white frosting and decorating with strawberries and blueberries (or colored decorator frosting). For this particular project, we're

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  • Parenting Tips for Raising Healthy, Active Kids

    Getting my daughters up and active isn't always easy. They like to sit down and the couch and relax to their favorite shows. They aren't alone. My husband and I enjoy the occasional sitcom, movie, and reality television show, too. How can we encourage them to stay active and be healthy when those words aren't always synonymous with our own lifestyle? As we've redefined our parenting practices in order to raise healthy, active, and confident kids, our entire family has reaped the benefits.

    Turn off tech.

    Whether you keep the technology in your household turned off for one specific hour, day, week, or month of the year, make it a point to place an emphasis on more than television, smartphones, and video games.

    Go for an evening walk.

    My daughters love our family walks after dinner. We don't do it every night, but when the sun is just starting to set and the kids still need to work off some energy before bed, an after-dinner walk is just what we need.

    Keep a sports storage

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  • 5 Easy Hairstyles that Keep You Cool

    Sweltering summer temperatures can leave a complicated hairstyle in a wilted mess. Nobody wants to show up to a warm-weather soiree looking like they just walked out of the shower. Keep your cool by mixing up hot fashions with easy hairdos. Don't get stuck with same, tired looks; this year, try something new. You can work these five easy hair looks without taking a cosmetology class!

    Low-side ponytail: All hair lengths can rock this look. For the best results, control your hair by rubbing in a quarter-sized amount of mousse into your dry hair. Gather the hair, using your fingers, below one of your ears. Cinch the hair together with a pretty ponytail holder. Slip a floral headband into your hair to control fly away strands.

    Pom-pom ponytails: Perfect for medium and long hair lengths, these dual pom-pom ponytails make a dainty, youthful look - and they are cool! Use a comb to create two sections of hair at the back of the head. Comb together two low ponytails but instead of pulling

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