8 Things You Will Definitely Not Miss About the Baby Stage

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Sure there are moments we all miss about our kids being babies (like falling asleep with them in our arms or the smell of their heads, not their diapers) but there are definitely certain things we don’t ever want to relive. Here are a few:

  1. Keeping track of bowel movements besides your own

Along with the smell of poop, you won’t miss having to have every waking moment and every conversation consumed with the topic, either. Although judging by what I’ve overheard at some gyms and health food stores it’s not reserved for just people with babies.

A doorbell, a phone ring, a friendly voice—any of these are enough to make your blood run cold when you’ve got a baby napping.

  1. A world ruled by burp cloths

Someday you’ll be able to leave the house—or even a room—without having to find a burp cloth first. Related: You can also look forward to owning a black top without stains on the shoulders.

  1. Hoarding diaper coupons like they’re priceless heirlooms

I had a neighbor who would go door-to-door asking everyone for their Sunday insert so she could stock up on diaper coupons. I never went this far, although I do remember crying once when my husband accidentally threw away a stack of $1.50 coupons that I had gotten as a supermarket promo.

  1. Not being able to say “goodnight” without lying

Why say “goodnight” to anyone? Those words are empty because you know that there is no ‘good’ in your night as long as your baby will be waking up every 20 minutes. In the future you’ll be able to say something other than, “OK then, see you soon,” before you fake sleep.

  1. Dreading sound of any kind

A doorbell, a phone ring, a friendly voice—any of these are enough to make your blood run cold when you’ve got a baby napping. Once they become better sleepers, though, you’ll be able to dread sounds because you just hate human interaction like normal people.

  1. A bag that doesn’t weigh 50 pounds

Once you don’t have to pack diapers, wipes, snacks, bottles, toys, extra clothes, sunscreen, medicine, a baby monitor and four books on baby care, you can go back to a bag filled with gum and old receipts like you used to do.

  1. Doing five loads of laundry every day

You’ll get a short break from this schedule until your kids become teens.

  1. Taking an hour to get into your car and another hour to get out

I’m not going to lie, one of the happiest days of my life was watching my son toddle to the car, crawl into his car seat and buckle himself in.

I hope you identified on this article, I think inside of us we feel the same way. The information on this article was original from Marsha Takeda-Morrison

 

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11 Things NOT to say to a parent of an Only Child

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With a single child households on the rise, it’s time everyone got on board with what onlies and parents of onlies already know: Only children may grow up differently, but they’re just as awesome. I put together this list of comments that I really don’t like to be asked or say.

  1. “He must be really lonely.”

First of all, there’s a difference between being alone and being lonely. I can say that only children are actually less likely to feel lonely because they have more experience being alone. We’re comfortable hanging out with ourselves and often have rich inner lives. That said, it’s important to make sure only children have lots of opportunities to play with other kids, so if you’re really concerned about the sibling-free boy down the street, I’m sure his parents would be happy to send him over for a play date.

  1. “He won’t have anyone to help take care of you when you’re old.”

While this technically may be true, there’s no guarantee that the children in a bigger family will share the work of caring for a parent, anyway. We have all heard about families where one sibling becomes the de fact of caretaker, whether he or she wants to or not. This is a situation that’s impossible to predict, so it’s just hurtful to make someone feel guilty for it.

  1. “It must be so easy with just one child.”

Well, yes and no. Yes, parents of only children don’t have to referee sibling fights, fill out school forms in triplicate, or spend nearly a decade changing diapers. But some of us made that choice because we know that we would have trouble managing a bigger family. When other parents start complaining about the stress of having multiple kids, I resist the urge to remind them that they chose to have a bigger family.

  1. “You’re not a real parent until you have more than one.”

Several parents told me they’d heard variations of this hurtful line, as if only-child moms “fall somewhere between a mother and an aunt on the challenge and commitment spectrum,” as a friend described it. We may have “just” one, but we have the important job of protecting and nurturing that life and feel all the same fears, worries, and boundless love other parents feel.

  1. “You don’t want him to grow up to be spoiled, do you?”

Trust me; parents of only children have internalized this stereotype so deeply that most of us are hyper-vigilant about not “spoiling” our kids. Even so, it’s a given that an only child is going to get more focused attention from his parents. Research shows this is a positive in terms of self-esteem, achievement, and even intelligence.

  1. “You’re selfish for not having another child.”

Does anybody know me or know my situation or the reasons for not to have another baby? That is another topic.

  1. “That must be why he is so shy.”

First of all, there is nothing wrong with being shy or introverted. The shy, withdrawn only-child stereotype is so pervasive that for a long time people believed is true, that is another topic.

  1. “He doesn’t seem like an only child.”

That’s a loaded complement if I’ve ever heard one. All kids have selfish and bratty moments, but only children are more quickly defined by these labels than kids from bigger families. Conversely, some people see an only child who actually has empathy and social skills as a rare unicorn. The reality is that all kids are in the process of acquiring these skills and should be allowed some mistakes as they grow.

  1. “What if he doesn’t have kids and you never get to be a grandmother?”

Well, yes, I’ll be a little disappointed if I never experience being a grandparent, but having more than one child just to ensure it happens doesn’t seem like the smartest gamble. Plenty of people never have kids. I want my child to grow up to be happy with his choices, not with pressure to make me a grandmother.

  1. 1 “Are you having another?”

Variations include “Just one?” and “Don’t you want one of each?” I especially like this sneaky one from the grandparents: “Our friends are asking us if you’re having another baby.” It should go without saying, but these are very personal questions. Some people will be happy to respond that they’re “one and done,” but others may have painful reasons behind their family size—money troubles, marriage problems, medical conditions.

  1. “He needs a sibling.”

I love my child dearly, but I try hard not to give in to him every whim and want, and that includes creating another human being for him to play with. There is no guarantee that siblings will be friends. I felt completely identified in this article Follow my blog for more informative and interesting articles about parenting and motherhood’s experiences.

 

 

10 Reasons Having A Threenager Is Harder Than A 2-Year-Old

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1. At two, they can barely talk. At three, they never shut the hell up.

2. At two, they cry. At three, they throw temper tantrums so epic, you become convinced that they are possessed by the devil.

3. At two, they’re happy to eat anything you present to them. At three, they eat only three foods (usually consisting of a starch and processed cheese).

4. At two, baths are a ten-minute event, the result of which is a clean child. At three, baths take over an hour, and result in a drenched bathroom, sopping wet mommy, and 16 used towels.

5. At two, they wear diapers that can be changed on your watch. At three, they’re potty trained and the world revolves around their bladders and bowels.

6. At two, they are distracted by a box of Gerber Puffs at the grocery store. At three, they want to dictate your entire food list.

7. At two, they let you dress them, looking innocent and adorable. At three, they insist on picking out their clothes, looking like pint sized versions of mental institution inhabitants.

8. At two, they don’t like to get dirty. At three, they thrive on it.

9. At two, you can do things for them, saving infinite amounts of time. At three, they must do everything by themselves, taking FOR-fucking-EVER.

10. At two, manipulation is the last thing on their minds. At three, they own you. And they know it.

 

Via Scary Mommy

Motherhood And The Tendency To Alcohol

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Mothers have unique challenges that can aggravate drinking issues in those with susceptibility. However, it is important not to blame external circumstances exclusively for leading mother’s to drink heavily, also are also biological and physiological factors at play.

There are many challenges and blessings of motherhood that are not unique to alcoholics, as other mothers experience them.  However, it is important to acknowledge them and support other mothers in finding strategies to address the challenges in order to enjoy the blessings:

Challenges:

  • It can be challenging to find time for self-care without the support of loved ones, as an example alone time, massage, exercise, nap, read)
  • Mothers may experience “mommy guilt” for leaving their babies in order to take care of themselves.
  • Hormones are unstable during pregnancy and after, especially if a mother is breastfeeding.  Mood and energy can be effected and difficult to regulate.
  • The extreme change in routine with a baby can throw off the recovery plan a mother may have had previously, one of the most difficult stages in life.
  • HALT (Hungry, Angry, Lonely, and Tired) is an abbreviation for possible causes that lead to decline.  These 4 triggers are sometimes hard to avoid as a new mother and it is important to stay aware of how vulnerable they can leave you to fading.
  • Mental health issues as anxiety, and depression can be intensified during early motherhood for reasons that include: stopping psychotropic medications due to pregnancy, hormone variations, sleep deprivation, mood issues, stress.  For those women who used to drink to self-medicate mood issues in the past this can be a difficult and causing time to learn to handle without turning to alcohol.
  • Loss of freedom:  drinking alcohol can be an escape and lead one to forget about their responsibilities for a short time. Parenting can lead some to feel locked and trapped.
  • Mothers put their child first and this can lead them to ignore recovery suggestions and to avoid taking the time to fit their recovery program into their new busy life.
  • Motherhood is continuous in a non stop routine. Alcohol can offer a quick escape and sober mothers need to find other options that may require support from others.
  • Marriages and partnership dynamics inevitably change after a baby enters the family, and there may be an increase in tension for a long period of time.
  • Motherhood is the opposite of a lifestyle and feeling responsible for another human being can lead some mothers to long for a time when they were independent and spontaneous.
  • Motherhood involves delayed gratification and patience in the process.  For those who require immediate gratification and rewards, they may look to other sources as alcohol, and food.
  • Many alcoholics’ desire excitement and stimulation in their life, becoming a mother requires a quieter existence and a monotonous routine.

But don’t be discouraged there are many protective positive factors that motherhood can add

Blessings:

  • Taking care of a baby is the ultimate act of sharing and can increase our selflessness therefore, decreasing selfish addictive behaviors
  • Being a mother may increase motivation to get and stay sober, so that you have something to offer to your child.
  • Being in recovery can prevent feelings that parenting is “getting in the way” of your drinking life.
  • Motherhood brings new meaning to your life and can fulfill you in a way that you may have been searching for through alcohol.
  • Motherhood can inspire you to plan for a healthy future and excessive alcohol would not fit into that type of lifestyle
  • Mothers want to set good examples for their children, and being a mother in recovery is an admirable
  • Genetics account for 50% of the chance of developing alcoholism.  Therefore, it is vital that alcoholic parents take responsibility for getting sober and staying in recovery in order to increase the chances that their children either don’t develop alcoholism or have role models to support them if they do.
  • Drinking alcohol in excess inevitably brings an element of danger into your own life (health, drinking and driving, blackouts, etc.).  Therefore, as a mother, you would not want to bring these issues into your child’s life.

Recovery involves more than just “not drinking”.  It also includes living a balanced and healthy lifestyle.  Here are some suggestions of ways to balance recovery and motherhood:

  • Ask for help!  Mothers are not superwomen and need support in parenting from their spouse, partner, loved ones and friends.
  • Make sure that you are eating regularly and if you need help getting groceries or cooking, then reach out to others.
  • Be sure to integrate self-care into your day when taking care of your child: take a nap, exercise, read a good book, watch a fun T.V. show, meditate pray, etc. Cultivate a hobby.
  • Find ways to combine self-care and childcare: get a jogging stroller so that you can walk/run with your child; do yoga stretches while they are playing in an activity center on the floor; get a seat or “pack and play” that will allow you to shower, cook, clean, etc. Be sure to get outside each day, especially if there is sunshine. A lack of vitamin D from the sun can contribute to depressed moods.
  • Ask a loved one to watch your child or pay for a babysitter so that you can do something good for yourself at least once a week: therapy mutual-help group meeting, yoga, exercise, massage, manicure, etc.
  • Join a Mom’s support group such as “Mommy and Me” or library affiliated mother’s groups
  • Begin to create a daily routine that can bring some predictability and stability to your days.
  • Get sleep!!!  Sleep deprivation can lead to many mood-related issues.  If you are having insomnia or constantly interrupted sleep, then it is important to find some support and solutions:
  • Take a nap while your child is napping even if you have chores and other tasks to accomplish, have your partner alternate getting up to feed the baby at night, sleep with ear plugs and have your partner be “on call” alternate nights, listen to a guided relaxation before bed, turn off all electronics 1 hour before bedtime, go to bed first so that you are asleep before your partner comes to bed and have them be “on duty” so that you can sleep, have a night off and sleep at a loved one’s house so that you partner can cover for you (even one night of good sleep could help to recharge your battery).
  • NOT drink caffeine after 4:00pm, “Sleepy time” tea, consult with your physician about getting a blood test for your Thyroid or other post-partum imbalances that could lead to sleep issues, talk with your physician about non-habit forming sleep aid options if all other techniques do not help you.

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You Shouldn’t Pressure Your Child to Eat New Foods, Study Says

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Frustrated by your picky eaters? A new study says pressuring them to try something new (or to eat just three more bites!) doesn’t help.

Your picky eater comes to the table, takes one bite, and announces she’s done. Or declares that she now hates her formerly-favorite dinner. It’s frustrating—and enough to make you resort to pleading, bribery, or demands to eat more. After all, it’s your instinct as a parent to nourish your children. And when it seems like they’re not eating enough, you worry that they won’t grow well (and will never eat anything beyond buttered pasta and chicken nuggets!).

But according to a new study, pressuring kids to eat doesn’t do much good. Researchers at the University of Michigan found that when parents pressured their toddlers at mealtime, it didn’t affect their growth one way or another and had no impact on how picky they were a year later.

“The fact that we did not find a link between pressuring in feeding and future picky eating suggests either that picky eating is not especially changeable, just like it’s hard to eliminate shyness in a shy child, or that reducing picky eating needs a different approach than just pressuring,” says researcher Julie Lumeng, M.D., a professor of pediatrics at University of Michigan.

That’s not to say that pressuring kids to eat is necessarily harmless either. “Pressuring in feeding can be considered controlling or intrusive, and we know from decades of research that controlling and intrusive parenting is not valuable for child well-being,” she says.

Mealtime pressure can also worsen a child’s eating habits over time, warns pediatric dietitian Natalia Stasenko. That’s especially true if there are underlying reasons for a child’s hesitation to eat, such as anxiety or oral motor problems. Even if a child’s finicky habits are more garden-variety, pressure can negatively impact how a child feels about food and eating in general, she says.

What’s more, though this particular study didn’t show that pressure led to more weight gain, those tactics could contribute to a higher obesity risk as your child gets older. That’s because pressuring kids to eat when they don’t want to interferes with their ability to self-regulate (knowing when they’re hungry and when they’re full). Toddlers are typically good regulators, but that natural sense tends to diminish by age 4 or 5, says Stasenko. “The study wasn’t long enough to study the effects of mealtime pressure on the ability to self-regulate and its relationship to obesity,” she notes.

Since it’s natural to be concerned about picky eating and how it might affect your child’s habits in the long term, what can you do? Lumeng says children are more likely to try a new food if they see others eating and enjoying that food—especially if it’s another child like a sibling or classmate. A “one bite rule” may help some children grow to like and accept new foods. Pairing a disliked foods with a liked food (like a new veggie with ranch dressing or ketchup) is a reasonable approach too, she adds.

Remember that experiencing a food without eating it is part of the process too, says Stasenko. “In order to try a new food, kids need to go through multiple levels of experiencing it in a pressure-free way, starting from seeing it multiple times, having a chance to interact with it, seeing other people eat it, touching it, smelling it, tasting it and finally eating it,” she says. “All kids progress through these steps at their own speed.”

Sally Kuzemchak, MS, RD, is a registered dietitian, educator, and mom of two who blogs at Real Mom Nutrition. She is the author of the forthcoming book The 101 Healthiest Foods For Kids. She also collaborated with Cooking Light on Dinnertime Survival Guide, a cookbook for busy families. You can follow her on Facebook Twitter Pinterest, and Instagram. In her spare time, she loads and unloads the dishwasher. Then load

Via Parents

 

Babies Can Destroy Marriages


Do you love your children more than your spouse? Have you ever even allowed yourself to ponder that question? Probably not because it feels kind of dirty and wrong and then there comes the guilt, the all-consuming mommy guilt.
Parenting in America has somehow become a blood sport with the devotion of a religion. Not only do we parent like our lives depend on it, we know our reputations do and failure is not an option. This is the dogma upon which the church of helicopter parenting was founded. I used to embrace this very way of parenting, but I’m a recent convert.

Anyway, the first rule you learn is that the first year of marriage is the hardest. The second thing you learn is that once children enter the mix, maintaining a loving and enduring relationship with your spouse is even harder. It takes a lot of concerted effort on both people’s parts.

Basically, the rule is that you must cherish your spouse because they are forever. Your children are just a temporary horror show. Anyone who’s been paying attention knows that parenthood, especially the toddler years, is misery peppered with profound moments of bliss.

Unfortunately, many parents believe that in order to qualify as a good parent you must love and worship your children to the exclusion of all else. We treat parenthood like a religion and our offspring as our deities. We believe that nothing is more important than our children and their happiness.
As parents, we spend our lives on call, but after a certain point, we are needed less and less to guide them step-by-step, every minute of forever. We teach them, love them and give them the foundation they need to go out into the world and be good people with strong minds and beliefs.

Being a parent is probably the most profound thing many of us will ever do, but you can’t sacrifice everything for them, or what you have left to give won’t be worth anything.

I hope you found this article interesting. Some information was original of Deborah Cruz. Follow my blog to find informative and share experiences about motherhood, parenting, and family.

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5 Snacks to keep your kids full longer

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Children can definitely eat out of monotony, just like grownups do. But another issue is that sometimes what they are eating may actually not be filling them up. Snack staples like pretzels, gummy fruit snacks, fish-shaped crackers, and even many granola bars simply don’t have much staying-power, so kids are hungrier sooner.

If you’re looking for a snack that will satisfy, here are some ideas:

Cheese & Veggies 

Have been proof that kids that eat as snack cheese and vegetables were satisfied after eating fewer calories than those who munched on potato chips. That’s probably because protein-rich cheese and water and fiber-rich veggies are both naturally filling foods.

Avocado Toast 

Adults who had half an avocado at lunch reported less desire to eat up to five hours later compared to those who didn’t have avocado. But even a kid-sized portion should be super satisfying since avocados are rich in heart-healthy fats that can keep hunger at bay. Spread mashed avocado quarter on a piece of whole grain toast to add extra fiber.

Raspberries & Yogurt

Fruit is high in fiber, which sops up water and swells as it passes through the digestive system, making you feel fuller. Raspberries are one of the highest-fiber fruits, packing a whopping 8 grams per cup (that’s about a third of what school-age kids need for the whole day). If fresh aren’t available, get frozen berries (just make sure they don’t contain added sugar). Add them to yogurt, which is rich in protein.

Nuts or Nut Butter

Nuts contain protein, fat, and fiber, which are all satisfying nutrients. You can serve nuts straight up or paired with dried fruit, or blend nuts or nut butter into smoothies. When kids and parents regularly ate almonds, their overall diet quality improved and they had healthy changes to their gut bacteria. (Just remember that whole nuts are a choking hazard for children younger than four.)

Popcorn

Popcorn is a tasty source of whole grains. Some studies with adults, those who munched on six cups of popcorn reported feeling more satisfied than those who ate just one cup of potato chips—and they also took in fewer calories when given a meal afterwards. Popcorn is big on volume, which the brain sees as being more filling. Skip packaged microwave popcorn and make it yourself on the stove top is simple.

I hope these tips can help you and found this article useful 5 Snacks to keep kids full longer, sometimes is hard to decide the best option and healthier option for your kids, I hope this helps.

 

5 Best Deodorants for Women

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Living in South Florida means that is warm and hot most time of the year. As a result here is a short list of the five best deodorants found for women.

 1.Native deodorant

Made from natural ingredients, blew us away in terms of effectiveness, and is one of the favorite deodorant by far.  It is fantastic at eliminating odors – you can wear it to yoga and to the gym multiple times, and never felt worried about your body odor. In addition, Native kept us feeling dry all day long, and didn’t leave behind that sticky or oily feeling that some deodorants gave us.

Native deodorant is completely natural, and doesn’t contain chemicals like aluminum and paraben. Most antiperspirants (like Secret, Dove and Degree) have aluminum, which has been linked to breast cancer and Alzheimer’s, so we wanted to avoid it.  Native comes in a few different scents, including Unscented, Coconut & Vanilla, Lavender & Rose, Eucalyptus & Mint, and Citrus & Herbal Musk.

2. Aesop Deodorant

Aesop Deodorant is a skin care company that started in Australia and has really begun making a name for itself in the United States.  Like the other deodorants on the list, Aēsop Deodorant is aluminum and paraben free.  It has a sophisticated scent and is on the pricey side for deodorants and earned the #2 spot.

3.Jason Deodorant

JASON has a long history of making natural products, and its deodorant is no different. It came in stick form as opposed to a spray or cream, and based on some reviews the stick form tend to be more effective at keeps you dry.

4. Honest Deodorant

If you are a parent, you’ve likely experimented with some Honest Co. products. Honest Deodorant comes in a spray format.  Has been found that natural spray deodorants don’t do a good job at preventing wetness.  Honest Co is no different – it has great scents (Bergamont Sage ) but doesn’t do enough to prevent wetness, ranked Honest Co. #4 on the list.

5. Organic 101 

Organic 101 Deodorant is certified organic by the USDA, and I’m not sure if any other deodorants are able to say that. The deodorant smelled a bit manly more like Old Spice or a heavy dose of cinnamon, and comparing with Honest, Honest’s scent was superior.  It is also a bit dry to roll on, it earned #5 spot.

I hope this list helped you to choose the best and natural option, through years aluminium and paraben has been linked to breast cancer and Alzheimer’s, and we can start to be more careful and choose the best option for us and for our family.

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10 Things I Wish People Would Stop Doing Around My Kids

There are a few things I wish other parents would stop doing when it comes to my kids—or at the very least in front of them. With some things, when I clearly know the intent, it’s much easier to let it go, but other times I find myself digging deep to extend grace (if I’m honest there have been times when I’ve dug deep and come up with nothing).

Still, I’m not here to judge. I’m just here to encourage us to look within and to be mindful of the things we are doing and saying, not just when it comes to our own kids. I’m sure I’ve done something to result in an eye-roll from another mom. So while I’m asking you to please stop talking like a sailor in front of my children who happen to be right behind you in the grocery store checkout line, I’m also doing my best to teach my children about our own family values and expectations and that we don’t necessarily have to like or agree with everything someone does to respect them or be kind.

1. Let their kids use social media

Apparently my tween is the only one who doesn’t have Instagram or Snapchat (hey, I don’t even have Snapchat)—which means I’m being totally unreasonable here. I’m OK with that, but is there anyone out there who can give me a (virtual) high-five?

2. (Well-meaning strangers) offer my kids snacks

You thought the tears were bad, now just wait until I say, “No thank you.”

My little one is crying and you wanted to help so you waved your magic wand, I mean lollipop. Actually, you did ask me if she could have it but she was right there listening and watching that gleaming piece of candy move through the air. You thought the tears were bad, now just wait until I say, “No thank you.”

3. Ask me for a favor related to your kid

Perhaps the only thing worse than my child putting me on the spot is another parent putting me on the spot—in front of both our kids.

4. Drop F-bombs

Given I’ve got a 3-year-old who occasionally moonlights as a parrot, I try to be more careful about what I say around her. While I can control what I say, I can’t control what you say (Note: I’m not just talking about the occasional drop but rather a continuous stream of profanity as a part of your regular dialogue.). And there are some words that I don’t want to become a part of her increasingly expansive vocabulary.

5. Be mean

Making cruel, harsh and/or judgmental comments about parents or children or people in general just isn’t cool nor is it funny. When you pick apart the traits (physical or personality) of another person (even if they’re on TV), support negative stereotypes and engage in other forms of word vomit, I’m forced to question the value of our relationship when it comes to my family. Or maybe I question why I came to this restaurant and ask to be seated somewhere else. In our world kindness rules. You can totally, “sit with us.” Just be nice, OK?

6. Tell me how to discipline them

Lucky for you they’re my kids, which means you don’t need to worry yourself with how they should be disciplined.

If you’re coming from a good place and you’d like to share your thoughts in private, then please go right ahead. But I’d rather you not tell me that all parenting dilemmas would be solved if I would spank my kids or ground them or do whatever it is you do. Lucky for you they’re my kids, which means you don’t need to worry yourself with how they should be disciplined. Have you watched the news lately? There are greater fights for you to fight.

7. Make a negative or snarky comment about their appearance

I’m trying to raise girls that are comfortable in their own skin (and hair), and listening to you go on and on about how their hair is so coarse and how it must take forever and be so difficult to comb isn’t helping. We don’t need you to pity us or belittle us. We’re learning to work what God gave us and love it too. You don’t have to love it, but as the saying goes, “If you don’t have anything nice to say … “

8. Disrespect boundaries

Nope. If my kid doesn’t want to hug you they don’t have to. It doesn’t matter whether you are a relative or a friend; if you ask and they decline, that’s it. And please refrain from the manipulative fake cries or declarations that you aren’t going to give them a treat anymore. Keep your treat. They have a right to speak up when it comes to their bodies.

9. Gossip

How is gossiping about someone’s marriage woes or troubled teen over coffee actually helping them? Moreover how is it helping my kids, who are indirectly being invited into an (inappropriate) adult conversation? Children are children, not miniature grown-ups. So please, let them be little. Once again “If you don’t have anything nice to say … “

10. Insist that (insert magical childhood character) doesn’t exist.

Just because you’ve stopped believing doesn’t mean my children have to. In my house we’re holding on to the magic of childhood for as long as we can, and for us that includes penning letters to Santa and putting that lost tooth under the pillow for the Tooth Fairy. (Also: Unlike our fictitious favorites, our God is real. We don’t attack your faith and ask that you please refrain from attacking ours.).

Is there anything you wish other parents would stop doing around your kids or you’re making more of an effort to stop doing?

Via Mom.me

I Smashed the Legos Today, And Now I’m Filled With Regret

Pete Wilgoren

I warned her.

I really did. I warned her.

And she just stood there. We needed to get ready. We were late. She knew we were late. So I warned her again. I did.

Still, she just stood there.

And I started counting to 30. I gave her 30 seconds to get it together. Time to get ready. Now. We’re late. 1… 2… 3… 4… 5… 6… 7… 8…. You need to get ready to go. Shoes and socks. Now. 9… 10… 11… 12… 13… 14… 15…. And she stood there. And I counted. And she just stood there staring me down defiantly.

And I counted more. 16… 17… 18… 19… 20. Don’t make me get to 30. She just stood there. Don’t do it. Stood there.

Don’t… 21… 22… 23… 24.

We’ve been here before. The morning battles. The not listening. The stare downs.

Stood there. Not this time. 25…

I took one of her small Lego sets, and I smashed it. Just like I threatened. One of the Lego sets she built piece by piece and proudly displayed. Destroyed. And she ran to her room in tears as Lego pieces scattered across the floor. I didn’t wait ’til 30.

I warned her I was going to punish her by getting rid of a Lego set. I warned her. I wanted to send a message. It was the culmination of all the not listenings. All the morning battles. All the frustration. So I sent a message. I did it. It was done. And immediately I thought, “What did I do?!”

She got ready for school in silence as I picked up all the Lego pieces I could find on the floor, from under the table, from behind the piano. I never found them all. We were so late that there wasn’t even time for breakfast anymore. We’d lost so much time on a useless battle over being late, the endless parenting battling over morning routines, I had to bag up some fruit and cereal for her and we headed out the door. In silence.

I dropped her off and headed to work, and I couldn’t shake it. In one instant, I created a memory she will never forget. Never.

I called my wife, and we talked it out as I drove. She listened. She’s always a good listener. And at some point, she said, “They’re little. We only have them for such a short time.” And she was right. I wanted to punish my kid, and I wanted to send a message. And I did. Unfortunately.

When I got off work, it was already dark. I battled the freeway home, and as I approached the exit for home, I passed right by it. I went to a local toy store and scanned the store shelves and spotted the same Lego set — the one with the little rocket ship amusement rides that spin around. I bought it.

I brought it home and walked up to the house. My little gal was already in her pajamas for the night. She saw the Lego set and smiled. I gave it to her and I said, “I didn’t handle the situation this morning properly. I was wrong, and I’m sorry.” And she gave me a big hug. She took the Lego box and dumped out the pieces on the floor and immediately started to rebuild. We started to rebuild.

Still, I know I created a memory she’ll never forget — the day Dad shattered her little Lego set — like little scratches on the surface of their childhood. This scratch was all mine. And I can’t take it back but I can do better. And I will.

By Pete Wilgoren