* Guest-edited by Laura Manske, travel expert
This is the second in a weekly series of travel deals we’re offering our Parents.com fans. For the first few months we’ll focus exclusively on babymoons. About half of expectant couples say they take a pre-baby vacay; we’ll help you be one of them.
The Sanctuary Hotel occupies miles of wide, pristine beach lined with Carolina dunes. The resort, designed to look like a big Southern mansion, houses four restaurants, offers an Olympic-size pool, and boasts a famous golf course, plus plenty of trails for long, peaceful walks. This is a splurge destination for a couple ready to take a babymoon to remember.
BOOK IT: Rates are generally about $495 a night; check your dates online or call 800-576-1570.
HERE’S OUR SPECIAL! They offer a two-night BLISS BEFORE THE BABY PACKAGE babymoon special; it includes a gardenview room; daily breakfast for two; one 60-minute prenatal massage for mom; one 60-minute classic massage for dad; one dinner for two at the Jasmine Porch restaurant; and a rose-petal turndown one night. The total cost of the package for a couple comes to $1,808 for the two nights, available April to August. Restrictions apply. Call 800-576-1570 for full details. Have fun!
P.S. The second trimester is the best time to take a babymoon. Anyone who tries to tell you that you shouldn’t travel during pregnancy is spreading yet another pregnancy myth! Watch our video for more myths…and a crazy fact!
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Our journey to Brazil continues! This week: Olympic bronze medalist Caitlin Leverenz and her mom Jeannine. The mother-daughter pair sat down with Parents at a Winter Olympic viewing party sponsored by Swim Today to talk about the personal rewards of swimming (it’s not all about medals), the importance of family, and why she’s focusing on the now.
P: What makes swimming such a great sport for kids and adults?
CL: I just learned so many things from it. I’ve had so much fun. I had to learn from a young age time management, how to get my homework done. I laugh because it was a threat if my mom wouldn’t let me go to practice. I had to get my homework done and learn how to manage other things in my life so I could still make it to practice because that was really what I wanted to do at night. It’s just been such a great platform for allowing me to talk about who I am and what I want to do in life and really learn about myself. In so many ways the personal growth is the bigger success than any medal I’ve won.
JL: I remember when she was in third grade she said she wanted to quit school and just swim and I told her she couldn’t be a dumb swimmer she had to be a smart swimmer. But, through most of grade school she was a very quiet little girl. I remember taking her to her first day at kindergarten and she was hiding in my skirts. The confidence as a person that she has built through her gifts of swimming has just been incredible. This little shy girl who hid behind me is now up on the world stage.
P: Tell me, Mom, what does it take to raise an Olympian?
JL: Oh gosh. Well you have to know that when she was 8 and doing really well just in her local level, my dad looked at me and said “Maybe she’ll go to the Olympics someday.” And I looked at him and I said, “I hope not.” And he said “Why?!” And I said, “Because you have to give up your entire life for it.” Little did I know what our road was going to be at that point. I think she’s given up a lot of her life but I think the gifts she has received through swimming and that our family has received has been immeasurable. It’s been worth every bit of it.
P: What does it mean to you to have such support from your mom and your family?
CL: It’s been tremendous. You know,during the Winter Olympics, when Noelle Pikus-Pace won her medal in skeleton she said: “We won a medal.” I just love that. When I won a bronze medal, it was a “We won the bronze medal.” I got to see [my family] right after I finished my race and have this we did this, we finished and we just did something amazing moment. There were so many things that parents and a family have to sacrifice. I don’t think any Olympian would be where they are without that good foundation of a family and support behind them.
P: What is your advice to moms of aspiring athletes at any level, but especially at this high level?
JL: Make sure they’re having fun and let it be their sport. It’s not your sport. So, if they’re not having fun figure out why and move them to a different sport if that’s what it takes. Just love them no matter how they do. Any time Caitlin got out of the water I’d say “Great swim!” and I’d give her a hug and she’d go “Not really, Mom.” And I’d go, “It was to me.”
CL: Which was huge, being an athlete. There are points where I didn’t want to keep swimming and my parents would say “We’re going to love you whether you swim or not.” My motivation to swim and do well was never because of pressure from my parents, it was always their support that allowed me to do well.
P: Gearing up for Rio, what are you most excited for?
CL: Well, the Winter Olympics got me excited just to race again. I love watching Team USA. Being a part of that is just so special. There’s just so much that builds up and leads up to the Olympics, that’s just the culminating point. The time in between from now until Rio is such an important time in terms of enjoyment and growth and learning that you know I try not to look too much ahead to Rio and just enjoy what I’m doing right now.
Will your kid be the next member of Team USA? Take our child career quiz and find out what she could grow up to be!
Get your little athlete to eat healthy with our advice in the video player below:
Photographs (from top down): Caitlin Leverenz/Arena; Caitlin and her mom, Jeannine
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By Susan Yoo-Lee, Editor of Savings.com
When you are a parent, sometimes you just need a little of bit everything. It’s amazing how quickly kids can run through clothing, shoes, food and … well … everything! This week’s deals offer you discounts on all kinds of kid stuff – no matter what you’re missing from your stash.
- Infantino. 20% off orders $75 or more, plus free shipping (No code needed). Expires 03/29/2014.
- Plum District. 25% off all orders (Coupon code: 25plum). Expires 03/26/2014.
- S&D Kids. Save 10% off next order (Coupon code: EMAIL10). Expires 12/31/2015.
- OshKosh B’gosh. Save 15% off all orders (Coupon code: KB141Q15). Expires 03/31/2014.
- Kohls. Save 15% on all orders (Coupon code: CELEBRATE). Expires 04/16/2014.
This post contains affiliate links.
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After inciting much-needed conversation on workplace feminism with her book, Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO and mother of two, opens up about her own family life and gives us the inside scoop on her new Ban Bossy public-service campaign—which starts by asking parents and kids alike to stop using the word “bossy” to describe strong girls.
What can we do to help ban the word “bossy?”
People often see gender inequality as a problem too big to fix on their own, but I think cultural shifts happen by small things we do each day. To help ban the word “bossy,” tell your girls:
- Speak Up. Raise your hand in class and express yourself.
- Believe in Yourself. Trust that you can achieve anything you set your mind to.
- Stop Apologizing. There’s no need to say that you’re sorry for making a decision.
- Practice. Remember, leadership is a muscle that can be worked like any other.
How did becoming a mother influence you to start the Ban Bossy public-service campaign?
Becoming a parent was a big part of my journey to Lean In and Ban Bossy. As a parent, you recognize the inequalities your child may encounter. I remember reading a study done with moms of babies that really stuck with me. When asked to evaluate their children’s crawling abilities, the mothers systematically underestimated the girls’ abilities and overestimated the boys’. There was no factual evidence to support the mothers’ gender bias. Both sexes actually performed the same when tested. It made me realize that I was likely underestimating my daughter without even realizing it, which was a big eye-opener for me. Lean In is for the workplace, but also for the home. It has to be achieved at home.
How will the Ban Bossy campaign help eradicate gender inequality?
I think people look at big problems like gender issues and think, “This is a big deal. How can I change this myself?” At Lean In, we believe so deeply that these cultural problems change by the small things each of us do: The changes we make by paying attention to the little everyday stuff do not have a small impact. Major cultural shifts happen with small changes.
How do you model some of the Ban Bossy techniques in your own home?
Many parents still, to this day, assign household chores like dishes and laundry to their girls, while boys mow the lawn and take out the trash. In my home, the entire family does the dishes together: mom, dad, son, and daughter work as a team to clean up.
What a great lesson for both your daughter and son!
Even though it is a small thing, the extra steps are so important. A couple of weeks ago, some friends of ours invited a few families to their home for dinner. After we finished eating, I noticed that the women, myself included, headed to the kitchen to clean up while the men settled down in front of the TV. Our children were watching this. We have to model equality in order for our children to believe it exists for them.
How do you think we can encourage our male partners to adopt this philosophy?
Telling men that equality is good for women isn’t enough; however, I do think that a lot of fathers already realize the challenges their daughters face. So many men have told me they want their daughters to have the same opportunities they did. The number-one thing a man can do as a father is be involved. No matter the family’s income level, children with more active fathers have better outcomes, both emotionally and financially.
If we need to ban the word “bossy” for girls, what’s a word you’d like to see used more often to describe girls?
It’s interesting; I was talking to my 9-year-old niece about the word “bossy” when we were preparing to launch the program. I asked, “What do you think about the word ‘bossy?’ Is it for boys or for girls?” She said bossy is for girls; the word they use for boys is leader. She is only 9 and already intuitively understands what is going on. It’s not that I want to see that taken away from boys; I just want the word “leader” to be applied equally to girls, and for the same behaviors.
How do you handle this with your daughter?
Last night she was telling me about a playdate with one of her friends where they played teacher. When I asked her to tell me about the game, and who played what role, she said, ‘She is always the teacher, and I am always the student.’ I asked her if she would like to be the teacher sometime. ‘Yes,’ she said, ‘but she always wants to be the teacher.’ I coached her on ways she could talk to her friend about taking turns. I want her to learn how to be vocal, say how she feels, and speak up for herself. It’s my job to encourage her to go after what she wants.
What message do you hope your daughter remembers as she grows up?
“You can do anything.’ One of the catalysts to Lean In was a conversation with my daughter on President’s Day one year. We played a song about presidents, and my daughter asked me why the presidents were all boys. After a pause, I explained that although they have been, she could be the next president. I want her to know she has the opportunity to do anything she wants.”
Do you think we praise girls too often on their appearance? “We focus way too much on how girls look. A girl walks in from school, and we tell her how pretty she looks today. We don’t do that with boys. It’s not that we can’t tell our daughters they are beautiful; we just need to praise them for attributes they can actually control, too, and do it more often.
What specific media examples have a positive message for girls today?
My kids and I just watched Frozen and it was a feminist home run! When I went in to watch the movie, I didn’t know the plot. Look what happens! She gets engaged knowing the guy for a few hours and that obviously turns out to be a bad idea. She is saved in the end by the love for her sister. It is a great plotline with strong, independent female characters. My son and his friends love it too. I am so proud of Disney for this movie. It is a feminist fairy tale.
What TV shows feature female characters in a positive light?
Doc McStuffins is everything you want girls to see on TV. She’s assertive, a leader, and a diverse character. We have progressed so far in how we portray female characters on children’s TV shows. Think back to how Lucy was portrayed in Peanuts. It wasn’t positive. We have already come such a long way, but there’s still quite a way to go.
What’s your parenting style? Take our quiz to find out.
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Last week, in celebration of World Tennis Day, the United States Tennis Association organized the World’s Largest Tennis Lesson and set the Guinness World Record. In an effort to get more young kids active and in love with the game, British Fed Cup Captain and mom to US Open and Wimbledon champion Andy Murray and doubles’ great Jamie Murray sat down to chat with Parents about her experiences in the sport and raising two tennis stars.
P: Having two boys in the sport and one so successful in the top of men’s singles, what does it take to raise a tennis champion?
JM: I think, you know, in all individual sports there’s a huge onus on the parents to make things happen for their children. A big difference from team sports where the team or the club provides the training, they provide the fixture list [match schedule] and the kit [equipment], is that the parents have to make an awful lot of that happen themselves. The most important thing is to encourage your kids to try whichever sports take their fancy and to support them. For me it’s about making sure they’re having fun but also that they’re learning to try their hardest. It was the only thing that would not be acceptable to me, would be if my kids weren’t trying. Fortunately, we never had that situation.
P: Not only are you a mom, you’re a coach. How do you balance a push to realize their talent while keeping a sport fun?
JM: I don’t think it’s about pushing your kids. If you get to the stage where you’re pushing your kids to do something, there’s a good chance your kid is not giving their best shot for a reason. That is usually because they’re not enjoying what they’re doing. We always made everything a lot of fun. [My boys] were always around other kids, so it didn’t become a pressurized situation. Many parents buckle to the pressure of what their child is doing. From 1995-2004 I was the Scottish national coach and that helped me because I was looking after so many kids, I never got so caught up in what my own kids were doing.
P: With two kids in tennis, what did it take to juggle both of their schedules and also deal with Andy pulling ahead in singles?
JM: When they were young it was probably easier that they were doing the same thing. I think for me the great lesson in that is that you never teach kids the same. You have to be like the tailor. You try and prepare them for what their strengths are going to be. There have been a lot of challenges along the way of trying to do the right things at the right time because they were very different even though they’re playing the same sport. I always felt like that’s what my job was just to find the right people to help them at the right time.
P: As a mom—the support system—what were you feeling at the moment when Andy won Wimbledon and achieved that success?
JM: I think I had burst into tears and I had turned away because I knew the cameras would all be up our way. One of Andy’s first coaches was saying to me “You need to look, you need to look your son’s just won Wimbledon!” and I was all, “I cant’ look!” It was amazing. Just a lot of joy that he’d managed to achieve his dream, but also a lot of relief from the pressure from the whole expectation of the British public and media that for so many years it was all on Andy’s shoulders. It took a long time for it to sink in. I’m thinking, Gosh both of my kids have won Wimbledon titles [Jamie in 2007 for mixed doubles]. What is that all about? Amazing.
P: What do you do throughout the year to support Andy and Jamie emotionally and ease the pressure?
JM: The emotional support is very very important. I always go to the slams [main tournaments] because they’re the ones where they need the most emotional support. It’s not like I need to do an awful lot, but sometimes you just need somebody to talk to that’s completely away from your direct support to talk about your feelings—if you’re afraid of something or if you’re really excited about something or worried about something. I’ve just always felt you need to be there.
P: It is a demanding sport, it’s a demanding role as a parent. You were doing it on your own. What is your advice to single mothers who have kids with such big dreams?
JM: I think that anything is possible. I wasn’t a coach when my kids were small. I learned how to coach. I learned how to do massage. I went on a PR course. I did all sorts of different things at different stages in order to help me understand better what my kids were into. I couldn’t afford to pay people to do it, I didn’t have the money. So you have to learn how to do it yourself. I think it is all about supporting them and doing whatever you can to help them to follow the path that they’re going on, but only if they’re trying really hard.
P: What is it about tennis that makes it such a great sport for kids to start at such a young age and grow in?
JM: The thing that I like about tennis and apart from the getting active: you can have so much fun with it. The lesson for World Tennis Day for the Guinness Book of Records—to see 400 kids on six courts all at one time trying tennis and having great fun and making friends. The friends that you make in sport often are the ones who stay with you for all your life. The key with kids is to make sure they love what they’re doing, and so much of that love for the game comes from the people who introduce them to the game and who give them those first experiences. So the early coaches are so important. It’s not about getting the technique right at that stage, it’s about loving what you’re doing and who you’re doing it with. Parents can be really crucial.
Learn why it’s important to keep your kids active through Physical Education and other activities:
Find all of our favorites in sports gear on our Shop Parents page.
Photo credit: Jen Pottheiser
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Watch this quick video tutorial called “How Safe is Your Sleeping Baby” by Mindy Walker, Executive Editor of American Baby magazine. It aired on Fox & Friends this weekend.
In case you missed it, American Baby did a poll with Safe Kids Worldwide and discovered that an astounding 73 percent of parents put something in the crib with their baby, often a potential suffocation hazard. A blanket was most common (59 percent), followed by bumpers (35 percent), stuffed animals (23 percent), and pillows (8 percent). Our message: Keep the crib bare! A crib mattress with a fitted sheet is all a baby under 1 needs.
If you want to buy a bedding set that gives your nursery a theme, we like Skip-Hop’s Complete Sheet Set, which for $99 gives you a sheet, crib skirt, wall decals, and a blanket to use for tummy-time. (We know it’s tempting to put that blanket in the crib, but please keep it out!) Instead of a blanket, try a SleepSack like the one from Halo we featured on the segment.
Another sticky issue is cosleeping. Bedsharing is common; a full 65 percent of parents in our poll said they do it and 38 percent said they share the bed with baby regularly. But as Walker points out, just as we’ve gotten used to keeping our infants in a rear-facing car seat for their own safety, so must we get used to having them in their own safe sleep spot. Did you know that in 2010 (the lastest statistics available), 59 children younger than 1 died in a car crash but 3,610 children under age 1 died of sudden unexpected infant death? In about half of those SUID cases, the baby was in an adult bed.
We applaud Delta Children for helping educate consumers about safe sleep and for manufacturing safe, affordable cribs; the one in our segment, above, is Delta’s Waves 3-in-1 Crib and only $129.
We’re also on a crusade to stop the mixed messages that new parents get when they see, for instance, a crib filled with a bumper and stuffed animals but then are told to keep those very things out of the crib. Enough with that! We are working to populate Parents.com with only pictures of safe sleep environments. (At least in our editorial…the ads are harder to control!) Is your baby in one? If so, email a pic to email@example.com and we’ll consider it for our site. You can also tag us on Instagram @americanbabymagazine using #mysafecrib and we’ll take a look. We’re all in this together; let’s work to get all babies through the night safe and sound.
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Your kids happily eat plenty of vegetables. They look forward to lettuce, zero in on kale, and beg for broccoli. Right?
Chances are, they don’t. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, a four-year-old child should eat 1 1/2 cups of veggies a day. That can be a tall order especially when you have picky eaters on your hands.
Enter NYC mom of two VanTrang Manges. VanTrang began experimenting with green drinks for her youngest daughter when she realized that the toddler ate virtually no vegetables. One delicious drink led to another and VanTrang abandoned a career in finance to launch Green Mustache, a line of organic fruit and vegetable juice smoothies for kids. Green Mustache features three yummy flavors and is currently sold throughout the New York area.
If you can’t find Green Mustache at a store near you, or if you simply wish to DIY it, VanTrang shared with us a simple formula for blending up one of these nutritious drinks at home.
Start by enlisting your kids to help choose ingredients from each of these categories:
First, pick one of these for your base:
- Almond milk
- Rice milk
- Soy milk
- Low-fat cow’s milk
- Coconut milk
- Orange juice
Next, choose a green veg:
- Swiss Chard
Then, pick a fruit (or two or three):
- Kiwi Fruit
Finally, supercharge it with one of these power foods:
- Greek yogurt
- Chia seeds
- Nut butter
- Raw cacao
Then simply blend it all together!
More smoothie tips from VanTrang:
Make It a Family Activity: Allow your child to choose which ingredients she would like to try mixing together—experimenting with different combinations is part of the fun! And this simple formula is a great way to start teaching children about proportions and how to follow a recipe.
Color is Key: Use berries to help turn your smoothie a reddish or purple color, which might make it more visually appealing for your child. Or use lighter-colored ingredients like peaches, bananas, and mango for a paler shade of green.
Choose Dark Leafy Greens: Dark leafy greens contain high-quality amino acids, important minerals, vitamins, antioxidants and beneficial phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are plant-based chemicals that support your immune system, improve health and longevity, and may reduce life-threatening diseases.
Freezer Fun: Keep some frozen fruits on hand, especially some of your favorite seasonal fruits to ensure that you can have your tasty smoothie anytime. Freezing fruits is also a great way to not waste ripe fruit. If you like your smoothies extra cold like we do, use at least one frozen fruit to help chill the smoothie. And of course, you can turn your smoothie into an ice pop and serve it to the kiddos as a healthy treat!
Smoothie Sweetness: You’ll notice we didn’t add any sweeteners to the smoothie formula. Using fruits like bananas, mangos, or apples will naturally sweeten your smoothie and help mask the “green” taste of the veggies.
2+2+3 Rule: Part of the fun of making smoothies is experimenting with all the different possible flavor combinations. But keep in mind the following proportions to ensure a tastier experience: 2 cups greens + 2 cups liquid base + 3 cups fruits. Adjust as needed to make it more palatable for your child.
Thanks for the tips VanTrang!
Find more easy smoothie recipes.
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cacao, chia seeds, childhood obesity, children, family dinners, greek yogurt, green mustache, healthy children, healthy nutrition, nut butter, smoothies, spirulina, VanTrang Manges, vegetables | Categories:
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