According to the U.S. Department of Energy, ¼ of people with two-car garages have so much stuff in there that they can’t park a car. We want to know, what items in particular are to blame for all this clutter? Weigh in by taking our poll below.
School workers in Salt Lake City seized school lunches from about 40 elementary students earlier this year because their parents were deficient on meal payments. Meet a few inspiring kids who have taken matters into their own hands to help feed their friends.
When Cayden Taipalus, a Michigan 8-year-old, saw another student being denied a hot meal because he had no money in his lunch account, he started a “Pay It Forward: No Kid Goes Hungry” campaign by collecting donations and recycling cans and bottles. He’s raised more than $35,000 so far.
Gabbie St. Peter and Alice Willette, 8-year-old best friends in Maine, asked for donations to stock their school’s pantry with food, in lieu of gifts at their joint birthday party. Their ongoing efforts have raised over $40,000—more than 800 percent of its annual budget!
While on spring break, Vir Derola, a kindergartner in Georgia, decided to collect donations for Backpack Buddies of Pooler, Georgia, a local organization that gives a weekend backpack filled with nutritious food to kids in need. He raised more than $1,000 with help from others.
As parents, we have a tendency to be insecure about our discipline tactics, and quite frankly, I think this is a good thing. Being strict with a person we love so incredibly is a stressful thing to do, but children need to learn right from wrong. They need to understand boundaries and the consequences of making bad choices, but as new information comes out over time, we have learned that the ways we once used to teach these lessons are either harmful or totally not helpful.
Lately, my focus has been on time outs. Time outs were once a safe punishment option for parents in which they didn’t physically hurt their child and both parties got to take a break from a heated moment, but now experts are saying this technique may lose its effectiveness because parents aren’t using it correctly. Do you remember being sent to your room as a child, lying on your bed reflecting about what you did wrong? Or do you remember lying there devising grand plans to find your real parents because these couldn’t possibly be them?! (If you’re anything like me, the latter is likely true.) This is one of the many reasons time outs don’t really work, and, if you ask me, there are two better discipline solutions:
Give yourself a time out if necessary. Sometimes we get so mad it’s hard to see straight, let alone discipline in a rational way. It’s quite alright to give yourself a moment to take a deep breath and think before you act—and this is far better than making a mistake or doing something you’ll later regret. Besides, it will help teach your children to think before they act in the heat of the moment. Remember this the next time a little mitten slaps you around the face or draws on the wall, again!
Do time outs together. Take your child away from the situation and to a quiet place. Have them look you in the eye, while you explain to them what happened and why it’s not okay. It isn’t easy to have this type of confrontation with your child, but it makes them hear you out and focus on what just happened—and not on finding new parents! When the chat is done, move on and don’t hold a grudge for the rest of the day. Being the “naughty” kid can be a self-fulfilling prophecy, so move on to something fun. This will help teach them the power of being able to move forward after a not-so-good experience or choice.
Consistency is key. Always have your children acknowledge that they understand, or give them the opportunity to ask you questions if they don’t. As the mom of four, I’ve used this technique with my own little wall writers and arm biters. And I promise, it works!
High-tech kid-monitoring gadgets like these take helicopter parenting to an NSA-worthy level.
Mini Hidden Alarm Clock
Little does your tot know, this device comes equipped with a motion-activated video recorder, so you can catch him the moment he starts shoving jelly beans up his nose. Plus, a rechargeable battery with 10 hours of recording power means you can creep on your little angel. All. Day. Long. $129; brickhousesecurity.com
Rambunctious preschoolers may be difficult to wrangle, but this stylish Bluetooth-enabled device can be worn by your child as a bracelet or a necklace. An app monitors the distance between you and your kiddo, and alerts you if he moves outside of a range you set, between 0 and 230 feet. $30; beluvv.com
This nifty app helps you GPS-track your kid’s location, monitor social media accounts, create account restrictions, and will even alert you if he’s traveling in a car that’s going over a speed limit you select. Plus, the easy-to-use child’s version of the app lets him check in to let you know his location, ask to be picked up,or send an “SOS” if he’s in trouble. App and basic service, free; mamabearapp.com
Are you a positive parent? An attachment-style parent? Take our quiz and find out!
To interview the indomitable Miss Piggy, who better than her most recent costar, Tina Fey? The ladies share the bill on Muppets Most Wanted, out March 21. Here they are, hamming it up:
Tina How do you define your style? Piggy I begin with who I am: Diva. Star. Frog bait. Then I embellish it with the best of everything from the world’s finest designers, throw in a soupçon of je ne sais quoi, a dash of joie de vivre, and voilà … moi!
Tina What advice do you give moms looking to raise glamorous children? Piggy Be glamorous yourself and they will be glamorous too. They may rebel against your fabulosity at first. But eventually they’ll come to appreciate your elegance … and then want to borrow your jewelry!
Tina What is the one thing you couldn’t live without? Piggy Chocolate … No, wait …Kermit … No, maybe it is chocolate. Hey, I know! Let’s count Kermit dipped in chocolate as one thing.
Tina So, how’s this interview going? Piggy Marvelous! You’re a natural interviewer. If you ever want to give up this whole “struggling actress” thing, you could do well in TV news.
Tina Do you have any baby names chosen for future frog-pig offspring? Piggy Kermit for a boy. Piggy for a girl. And if we have more, we’ll just keep adding Roman numerals after their names, like the Super Bowl.
Tina What is your earliest childhood memory? Piggy Mud. But I’ve promised to never talk about that…unless, of course, someone wants to offer me an obscene amount of money for the book and movie rights.
Tina What’s one famous movie role you wish you could have played? Piggy Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With the Wind. When she says, “As God is my witness, I’ll never be hungry again,” I was so inspired that, since that day, I have never been hungry again.
Tina Has your celebrity feud with all of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills been resolved? Piggy Hold on! Moi is having a celebrity feud with The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills? No one told me this! It was probably my publicist’s idea. (I’m sure this happens to you all the time too. Your publicist just starts a celebrity feud with someone like, say, Amy Poehler. Then the next time you see Amy…POW!…she pops you right in the kisser and you don’t have a clue why.) As for moi’s feud with the RHBH, I assure you that it has been completely resolved…unless they agree for me to be a semi-regular on the show next season.
Around 2,800 dogs competed in the 138th Westminster Dog Show this year in New York City on February 10th and 11th. I got to visit the pre-show event held at Chelsea Piers 92 and 94, which was buzzing with pups, breeders, and groomers—plus oodles and oodles of adoring dog lovers.
From the minute I stepped onto the “Westminster purple” PetProtect carpet provided by Stainmaster, a carpet and cushion system which boasts built-in stain resistance and pet odor reduction (a bonus, considering the sheer volume of pups present), I was blown away. You can’t begin to imagine the amount of work that goes into preparing a pooch for his or her debut at this prestigious event! From primping to posing to performing for treats, here’s a sneak peek behind-the-scenes:
There are more blow dryers and styling tools than you’d find at a typical beauty salon.
Hair-do’s that are more intricate than the styles you’ve seen on on Pinterest.
Treats for tricks (and treats just because).
And lots and lots of posing for photos.
Is your family ready for a dog? Take our quiz to find out.