Archive for the ‘ News ’ Category

Rosie to the Rescue!: Special Ask-the-Psychics Edition

Friday, March 7th, 2014

While putting together our April issue (on newsstands March 11), the editors at Parents couldn’t wait to get the scoop on the newest addition to Rosie Pope’s family. Rosie’s official due date was not until March 12, so we asked two clairvoyants to predict baby number 4′s birth details for us. Here’s what they predicted:

 

Update! Our beloved Parents contributor gave birth March 6, just before 5 a.m., to Bridget Monroe Pope. After a long labor, the little one weighed in at 7 lbs., 12 oz.

So how did our psychics do?

Both correctly predicted that Rosie would have a girl. Cheri chose the right range for little Bridget’s weight and Sunfairy Chrissy’s “feeling” that March 6 would be her birthday was dead-on. Cheri also correctly called the time window, although the baby was not born at home. As Rosie recovers in the hospital, she is beaming over her family’s new arrival: “She is a mini J.R.!,” Rosie says, marveling at the resemblance between little Bridget and her eldest big brother.

Congratulations to Rosie, her husband, Daron, and the entire Pope clan!

Are you expecting? Check out Rosie’s Style Tips for Mom-to-Be in the video player below or find Parents’ picks for top maternity gear here.

Rosie Pope's Style Tips for Mom-to-Be
Rosie Pope's Style Tips for Mom-to-Be
Rosie Pope's Style Tips for Mom-to-Be

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Introducing The Lords of the Playground

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

Parents.com is excited to announce the launch of a new web-only series of comic videos: The Lords of the Playground. Each episode shines a light on the everyday visits to the blacktop from the vantage point of a couple of dads sitting on the sidelines. The series proves this is not your father’s fatherhood.

The video shorts star veteran actors Jason Kravits and Matt Servitto as the dads. Kravits has acted on several television dramas and comedies, including The Practice, The Michael J. Fox Show, and 30 Rock and Servitto has appeared on the big screen and small in works such as The Sopranos, Brotherhood, Going the Distance, and Hitch.

Topics tackled by the duo include acceptable baby talk, playground bets, the Cadillac of strollers and finding a new sitter. Real-life events inspire the storylines as both Kravits and Servitto are dads on film and off. Kravits is the proud papa to a 12-year-old son while Servitto’s 10-year-old and twin 8-year-olds have been known to cause sleep deprivation.

Check back every Wednesday at 10 a.m. EST/7 a.m. PST for the very latest episode of The Lords of the Playground.

 

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Wanted: A Nanny for Prince George

Monday, January 13th, 2014

Looking for a great babysitting gig? The perfect position has just opened up.

Like many other parents here and across the pond, Prince William and Kate Middleton are looking for child care for their son Prince George. They need a new nanny for Baby George because his current caretaker, 71-year-old Jessie Webb, is going back into retirement. (Fun fact: Webb took care of Prince William when he was a baby.) Because the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are getting ready to embark on a huge tour of two countries, they are going to need the extra help.

If you’re thinking about applying, be prepared to provide some spectacular references. Becoming a nanny is no easy feat, even if you want to care for commoners, so I can’t imagine what the qualifications are for becoming a royal nanny. Last year, NBC News ran a story on how competitive it’s become to be a nanny. Many couples now want nannies who have degrees in early childhood education in addition to experience. Some are even asking for Master’s degrees. Of course, the pay is greater for those with the best resumes; nannies might make $100,000 or more. There is no word on how much Prince William and Kate plan on paying their next nanny, but, no matter what, there are sure to be plenty of perks with the gig.

There have been rumors that Grandma Carole Middleton will help William and Kate out with George, but aides have claimed that these rumors are false. And, of course, Great-Grandma Elizabeth is probably too busy to take on a job like this. It’s probably for the better. Having granny as nanny is a tricky situation for any family, but it is probably even more complex for this royal family. My bet is that they will choose someone else to care for George.

Before they start interviewing, the royal family may want to do some research into which kind of childcare is a good fit for their needs, or they—and, of course, you!—can watch the video below to learn how to choose the right nanny.

 

Child Care: Tips for Choosing a Good Nanny
Child Care: Tips for Choosing a Good Nanny
Child Care: Tips for Choosing a Good Nanny

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Music Video Lifts Young Cancer Patients’ Spirits

Friday, December 27th, 2013

This holiday season, the staff at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU did something extra special for their cancer patients. They created a music video to Katy Perry’s song “Roar.” The video features dancing, lip-synching, and general excitement from the kids, the staff, and even the VCU basketball team. It was a special treat for the patients and an inspiration to other children who have cancer.

The idea to create the music video came from 8-year-old Campbell, a leukemia patient at the hospital. Campbell is a huge fan of Katy Perry and listens to her during treatments to fight the pain.

You can watch Campbell kick off the video below.

Learn about the top children’s hospitals for cancer care, and get advice on what to do when a child’s sibling is sick.

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Sesame Street Brings Fun to the Produce Aisle

Friday, November 1st, 2013

Michelle Obama, Elmo and Rosita

We’ve all been there, walking through the grocery store while our kids ask us for colorful sodas, chips with cartoon characters on the bag, or cookies advertised on their favorite TV shows. Couldn’t they just once harangue us for a pear, or heaven forbid, some broccoli?

Now parents are getting some back-up – furry, funny back-up to be exact.

Last Wednesday at the White House, with Elmo and Rosita at her side, First Lady Michelle Obama announced that Sesame Workshop and the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) have joined the Partnership for a Healthier America in an effort to make fruits and vegetables more appealing to kids. To help in that effort, Sesame Workshop has agreed to license its characters to the PMA for free for two years.

“Just imagine what will happen when we take our kids to the grocery store, and they see Elmo and Rosita and the other Sesame Street Muppets they love up and down the produce aisle,” said Mrs. Obama. “Imagine what it will be like to have our kids begging us to buy them fruits and vegetables instead of cookies, candy and chips. That’s what this new collaboration between Sesame Workshop and the Produce Marketing Association is all about.”

Through her Let’s Move campaign, the First Lady has been a longtime advocate for making nutritious foods more appealing, affordable, and accessible.

The fact that Sesame Workshop is licensing Grover, Elmo, Rosita and friends for free is important because unlike a lot of processed food manufacturers, apple, broccoli, and spinach producers don’t have scads of marketing dollars to appeal to our kids in fun commercials or by placing their products in family movies. But the PMA and Mrs. Obama are hoping that when children see a sticker of their favorite Sesame Street character on an apple or next to salad greens they will get more excited about eating a variety of healthy fruits and veggies.

There is research to back this up. Mrs. Obama cited a recent study published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. When researchers gave kids a choice between a cookie and an apple, unsurprisingly the vast majority chose the cookie. But when researchers placed an Elmo sticker on the apple, nearly twice the number of children opted for the fruit.

After the announcement Mrs. Obama, Elmo, and Rosita headed out to the White House vegetable garden where they welcomed students from four area schools to help with the fall harvest. The students dug up giant sweet potatoes, cut pumpkins from their vines, and pulled up dirt-covered carrots. Under the guidance of White House chefs the kids assembled turkey, hummus, and salad wraps. While Elmo and Rosita didn’t share the snack, they extolled their love of fresh produce, already doing their part to encourage kids to eat more fruits and vegetables.

White House vegetable garden

Once you have your produce in the kitchen, get cooking with these easy recipes for family-friendly vegetables and delicious fruit dishes.

What do you think? Will Sesame Street characters on packaging encourage your kids to eat more fruits and vegetables? 

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Why All Parents Should See the Movie Gravity

Monday, October 21st, 2013

Major spoiler alert: Gravity—the box office hit starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney as astronauts—isn’t about space at all. I mean, of course all the action takes place in space, and it’s packed with plenty breathtaking shots of our planet as seen from above, but Gravity is about something far more down to earth. Specifically, it’s about what it means to be a parent.

Ryan Stone, played by Sandra Bullock, is a scientist on her first venture out into space. Much like a newborn baby, she’s in a brand new place where the very unexpected and dangerous can—and does—happen. (Director Alfonso Cuarón even goes so far with the newborn metaphor as to show us Ryan floating in the fetal position with what looks like an umbilical cord tethering her—watch for it maybe 30 minutes in, really cool shot.) Luckily for Ryan she’s not alone. Matt Kowalski, her far more space-savvy colleague, takes on a very paternal role, coaching her through unfamiliar situations, and straight-up parenting her. But, like with all parent/child relationships, there’s a time that Matt has to literally let go, and Ryan will have to find her own way armed only with the lessons Matt has left her. It’s one of the most direct stories of growing up and finding your legs that I’ve seen in ages. It’s also a beautiful, if painful, lesson in the necessity of setting your progeny free.

But let’s talk more about Sandra Bullock’s character, Ryan. She isn’t just any woman trying to grow up and find her way in this unpredictable, often scary universe. We learn early on that she’s a mother—specifically, a mother whose daughter was killed at a very young age in a freak playground accident. Some critics have called Ryan’s backstory “schmaltzy,” but I think it’s vital to the story, in underlining that parents (and people in general) want to think we have control, when in reality so many things in life are terrifyingly beyond our influence. No, it’s not a warm and fuzzy message—but I don’t think parenting is warm and fuzzy all the time. Raising a child, knowing that her well-being and even existence depends on you, can be scary. Nearly as scary at times, some might argue, as floating above the earth, unprotected, with giant hunks of space debris hurtling in your direction.

The lesson Gravity teaches is that parenting (and life in general) can be a harrowing experience. The best thing we can do is to push forward, never give up, and try to cherish the exquisite view along the way.

What’s your parenting style? Find out here.

Image of Gravity star Sandra Bullock courtesy yahoo.com

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6 Tips for Fire Safety

Monday, October 7th, 2013

This week (October 6 through 12) is National Fire Prevention Week, an imperative time to talk about and practice safety measures with your kids. Keep both your home and family safe: use these tips from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and LEGO City to start a conversation with your child about emergencies.

 

1. Be Prepared with Necessary Tools

It is critical to test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors every month. According to Joe Molis, a member of NFPA’s Fire Analysis Research Division, two-thirds of fire deaths occur in homes with non-working or no smoke detectors. He recommends replacing batteries twice each year: at the start and end of daylight savings time, which that act as helpful reminders for this essential task.

 

 

 

 

 

2. Make An Evacuation Plan

Talk to your child about exit points in every room, asking her to identify doors, windows, and clear paths to safety. A toy like a dollhouse or a structure built from LEGOs can be useful tools, suggests Molis, a father of three and active lieutenant of the Providence Fire Department in Rhode Island. “This way, children are engaged while their parents direct the discussion,” he says.

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Mark a Meeting Point

Every evacuation procedure should include a safe spot to gather (a neighbor’s porch, a lamppost or tree across the street), so that your family can respond quickly to an emergency and stay all together.

 

 

 

 

 

4. Run the Drill

Be sure to act out emergency escape plans at home two times every year. “It’s one thing to talk about evacuation, but it’s another when you role-play and practice,” Molis says. This helps remind children of their family’s specific plan, and builds their confidence to respond to emergency situations. It also instills the importance of keeping exits clear of obstacles. Running the drill is vital, but if you are ever faced with a house fire, Molis stresses: “The most important thing is to get out and stay out. Make sure everyone is accounted for, and then call 911.”

 

 

 

 

5. Lead the Way

Practice daily safety measures in front of your children: never leave pans cooking on the stove unattended, store matches and lighters out of litte ones’ reach, and ensure that appliances are clean and functioning properly.

 

 

 

 

6. Check It Out

Download a fire safety checklist at Sparky.org and use it to inspect your home as a family. Walk through each room and check off the safety measures you are following. If something is potentially dangerous, remedy the problem. “The checklist is incredibly important,” Molis says. “It helps make sure your dryer vents are clean, electrical cords aren’t damanges, escape routes are clear, and heat sources are away from flammable items.”

 

 

To learn more about National Fire Prevention Week, visit NFPA.org.

For more tips on teaching and practicing fire safety, visit the following Parents.com resources:

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Jimmy Fallon and Sesame Street are an Instant Hit

Thursday, September 26th, 2013

Just like Jimmy Fallon’s BFF, Justin Timberlake, Elmo and company are having a moment. Did you catch Big Bird, Abby Cadabby, and Mr. Snuffleupagus on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon last night? The Muppet crew joined Jimmy and The Roots for a musical performance worthy of letting the kids up late on a school night.  This might just be the hippest take on the Sesame Street theme song ever. Who knew Cookie Monster likes to take selfies?

In case you missed it, or just want to watch it again, here is the musical collaboration you can’t miss.

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