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Wednesday, August 8th, 2012
Everyone has their own perception of what the magazine world is really like. To outsiders, it’s reminiscent of the glamorous and cutthroat scenes from The Devil Wears Prada, complete with Meryl Streep-like bosses on every floor. But to us—the editors, writers, and designers—it’s work. Well-dressed, perk-filled work. Granted, I’m just an intern (shock, horror, surprise!), so I only experience a fraction of the long days and hectic schedules of “real” employees. In return, however, I face multiple coffee runs, hours of tedious, backbreaking photocopying, and overall mental degradation.
…At least, that’s what I thought I would be doing when I came to New York for the summer. A magazine internship isn’t complete without at least one cringe-worthy story, right? Wrong. The atmosphere at Parents is nothing at all like Hollywood depicts. In fact, the staff here is so genial and kid-crazy that I half-expect to find a toddler sitting at my desk every morning, waiting to give me hugs. There is no coffee fetching or intern abusing, and I can proudly say that I have yet to pick up someone’s dry cleaning. My “work” has consisted of everything from covering press events with celebrities to wrangling the country’s cutest kids at the Parents cover contest photo shoot. I’ve crafted a car from a cardboard box and created fortune cookies in the break room. I’ve even experienced toy testing, which is a magical time where every amazing, never-before-seen toy is stuffed into one room so editors can decide which of them they like best. My job? Play with the toys beforehand (that’s me above, regressing to my 5-year-old self).
Of course, I don’t always feel like Tom Hanks in Big, and sometimes, I even have to do real work—like write this laborious blog post—but there’s always another fun reward on the horizon. While I could go on and on about my summer adventures, today is Bagel Wednesday in the office, and I really want to snag one while they’re hot.
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Tuesday, July 31st, 2012
Later Pregnancy, Lower Risk of a Cancer
The older a woman is when she gives birth, the lower her risk for endometrial cancer, a new study reports. The researchers found that women who had their last babies after age 40 had a 44 percent reduced risk of endometrial cancer, compared with women who had their babies before age 25. (via NY Times)
Devices Don’t Work to Save Kids in Hot Cars
Special seats and other devices designed to help prevent parents from accidentally leaving babies and toddlers behind in cars don’t work, a team of experts said on Monday. They said parents shouldn’t rely on them to keep children safe. Their review of 18 commercial devices, including systems integrated into a car, shows none works well enough to rely on. (via NBC News)
Blood Donations Lowest in 15 Years, Red Cross Says
A perfect storm of events has driven blood donations to the lowest in 15 years, a shortfall so extreme that some patients may have to cancel elective surgery, medical officials say. The American Red Cross fell 50,000 units short of its needs in June and will likely fall short again in July, it said. (via NBC News)
Parents Can Increase Children’s Activity by Increasing Their Own
Parents concerned about their children’s slothful ways can do something about it, according to research at National Jewish Health. They can increase their own activity. When parents increase their daily activity, as measured by a pedometer, their children increase theirs as well. (via Science Daily)
New Ways to Fight-Off Youth Anxiety and Depression
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Approximately 8 to 22 percent of children suffer from anxiety, often combined with other conditions such as depression. However, most existing therapies are not designed to treat coexisting psychological problems and are therefore not very successful in helping children with complex emotional issues. (via Science Daily)
activity, anxiety, blood donations, cancer, cars, depression, kids, parents, Parents Daily News Roundup, Pregnancy | Categories:
Thursday, July 26th, 2012
Editor’s Note: In the first post for an ongoing series, Dr. Harley A. Rotbart, a Parents advisor, will be guest blogging once a month. He will be offering different advice, tips, and personal stories on how parents can “savor the moment” and maximize the time they spend with kids. Read more posts by Harley Rotbart from this series.
Children’s brains go to sleep as soon as school ends for summer vacation, and they can hibernate until after school starts again in the fall. While kids need rest and rejuvenation, structured and unstructured play, physically active and tranquil days, and homework-free evenings, the summer “brain freeze” (a.k.a. “summer meltdown” or “summer slide”) can last too long. When resting brains slip into vegetative states defined by TV, video games, Facebook, text messaging marathons, and MP3 hypnosis, it’s time for an intervention.
Fortunately, there is a cure: enrollment at Family Summer University (FSU)! At FSU, there is no tuition and no homework, but there are tests (more like friendly and funny family competitions) every night.
As Dean of FSU, it’s your job to set aside a little time each day to write the quiz questions. Tailor them to the ages and learning levels of your kids, but don’t be limited to school subjects. Instead, include a wide range of topics: celebrities, cartoon characters, favorite storybooks, sports teams, movies and TV shows, or any other topics that each family member will enjoy. Fun trivia about Justin Bieber and Jeremy Lin can help camouflage the educational lessons about hypotenuses, homonyms, and Hamlet. Mix and match questions every night from different subject areas or dedicate different nights of the week to certain subjects.
Look to brain teaser games, flash card sets, home versions of TV quiz shows, the library, the internet, and yes, your kids’ school books, to write your questions. But don’t overdo it — set a maximum of 20 questions per child per day, 10 questions if you have more than three kids! Remember, if you’re asking your 6 year old a tough question for his age, you should also be asking your 12 year old a tough one for her age.
Once your questions are written, gather the kids on the designated FSU campus (it can be the porch, patio, or another comfortable venue that’s preferably outdoors) and let the games begin! A great time for FSU to gather is after dinner because everyone is already together. Play every night or play a few days a week. Add bonus questions, musical prompts, and picture clues to make the game more interesting. Watch as scarce minutes with your kids turn into special moments.
After the answers are given, discuss them with your kids. Gently explain the questions they missed and have them explain ones they got right. Tally the correct number of answers for each contestant each dayk. At the end of each week, give a prize to the child with the highest score, and then start scoring from scratch the next week. This way, no one falls so far behind that they have no chance of catching up. Good “prizes” can be letting the winner choose the DVD on family movie night or the theme for a special dinner night. At the end of the summer, have an FSU “graduation” ceremony with cardboard caps, bed sheet gowns, and colorful paper diplomas. Then, make sure to go for ice cream!
Dr. Harley A. Rotbart is Professor and Vice Chairman of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and Children’s Hospital Colorado. He is the author of three books for parents and families, including the recent No Regrets Parenting, a Parents advisor, and a contributor to The New York Times Motherlode blog. Visit his blog at noregretsparenting.com and follow him on Facebook and Twitter (@NoRegretsParent).
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Family, family activities, family fun, family time, Harley Rotbart, harley rotbart series, No Regrets Parenting, parenting, parenting skills, parenting style, parents, summer, summer activities, summer brain drain, summer brain freeze, summer fun, summer slide | Categories:
GoodyBlog, Time for Fun, Your Child
Thursday, July 19th, 2012
Did you know the fourth Sunday of July was dedicated as Parents’ Day back in 1994? (Former President Bill Clinton signed a resolution with approval from Congress.) If you didn’t, take time to celebrate yourself and your spouse/partner as a parent this weekend. Similar to Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, Parents’ Day aims to “recognize, uplift, and support the role of parents in the rearing of children.”
The National Parents’ Day Coalition also encourages candidate nominations for the annual “Parents of the Year” award. You can fill out an online nomination form here.
Here at Parents magazine, our mission is to foster “healthy kids, happy families,” and we hope you will take time every day to spotlight the fantastic parental figures that you know (go ahead and include yourselves as well!).
To inspire you, here are some fun family activities for unforgettable celebrations!
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Monday, October 3rd, 2011
At Parents, we believe when the toy does less, the child does more; in fact, that’s been the philosophy behind our toy line for the past 10 years. We make our toys to withstand years of play and outlast trends. They help children learn new skills, use their imaginations, and, of course, have lots of fun.
And now, for the first time, you can find our whole toy line right here on Parents.com! We currently have 56 toys, games, and puzzles available just in time for the holiday season. Whether you’re shopping for a baby, toddler, or preschooler, the Parents line has something for every little one on your list.
See all of the Parents toys here!
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Monday, October 3rd, 2011
October is also National Down Syndrome Awareness Month (in addition to being Breast Cancer Awareness Month). The CDC estimates that 1 in 691 babies are born with Down syndrome each year, in which a baby is born with an extra chromosome (47 instead of 46), an occurrence that results in mental and physical challenges.
This guest post was written by Amy Julia Becker, a mother who lives in Lawrenceville, NJ with her husband and three children (one boy and two girls). The oldest of her two daughters, Penny, was born with Down syndrome, and Becker shares her parenting experiences below. Becker’s most recent book is A Good and Perfect Gift: Faith, Expectations, and a Little Girl Named Penny. She blogs at Thin Places, and you can visit her website at www.amyjuliabecker.com.
When our daughter Penny was diagnosed with Down syndrome two hours after she was born, I immediately worried about her future, her health, our ability to take good care of her, and our community’s willingness to accept her. I thought my world would shrink into a closed room with four walls labeled disability, special needs, developmental delays, and early intervention. But by the time she was one year old, I wanted to introduce her to strangers on the street so that they could share in her infectious smile and ready wave. I’m only five years into parenting a child with Down syndrome, but I’ve learned a few things that have helped me become a better mother to Penny (and to her younger brother and sister, who have developed typically).
Learn to Give and Receive
Before Penny was born, I treated life as if it were an equation. Hard work plus a happy childhood equaled a productive and satisfied adult. Penny helped me to understand that human beings aren’t products on an assembly line. We all have different needs and different abilities. Penny’s needs are more obvious than mine, and her body is more vulnerable. And yet her classification as “disabled” has served to show me my own weaknesses—my impatience, my tendency to judge people based upon surface impressions, my stubborn independence. I remember a time when a young woman with Down syndrome came to our house. She didn’t speak very clearly, and she needed assistance with some simple household tasks. But she sat on the floor with our son, William, who was being fussy, and her gentle, soothing presence brought him great peace. This event is one example of what I have learned–to see life as a web of relationships based upon giving, receiving, and mutual care. Penny has taught me not only to receive her as a gift, but to view every person in my life as a unique being with something to offer.
Stay Focused on One Thing at a Time
Early on, I learned that I couldn’t predict when Penny would reach developmental milestones. The half-dozen baby books on my shelf wouldn’t help me if I wondered when she “should” roll over or clap or eat with a spoon. For a while I thought I needed to let go of goals for her altogether because I didn’t want to equate her value as a human being with her ability to walk or talk. But eventually I realized that Penny would learn and grow, even if she did so at her own pace. My husband and I started to focus on helping Penny learn the next thing, whatever that might be. Now that she’s in kindergarten, we ask: What’s the next thing she needs to learn about reading? About numbers? About friendship? It’s easy for all parents to spend too much time worrying about the distant future; trying to focus on one thing at a time has provided me emotional freedom.
Concentrate on Character Instead of Comparisons
When Penny was a baby, I often found myself analyzing other children her age and wondering how she measured up. If I discovered that she could do something another kid couldn’t, I felt self-satisfied and superior. On the other hand, when other kids her age could run across the room and Penny still hadn’t begun to crawl, I felt panic rattling inside my chest. I finally realized that whenever I met another child, I asked, “What can she do?” and the comparison would push me away from that child and parent. If I changed my question to “Who is she?” it allowed me to focus upon the child’s character. Every child became valuable and interesting once I stopped comparing them.
Now, with a happy, healthy child who has just started kindergarten, I wonder sometimes why I felt so scared. Having a child with Down syndrome has expanded my world, and my heart.
More About Down Syndrome on Parents.com
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Wednesday, July 20th, 2011
The Playgrounds! app from Parents and KaBOOM! and sponsored by Keen is the newest must-have app for parents. The iPhone app uses GPS or a zip code to instantly find the best local playgrounds closest to you.
But Playgrounds! is more than just a playground locator. The free app allows users to rate and review playgrounds, and post pictures of the space so other parents can check it out beforehand. Parents can even use Playgrounds! to coordinate playground playdates with other families and check-in on Facebook.
The app is already being used by parents across the country, including one very famous mom: Michelle Obama. After helping build KaBOOM!’s 2,000th playground last month in Washington, D.C., the First Lady used the app to post a picture of the new play space.
Dana Points, editor in chief of Parents, says “It’s so important for families to have access to safe places for children to play and the Playgrounds! app makes finding those spaces and setting up play dates so easy.”
The app is free, easy to use, and ready to download today. What are you waiting for? Go play!
Download the Playgrounds! app here.
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Thursday, July 7th, 2011
As adults, we may laugh amongst ourselves when curses are used in a childlike context (see “Go the F–k to Sleep’“), but it’s less funny when a child is cursing out of context.
In a new study commissioned by Care.com, parents believe their children are cursing more than they themselves did as kids. Of the 700 parents who participated in a recent online survey, 86% believe that kids ages 2-12 have loose lips when it comes to unmentionable words…and 54% said their children had actually cursed in front of them.
In some cases (12%), the kids were just repeating a parent’s curse word and 20% didn’t believe their kids understood the meaning of the word. Eight out of ten parents also confessed to cursing in front of children, even though 93% also tried to suppress the urge to do so. Along with blaming themselves, parents also cited other reasons why their kids picked up curses: daycare, playgroups, older siblings, television, games, and movies.
According to Dr. Robi Ludwig, Care.com’s Parenting Expert and psychotherapist, “cursing is something that is definitely going to happen, and parents should know this is something to expect and not a reflection of being a bad parent. However, there are steps parents can take to stop the language before it continues, from creating consequences to monitoring the TV shows and movies your kids watch to correcting houseguests and encouraging the use of alternate words.” A few more of Dr. Ludwig’s tips to prevent cursing include: don’t overreact, be honest, nip it in the bud, and don’t be tempted by YouTube fame. (So, parents, put away the recording camera!)
How vigilant are you about not cursing in front of the kids? What are your tips and advice for dealing with or preventing cursing?
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Behavior, Care.com, children, curse words, cursing, kids, misbehavior, parenting, parenting skills, parenting style, parents | Categories:
Behavior, GoodyBlog, News, Your Child