How to Teach Your Child About Health and Posture

healthyhabits1As a parent or nanny, you play a vital role in teaching your children about health, posture and illness prevention. Even though your child may be maturing and developing as an independent individual, he still needs your encouragement and advice to learn the basics of how to care for himself.

Through educational activities, discussions and real-life examples of healthy habits, you can foster a child who is conscious about how to maintain the best health and posture.

The Talk

It’s not uncommon for many children to resist bath time or the task of washing hands before and after meals; however, you can enlighten them by discussing the results of healthy behavior. The Sandbox Learning Company, a team of experts offering online resources for childcare and education providers, recommends using simple language to explain why preventative behaviors are crucial to good health.

“If children understand germs cause illness and eating different foods gives them energy to play, they are more likely to follow healthy practices,” say the psychology experts at the Sandbox Learning Company. “Explain in simple language why children should wear coats, wash their hands and exercise. This can be done through books, class activities or conversations while teaching children a skill.”

Creative Health Lessons

Beyond discussions about why good health practices are important, parents and nannies can utilize visuals to serve as a reminder for their children. Pictures, drawings and creative word art displayed in your home and even created by your children can help them remember to get a coat when the weather is cold, throw tissues away after use and flush the toilet.

You can even get creative while teaching healthy habits. If you want your children to wash their hands for at least 30 seconds, sing a song or dance around until the time is up. They will eventually learn how to time themselves when they wash their hands. Brushing teeth is another opportunity to improve your child’s healthy habits. Purchase a toothbrush with a timer or one that plays a song so they brush for at least two minutes. The bells and whistles will make these habits much more memorable and fun.

Model Healthy Behavior

Since obesity is a major health risk for children and adults, it’s important to model healthy eating practices for the children in your care. Instead of making your children a healthy meal while you chomp down on fatty foods, make healthy meal preparation a group effort. Encourage your children to suggest and research foods and recipes that provide health benefits and launch your very own cooking show, complete with a video to share with friends and family. When you show them that you are invested in healthy habits, your children will likely follow suit.

Since your children often look to you for examples of how to behave and lead a healthy lifestyle, get active and bring them along, recommends Dr. Wendie Trubow, physician and quality director of Visions HealthCare in Wellesley, Massachusetts. “Go for a walk, play outside and turn off the TV and electronics,” she says.

Stand Up for Posture

One of the most overlooked healthy habits is posture. Without good posture, your children will likely experience physical ailments that can affect their ability to walk, run and lead an active lifestyle. Teach them early on the importance of posture by exploring its importance to their happiness.

According to the Women’s and Children’s Health Network, you can discuss the benefits of good posture by pointing out that good posture means that:

  • your bones and joints are in line so that muscles can be used properly
  • your spine has its three normal curves
  • ligaments holding the spine together are not being stressed
  • you don’t get tired as quickly
  • you don’t get pain in your back or other muscles
  • you look good

In addition, your children must understand that they will need the following to obtain good posture:

  • strong, flexible muscles, especially on each side of the spine
  • well balanced muscles, not overdeveloped on one side
  • to be able to move freely
  • to be aware of your posture and work to improve it
  • engage in regular exercise, like running, walking, cycling and playing different sports, to help keep your back strong

According to Trubow, if you stress that good posture leads to how much bigger they will look with a healthy spine, they will likely understand the importance of standing up straight.

Commuting Tips for Live-Out Nannies

commuteLiving outside your client’s home offers greater privacy and neatly set boundaries, but the responsibility for ensuring you are there on time and ready to report for duty is a little trickier than walking down the hall. The number one rule for nannies is not to be late and compromise the parent’s obligations, so the burden is on you to make sure no unforeseen issues create a problem for the family.

Use these stress-free tips to stay on time and start your mornings on the right foot:

Leave Early

No one likes to add a half hour to their day, but your responsibility as a nanny may mean you need to leave early to make sure an accident, traffic jam, late train or other unexpected issue doesn’t prevent you from reaching your job on time. Just as the parent respects your need to leave when your day is done, you need to honor their need to not be stressed on a rushed commute to work or late for an important meeting.  Find ways to put a positive spin on the trip. You may get there early, but if you make a special hot drink for yourself and download your favorite audiobook, those extra 15 minutes spent parked down the street won’t feel like a chore, but a mini-escape.

Beat the Traffic

If your commute coincides with the rest of the world’s drive time, consider altering your routine to save frustrating time behind the wheel in bumper-to-bumper traffic that could make you late. Research great coffee shops in your client’s neighborhood that might have frequent visitor perks, Wi-Fi or free refills. The amount of gas spent start-and-stopping or sitting in traffic can end up paying for your coffee or morning pastry. Calculate your extra cost and use the time to catch up with online friends, on paperwork or reading a book.

Consider Public Transportation

If an early departure isn’t practical, public transportation might make for a more enjoyable trip. Riding the rails could also be more reliable than braving traffic or hitting the highway in inclement weather. Depending on your location, a monthly commuter pass could even be transferred and passed between you and your employer, saving you serious money on travel costs. Either way, a ride where someone else is at the wheel frees you up to use the time as you like.

When the Weather Outside is Frightful

Even when freezing rain, nasty snowstorms, or even flooding become a road reality, your employer still needs you at your post. Discuss the possibility of staying over on nights forecast to include dangerous commuting conditions, and be aware that when nasty weather sets in, there is a possibility that the parents could be similarly trapped and unable to reach home. Keep sleepwear, a toiletry case and an extra set of work clothes at the residence to make yourself more comfortable when the unexpected hits.

Be Prepared

Preparation can be the best solution to commuting woes. If your car is less than reliable, you need to make sure your cellphone is charged and your AAA is up-to-date to quickly solve car mishaps. If cold weather affects your battery, ensure you have cables with you and pop out to start the car a half hour early just to make sure your charge is strong on particularly frigid days. Ask the family in advance what the road rules are for plowing in their neighborhood and if they have a backup plan for parking, as leaving the kids alone to shift the car for a plow is not an option.

How to Quit a Nanny Job and Still Get a Positive Reference

quitjobQuitting a nanny job is never easy. It’s a hard transition for everyone involved, and often is seen as a personal betrayal to the parents you work for. When parents feel this way, that betrayal can be like a dark cloud hovering over the wonderful services you’ve provided in the past. It can not only damage the relationship, but also hurt the reference they provide to prospective employers. Luckily, there are some things you can do to make this time easier and less stressful for your employers. Taking these measures will show them that even though you’re leaving, you still care about their family and want to help them in any way possible. That commitment can ease the transition and help you get the positive reference you’ve earned.

Give a clear reason for leaving. Sometimes the reason you’re quitting your job is very simple. Maybe you’re moving to a different area, which makes your current commute too long. Or perhaps your charge is entering school and you want to care for an infant again. Other times, however, the reason isn’t so cut and dry. There may be several issues that factor into your decision to leave. Maybe Mom is consistently late, Dad keeps asking you to do things outside your job description, and despite multiple conversations the parents don’t support your discipline approach. Whatever your reason is, it’s important that you clearly and calmly explain it to your employers. Your family deserves to know why you’re leaving and having a solid reason can help them move through the transition period easier.

Give an appropriate notice period. If you have a nanny contract, the length of your notice period should be detailed there. If you don’t have a contract with your family, it’s standard to give 2 to 6 weeks’ notice. Because it can take up to 8 weeks to find a new nanny, your family will appreciate receiving as much notice as you can give. Giving them time to find a replacement caregiver and helping the kids get used to the idea of a new person shows your commitment to being a professional even during difficult times.

Understand this is an emotional time for the family. Even if leaving is the best decision for you and the family, this is a tough time of transition. Your employers may be angry, sad, frustrated, or defensive, even if they understand why you’re leaving. Working together may be uncomfortable, but staying until the end of your notice period will reflect well on you and may become a highlight of your reference letter.

Offer to help the family find a replacement. When you quit, your family will be facing two big hurdles: dealing with your departure and finding a replacement. For many families, it’s an overwhelming time. By offering to help with finding your replacement, you can relieve some of the pressure they’re under to find a new nanny. Creating a job description, going through resumes and finding matching candidates, or sitting in on the interview are all ways you can help. You offer parents a unique perspective into what type of caregiver would fit best with their family and that input can be invaluable.

Work with the parents to help the kids transition to a new caregiver. Leaving a nanny position is hard on everyone, especially the kids. It’s helpful for you and the parents to work together to help the kids understand why you’re leaving, how your relationship will change and what will happen next. The support you offer during this time will be a big factor in how well the children are able to move on and welcome a new nanny.

Train the new nanny. Helping the new person get acclimated to the job will help her, your employers and your charge. It will give you a chance to detail your charge’s daily schedule, show her where things are located in the house and introduce her to the school, grocery store, playground and other frequent stops in the neighborhood. This is the perfect time for her to learn all the tricks of the trade you’ve discovered during your time with the family. It also helps ease the transition since she won’t be starting from ground zero on her first day.

Prepare a nanny book. One of the final things you can do for your family is to create a nanny book for the next caregiver. This book puts together all the details needed to be efficient on a day to day basis. It could include your charge’s daily schedule, sample menus, phone numbers of playmates, a list of often used repairmen and anything else you think would be helpful to the new nanny.

How Nannies Can Teach Anxious Children Coping Methods

anxiouschildIt may seem common for a child to ask hundreds of questions hour after hour. After all, children are notoriously curious by nature. However, when worry sets in and your child is so anxious that he or she questions every move, decision or plan for the day, it can be a sign that the child is coping with anxiety.

“Although anxiety runs in families, there’s a lot that we can do as parents and nannies to make things better or worse,” says Christine Korol, Calgary-based psychologist and author of

If the children in your care exhibit signs of stress and struggle with uncertainty that is affecting their daily functions and physical health, it’s time to incorporate some strategies to help them cope with anxiety.

Recognizing Anxiety Disorders

It is common for everyone, including children, to experience stress and anxiety from time to time. Indications of anxiety disorders, however, can be seen when anxiety takes over someone’s thoughts and consistently affect his behavior.

The experts at KidsHealth Nemours, a nonprofit organization devoted to children’s health, defines anxiety disorders as the following:

  • Generalized anxiety: With this common anxiety disorder, children worry excessively about many things, such as school, the health or safety of family members, or the future in general. They may always think of the worst that could happen. Along with the worry and dread, kids may have physical symptoms, such as headaches, stomachaches, muscle tension, or tiredness. Their worries might cause them to miss school or avoid social activities. With generalized anxiety, worries can feel like a burden, making life feel overwhelming or out of control.
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD): For a person with OCD, anxiety takes the form of obsessions (excessively preoccupying thoughts) and compulsions (repetitive actions to try to relieve anxiety).
  • Phobias: These are intense fears of specific things or situations that are not inherently dangerous, such as heights, dogs, or flying in an airplane. Phobias usually cause people to avoid the things they fear.
  • Social phobia (social anxiety): This anxiety is triggered by social situations or speaking in front of others. A less common form called selective mutism causes some kids and teens to be too fearful to talk at all in certain situations.
  • Panic attacks: These episodes of anxiety can occur for no apparent reason. During a panic attack, a child typically has sudden and intense physical symptoms that can include a pounding heart, shortness of breath, dizziness, numbness, or tingling feelings. Agoraphobia is an intense fear of panic attacks that causes a person to avoid going anywhere a panic attack could possibly occur.
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD): This type of anxiety disorder results from a traumatic past experience. Symptoms include flashbacks, nightmares, fear, and avoidance of the traumatic event that caused the anxiety.

As a nanny, take special note of any symptoms and signs your child is exhibiting and report these to the parents to determine the best plan of action to help the child cope.

A Gentle Approach

A common misconception about helping kids cope with anxiety is that we must help them avoid their fears and the unknown. According to Korol, this practice can make the situation worse. “If we are overprotective or allow our kids to avoid what they are afraid of, anxiety will grow,” she says. “If we are gently encouraging and comment on what a great job they’re doing coping with their anxiety, it starts to get better.”

Gentle reassurance, encouragement and acknowledgement of the anxiety shows the child that as the nanny, you are there when he or she needs to talk and work through anxious feelings. Knowing that you are there for support can give a child the courage he or she needs to tackle those fears.

Seek Professional Help

Even though you may offer support and encouragement, a child who is struggling with extreme anxiety may need professional help. Discuss the options with the child’s parents and seek out a family therapist or psychologist who can work with the child to calm his fears and develop coping strategies, says Korol.

“If anxiety is interfering with a child’s functioning, get help,” she says. “Anxious kids can appear very oppositional and they need to have a plan with strategies and proper pacing of facing their fears to ensure their success.”

Disguised Learning: Fun Activities That Teach, Too

girlgroceryOn top of homework and lessons at school, the last thing your school-aged children want to do is embark on an educational activity at home. However, with some creativity and field trips that disguise the learning, you can provide an educational opportunity for your child without any hesitance, whining or griping.

“Learning never stops, yet many times the perception for a child is that learning only occurs in school,” says Kate E. O’Hara, assistant professor of instructional technology at the New York Institute of Technology’s School of Education. “Incorporating hands-on, engaging activities that teach and reinforce concepts they learned in school brings the learning to the highest level – real world application.”

From travel lessons to cooking excursions, keep your children entertained while educating them with activities that teach and encourage fun.

Tape Measure Mapping

Break out the chalk and a tape measure to help your children learn geometry, geography and a bit of physical education, suggests O’Hara. “Map out ‘around the world’ spots for playing basketball and have your child create a geometric shape for a shooting mark with a tape measure for making the shooting marks equal distances,” she says.

Take the lesson one step further by creating a hopscotch board incorporating measurements, fractions and division. “You can also make bike or skateboard lines incorporating measurement, fractions, division as well as elements of time,” suggests O’Hara.

Educational Outings

A family vacation or day trip can easily include valuable lessons for your children, says Lynn Daniel, veteran middle school teacher. “When taking a child on outings like family vacations, fishing or the amusement park, you can up the educational value by having the child document events with video or pictures and then write about the experiences in a journal,” she says. “Activities that keep learning fun for the adolescent learner and that immerse the learner in the fun learning process are perfect for learning outside of school.”

After your child has documented the outing, compile a photobook, scrapbook or DVD chronicling the journey to share with family and friends. In the process, he or she may even learn about technology when editing videos and uploading photos online.

Grocery Gurus

A weekly trip to the grocery store can be a learning lesson in disguise for your children. Beyond just a routine trip to pick up preparations for the weekly meals, your children can learn more about financial planning and have some fun with it at the same time. “If the activities are fun, they won’t even know they are academic lessons,” says Caroline Vroustouris, director at Varsity Tutors, an academic tutoring and test prep provider in St. Louis, Mo.

While pushing the cart and marking off items on your grocery list, encourage your children to count items, weigh items and exchange cash and coins with the grocery clerk, says Vroustouris. Grocery shopping also provides an opportunity to discuss healthy food items, prompting your children to investigate calorie and fat content on purchased items.

You can keep the lessons going once you get home with a family cooking lesson. Have little ones do measurements and conversions when mixing ingredients and prompt the older children to guess where the ingredients are grown. Use this opportunity to discuss food values and origins of your mealtime ingredients.

Online Gaming

There are a plethora of free games on the internet designed to help students review concepts in fun ways, says Jill Lauren, learning specialist and author of That’s Like Me! Succeeding with LD. Embark on an online gaming adventure with your children to find multiplication games online, grammar review games and reading or puzzle activities to keep them entertained and engaged in their education.

“As a learning specialist who works with children with memory issues, I’m always looking for ways to review hard-to-memorize information that will keep my students motivated,” says Lauren. “I usually just Google whatever skill I’m working on – apostrophes, for example – and I can find plenty of games that will provide multiple opportunities to practice using apostrophes correctly.”

Historical Voyages

Educate your children about world events while immersing them in a historical adventure. Load up the vehicle and take a family trip to a local museum or historical society. Most museums have programs and interactive tours that are designed especially for children. While browsing through museums, engage your children in discussions about artwork, fossils or artifacts.

Younger children can also learn from the historical items in galleries and museums. “Children may enjoy looking at all the colors and shapes in paintings,” suggests Barbara Allisen, educator and founder of 1 2 3 Kindergarten, an online resource for early childhood development. “Take along a little sketchpad and draw some interesting lines. Sculptures have lines and shapes that may capture kids’ attention.”

Primarily, find ways to pique your child’s interests with each activity you choose. “All too soon, your children will be older and will scorn having to do anything with parents or other adults,” says Allisen. “Having a routine for educational opportunities is key. Your routine is like a treasure map and the time you spend with your kids having fun is a treasure that will last a lifetime and beyond.”

100 Tips for Parents of Multiples

twins1Managing multiples? No problem. With this list of 100 of the best parenting tips for moms of multiples, you’re bound to find a plethora of new tricks that make life easier.

Stocking a Nursery

Two of everything or just one? When it comes to caring for your babies what do you need to double up on and what can you live without?  Check out these tips for stocking a nursery for two.

  • The Twin Source suggests having a twin bed or loveseat to rest on after you feed the babies.
  • You’ll need about 1 ½ times as many clothing items since the babies can share clothing, blankets and more. Check out the shopping list on Talk About Twins.
  • One baby monitor is all that you need as long as you keep both babies in the same nursery, recommends Stuff for Multiples.
  • According to Bella Online, one large clothes hamper is a necessity since the baby-sized ones will be too small to deal with all of the dirty clothes.
  • Buying diapers and other things in bulk will be cheaper and save you time shopping, indicates Baby Zone.
  • Don’t forget to ask friends and family that are getting rid of baby furniture and supplies to see if you can buy or borrow stuff, suggests Twin Pregnancy and Beyond.
  • Raising Twins recommends investing in two bouncy seats that you can use for relaxing, feeding and other times when you need to put the babies down.
  • One swing will probably be sufficient since you can rotate the babies through different toys like the swing, floor gym and the bouncy seat, explains Live Strong.
  • You only need one changing table unless your home is larger than 2000 square feet; then you may benefit from having a second one in the family room, according to Pregnancy and Baby.
  • Stock up on items like baby ointment, breastfeeding supplies and bottles and diapers so you won’t have to run to the store all the time with twins, says Mammamoiselle.

Baby Gear and Clothes

Shopping for the perfect double stroller? Looking for coordinated clothing? Check out these tips for what you need, what you don’t and where you can find things specifically geared towards moms of multiples.

  • Contrary to popular belief, you do not need multiples of everything, explains Blog Her.
  • Find adorable clothing meant for twins on Just Multiples.
  • From shirts to pacifiers, you can find funny twin apparel at Trends in Twos.
  • You can buy matching clothes for twins with one boy and one girl on Best Dressed Child, whether it’s a coordinating dress for her and pants for him or the same outfit in pink and blue.
  • Twin clothes for all ages are available on Just 4 Twins, so you can match your kids from infants to teens if you want.
  • You’ll find humorous twin-inspired clothing on Zazzle.
  • Cradle to Kindergarten has coordinating clothes for the babies and for big brother or sister so everyone can match.
  • You will definitely need a double stroller when your twins arrive. Take a look at the double stroller reviews on iVillage to decide on the best one for your family.
  • Things like brag books, bibs, car signs, bags and more are available on Twin Stuff.
  • There are many types of baby slings on the market, and you can read what real moms had to say about the pros and cons of some of the different carriers on Mothering.


Milk for two? Whether your breastfeeding or bottle feeding, there’s plenty of tips that can help moms of multiples manage. Check out these 10 tips on how to make feeding multiples easier.

  • When you start out, breastfeed each baby separately for a few days to learn her style of suckling, then use a breast feeding pillow to feed both babies at once, says Parents.
  • A relatively new product called Table for Two allows you to strap the babies in side-by-side so that you can rest your arms while simultaneously bottle feeding two babies.
  • Try the double football hold when you are breastfeeding both babies at the same time.  According to Baby Center, this is a time saver.
  • It’s important to feed both babies at the same time, even if it means you have to wake up one child. You just won’t have enough time in your day if you don’t, says Healthy Children.
  • Breastfeeding premature babies has special benefits, according to Mayo Clinic.
  • Try using a twin nursing pillow if you want to try nursing both babies at the same time, suggests Voices.
  • When your twins are young they will need to feed every three hours but won’t nurse for that long; as their tummies grow, they will eat more and spread out the feedings, says Oh Baby Magazine.
  • Set realistic expectations for yourself for the first four months. According to Health US News, you are responsible for nursing the babies, feeding yourself a healthy diet and getting enough rest.
  • Feed both babies at the same time and keep track of which foods each baby has tried and how much he ate. What to Expect says not to worry if one baby is a better eater at the beginning.
  • Use the same spoon and the same jar of food to feed both babies so that it’s simpler on you, recommends Everyday Family.


Trying to keep those cuties clean? Check out these tips for getting your babies clean without throwing out your back in the process.

  • Bathing twins at the same time in the same tub is recommended as long as you have a seat for them so they can safely stay above water, says Circle of Moms.
  • Dads can definitely help during bath time. Read Dad’s Guide to Twins to prepare yourself before putting the babies in the bathtub.
  • Try bathing your twins in a double sink with Bumbo seats so that you can save some wear and tear on your back, suggests Molly Piper.
  • During bath time make sure the room is warm, but the water is not too warm, warns Twinversity. Suggested temperature for the room is 75 degrees while the water should be 102 degrees.
  • Get your babies goggles or visors to keep the water out of their face while you are rinsing out the soap, suggests Twin Parenthood.
  • You may wish to bathe the twins separately until they are sitting up well on their own so that you don’t risk one slipping into the water when you are busy with the other, says Twins Mum Plus One.
  • If your twins are too big for the sink but not big enough for the full-size tub, you might try something like the Stokke Flexi Bath, recommends Crazy with Twins.
  • When infants are young you only need to bathe them every few days, otherwise their skin will get dry, says Essential Baby.
  • If you want to bathe both babies at the same time, you may want to try this incline seat by Argos that suction cups to the tub, suggests My Little Twins.
  • Get it Together recommends leaving a bath station up for the first several months and washing the babies in an assembly line fashion.


Choosing childcare? Check out these tips for choosing the right childcare provider for your twins.

  • You should think about the pros and cons of putting your twins in the same class or in different classes, says Zero to Three.
  • Twins UK gives you potential things to consider and a list of questions to ask when interviewing caregivers.
  • Make sure that any childcare facility that you are considering is accredited through the National Association for the Education of Young Children.
  • If you are considering hiring a nanny to care for your twins, be sure to get a background check done on any potential candidates at eNannySource.
  • Check out Nanny Pro if you are looking for a nanny to come into your home and take care of your twins. You may find that it’s less expensive to have a nanny than it is to put the twins in daycare.
  • According to Web MD, you should start researching your options now if you are planning to go back to work after your twins are born.
  • There are added expenses and side effects of putting your twins into separate classes, explains How Do You Do It.
  • There is no hard and fast rule about separating multiples in school. According to Twins List, this decision should be made on a case-by-case basis.
  • Parent Dish refers to a study that appeared in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health that concluded that it doesn’t matter whether or not multiples are together or separate, they end up testing the same.
  • There are many ways you can save money on childcare, explains Learn Vest, like taking a tax break, paying for childcare pre-tax with a Flex Spending account and more.


Feeling sleep deprived? While twins give you double of almost everything, unfortunately sleep isn’t included. Check out these tips to help you sleep more when you’re caring for your babies.

  • Co-sleeping with multiples or singletons can be challenging, and according to Baby Sleep Site, there are safer ways to do it that may allow you to get more sleep.
  • The blogger from Moving Through Life relays her success with putting her twins in the same crib, even though it is not recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
  • There’s an increased risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) in babies that co-sleep with a parent or another infant if less than three months old, explains AAP guidelines.
  • One of the most important things you can do for your babies and yourself is to get into a routine, urges Momtastic.
  • The NHS in the UK believes that it is acceptable to put twins or even triplets to sleep in one crib, but there is a specific way to keep them safe.
  • Use white noise in the nursery to give the babies some background noise while they sleep, suggests Rookie Moms.
  • You may need to sleep train the twins in separate rooms until they get the hang of it, reports I Saw Your Nanny.
  • If weather permits, take the twins outside for a walk every day to let them get some fresh air; this may help them sleep longer at night, advises Geolina.
  • Consistency is the key to any sleep training that you try to do with your twins, explains The Twin Source.
  • Lay your twins down when they are drowsy but still awake so that they learn to go to sleep in their bed, recommends Twin Parenthood.

Parenting Advice

Does fair really mean equal? Wondering how to navigate disciplining your twins? Read on.

  • Fairness is not the same as equality, which is an important lesson to teach multiples, recommends She Knows. Take care of each child’s needs instead of wants.
  • Whether its twins, triplets or more, you need to spend 20 minutes a day with each child one-on-one to assure healthy development, according to Aha Parenting.
  • Ask for help and accept help when it is offered, advises The Twin Coach.
  • Be prepared for your babies to potentially have to spend at least some time in the NICU, says Pajiba.
  • Get out of the house at least once a day no matter how hard it seems, even if you just walk around the block. Doing so can improve everyone’s mood, advises Kido Info.
  • Focus on enjoying the journey with your twins and don’t make it into a chore, suggests the Wall Street Journal.
  • You’ll find lots of advice on Babble, like how you need to have a sense of humor when parenting twins because it’s going to be chaotic.
  • Twins do not always do everything at the same time, so be prepared for them to develop at different rates, advises Times Union.
  • The Super Nanny recommends that you reward good behavior.
  • Treat your twins as individuals, suggests Bellingham Herald.

Support Groups

Got support? You’re going to need it. Check out these tips for connecting with other moms of multiples that can share in your daily joys and troubles of raising two.

  • Find a parent support group where you can get together with other parents that understand what you are going through, suggests North Virginia Parents of Multiples.
  • Find family support forums on this site called MOST (Mothers of Super Twins) where you can ask questions of other moms who have been through the same struggles.
  • Multiples of America not only provides support, but also the latest research that involves twins and much more.
  • Join Magnificent Multiples, an online Facebook support group where you can ask a question to the group and whoever is on can respond.
  • Read about product reviews, hot topics and more that relates to multiples, and gain support from other parents in the group, says Big Tent.
  • Read the personal stories of other mothers of multiples and share your own journey to support others on Experience Project.
  • KUMC will give you the details and contact information for many national and international support groups for parents of multiples.
  • Twins by the Bay is an active group in the Oakland, Berkley and surrounding areas that support each other on the twins’ journey.
  • Moms of Multiples is a support group in the Chicago area that meets once a month to share stories, ideas and more.
  • Fertile Thoughts is an online support group for those women that are pregnant with multiples and need questions answered.

Financial Challenges

How much does it cost to raise twins? Too much! Check out these tips to help you be fiscally savvy while raising your brood.

  • Contact federal agencies or other support groups in the area if you have a child or children with special needs to see if you can receive financial help, suggests Healthy Canadians.
  • If you live in Durham Region you can contact Durham Parents of Multiples to receive emotional and financial support for your multiples.
  • Twin Services suggests that you look at all of the information when deciding whether mom should go back to work, including hidden costs of stress on the family.
  • Plan ahead when you make big purchases to make sure that furniture can grow with the twins and that it will work for both kids, says Savannah Daily News.
  • Money CNN explains how parents of multiples need to look further out in their expenses, make plans for multiple children and cut back on luxuries now.
  • For every additional child in a multiple birth the costs triple, according to One at a Time.
  • Learn how to apply for a grant to help offset the financial burden of having twins, triplets or more at eHow.
  • Twin Stuff Outreach helps raise money for organizations that help twins and provides other support.
  • Twins World is a non-profit that raises money in many different ways to help the parents of twins, triplets and more.
  • Mother Nature Network explains that if you have twins and you already have another child you may need to invest in a larger vehicle.

Tips & Tricks for Managing Multiples

Who knew color coding bottles with a hairband would make bottle feeding easier? Practical tips and tricks for raising multiples are coming your way below.

  • Keep a diary of each baby’s feedings, wet and dirty diapers, moods and more, suggests Working Through It.
  • Utilize help where you can and make sure that you take time out for yourself to get a nap, take a hot bath or go for a walk, urges Twins and Multiples.
  • Checklist Mommy suggests color coding your kids to keep track of who they are and what belongs to them.
  • Take depression seriously, both before and after birthing your twins, advises Market Watch.
  • Avoid giving the twins rhyming names or names that sound alike and don’t dress them alike either, recommends Family Doctor.
  • You can’t care for your twins alone. Ask for help, suggests Parent Map.
  • Try to use pacifiers with the twins if they are fussy. According to AAP, they have been shown to help reduce the chance of SIDS. This advice and more is available on The Essential Infant Resource for Moms.
  • Morning sickness may be worse with twins because of higher HCG levels, says Pea in the Podcast.
  • Even though you are exhausted and don’t have much spare time, it’s important to make time to meet new friends that have multiples so that you can share experiences, recommends Pediatrician Mom of Twins.
  • Creative Baby Nursery Rooms has tons of suggestions on how to decorate the perfect nursery for twins.

Should You Tip Your Nanny? How Much? How Often?

tippingEveryone’s seen the commercial of the couple returning from a romantic night out to their moustache’d daughter greeting them in French, pastels and a tinfoil Eiffel Tower to boot. They look on lovingly while tapping out a quick “Merci” and electronic tip to their caregiver. Charming, n’est-ce pas?

However, the world of gratuities can be a murky place to wade into when you are in a full-time nanny/employer relationship. Here are a few things to consider before lightening that wallet.

Household Duties

Unless it is part of your employment agreement or a stated element of the job when hiring, nannies are generally not expected to act as housekeepers. However, sometimes things might be particularly busy at work, or you might have days where you leave in a rush without leaving so much as clean spoon for the nanny to use. If this is an occasional thing and she is helping you out in a bind, a tip will be appreciated. If you have a tight budget and you’re not interested in encouraging an ongoing additional financial mini-hit – and don’t want to reach that awkward point where she does the work unasked for and you decline to acknowledge it with a tip – thank her with the tip and apologize/assure her it was a one-time occurrence.

If the extra hand around the house is welcome and you just hadn’t wanted to turn her off or presume she would be up for it during the delicate nanny hiring process, sit down with your nanny and work out the details of what and when things should be done and come to an agreeable rate. If you have a nanny, you should be legally paying her for her service and you don’t want to run afoul of any tax laws by appearing to be paying partially under the table if the duties become standard. There also might be financial benefits within the tax deduction realm you don’t want to miss by paying out more than you claim.

How Much?

This is subjective, to some degree, but you don’t want your tip to backfire and appear unappreciative. If it’s just an occasional act of her having to take the initiative to pluck the dead leaves and water the houseplants or take your child to the further away park that has the “good slide”, you might consider a small token of appreciation, such as picking up the nanny’s favorite muffin or magazine. If the extra touch is truly nominal (worthy of $2-3), but regularly occurring – if she regularly makes your older child’s lunch for the following day – and you want to acknowledge it, consider adding a little extra bonus to the end of the week.

A day involving any sort of illness with the kids is grounds for a bonus. The worse the sickness, the bigger the tip, including some thought as to whether extra laundry was involved and the likelihood that she might have put her own health at risk in caring for your child. A day covering you as chaperone to a field trip or if a little friend needs to be supervised during a pre-planned hour and a half playdate (in both cases, with her preapproval) could be worth an extra $20. A stop at the market for the shopping your late meeting won’t allow or shifting the furniture to vacuum the entire floor instead of just the area around the play table and highchair might be worth an extra $10.

A teething baby, an inadvertent spill that required a carpet shampoo effort, an assisted homemade birthday card in your honor, your preschooler reporting back that nanny crawled to the top of the tubes course 27 times – these are all judgment calls, but remember the goal is to keep these gem caretakers happy (and in your home!).

How often?

An occasional tip is great. It shows you recognize your nanny for the value she brings to your family and your child’s happiness with her willingness to go above and beyond. But it can become awkward when it starts to feel less voluntary and more like an obligation, so tipping every few weeks (when applicable) is a nice timeframe to avoid setting any expectations.

If your nanny is doing so many wonderful things on a consistent basis that you find yourself regularly reaching for your wallet with a smile, it may be time to set a higher standard on both sides. Thank her for her proactive services and let her know the many thoughtful things she does are noted and deserve to be acknowledged in a more formal way by giving her a raise. If your budget is too tight to create a worthy jump in pay, consider adding in some perks, like adding your nanny to your family’s health club membership, to add value to her compensation. Including a handwritten note mentioning a few of her little actions and what they mean in a card, along with the raise, will encourage loyalty and ensure she feels appreciated and knows how important she is to your family.

20 Reasons Kids Benefit from Nanny Care

nannycareWhen both parents work and are forced to find competent care for their children, it becomes necessary to not only make the appropriate arrangements but also to decide between center-based care and the attentions of a private, in-home childcare provider to determine which is best for your family as a whole. Before you pick up the phone to enroll your bundle of joy in the nearest daycare center, take the time to consider the impact of these 20 benefits nanny care has on kids.

  • Individual Attention – Provider to child ratios in daycare can’t beat those that come with nanny care. When a provider is responsible for a room full of kids, yours may not be receiving the amount of individual attention they need and you desire. Because a nanny is responsible only for your children, it’s easier for her to ensure that they’re getting plenty of personalized and attentive care.
  • Closer Supervision – When there are four adults looking after 20 children in a room, there’s bound to be a bit of a lapse in supervision from time to time. A nanny is able to watch kids more carefully and she’s never assuming that someone else is watching the kids.
  • Caregiver Bonding – High turnover rates, room graduations and other changes at a daycare center can make it difficult for your child to bond with his caregiver. Being looked after by one nanny, however, allows him plenty of time to form bonds and learn to trust his nanny.
  • Routine and Reliability – Kids thrive under a reliable routine, which is something a nanny can provide in a way that large, hectic daycare centers simply can’t compete with.
  • Low-Stress Care Transition – Taking your child to daycare means waking him up early, rushing him to get ready and taking him out into the elements. When you pick him up, he’s stuck in traffic alongside you when he’s tired, hungry and ready to be home. Working with a nanny, however, allows you to simply leave in the morning and return in the evening, sparing your child the stress of a commute.
  • Familiar Settings – Being able to spend the day in his own home, with his own toys and comfort objects, spares your child from the uncertainty and anxiety that can come when he’s left in a loud, unfamiliar one at a daycare center.
  • Lower Germ Exposure – Kids who are cared for by a nanny may pick up the occasional cold through play dates, but they’re not consistently exposed to the same level of germs that they’d encounter in a daycare center.
  • Education and Certifications – When you choose a nanny for your child, you’re in control of ensuring that she has the certifications and education level that you want for your little one. In a daycare center setting, you’re essentially stuck with the people the administrators have chosen to hire.
  • Sick Child Care – You will not be able to leave a sick child at daycare, which means that days when he’s sick can be even more stressful for your child as you scramble for alternatives. A nanny, however, will generally provide sick child services, maintaining the routine he’s used to at a time when he’s uncomfortable and unhappy.
  • Development at Her Own Schedule – Your child may be forced to give up a favorite comfort object, make the transition to solid food or start potty training before she’s ready to at a daycare center with strict policies. Because you will be able to control the timeline through your nanny, your child will be able to develop at her own pace under a nanny’s care.
  • Consistent Rules and Guidance – Daycare center workers quit or move to other rooms, and each childcare provider is different in such a setting. That means that your child may not be exposed to clear and consistent boundaries, or that she may be expected to follow rules far different from those you would choose for her. That’s not the case with a nanny, who will work with you to develop a plan and stick to it for the sake of consistency.
  • Limiting Exposure to Questionable Influences – You can choose the daycare center your children attend, but you can’t choose the peers that they’ll encounter there or the providers who will be looking after them. When your child is looked after by a nanny, you know that she’s not being exposed to questionable influences.
  • More Financial Security – When parents are less stressed, it affects kids in very real ways. Daycare can actually be more expensive than nanny care when you have more than one child needing care, which can leave the family strapped for cash and can negatively affect the kids.
  • Easier Parental Oversight – The amount of control you have over the practices of a daycare is limited, which is not the case when you hire a nanny. Your kids will benefit from your ability to control their care experience, rather than being subjected to the whims of daycare workers and administrators.
  • Specialized Skill Sets and Training – If you want your children to learn French while they’re being watched by a nanny, you can hire a bilingual nanny. Budding musicians can take lessons from a nanny who’s musically inclined. There are a variety of specialized skill sets available through nanny care, which is almost never the case at even the best daycare centers.
  • Sibling Bonding – Unless your children are very close in age, there’s a good chance that they’ll be separated into different groups at daycare. When they’re home all day with a nanny, they’re also spending time with one another and bonding in a way that might be more difficult if they were in separate rooms at a daycare center.
  • Milestone Assistance – A private, in-home childcare provider can help your little one reach important milestones like talking, walking or potty training on a level that simply can’t be replicated in a boisterous, hectic daycare center.
  • Controlled Socialization – When your nanny takes your child on play dates, you know who he’s spending time with and can ensure that your nanny is looking for signs of over-stimulation. At a daycare center, he will be constantly surrounded by dozens of other children, with no way to remove himself from an over-stimulating situation.
  • Special Needs Care – Kids with special needs require more attention than even the best daycare center can provide. That’s one of the areas where specially trained nannies shine, ensuring that your child is looked after in just the way she needs to thrive.
  • Allergen and Food Sensitivity Awareness – When there are dozens of kids to feed, concerns about allergy information can fall to the wayside or be disregarded. If one food allergy isn’t properly communicated, your child could be affected. A nanny who cares for your child every day, however, knows what foods and triggers are off limits and how to manage allergies or sensitivities.

Why Kids Cheat and How to Deal With It

cheatingFrom peeking at someone else’s cards during a game of “Go Fish!” to copying answers on a test as an adolescent, the stark reality is that some children cheat. Everything from peer pressure and fear to the available means to take the easy way out, along with a variety of other factors, can cause children to cheat.

“In some cases, children cheat because they can,” says Dr. Rick Capaldi, California-based psychologist and co-founder of Outreach Concern, a non-profit school-based counseling agency. “Children are going to cheat because it’s an easier alternative then to invest time and effort, such as studying for exams or doing homework. It’s easier to cheat to be successful,” he says.

Uncovering the causes and the reasoning behind these actions is the first step to eliminate cheating all together, at home or at school.

Why Do Kids Cheat?

A young child is often told that cheating is wrong, but many adults don’t understand that kids don’t always know how to define cheating. Is it stealing? Is borrowing ok? Offering a clear definition of what cheating consists of can help clear up any confusion.

According to Lisa Share, coordinator for the early childhood education programs at Walden University, cheating can include copying from a classmate, pulling information directly from the Internet and passing it off as your own, allowing someone else to complete the work or looking at resources that are restricted during test and homework time. Provide your kids with examples to help them define cheating.

Kids cheat in the way they play, too, says Capaldi. “Whether it’s at sports or friendly games of competition, they want to win,” he says. “Ironically, they also cheat at relationships, something they carry with them well into their adult years.”

What prompts kids to cheat can vary, says Share. Older children, especially, may cheat for many of the following reasons:

  • Disengaged with the curriculum or teacher
  • Lack of time due to after school activities
  • Fearful of the stakes attached to doing poorly
  • Receiving pressure from family or teachers
  • Peer pressure
  • Exhaustion or poor sleep habits
  • Enjoyment of the challenge
  • Self-pressure to do well

Self-pressure is one of the most common reasons why pre-teens and teens succumb to cheating, says Ben Bernstein, California-based psychologist and author of “A Teen’s Guide to Success and Test Success.” Teens are under a lot of pressure from parents, peers, teachers and society to succeed, he says. “Pressure brings on anxiety and they are anxious that they will fail, they won’t get into a good college or that their elders will be angry if they get less-than-stellar grades,” he says. “Cheating is a shortcut – a quick, pressure-release valve.”

How to Derail Cheating

When your child is caught cheating, it’s important to take a hands-on, direct approach to change the behavior and help him or her understand the significance of the action. How you approach the situation, though, is crucial, says Debbey Thomas, coordinator of the Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership at Walden University. “It is my recommendation for parents not to holler, scream, spank or harshly chastise students who cheat,” she says. “Parents should first take time to sit down with their child to find out if there was not enough time to study, if the material was too hard, or if they were just goofing off.”

Outline and enforce consequences for cheating, too. “This should be something that matters to the child,” says Bernstein, “such as the loss of computer privileges, curtailing social activities or stopping a weekly allowance.”

Once your child and you have absorbed what has happened and the consequences, have a discussion about why your child chose to cheat. “Talk about the pressures and the anxiety she may be experiencing,” says Bernstein. “Cheating is not acceptable but the reasons for it need to be understood and addressed so that in the future your child can deal with the pressure and anxiety differently.”

To deter cheating, serve as the example, too. Cheating begins at home, says Cipaldi. “Parents, guardians and family influencers need to instill good values in their children; stressing the fact that winning is not as important as fair play and good sportsmanship,” he says. “Succeeding inside and outside of school is done by putting in the footwork, whether its practice at a sport or game or getting good grades by investing time in studying and doing homework.”

It’s imperative that parents instill in their children the real value of achieving success through good old-fashioned hard work, says Cipaldi.

100 of the Best Blogs to Turn to for Parenting Advice

blogsparentFinding out you’re pregnant is an exciting time, but it’s also a scary one, especially if it’s your first time. You don’t know what to expect or how to become the type of parent who inherently knows what to do. Put those fears at bay, though, because there are no perfect parents. In fact, most parents figure things out through good old fashioned trial and error and gut instinct. Additionally, the internet has made it a little bit easier to figure out what to do in times of uncertainty, and we’ve handpicked these 100 blogs that are packed with tips and tricks for navigating through the somewhat murky waters of parenting so that you can breathe a little easier during each phase of life.


Doctors will tell you that no two pregnancies are exactly alike, even with the same woman. However, many women experience similar things during pregnancy, which can help you get a general idea of what to expect. These 10 blogs will guide you through different common pregnancy occurrences, and help you have the best pregnancy experience possible.

  • Fit Pregnancy—Moderate exercise throughout pregnancy can help you have a smoother delivery.
  • Smart Parenting Advice—You’ll find a list of common pregnancy symptoms on this site and more.
  • Be a Perfect Parent—You can avoid leg cramps while sleeping by staying hydrated, stretching before bed and eating potassium-rich food.
  • iVillage—Learn how to properly install and put your newborn in a car seat.
  • Pregnancy—Learn some of the symptoms of pregnancy and what you can do about them.
  • Health—Find out whether all of the advice that you are being given is fact or myth.
  • Healthy Women—Read this list of pregnancy do’s and don’ts, like what you should and shouldn’t eat while you’re pregnant.
  • Mayo Clinic—Take a look at the week-by-week description of what you can expect while pregnant.
  • Baby Center—Dealing with restless leg syndrome while you are pregnant is uncomfortable; learn how to treat it here.
  • Modern Mom—Find a list of things that you need to do once you find out your pregnant, as well as tips for a first time pregnancy.

Infants (0 to 14 months)

Once you give birth you are probably going to experience a myriad of emotions, and you’ll likely be feeling overwhelmed and nervous about the large responsibility you suddenly have tasked to you as you care for your little one. You’ll also find that people won’t hesitate to give you advice about what you should and shouldn’t be doing, and it can be hard to determine which advice to follow and which to discard. That’s where these blogs will come in handy. Whatever you’re experiencing with your little one has likely happened to someone else who has posted about it. Check out these 10 blogs to navigate through any uncertainties you face during your first year.

  • Kids Health—This article offers helpful tips for newborn care.
  • La Leche League—Any questions you may have about breast feeding can be answered with the help of this site.
  • Healthy Children—Infants will quickly develop their own personalities and way of communicating, so read this article to find out what you should know.
  • The Bump—Tips for soothing a sick baby are covered on this site, along with many other topics that you may find interesting.
  • Fisher-Price—On this site you can find out what toys are appropriate for your child during different stages.
  • Ask Dr. Sears—This well-known doctor has written several books on caring for children and has a website that is full of information.
  • Infant Sleep—For answers to any and all questions you have regarding your infant’s sleep patterns, look no further than this site.
  • Parent Savvy—Find out how to properly diaper your baby here.
  • New Parent—Learn recipes for making your own baby food and find out how to give your baby a bath.
  • Child Development Institute—You will get a lot of unsolicited advice as a new parent, and this article will help you know how to handle it.

Toddlers (14 to 36 months)

The toddler years can be a roller coaster of emotions. Your little one is beginning to spread his wings and test his boundaries. It’s your job to let him grow and learn, but also keep him safe in the process. Toddlers are also prone to tantrums because they don’t yet know how to properly verbalize their feelings and frustrations. It’s imperative that you know how to deal with these tantrums as they arise. Check out the advice in these blogs to learn what to expect throughout the toddler years and how to handle issues that may come up.

  • Aha Parenting—The Terrific Two’s Stage is discussed in this post, and you’ll find suggestions about how to cope with some of the challenges you may face during this time.
  • CDC—The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has information to help you through all the stages of development.
  • Kid Spot—Read about disciplining tips for your toddler here.
  • Parenting My Toddler—Tons of toddler advice is available on this site, including this article about picky eaters.
  • ABC—Learn the ABC’s of parenting on this site by reading articles like this one that cover toddler behavior and what you can do.
  • Disney Family—You can find a lot of articles about toddlers and their tendencies here.
  • Everyday Family—Having a bedtime routine for your toddler will set him up for success and reduce your stress when it’s time for bed.
  • Family Education—Take note of these 10 tips for dealing with toddler tantrums in a way that ensures both you and your child stay calm.
  • Baby Zone—Start your toddler on these eight chores that he can do around the house.
  • Focus on the Family—Read this article about potty training your toddler and see if he is ready to get out of diapers.

Preschoolers (3 to 5 years)

Every stage has its fair share of challenges. While each child is different, the preschool stage is one that is marked by curiosity. You may get a lot of ‘why’ questions at this stage. Some questions you will be able to answer and others you may not know how to respond to. Don’t feel like you have to know everything just because you are the adult. Showing your preschooler how to look up answers to questions is an important skill to share. Advice for raising your preschooler can be found in these 10 blog posts.

  • Get Ready to Read—Follow these tips for preparing your preschooler to start learning how to read.
  • Scholastic—Prepare your child to attend preschool by implementing the tips covered in this article.
  • Today—Learn tips for picking the best preschool for your child by reading this post.
  • Parent Further—Prepare your preschooler for school by planning ahead for things they will encounter, as discussed in this article.
  • Empowering Parents—What to expect when you put your child in preschool and what questions you need to be prepared to answer are discussed in this entry.
  • Building Blocks—This site emphasizes the importance of communication with your child.
  • PBS Parents—As a broadcaster of children’s programming, PBS (Public Broadcasting System) stays up to date on the latest information for children.
  • The Hanen Centre—Read this important article on the affects watching TV may have on your preschooler.
  • Ask Dr. G.—There are a series of video clips on this site where the doctor answers tough questions that you might be faced with from your child.
  • Nick Jr.—This site has games and activities available for your kids to play.

Elementary (5 to 9 years)

Be prepared to enter a whole new chapter of life as your little one prepares to start school. This period can be emotionally difficult for many parents, as well as scary for your child. Reading tips and advice ahead of time can help you prepare for any problems you may encounter as they arise. Listen to your child, even if it seems like he never stops talking, and check in with him often to make sure he isn’t being bullied or having any problems in school. You’ll find advice for coping with your child going to school and any problems he may face in these 10 blogs.

  • Kid Pointz—How do you handle backtalk? The answer can be found on this site, along with many other parenting tips.
  • Modern Parents—Read these 10 tips about elementary aged kids and learn why it’s important to listen to your child at this age.
  • Social Moms—Praise your elementary student more than you correct him.
  • Quick and Dirty Tips—Teach kids about diversity by talking about different cultures and trying foods from different countries.
  • Tree Hugger—Learn why first born children often perform better than their younger siblings.
  • Our Feminist Playschool—Read these tips for helping your child avoid bullying.
  • Veria Living—Getting kids to unplug can be difficult; you’ll find tips for finding a balance with electronics in this article.
  • Challies—Read this blog written from a dad’s point of view to encourage you to do certain things with your child, like going on dates with your child and praying nightly.
  • Positive Parenting Connection—Learn how capable elementary aged kids are and make sure that you help yours embrace this age of exploration.
  • ABC News Radio Online—Find out how you can stop yelling and discipline in a better way.

Tweens (10 to 12 years)

The tween years are an exciting and challenging time in your child’s life. As she enters this stage, it’s likely that she’ll start to pull away from you a little bit. She’s also probably discovering who she is, defining her own style and becoming more interested in her looks. Try to keep the lines of communication open by spending one-on-one time with your tween. During this period of development she’ll encounter significant physical and emotional changes. These 10 blog articles will educate you on what you may experience and try to give you advice for dealing with any issues that arise.

  • Dr. Michelle Borba—You’ll find advice on teaching your child how to make and keep friendships strong in this article.
  • Care2—Read these 16 tips to avoid drama in parenting tweens.
  • Talk with Your Kids—Find articles about all sorts of difficult conversations that you may need to have with your tween.
  • She Knows Parenting—Because of an increase in publicity regarding the subject, bullying has become a hot topic in schools. Read what you can do about bullying and your child.
  • Babble—Read about how the First Lady handles raising tweens in the White House and how she tells her girls to deal with the ugliness of people and politics.
  • Psych Central—Parenting kids with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) can be challenging, especially during the tween years. Learn how to help your child deal with the pressure.
  • U Know Kids—As a parent it is important that you read this article about cyber bullying and keep an eye on your tween as she becomes more involved in social media online and on her cell phone.
  • Chicago Tribune Lifestyles—Find out what to do when your tween begins exerting her individuality.
  • The Wellness Almanac—You may want to read this article if you are thinking about getting your tween a smart phone.
  • Parenting—Tweens can be rude, so read this article to find advice on how to handle rude tween behavior.

Teens (13-16 years)

The teen years are often given a bad rap; however, you can circumvent some of this by keeping the lines of communication open and having a mutual respect with your child. Your child is simply growing up, and as a parent you have to come to terms with that and figure out how you’re going to help. Surprisingly, many teens still want you to set boundaries for them – they just also want your trust. You can find advice on what to do if your teen goes off course in these 10 blogs.

  • Suite 101—Family chore charts may seem like an unusual teen topic, but having one may help reduce any drama when getting your teen to help around the house.
  • Planning with Kids—Learn the importance of listening to your teen and talking so that he will listen to you.
  • Money MSN—Learn about what you should and shouldn’t tell your teen driver as he begins to learn how to drive.
  • The Herald—This article is full of advice for the parents of teens.
  • Parenting Five—What do you do if your child is caught shoplifting? Read this article to find out.
  • Good-Enough Parenting—Find out everything you need to know about feeding teens here.
  • Dr. Barbara Greenberg—Read the advice that teens found most helpful so that you can make sure you give the same advice to your kids.
  • Earnest Parenting—Implement these five tips for raising a teenage boy.
  • Expert Beacon—Teenage drinking is a serious issue and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly; read these Do’s and Don’ts of teen drinking.
  • Crosswalk—Dating is a hot topic during the teen years, and what you need to say and do is covered in this article.


Your role as a parent becomes a little murkier when your child leaves home to go off to college. During this stage you become more of an advisor, and it’s important to let your child learn to live on his own. Your child may call and lean on you a lot as he goes through this transition period, but it’s important that you also encourage him to make his own decisions. Try to limit calls to once a week, not five times a day. While you may be missing your child and love hearing that he still needs you, it’s important that he learns how to live on his own. Otherwise he may never leave the nest. Parents that have gone through what you are going through have posted advice in these 10 blogs, so read on for some helpful insight.

  • The Choice Blog—Learn tips for raising college students in the digital age and how you can correspond with your college student.
  • Parenting-Blog—Read tips for preparing yourself if your college student decides to study abroad.
  • The Talent Code—If you have a college athlete try to avoid coaching him, and definitely don’t critique his playing right after the game; the best thing you can say is that you love to watch him play.
  • Thrifty Fun—These tips are advice from real college parents that have been through this period already.
  • Ground Control Parenting—Help your college student build a resume and find a job using this advice.
  • College Financial Aid Advisors—Use this article to help your child find scholarships and other financial aid.
  • Parent Hub—Learn how to parent a college student with the advice given in this blog post.
  • Trans4Mind—Don’t smother your college student. Try to set a weekly time when you will call and catch up, but otherwise your student should be dealing with issues on his own.
  • The Kid’s Doctor—Find out what to do when your college student gets sick here.
  • College Parent Central—Make a shift in your role with your child from parent to coach. Encourage him and answer questions, but don’t try to run his life.


Bullying is a hot button issue right now, especially with the many student deaths that have been blamed on bullying. In these 10 blogs you can learn what signs to look for to know if your child is being bullied or if your child is a bully. There is also advice on how to make your child strong enough to reduce her chances of being bullied. The important thing about bullying is to be sure that you don’t ignore it because it may escalate and do more damage.

  • Really, Are You Serious?—Learn how to give your child what she needs to walk away from a bully.
  • Bullying UK—Check out the numerous articles about bullying and read the advice regarding what you should do as a parent and what you should advise your child to do.
  • Becky Danielson—Read some tips on how to handle your child if you think she’s the bully.
  • Children’s Medical Center—Check out the warning signs that your child may be being bullied at school.
  • Dr. Karen Ruskin & Associates—Read how you can stop bullying and figure out what you should be looking for if your child is a bully.
  • Motherhood Moment—As a parent you need to be the soft place for your child to come to when things go wrong. Don’t be the bully at home.
  • Parent Society—Learn the warning signs to see if your child is at risk of being bullied or if your child might become a bully.
  • Raising Redheads—Listen to your child and let her explain things at her own pace. Make sure you try to get the whole story in case you need to document it.
  • We’re Just Parents—Let your child know what she should do if someone is bullying her.
  • Parent Dish—This article gives you signs to look for to know if your child is being bullied and how you can talk to your child about it.

Confidence Building

Every parent wants her child to be confident, but how do you help your child gain confidence? From a young age you can affect how confident your child becomes. Teach her the ways to do something, then step back and let her do it. When you hover you are sending the silent message to your child that you don’t think she can succeed without you. Make sure that you give praise to your child when she has done something great, but don’t go overboard. Too much of anything makes it lose its specialness. Read through the advice in these 10 blogs to see how you can help your child become a confident person.

  • Multiple Mayhem Mama—Read the ideas on this post about teaching your kids to cook to increase their confidence.
  • CBN—Determine whether you are raising a confident kid or if you hover too much.
  • Oh You Kids—Learn little things you can do to make your child more confident and less fearful.
  • Consistent Parent Advice—Try not to solve your kid’s problems for her.
  • Coach Apparent—Be careful to praise your child when it’s warranted, but don’t over praise.
  • Healthy Living Tips and Advice—Give your child the chance to fail; if you are always coming to the rescue your child may think you have no confidence in her.
  • Peaceful Parents, Confident Kids—This blogger explains her child raising methods according to RIE (Resources for Infant Educarers) as a way to let her kids be problem solvers.
  • Canadian Living—Children that feel accepted and capable are more confident according to this blogger.
  • Sprout Baby—It’s important to appreciate your child in whatever she does to help instill confidence.
  • Parenting Informer— This blogger lists five hobbies that may help your child become more confident.