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Parenting
06/02/2010
IconAwesome Avocado By Cheryl Tallman www.FreshBaby.com Avocados are the most practical "go anywhere, eat anywhere" food. They do not need to be cooked, require no refrigeration, they come with their own carrying case and even have a built-in serving bowl! So next time you and your baby are on the go, drop an avocado and a spoon in your diaper bag and you are all set! Directions: The handiest method for preparing an avocado is to cut the pear-shaped fruit in half length-wise with a sharp knife so that you cut in to and all around the pit; then rotate and pull the two halves apart. Remove the pit. With the knife, gently make a cross-hatch pattern throughout the halved fruit while the skin is attached, then use a spoon to separate the flesh from the shell by scooping the soft, ripe fruit gently. The skin becomes the serving bowl. Yummy, Quick, Sweet treat: Spread some avocado right on a graham cracker. For an older toddler, add a few raisins and make "Ants on the grass"! Age to introduce: About 9 months Here are few quick tips for adding more avocados into your family meals. 1. Avocado pizza: Top a pizza crust with pizza sauce, avocados, tomatoes, red bell peppers, red onions and feta cheese. Broil it. 2. Homemade salsa: Dice tomatoes, mangos, avocados, red onions, cilantro, and lime juice. Serve with chips for an after school snack or use it as a garnish with any meat, fish or eggs. 3. Spread avocado on sandwiches or hamburgers instead of mayo. 4. Add sliced or diced avocados to any salads or soups (when ready to serve). 5. Start the day with mashed avocado and fresh herbs (cilantro, garlic, or basil) on a bagel instead of cream cheese. 6. New twist on deviled eggs: Fill egg white halves with mashed avocados and spices instead of egg yolks and mayo. 7. Avocado milkshake: 1 avocado, 1/3 quart whole or soy milk, 3 tablespoons sugar, 2 scoops of vanilla frozen yogurt - Blend and Drink! About the author: Cheryl Tallman is the co-founder of Fresh Baby, creators of the award-winning So Easy Baby Food Kit, and author of the So Easy Baby Food Basics: Homemade Baby Food in Less Than 30 Minutes Per Week and So Easy Toddler Food: Survival Tips and Simple Recipes for the Toddler Years . Visit Cheryl online at  for more delicious tips.  Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com. More >>

Tags: ChildrenFamily/Relationships - ChildrenHealthMotherhoodMotherhood-FatherhoodParenting
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06/02/2010
IconSocial Media is quickly growing into one of the most-used marketing tools for work-at-home moms. One of the largest social media websites, Twitter.com, can be an effective way to spread the word about your business and learn from other top representatives in your business niche. However, it can take a lot of time to determine the best ways to use Twitter effectively for business.  More >>

Tags: Internet-MediaInternet/MediaMotherhoodMotherhood-FatherhoodParentingSocial MediaStay-at-Home MomTips
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05/27/2010
IconIt IS My Kid's Fault! By Mary Simmons, M.A. Author of Discipline Me Right, with Bert Simmons, M. Ed. www.disciplinemeright.com A few Teen Commandments from Discipline Me Right: "Discipline your child and show responsibility." "Thou shall give us consequences for our negligent or irresponsible behavior." "Hold me responsible for my actions." We live in an enabling age.  That is not a good thing. Many parents make it easy for kids to side-step their responsibilities, but, surprisingly, that is not what kids want. It feels good to take responsibility for one's actions, good or bad. Something inherent in human nature wants what is good and right. As I note in my book,  kids want to be good , which means taking responsibility for their failures and negative actions.  A mother allows her teenaged son to turn off his snooze alarm several times until he has only 15 minutes until the first bell at school.  She finally cajoles him into a quick shower, and as she is driving him to school she phones the attendance office to say it is her fault her son will be late, and he will need a pass when he arrives. He walks into 1st period with no consequences and believes it is all right to inconvenience his mother and the school staff, and to disrupt 1st period, all because he wants to sleep in. Enabling parenting: What does it look like?  Enabling parents make excuses for their children's academic failure and bad behavior. They accept marginal and failing grades without penalty. They ignore sloppy work, tardiness, and cheating. Sometimes they condone or encourage cheating. (Some even do their children's homework for them!) Enabling parents say their child failed, or cheated, or punched another kid in the hallway because he was having "family problems." They take the blame for their kid. The result is kids who can't see past their personal circumstances, blame others for their problems, and avoid challenges because they aren't familiar with the satisfaction of succeeding on their merits. Parents are enablers for a few reasons. They feel guilty.  Stop feeling guilty.  Parents feel guilty for being hostile and angry, for divorce, for drinking too much -- any number of things. Parents often try to make up for something painful that happened earlier in their child's life. You cannot make your child's life perfect. You have to forgive yourself for not being perfect.  Your child is here on earth to learn; don't hinder that process . Clean up your act, tell the truth, hold your child accountable, and encourage him or her to do better. Show your child you believe he or she can accomplish something. They don't respect themselves.  Respect yourself and don't allow disrespect . Enabling parents show appalling signs of disrespect toward themselves. They allow themselves to be manipulated by their children and political correctness ("everybody's equal and never at fault"), and they allow themselves to be deluded about what is true and false when it comes to their children's deeds. As a parent you must respect yourself. That means you  do not allow any disrespect toward yourself . It does not mean that you are arrogant, conceited, or concerned about always being right with your child. It does means that you know you are basically a good person and deserve to be treated well. They're afraid.  Stop being afraid . Your child isn't going to stop loving you. Loving you is hard-wired into their system. In fact, they will love and respect you more if you are a person of integrity and hold them accountable for their actions. That means dishing out consequences for destructive and disrespectful behavior. It means taking away privileges if their grades are low. If you're afraid of conflict, then you'll need to think ahead and formulate a plan, anticipate the conflict and know what you'll do if the argument escalates.  Not being afraid means taking charge and doing what you said you will do if your child misbehaves . Assertive, in-charge, self-respecting parents live by these words: I cannot allow you to do anything that is not in your best interest - or mine.  Mary Simmons  is a teacher, parent, and author. Her father,  Bert Simmons , is an educational consultant in the area of school discipline. Together, with the insights of Mary's teenaged students, they have put together a powerful, comprehensive guide to instilling and reinforcing positive, respectful behavior in children.  Discipline Me Right  is available through Amazon.com and your local bookstore. For more parenting tips and information about the book, visit  www.disciplinemeright.com . Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com. More >>

Tags: 10 Stupid Things Men Do to Mess Up Their LivesAdult Child-ParentBehaviorFamily/Relationships - Adult Child/ParentFamily/Relationships - ChildrenFamily/Relationships - FamilyMotherhoodMotherhood-FatherhoodParentingRelationshipsRelativesTen Stupid Things Men Do to Mess Up Their Lives
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05/13/2010
IconSome callers to my radio program are amazed when I explain that their situation is entirely of their own making, and don't allow them to complain about someone else as the architect of their situation.Sadly, a typical scenario goes like this:' a young woman caller with one or two illegitimate children is shacking up for years and years with a guy who is now out on the dating scene.' (Well, why shouldn't he date?' He's a single man with a consort!).' When the young woman protests that they have a "commitment," I ask "What is the commitment?' Where is it?" There is no commitment involved in unmarried sex or procreation or cohabitation. It's all "free-flowing," which is exactly what both paid for when they signed up to not sign up for any obligation past the feeling of the moment .The truth about females is that we lie to ourselves when we say we can just "hang out" or have "hook-up level" sex and make babies with someone who says "I love you," but ultimately doesn't walk the talk.'We want to nest, settle down, and have someone love us and protect us and provide for us, but we behave in ways that demonstrate massive denial, insecurity, and a kind of pathetic desperation or downright foolishness.None of this makes a woman feel special, put on a pedestal, valued or really loved.' And none of this protects the needs of children.' More and more women of late are intentionally having babies without marriage because, in my opinion, they are not competent to provide love and affection and attention to anything outside themselves, and the feminista women around them applaud the "no men" clause.' This is atrocious, as it undermines society and puts children in the position of no daddy .'None of you should show any support for any woman who makes this choice.' No support.....and lots of negative judgment.' Please. More >>

Tags: CommitmentFamily/Relationships - ChildrenMarriageMorals, Ethics, ValuesParentingPersonal ResponsibilityShacking UpShacking-Up
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05/13/2010
IconI am very happy to tell you about my hero, Anthony Orsini, the principal at Benjamin Franklin Middle School in Ridgewood, New Jersey.' He recently sent the following email to all parents of children attending his school: Dear BF Community:When I arrived in Ridgewood, Facebook did not exist, YouTube did not exist, and MySpace was barely in existence.' Formspring (one of the newest Internet scourges, a site meant simply to post cruel things about people anonymously) wasn't even in someone's mind. In 2010, social networking sites have now become commonplace, and technology use by students is beyond prevalent. It is time for every single member of the BF community to take a stand! There is absolutely no reason for any middle school student to be a part of a social networking site! Let me repeat that - there is absolutely, positively no reason for any middle school student to be a part of a social networking site!' None. 5 of the last 8 parents who we have informed that their child was posting inappropriate things on Facebook said their child did not have an account.' Every single one of the students had an account. 3 students yesterday told a guidance counselor that their parents told them to close their accounts when the parents learned they had an account.' All three students told their parents it was closed.' All three students still had an account after telling their parents it was closed. Most students are part of more than one social networking site. Please do the following:' sit down with your child (and they are just children still) and tell them that they are not allowed to be a member of any social networking site.' Today! Let them know that you will at some point every week be checking their text messages online!'' You have the ability to do this through your cell phone provider. Let them know that you will be installing Parental Control software so you can tell every place they have visited online, and everything they have instant messaged or written to a friend.' Don't install it behind their back, but install it! Over 90% of homework does not require the Internet, or even a computer.' Do not allow them to have a computer in their room.' There is no need. Know that they can text others even if their phone doesn't have texting capability, either through the computer or through their iPod Touch. Have a central "docking system," preferably in your bedroom, where all electronics in the home get charged each night, especially anything with a cell or with wi-fi capability (remember when you were in high school and you would sneak the phone into your bedroom at Midnight to talk to your girlfriend or boyfriend all night - now imagine what they can do with the technology in their rooms). If your son or daughter is attacked through one of these sites or through texting, immediately go to the police!' Insist that they investigate every situation.' Also, contact the site and report the attack to the site - they have an obligation to suspend accounts, or they are liable for what is written. We as a school can offer guidance and try to build up any student who has been injured by the social networking scourge, but please insist the authorities get involved. For online gaming, do not allow them to have the interactive communication devices.' If they want to play Call of Duty online with someone from Seattle, fine.' They don't need to talk to the person. The threat to your son or daughter from online adult predators is insignificant compared to the damage that children at this age constantly and repeatedly do to one another through social networking sites or through text and picture messaging. It is not hyperbole for me to write that the pain caused by social networking sites is beyond significant.' It is psychologically detrimental and we will find out it will have significant long-term effects, as well as all the horrible social effects it already creates. I will be more than happy to take the blame off you as a parent if it is too difficult to have the students close their accounts, but it is time they all get closed and the texts always get checked. I want to be clear - this email is not anti-technology, and we will continue to teach responsible technology practices to students.' They are simply not psychologically ready for the damage that one mean person online can cause, and I don't want any of our students to go through the unnecessary pain that too many of them have already experienced. Some people advocate that the parents and the school should teach responsible social networking to students because these sites are part of the world in which we live. I disagree.' It is not worth the risk to your child to allow them the independence at this age to manage these sites on their own, not because they are not good kids or responsible, but because you cannot control the poor actions of anonymous others. Learn as a family about cyber safety together at www.wiredsafety.org for your own knowledge.' It is a great site.' But then do everything I asked in this email - because there really is no reason a child needs to have one of these accounts. Please take action in your own home today. Sincerely, Anthony OrsiniPrincipal, BFMS Now Principal Orsini is MY kind of principal, and my kind of leader in the community.' This should go nationwide.'The sites have become a tool for children to do psychological harm to each other; it has become a menace to children.' Much of what guidance counselors have to deal with these days regards social networking issues.' It is time for you parents to ACT. More >>

Tags: EducationFamily/Relationships - ChildrenInternet-MediaInternet/MediaMySpaceParentingSchoolSocial NetworkingTwitter
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Tags: MotherhoodMotherhood-FatherhoodParenting
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05/13/2010
IconIt appears that McDonald's "Happy Meal" toys and other promotions that come with high-calorie children's meals will soon be banned in parts of California, unless the restaurants in question meet certain nutritional guidelines.In favor of such a ban are public health administrators, parents, and physicians.Opposed to such a ban are fast-food franchisees, other parents, and fans of fast-food toys, who say the promotions are often used to provide Christmas presents for poor children.Physicians point out that the toys are a powerful lure for children, encouraging them to eat unhealthy food, which then helps cause obesity.' Many parents buy the unhealthy food for their children specifically because toys come with the meal!Here's my take on this problem: again, parents are not parenting . More >>

Tags: Eat Less-Move MoreFamily/Relationships - ChildrenHealthMother's DayMotherhood-FatherhoodNutritionObesityParenting
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05/13/2010
IconThe biggest loser, in my mind, is Jillian Michaels.' Why?' Because she is so immersed in the superficiality of LOOKING fabulous that she says in Women's Health magazine that she doesn't want to become a biological mother, because "I can't handle doing that to my body." Yikes!' She can't handle real life?' What happens as she ages, and the skin is no longer taut over her muscles?' What happens when her metabolism changes with age?' Where will her self esteem be then?I'm aggravated that an individual who purports to teach people about body image and self esteem would be so negative about the challenge of getting back in shape after childbearing.' I've done it.' Millions of women have done it. This is lousy role modeling.' She shouldn't be coaching others when she is so profoundly fearful of the challenge to her body with motherhood.Furthermore, she says she's going to adopt.' Really?' What happens when that kid's body isn't perfect?' How is she going to actually mother with her schedule of television shows, DVD shoots, plans for "Losing It With Jillian," and her own television talk show....AND keeping her body perfect?We all put our priorities in different places.' Hers is superficial.' I am shocked that this doesn't topple her media house.' In fact, I think this would be a career killer for someone who is supposed to be an inspiration , primarily to women.' Go figure. More >>

Tags: MotherhoodMotherhood-FatherhoodParenting
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Tags: EducationFamily/Relationships - ChildrenParentingSchool
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05/13/2010
IconWhat's the problem with kids today?' The answer to that is easy:' THEIR PARENTS!According to the Fresno Bee , five high school seniors cut down two trees on their campus as a "senior prank."' School officials expelled the students and transferred them to a continuation school to finish out their senior year.The students (all seniors and football players) cut down two Southern Live Oak trees, with ten-inch trunks.' The trees were about 14 years old and nearly 20 feet high.' The damage was estimated to be between $7,500 and $14,000.' The boys said this was a prank meant to deprive junior classmates of shade.Stupid, stupid, stupid.....but they are all "jock heroes," probably way too used to inflated estimations of their own value and power.The school did exactly the right thing.The parents did exactly the wrong thing.' They said that the school "overreacted," and they got attorneys involved to get their kids back in the school.' The school is standing firm.' Good for them. "To hire attorneys," as one of my listeners wrote to me, "teaches these kids that they can get away with 'pranks' and that they do not have to respect the law or be accountable for such behavior to school officials.' It will be interesting to see how these youngsters turn out as they mature.' Will they be good citizens?' Will they raise their children similarly to how they were raised?' Will their views change on how their own parents handled this life lesson?' It remains to be seen.' I do hope our community doesn't read about them again later on down the line after they've robbed a store or beaten someone up and again hired an attorney to defend their actions." That point, in particular, is why (when people call and tell me that they have "x" number of "beautiful" children) I tell them I don't care if they have pretty or ugly kids.' I only care that they have decent kids, because the well being of all of us depends on that. More >>

Tags: BullyingEducationFamily/Relationships - ChildrenFamily/Relationships - TeensParentingPersonal ResponsibilitySchoolTeens
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