Group of Young FriendsIf you are expecting a baby, you have a new baby, or you already have several children of your own, you may be wondering if there really is a difference between raising boys and girls. Is there really such a big difference there or is it actually the ideas that we get from society as to how each gender should be raised? In reality, when you think about which gender is harder to raise, usually your ideas are skewed based upon the child who is causing you frustration at the time. In fact, you'll find that boys and girls both present their own unique difficult challenges while you are raising them.

Every Child is an Individual

First, you need to realize that every child, whether boy or girl, is an individual. The personality that your child is born with has a big impact on how difficult it is to raise your child. Of course, your influence and their environment also plays a role in their development. From birth, every parent usually deal with girls and boys in a different way. While all of these factors combine together to make up your child, there are no hard and fast rules that can be used on girls or boys, since every one has individual traits.

Differences in Development

Of course, while every child is different, there is a difference in the development of boys and girls. Each gender develops at a different rate. Girls grow and their bran develops differently than boys. According to researchers, parents often raise boys and girls differently because of these differences in their development. From birth, girls and boys seem to be wired different, which leads to different types of parenting on the two genders. In the end, these differences in development really shows that the debate regarding the gender that is harder to parent has no real answer. It all depends at the stage in development you are looking at and the specific actions and situations that you are dealing with as a parent.

READ More on Parenting: Raising Boys vs Girls – Which is Easier?

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Fun Valentines Day RecipesIf you have a family and you want to celebrate this Valentine's Day together, you may want to plan a very special menu for this day. Sure, Valentine's Day is for lovers, but you love your kids too and you want to make this day a special one for the entire family. Well, one way to make the day special for everyone is to make some great Valentine's Day dishes. No idea where to begin? Well, here are some great recipes for family dishes that you can serve on Valentine's Day this year.

Heart Shaped Pancakes

One great family dish (even dad can make) for breakfast on Valentine's Day is heart shaped pancakes. If your kids love having pancakes for breakfast, they are sure to love this great breakfast dish. You will need to have a heart shaped cookie cutter to make them, or if you are artistic you may be able to shape them yourself. Here's the recipe and instructions. READ More on Fun Valentine's Day Recipes

Valentines Day is a fun time for kids to make some creative giftsValentine's Day will be here soon and it can be a fun time for young and old alike. There are many Valentine’s Day gifts that kids can make. Regardless of how old your child is, they will enjoy collaborating with you in order to develop gifts that they can share with their friends, teachers, relatives, and other people who they consider to be “special”. Below are a couple of great ideas that can be loads of fun for your child this Valentine’s Day!

The Handprint Heart

The first Valentine’s Day gift that kids can make to share with virtually anyone is the handprint heart. This is a very unique and special keepsake that is sure to make the day of the person on the receiving end.

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It's very easy to make Valentine's Day all about couples, but this really is a holiday to celebrate all kinds of love, including the love that you have for your children. This year you may want to take some time to make this day a very special one for your kids. You don't have to spend a huge amount of money doing it either. Of course, sometimes it can be hard to come up with ideas that will share your love and appreciation for your kids. Here is a look at some special and simple ways that you can show your kids you love them this Valentine's Day.

Picture This

If you want to show your kids how much you love them, one special thing you can do is to create a special picture of each of your children. Find a favorite picture and get it printed out. Use the picture in a photo card or use some heavy paper, fold it into a card, and then glue the picture to the front. On the inside of the card, take time to write something special to your child. Let them know why they are so special to you and how much you love them. This is easy to do, it doesn't cost much, and it is sure to communicate your love to your children on Valentine's Day.

The Treasure Box

Another great idea for Valentine's Day and your children is to create a special treasure box for them. This doesn't have to include candy either. While many people equate this holiday with candy, don't go overboard with the candy. Fill up the treasure box with little things that your kids like. Include things like notepads, pens, pencils, erasers, special stickers, and perhaps a couple pieces of a favorite type of candy they may enjoy. Just avoid making the focus on sweets to keep things healthy.READ More on Show Your Kids You Love Them This Valentine's Day

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by Stacey Schifferdecker
Children’s Minister, PTA volunteer, and Scout leader.
Easter and family, a time for loveChristmas is so much easier – babies, sheep, angels, stars. It’s pretty much all about love and presents: things your kids can relate to. Sure there’s the nasty part where Herod kills the baby boys, but that’s not an essential part of the story and you can leave it out if you want to.
Easter, on the other hand, is much tougher. You have the joy and celebration of Palm Sunday and the even bigger joy and celebration of Easter one week later. But in between, there is betrayal, denial, torture, pain, and death. How do you explain all this to children?READ More on Explaining Easter to Children

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Earth Day 2009 - Child Hugging Planet EarthDo you turn off the lights when you leave a room?  Do you conserve water?  If so, you are already doing good things to help the planet and building a better future for our kids.  If you have encouraged your family to also adopt these practices, you are doing even more.  During Earth Week, thousands of people will be doing things to help the environment and “go green.”  There are many little things that each of us can do to help the Earth.  However, every day can, and should, be Earth Day.  Try these activities and tips to help your family go green and build a greener future.

Living Green Around the House

  1. Plant a tree or grow a garden.  Plants act as natural filtration systems.  In short, they keep the air fresh and oxygenated.  Keep them inside your home too to keep the inside are fresh.
  2. Turn off the lights.  CO2 is the main contributing factor to global warming.  Every time you use something electronic, use electricity, fire up your car or even take a shower (you water has to be heated) you are emitting CO2.  Turn off the lights, take shorter showers, turn down your hot water heater and don’t let your car idle for more than one minute.
  3. Stop using plastic water bottles.  You can recycle your plastic water bottles, but after being recycled several times, the plastic downgrades.  Get a reusable canteen and go with glass jars for storage.
  4. Unplug.  Electronic devices still use energy, even when they are turned off.   Unplug your radio, stereo, blow dryer and television to save more than 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide.  This amounts to around $256 a year.
  5. Turn off the water.  By simply turning off the tap when you are washing the dishes or brushing your teeth, you can save as much as 2.4 gallons of water – per minute. I admit, I am bad about this one but am working on it! I brush my teeth with my kids and they are now helping to keep me stright :)
  6. Dispose of batteries, paint, bleach and nail polish the right way. READ More on Green Living Tips for your Family

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Top of the mornin’ to ya! There’s nothing like a green St. Patty’s Day to get everyone in the spirit of the day of the leprechaun! This St. Patrick’s Day, make the day extra-special and fun for your kids with these fun crafts and great activities!

Looking for the gold!

The night or day a few days before, be sure that ya make some of those Leprechaun Foot Prints and giant shamrocks for ye children!

To make leprechaun feet, take a pair of your child’s old shoes and trace them on to pieces of plain white paper or to really make them “authentic”, use green construction paper!! Make a lot of them because they will take your children on a hunt for the rainbow and the pot of gold when they wake up! READ More on Erin Go Bragh! St. Patrick's Day Celebration Ideas