That very first loose tooth is something you need to celebrate when it happens to your child. It's a pretty big milestone and opens up a variety of great opportunities for you to teach kids more about dental hygiene. As that first tooth loosens, it's a sign that your child is getting a bit older and sometimes kids aren't too sure they are happy about losing their teeth. The great thing is that if you help them celebrate this time, it will help them to adjust to it and make it fun for them to embrace this new stage in their life. Not sure what you can do to celebrate their loose teeth? Here are some wonderful ideas that you can use to make it an exciting and learning event.

History of the Tooth Fairy

Of course, when children lose teeth in the United States, often they are told about the Tooth Fairy. This is an exciting fable that has been around for many years. Back in Europe, hundreds of years ago, when the baby tooth fell out, they would bury it in the ground, teaching kids that an adult tooth would then grow in it's place. Many other countries across the world had similar fables and myths surrounding the loss of baby tooth. Some felt that baby teeth needed to be buried on the grounds of the church to prevent a curse.

As people began to migrate to America, many of these superstitions and beliefs came along with them. Eventually things changed to burying teeth in small planters, and eventually this changed into having children place the tooth under a pillow where it was replaced with a coin or other treat.

Kids, being curious, wanted to know where their teeth went. This brought about the story of the Tooth Fairy removing their teeth and giving them a treat instead, and so this fable was born. Wondering what happens to those teeth the Tooth Fairy collects? Well, the story goes that all those teeth are turned into starts in the sky.READ More on The Tooth Fairy – Celebrating Loose Teeth

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If you have teens, probably one of the heavy things on your mind is whether they are going to make the right choices. Today's teens deal with more choices than teens in the past. There are many issues that teens face, and that can feel scary as a parent. How can you make sure they are going to make the right decisions in life? Well, first you need to realize that even if you give them the best upbringing possible, teens don't always make decisions that are right. After all, even adults don't always make the right decisions. There are things parents can do to help teens make good decisions. They might still make the wrong decision every once in awhile, but with these parenting tips, you can really help to influence your teen in the right way.

Parenting Tip #1 – Keep Talking to Your Teen

One important tip to help your teen make good decisions is to keep talking to your teen. Often teens begin to go silent on you, but keep on talking anyway. Even if they act like they're ignoring you and they don't talk back, keep on talking to them. More than you think is getting through to them when you're talking, so keep it up.

Parenting Tip #2 – Show Them By Your Example

Show your teens how to make good decisions by example. You cannot expect that your teen is going to behave better than you do. Make good decisions in your own life. If you mess up, own up to it and show your teen that mistakes happen but you can learn from the mistakes and go on. Remember, your teen is watching you, and what you do is going to be at least as important, if not more so, than what you say to them.

Parenting Tip #3 – Share Examples From Your Life

Another great idea to help your teen make good decisions is to share examples from your own life. Of course, you need to be careful about this. You don't want to encourage them to make bad decisions either. Some situations though can be used as examples and you can let your teen know what kind of consequences occur when you make choices that aren't the right ones. Allow them to learn from your own mistakes so they will make the right decisions in life.READ More on Parenting Teens: Helping Your Teenager Make Good Decisions

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by Stephanie Partridge

"Does Your Teen feel they are Good Enough?"

I have been talking to some teens, or actually, I have been listening to some teens.  I wanted to know what was on their minds, what was bothering them, what was impeding their relationships with their parents.

I tried asking my own kids, but they were no help.  They both said, “Mom, I can’t complain.  You listen to us; you respect us, when we tell you something you really hear us.  You trust us, you show us you love us, you are our best friend.  We have no complaints at all!”

Well, that was a big help.

So, I began talking to friends of my kids.  Many of them have said that they wish they could live at my house, wish I could adopt them.  I laughed at the time, but I am not laughing now.  The raw pain I have witnessed as these teenagers have poured their hearts out to me is no laughing matter.  These kids come from all walks of life, all economic stations.  Both boys and girls, these kids have complaints that are universal – can potentially tragic.

One of the big issues that they talk about is never being good enough.  No matter what they do it is never quite good enough.

One 16 year old girl I know well told me how she will spend half of the day cleaning the house while her mother is at work.  She will wash dishes, sweep, mop, clean counters, and scrub everything till it shines (I know, I have seen her work), only to have her mom come home and say, “Where’s dinner?”

All the hard work this girl has done is ignored.READ More on Parenting and Your Teens Self-Esteem

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Raising Happy KidsWe all want to be happy, and we want our kids to be happy as well. That is only natural and there are some concrete steps to take to raise happy children.

Raising Happy Children:

1)      In order to raise a happy child we need to model what we want our children to be. Present a model of a positive respectful adult, treating your partner, teachers, and community leaders in a positive way. Do not make fun of your partner, he or she is a huge part of how a child sees themselves. Even if you do not always agree with what a teacher or school employee does, disagree in a healthy manner. These adults are the anchors in your children’s’ lives. If you treat them well, your child will as well. He will feel good about himself and these people in his life will reflect his attitude back to him.

2)      Your children need to feel confident about the future. Be positive about your job, and do not walk in the front door complaining about the economy and your co workers and boss. Let your kids know that you will have a way to support yourself and them. If you are economizing, remind them that it is a choice to live responsibly, paying the bills before having entertainment. When you need a new job, go ahead and look, but do not make it your child’s problem. Work if you have the opportunity, and value your job, so that you will raise a worker.

3)      Praise your children, but not excessively or extremely. Use specific words of praise. Instead of looking at their picture and saying “What an excellent picture. I love it. You are the best” a better comment would be: “I like your picture, tell me about it. I can see it means a lot to you and that you have talent. I like the red bow you put on the dog.”  The phrase “Tell me about it” lets them know that you want to hear what is important to them.READ More on Raising Happy Kids: 7 Secrets to Raising a Happy Child

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by Aubree Bowen

Flashback: I’m riding in the car with my family.  Through the windows we see an old airplane sweeping across the sky, not a cloud or bird in sight. I hear a chuckle from my step dad in the driver’s seat. “Now there goes a happy guy,” he says.

A deep love and respect for aviation and airplanes has been pumping through my veins since I can remember. Almost my entire family has been involved in that world in some respect, whether you look at my dad, an aviation photographer, or my grandfather, who was an engineer for McDonnell Douglas.  Even my sister and I, who swore we would branch out and do something different, have gotten drawn into professional jobs surrounding airplanes. Aviation has been one of the strongest, neatest bonds to experience in my family…it’s truly an interest that can span across generations and bring families together. My step dad recently passed away from leukemia, and I will always cherish that tie we shared.

My relationships with my family members have been enriched by this common interest. And the more involved I get with aviation, the more I realize just how many people are affected by it. Everyone dreams of flying when they’re a kid…airplanes make it possible. Their freedom and power strike a chord in all of us, no matter what age.

I feel like too few parents realize and expose their kids to the beauty and history behind airplanes, particularly old warbirds. To date, there are over 400 air shows in the US each year. Chances are there’s an air show near you, and a chance to introduce your kids to an important and enthralling part of history. It’s also a chance to give them something to share with other generations of their family.READ More on Mike DA Mustang First Full Episode

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February is Teen Dating Violence Prevention and Awareness Month. I will be posting several related articles here with information on empowering our daughters, teaching our sons and making sure that our kids are safe (boys get abused too).

The statistics are alarming. It is estimated that an incredible one out of every three teens experiences abuse, often at the hands of a date or “intimate.” Worse, two out of three teens will never report the abuse. As parents, it is our job to ensure our children’s safety, but what do we do when we can’t be with them? The best thing that we can do for our kids is educate them. If we teach them how to protect themselves and how to not only act in a dangerous situation but also how to detect one, we are well on our way to reducing our child’s risk of enduring dating violence.

I have a teenage daughter and I admit, I worry about her. She is the sweetest, kindest child I have ever seen. She is also incredibly innocent. It would be easy for some guy to take advantage of her.

I have endured domestic violence. I am a survivor. She knows this and I do believe that she is stronger because of it. But there are so many kids out there who are enduring teen dating violence and they feel like they have nowhere to turn.READ More on Teen Dating Violence Prevention Month

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by Stephanie Partridge

Parenting is the greatest job anyone can have, but the teen years have a way of sneaking up on you. One day your child is the cute, dimpled, roly poly baby and the next he is the tall, handsome young man asking for the car keys. My daughter turned 18 the other day and my baby is not far behind her. This got me thinking…My life has changed SO MUCH since I had kids. So, here’s my list. These are 25 telltale clues that you are living with a teenager.

  1. There is a room in your house that looks like a disaster zone, but you can barely make out what appears to be a bed and, wait! Is that foot sticking out of the rubble?
  2. Your teen gets dressed to “go out” and you ask if they are going to a costume party.
  3. You have the Urban Dictionary bookmarked.
  4. It is 2 o’clock on a Saturday afternoon and you’re still the only one awake.
  5. You can’t remember the last time you saw your house phone, much less found it free so you could use it.
  6. You not only know what “emo,” “metalcore,” “poser” and “screamo” mean, you can use those words in a sentence AND you can give real life examples.
  7. There is a strange noise eminating from your child’s living quarters, a strange, rhythmic growling and odd vibrations. Upon inquiry, you are informed that this is “music.”READ More on Parenting a Teenager: 25 Telltale Clues You Are Living With A Teen

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