Toy Safety - we all want our kids to be safeHow many more poisonous toys will parents have to endure before quality is improved and recalls are stopped? At this point, we have no idea. 2007 was a year filled with stress for parents of young children, with the Aquabeads recall, warnings about magnets in toys, and the continual anxiety of not knowing whether that red toy is tainted with lead or not. Parents have a hard enough job without the additional worry of what we once took for granted: the safety of our children when they are playing under our supervision.

What We Saw In 2007's Toys

The big toy news in 2007 was lead paint and lead content. In America and most Western countries, lead paint has been illegal for decades, and though older buildings sometimes still have lead paint on walls, we had grown complacent about the things we buy in stores. We count on manufacturers and retailers to sell us quality items that are safe for all intended purposes – like going into a baby's mouth.

READ More on Toy Recalls 2008 – Another year, more recalls…

happy family of fourWe all want a happy family. The truth of the matter is that none of us are perfect parents. Life happens. We are all only human and therefore we are bound to make mistakes. I don’t believe that any mistake that we make bothers us more, causes us to lose more sleep then a mistake we make with our children. It is important to realize and understand that making a mistake or two doesn’t make you a bad parent. We all parent with our best intentions trying to keep in the forefront of our minds what is in the best interest of our children, sometimes we slip up.

Here is a list of some of the most common parenting pitfalls. This list is to prove to you that you are not the only parent in the world that has done this, to make you aware if you are doing it and to help you stop it. I am guilty myself of all these pitfalls, but knowledge and awareness helps me correct myself and to better communicate with my children.

READ More on The Big 4 Parenting Pitfalls

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teenager shopping online with a credit cardShould teenagers have credit cards? This is a question that every parent is facing these days and there is more pressure on this issue than ever.

As in any debate or issue, there are two very relevant sides to the issue and both sides have some exceedingly valid arguments.

On the one hand, kids having credit cards should teach them how to budget money and make sound financial decisions about money. They learn that if they want something and are responsible enough to work to have it, they can get it now and pay for it later. The down side of this is that peer pressure these days is at an all time high for teens and if they are just hanging out at the mall with all their friends and everyone has one thing and he does not, the credit card allows him to bend to that pressure and go pick up that $300 coat or $150 pair of jeans that everyone else is wearing and he has to have to fit in and be cool. READ More on Teen Credit Cards – A Smart Idea?

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teaching responsibility by example - father and daughter doing chores togetherResponsibility is an important life skill that each child should be properly equipped with. Responsibility adds color to a child’s world. As a parent, it is imperative that you take the endeavor of teaching your how to be responsible very seriously. This is one of the most important tasks that you will ever experience. Here, you will learn some effective tips for teaching small kids responsibility. If you are looking to increase your child’s awareness of themselves and their place in the world, as well as help them set the course for success throughout their lifetime, this guide is for you!READ More on Tips for Teaching Small Kids Responsibility

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teen fashion modelYour teen does not have to be a teen fashion model to look and feel great. All parents of teenagers know how important fashion is to them. Each teen has his or her own individual style. Some love to follow the latest trends, while others have a fashion sense all their own. Here are a few of the hottest fashion trends for teens this spring: 

Floral Prints

The femininity of floral prints is often seen in the spring. Large and mid-sized floral prints are all the rage for both teens and adults this season. Dresses are the most obvious place for them, but they can also be found on shirts, jackets, pants, and handbags.

Floral prints also provide a great way to introduce color without wearing it from head to toe. White or neutral backgrounds are unobtrusive, yet when you add some brightly colored flowers to them, it really makes them pop. READ More on Teen Fashion – Getting Ready for Spring

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mom is a bit stressed out“The kids are driving me crazy and no one is helping!” This or something similar has crossed many a mom’s lips. When things get to be too much, often the ones in the parents direct path take the brunt of the frustration. The way a mom or dad deals with their stress can have a huge affect on their kids. Remember, kids learn from us, and I know when I get upset it can be hard to control my feelings, but it is important to ask ourselves, if we lash out, or get upset, what is that teaching our kids, and how will that affect the way our kids will deal with stressful situations. READ More on Effects of Stress on Kids

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not all family relationships are easy for step-families. The key is to take it one step at a timeby Pam Smith 

Step-parenting is becoming more and more common in today’s society..  However, it is not always an easy situation.  Visions of the Brady Bunch are quickly replaced with reality.  There are a variety of different reasons why you may be in a step-parenting roll. When in the early stages of step-parenting there are some simple steps you can take in order to break the ice and form a friendship with your step-son or step-daughter.

It is important that you have a clear understanding of what your role is.  In most instances, you are not in the relationship to replace their parent.  You are simply there as a partner for their Mom or Dad.   You will also want to have an accurate perception of what to expect from your step-kids.  In the beginning, don’t expect them to automatically love you and accept you.  If your step-kids do not immediately open up to, try not to take it personally.  This is not only new to you, it is new to them. READ More on Step-Parenting and Breaking the Ice with Step-Kids

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