mom and daughter on a cruise together enjoying the jacuzzi and viewby Stacey Schifferdecker

My mother-in-law has been talking about for years – taking my family and my sister-in-law’s family for a cruise. But the timing never worked out until now. This year, for the first time ever, my children’s schools and my nephews’ schools have spring break the same week. So hi-ho, hi-ho, it’s off to Mexico we go. I am a vacation planner junky, so naturally I am hip-deep in research about the best way to enjoy our cruise and keep six kids ranging in age from 7 (the only girl) to 14 happy and healthy for a week. So here is what I have learned – check back with me in March to see how the reality lives up to the research.

Which Cruise Line to Choose?
Which cruise line to choose was the first question we had. Of course, your departure location helps narrow this choice. Unless you have unlimited time and money for your vacation, you will likely choose the departure port that is nearest your home. The major ports for cruise ship departures in North America areREAD More on Tips for Family Cruises

little boy playing cupid on valentines dayMost children love celebrating Valentine’s Day. There is a lot of excitement that occurs during this holiday. Children get to enjoy various crafts, social gatherings, and, of course, indulging in lots of sweet treats! If you are in the process of gathering ideas for Valentine’s Day activities for kids, you have stopped at the right spot! Here, you will be introduced to a number of fun and exciting activities for your child.

Valentine’s Day Party

No Valentine’s Day is complete without a party! There are many different things that can be done to make a party for this particular holiday fun and exciting for kids. The key to a successful Valentine’s Day party is interaction! Make sure that there are plenty of games and activities that the kids can participate in! Detailed below are some great ideas that you can implement at the Valentine’s Day party that will be throwing! READ More on Valentines Day Activities for Kids

Solving the Great Teen Mystery

by Stephanie Partridge

mother with her teen daughterTo many parents (and people – teachers, doctors, etc) teenagers are creatures to be regarded with some degree of caution. The horror stories of teens who dress all in black, paint their fingernails black and walk around with a sullen look on their faces is enough to send even the toughest parent scrambling for cover. We hear stories of teenagers who come home from school or work, head straight to their room where they turn up some awful racket that they call music and disconnect from the rest of the family. This does not have to happen; you can have a good relationship with your teen, even a fun one. If you have not done things to cultivate that relationship when they were younger, don't worry. It is never too late to develop a relationship with you child. READ More on Improving parent/teen relationship

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lonely preschooler swinging by himselfby Stacey Schifferdecker

We usually think of peer pressure as being a problem for teenagers, but peer pressure is a fact of life for all of us, no matter what our age. At a recent school book fair, I overheard one child urge another to “Just put it in your bag” about the .45 cent eraser the first child did not have money to buy. Probably, neither child really thought that taking the eraser would be stealing, and they just needed to be gently reminded that taking something that doesn’t belong to us is wrong. But by taking steps now to teach your children to deal with peer pressure, you can give them the skills they will need as teenagers (and adults!) to withstand peer pressure.

 
What is peer pressure?
We human beings have an innate need to fit in and feel like we belong – that we are a valued and important part of a group. We need our peers, and we want to fit in. Peers are important, but they can have either a negative or a positive effect on our lives. On the positive side, peers can encourage us to try new things and give us a safe place to express our thoughts and try out new ideas. However, peers can also make us feel left out and lead us to make foolish choices we wouldn’t otherwise make.READ More on Dealing With Preschool Peer Pressure

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We all need to work together to acheive a healthy environment for future generationsWithout a doubt global warming is one of the biggest problems that the world is facing today, and will continue to be a large problem in our kids lives. However, many of its effects will fall upon future generations – unless it is stopped or slowed down dramatically. There is a lot that we can do right now, but it is also important to get the children of today involved in the fight against global warming. 

Teaching kids the dangers of Global Warming

Educating and involving our children is one way to get our kids interested. We need to involve them through conversations and activities and show them what they can do to help the cause. Education through involvement is key. We must find creative ways to show children what problems global warming has already caused, and what problems it could, and most probably will cause in the future. This will help bring forth curiosity about what contributions out kids can make to help change things. READ More on Involving Kids in the Fight Against Global Warming

Nanny CAM hidden in an alarm clockThe alarm clock on the left is an example of a hidden Nanny Cam.

It is every parents nightmare. Police in Cherokee Country, GA say parents caught Nanny abusing their 13th month old child. In recent news, a woman who was hired through a national childcare service from the internet was discovered to be abusive towards a child of just a little over one year old that she was caring for. The family that employed this woman installed nanny cams once they began to notice behavioral changes in their child. The first day, in which the woman cared for the child under the supervision of the nanny cams, she was caught being abusive. The evidence portrays this individual slapping the young child in the face, pushing the child, and even pinching! Should you get a nanny cam? Stories like this seem to suggest “yes”.

You can read more of this story by visiting the following link: http://www.wsbtv.com/news/14938393/detail.html . Reading this story sent mixed emotions through me. I felt anger, sadness, and shock all at the same time. Having small kids myself made this story really touch home. The rest of this report will discuss signs of child abuse and questions you should ask your Nanny or babysitter before you hire them.

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by Jennifer Shakeel

Talking to kids about where babies come from is a challenge for many parentsSexual education is becoming a very how parenting topic on the internet these days, but how do you break the ice with your kids? For as many times as I have had to have “The Talk” with children including my own, I have not struggled as much as I have with this article for parents. My intent here is not to offend anyone but to help you be able to talk with your children about sex. I know it is an uncomfortable topic, it is hard enough as adults to talk about it and it is worse as a parent. Trust me when I tell you though, that in most cases, for all the freaking out you are going through it is nothing compared to how your child feels when they think about having to talk to you about sex.

READ More on Breaking the Ice – Talking to Your Kids about Sex

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