surprised childI was taken aback when I first heard about child identity theft. The fact is, children are increasingly VERY popular targets of identity thieves. This is a crime all parents should be aware of. Did you know that according to the Identity Theft Resource Center, 500,000 children had their identities stolen in 2005? So why do Identity thieves like to target kids? The  reason is really simple if you think about it. It is because their information is often readily available and useful for many years: children often don’t discover their identities have been stolen until they grow up and begin trying to get jobs, take out car loans, and obtain mortgages, or apply for their first credit card.

While as parents we pride ourselves on being a responsible, safe, and caring parent. Your child wears a seatbelt, uses a bike helmet, walks when carrying scissors, and eats five servings of vegetables a day. In short, you are doing your best to ensure that your child grows up to be a healthy, happy, well-adjusted adult. Who knew that this job includes safeguarding your children from identity thieves? READ More on Child Identity Theft: Signs Your Childs Identity May Be Stolen

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playing and share togetherSharing is probably one of the most important lessions you can teach your child. Do you remember the old adage “Sharing is Caring.”? Perhaps we can use this little ditty to explain why sharing is so important. Here are a few ideas that may help teach your child to share.

Children learn by example. Don't forget, you are their best role model. If your child notices that you share with others, it may induce your toddler to do the same. However, kids will be kids, and as such they tend to guard what is theirs with a passion. To this end, perhaps you can utilize these tips:

READ More on 10 Parenting Tips To Help Teach Your Child To Share

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mom holding her cute babyAttachment parenting became a popular buzzword in parenting theories around twenty-five years ago, when pediatrician Dr. William Sears introduced the term. Just like the name suggests, attachment parenting is a philosophy that stresses the nurturing of a healthy bond or attachment between a parent and child. This attachment will help a child to develop a higher level of security which will translate into healthier relationships throughout life, advocates of this parenting philosophy say. There are a number of steps that go into attachment parenting, and the process begins before the child is even born. There are experts who subscribe to Dr. Sears thinking and others who find his suggestions unhelpful and even harmful to the development of a child. The best advice for a parent who is considering these types of parenting techniques is to collect the necessary information to make an informed choice that is best for everyone in the family. READ More on Advantages and Disadvantages of Attachment Parenting

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Do your children love Peanut Butter? I remember as a kid that I sure did. It was my favorite for snacks and lunch. Well, all that love must have rubbed off on my kids. Here are some snack ideas you can whip up with Peanut Butter to make that old snack just a little more interesting:

umm good, peanut butter and bananna sandwich

  • Peanut butter toast (still a classic)
  • Peanut butter crackers
  • Ritz crackers peanut butter sandwiches
  • Apple slices with peanut butter (I loved this one as a kid)
  • Peanut Butter Frosting (spread on cupcakes, graham crackers, anything that needs frosted)
  • Peanut Butter and Banana sandwiches
  • Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches (another oldie but goodie)
  • Peanut Butter and Banana bread/muffins
  • Peanut Butter Pancakes
  • Chocolate Peanut Butter Ball candy
  • Peanut Butter Fudge
  • Peanut Butter Cookies
  • Peanut Butter Milkshakes
  • Ritz crackers peanut butter sandwiches dipped in dipping chocolate
  • Peanut Butter Muffins
  • Celery sticks with peanut butter (and raisins)

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Fun in the Sun 4th of July Activities for Kids

a 4th of July babyCelebrating the 4th of July is an American tradition. It is a day to celebrate our counties birth, liberty, and freedom. It is a time to remember all those who have given their lives for our country and remember those in the Armed Services that can't be here and are helping protect and support our country. We want our kids to enjoy the day as well. Here are a few fun-in-the-sun 4th of July activities for kids that you can utilize on this special day and some tips to help keep this special day safe.

Buy a red, white, and blue piñata. Fill it with candies and small toys. Set it up in the backyard patio. When you are finished with your barbecue dinner, give the kids a chance to whack the piñata and enjoy all of the riches that fall to the ground.

Do you have a pool in your yard? If so, you’ll want your guests, including the kids, to bring bathing suits to the party. To this end, here is another party activity: Fill up red, white, and blue balloons with water and initiate a “toss the balloon” game. Each child can toss a balloon to the other. Whichever kid catches the most balloons without them breaking wins.

READ More on Have a Fun, Safe and Happy Fourth of July

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Dessert time is a fun time to involve the children. How about trying this recipe we recently found for this Fourth of July? Our family plans to. Invite them to make this wonderful red, white, and blue trifle. The great thing about this dish is that it’s virtually foolproof and it will look amazing no matter who handles the job, your two year old or your twenty year old.

Here is what you need to do for your Red White and Blue Trifle.

  • 1 box white cake mix
  • 2 packets of vanilla pudding
  • 1 pound of strawberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1 pound of blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1 ½ cup of heavy cream, whipped.
  • Make cake and pudding by directions on the box.
  • Thaw fruit if frozen. If fruit isn’t frozen, slice into bite sized pieces and add a tsp of sugar to make juices flow.
  • Cut white cake into large chunks.
  • Using a large clear dish, place a layer of cake chunks onto the bottom of the container.
  • Top with a layer of strawberries
  • Top with a layer of pudding
  • Top with a layer of cake chunks
  • Top with a layer of blueberries
  • Top with a layer of pudding
  • Continue layering until you reach the top of your container then top with whipped cream.

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I love this one for kids, and adults too: Popsicle Rockets

Here’s what you need to get started:  red juice, blue juice and white juice.
Red is easy, blue can be blue Gatorade or Kool aid, and white juice can be lemonade.

You’ll also need two dozen 3oz paper cups and two dozen Popsicle sticks.

  • Begin by having your children mix up the juice if need be.
  • Pour two tablespoons of the red juice into the bottom of each cup and place in the freezer for 2-3 hours.
  • Remove from freezer add two tablespoons of the white juice and place Popsicle sticks into the center of each cup.  Take care when pushing the sticks into the mostly frozen red juice.  Children can get enthusiastic and push the sticks all the way through the cup. 
  • Place back into the freezer for another 2-3 hours.  Pull out and top with white juice. 
  • Refreeze until hard.  Peel off paper cups and serve when ready! 

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