Skip the traditional goodie bags for your child's next birthday party — we've rounded up 15 fresh party favor ideas that your young guests will love, from a special music mix to cool take-home crafts. Plus, there's a sweet gift for Mom in here, too!
We all expect our kids to eventually assume responsibility for keeping themselves clean, but the question is, when?
Like many Circle of Moms members, April K. and Victoria H. are both seeing their grade-school-aged children insist on bathing and washing their hair on their own. But neither mom is sure her child is actually ready. "Is 6 too young to teach [my daughter] to shower by herself or is that too old?" asks Victoria, who still washes and rinses her daughter's hair even though "she has gotten the body-scrubbing part down." And April frets, a little more directly, whether a child of this age is capable of "cleaning themselves well enough?"
Many Circle of Moms members find that while the transition to independent bathing can start quite early, it usually — and by necessity — unfolds in stages. Here moms trade wisdom on when a child can typically shower or bathe dependably and safely — and on when to stop helping.
Amy S.'s 6-year-old daughter, who rides in the back of the family car in a booster seat, recently started asking if she can sit up in the front of the car with Mom. Jessica B.'s son is also begging to ride in the front seat, especially when he sees his peers get out from the front seat of the car when he's dropped off at school. Diane B.'s 11-year-old pretends not to hear her requests to return to the back seat.
It's normal for kids to express an interest in riding in the front seat of the car in the years leading up to teen-hood. But with parents in online communities referring to the front seat of a car as a "suicide seat," "death trap," or "child killer," as a Circle of Moms member named Charlie P. reports, it's no wonder the first response of many moms is a resolute "no."
Like many moms of teen girls, Gayle S. struggles with whether to put her 15-year-old daughter on birth control pills. It's not that she wants her daughter to be sexually active; it's that, as she explains, "She's started to see a 17-year-old boy a lot. . . . I don't want her think I don't trust her to be careful with this boy, but I think contraception is a good idea and [that] this needs to be addressed."
She's not alone. As another member, Loryn A., shares, "I absolutely would put my daughter on the pill. Let's be real here — we can teach our daughters about STDs, pregnancy, sex, and love, but in the end, we know they are going to do exactly what they want.”
Here, she and other Circle of Moms members share five reasons to put your teen daughter on birth control pills.
No one needs to tell you that being a mom is a full-time job. So if you also work outside the home, how in the world do you keep your house clean? The easiest answer is to hire someone to do the dirty work. But for most of us, that's not possible, at least not on a regular basis. Here are some tricks of the trade from seasoned Circle of Moms members who like to run a tight ship.
It had to be done. I had no other choice.
Which words should parents use when talking with children about private parts? There's certainly more than one perspective on the issue: Some moms adamantly believe that only anatomically correct names should be used, another camp is fine with cute code words, and still others fall somewhere in between. Here we break down the key reasons parents choose the words they do.
Graduation is the telltale sign that announces the next wave will soon be leaving for college! Parents become wistful, hoping and praying that their child's self-esteem is high enough to weather any of the life storms they'll have to face without their parents nearby.
Can't relate? That's probably because you're in the beginning of the process, the stage when you're helping your children discover just how capable they really are.
Over the last few years, several books have emerged sharing new research regarding a child's self-esteem, what works, and what doesn't work.
Prior to this new research, it was believed that copious amounts of praise would magically increase a child's self-esteem. As Circle of Moms reader Beth W. suggests, "Praise your daughter lots, which will help her self esteem/confidence as she grows up."
However, the new research shows us that there is more to the story. It's the way a parent praises a child that is the key to whether or not a child achieves high self-esteem.
At what age does it become inappropriate to shower or bathe with your child? Two, five, seven . . . never?
While many parents say showering with their young child, even of the opposite gender, is perfectly fine up to a certain point in time, there's little consensus on when exactly that moment is. But here are the four common reasons parents give for stopping and their thoughts on how to recognize when that moment arrives.
Wondering how to keep your kids entertained all Summer? Stave off Summer boredom with these 10 fun and affordable activities recommended by Circle of Moms members.
1. Library Programs
Local library Summer programs are recommended by numerous Circle of Moms members. As Rebecca S. advises: "Libraries are always having free events with story times, magic shows, etc." And Evelyne R. shares: "I also love to take my children to the library, most of them have a Summer reading program that offers prizes for books read. My children love this and it is free."
2. Free Bowling
Free bowling for the kiddies all Summer long? Sign us up! Thanks to Kids Bowl Free, children can register for two free games of bowling every day this Summer at participating bowling centers in the US and Canada.
Gardening is a great Summer activity for children of all ages. "The garden is full of hidden surprises" for preschoolers, says Jeanette B., as they can be entertained by "just looking under rocks (and) feeling the textures of different materials, such as grass, leaves, flowers, stones, [and] fir cones." For older children, Alissa V. recommends encouraging older children to independently make or redesign a small flower bed. No backyard? See if community gardens accept children as volunteers (try the ACGA locator tool). And don't forget a field trip to the local farmers market for inspiration.
4. State Parks
To engage curious kids, says Laurie W., "the best activities involve the outdoors — lakes, ponds, streams, conservation areas and trails — to explore rocks, bugs, birds, and plants." And as Chaya S. suggests, Summer is a great time to explore state parks in your area; many have kid-friendly guided nature walks and science centers.