Best Places to Shop for Children's Stuff

Hello, lately I have been all over the Internet searching for the best places to buy everything from Sony ps 3 games to pajamas for the children, and the following is what I came up with...

Magic Kids & Company

If you aren't particular about names, although there are some bran name items, and are more interested in price and selection, then go to this site. What you will find is both boys and girls clothes from all categories from newborn to 8 years of age. I have paid as little as $2 for a quality sleeper for my baby and as much as $10 for a jump suit for my bigger boys. Now that is a steal! Also, if you are one of those folks who love flea markets (also known as swap meets) then may I suggest you start your own weekend business by purchasing a lot of clothes in advance and selling them to market-goers?

Those gaming systems and video games to go along with them are too expensive in brick and mortar stores and the corny games (dare I say it) are what is on sale. Forget about them! Amazon has hundreds of private sellers like you and I selling new and pre-owned games, you might as well check for your titles there before anywhere else!

Now you are just shopping the entire site for your goods --- no way! Go straight to the clearance rack online. Type in "clearance" and you will find a host of items on the clearance rack in all categories. Now let's say you don't see anything worthwhile on Monday, because most of the items were out of stock from the weekend, don't worry wait a day or two and come back, you just might get lucky!

Now Upromise has a database that includes many of the on and offline retailers that you may be familiar. If you have an account with them, you might as well use it so that your children gain some money in their college savings account for what you bought.

I was surprised! But I really liked there selection for toys and the prices were reasonable. They are also listed in Upromise as well as the other stores mentioned so as I said before you might as well gain some money back on your purchase.

Now stores I was very disappointed in this year were as follows:

Toys R Us because I noticed online that many of the toys I wanted I had to pay shipping, so they didn't make any money off of me this year. You either have free shipping or you don't!

Sears wasn't happy with their price on clothing and the selction of toys were not unique enough for my taste. Go to the brick and mortar store and you might do better on the clearance rack in the back!

JcPenny same thing as I said about Sears.

Target had a great selection of toys, many I hadn't seen offline, but $20 plus for many. I don't think so, not for a baby or a toddler who will just look at it and on to something else!

Gap had some very nice clothes for the young men, but was it just me...I don't know but I wasn't impressed with some of the styles and could we say free shipping?

Old Navy good for the teens and young adults not good for the little ones. They grow entirely too fast to pay more than $10 on anything!

Burlington Coat Factory's sister site for Babies what's it called again? Not happy with the older children's line of clothing, but for a newborn you might be pleasantly surprised.

Kmart you would do better going inside their brick and mortar store. I wasn't impressed with the price of the toys or the clothes online. You would do far better with children's clothes dealing with private sellers and wholesale companies.

Kb Toys saves their best toys and prices for their retail stores, so don't bother shopping online. I saw a significant price difference between what I saw on the Internet and in the store fliers, so if you can shop their brick and mortar store.

Just remember if you do any shopping online check using Upromise first and also consider Paypal for their buy now pay later system -- definitely useful for those items you simply forgot to buy for others!

Written by Nicholl McGuire

I Don't Always Like My Children

I don't know about you but there are those times that I dislike my children, more than I love them. I know this is a bold statement, but it is true and I believe in honesty not lies or half-truths. They can get on my nerves to no end!

The whining, the arguing, lying, yelling, and other out of control behavior that shows up when you least expect it. A good talk and a threat of violence doesn't consistently help matters, sometimes it makes things worse.

I guess just like adults, children get into their unexplainable mood swings where everything in their world is tough, terrible, depressing, and miserable, so we are the unfortunate ones that catch their wrath. I guess if you put yourself in their shoes, it can be a bit challenging. I mean when they are newborns, they can't lift their neck, roll over, raise their arms, or barely see, I guess that is a good enough reason to scream their head off. Then when they are able to do the basic things, they still have to face the challenges of raising up, rolling over, sitting without support, making sounds, and digesting new foods. Later, the other difficulties of cutting teeth, saying bye to parents, seeing new things and experiencing strange places while trying to get some control over their bodily functions...whew! These are plenty of reasons for them to want to snap on us on some days too!

I guess I can't complain too much, I think I like them again!

Written by: Nicholl McGuire

Looking for a simple way to start saving for college?

I don't know about you, but I try to avoid shopping at stores that don't offer benefits. What I mean is savings cards, coupons, discounts, and other incentives to keep me coming back. I found a company that not only offers discounts, but helps me save for my children's future. If you would like to know more, just click the following link:
Click Here!

Educational Toys Are Good… But Don't My Children Need Some Toys Just For Fun?

Okay, so this opinion might not be the most popular. But please, don't crucify me. I'm a good dad. I got my kids all the toys my wife found to help the kids’ "development." You know, educational toys. The kind you have to drive twenty miles out of your way to tiny store in a strip mall in West Nowhere to find, or order from some obscure catalog or website based in Canada.

And believe me, I'm glad my kids have things like mini computers that teach spelling and math, crystal-growing science project kits, memory games, puzzle cubes and problem-solving computer CD-ROMs. But I sometimes wonder, when I see those toys strewn all over the living room floor, abandoned and neglected while Katie and little Mitch are sticking balls of Silly Putty in their ears, maybe kids should have some toys just for fun and nothing else?

After all, when I was a kid we didn't have all this stuff. We had little red wagons and toy cowboy pistols. We had Lincoln Logs, Matchbox cars, building blocks and our imaginations. I can remember a summer when I was 6 when my only new toy was a stick my dad helped me turn into a fishing pole. And that kept me busy seven days a week!

I'll tell you this much. I would rather see my kids play with a toy that they enjoy, that inspires them to run around and have fun and explore the world than some "educational" toy that they're going to sit around playing with for a few hours until they tire of it and never touch it again.

Heck, I'd even rather see them chase each other around the back yard with toy guns than sit inside with some pseudo-egghead puzzle or game that's supposed to make me feel better about spending fifty bucks!

You can’t open a newspaper or turn on a TV news program without somebody saying that today’s children are obese and inactive. And I see it all the time. My kids’ friends come over to play and I can’t help but notice that a lot of them are pretty chubby. And they come from good families, not the kind where the parents are feeding them Twinkies and plopping them in front of the TV for hours at a time. But a lot of these kids are coming over and playing with our “educational” computer math games, and just sitting on their butts!

This is what I’d like to see. I’d like people to let go of this idea that a toy has to be clearly “educational” for it to be worthwhile. I’d like people to consider other factors, like if the toy will get our kids moving around and playing actively, or if it will turn them into little couch potatoes. I’d like people to think about whether their kids will actually enjoy the toy, or whether it will sit untouched.

Let’s put away all these silly ideas about what’s right for our kids and just them be kids and have fun the old-fashioned way.

About the Author
A Canadian online toy store featuring educational toys such as lego, lego Mindstorms, aquadoodle, science toys, outdoor toys, music toys that will help your child learn while having fun.

Looking for pre-owned baby items?

Currently, we are selling some items to help new moms on eBay if you know someone who could use a few things, feel free to bid for them. The prices are low. Go to the following link:

Thanks in advance if you should make a purchase.
Nicholl McGuire

Wholesale Men's, Women's & Children's Apparel & Clothing For Ebay

eBay has long been known as the top online auction site. One of the leading categories for eBay auctions would be clothing and apparel for the following popular categories; children's, men's and women's.

Many people have wanted to capitalize on the potential that eBay offers selling clothing online through eBay, however they haven't found a good supplier or wholesaler to do so. Many people first start by cleaning out their clothes from their dressers and closets only to run out of things to sell. Sure another option would be to start venturing out to garage sales to obtain products, however with gas prices lately this is becoming an ineffective method.

We have come to realize that the best method is to find companies that sell wholesale apparel and wholesale clothing in bulk at large discounts. Ultimately you want to become an efficient eBay seller, and finding a wholesaler will give you the opportunity to buy quality items at great discounts. Another great thing about buying wholesale men's, women's and children's clothes is that you can get items that are brand new for garage sale prices (or even lower).

Imagine buying a lot of 100 brand name as well as brand new items for less than 1 or 2 dollars per item. This is entirely possible and smart eBay sellers have been capitalizing on this sort of thing for years, and succeeding doing it! One of the troubles is that finding a good and reliable source is not always easy. We recommend that you search Google, yahoo or MSN for the following terms; wholesale apparel, wholesale clothing, wholesale clothes, wholesale men's apparel, wholesale women's apparel, etc. (you get the idea)

With the vast selection available on the internet and the numerous supply of clothing vendors, it is only a matter of time before you land on your own appropriate and quality source!

Some people wonder how those top power eBay sellers can sell thousands of items a month. Well, there are some great tools available for you to accomplish this, a free one is eBay's turbo lister. Additionally if you really want to sell tons of items on eBay, you must be able to purchase easily and in bulk to meet the demand for your listings. Therefore buying a wholesale lot or wholesale pallet of clothing is a great idea. These lots and pallets usually include a variety of identical items that can save you time in preparing eBay ads!

Additionally, when selling on eBay you must understand that your product name must include major key terms in the product title or product name itself. This is how eBay places you to the top of the rankings. Below you will find a great resource for wholesale mens clothing, childrens apparel and women's clothes.

Joel McLaughlin
RhinoMart Publisher

Rhinomart offers wholesale men's, women's and children's apparel. They also offer ebay wholesale clothing lots & clothes pallets at

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Buying Baby Clothes At A Discount

Dressing your little darling doesn’t have to cost a fortune

It is no secret that having and providing for a new baby is an expensive job. With the expense of those all-important early doctor’s visits, necessary items for the nursery, and the rising prices of formula, diapers, and various infant accessories, it seems a wonder that anyone can afford to reproduce anymore. While it’s difficult to argue in favor of cutting corners when it comes to your baby, there are a few ways that you can save money on some of your baby related purchases. Baby clothes and layette needs are fortunately one area where you can afford to save a few bucks without diminishing the level of comfort and care that your little Nick or Jessica receives.

Secondhand Baby Clothes

This is a sore spot for some parents and not without good reason. The thought of putting “used” clothing on your baby can come with numerous unspoken horrors and various levels of mental anguish. After all, how do you know where that used Onesie has been? Fortunately, concerned parents can rest their minds easily and put aside the fears associated with purchasing secondhand baby wear by following a few bits of common sense. Used infant attire should only be purchased from a reputable source. A thrift store like those run by the Salvation Army or a good secondhand store that specializes in baby goods (Other Mothers is a particularly good chain in the Western United States) can be considered safe sources since they make a point of sterilizing such items before offering them for resale. Avoid purchasing any items for a baby from a garage sale or “flea market” unless you know the seller personally and even then do so with caution. Any secondhand baby items you do obtain – even those given to you by friends or family members – should be washed thoroughly before you ever put them on your child.

Shopping Online

The internet has been doing wonders for people’s wallets for years. In almost every case items that you can purchase in a local store can be found online for less. Baby clothes are no exception and there are literally hundreds of e-commerce web sites that will be more than happy to sell you everything you need for your baby’s layette and wardrobe at a considerable savings compared to what you’ll pay at the local Babies ‘R’ Us store. In addition to baby clothing, almost every other conceivable baby need can be met online for less. In many cases you can get free shipping as well. The web won’t save you from the occasional midnight run to the local 24 hour grocer or Wal-Mart for emergency diapers or formula, but it’s a veritable hero in most other regards.

Other options for saving money on baby clothes and accessories do exist, and most are fairly common sense approaches. Buying infant wear from Kmart, Target or Wal-Mart is certainly going to cost you less than shopping at Dillards, JC Penney, or Sak’s, for example, as will choosing off brand or no-name items instead of Baby Dior and Weebok’s. Babies cost enough money as it is, there’s no reason not to put a little green back in your pocket now by saving on baby clothes when you know you’ll be shelling it out for braces and piano lessons later in life.

About the Author
Kirsten Hawkins is a dog lover and animal expert from Nashville, TN. Visit for more information on dog health, the care of dogs, and dog travel.

Baby Toys: The Best Choices for Baby’s Development

Toys do more than just keep babies entertained – they’re extremely important for their mental, physical, intellectual and social development. They are the tools that teach baby about their world and their place in it. They add excitement to learning about life, how things work and how to get along with others. Good toys will give your little one the motivation to play and develop basic skills.

This article provides suggestions on choosing age appropriate toys and activities during baby’s first year. Following these guidelines will help you be continually expanding baby’s horizons and encouraging healthy development.

During the First 3 Months

For the first few months babies do little more than sleep and eat. In fact some sleep as much as 20 hours a day! Make the most of the time they’re awake by choosing toys and nursery accessories that stimulate them and encourage them to use their developing senses.

When playing with a newborn, remember that they see best when objects are about eight inches away from their face. Make sure they can see you by leaning in when talking to them and holding toys close.

At this stage introduce…

- A Mobile: Scientific research has shown that babies who are given appropriate stimulation show sustained developmental advantages over babies in less stimulating environments. Although they won’t be able to focus on the specific shapes hanging from the mobile, babies are fascinated by the movement of a mobile and it encourages skills such as pattern recognition, eye/hand coordination, gross motor activity, and a sense of object permanence. Choose one that plays music and it will do double duty!

- Music: From the time they’re born, babies can hear high pitched noises and are soothed by low pitched noises. Numerous studies have concluded that playing music to babies in the womb and in the early years helps build the neural bridges along which thoughts and information travel. It's known as the Mozart Effect, a theory which is credited with boosting IQ, improving health, strengthening family ties and even producing the occasional child prodigy. It has also been shown that music can also stimulate the brain's alpha waves, creating a feeling of calm.

- Simple Toys: Experts agree that babies get a great deal out of the toys that they can amuse themselves with. They learn many different things through their senses at this time, and through their senses, they discover their world. The most fascinating toys to a baby at this stage are those that make noise, or that use a lot of high contrast black and white, or bright colors such as red and yellow.

3 – 6 Months

By 3 months old baby has discovered her hands - and her mouth. Her fists will uncurl more and she’ll be able to start grasping. She may hold things for a moment and then lift them to her mouth to suck. Almost everything she grabs is likely to end up in her mouth.

During this stage babies also become much more aware of their environment. They respond to tickling, and other games you play with them. Now is the time to start introducing more interactive toys and activities that promote bonding and encourage baby to expand her boundaries.

At this stage introduce…

- Nursing Necklaces: At a few months of age babies start to pinch, and pull at mom during feeding. Nursing necklaces (also called breastfeeding necklaces) give baby something else to hold to prevent mom from being hurt. They also provide baby with visual and tactile stimulation that furthers cognitive development.

- Books: Baby is now able to focus on objects at different distances so it’s a good time to start reading to her. She’ll be able to see the pictures and words on the page and even at this young age will begin to associate words with sounds.

- Handheld Toys: Baby can now hold onto objects and wave them around. She’s also aware of the differences between her toys. Now is a good time to introduce different textures and sizes of toys that she can use by herself. She’ll love the independence and you’ll notice her hand eye co-ordination greatly improving.

- Varied Music: Now that baby is more aware of her surroundings, you’ll notice that sometimes she’ll prefer to listen to a gentle lullaby, while at other times she’ll want to hear more active music. Introduce a range of music at this stage so that she hears different musical instruments and tunes played at various speeds and volumes.

6 – 9 Months

By the time babies are six to nine months old, they are usually able to sit by themselves and are learning to crawl. Babies will also be learning fine motor skills, such as pinching and grasping objects with just two fingers. At this stage you’ll want to provide baby with a variety of toys to play with in all shapes and sizes to satisfy the growing curiosity and need to explore.

At this stage introduce…

- Reasoning Toys: Baby can now understand that an object is behind something and the idea of nesting objects. Encourage the use of reasoning skills with toys and games that make him think. Be sure to celebrate when he figures them out!

- Physical Development Toys: Encourage baby to use his body in new ways by providing toys that require him to move and stretch. Balls are great because you can make a game of rolling them back and forth, as are toys on wheels that move away from him so he’ll have to chase them.

- Bath Toys: Now that baby can sit up, he’ll begin to be more active during his bath. This is a great time to introduce water toys that encourage baby to learn about water. Squeaky ducks, cups to fill with water and empty again and anything else that is water safe and easy to hold can provide lots of entertainment.

9 – 12 Months

Babies at this stage like to make things happen - they enjoy pushing a button and hearing a song, or seeing something light up. Having the ability to interact with their surroundings is very exciting and once they find something they like, they do it over and over (and over!) again.

At this stage introduce…

- Interactive Toys: Babies can now interact with their toys in a way they weren’t able to before. Anything that responds in some way to baby’s actions or makes a noise will become fast favorites and will teach baby about cause and effect.

- Co-Ordination Enhancing Toys: Babies at this stage are very mobile and enjoy pushing and pulling items. Toys that require them to use their whole body are great for encouraging them to walk. Other favorite games will include stacking items and then knocking them over and filling up an item and then dumping its contents.

- Language Development Toys: Baby is now able to say simple words such as “no” and “dog”. Encourage his growing vocabulary with toys and games that develop language skills. Great options are toys that say words when a button is pushed or videos that focus on language development. Fabric or board books are also good because after reading the story you can give the book to baby to flip the pages and “read” it back to you.

- Role Playing Toys: They watch you and will want to start mimicking the things you do. Toys such as play telephones, brooms, shopping carts and steering wheels will be a big hit and will help baby explore the world of make believe.

Raising a well rounded child requires knowing what stage baby is at and introducing ways for them to grow and develop their minds and skills. Giving baby age appropriate toys will give him or her the best possible foundation for mental and personal growth.

About the Author
Jennifer Kirkpatrick is the owner of Pipsqueak Boutique, an online baby store
with a unique collection of baby essentials, gifts, toys, music and nursery items. For all the baby products mentioned in this article and so much more, visit

Baby Stroller Overviews

Superdad here, keeping you up to the minute on all things baby. I just got to go shopping for a new perambulation apparatus and was informed by the real power of the house that I needed to get the right kind of stroller.

The right kind of stroller?? It has wheels, you put the kid in it... what did she mean by kind of stroller?

How little did I know.

As it turns out, my survival instincts combined with my Superdad nature and I did a bit of research on strollers. Dads, listen up: there are TONS of different kinds of strollers out there. Save yourself some grief and check out what I found...

Regular or Standard Strollers: these strollers are what you see most of the time at the mall- not that Superdad spends a lot of time at the mall, but it's what you'd use there. It has a place for one kid to sit and maybe a little room underneath or behind for necessities- a few diapers, wipes, a bottle or two... that kind of thing.

But what if you need something for the flea market or church? Something for the back of the smaller car? This is when the Lightweight Stroller comes into play. Lightweight strollers are easily recognizable by their traditional umbrella handled push bars as well as how compact they can break down. Situations when you just need to get the kiddoes moved a very short distance or in a tight space usually warrant this kind of stroller. Generally, they weigh less, and take up less storage space but have fewer features than the others. Of all the types of strollers, the one you can't do without is the Lightweight Stroller.

So what if you have a newborn? You can't put a newborn in just any stroller; it's much smarter to opt for a Stroller Travel System. Stroller Travel Systems integrate car carriers into a medium weight stroller frame that is usually designed to grow with the child to a point. It's not unusual for these Stroller Travel Systems to stay in your home until your child is well into his toddler phase.

That covers most of the conventional stroller choices but there are a few others that you might have to consider if you fit the lifestyle:

Multiple Child Strollers, for those who didn't learn after having the first child. These come in just about every imaginable configuration from twins, to toddler plus twins, to quintuplets. They generally cost more than a normal model but you have to get those rascals around somehow.

Active Strollers are for those of us who would like to stay in shape- these strollers incorporate larger wheels and are designed for the kind of tough treatment you might expect when bringing baby out on the jogging trail or even behind your bike. Common features include hand brakes, larger tires, and lower centers of gravity.

Prams or Fashion Strollers- Remember those old Tom & Jerry cartoons with the stroller with the large wheels, the raised up sun bonnet, the shopping cart handle and the little tyke inside facing mommy? Well, a few things have changed besides the fact that Superdad is just as likely to be the one pushing but the basic design remains. Think of these strollers less as vehicles for moving the kids from A to B, but more of a mobile crib or travelling basinet.

That's it for today's Superdad report... you're now more than ready to get your new edition the right stroller.

I would check out for Baby Strollers and other baby related products.

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Baby Car Seats

Your baby undoubtedly deserves nothing more than the most comfortable and safest car seats, but with the hundreds of choices that all seem to offer different features, how do you know which is best? Use this guide to help you decide.

The features you should look for in a car seat should change as your baby grows. You typically start with a rear-facing seat for an infant, and then progress to a forward-facing child seat for toddlers, and then to a booster seat for bigger children. Let us discuss what you should look for in each type.

Rear-facing seats are designed for infants under twelve months. Look for a seat that is big enough to support the baby’s head, neck, and spine. If your baby’s head goes higher than the top part of the seat, get a bigger size or graduate to a car seat designed for toddlers.

Choose a rear-facing seat with sturdy harnesses – the more support, the better. Five-point harness straps support the shoulders, hips, and the crotch, but can be quite restricting. There are three-point versions available, which adequately secure the baby’s shoulders and crotch. You may have to pay a few extra dollars for added features such as detachable bases that can be secured to your car, or adjustable bases, but these add-ons are more than worth it. Some models even have convertible seats, which are great if you have a big or a fast-growing baby.

Forward-facing car seats are needed when your baby is already a year old or older. Remember to install this seat on your back seat, not your front seat, because your airbags can injure your child or cause him or her to suffocate in the event of a collision.

Booster seats are for children ages four to six. These seats are designed much like adult car seats, with a seatbelt that supports both the rib cage and the hips. Fasten and adjust the belt just like you would your own seatbelt – the belt should go over the hips (not the tummy), and the strap should support the shoulder (not the neck).

Car Seats provides detailed information on Car Seats, Baby Car Seats, Dog Car Seats, Heated Car Seats and more. Car Seats is affiliated with Custom Car Seat Covers.

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You Don't Need a "Supernanny" to Be an Active Parent

The hot new reality TV show "Nanny 911" has been joined by a similar nanny-to-the-rescue show called "Supernanny." These shows depict families in which the children are extremely out of control, rebellious, spoiled or otherwise quite a handful. The nannies come in for a week (from sunrise to bedtime each day), helping the family get back on track by teaching the parents effective parenting skills and modeling these skills firsthand with the children.

I have to admit to having only seen one episode of "Nanny 911," but, speaking as a parenting educator, I was impressed. The nanny sent to the rescue knew her stuff. She taught the parents to set limits, how to discipline using logical consequences and how to be firm and calm at the same time. She was good enough--and here's a huge compliment coming--to have been an Active Parenting leader. In fact, at one point, as the passive father is learning to be more involved, these words appear on the screen: "Father is becoming a more active parent."

Although I'm not a big reality TV fan in general, I think these two particular shows can be of real value to a lot of parents. They provide useful information and teach good parenting skills. Let's face it--if it works with these dysfunctional families, these skills will probably work for you, too!

And here's the good news: you don't have to be on a reality show to learn effective parenting skills. Parenting classes are available all over the country. You can watch the videos, consult with a parent educator, and share ideas with other parents just like you. To find one in your community, check with your child's school guidance counselor. Many classes are also listed on our web site.

But however you decide to improve your family life, please keep making the effort. Parenting is not the only influence on a child's life...but it's the one you can do the most about.

Author: Michael H. Popkin, Ph.D.
Dr. Popkin is a former child and family therapist in Atlanta. He founded Active Parenting Publishers in 1983 to help parents raise responsible children who are able to face life's challenges. His free, online "What's Your Parenting Style?" quiz is a popular way for parents to spot the strengths and weaknesses of their style.

Why Your Child Suddenly Doesn't Like School

So you are excited and nervous, next year your child will be going to Kindergarten! However, when you talked to him or her they tell you, "Mommy and Daddy I don't want to go to school!"

What happened? Wasn't it just a few months ago they said they wanted to go to school? The tips preceding this will help you find out why the change in attitude and what you need to do to get them excited again about school.

Did you change daycares or caretakers? Sometimes when you change the child's environment the people around them may not be enriching your child's mind or encouraging him or her when they make strides in their development. Is there a bigger child bullying him or her? Are their children making fun of them? Is he or she spending a lot of time playing alone? Find out what is going on at their pre-school.

Have you recently divorced or separated from the child's mother or father? If so, he or she may not want to go through another separation by being apart from you. Going to school may make them feel as if he or she is alone. Talk with your child's teacher about what you have noticed with your son or daughter. He or she may have some great ideas to help you with your child's behavior.

Are there negative images, people, places, or things around your child? Television, radio, and music can play a significant part in how a child views his or her world. Pay close attention whether what they are seeing or hearing is affecting their behavior.

Do they have a bedtime schedule? As crazy as it may seem, not getting enough sleep can make anyone's behavior distorted. He or she may have had bad dreams; for example, about other children, riding a school bus, or sitting in a classroom.

Have you recently had a new baby? Sibling jealousy is very real. Preschoolers can be envious of newborns. They may do or say negative things to get attention.

Has someone recently become ill or died? Depending on how close they were to the family member or friend, they may not want to attend school because they fear that you will leave them too.

Once you have determined why your child has had a change of heart about attending school, make a list of things you can do to make school fun again. Think of things you did or didn't do to promote education. Did you read to your child? Take them to fun places where other children were present? Did you let them visit a school? Show fun videotapes on going to school? When your child talks or hears about school, does your family say positive things about it?

Everyone will need to be a part of this intervention to get your child to like school again. Find workbooks, coloring books, and crafts that will promote early learning. Don't stop encouraging your child to want to learn, and interact with other children. However, if school is nearing and you have done everything consistently and got others involved to encourage your child, you may want to have he or she see a child therapist. They may be able to uncover some things happening with your child that you may have overlooked.

For more work by Nicholl McGuire, see 

Financial Mistakes that Could Ruin Your Child's College Experience

Whether a child is the first to attend college in the family or the 41st, there is one major area in his or her life that will be dramatically affected by what parents say or do. This life experience involves how your child deals with his or her finances while attending college. Without effective parental planning, wisdom, patience, and most of all money, your child will most likely not complete college for reasons other than being unmotivated, distracted, or disinterested and they will have you to blame.

The following financial tips have been provided based on reasons why some people leave college and to help you evaluate what you have been saying or doing that may be causing more harm than good.

The worst mistake many parents do is send their children off to college without a college savings plan, sufficient grants and scholarships to help foot the bill, and no financial contribution from the family. Why encourage the child to go to a four-year university that you know you can't afford?

Parents will also make the mistake of not bothering to research other schooling that may be more affordable for all. Although college is a great choice it is not the only choice. There are trade and business schools that have programs that complete in months rather than years. Know where they are, how much they cost, programs offered, and whether your son and daughter would be willing to attend one of them. If he or she isn't paying for college, they may not have a choice.

Co-signing on loans has put a strain on many relationships between parents and children. Why allow them to take out loans knowing you nor they won't be able to pay even the minimum for a while. Deferring the loans also known as temporarily stopping payment until he or she can pay only allows the loan to accrue interest.

What about opening a credit card account for your child? If it isn't absolutely necessary, don't do it. Instead, purchase a debit card for him or her that gives you greater control over their finances until they show they are responsible. Although they can still open a credit card account on their own, be sure you remind them what will happen if they don't meet the payments each month. Talk to them about their credit report, credit score, and how it affects their future purchases. Show them how to use credit cards to build income like starting their own business, buying property or investing in mutual funds. When you encourage your child to use credit cards to pay for groceries, entertainment, rent, books, and transportation, you are teaching them that everything is an emergency no matter how small.

The time will come that you will grow tired of sending them money and will want them to get a job. If you want them to work while attending college, be prepared for them to reduce the amount of classes they take. It is rare for a college student to work a college work-study, a full time job, and carry a full time credit load, most often there just isn't enough time in the day to do it all. If you know that you don't have any intention of helping your child with their bills while attending college, then at least keep your eyes open for employers in your area hiring. Review his or her cover letter and resume while providing suggestions. Send them a book of stamps or offer to mail their resume to employers.

Withholding money to get your children to behave may have worked when he or she was a teenager, but for the young adult it can only aid in bitter feelings. Find another way to send a message that you want him or her to straighten up when they are failing classes such as being silent. Your silence will make them feel you are disappointed in them and they will either respect how you feel and see that they get their work done. You may want to reduce the money you send, but don't cut them off completely. You don't want them to blame you for not being able to purchase a book they needed for class.

When you haven't been the best example with your finances, you can't expect your children to do better than you. Rather be candid with the mistakes you made and show them what they are doing that is causing problems now and in the future with regard to their finances. Be a fortuneteller and provide them with a crystal ball of what their future holds.

Why do parents expect their children to acknowledge family holidays even though they know their children have no money? Don't put that kind of pressure on them when you know that you are barely giving them enough money to buy their personal products. Tell them you don't expect them to buy anything during holidays.

Parents will expect their children to use their financial aid money for their basic needs, rather than tell them to save it and use that to make future payments on their tuition and/or books. What's even worse, some parents expect children to send some of their financial aid money to them.

You busy college student will need for you to make the time to teach them how to manage their finances. Don't do this until you have your own financial situation together. Remember to seek professional advice for matters you don't understand.

For more articles by Nicholl McGuire, Click Here!

Tips Of Positive Parenting Skills - Parenting Guidelines For Single Mothers

Raising children as a single mother is a challenge. There are moments when you find that your life is in complete disarray and your house is in complete chaos. This is the time when you feel that you lack essential parenting tips as a single mother. It is better to have such arsenal at your disposal before you land in such a situation.

There are numerous ways to deal with various age groups. Confronting strategies for toddlers differ with those for teenagers. Your 16 year old boy is likely to make fun of you if he is told to spend some time in a thinking chair as he is being obstinate, stubborn and aggressive. On the other hand a few minutes time out will do wonders while tackling a 4 year old. So to be successful as a single mother you should have a set of parenting tips for each group.

Material regarding good parenting skills is widely available. A number of genuine and self proclaimed specialists are also around. A list of websites, books and other means in this aspect would probably require paragraphs. To make your life easy I would mention a few here. You can start with a library or a book shop. Single moms bringing up toddlers and smaller children will really benefit from the Parents Magazine. Unfortunately the major content in Parents Magazine is aimed at married parents. Among the various books available, you should go through at least a couple of them. Those who like Dr. Fan will recommend you his books. Dr. Terry Brazelton is an authority on child behavior. He is a father as well as a pediatrician. Even though a number of his books may be out of date, the attitude of babies and other children has remained the same since long. Last of all "The Well Trained Mind" is a good choice for those who want to train their children early.

A number of websites and organizations are available to assist single mothers with parenting tips. A renowned group is Parents without partners. They provide a wide range of information for single mothers. In the UK similar information is available on gingerbread. Early Start and Head Start Programs deliver the same services in the USA. You may not be eligible for their preschool assistance, but you can participate in courses and seminars which they conduct on positive parenting. Last of all you can look for topics like single parenting and single mothers through any search engine on the internet and get the required information. So if you are a single mother in search of parenting tips now you know where and how to get the required information.

If you require some parenting tips just now I can give you a few basics. As an adult you should be in control. Keep yourself composed all the time. This may not be easy, particularly when you find green finger paint all over your kitchen. The moment you become angry and irritable, you lose your composure. Such a situation may make your little child scared. To be successful always be composed and exercise control over your voice and actions.

Discover ways to get help from single parenting support group and resource on single mother support when you visit, the online single parenting support resources for dummy

Sound Advice To Help You Save Now For Your Childs Education Using An Education IRA!

This investment retirement account (IRA) is useful to you as an investor to understand because it may be a good way for you to save for your kid’s education AND save on taxes. These plans are now called Coverdell Education Savings Accounts in honor of the late U.S. Sen. Paul Coverdell. Individuals can make annual contributions of up to $2,000 per child into an account that's exclusively for helping to pay higher education costs. The money contributed to a Coverdell account doesn't count against the $3,000 ($3,500 if 50 and older) annual total individuals may contribute to their combined personal individual IRAs.

The earnings and withdrawals from a Coverdell account are tax-free, but you can't deduct the contributions from your income tax because the account is for the benefit of the child, not the contributor. This is great for parents who are good savers and investors who want to make an annual tax-saving contribution that they can invest in the stock market toward the education of a studious and responsible child. In addition, if your child received a Coverdell ESA distribution, you now can also claim Hope Scholarship or Lifetime Learning credits. Just make sure you don't use Coverdell money to pay for the same expenses you use to claim an education credit.

The beneficiary (your child) of the education IRA must withdraw the funds by age 30 if they don’t go to college and pay taxes and penalties on it. However, the account can be transferred to a sibling or the beneficiary's child if they don’t pursue a higher academic degree or use it all.

Once you have the account open you can use the stock market to help finance your child’s education selling the stock at a high price after you have bought it at a low price using the techniques that I teach you in my course “The Blue-Collar Base Bonanza – What the insiders [definitely] don’t want you to know!”.

About the Author
Dr. Scott Brown, Ph.D., the Wallet Doctor, is a successful investor. Dr. Brown holds a Ph.D. in finance. The Wallet Doctor is sought after for investment advice and coaching. For more information visit Dr. Brown’s site at or sign up for his investment tips at

Child Sexual Abuse - Signs And Symptoms

Sexual abuse has affected millions of children throughout the world. Child sexual abuse is defined as: An adult using a child for sexual purposes. This can be in the form of child pornography, submitting children to look at pornography, fondling, touching, kissing, sodomy, exposing oneself to a child, rape, oral sex, intercourse, or having the child touch the adult. All children will react differently to this type of trauma. There is no one single identifiable sign or symptom that all children will have. They may have very subtle symptoms or they may have very pronounced symptoms. I have gathered a list of symptoms that children of sexual abuse are often seen to have.

Bedwetting (after being potty trained)

Waking up in the night screaming, nightmares or other sleeping problems

Showing an unusual fear of certain people, places or things

A reluctance to be with a certain person

Loss of appetite or trouble eating

Fear of the bathroom

Excessive crying

Mood changes, anger outbursts or withdrawal or fear

Becomes worried when clothing is removed

Wearing layers of clothing

Age inappropriate knowledge of sex

Imitating sexual acts with other children or toys, such as dolls

Withdrawing from activities they used to be involved in

Difficulty walking or sitting

Complains of pain with urination or bowel movement

Bleeding from the genital area or anus

Academic problems

Lowered self esteem

Symptoms of PTSD such as panic attacks

Somatic complaints

Regression of behavior

Having new words for private body parts

Excessive masturbation

These are all symptoms of child sexual abuse. One common feeling I have found in working with children and adolescents, is guilt. Children usually feel guilt over the abuse that occurred. It is important to remember that under no circumstance is a child ever responsible for what happened to them. It is crucial that “re- victimization” does not happen. Some ways a child can be re- victimized is by saying to the child:

“Uncle Joey, or Grandpa Bob would never do that to you, why are you lying?”

“It couldn’t of been that bad, or you would have told me sooner”

Child sexual abuse victims usually carry this trauma with them for the rest of their lives. Some children as they begin to get older will start using drugs, get into relationships with others who are abusive, see themselves as “damaged goods” and begin acting out sexually. Engage is self mutilation, such as cutting behaviors. Some children gain weight or don’t take care of themselves so they look “unattractive” to others.

There is hope. Finding the proper treatment for past trauma can be influential on how they cope with this as an adult. Rape crisis centers are usually available in most states. There is also a national rape crisis center. They are a full service agency that addresses prevention, education, crisis intervention, counseling and advocacy. They work with both children and adults. There is also a 24 hour hotline available at the national rape crisis center, for parents or victims of sexual abuse.

About the Author
Wendy McLellan is a licensed mental health and substance abuse counselor, with more than sixteen years of experience. She has recently devoted time to the efforts of in their goal to provide parental internet safety tools and resources to the public.

Family Fun Activities: Why Family Entertainment Is Important For Your Family

Do you spend much time considering the issue of family entertainment? When parents compare notes and questions about parenting, the issue of entertainment rarely comes up. After all, how can family fun compare with such important issues as health, safety, values, nutrition, and education? But family fun is an important issue for parents for three reasons.

First, it is important to remember that family bonds are not born in the delivery room. Family bonds have to be forged and strengthened over time. Family fun is a great way to build family bonds by spending time together. While you cannot plan an activity specifically just to create a better relationship with your children you can improve your relationship through a family fun activity.

Second, the best way to teach your children something new or help them master a new skill is through fun. No one, and especially not kids, likes learning by listening to a boring lecture but if you can take your children to a location that allows you to teach them something about science, history, or the world then you will be increasing their knowledge based. Fun can be educational as well as entertaining. Remember, that there are all kinds of fun scientific concepts as well as world knowledge that can be learned outside of museums.

Family fun activities are also important for building those lasting memories of their childhood that children will carry into adulthood and out of your home. What stories do you want your children to be able to tell their children? What memories do you want your children to have? Happy childhood memories can help children with self esteem and overcome challenges in the future. Giving your children those happy childhood memories will help provide a solid foundation to become the people you want them to be as adults.

Spending time, energy and money focusing on family fun activities is a worthwhile activity for every parent because it helps strengthen family bonds, provides opportunities for learning, and creates lasting memories. Keep that in mind the next time you decide family entertainment is not a high priority.

About the Author
Deanna Mascle shares more Family Fun Activities and Family Entertainment Tips at

Thirteen Things Adults Can Learn From Children

Children can teach adults a thing or two. If you just take a moment and observe a child's mannerisms, you will see some surprising things in their personalities that would make you wish, "Where did those days go when I was a kid?" Followed by childhood memories that made you smile. Whether it was your favorite toy, place to go, or the warm feeling you get when you smell a certain food or listen to a song, it's moments like those that you will cherish forever. Yet, what if you could learn from those moments through the children you watch interacting today? Make some adjustment to a life you may not be too happy with these days. What possibly could a child teach an adult? In this article you will find 13 things that you may want to add to your own personality and change the way you do things.

Smile even when everyone around you isn't. People can sometimes represent a mirror that you just don't want to view in public. Take a moment to look at the person walking past you; the grimace that is on their face may be reflective of the grimace that is on yours. A child's smile will make you smile back.

Say "Hi" to the people you come in contact with no matter what they look like or what mood they appear to be in. You don't have to look at someone to say, hello, although you should. However, sometimes a nice "Hi or Hello" can help the angriest person get out of an ugly mood. Children who are joyous don't care how ugly you may feel. When they are in a good mood, they want the world to know about it. So very young children will say, "Hi" and keep saying it until you say something and then they continue exercising their one or two word vocabulary "bye, bye!"

Be kind to nice people and ignore the mean ones. Sometimes children experience a negative feeling when certain people come around them and they will scream their heads off. Then when someone comes around they truly like, they will positively interact with them. When you know that you have attempted to be respectful to a mean person and they choose to grunt, swear, or ignore you, don't challenge them. Rather, look for a nice person and give them an extra dose of kindness.

Cry without shame. Sometimes the emotion is too great to keep in and children will let a tear fall in an unlikely place. When you feel as if you are busting out of your seams, take a moment out of your life and just let go. Whether you have happy or sad tears, let them go.

Laugh loud! Not only at what most people would laugh about, but even the things you find funny no matter how corny, gross, silly, etc.

Tell someone you trust about something new you had learned. For example, children will share their excitement about learning new things such as "I can say my ABCs and I know how to tie my shoe." Let someone know how proud you are of your accomplishments.

Show someone your pictures. Whether it was one you drew, photographed, or bought, show and tell never goes out of style. Even if your friends aren't impressed, so what! Do most children stop being creative because someone called their picture ugly?

Speak up when someone does or says something you don't like. Children will be direct about how they feel and sometimes demand that their needs are met. Don't always feel the need to hide how you feel. Since you have the advantage of knowing when is the right time to express how you feel about an issue, do it. Lying or sugarcoating your feelings will do more harm than good.

Protect your brother or sister. It isn't often that you will find someone who will show loyalty. In order to have a loyal relative or friend, you will have to first show that you are loyal. Like the little boy who stuck his hand out in front of his brother, when a stranger attempted to touch his little brother's hand, you may have to do the same one day for your brother or sister.

When you hard. If you are going to bother to take a vacation, why not do it in style? Going out to eat? Enjoy the meal without cell phones. Going to the game? Yell, eat, drink and be merry! Attending a conference, meet and greet as many people as you can! Children know how to have a good time. Jumping, singing, dancing, yelling, playing games, you name it, they come to a party to have a good time.

It's okay to be a picky eater (sometimes.) You may not like a certain food or drink. Don't eat or drink it, because everyone else tells you it's good for you. Find something that is the equivalent to it. Children won't let anything touch their lips that they aren't sure of and you shouldn't either. "What is this stuff?"

Say, "I love you" to the people you care about. Children who are taught to say, "I love you." Will say it even when you don't deserve it. Don't let another day go by without sharing a little love with those you care about.

Always say, "Please" and "Thank you." Sometimes more than once, nice and loud so everyone around you can hear will do.

Although this article may have been a tad entertaining, the messages are serious. Do make an impact on yourself and someone you love by learning a few things from a child. Become a better you, by protecting, loving, and learning from the inner child within you.

For more articles by Nicholl McGuire,Click Here!

20 Ways You Can Lose Physical Custody of Your Children

What is really in the best interest of the children? When both parents have proven that they both can raise their children, the court will look at other things that will benefit the county the children currently reside in, find fault over small things to reach a decision, solely go with what the mediator has written in his or her report or it just depends on what kind of personal experience they have had (don't believe that all judges look at a case fairly and without prejudice.) Don't underestimate judges, many still make decisions based on Christian principles. You might want to brush up on the 10 Commandments before you submit your court paperwork.

The following points you may want to consider before you speak with your attorney and then prepare to ask he or she how do any of the following issues impact your case. People with a similar issue have made the following mistakes prior to getting their divorces granted:

Tell your ex and others, that may know your ex, about the new man/woman you are seeing. Parade around town with him or her months after filing for the divorce.

Become pregnant within a year after your divorce.

Relocate without the children even if it is temporary.

Take the children to another state without telling your former spouse.

Talk to his/her in-laws about your relationship.

Tell mutual friends about your intentions.

Forget to record phone calls or videotape moments that could damage the ex's opportunity to have the children.

Show up in court without an attorney.

Listen to bad advice, particularly from people who have not gone through what you went through.

No financial or mental support from church, family or friends.

No significant money saved in a savings account, stocks, mutual funds, CDs, or IRAs.

Children are not involved in any activities while in your care.

You are not involved in any nonprofit, civic or charitable organizations.

No driver's license.

Become unemployed.

Acquire new incidents on your police record.

Drink publicly.

Do drugs.

Have friends who participate in illegal activities.

Write or sign anything that could be used against you in court.

Be irresponsible such as miss doctor's appointments, take the children to dangerous places, have too many caretakers, etc.

Note: Although the following is not on the list it is just as important, choosing not to report instances of stalking, physical and/or mental abuse by your ex that could help your case. Also, making false accusations against your mate and later being found out. Lastly, establishing credit, abusing finances, taking money from your children's trust fund or savings account, etc. all in their names.

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Why Parents Secretly Favor One Child Over Another

Parents began favoring one child over another the day when the not-so favored child decided to go against the rules not once, not twice, but as many times as they could to get what they wanted, make a statement, or show parents when their wrong in their judgments. Controlling adults who become parents don't take to kindly to this behavior and will punish the child, at times, severely. The hardheaded, stubborn, strong-willed, defiant and many other words used to describe this challenging child was why secretly, parents gave up on the battles with him or her and began to favor the easy-going, obedient, and respectful child.

This is a sad truth! As much as parents say they love all their children the same, the reality is they don't. They love their children differently based on the personality that they have noticed within each of their children. John will receive tough love because he challenges authority and David will receive a gentler love because he doesn't put up a challenge. As both children become older, tasks are given to them and they are expected to follow instructions and make mom and dad proud. However, the child who prefers to question authority before he completes his task is met with a frown from defeated parents who have grown weary of John's "smart mouth, mess ups" etc. So he makes a decision not to even do the task - "Why bother, my parents don't expect me to do it right anyway?" However, the favored child completes the task and doesn't let the parents' attitude or his sibling's objections affect what needs to be done. Moments like these are repeated over time, with parents asking that the room be cleaned to taking out the trash and parents all the while are judging who is more responsible and ultimately who will win the prize once they are older whether it be college paid for, a trust fund, property left to them, their grandchildren (from the favored sibling) gifts and a host of other rewards. The favored child gets an increase of "brownie points," while the other child is labeled irresponsible and reminded about the past and all the times he or she failed at assigned tasks and didn't follow parent's orders. Could it have been the un-favored child just needed a little more instruction, attention or maybe a simple smile from mom or dad that said, "I have faith in you"?

Now that the children are adults, parents are observing each adult child's behavior closely, because they know the kind of adults their children have become will reflect on whether the parents enabled their successes or failures in life. The favored child has shown a consistent lifestyle with little, if any, fluctuation in it. He or she doesn't seem to waver too far from mom or dad (oftentimes they live in the same state), they seem to be around to help them in whatever way they can -sometimes without being asked. They aren't frivolous with their finances and seem to have stable relationships with everyone around them. Yet, the not so favored child is not coming around the parents often. In fact, they may have moved out of the state, against his or her parent's wishes. He or she may not have many stable relationships and enjoys spending money at times more than what the parents would have done when they were his or her age. The parents see their adult child as irresponsible in their eyes. Is the adult child really irresponsible or just different and the parents don't like it because they can't control them? The answer to this question lies with the person going through a similar experience. Even though the parents can remember times when they made similar mistakes, they usually won't admit them, because they want their children to do "as their told" and would like to appear in the best light possible.

The favored child is sold on the parent's self-righteous behavior and will continue to make his or herself "look good" in their parents' eyes or face scrutiny (which they don't want to do, because they or their children's children might miss out on some promised reward for being "the good child." ) The least favored child, who has this history of going against parent's wishes, has added more reasons to their parents' list of why they can't be trusted or favored. Whatever the reason, the parents are attempting to justify their unfair practices. Parents believe that irresponsibility is the ultimate reason why the favored child gets what he or she receives and the others don't. When in reality, the parent chose to not like one child over the other, because they used every negative experience as a means not to grow closer together, but further apart. What happened to the concept of looking at the glass half full instead of empty when it comes to raising children?

Why don't parents, utilize the least favored child's defiance, disobedience, and other negative behaviors to understand what needs to be done to steer them in a positive direction and work to achieve the results that will make them productive members of society. Embrace the challenges--embrace the child! In the end, whether parenting is criticized or not by the children, at least parents will know that they really did do the best they could and now it is up to their child to continue to be the best they can. Parents need to remember to watch playing favorites, because they will never know when the favored child will ultimately be the one who lets you down, while the un-favored child maybe the one in your corner.

For more articles by Nicholl McGuire, Click Here!

How to Determine Whether Keeping the Children After a Separation or Divorce is the Best Thing to Do

You have successfully ended the relationship with the mother or father of your children. It was successful for many of you reading this article, because you no longer have to subject your children to the screaming matches, fighting, or unexplained tension in the air. Yet, having accomplished this feat there is still another battle looming and that is making the decision to fight for the children in court.

Many parents think they are exceptional in raising their children; however, thinking and actually doing are two different subject areas. If you are completely honest with yourself, you know what is best for the children. The following advice will help you confirm whether keeping the children or arranging visitation is best for you and the family.

Do you have mental problems and/or battling with substance abuse? Whether you are undergoing treatment or are quietly struggling with your demons, you need to think of how the stress of raising your children may affect you. The reality is that your burdens will not get any lighter keeping the children. If anything they will become heavy, very heavy. Reflect on how their negative behavior impacted you during the marriage and how both you and your spouse handled the children when these issues arose. Know what you can tolerate and honestly look at how you do or don't discipline your children. Read about parenting issues and seek counseling for the things you don't understand.

How would you rate your finances on a five-point scale? If managing your finances is not one of your strong suits than consider getting counseling. Raising children requires skillful budgeting if you want them to have a great future. Know how to save emergency money, funds for education, clothes and shoes, food, and shelter.

Do you have a stable employment history? If not, then now is the time to consider creating one. No judge will award children to someone who can't keep a job.

Do you plan on relocating? When you plan on keeping children, you also have to consider that you will not be moving anytime soon as well if they are already enrolled in school. Relocating is difficult for all parties involved and children don't always do well when they have to adjust to a new environment and develop new friends.

How is the school district where you live as compared to the one your former spouse lives in? Know what the educational system in your area has to offer. Low school test scores, inadequate funding for books and extracurricular activities, and rising crime are reasons not to take the children unless you plan on relocating.

Do you have a support system? Family, babysitters, childcare, after school programs, church and more are essential in helping your children become productive members in society. Without positive people around them, they will surely get themselves involved with the wrong crowd. Be certain that you can provide them with much needed love and support from the community.

Are you still holding grudges with the former spouse? If past unresolved issues between you and your mate are still affecting you presently, then you will need to find a way to be at peace. If not, your negative influence will rub off on the children resulting in friction between them and their father and mother. No matter how much you think the mother or father needs to be punished for breaking up the marriage, it gives you no right to use the children to get even.

How would people around you describe you? Teaching children requires a high degree of patience, if you know that you can fly off the handle over just waiting in line, then you may want to think strongly about taking on the daily responsibility of caring for the children. Yelling at them for not understanding their homework or punishing them because they can't seem to complete tasks you ask them to do correctly will not help their self esteem in the short term and cause greater distance between you both in the long term. If you find that everyone keeps telling you the same thing about yourself such as "you are so negative. Why must you be so bitter? Why are you so angry all the time?" Be honest with yourself, it is better for the children to visit you until you can put your emotions in check.

Are you really happy about being a parent? The truth of the matter there are many parents who never really accepted the news that they are the proud parent of a child. It bothered them the day they found out they were pregnant and it continues to bother them long after. If you find yourself complaining a lot about your children being a "problem" and they are "keeping you away from achieving your goals," then you do not want to take on the responsibility of caring for them on a regular basis. You will regret it, because you haven't come to terms with the reality that you are a parent.

When no one is looking, how do you really treat your children? Anyone can smile at those around them and brag how much they love their children, but when you are by yourself with your children you know how you can get with them. If you are calling them names, physically assaulting them (we aren't talking spankings either), yell at them often, put off feeding them for long periods of time, leave them home alone knowing you are breaking the law, and dropping them off with whoever you can whenever, then you know that you can't simply handle raising them. Don't make yourself do something you know you aren't equipped to do no matter what anyone tells you. The person who is telling you what to do is most likely unavailable to help you raise the children - do what you know is right and if you know that the other parent can do a better job then let them. Your children will be grateful that you did, rather than take them through unnecessary heartache. In the future, you just may have a greater bond with your children because you made the sacrifice.

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7 Tips on Keeping Your Child Safe from Touching Games

"Boys will be boys," so some, who like to excuse offensive behavior, will say. But being a boy doesn't excuse assault, harassment, and sexual advances toward girls. However, we hear the stories in the media of boys who felt that it was okay to touch girls and at times were severely punished because of it. So what happens when it is your child? Your daughter comes to you and tells you, "Mom (Dad) there was a boy at school who put his hands on my breast and touched my backside." How would you handle it?

I had been that nine year old in a new school where boys didn't see it as nothing more than a game to touch a girl's private parts. They would target something they wanted to feel and tell their friends. Then they would hit the unlucky girl and take off running. Later, they would tell their friends whether the girl was okay with it or not. I was the one who fought back. Word traveled fast that I was mean. "Don't touch her," I would hear them say. "She is mean." That's right at nine years old my mother taught me if a boy touched you inappropriately you fight and you tell your teacher and if she didn't do anything about it, my mother was going up to my school. However, some parents didn't teach their children. I would see some of these girls deliberately sticking their breasts out or behinds playing a game of "catch me if you can!" I remember feeling sick to my stomach and a fear at times going to school, because I knew that if too many boys circled me I was doomed, but I told myself I would fight as best I could. Thank God I never got caught in the circle, but I couldn't feel sorry for the ones who did get caught, because I saw them laughing and smiling while taunting and teasing the boys before it happened. Their parents hadn't taught them any better. By the time we reached high school these same girls were pregnant before they reached 18 and by the time we all reached 25 they had already 4 or more children. I also would have to mention that there was either a mother's boyfriend or no dad in these girl's households.

So here I was at nine years old living in a strict household and never being exposed to soft porn behavior until I went to school. So I hear, things haven't changed since the eighties, they have only gotten worse. Now I have an eight and nine year old and they have told me stories about girls who are trying to kiss them. They have seen and heard stories of both girls and boys playing games that would make your jaws drop! So I asked them "Where was your teacher? Where was your daycare provider, did you tell someone?" They would answer, "She was busy." or "I told her and she said okay." So it was then that I thought, "What should parents be doing to prepare their children for the 'if you show me yours, I will show you mine' games?" So the following is what I have come up with based on personal experience as a girl, a woman, and a mom with sons.

First, as soon as your child tells you something strange has happened to them and they are obviously looking uncomfortable or maybe they don't come right out and tell you, but ask questions such as "What is sex?" You need not act offended, angry or behave like an attorney. This is when your child needs you to listen to them like a friend, noticed I said like a friend, I didn't say be his or her friend. You need to ask follow up questions slowly. "Well how did it make you feel when you saw the boy (or girl) acting like that?" Then listen to how your child responds. Next, lead in with a story of your own that made you feel uncomfortable before you tell them what they ought to say or do. Explain to them how the situation was handled by your mom and dad and how you felt about it. Your child may not want you to do anything about what they have shared with you for fear or embarrassment. So you will want to make them feel at ease about what they have shared with you while assuring them that you don't want them to get in trouble or lose friends, then thank them for sharing. Also, reward them for telling the truth, but behind their backs you get down to the bottom of this mess. What is really going on at the school playgrounds, in the coat room, back of the class, dark hallway, the bedroom of the childcare provider, back yard or behind the couch?

Next, you need to take a serious look at their surroundings as listed previously. Are there places at the school or daycare that make you feel uncomfortable as a parent? Are too many children hanging out in the tunnels on the playground far too long? What about the big oak tree or under the sliding board? Some home daycare providers have far too many places for children to act mischievous. They can also have way too many cable channels that they are turning through to get to your child's favorite children's show and so your child could be exposed to shows by accident or on purpose. He or she may see something in between channel changes that they shouldn't be seeing (of course you may be guilty of this yourself.) Music videos and teen movies tend to have way too much kissing, touching, and sexual dancing. A little girl will want to emulate the women she sees moving and gyrating. They are tall, pretty, wear beautiful clothes and jewelry. Why wouldn't they want to be like them? When you see your daughter imitating their dance moves, praise should be the last thing that any parent should be doing, but if you do a quick search on you will see many parents doing just that. Then they wonder why their little angel is pregnant, abused, misused and the like by age 14, 15, 16. Boys will be boys so they say, but that is no excuse and girls will be girls, but teasing boys is not what any girl should be doing.

Third, know who your children admire. Many little girls and boys have a great deal of respect for older children. So when you entrust your child into the hands of an older child, be prepared for them to no longer want to act their age; instead, they will want to act like the big girl or big boy they know. When your young child is cared for by an older child who grew up way too fast themselves, you are putting your child at risk for acting in ways that are inappropriate. Then you will want to discipline them for behavior you could have prevented yourself.

Oftentimes children will not want to get anyone in trouble for fear they may lose friends, so if you notice your child isn't as talkative when you bring up certain subjects, doesn't want to hug you like they once did, and other signs they are withdrawing from you, you will want to find out what is causing this change in their behavior. Start a conversation with them and if they seem unresponsive, looking away, or responding to your questions with short answers, you know they have something to hide.

Fourth, at some point, you will want to take some time away from work and start reacquainting yourself with your child. Just like couples need time together to enhance their relationships, parents need to learn how to take some time away from work and spend it with their children. The weekend doesn't always provide enough time to find out what is really going on in their lives as well as enhance the parental bond. You will be surprised at what you will find out. I learned a lot when I sat down each day with my children in their environment (not my bedroom or office space I wanted them to feel comfortable) read a book or watched a movie with them, and took them to places. I will tell you that if you read the Bible with them, you will find some subjects that will stimulate conversations about violence, adultery, how men treat women, etc. I was fascinated at how much knowledge they already had about these issues in life. One of my sons at eight years old told me, one day while reading the Bible, he thought a man having more than one wife was wrong. I didn't tell him whether it was right or wrong he figured it out on his own and I agreed with him. Both sons thought that men fighting and killing one another was also wrong. Yet, when they have told me stories about what their friends have said their friends acted as if it was okay. Children pay attention more to what adults do than what they say. Now for some parents the Bible may not be something you would like to use, to each their own, but there are plenty of books out there that are age appropriate and discuss sensitive subject matter. Don't underestimate your children, because most likely they already know plenty and whether we want to face the truth or not, it may have already been your child, your neighbor's child or my child in the coat room, under the slide, or behind the oak tree.

Fifth, interview your child's teachers and daycare providers who are so busy that they are "unaware that this had happened" maybe they need a second set of eyes, rearrange the classroom, get a light bulb in the dark hallway or do something else to ensure that the children are not able to get away with playing these "touch" games. I remember times as a child when playground staff had been so busy socializing with one another that they didn't bother to pay attention to the two children holding hands or the long line of girls waiting to kiss a handsome boy.

Sixth, when an offense happens to your child make a stink about it! Document what happened as told to you by your child, make copies, meet with the administration, and if necessary file charges with the police. That's right file charges. There are parents who say they will handle the matter with their child and they don't and little sassy Sandy and fresh little Frank are still going around school thinking about who they can bother next. The key is to put a stop to this kind of behavior immediately and the only way you can do that is by sounding a loud alarm by embarrassing some folks, or as one mother told me, "Put the business out in the street!"

Lastly, when it is all said and done, you may have to transfer your child to a new school depending on how bad, how frequent, and how the administration chooses to handle or not handle the matter. Let's face it, some schools are simply better than others, and why should you have to keep your child in a school that is not doing the best it can to ensure your child is being educated about reading, writing and arithmetic rather than the birds and the bees on a daily basis.

For more articles by Nicholl McGuire, Click Here!

Signs Your Little Boy is Having a Gender Identity Crisis

Some psychologists say a male child will question whether he wants to be a boy or girl as young as 18 months old. So with knowing this, how do you determine whether your son prefers being more like mommy than daddy? The following signs will help you answer that question. If you find he is behaving in a way that makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up, it is time to reevaluate your parenting. Find books on the subject of gender identity and seek counseling.

Dress up

One. If your son is a toddler, when the girls are playing dress up, is he participating with them and what is he choosing to wear? If he prefers the dresses over the cowboy hats and you find that he is regularly choosing them, are you finding other items for him to play with that will distract him? If he is beyond the toddler years, why is he still playing dress up with little girls?

Rough and Tumble Play

Two. When "the going gets tough, the tough get going" so the saying goes. So when the boys are being physical such as running, jumping, and playing sports, what is your child doing? Now this is a tricky area to use to make your determination since there are many boys who rather play in ways that don't require physical activity. If he is avoiding the rough play and rather play with blocks, cars, reading a book, or building a rocket than he just may be smart and would rather not take a chance on getting hurt. You will have to include other signs with this one to be certain he has a problem.

Wigs, Lipstick and Women's Clothing

Three. Any boy who prefers to parade around in his mother's wig, decorate his lips with her lip gloss, and drape himself with her clothes and jewels when it isn't Halloween, you need to find out what is going on with him. He may secretly wish he was you, maybe his sister, or some other female relative or family friend. Talk to your child and again find a distraction that he may find more interesting than dancing around in women's clothes.


Four. When a boy begins to talk with a higher pitch so that he sounds more feminine, you will need to find out who he is around that may be influencing this sort of behavior. He may be around more women than men. If he is making hand gestures and body movements that you or others deem is "acting feminine," that is a clear indication that someone, maybe even you, is telling him in what you say and do that this behavior is acceptable.


Five. Some boys have way more girlfriends than guy friends, but if he doesn't call any one of these girls his "girlfriend" there may be a variety of reasons. This is also another one of those tricky areas, but look for one of the other signs coupled with this one. If your son is nearing a dating age and he never mentions a girl he may want to date or only mentions one because you bring up the topic, you may want to observe more in the way that he behaves with his male friends. Try the process of elimination when reaching a conclusion. For instance, he isn't affiliated with a religion, he isn't unattractive, he isn't a loner, guys don't make fun of him, and most of all he doesn't seem to act feminine, could it be that he just isn't interested in girls for now or forever?

Those "Feelings"

Six. We all have had those feelings at some point in our lives whether it was the tingle sensation we felt inside our bodies after watching two people kiss or dreaming about someone we wish would be our boyfriend or girlfriend. He may have come to you and tried to talk about some new functions of his private parts or what some boy or man told him or done to him that made him feel uncomfortable, but you may be ignoring him. Stop what you are doing when he speaks and ask questions such as "Is there something that is bothering you? Has someone talked to you about private parts? Did you see something on television that made you feel funny inside? Did someone show you a naked child, woman or man in a photo? Your neighbor, babysitter, relative or someone in school could be having conversations with him that is making him feel strange, weird or distant. Don't take a simple no for an answer, probe for more information in the most polite and kindest way possible. This way he will be more likely to confide in you. However, remember the person filling his head up with negativity may have theatened him not to tell, so be sensitive when speaking with him about his feelings.

He would like to be a girl

Seven. He has told everyone he knows he wants to be a girl, because they have long hair, have better toys, look more attractive, nicer or whatever other reason he thinks why it is better to be a girl rather than a boy. You will need to question what his relationship with his father during those crucial years from 18 months to ten years has been like. You will also need to evaluate your own relationship with your son. Are you keeping him inside the home with you when he rather go outside and play with the boys? Do you find you are spending more time parenting him than working on your own relationship between you and your mate? Are you not allowing him to be a boy, because you want him to do and say what you want and not what he wants? If this describes you, it's time for you to encourage a relationship with his father or the male figures in his life whom he respects and admires. These men and older boys who you know should exemplify positive character traits. Alcoholics, drug abusers, emotionally unavailable and unstable men or boys as well as feminine acting ones don't count. Be sure you are not prohibiting him to relate with others due to your own insecurities, fears, jealousy or other unresolved issues. You may need to seek counseling yourself.

Some suggestions you can do today to help him identify with his gender include the following:

Encourage father and son relationship. In some cases a father doesn't exist, but any positive male role model can help. Encourage these men you know (who don't have gender problems) to throw and catch a ball, go to a sporting event or do something that captivates your son's interest. Ask these men to converse with your son about whether he understands and accepts his gender.

Be a good role model for your son. Allow him to see the positive qualities within you such as being confident, supportive, caring, sensitive and more. Rather than strict, mean, angry, and impatient on a frequent basis.

Don't bad mouth men. Avoid talking negatively about the father and other men to your son. Don't confide in your son about the negative aspects of your relationship with his father.

Don't make your son the man of the house. Your son is your child not your mate; therefore, don't look to him to fulfill the needs you are seeking from your significant.

When you allow your son to behave in ways that you know society will crucify him, you are setting him up for all sorts of problems later in his life. There are many confused little boys who have later grown up to become bitter men because parents, relatives and so-called family friends have seriously wounded them and no one thought twice to ask questions or answer their son's cry for help. It isn't okay for any man or boy to do or say things that have historically been considered feminine. Parents are responsible for building the foundation that will assist their sons in discovering whether they prefer to be a boy or girl. Without a loving, caring, and supportive atmosphere, he will want to be everything you don't want him to be, so seek professional help, if necessary, before it's too late.

For more articles by Nicholl McGuire
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Birth Certificates, Wills & Insurance Documents

Oftentimes parents fail to think about the future, they believe that they will stay in one location most of their children's lives, but as we all know relationships grow sour, unemployment occurs, death and many other life tragedies, so what happens to all of your keepsakes in the process? They are usually thrown away, misplaced, destroyed, etc. However, one company decided to make it easy for everyone to find their documents and most of all keep them in a safe place--online! Don't put this off, consider getting all your documents together and storing them online. For more information, just click the following banner

Pasadena Mothers' Support Group Holds Open House

he Pasadena Chapter of Mothers & More will hold its annual Open House on Thursday, October 16 from 7:30-9:30 p.m. in the Conference Room (North/ West area of the Parking Lot Level 1) of the Whole Foods Market, 465 South Arroyo Parkway, Pasadena, CA 91105.

The Open House will introduce women to the many services Mothers & More provides. Some of which are: resources designed to raise awareness on societal barriers that hinder a mother's ability to succeed, leadership opportunities, on line forums, and other information. All prospective members may attend with no obligation to join. The event will be held without children and will feature refreshments from Whole Foods Market, door prize giveaways from Dream Dinners and others.

The Pasadena chapter offers two evening meetings a month with topical discussions and/or guest speakers, in addition to moms' nights out, playgroups, book club, opportunities to reach out to other mothers, and other social events and activities. Mothers & More offers a place where mothers can talk honestly about the ups and downs of motherhood and receive the support, friendship and affirmation of their many roles as a mother, a woman, and a unique person.

Serving over 6000 members in the US and beyond, Mothers and More is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of mothers through support, education, and advocacy. It addresses mothers' needs as individuals and members of society, and promotes the value of all the work mothers do. For more information or to join on line, log onto

To learn about the Pasadena chapter of Mothers & More, log on to the chapter website at or call (866) 206-9068 #3921

Five Reasons Why Walmart is the best place to shop for children

Prices are low. Visit the website and compare their prices to other websites and you will find many of their children's toys and household furnishings are cheaper than other sites.

Prices continue to drop. You will find that after visiting their brick and mortar store, then visiting their website some times as soon as a week later, their prices on many items have dropped even further.

Wide selection. There are many choices in children's clothes and toys. Not only that if you type clearance in their browser window or click on the tab, you will find even more choices at significantly lower prices.

Website is easy to navigate. There are rarely any technical difficulties when browsing their site. However, if you visit during the lunch hours of 12 noon to 2p.m. there may be delays.

Visit the following link for savings today:

Baby Items on Rollback at

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