Now that you bought everything for them...

You tried to make them happy by getting them everything they wanted this past holiday season and now you are looking at bills. You may have went overboard this year. If you did, then you should be carefully considering what you will do during 2010 to avoid being put in this situation next year. However, for now I have created a blog that helps people with financial issues, housing drama, and other daily living dilemmas, visit

By the way, thanks for your support this year and if you haven't subscribed to this blog, why not do so?

Nicholl McGuire
Mother of Four Sons
Author of When Mothers Cry,
Having a Baby! How to Handle the Exciting News
You both were surprised when you found out you were having a baby and you aren't feeling too happy these days about the news the more you think about it. Insightful article provides tips on how to get over the baby blues and on with your life.
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What to Expect From Newborn Babies

Often, a mother about to deliver her babies is accompanied by an excited husband or even other family members who are eager to see the new bundle of joy. Some who have not seen newborn babies may worry about the scrunched face and squint eyes. They would probably count the toes and check every tiny part to make sure that the baby is more than alright but just perfect. Of course, no matter what the baby looks like, families should welcome him with great warmth and love. Here are some of the things that families can expect from newborn babies:

Not ad-ready

Your newborn may be naturally cute to you, as a parent, but face it: your baby will not win a spot in a television ad from the time he is born. He will still be wrinkly like a little old person and reddish, as if he has come out from a reddish muck - which is not really that far from the truth.

Possibly with strange colored eyes

Some people are not born with the eye colors that they will have when they are all grown up. Caucasian babies may start with blue eyes that will eventually turn brown or green, or remain blue. Other babies may be born with brown eyes that will turn darker as they grow up.

With hair or none

Do not worry if your baby is born with little or no hair. Some babies are born like that but eventually have thick hair as they grow. Other babies may have a full head of hair when they come out. Some blond babies may have darker hair when they are older.

By Donna F. Houston
Are you looking for more information on newborn babies? Visit today for more information.

Children Jealousy - Dealing With it Can Save Hurt, Pain, and Family Problems

When children jealousy arises, it takes many forms. One child might act out his children jealousy by focusing his resentment against his mother, another might become sullen and dependent, or he or she might act out aggressively.

Knowing how to deal with a child's jealousy can save a lot of hurt, pain, and family problems.

If child attacks another sibling out of children jealousy the parent's first impulse is to act shocked and to shame or punish the child. This doesn't work well for two reasons. First, he (or she) may fear his (or her) parents love the other child more then him (or her). Younger children don't understand that parents can be angry with them and still love them.

Children jealousy does more harm to a child's self worth and inner spirit when it is suppressed. When a parent shames a child the jealousy is suppressed and turns inward. Shaming a child is never good.

But there is a great opportunity to build self-esteem and teach lessons if the parent handles the children jealousy in a positive way.

It's perfectly fine to tell a child the behavior is unacceptable, but one must also reinforce that as a parent you understand their feelings of children jealousy and the feels are ok.

As a parent, you must also show them you love them, and accept them and care for them just as much as his or her siblings. It is this knowledge that will dispel the jealousy they feel and stop the aggression between children when they feel jealous of each other.

Children jealousy can sometimes show up in a way that doesn't look like jealousy at all. The parent may even think the sibling adores his or her sibling.

This can happen with newborns a lot. For example, let's say Mary is constantly showering the baby with attention, or always speaks about the baby; she may see kids riding a tricycle and say "Baby likes tricycle" or sees other kids playing and says "Baby wants to play"

It all seems innocent, but in part it's likely jealousy being played out as an obsessive attention focused on the newborn.

It is fine when a child shows love for the baby, but this doesn't mean that jealousy isn't there. Being overly attentive or preoccupied of the baby is just another way of coping with the stresses. It is a mixture of both love affection and jealousy, which often is the root of such behavior.

The goal is to bring out the affection, and subdue the jealousy.

For the child who becomes sullen, try talking with them to help them overcome children jealousy. Let them know you understand their feelings, you understand the need attention and your lack of attention with a newborn has no affect on how much you love them.

A child who becomes introspective needs affection, reassurance, and attention.

If any child continues to display children jealousy for a newborn or sibling and doesn't seem to be coping with the feeling children jealousy can evoke, consider hiring a child psychologist or specialist to help guide your child, and you through the difficult times that jealousy can produce.

George Monroe is co-author of the book Overcoming Jealousy --

George has always had a passion to help people with jealousy in all it's forms. You can read more articles on jealousy, trust, insecurity and children jealousy at

5 Tips to Prepare Your Toddler for a New Baby

It's a big change for an once only child to become a big brother or sister. It can be a threatening and scary experience. If, as parents, you help your child understand the joys of being an older sibling, you can help ease some of your child's stress. Here are a few tips for preparing for the new arrival:

1. Don't hide your pregnancy from your toddler. He may overhear mysterious conversations or see that mom is not feeling well and worry. In addition, letting your toddler know gives him more time to adjust to the idea. If you have a high risk pregnancy, you need to decide a "safer" time to tell your child.

2. Don't blame the baby! If you are unable to pick up your child because of a sore back, tell your child it is because of your back - not because you're pregnant.

3. Make inevitable changes in your toddler's life early, so it doesn't seem like it's all because of the baby. If your toddler will be giving his crib to the baby, allow your child to sleep in his "big boy" bed several months in advance.

4. Include your child in the pregnancy. Bring him to a couple of prenatal visits, if he's interested. Let him hear the child's heartbeat and view sonogram/ultrasound pictures.

5. Talk about the baby and what it means to be an older sibling. Tell your toddler how his younger brother or sister will learn from him and look up to him. If he's interested, he will also be able to help with the new baby by bringing clean diapers to the diaper changer, showing the baby toys, telling baby all about the world and more.

However you plan for the new arrival, be sure to consider your toddler in your planning. Discuss your toddler's concerns with him, but don't bring up concerns he doesn't mention. There is no need to create worry when there is none. Most of all, enjoy this wonderful time together - it will never be quite the same again.

About the Author:
Malcolms Mom has parenting tips, product reviews and freebies for babies and toddlers. If Malcolm hasn't tried it, you won't find it here.

What New Parents Or Parents-To-Be Ought To Know About Choosing Names For The Baby

It must be beautiful having a new baby or expecting one. You go through names again and again, trying to find one name that will fit your precious little baby. Yet, none seems good enough for your angel. One sounds weird, the one sounds silly. Nothing.

You need a guide. Almost all new parents need guides, so don’t you worry about it.

Try these simple tips:

• Close the baby names book or list you found on the net

Pick some that you like best without having to refer to those names in the book or list. Simply use your brain and heart. Make a list of five to ten names. This has to be done by both parents. After it’s done, check out each other’s list. Some are lucky enough to find a name that they both like.

• Find the meaning

For some culture a name can be a hope for the children. Yet, you wouldn’t want to have a child whose name might be cute or unique yet has a bad meaning. Now, it’s time to check out the book or some sites on the net.

• Check out the initial

Ok, now you have decided that the first name would be Rebecca. Your last name is Taylor. If you don’t want the initial to be R.A.T., don’t give Anna as the middle name.

• Get the right combination

Some names aren’t good together but some others don’t. So, make sure you make the right combination. The first, middle and last name should sound beautifully.

• Don’t choose a name that can cause frustration to your child

No, of course you don’t want that. That’s why you’d better think wisely about it. How would you feel if given such a name? If you don’t like it, neither would your child.

• No need to hurry

Take as much time you need.

David W Richards is a father of two. He likes sharing his parenting experiences. He also has some sites such as Insurance, Graduate, and Expat

Blaming The Parents

It seems that nowadays that more and more people are blaming their parents for a bad childhood, and somehow that reasoning gives them a license to misbehave as adults.

Blaming your parents for your current behavior is irrational and irresponsible. One of the steps towards adulthood and self fulfillment is to understand that every person is responsible for their own actions. You are responsible for yourself.

Most people dutifully profess love towards their children and parents. The reality is that the love is only lip service to sooth the public consciousness. When in fact through many past and present irrationalities, conflicts, and demands there is no real love. Lack of respect for the others rights leads to loss of genuine love and enjoyment between parents and children. The lack of trust makes love impossible.

However with that said, we all must realize that an important step towards emotional growth is to acknowledge that no one has an actual duty to love another. Not even parents towards their children, or children towards their parents.

Genuine love occurs only voluntarily, through a mutual exchange of objectives and emotional values. Genuine love between parents and children can and does occur in those relationships in which objectives and values are exchanged and allowed to grow.

When there is no love between parents and children both are partially responsible for some problems experienced by certain adolescents and young adults. Major problems between parents and children are often the result of loss of trust and respect between them. Parents fail to treat children as human beings with individual rights. Parents often resort to force and physical violence under the euphemism of discipline, protection or control.

The cycle becomes sustaining, but can be corrected with effort. It all comes down to an act of defiance, followed by harsh discipline. What should happen is open communication to discover the cause of the defiance. Physical violence is proof of communication failure, and should be avoided.

Too often parents are blamed for their grown children’s faults and behavior. Once a person has reached the legal age they become irrevocably responsible for themselves. Blaming parents only hides or avoids self responsibility and the efforts needed to develop ones own self.

If children are never given respect, they never develop respect for their parents, for themselves or for values. Such children become the future problems as they do not value honesty with themselves or others. Always seeking to survive by usurping others, to get revenge for their upbringing while not taking responsibility for their own life.

The most valuable gift a parent can give to their children is the environment where they learn honesty, integrity, independence and the ability to use assertive effort to produce value for others. If your children are young enjoy them while you can, but respect them as fellow humans and they will grow to respect you and voluntarily love you.

If your children are grown and are still problems to them selves and society, tell them that you are not responsible for their actions, they are responsible for their actions. Give them a short explanation that they are independent human beings with individual rights and responsibilities. Tell them if you must that you apologize for their poor childhood, but the past is gone, all you have is now.

If you are an adult and you cannot talk to your parents, realize this; you are solely responsible for what you do and who you are. The past may have been less than desirable, but it is gone, over and done. You can be who you want to be!

So to sum up, treat each other as you would want to be treated, and the whole world becomes a better place.

Be Blessed

Written by Ralston Heath
Did You like what you saw? You can find more at:
Six Signs to Watch Out for when Your Child is with Older Children
How do you know your young child is being negatively influenced by older children? Article explains.
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Dads Are (Harried) Parents, Too!

My husband thought he was immune to the apparent "Lost-Mind-Syndrome" that had afflicted me during our childrens' toddler years. What, you haven't heard of "Lost-Mind-Syndrome"? Okay, so maybe it's nothing more than being scatter-brained from having ten thousand things to do each and every day! But read on to see that even the most practical-minded man is no match for the beleaguered mind-weariness of parenting!

I think it was during our toddler invasion years (we had three at home) when I realized that losing one's mind--particularly a portion of the memory feature--was an unavoidable by-product of parenting. Why didn't the baby books warn that lost car keys, lost eye glasses, lost bottles and pacifiers--things that turn routine days into triathlons--would become par for the course? There is probably a specialized branch of the government mothers should work for. Who else can conduct a frantic search for vital home security items in less than a minute--and still make it to the pediatrician's office on time?

My husband has hinted that "lost-mind-syndrome" (or, LMS, as we affectionately call it) after parenthood can only happen if one is prone to it in the first place. In other words, that I was really just plain nuts and parenting was bringing it out. Ha! Little did he know that his day would come!

I admit that I had been displaying grave signs of the malady: There was the time we were traveling with two friends when we had to stop so Mike (my husband) could check the engine. Climbing back into the driver’s seat he complained that he'd gotten some antifreeze on his bare arm. Instantly a wayward maternal instinct leapt up in me like an alarm and I blurted, “Don’t lick your arm!” To peals of laughter from the backseat, my husband thanked me profusely for reminding him not to lick his arm since, of course, he was in a terrible habit of doing so.

Another time we were visiting friends and I spotted a pretty lamp, which our hostess explained was a "touch-lamp," the kind you simply have to touch to turn on. They were NEW at the time, and, impressed, I gushed, “Oh, so it’s good for blind people!” For the split-second the thought was in my head until I spoke it aloud, it actually had made sense. Acute LMS in action.

Fortunately lots of parents display symptoms of the syndrome, so I never feel alone. For instance, at the supermarket you can always spot the harried parents at the checkout: they are the ones rocking the shopping cart back and forth. No matter that baby is home—they don’t even know they’re doing it.

Or the 19 mothers in the department store who turn their heads simultaneously when a young child cries "Mommy!" The brain affected by LMS always thinks, "that could be my child!" So what if we left the kids home with Dad? Reality has nothing to do with it. Yup, and friends tell me I am not the only one who has offered a visitor a nicely warmed bottle of milk instead of the tea they were expecting. And I've actually seen other people begin to chop meat into teensy, tiny little pieces--for their spouse.

Often, when bottles or Binky's were missing, my husband would shake his head. "Didn't we just buy a few?" he'd say. I could answer that yes, we had, without even thinking about it--we were ALWAYS just buying a few.

One evening I had just finished bathing our two older kids. As I walked past the den Mike spotted me and asked, worried, “Is the (baby) gate on the stairs closed? Make sure it’s closed!” I saw that Matthew, our youngest at 16 months, was safe for the moment, but I checked the gate anyway. It was closed.

When I passed Mike again shortly afterwards, he fretted, “Did you leave the bathroom door open? Matthew could be getting into the bathroom!” He was worried that I had left water in the tub, and that Matt might be at risk. I had not left water in the tub and stopped in my tracks, suprised to see Mike getting even more indignant. I hadn't even answered the question when he demanded, “Where is Matthew, anyway? WHERE IS HE?!”

I gazed at my husband, shaking my head softly. In a gentle voice I broke the news to him: ”Honey, you’re feeding him.” I felt sorry for the guy as he looked down at Matthew on his lap, sucking quietly from a bottle, and it hit him: He, too, had lost his mind!

Ah, isn’t marriage and parenting great? Give the dad in your house an extra big hug this Father's Day. He deserves it!

Linore Rose Burkard writes Inspirational Romance as well as articles on Regency Life, Homeschooling, and Self-Improvement. She publishes a monthly eZine "Upon My Word!" which you can receive for FREE by signing up at Ms. Burkard was raised in NYC and now lives in Ohio with her husband and five children.

The Trouble With Parents

Like most parents, my partner and I work hard to develop our children into healthy, well adjusted people. We want them to have the skills to persue whatever objectives they choose for themselves in this world.

None of us are perfect parents and we all learn from the past. The purpose of this article is to pass on one of our experiences. It had a profound effect on the way we approach the parenting game.

A few years ago, our two children were aged two and four. Over a period of weeks one of our boys had become increasingly naughty. His behaviour was rubbing off on his brother. Mum and dad had explored the usual discipline options but nothing seemed to work.

Eventually, as my partner and I discussed the boys behaviour, we decided that there must be a trigger. If we could find it, we thought we could perhaps effect a change for the better.

We wound back the clock to the time when the behaviour change emerged, then looked at what we had all been doing at around that time.

As it turned out, the onset corresponded with a time when my job was being restructured and my partner was as worried as I about the outcome. We were both focussed on ourselves and quite naturally were exhibiting signs of stress.

The result of this pressure, was that we had very little time for our children and they were not getting the attention they needed from us.

We decided to try an experiment. We set aside all our other priorities for the weekend and spend time with boys. Nothing special, just being with them and giving them quality time.

Their behaviours changed almost instantly. And it was a change for the better.

This small experience had a profound effect on the way we approach parenting. We learned that the behaviours of our children are significantly affected by our own behaviours.

We are now a lot more careful about the amount of time we spend with our boys. When there is a behavioural change from them, we look to ourselves first then check the external influences before we choose a course of action.

Parenting is a wonderful journey, full of twists turns and surprises. I hope that by sharing this small part of our life it will help you in yours.

Brian Pratt is a 47 year old New Zealander. He owns a Plug-In Profit Site at If you are looking for a home business be sure to check out his site. You can contact Brian at

Symptoms of Autism - List of the Top Behaviors Parents Need to Watch For in Babies & Young Children

Autism affects many families in America and can affect a toddler in many different ways. It can hinder a babies development socially as well as his or her fine motor and communication skills. Autism is not the childhood illness it once was, where many autistic children were hidden away and not understood. There are many clinical and research studies being analyzed to help health care providers, educators and parents come up with better solutions to treat and manage it. Everyone agrees that acknowledging the signs of autism and getting early preventative care is necessary for a child's development. More and more health care providers and researchers believe that autistic traits can be seen in babes. When these symptoms become evident, is when early intervention should begin to help reduce the impact that the disorder can have on a child's growth progress. That is why it is so important for parents to be on the forefront of recognizing the signs and symptoms of autism.

Symptoms of autism are normally seen in a kid when he or she is between a year and half to 3 years old. Other, more benign symptoms may even be noticeable amid the first few months of a child's life. Parents need to be their child's cheerleader in this instance, and always monitor their developmental growth as the reach certain age related milestones. If a parent or a health care provider can distinctly see symptoms of autism in a child on or before their first birthday, then the child can get early treatment to minimize the devastating affects of this disorder.

Early onset symptoms are often not noticed simply because there is not a noticeable progression of abnormal behavior, but a lack of a child reaching those age appropriate developmental milestones. Babies who display autistic symptoms will not purposefully grab for toys nor will they try to get someone's attention. Parent's can often think that their baby is just really well behaved and since the infant does not interact as much as other babies do that he or she is not needy. But this can be an initial warning sign that a child is autistic. And while it is certainly true that a baby who does not cry often or is withdrawn from life is easier to handle, parents should be aware that something is organically wrong with their child if they do not need attention.

Parents need to be aware that autism can be controlled if caught early, but what exactly should they search for?

If you feel your baby is not attaining their developmental milestones, then here are some red flag signs that you may need to have your child analyzed. They include:

1. If a baby does not look you in the eye, does not look intently at toys, or will not search with their eyes when their name is called can be an early warning sign of autism.
2. A baby who shows no facial emotions, such as grimacing or exuberance or anger or fear.
3. A baby who doesn't mimic your actions, whether it's smiling, scowling or waving your hand.
4. A baby who will not try to create consonant sounds, or imitate the sounds you make when you talk to him or her.
5. A baby who is not energized by the objects he or she looks at.

Red flag warning traits for kids are:

1. The toddler has a uneasy time attempting to communicate to you about his or her wants and needs.
2. The kid no longer attempts to talk or interact with you.
3. The child is having trouble learning the finer points of speech skills.

Now, most parents will be concerned if they think that their toddler starts to have any of these warning symptoms. It's just natural. If you have witnessed that your baby or child is exhibiting any of these warning symptoms then it is a best bet for you to call for an appointment with your pediatrician or family physician. In fact, even if your child is hitting their developmental milestones, it is still a good idea to have them analyzed. Your child could be a highly functioning autistic for their age, but may face challenges as they get older because of the social situations they find themselves in.

FREE just released ebook "Study on Major Biomedical Treatments for Autism"

Children’s Summer Camps - Frequently Asked Questions

Summer camp programs can be a wonderful experience for all children if you chose the right camp for them. If you follow certain guidelines, you can help your child have the best experience possible. These steps involve ‘choosing the right type of camp’, checking out the ‘facilities and staff’, and preparing your child for the upcoming children’s summer camp.

The idea of a youth summer camp can induce strong emotions on the part of parents and children. These sensations run the gamut from ‘excitement and fun’ to ‘fear and anxiety’. In many social circles it is a status symbol or a family tradition. The correct reason for providing the camp experience is if it is ‘in the best interest of the child’.

Deciding to camp or not to camp—How does a parent determine what is ‘in the best interest of the child?’ Some questions parents should ask themselves are: -

Are the summer camp activities being used to solve a childcare problem?

Is this an opportunity for my child to learn, grow and experience life in a unique way?

Is my child a risk taker?

Does my child enjoy new experiences even before I am ready to provide them?

Has my child enjoyed overnight experiences with family or friends?

Does my child have friends who attend camp?

Will camp provide prospects for my child to enjoy ‘favorite activities’?

What will be the expenditure for a moderate or super ‘kids summer camp’? Can I bear the burden?

If you answered ‘yes’ to questions two through eight you have it made. If you answered ‘yes’ to question one only, the odds of success are slim. If you answered ‘yes’ to at least four of questions two through eight, the odds are optimal for a successful traditional summer camp experience.

Selecting the right camp to support the interests of your child should be your main aim. Your child wants to camp, but you may have concerns. Be careful not to convey your concerns.

We offer the leading summer camp program source. Check it out only on the youth summer camps planet. All about summer camps on

Summer Safety Tips For Children

Summer is a fun time, but it’s also a time when a lot of accidents happen. Here are some ways to keep your children safe this summer.

Water safety.
If you have a pool or plan to be around the water at all, then make sure you’ve got all security devices in place. All gates must be locked, and alarms installed, especially if you have non-swimming children at home.

Some general simple rules for children around any body of water are:

1. No running or horseplay near the pool.

2. Kids only swim with an adult watching them.

3. Make sure your children are taking swim lessons that teach, not only the basic strokes, but also survival strokes and basic water safety as well. All American Red Cross certified programs incorporate water safety into their swim lessons.

4. Of course, if lightening is possible, leave the water until the weather risk passes.

5. If your children are swimming in the ocean, follow the flag warnings and be cautious of the tides.

Sun safety.
No matter how old we are or how careful we are, that sun will surprise us and we’ll suffer a burn.

Some simple rules to keep your children safe in the sun are:

1. Always apply sun screen – even if it’s a cloudy day.

2. Have your kids wear a t-shirt and hat if they have fair skin.

3. Make sure you have water proof sunblock on your kids if they’re in the water.

4. Apply sunscreen often, especially if your kids have fair skin or are playing in water.

5. Provide your children with plenty of water, juice, or popsicles. Keep them hydrated to help prevent heat stroke.

Bicycle safety.

Some simple rules to keep your children safe on their bikes are:

1. A helmet is a must. Ask any nurse in any Emergency Room and you’ll find out why.

2. If you’ve got a child who daydreams, wear a whistle around your neck when you go on a bike ride together. If you see him or her being unsafe, you can blow the whistle. This is much more effective than trying to yell.

3. Look for bike paths in the woods. These allow your child to ride freely without the hazards of traffic. Pack a picnic lunch and make a day of it.

So many life-changing accidents are preventable. Make it a safe -- and a fun summer!

Nicole Dean invites you to -- a free website filled with activities to make memories with your children and -- a fun and informative resource for moms who want to make money from home.

Tips For Air Travel With Your Toddlers

It can be very difficult to travel by airplane with young kids. When you travel by car you can stop every few hours and let your toddler get a little exercise. When on an airplane, however, you are confined to a small space for the duration of the flight. This can be very stressful and difficult on a long flight and if your toddler is cranky, the flight can seem even longer. The following tips might help to make your flight more enjoyable for your toddler, you and the other passengers.

1. Consider purchasing a seat for your toddler. Although you are allowed to fly with your child in your lap, this may not be the most comfortable for you or your child. This will allow you a little more mobility and will make your child more comfortable.

2. Bring games and toys that will keep your toddler entertained. Include a portable DVD player so your child can watch their favorite movies during the long flight. This will help keep your toddler occupied.

3. Food on airplanes is usually limited. Bring along some nutritious snacks for your child to keep them from getting hungry. Include some milk, natural juices, fruit, cheese and crackers. Don’t give your child sugary snacks like sodas and candy. Excessive sugar can make your toddler feel over stimulated.

4. Make sure you have spare diapers and a change of clothes for your child. Remember to bring along zip bags for soiled diapers and dirty clothes. Your fellow passengers will appreciate your containing any offensive odors.

Your child may begin to annoy passengers if he does not behave well on the trip. There is the possibility that you might be seated near someone who loves children and may even try to assist you in finding ways to entertain your child. But then there’s the likelihood that someone will be seated near you who is easily annoyed by children and not at all tolerant. Whatever the case, you want to be polite to your neighbor. Acknowledge your child’s behavior and assure them that you are doing everything possible to control your child.

Flying with your toddler can be stressful, but good preparation such as bringing along necessities for entertainment and nutrition can help to calm your child and make the flight more enjoyable for you, your child and your fellow passengers.

Abby Johnson is a staff writer at Travel Gazette and is an occasional contributor to several other websites.

What to Expect With a Newborn

Caring for a newborn can be an overwhelming task, even if the baby is not your first. The task is best approached with common sense, but common sense is most useful when rooted in experience. Fortunately, even if you are having your first child, there is plenty of experience to draw on - people have been having babies for as long as there have been people.

A newborn baby can bring about a whirlwind of activity, and be a source of excitement. Baby can also bring stress as well as tire you out. Adjusting to life with a newborn can be a major change, and round the clock care for a newborn baby can turn your life upside down. Your newborn will bring a lot of joy to your life, though. Enjoy it, and cope with the rest as it comes.

One thing you need to be sure to do is take care of yourself. You must resist the urge to over-indulge in caffeine. Drink lots of water, eat healthy foods, get fresh air, and if you can, get regular exercise. Also, for your sanity, do something you enjoy every day. You may need to have a little time to yourself to keep you balanced. It is important to take good care of yourself. This will give you the energy to take good care of your newborn baby.

Sleep is at a premium when you have a newborn baby, but get it when you can. If you can, sleep when your baby sleeps, and work out a coordinated schedule with your partner so both of you can rest and still take care of the baby.

No doubt your friends and especially your relatives are eager to spend as much time as possible admiring your new baby. It may make sense for you to establish visiting hours to help you maintain a schedule that works for you and your newborn. Let your visitors know what time is best, and make sure anyone who is not feeling well visits when they are healthy. After all, you don’t want anyone to pass a cold onto your new, vulnerable baby. Now is not the time for social graces; don’t be afraid to be direct. You can also take advantage of the interest in your baby and have friends and family help with household chores so you can get some rest every now and then.

It’s never too early to establish a routine, but you have to let your baby set the pace. Make sure you set aside plenty of time for nursing sessions, naps and crying spells. Don’t schedule too many activities; most of your time is now baby time. Give yourself extra time to pack and get items together when you do have to go somewhere.

Be prepared to have a roller coaster of emotions. You will of course admire your new baby and adore him or her, but there will be times when you grieve for your fatally wounded independence, and worry about your ability to care for a newborn. These may be seconds apart. It’s all part of the process. You will be back to your normal self shortly. It is always OK to ask for help if you need it, and your newborn will thrive as you do.

Maria Cummings is a devoted parent, wife and expert author on family matters and parenting. She is devoted to helping children's organizations and activities. Maria is also the Sales Manager for which offers a variety of baby mobility products, from convertible car seats to lightweight strollers

What Does Your Newborn See In His First Few Days

A young baby is aware of a lot more then we used to think in the past. In fact some of the capabilities of very young children are astonishing. In the “Good Old Days” people thought that a newborn was almost blind. They thought a baby couldn't focus and was more or less colorblind. Meaning that a newborn is only aware of a fuzzy colorless world. We know now that this is not the case.

A newborn is not that little being focused only on himself and his own needs, like hunger, thirst, and other discomfort. From day 1 a newborn is fairly alert, interested and aware of what is happening in his surroundings. He is capable of experiencing and very interested about what is going on is his world. Contrary to old beliefs a baby is able to focus on objects and people that are about 10 inches away. Things that are closer of further away are out of focus, if this were different our newborn would be highly intimidated by the multitude of stimuli. If a child can see color from the moment its born is still unknown, but chances are that he can. And if not he or she will learn in a very short while.

A natural preference for faces

So your baby sees the same things you see, but of course has no idea about its meaning. That's something he has to learn. Still very young children have a clear cut preference for certain objects. He or she will stare (or gaze if you will) to more complicated and will show more interest to moving then to static objects. This is one of the reasons your face is so enormously interesting to him. The eye contact that he is capable of during the first few days is very important for the development of his social skills.

Your baby is programmed so to speak to find your face attractive and inviting. As his interest in your face grows, his interest in the rest of the human species will grow with it.

It takes about 8 months before your baby is really capable of recognizing your face, at that point he or she will temporarily be scared by unfamiliar faces.

Linfa, mother of two is an inspired author of and

What To Do If Your Newborn Has Jaundice?

Don't panic if your doctor tells you that your newborn baby has jaundice. Jaundice in a newborn baby is a common condition.

Most newborns have normal physiological jaundice and in very rare cases is the jaundice due to serious liver disorders.

Why my baby?

The blood cells in your baby's body are broken up into a yellow pigment called bilirubin. The level of bilirubin needs to be kept normal by the liver and kidneys by excreting it in the baby's poop. But the liver of a newborn baby is not very mature. So bilirubin levels rise in the blood causing yellow pigmentation of the skin.

More than 90% of newborn babies are affected by normal physiological jaundice. So relax. This type of jaundice is seen usually on second or third day of the baby's life and disappears by the 7th or 10th day.

How to tell if your baby has jaundice

Yellow discoloration of the skin and the white of the eye is the key symptom of jaundice. Your baby may also be sleepier than usual. This could be normal physiological jaundice especially when it appears 3-4 days after birth.

Monitor your baby after 1 or 2 days of his birth. You can diagnose jaundice in the newborn baby by doing a very simple test. Press your fingertip against your baby's forehead or nose tip. If it appears white, you have nothing to worry about. If a yellowish color appears, it is time to call your doctor. A blood test might be needed to confirm that there are no specific causes for the jaundice.

More on jaundice in the newborn

Normal physiological jaundice does not affect baby's general health.

Breast milk can also produce jaundice in a few babies. However, the pros of breastfeeding outweigh the condition and you will probably be advised continue breastfeeding.

Premature babies are more prone to developing jaundice. Blood group incompatibility between you and your child can also produce jaundice.

When jaundice is a cause for alarm

If jaundice appears within 24 hours of birth and persists for more than 14 days, it could be pathological jaundice due to a liver condition. Other pointers include baby's refusal to feed, dark yellow urine, pale or clay colored poop and a weak and irritable baby. Call your doctor immediately if you detect any of these warning signs.

How your baby will be treated

Normal physiological jaundice in your newborn does not require any special treatment. Adequate fluid intake is essential. Breast feed your baby at least 8-12 times a day.

A mini sunbath might be recommended. You may be asked to put your baby's crib near the window that gets the maximum sunlight. Make sure you protect baby's eyes and limit exposure to direct sunlight. Follow the instructions from your caregiver.

In case of severe jaundice, phototherapy or bililight therapy will be used. Your baby will be exposed to artificial light, which can decrease the bilirubin levels.

Most newborn babies have jaundice. In some, it so mild that it goes unnoticed and in some babies it may worsen to produce symptoms.

Detecting the symptoms early does help. So do keep a close watch on baby (as if you need telling). If your newborn is diagnosed with jaundice, you now know what to do.

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Are You Looking to Create the Next Great Genius?

Here are some ideas to get you on your way to helping your baby's mental and physical capabilities!

1. Read to your baby.

2. Massage your baby each night before he or she goes to bed.

3. Play classical music.

4. Spend time singing to your baby.

5. Look your baby in the eye and just talk to him or her about anything fun, positive!

6. Allow your baby to spend time exploring his or her toys and environment uninterrupted.

7. Play videos that show and tell what basic objects are. You may want to create your own video pointing out household items.

8. Take your baby to the park and allow he or she to observe his or her surroundings.

9. Bring your baby around other adults and children to enhance social skills.

10. Put money aside for programs such as this GeniusMaker

Are you suffering from mommy burnout?

For those of you experiencing "Mommy Burnout" as Mother's Day fast approaches consider reading the following link:

Mommy Burnout!

And by the way, Happy Mother's Day!

How to Get Your Toddler to Go to Sleep

Listen closely to the advice, create a plan, follow through with it come hell or high water and it will work in time! Trust me. I created my own plan similar to this some months ago and years ago (I have four sons) and it works! The only people who have problems following this advice are those who aren't doing exactly what they are told, those with children who have some kind of illness, and those who can't seem to get everyone in the household to conform their routines so that the younger children can get to bed on time. So here's to those of you who want your child in bed and out of your hair!

Awesome Strategies For Unmotivated, Apathetic, Bored Students

Teachers, they don't give you motivation-makers when you are in college. It takes about 2 minutes in the classroom to realize that you could have really used courses on motivating the motionless. From our popular workshops, books and posters, here are just a few of our favorite motivation-makers that you will use everyday.

** For kids who often complain about where they ended up, you can encourage them to "bloom where they are planted." This is a wonderful intervention for foster kids in particular.

** For kids who can't imagine ever having a positive future, or any future at all, ask them to write a letter to you as though it was the year 2045. In the letter, the youth can describe what happened to them since they last saw you. For non-writers, they can draw or make an audiotape instead of writing, or, you can write for them.

** For kids who are "wrapped in barbed wire," their apathy and harshness hiding a very gentle and vulnerable child, ask them to decide which they would rather have: "a bruised heart or a boxed heart?"

** When you ask a child what they want to be when they grow up, and you hear back, "I don't care," instead of confronting that, say back: "Well, if you did care..." This potent intervention detours beautifully around answers that normally would keep the child from even speculating about positive outcomes. The child gets to hang onto their discouragement while doing the work that you wanted them to do. This unusal intervention works with nearly any answer that a child gives you. For example, when the child says "I don't know what I want to be when I grow up," you can respond with "Well, if you did know..."

** For kids who can't imagine a future that is positive, have them make their "Future Homes and Gardens" using art supplies. They can draw floor plans or design rooms of their future dream home. You may be surprised at the results you get from the most sullen and resentful kids.

** For counselors, social workers and mental health workers only to use (carefully) to better "open up" very defensive, apathetic youth, this next intervention is very powerful. Ask the child to make a life line. They make the life line by writing their major life events on file cards. Next, they string the cards onto a piece of ribbon or string. This is their life line. If you doubt the effectiveness of this intervention, make your own life line. If you aren't moved by the experience, you must have had an easy life. Only clinicians should use this devices as it must be used with extreme care as it can stir up much emotion in some children. Avoid this exercise with depressed kids.

** For kids that complain that school is boring, I'll just go on welfare, respond, "Yes, you are right. School is boring. Nothing like the excitement of the welfare office line." This intervention is not for every kid; use it only with youth who would respond to this type of humorous, edgy intervention.

** For kids who view school or job training as a waste of their time, have them list their current job skills, then have them determine where their skills will fit best: in the current or past century. Teach kids that 80% of the jobs that will exist for them are not even known yet. These jobs will require computer skills, math skills, writing skills etc. Do their skills fit that or jobs from the past?

** For kids who plan to use illegal activities as their source of future income, recap local, state and federal law. For example, depending on which laws they break, offenders can lose not only the money gained by illegal actions, but also their home, possessions and vehicles. Under some federal laws, the homes and possessions of relatives and friends may be seized even if these items weren't directly involved in the commission of the crime. Illegal activities are not as lucrative as your kids tell you. Auto theft generates about $18,000 per year, for example, far less than what a typical high school grad earns.

** For kids who insist crime is lucrative, have them guess the likely income from crime, then have them guess how much time in jail they will face, and the number of years they will have before being incarcerated. Then ask the youth to calculate how much they really earned. For example, if a youth earned $30,000 per year for 2 years before being incarcerated, then was jailed for 2 years, that works out to a just $15,000 per year, an amount that is vastly less than a high school grad earns. Plus, the grad's earnings cannot be confiscated but the offender's earnings can.

** For kids who plan to just rely on welfare, advise them to hurry and get on it fast before welfare goes away.

Get much more information on this topic at Author Ruth Herman Wells MS is the director of Youth Change, ( Sign up for her free Problem-Kid Problem-Solver magazine at the site and see hundreds more of her innovative methods. Ruth is the author of dozens of books and provides workshops and training.

Be A Parent Not A Friend

One parenting problem that is very prevalent today is the confusion between fulfilling the role of a parent and the role of a friend. It is natural to want to give you children everything, but never saying no can lead to seriously spoiled children who will not understand the ways of the world when they are out on their own.

It is your job as a parent to teach your children the facts of life—good or bad—so that they can make their own good decisions in the real world. It is simply not fair to expect children to be able to make decisions that negatively affect their lives when they are not prepared to make those decisions. You have a pretty good idea of what is best for your children, and certainly a better idea than they do. It is your responsibility as the adult to pass the love and knowledge you have experienced in your own life to your children to give them the best opportunity to lead a successful life.

The principles you instill at a young age will follow your children throughout life. When they are little you make them brush their teeth, eat their vegetables and clean their rooms, not only because you know that these things are good for them, but also because you want them to one day learn to do them without being told. There are many times in life when we have to do things we do not want to do, and by not sugarcoating this idea when your children are young, they will be more accepting of it as they grow and mature into adults.

Never saying no doesn’t build friendship with your children. It may content them in the moment, but in the long run it will only make them selfish and rude. Never using the word no gives your child a handicap that will make it harder for him or her to succeed in life. No one will want to befriend, date, hire or live with a selfish person.

Playing the role of disciplinarian may not seem like a way to bond with your children, but once they grow past the stage when you are responsible for making their decisions, friendship can grow. They will respect you for making the good decisions for them that they were not able to make on their own. Let their peers be their friends. Their peers certainly are not going to act as parents, so this all-important chore is left to you.

Parenting is a grand struggle between giving to your child and instituting discipline. The balance will be different for everyone, but it is important to keep reevaluating what needs to be done and take steps to reestablish and maintain that balance.

About the Author
Solomon Brenner is an Author, speaker and columnist on success and parenting he can be reached at or 267-939-0424

Your Child Having Problems With Speech?

We noticed that one of our sons wasn't doing so well when he tried to speak to us. He was about four years old at the time when he began to talk rapidly and stutter. Everyone told us he would grow out of it. Well he is now 9 years old and at times he has his good days and other times his bad ones. He sees a speech pathologist while he is in school, but I haven't noticed where it helps him that much. What I do like is the support he is given by the teacher and his classmates which keeps his self confidence intact. He hasn't had any issues with teasing that has affected him negatively and I hope he continues to keep his head up. I conducted an Internet search and found that there is actually no cure for stuttering unlike some people would have you believe. It seems that the one who stutters has to be the one to face his challenge everyday and work hard to overcome it. Search "Speech Language Therapy" for the latest resources.

Save Yourself Some Stress: Don't Take The Children

As mothers we get so wrapped up into our children that sometimes when we have the opportunity to go some where without them, we take them anyway. We need to stop that! Those little blessings of freedom to be alone are heaven sent! I know sometimes we are thinking that we should give our mate some time alone too especially those of us who are stay-at-home mothers, but the truth is he finds the time for himself. Whether he sits in the car alone during his lunchbreak, drives around town or shops alone without you and the children in tote, he makes sure he gets the time he needs to be alone; therefore, that is what we should do too!

I have the children's schedule on the fridge, I have leftovers placed in plain view in the fridge and everything is organized so that he can find it --which means if I need to leave I can. So as I write, I am thinking about the store I wanted to go in but I couldn't take the children into it because the stroller was too big and I am thinking about the restaurant I haven't visited in awhile and I am also thinking about going to the movies, the department store and the shoe get my point! So I'm going to take advantage of my free time as soon as I can get it! Start making out your plan ladies and remember don't take the children!

Has Your Child Been Recently Diagnosed with a Disability?

If so, you may want to click on the following link because you may be eligible for some government money!

Looking for Places to Shop Online for Inexpensive Childrens Clothes?

Here are a few sites that you may also consider purchasing from in bulk and selling the clothes to family, neighbors, co-workers, and friends! Search on my site for other blogs about children's clothes.

What Do You Do When Baby Outgrows His Clothes?

You've recently had a baby. It's been a few months now, and the baby has outgrown virtually two full wardrobes. Sure it's expensive, but there's a whole other issue at hand. What is a mother to do with all of this extra baby clothes?

There are a number of ways to deal with this problem. First of all, there is the donation route. If you don't have close friends with similar aged babies, you can put aside certain things for when they do, or in the event that you have another. The rest of the clothes can go to the Goodwill or Salvation Army. These are also a great place to find gently used baby clothes for incredible savings.

Special occasion attire like baby's coming home outfit, first Christmas, and Baptism can be saved in a special place for passing on to a next generation. A great way to do this is by creating a memory box. Get a small trunk at a craft store and decorate it however you'd like. Fill it with small mementos like the baby's hospital bracelet, first outfit and blanket. As the baby gets older you will have more things to add to it. This is a great way to preserve memories that your child may not have the foresight to think of now, but will appreciate very much later.

Using material from old baby clothes to make new baby clothes is a great way to save money and get a little more use out of the items that your child quickly outgrows. Making t-shirts into cute patchwork dresses, and pants into shorts are some quick fixes to pinch pennies.

Another way to use up material from old baby clothes is to make stuffed animals. Do you have a favorite t-shirt of your baby's that his or her little arms just don't quite fit right in anymore? Using the material to make a little stuffed bear is a great way to preserve that memory for yourself and pass something very special on to your baby. The same thing can be done, if a hobby persists, with socks and jeans as well. Soon all of your friends will be begging for little stuffed dolls made out of your baby's old clothing.

If you are in fact creatively inclined, another great way to reincarnate your baby's clothes is by creating a memory quilt. Save bits and pieces of your baby's clothing and use it to create a full sized patchwork quilt for when your baby gets their own big bed. That kind of sentimental value also makes a great gift for a graduation or a wedding (if you can wait that long to show off your handy work).

If you're planning on having another child, you have a built in way to get rid of all of the extra clothes. You can put away the clothes that your baby grows out of in a storage area. Just make sure you launder everything when it comes back out for round two. Sure, it stinks to get hand-me-downs, but it is unlikely your infant will notice, let alone care.

About the Author
Kirsten Hawkins is a baby and parenting expert specializing new mothers and single parent issues.

Where to Look for the Perfect Parenting Resource

All parents need a good parenting resource of their own. Since parenting is such a tough occupation a parenting resource can help make things easier for any parent. How and where can a parent find a relevant parenting resource? There is no one sure and perfect parenting resource for everyone. A parent may have to determine for himself/herself which parenting resource is helpful and applicable. There are however specific areas where one can get a parenting resource. You can get your parenting resource from the following:

The Book and Video Haven

Any place where they sell or lend a vast selection of books and videos may be a parenting resource. You can go around looking for a bestseller parenting resource or something created by experts in the field of parenting and psychology to get a good parenting resource. Surprisingly, an experiential parenting resource account or even fictional stories of parenting may be useful parenting resource for the discriminating parent.

Comprehensive Sites and Links

Not surprisingly, the internet can have every kind of parenting resource imaginable. You have the option of checking out sites that will provide you with a comprehensive parenting resource section or one that will provide you with specific parenting resource information. You can also check link or .net sites if you want to have a brief overview of some other sites that may be good places for a parenting resource.

Message Boards and Others

You may prefer a parenting resource that’s highly practical and that comes from people who have actually experienced parenting. You can use parents’ forums and message boards as your parenting resource. In this kind of parenting resource you can swap stories and practical tips and information. A lot of parents may warm up to this kind of parenting resource because it is conversational, light and a fun way to go about talking about parenting.

Formal Classes and Support Groups
A clear and structured parenting resource may come from such formal areas as parenting courses and support groups. This type of
parenting resource will surely offer highly professional pieces of information. There is no doubt that if you enroll in a parenting resource class, you will get a load of theories and actual practice accounts from trained professionals in the field of parenting. Support groups can also offer parenting resource that may be both categorized as formal expert quality and personally supportive and uplifting in nature.

People You Know

A practical parenting resource source would be people you actually know. Your own parents, family, friends and colleagues may each be a parenting resource. Ask these live, actual parenting resource people what they can share based on what they know and their experience. This may be the cheapest and best parenting resource you can ever have.

However and wherever you choose to get your parenting resource make sure that your parenting resource is applicable to you and your family. Remember, not all families are the same.

Veronica Fisher

Healthy Kid Snacks

Have you tried to rack your brain to come up with kid snacks that are not only healthy but also inviting to you child well join the club. All the people in power at the moment seem to talk about is healthy eating but honestly with all the bright coloured packaging on the most popular foods is hard to compete with. Plus not to mention the high cost of fruit and vegetables at the moment you do wonder how you can afford to feed your child healthy foods and still pay the mortgage.

We have come up with a few alternatives that we have found worked in our house. Zip lock bags are a great invention for you to make your own snack bags at half the cost of a bag of chips, muesli bars or muffin bars. You can use plain store brand labelled food and split them into the zip lock bags such as a mixture of dried fruits with unsalted nuts, pretzels etc. We put in cut up fruit for school you can use a melon baller to cut up the fruit to make it a bit more interesting and believe me other children will ask them what it is and it does start a trend at recess time.

Healthy eating all begins at home and the younger you can get your child started the less battle it will be once the start school. While they are young try fresh fruit skewers and use biscuit cutters and make healthy sandwiches and then cut them into fun shapes. Use foods with lots of colours as this will make your child interested in the healthy food you have prepared for them and less interested in the junk food ad they just saw on the TV.

Lets face it its not going to be easy to keep you child interested in healthy food. They see so much advertising for chips, chocolate and take away on the TV but if you can make healthy eating as much fun as what they think a Happy Meal is you have half the battle won. From allot of cheap shops you can buy small novelty toys that you could also add to your Childs lunch which will make it like a happy meal except it will be your healthy meal. Give it a try you may come up with other interesting foods to use for your kid snacks.

Online Shopping Solution For Buying Baby Clothing

If you are the mother of a cute baby, you would definitely like to get your baby some beautiful dresses available in the world. Babies bring happiness and joy into a family. Gone are the days when fashion was the domain of teenagers and mature people; today, even babies wear designer dresses. There are parents who desire to make their babies wear affordable yet stylish clothes. And there are some others who spend hundreds of dollars for buying designer baby dresses for their babies.

Celebrity parents are notorious for spending a ton of money to dress up their babies. Baby clothing is a huge growing industry thanks to the popularity of baby clothes worldwide. In addition, many famous clothing companies have started making baby clothes. Making a rough estimate, it would be safe to say the baby clothing industry is worth at least a couple billion dollars.

There are hundreds of baby clothes designers known for their style. If you think that shopping for your child will be simple, think again. You might be disoriented when you first go to a baby clothing store. Clothing for babies is offered in various sizes, shapes, and colors.

You can find summer baby clothing too. There are in fact different types of baby dresses for different seasons. It is also important to understand that the skin of your baby is very sensitive. Making your baby wear summer clothes in winters or vice-versa may invite trouble. Summer dresses for babies are light-weight and light in color.

Within the realm of baby clothing, online shopping is gaining momentum. Many parents are now coming to the internet to find clothes for their new babies. Many online stores will only make parents come back for more, providing designer clothing for the youngest members of the family. Babies are special and sensitive, and their clothing is something not to be compromised.

If you want a great tip on purchasing baby clothes, search online using the words "online. shopping". Search with these keywords should generate hundreds of results to help you find the best baby wear available, which you can then browse through. Thanks to using "online. shopping" as keywords, you can find multiple options on baby clothing.

Tips for Relieving Newborn Constipation

A couple of years ago I needed some tips for relieving newborn constipation when my niece asked me to keep her infant daughter while she returned to work. I never had any children so her mother had to tell me what to do when the baby was constipated.
Since then I’ve asked some mothers how they dealt with newborn constipation. I learned that one of the reasons for infant constipation is the iron contained in infant formula; some babies don’t need the additional iron. Some babies have allergies, usually to formula, which can cause constipation, although one woman shared that her son was actually allergic to the water she was using to mix his formula with.

In no particular order, here are some of the best tips for relieving newborn constipation:

Fruit Juice

Diluted apple or prune juice is one of the more popular methods for relieving infant constipation that I heard. However, it shouldn’t be used for infants under 3-4 months, and should always be diluted. The acid content of some fruit juices can contribute to diaper rash unless diluted with water.

Karo Syrup

Another of the more common cures for newborn constipation is Karo corn syrup. Some used the light or dark corn syrup, while others insisted that only the light corn syrup should be used. Mix 1-3 tablespoons of the syrup in a bottle of warm water. NOTE: Since corn syrup has been linked to obesity, you may want to limit its use.


Once the baby is taking baby food, applesauce will usually keep them regular, and they also enjoy the flavor. If the baby is too young for baby food, try mixing a little applesauce with rice cereal and diluting it so it can be drunk out of a bottle.


One woman found that her baby’s constipation would be eased when she fed him formula to which oatmeal baby cereal had been added.


Massage can be accomplished in two different ways. The first is to use a bit of baby lotion and use the tips of your fingers to gently massage the belly and lower abdomen. The second method is to bend the baby’s legs so the knees press gently against the belly. This can be done with both legs together or one at a time in a “cycling” motion.

Glycerin suppositories

Glycerin suppositories will work when all other methods have failed. That is actually what my niece had me use on her daughter. The suppository would be gently inserted into the rectum, then her legs would be “bicycled” placing light pressure on the lower belly. Usually within a matter of one or two minutes she would have a bowel movement.

One of the most important tips for relieving newborn constipation was the necessity of seeking medical attention should home remedies fail to work. There may be something more going on and failure to get medical help could result in long-term problems.


Five Tips for Buying Toys for Toddlers

Most of us have been there before. You open the mailbox to find a brightly colored invitation to the birthday party of your favorite two year old. You hang the invitation on the refrigerator with great intentions to stop at the toy store after work to buy a great birthday gift. Several weeks later, you realize the party starts in 2 hours and you have yet to get the perfect gift. You jump in the car, race to the toy store, and run inside. Suddenly, you are surrounded by a sea of remarkable toys and start to panic! Take a deep breath and slow down for just a minute. These five tips will help you choose the perfect educational toy and get to the party in time.

First, be sure to buy a toy that is for a toddler. Sure, their parents may tell you that their child is so advanced, that they should be in third grade by now. But let’s face it; you should buy a toy that’s fit for a two year old. Otherwise, the child may not be interested in it, and end up just playing with the box. Also, it is important that they toy is in the right age range for the child to make sure it is safe. Little hands and mouths are not safe around toys with little detachable parts. Most toy stores arrange their products by corresponding age ranges, so head straight to the section designed for the child you have in mind.

Next, think about choosing a gift that allows parents to interact with their child to build skills important for later academic success. It is important for toddlers to be exposed to letters, letter sounds, and numbers. Look for brightly colored blocks, oversized flashcards, or puzzles with letters and numbers that may also have a tactile component like a fuzzy duck or shiny moon. Some phonological based toys also talk or sing to children. Parents always enjoy helping their child explore and create with oversized paper and crayons, or clay.

Third, to please both parent and child, shop around for great toddler books. Books made especially for toddlers are typically ones made from thick cardboard. They may have pop-up characters, animals with fur that kids can pet, and flowers with a scratch-and-sniff scent. It is important for parents to read to their children to introduce them to language and ideas, and also to instill a sense that reading and learning are important. Books also provide great bonding moments between parents and children.

Next, remember not to overdo it. Sure, it is tempting to try and pick out the biggest and best gift that will be at the party. It is always flattering when the birthday boy or girl latches on to the gift you presented, and barely lets go long enough to finishing opening the rest! But, the size of the gift and the amount of money you spend is not as important as the impact that your gift may have on that particular child. Choose something that will stimulate their minds and spur their development.

Last but not least, think creatively when shopping for educational toys for toddlers. Maybe you could try a plant that they can learn to love, water, and care for, along with their very first watering can. Or perhaps they would enjoy a wardrobe of dress-up clothes, so they can pretend to be a soldier, astronaut, or athlete.

When you are racing through the toy store on the way to another great birthday party, remember to choose a stimulating and creative toy that is age appropriate for your little friend. Just don’t forget to grab some wrapping paper on the way to the cash register.

Mark Easterday is the Director of Marketing for Educational Toys & Puzzles. Educational Toys & Puzzles carries a complete line of educational and wooden toys that promote cognitive, motor and creative skills in children. For more information about Educational Toys & Puzzles please visit

Girls Want to Express Themselves: Help Her do it in Age-Appropriate Ways

You know your daughter or granddaughter wants to express herself and her personality through her clothes and everything she does. You’ve already seen how picky she can be about what she wears to school or just to hang out with her friends on weekends. Fashion is important to most girls, tweens and teens and now more fashion choices are available.

However, as a parent you may not feel comfortable with the scary Goth-chick look, ripped jeans or overly provocative fashions now available to underage girls. How can you encourage her individuality, her confidence and sense of personal expression in a way that’s fashionable and age-appropriate at the same time?

First, when she knows she is valued and appreciated she will be more likely to take your direction. Second, experts in child psychology say girls encouraged to speak up, share their thoughts and express themselves are more likely to feel self confident and exhibit healthy self esteem. Finally, when she sees an example of confident and loving people around her, she has a great example to follow. When you’re confident – she will be more likely to be confident.

One fashion look that’s become popular among women the last couple years and has trickled down to girls is the surprise of unexpected color. It started with women who wore a black and white outfit and “popped it” with a bright red or yellow purse. Now, almost anything goes when it comes to pairing color in an outfit. That jolt of unexpected color is usually seen in a bag, shoes or a belt. Girls now look for ways to pop their outfits with a jolt of bright color

Enter St. Louis designer James Androuais, age 22, who wanted to encourage girls in a positive way with his business. He saw the skyrocketing fame of MySpace and Facebook websites with girls, tweens and teens. Networking websites where conversations can go back and forth for hours. He noticed girls are constantly expressing with their words and in their appearance. So he created a fashion accessory both girls and parents can love. Now she can be unique, fashion forward and express her point of view all at the same time.

Meant to be worn with jeans, that ever-present fashion staple among girls of all ages, Xpressit belts provide a pop of bright, unexpected color and a little extra. Yes, the belts come in hot, fun colors girls, tweens and teens love including Mimosa Yellow (the “in” color for 2009), Classic Red, Aqua Blue, Limey Green, Bubblegum Pink and Perfect White. But it doesn’t stop there.

After choosing the color belt she wants she gets to choose from little Twistonz (about the size of a penny) that go in the grommet holes around the belt to create a one of a kind look. She can spell her name with Twistonz. If she’s an animal lover there are animal Twistonz with cute names. Does she love shopping? There are Twistonz with a high heel shoe, a purse and words like “Shopping Diva.” Love text messaging and her MySpace page? She can get Twistonz with popular sayings like “BFF,” “OMG” and more.

They have become so popular that XpressIt belts were chosen to be featured in a holiday gift bag loaded with goodies distributed to Hollywood moms with celeb-daughters like Debra Messing, Brook Shields, Heidi Klum and others.

Girls love clothing items and accessories that provide an opportunity to showcase her unique personality and style in ways that are fun and fresh. In a world where almost everything seems is mass-produced, having the ability to change the words and pictures on the belt she wears with her jeans makes her feel a little more special and important.

The possibilities are almost endless. Fortunately, the XpressIt Designs website at has an Ideas page where girls can get a little fashion inspiration so she can see the possibilities. Truthfully, she’s only limited by her imagination and how she wants to express herself.

XpressIt belts and patent pending Twistonz can be found exclusively at or email us for more information at Get yours today! (

Disrespectful and Rebellious Teens

Defiant Teens are children that have no respect for authority and mainly disrespect their parents.
Back talk when your teenager rudely tells you that you are a tyrant or an idiot has to be one of the hardest things for parents to deal with. Respect for parents is highly valued in every culture. Ways of showing respect differ from family to family. Some require prompt obedience without any protest; others are more relaxed. But disrespectful behavior is a tough challenge regardless of the specific form it takes.

We have found that children that have Defiance Disorder are very confrontational and need to have life their own way. It is a trait that some teens experience through their puberty years. Defiant teens, disrespectful teens, angry teens and rebellious teens can affect the entire family.

You will find yourself wondering what you ever did to deserve the way your child is treating you. It is very sad, yet very real. Please know that many families are experiencing this feeling of destruction within their home. Many wonder "why" and unfortunately each child is different with a variety of issues they are dealing with. Once a child is placed into proper treatment, the healing process can begin.

Their bodies and ideas are often equally awkward and unfinished but their struggle to master both is fascinating. Negotiating their transition from childhood to adulthood means that we are all making adjustments. As is always the case, this stage of my children's development is making me continue my own growth in the ways I manage human relationships.

To get to self-direction, there are a few universal explanations for every one of the situations that follow.

First, our children need to understand and agree and the consequence for breaking it. Only when they come to agree with our rules, through their own internal dialogue, will they become self-directed.

Second, sometimes parenting strategy leads some problems. Are you over-controlling or over-protective? Either trait can elicit an externally directed response, as your children react to an unhealthy situation.

Third, remember for all these parenting challenges how important it is for you as parents, to model the right behavior. If you're expecting your children to act one way and you act another, then the system falls down.

Parents of teenagers describe the teen years as a time of change, fear, rebellion, moodiness, disrespect, and frustration. But they also say it can be a time of fun, growth, adventure, sharing, understanding, and learning. Research shows that one of the best things you can do for your teen is simply to be there for them. An effective way to work with defiant teens is through anger and stress management classes. If you have a local therapist, ask them if they offer these classes. Most will have them along with support groups and other beneficial classes.

If you feel your teen is in need of further Boarding School or in time, you will find the ways to overcome your phobia. If you have trouble, talk to a professional who can give you additional insights on your situation. Just log on the following websites: free to go: Abundant life academy, It is a school for troubled teens that have a great deal of academic potential and a good heart, yet they are currently off track, lost, and wandering in the desert (selfish, ungrateful, disrespect and lazy) in need of immediate infusion of God's precious Spirit and a restored relationship with Jesus Christ (selfless, thankful, and motivated to excel). Restore Troubled Teens are worked for teens based on teens suicide, teens violence, adolescence, etc.

About Author: Nivea David For listings please visit Schools For Troubled Teens. You can also visit for Camp For Troubled Teens. And for Teen Boarding Schools

You Aren't Alone: Ten Things Every Parent Experiences When It Comes to Their Children

Don't let those "been there done that" parental types throw you off! They may have forgotten what it was like when they had children, so they would love to make you think that "I never had the problem..." but the truth is they did have that problem, it's just that they were so angry when it happened they lost their minds! So here is a list of ten things that any parent who is honest will admit, "Yes, we had the same problem!" If they didn't have it during their child's toddler years they had to deal with it during the tween or teen years! Take a look...

1. Temper Tantrums when you take something away. Temper Tantrums because they wanted to go somewhere else other than back at home again. Temper Tantrums because they don't like what you cooked. Temper Tantrums because they need a nap!

2. Talking back. Whether loud so you can hear or under their breath, it's all the same thing!

3. Lying. Whether a little one or a big one, they all lie about something.

4. Tattle-telling. He say she say and he did and she did, but never the complete story on what "I did..."

5. Incomplete or inaccurate story-telling. They tell a story in such a way to your partner so that he or she becomes furious with you or so that you won't become angry at them.

6. Broken toys, broken dishware, broken picture frames, broken*t happens!

7. Lost things. "I don't know where my toy is mommy? I don't know what I did with my..." They will forget where they last left something.

8. Everything that they shouldn't hear or say they want to say or hear it!

9. They love everyone but you, because you are the enforcer! They love you when you do everything for them! "Your the greatest...I love you!"

10. There will come a time that you will either think about spanking them or actually do it! Don't beat yourself up about it!

Now that the Children Got Almost Everything...

So they got almost everything that they wanted and now you are faced with a bill you would rather not face. Never fear the Internet is here to help you get back on track and prepare for the next Christmas season.

First things first, total all the bills you now owe.

Second, take the smaller bill and pay that off first while paying about $10-$20 above the minimum of your other bills.

Third, create a plan on how much you are able to pay toward your next highest bill once the other is paid off as well as how long you think it will take to pay it off.

Fourth, don't accrue anymore debt. If you don't have the cash to pay for it, don't do it!

Fifth, birthdays will have to come and go. So what that someone thought of you and the family and bought you something nice! Listen if you could do it, you would, but you can't so you won't. If you allow yourself to feel obligated to pay someone back, then you are adding unnecessary stress to your already hectic life.

Sixth, if it isn't on sale, don't bother.

Seventh, observe your lifestyle. What could you absolutely live without? Then sell it, get rid of it, or reduce it. Examine how your children live and do the same for them, sell it, get rid of it, or reduce it.

Hope these simple tips help get you on your way to reducing your debt and spending this year!

For more artciles by Nicholl McGuire, visit

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