Archive for the 'Parenting' Category

It’s Hard Being A Dad

A new study discussed by Pew Research Center for the People & the Press reports that many dads are having a bad time.

A whopping 59% of dads say that it’s harder to be a dad now than it was 20 or 30 years ago. While another 26% says that it’s pretty much the same.

Only 12% of dads feel like it’s easier to be a dad today.

The oddball part of this study was that a majority of mothers say that dads are doing a better job when it comes to raising kids, cleaning, and helping out around the house.

However, the majority of dads reported just the opposite — siting dads today as worse with kids and home tasks than dads 20 or 30 years ago.

FamilyWhy do dads today feel worse about themselves today? Well, dads today are doing more. I know that when I have more to do it can feel more stressful and then I end up feeling like I’m doing a bad job. I’m thinking that’s what going on with dads today. Sure they’re doing more — but have they adjusted to the routine.

Still, how long have moms been doing the bulk of the work on the home front and holding down jobs. Studies continually show that even when a mother works as many hours as a father, she still does the majority of the household chores as well. Additionally, it’s not just household stuff moms do more of. Children sited in this same study, report overwhelmingly that they had more contact with, and felt closer to their mom vs. their dad.

The above information is why it’s hard to be too sympathetic towards the plight of upset dads. Don’t get me wrong; I’m happy to see that dads are stepping up. But part of me wants to say, “So you do more chores and childcare now, buck up already.”

I’m not trying to rag on the dads; it must be tired me talking. Guess who works full-time and does the majority of the work at my house?

What about at your house? Is there an honest 50/50 split where work, chores, and childcare tasks are concerned?

Posted in Uncategorized, Parenting | 1 Comment »

Help Your Child Become A Happy Reader

Why a happy reader? Many children learn to read; not all of them have a good time doing it though. A reader who enjoys the process is more likely to make reading a life-long pursuit rather than just read when she has to.

Here are some ideas that can help your child become a reader who loves to read.

JGS_Reading 200x300.jpgTalk and listen to your baby: Current research shows that babies absorb much more from simply listening to your words than was previously thought. When you talk often and clearly with your child (that includes listening to her thoughts as well) you’re giving her an early start towards a love of words and sounds.

Read together: This one’s a given. But with time demands; work, chores, meals, and more, family reading time can often be compromised for other tasks. I’ve run out of time in the day and not been able to sit down with my son and read — maybe you’ve done this too.

Parents aren’t always perfect, still, each day try to spend at least 30 minutes reading with your child. The dishes can wait — really, they’re not going to walk off (no matter how hard we wish).

Make book hunting an adventure: The smell of old books and hunting for 25 cent books can be so much fun. Take your child book hunting often. Try the library, new and used bookstores, garage sales. Make it a big deal when you find a great book. Your child will grab onto your excitement.

Read aloud: This isn’t the same as reading with, or to, a younger child. As your child masters reading skills let her read to you. My mom worked all day when I was young. She was pretty busy. Something good I remember about those busy days is that each night while she cooked dinner, I’d read to her; first Pippie Longstocking, and then other, tougher books.

The part I remember most is that she seemed actively engaged in the story — which may be the key to this tip. When your child reads to you, laugh, ask questions, let her know you’re listening and benefiting from her reading to you. And don’t make this time about correcting her skills — just let her read and have fun.

Other ideas: Draw pictures with letters, write words, make your own books, get some books in various languages, and listen to books on tape.
Tips adapted, in part, from The U.S Department of Education.

Posted in Parenting, Communication, School and Learning | 3 Comments »

Have a Wonderful and Safe 4th of July!

0616769-R1-036-16A_a 250x203.jpgThe 4th of July is a great time for families to get together. A nice warm day, picnics in the grass, icy watermelon, slip & slide fun (hey, do they still have slip & slides?), and the amazing firework displays.

It’s a fun and family focused day of the year.

But sadly, many accidents can and do occur on the 4th each year. Not to put a damper on the day’s festivities but there are some simple facts you need to know to keep your family safe and healthy this 4th.

Facts & figures

I could give millions of accident stats for the 4th — there’s no shortage. However, let’s just look a few biggies offered by The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA):

On July 4th there are more U.S. fires reported that on any other day of the year — and fireworks account for half of these fires. The figure that surprised me was the sparklers — which are seemingly harmless. I always have let my son use them in the past but I’m re-thinking that this year. Each year the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) promotes a list of safety tips for 4th of July firework safety.

This year however, the AAP is doing something new. The NFPA has come forward with, instead of safety tips, a new recommendation that tips aren’t needed. What’s needed is a call for everyone to leave the fireworks to the professionals. The AAP agrees with the NFPA and so this year’s tips are a little less bulky and a lot safer…

Legal or not for consumers, fireworks are too risky for amateurs leave the fireworks to the professionals.”

Besides saving you some reading this tip could save your family money, stress, and more importantly maybe your health or life. So follow this year’s one tip. Gather the family, pack a picnic, and head to the nearest community fireworks festivities for a fun and safe 4th.

Safe & happy July 4th wishes from Family Resource!

Posted in Child Safety, Holidays, Personal Safety, Healthy Living | 1 Comment »

Great Family Blogs

Here at the Family Resource blog I try to keep our readers up to date with all of the latest and greatest resources and news for families everywhere. I also know that there are many great blogs that are trying to do the same thing we do; day in and day out. Today I thought I’d share some of my favorite family minded blogs with you. A great treat if you’re looking for some new cool family reads…

Karen at Thrifty Mommy delivers pretty much what you might expect based on the name of her blog – a heaping helping of great thrift-friendly tips for the family. A perfect read for families on a tight budget.

Cranky Fitness is perfect for families who are sick of common fitness advice. The cool blogger running this site is in fact, not very cranky. She actually pretty nice to her readers (who love her by the way). This blogger reviews scientific studies and health news so you don’t have to – with a dash of good humored opinions tossed in for flavoring. Check it out you’ll love it.

The Joyfully Rejoycing blog is very cool. Covering topics from alternative education to parenting with respect. Peaceful parenting is encourage and happy kids are the result. One of the best things about this blog is it’s super collection of links – that all connect you to more peaceful parenting resources.

Now at A Boy and His Blog is a momma with some unique but always insightful and funny views. Good for mom’s who need a nice break in their busy day.

Get Green Things: According to the mama who runs this blog, “Do Green Things. It is that easy. I do it, you should too.? This green mama homeschools and tries to keep everyone up to date on green issues that can make your home and world a better place.

Confessions of a Working Mom is a gem of a blog written by “Working Mom? and has been going for ages. “Mom? is a fun blogger who blogs honest and real issues regarding family life; both it’s ups and downs.

Do you need to get your family home (or office) in order? I sure as heck could use some help. At Declutter It, blogger Julie offers helpful hints and good solid advice for keeping your home running just a bit more smoothly. Visit now and you’ll be in good shape (well, your house will) in no time.

The Barenaked Family is one of my all time favorites on the web. This family sold all their stuff and hopped in an RV to travel the country. They’re basically shouting out to families everywhere that more time should be spent as a family. Very cool family, cool site, you’ll love them.

Days Like These is an interesting blog by a neat mom to a teenager and a toddler (and you thought you had it rough) this mom keeps her humor and is spontaneous, outspoken, and fun. If anything you have to see the cute pictures she’s got posted on her blog.

Don’t worry I’ve got a blog for you crafty families too. Yarns And Musings is another good mama blog – but this mama’s got it bad – for yarn, wool, crochet thread and other crafty items. If you’re into knitting you have to visit.

Calling all family travelers! The Family Travel blog covers kid friendly travel and where to go and what to do once you get there.

Expecting? Newly a parent? The Pregnancy & Baby blog has everything you need — tips, news, cool baby clothing, pregnancy nutrition, conception, baby names and way more. If it’s about babies, parenting, or pregnancy they’ve got it. A must visit for new, experienced, and everywhere in between parents.

Last but certainly not least, Dear Myrtle, otherwise known as “your friend in genealogy? The blogs tag line, “Practical, down-to-earth advice for family historians since 1995? and this blog means business. If genealogy is your thing or you wish it were visit and learn from years of experience. Perfect for any family planning a family tree or who want to learn more about their roots.

That’s a fairly big (but cool) round-up. This should give you enough new blogs for a good long while. Unless your a blog addict like me and then you should be good for oh, say about a week.

And now that I’ve shared some great family blogs it’s your turn… Who do you like to read? Are there any blogs your family can’t live without?

Posted in Parenting, Websites | 5 Comments »

Candy Cigarettes: Simple Fun or Simply Dangerous?

Raise your hand if you rode the bus to elementary school. Me pick me! So, yes I rode the bus. I remember standing miserable in the cold and rain. I remember how one bus driver hated kids and was constantly threatening to, “Turn this bus around.? I remember the fights between growing boys. And I remember the smoking.

316897_cigarettes.jpg'' /hspace= The smoking! Yup smoking… In the fifth or sixth grade the “cool? boys started bringing candy cigarettes to the bus stop.

It seemed innocent enough; however, to morning commuters we probably looked anything but. A bunch of kids aged six through twelve standing around in a circle while bubble gum smoke swirled around our heads. Finally a parent commuter drove by and ended our smoking fun.

Good thing too because a recent study featured in the July issue of the journal Preventive Medicine reports that kids who ‘light up’ candy cigarettes are more likely to light up the real thing when they’re older.

Dr. Jonathan Klein, an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Rochester, and lead researcher on the candy cigarettes and his team studied around 26,000 adults and found that 12% of adults who had never had a candy cigarette when they were young report adult smoking habits while 22% of adults who did have candy cigarettes as a youngster report adult smoking. Also the study showed that there was a correlation with the amounts of candy cigarettes people chewed down as a kid. As kids chew more their rates of adult smoking increase.

But why?
Klein says, “It allows the marketing that goes into tobacco advertising to operate on children long before they have access to cigarettes… these candy products promote smoking as a socially acceptable activity.”

Danny McGoldrick, research director for the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, brings up another point to consider. McGoldrick compares candy cigarettes with a kids learning curve. For instance first comes candy cigarettes, than with the cigarette companies coming out with flavored smokes, why not move on to that, and than on to the full blown real thing. It makes sense. I’ve heard many a teenagers state that cherry flavored or licorice flavored cigarettes must be safe because they don’t taste bad.

But are candy cigarettes even around anymore?
Well, I thought about that too. Personally, I thought that they’d been outlawed long ago. But they haven’t. They’re just a bit more underground. Now, with kids being so internet savvy, all it takes is a few clicks of a mouse and you can find oodles of chewy smokes on the web. I just did a few minutes ago. It was simple. Your kids will find them too.

So, make candy cigarettes just as off limits in your home as the real thing. But obviously that won’t stop the bus stop kid smoking parties. The best defense is to talk to your kids early about the dangers of tobacco and then practice what you preach.

To learn more about how to talk to your kids about tobacco visit Kids Health.

Posted in Uncategorized, Parenting, Alcohol and Other Drugs, Smoking | 2 Comments »

Birth Order and Sibling IQ


For years it’s been widely thought that genetics, not birth order determine IQ. However, a recent study in the journal Science (June 22) reports that first-born children are smarter than their younger siblings. The study, examined by, relates that first-born children have IQs that average 2.3 points higher than their younger siblings and that the findings hold true even in families where a first born dies and the second born is raised as the eldest.

Exciting news, if like me, you’re the eldest kid in a family of many. Yea me!
Still, I don’t think that we can completely count on our birth order as a one-way ticket to genius land and some scientists agree. Dr. Petter Kristensen, of the National Institute of Occupational Health in Oslo reports that IQ can make a difference because an IQ that’s even a couple of points higher can increase a child’s “educational potential? giving them an edge over younger siblings. In the long run though for an individual, “This effect is so small that it gives little predictive power.”

Case in point; I’m the oldest in my family. I have both a younger sister and younger brother. Which of the three of is the smartest? (This is where you say me). Just kidding, the real answer is that we’re all smart but in different ways. I read, draw, and create art projects constantly and was always considered the “artistic? or “creative? one in the family. My sister however always pulled through high school with a straight A average while I barely managed to get Cs because my “creative? brain wouldn’t let me sit still long enough to stay focused. My brother hates reading, yet excels at math and can fix anything you’ve got that needs fixing. All three of us have excelled in our very different chosen careers.

I suppose you could break my sibs and I down like this; creative smarts, book smarts, and practical smarts; although I see evidence of all three kinds of smarts in each of us at times. Frank J. Sulloway, a visiting scholar at the University of California, Berkeley, Institute of Personality and Social Research calls this “niche partitioning.” Basically this means that a first born comes along and fills a niche. For example I filled the creative niche. Then my siblings came along and because I had already filled the creative niche they decided to take on other, different roles.

When children in families can fill a certain niche it allows them to increase their chances of receiving personal attention within a busy family. Sulloway concludes that because of niche partitioning parents don’t need to worry about birth order or IQ; many issues make us who we are and determine success.

To learn more about birth order visit this site: Human intelligence: Historical influences, current controversies, teaching resources

Posted in Parenting, Lifestyles, Child Development | No Comments »

Top 100 US Baby names 2006

For those interested in the latest trends in popular baby names check out the list below.

For the boys, blockbuster name of the late 20th century “Michael” has slipped from 1 to 12 over the past decade.  ”Ben” has snuck into the list again at 97.  ”Aidan” to my suprise is at number one (does anyone know many Aidans?).  A number of biblical names such as “Joseph”, “Caleb” and “Noah” seem to be gaining ground and I wonder if this trend will continue.

For the girls the timeless classic “Emma” is holding number one position.  An Eric Clapton inspired 70’s song may be responsible for “Layla” sneaking in at number 91.  A personal favourite of mine “Madison” is doing remarkably well at 3rd position.  Personally I have an overwhelming urge to remove number 94 from the list as to me, “Camryn” looks like a spelling error.

If you can’t find a suitable name for your next bub check out our baby names directory, with over 10,000 names to browse through.

Girl Names

1 Emma
3 Madison
5 Sophia
7 Olivia
9 Makayla
11 Abigail
13 Hailey
15 Madeline
17 Grace
19 Riley
21 Sydney
23 Mackenzie
25 Alyssa
27 Alexis
29 Taylor
31 Brianna
33 Kylie
35 Elizabeth
37 Allison
39 Katherine
41 Isabelle
43 Savannah
45 Arianna
47 Julia
49 Maya
51 Brooke
53 Victoria
55 Katie
57 Gabriella
59 Leah
61 Rebecca
63 Gabrielle
65 Amelia
67 Reagan
69 Trinity
71 Cadence
73 Ashlyn
75 Gracie
77 Kendall
79 Molly
81 Kennedy
83 Addison
85 Alana
87 Jada
89 Alexa
91 Layla
93 Ellie
95 Nicole
97 Charlotte
99 Mckenna

Boy Names

1 Aidan
3 Ethan
5 Matthew
7 Tyler
9 Joshua
11 Dylan
13 Connor
15 Jayden
17 Zachary
19 Logan
21 Nathan
23 William
25 Joseph
27 James
29 Cameron
31 Christian
33 Gavin
35 Mason
37 Brayden
39 Austin
41 John
43 Owen
45 Brandon
47 Samuel
49 Thomas
51 Landon
53 Justin
55 Cole
57 Ian
59 Hayden
61 Isaac
63 Kyle
65 Isaiah
67 Nathaniel
69 Devin
71 Robert
73 Eric
75 Chase
77 Carson
79 Cooper
81 Charlie
83 Bryce
85 Brian
87 Xavier
89 Parker
91 Sam
93 Ashton
95 Kevin
97 Ben
99 Henry



Posted in Babies | 2 Comments »

Potty Perfect

It’s happening!  The littlest person in our family is finally making her way to the toilet - on her own.  After months of my inconsistant wanting to try, kind of trying and trying and forgetting to maintain the trying - she has finally decided that if she is ever going to crap somwhere besides her pants that she has to take matters into her own hands.  Thank god.  I had no idea, otherwise, how it was going to happen.

So, for the last three days she has been thoroughly dedicated to making every pee and poo in the potty.  This morning she actually got mad and a screamed at me because I was so distracted talking to my mother in law on the phone that I didn’t notice her telling me she had to poop - and, much to her dismay, did it in her pants.  She yelled at me.  For a long time.  Sometimes I don’t feel like the parent.

But, it brings me around to how I used to feel about the whole potty training thing a long time ago.  I had some weird notion back then that I actually had control over this thing - this bizarre potty training thing.  Ha!  What I have come to realize is that, not only do I not have control over it - I have, actually, very little control over anything.  Sure, I’d like to write this blog as if I had spent these last few months intently and compassionately helping my daughter learn her first lesson of independence.  I would love to take full credit for having two children that were both potty trained by the age of two (my son around 15months and my daughter, at 2, well on her way) but, hell, I really had nothing to do with it.  Honestly, the only thing I can take credit for is making them sit in the bathroom with me while I do my own thing and even that was only because I didn’t want to be interrupted.  My point is this:  kids will do it when they’re ready.  I know that most of you know this but, I guess, I didn’t.  I have just been lucky to have two kids who have taken to it like it was a game.  Some people don’t.  I have no clues to give.  I have no suggestions to make.  I just let them walk around naked a lot and that seems to work.  So, for those of you embarking on the potty training journey - good luck and may all the forces of nature be with you.

Posted in Potty Training | 1 Comment »

Everything is Coming Up Mutha F#!@*! Roses

I swear this will be my last blog entry regarding the fact that my daughter remains smugly settled into her terrible two-ness.  But, I have to rant just one more time about it.  I mentioned yesterday that my son had fall break.  It was hard.  I started to speak louder and louder to them toward the end of our last day.  I had that wierd Steven Colbert look on my face - you know the wide-eyed one where he looks like he could go psycho-homicidal at any moment?  Yeah.  That one. 

I was laying it on my son pretty thick.  “You’re older!  Set an example!” - I was mad at him, not her.  I was reaming him for everything she did - I was blaming him for the lack of balance in our home yesterday..  How is that fair?  She was the one that was going around flipping over the dog’s water bowl and pulling her brother’s hair.  He was just trying to read a book.  He was just trying to build legos.  He screamed at her because she very premeditatively ripped the drawing he had been working on for an hour.  Yet, he’s the one that got sent to his room. 

God.  Can you smell the guilt on me this morning.  I have tried to wash it off, but it is sticking to me like a bad night of drinking brown liquor - I’ll be tasting it ALL damn day.  Guilt. Guilt. Guilt.  The most useless, yet somehow one of the most prevailing traits of motherhood.

I can remember my older brother getting laid into by my parents for every little thing that went wrong in our house.  Even if I did it - he got in trouble for not preventing me from doing it.  Somehow the eldest gets the baggage of “setting an example” - how lame is that?  They are kids too.  How did I fall into the trap of making him as responsible as an adult in our home?  Shame on me.

Nothing left to do now but change.  And sooth my guilt by feeding my son lots of cake and ice cream tonight.  Yes.  Ice cream makes everything better. 

And, as far as the adorable little hell raiser that my daughter has become - she’s in for a serious change.  I have made - god, I almost can’t say it - a time out corner.  It’s a bleak wooden chair sitting in the corner of the living room.  Two minute time ous for her.  She won’t like it but, it’s time.  And, there’s always ice cream to ease my guilt if she takes it too hard.

Posted in Parenting, Behavior Issues | 1 Comment »

It’s Just a Song.. I know.

There’s a Ray Charles song that I can remember my grandmother singing when I was a girl. Everytime I hear it, I can picture her singing it - it is so vivid I can remember the sound and pitch of her voice and the way she smelled and the way she would sing half in spanish….. 

When my mom came to visit, we were playing the Ray Charles CD and when the song came on - my mom teared up and said that it was her mom’s favorite song.  She was crying only because she missed her mom - she died when I was ten and it was a pretty traumatic event for all of us as she was a huge part of our lives. 

Today, it made me cry as I listened to it taking my son to school.  I didn’t cry because I miss her, which I do.  I stopped crying about missing her when I had my kids.  I realized that I didn’t have to miss her - she was everpresent and I could feel it.  Hard to explain unless you have had someone close to you die. 

No, I cried because the song is confirmation of my deepest suspicions that she was unhappy in many aspects in her life.  Her marriage was a mess.  Her choices in life didn’t work out the way she thought.  There was a marriage before my grandfather that resulted in the pregnancy of my aunt.  Her first husband wanted nothing to do with the child or the pregnancy and he abandoned her.  Which is when she met and married, at a full five months pregnant, my grandfather.  He was as good to her as he could be and I love my grandfather, despite all of his mistakes, huge personality flaws and adultery. The song is “I can’t stop loving you” - which is a heartbreaking ballad in itself.  The fact that my strongest memory is of my grandmother incessently playing and singing it breaks my heart. 

I cried because I want more for her life.  I want her to have a chance to relive all of those incidents and accidents and not be resigned to swallow it down with a forced, martyred smile on her face.  I want to picture her strong and capable, not degected and a victim of her slim choices, as many women of her time were.  She loved us with all of her being - and all that love that she poured out onto everyone, I’m afraid, was never returned to her from the men in her life.  And, being in the marriage I am - one that is beautifully composed of respect, admiration, pride and passion, I feel nothing but sadness that she never had that.  Because she deserved to feel all of it - she deserved to have more.  I want more for her.  But it is too late.

And, then, I look at my daughter - and myself - and I think that it can’t be too late.  We are how her life becomes rectified.  I know she is watching me - the choices I make, the way I will show my daughter how to be better than I could ever be, the way my daughter and I will expect more from any relationship that we forge in our lives, and the way we will remember her for all that she was and all that she couldn’t find the strength or support to be.  And I know she is proud.  But I am sad.  And, I don’t know that her sadness will ever be washed out of my heart. 

Posted in Relationships, Grief and Loss, Daily Living | 1 Comment »

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