1. How Closely Should You Monitor Your Child’s Social Media Activity?

    Father and son with laptopSocial media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have exploded in popularity during the past decade among all age groups. Although the growth doesn’t appear to be slowing anytime soon, the following might come as a surprise: Children are joining their first social media site at increasingly young ages.

    According to a recent study from Knowthenet, an online information hub and practical advice resource based in the UK, 59 percent of children have joined an online social network before age 10.

    It’s important for parents to be aware of how their children are interacting with social media, but exactly how closely should parents monitor social media sites that their children visit?

    Here are some tips for handling this delicate issue:

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    Categories: Health & Safety
  2. Balancing Your Pre-teen’s School and Activities Schedule

    Pre-teen with soccer ballWhen your child is very young, your schedule may become your child’s schedule: If you need to go to the store after work, for example, your son or daughter goes with you. When your child enters the pre-teen stage, however, your schedules will probably head down different paths as your child takes part in a growing number of activities such as birthday parties, basketball practices, school plays and drum lessons.

    Suddenly, the roles have reversed. Often, your pre-teen’s schedule is now your schedule.

    Adjusting can sometimes be difficult, but there are many ways to make organizing your pre-teen’s schedule and the family schedule a little easier. Here are several:

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    Categories: Parenting Tips
  3. Activities to Build Children’s Creativity During Summer

    Boy by pool wearing towel as capeWhen thinking of summer, the sounds of lawn mowers, splashing water, and jingle of the ice cream truck may come to mind. Summer also might find you hearing a child say, “I’m bored, I’m bored, I’m bored!” Without school to fill up a good portion of their day, children may become restless.

    For some parents, helping a child to replace school time with fun summer activities can be a challenge. You want your child to have fun and stay active, but you also need time for your own work and errands.

    Here are three activities for keeping children active while building creativity during the months they aren’t in school:

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    Categories: Parenting Tips
  4. Infographic: The Rising Numbers of Stay-at-Home Dads

    stay-at-home-dadsdad with many hands juggling responsibilitiesNot that many decades ago, stay-at-home mothers were the norm in the United States. That started changing during and after World War II because of numerous factors, including the need for women factory workers during the booming war years and a growing post-war economy. This led to two-working-parent households seeking to “keep up with the Joneses,” more women attending college than ever before, and more women joining the workforce to earn their own paycheck or expand their horizons.

    Today, many women continue to balance career and family, and some are the primary breadwinner. However, an interesting trend has emerged:  Although women were once tasked with raising the children, the past two decades have seen a steady increase in the number of men who choose to be stay-at-home dads, although for different reasons. Since 1989, the number of men who do not work outside the home has nearly doubled.

    The accompanying infographic features stay-at-home dad statistics that may surprise you.

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    Categories: Parenting Tips
  5. How to Help Build Confidence in Children

    Young Girl Playing FootballYouths today often struggle with self-confidence and body-image issues. In a recent survey by the NYU Child Study Center 59% of girls in 5th to 12th grade responded that they were dissatisfied with their body shape.  However, negative body image impacts young boys, too. The media, peers and pop culture are all influencing factors in a child’s personal development, but it’s still the parents who play the greatest role.

    Here are some ways you can help your children to believe in themselves:

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    Categories: Health & Safety