Category: Parenting

Is This the End of Teen Dating?

Posted on Oct 1, 2014 by No Comments

Scott Hall, a family studies professor at Ball State University, reports that dating in the early 21st century looks nothing like what it did when you and I were teenagers.

Young people are no longer settling down in their early 20s. Instead, they’re putting off marriage to focus on building their careers and pursuing personal goals. Internet dating and group encounters have replaced the traditional idea of spending time together one-on-one and trying to impress your love interest’s parents.

Hall believes today’s young adults have the freedom to pursue different types of experiences than they would have a generation or two ago, which allows them to take their time in selecting a mate. However, Hall questions whether this freedom will affect young adults’ abilities to adjust to being part of a couple after years of individualistic pursuits.

The most recent U.S. Census data say the average age for marriage is 28 for men and 26 for women. In the early 1950s, it was 22 for men and 20 for women.

My son is nowhere near the teen years yet, but I’m not entirely sure I like this trend.

I don’t necessarily want him to feel like he needs to be choosing a wife at the same time he’s looking at colleges, but I think I’d rather have him seriously involved with someone than risking STDs and unplanned pregnancies with casual hookups. (It’s just a hunch, but I’m assuming that abstinence is probably an unrealistic goal if we’re talking about young people postponing marriage until their late 20s.)

Also, the trend towards delaying marriage is naturally problematic if you’re a young women who wants to have children. Even with all the miracles of modern medicine, you still can’t deny that women have a biological clock. A woman who waits too long to get married risks not being able to conceive when she wants to.

I was only 21 when I got married, however, so I’m sure my own experience is coloring my opinion on this issue. What do you think? Are you bothered by the decline in teen dating?

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

Link Round-up: Home Storage, Fall, Beauty Sleep, and More

Posted on Sep 30, 2014 by No Comments

Today’s link round-up is a celebration of fall, plus it has tips for home storage, getting enough sleep, and party invitations.

Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons taught us how to make Halloween pumpkin popsicles.

Belle of the Kitchen taught us how to make caramel apple milkshakes.

DIY Inspired showed us how to make Rapunzel invitations with yarn hair.

link ru fall centerpiece

Muslin and Merlot showed us how to make an easy rustic fall centerpiece.

I Love to Create taught us how to make a Princess Anna costume dress.

Kenarry shared some home storage tips you’ll love.

Kimberly Snyder addressed whether too much sleep can make you even more beautiful.

Photo credit: Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons and Muslin and Merlot

The Cotton Ball Diet – What You Need to Know

Posted on Sep 30, 2014 by No Comments

The cotton ball diet sounds exactly like what it is and it’s a dangerous, growing trend among teens and tweens.

It seems that no matter how loud the public demands that the fashion and beauty industry use more realistic standards, the models get thinner and thinner. Many of them rarely eat, existing on water, bullion, and celery with the occasional Kleenex to fill them up.

Yes, Kleenex.

It seems that swallowing tissue will give you that I just ate a whole pizza feeling that these emaciated women haven’t experienced in years. Tissues are now being replaced with cotton balls and young girls are jumping on the trend in droves.

The idea behind the cotton ball is much the same as the tissue. Once you have eaten a few cotton balls your stomach will believe it is full. You are then free to get through your day without the tell-tale tummy rumblings created by simply fasting.

Some girls use the cotton balls to help them eat less food but others are eating just the cotton balls, creating a whole new genre of eating disorder. The cotton balls are dipped in orange juice, a smoothie, or some other liquid to make them easy to swallow and a bit more appealing to the taste-buds.

The danger lies, not only in the starvation aspect but also in the fact that cotton balls are no longer made of cotton. They are created from bleached polyester fiber that contain chemicals of various sorts. In addition, the fiber can cause a blockage in the intestines which may require surgery to remove.

Talk to your daughter even if you don’t think she would ever do this. She needs the information, not just for herself, but possibly for friends.

source: Opposing Views

photo credit: Le Xav’. via photopin cc

What Makes a Man a Dad?

Posted on Sep 29, 2014 by 2 Comments

What makes a man a dad?

I used to say that the whole biological thing made him a father but I am not sure I even agree with that anymore. I mean, if a guy donates sperm to a sperm bank and eventually a woman he has never met has a baby that carries his DNA, can you really call him anything other than a donor?

A father, to me, is someone who takes responsibility for the children in his care, whether they are there by birth or by his choice, but not all fathers are dads.

I started thinking about this as I was reading an article in the Huffington Post about a child whose mother had died. His biological father wasn’t in the picture but his mother’s boyfriend had been living with them and taking care of them for months. He considered himself the boy’s dad but after the mother died the court awarded the child to an aunt because there was no official relationship between the man and the child.

My ex-husband does not see my children often because he lives a couple of thousand miles away and is on a very limited income. He doesn’t call very often and he sometimes has trouble keeping up with his child support payments.

My husband, the children’s stepfather, takes them to school, picks them up, teaches them how to drive, hugs them, jokes with them, and very occasionally raises his voice in frustration with them. He deals with this crazy, chaotic family  24/7 and it almost seems as if he likes it.

Which is their dad?

My youngest child is always drawing us pictures with flowers and hearts on them. Once she brought us a picture of my husband, herself, and me all standing together and smiling. She had written DAD over my husband’s head. As she pointed to it she said, “D-A-D spells the same thing as [my husband's first name]. At least in MY world it does.”

I think she’s right.

photo credit: brizzle born and bred via photopin cc

Protect Your Teen Daughter’s Self Esteem When You’re Divorced

Posted on Sep 26, 2014 by No Comments

Divorce impacts your entire family of course, but it seems that teen girls face challenges that their brothers don’t. Often it erupts at some point in self esteem issues and a desire to stay commitment free.

Obviously there are a lot of ideas about why, how, and what you need to do to fix it. Many of those are written by professionals who know what they are talking about — and I am certainly  not one of them.

But, I have three daughters who have been impacted by my divorce and remarriage, each in her own, unique way and there are things that I am learning about the whole process of their healing and my own.

I accepted a lot of bad behavior from my ex and allowed myself to be treated in a way that was not what I would want for my children. I was not valued, deceived, and neglected. My daughters watched this and to them it was the pattern of how a wife should be. After all, what else did they have to compare it to?

When I realized that, I was horrified. I didn’t want them in relationships where they were treated that way.

Changing your circumstances is one of the first steps to building self-esteem in your daughter. Don’t allow yourself to be treated in a way that you wouldn’t want her to be treated.

Build her confidence by complimenting her on things she has achieved rather than on just her looks or her character. Accept her exactly as she is and work to see the strengths rather than the faults.

Most of all don’t begin criticizing the weaknesses in yourself that you see reflected in her because you are afraid she will make the same mistakes.

Divorce is life-changing but I don’t think it has to have a lasting negative impact. How do you enhance your daughter’s self confidence?

photo credit: martinak15 via photopin cc

Link Round-up: Animal Spools, A Coffee Cozy, Vanilla Blackberry Muffins, Casserole, and More

Posted on Sep 25, 2014 by No Comments

Today’s link round-up has animal spools, a coffee cozy you can make, vanilla bean blackberry muffins, and more.

Chocolate Covered Katie taught us how to make vanilla bean blackberry muffins.

Handmade Charlotte showed us how to make your own mix-and-match animal spools for the kids to play with.

Sadie Seasongoods showed us how to make a coffee cozy.

link ru loaded potato casserole
Meatloaf and Melodrama shared a recipe for a loaded baked potato casserole.

Sumptuous Spoonfuls showed us how to make a pumpkin spice chai latte.

MBA SAHM taught us how to make edible finger paint.

Homemade Interest shared a Dutch baby recipe, which is an alternative to pancakes.

Photo credit: Chocolate Covered Katie and Meatloaf and Melodrama

You Can’t Spoil a Child with Love

Posted on Sep 25, 2014 by No Comments

Parenting is one of the most difficult things you will ever do. That statement should be hammered into my head on a daily basis because I am pretty sure sometimes I forget.

I’ll be walking along through my day and get broadsided by an intense parenting issue. My immediate reaction tends to be one of shock because for some reason I think that we should never struggle.

Sadly, life has other ideas.

I’ve read so many parenting books that I could probably fill the Grand Canyon with them and I can tell you one thing. A parenting book is no substitute for your own gut feeling because you are uniquely capable of raising your child.

I’ve learned that over the years… and learned it …and learned it. I’ve come to the conclusion that you cannot spoil a child with love.

Too many parenting books suggest letting children cry it out, limiting the time you hold them, being a Tiger Mom, or whatever. After eight kids, seven of which are either through their teens or into them, I can only say love your child. Love them intensely, whole-heartedly, and passionately without any hesitation.

I don’t believe a child can be spoiled by love. I think they are spoiled by the things that we do and the things that we give them because we don’t have the time, the energy, or the confidence to really love them.

The biggest mistake I see young parents make, and I did it myself, is either indulging their children or being to hard on them but never being totally open with their love.

If you seem to be knocking heads with your child constantly take a step back, put it in perspective, and try to envision what’s really going on. What you think is being spoiled might actually be a cry for you undivided attention.

photo credit: USDAgov via photopin cc

5 Cool Autumn Leaves Crafts to Do with Your Kids

Posted on Sep 24, 2014 by 1 Comment

It’s finally Fall! I love Texas and pretty much everything about living here but the one time I really miss the East Coast is in the Fall. We do get some color change in the first week or so of November but mostly we have hotter-n-hell and OMG-my-eyelashes-froze-shut with little in between.

Autumn is a great time to do craft projects with your kids, especially when you can use the gorgeous leaves. Don’t worry, if you live in an area that skips the psychedelic foliage I have you covered with crafts that just look like you used leaves.

Hammered Leaf Prints

You won’t be able to use the dry leaves but any leaves that are still moist should work. Make these easy hammered leaf prints to decorate a wall or make a card.

Make a Collage

Gather the most beautiful leaves that you can find and make a collage with them on construction paper or poster board.

Salt Dough Prints

You make salt dough and then use Modge Podge to seal it and cover the leaves. These are beautiful. I think you could make small prints, add a hole at the top, and use as Christmas decorations.

Fall Leaves Placemats

These are cute for the autumn table and maybe you can get the kids to eat since they get to look at the leaf placemats they made themselves.

Wax Paper and Crayon Leaf Mobile

So what if the leaves don’t turn color and fall? Make this leaf mobile with the kids on a Saturday afternoon and your house can have the same, mesmerizing, spinning leaves falling from the sky.

photo credit: timsackton via photopin cc

Link Round-up: Be Your Own Best Friend, Funny Face Lollipops, Candy Corn Treat Jars, and More

Posted on Sep 23, 2014 by No Comments

Today’s link round-up has tips for being your own best friend, DIY funny face lollipops, a pet storage crate idea, and more.

My Own Home shared an idea for pet toy storage.

Handmade Charlotte shared an idea for making your own funny face lollipops.

Mind Body Green shared four ways to be your own best friend.

link ru receiving blanket
Polka Dot Chair shared a receiving blanket pattern for a baby doll, which is perfect for older siblings when a new baby’s on the way.

Tater Tots and Jello showed us how to make candy corn treat jars.

A Night Owl shared a recipe for easy no-bake pumpkin cheesecake.

Sadie Seasongoods shared a cute idea for something a little different to hang on the front door—a quiver, all decked out and ready for autumn.

Photo credit: My Own Home and Polka Dot Chair