How to talk to your kids about sexWhen I was in my early 20s, I used to babysit for my neighbor's two daughters. One evening as my boyfriend and I stood talking to their parents, 4-year-old Emily joined in with a conversation stopper.
3. Your 2-year-old likes to watch you change your newborn's diapers. "What's that?" she asks, pointing at his penis. You say:
A: That's what's going to pee all over you if we don't get a diaper on it!
B: It's his penis. Boys have penises and girls have vaginas.
C: That's his pee-pee.
Answer: B. Even though most of us are still struggling with our inner Puritan, the wisest policy is to use the proper names for sexual organs right from the very beginning.
Toddlers want to be sure they have the same parts as everyone else, so it helps if everyone is using the same word. "From the time they're babies, we tell them, "This is your hand and these are your toes,'" says Karen Martin, a certified sex therapist and program coordinator of the Sexuality Center, Long Island Jewish Hospital, in Lake Success, New York. "Then we get to the genitals and start using these cop-out names like "pee-pee.' It's subtle, but the first message they get is that there's something peculiar about these parts of the body. We should be using correct terms."
4. You have an open-door bathroom policy while you potty train your almost 3-year-old. One day she asks if she can touch Daddy's penis. Dad should:
A. Scream, "Absolutely not!!"
B. Revoke the open-door policy immediately.
C. Say no, and calmly explain why she can't.
Answer: C. For a toddler, there's no difference between a foot, a neck, and a penis -- they're all just body parts. Nor do they understand why such a request might embarrass anyone; especially their parents.
"When a child asks about bodies, it can be quite awkward for parents. That can make it difficult for you to deal with the question matter-of-factly," says Martin. This is a good opportunity to start teaching your child about what's private. The standard definition is that everything a bathing suit covers is private -- and you can add that people don't usually show those private parts of their body outside the bathroom or let others touch them. (You can also add, except moms and dads when they need to clean you and doctors when they need to examine you.)
News, stories, tips and laughs for moms & dads
When it comes to holiday giving, it's the thought that counts, which is why homemade gifts from kids are so treasured by their mothers. Children might not have money to spend on an expensive piece of jewelry or designer handbag, but they do have the time to DIY something special for their number one fan. If you're in charge of helping the little ones think of presents, check out the above list of homemade gifts for mom. From a custom vase to Instagram coasters to Warhol-inspired wall art, we have something for every taste and skill level.
At our household, we have a large, diverse collection of toys. While I’m not as uptight as my husband on what enters our kids’ toy chest, my husband must approve all toy acquisitions mostly because of aesthetics (appearance is important). In our search for functional and stylish toys, the sustainable ones often have the best design, and appeal to the visual and tactile senses or improve fine motor skills such as dexterity and hand coordination. Here are a few of our family favorites that intrigue and hold our little ones’ attention—and look good, too.
Worried that a violent video game might sneak its way into your shopping cart during the holidays? Before you make it to the register, make sure you're armed with all the information you need regarding your child's games. Just because your well-meaning thirteen-year-old promises you that the game he's about to buy with the gift card from Uncle Mike is totally chill, doesn't mean it's good for kids. Do your research ahead of time to avoid any game store drama. And have a chat with your offspring before the big day; let them know that you're going to have to green light their choices before they get their hearts set on any particular item. At the end of the day, you're just being a good parent. Some of the games on the market now may look OK at first glance, but are actually quite objectionable. Trust us: We've done our homework and we're here to give you the ultimate low-down. Check out this slideshow for all the games to steer clear of this season. Don't say we didn't warn you.
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’Tis the season to send out holiday greeting cards to all your friends and family. But, as our friends at Awkward Family Pet Photos know, not all holiday snapshots are the same. Some are just plain kooky — especially when pets are included. So with good tidings and great cheer, here are 10 wacky holiday animal portraits that are sure to make you laugh out loud and get you in the holiday spirit. And possibly make you think twice about dressing up the family cat this year.
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