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
We know—it’s cold outside and you’re dreaming of beaches. Consider this the next best thing: awesome indoor water parks around the world equipped with pools, water slides, swim-up bars, and in some cases, all-year “sunlight.”
Figuring out the best kind of vacation for your family can take a bit of time -- if you're beach people, it's pretty easy. Find a resort, make sure they have cribs and book your tickets. Adventure buffs with older kids can hit a national park and have a total blast, while artsy types might prefer to pick a cosmopolitan city with great museums, restaurants, and some serious insider tips on babysitters. Whatever your preferences for a spring getaway for the family, there's still time! Click through this slideshow for some of our favorite vacation ideas for families, from those with babies and toddlers through to teens. Bon voyage!
Ah, bedtime. That sweet, sweet hour when you pack the kiddos off to dreamland and you get some much-needed "me time." Right? Well, sometimes. Bedtime can also be one of the most stressful times of day. Developing a bedtime ritual is something nearly every baby expert and pediatrician recommends. Children rely on ritual and stability, and it's a huge comfort to them to repeat the same actions every night before bed.You can treat this time of day as a series of hurdles to jump over before the big relief or decide to turn bedtime into a series of sweet moments to cherish daily. Here are our favorite ideas for bedtime rituals that everyone in the family will take comfort in.
Millennials have a notoriously bad rap. In the age of all-encompassing technology, recent generations are often criticized for their affinity for video games, their short attention spans and their selfie-obsession. Such insularity in face of the apex of globalization seems especially troubling. And yet, there may be hope. All conjecture aside, social media has a different story to tell about the leaders of tomorrow. Not too long ago, Malala Yousufzai became the youngest Nobel Peace Prize nominee in history, but she's not the only wunderkind to watch. Click through this slideshow for our list of today's top ten inspirational kids. We think you'll find Malala's in very good company.
Find yourself wandering the aisles, suddenly needing an owl-shaped candle while drinking a $5 latte? You're not alone, moms...
When it comes to traveling with the family, "adventure" can mean a lot of different things. Just packing the suitcases for a 3-hour flight can be an adventure of its own. And surviving a 5-hour flight with a toddler? That's a whole different kind of adventure (tip: pack snacks). But when your family adventure is good, it can be is really, really good. Sometimes swimming with dolphins or ziplining through the rainforest is just the kind of vacation that will make you forget all about airport hassle, and will get your kids (even the teens) smiling. From hiking the Rockies to white-water rafting, we've found 11 family adventure vacations that will get the adrenaline pumping without driving you crazy.
When you're expecting a baby, preparations can be overwhelming. Decorating is stressful as it is, and when it comes to nurseries, there are the added concerns of reducing sharp edges, use of engaging colors and -- if you're a believer in the powers of feng shui—optimal furniture placement. Luckily, your favorite fashionable A-listers are here with tons of dazzling baby room ideas. Click through this slideshow for more nursery ideas from celebrities, stylists and just plain fashionable moms.
Our Research Institute scouted out the New York City Toy Fair and spotted a few standouts we predict will be topping wish lists shortly.
When we scoped out the New York City Toy Fair, we spotted everything from human-like robots to kid-friendly DIY projects.
Stroll down any aisle of a Toys"R"Us these days and you'll be confronted with a billion options that are light-years beyond anything you had to entertain yourself with as a kid. Lego cruise ships (complete with flatscreen TVs in the lounge and sideboard jet-skis), battery-operated Mercedes-Benz sedans, and hi-tech tablets with Android operating systems abound. We wondered, as we let ourselves get nostalgic for a moment, if any of the beloved toys we played with as children were still even on the market. Thanks to a quick hunt on the Internet we were able to find that Fisher Price still makes their classic Two Tune TV, and you can still get your hands on a good ol' Slinky. Here's a roundup of the best old-school toys for kids-- we encourage you to click through the slideshow and consider wrapping up a well-loved classic for your little one this year.
Not great with a budget? Don't sweat it. Try these simple ways to save.