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.
6. Your 3-year-old wants to know if he can have a baby too. You:
A: Laugh at him.
B: Assure him that if he really wants to when he grows up, he can.
C: Tell him no, only mommies can have babies.
Answer: C. It might seem like an adorably cute statement to you, but to a 3-year-old it's no joke. He won't understand why he can't have babies too unless you tell him why.
"This isn't a sex question at all, it's a reproduction question," says Meg Zweiback, associate clinical professor at the University of California, San Francisco School of Nursing. "He wants to know where newborns come from. You can tell him they come from mommies and that he can be a daddy and help make a baby when he's grown-up."
If your little boy feels cheated, that's a cue to sit him down and tell him all the ways a father helps take care of an infant.
7. Your 4-year-old recently discovered he can make his penis get bigger, and he wants to show his new trick to Grandma. You:
A. Acknowledge the wonder of his anatomy -- and explain that he should keep his new trick to himself.
B. Ask Grandma to visit when he's sound asleep.
C. Tell your spouse to deal with it.
Answer: A. It is a neat trick, so don't squelch his innocent enthusiasm by shaming him or getting angry.
"What needs to be said to both boys and girls is 'I know that's fun and feels good, but it's private and should be done in your room by yourself. It isn't okay to share that with others,'" says Sylvia Hacker, associate professor emerita at the Schools of Nursing and Public Health at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
Any self-respecting 4-year-old will then promptly ask, "Why not?" You can tell him it's not polite to do it around other people, or invoke collective behavior ("The rule is you don't touch your penis in front of others"). After all, part of the discussion about sex is teaching young children about what's socially appropriate -- ideally, without conferring any sense of shame along with it.
News, stories, tips and laughs for moms & dads
Every year, toy makers from around the world gather to show their latest creations at the Toy Fair in New York City. The high-tech models, gadgets and trinkets on display put those basic Legos we played with at kids to shame. Here are 10 new toys that we'd happily buy or children. Or, really, ourselves.
Find yourself wandering the aisles, suddenly needing an owl-shaped candle while drinking a $5 latte? You're not alone, moms...
Here's some parenting advice for whatever stage of separation or divorce you're in.
Whether you pop it in the mail or post it on social media, a creative photo is a surefire way to grab everyone’s attention and proudly say, “I’m pregnant!” Prepare for a lot of likes.
Remember the magical children’s rooms in Peter Pan and The Little Prince? These timeless novels described spaces that were enchanting and made us wish that we could inhabit the rooms ourselves. The sumptuous interiors that were filled with never-ending toys and fort-like draping may seem like a fairytale, but thanks to four of our favorite kids' furniture websites, the dream could actually become a reality. Click through the slideshow to check out the best kids furniture websites that have everything necessary to create a fantasy room for your little one. And check out Sophia Demenge's super-fun space in the video below. By Barry Samaha
They lay, they play, and they take selfies with supermodels. Meet 5 of the most social media-savvy pets—animals taking control of their own fashionable online image.
We could try to offer you carefully researched and crafted words of Dad-centric inspiration, intended to show you the path to being a better man and, in turn, a better father. But Tom Limbert took up the task for us in his new book 'Dad's Playbook: Wisdom for Fathers from the Greatest Coaches of All Time,' so we left it to him. Limbert -- a parent coach and the founder of the Studio Grow children's play space in Berkeley, California -- has collected pearls of wisdom from an elite crew of coaches who have not only experienced greatness themselves, but also found ways to consistently instill it in their teams. "It's monkey-see, monkey-do," Limbert told us, after we asked him to gather the best quotes on achieving one's goals. "If you want your child to follow, you have to lead." Click on to read the often simple-seeming words that have inspired countless others to follow through on the field, but that can also easily be translated to the school, work, fitness, and, of course, parenting arenas.
What parents need to know
It's raining, it's pouring ... but that doesn't mean the day has to be a snore. Rather than let the kids grow restless and rambunctious, why not divert their energy toward some fun family bonding activities? Although the weather may have scotched your original plans for the day, seize the opportunity to reconnect and let loose with your loved ones. Click through this slideshow for ten refreshing rainy day activities that'll make you glad the clouds (almost) rained on your parade.
Every family has its oddballs. And the holiday season is the one time of year when you’re pretty much forced to interact and play nice with the grand majority of them. Click through the slideshow above for our guide to dealing with the five worst kinds of kin. *Disclaimer: All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
Not great with a budget? Don't sweat it. Try these simple ways to save.