Big Kid Tweens

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    Sooner or later even the sweetest kid turns to ice: "How was school?" Silence. "Can you help me clear the table?" More dead air. Many parents would take a knock-down, screaming fight any day compared to a kid who ignores what mom says. Yet while this misbehavior can be infuriating, parents often react in ways that just makes things worse. So try avoiding these common mistakes, and try these alternatives to help you break through the stony silence.

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  • Mom Moment

    How to Raise Independent Kids

    posted by Amy Oztan July 29 at 9:40 AM in Big Kid
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    My goal has always been raising kids who can take care of themselves (and, eventually, me). Kids don’t start learning to be independent when they’re teenagers; they start long before they actually have to get along on their own.

    There are simple things that you can do to help your kids be more independent. And hey, anything your kids can do for themselves, that’s one less thing you have to do!

    Make them ask for things themselves. It can be so tempting in a restaurant or store to speak for your child, especially if she’s shy. But making your children ask for things themselves is a great way to build their confidence. If they want more napkins, they can ask for more napkins.

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    Since her reality television debut, Kate Gosselin has been controversial. From her sextuplet pregnancy to her split with Jon Gosselin and even to her rumored tryst with her bodyguard, she's been contentious. But the most debatable topic? Her parenting choices. A former nanny has recently come forward, and we have learned just how strict of a household the matriarch runs. Apparently, the Kate Gosselin discipline strategy is to make her boys pull weeds from the yard as punishment.

    According to the nanny, "When the boys were in trouble, they were made to go outside, in their giant yard, and pull weeds." Aaden, Collin, and Joel, who are all now 10 years old, have to work their punishment off manually. And, bonus: Kate gets her yard work done.

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    About half of all children will experience bullying in their lives and at least 10 percent of them experience it on a regular basis. Oftentimes, parents don't think it can happen to or around their children, but chances are most kids will encounter it at one point. Most recently, celeb mom Jenny McCarthy has voiced her thoughts on the issue when she revealed that her son Evan, who has autism, has been bullied in camp without even realizing it.

    On Monday's edition of The View, Jenny came clean about the troubles. Apparently, she received an email from the camp that said that Evan's "friends" might actually be bullying him.

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    We've all heard the phrase "like a girl" at one point in our lives. Whether it's when describing someone who "runs like a girl" or "hits like a girl," it's been used to characterize someone as weaker or lesser. Well, not anymore. In a video that's going viral, Always has brought on Lauren Greenfield (director of The Queen of Versailles) to show us what it really means to do it "like a girl."

    First, Greenfield asked multiple people -- teenage girls, younger boys, adult men -- to "run like a girl" and "throw like a girl." Immediately, they ran about with their arms flailing, their legs awkwardly stomping, and began throwing weakly. But then she asked the same question to preteen girls. And their responses will shock you. Take a look:

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    Summer is fast approaching and that means your tween is going to want to host the dreaded sleepover. Great, just what you were hoping for -- a dozen squealing preteens singing "Let It Go" for hours on end with no actual "sleep" in sight (for them or you).

    But sleepovers don't have to be completely stressful (and sleep-less). If you set some clear guidelines beforehand -- from food to cellphones to activity rules -- the night will go a lot more smoothly.

    We asked moms for their best sleepover advice, and here's what they had to say:

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    Well, it's official. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt's son, Maddox is apparently a little man and he's even gotten himself a girlfriend!

    While promoting her new movie, Maleficent, Angelina revealed that her oldest child is dating, and added that the girlfriend is "Lovely. She lives in England. She's very cool."

    Granted, Angelina is no stranger to young love.

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    Looking for a fun, out-of-the-ordinary travel experience with your kids? How about a destination that will scare them? We're not talking dangerous. Just a little bit creepy. Here are 5 fabulous vacation destinations that will give your kids the chills, in a thrilling way, of course. They'll be talking about these trips for years.

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    A soldier dad based at Fort Stewart in Georgia was totally fed up with his daughter's messy room.  He warned her what would happen if she didn't clean it. He said he'd "treat her like a soldier." But the teen didn't heed her dad's warnings. So one day when she was at school, he did something that finally got her attention.

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  • Rant

    This Is 11

    posted by Miss Isabella April 1 at 12:00 PM in Big Kid
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    Being 11 is harder than it looks. I know all the grownups are always like, "Oh, you're so lucky to just be 11 and not have so much to deal with." My response is usually a nod and a smile, but sometimes I give them a shrug and a "so so" movement with my hand.

    This is what really goes on in the life of an 11-year-old ...

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