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    When my kids were younger, I remember thinking how much easier things would be when they got past the baby/toddler stage. Now that they are 9 and 6, I'm greatly relieved to have made it through the years of sleep deprivation, tantrums, and potty training -- but while the physical job of caring for them has eased, I'm discovering that our lives are actually growing more hectic day by day.

    I've always said that babies should come with their own "It gets better" campaign, but in terms of creating scheduling headaches and the sensation of being overwhelmed at all times, it turns out that kids only get worse as they get older. Hello, I feel like I should have been warned about this! The system's broken! I mean, come on, I'm getting older too! Yeats must have been thinking about motherhood when he wrote, "Turning and turning in the widening gyre; (...) Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."

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    "What do you want to be when you grow up?" It's the question every single parent has uttered at one point during their child's most formative years. And a new survey has polled almost 4,000 American parents to find out what their children, ages 10 and under, wish to be when they're older.

    Get ready for this, world, because we're about to have a ton more good guys in the next generation. Check out the list of the 10 most popular career choices for today's fourth graders:

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    When we hear "family film," we really think "movie for kids." Not this time, though. Laika's latest stop-animation feature, The Boxtrolls, is a movie with a message ... for parents.

    The story follows Eggs (voiced by Game of Thrones' Isaac Hempstead-Wright), who is orphaned and then adopted by a group of misfit crate-donning boxtrolls. They raise him, nurture him, and the entire family resides underneath the cobblestone streets of Cheesebridge. But when Archibald Snatcher (voiced by Academy Award winner Ben Kingsley) decides to capture all the boxtrolls in an attempt to gain entry into the White Hats organization led by mayor Lord Portley-Rind, things take a dark turn for the underground-dwelling trolls.

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    Poor Honey Boo Boo! It's been a rough week. First, her parents Mama June Shannon and Mike "Sugar Bear" Thompson announced their split (amid cheating allegations). Now, the 9-year-old was spotted on the hunt for junk food at a convenience store near her Georgia home ... barefoot.

    Yup, Honey Boo Boo barefoot in a public place. Sashaying around shoeless on a dirty cement floor with her hands on her hips, scooping up snacks, and posing for pictures with fans. Just check out the photo.

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  • Rant

    Cellphones for 4-Year-Olds? No Thank You!

    posted by Judy Dutton September 24 at 12:00 PM in Big Kid
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    All kids, at some point, start begging, pleading, and pestering their parents for their own cellphone. As a mom with a 4-year-old, I assumed I had some time before the whining and wheedling commenced ... but it turns out, I might be wrong.

    Over the weekend I saw tons of ads on TV for "smartphones for kids," showing what looked like happy 8-year-olds texting away. Which was bad enough ... then, online, I stumbled across AT&T's FiLIP wearable phone, touted as "perfect for kids 4 through 11."

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    In the old days, when a kid lost a tooth, they'd stick it under their pillow and find a quarter there the next morning. These days, the tooth fairy has gotten a lot more creative. And why not make it special? Losing a tooth is a huge physical milestone and cause for celebration.

    If you're looking for ideas to commemorate your child's first lost tooth or want to start a new tooth fairy tradition (and trust us, you will when you see the ideas below), look no farther. We rounded up 11 creative ideas from our favorite bloggers that will help keep the tooth fairy magic alive.

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    Over the past week, Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has been accused of abusing two of his sons. He was charged with beating his 4-year-old child with a switch and leaving another 4-year-old with a scarred head. While much of the drama has surrounded the NFL and the Vikings over their handling of the case, the news has also shined a light on the act itself. The star football player has essentially become the face of corporal punishment.

    Corporal punishment, and spanking in particular, has been a hot debate in the parenting community for generations. Those who practice it swear it works. Those who abstain strongly discredit its effectiveness. But what effects does it really have? We've looked to recent research and published studies to really determine how spanking impacts children.

    Take a look at these 12 scientific facts about corporal punishment and decide for yourself:

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    Barbie is a grown woman (uh, doll-woman) who still parades around in pink sparkles and has such disproportionately huge boobs that you just know she's making poor Ken rub her back before bed every single night. So let's all cut her some slack if she has one glaring flaw: an extraordinary potty mouth.

    That's right, a 25-year-mom named Talina Evans swears she hears her 7-year-old daughter's Talkin' Barbie talkin' like someone who needs her mouth washed out with soap. In addition to saying things like "I love a makeover," "Amaze," and "To the salon," Babs is also apparently reacting to her own vapid phrases with the poignant, "What the f***."

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  • OMG

    Why Carpooling Is Dangerous for Kids

    posted by Suzee Skwiot September 16 at 1:10 PM in Big Kid
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    For any busy, multitasking parent (isn't that everyone, really?), carpools are a lifesaver. Trading off turns with neighbors or friends on who will be driving the kids to school each morning frees up some of your time and lets you peacefully get ready for the day. But the latest report, completed by Safe Kids Worldwide and the General Motors Foundation, may have you rethinking the rotation. Apparently, after surveying 1,000 parents, the researchers found that one in five parents who carpool admit to bending the rules while driving. 

    Some parents confessed they'd let kids ride without seatbelts or car seats. To make matters even scarier, there are also the bystanders' confessions.

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    Some parenting studies leave us confused with wishy washy results we have no idea what to do with, but this one is powerful. According to new research by Safe Kids Worldwide, 9 in 10 parents stop using a booster seat too early. What's equally troubling: 70 percent of parents surveyed didn't know the rules on when it's OK to let kids stop riding in safety seats.

    It turns out, children should be at least 4 feet, 9 inches tall or weigh between 80 and 100 pounds before they are allowed to ride without a booster seat. Did you know that?

    Moms, these findings demand our attention.

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