POSTS WITH TAG: behavior

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    My children used to earn allowances. The 8-year-old got $2 per week, and my 6-year-old got a dollar. For a while the biggest challenge was finding the cash (this is the same problem we always face when the Tooth Fairy's presence is required), then I found myself wondering why I was just blindly handing out money each week when the recipients weren't exactly holding up their end of the deal.

    I don't do allowances anymore. This may change in the future, but here's what I ended up thinking: my kids shouldn't get paid for helping out around the house. Especially if they're continually doing a crappy job at it.

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    It's a scientific fact that kids leave chaos in their wake -- so convincing kids to clean their rooms may seem like a futile battle. Yet believe it or not, there are ways to teach your young'uns to pick up that jumble of toys, clothes, and other unidentified objects without having to constantly hound them or do it yourself.

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    You know the drill. Pucker those lips and snap. Then scrunch your nose, lower the chin, and snap again. Then, just for good measure, stick your tongue out as far as humanly possible and snap once more. It's a selfie, y'all! And it's taking over the world. And parents, when you see your teens making absurdly disfigured faces at their cellphones, that's exactly what they're doing. And one dad decided to document the precious moment when he caught his teen daughter taking selfies in the backseat of the car.

    Then, like any righteous person, he posted it to YouTube and we're blessed with the entire hilarious clip. Take a look and see how perfectly she executes each and every single look:

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    When I was a kid, I was absolutely obsessed with Bill Cosby's Himself album. I had the LP and I'd play it over and over, laughing like a loon each and every time. Years later when I worked in a video shop, I'd put the VHS version on the monitors scattered throughout the store and watch as customers would cluster around a TV and snicker at Cosby's dramatic reenactment of his and his wife's Lamaze breathing: "Zup wuff snuff whoosh, push, push."

    I listened to that stand-up routine so much I can still recite entire bits word for word, but it's only now that I have children that I truly realize the depth of his genius. Bill Cosby captured more parenting truths in that one album that anyone has ever published before or since, and I swear, not a day goes by that I don't find myself mired in some kid-related frustration and think to myself, Bill Cosby told me this would all happen ... 30 YEARS AGO.

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    Recently I met a 3-year-old who said, "It's nice to meet you, Ms. Dutton." I was floored -- my 4-year-old typically greets strangers with a stony silence and a suspicious stare. Still, what jarred me most about this kid's behavior was not just the level of courtesy, but how she addressed me as "Ms." followed by my last name

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  • Hot List

    When Kids Lie: 7 Tips for Parents

    posted by Judy Dutton August 12 at 12:00 PM in Big Kid
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    Kid lies start so innocently -- at 3 they may be claiming they brushed their teeth when you know they didn't. At first, you're almost impressed that they can mastermind such a cover-up so young, but then it hits you: If she can fib this well at 2, who knows what tall tales she'll feed you when she's 10 ... or 16? Kids who lie keep parents up at night, so if you want to curb the shenanigans going on behind your back, try these tactics to put your kids on a more honest path. 

    Here's what the experts say to do when your child lies:

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    A few days ago, my daughter did something cute. I filmed her on my iPad and sent it to her grandparents. Then, I couldn't resist, I decided to post the video on Facebook. But first I hesitated because I thought: holy crap, I'm one of those parents who bores everyone with footage of my child doing something that only a mom (and grandparent) thinks is cute.

    I posted it anyway.

    And people, lots of people -- people who have jobs and lives that are far more exciting than mine -- began commenting. And commenting. And "liking" it. And using emoticons to let me know how great it was. And I thought: holy crap, the whole world has collectively gone mad.

    Sometimes we can't help capturing our children's adorable moments. Their spontaneous interpretive dances. The replies they give for why the sky is blue. Tape these moments and keep 'em coming.

    But there are certain vids we, as loving parents, should never post. Hint: anything with tears and raw emotion and Band-Aids being ripped off.

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    Toddlers may be quick to imitate their big siblings, and up until a certain age, matching outfits are all the rage. But as kids grow up, they grow into their own, and fostering their unique identities is just one of many jobs a mom has. "It's essential for a child to learn that they can be separate individuals and siblings at the same time, without having to be carbon copies of each other or to get exactly the same things from parents as proof of love," explains licensed psychologist Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D. Still, there are instances where it may be more appropriate to treat your children the same. Just as there are those where you'll want to be sure to treat them differently.

    Here, all the ways it's okay to treat your kids differently -- and the ways it's not.

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    Introduce me to a person who can say she hasn't done one foolish thing as a teen and I'll ask her to confirm that she isn't actually an alien. Teenagers are supposed to do dumb things. Things that make us scratch our heads and remember that, oh yeah, they're really just super-tall children.

    Breanna Mitchell is no exception. The teen girl got slammed when she posted a selfie on Twitter. She is shown grinning from ear to ear while posing in front of the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland, where at least 1.1 million people were sent to die during World War II. It's the very definition of a dumb kid move, and it's insensitive and embarrassing. But Breanna does not deserve all the grief she is getting.

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    I would have given my left arm as a kid to get a gift like this one from my parents. The best dad in the world secretly bought tickets to Disney World for his two young children and came up with a creative way to break the happy news to them. He strapped them into a car early one morning, presented them with two separate gift bags, and instructed them to rummage through the bags for clues as to where they were going. What a fun dad!

    The man's adorable daughter was able to piece the mystery together rather quickly. Her exact words when she realized what dad had planned: "Disney World ... Ahhhhhh!!!" Now, that's every parent's dream reaction. His son Gavin didn't exactly share her enthusiasm. The tot had a total meltdown at the thought of Disney -- and dad caught the whole thing on video.

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