POSTS WITH TAG: child care

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    What's the difference between a parent and a babysitter? As a former sitter, who spent a large portion of her teenage weekends caring for the neighbors' kids, I can tell you the one clear distinction: you parent your own kids and babysit others.

    Yet time and time again, we've seen fathers "babysitting" their children. So let's get one thing straight. Whether you're a mother or a father, you're never "babysitting" your children. You're "parenting."

    One of our favorite mommas, Kendra Wilkinson, shared some wise (and slightly naughty!) words on Twitter earlier today:

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    An idea occurred to me after noticing how well the crate we bought to train our new puppy would also fit our 3-year-old daughter.

    We initially raised Skylar free-range, and she flourished for a long time that way. A couple of months ago, however, we started noticing signs that she couldn't handle it. Immediately after turning 3, for example, she announced that she now has a boyfriend and there's nothing we can do to stop them from napping together.

    Raising Skylar like a veal will not only nip this in the bud but also provide the following benefits:

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    You always hear that kids are doing it younger and younger these days. But nothing prepares you for that moment when your 3-year-old daughter announces that she has a boyfriend.

    Skylar and Ike have known each other since infancy, when they shared a nanny, diapers, Goldfish crackers, and, apparently, a slowly building set of feelings for one another.

    Skylar now says that she loves Ike. And I need to respect her feelings or risk causing a Romeo and Juliet situation.

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    You don't deal with terrorists without years of CIA field training. Unless you're the parent of a toddler, in which case, you stroll into a Homeland situation completely unprepared and hope for the best. Here are some of the most important lessons I've learned from negotiating with my little Abu Booboo.

    * Never negotiate with terrorists. Period. Like Saul Berenson from Homeland, only let them think you're negotiating.

    * Agree to whatever they want, then secretly plot your way out of it. You can also say "no" and listen to them cry for three hours. But this is equally effective and much quieter. (Example: "You can sleep with us tonight. We'll pick you up from your bedroom later." Later, of course, they'll be asleep.)

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    My wife and I are agnostic. To us, the burning bush and brimstone stuff was merely the best man could come up with back when no one knew why the sun rose and whether it would tomorrow. We would rather our 3-year-old daughter grow up with a more accurate concept of reality than the one clung to by the 1 in 4 Americans who still thinks the sun rises because it revolves around our 6,000-year-old Earth.

    Then again, my wife is a lapsed Catholic and I was raised Jewish. This explains our satirical holiday cards (left) and makes us wonder whether we each would have found our own ethical and philosophical way without those backgrounds. Also, we are still interested in raising our daughter scared enough to avoid obtaining an arm-sleeve tattoo and a stripper name.

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    Where would you feel safe raising your toddler? Odds are your answer would involve raising said child on land. But Simon and Kim Brown are looking to spend several formative years of their daughter Sienna's life in a far more watery way. The family sold their home, quit their jobs, bought a 56ft yacht and will be sailing around the world with their 3-year-old toddler.

    What?!

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    A woman in Louisiana may receive the death penalty for reportedly killing her 17-month-old son by injecting the hand sanitizer Germ-X into his body. The child, whose name was Lucas Ruiz, was born with Down syndrome and a heart defect. He died from alcohol poisoning as a result of his mother's horrifying actions.

    But when Erika Wigstrom, who is 20, confessed to killing Lucas, she didn't seem to feel any remorse. In fact, her family wrote in Lucas' obituary that the child died "while cradled in the arms of his beloved mother." Erika claims she was doing the best thing for her baby -- she describes the incident as a mercy killing that she stands behind because Lucas was "better off dead."

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    Remember what a good parent you were ... back before you had kids?

    As we all know, this job ain't an easy one, and it's reassuring to know we're not alone in having a less than easy time with it. On the days when I need to be reminded of that, I head to my Scary Mommy Confessional and instantly feel better.

    Need a pick-me-up, too? Read on ...

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    What is going on these days with parents leaving young children unattended in cars? Yet another dad, this time from Connecticut, is in custody and is being charged with risk of injury to a minor after he left his 2-year-old daughter alone in his idling car while he stepped out. We aren't sure yet of the circumstances surrounding this incident -- including where dad went and how long he was gone -- but this story has an unfortunate twist: the child was somehow able to either wiggle out of her car seat or, if she wasn't in one, stretch over to the front seat to shift the vehicle into drive, striking two parked cars.

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    There are few things easier than spotting a novice mom in a crowd. Why? Because, at one point, we were all first time moms worrying about every little fall or spill. The pro moms, however? Ain't nobody got time for that ...

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