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kids bored in summer

Summer Boredom Busters

charity, FAM, kids, Uncategorized By August 2, 2016 No Comments

Aaah, August – the month where summer excitement turns to ‘I’m BORED!’. CTV asked me to come up with a few summer boredom busters, and the whole family had a blast creating these experiences that not only teach life skills but create heirlooms to pass along through the generations.

Jill Amery

Jill Amery is a mom of 2 small boys and the Publisher of UrbanMommies, a stylish digital lifestyle magazine filled with fitness, style, health, recipes and savvy mom advice to help you through pregnancy, birth, and raising your kids.

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central park playgrounds

NYC’s 5 Best Central Park Playgrounds

FAM, kids, LIVE, play, ROAM, USA By July 26, 2016 1 Comment

Nearly everyone who comes to New York City makes a point of visiting Central Park. It is, quite literally, the heart of Manhattan, and any guide to NYC will direct you to explore this green oasis, which is so full of wonders, it can make you feel like a kid again.

But for those of us with actual children in tow, sometimes you just need the relative sanity of a fenced in playpark, where you can sip a coffee while the youngsters burn off some energy. For us, some of the greatest gems sprinkled throughout Central Park are the 21 different playgrounds—all 100% free, open from dawn to dusk, many of which have been renovated by the Central Park Conservancy over the last few years. As a resident of Manhattan since my children were two and three years-old, I’ve done some serious investigation of at least two-thirds of those parks and have whittled down my favourites to these five Central Park playgrounds.

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Emotional Intelligence

7 Tips for Raising Kids with High Emotional Intelligence

FAM, Featured, health, kids, nourish, self By July 14, 2016 5 Comments

How do you react to stressful situations? I will be the first to admit that my anxiety is clearly linked to my inability to effectively manage my emotions during stress. I am famous for catastrophizing and overreacting. Growing up, I was always known as the one who would freak out all the time. Today, I know that I just needed to develop my emotional intelligence. It doesn’t come naturally and it’s something I will continue to work on throughout my life, but if I can give my children these tools much earlier on in life, I hope that they won’t have to freak out as much as I did.

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Teach kids patience

Teaching a 4-Year-Old Patience

grow, kids, LIVE By July 8, 2016 No Comments

“Wait for me!” yelled my 4 year old daughter, Dari. My 8 year old son, Phineas and his older buddy had already raced out of our yard. They were half way up the street by the time my daughter got to our backyard gate. She couldn’t reach the latch and burst into tears.

“You can’t go with them, honey,” I told her. “You’re too young.”

Molly Pennington

Molly Pennington

I’m a writer, a mentor, a speaker, a wife and a mother, and a lover of insight and whimsy. My default setting is perpetual cheer, but I don’t shy away from the wounds of the world. To me, nothing is more vital than social justice and I believe that perception and compassion are curative. I’m here to make the world a little less mean. Instead: smarter, brighter, better. You can find out more about me at www.mollypennington.com.

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puro headphones

Sound Epidemic: Save Your Kids’ Ears.

GEAR, health, kids, tech By June 30, 2016 1 Comment

My father doesn’t like to sit still. He’s always outside: tinkering with his tractor, using a chainsaw, or flying in his small airplane. He got his pilot’s license the same year I was born and I grew up riding alongside him in his single engine airplane, peering out the window, yelling at the top of our lungs to communicate with each other.

Over the years, his love for flight hasn’t changed, but now I have to yell to speak to him even when we’re on the ground. The constant exposure to the deafening sound of the engine took its toll and, at 60 years old, he was forced to admit he needed hearing aids.

Gina

Gina is a working mom laughing at the absurd to keep herself from crying into a bag of cookies while pounding back coffee. Her writing has been featured on Sammiches & Psych Meds, Scary Mommy, Bon Bon Break, and Mamalode to name a few. You can laugh with or at her on FB.com/stagetoo, twitter @beans1031 and at her site Astagetoo.com. Take a look, you'll like what you see.

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family movie traditions

7 Gross Things Basically All Moms Do

kids, laugh, Uncategorized By June 29, 2016 No Comments

Motherhood is a lot of things—some beautiful, some awful, and some really, really gross. So many bodily fluids that need tending to, so many smells…who knew that peeing on that little stick would be practice for all the years we’d be elbow deep in the sludge of motherhood? But moms are soldiers—we handle the grit and grim with aplomb. So let’s own it, shall we? Let’s pull back the curtain on the gross things we all do and nod our heads in solidarity.

Michelle Back

Michelle Back is an editor, writer, blogger, and mother, not always in that order. She’s also a wife to a smarty-pants physicist, and a dog owner of two old-ass dogs. Although it might be cliché and basic, Michelle loves coffee, chocolate, yoga pants, and Target. She dreams of sleep, although not really because she’s awake too many hours of the day. When she’s not writing or farting around on social media, she’s watching Netflix or Hulu (once her children finally go to sleep at night). She blogs humorously about finding her footing as a mother at www.mommybacktalk.com. Also, she can be followed all over the internet--it's not weird.

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Parenting Differently than My Parents

Not Your Parents’ Parenting

FAM, kids By June 27, 2016 Tags: , , , , , , No Comments

My parents were great—no complaints at all, but as a kid I remember that there were certain house rules that made me repeatedly think: I will never do that to my kids. I will certainly be parenting differently than my parents.

Of course, looking back, my parents weren’t that bad and for the most part, they were pretty logical.

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toddler tantrums

Welcome to Toddler Hell, Population: You.

baby, FAM, Featured, grow, kids, LIVE By June 22, 2016 No Comments

The change in my son’s behaviour was so gradual I almost didn’t realize what was happening. At first, I wrote it off as a bad day. I explained his emotional meltdowns as tiredness or hunger—I know how a guy can get when he needs a taco.

One bad day turned to two, and two turned into a week. Before I knew it we were living a new normal. An emotionally unhinged, can-other-kids-possibly-be-like-this normal.

So here I am today, writing from Toddler Hell, where the red cup is never blue enough and shoes are evil feet-demons.

Jorrie Varney

Jorrie Varney

Jorrie is a registered nurse and mom of two, who aspires to own furniture without stains and shower without an audience. She writes about the joy and hilarity of raising children, on her blog Close to Classy. You can also find her work on Scary Mommy, Mamapedia and Mamalode. Follow her on Facebook,Twitter and Instagram.

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Finding Dory, and Creating Conversation with our Kids

FAM, kids By June 17, 2016 Tags: , , , 2 Comments

It’s finally here!! Today is the day that Finding Dory opens across North America!

At the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration I had the chance to hear Lindsay Colins, and also view the first 30 minutes of the film. The film has been in production for 4 years(!) Check out the trailer below.

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Finding normal after orlando

Finding “Normal” in Times Like These

FAM, Featured, grow, kids, LIVE By June 15, 2016 No Comments

I know I’m not the only one out there who is having trouble dealing with the growing crisis surrounding Syrian refugees, the Paris attacks, this recent massacre in Orlando, and the constant threats that ISIS seems to be dangling in front of the Western world. The tension builds every day, as new hate crimes arise, more misinformed politicians take close-minded stands against what they perceive to be threats to “national security,” and more propaganda from terrorist organizations surfaces. Personally, I waffle back and forth between wanting to stick my head in the sand and pretend that none of this is happening, and wanting to know All The Things, grinding my life to a halt to take in the horror of it all.

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