6 Truths About Helicopter Parents

My parenting style can be best described as a hybrid mashup—a combination of authoritative, authoritarian, and permissive. But if one parenting style was to surface and all others sink, at the end of the day I would emerge a predominantly helicopter parent. The term "helicopter parenting" was coined back in 1990 by child development researchers Foster Cline and Jim Fay in their book, Parenting With Love and Logic. Helicopter parents, according to the official definition, take an overprotective or excessive interest in the life of Read more

How to Plan the Ultimate Staycation

Who wouldn’t want to take a vacation every month, or even every weekend? Unfortunately for most, there isn’t room for a trip in the schedule—or budget. Plus, as most holiday vacations prove, it can be exhausting and overwhelming to coordinate a family trip out of town. That’s why many people in need of a small getaway take staycations instead. Staycations allow you to relax and do fun activities with your family, all without the expense of travel or booking Read more

Top of the Tingles: The ASMR A-List

Relaxation. Euphoria. Tingling. These are the words used to describe the result of an Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, or ASMR, trigger. In a piece I recently wrote for Sanity & Self, I describe the concept as "the physical response to auditory, visual, or tactile triggers, usually a tingly sensation similar to feeling chills. Think of the goosebumps you might get when someone whispers into your ear. That’s ASMR. Most experts attribute ASMR’s relaxing sensations to the release of endorphins, Read more

Self-Discovery Questions to Ask Yourself Each Day

In today’s uber-connected world, it’s so easy to get caught up in your phone wherever you go. Whether you're responding to work emails, organizing your kids’ schedules, or updating your Instagram, the hours can fly by before you know it. While this is certainly convenient, it can become unhealthy if it turns into a habit. Because we’re all so busy, your mental health could be suffering and you wouldn’t even know it because you’re too preoccupied to pay attention Read more

Self-Care With Hygge

Taking time for yourself as a mom can be difficult between appointments, errands and keeping everyone fed, on time and in clean clothes. Finding ways to fit in self-care and moments to yourself are so important, even short breaks can have a positive impact on your day. One shortcut to make sure you get the change to recharge is make your house ready for relaxation whenever you are. You may have heard of it as an emerging decor trend, hygge Read more

Fun Ideas for a Family Game Night

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Are family members just too busy with their devices and smartphones to interact with each other like they used to? Gathering together in the hall with fun games to play or having conversations around the dining table might seem like a distant memory.

There are plenty of things to do on the weekend, and it might be a good idea to bring back that old-fashioned game night (without electronic devices). Families are getting together on a Saturday night to spend quality time playing family board games and having fun at home. They can sound thoroughly quaint and unique these days. Game night at home might just be a refreshing alternative to going out to restaurants or movie theater. What’s more, there are many fun ideas for family-friendly games.

Here are just a few options that you might be able to implement right away. Read more

Educational Games and Activities That Promote Learning at Home

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According to the National Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE), American students spend about 180 days in school each year learning essential subjects such as reading, math, science, and social studies. However, it’s just as important that your child spends time learning outside of the classroom — especially if they are performing poorly in school or struggling with a particular subject.

Whether your child is struggling with a subject such as math, science, or reading, or you’re simply looking to expand your child’s knowledge at home, the following games and activities have been shown to promote learning in and outside of the classroom. Read on to explore several top-rated video games, online classes, board games, and electronic toys and apps that can help your child to learn new skills and expand their knowledge — all from the comfort of your home. Read more

The Ultimate Guide to Creating a DIY, At-Home Summer Camp

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For decades, kids have attended summer camps for seasonal fun and to learn survival, social and adventuring skills in a fun, safe setting. These camps provide children with an opportunity to develop emotionally and physically while providing a safe structure for growth and activity. With their many benefits, it’s no wonder summer camps are so popular! 

For some families, however, camp isn’t a feasible summertime option. Whether it’s the high price tag or intense time commitment, there are many reasons why families can’t make camp work. And this year in particular, many camps are seeing shut-downs or postponements due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Read more

When Your Mom is Your Best Friend: What Makes the Mother-Daughter Bond so Special

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Mother-daughter bonds are wonderful and the closer the bond the healthier they both are. When examining these bonds, it is apparent that healthy relationships between a mother and her daughter lead to strong women who achieve greatness in their lives. Reviewing what makes the mother-daughter bond so special shows why all women should have this bond with their daughters. Read more

Set Kids Up for Safe Seasonal Fun

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Warmer weather has finally arrived, which means kids will want to spend more time outside. But in the era of coronavirus, we’ve got to be extra careful about getting our kids outdoors. Here are a few tips for parents and other caregivers to help make this spring and summer a safe one so the whole family can avoid emergencies and keep the focus on fun. Read more

10 Easy Activities You Can Do With Your Kids Right Now

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“I’m bored,” is a phrase no parent ever wants to hear. When kids are restless and feel like they have nothing to do, it can be tempting to hand them an iPad or turn on the TV. But there are better ways to keep them entertained. Stop boredom in its tracks with these ten easy activities you can do with your kids right now. They require minimal equipment and materials and offer satisfyingly instant results. Read more

Saying ‘Goodbye’ to Elf on the Shelf Comes with Unexpected Grief and Sadness

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“Parting is sweet sorrow,” they say. In our case, parting has been a confusing and very unexpected side of the Elf on the Shelf tradition—one that placed a dark cloud over our holidays.

Unlike 13 million current owners, for more than a decade I resisted the temptation of buying an Elf on the Shelf. I didn’t want the responsibility of another “living” thing, and, I knew I might forget to move the Elf and ruin the game. So, I dismissed the awkward glances from other parents when I told them we’d never have one of those disturbing little Scouts in our house. I closed a plethora of ads urging me to jump on this “fun” and “endearing” bandwagon. And, I declined my children’s requests to let Santa send one of his elves to keep an eye on them. “We’ll be sooooo good!” they promised. Nope. I was Team #NoElfontheShelf and nothing could change my mind.

Then, around Thanksgiving, my daughter caught me at just the right moment—no doubt when one of those ASPCA commercials aired—and broke me down. A few weeks later, the very anticipated box arrived on our doorstep. What could go wrong? Read more

Printables for a DIY Travel Binder

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Whether you’re taking a road trip or traveling over the holidays, it can be hard to keep the little ones occupied. Even with snacks and screens, they can easily get bored. A travel binder is a great way to give each kiddo their own personal activities and is a great way to encourage their love for traveling. 

From coloring to playing games, kids can hunt for water towers out the window on their scavenger hunt or record their favorite memory of the trip in their journal. The Zebra created and collected more than 28 free travel binder printable activities for kids of all ages so you can get started making your own.  Read more

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