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

How Working Moms Can Avoid Gender Stereotyping in Children

Posted on by Crystal in Kids | Leave a comment

Though the current generation boasts of moving past outdated preconceptions such as gender stereotypes, it still finds it tough to escape this traditional bias. Statistics about the unequal representation of women in the STEM domain and leadership positions and men in nursing and hospitality segment tell us that gender stereotypes still exist. Read more

Outdoor Careers for Teens That Any Mom Can Endorse

Posted on by Crystal in Kids | Leave a comment

By the time your children become teenagers, you likely have some idea of the career path they plan to take. Say your teen loves being outdoors more than anything. Then why not introduce them to careers that will primarily keep them outdoors? Can you think of a better way to enjoy life — and be self-sustaining? Read more

3 Car-Related Topics to Discuss with Your New Teen Driver

Posted on by Crystal in Kids | Leave a comment

Believe it or not, your little preschooler who used to enjoy playing with toy cars is now a newly-minted 16-year-old who just scored their driver’s license. Of course, like any apprehensive parent, you’re proud of your child reaching this important life milestone, but are somewhat reluctant to give them the keys to the car.

Because you want to keep your teen driver as safe as possible behind the wheel, reiterate with them, again and again, the importance of safe driving practices and avoid from being distracted. Here are three important driving tips to discuss with your new teen driver. Read more

Control iPhone of your Child as Mother: iOS Parenting Guide

Posted on by Crystal in Kids | Comments Off on Control iPhone of your Child as Mother: iOS Parenting Guide

Mother, to curb your kid’s phone usage, you may no longer need to hold their chargers hostage, yell out nightly countdowns (“Three more minutes!”) or draft up elaborate tech contracts that you’ll look at exactly once. At least, if you’re on Apple devices. The new iOS 12 parental controls are here, and they allow you to manage your children’s screen time—set app time limits, block off chunks of “downtime” and track their daily habits—all from your own phone. Here’s what you can do, and how to do it.

How to access the Screen Time feature for your child using your own device:

1) Make sure both of your devices are on iOS 12.
2) Set up Family Sharing if you haven’t already.
3) Go to Settings > Screen Time.
4) Scroll down to the names of those in your Family Sharing plan. Choose the child for which you’d like to set up parental controls.
5) Enter a four-digit Screen Time passcode. Choose one that you can remember and your kid can’t guess. You’ll need it to approve requests for more screen time.

Now, here’s a look at what you can do with Screen Time.

Lock Your Kid Out of Their Phone During Family Dinner or Bedtime

The feature: Downtime

How it works: Remotely schedule a block of time in which your kid’s device cannot be used, such as during family dinner or his little sister’s flute recital. During this stretch, an icon will appear on all his apps indicating that they are not allowed to be used. (Phone, Messages, FaceTime, Alarm and some other functions will still work by default, but you can shut those down, too, if you wish.) If there are apps that you do want your kid to have access to during the scheduled downtime—say, bedtime meditations or white noise—you can make them Aways Allowed.

Tip: It might help to talk about your limits with other parents in your neighborhood. If you all plan to block your kids out of their apps at the same time, perhaps they can—gasp—call each other on the phone or even hang out IRL.

Put Time Limits on Fortnite (or Any App)

The feature: App Limits

How it works: Set a specific amount of time that your kid can be on certain apps each day. You can create limits for either specific categories, such as Social Networking or Gaming, or all apps. (It’s a little frustrating, however, as you don’t get to determine which apps go in which categories.) A warning will appear five minutes before the time is up, preventing screams of shock and despair. Once the allotted limit has been reached, your child can send you a request for more time, and you can either approve it or not.

See How Your Kid Is Really Spending Her Time On Her Phone
The feature: Activity Reports

How it works: On your own device, you can check out daily and weekly activity reports showing you how much time your kid is spending in each app (or across categories of apps), along with the number of notifications he’s receiving and how often he’s picking up his phone. It’s a way to know if he’s sneaking in games during third-period math or playing Roblox when he’s supposed to be in his room reading.

The reports can also be a good place to start a conversation with your kids about screen time, especially if you’re tracking your own phone usage. (I am, and it’s slightly horrifying.) You can ask your children how much time they think they’re spending on their phones, and then compare that to the actual data. As Tommy Sobel, the founder and CEO of Brick, writes: “Most people use their phones twice as much as they think they do, so seeing your actual minutes spent can be an incredibly powerful impetus to get real with yourself and get motivated about the need to take control of your phone habits.”

Block Content and Turn Off In-App Purchases and Location Services

The feature: Content & Privacy Restrictions

How it works: We’ve long been able to limit kids’ access to music, movies and other content on Apple devices, but with iOS 12, we can now do all of this remotely. Under iTunes and App Store Purchases, you can choose whether your child may install new apps, delete apps or make in-app purchases. Under Content Restrictions, you can set content ratings for books, music, TV shows, movies and apps. (I like how specific you can get—for instance, you may want to block “explicit” TV shows while giving your kid unfiltered access to books.) If you don’t want any app to know your kid’s location, you can indicate that, too.

As your kids get older and show that they can use their phones responsibly, you’ll want adjust their Screen Time settings in a way that makes sense. Let it be an ongoing conversation. If you need some talking points, check out our age-by-age guide to setting smartphone limits for your kids.

Four Proactive Steps to Protect Your Child’s Identity

Posted on by Crystal in Kids | Leave a comment

You already worry about so much when it comes to your kid, should you really be worrying about someone stealing their identity, too? The answer is, unfortunately, yes. In the fall of 2017, Equifax revealed that from mid-May through July, 145 million consumers’ social security numbers and other personal data had been accessed in a major security breach. This massive hack put the issue of identity theft at the forefront of many parents’ minds, leaving them to wonder how this breach could affect the security of their identity and the identity of their children. While Equifax has said that none of the known victims were minors, children are certainly at risk for identity theft. According to the Center for Identity at The University of Texas, kids are actually up to 35 times more likely to have their identity stolen. Many thieves will target children because their theft can often go undetected for years, until, for example, the child applies for a driver’s license or a student loan. Instead of waiting until something happens, here are proactive measures you can take to protect your child’s identity. Read more

How to Prepare a Child for a New Sibling

Posted on by Crystal in Kids | Leave a comment

One particularly hilarious scene in the recent DreamWorks animated comedy, Baby Boss would have resonated with many of the parents who had taken their children along to see the film. The father and heavily pregnant mother of the main character ask him how he would feel about having a baby brother. “No thanks,” the child cheerfully replies, “we’re fine as we are.” Read more

Separation Support: 3 Strategies to Help Ease Your Child’s Transition Into Your New Home

Posted on by Crystal in Kids | Leave a comment

Your life has been turned upside down since your separation, but you’ve hardly had time to notice because you’ve been preoccupied trying to make your kids feel at ease amidst all of the radical changes. They are splitting time between you and your ex, and you are doing your best to keep things as normal as possible. To help ease the transition during this trying time, here are a few simple ways you can make your new place feel like home for your children. Read more

Last Minute Halloween Prep! Getting Your Kids Ready for Halloween

Posted on by Crystal in Kids | Leave a comment

Between school, sports practices and dance recitals, Halloween has sneaked up on us! We haven’t spent the time preparing like we promised ourselves we would last year when we were scrambling to do everything at the last minute. But fear not! You can get everything you need to get done in no time at all! Here are some tips to get your last minute Halloween prep done: Read more