Monday, November 26, 2012

Parental Guidance Tip: Potty Training Takes Time

What's the Rush? Why Not Nurture Baby In the Process
By A. Scott Walton Believe it or not, there are esteemed scientists whose duty is to track how and when toddlers 'go dooty' in the bathroom instead of their Huggies. Companies like Pampers and Pull-Ups rely heavily on this knowledge. And the sort of parents who lean on such literary canons as "Potty Training Your Toddler in a Weekend". The Stir does a good job of weighing the book's pros and cons in a recent (hindsight) review. But the essential question remains: is potty training a process parents rush through for their own sake, or for the enduring well-being of their kids? Here's a song in praise of letting nature take its course...

Parental Guidance: Billy Crystal Nails Neuroses

Is this comic actor still funny 'ha-ha' or funny 'strange'? Is the prospect of pairing Bette Midler with Billy Crystal as a long-married couple in a major holiday movie as preposterous as it sounds? Sound off if you're planning to see "Parental Guidance" when it debuts in theatres this Christmas. And let us know if it was worth it.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Parental Guidance Tip: Keep Gifts in Perspective

Observe the Holiday by Honoring Household Rules
Sometimes it feels good to hear, "You shouldn't have", after a gift you gave just got unwrapped. Other times, you get that death stare that says unequivocally, "You REALLY shouldn't have." Even when you mean well, some of your presents might be viewed as tactless or even tasteless by friends, family and co-workers as well. As the holiday hoopla rushes in, it's best to pause and consider the boundaries some people set up around gift-giving. Cost. Age-appropriateness. Moral standards. And known personal preferences all can and should play into your decision. This brings us around to suggestion you give a listen to the "Passport to Parenting" online radio show beaming out of Portland. Hostesses Ann DeWitt and Kim DeMarchi apply their experience as family counselors and educators to spry conversations about the pleasures and pitfalls involved with raising kids. They recently aired an episode related to wise gift-giving that worth a listen.

Friday, November 23, 2012

"Grand" Gestures and Tax Questions

Don't Let Grandparents Get Blind-Sided by College Funds
Any envelope bearing funds from grandparents to help pay your kids' freight for college is a sight for sore eyes. But there are tax consequences as well as advantages that accompany Christmas gifts intended to help fund education. The NASDAQ news service has timely tips to consider; especially when grandparents mean well by starting a college fund, but aren't fully informed. Read it, and reap.

Attachment Parenting: Enough Already?

When Is It Time to Give All That Cuddling A Rest?
Have you got that image from the controversial Time Magazine cover out of your system yet? Do you a devotee of Dr. Sears' "The Baby Book"? Or have you found better uses for all those pages touting unlimited breast-feeding, and child-toting and co-sleeping; like lining the bird cage with them. This segment from Time's web site put things in clearer perspective, even if it doesn't make a definitive judgement.
Learn the Adoption Basics, And Radically Change A Life
Just because the month of November is nearly over, that doesn't mean you've let another year pass by without following that inkling you've had about being ready to adopt. National Adoption Month can serve as anniversary as the very first step you took in an elaborate, but rewarding, process. Linking up with a reputable organization like American Adoptions can launch you toward success. They don't have to be your sole source of information or guidance, but they could certainly serve as a starting point. For more information, call: 1-800-ADOPTION

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Elmo Effect: Truth or Dare?

"Parental Guidance Suggeted" Ask yourself: What about Elmo?
If Elmo’s not even immune to a sex scandal these days, who is? Now that the creator and voice of the lovable and lucrative Sesame Street character has just resigned his post amid allegations of inappropriate contact with a same-sex partner, where can parents turn for answers? Kevin Clash has his own problems to deal with. Parents who've turned their kids into Elmo accolytes have theirs too. For many years, newborns and toddlers have been kept occupied by Elmo in his varied incarnations while the grown-ups could attend to other needs around the home. Now, somehow has to explain the bad news behind that man who made Elmo if the details and rumors reach their tender ears. As a parent, can you separate the muppet from the man? Which matters most: questions of character, or the “character” itself?