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Finding Balance

Becoming a mom is a wonderful experience (of course!), but between working, cleaning, and caring for your baby, it can also be time-consuming. Huggies has some quick, easy ways to help give you a break.


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8 Differences Between Boys and Girls

In terms of anatomy, differences between boys and girls can be pretty obvious. But when it comes to brain development, the disparities between the two sexes are actually pretty small. It turns out that behavior and development have more to do with life experiences than they do with gender — and in order to reach his or her full potential, your cutie needs lots of attention and encouragement from the get-go. Click through to learn where (and how much) gender plays a role in your son or daughter’s development — and what to do when the playing field isn’t exactly even.

Social Skills

True or false: Females tend to be more in tune to people's emotions. True! After reviewing over 100 studies, researchers concluded that even in infancy, girls are better at figuring out people's emotions based on their facial expressions. Plus, a British study found that baby girls would rather look at faces than mobiles, while the opposite was true for boys. While the reading-faces skill begins at birth, both nature and nurture play a role — the differences in ability is more than twice as pronounced in grown-up men and women as it is in little ones. What's behind the difference? Experts think it's because girls are taught to express their feelings, while boys are encouraged to suck it up.

    Takeaway tip:
    As moms everywhere know, baby boys aren't any less sensitive, so teach your son the words for his feelings ("You're mad because you can't reach the rattle") as you talk to him.

Spatial Skills

One reason boys consistently outscore girls on the math portion of the SAT is that they have a leg up on spatial skills — or the ability to solve problems involving size, distance, and the relationship between objects. Although social expectations for male mathletes probably play a big role in this gender difference — as does a bigger love for video games and sports — the rift does appear very early in life. Studies suggest that boys as young as three to five months old can visualize how an object will appear when rotated, while girls of the same age can’t.

    Takeaway tip:
    To make things more even, give your girl building blocks, talk about numbers, play ball with her, and, when she’s old enough, introduce her to kid-friendly computer, video, and smartphone games that focus on targeting objects (now, there’s a great excuse to play Angry Birds).

Toy Preference

Babies don’t distinguish between “boy” and “girl” playthings — in fact, studies show (and many parents know) that baby boys love dolls. So it’s plausible to think that boys like trucks and girls like tea sets because society tells them to. But while gender-specific marketing and peer pressure in preschool can influence a tot’s taste in toys, there’s good evidence that there’s also something innate about preferences for certain playthings, starting around age one. In fact, girls who are exposed to higher-than-normal levels of sex hormones, including testosterone, in the womb show an above-average interest in cars and trucks. And in a study of monkeys, male primates chose wheeled toys over plush toys, while females liked both. What does that mean for humans? You can expect your daughter to be more open than her brother about what she plays with — usually starting around kindergarten.

    Takeaway tip:
    Widen your little boy’s toy horizons by offering all sorts of playthings instead of sticking to the stereotypical stuff.

Physical Activity

Go to any playground and you’re bound to see more boys running, playing ball, and jumping — and that difference in physical activity may start in the womb. After reviewing 46 previous studies, Canadian researchers concluded that baby boys are bigger wiggle worms than baby girls — they squirm more on the changing table, get restless in the stroller, and crawl over longer distances, for example. You may not notice the difference in your boy and girl babies, though, say scientists: While the average boy doesn’t move around much more than the typical girl, the most active kids are almost always boys, and the least active, girls.

    Takeaway tip:
    Get both sexes moving with plenty of active playtime — from dancing indoors to playing chase outside.


No surprise here: Boys are more physically aggressive than girls even before they turn two, according to studies. Scientists say prenatal testosterone is a big factor, and that boys are subconsciously playing at something they’re much more likely to do in adulthood than girls: get into physical confrontations. But girls aren’t angels, either: Toddler girls kick, bite, and hit three times more than either gender does by the time kids enter grade-school (by then both sexes have been socialized so they use their words more than their fists).

    Takeaway tip:
    Little boys and girls need to learn limits, so be firm about enforcing the “no hitting” rule.


Although many parents say boys reach gross-motor milestones like sitting up, crawling, cruising, and walking earlier than girls, some pediatricians swear the opposite. But both camps are wrong: Study after study shows that there are no significant differences between boys and girls when it comes to gross-motor development. Both genders usually start walking sometime between nine and 16 months; yet in a study of parental expectations, mothers of 11-month-old infants consistently overestimated their boys’ physical skills and underestimated those of their daughters. The expectations that boys will walk earlier may have to do with physical size, since boys tend to be heavier and taller than girls by around six months.

    Takeaway tip:
    Build up your baby’s muscles by giving your little guy or gal plenty of tummy time in the early months — and making sure your tot doesn’t spend too much time confined to the stroller, car seat, or play yard.


One milestone expectation that does consistently pan out is talking — girls start about a month earlier than boys on average, sometime in the first half of the second year. British researchers found that girl babies had significantly larger vocabularies than boys as early as 18 and 24 months. Experts say, however, that gender explains up to only 3 percent of differences in toddlers’ verbal skills, with a child’s exposure to language and his or her environment accounting for at least 50 percent of differences.

    Takeaway tip:
    Moms and dads should talk to and read to their babies often, whether they’re girls or boys.

Mom and baby in playroom with Mickey Mouse doll

5 Things I Do Throughout the Day to Make Parenting Easier

With two little ones in school, Macks at home with me all day, and trying to manage a full-time job from home, I am always looking for ways that I can make things easier on me throughout the day. Our schedule is pretty concrete, so I try to stick to that to make our day go more smooth, but there are also more things that I do to make my life as a mom easier.

1. Keep a changing station in the room you spend the most time in.

We spend most of our time in the living room downstairs. After a couple of days in our new house I was so tired of going up and down the stairs to change Macks’ diapers, so I set up a cabinet in the living room that has diapers, wipes, and a portable changing pad for easy access when he needs a diaper change downstairs.

2. Keep snacks handy at all times using reusable bags.

I love these reusable bags from Bumkins. They come in a variety of sizes so that I can fill them with different snacks for all of my kids. I’ll fill up a couple at the beginning of the day and keep them in my purse so that whenever one of my girls tells me they are hungry, I don’t have to stop and get them something. I just pull out the bag and hand it over.

3. Have toys in a place that they frequent often.

Macks loves to open up cabinets and drawers in the kitchen. I’ve childproofed everything but one cabinet and drawer and I’ve filled those with containers and toys that he can play with while I am in the kitchen. He feels accomplished because he’s opening and closing things and pulling them out and I am able to get things done because he is occupied.

4. Have a bag of necessities that stays in the car.

We’ve only owned a car for about six months since moving from the city and it didn’t take me long to learn that I needed to have a bag in the car that just stayed in there. It’s full of all of my necessities while we are out and about. I have a soft and warm blanket, like this Winnie the Pooh fleece blanket. It’s filled with diapers and wipes, his favorite Mickey Mouse toy to keep Macks entertained, and baby food pouches in case he gets hungry.

5. Write it down.

Because I have so much going on all of the time, I keep a pen and paper nearby or in my purse at all times so that when I think of something that I need to do or something that worked throughout the day, I write it down. I go back to that list each night and catch up and check things off of that list.

What do you do to make parenting easier?

Image : Getty

Dad and baby in stroller on the sidewalk

3 Simple Tips for Making Your Baby Gear Last

Having a great car seat, stroller, high chair and play yard is essential to a baby registry list. Sometimes, purchasing these pieces for your little ones can seem like an investment. I know whenever we’ve bought essential pieces for Soren, my first thought was, “How can I make this last and stay nice not only for Soren but for future siblings?” Because we all know that babies are MESSY. It’s almost a right of passage as a parent to constantly feel sticky, slobbered on, and have stains everywhere. And I’m sure we ALL avoid wearing white and purchasing any white furnishing for our homes! I know I do! ;)

So, how can we keep baby gear clean and make it last from one baby to the next? Check out these simple tips on making your gear look like new throughout the years.

1. Use Wipes for Everything

I use baby wipes for EVERYTHING now. Maybe it’s because they are also within arm’s reach? In any case, wipes are incredibly useful and such a multi-purpose product. I recommend keeping an extra bag of wipes sealed in the car, in your kitchen, and with your stroller. If baby makes a mess, use wipes to quickly get it up, so you prevent staining and dirt build up. Wipe down straps, buckles, trays, and fabric to quickly clean up small messes when you’re on the go! You can also purchase saline wipes. These work great too. I also recommend purchasing a few travel wipe dispensers and keeping them handy as suggested above.

2. Remember the Power of a Bib!

Bibs are great for keeping baby’s clothes clean, but they are also great for catching things that could potentially land on baby gear. Whether your little one is snacking on the go or eating a meal in his/her high chair, always make sure to put on a bib. Store bibs on a command hook behind your high chair for quick access, and always keep a few in your diaper bag for on-the-go needs! We especially love these waterproof bibs with the catch-all pockets. They are so easy to clean!

3. Give It a Regular Spring Cleaning

Be sure to set aside time every few weeks/months depending on what is needed to take the padding off your gear and run it through a delicate wash cycle. Let these air dry to prevent any shrinking. Don’t forget to use a high chair/gear cleaner to really wipe up messes and make sure your gear is free of anything icky. Maintaining the cleanliness of your gear day by day in simple ways will make it so much easier to keep up with and clean!

Looking for gear to add to your collection? Check out more Disney Baby gear over here!

Image : Disney Baby

Mom washing baby in specialized crib

How to Bathe Baby After a Blowout (And Other Messy Disasters!)

I love giving my babies baths. It’s a peaceful end to the day, they love splashing around, and there’s nothing like tucking a clean sleepy baby into bed. But sometimes bath time isn’t so much an end-of-day ritual as an emergency situation after a diaper blowout or a self-feeding lesson gone wrong.

In that moment, what you need is a bath that gets them clean (and keeps you from getting soaked!) ASAP.

Here’s how I handle those emergency bath times (and I’ve dealt with several in just the last two weeks):

1. Undress them in the bath tub

Since their clothes are likely really messy, I like to keep everything contained. I lay my baby down in the empty full-size bathtub and undress her there so I’m not getting the mess anywhere else.

2. Grab a towel and baby soap

Before you start the water, grab a towel, some baby soap, and a clean diaper while your hands are free.

3. Use a baby tub to speed things up

When you’re trying to get a big mess cleaned up, you don’t want it spreading all over the adult bath tub or to wait for the whole tub to fill up. I find using a baby tub makes things much faster because I can fill it up in just a minute or two and it’s much easier to clean out afterward than the big bath tub.

4. Throw the baby clothing directly into the wash

Spray some stain remover in with the clothing to keep it from getting ruined and run it as soon as possible to keep the stains from setting.

5. Enjoy the fact that you have a clean baby when you weren’t expecting it!

While a bath may not have been on the agenda, it’s nice to have a super fresh baby to cuddle with after the fact.

And if your baby is a bath-lover like mine, she’ll probably see it as an extra bonus too!

Image : Disney Baby

Parents playing with child playing with finding nemo doll

The Biggest Signs That Your Family is Complete

After welcoming our fourth baby into the world two months ago, my husband and I have had a lot of discussions about whether or not we feel that we are “done” having babies.

It’s such a foreign concept to me, having had a couple of surprise pregnancies that changed my life in completely wonderful ways, that we could plan such an eventful end. Family planning is such an individualized decision and for me, I’m not entirely sure that I could ever close the door on more babies. I love having a big family, and even when the arrival of our babies seemed unexpected, it always seemed like the most perfect gift once I held them in my arms. How could I ever doubt that?

I’m struggling with any decisions of whether or not we would like more children. We are both young parents and have a lot of years ahead of us where we could grow our family if we choose to do so, but it also feels like a road could be open for us to walk down for growing dreams, careers, or new experiences as well.

Not every mother wavers as much as I do. Kristel Acevedo, a fellow Disney Baby blogger, shared with me her and her husband’s recent decision to move into the next stage of their lives as a complete family of four. “Once [our daughter] Isabel was born, I just knew that was it for us,” says Kristel. “My husband and I are in full agreement that two is plenty for us. It feels like that’s the most we can handle – financially, spiritually, emotionally. We love our two blessings so very much and we feel like this is our family.”

I admit that I have somewhat of an obsession with talking to other moms about how they made the decision on how many children to have. It’s such a personal and widely varying decision. Some mothers have strict ideas about planning their families while other take a more laissez-faire approach and sometimes, the decision is simply out of our hands.

But what I’ve noticed in talking with other moms is that the decision on how many children have isn’t based on advice from a parenting book, or what your neighbors think, or how many children your mother had. It comes down to an inner voice, a feeling of what you and your partner feel is best and learning to trust yourself as a mother. As Kristel describes it, when she and her husband made the decision to be a family of four, she felt perfectly content. “We both feel really at peace with this decision,” she says.

As for me, I am still searching for the feeling of peace, and I’m not sure if I will find it until I hold just one more baby in my arms, but I look forward to what the future may hold for me and my family either way.

What about you? How did you make the decision of how many children to have?

Image : Disney Baby

Baby in white standing in crib

The Most Helpful Items for 5 Huge Baby Transitions

I always heard parents say, “Time really flies by,” and didn’t think much of it until I had my own kiddos. Turns out, they are right! I can’t believe I now have a 3-year-old and an 18-month-old. My-oh-my, I feel like I just gave birth to each of them a few weeks ago.

With each phase of their lives comes new beginnings, and it seems that they move on to the next steps of life so quickly. I don’t know how I could have gone through all of those changes in such a short period of time without the help of the things on this list.

Check out my list of “next steps” and what we used to help us transition:

1. Bottles to sippy cups.

Bentley is our first little dude who actually likes milk, and we had quite a trying time getting him to give up the bottle — that is, until we got this Mickey Mouse sippy cup from NUK. It has the feel of a bottle and a similar-shaped lid, but the nipple is what sets it apart the most. It has the texture of a bottle nipple and will even fit your existing NUK bottles, but it comes in the shape of a sippy cup spout. This made the transition easier for Bentley to take a hard-topped sippy cup later on, because his mouth was used to the shape.

The NUK cup also has handles on the side so Bentley could learn to hold it on his own. He loves to drink his milk out of his Mickey Mouse sippy cup, and we love that it helped us transition so smoothly.

2. Pacifiers to NO pacifiers.

This one is a bit tricky, because it isn’t always the easiest task getting your baby to no longer take a paci. Both of our boys used them, and Bentley still takes one when he sleeps. I think NUK pacifiers have the best shape for the orthodontic effect on the teeth. Plus, NUK comes in a ton of different sizes for different age ranges.

Truth be told, we got KJ off of pacifiers when he had a fever blister. He couldn’t use one for a few days, so we just took them and put them in a drawer, and he never saw them again. He only asked for them a couple of times the first two days, and then it seemed like it was “out of sight, out of mind.”

And instead of putting a pacifier in his mouth to get him to fall asleep at night, I instead began scratching his back to soothe him to sleep. Now he asks me to scratch his back each night, and I love getting to spend that extra five minutes of quality time with him, helping him to fall asleep.

Reminding KJ that only babies take pacifiers and being a big boy meant that it was time to say goodbye to his pacifier helped us as well.

3. Crawling to walking.

First bit of advice: don’t be in any hurry to get your child to walk. Pushing them to do something they aren’t ready for will only frustrate them more. You can, however, encourage them vocally and with certain items that will aid in the learning process.

The best way to strengthen their little legs is to get them moving! Getting a bouncing activity center like this Minnie Mouse Premier Bouncer is sure to do just that. It has a bounce pad and a seat that spins for endless fun, plus great interactive toys and even a chewable teething toy.

A few months after they start their bouncer adventures, you can move on to a walker, like this Minnie Mouse Bows and Butterflies walker. This helped KJ and Bentley get used to the motion of their legs and feet pushing them forward and backward. It also helped them to strengthen muscles they weren’t using as much while crawling. Plus, it’s loaded with a toy deck to keep their attention. Did I mention how perfect this is to entertain your little one while you cook dinner? And it even has a removable toy tray which is perfect for tummy time!

4. Crib to the bed.

If you’re thinking ahead for this one, then buying a crib that BECOMES a bed, like this Magical Dreams 4-in-1 Crib from Delta, is the right way to go. Not only is it a gorgeous crib, but it converts into a toddler bed and is just as beautiful in each setup.

Regardless of whether your crib converts, or you purchase a new bed for your little one, I highly recommend making it a BIG deal when you get it all set up with its mattress and new bedding. We told KJ that he was getting a big boy bed, that we were so proud of him for being such a cool kid, and that we couldn’t wait for him to see how awesome his new bed would be. That way he was really excited when we got it all set up.

You could even redecorate the room with a new theme. Anything that makes it seem like a big deal will help with the excitement of the transition. And good news: Now you can snuggle your little one while you read stories to them at bedtime. It’s a win-win for your little one and for you!

5. Diapers to the potty.

Don’t fret, this transition takes a while and has many layers. We started by buying Pull-Ups for KJ so that he could get used to the pulling down and pulling up motion when it was time to use the potty. They also have designs on them that are more similar to the designs on underwear so the appearance of them introduced KJ to what underwear would look like.

Our next step was to purchase a potty just for KJ. We actually have two, one at our house and one at Grandma’s house so that he always has somewhere “special” to use the restroom. I love this Jake and The Never Land Pirates potty because it has a comfy seat, removable potty bowl, and a flushing handle on the side. The handle teaches him to flush and gets him used to hearing a noise after he potties. I was always afraid of the sound of a flushing toilet, and although the potty sings a song, it still reminds him that you need to flush and to expect a noise afterward.

Once we got the special potty for KJ, we also bought a potty seat so that he could safely and comfortably fit on top of regular-sized toilets. If you’ve ever attempted to put a toddler on a normal-sized toilet, then you’ve seen the face they make where they stiffen up and think they are going fall in. This potty seat allows them to use any regular-sized toilet while giving them handles to hold onto and a comfortable, smaller seat to sit on. And don’t forget about the step stool so they can climb up to the potty. It can also be used at the sink when it’s time to wash their hands or brush their teeth.

Then, we bought some potty toppers so that he could have a clean toilet seat to sit on when we are out at a restaurant, at the mall, or even at Disneyland! They easily fit in a diaper bag or purse and ensure that your kiddo will be sitting on a clean potty.

As quickly as time flies by, we have to be ready for each stage with our little ones. I am so glad I thought ahead about some of the stages that were coming so that we were prepared as parents to help our little guys along. And I’m definitely happy that KJ is now 3 years old and potty trained!

Image : Disney Baby


4 Ways to Include Your Preschooler as You Prepare for Baby

When you find out that you’re expecting baby number two your mind often races with thoughts. While you likely feel excited, you might also wonder how your first-born is going to react to the news and to the big changes coming their way. You may also wonder what you can do now help create the sort of sibling bond you want your children to have all through their lives. While you can prepare your little one for the new baby by reading, talking, and looking at pictures of their own babyhood, nothing gets little ones as excited for a new baby (and ready to bond with them!) like including them in the baby preparation. 

1. Check your local hospital for sibling classes

Many hospitals have sibling prep classes that are designed to school preschoolers in everything they’ll need to know be a fantastic big brother or sister. Rocking, diapering, and swaddling are all included, as well as a discussion about baby safety. Enrolling your little one in a class like this (if it’s available) can help them feel that their role in the new baby’s life is essential. 

2. Let them create nursery art

Often, preschoolers want to be involved in big people things but lack the skills necessary to contribute in a way that feels meaningful. Not so when it comes to creating art! Most preschoolers love to paint and draw, so task them with creating some one-of-a-kind art for the baby’s nursery. Be sure to share with them how important it is for baby to have something beautiful hanging on their walls and let them know that only they can make something baby will cherish as they grow. As a bonus, frame their work and let them choose where to hang it! 

3. Designate them as the new baby’s personal shopper

Your preschooler is the person in the family who is closest to their own babyhood so they, naturally, should be the expert on all things the new baby will like. From clothes to toys, engage your preschooler in what they think the baby will like whenever you go shopping. Let them choose a few favorite outfits and toys and help them fold them and store them away for the baby’s arrival.

4. Include them in setting up the nursery

Preschoolers love to help. While they probably won’t be able to assemble the changing table or hang shelves, they will be able to sort stuffed animals and toys into their appropriate baskets or pair tiny socks. Let your preschooler help out as you set up the nursery and they’ll surely begin to feel as excited about the new baby as you. Involving your preschooler as you prep for the new baby can help them feel engaged, involved, and excited. 

Good luck!

This article was written by EverydayFamily from Everyday Family and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Image : Getty


5 Ways to Repurpose All Those Baby Blankets

When my daughter was born, I got baby blankets galore! Everyone was so generous! I had beautiful receiving blankets, knit blankets, homemade quilts. Basically, I had one baby and probably 50 blankets. They were all soft and cozy and took up a ton of space.

Once she got a little bigger, most of them were too small, but they held sentimental value, and I just couldn’t bring myself to get rid of them!

So what do you do with them? Here are 5 super cute ways to re-purpose baby blankets in practical and sentimental ways.

1. Make them into a quilt for her big-girl bed!

I was totally inspired when I saw this. I loved how perfectly unmatched it was. Not uniform squares, no perfect co-ordination, yet SUPER cute! It felt like something I could totally tackle.

This could be really versatile in a room that needs to bring together a few different colors. I also loved that she wouldn’t have to lose her favorite blankies because she’d still have them, and they’d just be part of a bigger blankie!

2. Make some simple skirts for her to wear.

I loved the way this one looked and thought she’d have just as much fun playing with all the layers! This is a super cute and super fun way to keep the sentiment from each blanket, but make it totally useful and functional!

3. Make a baby blanket teddy bear.

OH. MY. WORD. How cute is this guy!? And while I may end up having to special order myself one of these from Etsy because my sewing skills are just not there, I’m sure some of you super-sewing divas would have no trouble with this.

A few eyes, a nose, and some teddy stuffing later, you’ve got a new favorite stuffed animal lovie for sure!

4. Make a fabric banner with their name for their room

I love these adorable fabric banners! I made one for my sister’s baby shower, and I’ve been craving one for my little guy’s room ever since.

How cute would it look made from his baby blankets, with his name ironed on the flags, hanging from a floating shelf? I may just have to get on that project!

5. Make a bed for your fur baby

OK, admittedly, I do not have a four-legged member of the family at the moment, but if my husband has any say in that decision, we will in no time. I might be swayed if we can get them hooked up with a bed as cute as this one!

What an awesome way to repurpose some old blankets! You know that dog is going to want to lie all over your blankets anyway, right? The person who thought of this was a genius!

What other clever ways have you re-purposed old baby things? I love making old things feel new again! Any up-cycling going on in your neck of the woods? Tell us in the comments!

This article was written by EverydayFamily from Everyday Family and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Image : Getty


Raising Good Men: Lessons for Our Sons

When I found out I was pregnant with my son, people sent me all sorts of notes and pins and quotes. Little boys love their mama, they said. Boys are like noise with dirt on top, they warned. A moment of silence for your bathrooms, they joked. And “they”–my friends, more seasoned mamas, more experienced pinners–were all right. My son is all of these things.

He’s sweet and kind and loving and noisy and unabashed and a brand of silly that brings me lift every single day.

As his mom, I want him to be all of these things because they puzzle piece together to make him the little boy I’m so over the moon for and the basis of the man I can’t wait to get to get to know.

In my heart of hearts, the trait that I think makes the world go round is empathy, and it’s the one I feel the most responsible for placing inside the nooks and crannies of his heart.

I asked four other mothers what trait they most hope to instill in their sons, and they took my breath away with their thoughtfulness and mindfulness– with the stunning reminder that what we all want for our children is that they give and receive goodness.

See what traits these mamas most want their sons to have.


Bethany Meyer raises boys, questions her sanity, and laughs at her circumstances. She writes the hilariously titled blog, I Love Them the Most When They’re Sleeping.

About the trait that she most wants her sons to have, Bethany says, “For a long time–and most especially after reading WonderI’ve valued kindness above all else. The world can be a cruel place. When life knocks them down, they have to be able to pick themselves up again and again. So I hope my boys learn resilience. A resilient man isn’t afraid to take a risk; he has experienced failure, he has struggled, he has bruises, he has a story, he’s gained perspective. With perspective comes sympathy, and kindness flows from there. Putting the pieces back together takes confidence and purpose. A resilient man is a survivor. That’s what I want for my boys.”


January Soden is a stay-at-home mom who writes funny, touching, and honest excerpts about her life with two boys, a dog, and a world-traveling husband.

About the trait that she most wants her sons to have, January says, “I believe if we teach our children that every person has a story than it also teaches tolerance which branches out into recognizing that the world is not black and white. I suppose empathy, tolerance, and love can all be bundled up into the word humanity. Humanity it is.”


Lindsey Mead writes about parenting and about what beauty we can see when we pay attention to our lives at A Design So Vast.

About the trait that she most wants her son to have, Lindsey says, “I want my son to be resilient, and able to take feedback, take a deep breath, and begin again. I truly believe that being able to do that–to let go and start over–is at the core of finding joy in this world.”


Heidi Cave is a wife, mother, motivational speaker, and author. Heidi writes at her blog called Fancy Feet and is the author of the memoir FANCY FEET: Turning My Tragedy Into Hope.

About the trait that she most wants her son to have, Heidi says, “I sang to my son Benjamin when he was a baby. His head on my shoulder, cheek against cheek, and my lips to his ear I sang about grace and love. Soft and low. If we were surrounded by noise and chaos Ben fussed and cried, so I would take him to another room to soothe him. He needed quiet. I still need to be soft with Ben — speak slowly for him to hear me, to understand. We talk about being responsible. He’s eight, so in his world it’s about getting his schoolwork done, picking up the socks he leaves all over the house, emptying the dishwasher because it’s his turn, making eye contact and saying thank you. These are the small things, the building blocks of being honorable.

“Ben used to have many imaginary friends, ranging in age, personality and food preferences, but the one who popped up the most was his friend called True. He was Ben’s dearest invisible friend, his favorite. I loved that his name was True – how meaningful! I want for my son to be a person of integrity and honor, for ‘True’ to always be a part of him.”

What trait do you most want your son to have?

This article was written by EverydayFamily from Everyday Family and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Image : Getty


5 Simple Ways to Show Your Child How Much You Love Them

Most parents love showering their little one with love. Whether it’s a favorite song at night or a sweet morning snuggle, showing your tot how much they mean to you is a joyful and rewarding way to spend your time. When things get hectic or your little one’s developmental stage means that you feel like you’re spending more time managing their behavior than having fun, it can be tough to prioritize showing your little one just how much you love them. Check out the five ways below that you can show your toddler how special they are.

1. Bake a favorite treat

When you surprise your toddler with their favorite dinner or snack, it shows them that you know their likes and dislikes and that you want to make them happy. Whether it’s scrambled eggs for supper or strawberries and whipped cream for breakfast, break the mold to show your little one how much you love them.

2. Read a favorite book

Nothing says love like time. Even if the dishes are piled in the sink and you’re post-bedtime to-do list is longer than it’s been in weeks, do your best sit down, focus in, and read your little one their favorite story. Silly voices and tickles are encouraged!

3. Really listen when they talk

Many toddlers and preschoolers talk a lot. So much, in fact, that many parents end up accidentally tuning them out as they drive home or focus on preparing dinner. Next time you have the opportunity make sure you shift your focus and really listen to what they have to say. Ask questions about their day and listen with joy as they share their insights and thoughts. The more you listen, the more likely they are to keep talking to you as they get older! 

4. Step into their world

Young children have fantastic imaginations. Next time you want to dedicate some time to focusing on them let them take the lead and play whatever it is they love. Whether it’s participating as a student as they lead the imaginary class or roaring and chasing as you play the dragon and they play the knight, indulging your child’s imagination is a great way to show them just how much you love them!

5. Say yes!

As parents, we’re busy. Often we’re rushing from work to errands to chores and have little time for the kind of deviations in our schedule that toddlers love so much. Next time your little one asks to stop at the park on the way home from daycare or to take the longer route so they can see the fire engines parked outside the fire station, consider ditching your schedule and saying yes! Even if it means that dinner or bedtime will be a few minutes later than you expected, the memories your little one will have of just how much you loved them will be worth it!

How do you show your little one how much you love them?

Image: Getty

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