Do You Think Sports Illustrated Needs a Cover Up?

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

By Guest Blogger Marybeth Barrett, author of Art & Soul Living

For all you parents out there, do you think the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue went too far this year?

I am not here to ask Sports Illustrated to STOP exploiting women by producing the swimsuit edition magazine. Someone else can take that stand if they feel strongly about it. But I feel that the Swimsuit Issue needs a cover up when it comes to the DISTRIBUTION of the magazine. I am here to offer a simple solution. A tiny little cover up with an added little warning. That is all I ask. Read More

10 Things to Know About Being a Special Needs Parent

Monday, February 23, 2015

By Guest Blogger Kerith Stull, author of

Maybe you’ve seen us at the grocery store and tried to avoid eye contact. Maybe your child has stared at us at the playground and didn’t know what to do. Maybe you’ve seen us at a PTA meeting, gave me a smile, but didn’t know how to approach me.

I am a special needs mom. Our 18-year-old daughter, Brielle, has moderate cerebral palsy. She walks with a limp, has a severely impaired right arm and hand, cannot speak (although she has normal hearing), uses fairly fluent sign language to communicate, and functions academically at an eight-year-old level. Read More

Make it a Play Date!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

By Guest Blogger Stacy Leighton

“As soon as I saw you, I knew an adventure was going to happen.”
~ Winnie the Pooh

From the hallway I heard the boys launch the spinning top, it careened across the floor and promptly shattered against the wall. My son’s friend screamed, “You broke it!” Then it was silent. I peeked around the corner to see my boy’s small, still dimpled hands carefully gather the pieces and attempt to restore the toy. The friend continued to gripe and grumble. “It’s broken. You can’t fix it.” “I might,” my son whispered, his face contorted in concentration. “It’s never gonna work.” At long last my boy held it up in one hand and smiled. “It could.” And it did. Read More

Letting Go

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

By TMoM member Kelly Hines

This week, I’m registering my daughter for high school. It seems impossible that the baby I was snuggling just yesterday could be the taller than me teen I’m helping navigate through registration today. The past fourteen years have been a series of letting go moments, but this feels drastic. More like a cord ripping than a cord cutting. What am I going to do when she leaves for college? There should be a halfway house for mothers as they become empty nesters; something to teach us to transition back into the adult world.

“I’ve talked to my teachers, and we agree that this is the best track for me,” she says. Since when does she know what’s best for her? Since when does she ask the advice of people other than me?  Read More

Overcoming Emotional Scars from Child Abuse

Monday, February 16, 2015

By Anonymous

I can honestly say I have a happy and relatively successful life at this point in my life, so most people that know me would likely never guess or even fathom that I have what most would call a ‘dark’ and ‘tragic’ past. I was a victim of child abuse at a very young age and as in most people in those cases it was someone that should be trusted – a family member.

Most people unlike myself don’t end up so lucky in ‘turning out okay’. To give some prospective on that here’s how those with child abuse in their past play out: Read More

How My Child Stopped Using Night Time Pull Ups

Friday, February 13, 2015

By Guest Blogger Kathleen Thorell

I knew my daughter had a small bladder when we potty trained her at age three. All my friends were telling stories of their children, the “camels” who were going hours and hours without ever having to go on the potty. This was so foreign to me. My daughter easily went to the bathroom every 30 minutes. Gradually, her bladder matured and she can now make it several hours without going.

At her four year old visit with our pediatrician, I asked about her wearing pull ups at night. She had mastered the daytime, but night time was another story. She often leaked through a pull up, too. (until I found a good fit for her- Kroger’s Nite Time Pull ups, the cheapest ones!) The doctor had no worries. He explained that eventually her bladder would mature and grow, and she would be able to make it through the night or become aware of when she had to go. Throughout her 4th year, my daughter noticed that friends and relatives didn’t wear pull ups at night…some even younger than her! It started to bother her, but she didn’t like the idea of leaking either. Read More

Sparkletina, The Tooth Fairy

Thursday, February 12, 2015

By Guest Blogger Marie Hunkele, author of The Lunchbox Memoirs

I think I commit, on average, about 1.3 Mommy Fails a day. But what I’m famous for, are the EPIC Mommy Fails. Take the Tooth Fairy, for instance. When my oldest daughter lost her first tooth, I had no idea what the going rate for a tooth was, so I posted the question on Facebook. The answers I got stunned and horrified me. Did you know that the average Tooth Fairy forks out $10 dollars for the first tooth and $5 for every tooth after? Are you freaking kidding me? Read More

The Worst of It

Saturday, February 07, 2015

By Guest Blogger Kristen Bagwell

This is going to be one of those "we've all been there" posts, so please indulge my whining for a few minutes. We're nearly 4 weeks into this little "new baby" adventure, and I cannot remember the last time I got any reasonable amount of sleep. It's clearly starting to wear on my nerves. How do I know this for sure? 

Evidence: Read More

Keeping the Doors Open

Friday, February 06, 2015

By Katie Moosbrugger

A while back I read a blog written by a dad who offered ingenious advice. He and his wife were having a hard time communicating with their tween daughter. He knew something was up – she wasn’t acting like herself – but they could not get her to communicate with them. Sounded like a day in the life of any tween or teen.

Instead of resorting to those typical “conversation starters” that parenting experts always say to use, he tried a different approach. He simply went into her room, laid on the floor, and refused to leave until she started talking to him. I think he wound up staying on the floor for quite some time – but his tactic worked. Eventually the daughter opened up and starting talking – and talking, and talking, and talking. Read More

Take A Chance

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

By Rachel Hoeing

I was with a group of women the other day and one of them commented that they saw I had won a T-shirt through a contest on Facebook. The other replied and said, “She wins EVERYTHING! It’s not fair. I never win anything.”

In all honesty, I do win quite a bit of contests, raffles, giveaways, etc, but guess why I win them? I actually enter them!

I asked the two women who said they “never win anything” how often they actually enter giveaways and they both replied saying they try to win things every so often. Well ladies, how do you expect to win if you don’t enter? Read More

What We Learned from Our Exchange Student

Monday, January 26, 2015

By Guest Blogger Ashleigh Pike

“Will I get to see blue sky while I am here?” I will never forget this question asked by Lisa, our 7th exchange student from Beijing.

In early August 2014 I got an email from my children’s school and my employer, Forsyth Country Day School, that forty 7th grade students from Beijing would be spending close to three weeks with our school in October. Host families were needed. I called my husband at work and he was as excited as I was at the prospect. Our ten year old son thought it was a “cool idea”. Our twelve year old daughter was at camp, so she got a letter letting her know she would have a “sister” for three weeks in the fall. I had always thought about hosting an exchange student, but a full school year seemed like a long time. What a perfect opportunity this three week visit would be! Read More

Dirty Words

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

By TMoM member Kelly Hines

I found it in my daughter’s bathroom drawer: a small cut-out of a brightly colored cartoon character she had drawn. I smiled, thinking that beneath the teenaged exterior there still existed a little girl. Then I noticed the caption -

“&*$% off!”

So much for my little girl.  Read More

Giving Children A Broader, More Colorful Perspective

Monday, January 19, 2015

By Guest Blogger Kelly Sipe

We ran this post a few years ago, and Kelly recently updated it to include children book suggestions and parenting resources at the end of this blog. It's a terrific post to read in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr Day. Thank you, Kelly, for this perspective and for your reading recommendations below! ~ Katie

One of the first things we teach our young children is to name colors. There is a great sense of parental pride as we showcase our toddler's acquisition of color knowledge. We ask them to name colors for everyone and everywhere ... at the playground, in the tub, in Target, etc. However, if a child names the color of a person's skin in the grocery store we move quickly to silence them or to divert the conversation, and then proceed to offer apologies to those around us who may have heard your child's observation. Read More

4 Tips for Balancing Career and Home

Saturday, January 17, 2015

By Guest Blogger Deneane Davis

Last month we featured Deneane Davis as a Main Street Mom on the Move. Deneane works full-time but also manages to find time for volunteering and extra-curricular activities. She is known by her friends to have discovered the secret that every parent wants to know: how to balance a successful career and a happy busy household. We asked Deneane to guest blog for us today to share some of her tips. We hope these will be helpful to you! ~ Rachel
 Read More

What I Won't Miss When They Get Older (and a few things I will)

Friday, January 16, 2015

By Guest Blogger Annah Matthews, Author of Things Momma Told Me

"Cherish every minute with them. It will be over before you know it and you'll miss it."

I totally get it! I really do understand that life does go by so quickly. That I need to embrace the moments with my children when they're little. That they will grow up and that I will miss cleaning little handprints off of the dishwasher.

But if you tell me that you loved every minute of having your children at home with you, then I tell you that you have flat out forgotten. Thank God that He allows us to forget many parts of motherhood, or else we would have all been extinct by now.

I will not miss taking a road trip while the three of you are simultaneously yelling at each other to scoot over, don't touch me, I don't like this video, and Mommy I have to go to the potty (when three minutes ago we stopped to get you a snack.)  Read More

Volunteering with Kids

Thursday, January 15, 2015

By Guest Blogger Suzy Fielders

If you are reading this early in the day, be sure to tune in to Fox 8 Morning News at 9:30am as Suzy shares these ideas live! She is a loyal reader who took the time to compile this blog all out of the kindness of her heart when I mentioned to her that TMoM fans are always asking us for ways their children can get involved in the community. I know from experience how long these types of blogs take to compile and TMoM cannot thank her enough. Suzy contacted numerous places, but only included the ones on her list that she received a return phone call or email from confirming that young children could help. I hope our readers are able to put this list to good use! ~Rachel

When people think of volunteering they often think of adults giving their time, but what better way to give back to others than volunteering with your children as a family! This teaches them about helping others, appreciating all that they have, and allowing for that irreplaceable family time.  Read More

Today Was A Good Day

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

By Guest Blogger Anonymous

Today was a good day. Actually, it’s been a good week. Come to think of it, it’s been a good month. I might go so far as to say it’s been a great month. But what is a great month at our house might be quite different from a great month at yours. That would depend on whether or not you have a child who suffers from mental illness.

A great day/week/month at my house might mean that no one threw objects across the room. It might mean that no one became physically aggressive toward their siblings…..or their parents. It could mean that no one described themselves as weird, worthless, unloved, unworthy of love, or better off dead. It would most definitely mean that no one said they wanted to commit suicide. Or that no one inflicted bodily harm upon themselves. And it would mean, without a shadow of doubt, that we did not spend an entire evening in the emergency room because of these threats. Read More

When the Screens are Off

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

By Rachel Hoeing

"Screen time" can be a beautiful thing (keep kids entertained, no fighting between siblings, educational learning, a way to get things done around the house without interruption, etc) but we all know that in this day and age there is almost too much screen time. Between TVs, computers, iPads, smartphones, iTouches and more, our children will more than likely have a screen in front of their face for most of their lives.

It especially gets tough to limit screen time in the winter months when kids claim that it is too cold outside. But I remind my kids that our friends in Boston play outside in much colder weather than this. I also remind them that no one has ever died of boredom indoors, and that some of the most creative play comes from those times when the screens are off.  Read More

Let’s Talk About Sex, Baby!

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

By Katie Moosbrugger

When it comes to having the “talk” with my daughter, I always envision the scenario would unfold as follows: The two of us sitting on a cozy couch completely engrossed in conversation. Me slowing sharing little bits of information for her to digest. She listening intently to my every word, not embarrassed in the slightest. She would eagerly ask questions along the way, and I would happily answer them – without a hint of shame. Of course, I’d have a book (adorably illustrated) on hand just in case an awkward situation arose. Otherwise, it would be an idyllic mother-daughter moment - one that we would cherish for years.

Ok, I’m not that naive. This past fall, I had what I call my “Part I Talk,” and it played out nothing like what I describe above, but I bet you can relate. Read More

Let's Teach Our Children To Give

Sunday, December 21, 2014

By Guest Blogger Parker White

As parents, we all want to raise thoughtful, well-rounded children. Yet, society tells us that what is important these days are looks, wealth and status. Are these the messages we want our children to learn? As a mother of two, I found what is most important to me is my child's character. I want to raise my children to be good people, to help those in need and realize how blessed they truly are. In a culture of more...more...more, I want my children to learn the phrase give...give...give.

So, are you with me? If so, your next question may be... how? What better way to instill values than to get your children involved with community service at a young age? You may say that your children are too young or that you don't have time and/or money. There are many SIMPLE ways for you to get even your 2 or 3 year old involved. Some are even FREE! Read More

The Importance of a Well Balanced Education

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

By Guest Blogger Kori Mackall, Director of Communications, The Piedmont School

Here at The Piedmont School, we know all about different learning styles. Some students are kinesthetic (hands-on) learners, some students are visual learners, some students learn best through music, and others learn best through active movement. Whatever the learning style, The Piedmont School is a firm believer that education and its delivery are not "one size fits all". Of course academics are the core of a solid and successful education, but we also know that every child needs a creative outlet to help their cognitive, social, and emotional development. With this in mind, we are firm believers in a complete and integrated Arts education. The Arts are too regularly an underfunded portion of the education curriculum that is often first on the chopping block as the push for STEM education and other math and science based programs come to the foreground. While we don't argue the value of solid and strategic academic programs, as educators and child development specialists we know first hand the importance a balanced education plays into the social, academic, and emotional growth of children. The Arts, for many students, are pivotal in this growth. Read More

How Do We Help Our Children Cope with Loss?

Saturday, December 13, 2014

By Guest Blogger Rebecca Nagaishi

It feels like tragic events are jumping off the pages of our newspapers these past few weeks. Headlines of young drivers and passengers killed in fatal car accidents, the shocking shooting death of a promising young soccer player, the Ebola crisis far away, and neighborhoods in turmoil close by - all of this can be upsetting news for adults but even more so for kids.

Most of our children experience stressful events as they are growing up – loss is common and a part of life. All kids are faced with painful situations like the death of a pet, a divorce, a best friend moving away, or even a change in schools. But some losses are more traumatic because they are sudden, unexpected, or violent. Losses that occur under these traumatic circumstances often create more complicated grief reactions. How do we, as parents, help our kids cope with these losses within their own families and community? Read More

10 Things Every Mama Needs To Hear

Friday, December 12, 2014

By Guest Blogger Annah Matthews, author of Things Momma Told Me

We all have those days. Days where everything we do feels fruitless. Nothing stays clean for more than five minutes. The laundry pile only seems to get larger, never smaller. The to do list gets longer. The children are bored and refuse to get along. No, Thank yous. No, Great Job Mama. Does anyone around here care that I've swept the floor for the 8th time today and wiped up more spills than I care to count? Probably not. So for all of us out there that just need a little pick me up, happy hour, hang in there, pat on the back moment, this list is for you. Read More

Seeking Shelter - An Experience in Ministering to the Homeless

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

By TMoM Member Kelly Hines

In January 2014 Katie Bryant, the Minister of Children & Outreach at St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church, stood before our congregation and told us that our fellowship hall was about to become an overflow homeless shelter for the city of Winston-Salem. After the meeting, I went up to her and simply said, “I don’t know what I can do, but I want to help.”

I have never been particularly called to help the homeless. Those without homes, those standing on street corners asking for money, have always existed outside my periphery. I’d become an expert at avoiding eye contact, dodging questions from my children, and stifling any guilt I had about drinking that $4 latte. So what was it now that made me feel called to action?  Read More

Special Needs series: ADD and ADHD

Saturday, December 06, 2014

By Guest Blogger Kristen Bagwell

When I was in 4th grade, a child in our class was classified ADD/ADHD. It was a relatively new diagnosis at the time, and seemed to be a very negative thing. “He needs drugs to keep him calm,” said a classmate, which didn’t make this poor child any new friends. However, the class learned to accept his behavior rather than ostracize him for it, despite the fact that there were some subtle differences in his behavior.

We’ve come a long way since then. The American Psychiatric Society has recognized ADHD as a medical disorder in its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (the official mental health "bible" used by psychologists and psychiatrists. ) Some facts: an estimated 6% of the adult population has ADHD. Girls are just as likely to be affected as boys. More than 70% of people who are diagnosed with ADHD as a child will continue to struggle with it as an adolescent, and nearly 50% will continue to face challenges into adulthood. And while diagnosis is key, only one in 4 affected adults seeks treatment, leading to increased risk of depression and social anxiety disorders in those left untreated. Read More

Walk Through the Season with an Open Heart

Thursday, November 27, 2014

By Guest Blogger Kelly Sipe, teacher at Greensboro Day School

This week in my kindergarten class, we have been studying the Pilgrims and learning of their voyage from England.  We've talked about the reasons why they left England.  We have also spent some time comparing our lives to those of the Pilgrims.  This comparison lends itself to a discussion on being grateful for all the things that we have in our lives.

The children of today have so much more than we had growing up.   I can remember as a child... I only received gifts on my birthday and Christmas (not here and there throughout the year as we shopped through Target!).  We didn't have all the electronic devices that the children.  We never took multiple vacations or trips throughout the year, as my daughter now gets to take.  Yet, for the little I had in comparison, I never felt that I was lacking.  Read More

I Didn't Know

Friday, November 14, 2014

By Guest Blogger Thea DeLoreto, author of the blog The Lint Trap

I didn't know it would be this hard. It is just keeping small humans alive. A little food, some milk, water, get them out of the house regularly, and they should be good to go. Right? RIGHT? But it takes so so so much more. It takes backbone, and nerves. Humor. Patience. It takes organization and understanding. It takes love and soul and strength in equal measures. And it takes patience. Did I mention that one? Mad patience. Read More

Signs You May Be Raising Huck Finn, Tom Sawyer or a Mark Twain Character

Thursday, November 13, 2014

By Guest Blogger Abbie Gale, author of the blog All That Makes You

Signs you might be raising raising Huck Finn, Tom Sawyer or a Mark Twain character...

1. You keep old rusty nails in your pocket and you pretend to find them all over the yard to try to scare him into wearing shoes.

2.  When you pick him up from school he climbs into the backseat and says in his sweet I’m talking to a critter voice, “Oh, there you are!  I have been looking all over for you!” He is NOT talking to YOU.   That has you wondering WHAT you have been driving around with inside of your car, unaware. This critter he saved from the pool skimmer. Oh the tears from having to release him back into the wild! Read More

The art of following your heart

Saturday, November 08, 2014

By Guest Blogger Jill Osborn

Mothers are analogous to Niagara Falls. We cascade, ripple, and roar whichever direction we see fit for our child. It is in our nature to protect our children. That is why it is called, mother nature. Everyone knows how powerful mother nature can be. Thus, when mothers follow their heart, children always benefit. Below is a story about how one woman followed her motherly heart and what happened as a result.

 Read More

Top 10 Must Have Items for Newborns and Babies

Thursday, November 06, 2014

By Rachel Hoeing

* If you are reading this early in the day, please tune in to Fox 8 Morning News at 9:30am to see us talk about these recommendations live with Shannon Smith!

What better way to get parenting tips than to ask other parents? We've been there, we've done that, we've used products, abused products, and loved products. I polled our TMoM Facebook audience and asked them what their favorite must-have item was for their baby or newborn. I have listed the top 10 recommendations below along with links. (Click on the name to find out more info or visit the corresponding website.)

I hope these items can make your job of being a parent just a tad bit easier! If you are not expecting a baby anytime soon, please share this blog with someone who is! Thanks to all of you who contributed ideas! If you have a beloved item that was not listed please comment at the end and share! Read More

Kindergarten is Kicking my Butt

Thursday, October 30, 2014

By Guest Blogger Anna Harget, author of This Perfect Mess Blog

Jack started kindergarten this year. He has a summer birthday, so instead of sending him to full-day kindergarten at an elementary school, we decided to send him to a half-day kindergarten at a preschool. We are treating it more as a Pre-K and planning on sending him to full-day kindergarten next year.

We're considering this "Kindergarten: Round 1" and I'm so glad because kindergarten is kicking my butt. Read More

Reflections on Year One of Motherhood

Monday, October 27, 2014

By Guest Blogger Emily Saunders

A few weeks ago my “baby” boy celebrated his first birthday.  It’s still surreal to me that a whole year has passed, yet there were days along the way that seemed impossibly long when naps didn’t happen, teeth were aching, or no place was good enough for sleep except Mama’s chest when she desperately needed a nap.  It’s been the best year and the most difficult year and the emotions involved are too complex to put into words.

I am most certain that I learned and grew more spiritually, physically, mentally and emotionally than I EVER have. I suppose that’s what becoming a Mom will do. God uses parenthood to teach us big things about his plans and his ways.   Read More

Why We’re a Scout Family

Saturday, October 04, 2014

By Guest Blogger Kristi Johnson Marion

Family Tradition
Signing my young son up for Cub Scouts was a no-brainer. My husband and his brother grew up in an active troop, sticking with it through childhood and adolescence to eventually become Eagle Scouts. After college, he even went back to become a counselor for a summer at Raven Knob, a regional camp for Boy Scouts, where he taught canoeing, spelunking (caving) and rappelling to hundreds of boys from throughout the South.  We were fully aware of the many benefits of Scouting, as it helps build character and strengthen values having fun and adventures along the way. Read More

Domestic Violence: Who is Taking Care of the Children?

Thursday, October 02, 2014

By Guest Blogger Paige Berntson, Staff Attorney with Children’s Law Center of Central North Carolina

“We try not to fight around our children.”
“My kids can talk to me if they are upset.”
“They are in bed and don’t hear anything.”
“I would never hurt my child.”

As a Guardian ad Litem at the Children’s Law Center of Central North Carolina, these are statements I hear from parents on a regular basis. I think we all do our best to protect and care for our children; we love them and intend to keep them safe from harm. When parents find themselves in an abusive situation and every day is a struggle, they may be unable to see the full impact domestic violence has on themselves and their children. Read More

Good Manners Pay Off

Monday, September 29, 2014

By Rachel Hoeing

My husband and I have always tried our best to teach our children to be respectful and use good manners. I am almost too mannerly at times and find myself saying please and thank you even when it is not necessary, but I have always felt that too much is better than none at all in the manners department.

I wrote a blog recently about how to model compassion and kindness for your children. You can read it here. I think these things go hand-in-hand with good manners. We have worked on these things for years, but my kids never quite caught on to the whole "respect", "manners", "kindness" thing, but now, at ages 9 and 11, they are finally beginning to see the benefits of using your manners and treating others the way you would like to be treated.   Read More

Kids and Extracurriculars: Where’s Your Happy Place?

Monday, September 22, 2014

By Katie Moosbrugger

“I wish we could go back to the days when my kids simply came home from school, played in the yard, finished up homework without being told to hurry up, and we had actual time to sit down and enjoy dinner together as family.”

This comment came up at my child’s baseball practice - after one mom had to leave early to pick up another child at a different event, after another mom arrived late because of homework battles, and before one of us said Johnny won’t be at the game because his violin practice conflicts. Read More

Texting & Driving: They are Watching You!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

By Rachel Hoeing

We all know texting while driving is dangerous. We've all read the stories of the last extremely unimportant text that someone felt the need to send, seconds before they were killed in a crash. We've seen the families of the innocent by-standers who were minding their own business when a car came out of nowhere and hit them because the driver was busy doing something on his phone.

I for one, know how dangerous it is, yet I have still found myself with that urge to pick up the phone while in traffic, while at a stoplight, while driving ... but I recently have realized there is more to it than just the immediate danger. Guess who is watching every move I make? My kids.  Read More

Social Media with Your Kids: Safety Overrules Privacy

Monday, September 15, 2014

By Guest Blogger Suzy Fielders

Not too long ago I wrote this blog “What Parents Should Know About Facebook,”  talking a little about kids being on Facebook and some tips to help get them set up with proper security restrictions. Facebook is just ‘the tip of the iceberg’ when it comes to online issues for parents.

Parents are so caught up in the age old not wanting to infringe on their kids privacy that they don't realize this is a security issue and that old rule doesn't apply to this era or generation. The sad fact is there are too many online predators out there to allow kids online without numerous restrictions and rules.  Read More

Upside Down … and Sometimes Inside Out!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

By Guest Blogger Laura Laxton

When you have a child with Down syndrome, you get used to a few things: hearing how happy and loving people with Down syndrome are; therapy (physical, speech-language, occupational); extra doctor visits; averted eyes or odd stares; “S/He’s so cute!”; pitying looks; … The list seems endless. And conflicting. And, in the end, irrelevant.

My soon-to-be 7-year-old son has DS – and red hair, and blue eyes, and the most impish/sweetest grin you’ll ever see. We found out prenatally about the DS, and for a long time, I could not think of him except in terms of his medical diagnosis. After he was born, however, he was simply my son, which is far more complex, wonderful and accurate of a description.  Read More

Trying to Get Your Kids to Drink More H2O? Problem Solved!

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

By Guest Blogger Megan Cosgrove

How many times a day, or a week, have you tried to get your kids to drink more water? Struggle no longer! New Tum-E Yummies Kids Water Enhancers make water flavorful and fun while providing essential vitamins without the calories. The water enhancers boast no sugar, no caffeine or sodium, and offer 100 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamins C, B6 and B12.

In addition to being a flavorful and vitamin-packed drink, Tum-E Yummies Kids Water Enhancers are portable and reusable. Tum-E Yummies Kids Water Enhancers will fit in the palm of any small hand, making it easy to pack for on-the-go refreshment. You can carry one in your pocket, purse or tote bag, or tuck away in the pantry saving space for other food and beverage goodies.  Read More

Supporting Children Throughout the Year

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

By Guest Blogger Haley Miller

This is always my favorite time of year. Summer is winding down, school is back in session, football is kicking off, the air is feeling crisp….

For our children, it’s the season of a fresh start. It’s that exciting time when everyone is eager to learn, and we, as parents, have the perfect opportunity to support our children in school.

But what is the best way to support our children? How can we be involved, but not too involved? How can we help our children understand how to get to an answer, without just giving them the answer? Read More

Grandparent Detox: The 5 Step Survival Method

Thursday, August 28, 2014

By Guest Blogger Anna Hargett, author of This Perfect Mess

My children love their grandparents and the grandparents LOVE their grandchildren.

It's a love that leads to freezers stocked with popsicles, marathon games of Candyland, and a grandpa who has erected a few tents in his living room and installed a swing from the ceiling in the hopes that the grandchildren will mistake his house for a circus, no doubt.

It's a dangerous love. Once the kids get a taste, they want MORE. In fact, I suspect before our visits the grandparents plot ways to guarantee their grandchildren's loyalty and affection. Let's see...we'll start with ice cream for breakfast and then we'll play Thomas the Train for 3 hours and then maybe a trip to the moon!  Read More

You’re Too Good of a Mom

Thursday, August 21, 2014

By Guest Blogger Debbie Wilkins Baisden

I’m getting ready to hurt your feelings. I’m sorry. I have to though. You’re too good of a mom. And you don’t even know it. You may tell yourself you’re lousy in the motherhood department. “I should….,””I could….” is how you frame your failures with your parenting. In some ways you’re right; you should stop letting your 18 year old put forks into electrical outlets and you could change the diaper before grossing out crowds in public. But overall, you’re just TOO good of a mom. (I am not complimenting you.)

Side note. I have never been asked to write a parenting manual. Okay, that’s out of the way.
 Read More

Transitioning Into Kindergarten

Monday, August 18, 2014

By Guest Blogger Kelly Sipe, teacher and author

For a kindergarten teacher, starting the school year can be likened to sowing a new garden each year. As the seeds are planted in the soil of the classroom, you have yet to discover the ins and outs of what each one will need from you in order to grow, which ones will bloom first, and which ones will need careful attention. Rest assured that each seed, and subsequently each child, will bring forth something special and will add beauty to that kinder-garden.

Robert Fulghum took notice of all the life skills young children learn in their formative years when he wrote All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. In addition to that myriad of life skills, children are also expected to grow academically, master fine motor skills, navigate through social dynamics and build friendships. Once children enter formalized schooling, in addition to their classroom teachers, they will have specialist teachers (art, music, P.E., etc.), who will each present different teaching styles and will have their own classroom routines for the children to learn. Read More

10 TMoM Tips for Back to School

Friday, August 15, 2014

By Rachel Hoeing

Alright, we've put it off as long as we could, but it is time to face the music. Summer is about over and it is time for the kiddies to head back to school. If you are like me you start out the school year full-steam ahead with a plan for great success.  It lasts about a month and then you are back in the rut of arguing over homework, trying to figure out meals and lunches, running late for the bus, etc.

But alas, as always I will put my best foot forward and see how long it will last this time. We hope some of these ideas will start your year off right and we also encourage you to share some of your own tips by commenting below! Read More

Cut the Cord

Thursday, August 14, 2014

By Katie Moosbrugger

“You really should cut that cord soon,” my mom recently joked to me. At first I did not know what she was referring to. I usually don’t describe my kids as “clingy” or “dependent.” In fact, I’m all about instilling independent qualities in children. My husband and I are always encouraging our kids to try something different – or going somewhere new – without having to depend on friends or mom and dad to be right there with them.

But then I looked down at my son who was walking next to me, and understood what she was talking about. Read More

Modeling Compassion & Kindness

Monday, August 11, 2014

By Rachel Hoeing

Most of the time, when we do something for others, we do it with no strings attached and we do it without acknowledgement. This is a true act of giving and a true gesture of compassion. But, when it comes to raising a family, we need to make sure our acts are seen, noticed, and replicated ... by our children.

One of the main things I hope for my children is that I can raise them to be KIND. I want them to give to others and care for others without expecting anything in return.  Read More

Did I Ask For Your Opinion?

Saturday, August 09, 2014

By Anonymous

With the start of school just around the corner, we thought we'd re-run this post from a few years ago that received quite a bit of comments. Let us know what you think!

It’s a conversation most parents have had a hundred times. You are at the playground and you start chatting with another parent, inevitably exchanging the basic facts about your kids- names, ages, siblings, and interests. I’m a mostly stay-at-home mom, so these little conversations were sometimes my only adult interactions in the course of a day. So, you can imagine my surprise when my daughter turned five in October and the mommy chitchat I used to happily partake in took an unexpected, and often ugly, turn. Read More

Please, Please...Go Back to Bed!

Thursday, August 07, 2014

By Katie Moosbrugger

A few years ago, my then-four-year-old had taken on a new routine to wake my husband and I up at least once a night and sometimes up to 10 times (yes, we've counted) for a range of reasons. Some were valid, most were not. I originally wrote this post when I was in the fog of it all. If you are in this same predicament, perhaps this post - and the comments below - will help you. Or if you have additional suggestions, please share as well.

Now I don't mean to scare all of you who are new moms, those who are expecting, or those of you who are simply thinking of having a baby - but for the first seven years as a mom - I could probably count on my fingers and toes how many nights of full sleep I actually had in total.  Read More

How Are You Fitting in Family Time?

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

By Rachel Hoeing

The title of this blog almost seems like an oxymoron to me. "Fitting in Family Time." Why do we need to "fit it in?" Doesn't family time just happen? Sadly, no, it does not.

No matter if you have one baby, three teenagers, or five kids whose ages spread out over a ten year span, finding the time to all be together as a family is tough. Jobs, commitments, nap times, friends, technology, sports, school, homework, house cleaning, art lessons, birthday parties ... the list of things that can interfere with your family time can go on and on.

The more I take note of families who I think are raising responsible, kind, and diligent children, the more I notice that they all have one thing in common - they spend time together.  Read More

3 Ways To Handle Your Teens Lies

Monday, August 04, 2014

By Guest Blogger Blanca Cobb, Body Language and Lie Detection Expert

All teens will lie to their parents at some point. More than likely they tell more than one lie. In fact, Nancy Darling, an associate professor of psychology at Oberlin University, found that 98% of teens have lied to their parents. It didn’t matter if the teens were honor students or average students. The teens lied about all kinds of topics from whom they were dating to places they were going. I recently discovered a Twitter stream #LiesIveToldMyParents where teens share lies they’ve told their parents.  Read More

Do you praise your kids too much? (I think I might.)

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

By Guest Blogger Kristen Bagwell

I was in a workshop last week for my job, and heard something that I think I've heard before: In order to help your children become better learners, don't tell them they are smart. What? Of course I am totally guilty of doing the wrong thing here; I tell my daughter she is smart all the time. (She's a genius; I can't help it.) However, the speaker said that telling a child he or she is smart can lead to arrogance and complacency, because if a child takes "you're smart" too literally, he won't feel a need to learn.

To be honest, I was not sure I was buying his theory. Surely my parents told me I was smart, and I turned out ok...right? Well, of course I had to go hunting online until I found an article in Parents Magazine on this topic and surprise - it gave advice along the same lines. Studies show that over-praising our children can actually diminish the impact of praise, and prevents kids from becoming satisfied in their own achievements (if they are always doing things expecting praise). So what the *beep* do I do now? Read More

If patience is a virtue then why does it feel like a vice?

Monday, July 28, 2014

By Guest Blogger Annah Matthews, author of Things Momma Told Me

It never fails. I've just begun a good conversation with my husband, dialogue is flowing, we're exchanging ideas and thoughts and from the backseat of the car I hear, "Hey Mommy do you know why they call Texas the Lonestar State?" Uhmmm no, but don't interrupt me right now while Dad and I are talking.

17 seconds later.

Mommy, are you done talking to Daddy because I really need to tell you something.
No, stop interrupting me. You need to be patient.

18 seconds later.

Can I tell you now?  Read More

Are you a Step-Monster?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

By Guest Blogger Dionne J.

My life changed forever on July 4, 2009. Not only was that the day that I got married, but it was the day I went from a single, career-oriented woman with no children to being a stepmother of a three year old toddler. Although I knew very little about parenting (surprisingly, at the age of 29, children were not even on my radar) and had virtually no experience caring for young children, I was looking forward to having a daughter to hang out with and do girly stuff. But, after the wedding, things started to go downhill; not in my marriage, but in the relationship between my husband, his Ex, and their daughter. To say that it was an adjustment is an understatement.

Being a stepmother can be very challenging at times. Sure, I know that parenting in general is challenging, but being a stepparent carries its own set of challenges that are unique to our situation. There are the challenges of raising a child that is not your own; having to “convince” a child that they do have to listen to you and follow your rules despite what their mother says; or even dealing with being told that “You’re not my mother!” The struggles of family court drama and the constant tension between my husband and his Ex quickly started to wear me down.  Read More

What I Did and What I Wished I Had Done ...

Sunday, July 06, 2014

By Lisa Lemieur, author of

8 Things I Am Glad I Did When My Kids Were Little
1. I am glad I volunteered as much as I did in my kid’s classrooms.  When they were in elementary school I was there a lot.  Sometimes I was the “Room-Mom” but most of the time I was just a helper.   And I’d like to think my kids liked having me there.  Believe me, they won’t want you there when they are in high school.  Get it in while you can. Read More

What Parents Should Know About Facebook

Friday, June 20, 2014

By Guest Blogger Suzy Fielders

My daughter is amazed that I get paid to ‘play’ on Facebook for work. Yet I’m amazed that my seven year old knows what Facebook is and basically how it works.

As a marketing professional I strongly encourage professionals and businesses to have a presence on Facebook and other social media, but as a mother I am slightly less enthused about my sweet and innocent daughter taking part of Facebook in the near future. I’m certain the day she asks “Can I start my own Facebook profile?” is just around the corner.

In true marketing fashion I decided to poll other parents to get their thoughts on when their kids started using Facebook. Ironically I took to Facebook to run that poll!  Read More

Simple Estate Planning for Parents

Thursday, June 19, 2014

By Guest Blogger Joseph Lambert

As a parent of 18 month-old George, I think a lot about his well-being.Although I don’t like to consider the possibility that I might not be able to raise my son, I have to prepare for the worst for his sake.

As an attorney practicing estate law, I have learned some basic legal steps parents can take to contribute to their children’s success and security.  Recommended first steps include nominating a guardian and ensuring the desired transfer of your assets. Read More

Are You a Car Decal Kind of Family?

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

By Rachel Hoeing

There has been a lot of controversy and hype lately over family car decals. Why? Some people think they are obnoxious or annoying. Others love them. Others think they are a danger to families. This article summarizes why some members of law enforcement feel these can give criminals too much insight into your lives.

Personally, I think there are different levels of Family Car Decal Obsession. Most of the time, we all know that if you own a minivan or even an SUV, chances are that the back is full of kids and pets, but should we be cautious as to how much more info we give out? Read More

Sun, Safety & Your Sanity

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

By Katie Moosbrugger

For lots of moms, summertime can be anything but relaxing. From endless sunscreen latherings (one of my biggest pet peeves) - to constant monitoring of your little toddler's every last move near water - to your never-ending quest to find comfort for you child and yourself in the hot, salty sun...summer break can be downright exhausting. Yet these tasks are a rite of passage for every mom. They must be tackled, no matter how challenging or time-consuming. So today I'm featuring clever products and ideas (thanks to suggestions from the TMoM team) that can help moms reclaim their sanity while enjoying a safe, sun-filled summer  Read More

What YMCA Adventure Guides Meant to Our Family

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Sponsored by the YMCA of Northwest NC

Lifelong memories between fathers and their children are some of life’s most meaningful experiences. The YMCA Adventure Guides and Princesses program helps to foster the father/child relationship. Today, we want to share the impact this program and the Y had for one family. Thank you to Kirsten Schmitt for sharing her family’s story!

Our family has been profoundly impacted by our relationship with the YMCA from our first summer in 2009 when we moved from Texas. I was advised to join the Y if we did nothing else, so we did. Abbie was not yet 5 years old and we signed her up for “pee wee” soccer, followed by basketball. These fun sports activities are well led and have kept her interest, fostering many key friendships that have helped us put down roots in Winston-Salem and truly make this our home. Read More

Conquering the Worry

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

By Guest Blogger Regina Alexander, LCSW

We all think of childhood as a carefree time, where the child’s only job is to be curious and learn new things. As parents we may wish we could go back to a time when we did not have to worry about bills and schedules and juggling different aspects of life. It may be easy for us to say to our children, “What do you have to worry about? Just go play and be a kid!” But for some children, life is not as idyllic and carefree as adults think, and that’s not just children who live in difficult situations or have suffered trauma or loss.

Some children begin to experience anxiety early in life. Many things can cause it – they may see something on TV and be convinced it may happen to them, or hear older children talking about topics they cannot yet comprehend. Some children worry excessively that they will not be the best at school or sports or dance, while others worry that although they have plenty of friends they might lose them some day. Gifted children often experience existential anxiety, due to the lack of concrete answers to the questions their brains think up. Some children just seem to get stuck on a negative thought and be unable to let it go.  Read More

My Penny Party

Friday, May 09, 2014

By Rachel Hoeing

The good ol' days. No matter your current age, the good ol' days often means those childhood years occurring between the ages of 7 and 12. The years where you were old enough to only remember being carefree. You just knew how to have fun.

When my kids have a day where their creativity soars, outside adventure takes place, and neighborhood friends bond, I want to shout it from the rooftops because I am so proud of them and it reminds me of my own good ol' days. I think we need to encourage our kids' creative ideas, no matter how crazy they may seem.

This thinking reminded me of a "Penny Party" that I hosted back when I was 10 years old ... Read More

Don’t Lose Your Marbles

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

By Guest Blogger Debbie Wilkins

I am a fabulous decent mom. I had four boys exit my body in four years and that will forever be my trophy.

That said, kids are tough to keep in line, aren’t they? They whine, they complain, they spill. After an afternoon of willfull defiance, exteme disobedience, and blatant disregard for me and my title of Queen of the Castle, I am ready to:

- React in anger.
- Scream, from my diaphragm (this way I don’t lose my voice).
- Undo any and all damage myself (spray the pee off the back deck, flip the recliner right side up, pick up toys, you get my drift).
- Give a blue-ribbon worthy lecture (it goes something like, “What in the world is WRONG with you?!”). Read More

25 Easy Ways to Be an Annoying Parent

Monday, April 28, 2014

By Katie Moosbrugger

I am in no way a perfect parent, and I don’t pretend to be. But in the 10 short years I’ve been a mom, I am amazed how many common parental antics can quickly become annoying. And I’m sure there are many things I do each and every day that drive other parents crazy. It’s like a rite of passage. Once you become a parent, you inevitably acquire one or two (or maybe more) habits that make you seem like a nut job. We all know it’s not our fault. We love our kids and we’re passionate about being the best parents we can be. We just get a little deranged from time to time in doing our jobs.

After chatting with some friends, I jotted down some of our favorite pet peeves. This list literally took one day to pull together which means these annoying antics are top of mind for many! I’m guessing there are more you can add to my list. Take a read, and let me know if you can relate! Read More

White Lies We Love to Tell

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

By Katie Moosbrugger

I think one of the best perks of being a parent is the ability to tell a white lie when you need to – and not feel guilty about it (at least try not to). We all tell white lies to our children, and if you say you haven’t, then you’re lying! White lies are ideal when you want to put off the truth so our kids can hold on to the magic of childhood as long as possible. Plus let’s admit: white lies come in handy when we want to teach a lesson, encourage our child to do the right thing, or let mom and dad have a break every so often.

I brainstormed my favorite white lies (from childhood and parenthood), quizzed my friends on their most memorable misstatements, compiled them all in a list below, and they’re terrific! Let us know if any of these sound familiar, or better yet, share new ones (as a comment at the end of this post) that you’ve used and can recommend to other parents!  Read More

Father's 41 Rules for Raising Twin Babies

Monday, April 14, 2014

By Guest Blogger Mike Crider, author of the blog The Father of Twins

When you find out you’re having twins, the rules change.  Heck, it’s safe to say the game changes.  If you want a glimpse of what it’s like to find out for the very first time, check out a post I wrote back before Christmas called 50th Post: The Ultrasound Story“.  It really takes your breath away and makes you re-examine everything you thought was true about the life of a future parent.

So, many crazy things happen to you when you have twins.  It’s truly remarkable to think that people go out of their way to give you special treatment, and you’ll be baffled by the fascination (and the ignorance) that people have when staring at two (or more) children that share the same birthday.  We’ve discussed some of these topics in our Twitter chat #TwinsChat (see note at end of this post), and it’s very funny to hear how other twin parents cope with the situations that arise.  Read More

No, there's no app for that......

Saturday, April 12, 2014

By Guest Blogger Heather Keenan

In a world where it seems new gadgets are invented weekly to make our daily routines easier I have found, as a mother, that there are just some things in life that still have to be done the old fashioned way, with time and lots of patience. That being said, I have discovered that I do not always excel in the patience department with my adorable, loving, strong willed two-year-old! After a particularly rough day with her I decided to take some time out to reflect on what could be done to make sure that days like those were limited. This is what I came up with.

The main issue at our house as of late is potty training. I'm not a fan of the wording, potty "training", so let's call it potty "time". While she has been using the potty for a few months now, and doing very well, she does, just like two-year-olds do, have the dreaded accident here and there. I can deal with that. Most of the time. Then there are those times where I swear she is just peeing on the floor for fun. That's where my patience issue comes into play.  Read More

I Saw This on Pinterest—Nature Scavenger Hunt!

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

By Guest Blogger Kelly Guzenhauser

I have one of THOSE kids…one who hates the great outdoors. I have begged, threatened, pushed, fussed, and forced, but he would rather stay inside than go out on even the most beautiful day. Very little can entice him to stick his nose out the door. It stinks, because as a kid the only things that could keep me inside were lunch and books. I was out, all day, in every kind of weather.

Unfortunately, I have found that many parents besides me have this problem. Lots of us have fenced yards in urban environments that cause us to limit boundless exploring. So, I have been searching on Pinterest for ideas to get my kids outside, and I realized just today that I should write about one really successful idea that I tried a while back: the Nature Scavenger Hunt. My kids love any kind of treasure hunt: Easter eggs, geocaching, inside scavenger hunts, and more.  Read More

Should We Choose Our Child’s Friends?

Monday, March 31, 2014

By Katie Moosbrugger

I ran this post on TMoM three years ago, but it's a topic I think about often as my kids get older. Let me know if you can relate! ~ Katie

Is it a good or bad idea to choose who your kids play with and make friends with? As adults we pick our own friends all the time. Sure, and our kids do too. But as parents, is it possible to pick and choose your kids’ friends? By doing so, could we help them navigate around all the mean girls and boys? Should we even try? And if so, are we just asking for trouble? Read More

A Boy and a Girl

Friday, March 28, 2014

By Guest Blogger Kristen Bagwell

Lately I have been struck by how different my kids are. I realize this is not exactly a profound thought, and actually kind of an obvious one. So let me explain.

When I was growing up, I always thought it would be perfect to have a husband, then a boy child, and a girl as the little sister. We'd live in a small house with a small yard and a window above the kitchen sink so I could watch as my strong husband lovingly tossed my kids in the air while I prepared dinner with one meat, one cooked vegetable, and a small salad to start off. Another unprofound and somewhat generic thought.  Read More

Spanking: Do You or Don't You?

Thursday, March 27, 2014

By Katie Moosbrugger

“If you stand next to the deep end one more time, you are going to time out for the rest of the day.”

That was pretty much my daily, or twice-hourly, mantra to my three-year-old son several summers ago. He absolutely loved the water (still does!) and wanted nothing else but to jump in the deep end to play with his big sister. At the time, he could go in the deep end with “swimmies” and supervision, but he constantly tested me by standing on the deep end edge hour after hour.

Sure enough one day, when my back was turned for a second, he jumped in. Luckily, I was right there to turn around and fish him out unharmed. As promised I sent him to time out, but I remember my friend saying, “You know, if you wanted to spank him, that would have been a perfect time.”

And I believe she was right. Read More

You might be a housewife if ...

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

By Guest Blogger Annah Matthews, author of Things Momma Told Me

Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. Proverbs 31:25 (ESV)

My three children have proven to me over and over again that I really have no clue what I am doing but I am humbled and blessed to be called their mama. They are great kids and I have learned the key to a happy family is keeping life in perspective and lots of laughter.

We all laugh at ourselves on a regular basis and we refuse to take life so seriously all the time. Being a full-time stay at home mom is less than glamorous and I've still not heard "Good job Mama. Keep up the hard work!" but it has given me some great perspective (and material) on my life.

I bet you’ll find yourself feeling not quite so cra-zay after reading this list compiled from my actual life. So here it goes.  Read More

Mr. Mom and Ms. Dad

Monday, March 17, 2014

By Guest Blogger Scott Rigdon, author of ThreeFiveZero blog

There was a time in America when the color of your skin determined which schools you could go to, where you sat on a city bus, and what careers you could choose, among many other things.  That time long ago passed.

There was a time in America when your gender determined whether or not you could vote, among other things.  That time long ago passed.

There is still a large part of our population that believes that only certain genders of parents can do certain things, and that some genders can’t do some things at all.  Only Dads can be little league coaches.  Only Moms can go bra and panty shopping.  Dads can’t soothe babies.  Moms can’t do their own home improvements.  I really want this time to pass. Read More

Wonder: The Book Every Kid Should Read

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

By Rachel Hoeing

"I know I'm not an ordinary ten-year-old kid. I mean, sure, I do ordinary things. I eat ice cream. I ride my bike. I play ball. I have an XBox. Stuff like that makes me ordinary. I guess. And I feel ordinary. Inside. But I know ordinary kids don't make other ordinary kids run away screaming in playgrounds. I know ordinary kids don't get stared at wherever they go.

If I found a magic lamp and I could have one wish I would wish that I had a normal face that no one ever noticed at all. I would wish that I could walk down the street without people seeing me and then doing that look-away thing. Here's what I think ... the only reason I am not ordinary is that no one else sees me that way."

These two paragraphs are the beginning of the book Wonder, which takes you into the world of August Pullman. Auggie was born with a facial deformity. He had been homeschooled the majority of his life, but now he was beginning his fifth grade year at a regular school, with regular kids. Unlike other kids, all he hoped for was to just be ordinary.  Read More

Beyond the Playground: Activities to Connect With Your Tweens and Teens

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

By TMoM Team Member Kelly Hines

I’m the mother of three kids – 13, 7, and 4. Finding things to do with the younger two is incredibly easy because little kids are enthusiastic about pretty much everything. Grocery store? Cool! Park? They could go every day! Car wash? It’s like Disney World, only with shorter lines! But finding fun stuff to do with the 13 year old has become significantly more challenging.

When our kids hit the tween and teen years, it’s tempting to start to nudge them out of the nest. They are largely self-sufficient, they don’t require round the clock supervision, and parents can be fairly sure that they won’t set anything on fire if we leave them alone for an hour. But as much as we want to push them toward independence, studies show that spending time with a parent is incredibly important for the growth and development of teens and tweens.

The question is – how?  Read More

Sticky Sitter Scenarios

Friday, February 28, 2014

By Katie Moosbrugger

Growing up, I had very few opportunities to babysit, but there was one job in particular I will never forget. I was asked to watch six kids from two different families - all under one roof.  The families were vacationing in the same beach town I lived, but I did not know them. All the kids were either toddlers or preschoolers - and as a young middle schooler myself - I remember being completely in over my head. There were diaper debacles, kids screaming and crying and running all through the house, and even one locking himself in the bathroom because he pulled the doorknob off from the inside. I don’t recall how I ever got him out, but I did, and I somehow managed to keep the kids safe as well as some semblance of order. But the biggest insult to injury came at the end… Read More

The Man I Most Want to Be

Sunday, February 16, 2014

By TMoM Team Member, Kelly Hines

I am not an excellent parent, overall.

I am, at my best, a very good parent. Above average, mostly. I think my kids would agree.

But sometimes, I see or hear or read something that makes me realize how incredibly short I fall of the mark. This week I watched a video of Fred Rogers speaking to the U.S. Senate regarding funding for PBS. This was in 1969. It is six minutes of the most compassionate, loving, and impassioned speech I have ever.

Somewhere around eighty percent of our television viewing in this house is of PBS programs. We are not freaks who don't like cable, we are cheap. But over time, we've found that in addition to being free, it's really good stuff. If I turn on Mister Rogers, my kids are quiet and focused and interested. It is not his warm voice or funny sweaters or gentleness of movement. It is not his quiet or his slowness or the fact that he never, ever, has to yell and shout and jump and sing and holler to get a child's attention. Read More

Grit and Bear It

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

By Katie Moosbrugger

Last year my daughter was struggling in math. We knew she could eventually grasp the concepts, but she was getting easily frustrated and her grades were showing it. She also had an amazing teacher who believed in her and patiently worked with her every step of the way. When it came time for a big test, we were nervous about how she’d fare. Luckily, the test was not timed, and the teacher gave my daughter as much time as she needed. She was the last one to finish, but the teacher would not let her give up until she found an answer to every problem. My daughter happened to score great on her test, but I was worried about her future performance.

Turns out, the teacher taught my daughter more than just math concepts that year. She taught her grit, which has now translated to confidence. Math is no longer something my daughter fears. It’s not her favorite subject, but she knows if she sticks with it, she will prevail. Read More

Activities to Help You Connect with your Teen/Tween

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

By TMoM Team Member, Kelly Hines

The teen and tween years can be tough for so many different reasons. One of the most difficult parts is figuring out how to communicate with your child at this age. If you can connect with them while participating in activities, chances are that the lines of communication can open up a little easier. Plus, you both may thoroughly enjoy yourselves!

By using my own experience and some recommendations from friends, I have compiled a list of activities for you to experience with your tween or teen. This list can always be found by clicking on our Directories Tab at the top of the website. As always, please comment below if you have ideas to add!  Read More

20 Lessons I Want to Teach My Daughters

Thursday, February 06, 2014

By Guest Blogger Lisa Witherspoon, author of the blog The Golden Spoons

I recently finished reading a book written by Alexandra Stoddard called Things I Want My Daughters To Know.    I originally picked up the book because, having three daughters, I feel a huge responsibility to teach them everything they need to know to become successful women since I am their primary female role model. I will take any advice or help I can get!  In the book, Stoddard lists about 55 "life lessons" she hopes to have imparted to her two daughters.  Some of the pearls I agreed with; some I did not.  However, it got my "wheels turning" as I thought about all the lessons I want to teach my own daughters.  So - you guessed it - I came up with a list.  (Not to worry - there are nowhere near 55 items on my list.)  Here are the top 20 things I hope my daughters will learn from me as they grow and mature into beautiful women, professionals, wives, and mothers. Read More

Wanna Get High?

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

By Rachel Hoeing

To My Children,

It's a scary world out there. You deal daily, even hourly with anxiety, drama, peer pressure, and more. As you get older, you will find yourself making choices that will ultimately decide the adult whom you will become.

My job is to give you roots, but also allow you to spread your wings. As you enter the tween and teen years, you think you are ready to fly but as a mom I know that some of those roots are still growing and need to have a little more stability first.

There are many things you will encounter in the tween and teen years, but the one that has been weighing heavy on my mind is drugs. It is a fact that some are deadly. I urge you to be cautious, be smart, and don't give in to peer pressure.  Read More

The ABCs of Real Fitness & Nutrition for the Entire Family

Friday, January 24, 2014

By Guest Blogger Laura Buxenbaum

With New Years just behind us, many of us are still renewing our commitment to a healthy lifestyle. This year attack the age-old lose weight and eat healthier pledge from a different perspective and make it a family resolution. Every parent knows, teaching children healthy lifestyle habits can be a challenge. But it’s not impossible – in fact, the building blocks to a healthy family can be as easy as A-B-C: Aim for Activity, Bring Back Breakfast and Choose Snacks Cautiously. Read More

Be Honest: Would You Buy These Baby Products?

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

By Katie Moosbrugger

A lot has changed in seven years since I’ve had an infant in the house! There are so many new baby products on the market that I wish I had when my kids were babies. Like a video monitor. Those were just getting popular when mine were little; now it seems like every new mom has one. Or magnetic fasteners on pajamas. Brilliant for middle-of-the-night changes! Or milk savers. Those would have saved me hours of pumping frustration!

And while it wasn’t that long ago, there are also products I used that are now considered taboo. Like the baby walker (pictured left). My daughter used our constantly (of course not near stairs!). Or Baby Einstein products. I had no idea (before writing this post) that they’ve become so controversial. I think I owned just about every DVD, and will admit my kids watched them from their little bouncy seats. Read More

Talking with Your Child About Sex

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

By Guest Blogger, Daniel Krowchuk, M.D., General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine Expert at Brenner Children’s Hospital  

It’s a fact - one third of 9th graders and two thirds of 12th graders in the US report having had sex. If you’d like your child (girl or boy) to act responsibly and make sound decisions, talking about sex is essential. Ideally, these conversations will occur as natural extensions of discussions you’ve already had about “sensitive” issues. No doubt, you will have discussed the names of body parts in early childhood, “where babies come from,” and the body changes that might occur during puberty. The fact that you talk regularly and openly with your child about all sorts of issues will provide a foundation for a discussion of sex.

It’s very likely that opportunities to discuss the subject will occur before any formal “talk.” A story in the newspaper or on television about sexually transmitted infections or teen pregnancy, or a romantic scene in a movie or on television is a perfect moment to ask what your child thinks and to offer your perspective. However, if this hasn’t happened by the age of 11 or 12 (depending on their level of maturity), it’s time. Read More

An Apology to My Brother

Saturday, January 11, 2014

By TMoM Team Member Kelly Hines, author of Southern Fried Children

My brother Mike is the father of three boys. Three boys who are very boy. I remember clearly one visit to their home, when my youngest nephew was two-ish. I spent the entire time suffering from acute anxiety as I watched the boy scale everything in sight, stand in the middle of the kitchen table and yell, and come thisclose to grave injury approximately every five minutes. It was harrowing, to say the least.

And I judged.

Katie was the kind of baby (and toddler, and child) who would keep you on your toes verbally, but would never even consider getting into, well, anything. Julia presents her own unique challenges, but I can generally turn my back on her for more than 3 seconds without disaster.

Then there's Henry. Read More

The Top 10 Best and Worst Celebrity Role Models

Friday, January 10, 2014

By Rachel Hoeing

We conducted a survey to find out who parents think are the best and worst celebrity role models for our children today. The toughest part about being in Hollywood is that you are judged by your actions in front of a camera, not always what you do in your free time. Although choosing our favorite role models may sound like parents are making judgements when they don't know a person's true character, that is exactly what we intended to do for this survey. Reason being ... your children will not take the time to research and find out that Celebrity X spent weeks feeding people at a homeless shelter. They will only see Celebrity X's video where they cursed every other word in a song and wore revealing clothing.

Celebrities are judged by the public on how they portray themselves to us. Therefore, our children see them in the same light. It is our job to teach them what actions we feel are appropriate or inappropriate within our own families and why.  These opinions will obviously vary from family to family, but we all do our best to teach our children what we feel is right.  Read More

Six Things I've Learned as a Teacher That Might Not Have Occurred to You as a Parent

Saturday, January 04, 2014

By Guest Blogger Courtney Tucker

I firmly believe that there are certain jobs in life that everyone should be able to experience for at least a day. This experience would bring a greater appreciation for what these jobs entail and would create empathy with the general public. In my personal opinion, a few of these jobs that I think we should all experience are waiting tables, health care, retail sales, armed forces, and educators. I am sure there are many others, but today, our guest blogger, Courtney, gives us a glimpse into the life of a teacher, along with a few suggestions for parents. Keep these ideas in mind as you kick off the 2014 school year! ~Rachel Read More

The Real Skinny on Body Image and Fitness for Kids

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

By Guest Bloggers Melanie A. Cole, MEd, EdD, NCC, and Barb Andresen, RD, LDN

The best gift you can give your children in teaching them about their bodies is to role model and to teach respect; respect for themselves, their bodies, as well as respect for others.

This respect comes from helping them learn to communicate with their body. Similar to teaching kids how to verbally communicate, this is a skill that can be taught and learned.

Communicating with their bodies will assist them throughout their entire life. What their body is saying, what messages the body is trying to relay and how to respond appropriately is the key to keeping ourselves safe and healthy. Responding to our bodies does not always mean responding with food.  Read More

Charting Our Daily Life

Saturday, December 28, 2013

By Guest Blogger Ashley McNeill

Who's ready to get the family organized this coming year? My family has used charts for years, and they've worked great. They usually have fun pictures and give you a great visual to head towards your goals. We had the “potty” chart and a behavior chart and everyone loves a growth chart on the wall! And over the past year we have developed our family chore chart. This has been fun and a learning experience for us all. SO, if you're ready to get organized this year, I have some great ideas.

My parents taught me a lot about saving money and how to value money and the things we earn. My brother and I have the same parents and somewhat of the same upbringing, although we are different in how we understand and save money. We have discussed as adults that the one thing they did teach us was that money does not buy us happiness and greed is not healthy! So, knowing this and believing this, how am I going to teach my children. I want them to work hard to earn money and value the things they have, yet appreciate the simple things in life every day. Here is how I am starting. Read More

American Girl Doll ~ Is it Worth it?

Friday, December 27, 2013

By Katie Moosbrugger

With the holidays just behind us, I thought I'd rerun this post from last year that stirred up comments from both sides of the argument (see end of post). Plus, you might remember this post that gives the opposite view of my post today. Whichever side you are on, I'd love to hear about it ~ especially with the season of gift giving so fresh in our minds.

Last year around Christmas, my mom called – and in a very excited tone – asked me if my daughter, Emily, would like an American Girl doll. My mom’s other granddaughter (age 10) has one and has absolutely loved it, so she thought this could be a great year for Emily to also receive one.

At first I nearly gushed about what a great gift that would be, and then I held my tongue. It’s not that I don’t like American Girl dolls. I think they are adorable and come with fantastic lessons for girls of all ages. Obviously the entire concept behind American Girl dolls is a brilliant success story.

But – from what I can tell – when you buy an American Girl doll you are not just buying a doll…you’re investing into a whole new lifestyle for your daughter. And that’s what makes me pause and wonder. Is it worth it? Read More

Teenage Drama…Or Is It Trauma?

Saturday, December 14, 2013

By Guest Blogger Regina Alexander, MSW, LCSW

Someone recently said to me, “It’s scary to be the parent of a teenager these days.” I agreed – there are so many problems that teens face and so much pressure to fit in that sometimes it seems we don’t even know our own children anymore. I think there is more to that statement, though. Adolescence has always been an intimidating stage of life, and with the advent of social media the gulf that opens up between child and parent at this point seems to be getting wider and wider. Parents see their little darlings suddenly slam doors in their faces and proclaim the activities they have always enjoyed “lame” or “stupid.” Many parents of teens hold their breath each morning to see what mood their kid is in that day, and again when school ends.  Read More

Lessons Learned While Writing Letters to Santa

Friday, December 13, 2013

By Guest Blogger Katie Bugbee

Dear Santa, I want everything in Toys R Us. Please and thank you.

That about summarizes what my 3-year old daughter would write to the jolly ol' man, while my 5-year old son agonizes over what he can give to Santa – "because he gives so much to everyone else." How can these two children be so different?!

But as we write our letters to Saint Nick this year, there are a few lessons I'll try to teach with the project. This is a great opportunity to provide some meaning behind the holiday and teach some school skills – as well as to learn what they really want. And for this project, kids seem to become a very receptive audience (it helps that there's something in it for them!).

Here are some things to go over as you help them write their letters to Santa. Read More

Understanding Read to Achieve

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

By Guest Blogger Theo Helm, Director of Marketing and Communications, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools

(From Katie) ~ A reader recently wrote to us asking if we could feature a post about "Read to Achieve" after she saw this post about the Common Core. Once again I reached out to Theo Helm to craft a Q&A on this topic. Just like last time, Theo will be on-hand to answer your questions about "Read to Achieve." Just leave your question or concern below as a comment, and then check back within 24 hours to read Theo's response.  Read More

Striving for Simplicity

Thursday, November 14, 2013

By Katie Moosbrugger

It amazes me how the simple things in life are those that tend to impress and entertain kids the most, and leave them with lasting memories.

The fact that I don’t remember any of my birthday parties is a case in point. I’m sure they were super (I’ve seen pictures!), and I’m sure my parents put a lot of effort into them (although I’m also certain most were simple parties in our own back yard). Nor do I remember many of the toys I had. While I bet I had some, I don’t recall any fancy dolls or games or gadgets. What I do remember most vividly are all the “non-events” and the silly games I played that cannot be bought in a store.

Today, it seems we (parents) are constantly trying to create memories for our kids. We organize lavish birthday parties, plan the most amazing sleepover to date, gift them with toys or electronics that steal their attention for hours, sign them up for a different extracurricular activity for every day of the week, and clutter our weekends with more events we can possibly attend. It’s like we’re taking all the creativity out of childhood. Read More

Mother 'Hood

Monday, November 11, 2013

By Guest Blogger Debbie Wilkins

~ Today I have broken up 18 fights and it’s barely noon on a Saturday.
~ Breakfast was met with an “Is this it?!” and lunch had the response of “Yuck, I don’t want this.”     
~ My house looks like I was robbed.
~ Silence is a sound I miss almost as much as sleep.
~ Violence seems to be the norm around here.
~ Toilets are never flushed.
~ I have 2 holes in walls of my home.  Both occurred by “not me.”
~ Every picture frame hangs unevenly from my kids literally shaking the house as they jump on furniture.

Can I get an amen?!  Read More

It Doesn't Matter

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

By Rachel Hoeing

Keeping things in perspective is difficult. In the heat of the moment, it is easy to get frazzled or lose your cool over many events with your children. When I look back at things that I thought were huge issues, many times, in the end ... it just didn't matter.

When you look at the big picture and the heart-breaking struggles that many families deal with, it can make you realize what is truly important.

I have listed a few things below that I have tried, and in the future will try, to keep in perspective. Please let me know if you agree! Read More

I Failed My Son’s Math Homework

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

By Guest Blogger Karen Grossman, author of the blog Mom in the Muddle

Six years of homework. But who’s counting? It started out okay, but after long kindergarten days my son discovered he really just wanted to play. He sat in his seat, behaved, and did his work at school. Did he really have to do it again at home? “I did this all day at school!” he’d growl through tears over his homework.

I couldn’t blame him. But I had to be tough. “Just do it and in ten minutes it will be over,” I’d offer. By first grade it sunk in. Ever since, he has come home and whipped through his homework at lightning speed—unless he didn’t understand something. Then the probability of a peaceful afternoon was zero. I’d calmly explain the lesson every way that I could, but it was never how the teacher explained it. I’d show him again but he wanted me to work the problem or just give him the answer. He’d squirm and whine and yell and roll on the floor and throw his pencil. Please, just give him the calculator.  Read More

Discipline: It’s All About the Heart

Thursday, October 17, 2013

By Guest Blogger Carrie Friesen, MD

We all know that discipline is important, but it is also difficult, time consuming, and easy to avoid. One of the most important goals in discipline is to “shepherd” your child’s heart, as author Ted Tripp puts it in Shepherding a Child’s Heart. In other words, I hope my response to my misbehaving child helps her at a deep, inward level in addition to correcting the outward behavior.

This involves investing our lives in our children though open and honest communication, which helps them understand themselves and the world in which they live. They need to understand not only “what” they did wrong (the external behavior), but also “why” they did it (from the inward abundance of their heart). What we do is a product of how we are on the inside. The most helpful discipline must be directed to the heart, and not just to change outward behavior. In this regard it is not punitive, or “punishment,” but rather a “disciplining” and teaching process. To do this well, you must engage your children – talk with them and learn to understand them. Read More

If I Were a Teacher Now

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

By Rachel Hoeing

I taught elementary school for eight years before I decided to stay home with my newborn son. I did not have any children when I taught, but I had that love for teaching that was within me from the time I was just a little girl. I started teaching fresh out of college and had so much energy and creative ideas that I brought into my classrooms. I loved my schools, my co-teachers, the parents and the students. I am still in touch with many of them today.

My son is now ten years old and I have a daughter who is eight. I have been away from the teaching profession for ten years, and now that I have kids of my own I often laugh at my former self as an educator. I know for a fact that if I were to go back to teaching today, things would be VERY different. Read More

Movie Reviews for Your Kids

Friday, October 11, 2013

By Rachel Hoeing

My family loves movies. We love to watch them together and I love to let the kids enjoy a good flick on their own as they enjoy some "chill out" time as well. Most parents do not have time to preview every movie before allowing their children to watch it. Even if you are watching it together, you never know when an "F Bomb" or nude scene is going to surprise you. In addition, parents have different standards about what is appropriate for their children. A PG-13 movie with some violence and adult language may be OK for one mom of a ten-year-old, while a PG with two curse words is an absolute no-go for another mom with a child the same age.

So, how do you figure out what is appropriate for your children? I have found a few websites that I think will help! If you know of additional resources, please leave us a comment below.

 Read More

The Period Talk

Sunday, October 06, 2013

By Katie Moosbrugger

I was an early bloomer. If you know me, you’ll laugh when I tell you I actually had the biggest boobs in the fifth grade. For just being 11 years old, I remember it being a pivotal year with a lot of “firsts.” It was the first time I bought a bra. The first time I had a “crush” on a boy. The first time I learned how to do a back hand-spring. And it was also the first time I got my period. Read More

Oh Yeah, Your Son is Cute, too

Sunday, September 22, 2013

By Rachel Hoeing

When baby number two comes along, everyone’s world changes. Obviously mom and dad have a huge adjustment, but what about baby number one? No matter how old this child may be, it is still somewhat of a slap in the face that there is this new crying ball of dirty diapers in the house.

Someone once told me to imagine your husband sitting down with you one day and saying, “Honey I love you very much, but I have decided to bring one more wife into the house. I will still love you, but I will love this new wife, too. Both of you will now have to share everything and I won’t get to spend as much time with you because I will have to help take care of her.” Read More

Teaching Children Right and Wrong and the Courage to Decide

Thursday, September 19, 2013

By Guest Blogger Michelle Bostian, GDS Lower School Counselor

Seventh graders Gilbert and Bob have been friends since 1st grade. Bob’s parents frequently argue and last night his father stormed out leaving his mother sobbing. Gilbert is the only one Bob has confided in about his situation at home. Today, Bob arrives at school with shadowed eyes, and Gilbert knows Bob’s father must have left again.

Later that day, a test was distributed to the students after a brief reminder about cheating. Bob anxiously stares at the paper. If he fails another test he will not pass this class. Without a word, Bob glances toward Gilbert and nods at the paper he has been staring at blankly for ten minutes. Gilbert is frozen for a moment. The words to the school’s honor code float through his mind as he notices that Bob has already copied two of his answers.  Read More

Sticky Sleepover Scenarios

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

By Katie Moosbrugger

When did we decide – as parents – that sleepovers were a good idea? Sure, the notion can sound dreamy (especially if mom and dad get the house to themselves one night), but let’s admit it: the next day can be a true nightmare for both parents and kids.

We are in full slumber party mode here at my house. Rarely a weekend goes by that I don’t get a request to have so-and-so sleep over or a call from a mom asking for my child to spend the night at their house. Don’t get me wrong...I’m not opposed to sleepovers. They can be a lot of fun and my kids love them – so we’ll continue them. But I’ve also had many conversations about how to navigate through some of the trickier sleepover scenarios that can arise. So, I thought we could use today’s post to share tips and advice with one another to ensure a happier day-after for parents and kids alike!  Read More

Should We Choose our Kids' Friends?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

By Katie Moosbrugger

My mom always said you “lose” your child once they start school. You’re not always there to steer your child through life decisions after you kiss them goodbye and send them off. You hope they play with the kids you know who are nice, but we also know that’s not always the case.

This often makes me wonder if it’s a good idea to help choose your child’s friends? As adults we pick our own friends all the time. And our kids do too. But as parents, is it possible to pick and choose your kids’ friends? By doing so, could we help them navigate around the ones we think might cause hardship? Should we even try? And if so, are we just asking for trouble? Read More

Dying Without a Will

Friday, September 06, 2013

By Guest Blogger Theodora Vapori with Rossabi Black Slaughter. P.A

New parents want to do everything right for their children. They want the best day care, best schools, best opportunities for their children. They spare little expense when it comes to planning all of these events, having the first portraits taken or signing their kids up for lessons. Why is it then that 80% of new parents do not take the time to see a lawyer and write a Will that will protect their children if they die unexpectedly?

Did you know that if you die without a Will in North Carolina, your spouse does not automatically get everything?  Read More

Back to School…When the Honeymoon Ends

Friday, August 30, 2013

By Guest Blogger Nancy Tuohy

We all know the excitement that surrounds the first day of school. New stuff, new teachers, new classmates. It’s all shiny and bright. And then, we get to day 3 and beyond….

The plain truth is not every child greets the new school year with ongoing joy. The honeymoon can end rather quickly. And then we doubt ourselves, our schools, our teachers. Something must be wrong if Suzie doesn’t want to go back on the 4th day of school, right?

Guess what….this is totally normal.

We live in a time where we as parents pressure ourselves to create and maintain a stress-free, pain-free, success-oriented world for our kids.  Read More

A Glimpse into the Life of a Single Parent

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

By Guest Blogger Suzy Fielders

Being a single parent is one of the hardest yet most gratifying things a person can do in life. This is best summed up in the simple statement; a single parent has to be both the mother and father. I can attest to this as I am a single parent myself of my six year old daughter Sarah. Just like with any other parent there has been laughter and tears, good and bad times, and everything in between, but the difference is it is doubled by two because of this dual role of being the only parent figure.

The most challenging thing about being a single parent is you have to make every decision on your own and are solely accountable for that decision. Couples have the opportunity to talk with each other about all parenting matters whether it is a medical issue, what school to send the child to or even the best rewards and punishments. Single parents do not have this. While they can discuss all of these items with family and friends when it comes down to it they ultimately have to face and decide everything for their child alone.  Read More

Homework - To Help or Not To Help

Monday, August 26, 2013

By Rachel Hoeing

I compiled this post a few years ago and thought it was the perfect time to run it again.  For parents with children of all ages, homework brings about a lot of questions. Some parents feel that when they don’t help their child, they are not involved enough in their schoolwork. Others feel that if they help too much, they are not teaching their child how to be responsible.

I asked teachers from all different grade levels to please give us advice on how to handle homework with our children. These are just a few opinions from teachers that I highly respect. Most importantly, please remember that any decision such as this one should be based on the individual child. You know your children best and you also know what may hinder or help them. Read the advice below and use what you can! Thanks so much to all these wonderful teachers for taking time to give us their “two cents”! Read More

Fatherly Fridays ~ "Being Enough"

Friday, August 23, 2013

By Guest Blogger James Raper

Before reading, check out this video first. First, it’s just funny. Second, it just might be relevant to the rest of this post.

For my day job I’m a therapist at a university. That means that much of my time is spent working with college students who are seeking support/help/consultation for a wide range of issues – from a relationship break-up, to relatively severe mental health concerns, to everything in between. Our campus has a large portion of very high achieving students, and with high achievement also often comes perfectionism. For some of these students, getting a 93 on an Organic Chemistry exam truly feels like “failure” and is a sure sign that they will no longer be able to go to medical school (and if they don’t go to medical school, they are failures as people).  Read More

Back to School Advice to Parents from Kids

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

By Rachel Hoeing

Sometimes I think we make parenting too difficult.

Every once in a while I hear something come out of the mouths of my children and I think, "Brilliant! Why didn't I think of that?" Their ideas are so simple, yet entail so much common sense.

As a new school year begins, I thought we could all use some words of wisdom from the children and teens in our lives. I asked students, "How can your mom and dad help you to be successful school this year?" Their answers are below. Read them, digest them, share them, and put them to use! Sometimes children can teach us just as much as we teach them.  Read More

Fatherly Fridays ~ "Don't Stop Dreaming"

Friday, August 16, 2013

By Guest Blogger Busta Brown

I've noticed recently that my son's conversations have been very limited to sports, entertainment, and material things. Cameron and Corey are awesome sons and I wouldn't trade them for anything. I love them dudes, but like a lot of teens, their conversations are very limited to..."Lebron this," "Kobe that," "Lil Wayne's new song is not hot," "fancy SUV's that," "fancy cars this," "big houses that," "Did you see the latest funny youtube," etc.

They also tell me something they've heard without researching it for themselves and it misleads me and others. In most cases the stories were false, and that's not cool. I asked my sons from here on to always research anything they hear, write it down, and then share. Not gossip, but share good positive and uplifting conversations.
 Read More

Father Fridays ~ "The Tiny Terrorist and Toddling Dictator"

Friday, August 02, 2013

By Guest Blogger Bryan Timmons

You read that title right, our house is run by a tiny terrorist and a toddling dictator. And oddly enough, I kind of love it.

Avett (22 months) is a great kid and a wonderful big brother. Stone (6 weeks) is quickly adjusting to a somewhat structured life on the outside, but I keep it real around here and there aren't unicorn pellets in their diapers, and things aren't roses and rainbows ALL of the time.

Case in point... Read More

Fatherly Fridays ~ "I've Bought 6 Wedding Dresses"

Friday, July 26, 2013

By Guest Blogger Teddy Burriss

I bought my first wedding dress in 1978. It is the most beautiful wedding dress I have ever seen. It was far more beautiful because my bride was wearing it during my first wedding. I still have this dress in my closet and periodically I open the case it's in just to see it.

I bought my next wedding dress in 2000. This dress was just as beautiful as my first one. I don't remember the conversations about this dress, just that we bought it. I shed a small tear or two and was a little choked up standing beside my oldest daughter who wore this dress as she married my first son-in-law. I love this dress as much as I love my first one. Read More

Documenting a Moment Versus Living IN a Moment

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

By Guest Blogger Jessie Peele, author of Cupcakes and Running Shoes

I would be embarrassed to admit the number of pictures I’ve taken of my daughter Cameron since the day she was born.

Hi, my name is Jessie, and I am a picture-taking addict.

I know I have a problem. I know I take too many pictures. Truth is, you’ll rarely see me without my phone in my hand. And it’s not because I’m browsing Facebook or Instagram – it’s because my kid is so darn cute and I want to make sure I’m always ready to snap a picture in every instance of cuteness, and the shutter speed on the iPhone camera is pretty darn good (and as the mamas out there know, shutter speed is key when playing mamarazzi). Read More

What's the Best Age to Have Kids?

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

By Katie Moosbrugger

Have you ever wondered what's the best age to start having kids? I recently entered a new decade in my life and I catch myself calculating how old (or young!) I will be when my children start high school, or graduate from college, possibly get married, or yikes - I become a grandmother!

I think there are a lot of pros and cons for having kids earlier - and - later in life.  Of course we can't always plan what age we will be when we have kids, but I can definitely see God's logic behind younger childbearing years. But I also think there are lots of perks to starting a family later on. For the sake of discussion, I'll share my thoughts if you'll share yours in the comments below. And tell us which team you play on - the "earlier in life" or the "later in life" crew! Read More

Fatherly Fridays ~ "Oh So Very Wrong"

Friday, July 19, 2013

By Guest Blogger Jon Lowder

The role of dads in modern America has shifted dramatically over the last couple of generations. When my parents were married in the early 60s the expectations for most couples were pretty simple: they’d get married not long after getting out of school , start popping kids out and the dad would work while the mom stayed home and ran the household. Then in the early 70s those folks started divorcing at an unheard of rate, the moms entered the workforce in droves and by the time their children started getting married in the 80s and 90s the expectations for moms and dads weren’t quite so clear. That change is reflected in recent polls that show dads are taking on a greater share of household duties and an increasing number of moms – roughly 40% - are the primary breadwinners in their households.

So yes, times have changed and dad’s role in the household has shifted, but what hasn’t changed is that when the chips are down, and a decision has to be made that affects the children, mom’s always right. Even when she’s wrong, she’s right. Whether it’s deciding which doctor to visit or which shirt should be worn to the school play, if mom and dad don’t agree you can bet your bottom dollar that the kid’s going to end up at mom’s doctor and wearing mom’s shirt. Read More

Start Talking, Stop Blaming

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

By Guest Blogger Tracy Roche, Prevention Consultant at Alcohol & Drug Services

As many may know, Glee actor Cory Monteith, passed away this weekend from a suspected overdose. Social media was flooded with sympathy, beautiful thoughts, and prayers for friends and family. There were also insensitive comments like, “if it was a drug overdose, he only did it to himself.”

Responses such as this date back to the time when we thought addiction was due to a lack of willpower or a moral defect. Now, science is teaching us that addiction is a brain disease. Its “symptoms” shown through behavior.

The earlier teens start to experiment, the more likely they are to have problems later in life. Monteith started using drugs at age 13 and entered rehab for the first time at 19. He was open and honest about his past struggles with addiction. By all accounts, Cory was committed to his career, loved ones, and living drug free. Recently, he successfully completed another round of drug treatment. No one saw this coming.  Read More

Nature Saves the Day

Saturday, July 13, 2013

By Guest Blogger Lynne Dardanell

Like many of you, our family experienced the ups and downs of a holiday weekend caused by rain showers, constant teasing by the sun, more rain showers, then storms, then a glimpse of dry weather – only to be fooled again by more rain. No sooner did we wipe the water from our deck furniture in preparation for the evening’s activities on July 4th then the weather gods played a cruel trick on us and unleashed another deluge of rain. At one point when the sun came out, I almost felt it worthy of a Facebook post, or rather, plea … “Quick, go outside, grill a burger, set off a firework” … but I didn’t want to waste precious seconds doing so. Read More

Fatherly Fridays ~ "Tolerance"

Friday, July 12, 2013

By Guest Blogger James Raper

Full disclosure: This is my first ever blog post. I mean I put myself out there on Facebook and everything, but this feels like a whole other animal. Be gentle.

I’ve been thinking of a few different “dad” related things to write about ever since my lovely wife gently and not-so-subtly suggested I submit something to TMoM. Do I write something focused solely on my own kids (too personal)? Or do I share something influenced by my perspective as a therapist (big fear of coming across as patronizing here)? Honestly, I’ve been a bit flummoxed. So I decided to write about something that every parent is intimately familiar with: anxiety. Read More

How Do You Find a Safe Pen Pal?

Thursday, July 11, 2013

By Katie Moosbrugger

I ran this post last year and received a couple of requests for pen pals, as well as ideas for finding pen pals (see past comments below.) Thought it would be fun to re-run this post to see if anyone has connected or wants to add their email addresses to the pen pal request list.

When I was really young (like first or second grade), I remember my mom barging into my room with an envelope in her hand demanding to know why a grown man from Maryland was writing me a personal letter.

I was clueless and my mom was horrified. I don’t even think I knew where Maryland was at the time - let alone know someone from this mysterious place! After she opened the letter it all made sense.

Turns out he was responding to a short message I wrote weeks earlier – addressed to no one in particular – saying I was seeking a pen pal. I had stuffed the letter in a glass bottle, screwed on a top, and threw it in the Little Egg Harbor Bay behind my grandparents’ beach house in New Jersey. Read More

How Old Is Too Old?

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

By Rachel Hoeing

This blog originally ran a few years ago. We had an amazing response with comments from readers and thought it was time to run this again. For those who chimed in years ago, maybe your viewpoints have changed! And for those who are reading this for the first time, please comment on as many topics as possible and get the discussion rolling! ~Rachel

My first child was a boy, so since he was born, I have always taken him into the Ladies’ Restroom with me when we are out in public. He just turned six, and I guess I got so used to doing this that it never really crossed my mind that there would come a point when he would need to go into the Men’s Room alone. My family went out for dinner a few months ago, and when I got up to use the restroom my son said he had to go as well, so we trotted off together to the ladies room. When we got back my husband immediately said, “You can’t do that anymore! He is way too old to be in there with you!” For the first time I had to stop and think, “How old is too old?”  Read More

Fatherly Fridays ~ "Programmer Preschool"

Friday, July 05, 2013

By Guest Blogger Scott Rigdon

I find that, as a 40-something Gamer, parents’ eyes quickly glaze over when I start talking about my gaming prowess, or for that matter, the gaming accomplishments of my children. I’m here to tell you that if you choose your games wisely, they could school your children for a very bright future in technology. In fact, I’m a little disappointed that Little Big Planet 2 hasn’t made its way into STEM programs yet. Undoubtedly, it, or something like it, one day will.

It all started in 2009, when Santa brought us a Playstation 3. Any child (or adult of any age) who can hold a video game controller can quickly learn to play Little Big Planet. Santa brought us that game because it’s a fun, family-friendly game where up to 4 players can play cooperatively. You start in training levels, and work your way all the way through the story, at which point you are tossed into the world of ‘Create Mode’. This is where your child’s Programmer Preschooling begins.  Read More

Blast from the Past

Thursday, July 04, 2013

By Katie Moosbrugger and Rachel Hoeing

Remember the days when your mom would open the back door and say, “Go play outside and I don’t want to see you around for the next hour.” When I think of that, I crack up because I could not imagine saying those words today. But back then, I gladly left the house (as young as five years old) and would walk as far as a quarter mile to my best friend’s house down the street. Back then no one had fenced-in yards, hardly anyone had play sets (maybe a tree fort if they were lucky), our parents rarely signed us up for organized sports until we were at least middle school age, we never played video games (that is until my older brother got Atari – but then again he never let me play it anyhow).. and all the while I managed to have a pretty incredible childhood! Imagine that!

So before this summer is over, I thought it would be fun to relive the games we used to play growing up – games now that are considered “classic,” or “old-fashioned” and don’t involve electricity, activity fees, or hundreds of dollars at the local toy store! Read More

Oh. Hi Summer. You're Back. (*heavy sarcasm*)

Saturday, June 29, 2013

By Guest Blogger Thea DeLoreto, author of the blog The Lint Trap

Ah, summer vacation. I see you are back, you Minx. I know you are all popular and everyone loves you. I get it. You are all hot and steamy and fun with your sunshine and your maxi dresses. But like every great super have your faults. Like no school. And lots of sweating. And lots of hours of to fill with entertaining a two year old. You roll in and get everyone worked up into a lather and we are all excited for pool time and beach trips and tans. But then you stick around. And a few weeks in, we are all just sitting around, staring at our kids, remembering why we heart Winter so much.  Read More

Fatherly Fridays ~ "5 Parenting Tips from a Seasoned Dad"

Friday, June 28, 2013

By Guest Blogger Kim Williams

Would you like to know what your children will think about your parenting in 10 years? I know.

My wife and I have four children, three girls, one boy – two hers, two mine – all from previous marriages. They are all four healthy, employed and not living in our house. Yes, I am the most successful Dad on the planet. Last month, in the time between Mother’s day and Father’s Day (also known as the demilitarized parental zone), I wrote an email to the children and asked the question:

“What are 3 things you (or someone you know – wink, wink) wish your 'dad' had talked more about or helped you with? What in your growing up years would you wish more of from your dad? Oh, and I need this by Friday!”

Here are their responses, along with my commentary. Read More

Fatherly Fridays ~ "Ten Easy Ways Dads can be More Involved with Their Kids"

Friday, June 21, 2013

By Guest Blogger Travis Finn

1) Wake them up in the morning.
Get their day started on the right foot! We play Disney Classics on my Phone through Pandora and we have sing-alongs while we get dressed, make beds and brush teeth...ALL TEAMWORK!

2) Eat meals with your kids.
Cook Breakfast with them on the weekends and let them help. Visit their school during lunch - Want to look like a Super hero? Sit at a table full of Kindergartners! Your kid will reap the benefits the rest of the day from her classmates talking about what a "Cool Dad" she has! Read More

Cheers to Dads!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

By Guest Blogger Jessie Peele, author of Cupcakes and Running Shoes

The other afternoon my husband and daughter were on the back porch playing while I got dinner ready in the kitchen. I heard Cameron giggling uncontrollably, and I smiled and chopped some vegetables and thought, “Ahhhh, perfection.” And as her giggling continued to travel even deeper into her belly, I decided to find out what was so funny.

I leaned over and peaked out the window and saw my husband teaching Cameron how to go down the slide headfirst into a homemade ball pit.

I took a deep breath, counted to ten, then asked him to come inside for a minute. I must have had “the look” on my face.

“What?!” he said, with the hint of a smile.

“Babe…” I said, while trying to project an are-you-SERIOUS look.

And in that moment I realized us Mamas and Dadas – well, we’re just different. Read More

Fatherly Fridays

Friday, June 14, 2013

By Rachel Hoeing

Happy early Father's Day! It's a perfect weekend to introduce a new blog series on TMoM. This summer we are searching for a different perspective on parenting and we are hoping to get that perspective from local dads!

Every Friday this summer we will feature "Fatherly Fridays" which will include a post from a local dad. These posts may be humorous, insightful, factual, random ramblings, advice-filled  ... the sky is the limit.

If you are a dad or know a dad who has something to share, please email us! We can chat with him about blogging for us and help him come up with a specific topic if he needs help narrowing it down. He does not need to be a writer, so please be assured that we can help edit if needed. Read More

Why It’s Cool to be a Soccer Mom

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

By Katie Moosbrugger

I am a member of a team, and I rely on the team, I defer to it and sacrifice for it, because the team, not the individual, is the ultimate champion. ~ Mia Hamm

There are few sports that can let you be a superstar on the playing field like soccer. It doesn’t matter what size you are, how tall you are, how confident or shy you are, how much you love or hate to run, or how athletic or clumsy you are – chances are good there is a position that will let you shine. That’s because the greatest lesson learned - in just one season of the game - is teamwork. A soccer player is only as good as its team, and vice versa.

Growing up, I played soccer every season for over six years and it’s made for many of my fondest childhood friends and memories. Today as a parent, I would be honored to call myself a “soccer mom” because of all the experiences and that my child could gain. If you feel the same way, enrolling in a program with Greensboro United Soccer Association (GUSA) is a great start, and now is the perfect time. Read More


Wednesday, June 05, 2013

By Guest Blogger Jessie Peele, author of Cupcakes and Running Shoes


Raising a toddler is starting to feel like that 4th of July contest they used to do at my neighborhood swimming pool – the one where they grease a watermelon and toss it into the deep end, and the first person who can dive down, retrieve said watermelon, and successfully swim up to the surface and put it on the edge of the pool wins a pack of Now & Laters or something.

It’s hard. It’s entertaining. It’s frustrating.

Toddlers are magical, wild, curious little beings. Beings whose emotions turn on a dime. Beings who have more willpower than is humanly possible. Beings whose lives seem to be over if you put Cheerios in their snack cup instead of raisins. Beings who will all of a sudden scream with absolute, unexplained terror during bath time when, just 24 hours earlier, they splished and splashed to their heart’s content. Read More

Clever Ways to Get the Kids to Behave

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

By Katie Moosbrugger 

It’s a crazy phenomenon. At the start of every summer my children transform from being (somewhat) well-behaved creatures who follow a regular routine to nutty little beings who want to defy schedules and rules of discipline. It’s like the end-of-school dismissal bell is an opening bell for an all-out, summer-long boxing match that takes place in my house, in the car, at the pool - and just about every where my kids seem to spend more than five minutes together.

I’m pretty sure this happens in other homes too, which is why I thought it would be fun to research creative ways to curb the quarreling. Here are some fun tactics I plan to try at home this summer: Read More

99 Ways to Reply to "I'm Bored"

Monday, June 03, 2013

By Rachel Hoeing

By the end of next week, the majority of schools in the Triad will officially be out for summer! We know your kids are looking forward to camps, beach trips, days at the pool, and vacations. But what about the days in between those events? As moms, we love nothing more than a day with no agenda, but we all know that those days usually result in numerous "I'm bored" statements from your kiddos.

I think one of the best learning lessons is to allow your children to be bored. Boredom sparks creativity and ingenuity. But you all know as well as I do that the spark can die out quickly. Some kids just need a jump start to get the fun activities rolling.

That is where today's blog comes in. I asked moms and dads what their favorite summer memories were when they were younger. I asked for things that they did in or around the house. I have compiled the list below for you to keep on hand, print out, bookmark, whatever. The first time your children say, "I'm bored" or "I don't know what to do" you can give a suggestion off this list. Hopefully they will find something that sounds appealing, and if not, lucky for you - we've got our blog on "50 Activities for A Never Be Bored Summer in the Triad" which includes plenty of activities and explorations that you can enjoy AWAY from home! Read More

20 Things Every Mom Should Know

Sunday, June 02, 2013

By Guest Blogger Charlotte Bowman with Muscogee Moms

Last year, Rachel and I met Charlotte Bowman of Muscogee Moms (in Georgia) at a Chick-fil-A sponsored blogger meet-and-greet, and since then, we’ve been following each others' sites. Today we are featuring a cute post from her blog that we know all moms can relate to. If you have friends in family near Columbus, GA, encourage them to log on and follow Muscogee Moms! ~ Katie

Most of parenting is learn-as-you-go, but there are some things every mom should know. Read on for some hilarious tips from Muscogee Mom's Facebook fans that will make your life as a parent a little bit easier. Read More

Peer Pressure

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

By Katie Moosbrugger

You know how we're always researching articles, blogs and how-to manuals to help us become the best parent we can be? Well guess what? I'm here to say we're all doing a darn good job...we just don't know it yet! I say this because I am that person who is constantly searching, "Googling," and asking TMoM readers and guest bloggers for their advice, perspective and guidance on some heavy parenting topics. But a little something happened last year that made me step back and say, "Whoa. I think we're going to be alright. At least for now."

The little something I'm referring to is peer pressure and my then-second-grade daughter. At the time, "peer pressure" wasn't even in my mom vocabulary. The thought of researching expert advice on that topic never crossed my mind. Peer pressure and my seven-year-old daughter? No way - that's not something I needed to worry about, right?  Read More

Celebrating Memorial Day

Monday, May 27, 2013

By Rachel Hoeing

Rarely do we hear the words "Memorial Day" without being followed by the words, "sale" or "cookout."  Although I am happy to partake in either of those events, I am hoping I can teach my kids that Memorial Day is more than just a day off school or work.

I think it is fairly simple to explain to them that "memorial" is a way to remember. Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving in the military forces of the USA. Whether it be fortunate or unfortunate, many children have no clue about the men and women who protect our country on a daily basis. This is a great time to share with them our respect for these individuals as well as the ones who have lost their lives.  Read More

Your Dogs Need Mosquito Protection, Too

Saturday, May 25, 2013

By Guest Blogger Hugh Jones, Mosquito Squad of the Triad

Mosquito Squad's treatment is great for your family and pets Mosquito Squad's treatment is great for your family and pets!

When it comes to mosquito protection, rest assured that Mosquito Squad will help provide your family and pets a safe environment free from those pesky and dangerous insects! Not only do mosquitoes pose a danger to humans through the transmission of Malaria, Dengue Fever, and West Nile Virus, but mosquitoes can be very dangerous to dogs. Mosquitoes are carriers of heartworms, which can be fatal for our four-legged friends.

Heartworm is a nasty disease common in canines, caused by a nematode (roundworm). The adult worms live primarily in the heart and large vessels of the lungs of dogs. In heavy infestations, the worms migrate up the pulmonary artery and clog the blood vessels of the lungs. The results are loss of body weight, dropsy, chronic cough, shortness of breath, muscular weakness, disturbances of vision, chronic heart failure, and eventual death.   Read More

What Are the Best Summer Jobs for Kids?

Friday, May 24, 2013

By Katie Moosbrugger

Short order cook. Monogrammed bracelet maker. Candy store operator. Homemade fudge shop cashier. Lifeguard. Beach badge checker. Busgirl. Entrée runner. Waitress.

Those were just a few of my summer “titles” growing up at the Jersey shore. No matter how silly the title or insignificant the job, I cherished them all the same. Every year I became obsessed with finding the coolest, most fun, best paying job a person my age could have. While my “careers” may have been short-lived, the lessons learned have stayed with me for years.

If you have a tween or teen looking for that perfect summer gig – or if your child just landed his dream summer stint – this post is for you. We’ve had a few readers ask for tips on finding summer jobs for teens and tweens. Where do you look? When do you start looking? Who is hiring? What are the best summer jobs for kids? What kinds of jobs should kids avoid? If you can help answer these questions, please leave a comment below. Read More

What Parents of Daughters Want You to Teach Your Sons

Sunday, May 19, 2013

By Guest Blogger Lisa Witherspoon, author of the blog The Golden Spoons

I had a conversation once with some amazing women about how growing up - and, therefore, parenting - is different today from how it was when we were young. Kids are introduced to so many things earlier these days - things like alcohol and sex. Part of our conversation also included discussing some of the ways that raising boys is different from raising girls. 

With one mom/friend in particular, I was discussing the double standard that still exists regarding "intimate relations." Among boys, it is still an accomplishment; something to be proud of with few consequences. For girls though, it is the opposite. Promiscuous girls are insulted, disgraced and, often, the consequences can be life-altering - like teen pregnancy. She said she wanted to teach her sons differently - she wants them to understand that there is not honor in that kind of behavior - for boys or girls. I admire her tremendously for that. More importantly, as a mom with three daughters, I thank her for that so very, very much.  Read More

Never Say Never

Friday, May 17, 2013

By Katie Moosbrugger

When you were a new or expecting parent, did you ever say, "I will never do blah, blah, blah" ...and now look back on that comment and laugh? Are you like, "Yea, that was brilliant. What was I thinking?" Or did you actually have some smart parenting idea that got away from you - thanks to life being busy, parenting being stressful...and just have other  things on your plate right now?

I'm sure just about every parent can think of at least one or two brilliant things they said they'd never do or swore they'd always do. And if you personally can't think of any, I'm sure you've overheard friends or relatives say some pretty lofty things!

Let's share these crazy ideas and comments with each other. I'll start with a couple of my own as well as comments I've overheard others say. I also reached out to some loyal TMoM readers to share their "nevers" with us as well. At the end of today's post, share yours! Read More

What’s Next After Your Child’s Graduation?

Saturday, May 11, 2013

By Guest Blogger, Donna Fiori

When I was first approached about writing a blog for moms of seniors in high school, I first thought of writing about the whole process of helping your student decide the best direction for them and all that is involved. After much thought, I decided to take a different approach and talk to you about what happens to us, the moms, when our children decide to leave the nest and move on to their next stage in life.

There are numerous resources available to the parents of high school seniors that will enable them to get on the right track for the proceeding years. However, one thing they don’t prepare us for is the day our children actually leave home. We all get that large lump in our throats just thinking about it, watching them walk across the stage on graduation day and then all the preparation for the move day in August. Read More

Why I Love Swim Team

Friday, May 10, 2013

By Rachel Hoeing

Summer swim team season begins for most swim clubs in the next few weeks. I know it seems a little cold and I am sure many kids will have purple toes when they climb out of the water, but they will eventually have a wonderful time! If your child is participating in swim team this year – BRAVO! If you are still contemplating, I say do it! Here’s why…

When my family moved to Charlotte over thirty years ago, our neighborhood did not have a pool, so we spent our first two summers running through the sprinkler and playing “Nestea Plunge” by pouring buckets of water on ourselves in the driveway. Ahhh, the memories! By the time I turned eight, our neighborhood pool opened, and my mom was one of the women who got an official swim team up and running. (Kind of ironic as I look back now, considering she never knew how to swim until I taught her a few years ago!) We only had about 60 kids on our team at good old Sardis Forest, and we looked pretty pitiful because we had no swim caps or goggles. Our diving blocks were hand-made by my dad, and no one had any clue what they were doing, but we were pumped up! We lost every single swim meet that year and I think the next year as well, but none of that mattered.  Read More

What Will Be Your Children's Best Memories?

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

By Rachel Hoeing

I was fortunate enough to live a very happy childhood. I want to create the same atmosphere for my children and I know most of you probably have the same goal. You strive each day to be the best mom you can be and do your very best to create a memorable and happy childhood for your kids, but my message today is that the creation of this happy childhood may not be as difficult as it may seem.

When I look back on it, I don't think I would change a thing about my upbringing. I get a smile on my face when I think of some of my best memories. Of course we took many exciting trips to the beach, Disney World, and even Hawaii. I also had wonderful birthday parties, and got (mostly) everything on my list to Santa each year, but those aren't the memories that I cherish the most.  Read More

We're Not Just Being Overprotective

Monday, May 06, 2013

By Guest Blogger Megan Crisci

Have you ever been attending a social gathering revolving around children, such as a birthday party or school Christmas party and witnessed what some might categorize as a “helicopter” or “overprotective” mom meticulously monitoring every tiny piece of food that goes into her child’s mouth? Have you ever thought to yourself “Yikes, that woman needs to relax; this is a party after all?" Maybe you have or maybe you haven’t. Maybe “that” mom is a mom who simply wants healthier choices when it comes to the foods their child eats or maybe “that” mom is the mom of a child with a food allergy. Both types of moms are simply doing what they feel is the best way for their child to nourish their bodies but for the mom of a child with a food allergy it is more about keeping their child safe from food that will do nothing but bring their tiny bodies harm.

I am the mom of two daughters with newly diagnosed food allergies. My daughters are now living with Celiac Disease. They both suffer horribly when they ingest gluten. Maybe you have noticed all of the gluten free products and foods when you are making your way through the grocery store aisles and have wondered if this is just a new trendy way of eating or dieting. Maybe to some people that is exactly what gluten free eating is. A trend. But for people like my daughters and myself, eating gluten free is way of life. A way to keep from getting sick. A way to live “normally”. Yes, I have Celiac Disease too. Read More

This Little Light of Mine

Sunday, April 28, 2013

By Kristen Bagwell, Triangle Moms on Main

I'm not much for watching the news. Like, ever. When I do, I usually think to myself "oh, right, they should have named this the Bad News" because every headliner is about something negative.

The past couple weeks have highlighted that truth times a gazillion, and ended with me quietly sobbing into my popcorn on Sunday night while I watched my daughter dance to a Fresh Beat Band Special. 

It makes me want to hide. For a really long time. Yet among the sadness, there was some good. I posted a quote on facebook about finding the helpers when things go awry (thanks Mr. Rogers), and slowly but surely those stories started to emerge. There was a man who helped a terrified marathoner calm down and get to safety, and in the midst of the chaos, asked her whether she'd finished the race. When she said no, he took the medal from his neck and put it around hers, and stayed with her until she'd been reunited with her people. How about the heroes who put themselves at risk to help those injured to safety? Or the countless residents of Boston who took dozens of strangers into their own homes to ensure they would be out of harm's way while the dust settled...for every story like this that we've heard, there must be five or ten that we haven't.  Read More

On Being a Mom

Monday, April 22, 2013

By Guest Blogger Jai Wallace Tracy

Sometimes I think Facebook is the worst thing to have happened to a mom. Well, Facebook and smart phones.

Think about it. Because of these two inventions, you can now get a look at the life of every mom you call "friend." AND it's all delivered instantly right to your phone. Now moms have a front-row seat to all the cookie-baking and paint projects and plenty of time to judge their own mothering skills against such. We see the handmade paper chains decorating the Christmas tree across town, and suddenly our own Target ornaments seem way too trite. The next thing you know, we're freaked out that our own kids are going to become resentful of the handmade-ornament kids, join a ornament-hating gang, rob a Hallmark store and end up in jail serving 5 to 10. So Target mom says to ornament mom, "Why can't you just take it down a notch????"

But it goes the other way, too. Ornament mom looks at Target mom with raised eyebrow and says, "Can't you up your game just a bit?" Read More

The Family Bathroom

Saturday, April 20, 2013

By Thea DeLoreto, author of The Lint Trap

How many bathrooms do you have? We have one. Uno. A single tinkletorium. We live in a cute little bungalow that was built in the twenties and apparently flappers and dandies and mobsters were not well versed in the art of hydration beyond their moonshine and therefore did very little of the weeing. I am sure it had nothing to do with how expensive toilets and bathtubs were. Because we choose to live in a house that we love, in a neighborhood we love, we also have to deal with a few ugly truths. I feel it is only right that I share so others will understand. With great crown molding comes great responsibility.

I have advice for all those families who have at least two or more members and are looking at a house with one bathroom. It is doable, but you gotta know what you are getting into. Don't shudder and stop here because you don't want to to know. You need to know. Please, you have to understand. Dear must be prepared.  Read More

Whatcha Think ~ Kids on Leashes

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

By Katie Moosbrugger

Now here is a topic I'm torn on. I'm not sure if I'm in favor of this idea, totally appalled, or if I fall somewhere in between. Like me, I'm sure you've seen plenty of parents keeping their child close by using a child leash or a monkey harness or a kid keeper - or whatever you may call it. I recently took a trip where I traveled through a couple of airports and stayed at a busy resort hotel. It seemed every time I turned around I saw a child tethered to one of these.

I completely get the concept. I remember when my kids were toddlers and I could barely get them to sit still in a stroller for longer than 10 minutes. Hustling young kids like this through busy airports, hotels, parks, malls and other crowded areas can be a nightmare. Even today I get paranoid taking my nine-year-old and six-year-old into congested areas without them holding my hand or me keeping a constant eye on their every move. But I've never considered using a leash. Read More

Newborn to Three – What a Ride!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

By Dr. Susan Hunsinger, MD, of Advance Pediatrics

A child’s first three years of life is an incredible journey for both the child and parents, as this is the most dramatic period of growth in life. The average newborn is 7 lbs at birth, 20 inches long and has a head circumference of 13 inches.  By six months of age, birth weight will double. At one year, birth weight will have tripled. At two years old, a baby will have quadrupled her birth weight. To put it in perspective, by the time a child is two years old, she is half of her adult height!

Early on, babies recognize voices, focus their eyes, and develop bonds of love and trust.This will be the foundation of the learning process. Their little brains (filled with 100 billion brain cells at birth) will start making billions of connections between cells, called synapses, as they experience the world around them. These connections become the basis for how the child thinks and behaves.  Read More

Guess Who Moved Into the Neighborhood?

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

By Katie Moosbrugger

What would you do if a known sex offender moved into your neighborhood? That happened recently to someone I know here in the Triad. She and her family moved across town a few years ago into a neighborhood they’ve always aspired to be a part of – one filled with lots of kids, great neighbors, nice homes, manicured lawns, and one that’s part of a great school zone. And while they are mindful of keeping an eye on their kids playing outside, one of the last things they thought they’d have to worry about is a convicted felon living down the street.

It doesn’t matter that her neighborhood is within one mile of a school and a church and ball fields - or that the offender doesn’t own the house he’s living in – or that he is staying in a house right next to a busy school bus stop – or that he moved across state lines after his conviction. According to the law, none of that matters when an offender moves in with a relative - which is the case for my friend. In fact, he’s welcome to stay as long as he wants. Even the entire 10 years he is on probation for his offense, or longer. Lucky guy. Read More

To Homeschool or Not

Monday, April 08, 2013

By Guest Blogger Katherine Graham

I have a fabulous kid that is miserable in his current educational setting. He attends an excellent school with great teachers. He has all that a public education can offer and I don't think it is what works for him. The pickle about it all is that I am a huge advocate for public education and the right of every child to have access to a free and public education! I attended public schools myself and worked as a special educator in various public schools as well. The plan was for my kids to attend public schools.

So, why am I thinking about homeschooling for my family?

I began this reflection of my family's education from a concerned mother's perspective. I have three kids. One of which is a very active 2nd grade boy who "checks out" when he is not engaged. He is now the proud bearer of the label ADHD because we had enough meetings about how he doesn't focus and he does not complete his work ,that we pursued private testing. Interestingly, even with all of this inattentiveness, he has remained at or above grade level. He also demonstrates the ability to complete his academic requirements at home when he is allowed to take breaks and to regulate the time intervals in which he works.  Read More

The SAHM: A Dying Breed?

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

By Allison Carter of Triangle Moms on Main

I am a stay-at-home mom ("SAHM") to 2 boys, and I love what I do. I worked professionally for years and loved my job. But it was on a dead-end track so when we found out we were pregnant with our first son, my husband and I decided it made sense for me to stay at home for awhile. We would save costs on daycare, I could keep teaching exercise for a little income, and in the meantime I could take some enrichment classes or otherwise reassess and change my career path trajectory.

Yet there are many days where I think about work, and miss it. A college-educated woman who is ambitious occasionally needs more than Thomas the Tank Engine to keep her fulfilled. This is an issue I love to discuss with my other SAHM friends. Yet I have to tell you, there aren't many these days. Couple that with the observation that on my recent trip (which I talked about yesterday) I realized that out of ALL the friends I saw I was the only SAHM in the whole bunch. I can't help but wonder: is the SAHM a dying breed? Read More

Out With the Old…

Sunday, March 24, 2013

By Guest Blogger Tracy Roche, Prevention Consultant, Alcohol & Drug Services, High Point

Pledge to invest in the future of our youth and community. We are strong but we can’t afford to sit back and let others take the initiative. Medicines are helpful and safe when used the right way. For teens that want to get high, they are also readily available. Seventy percent of teens who abuse prescription drugs get them from friends and family, often for free. Many believe they are safer than “street drugs” like heroin and cocaine. This isn’t the case. Others believe you can’t get addicted to medicine. You can. We must challenge the myths around prescription and over the counter drugs. Our health and wellness depends on it.

Prevention starts at home, so let’s begin with three simple steps... Read More

Heavy Topics

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

By Guest Blogger Lisa Witherspoon, author of The Golden Spoons

When you have kids, you know that conversations about some heavy topics are in your future. You know you'll have to the the talk and you assume other issues will arise. When they are babies, though, that future and those conversations seem far, far away.

My oldest is 10 and, lately, it seems those heavy conversations have been happening a little too frequently. We have covered several topics that I wasn't quite ready to discuss with her. However, circumstances and her questions have made them unavoidable. These conversations have made me begin to wonder if these conversations are "normal" for a 10 year old?? They've made me wonder if she is ready to handle the content?? They've made me wonder if other kids her age are having similar conversations and if today's generation of kids really is growing up too fast??

So, here are some of the conversations we've had: Read More

Momma Said Knock You Out

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

By Rachel Hoeing

Would you ever give your child permission to use violence? Would you ever tell your kid that it was OK to punch or push another kid? Of course most of us would automatically answer no. Why would we ever want to encourage violence? Especially when one of the top concerns in our minds is bullying, right? But, before you say no, let me give you an example.

I witnessed this event a few months ago when visiting a friend. We were sitting in her sun-room with a view of the backyard. A group of kids from the neighborhood were all playing together outside. All seemed to be going well, but then we noticed something wasn't quite right between her son and another neighborhood boy (both age 9) ... Read More

Guest Speaker: Dr. Mogel ~ Blessings of a Skinned Knee

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Sponsored by New Garden Friends School

Every parent wants to raise self-reliant, confident and happy children. Yet in today’s fast-paced world focused on achievement, we sometimes feel “powerless over overindulgence, overprotection, overscheduling and expectations of perfection” (Wendy Mogel, 2013). Dr. Wendy Mogel, an internationally acclaimed clinical psychologist, parenting expert and author of the New York Times bestselling parenting books, The Blessing of a Skinned Knee and The Blessing of a B Minus, provides an inspiring, humorous and effective approach to help parents meet the day-to-day challenge of raising children. New Garden Friends School is pleased to bring Dr. Mogel to speak to our community on March 5 at 7:00 pm at the New Garden Friends School Page-Frederiksen Campus.  Read More

What Do You Pay Your Babysitter?

Friday, February 22, 2013

By Rachel Hoeing

We haven't touched on this topic recently so I thought it would be a good time to poll our readers and see what the going rate is for sitters! My husband and I love our date nights and know they are sometimes necessary in order to get quality adult time, but the cost of a night out can add up quickly!  There are also those of us who also need sitters or nannies during the day in order to work, run errands, hit the doctor, etc.  I think it is important to talk to other moms about what you pay your sitters, so that you are not the mom who is underpaying or even overpaying!

Here are some rates below that I came up with when asking some friends what they pay. I think these rates are very fair. For me personally, I also base payment on whether or not the sitter can drive. If I have to pick up the babysitter and/or take her home, I usually pay a little less than if she can drive herself. Read More

Bad Parenting Habits

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

By Guest Blogger Lisa Witherspoon

We all have bad habits even if we don't like to admit it. Do you bite your nails? Drink straight from the milk carton? Text while driving??

Well, we sometimes fall into bad parenting habits, too. And, the thing about habits is that, once you start them, it can be very hard to break them. We don't mean to form these habits. Many times they "just happen" or it is something we do out of momentary necessity. If you are like me, they may be things you said you would do "Just this once," but, then, it happened again and again.

Most of the time, we don't like to admit we have these habits because we think it makes us bad parents (or, at least, we think that we will be judged by others as bad parents). However, this prevents us from getting potentially helpful advice from others and it makes us feel that we are the only ones experiencing these frustrations (which make it more frustrating!). The truth is, we all have a bad parenting habit or two and I think we need to be more open about it. It will make all of us feel better and, hopefully, lead to some useful advice. I say, let's share.  Read More

Naps Needed. Apply in Any Position.

Friday, February 08, 2013

By Katie Moosbrugger

Nap time in our house was never a pretty scene. My son Henry was a terrible napper and naps were something he always desperately needed. As a toddler he fought them off miserably. But when the nap won and eventually overtook him, he did not want to let it go. Waking him up was a slow, delicate process that requires lots of cuddling and lots of prodding.

And when the nap didn't win, we'd often get a visit from a little crazy man who was utterly exhausted by dinner time, who demanded snacks constantly (probably to just stay awake), and who ran around the house getting into all kinds of trouble with us and his big sister.  Read More

Tips for Working Moms

Monday, February 04, 2013

By Rachel Hoeing

A request we had on our recent survey was for more blogs for working moms.  I know so many moms who have a knack for balancing work and home life. Below are some of their best tips for other moms. I think these tips are terrific even for stay-at-home moms. We all need a few extra hours in our day, and these are some great ideas on how to make that happen.

If you have some of your own tips to share, please add them by commenting below! Read More

Got Organic Milk?

Thursday, January 17, 2013

By Katie Moosbrugger

When it comes to food I would say, for the most part, our family stays pretty healthy. We eat most meals at home. Our menus vary enough so that we're careful not to eat too much red meat or fatty foods. Dinners typically include a vegetable or a salad, and a large bowl of fresh fruit sits center table in our kitchen. Plus, the four of us probably go through a gallon and a half of milk a week. Sounds like we're doing a lot of things right, right? Well that depends on how you define "doing a lot of things right."

Truth is, I am terrible at reading food labels or knowing which ingredients, hormones or acronyms to avoid. Blue 1, yellow 5, BHA and BHT, BVO, saturated fats, polyunsaturated fats...say what? I am a very simple grocery shopper (I cannot even keep up with coupons) so asking me to stay current with that kind data along with my crappy crayon-scribbled grocery list is unfathomable. But when it comes to milk - a basic dietary staple and one that we consume a lot - you'd think finding the healthiest variety should be simple. That's what I thought, and now I'm worried I missed the boat. Read More

The Nanny Diaries from Brooke: Tips for Hiring a Nanny or Babysitter

Saturday, January 12, 2013

By Guest Blogger Brooke Farmer

A few years ago I had one of those lovely, unexpected moments where you really feel appreciated for what you do, completely reaffirming your commitment to your job. Going through the mail one evening I recognized the return address for a family that I used to nanny while I was in graduate school in Richmond, VA. Inside was an invitation to the high school graduation for Wes, the young man I had taken care of from the age of nine to eleven. There was also a note from his mom saying that he had specifically asked that I be invited because he knew I would be proud of him for reaching this milestone.  Read More

Body Language Secrets To Get Your Kids to Talk to You

Monday, January 07, 2013

By Guest Blogger Blanca Cobb, Body Language and Lie Detection Expert

"How do I get my kids to talk to me?" is a common question parents ask. Many parents feel shut out of their kids' lives because they tend to get one word responses or shoulder shrugs as answers to their questions. Sometimes their kids ignore them all together. Many parents struggle in communicating with their kids. In my experience, there's a disconnect in communication styles between parents and kids. Parents tend to talk to instead of talk with their kids, whereas kids want to be heard and have their feelings validated. Many parents don't realize that they can use body language to create an inviting atmosphere where their kids will want to talk to them.

By using the following simple and effective body language techniques, you'll rev up their proverbial 'motor mouths.'  Read More

Dear Shopper Staring at My Child Having a Meltdown in the Grocery Store

Friday, January 04, 2013

By Guest Blogger Leigh Merryday

Dear Shopper,

Yes, I know.  I’m well aware that my child is screaming.  Not just a regular scream, but an ear-piercing, sanity-shattering screech.  Even if I wasn’t seeing and hearing it, I would know by the expression on your face.

Clearly, you have raised your children better than me.

That is what you were wanting to say, right?   There certainly can’t be any other purpose to you stopping in your tracks to stare or elbow your companion  or better yet — give knowing looks to other shoppers passing by.

I have no doubt that you have wonderful, well-behaved children.  Grown, tax-paying, law-abiding citizens who would never have dreamed of screaming like this in public when they were children.  Judging by your expression and utter exasperation, you’ve never hesitated to let them know who was boss. Read More

Boy First or Girl First? Which Is Better?

Thursday, January 03, 2013

By Katie Moosbrugger

If you are pregnant with your first or second child - and do not know the sex of your unborn child - today's post might pique your interest. Have you ever wondered whether it's better to have a boy or a girl as your first born? If you have several children, is it better to have boys as the oldest? Or is it better to have  girls as the oldest? Are there pros or cons with either scenario? Should we even care to discuss this?

We've written about The Effects of Birth Order: Fact or Theory, but never about the effects of having a boy (or boys) as the the oldest or youngest in a family, and vice versa with girls. Believe it or not, I actually wonder about this a lot and am curious to know what you think. Read More

The Days are Long, but the Years are Short!

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

By Shannon Burghart

Happy New Year to all! I am so excited right now that I have to write about it! My oldest niece just found out she got into her top pick college! I’m so stinking proud I want to shout it to everyone! But this pride is mixed with a whole bunch of awe over how quickly she’s grown up. How can it possibly be that MY baby is going to college? Yes, yes, I know she’s not really mine, but since I was in college when she was born, I had many years with her before I had kids, so she’s always felt a bit like mine!

As she’s been going through the visits and application and waiting, I have been thinking about my sister going through all of the “lasts” this year…last first day of school photo, last homecoming, last summer all together, etc. It has made me realize in a very concrete way how quickly they grow up. Read More

I'm Not Ready for Endless Love

Friday, December 28, 2012

By Guest Blogger Kristen Daukas, author of the blog Four Hens and a Rooster

I was at my desk the other day, listening to my 80′s playlist on iTunes and grinding through my to-do list. Suddenly, the song Endless Love came on and I was whisked away to my teen days. Remembering how all of us girls would sing the bejeesus out of that song – just waiting for the day that we would find OUR endless love and he, of course would sing with us in perfect harmony just like Lionel and Diana did.

Once the mist had cleared from my eyes, I tried to remember exactly what year the song came out.. I had to be 16 or 17, I thought.

Nope. It was 1981 and I was 13. Read More

It's Movie Night!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

By Rachel Hoeing

Ever since Redbox and Netflix came along, movie nights have gotten to be a big deal around our house. It is the perfect way to wind down in the evenings and just chill out. Today I thought it would be fun for us to share recommendations with each other for some of our favorite movies of all time! I have divided my lists into three categories.

The first list contains movies that are great for the family. Some are fit for all ages, while others may contain some parts that make them more appropriate for families with older children. It is tough to find films that amuse parents as well as the kids, but below are the ones that I actually enjoy watching, too! My second list contains movies that I would probably not torture my husband by making him watch, so I watch these on the evenings he is out-of-town or has another commitment. They are also great flicks to take along on a girls’ weekend! Then the third list has movies that I think are perfect for couples to watch together, or even a group of adults if you are on a beach or mountain trip. An advance warning … don’t make fun of me for my cheesiness on some of these! Read More

Three Easy Tips for Working Moms

Monday, December 17, 2012

By Guest Blogger Suzy Fielders

I have learned a lot about juggling life as a working mom over the past six years. I am not only a working mom, but a single mom. I have a six year old daughter, Sarah, and as you can imagine I have to do a lot of balancing and tight scheduling since it is just me running the household. From 2008 to 2010 I also went back to school in the evenings to earn my Master's Degree. I hope some of the advice I will share today will help those of you starting back to work for the first time as a mom. For those of you who have done it for years, please share your tips as well!

A working mom has to juggle two worlds – a career and motherhood. Both of these are full time jobs, yet for most women today it is a necessity. How can the challenges of these two worlds be made easier? Below are three easy approaches that will help simplify a working mom’s life and reduce stress. Read More

The Amazing Sense of Smell

Friday, December 14, 2012

By Rachel Hoeing

I picked up my daughter’s Strawberry Shortcake doll the other day and it immediately took me back to my childhood. That strawberry smell (that actually smells nothing like strawberries) is embedded in my brain as a reminder of childhood happiness.

It is amazing how a simple smell can transport you to specific time and place and can quickly give you that warm feeling of comfort. I think it is so important to teach our kids how to literally “stop and smell the roses!” My mom always picked Honeysuckle with us and let us taste it. Even to this day as I am walking past a Honeysuckle bush, it reminds me of my childhood and brings a smile to my face.

The other day I picked up my kids from a birthday party at a gymnasium, and as soon as I opened the door I was taken back to my days as a baton twirler. (Don’t laugh at me for being a baton twirler!) There is a distinct smell to those dance studios and gyms, and I told my kids to stop and smell. Of course they thought I was weirdo and my daughter proclaimed that it was stinky, but they’ll see what I’m talking about one day! Read More

Effectively Managing Your Toddler's Behavior Is Possible .... Sometimes

Saturday, December 08, 2012

By Guest Blogger Michelle Linkous, DO, Wake Forest Baptist Health – Brenner Children’s Hospital

The well-behaved toddler. You might think it's an urban myth, but it's actually an achievable goal—even for your child. Yes, your child. The one who is yanking at your laptop and yelling as you try read to this blog post.

Now, I'm not saying it's easy. I have a toddler myself, and I've found that helping him improve his behavior has been one of the most challenging—even maddening—parts of parenting thus far. But, if you can maintain a few consistent strategies, the effort will pay off.

Here are some techniques that have helped me effectively correct my son: Read More

Why My Toenails Are Blue

Friday, December 07, 2012

By Guest Blogger Donna Small

I love my children desperately. There are, however, days that I don’t like them very much. And while I feel confident anyone who has children understands and can empathize feeling that way, it may require a certain amount of explanation.

My eldest daughter is twelve years old. It’s that glorious, hormone-laced period known to most of us as the “tween” years. For parents, the ups and downs we experience during this time rival most of the roller coasters at Carowinds. The unfortunate part of this is that it’s even more of a roller coaster ride for the child who is going through it; the rest of the family it simply sucked in by the sheer force of it.

When my daughter is her normal, sweet self, I’m still the greatest thing my daughter has ever experienced. She will come to me for advice because I’m still smart and she will hug me because I’m still loved. Occasionally, I’ve even been able to get a chuckle out of her.  Read More

Gently Letting Go: Julia Turns 10

Sunday, November 25, 2012

By Guest Blogger Cristin Whiting

Today I spent the afternoon with my daughter, the last afternoon in her single digit years. Tomorrow she turns ten.

She came home early from school today. She said she wasn’t feeling well. Sometimes with Julia stomachaches and headaches translate into needing some quiet time at home to regroup. No matter the case, I honor the request because she is not one to abuse the privilege of an afternoon home with mom. So I sit with her as she soaks in the tub with bubbles piled up to her chin. We tell our favorite stories about when she was little and laugh at the punch lines we already know so well.

My mind takes a serious turn as I’m aware that this is one of those moments that marks a milestone in her life.

I asked her, “What do you think it will be like when you turn ten?” Read More

Why I Love Online Grocery Shopping

Saturday, November 24, 2012

By Guest Blogger Lisa Witherspoon, author of

Have any of you ever tried online grocery shopping?? I started doing it just over five years ago when I was pregnant with my daughter, Emily. I had some monster varicose veins that made walking around the grocery store physically painful. At a friend's suggestion, I hesitantly gave it a try and it was FABULOUS!!!

Basically, you go online and order your groceries. Then, you specify a time for pick up, giving at least four hours notice. At the requested time, you pull up to the drive through lane, use the call box to tell them you are there, and then the magic happens. Someone from the store will bring out your groceries - already pulled from the shelves, already bagged. You just hand them a check or credit card and they load the groceries in the car for you. You never have to go in the store or even get out of your car! You can order them from your couch at midnight if that's what fits your schedule. Instead of spending an hour walking around the store, you spend fifteen minutes (tops) in the parking lot. It is seriously the best invention for busy families since the creation of sliced bread or station wagons. Read More

New Mom Live & Learns

Friday, November 16, 2012

By Katie Moosbrugger

In just eight short years of parenting, I can’t believe I find myself thinking, “Wow, I wish I was better at that,” or “If only I had known to do that.” You might say it’s not too late – or it’s never too late - to make changes that my young children can still appreciate. But we all know how fast kids grow, learn and transform. Before my kids were born I wish I was given a "new mom handbook" that offered all things to do and not to do before the years slip away. But don't we all wish this?

With this in mind, I recently jotted down a few things I wish I did - and a few things I'm so glad I did - in my first few years as a mom. I’m sure I’m not alone in my thinking, and thought this could be a great place to swap "live and learn" lessons for other new and expecting moms. Take a read of a few of my regrets and my gloats, and add yours at the bottom of this post!  Read More

Favorite Childhood Books ~ Oh, How They've Changed

Monday, November 05, 2012

By Katie Moosbrugger

Tikki Tikki Tembo-no Sa Rembo-chari Bari Ruchi-pip Peri Pembo.

Remember him? Tikki Tikki Tembo was my favorite children’s book character growing up, and to this day I can still recite his name in its entirety. The story is about Tikki falling down a water well, but his brother Chang had the hardest time getting Tikki rescued because he couldn’t pronounce Tikki’s full name to the villagers.

Some would call this book a classic, yet we rarely see it around anymore because it’s considered offensive to Chinese culture and language. I get that now. But back in the 1970s, those stereotypes never crossed our minds.

Speaking of stereotypes, remember “The Five Chinese Brothers”? This is another story I remember as an all-time favorite. I recently found this book at my parents’ house and was excited to share it with my children. But about five pages in to my once-beloved book, I quickly put it down… Read More

Working Moms: Do You Flex?

Saturday, November 03, 2012

By Guest Blogger Elizabeth Smith

Working Mother magazine recently came out with their list of the 100 Best Companies. The selections were made based upon the following factors, Parental Leave, Child Care, Flexibility, Health & Wellness and Advancement. Two of the main factors under flexibility were the option to tele-commute and the ability to work a flexible schedule. Among the working mothers I know the ability to work flex time is almost equal in importance to salary. To be a successful employee and a successful mother you have to feel that you are doing a good job in both roles. Flex time greatly increases your odds of accomplishing both. Read More

What if Your Kid is the Bully?

Friday, November 02, 2012

By Triangle Moms on Main Guest Blogger Dr. Kristen Wynns, PhD

We hear a lot about how to prevent bullying on all levels. What we don't hear a lot about, though, is what to do if you suspect your child is the bully. Today's article is an excerpt from a blog by Dr. Wynns, and sheds some light on the topic. Great info! ~ Kristen with Triangle Moms on Main

No parent wants to realize that his or her child IS the bully, but it’s an unpleasant reality many parents face. It’s important to know the warning signs to look out for and what to do about it if you discover your child is engaging in overt or subtle bullying.

What if my child IS the bully? Signs to look out for: Read More

When Is It OK to Skip School?

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

By Rachel Hoeing

Should you let your child skip school to head to the beach? How about a week at Disney? What about just a Friday here or there to go out of town with some friends? Or what about skipping school to visit the annual local fair? How about skipping to attend a sporting event?

Let's rule out sickness and funerals and focus on the optional reasons you may let your children miss school. I would love to hear your opinions on this matter today. Obviously a big factor in these decisions will be the ages of your children, so be sure to weigh in on that as well.

Prior to starting this website, I was an Elementary School teacher and taught grades 1st, 3rd and 5th. I'd love to share some thoughts from my personal point of view as a teacher and then as a parent, just to get the conversation started.  Read More

Good Parenting: Perfection Not Required

Sunday, October 28, 2012

By Guest Blogger Kelly Sipe, author and teacher

We recently gathered some loyal TMoM readers to discuss "Mom Mistakes" with Michelle Kennedy from WXII 12 News. The segment will air tomorrow at 5 pm, 10pm and 11 pm, so be sure to tune in! To accompany this segment, we asked educator, Kelly Sipe, to share some of her advice, which you will read below! ~Rachel Hoeing

We strive to be good parents. We want the best for our children. We have the best of intentions; however, sometimes our good intentions may not fully support nor coincide with the goals we have for them. Happiness, success, resiliency, well-roundedness, strength, perseverance, these are just a few of the many traits that we hope to develop in our children.

As a mother, experience has taught me a number of things about my own good intentions. As a teacher, I’ve witnessed a similar pattern of common parenting best intentions that don’t always deliver the outcome we had hoped for. Here are the top three that come to mind: Read More

Do I Play With My Kids Enough?

Saturday, October 27, 2012

By Katie Moosbrugger

I will never forget the words one mom said to me when my first born was just six months old. She told me she was “too busy to play with her kids.” At the time she was a stay-at-home mom and her children were in elementary school full-time. She did not have any work or volunteer obligations. I'm not positive, but I'm pretty sure she also had a hired maid, a husband who helped with dinner preparations and a laundry list of babysitters she used non-stop. All that, but she was still too busy, she said.

As a new mom, those words hit me like a ton of bricks. I remember being so angry and thinking (and later wished I had said), “Why did you even bother to have children?” Who knows – maybe she was exaggerating or didn’t realize what she was saying. Regardless, those words from her still haunt me. And after eight years of being a mom, I am still trying to put those words into perspective. Read More

Colin's Questions

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

By Guest Blogger, Cristin Whiting

My son, Colin, is seven and for a long time I believed that what he thought about could be boiled down into three main categories: (1) Beyblades—a very popular game played by boys his age, similar to tops (2) His best friend, Chase and (3) Food. 

Colin stands next to me in the kitchen several times a day filling a plate with food trying to fill that hollow leg of his.  He chatters excitedly with his face aglow, explaining to me in great detail about which beys are best used for offensive attacks and which are best for defense.  Which beys he has custom made and how they have performed against those of his best friend. 

I try to hang on to what he is saying.  It is clearly so important to him.  But I don’t.  My mind is cluttered with the to-dos of managing the business of our family and getting ready for the next workday.  I phase in and out of what he is saying.  I try to ask him a couple of questions to plug back into the conversation but the thread of it is too far-gone. Read More

Bullying Prevention Tips for Parents

Friday, October 19, 2012

By Guest Bloggers Debra Vigliano & Bobbijean Spellman

As children all across the Triad started school in late August, bullying was a big concern for many moms. As moms, we work hard to create little people who are good and whole and strong and then we turn them over to the world and hope that the world will be gentle and not chip away at our hard work. We hope that our children will be spared. If our children are spared, we have the luxury and the responsibility of asking “How can I help my child be a peacemaker?” “How can I help them stand up for their peers who are being bullied?” The world needs more heroes in our schools and on our playgrounds and in our communities.

But, perhaps the toughest parental challenge in this scenario is if our children are the bullies. What then? How do we look at the little people we created and love and know that they are chipping away at other children? It’s uncomfortable, to say the least, to know that our children are causing pain with their words and actions. However, our reactions, our support, and our love as moms can turn the tide on any one of these challenges. The important thing is to act. Doing nothing can leave damaging effects and send all the wrong messages to our children. I imagine that more often than not we do nothing because the task seems too big or we are at a loss of what to do.  Read More

To Reconnect, Try Disconnecting

Saturday, October 13, 2012

By Guest Blogger from Triangle Moms on Main

The other night, my husband texted me from upstairs. "I'm going to bed," read his text. I replied "ok. are you going to kiss the phone goodnight?" I cannot explain how annoyed I was - could he not even come downstairs to say good night? Then I looked around and felt a little like a hypocrite. My phone was to my right, my tablet to my left, and my computer was in front of me. Not exactly the best example, I guess.

My point is this: if family togetherness in your house looks like the picture above, maybe it's time to make a change. It's ironic, but I decided that the only way we can reconnect as a family is to disconnect our electronic devices. Read More

Attachment vs. Detachment Parenting: Which One is for You?

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

By TMoM team member Dani Luft

Recently on Facebook, a few of my friends posted this article on Detachment parenting and it got me thinking about attachment vs. detachment parenting: Which method do I most associate myself with doing and has that way been successful for my children and me?

The term “attachment parenting” was coined by pediatrician William Sears, a name known by all of us who are avid readers of parenting books. According to Wikipedia, “Principles of attachment parenting aim to increase development of a child's secure attachment and decrease insecure attachment. . . . many attachment parents also choose to live a natural family living (NFL) lifestyle, such as natural childbirth, home birth, stay-at-home parenting, co-sleeping, breastfeeding, babyweaning, homeschooling, unschooling, the anti-circumcision movement, natural health, cooperative movements, paleolithic lifestyle, naturism and support of organic and local foods. ” Mayim Bialik, who played Blossom on the hit show “Blossom,” is famous for her outspokeness towards the benefits of practicing attachment parenting. Read More

Guidance and Discipline

Monday, October 01, 2012

By TMoM Team Member Shannon Burghart

I thought as an early childhood educator I’d be great at guidance and discipline with my own kids. I’ve taught the course at 3 different Universities for heaven’s sake, it should be easy with my kids, right? Nope! Disciplining your kids is hard because your emotions are tied to it. Your kids know just how to push those buttons! But through my few short years of parenting, I’ve learned that the more I can take my emotions out and use my skills, training, and reasoning, the better I and my children fair. So, I’ll share a little bit of what I’ve learned and hope you’ll share some of your own ideas as well.

First, our house rules are really simple so that everyone can remember them... Read More

Let’s Give Them Something to Talk About

Friday, September 21, 2012

By Guest Blogger N. Amalie Harris, M.A. CCC-SLP, Speech-Language Pathologist

Ever wonder why some kids are practically born talking and others take their sweet time learning “to use their words?” There are lots of factors that determine when children will talk, including their exposure to language, their birth order, their sex, frequency of ear infections, the number of languages they are learning, and of course, factors related to congenital circumstances such as structural and neurological conditions, syndromes, hearing loss, and other medical conditions.  Read More

Testing the Limits

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

By Guest Blogger Cristin Whiting PsyD

My daughter has been “testing the limits” lately. Even though this is a normal thing for kids to do, it is really unusual for her and has caught me off guard.

It all started a couple of weeks ago. She had a friend over and seemed to do the exact things that she knew she wasn’t supposed to—and had never done before.

How I responded was not my best parenting moment. I took the whole thing personally.

"Why is she doing this to me?" Read More

Balancing Act

Saturday, September 15, 2012

By Guest Blogger, Heather Keenan

Recently I felt that I was treating my beautiful, spirited second born as a job rather than the awesome individual that she is. It caused me to be grumpy and feel as though she was extremely difficult. I decided I needed to look at things through different specs. Being a mother, regardless of the number of children you have, is a very delicate balancing act. I just needed to learn how to juggle.

I have two amazing daughters. A three year old and a one year old. They are the definition of "chalk and cheese", which took quite some time for me to get used to. I naively assumed that my second child would very closely resemble my first as far as personality, temper and cautiousness go. I could not have been more wrong. It was, in a sense, like starting from scratch. Read More

Do the Monsters Visit Your House Too?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

By Katie Moosbrugger

They’re baaack! Those pesky visitors that always over-stay their welcome arrived at our house again.  They were here several months ago but I thought we were able to get rid of them for good. They not only keep us up all night but they also rack up our electric bill. If you ever drive past our house in the wee hours you’d think we were nuts. Our entire front hall and upstairs is illuminated with lights from the hallway, the kids’ bathroom and my son’s closet.

Oh, I’m not talking about in-laws (ha, ha, ha). I’m talking about my son’s imaginary closet monsters.  Read More

Whatcha Think: Home Alone!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

By Rachel Hoeing

Now I am not talking about leaving your seven-year-old home alone while you fly out of town ... but at what age do you allow your children to stay home by themselves for a few hours?

What about leaving your 10 year old at home while you take a quick trip to the grocery store? Or leaving your 12 and 8-year-olds home while you go to a doctor's appointment? Will you let your tween stay alone with a younger sibling while you and your spouse have a date night?

Weigh in by commenting below! There are many different factors to this question. All answers will probably depend on your child's maturity level, whether or not there is a younger sibling, where the parent will be during this time, or maybe you even take your child's gender into account. Read More

Being a New Mom is Hard…Why Don’t We Talk about It?

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

By TMoM Team Member Shannon Burghart

A few days ago a mom of three with a newborn came up to me looking really wonderful and I asked her how she was doing. She put on a big smile and said, “Oh, great, thanks.” But, I saw the look in her eyes. So, I asked her some more and the more we talked she finally broke down and told me that she felt like she was losing her mind. The baby wasn’t sleeping, she wasn’t sleeping, she hated her husband, and she felt like she had no control over anything. Then she instantly started saying how guilty she felt for having any of these feelings. She knew she was so lucky to have healthy children and her husband was so great. She kept asking what was wrong with her that she was crying all the time and being so unappreciative of all of her blessings.

So, I told her, she was sleep deprived, she was hormonal and she was doing the hardest thing in the world--all in a society that talks about how beautiful motherhood is! Now, don’t get me wrong, motherhood is beautiful, fabulous and wonderful! I love my kids and wouldn’t trade them for anything. But that doesn’t mean that I love every minute of being a mom and it doesn’t mean that being a new mom is fun or easy or that every mom feels that new mom glow every minute of every day, if at all. So, I’ve made it my mission to bring light to the subject to make sure that every new mom knows she’s not alone. Read More

To Ride or Not to Ride

Saturday, August 25, 2012

By Katie Moosbrugger

It wasn't long ago that I swore I would never put my child on a school bus. Then came the sale of our house and the purchase of a new one. And with the new house came a great school zone, the convenience of a bus stop steps from our home, the freedom from early morning drives (and pick-ups during my son’s nap time), and one very excited little Kindergartner. So, I caved. And I have to admit, it’s been a really nice perk to have what is practically a door-to-door service at my disposal for free.

Yet, I still can’t ignore the concerns (see list below) that nagged me. Those nags coupled with comments from other parents who also swore against the bus. They have said things like, “I can’t believe you’re letting her take the bus. I remember what it was like when I rode the bus, and I don’t want my child exposed to that.” Not to mention the things I’ve heard my daughter repeat since riding the bus. So, does the convenience of this free bus service come with a cost, or am I being crazy? Read More

Back to School Blues

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

By Karen Grossman, author of the blog Mom in the Muddle

It’s August. My heart sinks when I see store shelves crammed with notebooks, pencils, lunchboxes, and various other school supplies that give my credit card a workout. My kids get lost in the excitement of picking out crisp new folders that they’ll immediately rip and graffiti with their penciled drawings of rainbows and space creatures. Then they realize their days of pajamas till noon are numbered.

While some parents heave a sigh of relief to see school buses again, I must take deep breaths. I’m never really ready for school to start. Just one more week with the kids, or two. We didn’t have enough days to just be. Read More


Thursday, August 09, 2012

By Kelly Hines, author of the blog Southern Fried Children

Sometimes, it's a truth said in the heat of an argument about nothing - "You're on the computer all the time."

Sometimes, it is a heart crushing proclamation made by a five year old who's been denied screen time - "I don't want to read a book! Books are boring! I HATE BOOKS I WANT TO PLAY WII."

I hate books. The words brought tears to my eyes. How could my child hate books? How could my child prefer to spend her time watching Spongebob or playing video games or browsing the app store or anything, anything but read a book?

The answer is simple. Me.  Read More

Tell Me I Heard You Wrong

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

By Thea DeLoreto, author of the blog The Lint Trap

Yesterday it finally happened. My worst fears confirmed. The moment I have been waiting for since I found out that Lady Baby was of the female variety. My child uttered the following phrase, casually yet matter-of-fact, as if it was the most obvious thing in the world. "Dada is my best friend."

I inquired further, thinking I must have heard wrong. Foolishly I asked, "And me too?" She stared my straight in the eye, right there in the frozen food section of the Teeter and said, "No. DADA. Not you." And a little piece of my soul withered and blew away. I watched it float like a tumble weed down the aisle. Between the end caps of cashews and coffee, past the magazine rack and Red Box. Over the heads of the old couple checking out with a handful of coupons, and out the door into the balmy evening. Ouch. That is going to leave a mark. Never getting that sliver of my heart back.  Read More

Summer Craft Idea: Have Fun with Paint!

Monday, July 23, 2012

By Guest Blogger Jessica Simmons, author of the blog Very Pinteresting

With the heat wave this month, I’d love nothing more than to hibernate inside and enjoy the air conditioning, but my kids tend to balk at that suggestion. Now that my oldest son has left for sleep away camp, His Majesty-- my two year old-- is without his favorite playmate, and I’ve had to come up with new ways to entertain him that allow him to get some energy out, and take up some of our free time.

I figured that if nothing else, this heatwave is a great opportunity to combine two of his favorite activities: painting and playing in his splash pool. It’s a two fold benefit: he can paint outside, get as messy as he wants, and then I can strip him down to his diaper or his swim trunks and let him wash off-- and cool off-- in the water. After that, he comes in the house paint free, and exhausted and ready for his nap. My dad always told me that if you want kids to sleep well, “Put them in the water”, and I concur. Naps have been good with this little routine. Read More

Which Will You Choose?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

By Guest Blogger Kendra McCurdy, volunteer with Piedmont Diaper Bank

If you are reading this post early today, tune to Fox 8
TV News at 9:30 am to see Valerie Glass, director and co-founder of Piedmont Diaper Bank, talk to Shannon Smith live this morning about how you can help support Piedmont Diaper Bank in your area of the Triad!

Life is full of choices. Coke or Pepsi? Ham or Turkey? Take the highway or take the back roads? Rent or buy my next home? Some only seem important right now, others will have a life-long effect. Some decisions are more difficult to make than others.

Food or diapers for my children?  That was the choice Renee M. of Winston-Salem had to make just a few years ago when both she and her husband were simultaneously out of work and struggling to find new jobs. Read More

Built by Play

Saturday, July 07, 2012

By Guest Blogger, Dr. William Satterwhite 

One of my deepest sorrows has been the gradual erosion of true “play” for children in the 21st century. People who grew up in the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s spent large chunks of their childhoods playing make-believe games with their friends. Whether it was playing ‘house’ or pick-up baseball in the yard, the children set the rules, made the teams, and worked out their disagreements. By law in North Carolina, children didn’t have to start school until first grade, and many did not. For those who went, five year old kindergarten was a half-day, and its primary purpose was play. Reading and writing and sitting still were (and still are) six to seven year old skills. It was widely and accurately recognized that children learned by and through play.

By the mid-1990s and 2000s, things had dramatically shifted. Our society decided that unstructured play for children was a waste of time and that real learning only occurred in structured settings. Rote memorization of facts became more highly valued than learning through play and guided activities. Adding to the intensity of structured learning was the myth that parents are largely responsible for “sculpting” their children’s brains. Thus if you want to be a really good parent, you will engage your children in multiple structured activities in order to teach them as much as possible as early as possible. Read More

The Importance of a Thank You

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

By Rachel Hoeing

Here are the facts – yes, thank you notes are often redundant when you have already thanked someone in person. Yes, they are a pain to write. Yes, they are time consuming. Yes, it is easier to send an email than waste a stamp. But I firmly believe that hand-written thank you notes should be sent as often as possible. I tend to have the “old school” opinion that receiving a thank you note in the mail shows that the recipient was genuinely touched by your gift. It shows an appreciation for the time spent in choosing that perfect gift. It also sets a good example for your kids.

One topic that seems to be up for discussion when it comes to thank you notes is children’s birthday parties. It seems that the new trend is to open gifts after the party. For this reason, I feel that it is very considerate to send thank you notes since the giver did not see the child open it.  Read More

Money and the Recession: Full Disclosure?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

By Guest Blogger Kristen Daukas of Ten to Twenty Parenting

Here’s the obvious statement of the day: times are tough for almost everyone. Those who never used budgets to manage their money have started to and those who had them before the recession have tightened them up. Some families have weathered the storm with little financial impact and others have had the wind knocked out of their sails.

Personally, we’ve done “okay” the past few years in this God awful recession.. not great but we’re still standing (so far). We’ve knocked on a lot of wood and realized that stressing over it doesn’t do anything except rob us of the little moments when there is laughter and fun times. As far as money goes, I figure we’ve been thru worse before and we’ll come out ahead in the end. We’re healthy and we’re together. Believe me – a lot of our friends don’t have that going for them. Read More

Whatcha Think ~ How Did You React to this Video?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

By Katie Moosbrugger

By now most of you have probably seen this heinous video that's been making lots of headlines. But if you haven't - I warn you - it's extremely disturbing. It depicts a 68-year-old grandmother in Rochester, NY, being verbally harassed by middle school boys on a school bus where she was employed as a safety monitor. The video prompted so much outrage that thousands of supporters have teamed up to raise more than $600,000 for this woman to put towards a vacation and possible retirement.

This video touches on so many parenting topics, as well as a topic we usually do not hear much about. And that's elder bullying. Bullying doesn't just happen to our kids. It happens to adults - many of whom are teachers or others in positions of authority. Several major news networks have aired this video and interviewed parents on their reaction. So today, we want to hear what TMoM readers think!  Read More

Stop. Collaborate and Listen.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

By Rachel Hoeing

If you read the title and then said "Ice is back with my brand new invention," you have made my day! But, today's post is not about Vanilla Ice. It is about listening to your kids and giving them your undivided attention! Let me give you an example from my home and you can tell me whether or not you relate:

It is about 4pm in the afternoon on any given school day. We have finished up homework and I am busy doing some work on the computer. One of my children walks up next to me and talks for a good minute or two. I am so focused on whatever it is that I am doing that I just decide to answer with a simple, "uh huh." Child walks away and a minute later I hear the front door slam.  Read More

Clever Ways to Get the Kids to Behave

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

By Katie Moosbrugger

We literally have one week of summer under our belts and I'm already pulling my hair out. It's like the bickering started on cue. The dismissal bell rang on the last day of school to signify the start of summer, but really it was more like the opening bell for an all-out, summer-long boxing match that takes place in my house, in the car, at the pool - and just about every where my kids seem to spend more than five minutes together.

I know I'm not alone with this. Remember Rachel's post on this subject? What's funny is that her kids were just about the exact same ages as mine when she wrote her post (ages eight and five). And now here I am battling the same dilemma. The sad part is - I don't think this bickering will end any time soon. We just need to figure out how to manage it. So I reached out to friends, fans and Google and pulled together some out-of-the-box ways to curb the quarreling. At least we can have fun while trying. If you have other clever ideas, please share them below. Trust me, any advice is appreciated! Read More

Father's Day Map

Sunday, June 17, 2012

By Scott Rigdon, father and author of the blog ThreeFiveZero

Remember maps? Waaaaaay back in the 1900’s, when you were a kid? (That’s what my kids say- as if anything before 2000 was prehistoric!) Oh I loved maps! I still have a box of them, my ‘favorites’ from places I used to explore. I used to move around a lot, and part of the fun of a new place was mapping it all out and seeing all the new things. I know this is going to make some of you cringe, but… I was ‘that guy’ that would write on the maps, fold them back up wrong, and, gasp, sometimes even fold new creases in them so I could see just the part of the map I was currently exploring!

For the most part, though, I think we all used maps to get from point A to point B. Nowadays we use the GPS, same deal, different era of technology: Start Here and End Here and follow the straightest line between those two points. The GPS even talks to us now, no need to really even look at the map unless you want to. Point A to point B. Same deal. Read More

Whatcha Think ~ How Important is an AG Education to You and Your Child?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

By Katie Moosbrugger

School may be out for the summer, but I'm betting many of you are already thinking ahead to the next school year. Maybe we're getting ready to send a child to a new school. Or maybe we're just curious about what the next grade will be like for our child. Or maybe some of us are busy preparing a child for what we know will be a challenging year because that child will be starting - or continuing - in a program program like AG (Academically Gifted), HAG (Highly Academically Gifted), or something similar.

With that in mind, I thought it would be interesting to get reader feedback about how you feel regarding an AG education. So here goes… Read More

Whatcha Think - Kids & Politics

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

By Rachel Hoeing

As a general rule, we usually try to stay far, far away from politics on TMoM! But, I thought the topic of "kids and politics" might be a good one for this series of "Whatcha Think" blogs. Many moms seem to struggle with how much to tell their kids about current events and politics as well as determining what age is appropriate for these conversations. Some moms feel it can be beneficial to keep young children somewhat sheltered and naive in this department, but other moms feel that there are topics that present great learning experiences.

If possible, I would like to keep our comments clear from Democrat vs. Republican and instead focus more on the questions I have listed below. My goal is to help each other determine the right way to handle politics depending what might work for your family. Since we all have different way of raising our children, I hope that you will find some tips from others that will fit your family's needs.  Read More

Keep Your Children Reading this Summer

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

By Guest Blogger Jennifer Lockert

As a teacher of young children a common question I get is, "How do I get my child reading over the summer?" All children desire and need a break from the routine and demands of the school year, but teachers will tell you that children who participate in reading activities over the break have an easier transition in the fall. So how can families balance their summer activities and schedules with reading? Easy! Just make a game plan that suits your child's interests and your family's agenda.  Read More

Safe Sober Prom Night, Smart Decisions and Smart Choices

Monday, May 14, 2012

Prom night is upon us, and as much as it is a night of celebration and fun, it is the deadliest night for teenagers across the country. Safe Sober Prom Night Program encourages teens to stay safe and drug and alcohol free on this night in the hopes that every student makes it home safe and sound. Over 450 High Schools in North Carolina and South Carolina have participated in the program, and since its inception over 400,000 students have signed the Safe Sober pledge. In addition, more than $45,000 has been awarded to schools with the highest percentage of participation.  Read More

Body Image and Your Child, Part II

Friday, May 04, 2012

By Guest Blogger Debra Benfield, M.Ed., R.D., LDN, Medical Nutrition Therapist

Yesterday’s blog about dealing with your child’s eating and weight focused on what NOT to do. Today’s topic is much more hopeful! Let me back up a bit and let you know that I have great compassion for all of us here. I hear a desperate, confused, and somewhat lost tone when parents talk about their child’s weight. Our nation is concerned about “childhood obesity” and we hear a great deal about waging a “war” against it. As part of my inquiry into how twisted up we are about this topic, I looked up how much money we spend in our pursuit of thinness. In the US last year, we spent an estimated $46 billion on diet products and self-help books. At any and every moment at least 77% of Americans are “dieting” or trying to lose weight. Most people seem to have heard the news that dieting doesn’t work, but we are still feeling desperate enough about our weight to fall for the promise of the diet. Losing “10 pounds in 10 days” sounds so good just when you are pulling your swimsuits out of storage! I get it. Read More

Body Image and Your Child, Part I

Thursday, May 03, 2012

By Guest Blogger Debra Benfield,  M.Ed., R.D., LDN, Medical Nutrition Therapist

Does anything freeze you in your tracks faster than someone commenting on your child’s body size? Is there anything that creates more embarrassment, shame, confusion, anxiety, or maybe anger, than “Has Johnny gained some weight?”?! The issue of our children’s weight is a point of major confusion, worry, and angst for almost every parent. The mom who is comfortable and confidant about this issue is as rare as, well, the mom who is comfortable and confidant about her own body. And therein lies the rub. We don’t want our kids to have to deal with the struggle that comes with being overweight. We want to protect our kids from the very real prejudice that exists in our culture against kids who are not thin. But how do you address this sensitive and emotionally loaded topic?

One of the reasons this topic is so challenging is more of our kids are overweight. I will not go on and on about why that is. At the same time, our drive for thinness and intolerance of overweight is also at an all-time high. So what’s a mom to do? Read More

The End of the Innocence

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

By Rachel Hoeing

About two months ago, my son informed my husband that he knew Santa did not exist. I had been out of town and the two men of the house stayed up talking one night. My son, Jake, will be nine years old this June (third grade). As they were chatting, he told my husband that he knew his dad & mom were the real Santas. My husband listened as Jake gave all of his reasons and theories on the subject. The topic had been brought up previously, but we were always able to coax him back into the magic with explanations for his questions.

This time there was no going back. Jake knew he was right.

I figured this was coming. Two years ago there were a lot of questions, but this past Christmas there were even more. I made a few slip-ups when hiding and choosing their gifts, and Detective Jake was on it.  Read More

Results of "How Tough is Your Love" Survey

Monday, April 30, 2012

By Katie Moosbrugger

The results are in! And it looks like the majority of us are middle-of-the-road when it comes to tough lovin'! The most popular responses are highlighted in bold. Most of us selected the middle answer, but there are some instances (with good reason!) where we all chose to take the toughest stand with our kids. There was one result , however, that surprised me. The majority of us are pretty soft on walking our preschooler into school versus using the designated drop-off line. I do a little bit of both, but I have to say my preschool drop-off line stays pretty busy!

Thanks for participating in this survey. Take a look at the results and let us know what you think. Do any of the results surprise you? Read More

Toddler Beds - I Just Don't Get It!

Monday, April 23, 2012

By Katie Moosbrugger

A few years ago we crossed a major milestone in our house: getting rid of our crib. It made me so sad. We had it as a regular piece of furniture for six years and parting with it made me realize I no longer had babies – I have kids! But, it was a necessary step as my son had just turned three (yes, we held onto it as long as possible), and he was more than ready for a “big boy bed.” The transition was great, albeit we had many talks (a.k.a. threats) that big boys don’t get out of their bed in the middle of the night. And keeping the crib in the room for a while after adding the bed proved good leverage in case he did decide to slink out. He was psyched for the big move and was very good about it overall.  Read More

How Tough is Your Love?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

By Katie Moosbrugger

If you haven't noticed before, we like to survey our readers here at Triad Moms on Main. We think it's a great way to gauge how normal - or crazy - we all really are! And it helps us get a reality check on how we are doing as moms (even though the results show time and time again just how wonderful we truly are!). You might remember the results of our past surveys, like "How Much Do You Spend?", or "What Do You Think?", or "How Often Do You?". Well, today we have a new one to measure how tough our love really is. Read More

I Do It Myself

Monday, April 16, 2012

By Guest Blogger Thea DeLoreto, author of The Lint Trap blog

I have a two year old. A two year who thinks she is 12. Or 22. Or 52. I am not really sure. But she certainly has no idea she is only two. With the limitations that come along with being two. Like not being able to read. Or go up and down stairs with out holding on. Or articulating what you want without speaking in the third person or taking your finger out of your nose.

Apparently being two is super hard. You have all this emotion inside and not many good ways to express it. So instead of saying “please” and “thank you,” there is foot stomping and shrieking. Instead of saying that a meal was enjoyable and you have had a sufficiency, it is better to flip your place mat over and send everything on it flying. Instead of expressing that you are tired and ready for bed, it is more effective to lay on the floor on top of your bunched up blankie sobbing for more milk. It is a beee-otch to be a toddler.  Read More

What Happened to the Mr. and Mrs?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

By Katie Moosbrugger

The other day I answered my house phone and this tiny little voice said, “Hi Katie! How are you?” Since I am notorious for being terrible at names, faces and sometimes even voices, I paused as I frantically tried to figure out who this person was. I don’t get a lot of calls to my house phone – most people who know me personally call my cell phone (except for my own mom, of course). So was this a friend of mine? Possibly a neighbor? A mother to one of my child's friends? A TMoM client? After what seemed like a very long awkward moment, I replied with fake enthusiasm, “I’m good! How are you?” At which point the caller replied, “I’m good. Can Emily talk?”

Holy cow! This wasn't a call for me - this was one of my seven-year-old daughter’s friends. I barely know this girl, yet she was talking to me like we were best buds. On a first-name basis. My jaw dropped. I was floored! Read More

Bye-Bye Pacifier!

Friday, April 06, 2012

By Rachel Hoeing

When is the right time to put your child through pacifier detox? And how do you do it? As we all know, every child is different. Some children never take a pacifier. It could be because they were never offered one by Mom & Dad or because they just didn’t want it. Some kids and babies prefer to suck on their thumbs or fingers, and some don’t need anything at all. I had one of each – my son took a pacifier before we even left the hospital. My daughter wanted nothing to do with it, but never sucked her thumb either.

Some parents are against pacifiers while others have them on their baby registry before their little one even arrives! Some parents think they are OK for just a while, and others are saying, “Why can’t they just have their binky as long as they want?” The American Academy of Pediatrics does say pacifiers are OK throughout baby's first year. They may soothe fussy babies, help them go to sleep, and research has shown that they may help reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. The cons of using a pacifier are that early pacifier use may interfere with breast-feeding. They are also found to be responsible for 25% of ear infections in children under age 3, and your child may become dependent on the pacifier. Read More

My Kids Are Driving Me Crazy!

Friday, March 30, 2012

By Dara Garner-Edwards, MSW, LCSW, family counselor with Wake Forest Baptist Health – Brenner Children’s Hospital

Having trouble getting your child to eat dinner or get out of bed in the morning? Is he throwing temper tantrums in public? Is she biting other children at school? Is the whining, nagging, screaming and arguing driving you crazy?

What if I told you that these behaviors and many others can be managed with a set of “tools” that can transform your child’s behavior and reduce your stress?

These tools are taught through an approach called “Positive Discipline” that builds life skills in children of all ages. This approach is not based on discipline through punishment or reward, but through effective communication with your child.

Here’s how it works. Say your child is having a temper tantrum. You may think, “Why is he behaving so badly? This is making me mad.” Your response might be to yell at him or give him a time out. If you really need to get his attention or if he’s being destructive, you might also give a “pop” on the bottom. Sound familiar? Read More

The Not-sure-it's-okay Corral

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

By Kristen Bagwell, Triangle Moms on Main

So many of my friends have grown up in homes with guns. One of my favorite childhood friends grew up hunting with his dad, and now his son goes hunting with them every season; he has since he could stand up, just about. Another dear friend grew up with a father who was an incredible big-game hunter. Their home was filled with his trophies, and I mean filled: an elephant head on the wall in one room, ducks flying across the corner of another, a gi-normous bear standing tall, and many many others, all beautifully mounted and stuffed. Yet when my husband brought home a gun yesterday - and it's not like we had not talked about it - I flipped out a little.

I should back up and say that this is not a blog about gun rights, nor do I want to debate the pros/cons of having a gun in the house. Of all the people in the world, my husband knows how to safely handle a gun. He was a small-arms expert in the Navy, and is a veteran of Desert Storm. Yet somehow, seeing the gun, right in front of me (lockbox or not, padlocked and not-load-able or not) completely freaked me out. This should not have been a total surprise - we'd argued about why he "needed" a gun, discussed what kind and where he'd get it...even chosen a safe at a sporting goods store. Yet somehow, I did not equate his "I got my permit at the sheriff's office last week" with "I'm bringing home a gun on Monday."  Read More

How Do You Keep Your Child Safe?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

By Guest Blogger Elizabeth Sasso Smith

The subject of child safety is so broad it seems like there is an endless list of topics; bath safety, car safety, bike safety, home safety, water safety. As the mother of a toddler when someone mentions safety I think of gates, cabinet latches, outlet plugs,etc. At this point in my life my safety goal is to keep my child away from the things that could hurt him.But it leads me to question how much I should keep my child away from versus how much should I teach him to stay away from.For example do I put a gate up to keep my child out of the living room so he doesn’t mess with the picture frames, or do I focus on teaching him not to go into that room or not to touch the picture frames. Read More

Why Can’t They Just Be Nice?

Sunday, March 18, 2012

By Guest Blogger, Michelle M. Bostian, LCSW, Lower School Counselor at Greensboro Day School

How do kids grow? Not physically, we all get that, but what are the things that actually push emotional growth forward? It’s not exactly what you would think. We all need positive attachments. Children need love through their mistakes and protection from dangers that we can avoid. They need affirmation, cuddling and extended story times. They need the calming routine of ritual to center them on a regular basis. What we sometimes forget is the value of hurt feelings, lost friendships, unanswered questions and broken promises.

The infant learns to self soothe when a parent can’t get to the crib fast enough to replace the pacie. The toddler learns it hurts when he runs through the house too fast and turns a corner to meet the edge of a partially open door. We are all familiar with these things. We accept it with a knowing smile and a confident sigh that we have been there and survived. But then we also forget. Read More

Teen Talk.. Like, Totally

Sunday, March 11, 2012

By Guest Blogger Kristen Daukas of Ten to Twenty Parenting

I just returned home from an evening at my least favorite place – the mall. I would rather shop local or shop on-line and reserve trips to the mall for emergencies or to entertain my 13 year old daughter. Tonight was the latter and it involved not just her but 3 of her friends to boot. I considered packing a flask but thought better of it at the last minute.

If you’ve ever had the chance to spend time with this delightful age group, you know how energetic and dramatic their conversations can be. I listened to them rattle on and on in breathless run on sentences about who was dating who (dating? Who? What? You’re 13! You don’t date!), who had dissed who (really? And you still insist on sitting with them at lunch?!), can you believe that outfit (oh my gawd Becky, look at her butt!) and so on. Listening to their chatter will leave even the most conditioned athlete EXHAUSTED trying to decipher the slang and lingo they use and I had to wonder if our parents felt the same way.  That’s a redundant question, by the way...

There aren’t too many terms they use that I’m not familiar with but I thought it would be fun to break down the slang they’re using in 2012 and compare it to what we were using at their age in 1982. Think it’s close? Read More

Oops, We Did It Again

Monday, March 05, 2012

By Guest Blogger JoAnne Clifford, author of the blog Life with the Triplets Plus One

All I remember is that it was hot. It was August in Florida and I was just struggling to stay cool while it was 95 degrees outside. I was also waist deep in laundry, diapers, and bottles - the by-products of eight months of caring for my recently born triplets. I was happy, but exhausted. With the triplets being eight months old, I finally felt like I could see a light at the end of the tunnel. I was exiting the baby haze brought on by newborns and was starting to finally feel confident and sure about my family's future and what it would hold. I was starting to feel normal again and then ...

Oops. Read More

Are girls just being girls?

Saturday, March 03, 2012

By Guest Blogger, Melissa Norman, Founder & Executive Director of Girl CHARGE, Inc.

Ask any female if they have ever been disappointed by a friendship, if they have ever known the confusion and hurt of having other girls turn on them, and most will respond affirmatively. Beyond that, most will recall the incident with more clarity and emotion than they remember first days of school, birthdays or other seemingly important milestones. The pain rushes back as if the event took place yesterday. Female betrayal is certainly not a new phenomenon; yet every girl tends to feel as if she is the first victim. And so the vicious cycle continues.

I, too, have lucid memories of my own experience with relational aggression. While I was on the receiving end, some are bystanders and some are the ones creating the behavior. However, most girls do experience it in some role. As a teacher and counselor, I have grown increasingly exasperated of hearing adults excuse this behavior as “girls just being girls” or tales of “mean girls” and “Barbie brats”. At what point did we determine that it is acceptable for girls to ostracize and humiliate other girls? When did spreading rumors and gossiping become the norm in regards to female behavior? Read More

The Hardest Stage of Parenting

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

By Guest Blogger, Kelly Hines

The hardest stage of parenthood is when your children are newborns. All they do is eat and poop and cry and they can't do anything for themselves. You are certain you will never sleep again.

The hardest stage of parenthood is when your children are toddlers. They're into everything and eating everything, including everything they're not supposed to eat, and no surface is safe from their grubby, grabby hands.

The hardest stage of parenthood is when your children are preschoolers. Their motto is I CAN DO IT and sometimes they can't, but tell them so and risk unleashing a monster. They are equal parts charm and insanity, and there is no reasoning with them. Read More

A Unique Way to Celebrate Black History Month

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

By Rachel Hoeing

Earlier this month, Kristen Bagwell from Triangle Moms on Main ran a blog and we loved it so much that we knew we wanted to snatch it up to use for our Fox 8 segment this month.  So if you are near your television at 9:30am, be sure to turn on Fox 8 Morning News to see Shannon Smith's Mommy Matters segment.  Katie will be on with her live demonstrating this activity below. 

Kristen got this idea through a flyer that was sent home with her daughter's preschool. This is a fabulous activity to demonstrate all the wonderful things that African-Americans have contributed to our society. We thought this activity was great for children of African-American descent to appreciate their own culture, while other children can find an appreciation for a different ethnic background. We checked up on some of the inventions and most are accurate. A few are instances where the person mentioned actually made an improvement to the product and did not actually invent it, but it still gets the point across to children.  Read More

Doubling Our Years of Parenting

Monday, February 27, 2012

By Guest Blogger, Katie Reynolds

After 18 fast years of parenting, we were given a do-over. As parents, I think we all wish for a do-over now and again – or maybe a rewind button, “wish I had the opportunity to handle that better.” Well at 43 years old – with four children from 11-18, we were blessed with Patrick. He is our second chance to parent with some real hind-sight. Patrick is now 2 years old. He has a brother in college, 2 brothers in high school and a sister in middle school. He has four role models, playmates, babysitters (woohoo!) and lifelong friends. “Geriatric” parenting does have its benefits.

Some ask – how do you do it? Starting over is daunting after you’ve tucked away the potty seat and the sippy cups; and our home was somewhat less than baby proofed. We now have outlet covers everywhere, and our living room is decorated in primary colors with a construction truck motif. “My little brother drew on my homework” is a totally legit excuse in our house. Read More

Spring Sports at the Y: Where Values are Always in Play

Saturday, February 25, 2012

By Guest Blogger Chelsea Cullen, communications director, YMCA of Northwest NC

Sports aren’t always about whether you win or lose, but what you learn in the process. At the Y, sports programs are a great way for kids to meet new friends, build athletic skills, develop life-long passions, and achieve goals in a supportive environment with caring adults.

This spring, the Y offers a variety of sports options across our various branches. Here are just a few:  Read More

Smells Like Tween…Fear It!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

By Guest Blogger, Andrea Randolph

Legs must be shaved, unibrow separated, hair flat-ironed, and tight jeans squeezed into—and I am screaming inside my head, “Not all at once, slow down!”  She is only eleven years old--this kind, responsible, smart, beautiful, thoughtful, and funny daughter of mine, but she is a tween, and she is trying to move into adulthood at the speed of light.

Physical Changes

Granted, her body has changed drastically in the last few months.  She wears a bra, gets occasional face breakouts, and started her period.  These ARE rights of passage, and I am trying to celebrate them. 

Behavior Changes

Drama and tensions are high in our household these days.  Suddenly, she is moody and sometimes disrespectful, and she goes in her room and CLOSES THE DOOR!!  I embarrass her.  She rolls her eyes.  She is not interested in running around outside with the neighborhood kids as often.  I remember acting this way as a TEENAGER, but this seems early.  This makes me wonder…Why are kids growing up faster these days?  Is it a survival of the species thing?  Global warming?  Do they know something we don’t?   Read More

Have Times Changed or Is It More of the Same?

Thursday, February 09, 2012

By Katie Moosbrugger

If you've been following our blog for a while you might remember a story I shared a couple years ago about my mom being abducted. She was about five or six - it was the early 1950s - and she was walking home alone from school. She attended a Catholic school and naturally wore a Catholic school uniform. She usually walked home with her older sister, but on this particular day, she was by herself. As she walked through downtown (her downtown was probably similar to Jamestown in size), a man approached her and asked if she went to the Catholic elementary school (there was only one such Catholic school in the town). My mom said yes, so he asked if she'd go home with him to meet his "daughter" who was starting school in a few days. Naively, my mom agreed and got in his car. Read More

Make a Threat, Keep a Threat

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

By Rachel Hoeing

I recently attended a baby shower where they passed around a book and asked us to write our best parenting advice for the mom-to-be.  Mine was simple ...

"Make a Threat, Keep a Threat!"

How many times have you witnessed something like this:  Read More

New Baby Smell

Thursday, January 26, 2012

By Katie Moosbrugger

It hit me like a ton of bricks. First it happened at my son’s preschool. Then again near the YMCA daycare. Both times it made me stop dead in my tracks. Part of me experienced an overwhelming sense of sadness, while another part of me just wanted to savor it.

What, or who, was doing this to me? It wasn’t a physical being of any sort. It was “new baby smell.” You know, that undeniable scent of diapers and baby powder. What? I know it sounds crazy but it seems like ages since I had a good whiff of either. I’m just not around baby stuff anymore, and the fragrance was welcoming. It was unexpected. And it was a little overwhelming. In fact, I actually sensed a longing for another baby! Read More

Marijuana - Is It Everywhere?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

By Rachel Hoeing

Teens and Drugs - Do you think it is a battle worth fighting?

A few weeks ago I had lunch with a friend who told me that she had recently discovered her 15 year old daughter smoking pot.  She was upset, of course, and told me how she and her husband debated on how to handle the issue.  She told me about the talk they had with her daughter and the things her teen told them about drug use in her school and with her friends.

My friend then said, "You know what, Rachel?  Marijuana is everywhere.  I have decided that there just isn't much I can do about it."

I was a little taken aback.  Although this friend was a party-girl herself, it surprised me that she was willing to allow her 15 year old daughter to continue to use an illegal drug without putting up much of a fight.  I can't really remember how I replied, but after I got home and replayed this situation in my head and knew I wanted to blog about it. Read More

Dog Heaven

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

By Katie Moosbrugger

In just the past few months, I've seen my brother's family and my friend's family have to put down their beloved family dog. It was only a few years ago that my husband and I made the same heartbreaking decision for our family dog, Sheba. This experience is never easy, and unfortunately, it happens all too often among families with children too young to understand. I ran this post a few years back and thought I'd share it again, along with the comments and suggestions I received from readers going through the same painful experience.

When the end was near we prepared the kids little by little telling them Sheba will probably have to go to Heaven soon. They didn't fully understand, and when I told my daughter we were taking Sheba to the doctor soon so he could send her to Heaven, she replied, "Mommy, the doctor can't push Sheba back into Heaven." So began our struggle with life's most difficult topic...  Read More

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