Archive for March, 2013

How to Know When Your Teen is Ready to Date

March 17th, 2013 by admin

When you bring a child into the world, your ultimate goal is to help them eventually become independent adults. As they take small steps towards that independence with every passing year, it can be difficult to determine when they’re truly ready for more grown-up responsibilities like navigating the dating world. Watching your baby go off in exploration of romantic relationships can also be quite scary. After all, they’ll almost certainly weather a few painful break-ups along the way. Regardless of how much you’d like to keep your teenager at home and completely safe from the potential for heartbreak, there comes a time when you must allow them to start dating. The trickiest part of that proposition, for many parents, is knowing when dating can be considered an age-appropriate activity for their child.

Remember that Age is Just a Number

It’s not uncommon for parents to settle upon sixteen as the “magic number” of dating ages, but there’s simply no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to this particular situation. Your teenager’s level of emotional maturity may be high enough at fifteen, or still a bit too far behind at seventeen. The first step to determining whether or not your teenager is ready to date is simply to throw out the idea that the number of candles on her birthday cake is indicative of her emotional ability to handle a relationship.

Talk it Out

You may be surprised to find that your teenager is actually much more prepared for the dating world in her social circle than you assumed, but you’ll have to talk to her about it first. Starting a calm and productive conversation with a teenager, especially about such a hot-button topic, isn’t always easy. Still, it’s important for your teen to know that her opinion is valued and that you’re truly listening to what she has to say before making your decision.

Consider Her Level of Responsibility in Other Areas

If your teen has never been on a date, you’re going to be hard-pressed to find evidence of her maturity in relation to matters of the heart. Taking a long, hard look at her level of responsibility in other areas can give you a basic idea of how well she’ll manage the tricky world of dating. If she’s generally lax about her schoolwork, takes an apathetic approach to household responsibilities and has a history of acting out in other ways, the pressure-cooker of dating may not be the most ideal environment for her. Talking about the importance of maturity and a sense of responsibility when you’re discussing the idea of dating with your teen can help her to understand that there are very real and important things a dating teenager will have to be responsible for.

Look at the Big Picture of Her Social Life

A teen with a thriving social life, plenty of friends and who seems to be relatively well-adjusted may be less likely to see relationships as a means of social validation. Teens who feel as if they’re an outcast or a lonely social misfit will often latch on to the first person that shows a romantic interest, and may be persuaded to make decisions in life that she doesn’t feel entirely comfortable with in order to preserve the relationship. Emphasizing the importance of a well-rounded social life and a sense of identity outside of the shared one that can come with a relationship is a smart move, but you’ll still want to keep these things in mind when you’re deciding whether or not you feel comfortable with your teen starting to date.

Determine Her Susceptibility to Peer Pressure

An established track history of being susceptible to peer pressure is a very good reason to delay your teenager’s entry to the dating world for a while, or at least to set very firm ground rules. There’s obviously a fair bit of pressure that a teenager who’s recently started dating will face from her romantic partners, and it’s important that your teen be more than capable of standing up to that pressure before she’s put into such a highly-charged situation.

Work Together to Set Boundaries

If your teenager is willing to calmly and rationally discuss the reasons why you’re hesitant to condone dating, and to work with you to create a set of agreed-upon boundaries, it’s a strong indicator of her overall maturity level. Furthermore, a teenager who helped to create the guidelines to which she’s expected to adhere is less likely to rebel against them or to feel that they’re unnecessarily restrictive. A teen that’s not willing to discuss any boundaries and has no interest in a productive discussion on the subject, however, may need a bit more time to mature before she enters the complicated world of romantic relationships.

7 Reasons You Should Think Twice Before Putting a TV in Your Child’s Room

March 14th, 2013 by admin

When every child on the block has a television in her bedroom, explaining to your child that it’s not an option isn’t easy. Despite the increased risk of childhood obesity associated with the sedentary habits promoted by watching television, there are a staggering number of American children with unfettered access to television in their own bedrooms. It’s certainly easier to give into your child’s pleas for his own television when you’re faced with the prospect of being able to avoid cartoons when you’d rather be watching more grown-up programming, but that doesn’t mean that it’s the smartest choice in terms of your child’s wellbeing. If you’re considering the idea of putting a television in your child’s bedroom, these are seven of the reasons why you might want to think again.

  1. He’s Under the Age of Two – The American Academy of Pediatrics has a fairly hardline stance on television for children under the age of two: it’s not recommended at all. Limited screen time spent on quality programming is considered more acceptable for older children, but the AAP asserts that there are no developmental benefits for children under two years of age to be gleaned from watching television. Children so young also aren’t likely to request their own television, so providing him with one is essentially establishing a bad habit before he’s had the chance to acquire it on his own.
  2. You Want to Limit Screen Time – It may seem like a no-brainer, but installing a television set in your child’s bedroom when you’d like to limit his screen time will only lead to more problems in the long run. Despite your efforts, you’ll almost certainly find that enforcing a strict television schedule is nearly impossible when your child has a television in his room that he can flip on whenever he likes.
  3. Making the Bedroom a Distraction-Free Homework Zone – While some kids’ learning style makes it easier for them to complete their homework under the watchful eye of an adult who can limit distractions, others work more productively when they’re isolated. A television in the space that’s intended to be distraction-free to improve concentration is completely counterproductive, and should be carefully considered before a decision is made.
  4. Encouraging Active Play – Young children learn about the world through the exploration that comes with active play, and older ones need to be physically active in order to stay in shape. Zoning out in front of a television runs in direct opposition of these needs. If you want to encourage your children to be active and to play and explore the world through hands-on experiences, the first step is to make sure that there’s no glowing box in their bedrooms to lure them into passive entertainment.
  5. Preventing Sleep Problems – When kids watch television in bed, they can stay awake longer to see the resolution of a program or have trouble falling asleep due to the noise generated by the TV. Putting a television in a child’s room when he doesn’t have sleep problems can create them, and doing so when your child has existing ones can exacerbate them dramatically.
  6. Fostering an Environment of Togetherness – It’s easy to send your kids to their rooms to watch their own shows while you pursue your own diversions, but that really only leads to your family living separate lives under the same roof. Spending time together is an important part of building and maintaining familial bonds, something that you may find you do less of when everyone can wander away to watch their own television alone.
  7. Protection from Inappropriate Content – Parental controls do a great job of filtering out much of the inappropriate content on television, but they’re not infallible. The single most effective way of protecting your little ones from things they shouldn’t be seeing is to make sure that the only television they have access to is in a high-traffic, common area. That way, you’ll be able to easily monitor the programs they’re watching and make the appropriate judgment calls. Even networks that specialize in kids’ programming throughout the day tend to have adult-oriented late-night programming, which your child could easily be exposed to if he’s watching TV in his room instead of sleeping.

Ultimately, the decision to place a TV in your child’s room is one that only you can make. The individual needs and habits of your family are unique, and as a parent the final call is yours. It is a wise idea, however, to consider all sides of the debate before deciding which option is best for your family.

5 Strategies for Potty Training Stubborn Toddlers

March 13th, 2013 by admin

Tackling the major developmental milestone that is potty training requires plenty of patience and understanding, even under the best of circumstances. When your child is stubbornly refusing to make the shift from diapers to a potty, however, the strain on a parent’s composure can be almost unbearable. Before you throw in the towel altogether and resign yourself to a life of changing jumbo-sized diapers for your college student, consider these five potty training strategies.

Don’t Resort to Punishments

When your child is outright refusing to use the potty and you know that she has a clear understanding of the concept, it’s easy to feel like the only possible solution is some sort of punishment when she has an accident. In fact, setting up a system of punishing your child for her failure to graduate to a potty chair can have deleterious effects. If she’s truly stubborn and simply isn’t ready to potty train, you’re effectively establishing a power struggle that can make her even less inclined to comply with your demands. If she’s just apprehensive and uncomfortable with such a big change, which can often be the case even when a child seems to be stubborn, the pressure of being punished for failure could actually inhibit progress.

Consider Taking a Break

It’s understandable to want your child out of diapers when she reaches toddlerhood, but her developmental schedule doesn’t always follow your own. If you’ve been trying to potty train your child for an extended period of time and have seen no real results, your best strategy may actually be to wait it out a bit. Giving your child a little break from the pressure of potty training and letting her spend a bit more time in diapers might be just the thing she needs. When she’s ready to use the potty and is somewhat receptive to the idea of eschewing diapers, you may find that you’re able to help her make that leap with a greater degree of success.

Make Potty Training as Comfortable as Possible

When a willful toddler that likes to do everything for herself is faced with the prospect of being helped onto an adult-sized potty and supported by a grown-up, she may lose interest in the entire concept. Making sure that your stubborn toddler who loves to assert her independence is able to access a child-sized potty chair with a modicum of privacy may help to advance your potty-training timeline.

Make Clean-Up a Group Effort

Diapers are whisked off and thrown away, while wet training pants make it into the laundry room and puddles are cleaned up by an adult. When your child has little to no involvement in the clean-up process during the aftermath of an accident, it may be more difficult for her to connect discomfort and inconvenience with not making it to the potty. Sometimes an accident occurs simply because a child is engaged in an enjoyable activity and doesn’t want to stop what she’s doing; when you quickly change her and allow her to continue as she was, the lesson about choosing not to go to the potty passes her by. When she has to stop what she’s doing to help you clean up her accident, find new clothes to put on and get re-dressed, she’s able to understand that there are uncomfortable and unpleasant consequences of not going to the potty.

Avoid Long Outings

A little bit of incentive can go a long way, even with toddlers. That’s why letting your child know that you won’t be taking any trips or going on any long outings until she’s able to go a whole day without a diaper or an accident can be an effective tool. Talk about a trip to the zoo or the park that you’ll take to celebrate her big-girl transition to the potty and make sure that she understands that success is up to her. Give her the keys to her own milestones and provide an incentive for her to make it there, and she’ll probably be more receptive. This same tactic can also work with little ones that are eager to emulate an older sibling who goes to school. Let her know that she can’t go to preschool until she’s potty trained, because school is for big kids. The incentive to be more like a sibling she looks up to and to attend something as exciting as school can help her be more receptive to the idea of potty training.

18 Blogs with Makeup Tips for a Romantic Night Out with Your Honey

March 4th, 2013 by admin

If you have a special date night coming up with your spouse or significant other, you might want to pay special attention to your makeup. After all, finding the right ensemble and shoes is only one step in the process. To finish off your ensemble you need the perfect date night makeup.  Do you know how to create the perfect smoky eye?  Have you found the ideal color of red for your lips?  If you aren’t exactly sure what the latest makeup trends are or how to apply the makeup you have in a sophisticated way, then you may want to check out some of these makeup blog entries.  Many of the posts have videos so you can see how the makeup is applied.  These 18 blog articles should help you achieve a sexy, polished look for a special night out.

Eyes

Most people have heard the saying “the eyes are the windows to the soul.”  Whether they are actually windows to the soul or not is debatable, but one thing is certain: they usually are the focus of your makeup.  Whether you want achieve a smoky eye or some other style, you can create the most breathtaking eyes by applying eye makeup correctly.  These six blog posts will show you pictures or videos to explain how achieve the effect you want for your eyes.

  1. Eye Makeup Tips A colorful eye is deconstructed so you can follow along with the photos and figure out how to duplicate this vibrant look.
  2. Best Eye Makeup Tutorials/Everyday and Bridal/ Prom and Special Occasions A lot of basics are covered in this post, from how to pick your eye shadow color to the tools that you will need.  Tons of photos can be found to help you choose your look.
  3. Makeup Tips for Deep Set Eyes This video will show you how to use shimmer eye shadow to make your deep set eyes pop out.
  4. Top 10 Ideas for Natural Eye Makeup Looks to Wear from Morning ‘Til Night These looks are very natural and would be perfect if you wanted to wear a bright red lipstick.
  5. Tips for Blue Eyes Makeup Special colors and techniques are explained that will emphasize the blue in blue eyes.
  6. Ideas for Smokey Eyes Makeup Plenty of information and pictures explaining how to create a smoky eye.

Face

Creating a flawless complexion that hides imperfections and camouflages a double chin or scar can be pretty tricky.  With the right techniques and makeup, however, you can put together an unblemished, flawless face.  These six blog posts will show you makeup tips for a big date night or special occasion.

  1. Michelle Phan Videos: Create Amazing Make-Up Transformations These videos can help you duplicate the looks that you see on the video for special occasion makeup.
  2. Special Occasion Makeup: Lips, Lashes, Sculpted Face Smart tips about using foundation to sculpt your face can be found on this blog, along with suggestions for lips and eyes.
  3. How to Get Glowing Skin for Your Next Big Date Night These tips are priceless for taking care of your skin so that your makeup looks the best.
  4. Hot for Valentine’s Day: Nighttime Makeup Tips from the Expert A lot of information about transforming your look from daytime to nighttime.
  5. Beauty Tips: Look Flawless for Date Night Information from lotion for your skin to the latest trends in lashes can be found in this article.
  6. Ultimate Pale-Girl Makeup Tips, How to Rock Fair Skin This blogger goes over several tips for how to wear makeup on pale skin without looking overly made up.

Tips and Tricks

As you can probably guess, there are tons of tips and tricks for applying makeup.  How do you camouflage acne or make your nose look smaller?  Can you hide the fact that you have a double chin?  Check out these tips and trick shared by these six bloggers and see if you can use any of them on your special date.

  1. Makeup Tips for Valentine’s Day! What’s Your Beauty Look? Tons of pictures to use as an example to pick your best look.
  2. Date Night Makeup Step-by-step instructions are explained for achieving the perfect date night look.
  3. How to Do Pretty Date Night Makeup Watch this video to learn how to create a flawless makeup look from start to finish.
  4. Beauty Tips and Tricks Check out these tricks for getting rid of dark circles and keeping your hair from getting damaged from using hot irons.
  5. Makeup Tips and Tricks Find out how to make a cat eye and apply false eye lashes.
  6. 10 Top Tips for Applying Quick Makeup… These 10 tips are golden nuggets of information for looking presentable when you only have a few minutes.