It's time you start acting your age, old man. A new survey of kids shows that they find it embarrassing when their dads try to act hip and young. Coming from a generation who was often embarrassed by their parents who were seen as too old and geeky, some may find it surprising that kids today don't want youthful parents who are knowledgeable (or think they're knowledgeable) about the slang and music scene. Today's kids are warned that when they're parents, their children will be embarrassed by what fuddy-duddies they are.
School days are short. Work days are long. Should the school day be lengthened to help working parents? While parents work, many kids are sent to after-school care before coming home, eating dinner and starting on homework late in the evening, a routine that can be hard on kids and parents, alike. Some are proposing a longer school day to help eliminate homework and also to provide kids with the opportunity to study more subjects, including P.E., music and art classes, which have been largely eliminated in many schools. Others think that longer school days wouldn't improve kids', but would deprive them of the chance to develop as whole beings outside of the classroom. Others wonder why the topic's being discussed at all right now, because given how cash-strapped most schools are these days, longer school days are highly unlikely anytime soon.
Dads, do want your son to pledge your fraternity but worry that their legacy status won't be enough to get them in? If you start working with them on their beer-funneling skills now, while they're still in elementary school, they'll be better prepared on the night of their first rush party. Don't let them funnel beer, that would be inappropriate -- have them funnel-drink a Capri Sun for practice. As it's important to establish their cool-kid street cred early on, you should also videotape it and post it on YouTube to help establish their rep. They'll be a shoo-in for sure.
In a game of word-association, when "stepmother" is uttered, the first word to many people's minds is "evil." Unquestionably, stepmother has a negative connotation. LeeAnn Rimes is replacing that unfavorable term with a much better one, "bonus mom." While LeeAnn has gotten a lot of flack for her dramatic weight loss, people would be hard-pressed to criticize her for her approach to parenting in a blended family. In a recent, touching blog post, she describes her blind but optimistic foray into the role of blended family mom. Would you use the term "bonus mom?"
Teethers that look like chicken wings. A christening headband that will double as a garter when your baby gets married. Baby clothes with pockets and no-slip grips, to ensure you have a safe grasp on your wriggling, squiggling bundle of joy. Based on some of the outrageous baby products displayed at the ABC Kids Expo (the largest trade show for juvenile products in North America), it may be safe to say that everything that could be invented for babies has indeed, been invented. This collection of some of the more outrageous products is worth a look (and a laugh).
Dana Macario is a TODAY Moms contributor and Seattle mom to two sleep-depriving toddlers. She is currently developing an alarm clock that will start an IV coffee drip 10 minutes prior to wake-up time. Once properly caffeinated, she also blogs at www.18years2life.com.