To everything there is a season... A time to laugh, a time to weep. But, as moms, sometimes we feel we should only have (or at least only display) one emotion -- pure, unbridled joy. One mom, who used to feel that she should always be "strong" and never cry in front of her kids, has since changed her tune. Writing at Babble, she talks about how she's been having a hard time this week. Not in the mood to be her normal, fun, silly self, instead she's cried in front of her kids. She decided that rather than protect her kids from the complicated emotions and stresses of the grown-up world, she's going to let her kids see the variety of emotions she really does experience. Her hope is that by letting them see her sad and angry times as well as her fun and happy times, they'll know it's okay and normal to be sad sometimes. Do you try and keep a happy face for your kids or do you wear your emotions on your sleeve?
Liar, liar, pants on fire
If you ask a young toddler why her brother is crying, she'll calmly inform you he's crying because she hit him. However, by the time she's two or three, she'll simply shrug her shoulders, saying she has no idea why he's upset. That's the horrible day you realize your kid has learned to lie. Not to worry, she's simply reached a normal, developmental milestone. A recent Wall Street Journal article said that more than one-third of three-year-olds lie to get out of trouble and by the time they're seven more than half of them will try to fib their way out of a punishment. Will they get away with it? Probably. The same article says that, as parents, we're pretty bad lie detectors when it comes to our own kids. While little kids tend to practice a form of truthiness, lying about things they wish had happened, older kids start to tell more white lies. Where do they learn such bad behavior you ask? From us. A study of adults showed that we're constantly letting little untruths slip. Whether we're calling in sick when we just want a day off of work, or we're complimenting a cook on her terrible food, we lie once a day, on average.
New childhood obesity expert is a...child
Together with bullying, childhood obesity is one of the biggest challenges facing kids and parents today. In fact, the two often seem to go hand in hand, with overweight kids getting picked on for their size. As adults and parents, we talk and worry about this a lot. But, what do the kids themselves think about it? As the New York Times reports, one young boy who had been made fun of because of his weight, decided he wouldn't wait for an adult to solve the problem for him and took matters into his own hands. A couple of years ago, after a kid told him, "you're fat," he went home and told his mom, " Mom, let’s do the opposite of ‘Super Size Me.’ ” Young Marshall wanted to spend one month eating healthily and this mini-marketer wanted to call it "Portion Size Me." One month turned into two and before you knew it, he was posting videos on YouTube, featuring him scrutinizing nutrition labels and talking about the great taste and healthy balance of the foods he'd cooked. That's not to say it's been easy, like anyone who struggles with their weight, he regularly has to fight temptation and work hard to eat the right thing. But, he's stuck with it and lost weight. Now, he's written a book, "Portion Size Me: A Kid-Driven Plan to a Healthy Family."
Mmm, that toxic food dye sure does look yummy
Speaking of the things we eat... Consumer advocates are up in arms about some of the toxic food dyes used in foods marketed towards kids. In an article in the Huffington Post, advocates write that eight common dyes used in everything from macaroni and cheese to breakfast cereals have been linked to ADHD, childhood cancer and serious food allergies. While the FDA recently called for "more research" into the issue, companies like Kraft and Coca-Cola, have already stopped using those dyes in other countries. In response to consumer demand in the U.K., a number of companies voluntarily stopped using those dyes. While a Nutri Grain bar in the U.S. contains Red No. 40, Yellow No. 6 and Blue No. 1, that same bar in the U.K. lists the coloring ingredients: Beetroot red, Annatto, Paprika extract. The advocates say that the products sold overseas are proof that companies can and will sell products that don't contain potentially dangerous artificial dyes.
Breastfeed you? Not with that set of chompers, kid
Breastfeeding advocacy campaigns are nothing new. But, usually they make a woman actually want to breastfeed. The advocacy video put forth by the Louisville mayor's office? Not so much. At first glance, it's harmless enough. As Buzzfeed shows, it features a happy mom holding an adorable baby on her lap. Then, that delightful kiddo gets downright terrifying when she opens her mouth and has a full set of chompers in there. And by chompers, we mean, chompers. The super-imposed mouth on this tot does not feature the delicate teeth of your typical one-year-old. No, it's more like a dentures ad got enmeshed with the breastfeeding ad, making moms worry that if the kid doesn't bite their nipple off, her Super-Polident may just adhere to mommy's breast. Either way, no one's expecting this ad campaign to turn many people on to the world of breastfeeding.
Dana Macario is a TODAY Moms contributor and Seattle mom to two sleep-depriving toddlers. Once properly caffeinated, she also blogs at www.18years2life.com.