Nobody wants to be the parents of the mean kid. In fact, most moms and dads don't think they are going to be! I recently had the chance to chat via phone with Rosalind Wiseman, the author who made "mean girls" a household name when Tina Fey turned her book Queen Bees and Wannabes into a movie starring Rachel McAdams and Lindsay Lohan. Wiseman is an expert on the topic so I was interested in hearing what she had to say on ways mothers and fathers can avoid this situation by raising kind kids. Do you agree with her tip and do you keep the communication lines open in your home?
An article in this weekend's New York Times Magazine examines the trend and reveals that many of these kid are coming out before they've ever dated or kissed anyone of either sex. They just know they don't want to date the opposite sex.
The piece profiles Austin, a gay 13-year-old from Oklahoma. To hear what Austin thinks about tweens and teens coming out and the reactions they get, read more
A Food and Drug Administration advisory committee voted Wednesday to recommend that the vaccine be made available to boys and young men aged 9 to 26 for protection against genital warts caused by HPV.
The vaccine protects against four types of HPV, and two of those are believed to be responsible for 70 percent of cervical and anal cancers, and HPV-associated penile and throat-and-neck cancers. The other two cause 90 percent of genital warts cases, researchers say.
Would get your son vaccinated?
Some parents use parent/child contracts to keep the communication path more open, while others see it as a way to keep order in their household. The contract can serve as a visible way to ensure that kids are aware of the house rules and the consequences of disobeying them. They also help children understand what their parents' roles are in helping them achieve their goals.
For families looking to put things in writing, this pad of contracts ($10) will help get the process started with 30 fill-in-the-blank sheets that outline the terms of the agreement and penalties for breaking them.
What's your opinion of drafting contracts with your kids?
The youngest one is eating right. She’s an athlete, she dances, she swims, she does basketball, softball. So my big push is eating the proper food that will fuel her body. You know, it’s a struggle because kids love gummy bears and fruit roll ups and yogurt with sugar in it — the quick snack foods. Trying to force them to eat vegetables and be conscious of eating living food like a piece of fruit as opposed to going for a bag of chips. I’m currently trying to focus her on making sure that she fuels her body with delicious, healthy food. And also staying active which she has no problem doing.
If you have school aged children, especially tweens, the Mouse has probably taken over your television set and CD player. Now, prepare for The Jonas Brothers and The Wizards of Waverly Place to take over your kiddo's closet. Yesterday, Disney debuted it's back to school line of Ivy League and Boho Chic duds inspired by the popular shows. There are also school supplies and accessories to fill up your youngster's desk or locker. The reasonably priced items hit shelves this month at JC Penney, Kmart, Sears, Walmart, Target and DisneyStore.com.
To check out more shots from the runway show and the full line of apparel, read more
I know a very smart, independent, tomboyish 5-year-old who is enthralled by the idea of being a princess. It was Fiona from the Shrek films that got her hooked.
Girls have always loved playing with dolls and pretending they're princesses, but it appears to be crammed down their throats even more now by toy manufacturers and movie studios. There are princess baby clothes, princess-related Barbie items, and the entire Disney Princess franchise, featuring characters from Sleeping Beauty to Mulan. Even tough chick Dora the Explorer wears crowns sometimes!
Many people who are trying to raise nonbratty girls with aspirations beyond being pretty and glamorous worry that selling the princess ethos to girls might be a bad idea. Jean Twenge, an associate professor of psychology at San Diego State and author of The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement, worries as well. She argues, "It just encourages parents who put their kids on a pedestal — and who encourage their kids a lot and rarely criticize."
Twenge and her co-author W. Keith Campbell found that although a study of college-age men and women showed that men in that age group are more likely to exhibit narcissistic traits, the rate at which college-age women were developing narcissistic traits was four times that of the men.
Is the fantasy of being a princess just an inevitable rite of passage for girls? Or would girls be better off heeding, "Do not pass Princess Lane, do not collect crown"?
In a recent episode of Brothers & Sisters, tweener Paige went shopping with grandma Nora and the two came home with what Sarah (Paige's mom) thought was a doozy of an outfit — a sparkly red mini. After much ado, Sarah compromised by buying her daughter a pair of leggings and matching jacket to tone down the dress. Do you censor what your children wear or let them express themselves?
A child of the 70s, Esprit, Guess, Polo, Keds, and Kappas were about the only "cool" trends that hit my elementary school. These days, kids are inundated with loads of fabulous options. From designer jeans to Little Marc by Marc Jacobs, parents and tots are paying much more attention to their youngster's apparel. Savvy Los Angeles moms Elizabeth Wiatt and Jamie Tisch are banking on it.
Creators and owners of the kiddie fashion house, Fashionology LA, the two businesswomen opened their doors to lil ladies who fancy themselves designers. Tweens choose their canvas of T–shirts or tanks and then customize it with bells and whistles making it a unique creation of their own. Parents can rent the space for private parties. Rates are between $60 — $300 a tot! This is just the kind of place I can see Leni Klum making her own. Mini Project Runway anyone?
Would you take your wee one to such a place?