Say What? Studies Say We’ve Been Doing Parenting Wrong All These Years?

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You think you should be helping your child with his homework or making your daughter finish her meal, right? How about washing your baby every day or talking baby talk to her  because you think it will help her with her future vocal skills?

Yeah, those are the things all the books and parenting theories tell us.


Well, like with a lot of social science studies that give us conflicting data year after year, what if these theories are false?

Cracked.com hypothesizes that as the new millennia tries to figure out how to raise children to be conscientious and not little monsters, it turns out that our “well-meaning habits are in fact making things worse.”

Think not-so-smart parents steering their kids wrong. Think scrubbing away good bacteria. Think contributing to negative emotions to food. sigh  Yeah.

Interesting. Curious? Read the post HERE!

Moms, Do you Do any of these Top 10 Distracting Things While Driving ?

Bellyitch Rewinddistracting
Most moms know how important it is to multitask, but multitasking while you’re driving is something that should certainly be off limits, no matter how long your to-do list is. While we all know distracted driving is a faux pas, here are the top 12 dangerous things moms have been seen doing while driving.

Distraction #1: Drinking Hot Liquids
Sipping a latte while driving may seem like second nature to you, but it’s really not. With one hand off the wheel you have less control of the vehicle. You also risk spilling hot liquid on yourself, which could cause you to lose control of the vehicle, depending on how you react.

Distraction #2: Eating
Driving takes two hands and when you’re eating, only one is available. In addition to the risk of spilling crumbs on yourself, fiddling with the packaging or wrapping can also be distracting.

Distraction #3: Applying Make-up

It can be tempting to pretty yourself up while you’re driving, but you shouldn’t. Doing so is a huge distraction. Looking in the mirror with one hand on the wheel is a recipe for disaster.

Distraction #4: Grooming


In the same sentiment, tweezing your brows and fixing your hair should also be off limits when driving. Your eyes need to be on the road, not in the mirror.

Distraction #5: Tending to the Kids

Reaching behind the driver’s seat to fish for a dropped teddy bear or a sippy cup is an act that requires strength, endurance and concentration. Pull over if you need to tend to the kids while on the road.

Distraction #6: Texting

Although many states now have no texting laws on the books, people continue to text and drive, which can set the stage for trouble.

Distraction #7: Talking on the Phone

Chatting while driving may seem like a great way to pass the time, but engaging in conversations when driving can be distracting, especially when discussing emotional topics.

Distraction #8: Playing with Electronics

Whether it’s adjusting the volume on the radio or popping a new DVD into the onboard DVD player, the second or two it takes to make the adjustment is enough of a distraction to put you and the children in danger.

Distraction #9: Driving while Drowsy

Being a mom is tiring, no doubt, but dosing off for just a second can put you and your children in a life or death situation. Well-rested drivers are typically better drivers and have better response times when facing obstacles in their paths.

Distraction #10: Zoning Out

Being on autopilot won’t cut it when it comes to driving, especially with the kids. While you may naturally tend to zone out when driving the same route day after day, it’s important to stay focused while on the road.

Distraction #11 Pumping

While it could be argued that as long as you hook up and unhook yourself while the vehicle is at a complete stop, pumping isn’t a distraction, the opposite could also be argued. Having to fiddle with the controls or deal with spilled milk could certainly be a distraction.

Distraction #12 Breast Feeding

Children are supposed to be in car seats for a reason, to protect them. Never mind how distracting it may be trying to manage the wheel and the child, taking a child out of his seat while the vehicle is in motion to nurse him puts you both at risk should an accident occur.  Should the airbag ever deploy, it could be fatal to the child.

 Watch yourself moms.

Childfree v Childless: Actresses Kim Cattrall & Gabrielle Union reignite old debate


Two Hollywood actresses who do not have children have raised again in the press the age-old debate regarding childlessness and Child-freeness, and the controversy involving both.

Sex and the City alum Kim Cattrall told BBC radio recently that she has issues with the term “childless”.

It is a sensitive topic that seems to irk the vet stage actress.


“Child-less. It sounds like you’re less, because you haven’t had a child,” she said. “I think for a lot of women from my generation it wasn’t actually a conscious choice. It was a feeling of, ‘I’m on this road and things are going really well, and I’m very happy, and I’ll do it next year. I’ll do it in two years. I’ll do it in five years.'”

Cattrall added that though she is not a “biological” parent, she does consider herself a parent, nonetheless because of mothering she has done to young relatives.

“The thing that I find questionable about being childless or childfree is, are you really?” she asked. “There is a way to become a mother, in this day and age, that doesn’t include your name on the child’s birth certificate.”

Meanwhile Being Mary Jane star has been trying to get pregnant with husband NBA star Dwayne Wade but has been struggling and judged all the while by others for putting her career ahead of starting a family.

Union said being an older married woman without child is like having a “Scarlett letter” on your chest.

“There’s a certain amount of shame that is placed on women who have perhaps chosen a career over starting a family younger,” the Bring It On star told Redbook mag. “The penance for being a career woman is barrenness.”

Both recent comments speak towards societal expectations of women of child-bearing age and

Many people assume that they have the right to walk up to a woman and ask about her fertility, her family plans and many, casually, make assumptions about a very sensitive topic.

Often times, well-meaning adults will ask a couple in child-bearing age or who are newly weds when they will have a child. Many times, that couple may very well may be trying but have been unsuccessful and the incessant query from family and friends can serve to make a stressful situation even more difficult.

Other times, they may be among the hundreds and thousands of couples and women who have decided purposefully to not have children.

They could be treated as alien or as foreign beings for their personal choice.

It’s best to stay mum.

I had an awkward situation recently when I asked a mom at my kids school about her baby not knowing she lost the baby due to developmental and birth complications.

Although it was an innocent mistake, I would have preferred to avoid the awkwardness of the situation.

Instead, I joined the dozens of folks who she had to tell that she lost her baby. She will have to relive the loss over and over again with each unknowing person.

That is the additional thing with miscarriage, neonatal loss and infertility and why it’s best to tread carefully and minimize questioning women about their fertility and parenting choices.

‘Cause Parenting isn’t easy, These 21 Hacks for Parents Rock

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Parenting is really hard but it doesn’t always have to be. We got your back! Whenever we at Bellyitch bump into another blog or site offering handy dandy shortcuts, tips and tools to make the job easier, you know we’re gonna let you know.


For example, the Awesome Daily put together an awesome list of “21 Parenting Hacks” for the modern, busy, multitasking mom and dad. And these tips are great for baby sitters, grandma and other folks who may have to watch your kid.

These are our faves, including the strategically placed mirror that lets you spy on the rugrats causing ruckus below while you’re upstairs folding laundry. A couple others:

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For that lazy parent who doesn’t want to stand in the sun, bored and pushing a kid on a swing, this set up saves the day!

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No junior doesn’t have to jack up your walls when you have a handy dandy leftover box just for letting him let out his creative juices!

Head over to The Awesome Daily and peep the rest:

Full House is Coming Back! Which cast member are you? (QUIZ)

Hey 90s babies, if you haven’t already heard, Full House is coming back. Actor James Stamos broke the news Monday night on Jimmy Kimmel Live! that Netflix is reviving the old hit comedy series to center around a grown up DJ Tanner and her life as a widow, raising a family of three boys. It will start as an hour spin-off reunion show and then spin off into a 13-episode series, Stamos revealed.

In light of the exciting news for us that Full House is coming back, take this quiz and find out which member of the cast are you?


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Baby wrapped in American flag photo sparks controversy

Professional photographer Vanessa Hicks has been the subject of controversy this week over newborn photography images she took and shared on her Facebook page and online professional photography community.  Some are calling the photos of a baby laying nude on an American flag and swaddled in a flag shaped like a tiny hammock unpatriotic and a desecration of the flag. 
The baby in the photo belong to her client, a military veteran, Samantha Clevenger and the man in uniform holding ends of the hammock is her husband Rodney Clevenger a current active duty Navy seaman.  U
Hicks and the Clevengers have been all over TV and radio defending the image which went viral and drew the ire of many reservionists, active duty and vets, but also much support from military families and others as well. 
Hicks addressed the controversy on her Facebook page:

Yesterday, I woke up to see this photo was shared on a group site that is meant to bash other photographers. It was in their opinion I had disrespected our nations flag. I had disrespected our country by taking this picture. Several of these people not only bashed the picture, but me, saying I should be ashamed of myself, my husband should be ashamed, etc and I received several private messages to my business page. They even took it a step farther and bashed the service member in the picture, hoping he gets in trouble for participating in desecration of the flag. 

I am very well aware of our U.S Flag code. I also know exactly what desecration of a flag is. It’s when you pull into ports and you see protestors with our flag and have spray painted horrible things on it. It’s when you watch the news and you see other countries burning our flags, and you are a young Quartermaster scared because you know you are just a few nautical miles from that exact country.

“The inspiration behind this photo is that we wanted to capture everything about this family in one shot,” Hicks told BuzzFeed News. “The father, who is in uniform, is currently serving. The mother is a veteran. This baby is being wrapped in the flag.”
She has since offered the couple free photography for life. 
Perhaps, as we’ve covered in Bellyitch in the past, wearing the American flag violates protocol as well but it is a recycled fashion trend adopted internationally. 
What are your thoughts on the matter?

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Halloween Costume Idea: Miley Cyrus’ ‘Wrecking Ball’

This year, Miley Cyrus won the MTV VMA for the Video of the Year for her song “Wrecking Ball” and in homage to that win, wouldn’t this be a super cute costume for a pregnant woman?

It’s funny and cute and pop culture relevant!

h/t Mariama Jalloh-Heyward for the find from Goosecow blog.
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Photographer discovers Motherhood Moments captured 50 years ago (PHOTOS)

Ken Heyman
Beautiful is one word to describe the collection of photographs that veteran photographer Ken Heyman took of mothers and their children nearly 50 years — although the 83-year old acclaimed photographer only just recently discovered them. 
The series was shot for a book, co-written with anthropologist Margaret Mead, called “Family” that was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. 
The photos show that motherhood has never really ever changed. Here are my faves:
Ken Heyman

Ken Heyman

Ken Heyman

Ken Heyman

Ken Heyman

Ken Heyman

Ken Heyman

See more at HuffPo

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Father’s Day: Jimmy Fallon and NJ Gov Chris Christie’s “Evolution of Dad Dancing”(VIDEO)

In honor of Father’s Day, New Jersey governor Chris Christie  joined The Tonight Show  host Jimmie Fallon to present this hilarious “Evolution of Dad Dancing” which was a follow up to his equally funny “Evolution of Mom Dancing” Fallon did with First Lady Michelle Obama last year to celebrate the anniversary of her Let’s Move campaign.
Watch and enjoy!

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101 Fun Things to Do with the Kids this Summer

 
Summer may be a time to relax, but tell that to kids who are bouncing off the walls or shrieking “I’m bored” every five minutes. How on earth are parents and nannies supposed to keep kids entertained, active and out of trouble for an entire summer?

The trick is to plan ahead. Brainstorm ideas for things to do now, so you don’t wind up spending the entire summer watching cartoons.

Jill Tipograph, summer expert and founder of Everything Summer, suggests that you: “Take advantage of those bright sunny days and warm summer nights and plan something new a couple of times a week. Outdoor adventures don’t have to be extreme — explore a new neighborhood or walk as a family to get a healthy after-dinner snack.”


Jesse Koller, mom and publisher of the parenting blog Play, Create and Explore, likes to keep kids entertained with crafts. Sheeven holds regular art workshops for local kids. “We have a blast focusing on mostly process art and projects, as well as some sensory activities.”

Start creating your summer bucket list today. If you need inspiration, we’ve come up with 101 things that will keep kids happy — and you sane.
1. Bake cookies for ice cream sandwiches.
2. Volunteer at a nature center.
3. Make a photo journal or a family yearbook.
4. Have a luau in the backyard.
5. Visit the beach and collect shells.
6. Make a fort out of cardboard boxes.
7. Visit a farmer’s market.
8. Pick berries at a nearby orchard.
9. Have a picnic at a state park.
10. Make ice cream. Tipograph loves using YayLab’s ice cream ball, which you fill with ice cream base and kick around until frozen.
11. Go canoeing at a local lake.
12. Build a sandcastle.
13. Write and illustrate your own book and have it published into an actual hardcover book using IlluStory.
14. Forget cooking — set up an ice cream sundae buffet for dinner.
15. Clean up trash at a local park.
16. Have a backyard campfire…or just use the grill! Roast hot dogs on sticks, pop popcorn and finish off with s’mores.
17. Stage an A to Z scavenger hunt, where you have to find something that starts with every letter.
18. Make homemade pizza.
19. Print out a list of children’s books that have won Caldecott Medals. Visit the local library throughout the summer and try to read as manyas you can.
20. Go for a walk and then make a collage from nature objects you find along the way.
21. Take bread to a creek and feed the ducks.
22. Have a water balloon fight.
23. Practice your origami skills and make objects to hang from the ceiling.
24. Go biking on a trail
25. Interview an older relative about what life was like when they were young.
26. Plan a picnic at a local park — or in your backyard.
27. Set up a lemonade stand.
28. Create salad spinner art: Place circles of paper inside a cheap salad spinner, dab tempera paints on top, cover and spin away.
29. Practice making interesting shadow puppets and then put on a show with your characters.
30. Plant a garden of herbs and veggies.
31. Make a sidewalk chalk mural.
32. Go ice blocking (sledding) in the grass with a towel-covered block of ice.
33. Have an outdoor painting party using huge canvases or cardboard.
34. Visit a fish hatchery.
35. Plant a butterfly garden with flowers.
36. Pretend to be pirates for a day — dress up in costumes, plan a treasure hunt and talk like a pirate.
37. Make an indoor sandbox using colored rice: mix 4 cups of rice with 3 tablespoons of rubbing alcohol and a few drops of food coloring and let dry overnight.
38. Turn the backyard into a carnival — set up a face painting area and games like ring toss.
39. Make totem poles out of paper towel rolls and decorate them.
40. Visit a museum you’ve never been to.
41. Make a giant hopscotch or Twister game on the lawn (with spray paint) or driveway (with chalk).
42. String beads into jewelry.
43. Make a bird house out of Popsicle sticks.
44. Learn about stargazing and identify as many constellations as possible — see if there are any local astronomy groups for kids.
45. Create leis with wildflowers.
46. Go fossil hunting near a lake.
47. Break out your baseball gloves and start a game, sandlot style.
48. Make paper boats and race them in a kiddie pool using straws to propel them.
49. Play mini-golf — or set up a course in your driveway by laying different size containers on their sides.
50. Make your own colored sand and create sand art.
51. Get a map of the United States and mark off all the exciting places you want to visit — create the ultimate road trip.
52. Set up a net and play badminton and volleyball.
53. Visit an amusement park or water park.
54. Wade through a stream and search for minnows or tadpoles.
55. Go zip-lining.
56. Have a tricycle race at the park.
57. Investigate an ethnic grocery store and make lunch using interesting spices and kid-friendly international recipes.
58. Visit a fire station.
59. Collect rocks and paint them to use as paperweights or pet rocks.
60. Go roller skating.
61. Visit a zoo or aquarium to learn about animals.
62. Run through the sprinklers.
63. Blend your own smoothie.
64. Set up a bike wash and raise money for a local charity.
65. Batter up at a batting cage.
66. Let kids paint the sidewalk or patio with plain old water and sponge brushes. When their creation dries, they can begin again.
67. Bake cupcakes in ice cream cones and then decorate them.
68. Assemble a family cookbook with all your favorite recipes.
69. Go horseback riding.
70. Make popsicles in Dixie cups using fruit juices.
71. Catch fireflies in a jar (and let them go at the end of the night).
72. Stage your own Summer Olympics with races, hurdles and relays.
73. Create a backyard circus — kids can pretend to be animals and dress up as clowns.
74. Decorate bikes and have a neighborhood Fourth of July parade.
75. Take a sewing/crochet/knitting class.
76. Make Mexican paper flowers using different colored tissue paper.
77. Go to a flea market.
78. Volunteer at an animal adoption organization.
79. Visit a retirement home and read stories to residents.
80. Attend an outdoor festival or concert.
81. Pick a nearby town to visit for the day.
82. Visit a cave.
83. Get a map of your area, mark off all the local parks — then visit them, take pictures and vote for your favorite.
84. Take in a fireworks exhibit.
85. Make crafts with recyclable items like stickers using old photos, magazines and repositionable glue.
86. Make your own hard-to-pop bubbles with 1 cup of distilled water, 2 tablespoons of Dawn dish soap and 1 tablespoon of glycerin.
87. Paint canvas sneakers with fabric paint pens or acrylic paint.
88. Create three dimensional buildings using toothpicks and mini-marshmallows.
89. Make bird feeders by covering pine cones with peanut butter and rolling in birdseed.
90. Paint with ice by freezing ice cube trays with washable tempera paint.
91. Create unusual s’mores by experimenting with ingredients like cookies, bananas, flavored marshmallows and white chocolate.
92. Have a fancy tea party.
93. Make a giant slip-n-slide with a painter’s tarp and shaving cream.
94. Have a backyard camp-out.
95. Let kids paint each other with washable tempera paint, then wash it off in the sprinklers.
96. Visit a national park and help the kids earn a junior ranger badge.
97. Go to a ballgame and teach your kids (and yourself!) how to keep a scorecard.
98. Set up a tent in the backyard to use as a summer playhouse.
99. Take a free kid’s workshop at stores like Lowe’s, Home Depot or Pottery Barn.
100. Have a game night with charades, Pictionary and bingo.
101. Take a boring brown paper bag and have kids brainstorm creative things to do with it — you’ll be surprised at how many things you can come up with.
Ilene Jacobs is a Contributor for Care.com (www.Care.com), the largest online care destination in the world.
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