9 Things Parents Think are Harmless That could Land Them in Jail

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Parenting is a tough job under the best of circumstances, but there are things that can get mothers into legal trouble today that wouldn’t have been frowned upon at all in previous generations.

While some of the transgressions on this list are far more serious than others, all of them can lead to trouble with the law if you’re discovered behaving in such a manner.


1. Leave Kids in the Car Unattended – This may seem like something a good parent would never do, but it’s actually far more common than you might realize. News reports tell of kids who were left in the car and died due to heat stroke or freezing on a regular basis, many of which never make it past the local level of news outlets. You probably think that you would never do such a thing to your child, but then may make exceptions when situations seem to call for them. Even attentive, dedicated parents will leave their kids unattended for “just a second” to run into the store or drop something off, never realizing the danger. Leaving your child in the car unattended for any reason is not acceptable, and can lead to very serious legal trouble if you’re discovered.

2. Fail to Use Proper Vehicle Restraints – Some police officers get very riled up when they see parents driving with kids unbuckled or not in the proper car seat for their weight and height. Most parents have encountered times when the kid just didn’t want to stay in the car seat, and may even consider letting them briefly take the belt off. It can be very stressful, but it is much better to stop and handle the situation rather than let your child remove the seatbelt.

3. Spank Them – “Spare the rod and spoil the child” is an axiom that older generations grew up with. Now, in many states, spanking is banned. Some parents have had to deal with Child Protective Services as a result of physically hitting their child in public. Whether or not you believe spanking is acceptable, knowing the laws in your state is still a wise move.

4. Leave Children Home Alone – Getting the mail or going down the hall of your apartment building to do the laundry may not seem like such a big deal, but in many states leaving young children alone for any length of time is a problem. In reality, it doesn’t take long at all for a tragedy to occur with unsupervised little ones. Even though it may be inconvenient, it’s best to either take the child with you or wait until someone else is in the home and can watch him.

5. Use an Underage Babysitter – Some states have laws regarding the appropriate age for babysitters. Years ago, preteens could make pocket money by sitting for younger kids. That’s not the case anymore. There are guidelines and rules for sitters that are established on the state level. For example, if you live in Illinois, leaving your 14-year-old alone for an “unreasonable period of time” will put you on the wrong side of the law. A few states away in Maryland, however, 13-year-olds are able to babysit infants. Check your local laws to find out what’s acceptable in your state.

6. Breastfeed in Public –There is much being done in support of breastfeeding, but in many areas it is still against the law for a mom to nurse her child in a public place. It does sound ludicrous that a parent can get in trouble for feeding her child in public, but it’s better to know and abide by the rules and work to change them then to get in trouble for bucking the system.

7. Allow Kids to Drink – While some families allow their children to have a taste of wine at special meals, it is illegal for minors to drink in every state. There are some parents who believe that they are heading off trouble by allowing their kids to drink at home, but they could actually be courting trouble of the legal variety. Some parents feel that teens are going to drink regardless of permission, and that teenagers under the influence are safer at home than sneaking around. It’s still against the law and parents can get in big trouble by condoning underage drinking.

8. Inappropriately Defend a Child – Occasionally, the news media will do a story about a Mom being hauled off by the officers for getting out of control. Unfortunately, it’s not so unusual for some parents to get overly involved in the outcome of their child’s sporting event or group outing, causing embarrassment to the child and disrupting event. When this behavior gets out of hand to a worrisome degree, law enforcement often becomes involved. It’s better to keep a level head at the little league game, even when the ump makes a bad call.

9. Permit Truancy – Whether it’s through fault of the child or the parent, failure to force compliance with school attendance guidelines is a serious legal issue for parents. Some kids will manipulate their parents into letting them stay home, or they may just skip school on their own. There are also over-protective moms who keep their children home at the first sign of any cough or cold. Too much missed school can lead to truancy charges, and that can lead to a visit with legal officials. If a child has valid reasons for missing a lot of school, arrangements need to be made so that authorities are aware of the circumstances.


You may not even be aware of the fact that you are breaking the law in some cases, as you feel that you’re making appropriate choices for your child and household.

It’s best to check the laws in your state to make sure you are in compliance, especially in the realm of leaving the kids home alone and using disciplinary tactics.

The Life Lessons Reasons Father-Son Fishing is Essential

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The iconic image of a father and son fishing trip is one that’s ingrained into the collective cultural consciousness. Even the classic sitcom images of Andy and Opie sharing a heart-to-heart over a fishing creel cements the American idea of fishing as a male-bonding activity. As a father, spending time with your son is an important part of his emotional development, as well as a contributing factor to your filial bond. Here are ten of the reasons why you should take your son fishing, and understand that you’re actually doing something far more important.

The Opportunity for Quality Father-Son Time – In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it’s not easy to set aside a significant amount of time to spend one-on-one with your son. Taking a fishing trip, whether it’s an extensive one that will require an overnight stay or just an afternoon affair, allows you to focus all of your energy and attention on your son.


Fostering Conversations You Wouldn’t Have at Home – The quiet stillness of a lake and the relaxing nature of waiting for fish to bite fosters plenty of conversation, some of which would be awkward to broach over the dinner table. The natural evolution of your talks can lead to more than one subject you probably wouldn’t discuss under other circumstances.

Passing Along a New Skill Set – In a world where youngsters teach their parents the intricacies of new technology, it can feel like there isn’t much left in terms of skills that fathers pass on to their sons. The age-old art of baiting a hook to catch fish is a real skill, and it’s one that your child can’t fully learn from a YouTube video.

Making Memories You’ll Cherish Forever – As your son gets older and becomes less inclined to spend time with his parents, you’ll have the memories of your shared fishing trips. When he becomes an adult himself, those memories will become fodder for pleasant reminiscence.

Encouraging Independence Under a Watchful Eye – You can encourage your son to bait his own hook and cast his own line while you’re there to watch, allowing him to explore some independence as you look on to ensure his safety.

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Instilling a Love of Outdoor Activity – For outdoorsy fathers, the opportunity to share a love of nature with a son is a valuable one. Instilling a love of the outdoors and an appreciation for fresh air, sunshine and screen-free entertainment is a great way to combat the effects of technologically-advanced, indoor-based living.

Temporarily Cutting the Electronic Cord – There are no video games, televisions or computers on the lake, which means that for at least one afternoon your son will be enjoying a completely low-tech good time. What better way to limit your son’s screen time than to take him somewhere that screens aren’t welcome, but fun is still on the menu?

Investing in Your Collective Emotional Future – In order to have a strong father-son relationship, you have to forge a strong emotional bond with your son while he’s still young. Fishing together allows the two of you to get to know one another as individuals, to talk openly and enjoy one another’s company.

Teaching Environmental Stewardship – When you’re on the lake enjoying an outdoor activity, you’re perfectly positioned to pass along the basic tenets of environmental stewardship without seeming like you’re lecturing or preaching. In fact, you can guide your son in the right direction simply by modeling earth-friendly habits.

Establishing a Shared Hobby – A shared hobby allows you and your son a bit of common ground, something that will become even more important as he gets older and looks for ways to assert his independence. The love of fishing that the two of you share during his formative years may be one of the few ways you’re able to effectively communicate during the turbulent times of adolescence.
No matter how many lessons and exciting experiences you share with your son on a fishing trip, it’s important to remember that young children have a finite supply of patience with any activity that requires them to be relatively still. You might be thrilled to stay on the lake from dawn till dusk, but your little man will probably only be able to handle one or two hour sessions scattered throughout the day. Remember to take plenty of breaks, and to be patient when your own fishing time is interrupted by an active little boy’s need to explore.

Kennedy Myers is an expert in the Child and Senior Care industries with an emphasis on online safety. Reposted with permission from BackupCare.org

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 ?

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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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