To Spank or Not to Spank

A better source of parenting advice than the Pope.

A better source of parenting advice than the Pope.

Pope Francis has made headlines with his story of a “good father” that chooses to smack his children a bit, but “never in the face so as not to humiliate them”.

I realize that priests are often called upon to give advice to parishioners, but maybe parenting advice is a little out of their purview. Of course, children of his generation were whipped, smacked, and spanked with abandon. Nowadays you can get sent to jail if someone finds out about it, even in the Pope’s home country of Argentina.

Corporal punishment is definitely falling out of favor. Studies suggest that spanking doesn’t correct behavior over the long term, and can erode the trust between children and their parents. It is not, however, illegal in the US. Unless the judge decides the punishment was abuse.  In fact, about 60% of American parents believe in spanking.
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Quarantining a Toddler: Is it worth the effort?

What's a little personal space between sisters

What’s a little personal space between sisters?

We had RSV work its way through our ranks this month, and I admit that I did nothing to stop it. When Franci fell ill, I briefly considered keeping her away from Allison only to immediately abandon the idea. I mean, how would that even work? Would I wear a smock when caring for Frances and whip it off when I ran to comfort Allison? No doubt we had all already been exposed before Franci showed any symptoms.

Sure, we make Franci wash her hands regularly and she remembers to cough into the crook of her arm half the time. She is relatively good at blowing her nose and knows where her “hankies” are and asks for a tissue when ever her nose starts to run. She also sneaks a suck on Alli’s pacifier when I’m not looking, shares bowls of granola with her dad and regularly coughs in my face. If RSV is as contagious as they say, any effort I could have made to sanitize my hands and everything around us would have been cancelled out by one well-aimed sneeze (and there were several).
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Cooking With Kids

Cooking!

Cooking!

Franci got a super cute apron for Christmas, but she hasn’t had a chance to use it. I have yet to include her in any of my cooking or baking until now, because she’s not even two yet. After seeing a few holiday pictures of other toddlers helping their moms cook, I began to wonder what I was waiting for. She knows how to follow directions and loves to help with other house work. I’m sure she will be able to help pour ingredients into a bowl, even if she can’t yet stir them in.
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Fun With New Years

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Milk Debate: Best Non-Diary Alternative

Straight from the Source

Straight from the Source

If you’re allergic to milk, or prefer to limit your dairy intake, it doesn’t really matter if the milk is non-homogonized or raw. How do the non-dairy alternative out there stand up?

I suppose it all depends on your definition of “best”. Are you looking for the best flavor? Best value? Best nutritional content? Best homemade milk?

It seems like every year there is a new “milk” out there (hello, hemp milk), but let’s stick to the four most available options: rice, soy, almond and coconut.

Here’s what I discovered, with a little research:

Rice Milk: most allergy friendly milk, but high in carbs, sugar, calories, and low in protein (this makes me want to try making a brown rice version at home!).
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DIY: LED Button Box

Enjoying the LED Button Box

I’m not the only member of our household that enjoys DIY projects, althought I tend to stick to the fabric-and-yarn varieties.

While most of us lounged around on Thanksgiving while the turkey cooked, Franci’s dad was busy making her an LED Button Box. All it took was an interest in electronics, a few basic components and very basic soldering skills.

With the press of a colored button, the corresponding LED lights up and you can press more than one at a time. Not only can your toddler work on identifying colors, you can practice numbers with it as well (“press two buttons”). When she is a little older, we’ll try out sequences and see if she can repeat them.
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Merry Christmas from Latebloomer Comics

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Non-Gift Related Holiday Traditions

Homemade Ornaments

Homemade Ornaments

It may be the season of giving, but the holidays don’t have to be entirely about gifts. We like to focus on togetherness and shared experiences, since the memories will last so much longer than any gifts!

If you’re looking to start some new traditions this time of year, how about celebrating the Winter Solstice on December 21st? Some years we’ve packed a picnic, or at least a thermos of hot chocolate, and driven out a dirt road to watch the sun set and the stars come out on the shortest day of the year.

The tradition of wandering from door to door singing Christmas Carols began in the Victorian Era, when a collection of carols was published in 1833. It might not be as common as it once was, but it is still a fun group activity that will put a smile on the neighbor’s face.
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Fun With Crafts

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Fun With Holidays

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