Greek Life For Non-Greek Parents

If you haven’t personally experienced fraternity and sorority life, chances are everything you know about “being Greek” comes from a combination of Animal House, Revenge of the Nerds, and SNL.

These tongue in cheek depictions are far from the reality that young men and women experience throughout the country. We’ve put together some of the common questions that families want to ask before their son or daughter signs up for fraternity life.

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Rules for sending your crew to college

When you pack up the car and head off to the hallowed halls of college, it’s a far different world from when you kissed your baby goodbye outside the kindergarten classroom. As a parent, sending a child off to college is a huge accomplishment that should be recognized as its own important stage of life. With the “dangers” of co-ed dormitories, late night parties, and professors with high standards, you’ll cross your fingers and hope your son or daughter has everything they need to be successful during their four (or 5-6 years) of undergraduate education.

We’ve put together a list of rules you should be aware of when your baby packs up their bags and heads to campus for the first time.

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Should You Redshirt your Kindergartener?

If you have a child with a late summer or early autumn birthday, the thought to hold your child back from kindergarten for one extra year may have crossed your mind. There are quite a few factors that can come into play when trying to decide if “big kid” school is right for your baby, and ultimately, as a parent, you know best. But we all want to do our research when making this decision as it will impact the rest of your child’s school career. That’s why we have put together some of the reasons for holding your child back and against holding your child back another year. 

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10 Common Swaddling Mistakes

The swaddle. It’s been a common practice among parents for hundreds of years, but since the semi-recent changes in sleep recommendations for babies, it’s become even more popular. When experts and doctors alike started the back to sleep initiative in the 1990’s, parents went back to the age old tradition of wrapping babies tightly in hopes of getting some shut eye. And while most babies love a good swaddle, recent news stories have highlighted some of the issues with swaddling – issues that are easily fixed with the correct technique and knowledge of safe swaddling.

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BottomZz Up: An Eco-Friendly Way to Potty Train

Potty training is one of those important milestones that every parent both dreads and loves at the same time. It can be exciting to finally get rid of diapers, but the prospect of spending days, or even months, cleaning up pee from your floors and your carpets can make any parent feel anxious. And many times things like pull-ups can make it more difficult for a child to learn to potty train because they are too much like diapers. Luckily there is a product getting ready to launch via Kickstarter that helps parents potty train their children in record time without the confusion between diapers and underwear. BottomZz Up is a potty training tool-kit designed to help children feel the wetness when they have an accident all while protecting against leaks. Along with their positive reinforcement tools, BottomZz Up helps make potty training a breeze!

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11 Tips to Prepare Dad for a New Baby

You’re expecting. Congratulations! Even though you are the only person in your relationship that is physically pregnant, your partner is expecting too. Having a baby for the first time brings a lot of unknowns for both of you. Don’t forget about Daddy when you are preparing for life with baby. Dads should be parents with moms, 50-50. While Mama may get all the attention with her growing baby belly, here are 11 tips to prepare Dad for a new baby.

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Scientific Proof Why You Should Read to Your Baby

It’s no secret that children often learn by our interactions with them. We may think that cuddling, singing, and playing with our babies are just simple bonding activities, but they are so much more than that. Many studies show that the more we talk to our babies, the more they learn. Communicating with your child is pivotal for his/her growth and development. One of the best ways to promote aural learning is to simply read to your child.

So, while it may seem silly to walk around Target humming songs, pointing out colors, or simply reading to an infant with no verbal communication skills of their own – do it. Babies learn about speech, language, and reading skills long before they actually begin to speak and read on their own.

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Raising a family with a Spouse suffering from a Chronic Disease

As I sat breastfeeding my infant while entertaining my toddler, half-listening to a doctor (a gastroenterologist to be exact) tell myself and my husband that he was being diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease, I was overwhelmed to say the least. This made no sense. How was my 29 year old, strong, healthy, weight lifting, food-loving husband being diagnosed with a disease neither of us had ever heard of? A disease that in the middle of a cold night in January 2012 crippled my husband, sent him to the hospital, and resulted in him being admitted for over a week. A disease that would change the course of our lives forever.

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Moments We Love & Regret With 9 Kids

There’s certainly no shortage of “special moments” when you are raising a family with nine children. Those moments have brought laughter, tears, hugs, kisses, regrets, apologies, and my favorite: love. As parents, we just want the best for our children, just like parents of one or two children. However, when you have nine of them, those moments are expanded across nine little human beings, each with their own distinct personalities. If it wasn’t for some of the physical similarities, we’d even think that a couple of them were adopted… surely that one wasn’t from my side of the family!

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Tips For Helping Your Child Adjust to a New School

As parents, we all want our children to be safe, happy, and healthy. We hope that as they start school, the first big step toward independence, they make friends easily, find a great group of peers, and excel in a fun, engaging classroom with a wonderful, caring teacher. During the transition from either home or preschool to the larger, educational environment of the public school system, we as parents worry that our children will be lost in a larger system, left behind, or bullied. This exciting (and nerve-wracking) time can be an adjustment period for everyone in the family.

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Charities you can support in 15 minutes or less

In honor of National Volunteer Month, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite ways to give back to the community, both during the month of April and beyond. Contributing to your community goes beyond hours upon hours of community service, and it’s possible to make a difference in just fifteen minutes or less! You might be surprised how easy it is for you to get involved without adding another item to your busy to do list.

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Child Abuse Prevention: Toxic Stress Response & Why We Need to Pay Attention

With April upon us, temperatures will rise and warm breezes will blow… spring is in the air. As we look around and see the flowers in bloom and the kids venturing back outdoors to play, we need to acknowledge another symbol likely on the lawns of some of our neighborhood centers or in the gardens of our social-activist neighbors, the blue pinwheel. Many people will see the pinwheel and simply notice the whimsical way it spins in the wind, but there is a deeper meaning behind this seemingly innocent child’s toy… it is the national symbol for Child Abuse Prevention.

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Nevertheless, She Persisted: A Playlist

Music has the ability to manipulate moods, manifest feelings long forgotten, and invigorate the soul, thus making music such an important player in today’s world. In spite of what is happening, in spite of being told time and time again – to sit down, be a pretty face, smile more, and say less – we will rise above. We will carry on with dignity, grace, and purpose so that every person is treated with love and kindness. Music will serve as a gateway to tell the stories in which we cannot always say out loud. It will serve as a place to vent our feelings in a productive manner so they do not eat us alive. Whether it’s pounding our feet on the pavement, kickboxing, or simply dancing it out in the living room – we need to get it out.

We’ve been warned, we’ve been given an explanation, and nevertheless we will persist.

This playlist will serve as a booster when our motions need to match our feelings. Mantras for taking on the world. Feel the beat, find the rhythm, and take on the world. Keep on Persisting.

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The Ultimate Family-Friendly Camping Gear Guide

With 13,000 public campgrounds in the US and Canada (and that doesn’t even count private ones or go-pitch-a-tent-in-an-abandoned-field ones), we have good reason to believe that the oftentimes thought of extinct act of camping does still, in fact, exist. That there are still families who own a sleeping bag and a canteen and aren’t afraid to put down the smartphone for a night or two warms our souls. So, as the temperature starts to thaw, the kids begin to remember what grass and trees are, and Mom and Dad are finally ready to tackle that New Year’s resolution of “spend more time together as a family”, it’s time to circle a weekend on the calendar and go good ol’ fashioned camping!

We won’t let you take ol’ fashioned camping too literally, though. In this day and age, even basic camping gear comes with bells and whistles. We’re excited to show you what the camping gear industry looks like today, and what essential – yet oh so cool – products are out there to give your family-friendly camping excursion a modern and just-like-home feel.

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7 Ways to Model Fitness for your Kids

Anywhere you look – online, on TV, in the store – there are things out there telling you how important it is to stay fit and healthy. However, it can be difficult to incorporate a daily fitness regimen into your routine, and it can be hard to workout with your kids around. But it is important as parents that we model this behavior to our children early on so that it is engrained in their lifestyle as they continue to grow. So how do we do both – model a healthy lifestyle while balancing our busy schedules?

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