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Archive for October, 2018

The 2-in-1 Birthday Party Hack: Keep Cards and Stickers in Your Car

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This makes all those celebrations a lot less stressful.

Birthday season—it’s like the flu. When it comes, it comes at you hard. I’m no expert but I’ve attended my fair share of birthday parties in my three-and-a-half years in the parenting game and have learned some lessons along the way. Since our daughter’s social agenda has become ours as a family, my husband and I have created a system of parenting tricks to save our time and sanity as we get through the bustle of birthdays.

I respond to the invitation immediately and make sure it’s in both my and my husband’s calendar.

With the event in the calendar, I don’t feel as if I forgot anything or surprised when the day rolls around.

I use the party as motivation to get my daughter to move quickly.

I tell my daughter about attending her friend’s birthday party right when she wakes up. I remind her why birthdays are special to get her excited about making her friend feel celebrated, and then use this to my every advantage to get her up and moving. For example, “Go put on your shoes fast so we can leave the house and see Carter!” 

I keep a stack of blank greeting cards in the car with a pen.

That way, we don’t have to make a separate stop at the store to buy a birthday card, or go searching for a card in my home. I grab one and fill it out in the car so I’m not wasting any time as we make our way to the party.

I give my daughter an on-the-way activity to keep her occupied.

I pass her the card and envelope, plus stickers I also stash in the car. Then, she can decorate the card and envelope. My daughter loves this activity. The best part is how proud she is of that card.

It keeps her entertained while I take five minutes to set up a Littlefund for her friend. I enter a guardian’s email, choose a goal and amount, then hit send. It works like a gift card. I’m biased since I’m the founder, but I really think it’s the perfect gift for any child whose parents are constantly managing the influx of stuff. This way, kids can save up for one big gift or experience.

Mimi Chan is the founder and CEO of Littlefund@littlefund. She currently resides in San Francisco with her husband, daughter Liv, and one more little one on the way. In her spare time, she enjoys capturing her daughter’s weird sleep positions on her Instagram stories.

 

This article was written by Mimi Chan from Working Mother and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

My top 5 school stain removal hacks

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Marker pen, gravy and glue. If I had $1 for every time the oldest comes home from school wearing one or all three of those items I would be significantly richer than I am now.

The question is: how best to remove them?


stain removal hacks

If you’ve got one or more kids at school like me you’ll know stains go with the territory – ranging from the innocent to the best-not-think-about-it downright suspicious. My attitude to these stains ranges from the ‘must remove said stain immediately’ to the ‘it can wait until the weekend’ sort of a stain, depending on where we are in the working week, and indeed the school year.


stain removal hacks

I’ve acquired quite an armoury of products to deal with these stains, and I’m a sucker for new ones to help in the constant battle too. So, what’s in my armoury at the moment? A month into the new school year and with half term rapidly approaching I thought now would be a good time to share my top 5 school stain removal hacks.

My top 5 school stain removal hacks

1. Whiteboard marker

Now blackboards have been superseded by whiteboards there’s a new stain in town: the dreaded whiteboard marker. They come in every colour of the rainbow and in our school the kids are allowed and even encouraged to use them. Who in their right mind lets a child loose with a marker pen? Sadly, they don’t simply wipe off their school uniform like they do the whiteboard, either.

The solution:

Hairspray. Put kitchen roll under the item of clothing and area of the stain, then spray it within an inch of its life. Blot the stain and repeat the process until the stain is gone, then wash as normal.


stain removal hacks

2. Code brown

Yes, I am talking number twos (not whole ones, but marks left by them). I don’t know what it is about school compared with home (I’m pretty sure tracing paper loo roll was outlawed years ago) but I regularly find tyre marks in undercrackers (don’t worry, I’ll spare you a picture).

The solution:

ACE for Colours. I love a new find and ACE is one of my latest – if you haven’t heard of ACE for Colours before it’s a liquid stain remover (£2) with an ‘8+ system’ designed to tackle stubborn stains including ‘body soils’, which is a polite way of saying code brown. Just fill the dosing cap with ACE, stick it in the machine on top of the offending item and bingo: tyre marks have vanished.


stain removal hacks

3. Gravy

What do they put in school gravy? My goodness the stuff sticks! Roast dinner is on Thursdays where we are, and you can put money on the oldest coming home with a splattered front and dipped cuffs. Owing to the fact it’s Thursday you could just leave it (no-one’s spotlessly clean on a Friday, right?) but if you really can’t stand it or gravy is served up earlier in the week there is an answer.

The solution:

ACE Stain Remover, which I discovered alongside ACE for Colours. There’s no need for a full wash and dry for this one, a simple sponge down will do: just spray some ACE stain remover directly onto a sponge or cloth and apply it to the gravy stain. As well as taking away the stain it also takes away the smell – leaving a fresh one in its place!


stain removal hacks

4. Grass

If they play on a field grass stains are inevitable, the question is what’s the best way to tackle them? Forget washing uniform over and over again in the vain hope the stains will eventually fade – there’s a far easier solution.

The solution:

White vinegar and baking soda – and a bit of old-fashioned elbow grease. Pour the vinegar into a bowl, soak the stain (or stains – there’s never just one, is there) for 10 minutes, then remove from the bowl. Dip an old toothbrush in the vinegar, and then dip it in the baking soda. Using a circular motion scrub the stain with the toothbrush until it’s gone, then wash as normal. It really works, I promise!


stain removal hacks

5. Glue

Remember that glue we used to have when we were at school that peeled off when it dried? Well they don’t appear to use that anymore. I don’t know what type of glue it is but what I do know is that they use it a lot and it doesn’t come off easily. Even worse, it sometimes contains glitter (and I hate glitter).

The solution:

Cold water and liquid laundry detergent. Make sure the glue is completely dry, then scrape off as much as you can. Soak the item of clothing in cold water overnight, then massage liquid laundry detergent into the stain. Wash as normal at your usual temperature, et voila!


stain removal hacks

Do you have any school stain removal hacks? I’d love to know what they are – the weirder the better!

 

This article was written by crummymummy1 from Confessions of a Crummy Mummy and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

16 Last-Minute Halloween Costumes for Busy Moms and Kids

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Easy outfits you can create with stuff you probably already have in your home.

Whether your child or you had a change of heart about your initial Halloween attire, or you just haven’t thought about costume ideas until now, no worries—it’s going to be all right. With limited time and supplies, you just need to get creative with what you’ve got. And you know what? Sometimes DIY costumes look better than their in-store equivalents (even if they did only take 10 minutes and a few dollars to make). We’ve gathered 16 adorbs Halloween costume ideas for both your kids and yourself to make last-minute, using clothes and materials you already have at home (well, maybe just a few supplies from your local crafts store).

The Aerobics Instructor

Even your baby can get in on dressing up for Halloween by going as a rad, retro aerobics instructor. So cute! The recipe for this costume is super simple: put your baby’s pants on before putting on the bodysuit, and then add DIY legwarmers and a headband. Make sure, of course, to keep the color scheme fun, neon or bright. To get even more festive, create a felt boombox—it’ll make your already adorable Halloween pics of your baby even better.

You’ll Need:
Neon-colored baby suit or Primary The Baby Suit ($8, or $7 for 3+, primary.com)
Neon-colored babypants or Primary The Babypants ($10, or $9 each for 3+, primary.com)
Headband
Old socks to be cut into leg warmers
Scissors

Directions:
For the headband: Any soft headband will work here. Fun colors and patterns are the best!

For the legwarmers: Cut the feet off of old socks for instant baby leg warmers.

Pro tip: Make sure the baby pants are UNDER the babysuit for the full effect!

To dress up your kid or yourself, wear a tank or t-shirt in a neon color and shorts layered over funky patterned leggings. Complete the look with legwarmers created from old socks, a headband and sneakers.

The Scarecrow

 

Scarecrow Halloween Costume

 

Dressing up as a scarecrow never fails.

Photo: iStock

Scarecrows are supposed to be frightening, but on Halloween, they’re totally cute! For this unisex costume that works for adults or kids, pair jeans with a flannel plaid button down, boots and a floppy hat. Tie a bandana around the neck, draw on some scarecrow makeup, and, if you can, have cornhusks stick out from your hat, sleeves and jeans.

You’ll Need:
Plaid shirt
Jeans
Boots
Floppy hat
Corn husks
Black eyeliner

Rosie the Riveter

 

Rosie the Riveter Halloween Costume

 

Girl power!

Photo: iStock

To represent this cultural icon on Halloween, it’s all about the blue button down (chambray, preferred, and with sleeves rolled up) paired with black or denim pants and work boots. Then tie a small red bandana or red and white polka dot scarf around your head like a headband. The finishing touch: a swipe of bright red lipstick. And don’t forget to flex those muscles for every photo op!

You’ll Need:
Chambray or denim button down
Black pants
Work boots
Red scarf
Red lipstick

The Crayons

 

Primary Crayons Halloween Costume

 

For a group costume, have every person in your family dress up as a different colored crayon.

Courtesy of Primary

Here’s another costume idea requiring clothes you can easily use for another purpose outside of Halloween, or clothes your kid already has in his closet. All you have to do is create a hat and anklet.

You’ll Need:
Regular long sleeve solid-colored pajama top or Primary The Long Sleeve PJ Top ($12, or $11 each for 3+, primary.com)
Regular solid-colored pajama bottom or Primary The PJ Pant ($12 or $11 each for 3+, primary.com)
Sturdy paper to match the PJs
Scissors
Ribbon in color matching the PJs (about 40 inches)
Glue Black felt (long enough to wrap around both ankles)
Double-sided fabric tape

Directions:
For the hat: Find sturdy paper the same color as your PJs and form a cone. Trim the top of the cone to create a blunt, flat top. Cut out a circle for the brim of the crayon and place it over the cone and trace cone in the center. Cut out the center circle, leaving a ring that will become the brim. In the opening of the cone, make a series of 1-inch cuts around the open edge of the cone and fold them outward to create tabs. Fit the brim ring over the top of the cone and attach the tabs to the brim using glue or tape. Cut a series of 1-inch strips of paper and join them to make one long strip. Wrap the strip around the brim of the hat and use a few pieces of masking tape to fit it snugly. Then glue the seam together and allow to dry completely before removing the tape. Finally, glue two ribbons (about 20 inches on each side of the brim) to tie under the neck.

For the anklets: Cut a zig-zag pattern out of a strip of black felt and attach to ankles using double-sided fabric tape.

The Skeleton

 

Fiskars Halloween Skeleton Costume

 

If there’s time, draw skeleton makeup on your child’s face, or buy a skeleton mask.

Courtesy of Fiskars

Does your kid have an old black shirt your kid he never wears anymore? Flip it inside out, and use it to create this creepy skeleton costume. Be aware though: you’re going to have to cut it up!

You’ll Need:
Fiskars RazorEdge™ Easy Action™ Fabric Shears for Tabletop Cutting or other scissors
Black t-shirt
White t-shirt
Marker
Freezer paper

Directions:
Trim a piece of freezer paper to approximately the size of the front of the black t-shirt. Use a marker to draw a rib cage design on the freezer paper and iron it to the front of the black t-shirt. Use the shears to carefully cut out the rib cage design. Cut through the fabric of the t-shirt and the freezer paper together. Remove the freezer paper. Wear the cut black t-shirt with a white t-shirt underneath for a quick spooky homemade costume idea. Add any skeleton mask for added eeriness.

Audrey Hepburn

 

Audrey Hepburn Halloween Costume

 

To make yourself look even more like Audrey, fill in and define your brows with brow powder or pencil.

Photo: iStock

For this elegant retro look, now is the time to bust out your favorite little black dress and pearl necklaces so you resemble Audrey Hepburn’s character Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Put your hair in a bun, wear heels, add some long black gloves, and you’re done.

You’ll Need:
Little black dress
Black heels
Long black gloves
Pearl necklace
Optional: Tiara

The Clown

 

Primary Halloween Clown Costume

 

Bright red wig not required.

Courtesy of Primary

Dress up PJs in with pom-poms and a paper collar for a fun and cute kid’s clown costume.

You’ll Need:
Solid-colored long sleeve pajama top or Primary The Long Sleeve PJ Top ($12, or $11 each for 3+, primary.com)
Solid-colored pajama pant or Primary the PJ Pant ($12, or $11 each for 3+, primary.com)
Sturdy cardstock
Pom-poms
Scissors
Glue
Double-sided fabric tape
Optional: clown nose and clown makeup

Directions:
For the hat: Glue a pom-pom on top of a simple paper party hat. Easy peasy.

For the collar: Use sturdy cardstock to fold into a fan and attach it to a paper collar, measured for the child’s neck. Secure the collar with sturdy tape or a paper clip.

For the clown suit: Use double-sided fabric tape to attach two or three big pom-poms down the torso.

The Ballerina

 

Halloween the Leotard Boutique Ballerina Costume

 

Adding glitter is totally optional.

Courtesy of the Leotard Boutique

For this kid costume, you can use an actual leotard and tutu, or substitute in a short-sleeve top and flutter skirt. Add in tights and ballet flats, put your kid’s hair in a bun, and you’re good to go.

You’ll Need
Pastel-colored short sleeve top or The Leotard Boutique Short Sleeve Leotard ($15, theleotardboutique.com) Tutu skirt or The Leotard Boutique Flutter Ballet Dance Skirt ($13, theleotardboutique.com)
Tights
Ballet flats

The Unicorn

 

Primary Halloween Unicorn Costume

 

Again, glittery is totally optional, but very preferred.

Courtesy of Primary

What child doesn’t own a hoodie and pj pants? The key here is choosing a pastel color for these pieces that’s reminiscent of the shades you’d find in My Little Pony—and of course, DIYing a horn, ears, mane and tail.

You’ll Need:
Plain, pastel-colored hoodie or Primary The New Hoodie ($20, or $18 each for 3+, primary.com)
Plain, pastel-colored pants or Primary The PJ Pant ($12, or $11 each for 3+, primary.com)
White felt
Pink felt
Gold metallic cord
Headband
Glue gun
Scissors

Directions:
For the horn and ears: With white felt, create a tall cone, then wrap it in gold metallic cord and hot glue it to the cone. Cut a small circle of white felt and glue to the bottom of the cone to close the hole. Tape or glue the horn to a headband. Next, cut 2 large tear-drop shapes from the white felt and 2 smaller tear-drop shapes from the pink felt. Glue the pink felt on top of the white felt, then use a drop of hot glue and pinch the bottoms together creating an ear shape. Add the ears to the headband on either side.

For the mane: Cut 1×4 inch strips of white felt and adhere in a straight line down the center, from tip of the hood down to the hem.

For the tail: Cut a handful of 1×10 inch strips of white felt for the tail. Knot them together and adhere to the seat with a safety pin.

The Witch

 

Witch Costume for Halloween

 

The Halloween costume that never goes out of style.

Photo: iStock

Ahh—one of the most classic costumes of all: the witch. For this extremely simple costume, all you have to do is buy a witch hat, wear all black, put on some very dark red lipstick, and call it a day.

You’ll Need:
Witch hat
Head-to-toe black clothing
Optional: dark lipstick, broom

Bubbles

 

DIY bubble costume

 

Just make sure your kid is careful wearing this costume!

primary.com

Your child will get all the fun of a bubble bath, minus the soapy suds with this quick-to-make Halloween costume. Add some toys from your bathtub at home and you’re done!

You’ll Need:
Plain white long sleeve shirt or Primary The Long Sleeve Pajama Top ($12, primary.com)
Plain white leggings or Primary The Legging ($14, $13 each for 3+, primary.com)
Plain white shower cap
White balloons
Clear balloons
Bath toys or a rubber duck
Tape or safety pins

Directions:
Blow up enough white and clear balloons to cover the shirt. Tie the balloons closed securely, and use safety pins or tape to attach the balloons to the shirt. Attach the mix of white and clear balloons randomly to the shirt to look like suds.

The Cat

 

Cat face paint

 

Another Halloween outfit idea that’s classic.

iStock

Meow! No one can resist an adorable cat on Halloween. This look requires stuff you already have at home, allowing you to put this costume together in record time.

You’ll Need:
An all-black outfit
Black face paint or black eyeliner
Optional: cat-ear headband

Directions
Using the face paint or eyeliner, draw a nose and whiskers on your child’s face. Add the optional cat-ear headband and you’re set!

The Mummy

 

Mummy costume

 

For a secure fit, strategically add safety pins.

iStock

Halloween is the perfect time to dress up as the living dead—especially if the costume is as easy to make as this one!

You’ll need:
A plain white bed sheet or a yard of plain white fabric
An all-white outfit
Scissors
Optional: Coffee or tea water and large pot or container

Directions:
Cut the white sheet or fabric into long strips. If you and your child want an older-looking mummy costume, use coffee or tea water. Make the colored water by either brewing coffee and watering it down to the desired shade of brown or by using tea to do the same. Then put the liquid in a large pot or container and soak the strips for about two hours. Rinse the strips and let them air dry. Once the strips are done, simply tie them one-by-one around your child, attaching the end of one strip to the beginning of another.

The Nerd

 

Nerd.

 

You can also apply gel to flatten your child’s hairstyle for geek-chic effect.

iStock

Hey, who said being smart wasn’t cool? This DIY nerd costume will bring out the brainiac in any kid, and the best part is, you probably have all the materials already.

You’ll Need:
Glasses with or without lenses
Sweater Vest
Dress pants
Bow tie
Optional: math or science textbook; pencil

Pro Tip: The 3D glasses you took home from the movies make for awesome nerd glasses! Tuck a pencil behind your child’s ear for an added smarty-pants effect.

Emoji

 

Emoji Costume

 

Add another expression to the back of your emoji, so you can “change moods” throughout the day.

Photo: iStock

We all know and love emojis, so why not honor them on Halloween too? Cut out a large circle from poster board, paint it yellow, and paint on some expressions. To make carrying it around easier, glue a paint stirrer to the back to create a handle. You can wear it with yellow clothing to further emphasize your costume.

You’ll Need:
Poster board
Yellow, black, brown or blue paint (depending on the expression)
Scissors Paint brush Optional: paint stirrer

Mime Costume

 

Mime Costume

 

You can add a beret if you want to go more traditional.

Photo: iStock

Pair a black-and-white striped shirt with black pants, and then put white face paint all over your face. Apply black eyeliner to eyelids, and use the eyeliner to draw thin lines for brows. Finish with a coat of bright red lipstick.

You’ll Need:
Black-and-white striped shirt
Black pants
White face paint Bright red lipstick Optional: striped or red scarf, white gloves

Updated on

October 17th, 2018 at 10:30am

This article was written by Maricar Santos from Working Mother and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

Pumpkin Lanterns! Skeleton Flamingos! Here Are the Top Decor Trends for Halloween 2018

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Time to scoop up some pumpkins and bust out ye olde witch garb, friends: All Hallows’ Eve is comin’ up fast. Looking for some spooky inspiration for this year’s decor? Below, the freshest, most-buzzed-about Halloween hooks—according to Pinterest’s 2018 Pinfrights report.

Courtesy of Polka Dot Chair

FLOATING WITCH HAT LIGHTS

We love this one: Use a fishing line and LED clip-on lights to turn witches hats into front porch phantoms.

Get the tutorial on Polka Dot Chair

Courtesy of Modern Parents, Messy Kids

Spider Eggs

This yarn, glue and water project couldn’t be simpler. (We love the idea of filling a cauldron with them—or suspending from a lighting fixture.)

Get the tutorial on Modern Parents Messy Kids

PHOTO: GIEVES ANDERSON/STYLING: REBEKAH MACKAY

Drip candlestick holders

Psst: These chic vessels will get eerier and eerier as the wax melts down.

Get the tutorial on PureWow

Courtesy of Melo-Drama

Skeleton flamingos

Skeletons are spooky—but we think these little flamingo versions are pretty darn cute. 

Get the tutorial on Melo-Drama

Courtesy of Design Love Fest

Pumpkin lanterns

The prettiest and most festive of DIYs: Drill bit, pumpkins, done.

Get the tutorial on Design Love Fest

 

This article was from PureWow and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

13 Healthy Halloween Snacks That Won’t Scare Kids Away

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If you’re anything like us, then you know what it’s like to spend Halloween trying your hardest not to consume the entire candy stash before the first kid knocks on your door.

But if you can’t trust yourself sitting beside that Costco-size box of chocolate bars all night (who can?!), consider stocking up on these 13 healthier Halloween snacks. They offer kiddos more balanced options but also won’t make you feel like crap if you can’t stop at just one.

This list is 100-percent dietitian-approved: Some are allergen-friendly, vegan, or gluten-free; others are organic, non-GMO, and void of artificial colors or flavors. And a bunch of them pack a wide range of lower-sugar, antioxidant-rich ingredients. So whatever your Halloween vice, whether it’s sweet, salty, or something in-between, we’ve got a healthier Halloween treat for you. Oh, and the kids.

 

1. YumEarth Organic Pomegranate Licorice

A common source of food sensitivities, red food coloring isn’t usually a fan favorite among parents of candy-loving kids. Thankfully, these little licorice nibs are flavored with organic pomegranate and cherry juice and colored naturally with organic fruit concentrates, yielding a gluten-free, vegan, and nut-free treat.

($19 for 6 bags; amazon.com)

 

2. MadeGood Halloween Chocolate Granola Minis

Halloween can be a nightmare for a kid with severe food allergies, so we love these limited-edition chocolate chip granola minis from MadeGood. Free of the top eight allergens, organic, gluten-free, and non-GMO project verified, these bars are a breath of fresh air for concerned parents. They’re also a charitable choice this Halloween since 2 percent of all proceeds from the bars goes directly to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

($19 for 36 minis; amazon.com)

 

3. Veggie Go’s Organic Fruit and Veggie Strips

Packed with a half-cup of organic fruit and veggies per strip, plus fiber-rich flaxseeds and a touch of cinnamon, these no-sugar-added snacks are a smart way to get your sweet fix on October 31. They’re also gluten-free, vegan, non-GMO, and have less than 20 calories per bar (not that we are counting, but that’s pretty good).

($23 for 20 strips; amazon.com)

 

4. Free2b Dark Chocolate Mint Cups

Ready to trade that classic (massive) Peppermint Patty for something a little lighter? We love these vegan dark chocolate mint cups because they’re free of the top 12 allergens (nuts, dairy, gluten, oh my!) and are made with fair-trade unsweetened dark chocolate so we can feel good about where they came from.

($32 for 24; amazon.com)

 

5. Annie’s Organic Orchard Cherry Apple Fruit Bites

With organic fruit pureé as the first ingredient and no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives, moms and dads won’t mind popping these fruity bites into kiddo’s lunch for a healthier post-Halloween snack.

($5 for 5 packs; walmart.com)

 

6. KIND Minis

With just 2 grams of added sugars per 100-calorie bar, along with 3 grams each of fiber and protein, you can feel good about these KIND minis making an appearance in your kids’ stash. Sweet, salty, chocolaty, and crunchy, they check all the boxes for a healthier Halloween treat.

($22 for 20 bars; amazon.com)

 

7. The Good Bean Sea Salt Crunchy Chickpeas

Need a savory option for the chip fans in your life? We got you. These single-serve bags of addictive crispy chickpeas pack 4 grams of protein and fiber into every 90-calorie pack, making them an awesome choice for your kids (and you, of course).

($30 for 50 packs; amazon.com)

 

8. Unreal Dark Chocolate Crispy Quinoa Gems

Getting your chocolate fix doesn’t have to mean tossing junk food into your grocery cart just before checkout. These tasty chocolate rounds are made with organic, non-GMO, fair-trade dark chocolate and are vegan and gluten-free. They’re also colored naturally with fruit and veggie extract instead of the standard food dyes and offer a delicate crunch from protein-rich quinoa.

($26 for 6 bags; shop.getunreal.com)

 

9. Justin’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Neighborhood mamas and dads are going to be pumped when they find these in their kids’ candy bag. The better-for-you cups are made with organic dark chocolate and organic peanuts and offer 4 grams of protein per two-cup package. Sorry, kids, we might have to confiscate your bag for these.

($25 for 12 packs; amazon.com)

 

12. Skinny Dipped Almonds

Finally, a Halloween option that could make its way into the holiday season too (seriously, these are great stocking stuffers). The dark chocolate-dipped almonds have just 60 calories per pack and only 2 grams of sugar. The almonds are coated in an antioxidant-rich dark chocolate for a healthy treat that will give Almond Joys a run for their money.

($35 for 24 packs; skinnydipped.com)

 

13. Fruits in Chocolate Dark Chocolate Covered Coconut

Each individually wrapped truffle features a whole dried fruit coated in rich dark chocolate with just 50 to 70 calories per piece. They’re available as a mixed box with prunes, cranberries, and apricots, so you can give ’em to the kids who could use a more natural chocolate fix this fall (so, all of them).

($23 for 46 pieces; fruitsinchocolate.com)

Every editorial product is independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through one of our links, we may earn a commission. But don’t worry, it doesn’t cost you anything extra, and we wouldn’t recommend a product if we didn’t love it as much as we love puppies.

 

This article was written by Abbey Sharp from Greatist and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

20 High Protein Breakfast Ideas For All-Day Energy

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Step away from the box of sugary cereal.

If you’re watching your weight or have a hard time keeping your hunger in check in the morning, you likely have heard how important protein is. But while it’s easy for most of us to get enough of the nutrient at dinner and lunch, breakfast can be a struggle. Bagels, cereal, and smoothies don’t always pack a big protein punch. Not to mention, if you skip your morning meal, you’re not getting any protein at all.

That’s a big mistake. “In numerous studies, a high-protein breakfast habit has been linked to weight management or weight loss,” says Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, CSSD, a New York City- and Los Angeles-based performance nutritionist. “Protein is filling, and triggers the release of satiety hormones that blunt appetite.”

That means you may eat less all day long, including in the evening. “That’s key because most people are inactive in the evening, and therefore less likely to burn off surplus calories consumed at that time,” Sass explains. Protein also boosts alertness so you are productive and helps stabilize blood sugar and insulin levels so you have steady energy to face the day, she adds.

The ideal amount of protein at breakfast is about 30 grams, according to a review published in Advances in Nutrition in September. (Get your daily dose in these 15 high-protein foods.) However, registered dietitians say starting with at least 20 grams is a good goal for weight loss and hunger management. Ready to start your day off right? Try one of these nutritionist-approved high protein breakfasts next time you’re tempted to reach for the cereal box.

1) Diner Breakfast

“Some mornings I find myself craving a traditional ‘egg platter’ type of meal that you find in most diners,” says Georgia Rounder, RDN, CDN. To make your own (without the grease some diners cook in), she suggests scrambling two eggs and cooking a link of organic chicken sausage. Toast a slice of whole-grain bread topped with jam, add a cup of joe, and you have a DIY diner meal.

2) Avocado Omelet

Eggs are a no-brainer for protein. Sass suggests mixing in veggies and herbs and topping with avocado for healthy fats, which will boost the satiety factor. Using three eggs will give you about 19 grams of protein, so fold in some cheese or meat if you want to get closer to 30 grams.

3) Cottage Cheese Bowl

Cottage cheese is a great start to the day. Half a cup of 1-percent cottage cheese has 14 grams of protein and only about 80 calories, so scoop out the proper portion for your needs. “Combine with chopped or shredded veggies like spinach, bell pepper, tomatoes, zucchini, and red onion, and mix with EVOO-based dairy-free pesto. Chill overnight and grab to go in the a.m.,” Sass says. If you prefer a sweeter breakfast, top with fiber-rich berries instead.

4) Tofu Scramble

Perfect for vegans and meat-eaters alike, tofu can mimic eggs. “Crumble a block of tofu in a pan and ‘scramble’ it like you would eggs, adding your favorite veggies, herbs, and spices for flavor,” says Ginger Hultin, RD, a Seattle-based spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Half of the recipe gives you about 22 grams of protein. Extra-firm tofu tends to work best, and if you have time to press it first, go for it. Your scramble will still be yummy if you don’t press it, though.

5) Scrambled Tofu and Eggs on Toast

There’s no reason you can’t combine plant proteins with the incredible edible egg to diversify your nutrient intake. “Scramble two eggs with 1/4 of a block of extra-firm tofu, tomato, and freshly ground black pepper,” says Keri Gans, RDN, nutritionist and author of The Small Change Diet. She suggests enjoying your scramble on 100-percent whole-grain bread.

6) Breakfast Quinoa

Although you can have it savory in the morning too, quinoa also makes a good sweet breakfast if you’re sick of oats. “This whole grain contains 12 grams of protein in just 1/2 cup uncooked,” says Hultin, who recommends adding in more protein by topping with nuts, seeds, and soy milk (which contains about 8 grams in one cup). Plus, it’s fairly quick to cook, or you can make it the night before and reheat in the morning.

7) Egg Muffins

Muffins don’t have to be loaded with sugar and empty carbs. Rethink your omelet so you can take it on-the-go and make egg muffins, says dietitian Amy Kubal, RDN. Since one egg has about 6 grams of protein, mix in some turkey or ricotta cheese in addition to veggies, she adds. If you’re eating at home, you can also top them with cottage cheese or Greek yogurt and salsa for extra protein and flavor

8) Greek Yogurt Parfait

With 20-plus grams of protein per cup, there’s good reason this thick, creamy yogurt is a go-to breakfast. “Yogurt parfaits are hands-down one of my favorite high-protein breakfasts,” Rounder says. She tops plain, full-fat Greek yogurt with whatever toppings she’s in the mood for-usually a combination of walnuts (for added protein and healthy fat), berries (for fiber), a few spoonfuls of granola (for crunch), and a drizzle of honey (extra sweetness!).

9) Amped-Up Oatmeal

By itself, oatmeal isn’t high in protein. But you can easily increase that amount. “Make it with one cup of nonfat or low-fat milk, 2 tablespoons of natural peanut butter, and chia seeds,” Gans suggests. Add some berries or banana on top if you crave something sweet in the morning.

10) Egg and Avocado Toast

Avocado toast is still trendy, but just toast and avocado doesn’t add up to a ton of protein. An easy solution: Add two eggs, cooked however you like. “Throw them on top of a piece of whole-grain bread, avocado, and some Trader Joe’s Everything But the Bagel seasoning for an extra kick,” Rounder says.

11) Breakfast Salad

It’s not a traditional morning meal for most Americans, but a salad is great any time of day and helps you get in those veggies first thing in the morning. “Stir an EVOO-balsamic dressing into canned wild salmon. Place the salmon over a bed of greens along with a scoop of lentils and a sprinkle of chopped nuts,” Sass suggests. Plus, it’s easy to prep the night before if you want to take it on the go.

12) Non-Dairy Yogurt Parfait

Greek yogurt enjoyed its time in the spotlight, and now there are many plant-based yogurts that have a good amount of protein. In addition to soy yogurt, there’s Kite Hill’s almond milk “Greek” yogurt with 11 grams of protein and Ripple’s Greek yogurt alternative with 12 grams of pea protein. “Aim for an unsweetened variety so you can mix in your own fruit,” Hultin says. “Then maximize protein as well as omega-3 fatty acids by adding in flax, chia, or hemp seeds.”

13) Salmon Avocado Toast

If you’re not in the mood for eggs, try 4 ounces of smoked salmon, or lox, which has about 20 grams of protein. “Top 100-percent whole-grain bread with tofu-scallion cream cheese, lox, avocado, and diced red onion and tomato,” Gans suggests.

14) Overnight Oats

Next time you make your favorite overnight oats, stir in a scoop of protein powder, Sass says. Combine the oats and plain or vanilla-flavored protein powder (unless chocolate goes with your other flavors), then add water or unsweetened nut milk. Stir until well combined. Let the oats soak in the fridge until the morning, then top with berries and pumpkin seeds.

SHOP PROTEIN POWDER

15) Snack Pack To-Go

“This sounds weird, but it totally works,” Kubal says. “A lot of my clients travel and take some deli turkey and veggies and guac, and call it breakfast.” You could also pack jerky, she says, which has the added benefit of being shelf-stable.

16) Cottage Cheese Toast

Switch up your morning slice by topping whole-grain bread with a few spoonfuls of cottage cheese instead of your go-to cream cheese or avocado. Add a sprinkle of cinnamon, a drizzle of honey, and a handful of nuts for extra crunch and protein. This combo is super versatile, so if you prefer savory toast, you can top with veggies and nuts instead.

17) Protein-Packed Smoothie

Many smoothies are a bunch of fruit. Delicious, yes, but not very filling and often low in protein. “To maximize protein and create more balance, add a scoop of protein powder,” Hultin says. Look for a protein powder with no more than 5 grams of sugar, Kubal recommends. However, unsweetened is best-the fruit in your smoothie will give you plenty of sweetness. Don’t forget to include a handful of greens such as spinach for some veggies, and nut butter or hemp seeds for more protein and satiating healthy fats. (Check out our favorite smoothie recipes here.)

18) Bagel with Lox

A bagel breakfast doesn’t have to be all carbs. It’s all about portions and proper toppings. “Top either half a whole-wheat bagel or whole-grain crackers with smoked salmon, a tablespoon of whipped cream cheese, capers, and some salt and pepper for a high-protein breakfast that always hits the spot,” Rounder says.

19) Creamy Oatmeal

Another way to make high-protein oats is to stir in cottage cheese or Greek yogurt. Top with nuts or seeds, and you have a breakfast that’ s high in protein and fiber for a one-two hunger-fighting punch.

20) Dinner for Breakfast

We’re all looking for a quick bite as we get ourselves and the kids ready to dash out the door. Leftovers can be a great solution-simply reheat. “Include poultry or fish, herb-sautéed veggies, extra-virgin olive oil, and a small portion of a healthy starch, like sweet potato or brown rice,” Sass recommends, so you have a well-rounded meal to keep you full and meet all your nutritional needs.

 

This article was written by Brittany Risher from Prevention and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

14 Spooky Halloween Treats to Make with Your Kids

 

Two Peas and Their Pod

Sweet and Salty Marshmallow Popcorn

Make like PureWow Coterie member Maria Lichty and have your kids stir in the candy.

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The Mom 100

Mummy Cupcakes

The more disheveled the mummy, the better. (Thanks, Katie Workman.)

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It’s Always Autumn

Cute and Easy Mini Halloween Doughnuts

Bats, monsters and spiders, oh my.

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Sally’s Baking Addiction

Candy Corn Pretzel Hugs

Let the kids assemble, then watch them melt in the oven.

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Working Mom Magic

Marshmallow Monsters

Googly eyes? Check. Sprinkles? Double check.

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Gimme Some Oven

Brownie Spiders

The kids can attach the legs; you can eat the leftovers.

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Five Heart Home

Pretzel Candy Spiderwebs

Much less scary than the real thing.

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Kid-Friendly Things to Do

Halloween Chocolate Pretzel Bites

Grab some forks and let them go wild.

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Damn Delicious

Halloween Spider Cupcakes

Getting your kids in the kitchen has never been easier.

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Dinner At the Zoo

3-Ingredient Butterfinger Caramel Apples

Using pre-made caramel candies makes this kid-friendly.

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Sprinkle Bakes

Monster Popcorn Balls

Bonus points for the plastic vampire teeth.

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Well Plated

Halloween Banana Popsicles

Frighteningly good, and sorta healthy. 

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I Can Teach My Child

Pumpkin Patch Dirt Cups

As fun to make as they are to eat.

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How Sweet Eats

Chocolate Bark Halloween Brownies

Two words: sugar rush.

Get the recipe

 

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6 DIY Halloween Kids’ Costumes That You Can Make Faster Than Amazon Can Deliver

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Halloween is fast approaching, and you had so many grand ambitions of making that complicated Where the Wild Things Are costume from scratch. But while you may not be up for a huge project, you can still DIY it. Here, six clever ideas you can throw together practically overnight.

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An Aerobics Instructor

It’s as simple as putting the pants under the pastel-colored onesie you already own. And you can make the leg warmers by cutting off the feet on a pair of kid-sized socks. 80s genius.

Get the look: Primary babysuit ($8); Primary baby legging ($12); Gymboree socks ($7); Suddora headband ($3)

@LoveandLion/Instagram

Harry Potter

The scarf is the key item in this magic (vs. muggle) inspired look, dreamed up by Leah and Jenni over at Love & Lion. Peep your local Good Will store or comb through your closet to find one—anything in a burgundy(ish) hue will do—then throw on a white tee, casual black hoodie and oversized glasses. The true marker of Harry Potter is that penciled on forehead lightning bolt, after all.

Get the look: Cat & Black hoodie ($8); Fruit of the Loom t-shirt ($8 for 5); GrinderPUNCH Kids wizard glasses ($9); Elope scarf ($25)

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Eleven

Yep, the Stranger Things character is still totally on trend. All you really need is a pink dress, blue cardi and knee socks. Oh, and a box of Eggo Waffles.  

Get the look: Primary dress ($20); Primary cardigan($16); Rocky tube socks ($16)

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Bubble Bath

Dress your kid all in white and affix white (or transparent) balloons to his clothes. Done and done.

Get the look: Primary legging ($14); H&M t-shirt ($5); mikimini showercap ($10)

@ArinSolange/Instagram

Arthur

Yep, the aardvark—and star—of the PBS Kids TV show is also one of the easier Halloween costumes to pull off. All you need is a denim bottom, mustard-colored top, oversized glasses and paper ears, according to blogger Arin Solange.

Get the look: Old Navy shirt ($10); The Children’s Place skirt ($13); FancyG glasses ($2)

@primarydotcom/Instagram

Belle

To pull off this Beauty and the Beast ensemble, just pair a sleeveless yellow dress with white above-the-elbow gloves. Oh, and the ultimate prop to finish the look: a rose.

Get the look: Primary dress ($15); Party City gloves ($9)

 

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Kids Are Eating More Fast Food Than Ever Before — Here’s Why

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Fast food has changed quite a bit in recent years. In addition to the usual burgers and fries on the menu, most restaurants now also offer healthier options like wraps, salads, fruit and yogurt. But that doesn’t mean everyone is eating well or as well they should. In fact, a new study out of the University of Connecticut’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity found that American children are eating more fast food now than ever before.

The study polled roughly 800 parents — in 2010, 2013 and 2016 — regarding their children’s eating habits, particularly those at the nation’s four largest fast-food chains: McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s and Subway. According to the results, 91 percent of those surveyed bought at least one meal for their child from a fast-food eatery each week, which is up from 79 percent in 2010. 

What’s more, 74 percent of the kids ordered an unhealthy drink and/or side items with their meal.

Jennifer Harris, director of marketing initiatives for the UConn Rudd Center and the lead author of the report said in a statement, “We know that fast food offers parents a convenient, affordable option for feeding their families. But restaurants have a responsibility to make these affordable, convenient foods healthier. Most fast-food meals — even kids’ meals — have more fat, sugar and sodium than children need, and eating this kind of unhealthy food can have negative health consequences over time, such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease and other health issues.”

That said, Harris acknowledged that fast-food restaurants have made great strides in recent years. However, they need to do more to educate parents about the options they have.

“While most fast-food restaurants do have healthier kids’ meal drinks and sides available, many do little to make parents aware of the healthier options or to encourage parents to choose the healthier options instead of unhealthy ones,” Harris said. “If restaurants are serious about children’s health, they will make the healthiest choice the easiest choice for parents and the most appealing choice for children.”

As such, the best thing parents can do is to research each chain’s menu and keep an eye out for healthy items and encourage kids to opt for those over the deep-fried offerings.

 

This article was written by Kimberly Zapata from SheKnows and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

Science says parents of successful kids have these 11 things in common

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  • There isn’t a set recipe for how to raise a successful child.
  • However, research points to several factors that could help.
  • Some of those factors might be totally out of your control: research has shown that being wealthier and a college graduate are two big influencers of your children’s success.

Most parents want their kids to stay out of trouble, do well in school, and go on to live successful lives as adults. 

And while there isn’t a set recipe for raising successful children, psychology research has pointed to a handful of factors that predict success.

Unsurprisingly, much of it comes down to the parents. Keep reading to take a look at what parents of successful kids have in common.

Drake Baer contributed to a previous version of this article. 

They make their kids do chores

 

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“If kids aren’t doing the dishes, it means someone else is doing that for them,” Julie Lythcott-Haims, former dean of freshmen at Stanford University and author of “How to Raise an Adult” said during a TED Talks Live event.

“By making them do chores — taking out the garbage, doing their own laundry — they realize I have to do the work of life in order to be part of life,” she previously told Business Insider.

Lythcott-Haims believes kids raised on chores go on to become employees who collaborate well with their coworkers, are more empathetic because they know firsthand what struggling looks like, and are able to take on tasks independently.

They teach their kids social skills

 

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Researchers from Pennsylvania State University and Duke University tracked more than 700 children from across the US between kindergarten and age 25 and found a significant correlation between their social skills as kindergartners and their success as adults two decades later.

The 20-year study showed that children who could cooperate with their peers, be helpful to others, understand their feelings, and resolve problems on their own were far more likely to earn a college degree and have a full-time job by age 25 than those with limited social skills.

Those with limited social skills also had a higher chance of getting arrested, binge drinking, and applying for public housing.

“This study shows that helping children develop social and emotional skills is one of the most important things we can do to prepare them for a healthy future,” said Kristin Schubert, program director at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which funded the research, in a release.

“From an early age, these skills can determine whether a child goes to college or prison, and whether they end up employed or addicted.”

They have high expectations

 

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Using data from a national survey of 6,600 children born in 2001, University of California at Los Angeles professor Neal Halfon and his colleagues discovered that the expectations parents hold for their kids have a huge effect on attainment.

“Parents who saw college in their child’s future seemed to manage their child toward that goal irrespective of their income and other assets,” Halfon said.

The finding came out in standardized tests: 57% of the kids who did the worst were expected to attend college by their parents, while 96% of the kids who did the best were expected to go to college.

This falls in line with another psych finding: The Pygmalion effect, which states “that what one person expects of another can come to serve as a self-fulfilling prophecy.” In the case of kids, they live up to their parents’ expectations.

They have healthy relationships with each other

 

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Children in high-conflict families tend to fare worse than children of parents that get along, according to a University of Illinois study review.

A nonconflictual single-parent family is better for children than two-parent families with conflict, according to the review.

But, conflict between parents before and after a divorce can affect children negatively.

Another study in this review found that 20-somethings who experienced divorce of their parents as children still report pain and distress over their parents’ divorce ten years later.

They’re educated

 

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2014 study from the University of Michigan found that mothers who finished high school or college were more likely to raise kids that did the same.

Pulling from a group of over 14,000 children who entered kindergarten from 1998 to 2007, the study found that higher levels of maternal education predicted higher achievement from kindergarten to eighth grade.

A different study from Bowling Green State University suggested that the parents’ education levels when a child is 8 years old “significantly predicted” the education and career level for the child four decades later.

They teach their kids math early on

 

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A 2007 meta-analysis of 35,000 preschoolers across the US, Canada, and England found that developing math skills early can turn into a huge advantage.

“The paramount importance of early math skills — of beginning school with a knowledge of numbers, number order, and other rudimentary math concepts — is one of the puzzles coming out of the study,” coauthor and Northwestern University researcher Greg Duncan said. “Mastery of early math skills predicts not only future math achievement, it also predicts future reading achievement.”

They develop a relationship with their kids

 

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A 2014 study of 243 children born into poverty found that those who received “sensitive caregiving” in their first three years did better in academic tests in childhood than those who did not receive the same parenting style. 

Those children also had healthier relationships and greater academic achievement.

“This suggests that investments in early parent-child relationships may result in long-term returns that accumulate across individuals’ lives,” coauthor and University of Minnesota psychologist Lee Raby said.

They value effort over avoiding failure

 

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Where kids think success comes from also predicts their attainment. 

Over decades, Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck has discovered that children (and adults) think about success in one of two ways. Over at Brain Pickings, Maria Popova says they go a little something like this: 

A “fixed mindset” assumes that our character, intelligence, and creative ability are static givens that we can’t change in any meaningful way, and success is the affirmation of that inherent intelligence, an assessment of how those givens measure up against an equally fixed standard; striving for success and avoiding failure at all costs become a way of maintaining the sense of being smart or skilled.

A “growth mindset,” on the other hand, thrives on challenge and sees failure not as evidence of un-intelligence but as a heartening springboard for growth and for stretching our existing abilities. 

Dweck’s mindset theory has attracted valid critiques over the years, but the core tenant of believing that you can improve at something is important to encourage in children.

The moms work

 

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According to research out of Harvard Business School, there are significant benefits for children growing up with mothers who work outside the home.

“There are very few things, that we know of, that have such a clear effect on gender inequality as being raised by a working mother,” Harvard Business School professor Kathleen L. McGinn, who led the study, told Working Knowledge.

Daughters of working mothers went to school longer, were more likely to have a job in a supervisory role, and earned more money — 23% more compared to peers raised by stay-at-home mothers.

The sons of working mothers also tended to pitch in more on household chores and childcare, the study found. 

But, working mothers aren’t necessarily spending every waking minute outside of work with their children

 

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Women are more likely to feel intense pressure to balance child rearing with workplace ambitions. Ultimately, they spend more time parenting than fathers do. 

A 2015 study found the number of hours that moms spend with kids between ages 3 and 11 does little to predict the child’s behavior, well-being, or achievement.

In fact, the study suggests that it’s actually harmful for the child to spend time with a mother who is sleep-deprived, anxious, or otherwise stressed. 

“Mothers’ stress, especially when mothers are stressed because of the juggling with work and trying to find time with kids, that may actually be affecting their kids poorly,” study coauthor and Bowling Green State University sociologist Kei Nomaguchi told The Washington Post.

It could be more beneficial to spend one fully-engaged hour with a child than spend the whole evening half-listening to your kid while scrolling through work emails.

They have a higher socioeconomic status

 

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One-fifth of American children grow up in poverty, a situation that severely limits their potential.

It’s getting more extreme. According to Stanford University researcher Sean Reardon, the achievement gap between high- and low-income families “is roughly 30% to 40% larger among children born in 2001 than among those born 25 years earlier.” 

As social scientist Dan Pink wrote, the higher the income for the parents, the higher the SAT scores for the kids. 

“Absent comprehensive and expensive interventions, socioeconomic status is what drives much of educational attainment and performance,” Pink wrote.

 

This article was written by Rachel Gillett from Business Insider and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.