Top 10 Best Movies to Make You Feel Great About Being a Mom

f you’re looking for a ninety minute reminder of why you’re amazing (and aren’t we all?) look no further, because this list of films celebrates moms for all that they are and all that they do. The Family Stone Diane Keaton is the mom to watch in this dramedy set in small town New England (of course). Faced with an uptight future daughter-in-law (Sarah Jessica Parker) over the holidays this free spirited mom and her family will make you laugh, warm your hearts and remind you why mother knows best.
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On Guard: An Autism Service Dog's Duty to His Little Girl and Her Dad

Over two years ago when we began the process of applying for an autism service dog for our little girl, Kate, we could never have predicted how our lives would change. Outings took major preparation and the idea of doing anything spontaneous was laughable. Our Kate was often confused by her surroundings and she would inevitably wander or worse, run. We took turns carrying her whenever we left the house. We had her therapists spend many hours on the skill of hand-holding because she couldn’t/wouldn’t do it. Can you imagine that? Your little girl can’t hold your hand because she doesn’t understand the purpose. She doesn’t like the feeling and she uses all of her energy to rip free every chance she gets. Her therapists tell you that this is common among children with autism and they have a program all ready to work on this skill. This didn’t comfort me. We practiced everywhere we went. She would often break free and we would chase her. A few times she almost made it to the door, or worse, the road. Carrying a forty-five pound four year old when she doesn’t want to be carried does nothing for your back or your frame of mind.
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Posted in Parents

7 Ways to Enjoy Your Holiday Just a Little Bit More

I’m not sure buying a dog was the best thing that we could have done right before the holidays. I had an idea that a puppy would take up a lot of my spare time, but I didn’t think that it would take up ALL OF MY TIME. They need to be watched, they need to be walked, they need to be fed, and you need to make sure that they aren't relieving themselves all over your nice wood floors. With a puppy you never know what you are going to find or where you are going to find it.
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What All Single Parents Should Know about Life Insurance

There is no denying that it is difficult being a single parent. Though it can be highly rewarding, juggling work, child-rearing, bill-paying and other responsibilities can sometimes be overwhelming. If you are in such a position, know that you are far from alone. A recent report by the U.S. Census shows that as of 2008, single-parent households made up 29.5 percent of all American households with children. The numbers have undoubtedly risen since then.
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What Your Favorite Halloween Candy Says About You

What does your favorite Halloween candy say about who you are and how you like to celebrate? Choose your favorite treat to find out...
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Posted in Parents and Students

6 Easy Ways to Save Money After a Divorce

The effects of divorce can be devastating. My divorce had a huge impact on my performance at work and turned my personal life upside down. Relocating, no longer living with my children, and just trying to move on were difficult ordeals to endure.
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Posted in Parents and News

The 2014 Halloween Survival Guide for Parents

It’s that time of year again. Little ghouls and goblins will be running around the streets soon enough and you’ll follow behind diligently watching to make sure that they stay safe. It’s usually considered a chore, but this year you can take advantage of a few ideas that will make trick or treating just as much fun for you.
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Posted in News , Parents , and Students

Boys vs. Girls: Which Are Better Drivers?

The age-old debate continues: Who is better behind the wheel, men or women? If you have both a son and daughter you know just how often this argument erupts around the dinner table. Thankfully, a professor and doctoral student in the civil engineering department at Kansas State University decided to take a closer look and give parents a few real answers when it comes to teen drivers.
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Fight Distracted Teen Driving with New Interactive Simulator

Next time your teen groans at the thought of a weekend driving lesson, flash a smile. Tell the young driver it won't be with you. Let them try a distracted driving simulator, a video-game like experience that creatively inspires teens to keep their eyes on the road.
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Is Your Teen Breaking the Law? What You Need to Know About School Permits

Did you know your teen may have broken a law simply by driving home from school last night? If your teen is using a school permit to go to and from classes, listen up. Each state has very specific guidelines and rules for using a school permit, which is generally issued after your teen has earned a learner's permit.
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Teens and Tire Safety: What Driver's Ed Doesn't Teach Kids

Your child's driver's education class focuses on the rules of the road and being an attentive driver. But driving lessons often miss the mark when it comes to knowing basic car care information. Michelin North America Inc. helped fund a study to determine what driving students are learning -- and not learning -- that could put them at risk for an auto accident.
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10 Reasons You Need a Minivan

Gone are the days of boxy, embarrassing and ugly minivans. Back in the day minivans had doors so heavy it took two hands to open them. Remember how angry your mom would get when she had to set down her purse, bag of groceries and the baby so she could open the van door? Remember how poor the visibility was? More than a few bikes parked in the driveway were crushed under these monstrous vehicles. Things have changed. The new sleek, power everything minivan is more like a tiny luxury bus, and you need this kind of luxury in your life.
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Surprising New Study About Teens and Texting

The good news for parents of teens today is that modern adolescents are less likely to engage in risky behaviors such as smoking, drinking and fighting. The bad news, however, is that seemingly-benign behaviors such as media usage and texting are on the rise and are, at times, proving deadly. These were the findings of a recent study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the results of which were published this summer.
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New Smartphone Apps to Protect Your Teen Driver

Technology has come a long way in the last 20 years. Most teens now carry cell phones, and while phones can pose dangers while driving, they can also be used to protect your child. Many parents may not be aware of the many applications and other technological advancements that are currently available to them that can be used to monitor their teen drivers.
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2014 Safest Cars for Teens

As the parent of a teen driver, you may prefer that your child drive a new, as opposed to used, car. New cars typically include more improved safety features and your child is less likely to get stuck on the road due to a mechanical malfunction. Unfortunately, with the higher price tag that goes along with a new car, higher insurance rates are also part of the equation.
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Add This Great American RV Road Trip To Your Bucket List

Imagine a journey on a highway so scenic that you marvel at every turn. Now imagine there are no neon signs, billboards, motels, restaurants, or any other commercial enterprises on this highway--nothing but the sheer natural beauty of our great nation. Could such a highway exist? If it did, wouldn’t you want to add this great American RV road trip to your bucket list? Well, it does exist. It’s 444 miles long and right in the heartland of America.
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Driver's Ed: Worth It or a Waste?

In 2008, teen drivers were responsible for 6,428 fatalities on our nation’s roadways. In fact, Wayne K. Tully, Chief Executive Officer at National Driver Training, reports that the crash rate for 16-year-old drivers is nearly five times that of crashes for drivers over 25. This is a sobering statistic for the parents of any new drivers. Enrolling teens in a qualified driver's education course may help parents ensure that their children stay safe while out on the road. However, some parents question whether these courses are really worth spending the time and money. If you are among these parents, clarification about the following driver’s ed misconceptions may help you come to a conclusion.
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Keep Loved Ones Safe With These Pool Tips

Many Americans retreat to swimming pools throughout the summer to escape the blistering heat. For some, a pool party complete with drinks, grilled food, and music, is an essential part of a perfect summer day. While swimming pools are great for bringing family and friends together, there are risks and pool safety concerns home owners should consider. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly ten people drown each day in the United States and there are over 3,000 unintentional drowning deaths, unrelated to boating, every year.
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Posted in Home Insurance , Parents , and Safety

When What to Expect Brings the Unexpected

There are some things that the baby books don't tell us about having babies. For instance, I've yet to read a chapter entitled "When There is Something Wrong with Your Baby" in any of the pregnancy and child-rearing books that grace my shelves. It isn't always going to be fine and it isn't always going to be easy.
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Posted in Parents and Health

The Daddy's Guide to Road Trips

There is something alluring about the open road. Every year countless families hit the highways for their great summer road trip. Whether it's heading to Yellowstone, the beach, or the Grand Canyon millions upon millions of people start out their trips with such promise, only to wonder what the heck they were thinking about by the end. I've been on a few trips like this myself. A drive from New Jersey to Florida sounds like a great idea at first, but by the end you swear that you will NEVER do it again.
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Posted in Parents

When Responsibility Took on a Whole New Meaning

Today's pressures are so different from those of a few short years ago. The terms life insurance, autism and responsibility had very different meanings back then. When I was younger I felt the pressures of school deadlines and student loan payments. I lamented the burden of paying rent and writing a thesis I really had no business writing.
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Parenting: It's Never Easy

I'm so tired. My eyes are blurry from parenting exhaustion but I can still see the beat-up walls with fingerprints and dings and dents staring defiantly back at me. The hardwood floor boasts scrapes and scratches from too many toys being dragged up and down the hallways. The tiles in the kitchen are chipped from pots and pans dropped hastily while trying to juggle dinner preparation and a young family.
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No Time to Worry: Why Autism Parents Must Have All Their Ducks in a Row

"I don't know how you do it." It's a phrase I hear all the time. It's as if some people think working full-time teaching children with special needs and raising a child with special needs is a big deal or something. Of course, I kid. It is a big deal. A big old hairy deal that has had me tied up in knots and broken down on the floor many times. Throw in my husband and older daughter, who also need attention, a slowly emerging writing career which could use some TLC, a sorry little social life, and you have a recipe for complete disaster.
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Posted in Parents

How to Go on a Road Trip with an Autistic Child: 5 Tips

Traveling is a luxury we should not take for granted. Sometimes, our circumstances might make it a little more difficult to freely hit the open road when there are children involved. When it comes to children with autism, it can be even harder. Each time we leave our home on a road trip with our children, we must first create a contingency plan for any unforeseen difficulties that may arise. We are not your average family.
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When Joyous Occasions Turn Sour: How I Coped

What was supposed to be a joyous occasion became anything but that. A performance of Hercules was kicking off our four day Disney cruise to the Bahamas when all of a sudden our hearts sank. A family getaway years in the making, and our trip was being cut short only two hours out to sea.
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Posted in Parents and Health

6 Tips on Baby Safety Gates and Tales from Moms Who Could Have Used Them

Quite possibly one of the worst sounds on the planet is the sound of a small child falling down the steps. There's a series of horrible bumps and thuds before one loud crash that culminates in a blood curdling scream. What's even worse? Watching it happen. It's a scene that never leaves your mind. It's happened to both of my boys at the age of one and thankfully, they made it through their tumultuous tumbles unscathed.
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What Will Happen To My Child When I Am Gone?

It might be one of the most dreaded topics of all. What will happen to my child when I die? It hurts me to even type that sentence. I prefer to live in denial about such things. I think we all do to some extent. The sad truth is that it is a topic we cannot afford to avoid. It is a topic that permeates my subconscious each time I am reminded of my daughter's future. Will she be independent? Will she live on her own? Will she be married? These are all things parents of children with autism cannot take for granted. We can hope and wish for bright and independent futures for our children but we must be prepared should this not be the case. We must do the unpleasant task of preparing for a future when we are gone and our children still need support.
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Posted in Parents

The 7 Hidden Costs of Having a Baby

Having a baby is a life changing event. Not only are you adding a person into your family, but that little mini-you needs things like diapers, food, and furniture - which all adds up very quickly. CNN Money estimates that raising a child to the age of 18 costs over $225,000. We will be outlining seven items that may include some unexpected sticker shock, along with some tips on how to save. Diapers may be the single most expensive item you invest in for your baby. From birth to their second birthday, you will spend an average of $2,500 on disposable diapers - not including wipes or diaper rash cream. What’s worse is that as of October 2013, diaper companies are now “downsizing” their product packages, but keeping prices consistent-which means that parents are paying the same amount for fewer diapers.
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9 Babyproofing Tips for Your Home

Making your home safe for your baby is an important step in becoming a parent. Many homes contain hazards that are well within reach of babies and toddlers. When preparing your home for your baby, be sure to take a tally of each room - make a map if possible, and figure out where to move things to make each room safe for your child. We’ve compiled an article detailing the top baby safety tips you need to know, and how to modify your home to be the safest for children.
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