Parent Talk

Connecticut Farmers' Markets and Farm Stands Kids Will Love

Connecticut has more than 100 certified CT Grown Farmers' Markets in the state, so it is easy to take the family out for a fun day of shopping for fresh, local produce. Many of the markets are mini destinations where children can be entertained while learning about the importance and nutrition of locally grown food. We love to pick our own berries when they are in season, too, so check out our list of our favorite Pick Your Own Farms in CT.

Here are suggestions on kid-friendly markets, so get out there, eat some healthy food, have fun, and explore! 

8 Tips for Teaching Your Child to Ride a Bike Without Training Wheels

Learning how to ride a bike without training wheels is a major milestone in a child’s life, and while all kids develop at their own pace, the average age to master this skill is somewhere between five and seven years old. That’s good news for my seven year-old son, who wants to go from four wheels to two sometime this summer. I must admit, though, that we’re both a little nervous about the process. He’s worried about falling and getting hurt, while I’m stressed trying to figure out the best way to teach him. And I’m happy to find I’m not the only one: A poll conducted by Schwinn found that 55 percent of parents are nervous about teaching their kids how to ride, and 36 percent wish someone else would do it for them!

But before I source this parenting chore out, I decided to ask some pros for their best advice on the subject and discovered these eight tips for teaching my son how to ride without either of us having a meltdown.

Single Mom Confessions: I Hate Mother's Day—And 8 Ways I'm Changing That

Mother's Day seems like such a great idea, but for single moms it rarely delivers. Who's going to bring us breakfast in bed—a toddler?

There are many paths to single motherhood, and I think among my friends we cover them all. Whether we were surprised by motherhood, by divorce, or just by everything that came after the sperm bank, one thing we all share is that Mother’s Day is not all it's cracked up to be. That’s not because we don’t love being mothers—being Mom is the part we love best. And the concept of celebrating motherhood is a fine thing. But being responsible for teaching someone else—someone small and self-centered—to make a fuss over us? That feels like more trouble than it's worth. Or, to put it as concisely as one of my friends does, “Kids ruin Mother’s Day.”

Of course we're joking. Kind of. How could kids ruin a day all about our joy in having them? Maybe it's because Hallmark builds this thing up as big as Valentine's Day and makes us think that someone is supposed to shower us with champagne breakfasts and roses. In a two-parent home, the responsibility for living up to that fantasy at least falls on an adult. Of course, friends readily tell me how often the adult can fall short (I don't think the Mother's Day deep fat fryer episode ended my one friend's marriage, but it clearly didn't help). Enough dads do seem to get it right, though, to leave a single mom feeling like she's alone in a world of mimosa drinkers come Sunday morn.

12 Things To Do with NYC Babies Before They Turn 1

The whole "New York City is a terrible place to raise babies" debate seems to continue, especially in conversations on local parenting groups. But as a mom of three who had all my babies right here in NYC, I disagree. Yes, it can be a nuisance to find subway stations with working elevators and contend with tiny spaces and noisy neighbors, but there are so many enriching first-time experiences to share with your baby in the city that make it worth muddling through the inconveniences.

So stock your diaper bag, strap your infant into a stroller or carrier and try these 12 things to do with your baby before age 1—one "first" per month before toddlerhood.

5 Things Parents Need To Know To Keep Kids Safe from Sports Injuries

There has been plenty written in the news lately about how kids are specializing in sports earlier these days, training harder than ever—in team sports in particular—to compete at higher and higher levels. This puts extra stress on growing bodies and often leaves parents on uncertain ground. As a parent of an athlete, I often wonder when my kid says, "It hurts here," how seriously I need to take it. Is this a bath and a good night's sleep after a tough work out, or is it a trip to the doctor? Like many parents I know, I sometimes find myself asking the coach for input, when really I should be asking a specialist. 

Knowing a good resource for kids' sports injuries is a big help—which is why I'm excited to be writing about LA's Orthopaedic Institute for Children. It has given me a chance to get some of my own questions answered on the topic of parenting an athlete, and to share the info with other sports parents. I posed a few questions to the associate director of the Orthopaedic Institute for Children’s Center of Sports Medicine in Los Angeles, Dr. Jennifer Beck, who gave me some great information about supporting a young athlete, and about why the demanding nature of sports while a young body’s musculoskeletal system is rapidly changing can sometimes cause injuries.

Why Painter's Tape Is Your Friend and 133 More Parent Hacks

Do automatic-flush toilets scare your preschooler? Do you always forget to put a spare onesie in the diaper bag? Do you go crazy trying to get the crumbs out of your car’s cup holders? These are the types of real problems parents face every day. Who would know the solutions better than other parents? The just released book Parent Hacks: 134 Genius Shortcuts for Life with Kids written by Asha Dornfest, founder of the Parent Hacks website, and her community of parent hackers has the answer to these issues and, well, 131 more.

Parent Hacks is a decade of the cumulative knowledge of sleep-deprived parents. What I love about it is its down-to-earth take on everyday frustrations and issues. Because the advice comes from real parents, many of the solutions rely on clever tricks using everyday things you find around the house, rather than pricey products. It's frugal, real advice—and often hilarious, including the fun illustrations by Craighton Berman. There are a lot of hacks dealing with poop and other gross situations parents find themselves in, making it a great choice for those with babies, toddlers and preschoolers.

We love this book so much that Mommy Poppins is helping to throw it a party. Read on to find out more about probably the most useful new parenting book around and how you can join us for a fun celebration if you are in NYC.

Parents Night Out in Fairfield County

Looking to partake in some of that elusive “us” time that couples are supposed to be indulging in? Then you can cross find a sitter right off that list of “reasons we never leave the house for a date."  Parents' Night Outs provide entertainment for your little ones so you can enjoy grabbing a bite to eat at a place that doesn't feature a kids' menu and placemats to color.  If you are on a first name basis with the Friday night delivery guy, here is a list of some Fairfield County businesses that have regularly scheduled Parents Night Out events.   

21 Signs You Have a NYC Toddler

Let's be honest. Raising a toddler is a handful, but raising a NYC toddler comes with its own unique challenges—and rewards—like trying to carry their tantruming little bodies up the subway stairs, but knowing they'll come out of it with some awesome values. It also means they develop some pretty distinctive NYC habits at an early age. Watching a toddler in NYC is both hilarious and hilariously frustrating, because they’re right at a crucial development phase in terms of language, basic skills and learning—and they’re doing it on full display of your building, block or, basically, the entire city.

Does your tyke display these quintessential NYC kid quirks?

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