safety

The tools every parent must know to keep your kids safe on the Internet

One of the parents from my daughter’s class, Chris Roberts, created this checklist for ensuring our younger “web surfers” remain safe. I think it’s a great list, so, with his permission, I am sharing it here for safe explorations.  For the younger children – 12 and under: 1.    Create separate user accounts for each child on the home computer. 2.    Enable strict content filtering on the computer. 3.    Install anti-virus, malware software, etc. 4.    Establish a select list of sites they’re allowed to visit. (We talk about the sites they want to visit, spend time on them together, and then I go through the sites and click through as deep as I can to understand the site content, culture, links, and ads...

How worried should parents be about location and geotagging services?

Recently, while chatting with my sister about posting photos of our kids on sites like Facebook and Instagram, she told me that she’d heard that other people can sometimes divine the location where the photo was taken. To prevent strangers and lurkers in the seedy underbelly of the Internet from figuring out where she lives while viewing pictures of her cute-as-a-button 3-year-old, she says she turns off the location settings on her phone when she’s not using it for navigation. I vaguely remembered a news report on the same issue a while back. Ironically, even though I’m all over social media – I have accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+ – I still want to pretend like I have some control over my privacy. I disabled the location sharing setting on my variou...

Mama Drama: How to Grow Independent Problem Solvers

Dear Mama Drama: (photo credit) I’m afraid I’ve created a monster (or two) by being an overprotective mom. My kids can’t seem to solve even the smallest problem by themselves. If something doesn’t turn out the way they think it should, they fall apart and for every little thing it’s “Mom, mom, mom!” How can I help them become more independent? ~Overprotective Mama Dear Overprotective: Good for you for realizing that you are the link in this chain of helplessness that you have the control to change. It’s hard to admit when our behavior has led to difficult behavior in our children. There are many small things you can do to help your children increase their independent problem solving skills. It just takes a shift in thinking, a lot of teaching...

How can I address the trauma of tragedy?

Dear Mama Drama: With one traumatic event after another in the headlines I am struggling to manage my own anxieties much less those of my children. We are all sad, angry, and afraid, and struggling to maintain our emotions and get through our daily routines. What advice do you have to help us? ~Stressed Out Mama (photo credit) Dear Stressed: While news of violent acts often leads to a mild increase in anxiety and fear, the recent string of tragedies has overwhelmed many children and adults. You and your family are not alone. Following are some ideas to support you through these difficult times. Limit exposure to news media. Hearing and seeing the information and images related to tragic events can be traumatic and intensify anxieties and fears. There is a difference between being informed ...

Mama Drama: 3rd Anniversary Advice Round Up

It’s October, which means falling leaves, Halloween, and the 3rd Anniversary of our Mama Drama advice column. We’ve rounded up and sorted out the advice over this last year so it’s easy to find what you need. Bookmark it and send it to your mama friends! (photo credit) Keep the questions coming ([email protected]) and remember the more we ask, the smarter we get at navigating this amazing journey called Motherhood. Daily Routines Ending Morning Madness

New Safety Standards for Cribs Aim to Better Protect Children: Tips for Making Sure Your Crib Is Safe

Crib-related accidents send 26 children to U.S. emergency rooms each day and result in more than 110 deaths annually, according to a recent study in the journal Pediatrics. And for the first time in nearly 30 years, federal mandatory crib standards have been updated. Beginning June 28, 2011, anyone that manufactures or sells baby cribs will be required to meet new and improved crib safety standards approved by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on Dec. 15, 2010. These mandatory standards will: 1) stop the manufacture and sale of dangerous, traditional drop-side cribs; 2) make mattress supports stronger; 3) improve slat strength; 4) make crib hardware

Mama Drama: Grocery Grabbers and Independent Eights

Dear Mama Drama: Every time we go to the grocery store my two-year-old daughter climbs all over the cart. She stands up and grabs at things and has nearly fallen out several times. I have talked with her over and over, bribed her with treats, and threatened to leave the store, but nothing has worked. What else can I do? ~At my wits end! Dear Wits End: The first thing to do is buckle your daughter into the cart every time she is in one. She may fuss and whine, but this should be a non-negotiable point. Next, give her something to do while she is in the cart. Sitting for long, seemingly endless trips to the store can be very frustrating for a child. Let her hold the shopping list and help you cross off items. Give her a drawing pad or magnet drawing toy and have her make her own list. Bring ...

It’s better to be safe (and appear crazy) than sorry…

Do you believe in Instinct? Do you believe in the validity behind that funny feeling you get in your stomach when you just know something isn’t right? Do you act on it, or do you convince yourself that you’re being crazy? It doesn’t make rational sense. It isn’t logical. You’re probably just being silly…or so you tell yourself. But what if you’re not? Back in May of 2008, I had something really freaky happen. It was so powerful that I’ve remembered it all this time. I didn’t write about it on the blog, because part of me was scared: scared that people would roll their eyes and call me crazy, scared that I would inadvertently give people the wrong impression of our neighborhood, scared of what could have happened. And, if truth be told, I was still kicking myself for not getting a lic...