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Spoiling Kids Vs. Treating Them—How to Know the Difference

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We love our kids more than anything in the world, it’s perfectly natural to want to give them all of the love, praise, and gifts we could possibly fathom. Doubling down on this, however, can have very real and unfortunate consequences. We want to give our kids the world, but we don’t want them to turn out ungrateful or self-centered.

There’s a fine line between giving our kids all of the love they deserve and spoiling them, but how can you know whether you’re on one side of this line or the other? Let’s take a look at knowing the difference between spoiling your kid and treating them.

Watch Your Sorry’s

It’s very important to teach our kids the importance of saying sorry, and a big part of that is owning up and apologizing for your own mistakes. That being said, sorry’s can be overdone, and if you aren’t careful with your sorry’s, you might be teaching your kid that they deserved and are owed everything.

What do we mean by overdoing sorry’s? Simply put, sorry is a word we throw around innocently for a lot of things that aren’t our faults. Sorry, traffic was awful. Sorry, I already have plans. Sorry, I don’t feel comfortable with that. In our everyday lives, we say sorry, but it’s generally understood that we’re expressing regret more-so than apologizing—we don’t owe anybody the ability to magically avoid traffic, we don’t owe anybody an open schedule, and we certainly don’t owe anybody comfort.

We understand that sorry isn’t always an apology, but our kids might not. If you can’t buy them the toy that they want, a sorry can tell them that it’s your fault, and not that sometimes they simply aren’t going to get what they want. The same goes for unexpected changes of plans, cooking dinner that isn’t their favorite, or really anything that they don’t love but that they have to learn to live with. Empathizing and talking honestly with our kids is paramount, and doing so without always saying sorry helps us show them patience and tolerance.

Stand Your Ground

Generally speaking, we all have a set of ground rules we place at home. Also generally speaking, our kids are going to try to challenge some of these rules if not straight up ignore them. While letting things slide can be the easy or comfortable thing to do, and while being lenient every once in a while is a nice way to treat your kids, being able to stand your ground on these rules is an important part of teaching your kids, once again, that they can’t always get what they want.

How you respond to these challenges can come from your Parenting Style, and while there are plenty of healthy parenting styles that can be combinations of the ones we’ve described, it’s generally agreed that it’s important to stand your ground with rules while also explaining why these rules have to be respected. “Because I said so,” isn’t an explanation you’d take from anyone, and it isn’t an explanation you should expect to be received sincerely by your kid. Helping them understand why you place the rules that you do is a fundamental part in building a respectful, empathetic relationship with your kid, while helping them understand (and not just know) why we can’t always get what we want.

Handle Tantrums

Another tool that kids often learn to use to get whatever they want is tantrums, and a way that we parents enable this is by not knowing how to handle tantrums. We go more into this here, but we’ll hit the key points quickly.

First of all, avoid tantrum triggers whenever you can. If you know that your kid is going to throw a tantrum if you walk by the toy aisle, don’t go by the toy aisle. If you know that there are certain things that set your kid off, try to avoid these when possible. Tantrums aren’t pretty, and if you’re caught off guard, you might not handle them perfectly, either.

That being said, you can’t completely avoid tantrums forever, so how do you deal with them without teaching your kid that tantrums are an easy way to get what they want? First, don’t give them what they want. Next, try to ignore them as much as possible. Tantrums shouldn’t be used to get what they want, which includes your attention. When your kid finally calms down, communicate that tantrums aren’t how we should express our feelings, and explain how they should talk to you about what they’re feeling.

You can’t always just let a tantrum be, of course. If need be, take your kid to a more private place while they calm down. Once they do, talk to them and go right back to whatever you were doing before. Going home or doing something else can teach your kid that tantrums are an easy way to get out of a boring situation.

It can be easy to blur the line between treating your kid and giving them what they want during a tantrum, or right before one. Make sure that when you’re treating them, you aren’t implicitly trying to avoid bad behavior. If you are, now is probably not the time for a treat.

Measure the Gifts

We’d give our kids all of the gifts in the world if we could, but we shouldn’t. As tempting as it is, and as innocent as it seems, to give our kids gifts whenever they behave or achieve a big accomplishment, gifts aren’t always the way to go.

Part of not spoiling our kids is teaching them to enjoy the good in being good. Gifts as rewards are a great way to show our kids that they should do good things because it results in prizes, a lesson that can turn south really quickly. Instead, offer congratulations and words of encouragement and motivation. This will help your kid feel special about having acted well, which will be its own motivator for good behavior in the future.

That being said, you can still take your kid for ice cream when they win their tournament. Gifts and rewards aren’t all bad, either.

The line between treating and spoiling our kids can be thin sometimes but, as a general rule of thumb, the key comes in not using treats and gifts to avoid bad behavior and in taking everything in moderation.

Everything You Should Know About Home Birth

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From the freedom to walk around to the ability to control more or less who is in the room and what goes on during delivery, there are loads of reasons why a lot of mom-to-be’s consider giving birth from home. Home births and natural births are closely related—if you’re looking for information specifically about natural births, take a look at our posts on that here.

Just as comfort and control can be major benefits of a home birth, there are plenty of other things to consider, both pros and cons. Let’s take a quick overview of everything you should know when considering a home birth.

What is a home birth?

The term is pretty straightforward: a home birth is a process of giving birth in a residential space. This space doesn’t have to be your home, which is an important detail we’ll return to later.

The idea of giving birth at home and, specifically, not in a hospital, can be attractive for lots of reasons. The biggest benefits of giving birth from home are the levels of comfort and control you can experience that might not be offered in a hospital setting. Additionally, you avoid the nervousness and anxiety that comes with being in a hospital in general.

Part of having more control is choosing (to an extent) what kind and how much medicine you’ll be taking. Opting for little or no medicine falls under the lines of a natural birth and can help you have a bit more intimate of an experience with the process and your newborn child, but it certainly comes at the cost of feeling all of the pain involved in the process.

The concept of being in the comfort of your own home isn’t quite enough to make the decision, however. There are plenty of benefits, risks, and requirements to consider before making a choice.

The benefits of a home birth

Comfort and control are the two biggest benefits of a home birth, and they span a wide range of details. As far as comfort goes, a home birth will spare you the intimidating and anxious atmosphere of a hospital. Apart from the psychological aspects of being in a hospital, some mothers prefer home births as they put their newborn babies at a lower risk of coming into contact with something that will make them sick.

Physical comfort is also a huge factor. In a hospital, you’ll likely be confined to a bed. At home, however, you can have the freedom to move around as you might need. While this might seem strange at first, the ability to pace up and down the hall and around the room, according to some moms, helps manage the pain and keep you in the right headspace. The freedom to take a warm shower during the process if you please is another great benefit.

Another pro for the home birth is the control over the space. In a hospital, you’ll likely be very limited on how many people and who can be in the space at any given time, especially with a pandemic around. At home, you’ll likely have much more freedom to decide who accompanies you and, in turn, this can help form a more intimate bond between the baby and your birth partner.

The risks of a natural birth

There certainly are some great benefits to a home birth, but there are some risks to consider, as well. Most of these risks work out to be health-related.

Perhaps the most important question that more or less encompasses everything is: what happens if something goes wrong? Without a doubt, one of the biggest benefits of giving birth in a hospital is that, should anything go wrong, you’re surrounded by medical professionals and equipment trained and designed to save your or your baby’s life in a moment’s notice. At home, even if the medical professional is present and trained, they simply won’t have all of the equipment and medicine they would have at the hospital.

The risk of complications, and specifically perinatal death, goes up significantly during a home birth, and likely specifically for this reason. Should anything go wrong that requires you or your child (or both) to be rushed to the hospital, suddenly not only are the medical professionals and equipment variables, so is traffic and the driver’s ability. While this risk can’t be entirely avoided during a home birth, it can be lowered. Returning to a previous comment, the home birth doesn’t necessarily have to happen at your home. While your home will probably feel the most comfortable and natural, if you live particularly far away from the nearest hospital, it might be a good idea to consider a friend or family’s house. Diminishing the distance between your delivery place and the nearest hospital can be a deciding factor in whether complications become too severe or not.

Home births aren’t for everyone

Having said all of this, even after weighing the risks and benefits completely, a home birth might still not be right for you. Any risk of complications should be analyzed carefully as it can be, quite literally, a matter of life or death. Consider avoiding a home birth if any of these apply to you:

  • You’re expecting more than a single child
  • You are preterm
  • You have experienced pregnancy complications
  • You are considered overweight or have gained too much weight during pregnancy
  • You have a baby in the breech position, or you need a C-section for any reason
  • You are a group B strep carrier

For a more extensive list of things to consider, and to ask specifically if a home birth is for you, make sure to talk to your practitioner.

Nail Colors We Love This Winter Season

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As the temperatures dip down, our blankets come up, and our motivation to get our glam on might very well go into hibernation. Doing anything that implies throwing off the covers, really.

Just because we’re saying goodbye for now to sundresses and poppy neon nail polish doesn’t mean we have to let our getup get dull, though! As we pull out those dark and rich shades to get our faces ready for the season, there’s still plenty of attitude to be expressed right at the tips of our fingers—our nails that is! Here are some nail colors that we love for this winter season.

Winter Wonderland

Feeling like matching the magical snowy landscape just outside the window? A nice sparkly layer over a rich white will have every snowman on the block melting with envy. Check out Dior’s Golden Nights Collection for a glimmery, beautiful, Christmas miracle.

Ornament Glam

Maybe the snowy landscape isn’t quite your style but cuddling up by the warm fire and the beautiful tree covered in those beautiful, shiny orbs of happiness is. That ornament glitter is another great look, and silver is always a great choice for the winter season. To get that gorgeous ornament glittery silver, check out Sally Hansen’s Good. Kind. Pure Vegan Nail Polish, Meteorite. Not only will the look be great and appropriate for the season, this product is 100% plant-based and vegan.

Jolly Red Robe

From Santa’s dashing outfit to the sleigh that sprinkles magic over the entire world, it’s no secret that brilliant, vintage shades of red are the most iconic shades of the holidays. Speaking of iconic brilliant, vintage reds, Besame’s Red Nail Polish is about as iconic as vintage shades come.

O Tannenbaum

The colors that decorate the tree are beautiful and eye-catching, but let’s not sleep on the color underneath them. After all, a piney green is arguably just as iconic for the season as the reds we love. Côte’s No. 62 is exactly what we’re talking about. A perfect holiday shade, vegan, and cruelty-free. What’s not to love?

As the Night Sky

While the winter months might leave us chilly and longing for the sun, it’s tough to deny that much of the charm that comes from a beautiful, snowy night is the twilight itself. Bright snow draped over a dark, black sky. To match this elegance in a shade that’s always in, check out butter LONDON’s Union Jack Black Patent Shine 10X Nail Lacquer. As dark as the night sky to intrigue anyone passing by.

How to Help Your Children Find Their Passions

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Regardless of how old your child is, most parents want to see their child pursuing their passions. Whether it’s art, science, medicine or simply helping others, a passion makes life all the more worth living.

But when you’re dealing with a tiny human who simply seems to enjoy playing, all day, every day, how do you help them find that passion and then pursue it? The answers are probably easier than you think, and here are a few tips.

1. Pay Attention

Sure, every kid loves to play, but pay attention to specifically how your child plays. What are they drawn to? What do they like? What games, books, shows and movies does your child love most?

If there’s a trend, you could likely pinpoint your child’s budding passions. Encourage them and, even if the interest is fleeting or your child moves on to a new interest next week, you never know when a hobby or passing obsession will turn into a life-long passion and even a career.

2. Encourage Talents

Maybe your child isn’t necessarily interested in singing or acting, solving puzzles or engineering a new way to play for them and their siblings, but if you foster those talents, you could just find that your child develops a passion (after all, we all typically like the things that we’re exceptionally good at).

If you notice your child standing apart from their peers in a certain area, see what you can do to help them grow those talents.

3. Don’t Apply Pressure

As you help your child find their passions, one thing you don’t want to do is apply too much pressure. That takes all the fun out of anything and can quickly extinguish a growing flame of excitement.

Rather than pressuring your child to find their passion and getting disappointed when they don’t quite like what you thought they might, encourage them to try a range of activities and experiences until they do find something they enjoy.

Remember — everyone has a passion, they just have to find it. But pressure doesn’t help.

4. Provide Plenty of Options

Along these lines, if your child doesn’t try something, they might not even know that it’s a potential passion. Provide your child with plenty of options, in terms of toys to play with and books to read when they’re younger, and then when they’re older, in terms of extracurricular activities and experiences.

Don’t limit them to whatever’s offered at their school, or the quickest activity you can find with a quick Google search. Instead, seek out plenteous options, so they can try a little bit of everything. Who knows? You might just find that your child has a knack and passion for the tuba or botany, animal husbandry or aviation.

5. Be Positive

When it comes to your child finding their passion, there are many instances and ways where negativity can creep in. Remain that positive, guiding light in your child’s life.

If they fail at something they love, remind them that they can always try again. If someone else is better at a certain skill, remind them that it doesn’t matter. Be optimistic and encouraging, regardless of the situation.

6. Keep Your Opinions to Yourself

Don’t really care for your child’s interests or growing passions? Keep your opinion to yourself.

Don’t tell them that you’ve never liked drummers, so you’d rather them not be one. Don’t tell them that you always wanted to be an Olympic gymnast, so why can’t they just give that a try, rather than lacrosse.

Your job as a parent is to be supportive and encouraging, not to impose your opinions on your child’s choices for their passions.

7. Lead By Example

Actively showing your child how you pursue your own passions and the meaning you find in them can help encourage them to pursue their passions on their own time. Maybe you tell them that you’ve always loved piano, but never really learned, so now you’re taking a class (showing them that it’s okay to learn something new, no matter your age). Maybe you share with them how much meaning you find in your day-to-day job, and why you spend so much time dedicated to it.

Whatever your passion, show it off.

8. Make Introductions

Don’t share your child’s interests? That’s okay! Find someone who does. Finding another adult who’s already succeeding in a similar passion can not only help you figure out how to best support your child, but they may also be able to act as a mentor for your child in some capacity.

9. Stay Engaged

Don’t just identify a potential passion, sign your child up for a class and then think you’re done with your job.

Continue the passion conversation for the rest of your child’s life — it’s a sure way to help them find their own happiness and fulfillment, regardless of age.

What to Wear in December: 21 Outfits to End the Year in Style

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Our favorite month of the year is finally here – December! Not only are the holidays in full swing, but also you have the end of the year quickly approaching. This month calls for cozy sweaters, time spent with friends and family, lots of tea or hot chocolate and plenty of cute and comfy outfits for every upcoming gathering. Between shopping for gifts, planning family outings and helping the kids get everything done school-wise before the winter break officially kicks off, there’s hardly any time to think about what you’re going to wear!

If you’re like us and looking for an amazing outfit or five to help get you through December and beyond, never fear. We’ve done the work for you and gathered 21 outfits that are perfect for celebrating this month. Happy shopping!

For the Family Dinner

For the Family Dinner

Hosting a few close family members for a delicious dinner? Slip on a pair of Relaxed Jeans, add a cute Slouchy Sweater and some Comfy Slides for the perfect look for cooking, hosting and everything in between.

For the Night Spent by the Fireplace

For the Night Spent by the Fireplace

Are you one of those gals lucky enough to have a fireplace? Cozy up with your SO in a pair of Soft Sweatpants, a Loose T-Shirt, super Fluffy Socks and a Plush Robe.

For Enjoying “Hot Chocolate” With the Girls

For Enjoying “Hot Chocolate” With the Girls

Getting together for an adult beverage with the girls? Sip on a full-length Maxi Dress, add a pair of Festive Earrings, slip on a Cozy Coat and don’t forget your wear-anywhere Ankle Boots!

For Picking Out the Christmas Tree

For Picking Out the Christmas Tree

Heading to your local tree lot to pick the perfect tree with the family? Keep cute and cozy with a pair of Fitted Jeans, a Chunky Sweater under a Warm Coat and add a Matching Beanie and Scarf.

For Baking, Baking and More Baking

For Baking, Baking and More Baking

Planning on spending all day whipping up your favorite holiday treats? Stay comfy with an easy T-Shirt Dress, a pair of Simple Sneakers and your go-to Minimalist Jewelry.

For a Festive Day at the Office

For a Festive Day at the Office

Heading in to work but want to add a little spirit to your look? Slip on a Plaid Blazer with a Simple White Shirt and a pair of High-Waisted Trousers for a cute and festive outfit that’s still professional.

For Trimming the Tree

For Trimming the Tree

Decorating the tree with the kids and want to get into the spirit? Pair your favorite Holiday Sweater with some easy Relaxed Jeans, a pair of Comfy Sneakers and some Festive Jewelry.

For a Late-Night Date Night

For a Late-Night Date Night

Spending some quality time enjoying yourself with your SO? Pick out a great Festive Dress, add your favorite Strappy Heeled Sandals, a Cozy Coat and your go-to Minimalist Jewelry for the perfect look.

For the Night Spent Caroling

For the Night Spent Caroling

Going out for some traditional caroling around the neighborhood? Keep cozy while you sing with a cute Long Coat, a pair of High-Waist Trousers, a Slouchy Sweater and some Knee-High Winter Boots.

For the Family Present Exchange

For the Family Present Exchange

Getting ready to get gifting? Play Mrs. Claus with a gorgeous Red Sweater, a pair of Comfy Leggings, your favorite Black Boots and some cute Minimalist Jewelry.

For the Early Morning Workout

For the Early Morning Workout

Looking to get a quick workout in before the celebrations begin? Pick out a pair of Warm Leggings, add a Long-Sleeve Top and a Cute Jacket. Don’t forget your Winter Headband!

For the New Year’s Eve Celebration

For the New Year’s Eve Celebration

Ready to ring in the New Year (we totally are)? Pick out a gorgeous Sparkly Dress, add some Comfy Flats and Matching Jewelry for the perfect wear-anywhere look.

For Unwrapping Presents Christmas Morning

For Unwrapping Presents Christmas Morning

Finally getting to tear into those gorgeous presents? Make sure you’re wearing your favorite Cozy Pajama Pants, a Cute Festive Shirt and your favorite Comfy Slippers!

For the Office Holiday Party

For the Office Holiday Party

Getting festive with the coworkers? Keep it fun with a Seasonal Sweater, a pair of Comfy Trousers, your favorite Simple Flats and a pair of playful Statement Earrings.

For the Yuletide Celebrations

For the Yuletide Celebrations

Gathering with friends or family to celebrate the season? Keep cozy yet festive with a Slouchy Sweater, your favorite Knit Skirt and a pair of Knee-High Boots with Minimalist Jewelry.

For the Day at the Mall

For the Day at the Mall

Doing some last-minute shopping in-person (we’re totally doing this, too)? Keep comfy and warm while you shop with some Cute Joggers, an easy Sweatshirt and your favorite Simple Sneakers.

For a Night Spent Looking at Lights

For a Night Spent Looking at Lights

Taking the kids out for an epic drive to look at all of the holiday lights? Stay comfy in the car and cozy if you have to get out to walk with a pair of Skinny Jeans, a cozy Loose Sweater, a Warm Coat and your favorite Knee-High Boots.

For the Quick Last-Minute Clean-Up

For the Quick Last-Minute Clean-Up

Are guests soon headed your way and your house in need of a quick clean? Slip on some comfy Capri Leggings, add a Workout Tank Top and slip on some Running Shoes for the perfect get-it-done outfit.

For the Fancy Dinner Party

For the Fancy Dinner Party

Taking it up a notch for the holidays? Get dressed to impress with a beautiful Sparkling Maxi Dress, a pair of Simple Heels and your favorite Minimalist Jewelry. Don’t forget your Matching Bag!

For the Drive-In Movie Night

For the Drive-In Movie Night

Heading out on an adventure with the family to your local drive-in movie theater? Stay cozy with a Chunky Sweater, a pair of Easy Joggers and some Sturdy Ankle Boots.

For the Indoor Sweat Session

For the Indoor Sweat Session

Squeezing in a workout between work and taking care of the kids? Slip on a pair of Comfy Shorts, add a Loose Workout Tank and a pair of Comfy Training Shoes and you’re ready for anything.

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