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Charlotte Mom Favorites

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From raindrops on roses to spill-proof sippy cups, Charlotte Mom Favorites is your resource for the best parenting tips, baby products, recipes, giveaways and more!

What's the best parenting advice your mom gave you?

Katie Harding

Moms are creatures of habit. We're that way because it helps our babies and toddlers find a routine. Which makes them predictable. Which keeps us sane. I get it. Which is why, last night when we were at Pops in the Park, and the time was approaching 8 pm (a good 30 minutes after our little guy's bedtime), my husband was planning on going home to put Graham to bed. The festivities were to last until 9:30 or so, and then the fireworks would begin. As parents we were nervous. Would he get cranky? Would he get tired? Would he freak out at the fireworks and force us to extract a screaming baby from a throng of people? Yep, I agreed with my husband. Time for the little guy to go. And then a wise woman whispered in my ear.... "If he's having a good time, don't you want him to experience the fireworks?" That wise woman? My mom. Darn, moms can be smart. So it was with that spirit that we kept Graham up the latest he's ever been. And it was lovely. To be able to watch someone experience the drama of fireworks for the first time is amazing. He had our whole party captivated. And he almost missed it. Lesson #392 of parenting? Don't sacrifice making memories to keep schedule. The schedule will be there tomorrow. Fireworks may not.
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How do you get a fidgety or unfocused child to sit and do homework?

Katie Harding

We don't really have homework yet "per se," but we have learning-focused activity time. I sit my son down at the kitchen table with a snack and his activity while I prep dinner in the kitchen. I try to make it as fun as possible, helping him when he gets stuck, rewarding him with a healthy treat, and by throwing new challenges his way! It never lasts for more than 20 minutes at a time, but that's what a three-year-old can manage! Every little bit helps and trains him for a longer spell of learning next time!
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What is the best place to raise children: city, suburbs, or a rural town?

Katie Harding

The city has so many fun cultural opportunities for children. Parks and playgrounds, museums and theater. Small towns have a neighborly feel and room for young ones to roam. The 'burbs have a little bit of both. I say raise your family wherever YOU are the happiest! A happy mom makes a happy family!
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What's the best gear for playing outside? Please include a link to any product you recommend.

Katie Harding

If you've got a non-walker, I've found that this guy, the Tot Pod is amazing. It's a fold-up camping-chair-style exersaucer. Amazing! Portable, with links for toys, holder for drinks, and a mat for their feet! With all of the outside activities we do with the big kid, this is necessary! http://www.amazon.com/Kidco-Go-Pod-Portable-Activity-Seat/dp/B004B1N6EQ
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