Her Times
By Pam Parker Erie Times-News staff blogger
Pam Parker's blog takes on everything from women's fun to momisms to lifestyles around Lake Erie and real estate. She'll take you down Memory Lane, up through sports and fun and off the grid. Get ready for laughs — it's more than just Pam. It's Pamdemonium.   Read more about this blog.
 Phone: 814-870-1821
Posts tagged ‘toddlers’
Posted: January 14th, 2013

Ryan and HowieThese are my boys smirking on Christmas morning a few years ago and laughing that they got the same shirt for Christmas. That kind of happens every year — the same shirt thing — because they both look handsome in the same colors and styles, and my daughter and I outfit them accordingly. We know they don’t hang out together. In fact, now they are age 20 and 26 and live in different states. So we often buy them the same things.

If you’re a mom or a stepmom, here’s a quick piece of advice for getting along with your kids. Choose your battles. You can’t be arguing with a toddler, child, tween or teen for weeks on end. For me, safety came first and neatness last — especially when I was a single mom.

And they questioned everything. When I taught my youngest to drive on the interstate, he was exceeding the speed limit. I warned that he would get a ticket, and that would pretty much prevent an early license.  He scoffed that there was no place for troopers to hide. “What — do you think there are tree cops or something,” he said.

Kids must never watch “CSI,” or “NCIS,” or “Person of Interest.”

“Radar,” I said. “Do you think I make this stuff up? Do you think I’ve never gotten a ticket? I’m just telling you they make rules so you follow them. We all have rules.”

And kids don’t always follow them. But the consequences do have influence — especially tickets. Kids learn from their mistakes just like we do. Make sure you have rules and consequences. And remember to reward good behavior — don’t just punish the bad. You need to make kids feel good about themselves every single day. It will make you feel good, too.

Pam Parker is the editor of Lake Erie LifeStyle, Her Times and House to Home at the Erie Times-News in Erie, Pa. She is the mom of three, stepmom to three and step-grandmom to one. 

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: September 29th, 2012

A toilet seat Halloween decal gets my attention today. The folks at Toilet Tattoos have some fun for us. You can encourage little toilet training toddlers to close the lid with a smiley face and “You did it,” or you can enjoy other toilet lid embellishments — like the one at left.

The designs include flowers, seashells and even fish — looks like you’re looking into an aquarium. Leopard skin and other animals are fun toppers as are keyboards, guitars, ladybugs, princesses, paintings, photographs or monograms.

Fashion design entrepreneur Celeste Massullo of Macedonia, Ohio, invented them. Toilet Tattoos sell for $9.95 and are available at Wal-Mart stores or on the website here.

Pam Parker is the editor of Lake Erie LifeStyleHer Times and House to Home at the Erie Times-News in Erie, Pa.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: May 29th, 2012

For some parents, summer is the best time to dive into potty training. I remember those days, or should I say years.

Potty training is usually a trial and error thing, and when your tot gets it, he or she gets it. I had friends who did the potty training your child in seven days or three days or whatever the latest craze. It was a mommy (or daddy) and me experience that left some of them exasperated.

If you keep it simple and reward your tots, they will get it, and there will be accidents along the way possibly for a very long time. But they will get it. Just like they learn to talk and walk.

I never believed in turning anything into a big deal. Developmental steps are just that. It’s all a process and while some kids are stubborn, most are just too busy with the fun of growing up to run in the house and get to the toilet.

For nighttime, don’t fret. I got one of my kids up twice a night and carried them to the toilet — sound asleep they would pee. And still often wet the bed.  Another of my kids got up in the night, walked into the bathroom, turned on the light, peed, washed hands, turned out the light and returned to bed.

All kids are different. My pediatrician explained that kids’ bladders grow when they want to grow. Until then, kids will not wake up and run to the bathroom on their own. Nor can they possibly hold it all through the night in their sleep. So don’t stress.

During the day, take them to the potty every few hours — don’t ask if they have to go. If they are busy playing, they are not going to tell you they have to go.

Here is a link to stories of tots who were trained from 6 months to 36 months. There are many stories out there. Don’t let this become a battle that escalates into war. In the meantime, here are some fun aids potty training from Ginsey for tots:

The Fisher-Price Cheer for me potty is $28.50, and there are dozens of similar items that play music, look like princess thrones, ducks, bugs and any other theme you can think of to coax your child to pee.

Tinkle Targets are a fun training aid for your child. Targets encourage boys to stand at the potty and act as a teaching tool for aiming.  Boys will love the different themed illustrations including construction and transportation. Each pack includes twelve targets, $4.99/pack.

The Toilet Tank Potty Hook offers a sanitary spot to hang your child’s potty seat when not in use.  It hangs from your toilet tank to eliminate clutter on the bathroom floor. Just take off the top of the toilet tank, place the Potty Hook on the side of the tank and replace lid. Now your child’s potty seat has its own special place.  $4.29

The TP Saver is a clever system that prevents children from unrolling the toilet paper- keeping the bathroom cleaner and reducing the risk of TP overload in the toilet.  It’s perfect during potty training as it allows for metered use.  $2.49

Pam Parker is an award-winning writer and editor for Lake Erie LifeStyleHer Times and House to Home at the Erie Times-News in Erie, Pa.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: March 31st, 2012

In a rerun of a 2011 episode, Toygaroo CEO Nikki Pope got a big investment from ABC-TV Sharktank sharks Mark Cuban and Kevin O’Leary, who pumped $200,000 into the company. Watch the episode here.

Toygaroo is an online toy rental service with members, just like Netflix. Parents sign up for monthly packages from under $30 to more than $50 a month. They choose the toys they want delivered from a website, and voila — a FedEx box full of sanitized toys shows up on the doorstep every month or two months. The company offers more than 500 brand names including Playskool, Fisher Price and a dozen popular companies with toys for newborns to 5-year-olds. There are no late fees, and it includes free shipping.

Right now, Toygaroo is doing so well that it has a waiting list for customers. O’ Leary must know toys. he sold The Learning Company to Mattel for more than $3 billion.

PAM PARKER is the editor of Lake Erie LifeStyle, Her Times and House to Home. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/HerTimes. Read the Lifestyle/HerTimes blog at http://www.goerieblogs.com/lifestyle/hertimes and post comments.


Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: March 24th, 2012

The third week of March is designated to prevent accidental poisoning, according to Poison Prevention.org. Even though we may think that we have everything locked safely away, it’s a reminder to double check. My kids are a little old to worry about accidental poisoning, but they all took a turn at it.

As a preschooler, my oldest managed to open my child-proof locked allergy medicine on a top shelf of a kitchen cabinet and dump them all over the floor. They taste awful, so the folks at Poison Control said he probably spit it out if he took one, but he might get jittery. He was fine, but I realized he had watched me take them, and you know they imitate everything. I think it was the same day he cooked a hot dog in the toaster. I never cooked hot dogs in the toaster — he was inventive on that one.

When my doctor prescribed iron tablets for me, one of the kids — an adult, mind you — thought it might be a good idea to try them. Don’t mess with iron or any vitamins. We often think these are natural substances we can self-prescribe because they are non-prescription, but they are nothing to mess with.  They do have side effects, like rashes — especially if you get too much in your system.

The Poison Control folks recommend that you keep harmful substances out of sight and reach. I thought I had, but kids can be clever. At any age. Lock up the meds, vitamins and household cleaning items, and remind your kids — no matter how old — that even vitamins and minerals can become toxic.

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: January 31st, 2012

If you fear hearing those words from your child’s teacher, rest easy. I’ve been there, and I’m writing this because it’s the time of year when parents start thinking about where their little ones will be attending school once they graduate from preschool. My advice: Don’t push them.

There is no magic date or age when kids are potty-trained, tie their shoes, tell time, or master the intricacies of the times tables. Last week, a teacher asked me to resurrect an article that Heather Cass wrote about this topic in 2007 because it becomes so prevalent this time of year. Parents feel guilty that maybe they did something wrong when the news comes in that a tot just isn’t ready.

You did nothing wrong, and the benefits of waiting are many. My oldest started kindergarten after attending a 5-year-old class at Lakewood United Methodist Preschool. It was the best decision because he wasn’t ready in a lot of ways for the daily grind of school. The next year, he excelled at everything.

Here’s an article that gives you some guidance on what kindergarten readiness means.

Enjoy your kids. Those first few years of school are so important. You and your child should remember them as happy times. We do.

Posted in: Uncategorized