There they sit -- in the corner, on the bed, in the chair.
Or even in the basement of your Albany-area home.
They never talk back, they always smile -- if that’s their nature -- and they don’t move until you move them.
They’re your “kids,” or your kids’ “kids,” although others might refer to them by a more conventional term -- stuffed animals.
But, just like your real children, they need to be clean. The reason? So that they don’t gather dust and spread bacteria that can cause health issues.
What is the best way to clean them, though, given the delicate nature of their fur? Or their battery cases?
There are four key ways to clean your stuffed animals -- in your washing machine, by hand, by dry washing, or by vacuuming.
Now that you’ve gone through your checklist and decided that you and your child are ready to host a sleepover, what comes next?
Besides survival, of course.
How about a successful evening and next morning?
Parents, if you’re indeed prepared to entertain, feed, put to bed and wake up to your guests the next morning, you’ll need to figure out the following, per Parenting magazine:
With winter break from school coming up next month in the Albany area, you know your children are going to ask you at some point if they can spend the night at a friend’s house.
But parents, just how do you know when your children are ready for one of their first forays into establishing their independence?
Sleepovers are an important step for 7- to 9-year-olds, Fran Walfish, author of “The Self-Aware Parent,” told Parents magazine.
"If your child likes them, chances are she is growing more comfortable with separation from you," Walfish said.
With the following tips from the magazine, you can increase the chances that your child won’t want to bow out at around bedtime.
Offer to host: Before you OK a sleepover at a friend's house, let your child test the nighttime scenario by inviting her pal to yours. "That way, you'll see if your child grows tired of being with her friend or starts to squabble with her after a couple of hours -- a sign that she may need more social-skills practice before staying over at another family's home," Walfish told Parents.
Dusting the dining room table. Washing the windows. Feeding the cat.
Just what chores can your child be trusted to handle? And at what age?
Household chores are important for children to learn, both for their development as individuals and for contributions to the family and home.
But there are appropriate ages for various chores. Although you wouldn’t want your 3-year-old to be in charge of taking care of the family dog, you might want him or her to help you make the bed, and you definitely would want little Aiden or Ava to pick up their toys and put them in a safe area.
Our friends at thespruce.com have published a list of age-appropriate chores; here are some highlights for all parents and caregivers to consider, keeping in mind that all children develop differently:
Skiing or snowboarding? And at what age -- 1, 3, 5, 10? Older?
As the winter of 2017-18 reaches the midpoint of its first full month, downhill snow sports are a hot topic -- especially after a video showing a not-quite 1-year-old girl snowboarding in Idaho went viral last month.
You don’t have to be a professional photographer to take professional-looking photos of your kids.
Whether you’re at a soccer game, on vacation, in your backyard or at the park, the opportunities for sterling, memorable photos are plentiful, especially when you have your iPhone handy.
And we know, parents, that you rarely leave home without yours.
Courtesy of the Red Tricycle website, here are some suggestions for how you can take iPhone pictures of your kids that will dazzle your friends and relatives.
The fun part about kids having a wintertime birthday: School is in session, so the birthday boys and girls probably are wished a happy birthday on the school loudspeaker in the morning announcements. A star for the day.
The bad news: In the Albany, New York, area, it’s generally cold and snowy, so figuring out how to celebrate gets a little trickier than in the warmer months. Just what kind of party can you throw that takes the elements out of the equation?
There are a number of fun ways that range from little cost to a little more costly, from at home to at a special spot.
“Back in my day, I got an allowance of (insert pitiful amount here), and then it increased to (slightly less pitiful amount here) and I felt rich.”
Ahh, the memories we parents share with our kids. (Remember: We’re the same folks who walked uphill to school both ways when we were young.)
Financial allowances are an important family topic because of the importance of money in our society. You know, the money that buys food, shelter, clothing and PlayStation 4 games.
The website MarketWatch references a study by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants that says approximately 70 percent of parents give their kids an allowance, and the average amount is $67.80 a month.
But whatever amount parents dole out, they should be aware of these common mistakes, according to MarketWatch:
Oh, those dry, chapped, cracked ― and sometimes painful ― hands.
You shouldn’t have to go through tubes of ointments and boxes of Band-Aids to get rid of one of the downsides of winter for you and your kids.
The Children’s Hospital of Orange County, Calif., reminds us that when the outside temperatures drop, the wind increases and the house heater gets cranked up, dry and cracked hands are an unfortunate and common side effect.
“The cold air is more drying and wind is also more drying. And then add forced-air heating, and that will dry skin out even more,” CHOC pediatrician Dr. Angela Dangvu said on the hospital’s website.
Although parents can’t control the weather, they can take the following steps to help protect their child’s hands against dryness, according to CHOC:
Now that the holidays are over, it’s time for parents ― and kids ― to resume a healthy lifestyle together. That means … exercising!
During the winter in the Albany area, that can encompass everything from walks to housework, while in the summer, the exercise can be stretched to bigger energy burners, including participatory sports such as softball, basketball, swimming and tennis.
We accept no excuses for no exercise, parents. Partaking makes us feel better ― it sparks the release of uplifting chemicals called endorphins ― and it also helps control our weight.
Adelphi University professor Stephen Virgilio, author of the book “Active Start for Healthy Kids,” told Parents magazine that “it’s never too early to start" exercising.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that children and adolescents get one hour or more of physical activity each day, and that adults get at least 2½ hours a week.
With those goals in mind, here are some family activity suggestions from Parents magazine:
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