Monday, March 31, 2014

What's on your media diet?

I read the term "media diet" the other day. (Is that a thing now?)

I have given some thought (probably not enough) to the foods that I prepare for my family and the ways to make them healthier, but I have never thought to apply the idea of "diet" to non-food items.

So, clearly, the term caught my attention. And, since I am so screen time focused, I figured that I might want to see what my own media diet consists of. After all, I tout all sort of grand ideas for what kind of changes I want to make when it comes to media use, so it would be good to get some sort of baseline, right?

Besides, I am curious as to the kind of example I am setting for my son.

So, for the next week, I am going to try and keep a media diary to see what I consume on my computer, the TV and my phone - both within and outside of my son's radar.

You can play along, too. Just record the following information:

Media source (TV, computer, phone, other)
Length of time
Visible to your child? Yes or No

Let's see how we do.

Any guesses as to how you'll fare? Make them in the comments.

Friday, March 28, 2014

I'm afraid to leave this room

So, I am afraid to leave this room before I finish writing up this blog post. I am afraid that leaving the room will make me forget what I am writing about. But more on that in a moment.
Background image by Shawn Campbell

Quick: What's your first memory? Is it pleasant or mundane or a little fuzzy? I've been thinking a lot about memories lately as my son is getting toward the age when our long-term memories first start to stick. I often wonder what his will end up being: Zipping down the sidewalk on his bike? Lining up cars in the family room? Snuggling with me to read books at bedtime? I can only hope that it reflects the fun and joy that we normally have in life.

And, I find it somewhat fitting that my son is starting to gain memories at the point where I am starting to lose my memory big time.

Back to the fear of leaving this room.

In case you missed this research, walking through a doorway is like a "mental wipe." We've all had it happen to us: You enter a room, only to forget what you came into the room for. Then, when you go back to your original destination, you remember what you wanted (hopefully; some times it is lost forever).

So, now you know: Blame it on doorways.

But, since we are not moving to a one-room house anytime soon, I am looking for ways to improve my memory. And, at the same time, I hope to help my son make some better memories in the process.

What did you forget today? Tell me in the comments.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Let's play a game: Does this belong here?

I have a favorite game in my household that I usually play on the weekends. It's called, "Does this belong here?" It's great and you can play it, too. The rules are simple:
  1. Go to any room of your home and select an item that looks out of place (for example, socks in the living room, art supplies in the kitchen, toys in the office). Hold it up and ask, "Does this belong here?" (The beauty part of this is that the answer is almost always "No." So, you have excellent odds of winning this game.)
  2. Rope your family members into finding the appropriate home for the item.
This game is for everyone. I have actually gotten my son to play it with me on a few occasions, where he is the one asking "Does this belong here?" (He got a cookie at the end; I got a cleaner house - that's a parenting win.) You can also play this game at practically any hour of the day, as there is almost always something out of place in your home (or at least that is the way my home works.)

Is this game as much fun as the ones we play on Wednesdays? Probably not. Does this sound silly? Maybe it is. Or, maybe I'm just trying to teach my son to have a little fun in life. Even when it comes to cleaning up.

Feel free to play this game at your own home. And share with me any ways you get your family to help clean up in the comments.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Play it again, Mom

Often, on a long car ride, I hear a polite voice from the backseat of the car, asking, "Mom, can you turn on my music now, please?"

So, I switch on my son's music, and I am missing out on a great opportunity.

This fun study indicates that parents can easily turn family car rides into a musical education experience for their children. Although the sample size isn't that large, the study opens up a world of possibilities for parents.

Think about it: You are stuck in an enclosed space, so you might as well use it. With a little planning ahead (preparing playlists of different musical genres or having a wide variety of music stations to choose from), you can expose your children to lots of different music styles.

Musical experience is all about exploration. So give your children the freedom to explore. And take that freedom for yourself, too:
  • Sing. Even if it is off-key or you don't know all the words, express yourself.
  • Car dance. But, you know, do it safely. Soon, when you glance in the rear-view mirror, you may see your little ones getting their groove on, too.
  • Play musical games, like making up your own lyrics and having your children echo them.
  • Let your children pick the genre occasionally. Sometimes it's nice to let your children take the (figurative) wheel.
Just be sure to stay safe while you are rockin' down the road.

What games do you like to play in the car with your children?

  • It is distraction-free from home activities, such as cooking, cleaning and phone calls.
  • Minimal eye contact by parents gave the children a sense of freedom to experiment.
  • Confined space in the car helped parents focus on their children, play games and reflect about what music the child listened to or composed on his or her own.
  • The divided front and back seats provided a close space where siblings could interact with each other through music making.
  • Families also found siblings interacted in singing and playing musical games together.

  • Read more at:

  • It is distraction-free from home activities, such as cooking, cleaning and phone calls.
  • Minimal eye contact by parents gave the children a sense of freedom to experiment.
  • Confined space in the car helped parents focus on their children, play games and reflect about what music the child listened to or composed on his or her own.
  • The divided front and back seats provided a close space where siblings could interact with each other through music making.
  • Families also found siblings interacted in singing and playing musical games together.

  • Read more at:

    Monday, March 24, 2014

    Finding balance for your parental obsessions

    All parents have them: That one (hopefully not more than two) thing that you are a bit obsessive about making sure your child does or doesn't do because you are working out some sort of childhood issue of your own.

    Maybe you are a slow reader, so you are going to make sure your child has a great relationship with books. Or maybe you did really well in school and you want your child to experience similar accolades and honors similar to how you did. Or, maybe it has something to do with sports. 

    My obsession is about screen time. I know that I watched too much television when I was a child, because I have memories about specific cartoon plot lines stuck in my brain (and, even sadder, some details of my honeymoon are drowned out by the lyrics to Must See TV theme songs). Because I don't want my son's future memories to include things he sees on the Disney channel, I am a bit of a mean mom when it comes to letting him watch TV.

    (For the record: If the Internet had been around touting studies about how too much television and computer time could harm children's development when I was a child, I am sure my Mom would have hit the off button more often.)

    So, on the one hand, I am a little proud of my limited screen time rules when I read that television may lead to unhappiness in children. And I am fascinated to read that children are thinner when their mothers - not their fathers - monitor screen time. (Seriously - why do moms matter more? I can't wait for the follow up study!)

    But, I also know that I need to lighten up. So, as my son gets older and I start to relax my rules about television, I remind myself that PBS programming and shows from Netflix are (for the most part) commercial free. And that some shows are still awesome. And that by letting my son watch television some times, I am teaching him that life is all about balance - even when it comes to the small things in life.

    What about your household? What is your parental obsession? (And how much television do you let your child watch per week?)

    Friday, March 21, 2014

    Toddler math: The inverse velocity equation

    Math was not my strongest subject in school, but I think I am able to remember enough of it to help my son all the way through algebra and geometry (when he hits calculus, we will need outside help). 

    But there is one mathematical equation I didn't learn until I became a mom. And that is the inverse velocity equation. I could write it out as a fancy formula, but I think it works better as an example.
    Background image by Shawn Campbell

    This is how it works: The faster I need my son to move in the morning because we are running behind schedule, the slower he goes.

    I have noticed that any motivation on my part is met with movement that's speed can only be described with imagery of food (depending on what part of the country you are from, you can think of molasses moving uphill or ketchup pouring from a new bottle.)

    So, when I walked into my son's bedroom to find him standing in his room naked touching his toes, I wasn't really all that shocked.

    "I thought you were getting dressed for school," I said to him.

    "I wanted to do my stretches first," he said.

    So, the naked yoga may or may not be my fault, but it is just one example of a growing overall trend: If I need my son to get ready to go in a hurry, I am going to be disappointed.

    So, how do I help him with the issue of punctuality and timeliness?
    • Natural consequences: If we missed the cut-off time for him to get breakfast at school because he was a slowpoke, then he will be hungry until lunch.
    • Leading by example: I am a punctual person and if I am running late, I try to alert people ahead of time and I make those calls within his earshot so he can hear my apology.
    • Conversations about why being on time is essential to having nice manners (which seems to be important to him).
    I've toyed with the idea of making him late for something he wants to go to, but I think that would teach him pettiness more than anything else.

    Time is one of those elusive concepts when it comes to toddler math - there is never enough of it. Who hasn't wished that time would just stop once in a while?

    Oh, well. What about your household? What do you do to stay on time? Tell me in the comments.

    Wednesday, March 19, 2014

    Why I love our Wednesdays

    Wednesdays are the best days of the week for me - Wednesdays are our family days.

    On Wednesday mornings, I try to do something special with my son before I take him to school: Give him a new maze to do; complete a worksheet; read a short book together. It's my way of spending those few extra moments with him that he wants and needs.

    On Wednesdays, I have a standing lunch date with my husband. We only work a few blocks apart so we like to take advantage of our proximity. I look forward to that lunch all day: We trade texts over it; we never know where we want to eat; we try really hard to leave at the same time so we can have the maximum amount of time together. At our lunches, we talk about work and life and weekend plans and just sit and be with each other.

    On Wednesday nights, our son picks dinner. This is a brilliant move on my part (which I am not humble about). Not only do I not have to decide dinner that night (which is one less decision I have to make and plan for), but he absolutely loves dictating what we eat for a change. 

    After dinner, our son goes to the games armoire, and we play Candy Land, Shoots and Ladders and Uno until it is his bedtime. (And we usually eat cookies, too.)

    And it is fun, and heartwarming and perfect for us.

    It is also really beneficial to our son. A recent study has reinforced all the other studies we've all seen about how spending quality time with family members fosters a child's social-emotional health from an early age. Well-developed social-emotional health leads to more confidence and more positive relationships with others.

    Do I wish we could have this routine on more days? Yes. But with busy schedules and other things getting in the way, it doesn't look possible right now. So, I will hold onto my Wednesdays - they mean the world to me.

    Do you have a family day/night in your household? What do you do together?

    Tuesday, March 18, 2014

    Who needs BuzzFeed when you have BuzzBrain?

    I am awake and getting ready for my day.

    Only, I am not just getting ready for my day. I am thinking about a project at work, and if my son has any homework he needs to bring in, and if we are out of milk, and what today's blog post will be about, and the fact I can't seem to catch up on my podcast, and did I just shampoo my hair twice because I wasn't paying attention? and, what am I making for dinner tonight, and...a host of other things.

    My BuzzBrain condition continues as I brush my teeth, empty the dishwasher, do laundry, and engage in any fairly mindless activity which doesn't require my immediate attention.

    And it doesn't stop. In morning traffic, I think about updating my iPod, and an email I have to send, and that I am pretty sure I see the same cars every day because I recall those stickers on the back, and if I can get away with serving Mexican food for dinner tonight even though we had it a few nights ago, and on and on.

    When I have lunch with my husband and I ask him what he is thinking, he says, "Nothing." And I believe him. And I am jealous.

    BuzzBrain is taking me away from my family; it's taking me away from the present-tense. And I need to find my way back.

    The Social Psychology Quarterly has published a study about context switching being a cause of stress - especially for women. Evidently, the inherent stress of going from formal social contexts (like working for a boss), to less formal situations where authoritative structures change (like being a mom at home) happens more frequently in women then men. 

    So, after reading this, I can't help but think that my constant switch of one topic to another is also causing me stress. And I don't need that. So, I am on the search for quiet. Like my son, I need to learn to appreciate the silence again (both externally and internally).

    So, I am trying to focus on the now. Sure, I pour out my thoughts onto a list, but I am trying to tackle them one at a time. I've rediscovered yoga and am bringing my son along for the ride. So far, he has enjoyed his "special stretching time" with Mommy on the weekends (that kid does a great downward dog), and hopefully, that will be the start of a quiet journey for both of us.

    How do you find the quiet when your BuzzBrain takes over? Tell me in the comments.

    Monday, March 17, 2014

    Setting the Mommy reset button

    Twice a year, I leave my wonderful son and husband and go to a rented beach house with a group of friends. We scrapbook, we drink wine, we eat great food (oh, so much food) and we take a break from being Moms. For a couple of days we are not defined by our jobs or our marriage status or the number of children we have: We are just women.

    And these trips have taught me several things:
    1. Being away for a few days is enough time for me to reset myself. And when I return, I am able to be a better mother.
    2. I'm also a better wife. I have new things to talk to my husband about and I can focus on him more when I feel refreshed.
    3. Dads are as capable as we allow them to be. There are two schools of thought that take place on these weekends: Some ladies will walk their other halves through the morning routines; others will have a hands off, "he can figure it out" attitude. Both have the same result: The children are where they need to be and usually addressed appropriately.
    4. Someone always dodges a sickness bullet. I can't think of a single trip where someone didn't get a call about a virus at home. There is always a sense of relief that for once, Mom won't get sick, too.
    5. Mom magic. I always glean some little insight from these trips from the women who have children older than my sons. They are passing on their wisdom with every funny story they tell me, and I am soaking it all up.
    Don't feel bad for my husband - he frequently goes on motorcycle trips when he wants some time away. He can ride his bike, spend time outside exploring beautiful areas and when he returns after a few days, I feel more appreciated by him.

    So, take a few days away for yourself - everybody wins.

    When's the last time you took a trip by yourself? Where did you go and how did you feel when you returned to your routine at home?

    Friday, March 14, 2014

    Breastfeeding is hard. And wonderful. And hard.

    I made a promise to my son when he was born: I promised that I would breastfeed him for a year. It was one of the hardest promises I've ever kept.

    But I am so glad that I did it.

    Before I made that promise, I read up on breastfeeding, I asked mommy friends about it and I had lengthy discussions with my husband to see how he felt about it (he was all for it). When my son was born, I had him latched correctly and feeding before the lactation consultant even visited me.
    Background image by Shawn Campbell

    And then it got hard. It got hard because everything I had read focused on the benefits for the baby and the bonding experience. There was no real-world truth that I would soon feel tethered to the baby (milk-truck mommy) or that cluster feeding would wipe me out or that I would have to figure out how to center myself at work to get my milk to flow before pumping.

    But, I still did it, because even if it turns out that breastfeeding benefits were drastically overstated as we learned earlier this week, I know that there were still plenty of benefits (even if most of them were just for me):
    • Quiet bonding time with my son. No one can take away the memories of having him snuggled up close to me in the middle of the night.
    • The ability to allow my body to provide for my son (because that is what I was built for).
    • Teaching my son my face, voice and smile - holding him so close meant that he was able to look at me up close, so he had plenty of time to memorize my face first.
    • An excuse to stay in my loose comfy clothes. If you have to pop a boob out, you need to have easy access to them.
    I can see why people could get carried away with the benefits of breastfeeding - because the women who do it and stick with it really deserve a cheerleading section some days. There are the days when your breasts hurt or you don't have any time or the nights when you don't think you can get by on such little sleep again. Sometimes it really helps to learn that the benefits of what you are doing far outweigh the alternative. Otherwise, a lot of us might have given up.

    But, since all the benefits we previously read about aren't as accurate as we thought, to all those breastfeeding sisters of mine, let me just say it now. You are doing an amazing thing for your child and creating a truly special bond between the two of you. Keep it up, Mom. But, when you don't want to do it anymore, go ahead and stop. Breastfeeding shouldn't produce resentment, just love. (And, of course, milk.)

    Not to get too personal here, but did you breastfeed your child? Did you do it because you wanted to or because you felt pressured from all the benefits you read beforehand? Tell me in the comments.

    Wednesday, March 12, 2014

    Postpartum depression is badly named

    I am one of those women who tells mothers-to-be about about all the wonderful things to look forward to in their pregnancies. You won't hear any horror stories from me about childbirth. Funny? Yes. Mundane? Sure. But not scary. (There's no need to scare pregnant women, people, they have enough worries/fears already zipping through their heads.)

    But there is one area where I am always serious. And that is about postpartum depression. This is because most people don't understand what it really is. 

    So, let's be clear. Postpartum depression isn't just "missing being pregnant." Can that be part of it? Yes. But the term covers a host of other emotions as well. Postpartum depression is the vacuous, emptying feeling that sits in the bottom of your stomach where there should be joy. It is the inability to trust your own instincts when it comes to taking care of your child. It is the constant state of fear/worry/paralysis that prevents you from taking care of your baby or yourself. It is scary and awful and we need to tell women about it before they go anywhere near the delivery room.

    A few months before I had my son, I was at my baby shower and a friend of mine tried to talk to me about postpartum depression. I sort of laughed her off, and said I would watch out for it – the half-hearted promise of someone who wants to return to talking about baby clothes and nursery colors. But, she took my face in her hands again and said, “Postpartum depression is real. And it is not what you think it is.”

    She had my attention, and I listened.

    A few months later I had my son. I adored him at home for the full six weeks of my leave. I went back to work missing my alone time with him every day. And I somehow narrowly escaped experiencing postpartum depression.

    I say “narrowly escaped,” because a recent study from the University of Maryland School of Public Health suggests that longer maternity leave reduces postpartum depression risks. The study finds that new mothers might need at least six months of time with their child before returning to work. I can completely relate to these findings: We don't give long enough maternity leaves in the U.S. (but that is a post for another day).

    So, I want to pay my friend's postpartum depression talk forward to the hardworking women who return to work too soon, or who don't feel any joy in motherhood or to the women who feel "wrong" or "empty" or scared all the time after having childbirth. To those mothers, I want to say: You aren't alone. Please reach out to your doctor, your friends, or your family and get help. Mommyhood can be a wonderful thing and you need to talk to someone so you can experience all the highs with the lows. There is nothing wrong with having postpartum depression. There is everything wrong with not seeking help for it. 

    Just as important: Talk to your spouse about the signs of postpartum depression before you enter the delivery room so they can keep an eye on you, too.

    Did you find out about postpartum depression before or after you had your baby? What do you wish you would have known about it beforehand? Tell me in the comments.

    Tuesday, March 11, 2014

    Bedtimes for everyone

    My bedtime is 10 pm.

    This is self-imposed, of course. I am a (mostly) fully-functioning adult. And I also recognize that if I don't go to bed at that time, then I will be extra groggy at 5:15 when the cat/alarm/cat alarm wakes me the next morning.

    So, off to bed I go.

    It's logical to me then, that my son needs a fixed bedtime, too. Since we are always reading studies about how parents are not getting enough sleep, it should come as no surprise that children are not getting enough sleep either.

    I've noticed this in our own household. When my son goes to bed on time, he is easy to get up in the morning: There's a bright smile for me, he shuffles off to get dressed without arguing and he is talkative about his crazy dreams. After his late nights, my son becomes a bear in the morning: There is a great amount of growling (sometimes from both of us).

    So, how can I help him understand that bedtimes are important?
    • Set a good example. My son knows that mommy has a bedtime and a wake up time, just like he does.
    • Keep the lights low in the evenings and at a minimum in his bedroom. We've never put a nightlight in his room, and we are not starting anytime soon.
    • Talk about sleep as a part of being healthy. My son knows that sleeping helps him grow big and tall and strong.
    • Pay attention to his body signals. He is too little to recognize his body cues, but we are trying to point them out when we see them. We also show him our "my body is tired" signals.
    • Keep him napping. My son is too young to give up his nap, so we are encouraging that practice for as long as possible.
    What about you, Moms? What is your nightly bedtime for your little ones and for yourself?

    Monday, March 10, 2014

    Privacy issues - offline and online

    As my son grows older, we have lots of reasons to celebrate: His growing sense of responsibility, the way he is able to write and almost read, and the way he is gaining control over his emotional and physical being.

    We are also celebrating something else: The return of Mommy's privacy. 

    We've started conversations about privacy with our son - starting with the bathroom door. Which, for the record, should be closed whether you have children or not (preserve the magic in your marriage, people). Our son is just at the right age where he is picking up on the fact that if the door is closed, he needs to knock first.

    Granted, he usually walks right in after knocking, but baby steps...

    As he gets older, I try to be more respectful of his privacy as well. This includes my behavior to him offline and online. That's a decision I made before I started my blog - to keep his name and face off it (stories are fair game).

    So, in this day and age when we read more stories about our security being violated or monitored, it is no surprise that parents are getting concerned about what they've been sharing on social media sites. And now, they want that information removed.

    New companies, like uses technology to replace baby-related posts with other posts like pictures of cats. I am totally for this service. Because, perhaps, in your rush of excitement to post the news that your little one just used the potty for the first time, you forgot how many people can potentially read that update. And perhaps it would be better for your career and your friendships with non parents to replace that post with a picture of a kitty hanging off a tree branch with the caption "Don't sweat the small stuff."

    How do you teach your children about privacy in the real world and online?

    Friday, March 7, 2014

    A little noise goes a long way

    We sleep with a fan on. It's not for the breeze (I don't even think it is pointed at the bed), but for the quiet sound it emits. Our son sleeps with a music player shuffling through some hand-picked soft music. I am not sure how all of us got used to sleeping with a little bit of noise, but that's a different post for a different day.
    Background image by Shawn Campbell

    The noises we need to help us sleep are quiet. This is because we have common sense. By now, you may have read the research done by the University of Toronto, which found that most white-noise machines set at full volume near or on a crib could damage a baby's hearing.

    I'd like to pause this post for a slight tangent semi related to noise and damaged hearing:
    Why do all children's toys have a loud setting on them? Every toy my son owns that emits sound has three settings: Off, On and REALLY LOUD. Why is that third setting there? I do not need to hear his toys from across the house. Thankfully, he has learned how to click the button over to the middle setting, but this whole thing seems unnecessary.

    OK. Rant over.

    New mothers will read about the importance of white noise for babies to recreate womb-like conditions, but I'm not sure what new parent would crank the volume of a white noise machine to full volume. I guess this could be a problem if there is a default in the machine, but it seems from the testing that all the white-noise machines have volume maxes that are just too darn loud. 

    So, just to remind you: A little bit of noise is OK. Do what works for your baby.

    What do you need to help you sleep at night? A super-dark room? Your spouse? A little noise? Tell me in the comments.

    Wednesday, March 5, 2014

    Keep up the good work, moms and dads!

    My husband and I played tag this weekend with our son and niece. Playing tag as an adult is completely different than how you remember it. For starters, a big chunk of the fun is watching children react when they realize you are chasing them: They fall down in fits of giggles, try to direct you to tag someone else and even run toward you just to become "it" next. I also learned that my husband still tries to chase after me, which after more than 16 years together, is a really nice surprise.

    Amid all this running around, I did get a chance to read some good news: It appears that parents in the U.S. have taken the statistics and warnings about childhood obesity to heart. The government has released its latest study on obesity rate among 2- to 5-year-old children over the past decade, and it turns out there was a 43% drop!

    Nice work, moms and dads!

    Yes, we still have some work to do, but I think we should celebrate our victories when we come across them. I know that in our household, we are having more conversations about food and exercise. My son is starting to pick up on these conversations, and although we are making only little steps, there are definitely steps in the right direction.

    By the way: Tag! You're it!

    Tuesday, March 4, 2014

    Breadwinner moms and hardworking dads

    Last week I posted about not qualifying fathers as "active." I'd like to believe that one day we will drop these adjectives from parental descriptions, so that we will be just "dads" and "moms" and not "active dads" or "working mothers." Especially, as the reality of dads who are involved with their children and moms that work become more prevalent in today's modern world.

    My husband and I both work. We both enjoy our work; and we both enjoy our son. We strive for balance (but don't always succeed).

    I think that our situation is typical of a lot of families. And, it turns out, moms are needed at work: American woman are fast becoming the top breadwinners in about half of households with children, according to a 2013 Pew Research study. The women in the study reported falling into the breadwinner role by circumstance and, according to the study, were not always happy with being thrust into the role.

    Maybe one of the reasons women weren't happy with their breadwinner role is because they have read the interesting research published in Social Forces which shows that men who work longer hours have healthier wives.

    So, ummm...does this mean that men need to work longer hours to be the breadwinners in the family for the optimum health and well-being of their families? No. I think it's more important that families find what works for them and what they can deal with in this economy.

    As for us, we'll keep plugging away the hours (although, truth be told I prefer it when my husband is home with me and not toiling late into the night) and looking for that elusive sense of balance.

    What's the work/home life situation in your household like and are you happy with it?

    Monday, March 3, 2014

    Sorry, Mom: Your baby cannot learn to read

    We love books in our household. Before our son was born, my husband and I read each other's books to learn more about one another. And, when our son came along, we immediately started to fill his library with books we could read aloud to him.

    But not once in all that time did I think that our baby could read. I mean, at three months he wasn't able to emit sounds that didn't sound like a baby pterodactyl, so I was pretty sure that reading was a long way off.

    And that is why I was baffled to read that the New York University's education school created a study on the effectiveness of media in teaching babies how to read. (Spoiler alert: Babies can't learn to read. They are babies.)

    As part of the study, one group of babies were given the Your Baby Can Read program, while the other group received no specialized program. After seven months, the researchers assessed several metrics of language development and reading comprehension. There was no difference between the two groups.

    One of the most significant findings of the study was not about the babies' abilities, but of their parents' beliefs. The study found that most of the parents truly believed that the programs were teaching their baby to read.

    Now, I know that we parents all believe that our little critters are talented and gifted learners (and they truly are). But sometimes, I think we need to take that step back and try to look at things from an outsider's point of view. Because, sometimes, we parents act really crazy.

    So, your baby can't read. But you can, so, read to your baby. Often. Build their vocal skills before working on the reading skills. Just be prepared for the never-ending conversation that results.

    Did you ever try a baby learns to read program? What did you think of it? Tell me in the comments.