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It’s no secret that parenting is hard, and most moms and dads will do anything they can to get their kids to do what they want. In fact, many will resort to all types of trickery, and creativity to get their kids to comply, and a new survey reveals some of the more popular parenting hacks out there. 

A survey of 2,000 American parents finds that the average parent will rely on seven parenting hacks every day, which is understandable considering they say they spend an average of five hours a week trying to get their kids to do something they don’t love to do, like go to bed or do their chores. 

One of the biggest ways to get kids to do something they don’t want to do is to bribe them, with 82% of parents saying they’ve offered an incentive like money or candy to get their kids to do something. As for the why parents use such parenting hacks, getting their kid to eat healthy is one of the biggest reasons (64%), followed by getting them to behave (52%), trying to save time (48%) and getting time for themselves (43%). 

And parents really do get creative when it comes to those parenting hacks. Some of the more unique hacks they use include:

  • Blend up broccoli into ketchup and call it “Special Ketchup”
  • Putting fiber in their chocolate milk to keep them regular
  • Put food coloring into food to make meals more fun
  • Add marshmallows to vegetables/ Add sprinkles to vegetables
  • Set their alarm to be music from their favorite video game
  • Play the quiet game at bedtime; first one to talk loses
  • Blend cauliflower into mac and cheese
  • Calling all meats “chicken”
  • Keep the iPad only 35% charged so they don’t spend too much time on it

Source: SWNS Digital

With more and more people doing their holiday shopping online these days, the postal service sure is kept busy from about Thanksgiving to New Years, but just how crazy do things get?

Well, the US Postal Service predicts they'll deliver nearly 15 billion pieces of mail and 900 million packages between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, which amounts to about 16 billion deliveries. To help ease the load they'll be amping up Sunday deliveries starting November 25th, with about eight million packages expected to be delivered on Sundays, and in some cities, they’ll even be delivering on Christmas Day.

The holiday season is such a busy time for the Postal Service that these days they can’t even designate a “busiest day” for holiday shipping. They do note that the busiest time for them is usually the two weeks leading up to Christmas, with the Postal Service delivering nearly 200 million packages per week during that time. The absolutely busiest week will be between December 17th to 23rd, where nearly three billion pieces of First Class Mail is expected to be processed and delivered.

And if you want to guarantee your package or holiday card is at your door in time to spread holiday cheer, you may want to stick to the following deadlines:

  • December 14 – USPS Retail Ground
  • December 20 – First-Class Mail (including greeting cards)
  • December 20 – First-class packages (up to 15.99 ounces)
  • December 20 – Hawaii to mainland Priority Mail and First-Class Mail
  • December 20 – Priority Mail
  • December 20 – Alaska to mainland Priority Mail and First-Class Mail
  • December 22 – Alaska to mainland Priority Mail Express
  • December. 22 – Hawaii to mainland Priority Mail Express
  • December 22 – Priority Mail Express

 Source: Business Journals

Potluck-style Thanksgiving dinners are great because as the host, you can assign guests to bring dishes so you don’t have to make everything, they free up kitchen space, and your guests get to feel involved. But holiday potlucks can become stressful if friends show up asking for oven space, or the only person bringing mashed potatoes gets stuck in traffic. So follow these simple rules for hosting a Thanksgiving potluck to avoid all that.

  • Assign within reason - A cooked turkey shouldn’t have to travel farther than the distance from the oven to the table, so if you’re hosting, that’s on you. But you can farm out casseroles, salads, and other hearty dishes that are sturdy enough to travel well.
  • Assign smart - Ask guests to bring stuff that’s good at room temp and doesn’t require a lot of “finishing touches,” so you don’t have to give up oven space, burners, cutting boards and such in your hectic kitchen.
  • Know your guests’ limits - Don’t ask your friend who’s always late to bring an appetizer, she’s better off with dessert.
  • Divide and conquer - If you’re hosting a huge group, assign certain staples - like mashed potatoes and stuffing - to several different guests so no one has to quadruple a recipe.
  • When in doubt, ask for an appetizer - If you don’t need a guest to bring anything specific, ask them to bring something to snack. Prepare to receive the bounty - When loved ones start arriving with Tupperwares, make sure you’ve got plenty of utensils, bowls, and serving platters, or be clear that bringing theirs along is part of the assignment.
  • Think beyond food - Invite cooking-phobic friends and family to bring wine glasses, napkins, ice, or anything extra you need. And if all else fails, someone’s gotta do dish duty.

Source: Bon Appetit

As parents, we hope our children will grow up with a strong sense of gratitude and Thanksgiving is the perfect time to show them how much they have to be thankful for in their lives. The holiday is just one day, but these things can keep the gratitude going all year long and show them the true meaning of Thanksgiving.

  • Spend quality time together - It doesn’t have to be anything special, it’s just about making a real effort to be together and showing the kiddos that family time is important.
  • Unplug - This goes with the spending quality time together, so when you’re carving out time for family, make everyone turn off the electronics and enjoy just being together.
  • Cook together - Use time in the kitchen with the kids to teach them how lucky they are to have warm meals. Cooking together also creates lasting memories you’ll all be thankful for.
  • Teach them about their family - Being with loved ones is a huge part of Thanksgiving and you can honor the relatives who aren’t with you anymore by telling the little ones stories about how your family came to be.
  • Tell others you’re thankful - Let your children create something like a card or a drawing to give to someone special to let them know how grateful they are to have them in their lives.
  • Volunteer - Lead by example and show your kids that giving back by helping others feels good and makes a difference.
  • Donate - It doesn’t have to be money, it could also be giving up old toys, books, and clothes to those less fortunate.
  • Do a random act of kindness - Teach them to try to make someone’s day, whether it’s paying a compliment or holding the door open for someone with their hands full.
  • Help others - People always appreciate a helping hand, so encourage kids to help others without being asked.
  • Learn about our differences - Help your kiddos embrace and appreciate everyone for who they are.

Source: PopSugar

With Thanksgiving barely a week away, a lot of people are probably already itching to haul their Christmas decorations out of the attic and then head out to get their Christmas tree. But it turns out, unless you want to spend an arm and a leg, you may want to wait a few weeks before you go tree shopping.

According to the National Christmas Tree Association, Christmas Eve is the cheapest day to buy a Christmas tree, with the average price of a tree just $47. While that may seem to be too late for almost everyone, if folks can hold out buying a tree until the week before Christmas, they’ll likely save about 22% on their tree. 

Of course, not many people can stand to wait that long, and those who rush out to buy their tree will pay the price. In fact, the most expensive day to buy a tree is Cyber Monday, with trees costing, on average, $81. And don’t expect any Black Friday deals either, with the average price of a tree on that day about $77.

As for how much folks can realistically expect to spend, the National Chistmas Tree Association believes prices will be similar to last year, where the average price was about $73. They obviously never purchased a tree in New York City.

Source: Market Watch

It’s quite an achievement when your new baby starts sleeping soundly in the crib and even more so if it’s in another room. But a lot of new moms are faced with a surprising problem when they’re sleep-deprived and exhausted: baby is sleeping soundly but they can’t catch a wink.

There’s actually a name for it - “momsomnia,” according to Michael Breus, psychologist and sleep doctor to celebs like Oprah. It’s basically the idea that since your body is used to waking up in the middle of the night all the time now, you’re anxiously waiting there ready for baby to wake up, even when they don’t, which makes you even more sleep deprived. But Dr. Breus says these tried-and-true methods can help stop this new parent pitfall.

Re-think how you’re using your baby monitor - If your baby is healthy and thriving and actually sleeping in the other room, good for you. Now it’s okay to switch the screen off on the video monitor and just leave the sound on, so the blue light - a known sleep disruptor - doesn’t bother you all night. And if baby wakes up in the middle of the night, you can quickly switch it back on for a visual.

Don’t go to bed too early - When you’re exhausted, you just want to sleep any chance you get, but according to Dr. Breus and the National Sleep Foundation, a healthy sustainable sleep routine is about getting enough sleep as well as sleeping at the right times. And if you go to bed before your body clock is ready, even if you’re tired, it can lead you to wake up really early and not be able to get back to sleep. But the fix for dealing with momsomnia is to focus on getting back to a regular sleep routine with a set bedtime, instead of trying to sleep when the baby sleeps.

As simple as it sounds, make sleep a priority - It can be hard for moms to head off to bed when they see all the things that need to be done, like folding laundry and making tomorrow’s lunches, but consistent sleep needs to be a priority. The more you can stick to the routine, the more success you’ll have stopping the momsomnia for good.

Source: PureWow

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