We don’t need no education…

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Okay, obviously not true but all I could do at open house this evening was sing Pink Floyd in my head and think of random Kindergarten Cop quotes. And come home to write this.

Dear teachers,

I bow to you. I really do.  As a mom who homeschooled and now is sending a kiddo to navigate the waters of school at his request, I don’t know how you do it. Teaching and corralling my own children is nerve wracking enough. I can’t imagine doing it with 20+ kids who aren’t even your own. Add the pressures of testing, teaching styles, grades, and various other controversial  topics and I imagine your days are just full of stress.

teacher

Let me just tell you something. Something that you may already know, but maybe just need to hear it again.

I don’t really care how my kid scores on all these exams in the long run. I don’t care if he’s top in his class. I don’t care if he won a spelling bee or if he’s a faster or slower reader than other kids. If the way it’s being taught doesn’t work for him, then we will find another way. As long as he’s doing his very best and is happy, then right now that is enough for me.

What I do care about is that he is learning to love and respect others. I feel like I’ve been teaching this at home, but it can only go so far when your world consists of your family and friends. His world is about to get a whole lot bigger, and I need you to help him navigate it. You are there on the front lines with him. I need you to be his role model and his platoon leader.

Obviously there are lots of things going on lately that are hateful and confusing. I feel like especially right now our society has reached a critical point where we need to alter our direction of where we’ve been heading in regards to basic respect and courtesy. Kids may not know the details but I guarantee you they know the underlying feel of it. I’ll be damned if my child ever feels it’s okay to hurt or belittle another person for who they are. So please, help my child feel safe to stand up for what’s right. Help his classmates embrace him for who he is and him to embrace them for who they are, each individually. Help him to trust his “inside feeling” when something isn’t right. If a child is lonely, encourage him to find a way to help. If he is the lonely one, encourage another child to do the same for him.

This all starts at home, and I need you to help me continue it at school.

I don’t care how fast he can do a math worksheet or how neat his handwriting is. I care about whether he’s happy. I care about what things make him happy. I care about whether he loves others as he loves himself and that he loves himself as he loves others. I tell him to always help others because it is the right thing to do. To always have open arms.  I need you to show him in action.

I’m sure this is redundant, and something you already do without question. Maybe I’m just writing this to reassure myself.

Thank you for teaching our kids math, handwriting, and all the other academic necessities that serve us well in life. But mostly thank you for training up our kids to be humans when they are with you. Good humans. Humane, kind, generous, strong humans who will steer humanity in the right direction. I could do it all by myself, but I’m choosing not to. I’m choosing not to because I feel like it takes a village, and our family extends beyond blood to the people around us that we share aspects of our life with.

 

From my hands to yours.

rabbit

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Britax Boulevard ClickTight Giveaway for USA & CANADA – The Blogiversary Celebration Continues

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This summer marks eight full years of CarseatBlog.com! We can hardly believe it. In some ways it seems like we’ve been blogging forever about child passenger safety and vehicle safety. And in other ways it feels like things are just beginning to click. 😉

Along the way we’ve shared a lot of laughs, made some amazing friends, written about 1,400 blog posts and oh, yeah – reviewed over 100 carseats and boosters

Blog Team ABC 2014Whether you’re new to CarseatBlog.com or have been with us since the start in 2008 – we’d like to share our celebration with you. You are the reason we’re still here 8 years later, still blogging away, always looking for ways to improve our content and better serve our readers. The field of Child Passenger Safety is just starting to heat up and we can’t wait to see all the awesome advances in safety, technology and innovation that the next 8 years is going to bring. We hope you stick around and enjoy the ride with us!

This week the Blogiversary Celebration continues with TWO Boulevard ClickTight Convertibles, courtesy of our generous friends at Britax! One for USA and one just for Canada! Winners will have their choice of available fashions. Check out our full review of the Britax Boulevard CT.

This promotion is now closed. Congratulations to our winners:

Kelli M. from PA & Jessica N. from BC

Britax Boulevard ClickTight Specs:

Britax Blvd CTRear-facing 5-40 lbs.
Forward-facing 22-65 lbs.; up to 49″ tall

Boulevard CT Features:

  • ClickTight Installation System is the safest and simplest technology on the market; Open the front of the car seat, buckle the seat belt across and click the seat shut; That’s all you need to do for rock-solid installation
  • SafeCell Impact Protection is a safety system including a steel frame, energy-absorbing base, V-shaped tether to minimize seat rotation and staged-release stitches that slow and reduce forward movement during a crash
  • 2 layers of side impact protection, formed by a deep foam-lined shell and quick-adjust head protection, absorb energy and shield your child from the most dangerous type of collision
  • Click & Safe Snug Harness Indicator gives an audible “click” to aid you in the proper tightening of your child’s harness
  • Quick-adjust 14-position harness and 2-position buckle allows you to easily move the harness upward and buckle outward for a comfortable secure fit as your child grows

How to Enter Britax Boulevard CT Giveaway – USA

  • Leave us a comment below (required to be eligible to win), then click on Rafflecopter to qualify yourself.
  • For extra entries, be sure follow the Rafflecopter instructions to visit our Facebook page, visit the Britax USA Facebook page and tweet about the giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now for the fine print – winner must have a USA shipping address to claim the prize. Only one prize will be awarded. Only one entry per household/family, please. If you leave more than one comment, only the first one will count. We reserve the right to deem any entry as ineligible for any reason, though this would normally only be done in the case of a violation of the spirit of the rules above. We also reserve the right to edit/update the rules for any reason. The contest will close on September 4, 2016, and one random winner will be chosen shortly thereafter. If a winner is deemed ineligible based on shipping restrictions or other issues or does not respond to accept the prize within 7 days, a new winner will be selected. Good luck!

How to Enter Britax Boulevard CT Giveaway – CANADA

  • Leave us a comment below (required to be eligible to win), then click on Rafflecopter to qualify yourself.
  • For extra entries, be sure follow the Rafflecopter instructions to visit our Facebook page, visit the Britax USA Facebook page and tweet about the giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now for the fine print – winner must have a Canadian shipping address to claim the prize. Only one prize will be awarded. Only one entry per household/family, please. If you leave more than one comment, only the first one will count. We reserve the right to deem any entry as ineligible for any reason, though this would normally only be done in the case of a violation of the spirit of the rules above. We also reserve the right to edit/update the rules for any reason. The contest will close on September 4, 2016, and one random winner will be chosen shortly thereafter. If a winner is deemed ineligible based on shipping restrictions or other issues or does not respond to accept the prize within 7 days, a new winner will be selected. Good luck!

Bedtime – science or sanity saver?

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Ah, summer time.  For most school age kids, it’s a break from the hectic up-at-dawn mornings hurriedly getting ready for school. It also means more lax bedtimes, and if you are certifiably insane and willing to give up your evening quiet time (which I am not, can you tell?) it means your kids are up late. That’s great if they sleep in, but most do not. So how much sleep do kids really need? And how important is it to maintain a sleep schedule?

The answer to both is a lot, and very.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, kids ages 1-3 need 12-14 hours, ages  3-5 need 11-13 hours, and ages 5-10 need 10-11 hours. Kids desperately need these hours for both physical and mental development. Kids who don’t get enough sleep can have mood swings, behavioral problems, cognitive problems, and physical symptoms such as headaches. You know how awful, forgetful, and physically ill you feel when your newborn hasn’t let you sleep in weeks? That’s how your kids feel. Although instead of being a coffee guzzling zombie like you, they ramp up in activity and also in bad attitudes and behavior. Sadly, the NSF says about 30% of kids fall in this category of less sleep than what is recommended.

PubMed has a study published by the Japanese Society of Child Neurology that shows the long term effects of having an early bedtime. A large group (over 40,000) children were followed over a lengthy period of time and it was found that children that had an early and predictable bedtime at the age of two were much less likely to have attention and behavioral issues at age 8. There are literally hundreds of studies showing the positive effects of consistent and early bedtimes on children’s health, and I could type them out for days.

So even though you may not need to be up and at ‘em first thing in the morning, try to maintain your child’s sleep routine throughout the summer. Vacations and other adventures are always going to throw a loop into your routine, but for the most part try to keep it within the norm. The recommended bedtime for elementary aged kids and younger surprisingly isn’t when-they-collapse-on-the-floor-o’clock. It’s between 7-8pm. My kids are in bed between 7 and 7:30. Yes, it’s still light out in the summer. Black out curtains work wonders! They are healthy and well rested, and I get a few peaceful hours to myself in the evenings after being tortured playing with them all day. Everyone wins.

sleepmeme

Try to have the same routine every evening. Rooms should be nice and dark, nice and cool, and kids shouldn’t have TVs in their rooms (so basically nice and boring). Turn off electronics an hour before bedtime. Try to avoid school and sports functions that last up till bedtime.

So yeah, I get a lot of flack for peacing out early from social functions and whatnot because my kids have to go to bed. Whatever though, it’s science ya’ll. Science and sanity. My two favorite things.

sleepmoo

Chicco NextFit Zip Convertible Giveaway – The Blogiversary Celebration Continues!

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Chicco NextFit Zip - GenesisIt’s our 8th “Blogiversary” but this celebration isn’t about us – it’s about you! We are thankful to have so many awesome readers and followers who all care deeply about keeping kids safe. We want to reward you for supporting us throughout these past 8 years and we know the best reward is another awesome giveaway promotion!

This week the celebration continues with a NextFit Zip Convertible in the brand new Genesis fashion, courtesy of our generous sponsor, Chicco!

This promotion is now closed. Congratulations to our winner: Kaitlin D. from MI.

Chicco NextFit Zip Specs:

  • Rear-facing 5-40 lbs.
  • Forward-facing 22-65 lbs.; up to 49″ tall

Chicco NextFit Zip - zipper Chicco NextFit - stock with baby

NextFit Zip Features:

  • ReclineSure® 9-position Leveling System adjusts for an accurate fit to most vehicles
  • Two RideRight® bubble levels indicate correct positioning in both rear- and forward-facing modes
  • SuperCinch® Latch Tightener with force-multiplying technology achieves a tight, secure fit
  • Zip & Wash seat pad easily zips out from shell
  • ComfortFlex® harness management with padded, flex-out design keeps both sides of harness waistbelt up and out of the way for easy in/out!
  • 6 Position height-adjustable headrest for growing children
  • Two-position chest clip accommodates growing children in both rear-facing and forward-facing modes
  • One-pull harness tightener for quick and secure fit
  • Integrated slide path makes it easy to re-position the Latch strap when switching from rear to foward facing
  • Infant insert provides added support for smaller babies
  • Thermal-insulated cup holder for either side of seat
  • Secure and convenient vehicle belt lock-off

How to Enter NextFit Zip Giveaway – USA

  • Leave us a comment below (required to be eligible to win), then click on Rafflecopter to qualify yourself.
  • For extra entries, be sure follow the Rafflecopter instructions to visit our Facebook page, visit the Chicco USA Facebook page and tweet about the giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now for the fine print – winner must have a USA shipping address to claim the prize. Only one prize will be awarded. Only one entry per household/family, please. If you leave more than one comment, only the first one will count. We reserve the right to deem any entry as ineligible for any reason, though this would normally only be done in the case of a violation of the spirit of the rules above. We also reserve the right to edit/update the rules for any reason. The contest will close on August 28, 2016, and one random winner will be chosen shortly thereafter. If a winner is deemed ineligible based on shipping restrictions or other issues or does not respond to accept the prize within 7 days, a new winner will be selected. Good luck!