This Photo Series Reveals What It's Like To Raise Boys

They say raising boys and girls couldn't be more different, since each sex requires a different form of parenting, and parents will say boys or girls are harder to deal with depending on their experience.

There may be no real answer to this question, since each kid presents their own challenges for a parent, but there is one thing we know for sure- boys tend to play differently than girls.

Boys like to roughhouse more than girls, they make getting dirty into a full-fledged sport, and when it comes to getting into trouble boys are always ready to lend each other a hand.

Arlington, Texas-based photographer Sara Easter has been documenting day-to-day life with her three boys, ages 4, 7 and 9, and her photos reveal not only all the brattiness found in young boys but also all the love these brothers have for each other.

See 20+ Photos Reveal What It's Like To Raise Boys here

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Kids Meet a Ventriloquist

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Vikki Gasco makes a living as a ventriloquist. She sat down talk to several young children and explain what she does. Most of the kids had no idea, but they really got into the idea that you can play with puppets as a job! Then they all wanted to try it out. This is really cute, thanks to their enthusiasm. -via Laughing Squid

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The Difficult Pregnancy Quiz

First off, this is a difficult quiz about pregnancy, not a quiz about difficult pregnancies. The questions take a deep dive into a natural process that billions of women have experienced, yet most never knew these things. Whether you've given birth or not, you'd have to be pretty well read to get them right. Take the quiz here. It was written by our own Jill Harness, who read quite a bit on the subject before she gave birth to her son last year. I scored a mere 48%, which is unsurprising, as I've never been pregnant and haven't studied it much. Maybe you'll do better.  

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Cat Shoes and Other Songs

Longtime Neatorama readers might remember Hanan Levin of the erstwhile blog grow-a-brain. Hanan gave that up in 2009 to focus on his new daughter. Adora became a muse for Hanan's many artist friends around the world, who drew, painted, and sculpted her in over 2,000 artworks (so far). You can see those works at Instagram. Adora is now eight years old, and has been writing poetry and song lyrics since she was four. Well, Hanan has musical friends, too, so musicians began writing tunes to Adora's lyrics. That led to a new site in the Adora Project, in which musician Doug Haines sings some the songs from Adora's life.

Check them out here. -Thanks, Hanan!


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Hide and Seek

A parent's twist on the classic game of hide-and-seek is to be the seeker who doesn't seek. How many times you can get away with that depends on the age of the kids, but it works best when they're just old enough to think that they win when you can't find them. Mom and Dad will let them think that, so everyone's happy. No need to tell them you weren't looking all that hard! This comic is from Chris Grady at Lunarbaboon.

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Practice Makes Perfect

This cute video shows us the power of persistence. Theo Riddle wanted to learn how to do a backflip on his dirt bike since he was six years old. As you can imagine, it take a lot of falling to accomplish a trick like that. Along the way, he also learned how to fall without hurting himself, which is a valuable thing to know in iteself.

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Theo is eight now, and his practice and determination finally won out. The joy of accomplishment is something wonderful to see. His twin brother was pretty happy about it, too! -via Tastefully Offensive

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Mom Writes Brilliant Letter To Entitled Teenager Informing Him He Must Now Pay Rent

Every parent has their own way of dealing with a child who doesn't want to play by the rules of the house, their punishment more or less severe depending on how bratty and disobedient the kid is being.

But when you're dealing with an entitled teenager you have to approach punishment differently and hit them where it really hurts- in their wallets.

Heidi Johnson had issues with her 13-year-old son Aaron's attitude after he started lying to her about finishing his homework.

He claimed he didn't have time to do it because he had a job making videos on YouTube, so she wrote him this letter to inform him he'd now be treated as a roommate rather than a kid:

It's ridiculous how many kids think they're going to be a YouTube star just because a few of their videos get some views, don't they know the real money is in eSports?

-Via Shareably

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A Cool Collection Of Clever Parenting Tips And Tricks

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New parents often ask more experienced parents for advice on how to cope with the trials and tribulations of raising a kid, and no matter how much you prepare before your kid is born there's always more to learn.

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My wife and I recently had our first child so I'm grateful for those parents who share tips and tricks online that make our rookie parent lives easier.

And unlike the advice we've received from the grandparents these are tips and tricks we can actually use.

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I look forward to tricking my kid into drinking medicine by telling him it's Pepsi, and I'm sure we'll need to divide the dog and the baby in the back seat at some point, but bringing a fitted sheet to the beach is the most brilliant idea of them all!

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See 10+ Of The Best Parenting Hacks Ever here

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Serenading Daddy

Three-year-old Isabella doesn't want her daddy to leave her. The ukulele was right there, so she stalled by singing a little song for him. She made it up as she went along. The rhymes aren't much, but it's adorable.

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That's pretty resourceful for her age. And now Bella's got a viral video to put on her resume when she's trying to get into a performing arts school in about 15 years. -via Digg

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How to Make Anything Seem Cute

Matthew Inman used to have a hard time thinking babies were cute. He says so in his latest comic, right there in the first illustration where he shows how he once saw babies. But he found a workaround, and now he can play a trick on his own mind to see anything as cute, if he wants to. Maybe you could do the same. Read Inman's strategy in the full version of the comic at The Oatmeal.

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People Who Tried Face Swap On A Baby And Ended Up With A Terrifying Pic

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I just can't get enough of those face swap pics people post online, because when the swap works out right the pics look so damn funny it's criminal.

We've seen people swap faces with their dogs and various animals, their shirts and their buddies with hilarious results, but when you use a baby as the main subject of a face swap the results go from hilarious to terrifying.

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The face swap app seems to trip out whenever a baby's involved and therefore tries to swap features with anything in the scene around the same size, including the dials on an oven or daddy's nostrils, creating some incredibly odd images.

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And when the final images aren't strange in a good way they end up looking like a waking nightmare. At least they're both potty trained!

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See 25+ Times People Tried Face Swap On A Baby And Regretted It Immediately here

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8 Awesome Ways to Memorialize Your Baby's First Christmas

One of the great things about having a baby is that every occassion is a "first" and every first is special. The baby's first Christmas is particularly special, which is why you might want to go out of your way to buy something to remember the holiday and Etsy is full of cool (often custom) products to help you do just that. Here are 8 particularly fun ones:


No baby's first Christmas is complete without a special ornament to celebrate. This embroidered design by EmbroideredWorld is an especially charming way to mark the occassion.

A Special Outfit

Sure, you might not keep your kid's first Christmas outfit forever, but the pictures you'll take of them in the clothing will keep those memories alive forever. For little girls, this red and white tutu ensemble by PrincessKeepsakes is a fun, festive way to celebrate the season.


Continue reading

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A Child Interviews Her Cat

Paul Duane shared the written transcript of an interview his daughter Gabi conducted with her cat Coco. Any cat owner can relate to the absolute accuracy of the cat's responses, but the little girl's construction of the story is the real gem here. You can see a picture of Coco in the article at Digg.

(Image credit: Paul Duane)


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How To Take Kids To A Restaurant

I've said it before and I'll say it again- I really appreciate Jordan Watson, creator of the How To Dad series, because he's great at dadding and great at explaining how to dad in a way that works for me.

I'm not a very experienced dad so I have no idea how to handle taking kids to a restaurant but the dude from How To Dad does, and both his different dad styles and his rules are golden.

The 'Woah' Dad and 'She'll Be Right' Dad styles present a perfect balance to parenting, and Jordan's rules about farting are just good rules in general when eating at a restaurant, even if it's just McDonald's.

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Now in a year or three when my wife and I are actually able to leave our house and eat at restaurants again I'll know what to do with my little man.

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Kindergarten Thanksgiving Cookbook

Kathy Hollenkamp is a kindergarten teacher in Illinois. Every year, the class discusses Thanksgiving, and then the children make a recipe book where they explain how to make their families' traditional dishes. The books are then given to their parents, who no doubt get a kick out of them as much as you will. Click the pictures in this Tweet to bring up more pages from the 2017 cookbook. Do not skip Jayden's Carrots.

-via Buzzfeed

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Holding a Baby for the First Time

In this video experiment, Cut handed a baby to quite a few people who had never held an infant before. Watch their faces, and the awkward way they hold the child. Most found it a surprising experience. They all had different reactions when it was over. One contains NSFW language.  

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This is also an illustration on how different the world is with reliable birth control. Once upon a time, it would be difficult to find an adult who had never held a baby, because people had many siblings over quite an age range before they ever dealt with their own children. -via Tastefully Offensive  

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Things People Should, But Don't, Tell You About Having Kids

People giving parenting tips often come across as guilt-tripping, with the subtext being "You're doing it wrong." Reading this list, it occurs to me that encouragement, reassurance, and advice is much better given when people simply talk about their own experiences instead of telling you what you should do. We're all just doing the best we know how as we go along. Buzzfeed complied a list of reader-submitted observations about raising children and how it changes you (or most people, because there are always exceptions). They are spot-on yet hard to properly convey to someone who hasn't specifically asked about it.

1. That as your children grow, you'll miss the person they were.

"Where is that 3-year-old who crawled onto my lap to read books and covered the driveway with chalk art? Where is the 10-year-old who quietly drew for hours every night? Where is the goofy 14-year-old who told me hilarious stories about his day, every day? They're gone, forever." —Jessica Margolin

3. That for the most part, raising a child simply involves a lot of really boring tasks.

"Those moments of exhilaration or despair are real, but few and far between. There's no such thing as 'quality time', only 'quantity time' in which those extraordinary moments sometimes occur. I don't care about anyone who would 'take a bullet for their children' because we would all do that. What I care a lot about are the parents who simply show up every day. And the next day. And the next. Tying shoelaces, singing the f[*****]g 'Little Green Frog' song 50 times, keeping a running mental account of food intake to decide if the next meal should be heavy on the protein or fats or fiber, and smiling when their kids walk in the room even when they would kill for five minutes alone. Yep, these are the people who deserve an award for perseverance." —Imogen Moore

As to #1, the only thing you can do is to appreciate the new person your child continually becomes. And believe it or not, you'll eventually miss #3 ...a little. There are 24 of these observations in a list at Buzzfeed.

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Nasty Notes, Death Threats And Other Troubling Pieces Of "Art" Done By Kids

When kids let the strange and silly stuff knocking around in their head spill out onto the page it usually just makes us giggle and say "um, okaaayyyy" at the ridiculousness of it all.

But when kids write dark and creepy stuff on the page accompanied by creepy and often violent drawings we can't help but look at the kid differently from that day forward.

These terrifying little notes were written by kiddos who don't really know the ramifications of what they're writing, and yet they weren't afraid to let their parents or whoever know exactly how they feel, threats and all.

See more from The Kids Are Not Alright at Dangerous Minds

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Having a Baby vs. Having a Cat

Matthew Inman of The Oatmeal brings us a comic that graphically contrasts taking care of a baby in comparison to taking care of a cat. It doesn't tell us anything we don't already know, even if you only have second-hand knowledge, but it is hilarious to someone who's been there, done that, and is now a confirmed cat lady.

He doesn't mention the biggest difference: taking care of a baby is intense, but temporary, while a cat is mostly the same its whole life. Inman left out the part that spans about two decades, in which you are constantly confronting a child with brand-new problems you never encountered before as they grow and develop. No doubt Inman will have things to say about that as time passes. -via Matthew Inman

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Useful Military Hand Signals For Checking On A Sleeping Baby

Having just welcomed my first child I am now in the process of figuring out how to live my TV and music lovin' life with a newborn baby around, a baby that is a mere five days old yet somehow knows our voices well.

My exhausted wife needs sleep and so does our little baby boy, and yet if he hears our voices he wakes up and starts crying, wanting his parents to hold him once again.

While looking for a method of communicating non-verbally we came across this super badass chart created by How To Be A Dad that taught us military hand signals we can use while our little man is sleeping.

We've already used the "Oh god it smells awful!" and "I will throat punch you!" ones a lot...

-Via Cheezburger

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Cats Protect Newborns From Asthma

A new study from the Copenhagen Studies on Asthma in Childhood Research Center (COPSAC) in Denmark has found that having cats around the house can help newborn babies avoid developing asthma. In a study of 377 babies who have mothers with asthma, scientists studied a gene variant (TT) that doubles the chance of developing asthma. They took environmental samples in the home and had mothers fill out surveys over time to try to isolate factors that affect the chances of the child developing asthma. They found that when the home has a cat when the baby is born, the TT variant is not activated.    

The result surprised co-author Hans Bisgaard, professor of paediatrics and the head of COPSAC. Not because the results will lead to any new treatments—they will not—but because the study shows that the genes behind a disease can be switched on or off depending on the environment around us.

“For me, this is the core message because it’s a recognition in the direction of how disease occurs. It documents the interplay between genetics and the environment we live in, and in particular that this occurs very early in life, both during pregnancy and in the home,” says Bisgaard.

The study found that dogs had no effect on babies who carry the TT gene variant, which also is connected with pneumonia and bronchitis. Read more about the study at Science Nordic. -via reddit

(Image credit: Flickr user drosen7900)

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How To Get A Toddler To Fall Asleep In The Car

As a new father I'm sure I'll be searching online for tips and fatherly advice when I have questions, but most of all I'll be consulting the video series How To Dad because the dad in the vids really has his head together.

In this episode the How To Dad dad answered a question sure to come up when my son has reached toddlerhood- How do you get a toddler with lots of energy to fall asleep in the car?

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Rock the whole car like a cradle- now that makes a lot of sense!

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Loving Parents Sing "One Day" To Their Adorable Little Baby

Meet Yoni and Nina aka Yonina, an Israeli couple who enjoy singing in sweet harmony to their adorable and adoring little baby, and every week they post a new video to YouTube to spread the love through song.

This particular video featuring Yonina singing Matisyahu's One Day went viral, and even though their singing is sweet and the beatboxing is fresh people online are pretty sure the baby is the secret to their viral success.

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That sweet little baby sure loves her parents!

-Via Shareably

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Children's Books No One Reads Now

Children's books seem like timeless tales to the kids who love them, and yet parents find there's a whole new batch of tales being told by the time they have kids, the old stories left by the wayside.

When I was a kid Richard Scarry, Dr. Seuss and the Berenstein Bears were all the rage, and an old classic called Raggedy Ann was enjoying a revival thanks to the animated features released in the late 70s.

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Nowadays most kids have never heard of the Raggedy Ann stories created by Johnny Gruelle, and people will call someone a "goody two-shoes" without realizing the name comes from a story published by John Newbery in 1765.

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And even though there are a dozen or more imitators out there today the original sensory exploration book The Touch Me Book by Pat and Eve Witte has been placed on some faraway bookshelf time forgot.

See 15 Children's Books No One Reads Now at Mental Floss

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Tweets That Prove Some Kids Are Evil Geniuses

The mind of a child works in ways we adults typically cannot comprehend, and what makes perfect sense to their very young brains often seems like pure madness to our adult minds.

Those crazy kids' thoughts are hilarious, but when a kid says something that makes perfect sense yet sounds a bit sinister we stop laughing and our mind starts racing. 

We find ourselves wondering who let the little evil mastermind into the house in the first place, let alone gave them their own room, and as the kid's campaign of wickedness continues they go from being a mere brat to our archenemy.

See 15 Tweets That Prove Kids Are Actually Mini Evil Geniuses here 

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Toddler Recreates His Model Uncle's Photos And Definitely Does It Better

Toddlers typically aren't self conscious, or fashion conscious for that matter, but they do make great models because they're adorable and they'll pose for photos all day long if you make the shoot into a game.

But eighteen-month-old Augie Polites ain't playin' no games when it comes to modeling, and he's already giving his famous model uncle Aristotle Polites a run for his money.

Happy Monday! #mcm #whoworeitbetter #augiebear #unclesneezer #augieandaris #babyandthebody

A post shared by Augie and Aris (@babyandthebody) on Oct 2, 2017 at 5:04am PDT

Little Augie may not have ripped abs, sexy stubble or paychecks from modeling gigs like his uncle, but thanks to his mom's Instagram account @babyandthebody he's about to become more internet famous than his uncle will ever be!

Happy Monday! #mcm #whoworeitbetter #augiebear #unclesneezer #augieandaris #babyandthebody

A post shared by Augie and Aris (@babyandthebody) on Jul 3, 2017 at 5:46am PDT

See This Toddler Is Recreating His Model Uncle's Photos And He's Def Doing It Better here

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Baby Hears Mommy for the First Time

Christy Keane's daughter Charly was born deaf. She's still an infant, but recently got hearing aids. We've seen older children and adults get emotional when they hear sound for the first time, but Charly is so young, she doesn't understand what's happening or how to react. Her facial expressions are precious.

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She's instantly delighted, then confused, then a little scared, then delighted again. She never takes her eyes off her Mommy, though, so you know she's going be alright. You can see more of Charly at Instagram. -via Digg

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When Homework Goes Wrong

A fifth grade class is studying World War II. One homework assignment was to define some of the terms they learned in class. This student, a cousin of redditor LeBronJameson, used Google Search to come up with the answers. Sometimes that helps; sometimes you get busted, especially if you didn't pay attention at all in the classroom. I hope he/she learned to double check and maybe get a second source. -via reddit

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If Toddlers Could Post On Facebook

These days children are being introduced to tech gadgets like tablets and smartphones at an earlier age than ever before, and I constantly see parents appeasing their toddlers by allowing them to stare at their smartphones.

So it's only a matter of time before toddlers figure out how to create their own Facebook accounts on mommy's smartphone, and according to this hilarious Toddler Facebook mockup from mommyshorts their posts will be hilarious to read.

Even though they'll have to pretend to be at least 13 years old we'll know the truth, especially when they talk about naps, forgetting people's names and pooping in the bathtub...on second thought it'll be just like when really old people post on Facebook!

-Via Geeks Are Sexy

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Extraordinary Kids in Zero Gravity

In a collaboration between Les Chevaliers du Ciel (The Knights Of Heaven), the European Space Agency (ESA), and noveSpace (a company that operates a vomit comet), a group of disabled kids got to experience weightlessness, accompanied by ESA astronauts. Ten people with mobility issues were freed from the limits of gravity. It was an experience to remember.

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From the YouTube Page:

The kids came from five ESA member states – UK, France, Germany, Belgium, and Italy – and boarded the converted Airbus A310 Zero G in Bordeaux, France on 24 August as part of this “Kid’s Weightless Dreams” flight. True weightlessness is produced in the large cabin area of this aircraft during repetitive parabolic maneuvers, as in the Air Zero G flights operated by Novespace.

The children also took part in education experiments including lighting a candle, mixing liquids of different densities, playing ping-pong with bubbles of water and working a fidget spinner to demonstrate the effects of weightlessness.

Joining the children were ESA astronauts from their corresponding member states: Tim Peake (UK), Frank De Winne (Belgium), Maurizio Cheli (Italy), Thomas Reiter (Germany), Claudie Haigneré and Jean-Francois Clervoy (France) mentored the children on board and answered their questions.

Two disabled adults, former athlete and German television personality Samuel Koch, a strong advocate for disabled causes, and Philippe Carette, a very active Rêve de Gosse volunteer and pilot, also took part in the flight.

Did you catch the girl who used the few minutes of zero-G to walk? That's at 2:35. The event was organized by Rêves de Gosse (Kids’ Dreams), which provides children with educational opportunities and adventures involving space flight.  -via Geekologie

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