Highlights From the Field ~ By Parents, For Parents

Week of May 23rd, 2011


It's so universal as to be cliche, but wouldn't YOUR kids rather play with the box than the toy? And isn't that better sometimes? Don't they amaze you with their creativity when you get out of the way and let them go? Let's talk toys and activities that maximize fun and learning this Thursday at 1pm PST #pschat on Twitter. Come chat with us!

Back to the mission,



Must Reads:

Top Toys From AblePlay for Children With Special Needs

Shopping for kids can be tough. Finding the perfect holiday present for a child with special needs can be even harder. AblePlay.org offers great product reviews and insight into the top new toys and products for children with special needs.

Most Popular Toys Still Toxic

Plastic toys are still toxic. What's a good parent to do? Carefully shop, ban anything unnatural, or simply throw your hand up? More difficult decisions our parents never had to make.

Toy Organization That Actually Works

Organize your child's room, then train him to keep it that way. Sound hard? It's easy peesy.


Squad Buzz

Got something The Squad needs to know? Tell us in the comments!


Managing Editor, Lela Davidson, has written about modern family life in her new book, Blacklisted from the PTA. Whether it's PTA meetings or POA politics, Lela exposes the humor in every awkward moment of familial failure and maternal meltdown. Lela says what the rest of us are thinking. Her hilarious observations and subtle satire are always spot on. She's not afraid to reveal her screw-ups, along with fleeting delusional moments of wherein she honestly believes she is the best mom ever.





Maggie Wells's short story Sad Girls was a finalist for the most recent Glimmer Train, a critically acclaimed literary collection. The story will be published this summer in Underground Voices.

We are incredibly lucky to host such talent here on Parenting Squad! Go, Maggie — keep submitting!




Connect with The Squad!

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Ask Our ProSquad!

This week our experts tackle questions about teenage sleep requirements and babies after C-Sections. Check it out and then ask your own questions either in the comments or by sending a message to Editor AT ParentingSquad.com.

Click here to meet our ProSquad!



Meet Your Squad

Every week we'll talk to a different Parenting Squad writer. We know you'll have your favorites, but we think they are ALL special! This week meet contributor Kelli Robinson.

Tell us a little about your family.

My family consists of my hubby of 11 years, our 8-year-old son, 6-year-old daughter and three cats! Life's a bit crazy and on most days I prefer it that way!

What is your favorite way to spend a sunny Saturday afternoon?

I'll spend any Saturday afternoon going out to lunch. Seriously, I'm addicted to it! Otherwise...with my family I want to be doing something! Biking, walking through the woods, hitting the pool in the summer...then we can go out to lunch afterward! If I'm by myself: Let me go for a walk, plant some flowers or relax in the sun with a good book!

If you could change one thing about the way your family operates, what would it be?

Hmmm, I can only pick just one? I guess I would have to say I'd love to change our addiction to always being on the go! Admittedly I contribute to the Go! Go! Go! mentality probably more than anyone. Wish we could just learn to stop and smell the roses sometimes. Oh, and I'd love to get my kids to understand that flushing the toilet is simply the second part of going the bathroom — it's not an additional step that's optional!

How do you feel about kids and cell phones?

I'm old school. Much to both our kids' chagrin, hubby and I both don't see the need for kids younger than high school to have a cell phone. I guess this is easy to say when both your kids are only in elementary school, but seriously I see 4th graders with cell phones and can't figure out the reason! And when they do get cell phones, they'll be contributing their allowances or part-time job earnings to the monthly bill!

Guilty pleasure junk food?

Chocolate. chocolate. Did I say I LOVE chocolate? It's seriously an addiction. One time my doctor told me I had to abstain from chocolate for two weeks. (I had a high sugar count...go figure?) I always have Hershey kisses on hand, and as far as I'm concerned, there's no flavor of ice cream worth trying that doesn't have some element of chocolate to it!

Read more about Kelli here, and follow her regular contributions here on Parenting Squad.