Real Life SmartMom Kristen LeCoumpte

At SmartMom, we are very excited to announce a new blogger series featuring your favorite Mommy Bloggers! We go to them for advice, recipes, support and whenever Google comes up with an answer we don’t like. Let’s get to know the mommies behind these amazing blogs a bit better – why? Because they are SmartMoms; and smart moms talk to SmartMoms.

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To start the blogger series off, please welcome Kristen LeCoumpte from Balancing Pieces. For those of you FTMs (First Time Moms), Kristen is venturing into new territory that I know I am anxiously reading about – she is pregnant with her second child. There are so many questions to be answered, so follow her journey and learn a bit more about our featured blogger this week.

Here are a few questions we asked –

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At What Age Should Kids Have SmartPhones?

Should Kids Have Smartphones? - SmartMom

This is a tricky question, so I asked for input from my friends who have older children: at what age should kids have Smartphones? The responses I got all agreed on one thing: A cell phone and a smartphone are two different things, requiring two different answers.

Cell phones are here to stay

Most of the moms I talked to either thought they would get their children cell phones (or already had) in later middle school or high school. Twelve and 13 were common ages. Safety and communication were the top reasons. One mom has a son that has Type 1 diabetes, so as he got older (he’s 13) and spent more time away from home and other supervised activities, she wanted him to be able to contact her if he had a medical issue. Another mom got her son a phone at age 12 after she dropped him and a friend at a skate park and his friend broke his arm, and they weren’t able to reach her. Other parents that had kids involved in sports gave them cell phones so they could let them know when they needed to be picked up. Another friend has a daughter that is starting to babysit, and some of the homes she will be in do not have land lines, so her mom wanted her to have a cell phone in case of emergency. Other parents have held out longer. I didn’t hear from anyone who got their kid a phone any younger than 11 and many who waited longer. Continue reading

What to Expect When Having Twins

A mother lays with her two twin babies and wants other mothers to know what to expect when having twins.

Some people think having twins would be fun and some think it would be a huge amount of work. They are both right. While I was excited, I didn’t know what to expect when having twins so I was worried about how overwhelming it might be.

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May SmartMom Contest: A Year Supply of Diapers!

Win a year supply of diapers during the May SmartMom Contest!

Every time I attend a baby shower, I want to skip the registry line at Toys R Us and give new mommies what they really need: diapers, diapers, diapers, and a few million more diapers. Good news ladies: This month we are giving away a year supply of diapers from Diapers.com! Even if you are not a new parent, we hope you will give the gift that keeps moms and dads from rushing to the store for more of these little life savers.

To share about the May SmartMom contest on Twitter, click here

How to Enter the Contest:

Remember, every star you earn in the app helps your chances of being a winner so be sure to log in every day! More questions? Check out our official contest rules.

Last Month’s Winner:

The winner of the April contest for $500 to Amazon is Chantelle G.! Be sure to congratulate her in the app!

Why Should Kids Do Chores?

As a mother hugs her child, she wonders "why should kids do chores?"

Teaching children to have a strong work ethic early in their childhood can be beneficial to them long into adulthood. Age-appropriate chores for kids as young as preschool encourages responsibility, accountability, independence and initiative. Toddlers can make beds and clean up small areas such as their room or play area. Then, as children get older they can assist with activities such as setting the table, feeding the family pet, taking out the trash, and folding laundry. Before children have paying jobs and a boss, chores give them direction that can prepare them for the “real world.”

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What I’ve Learned: Krizia Liquido, Lifestyle Editor at Verily Magazine

Read what fellow SmartMom Krizia Liquido has learned from being a cosmopolitan mother.

After having two beautiful baby girls abroad in Barcelona, Krizia Liquido moved her family to New Your City to become the Lifestyle Editor at Verily Magazine. While offering advice about parenting, healthy living and fine dining is her part time job, Krizia teaches us how to accept advice from other moms and gives us a behind-the-scenes look into to her full time job as a cosmopolitan mother.

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April SmartMom Contest: One $500 Gift Card to Amazon!

April SmartMom Contest features a $500 gift card!

You know the saying, “April showers bring May flowers.” Well, we are re-writing it this month as “April showers bring $500 to Amazon!” This month we are giving away one $500 gift card to Amazon so mamas can get what the really need – may that be diapers, bottles, kid’s gear, or even 500 aromatherapy candles because you deserve to treat yourself!

To share about the April SmartMom contest on Twitter, click here

How to Enter the Contest:

Remember, every star you earn in the app helps your chances of being a winner so be sure to log in every day! More questions? Check out our official contest rules.

Last Month’s Winner:

The winners of the March contest for $250 to GapKids are Kailaa T. & Sierra E! Be sure to congratulate them in the app!

How To Deal With Picky Eaters  

How to Deal With Picky Eaters - SmartMom

It all started with an innocent looking jar of green beans, a six-month-old, and a white oxford shirt.  With the first spoonful, my crisp work shirt was covered in green, like a paint-splattered canvas, and my baby girl had her lips puckered, her mouth locked, and refused to eat another bite. I had a picky eater on my hands. The problem? I didn’t yet know how to deal with picky eaters.

Baby girl did not like anything green, anything orange, anything with an odd texture, basically anything that was healthy for her.  As a parent, having picky eaters can be very frustrating and worrisome.  Are they eating enoughAre they getting the nutrition they need?  Are their bad habits going to be a problem in the future?

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Let’s Talk About Homeschooling

homeschooling

There are a lot of reasons to consider when thinking about homeschooling your child(ren). Education budget cuts are sweeping our nation and many have concerns about the effectiveness of public education in their area and can’t afford private school or to move into a different school district.

Or, your child might have specific issues like a previous bullying problem or a medical diagnosis that make homeschooling a more attractive option.

Whatever your rationale, here are some things to think about homeschooling before making the leap. Continue reading

The Importance of Outdoor Education

outdoor education

It’s Saturday afternoon, and my sons are playing video games with their friends and my daughter is watching a movie. It’s minus seven degrees outside, and I know their time outside this weekend will be limited to how long they can tolerate the cold, and then indoor activities will take over the rest of the weekend hours. I worry that they aren’t spending enough time outside during the colder months, especially during the school week when they spend about seven hours a day at school and then another hour or more on homework each night, after any extra-curricular activities they have. They are in elementary school and they have the weekly desk hours of adult office workers. Having a developed outdoor education is important for all children, especially with those long school days.

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