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An A-Z of the things we should teach our daughters

Independence–while having a support network around you is fantastic...

An A-Z of the things we should teach our daughters

Raising girls is a special kind of challenge which in my book, requires a certain mindfulness–we only need to look at all the problems girls of anxiety, body image issues and peer pressure girls seem to be drowning in today to know that. So what are the things that we, as parents, should teach our daughters? You know what they say: It takes a village to raise a child. So I’ve called on my village of parenting bloggers to put together this list of things we should teach our daughters to be, not be, have or do.


A for ADVENTUROUS

Grasp opportunities with both hands and “have a go.” Be brave. Be careful. Be safe. – Pack the PJs

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B for BEAUTY

Beauty lies within. You can use products and potions to alter your appearance but it’s what’s inside that counts. And your inner beauty will always radiate out of your face like sunbeams, no matter what. – Babies And Beauty

C for CONFIDENCE

As much as we can’t teach it, we can help to instill it within them. Being confident within themselves can help massively later on. – Life With Boys

and CONSENT

And that what consent truly means and that they can say no. – Just Average Jen

D for DREAM

Dream–then turn them into goals and reality! – Living Life Our Way

and DIGNITY

It is a sense of self-worth, as human beings we have a right to dignity and it allows you to be respected. Dignity and respect helps people to feel a sense of importance and worthiness. – Raw Childhood

E for EQUALITY

They can do anything boys can do—although my daughter will only do it wearing pink! – Whinge Whinge Wine

F for FERTILITY

We need to teach our girls how important it is to know what our body is saying. Welcome our monthly flow with appreciation and open arms. Know how to take basal temperature, understanding cervical mucus. Knowing what it all means. Knowing about reusable sanitary pads, tampons and moon cups. Loving and knowing your body so that you are not grossed out about the blood that we release. – Hacking Parenthood

G for GUTS

Don’t be afraid to be gutsy and speak up when you see something that’s wrong happening. – Pondering Parenthood

H for HEALTH

It is so important to take care of your own health. Otherwise you can not take care of others. And much of the learned health behaviour comes from childhood–food preferences, exercise habits and the understanding of oneself. –Wave to Mummy

I for INDEPENDENCE

Independence–while having a support network around you is fantastic. There will be times when you have to stand on your own two feet. You will need to know how change a light bulb/plug/tire, etc. – Boo Roo and Tigger Too

and INCLUSION

In a world that can at times be divisive, stand up for others, look out for the vulnerable members of society and include them, lift others, collaborate. – Living Life Our Way

K for KINDNESS

Especially towards ourselves as females. It’s so important to be kind and caring, and have empathy in general, but a lot of women forget to also put themselves first and make some time for self-care. – Scandi Mummy

L for LIFT EACH OTHER UP

Another girl’s success doesn’t take anything away from you. Be happy for her, celebrate from her and learn from her. Don’t waste your time on jealousy and comparison. You’ll achieve more lifting each other up than putting each other down. – Nomi Palony

and LOVE

Love what you do, love one another and love yourself. – Counting to Ten

M for MANNERS

Manners are sadly lacking in some children today. “Please” and “thank you” never hurt anyone and in fact go a long way. – Wishful Wonderings

and MONEY

It’s important for them to have a healthy relationship with money and know how to earn it, grow it and save it. It’s also important for them to know while money can buy you stuff and give you more choices, that stuff doesn’t make us happy. In fact a more minimalist approach generally makes us happier. Teaching them that all the toys in the world would only give them very temporary happiness. – Kirsty Dee

N for NEVER BE DEPENDENT

Learn to be independent. To do things for yourself and not have to depend on others. This will help them to become strong, confident and knowledgable. – Twin Mummy and Daddy

O for OPTIMISM

I always try and teach my daughter to be positive and optimistic about anything and everything she tries to achieve. – All About A Mini Norris

P for PASSION

Put passion in everything you do. If you aren’t passionate about something then look for something you are passionate about. – Mummy In a Tutu

and PLUCKING!

As mothers we should teach are daughters to put down the tweezers and go to a salon. Over-plucked eyebows at a young age sometimes never fully recover! Let’s create a generation of women with fabulous natural brows. – Kerry Shaw Mummy of Four

and also PERFECT

That you’re perfect. Just the way you are. If someone bullies or is mean, that’s their problem and not yours. You’re great. Look after you and treat people how you wish to be treated. Things I wish my mum had said to me rather than “you change.” – We Forgot The Sperm

Q for QUESTION

Question everything. Don’t just accept or believe what you’re told. Make your own mind up in your own time and be proud of what you believe. – And Another Ten Things

R for RESILIENCE

There will be knock backs in life, but get right back up and do it again. – Emma and 3

S for SEXISM

Expect it because it’s not going anywhere just yet. I don’t have a daughter but I will be teaching my son not to be sexist. – Mumzilla

S for the SANDWICH CRITICISM

Forget “never saying anything negative,” but always counterbalance it with two good points, either side of the negative to offer constructive advice or criticism. – I Am Typecast

T for TRUST

Trust your own instincts and be able to stand your own ground. Also find someone to trust who you can confide in for whatever reason. It’s always good to have one person you can talk to about anything! – Mama Wilkos

U for UNIQUENESS

That being unique is far more important than fitting in with the crowd. – Five Little Doves

V for VERY AUTONOMOUS

Learn practical skills and learn to do things for yourself, to fix things, to understand how things work. Because you CAN do it all, you don’t need a man to fix things for you!! – The Ish Mother

W for WEIGHT

It’s important to stay healthy, but weight is zero indication of that. The scales teach you nothing apart from how to obsess about a number which means very little. Do you get out of breath running for the bus? If so you need to exercise more? Is food on your plate colorful? Does it make you feel good? No? Then improve it. – Sprog On The Tyne

and WORK ETHIC

There is nothing you can’t achieve and nothing you cannot do. If you want something then go for it. The sky’s the limit, not your gender. – Babies and Beauty

X for X-PERIENCE

Live life to the fullest you can, because it is the sum of all your experiences that makes you the person you are, and experiencing life is good for you! – Motherhood: The Real Deal

Y for YOURSELF

Be yourself–not what someone else wants you to be. – My Boys Club

Z for ZAZZ YOUR SELF ESTEEM

It’s so important to feel comfortable and confident in your own skin. It’s something I constantly struggle with and have done since I was young. I hope to be able to help my daughter to strive for a high self esteem. She’s such a strong willed and opinionated little girl and I can only hope she stays that way and doesn’t let the world knock her down as she gets older –Even Angels Fall

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14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

$40

Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.

$120

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

$179

Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

$100

Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$33

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$88

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Time-saving formula tips our editors swear by

Less time making bottles, more time snuggling.

As a new parent, it can feel like feeding your baby is a full-time job—with a very demanding nightshift. Add in the additional steps it takes to prepare a bottle of formula and, well… we don't blame you if you're eager to save some time when you can. After all, that means more time for snuggling your baby or practicing your own well-deserved self-care.

Here's the upside: Many, many formula-feeding mamas before you have experienced the same thing, and they've developed some excellent tricks that can help you mix up a bottle in record time. Here are the best time-saving formula tips from editors here at Motherly.

1. Use room temperature water

The top suggestion that came up time and time again was to introduce bottles with room temperature water from the beginning. That way, you can make a bottle whenever you need it without worrying about warming up water—which is a total lifesaver when you have to make a bottle on the go or in the middle of the night.

2. Buy online to save shopping time

You'll need a lot of formula throughout the first year and beyond—so finding a brand like Comforts, which offers high-quality infant formula at lower prices, will help you save a substantial amount of money. Not to mention, you can order online or find the formula on shelves during your standard shopping trip—and that'll save you so much time and effort as well.

3. Pre-measure nighttime bottles

The middle of the night is the last time you'll want to spend precious minutes mixing up a bottle. Instead, our editors suggest measuring out the correct amount of powder formula into a bottle and putting the necessary portion of water on your bedside table. That way, all you have to do is roll over and combine the water and formula in the bottle before feeding your baby. Sounds so much better than hiking all the way to the kitchen and back at 3 am, right?

4. Divide serving sizes for outings

Before leaving the house with your baby, divvy up any portions of formula and water that you may need during your outing. Then, when your baby is hungry, just combine the pre-measured water and powder serving in the bottle. Our editors confirm this is much easier than trying to portion out the right amount of water or formula while riding in the car.

5. Memorize the mental math

Soon enough, you'll be able to prepare a bottle in your sleep. But, especially in the beginning or when increasing your baby's serving, the mental math can take a bit of time. If #mombrain makes it tough to commit the measurements to memory, write up a cheat sheet for yourself or anyone else who will prepare your baby's bottle.

6. Warm up chilled formula with water

If you're the savvy kind of mom who prepares and refrigerates bottles for the day in advance, you'll probably want to bring it up to room temperature before serving. Rather than purchase a bottle warmer, our editors say the old-fashioned method works incredibly well: Just plunge the sealed bottle in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes and—voila!—it's ready to serve.



Another great tip? Shop the Comforts line on Comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices. Or, follow @comfortsforbaby for more information!

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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Errands and showers are not self-care for moms

Thinking they are is what's burning moms out.

A friend and I bump into each other at Target nearly every time we go. We don't pre-plan this; we must just be on the same paper towel use cycle or something. Really, I think there was a stretch where I saw her at Target five times in a row.

We've turned it into a bit of a running joke. "Yeah," I say sarcastically, "We needed paper towels so you know, I had to come to Target… for two hours of alone time."

She'll laugh and reply, "Oh yes, we were out of… um… paper clips. So here I am, shopping without the kids. Heaven!"

Now don't get me wrong. I adore my trips to Target (and based on the fullness of my cart when I leave, I am pretty sure Target adores my trips there, too).

But my little running joke with my friend is actually a big problem. Because why is the absence of paper towels the thing that prompts me to get a break? And why on earth is buying paper towels considered a break for moms?

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