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Some of the best parenting research out there discusses what experts call “authoritative parenting,” part of Diana Baumrind’s theory of parenting styles. After observing parent-child interactions, she categorized parents into four quadrants based on whether they had firm limits or high expectations and how accepting or involved they were with their children.

Authoritative parenting ranks high on both dimensions: warm and involved, while also holding high expectations and firm limits. Authoritative parenting is associated with just about every positive child outcome, from academic achievement to social skills to fewer behavior problems. 

 An often minimized aspect of Baumrind’s theory is a third dimension called appropriate autonomy granting. Authoritative parents allow and support their children’s independence. They set them up to succeed in these independent tasks. This is an exceptionally important addition given that children develop self-esteem, grit, and a sense of responsibility from completing important work.


Autonomy granting includes things like chores and choice over clothes, routine and after-school activities. The three components of authoritative parenting (warm/involved, firm limits/high expectations, and appropriate autonomy granting) have become associated with academic achievement, fewer behavior problems, and psychological health.

Chores serve as an excellent way for children to achieve the positive outcomes associated with autonomy granting. Unfortunately, research suggests that fewer families are including chores as a part of their regular routine. That’s a shame since chores have been associated with engagement in school, academic achievement, positive mental health in adulthood, and later career success.

LulaKids partnered with Parent Co. because they believe every parent could use a helping hand- even when those hands are tiny.

Ideas to integrate autonomy and chores into your child’s day

What’s developmentally appropriate for the adult

Many articles suggest chores by age for children, based on their developmental capabilities. While guidelines for age-appropriate chores are good for generating ideas, they do not take into account your individual child and family situation. This approach suggests some ground rules for adults in encouraging children’s independence. Meeting your child where they are.

The issue with age-specific chore charts is that every child is different. They have different interests and different capabilities (and that’s a good thing). Developmental milestones are no longer given an associated age, but rather an estimated age range.

Consider the following mantra: “I won’t do anything for you that you can do yourself.” Perhaps one five-year-old can tie her shoes, while another cannot get his buttons buttoned. It makes sense to adjust your expectations and provide opportunities for autonomy where the child can succeed.

The importance of choice

When assigning responsibilities, children (and adults!) respond well to having some options and ownership over their tasks. Provide your children some choice. My five-year-old daughter and I create a chore chart together. She hates doing the laundry (and whines the whole time) but loves emptying the dishwasher (and sings the whole time). Allowing her to choose makes life better for all of us.

Slow down and make time

One of the biggest obstacles to allowing children to take care of themselves or some household chores is time. Most families rush out the door in the morning (eliminating the opportunity for self-dressing) or rush to bedtime in the evening (eliminating the opportunity for children to complete evening chores).

Parents can allow the time and space for these important activities of childhood. Streamline your morning process if possible. Simplify your evening routine where you can. Build in extra time for children to take care of themselves and the home.

Embrace imperfection

Your children will not always match. Your dishes will likely occasionally (read: often) break. Learning lies in the imperfections. Teach your child how to clean up the broken glass safely. Accept that your child has a different fashion sense than you. It will go slow, and it will go wrong. Breath in and repeat: My child is learning something here.   

Modify your materials for success

Maria Montessori believed that much of the frustration of childhood stems from dealing with a world that was not designed with a child in mind. With some modification, your child may be capable of many more tasks.

A child-sized, cordless vacuum may give you the cleanest carpets you have ever had. A well-placed step stool can make the dishes much more inviting. LulaClips and LulaBlocs can make buckling up in the car-friendly for small hands.

Examples in action

To follow my five guidelines for granting autonomy to your little ones, here are five examples to get you brainstorming. Remember to involve your child in the process. They may have some great ideas for how they can take more responsibility for themselves.

Getting dressed

By age three, most children are capable of participating in the dressing process. By age six, most children are capable of dressing themselves from head to toe. By age eight, most children will be capable of washing and folding their clothes.

Getting dressed is an excellent “chore” because it allows for ownership of self, personal expression, and typically will free up some time for the parent on busy mornings.

Make sure clothes are stored in a way that your child can easily access them. Emphasize choice as much as you can. Children are not restrained by the rules of fashion, and that’s a good thing. Streamline other parts of the morning routine so you can give your children the extra time they need to complete this task independently.

Safely getting in the car

By age two, most children are capable of climbing into their own seat. By age five, most children can buckle themselves securely and safely. By age six, most children will be capable of assisting siblings in the process.

This “chore” allows children to feel incredibly accomplished. The first time they properly secure that five-point harness, their smile will light up the car. It will also allow the parent more time to load the car.

Make time for this chore by getting the kids out to the car first and then loading everything while you give them the space to accomplish their task. You can modify the task to make it more child-friendly by installing LulaClips or Lulablocs in your car.

As with all new tasks, your child will be successful some days and struggle on others. Emphasize that some difficulty is part of the learning process. Praise their efforts (not the outcomes) to encourage them to keep working when it feels challenging. Lend a hand when they need it.  


By nine months of age, most children are capable of participating in feeding themselves. By age two to three, children are fully capable self-feeders. By age five, children can set and clear the table. By age six, many children will be capable of making a simple meal or packing their lunch.

The incredible bonus of giving your child more autonomy during the eating process is that they will eat better. Mealtime battles will decrease as your child participates more in preparing meals and mealtime.

You can make this task easier by playing sous-chef. Make sure your child can access everything they may need to feed themselves. Create a snack center in a lower refrigerator drawer or shelf. Do the same thing in the pantry. Create a shelf that includes everything needed for packing lunches. A little prep ahead of time will reduce frustration and increase the chances your child will succeed.


Doing laundry

By age two, most children can help you stuff the washing machine and start it. By age four, they can help sort and fold laundry. By age six, kids can put away all their clothes. By age eight, they can handle this task from start to finish.

Laundry can be divided into two categories: before and after kids. Before kids, you had a regular day and routine. After kids, it became a never-ending process. Let your kids help you out.

As with all other tasks, modify the space to allow your children independence. Select a bottle of detergent they can safely handle. Put a step stool in the right place. Accept imperfection and praise their efforts.  

Cleaning up

By age one, most children are capable of cleaning up. In fact, dump and clean is a game for them, and they will enjoy it. Cleaning up after themselves will become a good habit before your child understands what a “chore” is.

Help your kids out by utilizing small bins that can be moved around the room, making it easier for children to fill up. You can encourage this activity by making sure it happens regularly (after each activity) so they don’t feel overwhelmed by cleaning an entire room.

It could be the most important thing you do as a parent

Childhood chores are associated with academic achievement and mental health. While making the time and space for your kids to complete activities can be challenging at first, remind yourself that these are not just chores. They are important life lessons. You will foster double the self-esteem and resilience with chores that you could with fancy music lessons or expensive sports participation (though these activities are good for other reasons). Plus, there is an immediate payoff: chores ease your load as a parent.

LulaKids partnered with Parent Co. because they believe every parent could use a helping hand- even when those hands are tiny.




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Pop quiz, mama! How many different types of car seats are there? If you guessed three, you're partially correct. The three main types are rear-facing car seats, forward-facing car seats, and booster seats. But then there are a variety of styles as well: infant car seats, convertible seats, all-in-one seats, high-back booster seats, and backless boosters. If you're not totally overwhelmed yet, keep reading, we promise there's good stuff ahead.

There's no arguing that, in the scheme of your baby and child gear buying lifetime, purchasing a car seat is a big deal! Luckily, Walmart.com has everything you need to travel safely with your most precious cargo in the backseat. And right now, you can save big on top-rated car seats and boosters during Best of Baby Month, happening now through September 30 at Walmart.com.

As if that wasn't enough, Walmart will even take the carseat your kiddos have outgrown off your hands for you (and hook you up with a sweet perk, too). Between September 16 and 21, Walmart is partnering with TerraCycle to recycle used car seats. When you bring in an expired car seat or one your child no longer fits into to a participating Walmart store during the trade-in event, you'll receive a $30 gift card to spend on your little one in person or online. Put the money towards a brand new car seat or booster or other baby essentials on your list. To find a participating store check here: www.walmart.com/aboutbestofbabymonth

Ready to shop, mama? Here are the 9 best car seat deals happening this month.

Safety 1st Grow and Go Spring 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat


From rear-facing car seat to belt-positioning booster, Grow and Go Sprint's got you covered through childhood. Whether you choose the grey Silver Lake, Seafarer or pink Camelia color palette, you'll love how this model grows with your little one — not to mention how easy it is to clean. The machine-washable seat pad can be removed without fussing with the harness, and the dual cup holders for snacks and drinks can go straight into the dishwasher.

Price: $134 (regularly $149)


Baby Trend Hybrid Plus 3-in-1 Booster Car Seat in Bermuda


When your toddler is ready to face forward, this versatile car seat can be used as a five-point harness booster, a high-back booster, and a backless booster. Padded armrests, harness straps, and seat cushions provide a comfy ride, and the neutral gray seat pads reverse to turquoise for a stylish new look.

Price: $72.00 (regularly $81)


Baby Trend Hybrid Plus 3-in-1 Booster Car Seat in Olivia


Looking for something snazzy, mama? This black and hot pink car seat features a playful heart print on its reversible seat pad and soft harness straps. Best of all, with its 100-pound weight limit and three booster configurations, your big kid will get years of use out of this fashionable design.

Price: $72.00 (regularly $81)


Evenflo Triumph LX Convertible Car Seat


This rear- and forward-facing car seat keeps kids safer, longer with an adjustable five-point harness that can accommodate children up to 65 lbs. To tighten the harness, simply twist the conveniently placed side knobs; the Infinite Slide Harness ensures an accurate fit every time. As for style, we're big fans of the cozy quilted design, which comes in two colorways: grey and magenta or grey and turquoise.

Price: $116 (regularly $149.99)


Disney Baby Light 'n Comfy 22 Luxe Infant Car Seat


Outfitted with an adorable pink-and-white polka dot Minnie Mouse infant insert, even the tiniest of travelers — as small as four pounds! — can journey comfortably and safely. This rear-facing design is lightweight, too; weighing less than 15 lbs, you can easily carry it in the crook of your arm when your hands are full (because chances are they will be).

Price: $67.49 (regularly $89.99)


Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat


We know it's hard to imagine your tiny newborn will ever hit 100 lbs, but one day it'll happen. And when it does, you'll appreciate not having to buy a new car seat if you start with this 4-in-1 design! Designed to fit kids up to 120 lbs, it transforms four ways, from a rear-facing car seat to a backless belt-positioning booster. With a 6-position recline and a one-hand adjust system for the harness and headrest, you can easily find the perfect fit for your growing child.

Price: $199.99 (regularly $269.99)


Graco SlimFit All-in-One Convertible Car Seat


With its unique space-saving design, this 3-in-1 car seat provides 10% more back seat space simply by rotating the dual cup holders. The InRight LATCH system makes installation quick and easy, and whether you're using it as a rear-facing car seat, a forward-facing car seat, or a belt-positioning booster, you can feel confident that your child's safe and comfortable thanks to Graco's Simply Safe Adjust Harness System.

Price: $149.99 (regularly $229.99)


Graco Snugride Snuglock 35 Platinum XT Infant Car Seat


Making sure your infant car seat is secure can be tricky, but Graco makes it easy with its one-second LATCH attachment and hassle-free three-step installation using SnugLock technology. In addition to its safety features, what we really love about this rear-facing seat are all of the conveniences, including the ability to create a complete travel system with Click Connect Strollers and a Silent Shade Canopy that expands without waking up your sleeping passenger.

Price: $169.99 (regularly $249.99)


Graco Snugride Snuglock 35 Elite Infant Car Seat


With just one click, you can know whether this rear-facing car seat has been installed properly. Then adjust the base four different ways and use the bubble level indicator to find the proper position. When you're out and about, the rotating canopy with window panel will keep baby protected from the sun while allowing you to keep your eye on him.

Price: $129.99 (regularly $219.99)


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

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If I ever want to look alive before dropping my son off to school, there are two things I must put on before leaving the house: eyeliner and mascara. When using eyeliner, I typically use black liner on my top lid, a slightly lighter brown for my bottom lid, and then a nude liner for my water line. It works every time.

My mascara routine is a bit different. Because my natural lashes are thin and not the longest, I always opt for the darkest black I can find, and one that's lengthening and volumizing. For this reason, I was immediately drawn to It Cosmetics Lash Blowout Mascara. The new mascara is developed in partnership with Drybar (the blow dry bar that specializes in just blowouts) and promises to deliver bold and voluminous lashes all day long. I was sold.

Could this really be the blowout my lashes have been waiting for? It turns out, it was much better than most volumizing formulas I've tried.

For starters, the wand is a great size—it's not too big or small, and it's easy to grip—just like my favorite Drybar round brush. As for the formula, it's super light and infused with biotin which helps lashes look stronger and healthier. I also love that it's buildable, and I didn't notice any clumps or flakes between coats.

The real test is that my lashes still looked great at dinnertime. I didn't have smudges or the dreaded raccoon eyes I always get after a long day at work. Surprisingly, the mascara actually stayed in place. To be fair, I haven't compared them with lash-extensions (which are my new go-to since having baby number two), but I'm sure it will hold up nicely.

Overall, I was very impressed with the level of length and fullness this mascara delivered. Indeed, this is the eyelash blowout my lashes have been waiting for. While it won't give you a few extra hours in bed, you'll at least look a little more awake, mama.

It Cosmetics Lash Blowout Mascara

It Cosmetics Lash Blowout Mascara

Here's how I apply IT Cosmetics Lash Blowout Mascara:

  1. Starting as close to lash line as possible (and looking down), align the brush against your top lashes. Gradually turn upwards, then wiggle the wand back and forth up and down your eyelashes.
  2. Repeat, if needed. Tip: Be sure to allow the mascara to dry between each coat.
  3. Using the same technique, apply mascara to your bottom lashes, brushing the wand down your eyelashes.
Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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Having children isn't always as easy as it looks on Instagram. There's so much more to motherhood than serene baby snuggles and matching outfits. But there's a reason we've fallen so deeply in love with motherhood: It's the most beautiful, chaotic ride.

Every single day, we sit back and wonder how something so hard can feel so rewarding. And Eva Mendes just managed to nail the reality of that with one quote.

Eva, who is a mama to daughters Esmerelda and Amada with Ryan Gosling, got real about the messy magic of motherhood in a recent interview.

"It's so fun and beautiful and maddening," the actress tells Access Daily. "It's so hard, of course. But it's like that feeling of…you end your day, you put them to bed and Ryan and I kind of look at each other like, 'We did it, we did it. We came out relatively unscathed.'"


Eva Mendes Admits Parenting Two Girls With Ryan Gosling Is 'Fun, Beautiful And Maddening' www.youtube.com

And just like that, moms all over the world feel seen. We've all been there: Struggling to get through the day (which, for the record is often every bit as fun as it is challenging), only to put those babies to sleep and collapse on the couch in sheer exhaustion. But, after you've caught your breath, you realize just how strong and capable you really are.

One thing Eva learned the hard way? That sleep regressions are very, very real...and they don't just come to an end after your baby's first few months. "I guess they go through a sleep regression, which nobody told me about until I looked it up," she says "I was like, 'Why isn't my 3-year-old sleeping?'"

But, at the end of the day, Eva loves her life as a mom—and the fact that she took a break from her Hollywood career to devote her days to raising her girls. "I'm so thankful I have the opportunity to be home with them," she says.

Thank you for keeping it real, Eva! Momming isn't easy, but it sure is worth it.

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My labor and delivery was short and sweet. I started feeling contractions on Monday morning and by Tuesday night at 8:56 pm my handsome baby boy was born. Only 30 minutes of pushing. Afterward, I was still out of it, to be honest. I held him and did some skin to skin and handed him off to my husband, my mother held him next.

When he was in my mother's arms, I knew he was safe. I started to drift off, the epidural had me feeling drowsy and I had used up all my strength to push this 7 lb baby out. My son's eyes were open and then I guess he went to sleep too. My mother swayed him back and forth. The nurses were in and out, cleaning me up and checking in on us.


When yet another nurse came in, my mom said to her, "He wasn't latching because he wanted to sleep."

The nurse yelled, "He's not sleeping!"

The next 25 minutes happened in slow motion for me.

After the nurse said these words, she flung my son onto the little baby bed. I looked over and he looked a little blue. Then I heard the loud words of CODE PINK. In matters of seconds about 30 nursing staff descended into my room and crowded around my baby.

I couldn't even see what was happening. I tried to get out the bed but they wouldn't let me and after a couple of failed attempts one of the nurses look at me and said, "He's fine, he's breathing now."

Breathing now? He wasn't breathing before? Again, I tried to push my way to my baby, but once again I was told to not move. They had just performed CPR on my 30-minute old newborn and I couldn't understand what was happening even after a pediatrician tried to explain it to me.

I just started crying. He was fine in my stomach for 39 weeks and 6 days and now I bring him into this world and his heart nearly stops?

I was told he needed to go to the neonatal intensive care unit. I was confused, as I thought the NICU was only for preemies and my son was full term.

After what felt like an eternity we were finally allowed to see our son. My husband wheeled me there and we saw him in the corner alone. I saw the incubator and the wires, he's all bundled up.

The nurse explained all the beeping and showed me the heart rate monitor. He's doing fine. We go over the feeding schedule. I'm exhausted still. I stay with him until about 1 or 2 am. They all suggest I get some sleep. There's no bed in the NICU, so I head back to my room.

The next day was better, he doesn't have to be in the incubator anymore, but the wires remain. By that night or early the next morning, the wires in his nose come out and I try feeding him. I try pumping. It was painful.

He gets his first bath and he loves it. The nurse shampoos his hair (he had a lot!) and he seems so soothed. The nurse explains that because he's full term he doesn't need the same type of support in the NICU. She tells me my baby's strong and he'll be fine.

I look around. I see the other babies, the other moms. They could be there for weeks. And unlike me, the moms have to go home—without their baby.

Friday comes and by now he's done all his tests, blood work came back normal, all tubes have been removed and I get it. I get my going-home package. Finally. I get my instructions on doctor follow-ups and we finally get to go home.

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There have been a lot of iconic entertainment magazine covers featuring pregnant women over the years. Who can forget Demi Moore's bare baby bump on Vanity Fair or Britney Spears' similar nude pose on Harper's Bazaar?

Pregnant women on a magazine covers is nothing new, but a visibly pregnant CEO on the cover of a business magazine, that's a first and it happened this week.

Inc. just put The Wing's CEO Audrey Gelman on the cover and this is a historic moment in publishing and business.

As Gelman told Today this week, "You can't be what you can't see, so I think it's so important for women to see that it's possible to run a fast-growing business and also to start a family."



She continued: "It's so important to sort of burst that bubble and to have new images of women who are thriving and working professionally while balancing motherhood … My hope is that women see this and again feel the confidence to take greater professional risks while also not shelving their dreams of becoming a mother and starting a family."

The Wing started in 2016 as a co-working space for women and has grown rapidly. As Inc. reports, The Wing has eight locations in the U.S. with plans for more American and international locations by 2020.

Putting Gelman on the cover was an important move by Inc. and Gelman's honesty about her early pregnancy panic ("I can't be pregnant. I have so much to do." she recalls thinking after her pregnancy test) should be applauded.

Gelman says pregnancy made her slow down physically, and that it was actually good for her company: "I had this realization: The way to make my team and my employees feel proud to work for me and for the company was actually not to pretend to be superhuman or totally unaffected by pregnancy."

We need this. We need CEOs to admit that they are human so that corporate leadership can see employees as humans, too. Humans need things like family leave and flexibility, especially when they start raising little humans.

There are a lot of iconic covers featuring pregnant women, but this one is different. She's wearing clothes and she's changing work culture.

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