So I am wheeling the shopping cart around Target and I groan inwardly when I hear, “Mommy, can I have the Dora shampoo?”  I mumble an excuse like, “that’s for big kids.”  Whenever I see a product with a cartoon on it, it is hard for me to trust whether it is actually “good” for my kid.  I know you can’t judge a book by the cover, but simple ingredient comparison always leads me to the non-cartoon non-fuss products.

So which skin products should we choose for the kids?  The answer is simple.  Find the products that are the most natural which means fragrance free, alcohol free, dye and color free .  I find myself using organic and hypoallergenic products for everybody at home, especially the kids.

We all love the wonderful “baby” fragrance that so many lotions and bath products have.  Umm.. sorry to tell you this but the fragrances are pretty drying and sensitizing to the skin.  I see “camomile and lavender” in baby products all the time and I find that some (not all) kids can become sensitive to them with repeated use over time.

I know that babies and kids love baths, but they don’t need baths daily.  How many babies do we see rolling around in the dirt?  Preserve their natural skin oils by not soaking them daily in the tub.  Just wipe them down with a wet towel and skip one or two days.

I know bubble baths are fun, but they are super irritating to their little behinds.  Avoid them at all costs.

A lot of the creams/lotions that say “For dry skin or eczema” actually contain alcohol in the ingredients.  So read the labels.

The skin is the largest organ system in the body.  I think the more natural non-processed products you can find, the better…and smarter.  What do you use at home for your child’s skin?



“Oh… I really hate middle school.” I can’t tell you how many times I hear this from parents. Why such strong feelings? If you have a middle schooler at home, you probably know why. The mean kids, the hormones, the changes…the list goes on and on. In the tender tween age of 11 to 14, middle schoolers are probably the most confused age group on Earth. Just like toddlers, until you understand their psyche, you cannot get through to them. So, how can you help? Just understand them.

1. Know that they are going to be more and more self-centered. They cannot help it. Preoccupation with the mirror, their clothes, their friends, and their things is the norm now. Parents, try to find subtle ways to discuss inner beauty with them. When it comes to body image, use words like “healthy,” not pretty or skinny. Help them understand that many children do not have the advantages they have. Perhaps they can volunteer with friends for a local charity.

2. Gone are the days when you were the “cool” mom and dad. Now, you are just barely acceptable. Accept it. You don’t need to be their best friend anymore. That’s fine, but perhaps you can subtly direct them to friends who would be a good influence.

3. They blow things up (in their mind). A run-of-the-mill comment or situation can magnify and become a big deal to them. Their emotions are not in their control. Step into their shoes, understand the breadth of their feelings, and teach them coping skills for the kind of situations they deal with socially.

4. They are dreamers. They are doodlers. Their head is in the clouds. That’s understandable, since they are trying to figure out who they are. Parents, encourage their imagination and creativity. Let them dream big.

Finally, understand that this is a stage of life. With time, their thought process and mind will mature and become more reasonable. In fact, in a few years, you will have a good laugh about all their middle school drama. So parents, don’t hate middle school. Be ready for it.