Welcome to Educated, Common Sense Parenting! This is my parenting education/commentary blog. Start here and read About This Blog.

I believe too many parents today have let their children rule their households. Their children dictate their daily lives, demand every ounce of their attention and do not show any respect for their parents. This needs to change. The only way to do this is if parents start letting good old common sense start dictating their parenting practices and stop letting their children run the show. You're the parent. Act like one.

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Monday, June 29, 2009

Plane Travel with Little Ones Part 3: We all need a little Rx

When we hear doctors talk about the main risk factors for heart attacks we always hear about: diet, lack of exercise and genetics.

When traveling with kids, there are three main risk factors for meltdowns: hunger, fatigue and boredom. In my experience, these three predictors are applicable to all age groups (including adults!!!) Here are some of my personal travel tips to beat these three things that I have learned our own plane trips with Brooke and most recently Brooke and Will. I encourage everyone to post their favorite plane travel tips as well. It never hurts to have an arsenal of ideas before heading for the airport.


Signs and symptoms of hunger include crying, tantrums and fatigue brought on by low blood sugar. This is the easiest risk factor to remedy. Here are my personal tips, all of which I have learned via trial and error:

- Always ARRIVE at the airport with a well-fed infant or child. Even if it means feeding baby quickly in the car before you enter the airport. It's never fun to hear "I'm huuuungrrrryyy" or deal with a crying, ravenous infant while you're barefoot in the security line.

- Pack food (duh!). For older kids and toddlers, this means preferably, food that is high in protein and low in sugar. And God forbid, no chocolate!! My favorite things to pack are 1) Frozen edamame (keeps everything cold and they thaw out in a couple of hours; packed with protein) 2) Low fat salami and cheese sandwiches on whole wheat rolls--protein!! Of course you could do turkey or ham as well. 3) Low sugar granola or snack bars. Brooke likes Odwalla bars. 4) Celery and peanut butter 5) Trail mix or dried fruit 6) Apple slices coated with lemon 6) Cheese cubes and crackers

- One of the best things we did on our last trip is eat as soon as we got off the plane. If you are flying in or out of an international airport, there are usually some pretty decent places to eat. We got some food and then walked to baggage claim where our luggage was waiting for us, instead of the other way around. The kids had their tummies full and we weren't scrambling to get them fed while battling 350 people at the luggage carousel. Plus, it was just a lot more relaxing to sit and regroup after the flight and Scott and I could eat some "real" food.


Signs and symptoms of of boredom include whining, being less obedient than usual, pissing off other people and doing generally annoying things like coloring on the airplane windows.

If you are traveling with little ones in the Red Zone (age 7 months to about 2 1/2), this can be a tough one. Some boredom busters I've discovered are:

1) DVDs: Until about age 2 1/2, you won't get much use out of the DVD themselves but I still brought a portable DVD player and favorite DVDs. It at least bought us 15 minutes or so of "quiet time" when Brooke was under 2. She liked playing with the buttons!

2) Play "I Spy": With kids 2 1/2 and up you can do this anywhere. On the plane, in the car, in the ticket line. Just say I Spy something....red, blue, green etc. and have you child look for it. Then it's their turn to ask the question. You can also do it with any book or even the Sky Mall magazine:" I spy something you can cook with" or " spy something you wear on your head. " This kept Brooke entertained for at least a half an hour on our most recent flight and for a half hour when we were waiting to board.

3) Food: If your child is eating finger foods, bring along his favorite finger foods. Eating is a great way to pass the time! :-)

4 ) See and Say: We all know this toy. I got Brooke one when she was about 8 months and it was a smaller one that wasn't loud enough to annoy anyone sitting around us. It kept her entertained for quite awhile, given she was so young. It's really tough to entertain the 2 and under crowd, but give them some animal sounds and they're usually happy.

5) New toys: Bring along at least 3 new things your child has never seen before. If she's old enough to appreciate it, wrap them up so it's like a mini-Christmas! The Target dollar bin or the local dollar store items have worked well for us.

6) My least favorite-- walking up and down the aisles. But it's important to keep those little ones active! Even going to the nasty bathroom for a diaper change is at least 5-10 minutes of time passed! :-)


Signs and symptoms of fatigue include crying, screaming, yelling, rolling on the floor, whining and just generally being a pain in the ass, giving you the feeling that you may want to shoot yourself. In my opinion, fatigue is the most common reason for airplane meltdowns but it's the hardest to cure. You and I both know how tough it is to sleep on an airplane and your child feels the same way. When your child is overtired and cranky on the airplane, the best thing you can do is try to get them comfy so they can sleep. There are also a few things you can do to try and prevent fatigue:

- The day before you fly, try to make it a very low-key day for your child. Don't drag them all over creation so you can buy last minute travel items. Stay home, make sure they get a good nap in and to bed as early as possible.

- We've traveled at ALL different times of day and I've noticed that around 11am to 12pm seems to be a good flight departure time. You're not getting the kids up at the crack of dawn (unless you live a really long way from the airport) and it's close to an afternoon naptime, so if the stars are aligned, you have a good chance at getting them to take their afternoon nap on the plane. One important thing to note, I have tried many times to try get Brooke to run around the airport or get her up super early in order to tire her out so she'll sleep on the flight. Most every time, those ideas have backfired on me. Getting a kid riled up before the flight will most likely lead to her becoming OVER tired and not being able to sleep. By making things as calm, relaxing and normal as possible, you'll have a better shot at promoting her to take her regular nap.

- If you live more than a hour from the airport and have an early morning flight (9am or before) consider staying at a hotel right by the airport. Yes, it costs money but since when is having kids cheap?! We did this for our 9am flight back for California from Chicago and it worked out wonderfully. I highly recommend the Chicago O'Hare Hilton! A 5 minute stroll and you are in the Terminal! Plus, the kids got to wake up on their own time without me waking them at some God-awful hour.

There are tons more travel tips but these are the ones that have worked for us. Please post all of your best tips, too--I'm always looking for ways to make traveling easier. Especially since I have an up and coming Red-Zoner! :-)

Friday, June 26, 2009

Plane Travel with Little Ones Part 2: The Red Zone

Any of us who have traveled by plane with little ones know that it's not exactly something you look forward to. It's definitely a job that takes a a lot of patience and a great sense of humor. If you're like me and refuse to put your travel plans on hold until your little ones are of sane traveling age (which might never happen, by the way--depending on the temperament of your child!!), you'll find yourself on an airplane at some point during what I call, the infamous Red Zone.

The Red Zone is the most difficult age to travel with kids. From my experience, the Red Zone is when your child is approximately 7 months to 2 1/2 years. At these ages most kids are mobile in some way and just want to wiggle, run, walk, crawl, roll and/or explore. That, coupled with a very short attention span, and you get nothing at all conducive to plane travel! When traveling with kids in the Red Zone, it is very possible that not even the best travel advice in the world will not help. Face it- it might just be a complete disaster. While the behavior of your child may be beyond your control, there are a few things that you CAN control. You can:

1) Expect & Accept: Accept that your little one simply doesn't have the capacity to sit still at this age. Don't get mad at them, just expect they will be little wiggle worms and do your best. Having a sense of humor works, too.

2) Be Nice: Don't be that mom who let's their kid run screaming down the aisle or kick the chair of the poor soul in front of them. Even if things seem out of control, at least make an effort to gain control of your child. Most people appreciate a mom who makes an effort. But no one appreciates the mom who takes the attitude of "my kid can do no wrong." If your kid is kicking the seat in front of him, put a stop to it. Or at least apologize to the person sitting there. We as educated, common sense parents may think "OF COURSE I would do that." Well, that is because we're educated, common sense parents! I know from experience that some parents just let their kids run wild on the plane and think nothing of it.

3) Try your best to limit hassles. Of course, one can never completely eliminate hassles but some ways to limit them would be: 1) Limi luggage--try to pack your child's clothes with yours instead of bringing an extra suitcase just for them 2) Limit layovers (direct flights are worth a million bucks but I realize, it's not always possible!!), 3) Buy them a seat: if your baby is over the age of 6 months (give or take) buy them a seat. You can either bring the carseat and strap it in or just have the extra seat so your baby can stretch out. Don't skimp on this precious space--you will need it!! 4) Try your best to fly during non-peak days. For instance, the day before Thanksgiving (duh, but look at all the morons who do it!)

4) My personal fav, compliments of my sister in law: PRAY!!!!

There are 3 main risk factors for major meltdowns: hunger, fatigue and boredom. I'll have some remedies for each of those in Part 3...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Plane Travel with Little Ones: Part 1

I just returned from our annual trip to the Midwest to visit Scott's family--the first time with two kids in tow! To Scott and I both, it's extremely important for our kids to know their family on both sides. So it wouldn't matter if we had one kid or four, we would always make the effort to make this annual trip.

I will shamelessly admit that I was dreading this trip. I was really excited to see the family, don't get me wrong. BUT....the car seats, the changing diapers on the plane, the blowouts and of course--the God-forsaken security line with all the gel-and-liquid-declaring, shoe-taking off, laptop-taking-out and stroller-folding-up HELL. It's enough to make anyone never want to fly again. Yes my friends, before we left Scott and I dug in our heels, gritted our teeth and decided with a newborn and a (very) active 3 year old, that this was going to be the trip from hell. Not to mention since I have been on maternity leave, I have had both Brooke and Will on a pretty good schedule so of course, that was going to be thrown completely out of whack.

But as with many things in life, good things happen when you least expect them. It was the EASIEST trip I we have taken with kid(s)! In fact, we both wished we would have stayed longer! As I sat on the plane with an occupied 3 year old on one side of me and a sleeping baby on my arms I developed the following observations:

1) If you love to travel, having kids should not stop you. If you do some good planning-ahead, traveling with little ones doesn't always have to be a pain in the butt. My travel tips from this trip will be in the next blog and I hope everyone will share theirs as well!

2) Even if your plane travel with your little ones is a diarrhea, scream-fest, meltdown disaster, just grin and bear it. Look at it this way--more than likely, in 5 hours or less, it will all be over. Plus, it will make for some hilarious stories and blog posts! And you know what--when these little rascals are around 12 or 13, they'll refuse to be seen in public with you much less TRAVEL with you, so just laugh as you're changing the third blowout in 2 hours.

3) A stable, well-planned (ok, scheduled!!) home-life is an absolute Godsend when traveling with kids. More on that in the next post!

4) The more your kids travel, the more both you and your child will get used to the drill. And with each subsequent year your child gets older, the easier it gets: the first time we went to the Midwest with Brooke, she was 7 months and I didn't know what in the heck I was doing--tough. The second time, she was 18 months--tough age, meltdown central. The third time, she was 2 1/2 and it was much easier but not perfect. This time, she's 3 1/2 and although there were many kinks I still need to work out, it was pretty painless. She was taking off her shoes and walking through security like a pro.

5) Age of your kids definitely plays a part in ease of travel (0-6 months and 3-4 years and up seems to me to be the easiest). However unless you want your kids to completely put your travel life on hold, you need to suck it up. I for one, refuse to stay home for 5+ years until both of my kids are at a "sane" traveling age! If you follow "Babywise" philosophy, your children are an amazing ADDITION to your family life--but your life shouldn't completely revolve around them. So even if you think it might be a pain in the butt, give it a try. You could be missing out on a lot of fun! In fact, one of the most fun, relaxing "vacations" I have taken was a trip to Florida to visit Scott's grandparents when Brooke was about 16 months old.

So go for it!!!!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Preparing Your Child for Baby #2

When I found out I was pregnant with Will, I was thrilled. All I could think of was holding that little bundle of joy in my arms. After the initial excitement wore off, I started freaking out. So many things ran through my mind: Could we afford another one in daycare? Would I ever have any time to myself again? Could I possibly love anyone as much as I love Brooke? And more important, were we ready? Was Brooke ready? Right away, I began thinking about how exactly I would prepare Brooke for a new family member. I had a baby before--I knew the drill--diaper changing, midnight feedings, labor pains. But Brooke had never been through this experience before. I wanted her to be prepared and I also wanted her to be as excited as Scott and I were.

Since Baby Will was born, Brooke has never been anything short of amazing toward her little brother. She is caring, compassionate, helpful and patient with him. Some of this may have to do with her generally nurturing temperament, however I think there are certain things you can do to help your older child become a wonderful sibling:

1) Mind the Gap (age, that is): I understand things don't always work out perfectly when it comes to the timing of getting pregnant. However, if you can at all "plan" a time to have another baby, I believe the ideal age gap is around 3 years, give or take. Before age 3, children operate in very literal, concrete world. They can't even begin to grasp future events that they can't see. Therefore, trying to explain to a 1 year old, "you are going to have a little sister!" means about as much to them as telling them they will be rich and famous someday. They don't care--all they care about is how they are going to get the Oreos sitting on the counter behind you or when Barney is going to be on. When children turn 3, they enter the world of "fantasy." The primary type of play is make-believe. After age 3, the world of imagination opens up in children as their brains are now able to at least partially, begin to understand future events that have not yet taken place. You are also able to reason with a 3 year old. This comes in VERY handy when talking to them about their new sibling (see #2 below).

2) Talk, talk, talk: Even if your little one is not 3 years old and may not be able to quite grasp the concept of a new family member, it's OK. You can still talk, talk and talk to them about what their world is going to be like in a few months. I'm all about realistic parenting--i don't sugar coat too much. From the very beginning, we explained to Brooke that when the new baby came, Mommy and Daddy would not have quite as much time to spend with her as they do now because babies require lots of attention. We would find certain random moments during the day to casually mention this to her and would always follow it up with, "but Mommy and Daddy still love you very much and we'll still have our special time together." My favorite time to talk to her about the upcoming changes was during story time right before bed. I would say something like, "You know Mommy will have less time to spend with you when the baby comes, but story time is always OUR special time together." At first she just stared at me with a glazed-over look, but after a month or so, it started to sink in and she would ask me questions about the new baby. This was such a great way for us to communicate her feelings about what was about to happen.

3) Teach independence...NOW: Don't wait until the baby comes for you to say, "Mommy needs to feed the baby, go play." Parents who have not taught their kids how to play on their own or taught their kids any self-help skills will have a difficult time when Baby #2 arrives. This is especially true with kids younger than 2 who often have trouble entertaining themselves for long periods of time in general. If your first child hasn't learned to entertain herself, start teaching her immediately. Start with just 3-5 minutes of independent play--without you in the room. Make sure you give her something to do, don't just say, "go play." It could be a coloring page, a puzzle or legos. After they have mastered 5 minutes of independent play, add time in 5 minute increments until they are able to independently play for about 30 minutes. By the way, 30 minutes could take months or even years to master. Depending on her mood, my 3 year old still has trouble with 30 minutes without me in the room if she doesn't have a friend over or something really engaging to do. But it's a goal worth working toward.

If your little one is younger than 2'ish or you are concerned she will get into trouble :-), you could have "playpen time" where you leave baby in her playpen with some toys and allow her to play for a set amount of time WITHOUT you in the room. You can do this with a baby as young as 6 months and is great training when separation anxiety kicks in around 9 months. However, I wouldn't leave a baby who is just initially going through separation anxiety alone for more than about 5-10 minutes--they need to know that you are there for them. And of course, no matter what age, you should always be close by in case they do get into any "trouble." :-)

4) Read: Reading stories about new babies coming into families gives kids that concrete-ness they need to understand what is about to happen. See the links below for my favorite books on this topic.

5) Quality time: Once the baby arrives, be sure you spend good-quality, uninterrupted time with your first child every single day. It could be as little as 10 or 15 minutes, but you need to show your first child that they are still very much a part of your life--the world doesn't revolve around the baby. If you have your new baby on a routine, this becomes fairly easy since you know you will (for the most part) have set nap times.

6) Enlist their help, but don't force it: Make your first child feel like they are going to be a VITAL part of the new baby's arrival. And they are! Just making little comments like, "You are such a good helper! Wow--when the new baby comes, you'll be able to help so much!" See how they react. If they don't respond well, keep trying but never force them participate once the baby comes. Let her ease into her "new life" on her own time.

My favorite books to read with siblings-to-be:

I'm a Big Sister by Joanna Cole

I'm a Big Brother by Joanna Cole

The New Baby by Mister Rogers

The New Baby at Your House by Joanna Cole and Margaret Miller

Because of You - sweetest book to read to both the sibling-to-be AND the new baby! I read this book to Will everyday when he was in the NICU!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Parents Who Put Their Babies on a Schedule (it's OK, you can come out of the closet!)

When I made the decision to put Will on a schedule/routine/whatever you want to call it, at around 3 weeks I of course read On Becoming Babywise. However, I found there weren't many resources on the internet to support parents who have their babies on a schedule. In fact, I found a lot more Babywise "hate" websites than anything helpful or supportive.

Attachment Parenting is all the rave now, in case you've been under a rock for the past 8 years. Cater to your baby's every need--feed them on demand, rock them to sleep, let a newborn sleep with you and nurse all night, breastfeed until they're 3--and they'll grow up to be strong, secure individuals. At the expense of sounding like a grandfather, I would have to say "kids these days" are being raised to be self-centered spoiled brats who demand the attention of their "nurturing" parents who are all frantically tearing through the house hopelessly trying to find the phone number to call Joe Frost, the Supernanny. These parents wonder why their kids are out of control terrors who don't listen, aren't mannered and demand every iota of their strength and attention. As the song goes, "let's start at the very beginning..."

You bring your precious bundle of joy home--the happiest day of your life. A beautiful, healthy child. Little do you know, the decisions you choose to make right now could possibly affect how your child will behave 5, 10 or 15 years from now. I'm crazy, you say?? If you decide to adopt the trendy, "attachment parenting" philosophy and attend to every single squeak that comes out of your precious little one's mouth--feed her around the clock, sleep with her and God forbid, don't let her CRY...let her get sooooo attached to you that.....when Baby #2 comes that child's life will be thrown so out of whack, your precious little angel will turn into Supernanny material. When Baby #2 comes, you cannot physically attend to the every need of your first child. That child must all of a sudden learn to be independent. And is it really fair to ask a toddler to learn independence when all you've doing for the past few years is train her that you are her one and only means of security? No wonder the poor kid goes nuts when the new baby comes home--you've taught her that you will respond to her every need. You simply can't do that with other kids in the house. Not to mention, if you want to keep yourself from paying exorbitant amounts to your local shrink.

Okay, so what is the alternative? Let them cry themselves to independence? Teach a 3-day-old baby it's your way or the highway? Never hold or cuddle your baby? Feed them only when the clock says it's time? Of course not. Anyone who has read Babywise, Secrets of the Baby Whisperer or have put their baby on a routine knows the key is structure, but with flexibility...and of course compassion! Moms who put their babies on a routine and do not demand-feed, do not love their babies any less or cuddle them any less! Moms who do not demand-feed bond with their babies just as much as demand-fed babies.

It is a proven fact that young children and babies respond to structure. Without structure, kids can get anxious and unruly if they don't know what is going to happen next. I understand this not only as a mom of a 3 year old, but as an elementary school teacher! Kids need structure. They respond to structure. And it's never too early to start. There are many benefits to putting your baby on a flexible routine. A flexible routine:

1) is the first step in establishing healthy sleep patterns. It also ensures your baby gets the sleep he needs--healthy sleep habits, happy child.

2) forces you to learn how to "read" your baby's cues--every cry is not a hunger cry! Once you establish a routine, you become much more cognizant of what your baby is trying to tell you--instead of always assuming they are hungry or need to be cuddled.

3) allows babies to organize their days and nights and promotes nighttime sleep. AKA: sleeping through the night!

4) ensures parents can get the rest THEY need. Show me a parent who is waking up 2, 3, 4 times a night with their 12 month old baby and I'll show you a parent who is fatigued, frustrated and simply does not have the mental stamina to perform well either at home or at work.

5) is a Godsend when Baby #2, 3, 4, etc. come around! Personally, I love knowing that around 1:00pm Baby Will is down for his afternoon nap and Brooke and I have time to bake cookies or read stories. Brooke also appreciates knowing that Will eats about every 3 hours and that is MY special time with her baby brother. She also knows that when Will is down for his nap, that is HER special time with Mom.

6) Last but not least, a flexible routine promotes CONFIDENCE in parents. And a confident parent, is a happy parent.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

What in the Heck Are You Feeding Your Kids?!

As a teacher, not only do I work with kids and get to know their learning styles, I also work with parents and I am exposed many, many parenting styles. These parenting styles are usually blatantly obvious and are reflected--loud and clear-- in the behavior of their kids. While parenting is a mystery to us all and no one is the perfect parent, there are certainly EASY things we can to do be better parents.

One of those things is being aware of the food we're feeding our kids. I work with students diagnosed with ADHD every day. By no means do I discount this diagnosis at all-it is definitely real and debilitating to many students. However, when I see the lunch boxes of these students composed of items such as soda, cookies, gummy candy (it says 100% of Vitamin C in the label!), chips, and candy bars, it makes me rethink some of the underlying causes of "hyperactivity." My mornings also start a Starbucks located near a local high school. I see freshman and sophomores (i know they are this age since their PARENTS accompany them, driving the car) ordering double mocha venti lattes and caramel frappachinos. Am I old school?? Tell me, am I?? I didn't have my first cup of coffee until I was a out of college, working as a slave in the advertising industry until 2 in the morning! I needed a boost! What 15 year old needs a venti of anything???

My point is: Parents, use a little Educated, Common Sense Parenting-action and get yourself some good recipe ideas so you can put some healthy food in your kids. Does it take a little longer to make a healthy lunch for your kid as opposed to throwing lunchables and soda into their backpack? Maybe, if you don't plan ahead. But you're a PARENT--by Week #6 of your baby's life, you should have learned that parenting takes a little patience--so get over it. But in the meantime, here are a few healthy lunch/meal/snack options for kids aged 2-102 (and they are ALL kid-tested by my 3 year old test-chef, Brookey!):

- Wine Country: Cheese cubes, whole wheat crackers, grapes, rolled pieces of lunch meat (turkey, ham, salami)

- Asian Invasion: Teryiaki chicken pieces, brown rice, shelled soybeans (edamame)

- Little Italy: Spaghetti and turkey meatballs (use leftovers from dinner!) OR make a meat sauce with tomatoes, ground turkey or lean beef and red/green pepper and serve with pieces of french bread for dipping

- Napa Valley Meets Tuscany: Caprece salad--sliced tomatoes and mozzarella, sprinkled with salt/pepper and basil, drizzled with a little bit of olive oil and balsamic vinegar

- California Cusine: Grilled chicken, avocado and lettuce rolled in a whole wheat tortilla and fresh fruit

- Baja Fresh: Refried black beans, ground turkey, brown rice, cheese, mild salsa wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla OR mix refried black beans, cheese, tomatoes and low fat sour cream together, serve with low fat tortilla chips for dipping.

- Middle Eastern: Hummus (Brookey's personal fav!) and whole wheat crackers or pita chips, grilled chicken/mayo/lettuce/tomato in a pita pocket

- Pasta Salad: curly pasta mixed with fresh veggies and low fat Italian dressing

- Smoothies: Mix 1 cup of fresh or frozen fruit (berries are great) and 1 cup of low fat vanilla yogurt in the blender

- Flowers and Grass: Add a few drops of green food coloring to whipped cream cheese, top with diced red pepper, serve on whole wheat crackers

Some of my favorite resources for cooking with kids:

- First Meals by Annabel Karmel
- Deceptively Delicious by Jessican Seinfeld
- Quick Fix Meals by Robin Miller
- Weelicious.com

Friday, June 12, 2009

What is Educated, Common Sense Parenting?

Ask anyone who knows me as a mom and they'll tell you I don't always follow typical "rules" for parenting. I tossed out What to Expect When You're Expecting when I was 3 months pregnant (too stressful) and started Brooke on lowfat milk when she was 18 months--a definite no-no according to "the books." I definitely don't go too much "by the book" or rely too heavily on what "they" say. However, I do a heck of a lot of reading and research on parenting issues. Then I rely on what I call "Educated, Common Sense Parenting."

Educated, Common Sense Parenting is exactly what it sounds like--a parenting style that is based upon lots of research, reading, talking to people (the "Education" part) and then making decisions based on your own gut feelings and what works for your family (the "Common Sense" part). What Educated, Common Sense Parenting IS NOT is for example, is making the decision to put rice cereal in your baby's bottle just because your mom did it with you, therefore it should be fine. Before making that decision, you would have had to consult not only your doctor, but friends, other family members and yes, maybe even "the book." And don't assume everything your doctor says or what you read in the mainstream "What to Expect" books is what's right for you. Brooke's Doctor told her is was perfectly OK that she was eating at 3am when she was 5 months old. That definitely was NOT "right" for me!

This is what Educated, Common Sense Parenting IS: Take for instance, the issue of co-sleeping in the family bed. When making the decision to co-sleep, a parent should do their research. They should visit message boards, blogs, talk to friends, medical professionals and of course, read Dr. Sear's book. But then in the end, a common sense decision should be made. And in this case common sense SHOULD tell you....uh....you could crush your kid death!!! What the hell are you thinking??! I don't care what research says about "attachment parenting" building confidence in kids. Use your common sense here, people! Would you rather have an insecure kid or a pancake-flat kid? However, this decision was based on my being INFORMED on the issues. I know what attachment parenting is and I know what the pros of this parenting method are. But I am making my decision based on common sense. And THAT my friends, is Educated, Common Sense Parenting.