Busy Kid, an app that helps parents assign chores to their kids, analyzed how parents assigned chores on its app and how much they paid their kids for those chores. What it found was that of the top 20 chores, boys were getting paid about twice as much as girls.
Pay inequity starts early, apparently.
In your house, how are you assigning chores? How are you deciding how much to pay for them?
Chores also can help cut down on sibling rivalry. Kids feel like they are part of the family. You can also create a chore chart in which the chores rotate so that there is a fairness about who gets to do the icky dishes and who gets to take out the stinky dishes. One friend with two kids had a system in which odd days of setting and clearing the table were assigned to the first child, even days were assigned to the second child. If a month had 31 days, the chores were assigned to Mom.
Don’t forget that when you assign chores and kids earn an allowance, some should be saved for something big, some should be something you donate and some should be available for spending. You can get whole piggy banks that divide the allowance for you. E
Parents, hate to shop with your kids? Hate to drag them into the store, to the dressing room, through the check-out line? Need inspiration for what clothes to put them in?
Stitch Fix is moving into children’s personal styling with Stitch Fix Kids. They will outfit kids sizes 2 Toddler to 14. Prices range from $10 to $35 per item. Each of the Kids Fixes boxes contain 8-12 items from brands such as Under Armour, Nike, Toms, Hanna Anderson, Sovereign Code. Stitch Fix also has an exclusive brand Rumi + Ryder as well.
Stitch Fix Kids says its focus is on clothing that can stand up to kids’ active lives.
New and existing Stitch Fix clients can fill out a style profile on stitchfix.com/kids for each of their children and then pick the date to receive the first Kids Fix. You pay a $20 styling fee, which is applied to the purchase of clothing. You buy what you want and send back the rest. If you keep the whole box, you get a 25 percent discount.
Do you think this would be a good fit for you child?
Every morning you make your kids breakfast and that breakfast includes a multivitamin in chewable or gummy form. You think, “Hey, even if they aren’t eating as many of the fruits and vegetables the food pyramid might recommend, at least this is something healthy we’re doing.” Right?
“Most kids, if they take a supplement like a standard daily vitamin, it won’t cause any harm,” Abrams says. “For the most part, it probably won’t do any good, either.”
Rather than giving them vitamins or supplements like Pediasure, he would rather parents concentrate on finding healthy foods their children like and encouraging them to try new things, but not force them. Remember that what they get in the food they eat is more than just the vitamins. In fruit it would be antioxidants and fiber as well.
Many parents will ask about their picky eaters, but he says, kids are probably getting more variety in their diet than we recognize. “If your child is growing normally, there’s a really good chance he’s eating better than you think.”
If not, talk to your pediatrician and do some tests to see if there is a vitamin deficiency, chronic illness or other circumstance that would make your kid an exception to the general rule that vitamin supplements aren’t necessary. For example, Abrams says, teenage girls sometimes might need an iron supplement if they become anemic.
Babies who are exclusively breastfed also might need Vitamin D, because breast milk doesn’t have any Vitamin D in it, but formula does, Abrams says. In Texas, often babies can get Vitamin D through a bit of sun exposure. Moms also can put Vitamin D drops either in a bottle of breast milk or on her nipple when nursing. Breastfed babies also need iron when they turn 4 months old, he says, until they are getting it through their diet after meat or fortified cereal is introduced.
Taking vitamin supplements usually isn’t dangerous unless kids are treating them like candy or are using them instead of medication. Abrams gives examples like using Omega 3 instead of medication to control attention-deficient hyperactivity disorder, or using Vitamin D to try to prevent the flu instead of a flu shot.
Also, supplements with a high concentration of caffeine could be dangerous as well.
Zilker Botanical Garden opens its Woodland Faerie Trail now through Aug. 10. The trail is full of homes people have created for the fairies. Maybe you’ll see a fairy. Zilker Botanical Garden, 2220 Barton Springs Road. zilkergarden.org
Zilker Summer Musical “All Shook Up.” Zilker Summer Musical returns with the music of Elvis. 8:15 p.m. Thursday-Sunday through Aug. 18. Free, but donations are welcome. Zilker Hillside Theatre, 2206 William Barton Drive. zilker.org
The Austin Humane Society Summer Kids Series! The Austin Humane Society offers events throughout the summer for children. Teddy Bear Surgery, 1 p.m. Saturday. Free, but you must register, AustinHumaneSociety.org, 512-646-7387. Austin Humane Society, 124 W. Anderson Lane.
George Washington Carver Museum.First Saturdays at the Carver Museum. Noon to 4 p.m. Saturday. George Washington Carver Museum, 1165 Angelina St. austintexas.gov
Asian American Resource Center Myanmar Cultural Day. Hands-on activities celebrating this culture. 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. 8401 Cameron Road. austintexas.gov/aarc
Thinkery. Baby Bloomers for children younger than 3. Learn about Animal Adventures. 9 a.m. Saturdays. $5. Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave. thinkeryaustin.org
Domain Northside’s Summer Splash Bash. Cool down during the heat of summer with water games, a refreshing cooling zone, interactive bubble art, live music and a mechanical shark. (Yes, a mechanical shark!) Splash Bash is part of the mall’s monthly Northside Next series. 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday. 11700 Domain Blvd. domainnorthside.com.
Literature Live Presents “King Midas.” 3 p.m. Saturday, Recycled Reads Bookstore.
SATURDAY AND SUNDAY
Thinkery.Pop and Fizz workshop, for ages 4 and older, where you can create your own “fireworks” in the kitchen, at 10:30 a.m., noon, 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave. thinkeryaustin.org
Getting ready for a fun Fourth of July? Follow these tips from Dr. Ben Coopwood Jr., a trauma surgeon and burn specialist at Dell Seton Medical Center, which now has a burn unit.
1. Sparklers are dangerous. They cause about 75 percent of the firework-related injuries in the U.S., which is also true for Austin. Sparklers burn at 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, hotter than a blowtorch, Coopwood says. Often it’s young children who get burned. Make sure kids are able to follow directions and are supervised by adults before allowing them to use a sparkler. Handle the sparkler by the non-burning tip, and when it’s done, drop it on a nonflammable surface like the pavement. Douse it in water before putting it in the trash.
2. Never hold a firecracker in your hand and then light it. Instead, light it on a non-burning surface like the pavement.
3. Point Roman candles or bottle rockets (which are not legal in Austin) in a safe direction — away from yourself, other people, animals or a field that could burn. Injuries happen when either people get hit by these fireworks or they are holding a defective one that goes off in their hand. Those bottle rocket wars adults grew up on are a bad idea.
4. Do not light more than one firework at a time. Not all of them will go off, and you will have unlighted fireworks all over the place.
5. Have a designated fireworks lighter. “People who are handling fireworks and are drinking make these same errors in judgment as people who are drinking and driving or drinking and boating,” Coopwood says.
6. Go to professionally run city or neighborhood firework displays and stay in the designated area away from the fireworks.
More Fourth of July safety tips
1. Stay hydrated. No, alcohol doesn’t count as hydration. It will be hot with an expected high of 95.
2. Be careful when lighting a barbecue. Don’t stand over the barbecue when lighting it. Use a long match or long lighter, and keep hair pulled back and avoid loose-fitting shirts. Usually when it comes to barbecue burns, Coopwood sees people who have tried to augment the barbecue grill by throwing something like gasoline on the coals. It flares up when they light it, and their shirt catches fire, burning their arm or chest.
Why would marriage or not being married matter when it comes to being heart healthy?
Dr. Paul Tucker, a cardiologist who practices at St. David’s South Austin Medical Center, says the study made sense to him in what he’s observed in his practice. “I really do think there is truth to the study,” he says.
“When you’re married, you’ve got someone looking out for you,” he says. If your spouse sees that you are looking tired, or not looking well, or short of breath, “you’ve got someone looking out for you, calling you out on it, and saying, ‘Let’s get you to the doctor.'”
It could also be as simple as having someone there to call 9-1-1 if they do have a cardiac event, Tucker says, rather than being alone and not being able to call for help.
What he’s also observed is that patients often come in with their spouses when things aren’t going well. “There’s a lot of denial in men and women,” he says, “especially in men. They don’t want to believe that they (are sick). Typically, the wife spurs the visit.”
At that visit, the spouse will often reveal more information about what is really happening. “They definitely look out for each other and tattle on each other in a loving way,” Tucker says.
People who are married have this built-in support system, but you don’t have to be married to have that, Tucker says. Close friends, some sort of social network where people are looking out for you and expecting you to be there, can make a difference, too.
While we can’t point to specific marriage bio marker or biochemical in the body, we do know that people who are stressed have more cortisol or adrenaline, Tucker says.
Stress, emotional health and well-being, spiritual well-being, they all play a role in heart health, he says.
People who are not married, he says, can be prone to depression, which can create stress, and divorce or the loss of a loved one by death can be very stressful, he says. Marriage also might provide more financial stability and a feeling of more contentment in your life.
“We don’t know everything about heart disease,” Tucker says, but one thing he and other doctors see is something called stress cardiomyopathy. Doctors often refer to it as broken heart syndrome. It’s common in women who have lost a spouse, Tucker says, and it looks like a heart attack in that the heart muscle looks terrible, but there’s no blockage. “It’s been well-described around the world,” Tucker says. “We’ve all seen these cases.”
Yep, we know, it’s hot. That might make you not want to go outside at all this summer.
A life of sitting around the house in the air conditioning sounds amazing until you do it a few days and get stir crazy.
Here are 10 things to do this summer with the kids that involve being somewhere really cool or doing something cool:
Go ice skating. Chaparral Ice has public skating hours each day. Check the daily schedule on its website chaparralice.com before you head out. It’s $9 to skate plus $5 for skate rental. Chaparral Ice is at 2525 W. Anderson Lane.
2. Do a taste test of Austin snow cones and ice cream stores. Maybe you try a new one every few days.
4. Go to a museum. Many of our local museums amp up the activities for kids in the summer time. The Bullock Museum has Make It Tuesdays and Sens-ational Thursdays. Each Tuesday at 10 a.m., you get to make history-related art, and each Thursday at 10 a.m., you get to try something that plays to your senses. Bullock Museum, 1800 N. Congress Ave. thestoryoftexas.com
The Blanton Museum has regular programming for kids each week throughout this month. 3ft Deep is for ages 3-5, 10 a.m. Tuesdays; Artists and Authors is for ages 5-7, 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Thursdays; Deeper Dives is for ages 8-10, 10 a.m. Fridays; Free Diving is for ages 11-14, 1 p.m. Fridays. Every Wednesday (except July 4), you can make art in the WorkLab, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Blanton Museum. 200 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. blantonmuseum.org
The Thinkery is open all summer (except July 4). Mondays and Saturdays at 9 a.m., Baby Bloomers is just for kids younger than 3. For kids 4 and older, special workshops happen on Saturdays and Sundays. We strongly suggest buying tickets (and registering for workshops) ahead of time. Thinkery. 1830 Simond Ave.thinkeryaustin.org
5. Hit the library or bookstore. Yes, we want kids reading all summer long, but aside from that expand-your-brain recommendation, the Austin Public Library’s branch locations have stacked the summer schedule with story tellers, puppet shows, art classes, animal encounters and more. Search library.austintexas.gov to get the schedule.
BookPeople has story times at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. bookpeople.com All Barnes & Noble locations have 11 a.m. Saturday story times. Several locations also have additional story times throughout the week. barnesandnoble.com
6. Hit the movie theater. Yes, you could go for the latest summer blockbusters, but you also can take in last year’s or the year before’s animated hits at theaters’ special programming for kids. The Alamo Drafthouse locations at the Village, Slaughter Lane, Mueller and Lakeline host daily Kids Camp movies. You pick your price of $1, $3, $5 a ticket and the Alamo Drafthouse donates that to a local nonprofit. drafthouse.com You can also find special sensory friendly screenings of new movies Find that list at drafthouse.com/austin/program/alamo-for-all.
Sometimes, the Paramount Theatre shows classic movies that would be kid-appropriate as part of its Paramount Summer Movie Classics. Upcoming showings include, “Annie” 1 p.m. July 22; “Superman.” 1 p.m. July 29; “The Nightmare Before Christmas” 1 p.m. Aug. 5; “Grease” 1 p.m. Aug. 11; “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” 1 p.m. Aug. 19; $6-$12. Paramount Theatre, 713 Congress Ave. austintheatre.org
Flix Jr. Flix offers $2 children’s movies at 11 a.m. Wednesdays. See “Minions,” July 4, “Hook,” July 11, “Ponyo” July 18, “Jumanji,” July 25, 2200 S. Interstate 35, Suite B1, Round Rock. flixbrewhouse.com
Regal Summer Movie Expressshows $1 movies 10 a.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays at Westgate Stadium 11 and Gateway Stadium 16. “The Lego Movie” and “Alvin and the Chipmunks,” July 3-July 4; “Sing” and “The Peanuts Movie,” July 10-11; “The Lego Ninjago Movie” and “Ferdinand,” July 17-18; “The Secret Life of Pets” and “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel,” July 24-25; “The Lego Batman Movie” and “Trolls,” July 31 and Aug. 1. regmovies.com/movies/summer-movie-express
The Bullock Museum is offering its $5 SummerFamily Film Series: “The Land Before Time,” 2 p.m. July 14; “Toy Story,” 2 p.m. Aug. 11. Bullock Museum, 1800 N. Congress Ave. thestoryoftexas.com
And you can also find free film screenings at the library. “Black Panther,” 3:30 p.m. July 20, Carver Branch; “Rock Dog,” 2 p.m. Aug. 9, Old Quarry Branch; “My Little Pony: The Movie,” 3:30 p.m. Aug. 17, Carver Branch. library.austintexas.gov
7. Paint with colored ice. The Contemporary Austin regularly offers this event every August as part of its second Saturday Families Create event, but you could do it at home, too. Make your own colored ice cubes using food coloring or water-based paint. Pop a Popsicle stick or toothpick in the end of the cube before it freezes. Once it’s frozen, pop out the cubes and then color the paper or pavement with your creations. This year’s Ice Painting at the Contemporary Austin will be 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 11. Laguna Gloria, 3809 W. 35th St. thecontemporaryaustin.org
8. Create your own water park in your backyard. Two years ago we tried out different water toys (Hint: Skip the slide.) Pick up some of these toys or bubble guns or make your own water balloons, put on the swimsuit and get to playing. You also can run through the sprinklers, but only on your designated watering days.
9. Go inside and see theater. Yes, you should go to the Zilker Summer Musicalstarting this Friday, but you’ll sweat in the sun as you’re waiting for it to begin. We have some indoor offerings happening as well. Summer Stock Austin returns with “The Music Man,” beginning July 20, and “Rob1n,” beginning July 24. “Rob1n” is a modern retelling of the Robin Hood tale, which puts a girl in the starring role, in a musical by Allen Robertson and Damon Brown. The Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Drive. thelongcenter.org
“Too Many Stories!” features a girl who outwits a robber. 10:30 a.m. Wednesdays July 11 through Aug. 1. $6. Scottish Rite Theater, 207 W. 18th St. scottishritetheater.org
Pollyanna Theatre Company‘s Theater for the Very Young production “All Aboard” is at the Long Center in July. 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. July 12-14, 16, 19-21. $6.75. The Long Center, 701 W. Riverside Drive. thelongcenter.org
10. Go for strolls at dawn and dusk. Yes, the days are long in the summer, but if you’re hankering to play outside and not be in the heat, you can enjoy your neighborhood by taking a stroll as the sun comes up or begins to set. You could even bring out the flashlights and see how your neighborhood might be different at night. Can you see the stars? Do you hear the owl or the bugs? Do you see any lightening bugs? Any toads or foxes? Or maybe you just meet a bunch of other walkers trying to escape this heat, too.