7 Ways to Fight Toxic Positivity When Talking to New Parents

May is the time for both Mothers’ Day and Mental Health Awareness Month. Coincidence?

I think not!

Perinatal depression has been rising, and suicide is among the top killers of new moms.

And with the pressure from social media to only show our best moments, it’s easy for new, already-overwhelmed parents to get sucked into a vortex of doom, gloom, and hiding to eat snacks and cry in the bathroom.

So it makes sense that we try to lift new parents up with strained optimism, but when we do that, we sometimes make things worse. It’s called Toxic Positivity — and it can invalidate a person’s feelings and add an extra layer of guilt on top of everything else they’re already dealing with.

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If you’re struggling to explain school shootings to your kids, you’re not alone

There is plenty to worry about with a kindergartener.

They are tiny balls of cosmic energy focused entirely on whatever whim enters their head at any given moment and prone to forgetting anything they learned at school that week in favor of committing a particularly quirky and fun limerick to memory and shouting it, loudly, inside the house and to passerby at the park.

They are perfect and flawed, just like all of us, only more so and without the inhibitions and anxieties brought on by knowing exactly what the world is and what is lurking in it.

It seems great, to be honest.

Brett Levin / Flickr

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I Let My Kids Meet My Girlfriend Too Soon. I Won’t Do It Again.

There’s a podcast I listen to called One Life, One Chance, hosted by hardcore singer Toby Morse, an explicitly positive person who’s a straight-edge vegan who sees the best in people.

And at the end of every interview, he asks, “do you have any regrets?

Some say yes, and others say no, that the path they’re on is theirs alone, complete with its successes and failures.

I cannot relate to this. Like, at all.

Every single time he asks about regrets, my mind does one of those montages of moments where I die inside, pinpointing my fuckups, leaving me wishing certain things were different, curious what my life would be like had I played situations a little smarter.

I know I can’t change the past, but the past has come collecting its tax more than once. And because of those hard-knock lessons, I’ve learned to think critically and strategically when it comes to being a parent, for better or worse. 

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8 First Time Dad Tips I Wish I Knew Sooner

I’ve been a dad for 8 years now, and as of this writing, I have two girls — 2 and 8.

In that time, I have learned a lot. And it seems that, somehow, I have more and more to learn each and every day. New mistakes to make! New ways to screw up!

As a first time dad, I knew next to nothing. The amount of responsibility in front of me was totally overwhelming.

It would be impossible for me to write an entire manual of everything you need to know as a first time dad.

But here are just a few simple first time father tips I picked up that I wish I knew from the very beginning.

Let’s get right into my list!

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8 Things I Wish I Knew Before My Daughter Went Through Puberty

As a man in his soon-to-be late 30s, I’m pretty far removed from puberty.

But from what I can remember, there were mostly a lot of pimples, a growth spurt or two, and awkwardly trying to find myself in middle and high school.

Overall, though, not a crazy experience and certainly nothing that required a lot of hand-holding.

Now, I have a daughter, and she’s starting to go through puberty, and I realize how much different the experience is for girls than boys. The worst thing I had to worry about was an erection at a bad time. For girls, a worst-case scenario is much more intense.

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9 Captivating & Heartwarming Books About Dads & Fatherhood

Dads often don’t have the best representation in literature.

In a lot of novels, the father character is some combination of:

  • Toxic
  • Absent
  • or dead!

So if you’re looking for the best books about dads, you might be having some trouble finding good options.

Without any further ado, here are my favorite novels about dads and fatherhood — many of which (but not all) are actually positive and uplifting!

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9 Baby Things (Almost) No One Needs to Buy

If this is your first baby, there’s no getting around it.

You’re gonna need a lot of stuff!

The list of things you need for a newborn is long and expensive, which is why registries for baby showers are so helpful.

But beware! A lot of the products put out by Big Baby are really just a Big Waste of Money. You won’t need a lot of fancy gadets and gizmos to survive baby’s first year, I promise.

Here are 9 baby registry products you almost certainly don’t need — and a few that you actually do.

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The 13 Worst Pieces of Parenting Advice You Should Definitely Ignore

When you become a new parent, it’s inevitable that you’ll be bombarded with advice from nearly everyone in your life.

Much of it is well-meaning. People are just trying to help!

But whether the advice and tips are outdated or just plain wrong, you should probably ignore most of what you hear.

Here is some of the absolute worst parenting advice new parents hear all the time, and why you should definitely ignore it.

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65 Reward Ideas for Kids (And brain-science explained)

Parenting isn’t all that hard.

(Sarcasm incoming!)

There’s really nothing to it except:

  • Keeping your child alive
  • Making sure they’re properly fed
  • Getting them enough sleep
  • Helping them do well in school
  • Teaching them to be good, moral people

You know. Just those couple of little things.

And when it comes to getting your child to do, or not do, the things you need them to on their way to becoming fully-functioning and healthy adults, you often need a two-pronged approach.

You can use rewards, and you can use punishments or consequences.

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30+ Essential Statistics About Fathers in 2023

You might have guessed from the name of my blog, but I think dads are super important.

And it’s not just me! The science and data backs me up pretty well.

So if you’re looking for some fatherhood statistics that show why dads matter, or just some fun facts and data on the importance and impact of fathers, look no further.

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I tried Artkive to organize my toddler’s art (Honest Review)

Artkive box review

Any parent of a toddler who goes to school knows this problem well:

The absolutely endless influx of artwork that enters your house on a daily basis.

Yes, it’s cute! It’s adorable! It’s a piece of history!

It’s also incredibly annoying when the pile starts to take over entire rooms in your house.

I’ve written before about some different storage solutions for this particular problem, but there was one, in particular, I really wanted to try first hand:

The Artkive box — It’s a box you fill up with your kid’s art and send off in the mail. A few weeks later, you’ll get a professionally bound book filled with photos of the art. Much easier to store!

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35 Fun Activities to Do with Your Toddler At Home

Toddler activities for home

You’re not really a parent to a toddler until you’ve thought:

“What the heck am I supposed to do with my kid all day?”

The easiest ways to keep a toddler busy and wear them out usually involve going outside. Going to parks, riding bikes, playing in the yard, etc.

But what if you’re stuck inside with a toddler? What are the best toddler activities you can do at home?

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9+ Ways to Be a Better Dad According to Science

Dads matter.

You probably already knew that, and so did I.

But don’t take it from me. Because the science on the subject is clear as day.

Children with good, loving, actively involved fathers have better outcomes in life.


  • Have healthier relationships
  • Make more money & have more career success
  • Have less psychological problems
  • And often have higher IQs than their peers

That’s not to denigrate single mothers! Or lesbian couples! And it doesn’t doom kids who grow up without a father for one reason or another.

But if you’re alive and well, you owe it to your kids to be the best possible father you can be.

The question is: How exactly can you be a better dad?

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50+ Boy and Girl First Names That Go With the Last Name Taylor 

As a child of the ’90s, my mind immediately goes to “Tim The Toolman Taylor.”

But jokes aside, Taylor is a fantastic last name. It sounds cool and is easy to remember, but it’s not common enough to become totally forgettable.

Tons of first names sound good with Taylor, but that can actually be a detriment to your efforts to narrow down your baby name list.

So let me help.

Here are some of the best boy and girl first names that sound good with the last name Taylor.

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50 Boy and Girl First Names That Go With the Last Name Moore 

If you’re here, that means you’re planning on bring More Moores into the world.


Moore is such a great last name. Easy to say, easy to remember, and sounds great with just about anything.

Unfortunately, that can make it a little tough to narrow down your top first name choices. So let me help.

Here are some of the best boy and girl first names that sound good with the last name Moore.

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How to Safely Elevate a Crib Mattress (2 ways)

You’d think it was some kind of miracle cure.

Having your baby sleep on an incline can supposedly help with everything from colic, to reflux, to common colds!

There is growing evidence these days that shows that may not be the case. However, many doctors and pediatricians still prescribe a slightly inclined sleeping position in certain cases.

How can you safely elevate a crib mattress at home? How can you elevate baby’s head while sleeping safely and properly?

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50 Boy and Girl First Names That Go With the Last Name Thomas

Thomas — what a terrific last name.

It’s just common and familiar enough to sound great with almost any first name, but also just unique enough that you won’t run into too many name-sakes when you’re out and about.

But it’s still tricky narrowing down your list of potential baby names. So let me help.

Here are some of the best boy and girl names that sound good with the last name Thomas.

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3+ Reasons Your Toddler Wakes Up Crying Every Morning

There was a week recently where my 4-year-old daughter kept waking up crying.

I’m talking INCONSOLABLE, just out of the blue, for no reason.

Nothing specific happened to set her off, she just woke up sad and cranky and hysterical, started bawling, and couldn’t seem to explain why.

This happened 4 or 5 days out of the entire week. My wife and I became extremely concerned.

What should you do if your toddler always wakes up crying every day, and why are they screaming or cranky every morning?

Crimfants CC BY-SA 2.0

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7 Things You Need to Know About Washing & Drying Baby Clothes

I’m pretty clueless about laundry.

Thankfully, as a dude, the majority of my clothes are simple. Throw them in on whatever wash cycle I feel like, haphazardly toss them in the dryer on basically any heat, and whala!

But when it comes to your kid’s clothes, and baby clothes in particular, you’ll want to be a little more mindful.

That begs the question: How do you wash and dry baby clothes properly without shrinking them? Can baby clothes go in the dryer? Should you use dryer sheets?


How to wash baby clothes

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Which Baby Monitors Cannot Be Hacked? (Technology explained)

You’ve probably heard the horror stories.

A baby monitor camera that starts moving on its own.

Hackers gaining access to cameras, WiFi, personal information, and more.

Baby monitors are meant to keep your children safe, but they’re often riddled with security gaps and vulnerabilities that can be easily exploited by even low-level crooks.

So which baby monitors cannot be hacked? What are the safest baby monitors from hackers and most secure types of baby monitors you should look into?

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What’s the Age Limit for Daycare? (Youngest & Oldest Explained)

One of the most common questions new parents have is when their babies can start daycare.

But you might be surprised how many parents wonder the opposite:

When does a child stop going to daycare, or when are they too old to attend?

Let’s take a look at the age limit for daycare, and the minimum and maximum ages a child can attend.

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