We tell ourselves it's okay, that this haphazardness has no impact upon the child, that father is not irreplaceable, that his disappearance leaves no scar. But the statistics on poverty, drug use, education and incarceration suggest otherwise

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After a long winter, my kids have become used to staying inside. Are there any outdoor activities to get the entire familia moving again?

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You can have a great time getting down and dirty with your kids —- without worrying about ruining clothes, car mats, sneakers, and more. Here are four ways to embrace the muck and have some fun

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  • Don't wait until your children are teenagers before asking them to start tidying their rooms. Help get good habits in place while they're still young

  • Give these low-tech games a try and you will get your kids outside and active, and yep, a little dirty

  • Now that the novelty of summer vacation has worn off, moms everywhere are scrambling for new ideas to keep their families entertained. Instead of resorting to putting on another DVD, consider the following ideas

  • It's important to teach your kids about fitness at an early age. With that in mind, consider my four suggestions to combine workouts with family time. I guarantee you'll have a blast while working up a sweat!

  • Family movie nights are one of the most fun and affordable ways to spend time together. But choosing a flick the whole crew agrees on can be a struggle! To the rescue: our list of family-friendly movies sure to pleasure kids and parents alike

  • Need a vacation but don't have the time or funds? No problem! With a little legwork and creativity, you can plan an escape right in your own home or backyard. You'll create happy memories for the whole family. Consider these innovative ideas

  • Fitness and wellness expert David Kirsch, whose clients include Heidi Klum, Kerry Washington and Kate Upton, shows you how to banish bothersome trouble spots -- or at least make them look better

  • One of the best things my parents did for our family was something that, as a child, I probably would have dismissed by saying, 'That doesn't count.' Several nights a week, my parents made a home-cooked meal. We ate together as a family every night

  • While it's impossible to banish the viruses that cause cold and flu, you can limit your family's exposure to them at home. We sorted through the research to find the smart ways you can protect your family

  • Every year, Christmas is an opportunity to spread paz y amor in our families and throughout our communities. Here are seven simple ways to spread the Christmas cheer

  • Love 'em or hate 'em, family really matters in shaping happiness and well-being

  • Low crime, strong schools, green spaces, and fun activities are key ingredients for a happy childhood. So we dug into our database and pinpointed the locales that met these criteria.

  • In her new book, 'The Family Dinner,' my dear friend Laurie David talks about the importance of families making a ritual of sitting down to dinner together, and how family dinners offer a great opportunity for meaningful discussions about the day's news. 'Dinner,' she says, 'is as much about digestible conversation as it is about delicious food.'

  • Sunny days are here again. Temperatures are rising, daylight is longer, and the time has come for the entire clan -- parents and children alike -- to spend some quality time outdoors. Try these activities for some low-cost and eco-friendly fun that's sure to please the whole family

  • With so many families watching their budgets, the best upgrades are the ones that help you stash some extra cash to enjoy with the most important people in the world -- your family. Here's how to get started

  • After a dreary winter, the obvious recovery plan involves tropical breezes and sandy flip-flops, right? But sand and surf can cost a lot of time and money. When a week or even a weekend away just isn't in the cards, carving out a few hours in your schedule to recharge with a change of scenery -- or activity -- can have the same uplifting effect

  • Paying full price for children's clothes is a strain on any budget. Fortunately, there are ways to keep your kids dressed nicely while staying in your budget.

  • As a busy working mom, I'm big on multitasking. I want to quality time with my little one while also having fun and teaching him a thing or two. Too much to ask? Not at all! These family-friendly eco-games will teach your kids about complicated environmental issues while they're having fun!

  • There's nothing more anxiety-inducing than being cooped up inside during bad winter weather -- unless it's being cooped up with kids who complain that they have nothing to do. When 'I'm bored' syndrome strikes, try one of these fun-but-simple winter projects for kids to cure them

  • Practicing yoga is a fun, simple way to connect with every member of the family

  • Kids need one-on-one interaction their parents to be healthy and happy. If your family isn't used to limits on screen time, it helps to come up with some guidelines. Try these super-simple ways to unplug and reconnect

  • If it feels like you lose days of your life preparing for the holidays, it's because you probably do. So with all the energy and attention that goes into making the season bright, how do you keep family at the top of your list? By including them in the act. Here are five festive ways to make holiday prep a family affair

  • We're headlong into the holidays. That means more cooking, cleaning and socializing. More of just about everything's packed into our schedules. How can you tackle it all with less effort so you can have time for fun? Here, some great time-savers that will buy you precious minutes now -- and long after the holidays are gone

  • As the temperature drops and I realize the winter blues are coming my way, I begin to think about stocking my pantry for the cold months ahead. I hate the cold, and I want to make as few trips to the grocery store as possible. To stock your pantry right, first consider what dishes your family enjoys in the cold weather

  • Nowadays, Thanksgiving is primarily about family (and eating). However, the holiday was originally about giving thanks for the bounty of food that was to help folks through the lean winter months. These kid-friendly ideas will help get your family back to Thanksgiving's roots

  • With so many family responsibilities demanding your immediate attention, it's no surprise when some stuff is just put off for a rainy day. But there's one family project that's a lot more important than you may think: securing your family's vital documents. And the good news is that it's a lot easier to accomplish than you think. Here's how

  • Fall is such a great time to get outside and enjoy nature with your kids -- and you don't have to spend one penny or devote an entire day to do it. Just power down, leave your phone at home and enjoy an hour of crafty fall outdoor activities together

  • Every season, I make sure to do a closet cleanout -- out with the old and in with the new, as they say. But why not take the old and make it new again? It would save me money, plus it'd be a greener approach to my seasonal purge

  • It's no wonder we give thanks in the fall; this season offers a bounty of fun things to do. From picking pumpkins to taking a hayride, there are many ways to celebrate nature and build great family memories at the same time. Check out these autumn-only activities

  • You need a vacation now more than ever, and you shouldn't feel the least bit guilty. In fact, you've got lots of company, according to a new family-travel poll for which I partnered with Travelocity.com

  • You may have to forgo your big vacation plans this year, but a tighter budget doesn't have to doom your summer getaway altogether. You just have to be more creative, more flexible and willing to spend a little extra time finding deals. And without a doubt, great deals are out there. These out-of-the-box ideas may just make that postponed summer vacation downright doable

  • Welcome to Beaches Resort in Turks and Caicos -- the family resort of the Sandals brand -- where kids, tweens and teens rule. Plus it's a great resort for parents and grandparents as well.

  • The kids all jump for joy that school is out now. But as a parent, grandparent or caregiver, you might be wondering, 'What am I going to do with the kids during summer vacation?' Here are some fun ideas to keep them entertained the whole summer

  • Paying full price for children's clothes is a strain on any budget. Fortunately, there are ways to keep your kids dressed nicely while staying in your budget.

  • Hosting a yard sale or garage sale is a quick and easy way to decrease household clutter and get a little extra income. When planning, consider location, time, pricing and advertising. Here are a few easy tips to make your yard sale or garage sale successful

  • Mealtime traditions -- whether it's Sunday supper, Saturday morning bagels or Tuesday night pizza -- are more than just good food and fun times. However, It isn't easy to pull off a family dinner every night of the week, which is why designating one day for a special meal is so important. Here's how to keep everyone at the table and happy to be there

  • Cooking at home is the most economical way to feed your family. Here's how to make the most of your time and money

  • Gettysburg Family Vacation
  • When Everyone Else is Back in School
  • Up-close & Personal with Animals at Zoos & Aquariums
  • Bora Bora an Exotic Place That Loves Kids
  • Skiing in Austria
  • Sailing Around the Tahitian Islands
  • Surviving (Maybe Even Enjoying!) a Road Trip
  • Joining Forces on Vacation

  • These family-bonding games infuse fun into everyday activities. You'll be amazed at how your kids come alive

  • Did you know that there are ways to enjoy the summer with your kids that don't have to be over-planned? In fact, kids appreciate a loose schedule during the summer months. I've got five ways that you can enjoy summer as a family together

  • Try these tips to help your kids understand the need to conserve water

  • Teach your children a lesson in eco-education. Call it 'Camp Conservation'! With this comprehensive syllabus, kids of all ages can learn to be a little bit greener while having fun

  • Did you become greener after becoming a parent? Then you joined a conscientious club of moms and dads who increased their eco-efforts as their family grew. Try these six tips from eco-experts to help your kids live greener lives this spring

  • Working to reduce our rubbish today is the best thing we can do for the generations to come. And as every mom knows, if you really want to commit to something, you need to get the kids on board. Try these tricks of the trade to get your whole family involved in waste reduction

  • Limiting water usage is just one way families work together to be earth friendly and wallet savvy. Here are some other ways I've encouraged my family to save resources

  • Ready to make some eco-friendly changes, but not sure where to begin? Start with the things you do each day: chores!

  • With just a little eco-savvy, creating a greener home can be a breeze for busy moms. Here, Terra Wellington, author of The Mom's Guide to Growing Your Family Green, shares seven simple solutions for planet-friendly living.

  • I'm continually in search of new ways to encourage earth-friendly activities around the house. So I asked some eco-minded moms for tips on encouraging conservation and reducing waste among the younger set. Here's what they said.

  • Sure, protecting the environment can sometimes mean spending more, but there are plenty of ways that greening your life can help keep more green in your wallet. Here are six tips on how any family -- with any budget -- can start helping the planet and saving money today

  • There are many fun things to do in the backyard with the kids: picnicking, jumping through the sprinkler and playing catch-and-release firefly competitions, to name a few. But the most memorable -- and possibly the best brain-builder -- is gardening.

  • We're at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, which in the year since it has re-opened has emerged as the city's top cultural tourist attraction, drawing more visitors than Alcatraz

  • Preparing well in advance of all your family summer events spares you the money and the stress usually associated with traveling (and ironically, vacations in general). Here are my favorite tips for saving money on family vacations

  • Tell the kids you're taking them to Disney, and you're bound to get applause. Tell them you're taking them to some historic destination, and you might very well get some eye rolling. But it doesn't have to be that way. With the right planning, you can turn an enriching trip into one that's fun, exciting and more memorable than just another day at the amusement park. Here's how

  • I can see why the first lady Michelle Obama brought her girls and her mom to see a Broadway Musical. It's terrific when you can be entertained and teach the kids an important lesson about history at the same time. The performances are first rate as are the sets, costumes and, of course, the music

  • When it comes to family vacations, you can plan for the good stuff in advance. A bad turn of events, however, can strike without warning, especially when you're traveling with kids. Accidents and mishaps can occur anytime, anywhere. Keep your family as healthy and safe as possible while on vacation by taking these simple precautions

  • Why on earth would any parent go camping with their kids? Between the packing, the hauling and the dirt, it's enough to send you running to the Holiday Inn. But it's these very same rustic realities that make a weekend or even a week in the woods the perfect glue for a great family bonding experience. Sound interesting? Here are some tips to get you started

  • Camping, by its very nature, will bring you closer to the earth. It's a perfect way for you and your family to reconnect with the natural world -- and with each other! But before you pitch your tent, keep these tips in mind to make your camping expedition as exciting -- and eco-friendly -- as ever

  • No matter how busy your weekday mornings, the whole family can still eat well. All it takes are a few key planning decisions and some smart food choices. Below, our experts' strategies for turning the rushed (or nonexistent!) morning meal into a healthy, enjoyable group activity

  • By making a few easy changes to your party-planning strategy, you can cut back on waste, reduce your use of natural resources and even slash your spending budget. Here, Green Chic author Christie Matheson serves up eight tips for eco-fabulous entertaining

  • It can be difficult, not to mention expensive, trying to entertain the kids now that school is out for the summer. By taking advantage of some local summer programs, family fun can happen -- even on a budget

  • Your family room or living room is the one place your whole clan comes together to hang out. And, as such, it's probably the default dumping ground for everyone's stuff. If your family is like most families, that means clutter and disorganization. But you can transform this room from the messiest area in your home to the organized, relaxing family haven you desire. Here's how

  • Because children's bodies are still developing, they're especially susceptible to toxins, which could be lurking in your house. Fortunately, you can take these seven easy steps to reduce the risks that lie under your own roof. Here's how

  • If you can't make it to the real big top this summer, you and your family still can enjoy three-ring -- and five-star -- fun in your own backyard or family room. No one has to settle for simply being an audience member either. This home-produced circus gets everyone into the act with easy-to-set-up, easy-to-play games.

  • What game involves speed, daring, teamwork and eagle-eye vision? It's an old classic: the scavenger hunt! Technology has created new versions of the game, including the worldwide treasure hunt geocaching. But for low-cost, kid-friendly fun, nothing compares to the original. Here's a guide to setting up your own family scavenger hunt

  • Instead of waiting until a rainy day or the playdate that's run out of steam, stock up ahead of time and keep an art box full of cool materials for making masterpieces. Here is a list of the new essential art and crafts supplies

  • Magicians are expensive. So are clowns, moon bounces, and 25 goody bags stuffed with candy and toys. Is it really worth it? Pulling off a stellar birthday party doesn't have to feel like hosting a celebrity wedding -- or a three-ring circus. Just follow these simple stress-busting pointers and put the party back in party planning!

  • When it comes to family entertainment, there's no bigger bargain than gazing at the stars. Lying back in the grass, looking up at the heavens -- it's a memory your kids will hold onto forever. And it takes very little planning on your part. Here's how to get started

  • A couple of years ago, perhaps longer, my youngest sister handed off two plastic containers of old photos she had recovered from our late sister's house. The photographs, she informed me, were in no apparent order, but they were ones I might want to keep.

  • With so many responsibilities demanding your attention, it's no surprise when some stuff is just put off for a rainy day. But there's one family project that's more important than you think: securing your family's vital documents. The good news is that it's easier to accomplish than you think. It takes 10 simple steps to organize and store your important personal documents. Here's how

  • Few images evoke the feeling of getting away from it all as does a canoe, kayak or raft gliding with the current. But you don't have to sign on to an expensive, multi-day, wild river run to experience the wonders of water travel firsthand. With a little research, you can plan a safe and fun expedition that won't sink your finances in the process

  • Here are my top four tips on getting -- and keeping -- your house super-clean without much effort.

  • It's the parent trap: so much to do, so little time. It takes a supermom to get everything done, from caring for the kids and conquering clutter to keeping the kitchen clean and putting dinner on the table. Cleaning and de-cluttering experts offer their simple, inexpensive strategies to help you multitask and take shortcuts on tedious chores

  • It's time for the annual block party, and you know what that means: burgers and dogs, brownies and ice pops, coolers of beer and juice boxes. Every family kicks in money and donates a dish, and everyone helps with the setup and cleanup. But instead of collaboration, maybe your block is ready for some friendly competition this year -- in the form of a neighborhood cook-off

  • Even in this economy, the average American family of four wastes about 15 percent of the food they buy, losing about $600 a year. Many of us don't even realize how much we squander. When people learn how much of their groceries ends up in the bin, they're usually shocked. Ready to call a halt to all this waste? Make a list before you shop, stick to it and follow these quick tips at home

  • Seeing More Than the Typical Sites in New York City
  • Shaun White at Skateboard Camp in the Cayman Islands
  • Taking the Kids Camping & the Great Outdoors
  • Taking the Kids and Learning New Tricks at Caribbean Resorts This Summer
  • Kids on a Plane! 5 Fixes for Unruly Junior Passengers
  • Children in First Class: 3 Suggestions for the Kids 'Up Front'