Hopefully you’re relaxing and spending some well-deserved time with your family and friends during today’s Fourth of July holiday. My husband and I are taking the plunge and keeping our two-year-old up for fireworks. Thankfully we can see them from our patio. Our plan of action is to put him down for a late nap, fireworks at 9pm, then it’s straight to bed.

Today being a holiday, I didn’t schedule a new post, but to tide you over until Friday, below are a few posts that I’ve dubbed Top 4 of 4… Fourth of July style. In honor of the holiday, I’ve highlighted the top four posts from the last year that generated the most comments and conversation, starting with…

Number 4: Are you sharing too much of your kids online?
Most parents have their children’s privacy and security in mind, and this topic didn’t contradict that idea. As a blogger who writes about her son, I’m careful to balance sharing the tidbits that define my parenting with the need for privacy. Some of you feel fine sharing on blogs and social networks, while others remain completely anonymous, sans pictures and names.

Number 3: Dads are co-parents, not babysitters
This post garnered a ton of discussion, especially from the subject at hand: dads. While moms continue to perform most parenting duties, dads are stepping up to the plate and helping to balance the gender divide often found in our homes. I especially loved hearing from stay-at-home dads who completely skew the mom-as-caregiver, dad-as-breadwinner stereotype.

Number 2: Why forcing kids to say sorry may not be a good idea
We often see forced apologies as good manners, or we don’t normally consider saying sorry as a bad thing; either way, this post got you talking. Some of you were able to look into your own parenting and rethink a few methods. Others provided examples of forced apologies gone wrong. For me, any chance we can get to consider the world from our kids’ point of view often proves eye-opening.

And the number 1 post of the Top of Four of Four 2012 is…

Winner: How late is too late for your child’s bedtime?
I write some posts thinking, “This is going to be epic!” only to collect a few comments and hits. Then I see the opposite, where I write mostly for my own curiosity, only to be surprised by the ensuing conversation that follows. This was one of those posts, and you really chimed in, from parents with set bedtimes to others who sleep a bit later. Go figure that a post with the least expectations ends up with the most dialogue.

Hopefully these links will give you some food for thought as you chomp on potato salad and barbecue. In the meantime, enjoy the rest of your day, and Happy Fourth of July!

Did you like another SSBE post that didn’t make the Top 4 of 4? How are you celebrating the Fourth of July holiday? And did you decide whether your kids will stay up for fireworks?

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