How to bridle a horse

Before putting a bridle on a horse, start with your horse haltered and safely tied. You may have the horse in cross-ties or tied with a lead rope with a panic snap or quick-release knot. Some people like to leave their horses untied, but that can be a problem in public stables where random people may distract or potentially spook the horse. It’s best to avoid your horse getting loose among other horses and people when in the stable; this could lead to accidents. Make sure you use a safety knot if you are not using crossties. You’ll also want to brush away any dirt or grit on the horse’s face. Before riding, always groom the horse.

Secure Your Horse

Undo the halter, slide the halter's noseband down over the horse’s nose, and slip the crown back up over the horse’s ears. This action will secure your horse briefly while you put the bridle on. Stand beside the horse's neck, facing forward with the bridle in your left hand. Slip the reins up over the neck. Both the reins and halter are now around the horse's neck, should it try to get away.

How to bridle a horse

The Spruce Pets / Katherine Blocksdorf

Slide the Bit in the Horse's Mouth

Hold the bridle up over the horse's nose with your right hand. Using your left-hand fingers, move the bit against his lips and insert your thumb into the space between the front and back teeth—the bars of the mouth. If the horse resists taking the bit, wiggling your thumb may encourage the horse to open its mouth wider. Slide the bit in and lift the bridle higher with your left hand so the horse can’t spit the bit back out. Be careful around the horse’s teeth; you don't want the bit knocking into them carelessly. Eventually, you'll be able to do this in one smooth motion.

How to bridle a horse

The Spruce Pets / Katherine Blocksdorf

Pull the Crown Over the Left Ear

Grasp the crown of the bridle with your left hand, and with your right hand, gently bend the horse’s right ear forward to slip it under the crown.

How to bridle a horse

The Spruce Pets / Katherine Blocksdorf

Pull the Crown Over the Right Ear

Switch your grasp of the crown of the bridle to your right hand, and with your left, gently slip the left ear under the crown. Do not pull the bridle too high; this action pulls on the horse's mouth. Be careful not to bend your horse's ears uncomfortably.

How to bridle a horse

The Spruce Pets / Katherine Blocksdorf

Fasten All the Buckles or Snaps

Fasten the throat latch of the bridle. An endurance bridle has a snap at the throat latch. Most traditional leather bridles will have buckles. Do not fasten the throat latch too tightly; you want your horse to be able to flex its neck. Leave about 4 inches of slack. You should be able to slip the width of your hand between the strap and your horse’s jaw.

Unless you use a special noseband, such as a figure-eight, flash, or grackle noseband, leave about two fingers width between the lower jaw and the strap when you attach the noseband or cavesson. If you are using a curb bit, you’ll need to fasten the curb chain or strap. Leave the width of two fingers between the chain and the lower jaw. Leaving the chain too loose or tight can make the action of the bit or the chain more severe. If the bit has a port, it could rotate up and hurt the top of the horse’s mouth.

Slip the halter off, tidy your horse's mane and forelock, and you are ready to go. Some people like the forelock under the browband; some leave it over the top.

How to bridle a horse

The Spruce Pets / Katherine Blocksdorf

Removing the Bridle

Remove the bridle by slipping the halter (attached to a crosstie or lead rope) back over the horse’s ears. Undo the throat latch, curb chain, and noseband. With your left hand, reach under the horse’s neck and slide the crown over the horse’s ears. Hold it as you did when you were putting it on. Gently lower the bit out of the horse’s mouth. Be careful not to knock the horse’s teeth. With your right hand, slip the halter on and pull the reins up over the horse’s neck to completely remove the bridle. Once you remove it, you may wish to clean your bridle or wipe the bit before hanging it away.

Bridle your horse easily and safely using our step-by-step photos!

Please be sure to read the common sense safety precautions at the bottom of this page.

Putting On A Bridle

First of all, when you're bridling a horse it's important to understand there is an area in every horse's mouth known as the "interdental space." The interdental space is an area, both on the upper and lower jaws, where there is not any teeth.

This area is between the front teeth (the incisors) and the back teeth (the molars). When a horse is bridled, the interdental space is where the bit rests. On the bottom jaw, most horsemen refer to this area of bare gums as the "bars."

Below: The blue arrows are pointing to the interdental space.

How to bridle a horse

The interdental space is not only the area in a horse's mouth where the bit rests, it is a safe place for a person to insert their thumb to ask the horse to open its mouth to accept the bit during the bridling process (this will be illustrated in step three on the next page).

Removing The Halter

While some people ride their horse with the bridle over the halter, we're going to remove it. When you remove the halter, you will still need to maintain control over the horse.

  • When you remove the halter, you can put it out of the way and let your horse stand ground tied. This is our personal favorite method.
  • If your horse doesn’t ground tie you can remove the halter, put it out of the way, and use the reins of the bridle around the horse’s neck to maintain control:
    • If the reins are split reins you can take the off-side rein (ie, the right side rein), pass it under the horse’s neck, then lay it over the top of the neck. Lay the left rein across your left arm or shoulder.
    • If the reins are a one piece rein (often called a “roping rein”) you can unbuckle them from the left side of the bit, pass them under the horse’s neck, then lay them over the top of the neck.
      • Note: Before a horse is bridled do NOT slip a solid rein (like a mecate or a roping rein that is still buckled to both sides of the bit) over the horse’s head and onto the neck. If the horse should move away and you lose control, the reins will hold the loose and now freely-swinging headstall close to the horse, providing a trap for them to step in to.

      Below: This horse's halter has been removed and refastened around his neck.

      How to bridle a horse

      Bridling, Step One

      Holding the crown of the bridle in your right hand, place your right arm between the horse's ears. This will encourage the horse to drop its head, and will also put your right hand in a good place to lift and guide the bridle.

      During bridling the horse should have its head at a naturally low head position, or lower if you've trained him to drop his head when asked. Trying to bridle a horse that has raised its head is awkward and can even get the handler off balance as they stretch to reach.

      In addition, if a horse has its head raised it's easier to bang the teeth with the bit when you slip it into the horse's mouth, and you absolutely do NOT want that to happen. See more about this in the next step.

      Below: Holding the crown of the bridle in your right hand, place your right arm between the horse's ears. This will encourage the horse to lower its head, and put you in a good position to guide the bridle.

      How to bridle a horse

      Bridling, Step Two

      Use your left hand to place the bit at the horse's lips, and to move the curb strap (if the bridle has one) behind the horse's chin so it won't accidentally slip into his mouth.

      During this step, do NOT bump or bang the bit into the horse's lips or front teeth. This is painful to the horse which is not only unkind, it may also cause the horse to react by flinging its head, possible whacking you in the face and causing serious injury. Repeatedly bumping the horse in the lips or front teeth with the bit during bridling could (understandably) cause the horse to become hard to bridle.

      Below: The bridle in this photo is a Western style that has a curb bit and a curb strap. Other styles of bridles and bits may not have a curb strap.

      How to bridle a horse

      Think Safety!

      Even a small horse is a large and powerful animal. During the bridling process, the person doing the bridling can easily be injured. It is common sense to take a few, easy safety precautions to avoid injury.

      How to bridle a horse

      Spanish cowboys (vaqueros) who came to North America over 500 years ago left a lasting legacy — not only in words such as chaps (from chaparreras) and rodeo (rodear) which are engrained in today’s Western lifestyle — but in their riding and horse training skills, too. In the early 1500s when Spanish cows and horses were imported into what is now Mexico, cattle ranching and bridle horses were introduced to North America. Vaquero bridle horses were highly trained, handy stock horses that worked as partners out on the range and were in tune with their riders’ every aid. Making a bridle horse was and is a multi-year process whereby horses are started in a hackamore (bosal), then advanced through a two-rein bridle (small diameter hackamore beneath a spade bit bridle each with a set of reins) until they are ready to be ridden “straight up in the bridle” in a spade bit.

      Horsemen and women today still value the vaquero methods, and some choose to train their horses in this traditional way. But as cowboy lifestyles and values change, those horsemen have become few and far between. To learn more about these centuries-old vaquero traditions I spoke with Martin Black, a fifth-generation rancher based in Idaho, whose family has been raising and training horses in the vaquero tradition for close to 150 years. Black is a well-respected horseman who is passionate about preserving the bridle horse traditions.

      How to bridle a horse

      Martin Black’s well-trained bridle horse is tracking this cow on a loose rein with no leg cues, completing a complex maneuver on its own. Photo: Kim Stone Shinanatu Photography

      “Basically, the bridle horse is an all-around stock horse,” he explains. “The ultimate goal was to have a good horse to work cattle on. What made the bridle horse ideal was you could have a rope in one hand and steer your horse with the other, and what everybody strived for was a horse you could ride without pulling on him.”

      Black says that even today he starts all his horses in a hackamore. “Pretty much everything in my string I start in a hackamore, then go to the two rein (bridle), and then they go straight-up into the spade bit. The spade bit is a leverage bit but also a signal bit. We want [horses] to respond to the slightest movement of the mouthpiece.”

      He says the bridle horse tradition “…came from the Moors of Africa over to Spain where they had a weapon in one hand and the reins in the other.” After arriving in Mexico, vaqueros and cattle-ranching spread north into the southern United States, and by the mid-1800s the vaquero style of riding, tack, hand-braided rawhide reatas [lariats], and ways of roping cattle was prevalent in what is now California. Subsequently, vaquero horsemanship spread northeast to Nevada, Oregon, and Idaho. “That [horsemanship] came with the cattle to the Great Basin and so my family being in the horse business …my great grandfather and uncles pretty much followed that tradition,” says Black.

      How to bridle a horse

      Finished bridle horses will be ridden using minimal cues in a spade bit like one of these. Photo: Kim Stone Shinanatu Photography

      Black was introduced to California style vaquero horsemanship by his great uncle. “When I think of a bridle horse, it’s not what you see today in the show pen. When I was growing up, the goal was to make a good bridle horse, not go in a three-year-old futurity. You worked your young horses kind of like you send your kid to grade school, hoping that he’d eventually go to university and become a doctor, lawyer, or scientist. Today, I don’t spend much time riding the three-year-olds. I maybe ride the four-year-olds a bit more, but I’m really looking to the five- and six-year-olds to start blossoming, so they’re good six, seven, or eight-year-old horses.”

      “It doesn’t take much to ask your six-year-old bridle horse to do something he’s never done,” he explains. “They learn to accept challenges. They don’t start shutting you out. The way a lot of people train horses, by the time they’re six or seven years old they’ve been through repetition training so much it’s pretty hard to present a different idea to them as they’re pretty much closed-minded. [When> training through repetition you’re doing it over and over again until the horse sort of learns to follow the maze, but there’s not that much decision-making or thinking on the horse’s part. You just keep practicing whatever the maneuver is until the horse gets to whatever level the rider is satisfied with. [Training the bridle horse] is a whole different way of training horses.”

      How to bridle a horse

      Above: Martin Black is passionate about preserving the bridle horse traditions. His family has been raising and training horses in the vaquero tradition for almost 150 years as these fascinating family photos chronicle. Photo: Kim Stone Shinanatu Photography

      How to bridle a horse

      Above: Joe Black (great grandfather) using a silver spade bit, rawhide reata, and woolly chaps, 1900.

      How to bridle a horse

      Above: Albert Black (grandfather) riding in a spade bit, rawhide reata, and long tapaderos, 1926.

      How to bridle a horse

      Above: Albert Harley (great-great uncle) herding range horses in a spade bit, 1890.

      How to bridle a horse

      Bridle fitting isn’t something we often think too hard about. Often our criteria for bridles is, “does it go on the horse’s head?” and “is the bit too high or low?” Don’t be ashamed if you’ve never put any more thought into the fit of your horse’s bridle, it’s not something we really talk about like saddle fit or bitting. Sometimes we apply weird rules that we don’t quite understand, like the “two wrinkle rule” or “four fingers under the throat latch.” Let’s take a look at how your bridle should fit and we’ll talk a little about why without launching into a full blown lecture on equine anatomy and physiology.

      Let’s start with the basics, when selecting a bridle you are usually given the option of a few sizes; Pony, Cob, Full, Warmblood. There is no hard and fast industry standard for what size each piece of a bridle will be in each of these sizes, so you will need to make a judgement call on which size might fit your horse best. For instance, a 16hh thoroughbred will probably wear a full. A 17.2hh Irish Sport Horse with a roman nose might fit better in a warmblood, a 15.1hh quarter horse cross might wear a cob, and a little welsh pony is probably going to wear pony size.

      Once you have selected the bridle and size you think will fit, you should put it on your horse without a bit. Fit the bit last so you don’t have to worry about too many fitting factors at one time or the horse’s comfort. First let’s look at the splits. The splits are part of the crown of the bridle, and when fitted properly, sit just below the browband. The browband in turn should fit about ½” (or 1 finger width) below the base of the ear. If the splits do not have clearance below the browband, the throatlatch will not hang correctly nor sit flush against the horse’s face.

      Speaking of browbands, the brow sits on a group of nerves and vessels, so it is important that it fits correctly. A browband which is too large can allow the bridle to slip out of place, a browband which is too small will pinch and pull the crownpiece into the base of the ears. A browband should fit so that two fingers (stacked) fit comfortably under the front of the browband.

      As we already mentioned, the throatlatch should be unimpeded by the browband, allowing it to hang vertically from the split. The throatlatch helps to stabilize the bridle by preventing it from tipping side to side. This is where “four fingers under the throatlatch” comes in. You should be able to fit four fingers (stacked) between the throatlatch and the throat to ensure that the horse has enough room to flex, but not so much that the bridle is loose.

      How to bridle a horse

      Before we go much further there is one biology term you should learn as we’ll be referencing it a lot; this is the Zygomatic Ridge. In humans we often refer to this as the cheek bones. The zygomatic ridge protrudes from the horse’s face, and gives us an excellent landmark in terms of fitting many parts of the bridle.

      Next let’s look at nosebands. We’ll start by looking at a plain noseband, also known as a plain cavesson, as many other types of nosebands are a variation on this theme. The noseband should be fit two fingers below the Zygomatic ridge. Fitting the noseband higher will put pressure directly on a nerve bundle in the horse’s face which can cause the horse discomfort. When tightening the noseband you should be able to fit two fingers (stacked) under the front of the noseband.

      The cheek pieces attach to the crown and support the bit in the mouth. Now you might be thinking, “oh now it’s time for the ‘two wrinkle rule’” and you would be right; we tighten or loosen the cheek pieces to raise or lower the bit in the horse’s mouth and usually we know we’ve hit the mark when we see two wrinkles in the corner of the horse’s mouth. However, I would argue that the “two wrinkle rule” is more of a guideline than a rule. Depending on the conformation of the individual horse’s mouth, the two wrinkle rule could allow the bit to be hanging too low or too high. Ideally, the bit should sit just in front of the horse’s first molars. This placement ensures that the bit hits the correct area of the tongue – you might notice that when a bit is too low in the horse’s mouth they often play with it too much in an attempt to spit it out.

      Finally let’s look at reins. The length of the reins will depend on the size of the horse, the size of the rider, and the rider’s personal preference. As a guideline, the reins should be long enough so that the horse is able to stretch on a loose rein, but also short enough that the rider’s foot could not get caught in the bite when contact is taken up. Remember when looking at reins, a rein which is too long can be shortened by a professional, a rein which is too short cannot be lengthened.

      Remember when fitting all parts of the bridles which can be adjusted via a buckle that for a proper fit the strap should buckle on the middle hole. A strap that is fit on the very first or very last hole leaves little room for adjustment should the horse grow or change shape over time. This is especially important for cheek pieces, the rings of the bit your using now may not fit the same as the rings of the bit you use in the future.

      One final note to remember when fitting your bridle – look at where the cheek straps and overhead straps lie in relation to the zygomatic ridge. These straps should lie behind the zygomatic ridge, this is to prevent the straps from getting too near the horse’s eyes and also to prevent irritation from rubbing along that ridge.

      Wait, I use a different noseband!

      Let’s take a quick look at other popular types of nosebands

      How to bridle a horse

      Flash Nosband – A flash noseband or flash cavesson looks very similar to a plain cavesson, with the addition of a smaller strap which buckles below the bit and helps to keep the horse’s mouth closed. This type of noseband should also fit two fingers below the zygomatic ridge, but with a one finger tightness. The flash strap should have a two finger tightness when fastened.

      Figure 8 or Grackle – A Figure 8 or Grackle noseband crosses in front of the nose and fastens in two places behind the jaw. The center pad where the straps cross should fit high on the nose. The top straps will cross over the zygomatic ridge before buckling behind the jaw, the lower straps will buckle below the bit, behind the chin. Each strap should have a ½” or one finger tightness between the strap and the face.

      Drop Noseband – A drop noseband fits low on the horse’s nose and also aids in keeping the horse’s mouth shut. The drop should fit below the bit but above the end of the nasal bone – the ends of the nasal bone are fragile, so if you’re uncertain regarding the fit you may want to seek assistance or try a different cavesson. When tightened, you should be able to fit one finger between the noseband and the face.

      How to bridle a horse

      Horse bridles consist of the following parts – headpiece, cheek pieces, throat lash, browband, noseband and reins. These are then attached to a bit which goes in the horses mouth and is then fitted to the horses head to enable the rider to control the direction and speed of the horse. The headpiece which goes over the top of the horses head at the poll area and runs just behind the ears can come as a plain piece of leather or with comfort padding. Some bridles also shape the headpiece to go around the ears.

      The cheek pieces of the bridle attach to the headpiece at one end and to the bit at the other end and can be adjusted to suit horses with different face lengths. The noseband runs round the circumference of the horses face and is used to keep the horses jaw closed. The browband runs horizontally from just under one ear to just under the other ear and is used to prevent the bridle from slipping back from the horses poll.

      Some bridles come with fancy browbands which are raised or covered in diamantes or patent leather to make them stand out. Finally the reins attach to the bit and the rider holds these, most bridles come with reins however some do not as there are a wide variety of reins from plain leather, plaited leather, rubber covered, half rubber covered etc. There are a number of different types of bridle including plain cavesson bridle, flash bridle, grackle or figure of eight bridle, hunter bridle and double or Weymouth bridles.

      Bridles come in a variety of different colours, the most popular being Black and Havana (Dark Brown). Other colours you may come across include Oak, Australian Nut and Tan to name a few. Although it makes no difference to your riding which colour bridle you choose nearly everyone chooses to match it as closely as possible to the saddle and other leatherwork they use. Different manufacturer’s shades of colours do sometimes vary slightly; this can be due to the method a particular manufacturer uses for dying the leather or the colour of dye they happen to use.

How to change from being messy to neat

Christopher Gower/Unsplash

Take it from my old roommates (who used to collect my stuff and put it in a laundry basket outside my bedroom) or my boyfriend (who not-so-affectionately refers to my mess as “Emma droppings”): I am a really messy person. So, I’m constantly on the lookout for easy (and they have to be really easy) ways to stay organized to keep myself, my co-habitants, and my co-workers sane.

There’s tons of information out there on how to get organized, but it’s almost always created by neat people. Although these neat freaks have the best intentions, they just don’t understand how it feels to suffer as a messy person when tidiness comes naturally to them.

So today, I’m going to share my tips on what’s worked for me, a real-life, semi-reformed messy person. Here are a few ways to get a bit more organized, fit for the messiest.

Surround Yourself With Organized People

Trust me: If you surround yourself with roommates and co-workers who are neat, it actually will rub off on you. It’s not just because you’ll see them having a generally easier time in life, but also because they’re really helpful resources.

For example, I can’t tell you how many times an organized friend took pleasure in helping me pick up and straighten out my closet. My mom’s best friend is a professional organizer, and she taught me how to fold my clothes so they’d fit in my drawers.

I know not everyone has a friend who is a professional organizer, but almost everyone knows one or two people who are super neat. So use them! See if your organized co-worker will share the rules she sets up in her inbox, or ask your boss how to make your schedule work better for your other colleagues. Or try setting up a calendar with a neat co-worker that you both share to keep yourself accountable.

Make Sure Everything You Own Has a Place

For years, I’d throw business cards and paperwork on top of my desk. They never really had an official home, so they’d pile up in a random corner, spilling over into the real work I was trying to get done.

Sound familiar? Well, you can reduce the messy explosion if you just make sure that every single item that you own has a place. I repeat: Every single item that you own should have a place. For example, any snack I bring to work lives in a certain desk drawer. Any outgoing mail item lives in front of my monitor so I remember to send it out.

If you find it overwhelming to decide where things should go (like I did), enlist those trusty organized people to help you come up with systems and home bases for your stuff. At home, all my catalogs and magazines live in a mail holder my boyfriend got me.

Turn it Into a Challenge

If you turn cleaning up into a game, you can make the process fun. It sounds ridiculous, but I’ve found this strategy really works (and I’m not even particularly competitive).

For example, my boyfriend and I recently came up with a challenge: When either of us leaves an item of clothing on the floor, we get a tally mark. Whoever has the most tallies at the end of the month has to do the laundry for the next month. We did it for the month of October, and it (mostly) worked. We fell off track after a vacation, but for the most part we were able to keep our clothes in the hamper.

At work, you can easily create this kind of challenge. We have all types of competitions at my office (think pool tournaments and go-cart races), so it was pretty easy to convince the guy next to me to have a cubicle cleanliness contest.

Get Rid of Your Stuff

It’s really hard to stay neat when you have a closet that doesn’t fit your clothes and a drawer in your desk overflowing with greeting cards from your distant cousins.

So, once a month (yes—that often!) do a big purge. Donate the stuff that no longer fits you and recycle the business cards floating atop your desk. “But I might use it someday,” is not an excuse if you want to stay tidy. You do not get to keep the t-shirt from high school for the memories or the thank you note from the conference you attended. You are allowed to have one box of sentimental items at home and one folder in your desk at work, but no more than that. It’s the only way to a tidier you.

It’s hard to get rid of stuff that you love, so make the process less painful for yourself by using rewards. Every time I clean out my desk, for example, I get to buy one special new thing to make up for all that I threw away.

Accept That You’ll Never Be Perfectly Neat

It’s easy to get overwhelmed when the mess gets big, which is why you’ve got to accept that you’ll never be perfectly neat—and that’s OK.

Messy people beat themselves up all the time. We don’t have fun being messy—we know that society thinks we’re slobs, and we get really stressed out before we have people over to our homes or our desks.

But this down-on-yourself attitude gets in the way of actually cleaning up. There have been so many times when I’ve slinked around my apartment, convinced the cleaning would never get done. When I actually started cleaning, though, it only took me about 30 minutes to get through everything.

So, cut yourself a break. Even small changes can make a big difference. If you take a little bit of time and follow these tips, you’ll be on your way to a cleaner you. And as a real-life messy person, I promise it’s worth it.

It’s common for kids of all ages to have messy bedrooms.

Some kids want to be neat but need help with organization.

Being clear and specific on what you expect makes it easier for your child to follow through.

If your child’s bedroom is a mess of toys, clothes, and other stuff, you’re not alone. It’s common for kids of all ages to have trouble keeping their rooms neat.

Some kids may like having a messy bedroom (“I know where everything is!”). For others, it’s a stage, like a child showing independence or a teen overwhelmed by new responsibility. And then there are the kids who have ongoing trouble with organization and need more help.

Whatever the cause, you can do things to encourage your child to clean up a messy bedroom. Here’s how to help kids to keep their rooms neat.

Be specific about what a “messy room” is.

Just saying “Your room is a mess” doesn’t tell kids what they need to do to fix it. Some kids need very specific instructions.

When your child’s room is clean, walk through it together and point out what makes it clean: “There are no toys on the floor because they’re put away. The bed is made. Your clothes are hanging in the closet, not thrown on the floor. Nice job.” You can even take a picture of the room when it’s neat so your child can refer to it.

Be clear about how much mess is OK.

Sometimes your child’s room is just a little messy and you might let it slide. But it’s important to let your child know what you won’t accept. If you can’t stand it when Legos are all over the floor, be clear with your child: “The Legos need to be put away as soon as you’re done with them. You can put them in the special Legos bin.”

Explain why it’s a problem.

Some kids don’t see the point of cleaning up. For them, it helps to explain why neatness matters. You might say things like:

“If you don’t pick up the Legos, you’ll step on them and hurt your feet.”

“When clothes are crumpled on your bed, they get wrinkled and look bad.”

“If you don’t throw away those food wrappers, it may attract bugs.”

Be careful, though, not to nag or repeat yourself over and over, which can backfire.

Use visual reminders.

Some kids need help remembering how areas like bookshelves are supposed to look when neat. Take a picture of the bookshelf when it’s organized, and post it on the wall. You can also include notes, like: “Books go tallest to shortest.” Another helpful tip: Keep a chores checklist on the door so your child can mark off each chore as it gets done.

Get rid of junk and outdated things.

One of the best ways to help kids keep their room neat is by getting rid of clutter. Once a year, go through the closet together to get rid of clothes and shoes your child has outgrown. You can also get rid of old toys, school papers, and anything else your child doesn’t need anymore. This can make cleaning the bedroom less overwhelming.

Have a place for everything.

Kids may struggle with cleaning their room if it isn’t clear where things are supposed to go. Make sure there’s a place for everything kids use and that it’s easy for them to put things back. That goes for clothes, toys, books, sports equipment, musical instruments, art supplies, and anything else they use a lot.

Pay special attention to the study area.

A neat, uncluttered place to do homework and study is important for kids who struggle with focus or organization. Make sure your child’s study area is clean, even if it’s not in the bedroom. Show your child how to keep homework organized in different folders for each subject.

How to Color-Code School Supplies

Be a role model.

If you expect kids to keep their room clean, it’s only fair that you keep your own bedroom clean, too. Asking kids to make their bed when you haven’t made yours won’t go down well. Your room doesn’t need to look perfect, but try to keep it up to the same standards you have for your child.

Praise your child’s efforts.

If you cheer on your child for tidying up, you’ll encourage more of that behavior. Even if kids don’t clean their rooms perfectly, it’s good to praise them for making the effort. “The floor is much cleaner now—thanks for putting away your toys.”

Your child’s room may never end up spotless. But by explaining why neatness matters and supporting your child, you can help get your child’s bedroom in much better shape.

Key Takeaways

Get rid of clutter, like old clothes and toys, so your child has fewer things to organize.

Hang a picture of the bedroom when it’s neat to show what to aim for.

Be a role model for your child by keeping your room neat, too.

Related topics


About the Author

About the Author

The Understood Team is made up of passionate writers and editors. Many of them have kids who learn and think differently.

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How to change from being messy to neat

People always ask me how my house is (almost) always neat. Here is my secret: I never leave a messy room! This is the holy grail of becoming a neat freak. The general rule should be don’t leave a room until it is cleaned up.

How to change from being messy to neat

How to Clean a Messy Room: Never Leave It for the End of the Day

Now, my husband would disagree with me big time on this philosophy. He finds my approach super inefficient. His feeling is you should clean up once, at the end of the day. I disagree. With my approach there is no cleaning or straightening to do at the end of an exhausting day when I’d rather be doing anything but cleaning.

How to change from being messy to neat

Take the kitchen after dinner as an example. After you finish dinner and put the dishes in the sink, you move on to the next activity (kids need to be bathed, bills need to be paid, a load of laundry needs to go in). Once that is done, you’ll want to pour yourself a (second?) glass of wine, and hop on the couch.

BUT, the dirty kitchen will still be hanging over your head! You’ll get grumpy thinking about having to do it now that you are nice and relaxed. Maybe you’ll even decide that you deserve to not clean up anymore today (which is, I’m certain, true!). So you go to sleep, only to wake up to dirty dishes.

Become a Neat Freak by Acting NOW

How do you put this in action? Enter the neat freak approach. If you spend 10 minutes cleaning up right after you eat, load the dishwasher and start it, wipe the counters (even pack lunch for the next day for good measure . . .but that’s for another post), you can then go and relax and never have to think about the kitchen again.

How to change from being messy to neat

Same goes for the playroom. My kids are now in the habit of putting their toys away before leaving the playroom, even if it means breaking down the puzzle they worked so hard on. This clears the way for a new fun activity the next time they enter the room.

The neat freak lifestyle may seem daunting at first, but once you get in the habit you won’t even think twice about it. Try it – it may just change your life!

Want to become the most organized person you know?

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Sometimes people who like things clean…are just people who like things clean. The panel describes when the need for neatness could be called OCD.

Everyday Health: "Neat freaks" are often mislabeled as having OCD. What's the difference, and do all people with OCD like things excessively clean?

Jeff Szymanski, PhD (

Some of the confusion has to do with the terms themselves. "Obsessive" refers to a personality trait describing someone who thinks and worries a lot. "Compulsive" is also a personality trait, indicating someone who is hyper-organized, detail-oriented, with perfectionist tendencies. The "D" in OCD refers to "disorder"; this indicates that a person experiences significant, life-impairing anxiety. When obsessive or compulsive preferences are interrupted, it might annoy a person, but not cause them extreme, unyielding anxiety as is seen with OCD.

Jonathan Abramowitz, PhD (

The main difference between "neat freaks" and people with OCD is that "neat freaks" like being neat. They want to be that way because they feel like it helps them and keeps them productive. People with OCD wish they weren’t that way, but feel they have to do their rituals in order to prevent some dreaded catastrophe that is unlikely in the first place. OCD is based on fear. OCD rituals are responses to obsessions. "Neat freaks" do not have obsessions like people with OCD do. Not everyone with OCD is focused on cleanliness. OCD is pretty diverse in terms of its symptoms and everyone has symptoms that are a little different – their own personal spin.

Steven J. Brodsky, PsyD (

As I mentioned, no two cases of OCD are alike, and OCD can take thousands of diverse forms. Obsessions about neatness and cleanliness are experienced by only a fraction of OCD sufferers. As with all forms of OCD or any mental disorder, it has to impair social or occupational function or involve frequent excessive distress to be considered a diagnosable "disorder." Some examples include tardiness, inconveniencing others, social avoidance or disruption, and in some cases the person's physical health can be affected.

Charles H. Elliott, PhD, and Laura L. Smith, PhD (

People who are "neat freaks" generally aren't terribly worried about their so-called problem. They are able to go about their lives without excessive distress. Not all people with OCD are overly concerned about cleanliness because obsessions and compulsions can involve a surprisingly wide array of issues.

Jennifer Iverson, MC, LMHC (

It is a common misconception that "neat freaks" or "clean freaks" have OCD, perhaps because cleanliness and ordering are common types of OCD. But there is a difference between being a "neat freak" or "clean freak" and having an actual diagnosis of OCD. Like many things in the field of mental health, a disorder is a matter of degree. Part of OCD is that the person recognizes the obsessions and compulsions are excessive and unreasonable and they interfere with daily functioning. (There is the possibility of having OCD "with poor insight," in which case the person may not be aware of how excessive and time-consuming their obsessions and compulsions are. Children are also not held to the criterion of having insight into the excessiveness of their compulsions.)

Kenneth Schwarz, PhD (

A "neat freak" is someone who likes to be neat. Of course, having to tidy up may be the neat freak’s way to avoid becoming anxious. That's not such a bad thing. We all have our ways when it comes to avoiding what makes us anxious. OCD, on the other hand, is taking the neat freak thing – the avoidance of anxiety, the anxiety-provoking unwanted thought – to about 14 levels higher. It's a mistake to think that excessive cleanliness is the only symptom of OCD sufferers.

In my definition, the difference is when the behavior interferes with living your life. If you don't socialize because your home isn't "perfect" or if you turn down a social activity in preference for staying home to stay on a restrictive cleaning schedule, the behavior becomes OCD.

Allen H. Weg, EdD (

Here again, degree to which the symptoms interfere with functioning or cause friction with others are deciding factors in determining if the OCD diagnosis is given. Another factor is the degree to which the person can control his or her behavior and decide to not engage in a ritual by choice. While some people with OCD like things very clean and orderly, there are many who are no more clean and tidy than the average person. Paradoxically, if it takes many hours to take a shower because it requires the execution of elaborate and lengthy rituals, or it takes many hours to clean a room because it has to be done perfectly and by following a specific prescribed set of complicated rules, the person with OCD, even when cleanliness is very important to him or her, may forgo these activities because it is just too overwhelming to get started. So sometimes they may not wash or clean regularly to avoid all the hassle of doing things the way the OCD is making them do it.

How to get umbreon on pokémon diamond pearl and platinum

The Evolution Pokémon has multiple forms it can evolve into—minus one in these titles.

How to get umbreon on pokémon diamond pearl and platinum

Eevee, the Evolution Pokémon, returns in Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, alongside its many evolutions that sport a variety of different types.

Two new Eevee-lutions were introduced in the original Pokémon Diamond and Pearl games—Leafeon and Glaceon—that will be returning to their original evolution methods from these games instead of the new methods introduced in Pokémon Sun and Moon. However, since these remakes only include Pokémon in the National Pokédex up to Arceus, Eevee’s Fairy-type evolution, Sylveon, will be unobtainable.

Here are the ways to obtain the seven Eevee evolutions available in Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl.


Eevee’s Water-type evolution, Vaporeon, known for its massive HP stat, cannot be found in the wild. Instead, players must catch an Eevee and use a Water Stone on it, which will prompt an immediate evolution into Vaporeon. After evolution, Vaporeon gains access to powerful Water-type moves like Hydro Pump and Surf—though notably not needing to be relegated to Surf and Waterfall duty, as HMs are now an app in the Pokétch.

Water Stones can be excavated limitlessly in the Grand Underground, and one can be found on an island reached by Surf on Route 213.


The Electric-type Jolteon, one of the most accessible Electric-type Pokémon in the series’ history, is also only obtainable through evolution. When using a Thunder Stone on Eevee, it will promptly evolve into the Lightning Pokémon and gain access to a variety of new moves, including Pin Missile and Thunderbolt.

Thunder Stones are discoverable in the Grand Underground, with two being available in the Sinnoh overworld: one in Sunyshore City, and one on Route 229.


Like its Water and Electric-type counterparts, Flareon requires an evolution stone to evolve from Eevee—this time a Fire Stone. In Pokémon Platinum, Flareon was a good Fire-type choice for players due to the limited pool of Fire-type Pokémon obtainable before receiving the National Pokédex, though with access to the Grand Underground’s Pokémon Hideaways, more of these fiery creatures not native to the Sinnoh region will be easily accessible.

Fire Stones can be mined in the Grand Underground, with one being obtainable at the Fuego Ironworks.


The Johto region introduced two new evolutions for Eevee, coinciding with the addition of the day and night cycle as well as the friendship feature that have both become staples for the evolutions of various other Pokémon. Espeon, Eevee’s Psychic-type evolution, evolves when Eevee has reached an efficient level of friendship with its trainer during the morning and daytime.

Friendship can be increased by having your Pokémon following you, battling with them, feeding them poffins and vitamins, getting them massaged, as well as having them hold the Soothe Bell item.


Espeon’s counterpart, Umbreon, also requires a strong bond with Eevee in order to evolve. Yet as a Dark-type, it requires access to the moon to evolve. Trainers must level up an Eevee with high friendship during the night to evolve it into the Moonlight Pokémon.


Leafeon, Eevee’s Grass-type evolution, was first accessible to players in Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, and introduced yet another new evolution method for the Evolution Pokémon. In the leftmost corner of Eterna Forest, near its Route 204 entrance, is a Mossy Rock, where upon leveling up an Eevee nearby, it will evolve into Leafeon. This method returns in Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl as the only way to obtain Leafeon, stepping away from its updated evolution method introduced in recent Pokémon titles.


Glaceon also requires a specific environment in order to evolve from Eevee. An Ice Rock lays in the top right corner of Route 217, the opposite direction that the player must travel to reach Route 218 and Snowpoint City. When leveling up an Eevee around it, it will promptly evolve into the Ice-type Pokémon, Glaceon, and gain access to new moves like Ice Beam and Blizzard.

Here’s where and how to get Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl’s Eevee.

Over the years, Eevee has risen in popularity among the Pokemon fanbase. Although it won over trainers with its cute looks and vast evolution potential, it took a few generations before Game Freak released it in the wild. In Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, Eevee is once again locked behind a few in-game requirements.

Those who've played Pokemon Platinum could get Eevee as early as Hearthome City. In Diamond and Pearl, trainers needed the National Dex before they could add Eevee to their team. Unfortunately for some, this very method returns in Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl. Meaning, Eevee will not be available until a good portion of BDSP's main story is over.

Updated February 9th, 2022 by Renri Seong: Eevee and its evolutions are some of the most beloved Pokemon in the Pokemon series. With a total of eight evolutions, Eevee currently holds the highest amount of evolution possibilities in the series. Naturally, players may be wondering how they can get their hands on an Eevee of their own in Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Pokemon Shining Pearl. As loyal remakes to the original Pokemon Diamond/Pokemon Pearl, Eevee remains locked in Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl's postgame. However, once players have met the right requirements, it's possible to obtain Eevee and all of its evolutions. The following guide has been updated to include a third method of getting Eevee in Brilliant Diamond/Shining Pearl.

Eevee in Brilliant Diamond/Shining Pearl's Postgame

The first step to getting Eevee is completing the Sinnoh Dex. See (not catch) every Pokemon in the game, and then speak to Professor Rowan to get the National Dex and PokeRadar.

Luckily, players don't need to trade the legendary exclusives to register them to their Pokedex. Speak to Cynthia's grandmother in Celestic Town to register Palkia (Brilliant Diamond) or Dialga (Shining Pearl). Other version-exclusive Pokemon like Shining Pearl's Misdreavus/Mismagius or Brilliant Diamond's Murkrow/Honchkrow can be "seen" by battling NPCs such as Team Galactic.

With the National Dex in hand, Fly to Hearthome City and go into the house next to the Pokemon Center. Speak to Bebe, and she'll hand over an Eevee. This is the only way to get Eevee pre-National Dex without trading.

Where to Find Eevee in the Wild

Like most of the Pokemon in Brilliant Diamond/Shining Pearl, Eevee can be caught in the wild. Trainers won't be able to find it roaming about the Grand Underground, but Eevee will sometimes spawn in the Trophy Garden. Once BDSP players have become Champion, rare Pokemon will start visiting the Trophy Garden, and one of them happens to be Eevee.

The Trophy Garden is at the back of the Pokemon Mansion which is located south of Hearthome City on Route 212. To get Eevee to appear, players will need to speak to Mr. Backlot, who's in the right-wing of the Pokemon Mansion. Every day, Mr. Backlot alludes to seeing a rare Pokemon in his Trophy Garden. The Pokemon changes daily, so it's never guaranteed when Eevee will show up.

However, players can "cheat" the system by saving before speaking to Mr. Backlot. If Mr. Backlot doesn't mention Eevee, reload the file and speak to him again until he does. In the Trophy Garden, Eevee has a 5% chance of appearing and will be level 16 or level 18.

Hatching and Evolving Eevee​​​​​​

How to get umbreon on pokémon diamond pearl and platinum

The other way of getting multiple Eevees is by bringing one to the Nursery and breeding Eevee with a Ditto. Through breeding, players can Shiny Hunt Eevee from hatching Eggs if they have enough patience. If Eevee has a different ID from Ditto, there's a higher chance of Eggs appearing at the Nursery. Get the Day-Care Checker Poketch app from the NPC inside the Pokemon Nursery. This allows players to check on their Pokemon and will also tell them if there's an Egg waiting for them.

To get all the Eevee evolutions in Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, they'll need 7 Eevees in total. Use evolution stones to get Vaporeon, Jolteon, and Flareon. For Espeon and Umbreon, players will need to raise their Eevee's friendship. Unlike in Sword & Shield, Leafeon and Glaceon can't be evolved through evolution stones. Instead, Eevee needs to level up near the Moss Rock (Leafeon) or the Ice Rock (Glaceon) in Eterna Forest and Route 217 respectively.

Because Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl have blocked off Pokemon from Generation 5 onwards, players cannot get the Eevee's Fairy-type evolution: Sylveon. Unless BDSP releases a method (DLC) of expanding the National Dex beyond Arceus, Sylveon will not be obtainable.

Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl are available now on Nintendo Switch.

Acclaimed performer Elliot Page confirms that he is currently working on a 2023 memoir that will deeply explore the trans identity.

Eevee (Japanese: イーブイ Eievui) is a Normal-type Pokémon introduced in Generation I.

It evolves into one of eight different Pokémon through various methods:

  • Eevee evolves into Vaporeon when exposed to a Water Stone.
  • Eevee evolves into Jolteon when exposed to a Thunder Stone.
  • Eevee evolves into Flareon when exposed to a Fire Stone.
  • Eevee evolves into Espeon when leveled up with high friendship during the daytime (Generation II onward, except for Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen), except in areas with a Moss Rock or Ice Rock or while knowing a Fairy-type move.
    • It also evolves into Espeon when leveled up with high friendship with a Sun Shard in the Bag (in Pokémon XD).
    • It also evolves into Umbreon when leveled up with high friendship with a Moon Shard in the Bag (in Pokémon XD).

    Eevee has a Gigantamax form. Eevee with the Gigantamax Factor cannot evolve.

    Eevee is the game mascot and starter Pokémon in Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee!, as well as for the main characters of Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness and Pokémon Conquest. It is the starting Pokémon and first Pokémon employee of the player in Pokémon Café Mix. It is also the rival’s starter Pokémon in Pokémon Yellow, although Professor Oak originally intended to give it to the player.



    Eevee is a small, mammalian, quadrupedal Pokémon with primarily brown fur. The tip of its bushy tail and its large furry collar are cream-colored. It has short, slender legs with three small toes and a pink paw pad on each foot. Eevee has brown eyes, long pointed ears with dark brown interiors, and a small black nose. Eevee is rarely found in the wild and is mostly only found in cities and towns. However, it is said to have an irregularly shaped genetic structure that is easily influenced by its environment. This allows it to adapt to a variety of habitats by evolving. Eevee is the only known Pokémon capable of using the exclusive Z-Move Extreme Evoboost.

    In Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee!, the player starts with a special Eevee known as a Partner Eevee. The Partner Eevee has purple eyes and a lighter shade of fur. These design elements were likely taken from the anime, which implemented similar traits starting in Pokémon the Series: Ruby and Sapphire. Partner Eevee has higher base stats and access to moves that normal Eevee do not. Partner Eevee is the only Pokémon capable of performing Bouncy Bubble, Buzzy Buzz, Sizzly Slide, Glitzy Glow, Baddy Bad, Sappy Seed, Freezy Frost, Sparkly Swirl, and the Partner Power, Veevee Volley. The marking on the tip of a female Partner Eevee’s tail is heart-shaped. Before Pokémon Sword and Shield, this trait was unique and wasn’t found on other female Eevee. In Pokémon Sword and Shield and later Pokémon GO updates, the unique tail pattern is present on all female Eevee as a true gender difference.

    As Gigantamax Eevee, it has become larger and more fluffy. The fur collar becomes longer with several triangular furs pointing straight up. The right ear has three red clouds surrounding it like a circle. Due to the fur becoming fluffier and luxurious, any enemies caught in it will lose the will to fight due to being enamored by its presence. Due to Gigantamaxing, Eevee becomes even more playful and rambunctious, desiring to play with its opponent and often unintentionally crushing them with its size. [1]

    Gigantamax Eevee is the only known Pokémon capable of using the exclusive G-Max Move G-Max Cuddle.

    In Pokémon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl, there are a couple of different ways that players can get an Eevee. Receive one as a gift or capture it.

    In Pokémon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl, there are a couple of different ways that players can get an Eevee. While players can find an Eevee on their own, they can also receive one as a gift only after receiving the National Dex. Eevee is one of the most interesting Pokémon available because it has several evolutions that players can choose from, each featuring a different type of Pokémon like Ice, Grass, Fire, and more.

    Eevee is one of the few Pokémon that has a couple of evolutions in Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl and was originally introduced in generation four, but not available until the end game. When Pokémon Diamond and Pearl launched in 2006, Pokémon like Leafeon and Glaceon were added to the Pokédex as new entries to the National Dex, but they weren’t featured in the Sinnoh Dex. Players can evolve Eevee into Leafeon in Pokémon BDSP only after they beat the Elite Four and earn the National Dex, and the same applies to evolving Eevee into Glaceon.

    After players obtain the National Dex, the first location that Eevee can be found at is in the Trophy Garden on Route 212. The Trophy Garden features more than a dozen different Pokémon and some of their evolutions, like Pichu and Pikachu, Cleffa and Clefairy, Happiny and Chansey, and more. To find Eevee in the Trophy Garden, players have to speak with Mr. Backlot, the owner of the garden. Eevee only appears in the Trophy Garden if Mr. Backlot says that the Pokémon can be found there. There are a few Pokémon that this is the case for, and a new Pokémon comes into rotation every 24 hours. Finding an Eevee, let alone every rare Trophy Garden Pokémon in BDSP, is the more difficult method to acquiring one.

    Pokémon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl: How To Get An Eevee

    Fortunately, there is an easier method to finding an Eevee in Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, and it doesn’t require players to capture one. After receiving the National Dex, head to Hearthome City and enter the house next to the Pokémon Center. This home belongs to Bebe, the Pokémon storage designer for the Sinnoh region. She’ll gift the player an Eevee after speaking with her, though she’ll only give players one Eevee. Unless the Eevee players receive from Bebe is a female Eevee, they’ll have to find, capture, and breed a Ditto in Pokémon BDSP in order to get another one.

    Many players may not realize that, while Ditto can be used to breed nearly every Pokémon in Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, female Pokémon will always have eggs of the same species. This means that a female Eevee could breed with another Pokémon in its egg group, and when the egg hatches it will always be an Eevee. Eevee is in the Field Egg Group, which allows it to breed with many Pokémon in Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, like Swinub, Stunky, Absol, and more.

    Pokémon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl is available now on Nintendo Switch.

How to build an outdoor shower

How to build an outdoor showerHow to build an outdoor showerHow to build an outdoor shower

Outdoor showers may seem like a luxury—something that only those with beach houses would need or be lucky enough to have. But if you have kids and pets that love to play in the yard, or if you’re an avid gardener, runner, or someone that enjoys the freedom of bathing in nature, you may want to consider an outdoor shower for your own home.

Lucky for you, an outdoor shower can be an accessible feature for just about anyone. It all depends on how simple or complex you want your shower to be. A simple outdoor shower with cold water costs approximately $1,000 or less. An outdoor shower with an enclosure and hot and cold water will run about $4,000–$8,000.

Join Zillow as they walk us through four things to consider before taking the plunge on your own little piece of outdoor bathing heaven.

The home’s exterior fittings, like the outdoor shower, offer modern comforts.


This is one of the most important considerations. It’s best to choose a spot that you use often. In most cases, anywhere near the back entrance to your home is a good choice—maybe adjacent to the back door or on the back deck. If you have a pool, situate the shower nearby for easy rinse-offs before and after swimming.

Another major consideration is plumbing access. Unless you’re installing the type of shower that attaches to a garden hose, you’ll need to install it close to existing plumbing.

Last but not least, go for a sunny spot. This will help keep mold and mildew at bay, and provide natural warmth while you rinse.

After a day at the beach, an outdoor shower tucked toward the back of the house allows everyone to rinse off without tracking sand indoors.


Privacy is a fairly important consideration, unless you think only swimsuit-clad people will use the outdoor shower. “I encourage people to build with the most modest person in mind,” says Ethan Fierro, author of The Outdoor Shower. The trick is, you want the shower to feel private and far from prying eyes, but you also want to keep the natural feeling.

An outdoor shower was the family’s first construction project. “Doing the shower made us realize we can build things the way we want to build them,” says Meg.

An easy and adjustable choice is a freestanding folding screen. These screens work particularly well on decks and patios, where it might be impractical to build any type of wall.

An outdoor shower in the lower courtyard includes most of the materials that define the project, including Cor-Ten steel posts, horizontal ipe slats and decking, a custom seat and towel shelf set into a natural boulder, and concrete pavers. The yard includes many elements built for play, like a water feature embedded in a concrete wall that is fed by runoff rainwater collected from the breezeway roof.

Another option is building corrugated metal wing walls to create a shower “corner” of sorts, where swimmers can rinse off after a dip. You can make this more private by adding a third wall to the design. Of course, there’s always the more elaborate option, which would be to surround the shower with wooden walls.

The wood screen concealing this outdoor shower was painted yellow and white, matching the color scheme in the home’s guest bathroom.


The simplest and most inexpensive plumbing option, and one that many people choose, is a shower connected to a garden hose, which is then hooked up to an outside faucet. This cold-water fixture is perfect for an outdoor shower that’s used only in the heat of summer, and mostly for cleaning off dirt and sand.

Next up is the hot-and-cold hose option. First, you’ll need a plumber to install an outdoor hot-water faucet next to the cold one. From there, it basically works in a similar fashion to the cold-water hose shower.

Mimicking the cantilever of the house, an outdoor shower just off the master bedroom stretches out gently toward the surrounding woods.

The most elaborate—and most expensive—is the plumbed-in outdoor shower. This is worth investing in if you anticipate consistent outdoor showers, and not just for cleaning up after a hot day in the sun. The only downside to this option: if you live in an area with freezing winters, you have to make sure you can fully drain and insulate the plumbing so it doesn’t burst.


The simplest and most common drainage system is letting the used water drain into your yard. If you don’t have very porous ground in your yard, or if the outdoor shower is close to your home, consider attaching the plumbing to your home’s drainage pipes or installing a French drain (essentially, a gravel-lined channel connected to a pipe that directs water to a drainage area).

The easiest thing to do, of course, is to go with the first option and recycle the water into your garden.

The shower offers a multisensory experience: the architect described how clients can take hot showers in the rain or simply lounge in the capacious garden area. Mint plants growing between the pavers release a pleasant smell when stepped upon.


Add some affordable accessories that greatly increase the fun and pleasure of showering outdoors. A large rainfall showerhead enhances that outdoor feeling, and plants or flowers in the shower area or peeping through the enclosure add a whimsical touch.

A wood-lined outdoor shower adds a modern touch to one of the decks.

Add some soft solar-powered lights for showering at dusk, install hooks for hanging towels and wet bathing suits, and maybe even add a chair to sit in. Most importantly, design your shower to take advantage of nature’s views, whether that’s the sky overhead or the splendor of your backyard garden.

The outdoor shower situated off of the master bedroom is enclosed to offer privacy and features a courtyard garden. Michael Arp of Lanoha Nurseries designed the house’s landscaping.

With just a little planning and effort, you can install your own outdoor shower and stay cool during the rest of the warm summer months.

Written by Jane Drill for Zillow

An outdoor shower tucked behind a screen off the master bedroom neutralizes this threat. “We thought it sounded great for muddy kids to run up and shower off there,” Coco says.

Shop These Outdoor Shower Supplies Recommended by Dwell

Spring is here, and summer is right around the corner. There is still time to do some DIY projects and build something that can greatly enhance your outdoor life — like an outdoor shower. It may seem like a luxury, but outdoor showers can be fairly inexpensive to build if you stick with cold water, which will feel great in the hot summer sun!

If you’re an avid runner, swimmer, gardener, or anyone who enjoys breaking a sweat in the summer, an outdoor shower can improve your life dramatically. A simple shower can cost you less than $1,000, and we’re going to show you how to build one step by step.

How to build an outdoor showerPapin Lab

How to build an outdoor shower enclosure

Plan the shower drainage

First things first, check with your local regulations to make sure you can build an outdoor shower. Some communities require you to install a drain that connects to your home’s waste system, which needs to be done first. The base will also need to have a drain strainer and be sloped so water flows into the drain. If this is required, a concrete base is your best bet; it will be easy to mold and will last a long time. You can even tile the concrete base if you want to go the extra mile.

If you don’t need to regulate water runoff, then the easiest thing to do is allow the water to flow into a garden.

Construct a shower base

Unless you are lucky enough to have a flat piece of ground that drains well or you have a deck, you will need to construct a shower base. A flat, stable base is required for functionality and safety. The dimensions should be, at a minimum, 30×30 inches because this is the most common floor space required by code; however, it is usually a good idea to make it bigger.

As we said before, create the base from concrete or another nonporous material if your shower needs a drain. If no drain is needed, then you have two options that allow water to soak into the ground: cement pavers or wood decking. In addition, some freestanding shower kits are available with a platform so you can skip this step and save some time.

Build the enclosure

If you want to enclose your shower for privacy, now is the best time to create it, specifically the back wall where you will mount the showerhead and valve. Construct the back wall out of wood, vinyl, or any material that is strong enough to support a showerhead and heating unit if you are going with hot water. Alternatively, if you are building your shower next to a fence or similar structure, you can simply mount the shower head on an existing fence post.

The enclosure is really where your creativity can shine. Enclosures can be made with almost anything, as long as you use a waterproof sealer, including bamboo, corrugated metal, sliding door, or simply a curtain.

Install the shower head and valve

This step will be the easiest or hardest, depending on whether you’re using a freestanding shower. If you are, then all you have to do is position it wherever you want. Stabilize it by pounding a 6-foot metal stake or rebar at least a couple of feet into the ground, then tie the shower riser to it.

If you are using a propane shower instead, which usually comes equipped with a handheld showerhead, make sure to mount it high enough so you can stand underneath it when the handheld showerhead is not in use. Remember to create a place for the propane tank. When installing an outdoor shower valve and head, secure everything to the wall with copper pipe clamps.

Hook up the water

Finally, you are ready to hook up the most essential part: the water. When installing a freestanding shower — solar or propane — all you need to do is take a garden hose and screw it into a hose bib. Turn the water on and leave it to control water flow from the shower. If you went with a solar shower, then the heating reservoir needs to remain in complete sunlight for a few hours before the water will be warm enough to use.

How to build an outdoor showerOzymandian/Shutterstock

Protect your shower in the winter

Not many people remember this, but your outdoor shower will be exposed to the winter months when not in use. This means you will need to protect it from cold temperatures, depending on your location. The most important thing to do is make sure your shower is completely drained of water to prevent freezing and cracking to the supply hoses and shower fixtures. If you bought a freestanding shower, things are easy for you. Simply remove the garden hose and put away the shower for the winter.

If your shower valve is installed on the wall and connected to a heater, turn off the water supply, put away the hose, and open the shower valves and leave them open. Also, make sure to remove the showerhead and valve from the faucet so that any residual moisture can escape.

The actual shower enclosure will also need to be protected during the winter. When you are ready to close the shower for the season, thoroughly dry the inside and cover the enclosure with a tarp, making sure the tarp is tied securely. If you did not build an enclosure, then cover the shower pipes.

Final thoughts

Outdoor showers may have seemed like a luxury for the wealthy, but anyone can create their own unique shower to enjoy during the summer. Whether you go with a simple freestanding shower with only cold water or go all out with a bamboo enclosure and propane heater, building one only requires some planning, patience, and the willingness to learn.

How to build an outdoor shower

Outdoor showers are an often overlooked luxury. At first glance an outdoor shower may seem primitive, but once you experience a cool refreshing shower on a hot summer day, you’ll never want to shower indoors again.

For some an outdoor shower is built for convenience and not wanting to track sand or dirt into a home, but for most others it’s simply an enjoyable way to get clean.

The setup for building an outdoor shower is relatively simple. You need an accessible water source—usually an already available spigot—and a solid floor with a drain that guides the water away from the house. Most opt for an enclosed shower, but it isn’t strictly necessary; it just depends on the privacy of your backyard and how modest you are.

Use wood that is weatherproof and make sure you paint or stain it to protect it from the elements. You can also use corrugated plastic like April Wilkerson used in the video below, which will last a long time and is maintenance free.

For a sharp looking all wood outdoor shower, check out this build from Ontario Lakeside.

You can purchase the necessary PVC pipes, fittings, and splitters at any home improvement store. If you’re not picky about the showerhead, pick one up at a ReStore or the discount bin at Home Depot. Add hooks, benches, and shelves, to customize your shower even more, and you’ll never leave.

For our trellis grid we ripped cedar stock into 1-1/2 by 1-1/2 inch strips.

We installed out grid, spaced approximately 10-inches apart with stainless steel screws.

How to build an outdoor shower

Step 7 – Assemble and Install the Gate

We made our board and batten gate similar to the wall partitions but doubled up on the thickness.

Assemble the door frame first, by fitting the T&G boards and cutting them to size. Ensuring it is square, add the diagonal batten pieces and secure them in place.

Batten doors can be made with tongue and groove doors, ship-lap or simple boards that are typically suitable for outdoor use. Tongue and groove and ship lap doors offer privacy by closing the seams off. Read more on how to make a board and batten door here.

Fasten all the parts with rust resistant screws.

TIP: Cutting a bevel on the hinge side of the gate will allow the door to open and close better during times of high humidity by reducing the surface area that could touch when the gate is closed. The goal is to install the gate with a consistent reveal or gap on both sides.

Use a track saw, circular saw, power plane or block plane to adjust the door in place. Once trimmed and fitted install heavy duty hinges, gate stop, lock and latch set.

TIP– Space gate equally in opening and secure hinges along one edge of the door for maximum support. Rest the door temporarily on support blocks while positioning and securing the hinges. Add a gate stop on the opposite side.

How to build an outdoor shower

Step 8 – Build Bench Seat

On our shower we built a seat in the shower area and used all cedar stock. The frame is secured to three support posts with one vertical support leg on the corner not attached to a post.

The bench seat is 1×4 strips of cedar spaced ¼- inch apart for airflow and drainage.

Enjoy Your Outdoor Shower

Regardless of your climate outdoor showers are quickly becoming popular and part of the outdoor living.

The goal is to bring the same comforts they have inside to outdoor spaces, by creating multipurpose outdoor living spaces that function as extensions of their home.

How to build an outdoor shower How to build an outdoor shower Rafters bolted to support post How to build an outdoor shower Installing the rafters
How to build an outdoor shower frame How to build an outdoor shower How to build an outdoor shower
How to build an outdoor shower How to build an outdoor shower How to build an outdoor shower Awaiting trellis
How to build an outdoor shower Bare bones awaiting partition walls How to build an outdoor shower Installing threaded rod How to build an outdoor shower support posts
How to build an outdoor shower Mounting blocks on house wall How to build an outdoor shower Shower installed on mounting blocks How to build an outdoor shower plan – prior to raising walls
How to build an outdoor shower How to build an outdoor shower Top view – post endgrain lead flashed How to build an outdoor shower Side rafter, bolts and trellis
How to build an outdoor shower support post bolted to house How to build an outdoor shower Rafter install How to build an outdoor shower Clamps temp hold in place
How to build an outdoor shower Rafter and post connection How to build an outdoor shower top cap How to build an outdoor shower
How to build an outdoor shower Installing horizontal trim boards – wall How to build an outdoor shower Cedar t&g partition walls How to build an outdoor shower
How to build an outdoor shower Finished view How to build an outdoor shower Angle screws at top rail cap How to build an outdoor shower plug
How to build an outdoor shower How to build an outdoor shower counter sink How to build an outdoor shower Before picture
How to build an outdoor shower How to build an outdoor shower How to build an outdoor shower

How to date in middle school

How to date in middle school

In all seriousness, though, it might be fair to put dating—or “hanging out” as many middle schoolers say—near the top of the list. If dating in middle school terrifies you, take stock of your concerns.

How to date in middle school

Perhaps you’re worried about early physical intimacy, heartbreak, or your tween’s reputation. Don’t overwhelm yourself or your child with fears. Instead, choose the top one or two to discuss calmly and without criticism. Whenever your child wants something, they are more open to listening to you. Use that to your advantage.

This is a good opportunity to share your values, perspectives, and hopes.

If you react reasonably, with a willingness to learn and be flexible, your child will trust your judgment and continue to seek your advice as the issues around dating become increasingly complex.

Your tween might show an interest in being more than friends with someone they know. This is one of many signs your tween is entering adolescence. It’s helpful for parents to recognize that being more than friends doesn’t necessarily mean an interest in physical intimacy. A lack of clear terms with these middle school relationships is part of the problem. When a middle schooler wants to date or go out, we’re left wondering, “What does middle school dating even mean?”

How to Approach Dating In Middle School:

1. Define terms

Begin by asking your tween what it means for them.

Is it spending time together at the mall or movies? Or maybe it’s just extra texting and a change in her social media status. You won’t know unless you ask. This is also an opportunity for you to talk about your own expectations for what you believe is appropriate in middle school.

2. Establish ground rules

There is no hard rule for when tweens should be allowed to date. Keep in mind that even if you forbid young relationships and dating, your tween may still spend lots of time with a special someone at school. What’s more, forbidden fruit has a unique appeal.

Rather than a flat no, you might consider a more nuanced answer that includes “yes” to some scenarios (Okay, you can say you’re going out), “maybe” to others (I’ll consider whether you can go to a movie together, but if I say yes, I will be in the theater a few rows away), and “no” to others (You are too young to go to the movies without a chaperone and, by the way, you’re too young to kiss).

You should also be talking about the appropriate age or circumstance for different levels of physical contact. This is not for the faint of heart, but you can do it. Otherwise, how will your tween know what’s appropriate for a young relationship?

3. Recognize the positives

For many tweens, dating in middle school simply means texting excessively. Remember, middle schoolers often feel isolated and abnormal by nature. They fret about being likable and accepted.

To be dating (whatever that means) can be the ultimate confidence booster.

It can also be a nice way to make a personal connection, learn how respectful relationships are built, and develop personal insight. Plus, remember the thrill of your first crush? It’s just fun.

4. Beware of risks

Do keep an eye out for serial relationships, though. A 2013 study from the University of Georgia found that middle schoolers who were in high-frequency or back-to-back relationships tended to be prone to higher-risk behaviors, like drinking or doing drugs, later in adolescence.

How to date in middle school

I would caution against group dating, too. It may seem like a safety net to have more tweens around, but the group mentality can quickly push boundaries. Two awkward, gawky tweens forced to think of conversation is much better than a group of tweens daring the couple to go into a closet for seven minutes. (I don’t know if that’s still a thing, but it was when I was in middle school.) You get the point.

How to date in middle school

Teen romance may have been dissected a million ways by popular culture, but that dubious analysis pales in comparison to a recent study that followed the arc of teen dating from grades 6 to 12. “We see four trajectories,” says Pamela Orpinas, a professor of behavioral research at the University of Georgia and the lead author of the study, which included 600 students. “Some kids never or hardly ever dated; some kids did not date during middle school and started dating during high school. Others dated all the time—or at least that’s what they reported. And others reported dating all the time in sixth grade, and then decreased, and then increased again.”

And the significance of these trajectories? Those who dated the most were shooting toward disaster: they were four times more likely to drop out of high school and reported twice as much substance abuse as those who were dating less. “Among adults or older adolescents or young adults, dating is actually a really good thing,” explains Orpinas, “because you’re more stable, happier, and less likely to do drugs.” But the earlier you start, the more likely the opposite results.

“Risk-taking behaviors in adolescents cluster,” says Lynn Ponton, professor of psychiatry at University of California, San Francisco, and the author of The Sex Lives of Teenagers: Revealing the Secret World of Adolescent Boys and Girls. And early-onset dating is an important clue as to whether your child might be a high-risk taker, particularly if it is accompanied by poor grade performance. But unlike substance abuse and depression—the two other horsemen of a teenage apocalypse—dating and grades are easier to spot and easier for parents to talk to their kids about. “Parents need to be able to assess in middle school what type of risk taker their adolescent or young eighth grader is,” she says. “If you have a high-risk taker as an eighth grader, you’re going to need to impose certain sanctions, provide alternative opportunities for healthy risk taking, and work with school and other parents to help your adolescent to learn how to assess risk in a healthier way.”

But perhaps the most interesting and unnerving aspect to early dating is that it is no longer perceived as something that is relatively private. Teens are not simply going through a worse version of the gossip an adult might face during a breakup. “Teens live off of Facebook in seventh and eighth grade in a way that we don’t as adults,” says Ponton. “And they are not prepared to take the ramifications of having their sexual and romantic lives propelled into the mainstream world. They’re still kids.”

While the academic studies aren’t in yet, she says she has seen a lot more seventh and eighth graders in her practice who are suffering depressed reactions or engaging in dangerous risk taking after their romantic and sexual lives, and breakups, were exposed on the Internet. “With Romeo and Juliet, one town was difficult,” she says. “Now, they’re suddenly seen as dumb by the whole world.”

So my daughter started Middle School and would tell me that her friends had boyfriends.

First of all, when I was in sixth grade, I was still playing with Barbies, so this is baffling to me.

Second of all, I was like, “So what do they do? Hold hands?”

Natalie replied, aghast, “Oh no! Never. Everyone is too shy for that. It just means they are going out.”

“Out where?” I asked.

Natalie blinked and tilted her head to the side, confused.

“You said they were going out. Where?”

“It’s just the saying. It means they are going out. Together.” Natalie said this slowly as though conversing with Brandi from the Real Housewives of Dallas when she’s had too much to drink.

“Yes,” I answered. “But when you say going out, it implies people are going somewhere.”

“They aren’t though,” Natalie snapped. “It’s just the SAYING.”

So okay, let me get this straight: dating in Middle School means going out, but not going out, and not holding hands.

Anyway, for Valentine’s Day Natalie said she wanted to give candy to a boy she liked. They talked daily, and Natalie decided she’d give him something to show she was interested. She knows if she waits around for a boy to make a move, she might be waiting for a long time, and I always tell her to go for what she wants.

So she gave him this:

(And yes, that is Beth Pearson in the background being like, “You go, girl!” or, “Good luck. You know how middle school boys can be.”)

Natalie said his face turned red, but he said thank you and said it reminded him of a scepter.

And then the next day, he gave her this box of chocolates:

Maybe he had been too shy to give her something on Valentine’s Day. Maybe he went out and got her something as a thank you. I don’t know. But Natalie thought it was sweet.

Then she was all, “It’s official,” and I went, “What is?” and she said, “We’re going out,” which, after our earlier convo, I knew meant they really wouldn’t be going anywhere. She said she figured it was official when one of her friends asked him if they were going out and he said yes, sure.

Naturally she has rules, one being, no kissing.

“You’re too young. You’re only 11,” I told her.

Natalie went, “Vada kissed Thomas J and she was 11.”

I replied, “Don’t use one of my favorite movies against me. Also, he died right after, so. “

Basically she says her friends tease her about him daily and dare her to do stuff like give him a hug. Or when he walks by they shout, “Hey Natalie’s boyfriend!” and when Natalie walks by HIS friends, they shout, “Hey, *insert boy’s name* girlfriend!” It’s still rather juvenile in middle school, which is how I like it.

Natalie says she gave him a side hug and I went, “Great idea, be like the Duggars!” and she gave me a look like:

So yeah. My daughter has a “boyfriend”, but they don’t go anywhere, and they won’t be holding hands because people point and laugh, and they give side hugs. Also, he doesn’t have a phone because it broke, so they don’t text, but if they did, Natalie says all her friends with boyfriends text is emojis, basically. And the boyfriends rarely text back because they’re too busy playing Fortnite.

How to date in middle school

Many adults remember having their first boyfriend or girlfriend in sixth, seventh, or eighth grade. Some consider it a normal step for kids entering adolescence — a rite of passage like acne or being embarrassed by your parents — but it may be time to reconsider.

Turns out, puppy love may not be quite as harmless as it seems. According to research, dating in middle school is tied to poor study habits and even dropping out as well as behaviors such as drinking alcohol and doing drugs. Compared to adolescents who waited or dated early and then reversed their course in high school, early daters reported twice as much drug, tobacco, and alcohol use and dropped out of school at four times the rate.

Pamela Orpinas, a child development researcher at the University of Georgia, made this startling discovery over the course of a seven-year longitudinal study where she followed more than 600 kids in Georgia from sixth to twelfth grade.

Dating’s effect on studies

Every year, she’d ask the students a series of questions about everything from homework habits to whether they’d tried pot. The pivotal question, just a single line in the survey, was whether the child “had a boyfriend or girlfriend (someone that you dated, gone out with, gone steady with)” in the previous three months. In addition to collecting the kids’ survey responses, Orpinas gathered information from the children’s teachers. Every year, teachers rated the children’s study skills — such as completing homework, reading assigned chapters, being organized, and doing extra credit work — from high to low.

Her study, published in the Journal of Research on Adolescence in 2013, is among the first to look at how early dating is related to school work, and the results are pretty clear: “The kids who report little or no dating, their teacher evaluations are consistently higher — and the kids who report dating more, their teacher evaluations are consistently low.” What the study leaves unexplained is whether early dating was associated with broader risk factors for problem behavior — such as low socioeconomic status — or whether early dating was linked to problem behavior irrespective of other risks.

While it won’t surprise most parents to hear alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs listed as problem behaviors, it’s likely to raise eyebrows that early dating belongs on that same list. But it does, Orpinas says. “It’s a risk factor,” she says, “and it’s associated with other problem behaviors.”

What is “dating” in middle school, anyway?

Over the course of her study, Orpinas left the meanings of “dating,” “going out with,” and “going steady” up to the kids’ interpretations. Partly, she says, because kids at each stage and grade know what these things mean to them — and that’s more useful for self-reporting survey responses than getting bogged down in a definition, she says. “In the end, it’s some kind of romantic involvement.”

The big questions, then, are what really constitutes dating and when should you start letting your child date? For instance, what about so-called relationships that exist solely via text message — a trend dubbed D8-ing in a Wall Street Journal story. Are these situations, where kids text incessantly but barely utter a word to one another, count? It’s a gray area — but if you think kids would report them in response to Orpinas’ survey, they probably do. “It’s definitely an area for further research,” Orpinas says, warning that any relationship-like activity that dominates hours of a middle schooler’s time is a red flag. “We had one participant who would talk on the phone from 6 pm to 4 am with her boyfriend,” Orpinas recalls, lamenting the lack of balance in the girl’s life. Even when kids are only texting, she says, “parents really need to step in and see how much time they’re spending.”

Text-only dating is just one facet of the complex early dating scene, along with “more than friends” and “Facebook official” and everything in between. The only real way to find out what counts? You’ll have to have that conversation with your child.

Just ban dating till they’re 16?

From 2003 to 2009, as Orpinas was collecting the survey data and spotting the tie between early dating and poor study skills, she admits she forbade her daughter (now in college) from dating till she turned 16. “To my surprise, she was very relieved,” Orpinas says. “She didn’t have to deal with the peer pressure.” Orpinas reasons that early dating affects schoolwork negatively because these relationships tend to be short — and when it ends, the kids are still in the same class. She likens it to the emotional fallout that often comes from adults dating coworkers.

Forbidding kids to date until they’re 16 is a popular solution. Vic, a middle school teacher and father of six, says, “Dating is about learning to establish stable romantic relationships,” but tweens just aren’t capable of that yet. “Middle schoolers need to be learning to establish stable emotional self-awareness,” he says. “Pairing up during early adolescence makes about as much sense as smoking at a gasoline refinery.”

Feona Sharhran Huff, mom of a middle school girl, was disturbed when a boy asked her daughter out. “I have seen the emotional effects that dating has on some of my friends’ middle school children,” she says. “The girls post things [on Facebook] like, ‘I love him but why is he doing me like this?’ and ‘Why doesn’t he call me? I need to talk to him,’” says Huff, adding that these aren’t the types of thoughts or emotions she thinks girls should experience at this age. To Huff’s delight, her daughter told the boy no. “[I] wanted to shed tears of joy when she said that she told the young man that she was too young and had to focus in her studies,” she says.

Or let them be

Yet simply banning dating till later may be neither simple nor effective. With girls reaching puberty earlier, is it wrong to force kids to ignore their biological development? And what about the kids who’ll date anyway, just behind your back?

There is a silver lining here: at a certain age, for certain kids, good, strong dating relationships are really positive. “Being in a good relationship as an older adolescent or young adult is a protective factor,” Orpinas says. Specifically, studies show that older kids with good grades tend to seek out partners with similar academic standing — and those students tend to continue to do well. (Kids with lower grades, however, tend to choose romantic partners for other achievements, such as “good at partying.”) So what’s the age cutoff? “That’s the million dollar question that every mother wants to know,” Orpinas laughs.

After spending years evaluating this research and using it to inform her own parenting, Orpinas offers this advice. Some kids are under so much pressure to get into relationships they don’t really want, they may need their parents to set limits. Encourage them to make friends and get to know each other, she says, rather than date.

I recently came across an article with that very title– Should I let my middle schooler date? The article gets pretty sanctimonious, and talks all about how you should definitely not let your middle schooler date.

How to date in middle school

But what really surprised me was how everyone in the comments agreed that you should absolutely not let your middle schooler date.

How to date in middle school

Dude, I get it. I get that it is stressful to think about your kids “dating” I get that when they are “going out” they aren’t actually going anywhere, and I get that, but what on earth makes people think that they can keep these kids from “dating” from “going out” from being “boyfriend and girlfriends” with each other?

How to date in middle school

Are we so old that we don’t remember middle school? All those confused hormones all holed up in one giant building. Teachers just trying to keep the peace while girly girls flash too much leg, boys who can’t stop staring at all the things they haven’t learned yet to stop staring at, and of course, all the RELATIONSHIPS that these kids have with each other.

“So-and-so likes you, do you like her?”

“I totally ship these two.” Is something you see all over their instagram accounts. Their snapchats filled with streaks to and from each other.

So, to all of those parents out there asking, “Should I let my middle schooler date?” Uh, guess what– that isn’t your decision. You can forbid. You can suggest, but this isn’t up to you. This is one of those times where we have to HOPE we have raised our children to make the right decisions, to pick and choose the right friends, and dare it say it– boyfriends and girlfriends.

How to date in middle school

You can FORBID your kids from falling for others all you want, but you can’t stop it. So quit trying. Do you know what happens to those parents who don’t let their kids “date?” Those kids DO IT ANYWAY, and guess what? Those parents have no idea. This is one of those times where it’s better to let your kids do what they want to do and offer the guidance that keeps them from making terrible decisions that can get them into real trouble later!

This isn’t a time to put on your hard-ass hat. This is a time to listen, to be there, and to show your kids that you can have an open honest relationship. THIS is the time when your kids need you. Be there for them.

Thursday 4th of July 2019

Lalala is a PRIME example of why we have to keep young people from dating. I agree whole-heartedly with Christina. My kids may be crushing, they may spend time together at school and even call each other boyfriend or girlfriend, but they will NOT be dating before 16, period. She will not be going anywhere without adult chaperones, he will not be taking any girls anywhere unless they are going with a group of kids I trust and there is adult supervision. I will not drive them, neither will their dad. I will not pay for it, neither will their dad. If I say no dating, that is exactly what I mean and it has been no problem so far. 2 down, 1 to go. I started talking to my children about this topic when they were tweens, they know me, they take me at my word. If my child ever acted like Lalala, they would lose the privilege of everything they ever had access to, other than what the law requires: One set of clothing to be washed every other day, 2 pairs of underwear, a mattress and a pillow (cause I am nice), 3 meals a day. No electronics of any kind, no treats, no snacks, no spending money. PB and J for lunch at school every day. No door on their room. That is all that I am required to give them per the law and that is all they get if they don’t respect the rules. Once they understand the choices, they will fix their behavior and attitude pretty quickly, usually. I love my kids, they follow the rules until they are old enough to move out. Once they move out, they can make their own choices. I will have prepared them to be good adults, with morals and values that have served me very well. None of my kids ran away or moved out before they turned 18. They understood the purpose of the rules and they knew they were loved and cared for.

Some people will feel this is abusive, it is not. My children are never denied the things they need to be healthy and clean. They are taught right from wrong and they learn respect and follow my rules. That is what a parent is SUPPOSED to teach their kids. If you are not teaching them these things, you are neglecting the appropriate care of your child. Is my way the only way? No, it is not. You do you and I will do me. I just wanted to share where I stand on the matter.

Sunday 17th of March 2019

Let kids make own mistakes, give em the talk, let them know the things you would prefer not to do, and let them know the future events that might happen, but dont have a tone where it sounds like ur being rude, my mom does it with me and we always fight about it.

Monday 17th of September 2018

You may not have control of your kids crushes or them holding hands with a boy or gurl in school, but you 100% have control on whether or not they date. Last time I checked kids under 16 can’t drive and most still rely on Mom and Dad to pay for everything.

Parents set the standards you deem appropriate. Not all of us our letting our kids do whatever they want when they want to do it .

Sunday 17th of March 2019

Bitch please, I’m 11 and all ppl ever say is “DONT DO IT”, all we do is go to movies. Is that having sex? NOPE, so shut up

Sunday 10th of September 2017

I understand where the author is coming from, but I can’t say agree. You “teach your children good principles, and let them govern themselves”. I was taught to wait dating until I was 16. I had all my own agency, and still chose to follow the rules of my parents. Not all kids will, but I hope to instill a standard of conduct in my children by talking to them about these things early on and helping them understand the temporary age restriction rather than letting them be ruled by those confused hormones that can potentially have consequences they can’t fathom at this age.

Monday 24th of July 2017

I was terrified of boys in middle school. A boy sent his friend over to ask me out for him, and I literally stopped being able to see the world around me and shook my head so hard it hurt and ran to my class. I still have no clue what either boy looked like.

I also had two friends who dated in middle school and . . . let’s just say I hope my kids take after me.

How to get a boyfriend

Not that it matters — but if you really want to know.

Seventeen participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites.

How to get a boyfriend

First things first, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with being single. No bae, no problem, right? But if you feel stuck wondering how to get a boyfriend or girlfriend, take this quiz to figure out the real reason you haven’t found your match.

How to get a boyfriend

If you answered mostly with the first column.

Some people can’t keep up with your bold spirit — but that’s their problem, not your’s! Amazing opportunities come to you because you rarely back away from what you want, and your boldness will weed out any crushes who can’t commit to the adventure. Find someone who matches your fervor for life — or consider a shyer soul who will appreciate your take-charge attitude.

How to get a boyfriend

If you answered mostly with the second column.

You just haven’t met the right person yet! When you meet someone who makes you light up, you’ll know. Until then, there’s no point in stressing out. You might be a little shy around strangers, but it’s worth making an effort to meet new people (and get to know the people you already know a little bit better). Don’t worry if it takes a little time. The best things in life are worth waiting for!

A friend from another state is coming to town and wants to see this hot guy you’ve been dating and bragging about. The problem is he’s non-existent. Now you have one day to come up with a bona fide boyfriend. The good news is that the best way to get a boyfriend in a day is to be natural and have fun.

List your potential boyfriends according to the ones you’re most attracted to, making sure they’re single. Time is limited to the one day, so if you know someone is interested in you and you want to get to know him better, put him at the top of the list. Keep the list realistic, and place the guys who are already good friends near the top.

Invite a group of friends to get together, adding as many potential boyfriends to the event as possible. Make sure the event is informal so no one feels awkward. If you’re uncomfortable calling some of the guys, ask a girlfriend to help you make calls. Beaches, malls and bowling alleys are great hangouts for this sort of gathering.

Greet everyone by name as they show up, looking directly into the eyes of your list toppers and flashing a big, natural smile that reaches your eyes. Observe the crowd interactions for a few minutes so you can figure out which potential boyfriend is gravitating toward you.

Pick a potential boyfriend and start a conversation with him. Ask him about his day or something about his personal interests since people tend to like talking about themselves. Ask him about topics you’re genuinely interested in so he can pick up on your enthusiasm.

Lean forward, keep eye contact, make appropriate comments when applicable and keep it real as you talk to the guy. Remember, physical contact is great when it’s not overdone, so reach out and touch his arm every once in a while, and stand or sit close to him.

Remove yourself with a polite excuse if you feel uncomfortable with him at any point in your conversation, or if he seems to distance himself from you. Remember, you only have one day, so get right back in the game and start conversing with the next person on your list until you find a potential boyfriend you click with.

Verbalize your feelings when you find your guy and you sense that he’s interested in you. Tell him you’re interested in him as a boyfriend.

Follow these tips and he will fall in love with you!

How to get a boyfriend

Are you single and now really bored of it? There are several boys hitting on you, but none of these men are exactly your types. And the one you like seems like too hard to get. Honestly you do not have to go out looking for a boyfriend. However if you do have someone in your mind and want him to be your boyfriend, then we can be of some help. We will tell you how to get a boyfriend, a boyfriend who is exactly how you wanted. Follow these tips and that man you have always had a crush on will soon be yours. (ALSO READ Top 10 things you will learn in the first year of your married life!).

1. Men love chasing

So what you have to do is be a little flirty, fun and sexy and obviously seem like hard to impress. Men love the chase and you come across as somebody who is not easy to please and hard to get, he will sure come after you. But you cannot just sit there and expect him to chase you. You have to throw subtle hints and then be extremely hard to reach. ALSO READ Difference between real friends and fake friends: 6 ways to know the difference!

2. Dress to impress

How to get a boyfriend

You have to make some efforts and one of them is to ensure that you are dressed to impress. Till you are sure he is clearly interested in you, you need to ensure that you dress up well. You have to grab his attention. But at the same time do no over dress too. The effort should not look like a forced one. ALSO READ How to confess your mistake? 7 ways on how to own up to your mistakes!

3. Refrain from any kind of negative talks

How to get a boyfriend

If the guy you like is a good friend of yours, do not end up bitching or gossiping about people. This can be very negative for the man. Stay positive and talk only good things. You guys need to laugh and connect through conversations. You should not come across as somebody who is boring, dull and bitchy. ALSO READ Relationship rules: 10 things NOT to do if you want your relationship to stay strong

4. Have a life of your own

Also ensure that you have a life of your own. Do not keep your social life away because you found a new love interest. That is not a good impression really. Continue meeting your friends and have fun without him too. This will increase his urge to meet you more often. (ALSO READ Why long distance relationships work: 8 reasons why distance is harmless in love!).

5. Make more eye contact

How to get a boyfriend

Every time you hang out with him make sure you make an eye contact always. You need to look into his eyes a little longer than you look at other people. This is sure to make him fall in love with you.

These are the five sure shot ways of getting a boyfriend and making him fall in love with you.

It’s not just our boyfriend’s t-shirts that we’re stealing anymore; we’re also after his brows. It’s the polar opposite to the groomed brows of Instagram; the bigger, bushier and more unkempt, the better. Put down the tweezers and avoid those brow trimming scissors; it’s time to rock the boyfriend brow.

Get the look

It may seem effortless, but even this natural look takes a little work. Here’s 3 steps to perfectly undone brows.


Using the fine tip of the Pro Pencil, draw in an upwards direction. This may be against the normal direction of hair growth but that’s totally fine.

How to get a boyfriend


Use Brow Colourfix in an upwards direction. The tinted formula will set hairs in place and give the appearance of fuller brows.

How to get a boyfriend


For an extreme brushed up effect, use a clean Spoolie Brush to back comb the hairs.

How to get a boyfriend

Will I suit boyfriend brows?

If you like a low maintenance brow and prefer an extra 10 minutes in bed in the morning, this is the look for you. This undone look goes perfectly with the current trend of soft, natural, ‘no make up’ make up, so if you’re a fan of this look, this is the brow trend for you.

“If you have bushy brows, you can rock the look right away. If your brows are a little on the sparse side, your HD Brows stylist will be able to put you on a regrowth programme to help you achieve your desired shape.”

– Jamie Long, Lead HD Brows Stylist

How to get a boyfriend

Boyfriend brows inspiration

Here are the boyfriend brows that we’re loving right now.

How to get a boyfriend

Your brows deserve a professional

Even if you’re going for the undone look, your brows still deserve professional treatment. With a look like this, a single hair can make or break your brow. Make sure you leave any shaping to your HD Brows stylist.

Boyfriend brows FAQs

Of course, there’s still lots of ways for you to get on board with this trend.

Firstly, a visit to your HD Brows stylist is a must. Not only can they devise a regrowth programme, but the tinting stage of the treatment picks up those fair, fluffy hairs. We then incorporate these into the brow shape for a fuller look.

You can use the Brow Maximiser to help achieve a fuller brow. This serum is clinically proven to increase brow density by over 60% in just 4 weeks.

It’s totally up to you, but we recommend leaving your brows to a professional. When it comes to full and fluffy brows every hair counts and your stylist will know exactly which ones to leave and which can be removed if you need a little tidy up.

How to understand the meaning of nascar flags

How to understand the meaning of nascar flags

What are flags used for during NASCAR races? How many flags are there and what is indicated by each flag? Each of the eight main flags is colored differently and represent a specific situation during the race. Here is a one-stop guide that explains the reasoning behind every flag seen on race day.

Flags are an easy way to make drivers aware of how far along they are in the race, as well as alert drivers of any potential hazards on the track. Each race has a designated flagman that is tasked with waving different colored flags as the cars make their way around the track.

Table of Contents

List of NASCAR Flags

  • Black Flag
  • Blue Flag (Diagonal Yellow Stripe)
  • Checkered Flag
  • Green Flag
  • Green and White Checkered Flag
  • Red Flag
  • Yellow Flag
  • White Flag

Black Flag

The black flag is used to gain the attention of an individual driver. The flagman will wave the black flag at a car that has either violated the rules or has extensive damage that requires immediate attention. Per the official rules and regulations of NASCAR, a driver that has been shown the black flag must promptly exit the track and make a pit stop at an off-track location where the car can be quickly serviced or repaired by a group of experienced mechanics.

Blue Flag with Diagonal Yellow Stripe

A driver that sees the blue-striped flag is alerted that a faster car is about to pass their car. The flag is waved only when the faster car is leading by at least a full lap (a full trip around the track) and dictates that the driver being passed must slow down or move out of the way to allow the other vehicle to get by.

Checkered Flag

The checkered flag is used to show the finish line for the driver that wins the face. Once the driver crosses the finished line the race is over.

Green Flag

The green flag represents the start of a race. Once the green flag is waved, drivers know to hit the gas pedal and begin driving from their starting positions.

Green and White Checkered Flag

Since a race cannot end on a caution during the final laps (the final few laps cannot consist of a slower pace due to a potential hazard on the track), the flagman will wave a checkered green and white flag to indicate a restart once the safety concern has been addressed.

For example, if a collision occurs on the second-to-last lap and racers are forced to follow the safety car, the laps must be re-done and the race will resume as normal upon the sight of the checkered green and white flag. The flag is waved again as the leader approaches the finish line.

Red Flag

The red flag is waved when officials become aware of bad weather and dangerous track conditions. Rather than follow a safety car and slow down, drivers must come to a stop completely in a previously designated area until it is safe to resume racing.

White Flag

The white flag means that the current leader has just one lap remaining in the race.

Yellow Flag

The yellow flag is used to warn drivers of a potential hazard on the track in the form of debris or a serious collision. When drivers spot the yellow flag, they must slow down and line up in order behind the pace car (a specially marked car that is driven by a safety official to dictate the speed when a safety concern arises) until the flag is no longer being waved, signaling that the hazard has been cleared.

How to understand the meaning of nascar flags

Every motorsport has a flag system that the drivers have to obey. Most of it remains the same across all disciplines, and NASCAR is no different. Just like with every other motorsport, all of the flags’ meanings are universal. However, it is worth mentioning that some of the terminologies are different in NASCAR.

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There is also an interesting question about how many flags are used in NASCAR? The short answer is that there are seven flags that are primarily used. For obvious reasons, the red flag signifies that the race has been stopped. Meanwhile, with regard to what flag means go in Nascar, it is the green flag.

How to understand the meaning of nascar flags

Then, there are the yellow flags, where drivers are required to slow down. In NASCAR, they are primarily known as caution flags and, unlike other motorsports events, they come out at specific intervals. Just like other motorsports, the flags are waved when there is an accident or a hazard on the track. However, NASCAR sometimes throws cautions at specific intervals.

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What else do the NASCAR flags signify?

One of the rarest flags is the black flag, which is normally pulled to disqualify a driver. This happens when a driver races very erratically and accumulates too many penalties. Another scenario is when the driver’s car is too badly damaged and could be a hazard to other competitors.

How to understand the meaning of nascar flags

Next on the hit list is the blue flag. Now, most drivers do not have to worry about seeing this flag. This is because it mostly caters to backmarkers who are about to be put a lap down by the race leader/s. The penultimate important flag is the white flag, which is mostly seen in NASCAR. This particular flag usually indicates that there is one lap remaining before the finish. Finally, the black and white chequered flag brings a race or a session to a close.

How to understand the meaning of nascar flags

Are NASCAR Drivers Required to Have a Driver’s License?

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Have you ever noticed all the flags used on the track at Nascar races? Those different colors each have a different meaning. NASCAR Flags have been around as long as the sport of auto racing itself. Before there were two-way radios in NASCAR race cars, the only method of communicating with drivers during the extremely loud racing action was with the use of colored flags. These large, colorful flags gain the attention of drivers and are easy to see.

Almost every auto racing series uses the same combination of flag colors to keep things consistent. NASCAR drivers can see the status of the race by looking at the flag. Just as traffic signal lights at a street intersection let drivers know exactly what to do, these Nascar flags communicate different racing conditions to the Nascar drivers. The NASCAR flags are usually waved by a flagman on a platform at the start/finish line. Here is what the different colored Nascar flags mean:

Green Nascar Flag: The green flag is used to signal the beginning of the race or a race restart. Green means that the track is clear and the race cars may continue.

Yellow Nascar Flag: This Nascar flag is used to signal an accident, debris on the track, a mechanical failure or bad weather. The yellow flag means that the track is not clear. It signals drivers to slow down and hold their position. Drivers are allowed to group up behind the leader. A yellow flag during a practice race means the race cars should go to their pit stop immediately.

Red Nascar Flag: The red flag means that the track is unsafe and there is a situation that requires the immediate attention of Nascar officials. All race cars must stop. The red flag is usually waved in cases of heavy rain or an accident that requires medical assistance. A red flag can also mean that the race track is blocked by debris or a crashed car. A red flag during the closing laps of a race can also be waved to ensure the race ends under good conditions.

White Nascar Flag: The white Nascar flag means that there is one lap remaining in the race.

Checkered Nascar Flag: The familiar black and white checkered flag means the race is complete.

So there you have it, now you know what the different colored Nascar flags mean and why they are used.

Find information about pretty much everything at FactExpert.

NASCAR Racing Flags: Learning The Basics

You know green means go and red means stop, but what in the world does a black flag mean? Most races go off without a hitch but in NASCAR, flags flying can mean the difference in coming in first or ending up out of the running. You may think the racers are the most important people on the track, but it’s the flag men that the spotters and the pit crew are keeping their eyes on. It may seem outdated and old fashioned, but even in this age of high tech electronics it’s the flags that signal NASCAR racers, their crews and their fans to penalties, conditions and racing wins.

Everyone who knows NASCAR racing in general is familiar with the most commonly used flags. Green signals the beginning of the race or the go ahead to continue racing after a conditional flag. A yellow flag reflects a caution due to an accident or adverse conditions on the track from spring showers to woodland creature frolicking on the raceway. The white flag signals the last lap of the race and the checkered flag heralds the end of the race and the winner. But in addition to these NASCAR flags are others that are occasionally and in some cases, rarely seen during a racing season.

NASCAR Flags Explained In Detail

NASCAR drivers don’t usually want to see a flag during a race other than the green, the white and the checkered. That’s because the other flags are usually an indication that something has gone wrong. It may be something like a yellow caution flag for an accident or it may be something as serious as a red flag which brings a complete stop to the race. Here is a list of the eight NASCAR flags and what they mean for the drivers:

How to get rid of hip dips

How to get rid of hip dips

With everything going on in the world, you’d think all those “what are hip dips” concerns would stop and that the pressure would be off when it comes to how we look. After all, who needs to worry about lipstick, jeans, and shampoo when we’ve got face masks, comfy loungewear and the millionth COVID variant, right?

But how we feel about our appearance has taken a dive in the past year. In fact, a study commissioned by the House of Commons Committee found that more than half of U.K. adults actually felt “worse” about their body image.

So it’s unsurprising that, following in the footsteps of the “thigh gap” and “thighbrow” body phenomena, the world of social media has come up with a new fitness thing to fret about: hip dips. The “hip dip” trend has been gathering steam in the few years but has become even more of a physical fixation during the lockdown, with the hashtag #hipdips used more than 25k times on Instagram alone.

We’re all for fixating on our lower halves in a good way, including building up that booty with glute exercises (our guide to the best resistance bands for women will help with that, BTW). But with the internet trying to make hip dips happen, all we really want to do is wiggle around to Shakira’s “Hips Don’t Lie.” That aside, read on for all of the hippy, dippy truth.

  • Thisresistance band butt workoutis the perfect at-home exercise class
  • TheseTikTok yoga pantshave gone viral for their booty-lifting effect: the best floor mats for your home workouts

What are hip dips?

Hip dips are the “colloquial term that is given to the inward depression—or curve—along the side of your body, just below the hip bone,” explains Dr. Rekha Tailor, medical director and founder of Health and Aesthetics. These indentations are also known as “violin hips” or, in scientific speak, “trochanteric depressions.”

Many are calling them the new “thigh gap,” a circa-2011 obsession that has persisted for the past decade. “Interest in [hip dips] has increased significantly in the last few months,” adds Dr. Tailor, noting that Google searches doubled in lockdown. And that leads us to.

What causes hip dips?

In short, hip dips are caused by your genetics. Dr. Ross Perry, medical director of CosmedicsUK, comfortingly describes them as a “completely normal anatomical phenomenon.” He says: “They are caused when one’s hip bone is located higher than his or her femur, causing fat and muscle to cave inward.”

Similarly, Dee Hammond-Blackburn, a personal trainer at OriGym, insists that they are totally natural—and completely down to how your bones were built: “The skeletal structure of an individual’s pelvis, the width of their hips, and their overall body fat and muscle distribution will all have an impact on how visible their hip dips are when viewed externally.” That’s pretty much the same for every single body part.

The main thing to know is that they are not a sign of being overweight or unfit.

“Recently, more and more people are thinking that hip dips—or lack of—are a sign of how healthy you are,” says Mark Fox, health and fitness expert from The Training Room. “Although the amount of body fat stored in that area can make them more noticeable, and extra muscle mass can also give you a more prominent look, losing body fat around that area won’t make them go away, as they’re mainly due to bone structure, which you can’t change.”

How common are hip dips?

Hip dips are more frequent than you’d think. “Almost everyone has a degree of ‘hip dip’,” points out Dr. Perry. “It is just more pronounced in some individuals.” However, they are more common in women, due to the position of the hip bones and women’s genetic fat distribution.

That said, while on some people they are barely noticeable and others they can be very apparent, it may simply depend on your perspective. “Typically, hip dips are most visible when you look straight at your front profile in the mirror,” explains Sam Markham, personal trainer and co-founder of Common Purpose Wellbeing.

“However, it’s impossible to calculate how many people have them, and how many don’t—and I think we should therefore accept and celebrate how unique we all are.”

Can you get rid of hip dips?

It’s a misconception that you’ll be able to erase hip dips entirely from your body. “However, exercising to reduce fat and build muscle can help to reduce the appearance of hip dips,” says Dr. Tailor.

Rhea Sheedy, a dance teacher and founder of Ballet Fusion, advises: “Focus on moves that target the gluteal muscle groups, such as Bulgarian split squats, glute bridges, and lunges. Walking and running are also great for shaping the legs while core workouts—especially those targeting the abs and obliques—will help to shape the waist.”

However, Sheedy points out: “You’ll sometimes see hip dips in people who train a lot, as more muscle mass—or pronounced strength in certain muscles—can create more noticeable hip dips.”

Hip dips are sometimes known as “dancer’s dents,” due to the serious amount of booty squeezing, hamstring, hip, and leg work dancers get through. We can’t promise a ballerina’s behind, but we have some tips on how to tone your butt to get you started.

Hammond-Blackburn mentions that you also shouldn’t forget how you fuel yourself. “Consuming a nutritious diet will play a huge role in how effective a training program is, too, especially one that contains a good amount of protein. This will help to trigger muscle growth in the area and burn excess body fat”. (If you’re stuck, we have some healthy meal prep ideas for inspiration!)

So rather than obsessively Googling “what are hip dips,” the one single thing that will make you feel better about your hip dips is self-compassion. Fox suggests: “Give yourself a little self-love and embrace those hip dips (or lack of)! The human body is amazing and beautiful.” Words to live by!

How to get rid of hip dips

Hip dips have been getting a lot of attention lately, but not everyone is clear on whether they’re good or bad.

The answer? Neither. They’re simply a part of our human anatomy, dependent on an individual’s muscular and skeletal makeup. Hip dips are an inward curve or dent in the space where your leg meets your hip. Some people have them; others don’t.

If you’re wondering what causes hip dips, “this is where genetics play their part,” Stacey Santos, a personal trainer in Walnut Creek, California, recently explained on Instagram. “There’s nothing you can do to get rid of hip dips. No matter how much muscle you build, your hip dips will always be there.”

That said, there are certainly ways to tone and strengthen that area. If that’s your goal, here are a few exercises Santos shared with TODAY.

Stepping side lunges

Start by standing up straight with your feet parallel and shoulder-width apart. Take a big step to the side and lunge down to a 90-degree angle, keeping your non-working leg straight, then step back into your starting position. Perform the same number of repetitions for each leg.

Santos’ pro tip? “If you want to challenge yourself, you can hold a dumbbell at your chest to add weight.”

Lateral leg lifts

You can do these using a cable machine, resistance bands or just your own body weight.

Stand up straight with your feet together, slightly bend your knees and lift one leg out to the side without moving the rest of your body. Bring it back in, and repeat as many times as you wish. Keep your abs engaged and place your hands on your hips to keep the work out of your arms. Then do the other side!

Seated abductors

Sit on the floor with your legs bent and knees touching and lean back on your hands, keeping your back straight. (No slouching!) Open your knees outward, like a clam shell, but keep your feet together. Then return to your starting position. Repeat as many times as you like.

“This workout is great for targeting the glute muscles around your hips,” Santos said.

For an extra challenge, loop a resistance band around your legs, behind your knees.


master the move Tone the butt and legs with a Romanian deadlift

In recent years, social media has spawned a curious string of seemingly random body “trends” — from thigh gaps to bikini bridges. But the latest one — hip dips — appears to be different from its predecessors, in that it’s actually promoting self-confidence and body positivity, as opposed to making women feel inadequate because of their figures.

“I spent all my teenage years thinking I had awful muffin top/love handles, hating the fact that I didn’t look ‘normal’ in bodycon dresses,” one woman wrote, describing the moment she stumbled across the term hip dip online. “Cue the life-changing moment when I realized that I did not have awful muffin top, that actually I just had high hips. My SKELETON was set this way.”

Many women have taken to social media to share photos of their hip dips, sometimes also known as violin hips, inspiring others to do the same.

One physical trainer who shared a video demonstrating her own hip dip told TODAY she was just trying to encourage women to practice self-love.

“Social media has a habit of creating insecurities that shouldn’t be a thing and my aim was to highlight this and teach people to love themselves,” Olivia Woodhead said in an email.

Many people are talking about hip dips lately, but not everyone is sure whether they are good or bad.

Well, the answer is neither. Hip dips are a part of the human anatomy, and their occurrence depends on your muscular and skeletal structure. They are an inward curve or dent in the space where your legs meet your hips. Some people have hip dips, while others do not. Many fitness experts and instructors have listed down different ways and means to get rid of them. But before you jump on how to get rid of hip dips, it is essential to know what causes them.

How to get rid of hip dips

So, what causes hip dips?

According to a study, hip dips are the result of the shape of your pelvis. Although not everyone’s hip dips are noticeable, if reduced to a skeleton, all of us have them. It is normal to have them because they are a normal part of the structure of your body. But how your hip dips are visible to others depends upon many conditions.

  • The width of your hips determines your hip dips.
  • Hip dips are also characterized by the size of the top of your femur.
  • Hip dips happen to be visible because of the distance between your greater trochanter, ilium, and hip socket.
  • Factors such as the length of your femoral neck, fat distribution of your body, as well as muscle mass are also responsible for making your hip dips visible to others.

How to Get Rid of Hip Dips?

While many individuals do not have an issue living with the hip dips, others become more conscious about how their lower body may appear. If you want to treat your hip dips and bid them goodbye, here are the top exercises to perform.


Squats are the ultimate lower body exercise that helps tone your buttocks to perfection. You can also reduce the visibility of your hip dips with this exercise. How to get rid of hip dips

Stand with your feet hip-width apart and make a squatting position. Ensure that your knees track over your toes and do not extend past them. Using the weight in your heels, push up back to standing such that your glutes are squeezed at the top. You can perform this movement with or without weight in your hands.

Fire Hydrants

As the name suggests, this exercise gives your hip area the much-needed burn, thereby making it toner. Start on all-fours in a tabletop position. Remember to keep your back straight and to engage your core. Raise one leg until it is in line with your buttocks. How to get rid of hip dips

Drive the leg up with your knee and make sure that both your knees and feet are in-line. Engage both the glutes to ensure that your buttocks stay centered. If your upper body feels uncomfortable while performing this movement, bring your hands down slightly to one side.

Glute Bridges

For all the women who want muscular and toned buttocks and reduce hip dips, glute bridges are the best movement to perform. You can start by lying on your back and bringing your heels up to the mat. The arrangement should be such that your heels are a few inches away from your buttocks and your knees are pointing upwards. How to get rid of hip dips

Take your feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart such that your toes point outwards. Ensure that the knees are pushing outwards to engage your side glutes. Thrust your pelvis up with control, let it rest for a second, and then bring it back on the floor.

Hip Abduction

This movement is the easiest of all. Lie down on your side and use your top arm to aid the upper body by keeping it in front of your chest. How to get rid of hip dips

Keep your core and upper body still and engaged and while maintaining this position, raise your top leg upward. Lower back down with control. Repeat.

Seated Abduction

Sit on the floor with your legs bent and your knees touching. Lean back on your hands such that you keep your back straight. Do not slouch while maintaining this position. How to get rid of hip dips

Open your knees outward while keeping your feet together. Return to the position from where you began. Repeat. You can perform this movement with or without a band.


You may begin this movement by lying on the ground on your side and popping your head onto the arm resting on the ground. Move your hips making a 45-degree angle and your knees up to a 90-degree angle. How to get rid of hip dips

Now, push the knee away from your core while keeping your feet pressed together. Pause while getting to the top, clenching your glutes and abs. Return to the ground. Repeat.

Glute Rainbows

Another glute movement that targets your hip dips, and reduces them efficiently is glute rainbows. All you need to do is place all your fours on the mat. Raise your left leg to extend it straight behind. Move in an arc motion while keeping your leg leveled with the rest of the body. How to get rid of hip dips

Sweep the leg back past your starting position to the lateral position while engaging your left hip. Return to the center and repeat the movement with another leg.

Side Lunge

Side lunges are perfect for your quads, glutes, and rest of the lower body muscles. To perform this movement, stand at the top of your mat with your feet together. Now, engage your core muscles and lunge laterally such that you push your bum behind. How to get rid of hip dips

Keep pushing through the heel of your lunging foot. Repeat on either side.

Curtsy Lunge

This movement is similar to the previous one, with slight variations. Begin with standing with your feet hip-width apart and lunging backward. Cross your lunging leg over to the opposite side to create a deep curtsy position. How to get rid of hip dips

Drive through the heel of your front foot to return to the starting position. Repeat the movement with the other leg.

You may pair the above-listed exercise with your other workout routine and a good diet. Performing these movements regularly will help you achieve toned buttocks and reduce your hip dips to a greater extent.

So, what are you waiting for? Take out your yoga mat and start exercising now. For more on fitness, beauty, and lifestyle, stay connected.

How to get rid of hip dips

If you, like us, have ever stared at a traditional body shape chart in confusion (Am I a pear? A banana? Why am I comparing my body shape to fruit again?), you know the frustration and insecurity that can come with trying to define your body type. This is why we’re so on board with the latest body diversity celebrations blowing up on social; they remind us that every body is different, and some (perhaps most) can’t be categorized…and that’s a good thing.

The latest feature people are embracing and showing off? Something, that, unlike the name implies, is not a trendy new tortilla dip: hip dips.

Hip Dips

Also called "violin hips," hip dips refers to the slight indentation some people have at the area where their hips meet their thighs.

A quick scroll through the #hipdip hashtag shows thousands of images of people who are showing off their dips loud and proud. A lot of them talk about how they previously felt insecure about these dips in their hip area—they’re not often talked about in a media landscape that seems to either celebrate only the super-curvy or waif-thin. Thanks to social media, however, we’re finally celebrating the obvious: All bodies in their weird and wonderful glory are worth celebrating, and we’re all in this together. Can we get an amen?!

Many of us at Byrdie HQ feel a personal connection to this latest trend—we were curious about how exactly a "hip dip" occurs, and why some women have it when others don't. So ahead, we've tapped two personal trainers to share exactly what hip dips are and why some people have them.

Why do some people have “hip dips” and some don’t?

Why do some have it and some don’t? “Although many individuals believe that hip dips are a sign of whether you are healthy or not, this is not the case,” says NYC-based trainer and Glute Recruit founder Jessica Mazzucco. “Hip dips are entirely caused by genetics and the shape of your pelvis. When someone has hip dips, this means that their hip bone is located higher than their femur, which causes their muscles and fat to curve inwards. “

Our bodies are what they are. We don't get to choose what template we get, but we can choose how we maximize the template we have through diet, exercise, overall wellness, and more importantly, we can choose how we embrace and love the bodies we have. The fact of the matter is that if you have confidence, most people will never even notice the areas of our bodies we are insecure about. They will only notice the beauty that comes with confidence.

Are “hip dips” normal?

Hip dips are completely normal and common. No matter how small, lean, big, muscular, or fluffy my body gets, I will always have “hip dips” due to the structure of my frame (dominant hip flexors and outer quads). Many women who have these “hip dips” also tend to have “saddlebags,” which are fat pockets just below the “hip dip,” toward the backside of our legs.

Can You Treat Hip Dips?

"Hip dips are caused by genetics, so there is no way to 'spot treat' them when trying to lose weight in that region of your body," says Mazzucco. "Certain exercises, such as glute bridges and lunges, will reduce their appearance, but it is impossible to remove them completely. That being said, there is no point in putting effort into changing a feature of your body that is caused by genetics because genetics are unchangeable."

So sure, we can minimize the appearance of a "hip dip" by avoiding exercises that work our quads and hip flexors, and we can focus solely on exercises that work our backside (which will consequently reduce the appearance of the saddlebag as well, by stretching the skin in that area). But once you realize what a "hip dip" is, you may not actually want to get rid of it. It's a beautiful thing to have that adds extra shape to your muscles. I feel like it shows power and strength. If you are insecure about the layer of fat that is covering the "hip dip," then we can only reduce that layer by consuming fewer calories than we expend each day. In other words, dial in your nutrition if you want to burn fat. We cannot spot reduce. Keep in mind though: No matter how thin that layer gets, the "hips dips" will still be there, because this is just the beautiful structure that our body has.

How to use nutrient synergy in your diet

Food synergy is the concept that the non-random mixture of food constituents operates in concert for the life of the organism eaten and presumably for the life of the eater. Isolated nutrients have been extensively studied in well-designed, long-term, large randomised clinical trials, typically with null and sometimes with harmful effects. Therefore, although nutrient deficiency is a known phenomenon, serious for the sufferer, and curable by taking the isolated nutrient, the effect of isolated nutrients or other chemicals derived from food on chronic disease, when that chemical is not deficient, may not have the same beneficial effect. It appears that the focus on nutrients rather than foods is in many ways counterproductive. This observation is the basis for the argument that nutrition research should focus more strongly on foods and on dietary patterns. Unlike many dietary phenomena in nutritional epidemiology, diet pattern appears to be highly correlated over time within person. A consistent and robust conclusion is that certain types of beneficial diet patterns, notably described with words such as ‘Mediterranean’ and ‘prudent’, or adverse patterns, often described by the word ‘Western’, predict chronic disease. Food is much more complex than drugs, but essentially uninvestigated as food or pattern. The concept of food synergy leads to new thinking in nutrition science and can help to forge rational nutrition policy-making and to determine future nutrition research strategies.

N utrients, just like us humans, work better together. What does this mean exactly? It’s a little thing called: Food synergy — when nutrients complement one another and have a profoundly greater effect on our health and well-being. The more natural and unadulterated nutrients are, in the form of whole foods, is the key to a healthy diet.

Though nutrition scientists have been preaching about individual nutrients and their respective impact on preventing chronic disease, more recent observations are starting to show that when isolated, nutrients may not be as powerful as we originally thought. Isolated nutrients (think supplements) don’t appear to protect against disease as effectively as the whole foods they come from.

Bioavailability, come again?

Bioavailability is the proportion of a nutrient that the human body can absorb and use. Just because we consume foods or supplements, doesn’t mean that we will absorb 100% of the nutrients. Food combinations, processing, and cooking all influence how well nutrients will be absorbed.

Nutrient absorption, use, and retention in the body can also vary according to our specific needs. For instance, a woman who is menstruating will absorb much more iron in comparison to a man. A child whose bones are growing will absorb much more calcium than an adult. This absorption rate can also vary according to age, sex, amount of nutrients in the body, current health, and digestive wellness. External factors such as medication or alcohol consumption, even level of stress, can impact how nutrients are ingested.

Eating food as close to their purest form as possible is our best bet when trying to improve health and prevent disease. So rather than getting your nutrients from supplements, aim to get them from whole foods. Learn which foods are a match made in health-heaven and which nutrients fight for their right to be absorbed.

Love at first bite

The following power pairs work well together to make our bodies feel divine. Having them both in the same meal will boost their respective absorption.

Our families and distant ancestors instinctually knew a few things or two, as many regional foods and classic local recipes naturally contain synergistic food pairings. Reading through these food pairings, think about what cuisines come to mind. Hint: Mediterranean diet.

Nonheme iron and vitamin C

Nonheme iron, which is the type that comes from plant foods, is not as readily absorbed as iron from animal sources. Iron is essential for the transport of oxygen to every cell in the body. Without enough of it, fatigue, low immune system, and shortness of breath can occur. Having plant-based iron and vitamin C together will help increase absorption.

Nonheme iron: Grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds

Vitamin C: Orange, lemon, bell pepper, tomato, leafy greens

Vitamin A or lycopene and fats

Vitamin A is a powerful antioxidant that helps fight cell damage and supports eye, bone, and skin health. Lycopene is a potent antioxidant that can decrease our risk of cancer. As both are fat soluble, they require fat, to be absorbed by the body.

Vitamin A: Dairy, sweet potato, squash, kale, spinach, apricot, cantaloupe

Healthy fats: Avocado, olive, oil, nuts, seeds, fatty fish

Vitamin D and calcium

Calcium is known as the bone-building and strengthening nutrient, but is only truly effective with the help of vitamin D. Vitamin D aids calcium absorption.

Vitamin D: Eggs, mushrooms, fortified milk

Calcium: Dairy products, almonds, kidney beans, sardines, canned salmon and tofu

Vitamins B6, B12 and Folate

This family of B vitamins synergistically work together to reduce levels of homocysteine, an amino acid which, when high, significantly increases the risk of heart disease.

Vitamin B6: Rice, beans, lentils, poultry, seeds

Vitamin B12: Beef, fish and seafood, poultry, dairy, and nutritional yeast

Folate: Asparagus, avocado, broccoli, whole grains, nuts, and seeds

Too close for comfort

Sometimes some substances in foods interfere with the body’s uptake of vitamins and minerals. Oxalates and phytates, known as anti-nutrients compete, with iron and calcium. They don’t completely block them, but rather limit the amount that your body receives.

Oxalates, found in dark leafy greens such as spinach, kale, and beet greens can actually compete with iron and calcium. Phytates, which are found in whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans, and lentils bind to minerals in the gut before they are absorbed. They can also slightly reduce the digestibility of starches, proteins, and fats. Soaking, fermenting, and sprouting can all decrease can all decrease these anti-nutrients.

Leavening bread helps counteract the blocking effect of phytates and increases bioavailability.

8fit recipes with synergistic effects

Chickpea & chard hash

Calling all you legume lovers and plant-based eaters out there. These recipes contain non-heme iron in the chickpeas paired with vitamin C rich lemon juice for an iron-rich meal.

Sweet potato toast with avocado & tuna

All nutrients on board this sweet potato toast ship. Sweet potato is rich in vitamin A and will find it’s smooth sailing when captain healthy fat in the form of avocado joins the crew.

Turmeric latte with pistachios

Time to spice up your life. Adding even a pinch of black pepper can increase the bioavailability of turmeric by 2000%. This classic recipe is an anti-inflammatory home run.

Pasta Primavera

Did you say pasta? Yes, please! The combination of tomato and broccoli can help boost the cancer-preventing properties of lycopene. Plus pasta, people — pasta!

Find these synergistically satisfying recipes on the 8fit app.

Food synergy: From broccoli and tomatoes to dal and rice, know some food combinations which can work wonders for your health!

How to use nutrient synergy in your diet

Food synergy: Dal and rice is the perfect example of food synergy


  • Broccolis should be eaten in combination with tomatoes
  • Have green tea with lemon for an antioxidant boost
  • Curcumin in turmeric is activated in presence of piperine in black pepper

Food synergy is a concept that has been studied over many years to define the relationship between certain foods in terms of food pairing and nutrient interaction. Certain foods and nutrients work best when together. They bring out the best in one another for a power-packed nutrition punch. The accurate combinations of foods you put on your plate can not only spur your body in absorbing various nutrients, but it also improves body’s ability for fighting diseases.

Here are some dynamic food pairing duos to keep you in the best of health:

1. Broccoli and tomatoes

Tomato is rich in a powerful antioxidant called lycopene while broccoli contains another beneficial phytonutrient called sulforaphane. Together, these two have been studied extensively for their cancer-preventing properties especially prostate cancer. Both tomato and broccoli have their nutritive value enhanced when steamed or cooked. This perfect pair also boots your immunity. Toss some diced tomatoes with broccoli and some mushrooms or bell peppers for a quick evening supper or add chopped broccoli and tomato to your breakfast omelette.

How to use nutrient synergy in your diet

Nutrition value of broccoli is enhanced in the presence of tomatoes
Photo Credit: iStock

2. Green tea and lemon

Green tea, without a doubt, is rich in many health benefitting antioxidants like catechins. If researchers are to be believed, the antioxidant capacity of green tea is enhanced by 5-10 times when paired with a dash of lemon juice. This is because of the presence of vitamin C in lemon which pairs perfectly with catechins in green tea. This match made in the kitchen can boost your immunity, prevent premature aging, and can also fight certain types of cancer. So, next time-just squeeze some lemon juice in your cup of green tea.

3. Turmeric and black pepper

The bioactive form of turmeric is curcumin which is one of the most powerful antioxidants ever known. Not only it is anti-inflammatory, but it possesses strong anti-cancer properties. The bioactive compound present in black pepper is known as piperine. When paired together, piperine helps enhance cancer-fighting properties of curcumin and increases its absorption by as much as 1000 times! So, the next time when you grab your turmeric latte, just add a dash of black pepper to it.

4. Dal and rice

One of the most widely believed misconceptions is that a vegetarian diet lacks complete protein. To make any protein food a complete one, it must contain all the 9 essential amino acids which your body cannot synthesize on its own and you can very well have your own complete protein meal even if you are a vegetarian or a vegan. Combining rice with pulses is the best way to do so. Rice contains sulfur-containing amino acids- cysteine and methionine, but low in lysine while pulses are low in cysteine and methionine but high in lysine. So, combining these two as a part of your major meals make up for a perfect synergistic dose of complete protein.

5. Vegetables and oil/nuts

A dash of oil or sprinkling a few nuts over your vegetable preparations is the best way to unlock vitamins present in the veggies. A hint of healthy fats can help enhance the absorption of nutrients like alpha and beta carotene, lutein, and lycopene in addition to enhancing the absorption of Vitamin E, A, and K. So, adding a healthy dressing of cold-pressed olive oil to your salads or simply sprinkling some crushed nuts will do wonders for your health by making sure you absorb all the goodness of fat-soluble vitamins from vegetables.

How to use nutrient synergy in your diet

Cook veggies with some nuts and oil to unlock their nutritive value
Photo Credit: iStock

(Nmami Agarwal is nutritionist at Nmami Life)

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. NDTV is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information on this article. All information is provided on an as-is basis. The information, facts or opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of NDTV and NDTV does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.

How to use nutrient synergy in your diet

It’s a basic Paleo principle that you should get as much of your nutrition as possible from whole foods, not isolated nutrient supplements. There are all kinds of reasons for that. Supplements are often contaminated and the ones that aren’t are typically expensive. Taking a bunch of pills is annoying and hard to remember. But even if you’re happy paying out as much as you need to get the best supplements and don’t mind dedicating your second bedroom to your pill bottle collection, there’s another reason to get your nutrition food: nutrient synergy.

No, your vitamins aren’t sitting around in a circle holding hands and feeling their life energy. “Nutrient synergy” is the way that two or more different nutrients work together to produce an effect that you can’t get from either nutrient alone. Sometimes they help each other do the same job; other times, one nutrient helps you absorb more of the other. It’s a little bit like building a house. You can have a pile of bricks in one place, a separate pile of mortar, a third pile of shingles, and a fourth pile of drywall, but that doesn’t give you a house. To get houses that actual people can live in, you have to have a little bit of all those things and combine them.

It’s the same way with nutrients: you can take some Vitamin C, some Vitamin E, and some other antioxidants, but it won’t give you all the benefits of eating fruits and vegetables. And you can even scale it up to food combinations and dietary patterns in general: certain combinations of foods are more effective at promoting health than the foods in isolation (wouldn’t you know it, these typically happen to be the same combinations typically found in traditional diets).

We don’t even know exactly what it is in some of these foods that causes the effect, so we can’t possibly replicate it in a pill. But it’s clear that eating healthy foods will give you more benefits than eating isolated nutrient supplements, and an overall healthy diet pattern will give you even more benefits than just eating the foods alone. There’s more to food than the sum of the numbers on the nutrition label.

Here’s the case for how that actually happens with some specific nutrients.


Several studies show that antioxidants work better in teams – which is exactly how we get them in whole foods. Vitamins C and E, for example, are well-known as antioxidant buddy cops, which is convenient since they tend to come packaged together in a lot of the same foods (mostly dark leafy greens).

This article makes the case for the synergistic effects of antioxidants and other polyphenols in the health benefits of fruits and vegetables. Trials of antioxidant supplements have had lackluster results compared to the obvious and well-studied benefits of eating whole fruits and vegetables, possibly because the supplements can’t recreate the full antioxidant experience.

Just to take a couple specific examples…

How to use nutrient synergy in your diet

    found that ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) and alpha-tocopherol (Vitamin E) worked synergistically with beta-carotene. Know what has all of the above? Spinach, kale, mustard greens, and other dark green leafy vegetables. , flavonoids work synergistically with Vitamins C and E to reduce oxidation of LDL cholesterol. got more protection against prostate cancer than rats fed pure lycopene (that’s the antioxidant in tomatoes that everyone talks about for protecting against prostate cancer, and in human studies, whole-food tomatoes do seem to work) , intact freeze-dried broccoli was more effective for cancer prevention than isolated chemicals found in the broccoli. found that the anticancer effects of ginger are caused by synergy among all the antioxidants it contains, not just one.

You could argue that antioxidants in a supplement would work synergistically just as well as antioxidants in the whole food, but that doesn’t account for the huge number of antioxidant phytochemicals that we can’t put in a supplement because we haven’t even defined or discovered them yet. You could wait to get all the good stuff in a tomato until scientists exhaustively measure every single phytochemical it contains and stick it in a pill for you…or you could just eat the tomato.

Antioxidants can also work synergistically in combinations of foods – it doesn’t necessarily have to be just within the one food. To take one tasty example, this study found that consuming both red wine and olive oil at the same meal provided greater antioxidant benefits than consuming either one separately. This one found that adding milk or lemon juice to green tea improved the bioavailability of the catechins it contained. And this one found that eating tomatoes with broccoli was even better for prostate health than eating either alone.

Micronutrients and Fat

It’s not just antioxidants, either! Another example of nutrients working together comes from various combinations of micronutrients and healthy fats

The obvious example is the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins: Vitamins A, D, E, and K need some fat to be absorbed. So isn’t it convenient that they often come packaged right with the fat in the same food? Think about Vitamin A in liver, Vitamin D in fish, or Vitamin E in almonds. With food sources that don’t naturally contain a lot of fat (like vegetables), it’s easy enough to add some olive oil or avocado (or both!) to your salad.

Another example is B vitamins with Omega-3 fats. In this case, it’s not about absorption: B vitamins aren’t fat-soluble, but some evidence shows that B vitamins and Omega-3s may have synergistic effects on heart health. This may be one of the reasons why fish (a natural source of both Omega-3 fats and B vitamins) is such a healthy food, but isolated Omega-3 supplements have had mixed results for preventing heart disease (or anything else). Yet again, whole foods trump supplements.

Summing it Up

Supplements do have a place even in a healthy and nutrient-dense diet: if you pick them carefully and use them wisely, they can be absolutely great. But the majority of your nutrients should come from whole foods, partly because the nutritional content of whole foods is more than the sum of its parts. And the nutritional content of an overall nutrient-dense diet is even better than the sum of its whole foods. There’s a limit to how much we can know about foods by counting up their individual nutrients, and a limit to how much nutrition we can really get from supplementing with a smattering of purified vitamins and minerals.

Whole tomatoes are better for you than isolated lycopene, and tomatoes eaten with other nutritious vegetables are even better than whole tomatoes. It’s about the big picture – so go grab yourself some tomato and spinach salad, and chow down on a big plate of nutrient-dense foods; it’ll do you better than a supplement, and it’s tastier to boot.

How to grow soybeans

Find out how to grow soybeans or edamame, in our Grow Guide.

Published: Wednesday, 2 June, 2021 at 11:52 am

Do not Sow in January

Do not Sow in February

Do not Sow in March

Do Sow in April

Do not Sow in July

Do not Sow in August

Do not Sow in September

Do not Sow in October

Do not Sow in November

Do not Sow in December

Do not Plant in January

Do not Plant in February

Do not Plant in March

Do not Plant in April

Do not Plant in May

Do Plant in June

Do not Plant in July

Do not Plant in August

Do not Plant in September

Do not Plant in October

Do not Plant in November

Do not Plant in December

Do not Harvest in January

Do not Harvest in February

Do not Harvest in March

Do not Harvest in April

Do not Harvest in May

Do not Harvest in June

Do not Harvest in July

Do Harvest in August

Do Harvest in September

Do not Harvest in October

Do not Harvest in November

Do not Harvest in December

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Plant size


45cm between rows

Edamame or soybean is a versatile cropping plant, producing pods that can be steamed and then shelled for the tender fresh beans, or mature beans that can be dried to store for a long period before cooking. Edamame is the name given to the young beans while soybean refers to the mature bean.

These beans have been grown and used for cooking for thousands of years in South-east Asia and are becoming increasingly popular in UK kitchens, too. High in protein, they can be steamed or boiled in their pods and added to dips, salads, side dishes, stews or casseroles.

Soybean plants are frost-tender and need a long hot summer to crop well, so they are only suited to being grown outdoors in milder regions of the UK. Note this bean contains toxins and must be cooked before eating and shouldn’t be eaten raw.

How to grow soybeans

Grow soybeans from seed sown from mid spring to early summer, either starting seed indoors in pots or sowing directly where plants are to grow from late spring. Grow in a sunny sheltered site on good soil and keep watered so the soil doesn’t dry out. Harvest from late summer into autumn. Compost the plants at the end of the season.

Growing soybeans: jump links

Where to grow soybeans

How to grow soybeans

This type of bean needs to be grown in warm areas and in full sun, on soil that is fertile and moisture retentive. Plants grow up to 1.2m high and are best grown in a site sheltered from wind.

Sowing soybeans indoors

From mid to late spring, sow seeds 5cm deep into individual 8cm pots or deep root trainer pots filled with moist potting compost. Place in a propagator, or cover with polythene and stand in a warm place, at a temperature of around 20°C. Once seedlings appear, move to a well-lit windowsill or a heated greenhouse and ensure the compost stays evenly moist. Harden off the seedlings to gradually acclimatise to the outdoors before planting out when all danger of frost is past. If cool weather delays planting out and seedlings have filled their pots with roots, transplant into larger (13cm) pots.

Sowing soybeans outdoors

How to grow soybeans

Ideally, warm the soil before sowing seed direct, by placing cloches, fleece, or clear polythene over the ground for at least a couple of weeks. Sow from late spring to mid-summer, placing 2-3 seeds together, 5cm deep and 15cm apart, in rows 45cm apart. Once the seedlings have emerged, thin if necessary to leave one seedling, selecting the strongest and healthiest one to remain. If space permits, make several sowings over a couple of months so you can harvest over a long period.

Caring for soybeans

A regular supply of water is essential for pod and fruit-producing crops like edamame/soybean. During dry conditions, water thoroughly 2-3 times a week. Mulching the soil around the roots with well-rotted compost helps the soil retain moisture. Weed regularly as weeds would compete with the beans for water and nutrients.

Harvesting soybeans

How to grow soybeans

Soybeans are ready to harvest around 12 weeks after sowing, in late summer or autumn. For edamame beans, pick when the pods are green with the shape of the beans is visible inside. Either shell the beans from the pods before cooking or cook the pods whole and pop the beans out afterwards. For soybeans, allow the pods to develop to produce large beans, then dry thoroughly in an airy spot under cover and shell beans from the pods before storing.

Growing soybeans: problem solving

Poor growth is commonly caused by low temperatures, so avoid sowing too early and protect young plants with fleece or cloches.

Small pods and beans are likely to be caused by lack of water. Ensure the crop is watered regularly during dry spells, and spread an organic mulch such as garden compost or chipped bark, to hold moisture in the soil.

Slugs and snails can damage the seedlings, which are particularly susceptible when emerging from the soil. Surround the seedlings with a physical barrier, such as collars made from plastic bottles, protects them at this most vulnerable stage. Apply a wildlife-friendly slug and snail killer or a proprietary barrier.

How to grow soybeans

Soybeans are tender warm-weather legumes. Sow soybeans in spring 2 to 3 weeks after the average last frost date when the soil has warmed to at least 60°F (16°C). Soybeans can be planted earlier in warm-winter regions. Soybeans grow best where the daytime temperature averages in the 70°sF (21°C).

Description. The soybean is a bushy, free-branching annual legume. It grows 12 to 36 inches (30-91cm) tall. Stems and leaves are hairy. Flowers are white with lavender shading. Pods grow 1 to 4 inches (2.5-10cm) long in clusters of three to five. Each fuzzy pod contains 2 to 4 seeds. There are more than 10,000 soybean cultivars. Colors range from black to gray, brown, green, yellow, white, and striped. Seeds can be smaller than a pea or as large as a kidney bean.

Yield. Grow 4 to 8 soybean plants per each household member.

How to grow soybeansPlanting Soybeans

Site. Plant soybeans in full sun; soybeans will tolerate partial shade but the yield will be reduced. Soybeans grow best in loose, well-drained soil rich in organic matter. Soybeans prefer a soil pH of 6.0 to 6.8. Soybeans are tolerant of poor soil.

Planting time. Sow soybeans in spring 2 to 3 weeks after the average last frost date when the soil has warmed to at least 60°F (16°C). Soybeans grow best where the daytime temperature averages between 60°F and 70°F (16-21°C). Plant soybeans in late winter in warm-winter regions. Soybeans are not frost-tolerant.

Planting and spacing. Sow soybean seeds 1 to 2 inches (2.5-5cm) deep, 2 to 4 inches (5-1ocm) apart in rows 24 to 30 inches )61-76cm) apart. Thin successful seedlings from 4 to 6 inches (1015cm) apart; cutaway thinned seedlings with scissors at ground level being careful not to disturb the roots of remaining plants. Do not soak seed before planting and do not overwater immediately after planting; too moist seeds may crack and germinate poorly.

Companion plants. Potatoes, cucumbers, corn, strawberries, celery, summer savory. Do not plant soybeans with onion or garlic.

How to grow soybeansCaring for Soybeans

Water and feeding. Keep planting beds evenly moist until soybeans have pushed through the soil. Water regularly during flowering and pod formation. Avoid overhead watering which can cause flowers and pods to fall off. Mulch when the soil warms to greater than 60°F (16°C) to conserve soil moisture. Add aged compost to planting beds in advance of planting. Side dress soybeans with aged compost at midseason. Avoid adding nitrogen-rich fertilizers to planting beds. Soybeans, like other legumes, set up a mutual exchange with soil microorganisms called nitrogen-fixing bacteria to produce nitrogen compounds used by the plant.

Care. Avoid handling soybeans when they are wet or covered with heavy dew; this may spread fungus spores. Keep planting beds weed-free; cultivate around soybeans carefully so as not to disturb the plant’s shallow root system. Mulch to conserve soil moisture once the soil has warmed. Rotate soybeans and other legumes to add nitrogen to the soil.

Container growing. Soybeans can be grown in containers 8 inches deep, the space required for a useable crop makes soybeans a poor choice for container growing.

Pests. Soybeans are rarely bothered by pests. Keep the garden clean and free of debris so that pests can not harbor or over-winter in the garden.

Diseases. Soybeans are rarely attacked by a disease. Rotate beans so that they do not grow in the same location more than every three years.

How to grow soybeansHarvesting and Storing Soybeans

Harvest. For green shell beans, harvest soybeans when pods are green, full, and plump, usually 2 to 3 inches (5-7cm) long, about half mature. Soybeans for shelling and fresh use are ready for harvest 45 to 65 days after sowing. Dry soybeans require 100 or more days to reach harvest. Soybeans reach maturity at the same time; pull the whole plant and hang it upside down to dry. Shell dry beans once the pods are fully dry.

Note: Soybeans should not be eaten raw; they contain trypsin inhibitor which prevents the digestion of proteins. Blanch green soybeans in boiling water for a couple of minutes and then plunge them into an ice-water bath. Boil sprouted beans for at least 5 minutes before eating.

Storing. Green shelled or unshelled soybeans will keep in the refrigerator for up one week. Shelled soybeans can be frozen, canned or dried. To make shelling easier, drop pods into boiling water for a minute. Dried, shelled soybeans can be stored in a cool, dry place for 10 to 12 months.

Varieties. There are more than 10,000 soybean cultivars. Green-seed cultivars are considered the most tender and best flavored. Black-seeded beans are used for drying. Yellow-seed beans are used to make soy milk and flour. Select a cultivar suited to your growing region; check with the nearby agricultural extension for recommendations.

How to grow soybeans

An ancient crop of the Orient, soybeans (Glycine max ‘Edamame’) are just beginning to become an established staple of the Western world. While it’s not the most commonly planted crop in home gardens, many people are taking to growing soybeans in fields and reaping in the health benefits these crops provide.

Information on Soybeans

Soybean plants have been harvested for more than 5,000 years, but only in the last 250 years or so have Westerners become aware of their enormous nutritional benefits. Wild soybean plants can still be found in China and are beginning to find a place in gardens throughout Asia, Europe, and the Americas.

Soja max, the Latin nomenclature comes from the Chinese word ‘sou,’ which is derived from the word ‘soi‘ or soy. However, soybean plants are so revered in the Orient that there are over 50 names for this extremely important crop!

Soy bean plants have been written about as early as the old Chinese ‘Materia Medica’ circa 2900-2800 B.C. However, it doesn’t appear in any European records until A.D. 1712, after its discovery by a German explorer in Japan during the years 1691 and 1692. Soybean plant history in the United States is disputable, but certainly by 1804 the plant had been introduced in eastern areas of the U.S. and more fully after an 1854 Japanese expedition by a Commodore Perry. Still, the popularity of soybeans in the Americas was limited to its use as a field crop even as recently as the 1900’s.

How to Grow Soybeans

Soybean plants are fairly easy to grow– about as easy as bush beans and planted much the same way. Growing soybeans can occur when soil temperatures are 50 degrees F. (10 C.) or so, but more ideally at 77 degrees F. (25 C.). When growing soybeans, don’t rush planting as cold soil temperatures will keep the seed from germinating and stagger planting times for a continuous harvest.

Soybean plants at maturation are quite large, 2 feet (61 cm.) tall, so when planting soybeans, be aware that they are not a crop to attempt in a small garden space.

Make rows 2 to 2 ½ feet (61-76 cm.) apart in the garden with 2 to 3 inches (5-8 cm.) between plants when planting soybeans. Sow seeds 1 inch (2.5 cm.) deep and 2 inches (5 cm.) apart. Be patient; germination and maturation periods for soybeans are longer than most other crops.

Growing Soybean Problems

  • Don’t sow soybean seeds when the field or garden is overly wet, as cyst nematode and sudden death syndrome may affect the growth potential.
  • Low soil temperatures will prevent germination of the soybean plant or cause root rotting pathogens to flourish.
  • In addition, planting soybeans too early may also contribute to high populations of bean leaf beetle infestations.

Harvesting Soybeans

Soybean plants are harvested when the pods (edamame) are still an immature green, prior to any yellowing of the pod. Once the pod turns yellow, the quality and flavor of the soybean is compromised.

Pick by hand from the soybean plant, or pull the entire plant from the soil and then remove pods.

All plants require certain nutrients to grow. While most plants attain their nutrients from the soil, soybeans are a unique type of plant called a legume that are able to obtain nitrogen from the atmosphere. Soybeans do this by forming a mutually beneficial relationship with a certain bacterium in their root nodules. The bacterium convert the nitrogen to a plant-soluble form and in return are supplied with carbohydrates. Many farmers choose to plant soybeans because soybeans require less nitrogen fertilizer and help restore the important nutrient to the field. After harvest, farmers may choose to plant a crop like winter wheat, which requires high quantities of nitrogen.

Selecting Seed

Like many field crops, soybeans are grown from seed in the field from a previous harvest. The soybean seeds are mature soybeans that are cleaned and bagged specifically for use as seed. Farmers select seed based on desirable plant characteristics, like high yield, ability to withstand drought, color, or ability to withstand wind and weather.

How to grow soybeans


In North Carolina, farmers plant soybeans beginning in May and as late as July. Seed may be planted in cultivated or tilled land by a tractor and a planter which deposits the soybean seed about 1 1⁄2 inches deep in rows that are up to 30 inches apart. There is no rule about how wide rows must be, but 30 inches is typical.

Alternatively, soybeans may be “drilled” into the ground in seven-inch rows by a special “no-till” planter. When a farmer uses the no-till method, the land is not cultivated and the seeds are planted directly into the stubble left over from the previous crop, such as wheat harvested in May or June. The no-till method saves time, conserves soil moisture and greatly decreases the possibility of soil erosion. No-till is highly desirable, but if farmers are dealing with fields infested by weeds or other pests, till may be necessary to eradicate the pest.

How to grow soybeansHow to grow soybeans


Soybeans sprout about four to seven days after planting. At his point, the farmer has already invested heavily in seed, pest controls, and operation costs, so there are many things a farmer must consider to protect his crop. Bugs and worms really like small tender plants, so when the farmer notices there is a heavy insect infestation, he or she must calculate the degree of risk to the crop. If the infestation is bad enough to harm the crop, the farmer sprays a pesticide to control the pest. If the farmer is using organic methods, there are still products that can be sprayed but the choice is much more limited, and the risk is somewhat greater.

How to grow soybeans

Weed that will inhibit soybean growth

Another threat to the young crop comes from weeds that grow faster than soybean plants. They can crowd out the soybean plants and prevent necessary sunlight and nutrients from enabling the soybean plants to grow. This will reduce the soybean yield. If allowed to grow, some weeds will produce seeds that will be harvested with the soybeans and will reduce the value. The farmer will get less money when they sell the crop post-harvest.

How to grow soybeans

Soybean plant flowering

In July, August and September, the plants bloom. The flowers are small and vary from a white to a beautiful violet or purple. From these blossoms, the soybean plant grows small pods that contain the young seeds. The soybean is a self-pollinating plant, which means that each flower has male and female parts. A single plant can produce seed and essentially clone itself. Soybean plants produce many more flowers than they need, so many flowers never produce pods. Soybeans are a deep green with a slightly paler shade of silver-green on the underside of the leaf.

How to grow soybeans

About 75% of North Carolina soybeans are grown in the eastern part of the state, and if you are driving in this part of the state in the summer and early fall, you are sure to see some soybeans. To learn more about where and how many soybeans are produced in N.C., check the NC Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services annual Agricultural Statistics book.


In late September, the soybeans begin to mature. As the days get shorter and the temperatures get cooler, the leaves on soybean plants begin to turn yellow. By mid-October and November, the leaves will turn brown and fall off, exposing the matured pods of soybeans.

The soybeans are now ready to be harvested. Combines are large machines for harvesting soybeans and other grains including corn and wheat. The header on the front of the combine cuts and collects the soybean plants. The combine separates the soybeans from their pods and stems and collects the soybeans into a holding tank in the back of the combine. When the tank is full, the combine operator will empty the soybeans from the holding tank into a grain truck or grain wagon.

Soybeans are either taken directly to a grain dealer in the grain trucks or they are taken to storage facilities and stored until the farmer decides to sell them. Ultimately the soybeans are transported to a processing plant where the soybean meal (the protein component of the bean) is separated from the soy oil components.