Birthday Traditions from Around the World

Stethoscopes and microphones? Bubble-gum flavored cake? Overseas celebrations? Prayer rituals? These may sound like outrageous birthday ideas to you, but to children around the world, a birthday wouldn’t be a birthday without one of these traditions. The standard American child’s birthday party goes something like this: Host a party at your house/restaurant/events center; guests bring […]

10 Ways to Do What You Don’t Want to Do

Life would be grand if we only did what our fleeting hearts wanted to do, each moment of the day. Unfortunately, the laundry, taxes, and difficult conversations would never get done. The best books would never be written. All the achievements of humankind would be imagined, not realized. So what should we do if we’re […]

Stop The Fighting: Straightforward Solutions to Sibling Rivalry

Many parents wonder why their children fight with each other. All of us can be hurt and stressed by the level of nastiness that sometimes passes between brothers and sisters. The good news is that you can reduce sibling rivalry by understanding its causes and addressing the issues it raises. “Sibling rivalry” is the formal […]

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  • Birthday Traditions from Around the World

    Birthday Traditions from Around the World

    Stethoscopes and microphones? Bubble-gum flavored cake? Overseas celebrations? Prayer rituals? These may sound like outrageous birthday ideas to you, but to children around the world, a birthday wouldn’t be a birthday without one of these traditions. The standard American child’s birthday party goes something like this: Host a party at your house/restaurant/events center; guests bring […]

  • Rethink Receiving a Tax Refund

    Rethink Receiving a Tax Refund

    The National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) online poll last February revealed that a strong majority of respondents intentionally plan to receive a federal income tax refund. “The findings suggest that receiving an income tax refund has become standard operating procedure for some people, as 2014 is the second year in a row that the […]

  • 10 Ways to Do What You Don't Want to Do

    10 Ways to Do What You Don’t Want to Do

    Life would be grand if we only did what our fleeting hearts wanted to do, each moment of the day. Unfortunately, the laundry, taxes, and difficult conversations would never get done. The best books would never be written. All the achievements of humankind would be imagined, not realized. So what should we do if we’re […]

  • Squeezed for Time in the Kitchen? Simple Strategies for Stress-Free Dinners

    Squeezed for Time in the Kitchen? Simple Strategies for Stress-Free Dinners

    With school in full swing after the holidays, my family is busier than ever. Dinner often ends up sandwiched (quite literally) between basketball practice and a PTA meeting. I truly admire the breezy Mom-Chef who whips together a delicious family meal in 30 minutes. But for those of us less adept in the culinary arts, […]

  • Stop The Fighting: Straightforward Solutions to Sibling Rivalry

    Stop The Fighting: Straightforward Solutions to Sibling Rivalry

    Many parents wonder why their children fight with each other. All of us can be hurt and stressed by the level of nastiness that sometimes passes between brothers and sisters. The good news is that you can reduce sibling rivalry by understanding its causes and addressing the issues it raises. “Sibling rivalry” is the formal […]

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  • Winter’s Drafts Make Them Daft

    Winter’s Drafts Make Them Daft

    By J. Shane Mercer The weather in this part of the country is fantastic for the three months of the year when there isn’t snow on the ground. Still, that leaves about eight or nine months when the outdoors is less than inviting and getting kids outside is a challenge. As far as I’ve been […]

  • Why It’s “In” to Be a Geek

    Why It’s “In” to Be a Geek

    By Gwen Rockwood I am a geek. Always have been. But now it’s easy—and almost cool—to admit it. Twenty-five years ago? Not so much. Back then, my glasses, braces, and clarinet carrying case were all social life liabilities. In the ‘80s, if you aced a few spelling tests or a teacher praised you for being […]

  • When Communities Care

    By Gary Wolsky, President/CEO The Village Family Service Center A while back, there was a story on the evening news about a local cop who came across a young man—a third grader, maybe—who had a passion for playing basketball but couldn’t “make the team.” He actually couldn’t even try out for the team. He couldn’t […]

  • The Wow Factor

    The Wow Factor

    Human beings have a remarkable capacity to grow unappreciative, to take the incredible and make it mundane. Comedian Louis C.K. was on the late-night TV show, “Conan,” a few years back ranting about the whininess of the current generation, even as we live in an age of remarkable technological advancement. He mimicked people complaining of […]

  • Letter to My Younger Self

    Letter to My Younger Self

    A wonderful thing is happening at our house. The kids are becoming…capable. That sounds weird, I know. It’s not like they were helpless blobs all this time, but lately I’ve noticed they can really do things—helpful things, necessary things—things my husband and I have been doing for them for more than a decade now. Today […]

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